Saturday 21 August 2021

 Tell Me A Story

To outline or not, that is the question... 
There are authors, who refuse to outline their work before starting – and are often outspoken about their methods. They claim that if they make a plan, and already know what’s happening, the writing won’t be natural. Instead, they start the story with an incident, and let the whole thing develop.
The method undoubtedly works for some - for experienced writers who’ve trod the long and dusty path and understand the problems. 
The problem is, can YOU recognize a quality conflict that will continue unfurling for the next 80,000 words, or will yours be electrifying to begin with, only to end in a blind alley. It’s too easy to start with a bang and a flourish of bright ideas, only to wither at chapter four.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Tell Me a Story - A Garden Moment

Tell Me A Story

My Garden in Autumn

All writers need a muse of some kind to help the flow of creative juices. I find the peace and tranquility of a garden hard to beat when it comes to inspiration.

Come with me for a walk around my October garden and let me know what you think.

The Pink Bignonia at the back of the kitchen. It's done better this year than ever before. It gave us quite a flowery show - a nice greeting every time we went through the kitchen door.

I have to trim the ivy hedge too often for my liking, but it nicely separates the work area from the garden. I need a work area to store excess building materials, and of course the firewood for the winter.

We almost lost this cycad last winter, but it thankfully recovered and seems to be okay now. Hope it survives because it looked lovely when it was in full spread, especially with the pampas in the background.

One of my favourite spots in the garden. Give me a tall glass of something cold, a laptop, and I'm well away.

The purple ground cover, Tradescantia Pallida, has gone berserk this year - but it is rather stunning, so we let it do it's thing. Right or wrong, it'll be cut back to stumps in a few weeks, but it seems to do it good. We cut it back most years and it appears to be thriving.

The pool is still sitting at 26C because of the cover - but it's a tad on the low side for me. I like it around 30C.... wimp that I am...

Friday 9 December 2016

SEI GWEI - New Kid on the Block - Horror Genres

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A touch of horror - Sei Gwei.

Over the years, numerous fantasy creations have been used to perform the role of adversaries in horror stories; the creation being the vehicle to be ultimately afraid of, to become the focus of terror.

Although each author will put a unique stamp on their horror creation, in general they can be summarised as follows:
  • Werewolves - shape-shifting beasts often associated with abnormal speed, power, and perception. They are found in numerous horror/fantasy stories, shows, and films, and have a long and rich history. 
  • Vampires - Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula is probably the archetypal vampire novel and is the basis of the modern vampire legend, still used today. 
  • Zombies - The history of the Zombi really stems from Haitian stories involving Voodoo, where they quite often used powerful psychoactive drugs. The Zombi has evolved into its own strange entity no longer needing chemical stimulation to exist.
  • Mummies - have featured in fantasy stories from the seventeenth century, but it was during the late Victorian period that Bram Stoker created the first novel with mummies as supernatural adversaries in The Jewel of Seven Stars, with a mummified Egyptian queen. 
  • Supernatural - Ghosts in any form always a good fallback and have been used to frighten people of all ages for many years
New adversary-kid on the horror-block is Sei Gwei.

The word, derived from Chinese culture, has a literal meaning of dead ghost, although modern usage sees it applied as a derogatory term for foreigners. 

In the horror story, Sei Gwei Possession, the malignant entities are elevated to a different level and introduced as parasitic wraiths. They are not ghosts, but parasitic entities that live by occupying and controlling, unsuspecting human hosts, forcing them to become cannibals. 

Friday 19 August 2016

The Ultimate Writers retreat - Emerald Waterways Cruise

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So where do writers go to recharge their batteries......

We tried a Danube river cruise this year and were very impressed. The line we chose was Emerald Waterways - relatively new to the river cruise scene, and wow, are they intending to make their presence felt.

We felt like royalty as were greeted aboard by the assembled staff. Luggage was never touched by our hands, and a personal smiling guide to our cabin, showed all the features it had on offer. 

Small touches were really appreciated, such as slippers, dressing gown, an alarm clock, chocolates on the pillows each night, towels changed twice a day, and the cabin cleaned as soon as we left.

Headphone links for guided tours were provided so that we never missed a thing, and there were cycles available for anyone feeling the need. All staff, including senior staff were always available to offer help, and as a bonus, the food was always great.

Will we go again - certainly. Will we choose Emerald Waterways again - absolutely. 

Sunday 6 March 2016

The Tortuga in Xalo

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We went to 'The Tortuga' Restaurant and Bar last night, here in Xalo.

WOW.... what a brill night it turned out to be. The live music was performed by 'Match' - and they were absolutely great. I highly recommend you see them the next time they're around. You won't regret it.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Tell me a Story: Those Short Moments

Tell me a Story

Don't forget that life is too brief to miss SHORT MOMENTS. They seem to count the most in the long run

Thursday 12 June 2014

A Better Writer

Tell Me a Story

I love this list of 10 steps to Becoming a Better Writer from Copyblogger

Take note and follow...

Sunday 12 January 2014

Brief Impressions a book review

Tell Me a Story

Title     - Brief Impressions
Author - AJ Barnett
Stars    - 5

Brief Impressions:
This is a new collection of tear-jerker short stories. Get your tissues handy - the ahh-factor is at work again. AJ Barnett has a reputation for emotive writing, Brief Impressions is no different.

Books from AJ are consistently in the best sellers of their category - in fact three ebooks, SHORT MOMENTS, YESTERDAY and THE TASTE OF LONELINESS have not been out of the best selling list for over 12 months - Most of that time in the top twenty of their category.

 Contents of Brief Impressions:
#1 - On Your Quad:
#2 - New Arrangements:
#3 - Pain, Rage, and Sorrow:
#4 - Connor Is Missing:
#5 - Showing Concern:
#6 - The Arrangement:
#7 - Going Back:
#8 - Phone calls From Laura:
#9 - A World Of Change: