Daily archives

Getting back on the horse…

Ah so today I actually wrote a bit. I’ve been going through my novel just to familiarize myself with it again. It has been SO long since I last worked on it. But today I did actually do a little work and I must admit it felt pretty damn fantastic.

It’s funny how the thought of getting back into it has been been such a weight on my shoulders, and yet today it just worked so naturally. I do love my chosen profession. I do know that I would never be happy doing anything else –  now if I could just be happy with the idea that I can only be happy if I write!

I really did think it was going to be harder though. I’ve been doing a bit of ghost writing work lately and that has been kind of heavy. It’s not hard work (o sometimes it is) but it’s just not my work. I think maybe for a while I confused the two. As in “this is how hard it is to write” when really it isn’t. The two kinds of writing are completely different, and while I did know the difference from a “Working” point, I think I forgot the difference from a fun point. As in my  work is fun. I do love the stuff I write about. I love my characters. Some of them I even fall in love with. And I have most definitely missed them…

So…Edward, Harriet, Jenny, Walter and Damien…. I am really glad to have you guys back!

Daily archives

Meet Charles

One day, when the first zombies start to rise and everyone else is panicking and losing their minds, I will have found my true calling, but in the meantime I will be writing what I can, when I can, and it will most likely involve zombies, and maybe dragons, possibly both.  I also blog a bit, sometimes about zombies (you getting the the common factor here?) and I have even been known to submit an article or two or Technorati (not about zombies though, yet).

I was born in the hilly green forests in Greytown, Kwazulu Natal. I was too young to remember much of that time, but whenever I’ve been up that way, I feel at home somehow, except for the heat. That I definitely do not like… I love the cold, but that could have something to do with my body’s internal thermostat being broken. At the slightest hint of heat, I start gushing out like Niagara Falls, so in cold weather I just feel more comfortable. Also since my thermostat is broken, I tend not to feel the cold.

Anyway, after that my dad was transferred up to some small “dorpie”, Iswepe, in what is now Mpumalanga (even dorpie is giving it too much credit, the fact that it has a name is enough). I was only there until the end of my first two years of school though, but to give credit where it’s due, some of my fondest childhood memories are from that time, but that’s not credit to the place, it just happened to occur there.

In primary school, my dad got transferred again to another random small town in the Eastern Cape, Ugie. Most people give me a blank stare when the name is mentioned, and who can blame them, it’s a beautiful yet insignificant little town on the southern tip of the Drakensberg. Either way, it was an improvement over the previous place I lived. I can’t say I planted my roots there at all because since there were no decent schools within 100km, I was shipped of to boarding school: Queens College in a smallish town 20 kilometres away, Queenstown,. It’s a very proud school, over 150 years old, steeped in tradition and all that; it kinda made me who I am today in a way, the good and the bad, but I won’t get into that. My first sparks of interest in writing began in my standard 8 (grade 10) year there, but all that writing of that time,  is lost now. If someone had to miraculously find all of it, they could make a rather large  book called “The Lost Works of Charles Vincent” or something, there was that much.

My dad then retired and we decided to move to Port Elizabeth, or PE as it is also known. I was given the choice to stay in Queens College, or go to a new school in PE for the last two years of high school. I was a naughty little shit while I was in boarding school and if I had stayed any longer in Queens I would have probably been expelled, so I decided on a PE school and ended up in Victoria Park High School. I never made much of impression in those last two years, but I made some of my best friends there and probably didn’t focus nearly enough on my education, even my writing stopped, until as recently as a few years back.

After high school I studied IT and after a year of struggling to find work, I did my security training to become an armed response officer for a large international security company, where my love of guns began. I did that work for close to 7 years before moving back into IT, still at the same company. During my nights as a response officer, my love of reading did flourish however.

People came into my life and people left. Life carried on, but my writing never started up again. I did however, in addition to reading a bit more, start to develop a love for all things zombie. I can’t explain it, I just developed a love for the subject. I watched all the movies I could, I read what there was and it has stuck to this day. Since joining a group of odd characters called the Tequila Thursday Writers Club a couple of years back, I had started writing a bit more, mostly blogging, but some poetry and fiction inbetween as well. Last year, someone very special came into my life to stay, I will be marrying her next year, and I’ll be honest I haven’t done much writing since, except blogging a bit, but I still do try to get some in here and there.

