Categories
Art Writing

Change is in the Air

Good morning on a fabulous Sunday morning. Here in North East Queensland it is presently 6:50 am. If you think thats early I’ve already been up making changes, changes, changes.

The first thing I did was change the title of my cosy mystery in the Beaufort’s Landing Series from ‘Death of a Twin’, which I was never really satisfied with because it sounded weak and pathetic, to ‘Twin Powers: Psychic or Psycho?’

Quelle horreur!

This may turn out to be a big mistake, but it won’t be the end of the world. I am going to make it available in paperback on Amazon from 30th July. So, if you hate it and think I’m making a BIG mistake let me know before then, please. Personally, I feel that it is a better title, but those bugs of self-doubt  are biting.

Next, I have decided to give Percy Rose his own blog page. He deserves it. He’s been working hard and deserves to stand independently. Also, I think it will make marketing easier and more direct. Question, if I do so, do I need a separate email address? Do I need to go through that Chimp thingy? What should I do? I find all this stuff so arduous and torturous and often feel completely overwhelmed. Without the help of author, Dale Furse, I would not have made it even this far.

Let me know what your experience has been like.

Well, I had better get on with things…   Ciao for now Rosa

Categories
Art Poetry Uncategorized Writing

Why do I do it?

Here I am again. It is 3am and I can’t sleep. My head hurts. I think too much.

Following another disappointment, I’m again asking myself why I keep putting myself out there. I have been asked this a lot. ‘Why not just do what you do for yourself and let that be enough.’ Well, first of all, I do do what I do (writing, painting, poetry) for myself. I delight in finding something special in the ordinary, those moments that give heft and contrast to my life. Having done that, I then want people to see what I see, hear what I hear etc. Oft-times it’s beautiful, light, ephemeral; sometimes it’s emotional, dark and painful; most often it means something, I gain perspective, or express how I’m feeling in that moment.

I have been reading a book ‘Special Moments’ by the American artist E. John Robinson. I love his seascapes and landscapes. In the book he talks about how we are part of nature and can be uplifted by nature; how we are part of nature not its master or superior. I too feel that thread of connection and revel in it.

E. John also talks about why he thinks creatives feel they must put their work out there, let me quote something that resonated with me…

“…But with all our insight, all our visions, we cannot keep it to ourselves, can we? Our obsession with creativity is matched only by our need and desire to communicate it to others. Perhaps that is why we are artists. We must tell our dreams, our visions, and we need recognition. We paint, write songs, poems, novels; compose symphonies, carve blocks of wood and granite and marble; then we must standby anxiously while others without our isights pass judgement upon our efforts. No matter; that is the way of artist and patron but it brings us face to face with a critical choice: to whom do we direct our creativities and for what purpose? Under what exalted icon do we place our offerings to be blessed?What shale our God? Public opinion? Income? Prestige and fame? Or is there a higher ideal?…We must paint first for ourselves…” and later “…No matter that we are never quite satisfied! That is a given and a good sign…’

I found it reassuring that others much more talented than myself grapple with this question also.I suppose I will keep doing and questioning why I do. I can’t help it. I suppose I want to share a little of myself with all of you out there, and must take criticism on the chin for doing so.

Early, early mornings are my time for contemplation. It’s been nice talking to you. Ciao for now Rosa.

Categories
Poetry Writing

While you wait…

Percy Rose wants you to know that Book 2 in the Beaufort’s Landing Series is well under way, but in the meantime you can find a collection of our short stories and a few poems, all with a dark twist, now live on Amazon.

Death, Danger and Dark Dreams:       Strange stories from a strange mind. Death comes to us all. We fear what is to come and how we will meet our end; sometimes the images are horrifying, sometimes death is bemusing. You will be amused, confused and intrigued, maybe even shocked, but never bored by these bite-size bits. Bedtime stories these are not.

We know you will enjoy our offering, while waiting for Xelma’s next adventure.

Oh and also, anyone who has read Death of a Twin could we ask that you leave a review?Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. Just let us know you’ve been there, please.

Percy is finding that the second book is slower to take shape. Is this normal do you think.? Perhaps it’s just that life in this strange new world is weighing heavy. Dark, dark is the night with so little light. The good news is that we have friends, family, a dog and the beach.

Xelma lives not too far from us and she needs your attention, and ours…so, best be off to take care of business.   Ciao for now,  Rosa.

