Writer’s, Author’s & a Degree in English!

A degree

A degree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you have to have a Degree in English to be a Writer/Author?… I hope not, as I certainly do not have one and yesterday my whole thinking process, believing I could only make it if I did have a Degree, left me feeling depressed. But…

I aired this issue with my Father today, starting with my regret at not studying hard enough at School, plus not getting good grades in English. So, feeling down, I went on to ask him if he thinks I could still write and he was very pragmatic and told me that an English Degree wasn’t necessary, how anyone from any walk of life could be and are authors. A couple of examples he gave was retired folk, housewives and general writing hobbyists with less formal education Re; a University Degree. Dad really believes this (so he wasn’t just being nice because I’m his daughter!).

I love writing – there’s such a sense of achievement and it’s challenging to push myself more and more with each story I write. I don’t see it as a chore (except for the proofreading, editing, category and tag selecting etc…), and it’s the creative side of my nature that’s taken to it over other areas I’ve done in the past like paint.

So, is going to Uni and getting a BA in English the only way to become good enough? It may be: It would help with learning sentence structure, word placement, grammar and so on, but it wouldn’t help if there is a lack of inspiration and drive to write already present. But, if there is, would getting that Degree increase chances of success? (Reading the novel I am right now from an author who studied at Oxford, isn’t helping much).

Maybe the less formally educated makes for trying that bit harder, but I will always envy those whose command of English comes more smoothly and easily. All I can do is keep writing, keep working at it and hope that what I write, degree or no degree, will still help me progress in my writing career.

Thanks for reading guys, and as always, you’re more than welcome to leave your thoughts.

~ V :)

Books, E-Books, Authors and Libraries!

English: Amberg - Paperblanks ® books on displ...

English: Amberg – Paperblanks ® books on display in a bookstore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The feeling to write about books has grabbed me, and I’ve a lot to say. I have devided the post up to highlight my various points. Before I start though, I wish to say that I hope you find this post somewhat relatable, perhaps useful, and maybe even eye-opening. I’m covering varying ‘Booky topics’, and I really hope you enjoy reading :)

Unfair? Book prices: (This topic links loosely into the rest of this postMy response to this unjust area is: “Are you kidding me”. I have read some beyond fantastic low cost books that are truly amazing. And, on the flip side, I have read some high-priced shockers that are utterly apalling.

And these Famous ‘Made It’ authors. Again, My response: “You’ve got to be joking”. How, how, how do these well known authors get away with writing such, at times, utter tripe. ‘Sheep’ is one of the conclusions I am coming to: One buy’s one book, likes it, spreads the word, and it turns into a follow-the-leader scenario. And then some of the sheep-folk are too uneasy about giving one another their real opinion (that’s my cynical view).

My less than skeptical stance on this, is that the ‘Made It’ authors are actually getting it right somehow in appealing to the popular masses and I’m the one who’s the problem and overlooking something crucial (though I’m yet to find that variable).

E-Book Authors: What I dislike about some ‘Kindle’ authors (for eg,)… Is that so many of their books begin with ‘Book 1′ or ‘Part 1′ and you then notice how the price hikes up for the subsequent Parts. Not only that, these ‘books’ are way too short, so by the time you have bought all 5, or however many, Parts, you find that they could have easily been packed into one whole book in the first place and you could have saved a small fortune. (Yes, I know authors have to make a living, but when you add it all up price-wise, you are paying a lot more than the cost of a shop-bought paperback, hence, is it really less expensive to buy digital?).

Plus, Kindle books are DRM* protected so you don’t actually own the book or books you have just paid for! Kindle can remove a book, that you have purchased, from your device, if there’s a need to, at any time. And, no, you don’t get a refund. (*Digital Rights Management – they OWN the book, not you – surprise!).

