LOVE is on my mind

LOVE AND ROMANCE

What is love and what does it mean? Love is LIFE itself. One description of the word in my dictionary describes it as: “To have a great attachment to, and affection for…” Yes, but what does it really mean, because there are so many different kinds of love? The list is endless, for without love what kind of a world would we live in? It would be a cold, austere place where people go through their lives selfishly without thinking of other people and their feelings. Love makes the world go round.

Poets and playwrights over the centuries have written much about romantic love. Their words live on and on.

The following sentence was written by A.E Houseman:

“Look not in my eyes, for fear they mirror true the sight I see and there you find your face too clear and love it and be lost like me.”

Virgil wrote: “How I saw you. How I fell in love! How an awful madness swept me away! Now I know what love is, Love conquers all things. Let us too give into love.”

And who can forget Shakespeare’s hapless character, Romeo as he utters these words as he stands beneath the balcony and looks up to his love, Juliette:

“It is my love: O! That she knew she were. With love’s light wings did I o’er perch these walls, for stony limits cannot hold love out and love can do that does love attempt.”

In the play Twelfth Night, Shakespeare wrote:

“If music be the food of love, play on.” And in The Taming of the Shrew, the well-known saying: “Kiss me Kate, we will be married o’ Sunday.”

“O, my luve’s like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June. O my luve’s like the melodie that’s sweetly played in tune.” were written by Scotland’s Robert Burns whose words have been loved and remembered for many years.

We all start (so they say) from the love between Adam and Eve and their forbidden love. Two people meet, fall in love, get married and have children in the belief that love lasts for ever. But what happens when love goes sour?
Shelley wrote:

“When hearts have once mingled, love first leaves the well-built nest! The weak one is singled to endure what it once possessed.”

Along comes unrequited love, and who doesn’t feel sorrow for poor Tit Willow as he plunges into the “billowing waves” (Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado). Young love, lost love, the love between two elderly people who have lived together for so many years and the universal love between mother and child and of course the love between any creature and its young. (Here we have the art of shared devotion, which is love of the purest kind).
But love comes in many different guises. The enduring love of people for their animals is very well known, as is the love of travel, music, books, theatre and nature. Throughout the centuries, people have confessed their love of culture of all kinds. A wonderful, but heart-breaking, true story of love, the memory of which has remained with me for many years, was the story of a man and his dog living in Edinburgh.
When his master died, the dog refused to leave his grave and was fed daily by sympathetic passers-by, but despite this, he later died there. There is a plaque in Edinburgh commemorating his devotion.
Patriotic people all over the world have spoken words of love and fealty to their homeland with hands held closely to their hearts. Robert Burns wrote of his love of Scotland in these well-known words:

“My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, my heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer. Chasing the wild deer and following the roe, my heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.”

In Shakespeare’s play, Richard II, the King said:
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land…”

The love of politics, religion, power, greed and domination has played its part throughout history with dire consequences, including the displacement of millions of people and has contributed to famine in many countries. This is the downside to the word love, because in cases like these, the true meaning of the word is lost and is replaced by a mere shadow of its true definition.
I firmly believe and hope that until LOVE replaces the word HATE in all people’s hearts, there can never be true love throughout the world.

Finally, for all lovers of romance, the following passage is taken from my book Paper Dreams. Dream on…

“They flew off together to a distant warm exotic island, where tiny waves rippled onto a light golden shore and tall palm trees swayed in a warm, sultry breeze. They sunbathed and dreamt together on the beach underneath an umbrella of coconut palm leaves and gazed deeply into one another’s eyes, as brightly coloured birds called out as they flew overhead.
There was a little hut…and the sound of gentle music was wafting lazily towards them as the sun gradually slipped further and further downwards, before finally disappearing gently into the sea.”

“To all, to each, a fair goodnight.
And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.”

(Sir Walter Scott – 1771-1832)

******

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My Jottings

Hi…I am actually blogging again after nearly a year of silence, and I’m talking about JOTTINGS! I hope you don’t think that this is the only subject I write about. My silence does…

Source: My Jottings

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My Jottings

Hi…I am actually blogging again after nearly a year of silence, and I’m talking about JOTTINGS! I hope you don’t think that this is the only subject I write about. My silence does mean of course that I’ve been busy writing a novel and it is being published right now by MATADOR. It is called WHEN THE ICE MELTS.

Words in the English language can cause confusion. Perhaps my first jotting will amuse you. I was given this small exercise to do at a Creative Writing Course many years ago. I had to use other spellings of the same word:

THE REIN PAWED DOWN

The rein pawed down and the plant looked up, at this heaven scent gift from above. It stretched and grew as this sauce of life sent its routes a quivering with love.

The trees shook there bows and the leaves danced a real, as the droplets reined down from the skies. The sun, knot willing two be left out, shone harder and harder and harder.”

