In My Defence

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Yellow Yarn

Once upon a time I learnt to knit.

Or I tried to, anyway.

I’m not sure why I decided to ask a friend to show me how it worked.  Perhaps I was just taking an interest in her hobby, which sounds a little shallow or something, but I long ago learnt that most people have something that they’re prepared to talk about and that makes it so much easier for little ole me who hates talking and social situations.  Perhaps I really wanted to learn.  Although I’m not sure why.

There has long been knitting in my life.  I wore a lot of hand-knit jumpers in my childhood.  (I still have one of them now).  I knew a lot of people who knitted.  But I don’t think that I ever saw someone actually knitting.

My mother was always trying to get us involved in various handicrafts as children; maybe it was an attempt to introduce a level of refinement but I never found it particularly entertaining.  If you gave me a special kit of crafty things, I’d just want to save it.  Just in case.  Just in case of what?  In case I ruined it.  In case I needed it later, at a more important time.  There were a few that I had a go at.  Probably because they were given at moments of severe boredom.

There was a lot of needlework.  I don’t do needlework.  I still don’t.  My brother was better at the dutifully sitting and working something cute for praise than I ever was.  Or will be.  I couldn’t see the point.  It was boring.  It was fiddly.  It served absolutely no purpose whatsoever.  Did it really matter to the grand scheme of things whether or not I had just spent a two week holiday cross-stitching some circus-related square?  (That was the best one.  The others were far too twee for my tastes, even then).

I don’t remember having a knitting kit.  I remember my brother having a knitting kit.  I remember the little gold coloured needles hanging around in the drawer with the videos (remember those?) for years.  I’m not sure what he made, if anything.  A short, fat toy scarf or was it bookmark?  Did it get finished?  Did it ever do anything?  Yarn seemed more often related to needlework, winding it somehow through little scratchy plastic meshes to make, well, something.

So why did I want to knit?

I have no idea.

But after that first, brief lesson, I dutifully took myself to the department shop to buy ‘wool‘ and needles and to thus embark on that quintessential debut project: the garter stitch scarf.

I do not know what idiot decided that every wannabe knitter would have to go through the rite of passage known as the garter stitch scarf.  I do not think highly of them.  I feel even more sorry for the folk who, apparently, only ever knit the curséd things.

At least the Americans seem to prefer dishcloths.  A dishcloth would be infinitely more preferable, trust me.  It’s small enough to have some hope of ever being done with it and it would actually be of some use.  And people would be actually interested in the finished project.

Anyway, I made that scarf.

No one thought particularly highly of my scarf.  Apparently, I was the first ever learner knitter who had trouble maintaining stitch count.  Everyone else, apparently, had never, ever had this problem.

(I think this a lie.  I’ve seen beginner knitters at work since and I’ve even taught a few.  They all wobble).

My confidence was a little shaken by this feedback but I wasn’t to be daunted.  I had decided that I was going to knit and knit I would.

I wanted to be like all the other knitters.

This could never be a good thing.

So I decided that I would get on with some proper knitting, just like they all did.  (Because everyone else found it oh so easy!)  A jumper.

These days, learners have the internet.  I didn’t even cross my mind to turn to the internet for such things.  (Again, I don’t know why.  Perhaps it was the state of the knitting culture around me: old-fashioned at best if not plain backwards at times).  And with the world of internet knitting to tempt them, they take on all sorts of amazing, crazy stuff for their first project.  Because there’s nobody to tell them that they can’t or that they shouldn’t.

But I listened to the voices.  Voices have always been my authority, sadly.  Although I am perpetually accused of having a disrespectful attitude, I do listen to those ‘experts’, those who, apparently, know better around me.  Sadly, it hasn’t always done me much good.

So, the jumper.

Well, in my defence…

… nobody introduced me to the idea of tension.

(Other than to tell me that the lone bootee that I made between said scarf and said jumper was big enough to fit a four year old.  (I measured it recently, it wouldn’t.  But those words have followed me ever since)).

And in my defence…

… when faced with a limited and pitiful selection of yarns, I chose one I liked.  Which was a different weight to one indicated in the pattern.  But, let’s face it, there isn’t the greatest difference, to the eye or to the hand, between a DK and an aran.  In the English weight/ply system, one’s an eight and one’s a ten.  As opposed to 4-ply.

