Thursday, September 29, 2005
Something similar seems to be happening around Bookner. I've had email asking me ask why I'm 'supporting' this unfeasible and dangerous idea and asking me to look at their self-styled 'anti-bookner' sites.
I'm not supporting the idea, I just said I thought it was interesting and linked to it. Make up your own mind. But I think it has to be either unfeasible or dangerous, surely it can't be both?
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
For most people, it seems, retail therapy means going out and buying clothes. The last thing I bought for the sheer fun of it was... (should I admit this in public..?) a set of 10 exercise books.
They're on my bookshelf by the window, I can see them from here, looking invitingly plain and blank...
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Which would be why it's so much easier to start writing a story than it is to end it - it's easier to identify wants and problems (fictional or real!) than to resolve them.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
She watched while the others were setting up a game and pretended she didn’t know the rules so that someone would read them out to her. After all, there was no point in doing something yourself when someone else could do it for you, she thought.
Daisy was a girl who was used to getting her own way with just about everything. She loved Barbie and knew that one day she would be a princess, or else a vet. With her long, Nordic blonde hair, huge brown eyes and captivating smile, she could do whatever she wanted and if someone dared to tell her off, she could just look at them and smile. Her misdemeanours would get forgotten. This always seemed to work with her mum especially. Daisy knew exactly how to work her mum.
Apart from princesses, Daisy’s other love was food. Not boring things like fruit and vegetables. No. Biscuits, chocolate, crisps and especially ice cream. These had to be eaten in huge quantities and in a totally unprincess-like manner, with as much as possible left on her hands and around her mouth when she had finished. And it didn’t matter how messy she got. She knew she could just smile and open her eyes wide and no-one would ever tell her off.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Jo sat drinking her coffee, listening to Michael as he described his walk and his attempts to capture the way the light had sparkled on the sea. As always, his attempt had been sabotaged, this time by a child chasing a dog across the sand and breaking his concentration. Jo smiled inwardly – it was always the same, always his work failed on account of other people, never ever him…
The only time he was punctual was with the promise (bribe?) of coffee – afternoon tea – supper, it didn’t matter which. These pleasurable interludes formed the backbone of Michael’s day, and punctuated his work.
He did try and he did have talent, but somehow the great future predicted for him, the
It hurt. Over the years the hurt showed more, in the receding hair, the tight lines around the mouth. Disillusionment was setting in. Ten more years and it would mean he could no longer lift a paintbrush, no longer look with far seeing eyes at a blank page and see the magical mix of colour and light that denoted success.
By then the coffee or afternoon tea would have given way to stronger substances, the lunchtime drink that would last into the afternoon, destroying will power and the last of his ability to get to work on time – ignoring Woody Allen’s words that 90% of success is turning up. His working day was starting later, having more interruptions and ending on the slightest pretext.
He was still a good looking man though despite the hurt, or maybe because of it. It added character to his face – and it was a face that Jo loved.
Paul is a black haired rather sharp-featured man of medium height and slim build. He appears to be around 30 years of age. He can look quite severe but his face loses its severity when he smiles. His characteristic expression is a slight frown. He has sensitive hands and fingers.
While he actively seeks to spend much of his time alone, he also feels the need for a role in the community. In general, he prefers one to one interaction to being part of a larger group. In a group he tends to avoid eye contact, often preferring to remain in the background of conversations. He thinks carefully before he speaks, and speaks less frequently than most people. He often takes up closed but balanced positions, for example, while sitting he may lean forward in his chair, rest his elbows on his knees, and clasp his hands.
In a situation where choices have to be made without clear information he tends to err on the side of caution. He takes life seriously but does have a sense of humour, which only occasionally shows itself. He is concerned for others, sensitive of their feelings, and respects other points of view, even if he thinks they’re wrong. He is not easily provoked, and does not enjoy arguments, but will defend his beliefs vigorously if challenged. He has a strong sense of responsibility, is patient and his outlook for the long term is hopeful. He tends to fall easily into the role of counsellor with people of all ages.
While generally truthful he may hold back information if unsure of its accuracy, or of the effect it might have on others. He has some very dark memories from certain episodes in his past life, but rarely discusses them with his present day companions.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Uncharacteristically I've actually done the exercise already, rather than leaving it until the deadline looms. It was fun! Which is odd, because at the start I'd have said it was one of the exercises I was least looking forward too. Which confirms my suspicion that it's good to be made to attempt types of writing that would not normally appeal, to be pushed out of your comfort zone and made to do something uncharacteristic.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I'd like to post some of them, but need to seek permission first.
Who got assassinated? My character got compared to a real person and I don't see the likeness. Well, maybe I do - superficially - now I look at my character sketch again. It helps in that I now know which of his characteristics I need to bring out more to make sure things I know about him come over to other people.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Haiku, tanka and haibun have appeared on a fairly regular basis in Blithe Spirit and Presence. The same three forms also appeared in a special edition ofMuse Apprentice Guild. Haibun in Contemporary Haibun Online and in Zimmerzine. Tanka in Tanka Splendor 2000, 2002 and 2003. Haiku with translations in Tempslibres and haiku in Haiku Spirit.
Poetry in Fire and Borderlines (in both cases in issues not (yet) available online.)
Prose - Poetic - the odd article in Blithe Spirit. (The one on alchemy was particularly odd.) An article forthcoming in Yellow Moon later this year and HaikuOz even allowed me to pontificate on haiku 'rules' (even though we all know there are no such things!)
Prose - Academic - A co-authored article first published in Aslib Proceedings.
The main qualification though, is sheer stubborn obsession with the subject!
Monday, September 12, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
I suspect the important thing is getting the balance right between what you provide and the space you leave for the reader to fill in for themselves.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
At least today's photo is peaceful.
Photos on this blog are taken with one of these remarkable little things. I think it's the digital camera equivalent of a haiku.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Friday, September 02, 2005
It's helpful in making you concentrate on the main points and, maybe more importantly, the main selling points! Now I'm not being mercenary here, after all, once you've written a book you've got to sell it to a publisher before anyone else is going to get the chance to see it. Even if it goes against the grain, its only fair to posterity to make that effort.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
- a character study (300 words)
- an argument (500 words of dialogue)
- a description of a house (200 words)
- a descriptive piece with no adjectives (300 words)