I might never finish writing a novel, I’ll probably never make money from my writing, but that’s not why I do it, I write for the love of the written word. There is a certain magic in putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard to PC rather,) putting my thoughts down is a great stress relief. I lose my self in worlds of superheroes and villains, dragons and knights, love and tragedy, in places that will never exist except in my head. I love that when I read a work and someone else reads the same thing, what we have seen in our minds is not nearly the same. And that’s exactly what it is, the world and the characters are only limited by your imagination. That is the beauty of the written word, it is unique to each person. You might hate my favourite book, I might love yours. You may wonder why someone even bothered writing a book that they did, it may have been the worst book you have ever read, but to someone else it may be a world full of magic. If only one person thinks your writing was great, it’s all worth it.

 

Daily archives

Meet Christine…

One dark night approximately 22 and a half years ago, the hour of relief came when my dear mother pushed out a screaming goopy thing with a mop of black hair and the most beautiful blue eyes one could ask for. A mostly unimpressed little bugger, I’d probably have found something faulty with the first thing I saw – the doctor’s hands/nose/glasses, this perfectionist spirit seemed to have shaped the rest of my life thus far, at least somewhat.

Pre-school was a breeze for the goopy, blue-eyed, freckled know-it-all I turned out to be. I didn’t have much going for me so I thought I’d teach myself to count to 100 before the other kids could speak. I’d tie their shoelaces for them, paint for them, read for them, anything to make them hurry the hell up so we could get out of that hell pit! I thought they’d like me for it, but it turns out this is how you “lose friends and alienate people.”

One day Mom thought I would make a marvelous swimmer; it must have been my webbed fingers and toes.  I then had a just marvelous time spending most of my primary school years in a pool, permanently smelling like chlorine and winning copious amounts of metal things to be hung around one’s neck for a brief moment before beginning a sad and cold life in the bottom of my draw. The irony!

My successes made me even more popular at school of course. Before long, I was turning into a bit of a social recluse. Sadly, my only option was to dumb down in order to survive and fit in.

But then, at some point of my childhood, I discovered what every little girl should be allowed to discover (if she is evil and wants to have her parents tear their hair out with financial and mental stress).

Ponies!!!

With the help of a fat pony called Honey, I scrambled through primary school in bits and pieces and hoped I could make a better success of my high school years. I gave up swimming when I met Honey, she was WAY cooler and didn’t make me smell like chlorine. Unfortunately, after my discovery of ponies, those around me pointed out that there are worse smells than chlorine.

High school was lame.

Skip, skip, skip…

Ah… another discovery, school from home at the age of 15. What was it? Wake up, read black letters on white paper for an hour, ride ponies all day, repeat. But then, no! Exams! Freak out at how little I knew, hardly pass.

Skip, skip, skip…

I got my first horse at the age of 16, and many more horses had the good fortune of becoming mine over the years. My parents didn’t encourage or force university on me, therefore I had to learn to do something to make the money. (At least until I can find someone to fund my lifestyle). A few months after I became an official horse owner, I learned that horses don’t need shoes on their feet in order to be ridden. I learned all the secrets and methodology behind this. Yup, more alienation and shunning. I was immune to it by now, it was my friend.

At the age of 19, I then decided that horses should surely get back problems from being ridden. Turns out they do. I learned to massage them. By now I was spending hours fiddling about underneath their feet and slaving away working out knots in their backs. This all later turns out to be a very dangerous business, but this is another story for another time.

I was about 20 when I decided to share some of the knowledge I’d acquired in the short space of about 3 years. Terrified, I trekked across the country to a strange and dusty town called Kuruman, to teach some farmers the alternative art of “barefoot trimming”. People seemed to like me – yay friends.

Nowadays, people have me trek to other arbitrary parts of the country to teach them my ways. Must be because I smell just like them and they feel comfortable around me. As long as I don’t come across any snakes or sharks on my travels, I’ll keep doing it.

I’ve also just recently begun to write articles on alternative horse care methods for a horse magazine.

But mostly, my days are filled with hard labour, sweat, frustration, pain, injuries and miscellaneous periodical near-death horse related experiences. Yet somehow I still manage to look like this, not bad hey?