Saturday, 29 October 2011

A Ghost Story: Mr Butler's Island Paradise

Cursing myself for falling asleep in the late afternoon sun, I stumbled along the dirt track leading away from the beach, swiping at the mosquitoes’ that eagerly flitted around my bare shoulders.  It was early evening and with the exception of a distant figure walking his dog, I’d woken to an empty sandy shoreline.  Even the Surf Lifesavers hut was abandoned.  Shit.  I should’ve stayed on the private beach at the resort.  It would take me at least twenty minutes to reach my bungalow from here.  And the coastal road was a steady uphill climb.  I hummed to myself.  No need to freak out, Rosie.  There’ll be other people on the main road, just keep walking.
I picked up the pace, rounded the first turn in the road and there he was, standing in the shadows of the trees.  A young man in a shabby linen suit, a navy scarf tied loosely around his neck, he held an old clay pipe in one hand and a small leather pouch in the other.  Rather eccentric, I thought as I reached him.

“Good Evening” he smiled broadly.  Ah, he was English.
I returned his smile “Hello”
“You’re staying at the resort?”
I nodded.  Clearly, I wasn’t a local. I wondered where he was from.  “You live here?”
“Yes” he held out his hand “My name is Louis – Louis Butler”           
“I’m Rosie – Rosie Franklin,” I panted, catching my breath  “You’re very lucky to live here – it’s a gorgeous island”
He nodded, squeezed the leather pouch and stared across the road, towards the ocean "it's paradise" he said simply.
“Well, I better get going, it’s late…” I brushed past him and continued on my trek, only to hear his footsteps falling behind me.  Immediately a chill settled uneasily in the pit of my belly.

“Sorry, Miss Franklin…?”
I turned to glare at him but something in his dark eyes held mine, a silent plea, an unspoken understanding.  Who was this man? The name Butler sounded familiar.  I felt an overwhelming urge to run from him, and yet I remained rooted to the spot.

“Have you seen the view from over there?  It’s the most beautiful place…” he gestured towards the edge of the cliff face.  Without hesitating, he led me towards a large flat rock.  The scent of sweet jasmine hung thickly around us, insects buzzed in the nearby undergrowth and below, I could hear the large waves crashing against the cliff face.  Louis settled on the rock, opened his small leather pouch and pulled out a wooden flute.

The most beautiful notes floated above us, a seductive lullaby, entrancing, captivating.  Closing my eyes, I lay back on the sandy rock and let his sweet music wash over my body.  Nothing mattered now, I only wanted to sleep, my legs were weary and the afternoon sun had zapped my energy.

Suddenly, his music stopped, I sat upright.  “Louis?”

Footsteps crunched along the gravel road and laughter pierced the air.  What the hell?  Two women clad in the hotels white uniforms loomed in front of me, worried expressions replacing their early joviality.
“Miss –are you a’ right?”  The older of the two spoke  “Are ya… lost, love?  Tha ‘otel is just up da road ‘dere”
“I’m okay…I was just listening to… Louis’ music”
The ladies exchanged a knowing glance and nodded in unison  “Well, now – best we get you back to ‘de ‘otel” the older lady offered her hand, gently pulling me from the rock. 
As we walked towards the lights of the hotel, I searched for Louis  “do you know him – Louis?  He’s a local, an Englishman, I met him by the trees”
The older lady smiled  “Oh yes, we know Louis –he’s been in these parts for a long time now, I don’t expect he’ll be leaving anytime soon.”

Copyright: Mr Butler's Island Paradise © T.Loto  All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Chasing Butterflies - And Then Some...

"There is nothing staid, nothing settled, in this universe.  All is rippling, all is dancing; all is quickness and triumph."  - Virginia Woolf, The Waves.

Chasing Butterflies and Happy Endings
When we write, we strive to find a happy ending for the main characters in our stories.  We toss every conceivable scenario in their path, we hold our breath as they stumble blindly along the plot line, we grimace as they fall unsuspectingly, we watch in silence as they pick themselves up, and of course, we cheer them on through the next horrific challenge.  Its surprising our characters don't poke their heads through the screens and scream 'enough is enough!'  By the time we reach the final scenes, we know it'll all be smiles and relieved sighs.

In years gone by, I'd pick up a novel, devour chapter upon chapter, each faster than the previous, knowing that each page would bring me closer to the inevitable happy ending. Imagine my horror when I first came across a book where that final scene never ensued.  As a young girl, I can't tell you how much those nonsensical endings used to annoy me.  Everyone loves a happy ending, we love reading fiction and might I suggest -  a few of us actually enjoy belting out a good old Whitney Houston love song.  Do you ever wonder, though, if all these happy endings lead us down that eternal path of destiny with blinders on?  And should we, in fact, be reading more genres with the not-so-rosy-endings.  The thought has crossed my mind.  How about you?  Do you always give your heroine a happy ending, or not?

