Sunday, 9 July 2017

Humble Music? Huh - I Don't Think So!

Yeah, yeah - go on - rant and rave at me for how long it's been since I posted anything here. But, remember, I did warn you. I only open my mouth when I've got something to say. Well, today, I've got something to say. As always, you're welcome to stay or leave now. Today's topic is music.

Hank Williams
Now, I don't like to brag, but some say, I can sing. If I have talent, it comes from a long line of music lovers. My mother won talent shows, and my father played guitar and composed country songs. Several were even recorded by other artists. In fact, and I can attest to this, when Hank Williams Sr. was alive, if he'd lost his voice, my father could have easily stepped in. My mother, who passed away in 2010, could have done the same for Kitty Wells or Gail Storm.
Kitty Wells

I've written countless poems and songs, myself, and I must admit, before I became an author, being an entertainer was my first love. Once part of a country band, I wanted nothing more than to stand in the spotlight and hear the multitudes call out my name, accompanied with a generous serving of applause. Though that dream still rests in the recesses of my mind, I fear it's one that will never come to pass. That's probably why, in most of my stories, music plays a huge part of my character's lives. I can't help it. I love music, and I love singing. I love listening to music, which brings me to the topic of this article.

Today, I came across something that made me vicariously scratch my head. It was so confusing, my musically-disciplined brain stopped and said, "Huh? This is what the world - swallowing hard not to throw up - calls music! I would never have labeled it as such. According to biblical text, we're supposed to make a joyful noise. Trust me, this song missed the ark. I couldn't comfortably put it in any musical category. The title, 'Humble' sounded tame enough, but didn't offer any insight to the lyrics. (Follow the link and listen or read if you dare. But you've been warned - they're not pretty!)

I know the way people talk has changed, and I'm no different. I've been known to spout a few 'colorful metaphors' , but I don't expose my metaphors in 'songs' to children. The person, singing - no wait - let's not call it that. Let's just say the person 'performing' - and I use the term loosely. The song exposes anyone who listens to the radio or streaming media. Yeah, I know, for the most, all they hear are a lot of 'beeping' sounds when he starts to say certain words, but our kids know what that means. If they don't, all they have to do is it look it up on Youtube - assuming, of course, they have parents who aren't concerned about what trash is beamed into their children's tender sponge-like brains.

Parent's PLEASE, pay attention to what your kids are watching and listening to. Trust me, they'll be exposed to that stuff soon enough. Now, is the time to do something about it. I'm not telling you to drag them, kicking and screaming, to Sunday School or chain them to a wood block and flog them with a bullwhip, all I'm asking you to do is notice what they're listening to on their cell phones and iPods. Sacrifice a few seconds of your rat-raced money-driven careers and see what they're watching on their laptops and iPads. In one way, earplugs can be beneficial; they keep you from having to listen to the 'stuff' they do. In another way, earplugs prevent you from hearing what you don't want your young child exposed to. Spend time with them. Get to know what they're into. Guide and direct. Don't dictate. That's what parents are supposed to do.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Method In The Madness

I Don't Get It

I don't understand why some readers expect a character to be a certain way. 'Donna Rigden', one of my characters, gets hammered for falling in love too soon or being 'in and out' of love too much. First off, Donna is not an average human being. She's what some would call a brooding mare. There's nothing normal about her. She's the product of genetic manipulation through selective breeding. She has been bred from the best with the best, for a purpose.

The Weepiest Woman In The World

Some say Donna is too weepy. OK, I'll buy that, but Donna experiences emotion on a higher level than most women. She connects with those around her, especially those she loves and is acquainted with. Donna is empathic; she feels other's pain. I know some think that's far-fetched, but take my word, it's real. I should know.

Donna Is Too Immature To Be A Doctor

Donna gets too involved with her patients. Yes, that's probably true, as well, but, I don't want my characters stereotyped. I don't follow the flock. I want my characters to be real, to act real, and to come across, as real. Donna knows she has a problem; she cares, too much. It's one of the weaknesses she has to deal with. Someday, she may learn to turn some of this off, but I'm not ready for her to do that yet.

Everyone Falls In Love With Donna

Donna falls for two men, straight away, and they fall for her. Yes, but, Donna and Richard have been talking to each other ever since her cousin introduced them. There is a legitimate reason why Donna falls for Sam, but it's introduced in 'Blood of the Rainbow -Raging Storm' and elaborated on in 'Blood of the Rainbow II - Roses and Regret' - the prequel to 'A Vested Interest book 1 - Immortality Gene.