And in my defence…

… I know a lot of knitters of that generation now.  They never knit a tension square.  They read the pattern notes, they read the ball band, they cast on.  Sometimes they have to rip back an entire jumper.  Hey, it happens!  So, why was I suppose to know about tension and tension squares?

And in my defence…

… there’s also the belief that new knitters knit tight.  I don’t.  There’s also the belief that the stressed out and uptight knit tight.  I don’t.  But knitting loose is not a crime either.  Some people just do.  I am one of them.

And in my defence…

… I’ve found it difficult over the years to find reliable instructions for ribbing, a ridiculously basic stitch.  A lot of time if I followed said instructions, I would end up with seed stitch.  Or something just plain weird.

And in my defence…

… there was nothing in my instructions that explained where to hold the yarn when switching between knit and purl stitches on the same row.

Yeah, that jumper didn’t exactly have a lot going for it.  But I was determined and I stuck the abuse and kept on knitting.

It took me longer than I was expecting.  So when it came time for me to gift it to the lucky recipient, I had to present it missing at least one sleeve and a neck.  But hey.

But in my defence…

… all those perfect knitters who were giving me grief don’t knock out jumpers as fast as they were claiming.  A lot of them don’t even finish things.  I know this now.

It was eventually finished.

One knitter, despairing of my ribbing technique, started at least one of the sleeves.

And another, who felt that I had no hope of doing so myself, picked up the stitches and knit the neckband.

In my defence…

… I’m not sure which one of us actually cast off.  I think I did.  According to the instructions that I was given.  (The experts tend to disappear when you need them at key moments).  It has unravelled slightly.  But there’s something that I learnt much, much later which probably had more effect on this then my actual cast off technique.  Tying knots.  And weaving ends.  One of those you shouldn’t.  And one of those you should.

In my defence…

… no one showed me any finishing techniques.  I don’t think that I have even seen such things in print.  And those experts who criticised my work don’t seem to do things any better either.  And I only just learnt how to seam properly this year.  But at least I sewed it together immediately; some people have projects languishing for years just because of the making up.

In my defence…

… there is not a single hole in said jumper.  I have inspected it recently.  (Shortly after I bumped into one of those experts who was with my mother when I gave her her shawl and wanted to know whether there were holes in that too).  There are no holes.

In my defence…

… I twigged that I needed to go down at least a size or so to accommodate my yarn.  That’s quite advanced thinking, given all of the above.  It still came out pretty big.  As in down to the recipient’s knees.

In my defence…

… I knitted a jumper and it looks like a jumper should be.

What’s so bad about that?

In my defence…

… I am still knitting and I am still willing to learn.

What’s so bad about that?

(The lucky recipient kindly put it in on as soon as it was gifted but later laid it aside in a drawer because it was ‘too special’ to wear.  Now that’s a good father. 

Miss you Dad).

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I have Plasticine

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Plasticine Roses

I have Plasticine™.  I have been experimenting.  I have a wee project planned, which I may tell you all about some other day.  If it goes to plan …

A Daily Photo

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I want to be inspired.  I want to create.

Then life gets in the way.

I decided a couple of weeks ago, when things were momentarily feeling a little brighter, easier, better, that I’d love to do a photo-a-day project.  I love the idea of the challenge and the dedication that it would require.  I love the idea of being prompted, of seeking out creative (aka idiosyncratic) responses, of responding, of making, of sharing.  It’d be a perfect project.

Then life gets in the way.

I managed two days.

But it’s hard to be inspired, it’s hard to be creative; in fact, it’s hard to even lift a camera much less attempt to operate the thing and never mind being creative with the thing.

Life gets in the way.

My head and my heart are often far more active than my body; they want, they aspire, they desire.  But the physical me just lies weakly on the bed, wondering about having the strength to turn over.

Life gets in the way.

There’s so much that I want to be and do.  When the lugubrious grey cloud of Depression lifts, I want to embrace the world and engage with, well, everything.  And all at once, preferably!

Then life gets in the way.

I managed two days.

But on the plus side, I did learn myself some new editing techniques.

Does trying count?  Does wanting to count?

Daily - 080813 - My Favourite Necklace

Daily - 090813 - Pinky Plums from the Garden

Shameful Little Secret

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(Imagine a picture of a window here please.  I had lots on my now broken hard drive).

