Archive for novels

Extract

Posted in Poetry, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2022 by kathydasilva

DEAD ZONE of the CITY from a witness who survived

‘To be in the dead zone, a million people are there. The hurdy crowd. The long queue for the bread. The one at the end of one thousand. The foot changes from left to right to alter the pain of the wait. The sunshine casts cold shadows, long across the paved stone. The raised hand shielding the eyes from the bright sunlight. There is dark shadow but a contrast of colours. We with the feet to take us to the spectacle the viewing point, the how could that have happened.  The greys have gone underground. They like the moles dig deep pits, and residency without light. The book shelves, the books piled high. The knowledge acquired the resting of the mind. How long is this wait? The finding out about who the governance truly was. They left us to cope. We cope. The markets full of tinned food and preservation. The soles of shoes, the rubber smooth. The leather worn. The bagged goods.  The air clear. Small lanes, and narrow passes, cobbled stones. English speaking lands, Captain John Smith, sixteen hundreds, the new world, America. The natives. The new landscapes. The troubled land. Bronze statues don’t speak of death. Independence. British realms. Statues, statutes. Legal feat. Fending off  what stands for justice. The long queue. The Great Fire of London. The burned down  homes. The cleared plots. Cheapside, barbers, hairdressers and jewellers. Stone. East of the city, there is not a soul left alive from the fire.  Barking, Southampton Centre not a soul left from the bombings of the world wars.  The burned down houses and shops, the demolished landscape. Air surrounds us.  We are standing but the invisible  grave site is beneath our feet. The buried people, the bones,  beneath the soil. Vacant air. Not a sound from the dead.  They have no tongues now. They have no body, no power. The people died in their houses.  The people died without hope of rescue. The people burned to the ground. The smoke lingered. The blackened city. A million died. Smaller plots, smaller houses. Flats that reach to the sky. The great Tower Bridge.  The hydraulics, the great mechanical  arms. Tidal estuary. Beaches, salt waters meeting fresh.’

Quotation from a longer story copyrighted 2022 Katherine Da Silva

If a person does not have a conscience, what are they? Finding myself under attack as an author was an unexpected thing, in an age of modernity. I know the culprit, cannot be very bright. I was a victim of someone’s prejudice, and it looks like that is still happening. The burglar had erased two lines of this poetic piece, which included the mention of the bronze statue of Captain John Smith which is still in the square off Cheapside. I think the mention was also about Newfoundland, in the Americas, as they were new places to colonize originally. But, this is not the only point… our progressions, are not just about land, but, perhaps it is linked to wealth and power. The world will it seems only embrace the realm of financial stature…. hence the play with words.. but perhaps we are all being fooled into too much of a material expectation.

‘Enlightened Heart’ a book preview

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2021 by kathydasilva

I started this book with the idea of showing a positive image of a woman living her dream of becoming an artist. I myself studied art at a graduate level, and was the only one of my parent’s offspring, the youngest child to have passed at this level. It was in my own sense a huge achievement to have gone away to university. It took me in all four years of study, including the foundation course, to get there. But, the rewards have been infinitesimal. I moved to London to study but, for the sake of my story, I have based the main character’s student years in a southern township in England. The influence of reading, on for example, the direction of thought and ideas, was a big part of what had made a change for myself. The main character Sarah Cuthbert, is already settled with a flat and partner in a town apartment with balcony. Her thoughts, her reminiscences, are all part of her character makeup, and direct the flow of her days as she completes her studies. I had intended to have dug a bit deeper into the reasons for the literature, or desire to read better literature. I myself, had what I call an ‘awakening’ moment at the age of 15 years, when for my leisure reading, I had sought, to find a book by Mary Stewart, who wrote romance/thriller type novels, but, ended up with a novel by John Steinbeck, The Moon is Down. If as in my own family there is no one to truly ‘guide’ you, then it takes perhaps an accident and possibly an encounter, that gives a person new direction. The fact that the sister I shared a room with at home read, Mills and Boon and Mary Stewart, was one such thing influencing the first initial choices. But, thereafter, my encounters with better book reading individuals, also served as a wonderful moment of ‘enlightenment’… I say that with a bit of humour. When I went up to London to study, I would make a note of any references people made to books, and what they chose to read. On one of the events when a band of art students including myself, rode in a car together, and one of them mentioned ‘Plath’. I had no idea at the time who she was, and followed my nose to a novel, and then the poems of Sylvia Plath. I lived the first two years of my undergraduate time, with no television and vowed to catch up read all the major classics, as I felt woefully behind with what other students had accomplished. I did English up to an ordinary level, so had achieved a good ‘A’ grade for the written side of the subject. It bothered me that students with a private school education seemed to be so ahead. I sit happy now, with a very extensive paperback library, of my own, with the ability to choose quite an array of material. Art helped me see, and a I saw, with greater clarity, and observation my own world changed for the good. I felt wonderful for all of the four years of study. I felt I owned London town. I still do to some extent, as I know the roads, and places, almost like the back of my hand. But, truly that was a moment of time, which for now stays a good memory of positivity.