P.S. Has anyone ever tried Macro – Lavender Latte? It is very weird, a strange taste. I had one yesterday evening and slept like a top for the first time in the last little while. I’m trying it again just now, so If I suddenly ….zzzzzzz…

Categories
Art Poetry Writing

Poetry Books Now on Amazon…

Just a quick note to let you know the news above: I am sorry about the size of the image. I can’t figure out how to make it smaller here. Doggone it.

So… Look at  me back on social media again…lol. I am forcing myself to break through my fear-procrastination. Therefore, I have put up 5 poetry books, none of which are very recent (though I am working on a new one…watch this space.). They are under my own name this time. Find them here...Rosa Christian.

  • Australia…my Heart is the most recent, first published 2011. I know, right? That was some time ago but I am trying hard to get myself all caught up. Don’t judge.
  • Passing Through – poems that remind us how impermanent our lives are.
  • Natural instinct – Poems based in the natural world.
  • Purple Pages – Adult content poems about Love and loss.
  • Selected Verses – Some of my favourites from the above and a few new ones.

None of them are available in print yet, but soon will be. I just have to go in and re-jig one of them to include the pictures that appear in the original publishing. Doing poetry so it looks all right in the formats is time consuming and drives me a bit nuts, or rather nuttier… Wish me luck.

Ciao for now, Rosa.

Categories
Art Writing

The Percivals

Hi there! Nothing about writing today. I’m off shortly to visit the Perc Tucker Art Gallery in Townsville shortly for a Covid limited viewing of the entries for the Percival Portrait Prize. One of my fellow artists was chosen in pre-selection and a group of us from the beach here are going down to check out all the gorgeous work hung and as a show of support for him. His name is Peter Simpson and his work is ‘Brigot – Lifting for Gold’.

Hello again. Have just got back…by that I mean back home…after the viewing we went to the local Golf Club and had a few drinkies.

Back to the exhibition…there were some truly amazing works there, as you will see if you follow the link above. It was worth the trip. We had a great afternoon. Some of the work I didn’t understand properly and with only an hour to look and not much time alone to contemplate one does make snap judgements. It is all subjective, of course, and what appeals to one does not appeal to another.

And yes, I did enter a couple of pieces…but, alas, they did not pass preselection. It would have been nice to at least be chosen to be hung…ah well, next time, maybe. Truthfully, I am now feeling a little flat. I’ll be fine … no, seriously, I’ll be fine… lol…

Just in case you are interested here they are.

Sigh! Ciao for now, Rosa.

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Uncategorized

The New Year

Well, I am trying to be positive but I have to tell you that it feels facile and hollow to say Happy New Year. Not that I don’t want this for you and all people everywhere but to say those words under the dreadful circumstances for Australia with her bushfires, for Indonesia with her floods and tsunami and the many other problems afflicting our poor Mother Earth, well, the words stick in my throat. I love you all and wish you all the best for the future, I truly do.

There is still hope for us, but so many are determined to ignore the facts.

Let me just say this … Even if you don’t believe the recent devastating events are due to Climate Change, isn’t it still right to look after the Earth? Isn’t it still right to focus on alternatives to industries that pollute our air and oceans? Isn’t it right to find better ways to go forward that don’t involve dismissing and demeaning other people and nations? Can’t we concentrate on helping, and caring for others who are not as lucky as we are? Can we not be just a little kinder and more thoughtful?

I beg you, if you do nothing else in the coming year, please be as kind as you can, as often as you can.

Well, there. I’didn’t realise all of that was going to jump from my keyboard. I am feeling raw. I am safe and well physically in my little piece of paradise, and am so grateful for that.

I was going to write a completely different blog but I guess I needed to have my say.

I will talk again soon.  Ciao for now, Rosa.

Categories
Poetry Uncategorized Writing

Sometimes its a struggle

I have just finished signing up to a writers’ group and it has me thinking. I find it so difficult writing about me, all those ‘I’ sentences are ugly and nerve-wracking. I mean, who do I think I am? What right do I even have to call myself a writer? Am I full of self-importance and hot air? Why should anyone read what I’ve written? What if people hate it? or worse ignore it?  etc. etc. You know the drill…am I right?

WHAT AM I DOING?

Ahem…that feels better.

Well, poo to that! I must keep true to myself. Creativity is my life. I truly love writing in all its forms. Probably I spread myself too thin in all the various genre, but it is all so deliciously enticing.

In the New Year I am determined to self-publish one of my psychological crime murder mysteries. I shall be using the pen-name Percy Rose to differentiate my crime writing from my poetry and other novels. Guess why and how I came up with that name? No, you have to guess. Keep a  lookout for ‘Jenny’s Story’ coming out in the New Year…I think.

