Friday, 31 January 2014

Blushing facades

During the 80s my friend's sister was a stunning figure who could turn heads. She looked like she had stepped out of a magazine; slim, long blond hair and heels that could be used as a weapon if so desired.

Then, one day I called around and she was hanging washing in the back garden. She had her back towards me and I saw her long blond hair blown in the breeze but when she turned around I was speechless. It was one of those awkward moments when you don't know what to say. Her eyebrows and other features were bare, totally devoid of cosmetics and I didn't recognise the face I was looking at except for the baby-blue eyes staring back at me. Her features had disappeared, a pale blank canvas surrounded by pale hair. She would have given the villains from 'Matrix Reloaded' a run for their money.

That summer, we didn't see much of my friend's sister; she had a boyfriend and I used to think would he ever see her without her slap. He didn't last long but she dumped him and I found her one day in a flood of tears.

"Why me?" she sobbed and I was immediately transported into a world where even the beautiful people have troubles.
"What's happened?" I asked, once again totally mesmerised by a totally white and featureless face.
"I went to his house last night..."
It was a while before she could resume, then...
"It was all romantic, the way it's supposed to be. Wine, music, soft candlelight and then, he said he would slip into something more comfortable."
There was silence for a moment and she released a huge sigh.
"I was thinking: 'surely that should have been my line' when he was suddenly in the doorway and I screamed."
I dreaded what she would say next, thinking that the police may have to hear this.
"What did he do?" I asked, hesitantly.
"He didn't do anything," she groaned, "he just stood there, dressed in a red silk basque with fishnet stockings."
"So what on earth did you do?"
Once again, she had surprised me.
"I fled, knocking him out of the doorway."
"You did right! But, didn't you ask him why he dressed like that?"
She shot me a look.
"No I did not! And, now all I can see when I close my eyes are the thick curly hairs sticking out of his fishnets!"
She then looked at me with watery blue eyes that would look better on a baby seal and I smiled.
"Well, for whatever reason he dressed like that you're better off without a bloke who would dip in and out of your wardrobe for the rest of your life."
And then we both laughed through tears of a different kind.

Years later, she saw him again. She was temping in an office and guess who the boss was? Suited and booted, the very picture of respectability. She lasted one day.

It is very rare I meet someone without a facade of one kind or another, maybe not as drastic as the two I've told you about but nevertheless, a cover to enhance or hide. Perhaps they need it so that they can be more than they are or believe it will take them to exciting places. I wonder if in this case, one facade misread the other?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Walking into the past

There is a long road I used to look forward to walking along many years ago. During the day, overhanging tree branches brushed against the top of my head and on a sunny day, shafts of light would dance through the leaves to sprinkle warmth across my face. It was a very pleasant walk and I associated it with "coming home." But, during the evening it was a totally different road.

Once, a delivery van came hurtling along and just skirted the curb. Its rear doors sprang open and I was pelted with bread buns. In a second the pavement was littered with muffins and rolls, most of which shattered into crumbs upon impact. I was grateful no one was around to see it. The van didn't stop.

On another occasion, two men passed me pulling a trolley on which a new washing machine was precariously balanced. The police caught up with them at the end of the road. The men had walked into a store, held a knife to an employee's throat and demanded that the machine on sale from the front window was loaded onto their trolley. They then marched away with their loaded trolley. How on earth they expected to get very far is beyond me!

Then, there was the bus shelter, open on two sides to the elements. It was a popular haunt for one amorous couple who consummated their relationship sprawled across its bench after visiting the local pub. Quite often, two or three people would be standing in a queue around them, supposedly waiting for a bus!

It was the road I first crossed when I started a new school in a new town and I first cycled along. It was the road where I waited for a bus to take me to college. It was the road I walked along to get to my first job and it was the road I walked above while hand-in-hand with my first love. It is the road I sometimes think of on days like these. I now live far away, with different roads but none conjure up vibrant memories. I drive along them, taking only fleeting notice as I drive by.

As a writer, it is vital that I feel connected to my environment. By walking I can notice small details otherwise missed from a car window and I can use my senses to experience what is around me, feel the sunlight or drops of rain on my skin and with this experience often comes a surge of new ideas.

I see the new year ahead as a new road stretching before me and I do not know what it will bring until I read its end. As I grow older, the road seems increasingly important and I pause more to enjoy its moments.

I think I'll take a journey today and take a look at that old road. It's not raining but I'll wrap up...

Friday, 17 January 2014

Who watches over the Star Keeper?

In this sometimes cold and cynical world, people seek scandal and sensationalism to uplift them from everyday concerns; they want to live outside their confines.  BUT, what happens when exuberance carries you away?

In Star Keeper, I explored how one unexpected and shocking incident had repercussions for a group of people and one young woman in particular, she realised that she would have to change every aspect of her life in order to live with herself.

I hope you like my book trailer....


When faith and life part ways

At what point do you separate faith from your everyday life?

If you have a faith then this may seem like an absurd question BUT how many times have you looked around your house of faith and seen people change personality when they enter and then revert to their true self when they leave? If you do not have faith then do you recognise this in others?

In 'Temptation' I had this very much in mind and not only for one young cleric who found that his life and faith were destroyed by those around him only to find it was waiting for him in a surprising place. He wasn't the only one - the characters around him had their own trials by fire to contend with.

I hope you like my book trailer...


Friday, 10 January 2014

If you like my blogs then you'll like my books

It would be remiss of me to shout-out that both my first two books are now on sale at all good eBookstores worldwide.

If you like my blogs then you'll like my books. My third book will be published during 2014. Happy reading!

Temptation & Star Keeper by Denise Greenwood

Friday, 3 January 2014

Zen and the Groundhog

Over Xmas someone asked me to sum-up my idea of "Zen" in one sentence and it had to be something most people could relate to. My answer:
"It's like the film 'Groundhog Day', I just keep trying until I get things right."

I thought about this again on New Years Eve (my thought processes greatly aided by umpteen glasses of champagne) and then again yesterday (stone-cold sober) and during what felt like my first normal day since the festivities. We all make hand-on-heart new year promises and create idealist goals for the year ahead and then, we are hit by a brick wall of reality when we have to, begrudgingly or not, return to daily routines.

Bill Murray's character had to learn the hard way how to connect with his life, with people, until he found happiness but he was forced to live the same 24 hours, repeated again and again. He had to learn to get things right and in doing so he changed. In a way, a new year stretching ahead can seem the same whether you are working or not. You know what you'll be doing and where you'll be at certain times of the year and unless you are blessed with enough money to brake boundaries or have a job you want to jump out of bed to each morning then for most its all one huge Groundhog Day. But, it doesn't have to be that way.

No matter how mundane or similar the days ahead may seem, I'll always take a leaf out of Bill Murray's book. I try to do the simple small things to the best of my ability and they may not seem much of a deal to others but when I add them together and apply the same philosophy to everything I touch, then something happens. I feel good about everything and experience a change in either myself or the "quality" of my life (a word that means a lot to me if you read one of my previous posts).

Over Xmas I heard that "Jedi" is not a recognised religion due to its increasing popularity. Perhaps I'll make "Groundhog" mine. ;D