***

My latest book’s title, WHEN THE ICE MELTS is a case in point. When we talk about ice, people immediately think about snowy conditions, skiing and driving in bad weather, perhaps. Or it could be the cubes of ice that we put in our drinks. But, there is another meaning to the word. Grief, or hatred can cause people to build ice into their relationship with others.  Here is a tiny excerpt from my book: John is talking to Sarah about their burgeoning love affair…

“Ice? I don’t understand.’

“Yes ice. You see ice is cold and it covers things up, but if that same ice melts, it uncovers all sorts of things. But if the ice doesn’t melt and the cold increases, it only gets thicker.

WHEN THE ICE MELTS will be available soon. Watch this Space.

***

Now that I don’t have to edit…edit…edit my story, my thoughts have turned to my other writing projects. I have recently had a few problems with my computer. They are the most frustrating machines, and I managed to lose a few of my favourite files, including the beginnings of two novels. As you can imagine, I was quite upset. It has taken weeks to search for some of my older “jottings”, but they have completely disappeared too.
So, nothing undaunted, I searched through my paper files!
My study now looks as if a whirlwind has just passed through it. FILES EVERYWHERE…

Ah success! I’ve found some really old “jottings” on some scrappy pieces of paper, and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Take this for example? I wrote this one many years ago. Have you ever thought about the windmills you can see turning slowly and majestically on remote hillsides as you drive along… Indeed, do you like them, or does their mere presence upset you?

FARMING THE WIND

“They stand high on a lonely barren hill like so many ghostly trees with their greedy arms reaching upwards and outwards.
They feed on the unsuspecting wind as it rushes relentlessly towards them. The hapless wind is trapped and immediately consumed.
They whir round and round in their loneliness, with their outstretched arms pleading for deliverance.
Will these tall, white, hungry powerful aliens be allowed to multiply and march onward to the horizon, forever seeking the higher ground? Will their voices ever be loud enough to be heard and understood? Or will they become the victims of uninformed or closed minds and, just like the dinosaurs, gradually disappear into obscurity?”

I think the jury is still out, especially if the blades are not turning!

***

This little poem might appeal to someone who is contemplating moving house.

A NEW BEGINNING

A new beginning?
Or just the end of a life,
That is the question.

Where am I going?
Away from this blessed place,
To live life anew.

My heart rejoices,
It flies as free as a bird,
Up, up and away.

It is time to go,
Time to find another home,
Where love is golden…

***

The moon shining on the sea has always fascinated me. But have you ever thought how it could affect all the creatures who live there?

THE DARK SHADOW

The moon spread her silvery light over the ocean, throwing each wave and ripple into incandescent relief. Each wave obeys her mystical command until at last all its energy is spent, and it releases itself on some far away shore.
Beneath the sylvan waves, the small creatures of the deep are born and rocked in their watery cradles. They reproduce and then die…or are swallowed by the dark shadow overhead.
Under the moon’s watchful eye, little flashes of silver dart too and fro, each one seeking shelter from the shadow above. The sands shift with each passing tide, thus covering and releasing everything in its path.
Even an old sea-going vessel now wrecked and lying on its side, is a vague shape and part of the sea bed with only a few darting fish for company.
The plants of the deep, ebb and flow with each tide, and dance like a mermaid’s long flowing tresses. They give shelter to the silvery flashes still hiding from the dark menacing shadow overhead.
Millions of eyes look out from fissures and rocks, as they see the shadow’s sleek body pass by, before venturing out to be caressed by the sea like a young maiden’s kiss.
But the dark shadow, with its small eyes alert, is itself wary of yet another dark, metal shadow overhead…

***

Here are Two very SHORT STORIES:

THE HIGHWAYMAN GHOST WITH A CONSCIENCE, MAKES RECOMPENSE:

The highwayman ghost sat on his horse just before a dangerous bend in the road. A car raced toward the bend oblivious to the danger ahead. The ghost reared his horse up in front of the terrified driver, causing him to come to a shuddering halt.
The ghost cheekily doffed his tricorn hat, and quickly disappeared!

***

TAKING A GIANT STEP FOR MANKIND:

Bright moonlight lit up the car where a young couple were sitting. They sighed and looked up at the moon. ‘Do you think the moon is really made of cheese, Buzz darling?’ the young girl
said dreamily.
‘I don’t think so, but if you really want to know,’ he said jokingly, ‘I’ll go up there and find out for you.’

***

I haven’t looked at any of these for some years now. I like to think that you, the reader, might enjoy them. I hope you do.

 

 

 

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The Jottings of a Writer

 THE  JOTTINGS  OF  “A WRITER”

I sometimes find it hard to to think about myself as a writer, or an author. But I suppose I am. I will never forget the day I picked up my first published book. I felt I had arrived!