Why and how does self-expression become something shameful?  Is there a moment, possibly somewhere between toddlerhood and childhood, where you perceive an expectation, a sense of ‘normal’ and yield to conform to it?  Why conform to a selective view or opinion of ‘normal’?

We cities of humans like to belong and we sometimes learn, feel or believe that to belong we need to ‘conform’; we need to be all alike.  And we, at such a young age, rarely if ever can even guess or dream that are other ‘normals’ in the wider world.  Our world is narrow, perhaps within the confines of just one ‘home’, maybe stretched a little with hazy perceptions and understanding of other children’s situations through nurseries, preschools, hospitals and television.

The moment that a child steps into childhood is the moment that they begin their progress, emotionally and mentally, towards becoming an adult.  Being a baby is a self-indulgent affair, you can be what you like where you like, when you like.  You don’t have to conform to any social standards or expectations.  You can eat whenever you want, you can throw up when the whim takes you, you can poo in your pants.  You cry and someone will come running.  The world is all about you.

Childhood seems to have attained an almost mythical standing in our culture, we see it as a halcyon period, an idyll.  But only when we look back reflectively or wistfully or when we speak of childhood in abstract terms.  The reality is that childhood is about learning to conform.

Maybe you challenge that.  However, especially if you are a parent yourself, reflect on what your aims are, even on a daily level, for a child.  You want them to eat ‘nicely’, you want them to dress ‘properly’, you want them to speak ‘politely’ … the list goes on.  These are expectations, rightly or wrongly, for better or for worse, which you and the wider society will impose on each and every child.

Belonging is one of the most precious experiences that a human can ever experience; it is the whole point of being a human.  So I’m not really arguing that parents, or other adults, educating children is a problem.  The problem is when that ‘belonging’ has to come at the price of something else.

I guess all parents have expectations, hopes and dreams for their new-born.  Yet, they’ve probably not even met him or her!  This is where the problem is, this is where that price is paid.

Do parents, or any of the other adults, surrounding a child, who are that child’s ‘city’, force the child to conform?  You may have dreamt of a violin-playing virtuoso for the last three, four years but what happens when your child is deaf or just has no musical interest whatsoever?  Maybe you’ve got secret wishes for your child to have the education and career that you never could have had yourself, is that fair to project that onto a child whose skills, talents, aptitudes are not within the (narrow) academic spectrum?

Children want to please.  All humans want to please those they love.  It’s a simple truth.  But to please, to be accepted, to conform, to belong, how do they have to please you?  And is it at the price of their own skills and talents?

If you teach a child that success is knowing one’s times tables by the age of six, what happens when the child is slow to learn even to count?  They will, and do, quickly come to the conclusion that they’re a failure.  Is that fair?

If you only encourage and reward a child when he or she succeeds in one area, such as mathematics, will they try to develop their own inherent aptitudes?  Or will they just focus on that one area where you want them to succeed, in that one area where they now believe that success is only possible?  Is that fair?

Disinterest is often keenly perceived by young children desperately seeking to ‘read’ the world and people around them.  If you show no interest in their drawing but praise their counting, what does a child learn?  And if this happens time and after time?

Well, the child will come to the conclusion that drawing is not desirable, that it’s not even acceptable.  They may even come to the conclusion that it isn’t permissible.

(Well you did say to stop drawing and get on with something more important).

Why the examples of mathematics and drawing?  Well, I suck at both, to be honest, but it is much easier to quantify success in a subject like maths whereas drawing and other creative pursuits, they just come down to taste, opinion, even fashion.  We live in a society that likes quantifiable success, academic success which comes down to grades, percentages, facts.  Facts which are the same for every single person, 1+1 is always going to have the same answer.  It’s easy to assess, to quantify success.  Ask someone to draw a picture and who can really say whether it’s ‘good’?

(My answer to 1+1= is always window, which is why I probably never ‘succeeded’).

And with children entering academic systems earlier and earlier with increasing pressure from exams, scattered like threats across their school years, and with schools and teachers themselves being pressured to ‘succeed’, there is a real danger that self-expression is lost in favour of those ‘facts’.

Self-expression is a beautiful thing, without creativity none of those precious ‘facts’ would have been possible.  Sciences may claim to be cold and scientific but they are made of thousands of bubbles of creative thoughts and moments.  People who thought outside the box, people who challenged the ‘facts’.

When a child internalises the message that creativity is shameful, we are taking something even more precious away.  And creativity is so closely bound up with identity, how can anyone dare to even think to take that away from someone?

