Saturday, 25 May 2013

Results from the Polling Station...

On April 6th, 2013 I sent out a link to a poll to find out what types of animals the public would like to read about in novel. This week I have decided to share some of the results. The poll will remain open for those that may still like to participate. I always love hearing your feedback!

So far, the majority falls into land based animals (58.49%) with an even split (20.75%) between aquatic and species in the air...

There have been some interesting suggestions for species to include in the stories. Equines were the most popular choice for the land based animals. Cetaceans for any aquatic species, and corvids for species in the air… There have also been some great suggestions for topics to address in the series which equally fall into my own vision for Beautiful Creatures.

Here are a few samples of the comments. 

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

“I've just returned from a camping trip … and watched a talk on raptors. As evil and dangerous as they are to rabbits, mice, cats, and small dogs, they are also victims of their own environment: desert = struggle for survival. I think a tale featuring different perspectives of what it takes to survive in the world would be interesting. What is a danger and villain to one is doing all it can stay in the game...”

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

“Reptiles - snakes specifically. No hands/arms (try eating without such aids) - try relying on your ribcage for traction/mobility. So vulnerable to damage by larger species. Yet they survive and thrive. Beautiful.”

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

“A land animal is more likely to have a human animal bond, but this is a very difficult question, and hard to restrict because all creatures have great purpose on earth to balance it that are not directly involved with mankind specifically. So hard question, but if it is for kids, they like to hold things that are huggable, and in my opinion this would be the best place to start, with something they can really hug!”

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

“No species in particular but the idea of existing in a place that I cannot is exciting. I love the idea of soaring, of seeing the world from a bird's eye view and relishing in those descriptions. Therefore Aquatic would be my second choice!”

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

“Barracuda and or Whale specifically, while the Whale would be the nicer of the two. Like what you've done thus far.”

Monday, April 15th, 2013

“something with mythological connections perhaps”

I want to thank all the people that have participated in the poll so far. It's wonderful to read your thoughts and to be able to incorporate them into the series. I have only included a handful of all the brilliant ideas and comments that you have shared with me. I look forward to reading more along the way… Together we can make Beautiful Creatures a series that will speak to all.

If you have not had a chance to cast your own vote, click the link below to voice your opinion!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Under a Blanket of Stars

April's last blog post left off with Molly at the busy intersection of the A3. Last week I posted my mind map for the character development of the ravens. And so, this week I thought I would share with you one of the feathered personalities from the Beautiful Creatures series.

Under a Blanket of Stars...

As she walked along Molly soaked in her surroundings. She absorbed the moistness of the air, felt the softness of the ground beneath her pads and was overwhelmed by all the smells! Molly’s nose was flooded with the scent of countless different leaves, rotting vegetation and the many woodland creatures that lived and traveled along the same path she was following. All of these fresh experiences distracted her from the hunger and thirst that she had felt when she was walking on the hard concrete alongside the traffic. She continued down the path as it grew dense with trees and then noticed that she was once again coming close to an opening in the forest. It seemed quite similar to the park she had been playing in earlier in the day with Lucy but now the sky was starting to darken. Oh Lucy, she sat down sighing heavily and whimpered softly. Molly paused for a moment and then resumed her trek along this unknown path.

“Kronck! Kronck!” called out a big black bird above her.

Startled, Molly turned around to locate the being that was making such a loud racket.

“Kronck! Up here! Above you! Look up! Look up!” shouted the big black bird.

Molly gazed up as the bird swooped down. The bird perched in a tree just above Molly and twitched his head from side to side as he looked at her.

“What are you doing alone in these parts?” said the bird.

Molly recounted her adventures in the park with Lucy and how she got separated from Lucy when she chased the hare.

“Hmmm, I see.” said the bird.

“And now, I’m just so tired.” said Molly.

Molly lay down in the path. The bird glided down from his perch and pecked her on the head. Molly recoiled in surprise and looked at him hesitantly.

“You can’t sleep there!” cried the bird. “Follow me! I will show you a good place nearby to rest and get a drink” he stated.

She got to her feet and quickly picked up her pace to keep up. He was right! It was just a few minutes away when the path opened up to a shimmering pond. Molly clumsily splashed through the reeds and lapped up the cool refreshing water…

Friday, 10 May 2013

Captivating Corvids

This week I enrolled in an online course through Stanford University. In the short time since I have joined the class, I have already "met" some wonderfully creative and inspiring people from all over the world! One of the assignments we have had to do so far was the creation of a Mind Map. This is a method that I use quite often when writing. However, it has been quite fun in this class to push the method a bit further by visually illustrating the process. My specific mind map was connected to the raven, and how characters from the species will figure into the Beautiful Creatures series. Here is the mind map I created for my Beautiful Creatures character exploration. Any ideas for raven character names?

If you are interested in using the mind mapping technique yourself, here are a couple of helpful links to get you on your way:

Friday, 3 May 2013

All Aboard! get the tube for his daily commute to the city, Andrei had to follow the grassy path along the A219. It was a relatively pleasant trot if he got up early and beat the morning rush hour. Once he reached High Street, there was a little more hustle and bustle with the streets now lined with shops and cafés as opposed to the tranquility of the tree-lined path closer to Bluegate pond. When the Dog and Fox, a local pub, was in sight, Andrei knew he had to navigate the roundabout and make his way to Church Road. High Street was by far the most stimulating part of the route, and one could easily get distracted with all the action! However, upon turning onto Church Road there was a little less energy and excitement as the cafés turned into local galleries, and the pubs became homes for the people that scurried around High Street. If it was a nice day, and Andrei had risen before the traffic, he would often continue along Church Road and hop on the tube at Southfields.

However, today he was running a little late since having met Molly, and he decided that the route along Arthur Road to Wimbledon Park Station would probably be the best choice. The nice part about taking the tube at Southfields was that one could stop along the way in Wimbledon Park and take a swim in the lake on those hot summer mornings. But for today, Andrei continued along Arthur Road to Wimbledon Park station. Since this was to be her first trip on the tube, Arthur Road was definitely a better choice with Molly. It had the wider walkways and usually less traffic.Once Andrei saw the roundabout in the distance along Arthur Road, he knew this was the cue that they were almost there! He could tell that Molly was tired and a little out of sorts from the morning trot... 

"One more block and then we will be able to rest Molly" she looked up at him with uncertainty; "it's just on the other side of the roundabout." 

Wimbledon Park Station was a red brick building with several chimneys and a news shop at the front facing the street. There were a group of swirly stands spilling out postcards that stood in the front of the shop window. Andrei and Molly crossed the threshold of the building and made their way down the staircase to the platform below. Andrei remembered his first trip on the tube, the unfamiliar noises, strange faces and smells. 

"It's okay Molly, you'll see, once we get on we'll be able to lay down and rest for a bit."
He had to keep reminding himself how new this was for her. Perhaps today they would simply explore the area around Putney. It was a shorter ride and this way she could get used to this box that would close its doors, shakes a little and opens them to a whole new place. Besides, the area around East Putney Station was as good as any for finding a good meal. There were school kids ready to toss you a chunk of their afternoon sandwich when you tilted your head at just the right angle, or kebab stands where a well-timed bark could startle a customer into dropping their warm lunch!  

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