Speaking of pen-names I’m adopting another (for the same reason) for my children’s writing. I shall be Rosie O’grady. This one’s easy to guess the origins of but what are its true beginnings? If you ask nicely I will tell you in my next post.

Look, I know imposter syndrome is a thing, but that doesn’t help. Why oh why doesn’t a publishing house want me and my writing? I know there are so many writers out there all submitting that one is flat out getting a look in at all. So, I have decided to go with self-publishing. My vanity is boundless. No. My stories are good.There is so much to learn and do. I just want to write and not have to muck around with all the formatting, distribution, advertising etc. Okay, okay. I’ll stop whingeing and get on with it.

What do you, dear reader, do to make yourself take that leap of faith and put it out there? Please let me know through comments – unless you are vanity press, because I won’t be paying anyone to publish for me.

Speaking of which I have editing for myself and others to be getting on with, so…

Ciao for now, Rosa.

Categories
Uncategorized Writing

It’s all so subjective…hold tight…

So, today I’m going to tell you a story about how surprisingly subjective opinions about your creative work really are. Now, I have known this about my artwork for a long time. I absolutely accept that a painting can appeal to one person and not another. However, I always felt that writing was somehow different. That because of rules of grammar and structure and character and plot, etc. that judging was more easily quantified, either it was good writing or not.

Recently, I entered a children’s writer’s competition. (I know,”Children’s?’. Yes, I forgot to tell you, I’ve gone off on another tangent though I prefer to think that I”ve simply added another string to my bow.) Anyhow, I’ve written some children’s stories and decided to send one off. This competition is one of the few where they actually give you the judges feedback. I love that! It is so helpful, usually.

The first part of the judging sheet consists of the usual – compliance with conditions, spelling, grammar, suitability for target age group, etc. The good news is my spelling and grammar are right up there. (I hope I don’t blot my copybook in this post.) Then, there is a whole slew of questions, each marked out of 10, on plot, characterisation, writing technique, reader enjoyability, readiness for submission and last but not least the X Factor (An overall mark out of 10) and finally the judges comments.

My story’s title is ‘Earth to Jess’. Obviously I thought it was ok, otherwise I wouldn’t have sent it.

Judge 1 gave me 10’s all the way, apart from one 9 (Even the X Factor was 10). Whoo hoo! And, of course, they made some nice remarks at the end. Giving me a score of 97.66%.

Believe me I was grinning from ear to ear after reading that one! I puffed my chest out and eagerly read the next scoresheet for more kudos….

3,3,4,4,3,3,3,6,4,3,4,2 and on and on it went. 6 was as high as it got and that only twice. X Factor 4…The comments were kind and tried to be encouraging. Giving me an overall of 42.99%.

Gutted! Ah misery! My world collapsed. How would I ever show my face to the world again? Hang on, the other Judge gave me 97%. What’s going on here? (I used stronger language than that, but I’m trying to be a children’s author after all.) I have since re-read both papers over and over. I still don’t get it. What can I say,,,different strokes, different folks.

When I feel stronger, I will go back over it an edit/re-write. Lol. I’m not really all that upset but I am bemused and confused.

All of the above is written to reassure myself that it is all a matter of opinion after all and ALSO to let any other writer out there who happens to read this that they shouldn’t take a bad review too much to heart. Yes, use it to push you to make improvements, but don’t let the bastards win. No, no I didn’t mean that! I mean, don’t give up, your next submission may fall into the hands of someone who loves it and you’ll win and/or be published in no time.  Good luck my friends…Ciao for now Rosa.

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Uncategorized

My Get Up and Go…

My get up and go got up and went….ie I’m not feeling motivated at all to do anything much, though I’m doing ok in the complaining department. Yes, I’m good at complaining so prepare yourself.

As you may know I live in northern Queensland and we have just had an almighty downpour (approx 2500 mm in my part of the world). Two unfortunate young men lost their lives. My thoughts and prayers to their loved ones. One person died from Melioidosis or Whitmore’s Disease (from contaminated flood water read about it here) and 10 others have been hospitalised. Hundreds of houses were inundated and people lost all their possessions.

I, however, was not directly affected by any of the above. The worst I got was a mouldy house interior, because I was at my daughter’s and the house was closed up for the week of non stop rain. Thank god for insurance. I am presently without some furniture and furnishings which the cleaners deemed a health risk. I am so grateful that me and mine escaped so lightly, however I have survivor’s remorse.