I learnt, although later in childhood because I clearly was a slow developer, that creativity was shameful.  It was wasteful, self-indulgent, weird, different … in other words, unacceptable.  I learnt too that creativity was never deemed a ‘success’, that there was far more ‘important’ things that I ‘should’ be doing or learning.  I learnt that not only was I expected to ‘do better’ (how many times have you said that to a child especially to their artwork?) but that doing better meant doing something else.

Creativity became something shameful.  It became a failure because I could never be good at it and it wasn’t really acceptable.  I took the criticism seriously and heard the messages loud and clear that there were better, more important things that I should be doing.  Then somewhere along the way, I also lost myself.

The two are closely entwined.  Identity cannot succeed where it is only the labels that others give to you or where you are forced, or forcing yourself, to conform to some unwritten, barely spoken expectation.   Being yourself is an act of creativity, of self-expression.    Both require confidence.  Both require support and encouragement from childhood.   After all, the goal shouldn’t be to make children who ‘succeed’ but to form, educate, train, develop children to become successful humans.  There is a huge difference between the two, believe me.  We need creativity, it is who we are.

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A Shot of the Good Stuff

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A Shot of the Good Stuff

There are downsides to blogging.  You meet lots of new ideas.  It’s happened before, I get led astray or someone makes me do something.  This time it’s How Sweet It is‘ fault.  She made me do it!  Well, perhaps more accurately, there are some things that you have just got to try.  I like experiments.  I particularly like experiments that work.  This was an experiment that worked and tasted absolutely scrummy.  Win-win.  The negative was finding out just how not-good-for-you Irish Cream probably is, the ingredients list includes condensed milk, evaporated milk and double cream!  No wonder it’s so yummy!

It’s a lot thicker than the branded product, and stronger.  We reckon that they must dilute it for commercial purposes!  It pours like mud, goes down a treat and can and should only be consumed in small quantities.  Fortunately, it keeps for weeks in the fridge.

Homemade Irish Cream.  Isn’t blogging a wonderful thing?

(Or is a little learning a dangerous thing after all?)

FO: Deceptive Pastels

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Why do we put babies in pastel colours?  We, as a society, have an obsession with baby blue and baby pink (gender dependent) with splashes of white and an occasional foray into mint and primrose.  Who got to decide that these colours were what babies would wear forever?  And when?  In Good Wives (I think), Amy is described as putting a ribbon on the pillow of each twin ‘according to the French fashion’, blue for the boy, pink for the girl.  That wasn’t really so long ago.  Can we blame the French?  Whereas the Dutch of Haarlem, in Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates hung pincushions on the front door to announce a safe arrival to the community, red for a boy, white for a girl.  Perhaps this tradition lives on in the modern American fancy for new baby door wreaths.

It seems that, in this country especially, knitting is slow to move forward and often even behind times.  If you’re going to receive a bonnet or matinée jacket then I’m pretty sure that they won’t have been bought but been gifted by some (likely, older but well-meaning) relative.  If it is not one of those colours mentioned above (or perhaps your knitter had a reckless moment and went for peach, apricot or mauve) then I’d actually be quite surprised.  And even more surprised if it’s not 100% acrylic.   And it’s a real shame because it gives knitting and knitters bad press and it’s going to become more and more rare that those precious handknitted items are even worn much less become treasured heirlooms passed from one child or even generation to another.

Knitting and knitters need to move with the times.  There is a place for pastels and bonnets and possibly even a place for the occasional matinée jacket.  Well, they’re just cardigans by another name anyway.  But I don’t think that all is old is bad, personally I don’t think mini branded trainers and stiff, tight denim jeans are really the most practical or comfortable outfit for a baby but that doesn’t mean I’m advocated swaddling.  There has to be a balance.

I was a cloth nappy baby in a generation that had almost entirely turned ‘modern’, I still remember the smell of what parents of that generation cheerfully term as ‘rubbers’, the plastic over-pants to help with leak prevention.  We had nappy pins (giant safety pins with protective covers so they didn’t undo into baby or couldn’t be undone by baby) turning up throughout my entire childhood.  Some were pink, some were blue.  Yes, I had a brother.  Funny enough.  Cloth nappies seem to be going through another spin of popularity, especially with parents who are questioning their own impact on the environment.  And this means modern knitters, especially in America of course, have risen to the occasion.