Donna's Secret

Gary is the only one who knows Donna's secret. He will not betray her. He knows the problem with Richard and with Sam, and (I'm not going to spoil it for you). Something else, and unless you read at least as far as 'Dark Secrets', you won't know this. There are two forces determining Donna's choice:

  1. Covert villains.  These people have their own agenda, and it doesn't matter how much Donna hurts, that is their driving force. Again, this does not come out until 'Dark Secrets'.
  2. Unseen forces. Because of another dark force, which doesn't come out until 'Regret and Retribution', Donna believes it is her destiny to be with Sam. That reason is explained in 'Blood of the Rainbow II' - the prequel series to 'A Vested Interest'.
These two dark forces do not want Donna with anyone other than Richard. They don't care who she's in love with, they don't care how many affairs she has. Donna and Richard have to be more than friends. As long as that happens, they wouldn't care if Donna is in love with anyone, at all. As far as their agenda is concerned, love has nothing to do with it.

Don't Blame Me

Donna has been bred to attract the opposite sex - genetically manipulated, you might say, through bloodline. Richard can't help but fall for her. Sam can't help but fall for her. Any man is on dangerous ground when it comes to Donna, and it's the same for Richard and Sam. That comes out in 'No Secrets' as well as a lot of other things.

Time Is Ticking

This all happens in a matter of months with some of the outrageous things happening in weeks, even days. Some of the readers say this is unbelievable. For one thing, since Donna and Richard connected through her cousin and maintained that contact via telecommunications, people say Internet Romance is not possible. Even if, the couple get together, the relationship never lasts - wrong!

Internet Romance

I met my third husband - the love of my life - my destiny - through Yahoo Chat, in a room called Animals in August of 1997. In November, of that same year, me and my two small boys flew to England. Because of circumstances beyond our control - UK Immigration - my sons and I were only allowed to stay for a month. The first thing my husband said to me - at Gatwick Airport - was "Hi," and then he kissed me. Trust me, it was love at first sight.

After a forceful, tearful and devastating goodbye, me and my two sons spent the next four months in Texas with another Internet friend. In April, my husband came to the States. Again, Immigration played an intrusive part in our lives. After 90 days, when his temporary visa ran out, my husband had to make a choice. Either he went  to Canada or Mexico, or returned to the UK. Me, my husband, and my youngest son went to Canada.

I won't go into details - I might later write a book on that too - but on 19 May 1999 my husband and I were married in Chatham, Ontario, with a little boy sitting on the floor drawing dinosaurs, with a green crayon, at our feet. Since then, we have not spent a single night apart, nor would we want to. We have our differences and we argue, but we have never walked away from each other. In fact, we find it hard to stay mad at each other. Most of our heated arguments ends with both of us laughing.

In Conclusion

Another thing I wish to point out, is when you're writing a book, especially a romance book you don't want your story to turn out like World Book Encyclopaedic. Things have to happen fast. Sometimes opportunity won't wait for all of life's little problems to work themselves out. My motto is, if you feel you need to do something - do it, and worry about it later. Life is nothing but a fun ride anyway. You've got to get on the carousel, choose your horse, mount up and hold on for dear life, cause, honey, fate waits for no one. The world is not going to stop spinning while you debate the morals.

Oh - by the way - since the first ebook is free - what's all the fuss about?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Fifty Shades Of What?

Confession Time

Yes, horror, I read Fifty Shades of Grey. That's right, all three painstaking volumes. It was an experience for me, and a living hell for my husband, as I insisted on pointing out the many - Skewes' Number - of mistakes it contained.

I Disagree

First, let me make it clear; I do not agree with the concepts in this book, nor do I think there are many out there who do. Yes, it was fantasy, and keeping that in mind is probably the only thing that kept me from reading it where I should have - sitting upon the porcelain throne. But, that would have desecrated my husband’s favourite spot, for contemplating the secrets of the universe, and since – to my knowledge – Constantine was another work of fiction, there would be no one to exorcise or cleanse our domestic library of Christen’s evil childhood demons.

How In The Hell Did This Happen?

How did Fifty Shades become so popular so quickly? Beats the hell out of me, unless, of course, there are women out there who enjoy having the hell beat out of them. And, to you few I say, “Loving someone does not mean hurting them”, especially when engaging in the most intimate form of communication, we as human beings understand.


Before you start yelling and screaming at me that I should not make known my presence or opinion in the confines of your bedroom, let me clarify. If BDSM is what floats your boat, more power to you sister, but you'd better grab an oar. Your boat of reality has a huge gaping hole in it, and it is going down fast! If this is your idea of love someone somewhere in your pitiful existence sent you the wrong signals. Love does not have to hurt to feel good - trust me! Read Blood of the Rainbow That’s about real love, real pain, and real loss. The consequences of wrong choices.