I started taking writing seriously after attending a Creative Writing Course, and having made lots of friends, we decided to start up the Haslemere Writing Circle. After a few years, this group unfortunately folded, but we still meet up every now and again to discuss what we have not done,  done, or are doing.

For a time, I was on the Committee of The Grayshott (Hampshire) Writing Festival which was great fun and I met several well-known writers and poets, who also gave me the inspiration to write. I might add, that my daughter runs a copy-editing business and my eldest son, has so far published three books. I love writing down my thoughts and those of my characters. As a writer you can take your characters anywhere you fancy: even to the moon if necessary. My least favourite aspect of  writing, as most writers will agree, is editing, editing…and still more editing. It has to be one of the most boring but extremely necessary aspects of the writing process. I love reading, and I’m drawn towards books containing strong characters,  unique story lines that are well written and described and those which have a proper and a satisfying ending. I would be pleased to say that I have a regular routine for writing, but I don’t. My writing routine is erratic to say the least, but as I write, my inspiration does not come from music, but from the view of the beautiful Surrey Hills I can see through my window, and the sound of the birds.  I am a great lover of music especially opera, but not when I am writing. I would be closing my eyes and nothing would ever get done, or finished.

I have always liked writing short stories:  there is something satisfying about  telling a story without too much padding.  You get to the centre of the story quickly and keep your reader guessing how it will end – twisted or otherwise. So, I collected a number of stories with a love, or lost love angle. I decided I would try my luck with Smashwords and Kindle, and FIFTEEN BRUSHES WITH LOVE was born in 2013.

Fifteen Brushes with Love (72dpi 900x600) These stories range from the heat of Madrid in the early 1800s, the love life of a concert pianist, a dream-man in a portrait comes to life, the closure of a theatre, to the dreadful feud between a Santa-doll and a beautiful fairy as they try to gain supremacy on the top of a Christmas tree! And my favourite, the story of elderly Agnes, as she mourns the death of her young husband during the war. She sits at her window overlooking the village green and waits for him to return. Two of my other short stories have been published in anthologies.

A PASSING STORM was my first published book. Having enjoyed writing short stories, I felt that I should move on to writing a full-length novel. My original thoughts had centered on THE EMPTY-NEST SYNDROME and how women coped with their lives once their off-spring had left the nest, and the novel blossomed from that point. I finished it in 2006 and sent it off to various mainstream Publishers under the romance genre and although some editors said they enjoyed it, it was not taken up by any of them. During this time self-publishing was trying to gain a foothold and I sent it to a company in Canada to be published POD. Everything seemed to go well and I sold several copies. However, once the company was taken over by a larger company, everything seemed to go wrong: over-priced books were not selling well and any royalties before the take-over were not paid. In the meantime, I had decided to publish my second book (PAPER DREAMS) through Matador, a self-publishing imprint of Troubadour of Leicester. So, in 2012, I decided to terminate my contract with the original publisher, and re-publish it through Matador.

PAPER DREAMS is my second published book. I’ve always been fascinated by books, old and new and I hit on the idea of sending a librarian to catalogue a vast number of books in an ancient crumbling mansion. The main character, Katie, discovers an old love-letter hidden in an old book in the creepy attic. I then thought about how the discovery of such a letter, could impact upon other people’s lives. Thus PAPER DREAMS was born. This story, like A PASSING STORM, is basically a romance, but it does contain some quite dark, scary moments!

My latest book is ‘WHEN THE ICE MELTS. Before agreeing to switch off the machine keeping her husband Tom alive following an air accident, Solicitor, Sarah Wenham’s conscience convinced her that there was no alternative. Since then, it has condemned her: THOU SHALT NOT KILL is one of the deadly sins! Sarah is grief stricken, and builds a wall of ice around her emotions. Although this story is a romance, it is full of suspense. Sarah spends a short time on a beautiful Greek island in the sun. Whilst there she meets honey-tongued Theodorus Antonopoulos and unwittingly insults him. He now has revenge in his heart. Once she is back in England, Sarah is stalked, and then kidnapped. John Bradley, who really loves her, is searching for her. But…time is running out for Sarah! How, when and why the ice finally melts, is the nub of this suspenseful, yet heart-warming story! I am actively seeking a traditional publisher for this story.

My latest writing project involves the fictional, yet very English, village of LITTLE PIDDLEWICK! Such goings-on…  The idea for this book came from one of my writing friends, John Holt, after he had read my short story of “EVIDENCE FOR BURNING”. Thank you, John.

I attended a Water-Colour Painting Class which really inspired me. It has been a purely personal achievement as I have never sold any of my paintings, but I do hang them on the wall at home and have given them away to friends and family. I painted the cover of my book A PASSING STORM and I’m really proud of it.