Novels with ‘Praise’ on the covers by other authors: I Do Not Trust Them. Are they being paid to say how great a book is when in reality, the book that is deemed so great, is actually poorly written, unengaging and plain rubbish. (Not all, of course, but many I have attempted to read left me only to be horrified at how bad they are).

On a nicer note, Libraries: A-Mazing Places. Everyone ought to be signed up to their local library. Free books to read, many, many of the newest releases. They haven’t got a book you want in? They will purchase it for you, again, at no cost to you (or a tiny fee, like 80p) How can you go wrong with a Library in that case…You can’t.

So, to sum up: The pricing in the book world is biased. Some novels deserve a higher asking price, but many don’t (that’s my view) There are some real gems out there to be read, you just have to find them. And finally, visit the library – it’s free to read as well as being a nice place to be in.

I hope you got a little something out of this post. I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts so feel free to do so. And a big thanks for reading!

~ V :)

Little Eric’s Language Barrier! *

Genre: Humour/Humor, Satire *

 

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Little Eric’s Language Barrier! *

 

“Hey boys, how ‘bout y’all makin’ yer Ma some wind chimes?”

Little Eric, upon hearing his Uncles call, still found this kind of speech incredibly odd and hard to understand. He, after all, was here visiting from England and unaccustomed to his American Uncle and Cousins’ manner of speaking; he found it, in many ways, archaic.

Eric didn’t quite know what to make of his Uncle Marvin’s enthusiastic wordings regarding ‘something’. Though, his cousins – Billy, Bob and Joey – seemed rather full of excitement by what he had said.

Eric watched as they gleefully ran towards their Papa spouting noises in a fashion which Eric could only describe as ‘sheer exhuberance whilst yelping utter gibberish’.

He knew he should have learned ‘Gibberish’ before he came ;)

 

* * *

Prompt and story created from ‘Monday’s Finish the Story’ here.

* I noticed some displeasure Re today’s prompt on the site, so I give my apology if anybody is offended by my story… it’s a comical piece, harmlessly ripping both American Redneck speech as well as English Snobbery vocab taken to the extreme, but meant playfully… :)

 

 

 

The Still Wait

Genre: Tragedy, Psychological

 

Photo source

The Still Wait

 

Alone. I love breathing this air. I feel at peace.

I’m gonna walk down that grass dip to the lake, and no-one will even have an idea why I am here, and then I’ll be still.

No more worries, no more cares, just me, me on my own. No more friends, No more parents, No more fellow survivors. No-one anymore. Nobody. Just me.

The sun rising is beautiful.

As I breathe in the air, my mind free’s.

Ahhh, the fresh air. The peace.

I won’t look behind me. Nor will I retreat.

Damn, this lager is strong; now I know why alckies drink the stuff. Urgh, but it’s done its dues and I am woozy.

I’ll start to get going. Down the grassy hill.

*

 

Standing at the lake’s edge, I peer down and see my reflection rippled by the waters natural movement, I swallow the last handful of tranq’s: How well they work with alcohol.

For a while, at least.

I step one foot then another into the cold lake. I’m warm.

I can feel myself beginning to unsteady. Thoughts are hard. I barely notice my breaths as my body starts to will itself to fall. Must go in further. Each step is lifting lead.

I am fully affected by the drugs and drink now. I’m weak. I’m tired. Things are blackening around me. I carry on; well I think I do.

Then I think my final thought before I eventually fall:

‘God, Why? – Why?’

 

* * *

 

Dude, That is SO Messed Up!!

**Warning: This is an ‘amusing’ Dark story that may offend**

 

Genre: Disturbing/Dark, Humour/Humor

 

Dude, That is SO Messed Up!!

 

“Dude, trust me, that whole fuck of a family are twisted psycho’s”

“I thought I’d have no balls left she was grabbing them so tight”

“Seriously, man, keep well away from that psycho bitch”

“Do you reckon it’s true then, you know, what they say about her brother?”

