This-stopia

I have an Instagram account (@freyathewriter). Instagram is an amazing place to be for writers – the community is great. Readers, writers and others that find themselves caught up in the web of the community are having a great, supportive time over there. I bought a book only 11 days ago that was an independent writer’s first publication – and it was excellent. If I hadn’t joined Instagram, I’d likely never have read it. Congratulations to Nicholas Crivac for getting Apotheosis to print. Take a look at his website if you want to know more!

Anyway, I digress. On my Instagram account I got involved in a conversation about how the way the world is at the moment means that any ideas us dystopian writers might develop seem to have been stolen by, or been the inspiration for, various regimes around the world (looking at you, governments of the UK and USA!). It means we have to push our plots further and harder so that they don’t just end up being non-fiction tomes. Having said that, in my experience what it has meant is that the tiny news articles that slip through when we are all being supposedly distracted by the latest scandal (which seem to focus very much on the Royal Family these days) have been the jumping off point for some quite interesting and unexpected plot twists. I can’t decide whether to be pleased or horrified at my schadenfreude. It just goes to show, we are all a messy mix of light and shade.

This takes me to my next point (I did have a plan for this blog post, honest). I’m so focused on my burgeoning novel that other writing is taking a back seat. I’m in the throes of my first edit of my book. It’s both challenging and revealing and I find that I edit best with a cup of coffee, under the duvet, in bed (who knew?). I wonder if it’s because it reminds me of when I was a law student and the only way I could have access to all the law books I needed when writing and studying (it was before the internet!) was by spreading them out on my bed? Anyway, once I’ve made some more editing progress my flash fiction and poetry brain cells will kick back in. I do have a list of ideas, inspirations and whatnot, I just don’t want and can’t get too distracted by them for now. I used to contribute a lot to DVerse and I want to get back into that, definitely. It too is a fun place to be.

Which takes me to my final point, which is a bit of a shout out to Helena Hann-Basquiat. She too has been off the radar for a bit (I think the youth across the pond are still saying ‘a hot minute’), but I am reliably informed because I follow her and comment on her blog posts (not stalkery at all), that she is also getting back into the writing gig. I’m so pleased because (a) she’s a brilliant writer and (b) because I reaaaaaally enjoyed being part of the Jessica collaboration back in 2014. it appears that the final book in the trilogy is in the works. All being well I can unleash my really dark side on a bloody slice of this final book, if she still intends to go down the collab route with it. I have a dark dystopian soul and an even darker horror soul. And then there’s my fantasy soul too which is really quite a doozy. Anyway, all hail Helena. I’m looking forward to working with you, if you’ll have me.

There. I think I’ve written all I wanted to for now. I intend to be here on a weekly basis, every weekend, all being well. I’ll be in my dressing gown and PJs, allthough you won’t see that – or will you? Who knows who is watching and by what method?

We are in This-stopia after all…

 

IMG_8888

Dark matter

What does this writer do when she’s not writing on this blog?

OK, I’ll start again, because writing about myself in the third person feels decidedly icky!

If I’ve reinvigorated this blog, why aren’t I writing on here very often? You might well ask. I’m not resting on my laurels, far from it! Here’s what I’ve been up to (aside from my day job, because bills still need to be paid).

Back in 2014, I started writing a dystopian novel. I had a germ of an idea and then it became a project I wanted to take in a specific direction in honour of my late father who had died the year before. I made it too big, too important and in the end, I had to put the work to one side – I was in danger of writing myself into a breakdown.

A few more ‘life’ events happened – these things tend to hunt in packs, like rabid dogs or zombies, don’t they?

Here we are in 2020. I’ve dabbled on here a bit, but something made me pick up my abandoned half-formed thing and inspect it. Bit by bit, I started to see my way towards a finished project, and bit by bit, I finished the first draft – at 6.37am on 28th December 2019 to be precise. I gave myself a bit of a break and have now started my first edit. I’m excited to be at this point so unexpectedly quickly. All being well, I want to have edited and polished my novel sufficiently well to pass to beta readers by the end of this year.

Mixed in with that, a random idea has also borne fruit – it basically started with a question – I wonder if Instagram has a writing community? I posted a first image on 18th November – my feet photo that you see on this blog – and it’s snowballed pretty quickly. I’m somewhat stunned to have around 900 followers already! If you aren’t on Instagram I strongly encourage you to try it out – the community there is lovely. I’ve made some good friends over there.

So, there we are. That’s what I’ve been up to, as well as reading a lot.

If you want to pop over to Instagram and say hello, I’m @freyathewriter over there. May as well keep the theme going, right?

IMG_8777

Malakhi

img_0341

A teacher, a rabbi came to this earth

courtesy of a star, a manger and a virgin birth.

Ages before, despite the temple’s destruction

oil of one day stretched out to eight –

– imagine the miracle!

Hope lights our times, shadows flee in their wake

Hanukkah, Christmas in one time combined.

Faiths diverge but converge all the same

in their wishes for peace and love and brotherhood,

if you can cut through the soundbites and posturing, that is.

I am a mongrel, one foot in the Deep Mid Winter of my past

My heart swelling to Baruch Hu as I whisper Kaddish in memory.

Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya

Bitter sweet at this time of disruption

For all that is gone, for all that has broken

For all that divides in words left unspoken.

Amen.

Shalom.

Salaam.

Shalom Aleichem.

As Salaam Aleikum

Oseh shalom bim’romav hu ya’aseh shalom

Let us welcome the Malakhi, in whatever form he – or she – takes.

******

It’s been a while. Longer than I thought. Life, you know?

Last night saw the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve – two miracles for the price of one. It inspired me to take some time during a small oasis of calm to share my thoughts, my feelings, to highlight just a tiny slice of the similarities in the underlying hopes of the three Abrahamix religions, not to mention in some of the words used in greetings and wishes bestowed.

Yes, it’s probably a bit clumsy (I’ve not written for a while) – but it’s all me.

Whatever faith you follow or not, I send my love to you, my brothers and sisters in this messed-up, argumentative worldwide family of ours.