Cruelty Without Beauty

It’s a play on the Bodyshop tag line, it’s also a lyric from Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, and it’s an adept turn of phrase to describe my current internal musings…

I’ve tried very hard to be fair to those that suffer violence. 

I’ve made deliberate and conscious efforts to ensure that abuse is never voyeuristic entertainment, never given as some sort of sadistic side show, or written as a titillating exploitation to belittle the victim. 

I’ve tried very hard to ensure that such violence is appropriate to describe the emotional suffering that follows. 

I’ve tried very hard to be sympathetic (and empathetic) to those who survive trauma, to give validity to the struggle that continues long after such events have happened. 

Have I overstepped the mark with the scenarios that describe cruelty?

Could I have just stated ‘she was attacked’ and left it at that, let the imagination of the reader fill in the blanks with whatever level of depravity they were comfortable with?

I don’t know.

Critics will decide.

I have for whatever rebuffs follow genuinely and, in all sincerity, attempted to be kind, to be honest about those who are cruel and those who suffer cruelty.

I never wanted to produce a “Disneyesque” tiptoe through the tulips that avoided the harshness of sexual violence, and now self-doubt sits on my shoulder as the proverbial drug monkey whispering such things in my ear…

Bugger, bugger bugger!

Trains Planes and Automobiles

Well, all but the last two…

In book four of the Amy Grace Adventurers (Prison) our heroine is riding the rail, she’s looking like a hobo, but not smelling like one (spoiler – it all makes sense and is explained). 

Despite my protestations to work on other projects (The Big House), Amy like a sweetly singing siren – she keeps calling me back… 

For every word I type for ‘The Big House’ I must type ten or twenty for Amy.

I’m not complaining – I enjoy the scribbling of plot for both projects, yet Amy definitely dominates. 

The trials and tribulations of a young soldier in the 1880’s are indeed fertile ground from which to create a good yarn.   The scope to saturate with blood and thunder action is immense, and is definitely being indulged. 

Our protagonist in this tale will fight the Mad Mahdi in the Sudan; the truculent Boer in South Africa, suffer the industrial carnage of the trenches in France and Belgium before finally coming face to face with the terror of insurrection and civil war back home in Ireland. 

We are debating fighting the Reds, for the Whites, in 1919, we shall see if I can stick that lesser known part of history into the plot – at this point I hope so. 

We have also deviated into unrelated research into Orientalist artists, and although it is a wee bit off-piste, it does explain, or at least throw some light onto the choice of character names (John Fredrick Lewis).

So I’m now looking to insert Giulio Rosati and Ferdinand Max Bredt into the mix, names that I’m sure I’ll be able to happily create interesting characters around. 

So, that’s about it.

Been scribbling.

Job offer still stands!

Inshallah إِنْ شَاءَ ٱللّٰهُ

Well it’s the roaring/flapping twenties, a new year, a new decade and possibly a new opportunity for me and my long-suffering travelling companion – young Miss Amy Grace. 

Yes, dear folk we are once again indulging in the self-flagellation, disappointment and delusion that is submitting our fayre for thirty second scan scrutiny. 

Rejection has thus far followed a pattern of silence; comments politely saying ‘no not for me’ are less than 50% return on investment.

Yet still I’m again setting myself up for rejection.

I’ve read biographies, looked at profiles, tried to select fertile soil…

For my work I know I have all the bias of an indulgent parent seeing their child playing the robin in the school Christmas play.  My child, the skinny brown tights and red jumper, my child alone carries the tale, not the spotlight hogging tea towel wearing pillow up jumper pairing – my child is the undoubted star of the show! 

Delusion is my illusion (another musical reference?), but if we don’t offer nobody can eventually see with my eyes, read the tale that is worth both telling and reading? 

Amy is a story worthy of reading.

I’ve started to tell it; we just need folk to read it.

It is indeed what it is – Inshallah إِنْ شَاءَ ٱللّٰهُ