My friends, I don’t think but we are an ocean or two apart, aren’t cloth nappy-ing but this designs were irresistible to an idiosyncratic knitter like me.  They’re called ‘soakers’ which if you think about it too long is actually pretty disgusting so don’t!  But it’s seems that, like any other specialist subject, cloth nappy-ing has its jargon: lanolising, soakers, shorties, longies, skirties, night, day … actually, those last two words I do understand.

You have seen the beginnings of the first pattern before when I started in a cotton-bamboo blend which really didn’t like ribbing so I started again with my favourite 4-ply yarn held double.

iPood Soaker

This was a pattern that got plenty of chuckles, usually as a delayed reaction.  What you knitting?  (hand over pattern) Oh, cute, I-poo … hehehe.  It’s also quite a good way of testing eyesight or whether someone is really paying attention to what you’ve just given them.  Oh, cute.  (walk away).

i_Pood_Soakers wm

I like it better in the pastel colours actually.  It takes longer for impact, subtle then deeply subversive.  If you’re into toilet humour, that is.  In the words of one of my lovely friends ‘it’s not like the baby things we used to knit in the Fifties and Sixties’.  And that could be a good thing.

i Pood Motif

Isn’t that perfect for a baby gift?!

And at least it’s a change from bootees.

And yes, I did have a second pattern that I just had to knit up, it was in a similar theme.

Toxic Soakers

I’m sure that all parents and other baby-looker-afterers will identify with that motif!  Regardless of what fabric may clad the baby’s posterior, the result is pretty much the same.

Yellow Toxic Symbol

I wasn’t as happy with the yellow yarn that I used, it’s a different brand and with the creaminess of the ‘white’ that I was using, it does get quite lost in too many lights but it was fun to knit them up.

It also has warning chevrons just in case you missed the point.

Yellow Warning Chevrons

As you know, I’m a sucker for shaping and other little genius tricks that designers seem to find no problem in conjuring up and adding to their patterns so these really appealed on those grounds too.  I had to learn to cast on stitches at the ends of rows for the first time (complex moment, with lots of research required)!  And a magical system of decreases and increases forms a perfect v-shaped crotch which means, along with generous leg cuffs (you should see some of the ones that I’ve seen with little straight stick tubes for legs, it’s bad enough on women’s shirt sleeves but baby legs really don’t do wincy and straight, straight) means that these will always be a comfortable fit.  Nappies take up a lot of space.ShapingYellow Leg Cuff

Green Leg Cuff

The legs and waists were knitted in the round.  (Here’s some advice, if you’re knitting both of these patterns at once, then there is a difference in placement of the eyelets, I didn’t notice but apparently no one else will either!).  I had to use one of my massive 60 or 80 cm circular needles on the legs which means shifting huge amounts of cable between stitch runs.  It’s not easy.  I really need DPNs!  But they’re lovely and stretchy.

Learning to cast on stitches at the ends of rows was quite a challenge but there was a further significant challenge.  That’s why it’s taken so long to post these as a finished object.  The pattern says to make a crochet cord.  Two words.  Just two words.  That totally inspire terror.  Crochet!  With a hook!  It took me a while but I came up with a cunning plan.  I know a crocheter.  No, I didn’t cheat, thank you very much.  I met up with her and she showed me how to knit a crochet chain.  (Yes, idiosyncratic people do say knit a crochet chain, trust me).  I was fine mirroring her but still had the feeling that was something not right.  That was when we discovered that I crochet with my left hand.  Honestly.  That’s why I can’t hold a crochet hook comfortably when I automatically pick it up in my right hand or teach myself from right-handed instructions (or work out how anyone could ever pick up a dropped stitch with a crochet hook).  I crochet left-handed.  I think I may have to use the word ‘idiosyncratic’ again.

Anyway, like most of the things that I’m absolutely too scared to do at first but eventually cave and risk trying, crochet chains aren’t that bad.  They knit up remarkably quickly and only need one person, unlike twisted cords which also ping when you really don’t want them to.  I will bear them in mind for future projects now that I have conquered my phobia of the hook (for the moment at least).Green Crochet CordYellow Crochet Cord

But I’m not going to take up crochet anytime soon, believe me.

Knitting is enough of a mental and physical challenge for me and it’s got plenty more challenges for me, I’m sure.  (And you know that I’ll be sharing them with you too!)