“Reckon?! More like Totally True!… He’s one of those who, in a few years, will progress from killing and eating animals to cannibalizing human beings…. Alive”

“No F Way! That is Sick!”

“And…. Her sister? I heard she’s in the nut-house coz she kept puking up her food – anorexia or some shit – and then after… was drinking her own vomit so she could be sick again”

“Noooo….That is so fucked up, man!”

“You know who the biggest sick and twisted psycho in that house is?…. Her Dad”

“Why, what’s his deal?”

“Dude, he fucks dead people”

“What the Fuck!”

“Yeah, when his wife died, he kept her body in the fridge in his cellar and screwed her every night… for a month!”

“No Effing Way!!”

“Way!!”

“That is one fucked up family”

“Dude, Trust me….. if that bitch starts rubbing your crotch again and saying she wants to eat your cock for dinner….”

“….Nah, she ain’t coming near my ‘goods’ now I know all this. Thanks, bro, for the heads up, see you after Math class?”

“Yeah, sure, meet you in gym for basketball practice…. Laters dude”.

 

* * *

Thank You Kristen Poli for introducing me to your Saturday Fiction Prompts!! here This was immensely enjoyable – even if it makes me sound like a twisted f*** myself for coming up with the story in the first place… But it was still a lot of fun writing it!

 

Coming Apart

Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural

 

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Photo Source

Coming Apart

 

Christ, how long have I been like this? I feel like I’ve been sleeping for 1000 years. Ow! I am really aching.

What is this wrapped around me? I can see and feel my feet and legs, but what’s the story with my back and arms, and why can’t I think properly?

God, I ache.

I’ve got to get out from this cocoon: I need to muster a lot of effort now. Here goes….

Ow! Now that hurt! Jesus, am I stiff, I’m having difficulty even stretching.

What is this place? Do I live here? It looks familiar, but barely. What a mess, what happened?

My mind feels empty yet fragmented. I can’t seem to recall…..

Are those voices I hear? I better get up. Ow! I can’t move properly.

“Hello?”

I don’t know why they are not answering, but I can hear them coming in… My body is hurting like hell.

Finally.

“Can you help me get up please?”

How rude, they are totally ignoring me. They are not deaf because I can see them talking to each other. Nor are they blind because one of them is looking right at me.

This is very strange.

“Excuse Me…Hello?”

I don’t believe this, they’ve left. Oh forget it, I’ll get up when I’m good and ready. I’ll just stay sitting here for a little bit longer until my body starts functioning again.

* * *

Thank You Miss. Angela Goff for another FantAstic VisDare! This was a lot of fun!

Readers, you can join in here And get to read all the other freaky tales from this weeks prompt :)

Do I Still Love You?

Genre: Romance

 

Clocktower

 

Do I Still Love You?

 

I met him 7 years ago today, right under this Clocktower. So, when I received an email that simply said “Meet me”, I knew it was him and I was flooded with a mix of emotions. I don’t know if he’ll come; I don’t know if we’ll feel the same: Will I still love him? – 7 years is a long time.

As I stand at the very same spot I feel what I’ve felt all this time: Anger, sorrow, confusion, hatred.. love. I just want to know why he left. The week we spent here together I felt undulated happiness like nothing I’d ever experienced. Then he simply vanished.

I didn’t forget him, but thought he had me. I tried looking for him, but came up short every time. Why did he leave is what I want to know. So many questions; alone I couldn’t find a satisfying answer…but I know he will answer them for me – today.

I’m filled with nervousness and anticipation. 5 minutes to go – he’ll either show or he won’t.

“Look up”, I hear a male voice say standing next to me. My heart is soaring because I know it’s him. Now I’m going know for sure, after all this time, what I will feel.

I look up… and I am in love all over again with the pain of the past 7 years gone in a blink of an eye.

I look into those eyes and know deep down in my being that I am finally ‘home’ – just like he had never left.

* * *

This weeks prompt provided by ‘Sunday Photo Fiction’ here