I feel so much for those families and communities affected and not just in the suburbs out west it is a mess with hundreds and hundreds of cattle killed and starving. It truly breaks my heart so though I can have no idea of what is happening in those farms and stations, my thoughts are with you. If you are one of the unfortunate I know it does no good to say it but I am so sorry this happened to you. Be as strong as you can be but weep when you need to.

Following the floods we now have a horrendous heatwave. Normally, I can tolerate the hot humid weather that comes with living in the tropics but it’s sooooo hot, I believe I was panting like a dog yesterday. It’s only 10am and it’s 35.1 Celsius. I was going to do some gardening but to hell with that! It is so big and and tall, so overgrown and junglely that I am unable to contemplate it. Besides, I need new non-mouldy gumboots and gloves and Ive been waiting for the building inspector (who’s just this minute left) to come and tell me what I already know — part of my ceiling will be pulled out and replaced and a couple of room ceilings will be repainted. I am glad to have the work done, but again worry about those in dire need and hope my piddling problems haven’t held up any help that they need.

None of the above has anything to do with art or writing. However, I think I feel a bit better for venting. Thank you for your time. I hope your life is treating you well and promise next time I will be a little more interesting.   Ciao   Rosa

Oh, just for fun because its too hot to bother doing anything very active I went to this site You Write Like   to see what they came up with. I put in a few paras from Ruth In Pieces (my crime novel) and apparently that shows I write like Dan Brown…I doubt that. So of course I had to try other pieces of my other writing and alack alas it’s as I feared I obviously have no distinct voice. Here are the results for several different genres.

  • Ruth In Pieces — Crime — Dan Brown
  • Jenny’s Story — Crime — Cory Doctorow
  • Clancy leaves Home — Children’s story — J.K. Rowling (I’ll take that)
  • Sinbad’s Voyage to Da Nan Di — Historical Faction — James Joyce (I’ll defs take that)
  • The Fifth Era — Sci-fi/Fantasy — Anne Rice (Ditto)
  • Uh Oh, It’s Nana Rose — Children’s story — Stephen King (that made me laugh)
  • Australian Morning Song — A Poem —  James Joyce (alllllrighty then)

Bit of a hoot. Give it a go. Now I have to go.      Ciao for now   Rosa

 

 

 

Categories
Poetry Uncategorized Writing

Of Hope and Sadness

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This is a pastel portrait I did of Mum around her 86th birthday. She had an amazing, difficult and varied life and I miss her so much. She was my constant companion in the years before her passing. We had some great fun and Mum was always full of kindness and fun.

At this time of year I am filled with hope for the new year starting but sad, bittersweet reminisces of times past. Mum is my hero — a dreamer, an artist, mother of 11 children (one was miscarried, but she never forgot him), Grandmother to countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. No, she wasn’t perfect but she always had time to lend an ear, lend a hand, a kiss and cuddle.

ALWAYS APPRECIATE THOSE PRESENTLY IN YOUR LIFE BECAUSE IT’S TOO LATE ONCE THEY’RE GONE.

The following is the poem I read out at Mum’s funeral.

GONE

Purposefully he strides into the room
Fixes her with his basilisk stare
With fear and excitement she steps forward
Into his calm, dark embrace
A sigh and she is gone
Whisked away from us who try to hold her back.

Her shadow, the memory of her
The hope and joy of her past life
The sure serenity of her undiminished soul
Passes amongst us even as we mourn that passing.
She whispers of Love and respect, patience and forgiveness
All the things that have defined the woman we so admire.
She sings of hope, quiet faith and eternal life.
She weaves in out of our midst
Collecting our tears, hushed words, shared laughter and memories
As talismans against the darkness of forgetfulness
As keys to unlock the secret door to eternity.
She reminds us that her purpose here is past
That she must now leave and continue her journey
Assures us that we are still fulfilling our own individual destinies
That we must strive to enjoy the time left to us
Our own years, months, days, hours or minutes.

We must pass on those gifts of
Love and respect, patience and forgiveness
To all we meet and touch as we celebrate her life completed.

She bids us farewell, waving from the heart of those gone before
Her daughter, her husband, her mother, her grand-mother…
They embrace her, reassure her, lead her to the light
Of all knowledge and all understanding
Where we, at our appointed times, will join her.

Gone but not forgotten…
Doris Thelma Christian nee Clemo.

(c) Rosa Christian