Laugh And Scream

This book, Fifty Shades, did make me laugh and scream, I must admit. I laughed at the concept that someone - half sane or just plain stupid - could enjoy or tolerate this kind of brutality and keep coming back for more. I screamed at the many repetitions, and blatant grammar mistakes it contained. Yes, I am an author and, although I will not claim perfection in my craft, my co-author (my beloved husband) and I spend many painstaking hours trying to remove as many mistakes -  howbeit grammar, repetition or spelling - as possible before we turn it loose on our readers. This woman (the author of Fifty Shades Of Grey Trilogy) in my opinion got away with first degree literary murder. We struggle (my co-author and I) to stay within Amazon's top 10,000 paid books. Why, I don’t know.

What Am I Doing Wrong?

When I first started considering sharing my words with the World, I sent 12 chapters of A Vested Interest to my proof reader; she threatened to wake me up at 3:00 AM to get the rest of the story. I have people begging for my next book; “Please Shelia, don’t leave me hanging!” Yet, this book, Fifty Shades of whatever, is practically an overnight success. I just don’t get it! Is my writing seriously that bad? Has the entire World of romance gone to the dogs? Locked away in some enormously tall building with white sandstone walls, white sandstone floors, white everything, for that fact. Maybe Fifty Shades has some kind of dark New Orleans superstitious voodoo spell cast on it? 

Line Drawn

I am happy to write love scenes, and I am happy to write sex scenes, but I refuse to write scenes that make me gag! Would somebody, please, clue me in? Tell me what I'm doing wrong!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Blog Hop

Forest of Broken Hearts

“I don’t suppose you want to tell me what we’re doing here?”
“Watching for what?
“The next fool….”
“You know we’re not supposed to be here. This place has been marked as forbidden!”
“Only if you’re afraid of its reality – are you?”
“What's to be afraid of? It’s just some pine trees with a light bulb hanging from it.”
 “Not according to legend. The space between the trees, are supposed to be doorways into another time, another possibility, another chance – possibly a last chance. You see how, in some places, the trees are close together and in others they’re not? ”
“Yeah – so….”
 “Haven’t you ever wondered why they’re like that?”
“Not really. Like I said, they’re just trees. It's that silly, light bulb that has me intrigued. What's it doing in the middle of the forest? Better yet –where's the power coming from?”
 “You mean you don’t know?”
“If I did, do you think I would bother saying so?”
“You don’t need to be so snobby.”
“I’m not being snobby, I just don’t understand why you think this is so spectacular, is all.”
“Then I guess you don’t want to know the legend then?”
“Humour me, but don’t expect me to believe you.”
“Well, you see the flowers under the light bulb? “
“They’re supposed to be broken hearts.”
“Broken hearts! They’re violets.”
“Oh, well, fine. I guess you don’t want to know how they became broken hearts….”
 “Go on – tell me how they became broken hearts.”
 “Well, it’s like this….”

Want to find out what a blog hop is? Follow this link

Monday, 14 November 2011

Be Nice Now....

Normally I wouldn’t do this, but I warned you, I would voice my opinion. This is one of those times.

Someone recently reviewed one of our books. Now, while I'm not opposed to someone reviewing our work, I am opposed to having it dissected, and examined under a microscope.

It’s my understanding that a story is just that - a story. It’s not a lesson, and it’s not a lecture. It’s supposed to be entertaining, suspenseful and maybe have a moral.

As an author, I believe we should exercise a certain amount of ‘courtesy’ and ‘etiquette’ when ‘reviewing’ other authors works. No matter what other people might think of our stories and novels, to us, they are our ‘babies’ and should be treated as such. Who has the right to label anyone's story as good or bad? You might like it, whereas I may not. It's opinion based on preference. Take into account:

I see the Sun as warm, inviting, glowing and alive. It gives warmth; it promotes growth and has essence. My husband sees it as the star nearest to the Earth. It gives light and warmth, but it also means hard, unpleasant radiation, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer.
I see a puppy as cute, warm, cuddly, and a source of unconditional friendship and love. My husband sees it as furry, bouncy, energetic, sleepy and chewy, a kid-magnet, and a pooping pee factory. “It has nothing to do with toilet rolls - sorry Andrex.”

Am I making sense yet? I’m not saying this person is wrong, but I believe they could have been a bit more tactful about their views. I am not an expert. I did not go to college and obtain a language degree. I most certainly would consider myself as a professional. Maybe author does fit me. Let’s talk turkey here.

According to Wikipedia, an author is broadly defined as: the person who originates or gives existence to anything. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work. [emphasis added]
According to Merriam Webster - apart from the above example, an author is: the writer of a literary work. (book)
According to Oxford English Dictionary - an author is: a writer of a book, article, or document.

