Friday, August 21, 2015

Peeling back the layers

Ace and I had similar reactions to the idea of writing a blog about us rather than our writing. *shudders*
I’m happy to talk about my books and characters ’til the cows come home (not that I live on a farm or anything, it’s an old British idiom). But the idea of talking about me??? Ewwww. I’m not in the slightest bit interesting. I reckon it’s a general writerly malaise – we let our characters live the glamorous, exciting lives we don’t.
I remembered a trick I used to get my creative writing classes to do as an icebreaker – to sum themselves up in one word. I’d lead by example and introduce myself: “My name's Jacky and I’m a Writer.” But what am I if you take away the writer part (at least 80%) of me? The thing that sprang to mind was dancer.

Music is such a phenomenally important part of me that I literally cannot function without it. (my hubby reckons I use literally way too often. Well, of course I do, I’m a writer. Duh!!!) Ok, I can function, but not well. Music brings the joy into my life and the minute I get up, the radio goes on – Planet Rock, of course. Wouldn’t you just die without a fix of Journey, Queen, Styx and my latest fave, Whitesnake? David Coverdale sings a story in every song, just like Steve Perry. But I digress. I can’t play an instrument (apart from the descant recorder we all learnt at school) and when I sing, people offer me money to stop! So my expression of music is through my body, which is reasonably gifted in responding to rhythms and interpreting the storytelling through dance.
My finest hour was when someone’s husband was dancing with me to Dirty Dancing's "Time of my Life" and he lifted me up the way Johnny lifted Baby. Ok, so I was a lot younger and slimmer, back then. And before you get your panties in a knot, his wife and I were both on the PTA and it was at a school fund-raising disco.
So, as you can imagine, many of my stories involve music and dancing – in the Middle Grade series I’m looking to start releasing next year, all the book titles are song titles, as are many of my chapter titles. I’m doing it again aren’t I? Can’t get away from my stories no matter what.

Back to the onion that is me. Peel away the writer and dancer layers and the next two tie equally: Creator and Adventurer. I’m gonna have to go with creator, simply because when I’m not writing, I like to feed the huge fire energy in me (Mars conjunct Sun) by making things. Usually from wood, stones and other naturally occurring materials, these objects bring the power and beauty of nature into the house. However, I have been known to draw, sew and manufacture all manner of artefacts (even make dowsing rods for my family/friends), many of which have been sold by a number of my spiritual friends who sell these kind of goods in their shops. The willow tree in my garden has massive healing energy and she bestows a heck of a lot of wood every year which ends up raising the vibrations in people’s homes all over the country. The huge benefit of spending 80% of your time creating things is that it gives you huge rafts of energy to deal with the 20% of your life that has to be mundane, doing things because someone else thinks you ought to.

With Sag rising and Jupiter in Sagittarius (only 1º from ascendant) I had no choice but to become an adventurer. And guess what? Being a writer has given me so many opportunities to travel and explore this marvellous land of Great Britain with its plethora of magical, mystical places, teeming with history and a million tales to tell. And then there’s Europe, with enchanting French castles, fascinating Greek ruins and vibrant Spanish cities. Every one of these is waiting its turn to appear in a story. And I haven’t even scratched the surface with the characters I meet and snatches of conversation I overhear.
As Ro says: so many stories, so little time.

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