Whilst I was knitting up these pattern, I found a really cool blog post about wool and lanolising and stuff like that and in the future, if I was knitting for an actual cloth nappy wearing baby then I would just use a pure wool yarn rather than a blend.  There is also an entire group of Ravelry dedicated to the art and craft of soakers and longies.  It’s definitely been an interesting learning experience.

Well, I loved both of these patterns by Jane Burns and I’m looking forward to inflicting my very idiosyncratic humour and knitting on more new parents in the future.

And it seems that pastel colours have their uses after all.

I wonder if you remember seeing a sneak preview of the Toxic Soakers in a photograph in an earlier blog post?

Keeping It Real

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Storm Break

Photography is often used to capture an exact moment in time with almost scientific accuracy whereas an artist usually spends more time, carefully choosing and applying each brush stroke, one at a time, perfecting his own interpretation of the subject.  Whilst the artist is arguably least bound by reality, it is photography that misleads and even deceives more often.

Story telling is about weaving a delicate fabric held together by the finest of threads, so gossamer thin that it is almost an illusion.  But what happens when you hold your finished cloth up to the light?  Will you find mistakes that tell of haste or incompetence or worst yet, holes?  Such is the story teller’s art, he has to weave those threads with precision and skill so that the whole cloth when finished not only holds together but is harmonious and beautiful in design.

That cloth, or story, has to be believable, its reality has to be tangible, even if it is the reality of another world (because even fantasy has its own reality).  But how does a story-teller or writer create reality?  Is it by the talented application of brush strokes that may be layers deep or is it by writing from their own concrete reality, capturing a world frame by frame, frozen in a snapshot of words?

I’m not sure myself, I’d hazard that perhaps the best results are achieved when both the scientific and artistic are developed within one piece, accuracy but with personal interpretation.  ‘Artistic license’ may have its moments but so does precision.

So how do you write from reality?  After all, reality is a perception.  Each man’s normal is only his own so both reality and normal are fallible.  Believing in your own normal can give you a very restricted world view and reality is just what you have experienced.  Can you write of anything other than your own experience?  Should you even try?

I doubt my ability to write because of my limited reality, I know and readily admit that my normal is most likely no one else’s.   On the spectrum of human activity, my experience is narrow.  So what should or can I write of?

Perhaps it would be easier to fall back on stereotypes and clichés as an easy access route to story telling.  But it’s hard to engage with two-dimensional, stamped-out characters parading their wares on the stage of a cardboard cut-out paper theatre.  It’s not what I want to read.  It’s not what I want to write.

My biggest difficulty is that I like to keep it safe.  I dread conflict in the real world and in the fictional.  I’m loathed to write it, living out each tense moment word by word, or worse still, embarrassing moment.  I get anxious and stressed out thinking about conflict, about confrontation, sick to the stomach when I see it played out in front of me whether through words or on a screen.

But readers want conflict!  Conflict engages your readers!

Really?  Is that the reality?  It isn’t mine.

I want stories where everything ends up good or right, I want those happily-ever-afters.  Those are the stories that I crave and seek out, what I prefer to read.  So what do I write?  Fairytales of prudish maidens skipping through some bucolic pastoral idyll?

Nauseatingly twee.

Even for me.

It just isn’t me either, much as I love daisies.

So I guess that most readers probably aren’t looking for that kind of story either.  Certainly not today, not anymore.  The heavily moralistic tales went out a good century ago.

As much as I want the words that I read (and possibly write) to be a soft, snuggly duvet that hides and cushions me from the uglier aspects of reality, I have to admit that even my favourite, oft read books, novels, stories (however you choose to style them) have their own moments of loss, of pain, of fear, of conflict, of embarrassment.  Why?  Because good books, novels, stories (however you choose to style them) are about life and even allegories can’t escape the rain clouds.

I have to be prepared to face up to the rain clouds in my own stories.  They will exist but I will have to trust that they won’t be quite so out as control as the metaphorical and literal storms of my own life and hopefully I can be the master of these storms that I will let pass through just as in real life.  If it takes a little rain to make love grow, well, then I guess that’s true for stories too.  They need a little rain to help them blossom, maybe even flourish.

It seems that it all comes down to confidence again.  I need to trust myself, my abilities and my words.  I have to believe in the worlds that I spin with my pen or keys because if I don’t believe in them, who will?