Well, let's see... do I qualify? According to the above examples - yes - I do. I have written stories, songs, poems, screenplays, plays, web pages, and am now working on my seventh book. Hmm... I’d say I've fulfilled the requirements – wouldn’t you? Now, do I qualify as a good author? Some would say I do. Should I consider myself as a bad author? Who knows - maybe?

My point - does it really matter? No matter how good or bad of an author you are, there will always be someone who disagrees. To be an author does not mean everybody out there will always understand or enjoy your work. If that was the case, then the World would need only one book. But, what book would this be, and who would decide? Some people want to learn, while others want to escape. Who’s right, and who’s wrong?

If I help someone to see things from a different point of view; I've done my job.
If I help someone to realise a dream; I’ve done my job.
If I make someone scratch their heads and think; I’ve done my job.
If my book or story allows the ‘my husband is cheating on me’, ‘my parents don’t understand me’, ‘why bother – there’s no use’, ‘my boss is driving me nuts’ person to forget their problems, even for a little while; I've done my job!

Now... What do I like? Easy - everything - but seriously....
I like futuristic, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, humor, romance and yes, maybe even a little sex. (Doesn't everybody?)
My husband likes technical manuals, murder, science fiction, thrillers, mystery, and adventure.
My best friend likes all of these, as long as there are no snakes involved. But that’s ok, I don't like spiders.

Something that bothers me is this. Because my books do not fall under the ‘known’ book categories, when I put them on Amazon, it's difficult to decide what category to put them under. My books have a little of all of these. It has murder, mystery, futuristic possibilities, science - pure and fiction. Romance with a hint of sex in most. All of these are sprinkled with a hefty measure of humor.

Why? Because in real life, that's what humans are like. I want my characters to be alive and realistic too. Yes, I’ll admit, I put a lot of ‘me’ in them at times. And yes, to some, I might go overboard. If you feel that way, that's your opinion, and you're entitled to it as much as I am to mine.

When I first started considered my books for publication, I did, what I would expect every newcomer does. I tried to learn everything about how to write, and how to phrase things properly, and how not to do something. I found myself pulling my hair out one strand at a time. One person said do, the other said don't.

Then I came across one that said it all... ‘Be yourself.’ Don’t try to conform to somebody else’s norm. You are your norm. You know what you want your books and stories to be like. That’s what makes you an individual. That’s what makes you unique. That is what's important!
I know you probably think this is all useless rambling, and maybe it is? Does it matter? In one word – no!

Life is about individuality. It’s about growth and understanding. It’s about sharing and caring. Mostly, it’s about me letting you be you, and you letting me be me. Together we are variety.
Does everyone like chocolate cake? No. Does everyone like chocolate? Maybe.
Does everyone like to read? Maybe not. Does everyone like stories? Yes – even if it’s an audio book or a TV show.

My advice to you, if you’re on my blog, and you don’t like reading… you’re in the wrong place. Like it or not, I consider myself an author and I like to write. If I don’t write something every day – I don’t feel as if I’ve accomplished anything.

Do I plan out my stories? Not always. Most of the time they write themselves. They evolve as I type. If you disagree - think of this as my way of venting.

Oops - rambling again. Oh - wait. This blog is called Ramblings. Silly me - I thought I’d stepped out of the norm.

Call me stupid. It doesn't bother me. Call me dumb. I can handle that. Call me normal? Now I'm insulted!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Poem - Robin

The sweetness of thy voice
Doth dare the angel note
The laughter in thine eyes
Doth dim out all reproach

The softness of thy touch
Doth dare the dandelion
The essence of thy love
Doth spare the span of time

Thy heart is pure....
As purest gold
Beyond the twilight's realm
Thy spirit sings,
"At last I'm free!"
And leaves no beacon dim

Now can I say the words unheard...
The pen doth take it's leave
To convey the meaning's sweet reverb...
Of feelings not conceived
By Shelia Chapman

Poem - My Love To You

My Love To You
To the top of the highest mountain, I would climb 
With bare hands, if need be... 
To the bottom of the deepest ocean 
I would swim, to be near thee 
Hotter than the hottest flame that burns… 
I yearn for your touch 
I love you all of these 
And still... 
So very much 
Sweet, though the sweetest flower... 
The rose doth bow her head 
She knows she can't compete 
And turns away in dread 
The brightness ray of sunshine 
Dare not behold thy crown 
There is no stronger love 
O'er this earth ever found 
When I draw my life's last breath... 
I will utter thy sweet name 
Through all trials and tribulations... 
I know they are not in vain 
If there be a resurrection morning, 
And on it, I open my wide eyes 
I'll turn to face my love 
Still standing by my side
By Shelia Chapman