Photocredit: via weheartit

A/N:  Hello Everyone,  I hope you are well.  If you are participating in the NaNoWriMo this year, I wish you all the best!  Right now, I can't believe how fast this year is flying by, its definitely time to re-assess the writing projects, trim the sails and check for the wind direction.  How are your writing projects coming along?  Talei xox

Friday, 14 October 2011

Sleeping Beauty: The Aftermath

And when you awaken from that magic spell, 
Your heart unshackled, 
Your lips hurting like hell, 
Think of me. 
 I only wanted to share your dreams,
But that will never be,
And I don't regret...

Knowing you once,
A past life, fast times,
Your charming smile, 
Your bright grey eyes,
 Laughter of my life.
And I never thought
There was a price for happiness
 I was wrong,
 Pain and love are entangled,
Unravelled, two ribbons, 

But I won't regret
Loving you,

Goodbye Old Friend
I'll think of you fondly
My Own Way


Photocredits via weheartit

Sleeping Beauty: The Aftermath © T.Loto  2011 All Rights Reserved

A/N:  Hello Everyone, we have sunshine, its Friday - two good reasons to smile.  I hope you are having a fabulous week in your neck of the woods. My parallel universe is a little crazy right now, I have several events to work on.  Next week I am taking a break from blogging to rejuvenate and focus on my manuscripts.  I'll be back on the 24 October.  Have a lovely weekend! Talei xox

24/10/11: Hello, I am here but unfortunately with my current schedule, I'm unable to blog today.  I will post Wednesday and Friday this week.  Hope you are all well!  Talei x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Best Selling Original Rejects

This article that caught my attention over the weekend,  ' Ten Best-Selling Books That Were Originally Rejected." via Flavorwire - the list reads as:

Animal Farm
Anne Frank
Anne of Green Gables
Harry Potter
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
The Ginger Man
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Valley of the Dolls

I'll be honest, it surprised me that I didn't recognise a couple of these titles - should I hang my face in shame?  Possibly. Probably not.  I remember having Jonathan Livingston Seagull shoved at me many years back, I was supposed to read it for an English assignment...but I refused.  I recall an old friend of mine travelling across Europe with a dog-eared copy of The Ginger Man, he offered it to me; I refused it.  And I can confirm that "Chicken Soup for the Soul" has never crossed my path.  So aside from my bare-shame-faced ignorance, my other 'raised eyebrow' moment was recognising that - although I'm keenly aware of a couple of the titles on this list now - I still wouldn't read them.  

So, what constitutes a Best Seller? I mean, apart from the obvious gargantuan sales associated with that title. The key to most of these titles is sustained sales over decades of time.  Are they, therefore 'Modern Day Classics?'  That is another question to ponder.  For me, the list is interesting because its a reflection of what was a Best Seller, twenty, thirty, fifty years ago, a footprint, a timeline - call it what you will.  And I just wonder, if these titles were released today, would they become 'Best Sellers?'  I think 'Best Sellers' capture the mood of audiences for a split second, in a small window of time - and tastes, trends and taboos change.  Which is a jolly good thing - because we writerly minded folk have a lot of books that need be written, right?  Nod along with me please.  Great, get writing then!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Love and Kebabs in Camden Town

Indy stopped at his usual spot on the canal and pulled a cigarette from his battered packet of Silk Cut.  Near the waters edge, a family of dirty grey swans bobbed up and down, waiting to be fed.  Ignoring them, he turned his attention to the thickening crowd of tourists winding their way along the narrow towpath.  It was mid-morning; Philly would be busy at the stall.  Savouring his last drag of the tobacco, he tossed the butt in the direction of the swans and sauntered towards the market gates.

Inside the walls of Camden market, Philly stabbed a pair of old tongs at the lamb kebabs on the grill, she threw a handful of onion rings onto a large piece of flatbread and turned to the American couple waiting patiently.
"What kind of sauce would you like?" her hand already reaching for the tomato sauce.
"Ketchup, please" Perfect dentistry beamed at her.  She returned a wide smile.  Always with the freaking ketchup, why not chilli? Why not, even, barbeque sauce?  

Behind her, Ali shuffled into the stall.  He dropped a box of lettuce on the table and stared at her shaven blonde hair.
"What the hell kinda haircut is that?"
"What? No good morning?"
"I don't want no GI Jane selling my kebabs"
"Its just a haircut, I like it.  Indy likes it"
"Yeah, well - Indy's got a fuchsia pink Mohawk" he pulled his khaki beanie from his head and tossed it at her.
"What the hell?"
"Put it on, its flippin' cold out"
She sniffed at the beanie "it freaking stinks of you, I'm not wearing it"
"You've been hanging out with my cousin too much - he's a bad influence"
He was teasing, she knew that.  If it wasn't for Ali, she'd never met Indy and she'd be lost without him now.  She looked towards the gate, expecting him any minute now.