My new title ‘Enlightened Heart’ really needs to be a 400 page book. I seemed unwilling to do more than about 149 pages for this one. I did not want to make the book too heavy a read, more of a hint toward what happens when you start to change your own life for the better by taking a course. The entanglement with romance and couples getting along together, so there is no ’empty’ or ‘lonely’. Well, that is why the romance filled a gap, and then too becomes ‘the way forward’, it cannot be denied that company is better than feeling isolated. With regard to the story line, Sarah comes from a broken home, Theo from a family whose parents attend church and own a business, they are successful millionaires. Both are at an age of wanting to travel and explore the world they live in.

‘The bird call, was amplified, and the
sounds of nature, made a calming atmosphere of
sorts, resonating with the bucolic backdrop of the
countryside. ‘Every bird has its own nest’ Sarah,
whispered to the air, as one of the most important
decisions of her life, was being finalized.’ ‘Enlightened Heart’ Copyright Katherine Da Silva 2021

Coming soon through bookshops and amazon.com/ and all amazon sites.

…jingle bells rock, jingle bells sing.. it is the season of giving gifts..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2020 by kathydasilva

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B018UM5NEW&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_kTFXFbTC2E69Q&tag=KathyDaSilvaw-21
This is my Umbrella two books in one.. the first short stories I wrote over an number of years including some really neat 100 word shorts, the second half of the book is the entire copy of The Island, a shortish novel, about singles abroad on a Greek island.
I hope to finish Enlightened Heart before Christmas, a new publication about a young artist, and her beaux. The book is about a young woman’s exploration in the creative world of art and literature. Her friendship and cohabitant is a computer geek. They both have ambition, but are terribly in love. The parents are sticklers for the rules, and want them to be married. I’ll post some updates soon. Happy holidays, and the perfect excuse to sit by the fire.. is a book in the hand.

A Society that Could Care

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2017 by kathydasilva

http://polldaddy.com/dashboard/

I picked up on some of the headlines this morning in the newspapers, as I went for a shop in my local supermarket. I was just popping in to a Tesco near my flat, for cat food, milk and oh a paper, well, I could not ignore the spread from left to right of the ‘media’ lynching of Jeremy Corbyn. Why? Well the Tories who own most of the papers albeit via Rupert Murdoch, are resplendant in their attack, as and when they choose. You or I, will see in the next few weeks the most abusive system of communication at work that I can possibly have imagined might have come into being. And perhaps this needs some sort of legislation adjustment, and still no debate via TV live platform, for Jeremy Corbyn to answer questions alongside Theresa May. Why?

I have been focused today, on trying to get to grips with online marketing potential for my published books which have been enabled by createspace.com the company with affiliations with Amazon.com so far so good, the product, my books, are there online and being sold by different online agencies. However, the problems with marketing are far harder for an individual with no money set aside for advertising, than through established publishers who do offer authors pay in advance sometimes for the work they do. As I have no advance, there is very little I can do other than small scale advertising to further the knowledge of my book creations.