As a member of a local amateur dramatic society, I performed in many plays and pantomimes over the years and I was asked to produce one: a full-length comedy (A BEDROOM FARCE, BY Alan Ayckbourne). I found this to be a stimulating and wonderful experience, a little nerve-wracking in performance, but well worth the effort. A Bedroom Farce is quite a challenge as it involves three bedrooms on stage at the same time.  But it worked brilliantly. By this time, I had written three one-act plays. Directing and producing them, was also quite an experience, but I had to think of them as being someone else’s work at the time, because the temptation to change things was always there in the back of my mind. Unfortunately, during those cash-strapped times, the society had to close due to lack of actors and back-stage crew.

I always loved singing and was often asked to sing in concerts at school. I started singing properly in pantomime and then moved on to musicals and operas. During this time I was encouraged to take singing lessons. My singing teacher often used to say to me that she didn’t believe that anyone was ‘tone-deaf’ and that everyone could sing if they breathed properly.  As a trained soprano, I played quite a few small roles in an amateur Opera Group, but my first principal role was as one of The Queens in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta ‘The Gondoliers’. I am still singing, but being a writer, I don’t have so much time, but together with a handful of friends and with my lovely husband at the piano, we entertain groups of people at various functions.

All the things I’ve achieved in my life so far, have not in my opinion been huge, but to me they have been really important and significant. There is a definite dichotomy in my make-up, in that I can stand up and sing solo in front of 1,200 people in a theatre, and yet, although I’ve flown many times in the past, including flying to Australia on my own to visit my sister, I now find it difficult to climb into a plane: even the thought of it terrifies me.

I have loved all the things that I’ve done, which include bringing up our three lovely children, and enjoying their gorgeous children. We have received unreserved love from four beautiful golden retrievers over the years. Out last dog, Bailey, died eighteen months ago. We have a large garden, and I often imagine that I can see him bounding off into the woods…

Now, I must get back to dreaming about LITTLE PIDDLEWICK…!

My website:        www.phyllisburton.com

My Blog:               www.burtonblogs.wordpress.com

Facebook:            https://www.facebook.com/phyllis.burton.14

Twitter:                https://twitter.com/PhyllisBurton

AskDavid:            http://askdavid.com/books/2903 ( Independent Author

Network).

Amazon.com & amazon.co.uk

Smashwords:     https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/PhyllisBurton

Linked-In:           http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=nav_responsive_tab_home.

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Christmas…Ahhh

Christmas…Ahhh.

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Christmas…Ahhh

CHRISTMAS  –  Ahhh

     “Well here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun.” Human beings are funny. We all traipse around the shops before Christmas trying to find the perfect presents for everyone on the shopping list. We hurry home and feeling exhausted, collapse in a heap, still singing the carols that each shop plays endlessly. I feel really sorry for all the shop assistants who have to listen to them every day, over and over again.

Later once all the shopping is finished, we spend hours wrapping the presents and writing little cards to friends and family. Perhaps it is a good thing that we don’t always see the recipients opening their presents: I’ve often wondered how many of them end up in a cupboard, or even given to someone else as a birthday present. But I’m always mindful of the old saying ‘It is better to give, than to receive.’

Once all the present buying is over, our minds turn to food. Christmas Food! It is totally different to normal food and we buy enormous quantities of it. I hope you’re not like me and put it in the back of a cupboard, only to find it a few weeks’ later. I think we all buy more food than we actually need…just in case…you tell yourself! We order the turkey, make or buy the Christmas Puddings: make or buy the mince pies and make or buy the traditional Christmas fruit cake with lashings of brandy poured into it. Ahhh…and the house starts to smell really wonderful.

Every year we trudge across a muddy field, dig up a Christmas tree, and place it in the corner of our sitting room and every year I promise to replant it in the garden afterwards. Well, it does salve my conscience a little. I retrieve all the decorations from previous years and whilst listening to yet more carols, decorate the tree. When it is finished I stand back to admire it.

       Can you see the fairy with the squashed nose on the tree? My dog tried to eat her once and I haven’t the heart to throw her away. See this fir cone? It was painted gold by my little daughter, and this tiny stocking was knitted by my son! Look here’s a paper star with crumpled points and a miniature book:  the poor tree is sagging under all these precious memories.

     And before I know it…Christmas is over, it is Twelfth Night and the decorations have to come down. Oh, how I wish I could leave them there a while longer. Would some dire disaster befall me, if I did? Everything will look so bare!  Without Christmas the long winter would stretch on for ever. Look, the tree is dropping some needles. Never mind dear tree, once we have planted you in our garden, you’ll soon be able to stretch your toes again.

 Now where did I put all those old cardboard boxes? And is that a really fat fox I can see creeping around our garden?

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News, Views and Clues on the Global Ebook Scene – It’s Bigger Than You Think!

News, Views and Clues on the Global Ebook Scene – It’s Bigger Than You Think!.

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