Ali worked his magic knife skills on the tomatoes, then the onions, then the lettuce.  He spent the entire time chopping ingredients and chatting animatedly to customers about London weather.  He was a pro. Philly pulled her vintage McQueen bandana from her pocket, tying it pirate style, over her buzzcut as she surveyed the marketplace.  A young girl with dark green hair stood near the stonewall, taking photos with her iPhone.  Philly had noticed her earlier, she'd lingered around Rosie's jewellery stand but hadn't purchased anything.  Philly had a strange feeling that the girl had been watching her.

"Hi Sexy" Indy leant over the counter and grabbed Philly's apron, pulling her towards him.
"Hey, I'm working!" she giggled, slapping him playfully.
"Ten minutes break, Philly!" Ali barked, shooing them both away without breaking from his weather banter.

The green-haired girl watched the young couple as they ran, hand-in-hand, towards the canal, grabbing at each other like boisterous teenagers.  Oh, Indy... it is you.  She choked back a cry and she closed her eyes.  Had he forgotten her already?  She clenched her fists and walked purposely towards the kebab stall where the squat guy called Ali was holding court with the tourists.  I'll make you remember, Indy. 

©T.Loto 2011. All rights reserved

A/N:  This piece of short fiction was inspired after some lovely twitter banter earlier in the week with Talli and India.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Happy writing this weekend Lovelies!  Talei xox

Thursday, 6 October 2011

I Heart You Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."   - Steve Jobs

It's no secret, I love great design, I love beautiful things.  I love listening to my favourite tunes on my iPod, I have an umbilical cord attached to my iPhone.  I love plugging my music into the Apple speakers in my kitchen as I cook.  I love dancing with my six-year-old to that music in that kitchen.  I am in awe of the speed that said six-year-old navigates through his games on the iPad.  He is an angel-demon.  I love how the pages turn on iBook.  I love the ease of downloading apps on my iMac. I love that I can slip my sleek fuschia pink iPod into my gym bra while I workout.  Yes, I do.  I love the touch screen technology of all things Apple.  Every morning, I wake-up to the alarm on my iPhone. Every day, I sit at my iMac and I write. Every night, I tweet goodnight...yes from one of my i-Things.  Thank you, Mr Jobs - for bringing joy and inspiration into my world.  Every single dayI heart you for it.

A/N:  I own up to being an emotional human, its my prerogative.  I rarely share personal posts about my little one but this morning we had a conversation which made me smile.

Me:   I'm a little sad today
C:   *looks up at me*
Me:   You know, the man who invented the iPad and Mummys Phone, and my Computer? 
C:   *silent stare*
Me: Well, his name is Steve Jobs, he died last night, its very sad. A lot of people are sad today.
C:   *thinking stare*
Me:  But we're lucky to that he lived because he made the iPad and lots of good things.
C:   No, but - a lot of other people helped to make them too.  He didn't make ALL of them by himself.
Me: *chokes back laughter*  That's true.  But - he was their leader.
C:  But has someone else has taken over his job...?
Me:  *chokes back tears*  Yes... yes, they have.
C:   Mummy, you know what?  I planted six bulbs yesterday.
Me:   Really?
C:   Yes, I planted six bulbs and they are going to grow to THIS high.  *gestures to his knees*
Me:   Really? Wow.
C:   Yes, and they are going to be beautiful.

Moral of the conversation:  Leave it to the angels in your life to remind you that - life goes on and we should celebrate it.   Talei xox

Monday, 3 October 2011

Little Miss Procrastination

Lady P came to visit me yesterday.  I was sitting alone, minding my own business, editing with one eye on the morning dew that had settled in on the windowsills.  And in she breezed...

Barefoot and wide-eyed, she leant over my shoulder, 
Peered at my manuscript and whispered
 "Come with me, its such a beautiful day"  
Ignoring her sighs, I continued with my manuscript
A little wobbly but still

"Let me finish this paragraph" 
And I tried but my mind had already flown 
Through the window
It was somewhere up above
Looking down at the river

Pushing back my chair
I slipped my feet into my shoes
 "You won't need those" Lady P said
 Leading me away from my writing desk
And she was right...
The skies were bright blue, 
The sun, a glittering orb, 
And the grass,
So very,

Lady P at her best...

Photo courtesy via tumblr

A/N:  Hello dear friends, I hope you are all well.  We're enjoying some extraordinarily late but very welcome, summer weather and yes, it distracted me from my writing yesterday.  The Muse and I flew the coop and went outdoors, it was wonderfully lush, the sun warmed my skin and I thought to myself, how could you not be led astray, its just for one day, right?  Today though, I am back in the driving seat, so to speak.  How are your writing projects this week?   Talei xox