Alongside my efforts this day to follow up and find, where people can buy one of my books, I also started to reflect on books I had read in the last year, and books that I looked at for style, technique and skill. My mind chose to focus first on a favorite of mine from a long time ago, John Steinbeck, who had the talent to put down in words all the characteristics of an individual, no matter how common or bizarre. He is so skilled in making focus on human suffering and economic dilemmas. And he does so with warmth integrity and incredible durability of image. I still like to browse over the old texts of the novels, of his era. The most remarkable thought came to me today, with also the need to deeply reflect on the politics that do exist today in England, and the thoughts were specifically of the society we are building for future generations. Are we all so sure, that building wealth is the goal and the only goal, that a person should be about?

I have made myself read or re-read Psycho this year by Robert Bloch, with the well known character or villain Norman Bates, a vulnerable mentally ill adult, who had put up with quite a coarse upbringing. And also, having digested this classic decided to read the more up-to-date, subsequent book of our own era, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I managed to read Psycho cover to cover. However, when it got to trying to be as thorough in my approach to American Psycho, my stomach for the ‘detail’ or catalogue of ‘sins’, that the new psycho character of Patrick Bateman, is blamed for, well, I had to put it down for another time, when I have recovered from the dark images. I will detail that Ellis’ psycho is a modern man walking amongst us. He with the million dollar lifestyle, wears the highest costing designer cloth money could buy.  He gets away with ‘murder’. He is so violent to a homeless man, and tears at his flesh in such a fashion, having torn at the man verbally, he fulfills his angry desires, on the weakest of individuals. He is presented in the book as a cannibal. He eats and cooks to eat parts of his victims. He destroys the women he takes home to his flat,  by luring them in for sexual encounter, and then tying them up, ready for torture. Eventually he kills them, having given them, a nightmare of the worst kind. And hence, I could not really say, that I enjoyed the detail. However, the worst part, of the story is how this could happen? How, could this evil exist, move around people in society, slip in and out of normality, sit at tables in expensive restaurants, pretend such calm control?

I was looking recently at the stats of people who had been on disability in Britain, who had had their benefit or disability pension revised, by the new rules under the present day Conservative Party. Apparently, 30,000 individual souls or more, perished within weeks of being put back onto the dole queue for ‘able bodied’ persons who were ‘fit for work’, in the last year or so. Some of the ‘victims’ were people who had had major surgery, and that included double organ transplanted individuals, who died within weeks of the start of a new job, or for that matter, in the effort to fulfill and not starve, the regulations of the new government.

I am not sure what I am more shocked by, American Psycho or the politics of our era, set to reinstall the same ‘madness’, that this country has been enduring for a that last few years. I just hope that the public become more greatly informed and choose to read more independent media articles. We use to call it reading around the subject, in order to get a balanced view.

When I visited my friend Bruno in France last summer well it was nearly autumn, I became utterly amazed at the feeling of sheer, ‘freedom’, that was experienced, once in the country of France. I was there only for a short four day break, as he had offered the holiday for free. I could not have gone away without the charity of a friend. I had had an accident in the April, where my ankle had been crushed by a vehicle in Ilford. I had been in the news, but not named. The car had run over my foot too in the process.

When and if you do read American Psycho, so much of what obsesses the man, the main character is to do with position in life. The clothes people are wearing and which designer shoes are being worn by who. Where they would eat, and would it be good to be seen eating in these haute couture, stylish places. The grubby, hungry, and homeless seen as a nuissance like the rubbish strewn and ready for collection.

I photographed, the student protest a year or so back, and within the hour of the demonstration finishing, and not even making the evening news, the borough of Westminster, had the street cleaning vehicles and people to broom away the abandoned placards, out in number. Who could have told that the students had even been there.

What worries me more is if we follow suit with America in ‘all things’. We seem to have allowed the grant system to fall foul of the capitalist system, in a major way. This in turn, will also mean less equality generally. Fewer people will seek an education if it also means living with a life long debt attached to their ankles like a ball and chain.

The delight in which Tories hold the ‘fort’ of Westminster, is a worrying sign. You could almost hear the laughter, from Theresa May’s cabinet ministers, at the Corbyn, dilemma of having by accident? Run over a BBC journalists foot. He will live another day, no doubt, and the NHS will put his foot back together. I just wonder if the BBC could manage to not show bias?