Troublemakers

Pest

You know the kind of kid who might as well have trouble for a middle name?

If you (or your son/daughter) watches Fireman Sam, you may be familiar with the name Norman Price. That kid causes so much trouble, regardless of whether or not he means to.

Then there’s the kid who you suspect is trouble, but you can’t actually prove anything. In my stories, those girls are called Frankie Jamison and Fancy Mylar. You know: the mischievous and playful kind who pushes the boundaries just a little too far – and gets away with it.

As a child, I wished I could be just a little bit naughtier. I used to imagine sneaking out of my bedroom window at night and going exploring in the countryside. Looking back now, I realise I probably could have gotten away with it because who would ever have suspected someone like me of doing something like that?

Out of interest, who do you think is the biggest pest: Norman Price, the Weasley twins, Horrid Henry or Dennis the Menace?

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Silverdon Traditions

Traditional

Isabel’s life revolved around traditions.

Since her brother was the firstborn, it was tradition that he became the heir. He would inherit the Monray title, have children to inherit it and Isabel would…live her life.

It was tradition that if they had a guest to the harvest meal that autumn, said guest brought a homecooked dish to add to the meal. It was tradition for everyone to help prepare for the meal itself.

When she grew older, she and her friends once visited a bar to enjoy their famous non-alcoholic cocktails. Before they realised what had happened, it became their tradition.

It never occurred to her that her brother might not be as happy about the various traditions as she was. By the time she did, everything in Silverdon had changed and her family was right in the middle of it.

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Hmm

The Day Project is undergoing an upheaval.

Stay tuned.

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New Life Rising

Blossom

One of the loveliest things in the world is springtime blossom. It’s wonderful to watch a tree ravaged by winter slowly come back to life and show its beauty to the world.

Sometimes it doesn’t look like a tree will ever blossom. But have you ever heard this quote?

“My, my, what beautiful blossoms we have this year – but look, this one’s late. But I’ll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.”

For me, a tree in blossom symbolises hope and the promise of new life. What does it mean to you?

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Islanders

Imaginary

I have lived in my imagination since I was five years old. That was when I was given a notepad; each page had lines for a story and space above for a picture.

If this was Inside Out, that would have been when Story Island was created. There have been other Islands, but Story Island hasn’t gone anywhere and I hope it never will.

People live on Story Island, people I know as well as I do myself. Some of them don’t even come from my own imagination – they just like to visit now and again. The Islanders are always prepared for new arrivals.

There’s Isabel Monray, defrosting ice queen and the last blood member of the Monray family. Zara Vavasor, Rhena de Havilland, Nikita Orovna and Fancy Mylar, who keep on doing crazy things but can’t seem to settle into a story of their own (yet). There’s Emilia (Milly) Costello, who is patiently for her story to develop. And there are the other Islanders – Lia Whyteleafe, Marsella Layden, Diane and the Lions, Vipsania – who all have their own stories and worlds.

Story Island is going to keep on growing, and there’s so much there to be discovered.

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Soaring away

Unmoored

Close your eyes and listen.

Do you feel like you’re flying?

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Compassion vs power

Better

I’ve been working on the Day Project for over a year now. It’s strange how much you think you’ve written, how much effort you can put into editing, only to compile everything and read it through and then see that you don’t seem to have done very much at all.

The total chapter count so far is seventeen. I decided one of the chapters was a little too short, so I took a scene and inserted it into the previous chapter. It seems to work.

Writing suggestions and tutorials on YouTube are proving to be helpful and interesting.

I read Landry Park, a duology by Bethany Hagen. It’s got quite a lot of negative reviews on Goodreads, but I enjoyed reading both books despite that. I’ve come to realise that not everyone sees characters the same way (mentioned in an earlier post, I think) and it’s important not to let someone else’s negative opinion change your positive one. Don’t let an unfavourable review spoil your enjoyment of the book. Unless it’s the Fifty Shades and the This Man trilogies, in which case please do because those books need to die.

Another duology I enjoyed but not a lot of others seemed to (if the reviews on Goodreads were anything to go by) was the last two books of The Selection. It’s set in a future version of America, now known as Illéa, which is now ruled by a monarchy descended from Gregory Illéa. The Selection is a competition: thirty-five girls enter, but only one can marry the prince. The original trilogy was about America Singer; the spinoff is about her daughter Eadlyn, who will be the first ruling queen of Illéa and the first princess to have a Selection of her own. I’m not saying her story is better than her mother’s, but I did enjoy it more because Eadlyn underwent serious character development. She starts out as an arrogant, spoiled girl (appropriate) and ends as a mature, responsible queen. But at the beginning and end of her story, it is made clear that nobody is as powerful as her.

Madeline Landry is the sole heir to Landry Park; like Eadlyn, she is being groomed by her parents (or to be more precise, her dad) to take on leadership responsibilities. Like Eadlyn, Madeline is put under pressure to marry. Unlike Eadlyn, Madeline is reluctant to carry out the duties she’s going to inherit. She wants to go to university and have an education that extends beyond her responsibilities to the estate. She starts out quite gentle, but she has an inner strength that is gradually brought out. She is a lot stronger than even she seems to know. Madeline’s true strength is her compassion.

Both girls are born to be leaders. But which is better: to lead with strength or to lead with love?

Eadlyn and Madeline end up doing both.

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