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Showing posts from July, 2013

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT...

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'If I read one more description of clouds racing across a summer sky, I will throw the book. Just get to the damned story.'

Quote from a friend of mine.

Says it all doesn't it?

Don't get me wrong I do like the colour purple, I have it in t-shirts, cardigans, jumpers and even pyjamas...and I do love my amethysts...and let's face it, it is divine in the garden.

But purple in your prose? 
Mostly it's because a writer wants to show off. Put in as many twenty dollar words as they can, to impress, to show how great their vocabulary is. 
The days of a novel beginning with a page and a half of description is gone. Today's reader wants the story. Now. Don't mess about with fanciful overly vivid description because it will draw attention to the writing. Yes the writing, not the story.
Some writers seem not to be able to help themselves. They have to add flowery ornate phrases. They want to be extravagant with words, they want to have 'fun'. And purple pr…

BACK TO BASICS...

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The Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food van has come to Pakenham... and I have decided to see what it's all about.

As we all know it's all about getting back to basics, cooking easy nutritious food...and it has been fun. I've learnt some tips, improved my knife skills, brought home some yummy meals - especially the Teriyaki Salmon yumm- and I've been meeting some nice people. All good.

But it does make me think about getting down to the bare bones. The building blocks.

Not only with food of course, and as we are taught there is no excuse, there is merely laziness (first week we were taught it takes less than 5 mts to have a poached egg, 15 mts for a frittata) ...I wonder about writing.

The building blocks of writing are quite easy- put down words and create something. However there has to be some basic understanding of spelling and grammar. As a friend says, otherwise it is like building a house without using nails. It will fall down. It has no strength.

There are rules inv…

WRITER'S GUILT...

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Due to my case of winter blahs (see previous blog) I have now come down with an attack of Writer's Guilt. Great isn't it?

Not only do I have exercise guilt (yes I will walk, maybe tomorrow) and food guilt (how did those chips follow me home?) and of course the old favourite of parental guilt (how did my children survive and turn out to be fully functioning human beings?)... I also have Writer's Guilt. Capitals are necessary.

Of course I'm not new to writers guilt. I think very few writers are. Being human, we can't help but compare ourselves to others...and when we KNOW that such and such not only keeps down a full time job but has produced a 50 000 word novel in six months we can't help but wonder what on earth are we doing with our time.

I begin to wonder if sleep is needed. I have a friend who is very prolific in her arts who seems to exist on a sniff of sleep for months on end. Alas, sleep is my friend. I can't function on little.

I have tried to be r…

SINGING THE WINTER BLUES....

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Yep it is that time of the year, it is cold...damned cold (although I know my Dad will be saying it's colder up at his place, and it will be) ...and all I want to do is hibernate. But there are some things that have to be done, going to work the main one. As for the writing...what writing?

I seem to have come down with a severe case of blah....or in medical terms...the winter blues.

I have a small whiteboard near my writing desk and each month I put down my goals for the following weeks. Could be a deadline to meet, a poem to finish, a submission to get out there, a word count on a novel, an event to go to.

This is what my whiteboard looks like...

Empty. There is nothing on there...not a word, not a hint, not a suggestion of something to achieve for this month.

Pretty sad really. In fact I don't even have the birthday reminders that I put up there either. Like I said, the winter blues have come down hard and fast. I think a contributing factor is that I'm (still) struggli…

DYNAMIC DUOS...

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Went to the far reaches of Melbourne Thursday night, well not really, but sometimes after driving straight from work, it does feel that way. Where you ask? Yarra Glen.

Love the vibe that Sandy Jeffs gets in her gig, the intimacy, the food and the damned good poets. This time it was...
identical twins, Bronwen and Emily Manger. Perhaps that should read Emily and Bronwen Manger, as I don't know who was born first and what the etiquette is in listing twins....

They were great, as usual. Have seen them perform in various venues and I found it interesting to watch the way they worked. Each a counterfoil for the other, offering a balance of tone and mode but also presentation.

(photos by Alex Ruschanow) 

Presentation is sometimes so over looked, or even forgotten about. Many writers think that content alone will suffice, and it does, on the page. But when performing, it is presentation that can make or break a poem.  Can have the audience shuffling in their seats and thinking thoughts s…