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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Delicious Quotes

I've been studying William Blake's poetry in literature for the past month or so and the unit is finally coming to an end. Blake doesn't do much for me. But one of the poems we read was Auguries of Innocence, and the first four lines are beautiful. 

To see the World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

Wow, just wow. I can't tell you how mind-blowing that was to read. It's pure genius. Apparently these four lines were quoted in the movie Tomb Raider, not that it means much to me, as I've never seen it. 

I have had the four lines stuck inside my head for a couple of days now, and last night I did a midnight writing-spree because I couldn't sleep. I wrote of the things those lines made me think of. I ended up think of Hamlet for some reason and writing about what Ophelia made me think of. And today I sat in a little cafe with a strawberry milkshake a did a little bit of writing while I waited for my drama club to start. It ended up being cancelled. Well, I got some good writing done at least. 

Any delicious quotes to share from the blogosphere? 

- Bonnee.
 
 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Writer's Garden: Watering and Weeding

After reading this blogpost on Peggy Shumway's blog, I was inspired to share the comment I left with her with everyone back here, but perhaps in a little more detail.

Peggy spoke of giving and receiving criticism as a writer. My take on the matter is that it is important for writers and artists and generally anyone who does anything to receive a balanced amount of both encouragement and criticism.

Peggy compared the two aspects of reviewing another person's work to finding daisies in a garden (encouragement) and finding rocks (harsh criticism). I believe that one is incapable of growing healthily in any garden without both watering and weeding. If the gardener only weeds, but never waters, the flowering writer withers away in pain, feeling discouraged and incompetent. If the gardener waters the garden too much and forgets to weed it, suddenly the flowering writer finds itself tangled in the parasitic undergrowth of over-confidence and the inability to accept criticism later.

While both encouragement and criticism are needed in order for a writer to grow properly, it is vital for the writer's survival that they are not built up to high or cut down too low. How do you think you go, balancing these two aspects of being a reader? Do you think you favour one aspect over the other to a potentially harmful extent? I personally believe I review too kindly, because I initially look to the entertainment value. But if asked to evaluate the nit-picky rules of grammar and punctuation and not using the same word too many times in the same spot, perhaps I give too much criticism. Hmm...

Do share your thoughts in the comments below!

- Bonnee.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Big Decision

Something I have considered doing with 'Evergreen: A Fallen Star'. To some, it might not seem like much, but you've got to keep in mind, this novel is like a child to me.

Last year, I began to write the sequel, based on one little unanswered question I'd left in 'A Fallen Star'. But after writing the first chapter of the sequel, I've been considering using it as the opening chapter of both books. The reason I'm considering using it as the first chapter in both books is that it makes this one unanswered question not seem so random. Reading over the manuscript for 'A Fallen Star', if I didn't know the story better, I may have thought I'd left the question unanswered by accident. Of course I don't want to come across as incompetent to my readers, including agents and editors and publishers. But I want to repeat the chapter at the beginning of the second book as well, just as a memory refresher, just to reinforce the ideas and information presented in it.

I've seen something similar done before. Patrick Rothfuss opened the first two books of his 'Kingkiller Chronicles' similarly. 'The Name of the Wind' and 'A Wise Man's Fear' both start with the description of a silence of three parts. It works amazingly in his books. Read his books.

Even if I use this chapter as a prologue rather than a chapter. I just feel the need to give my readers the information in what I wrote sooner than the second book. I'll have to get my trusty little helper Shaun to give it a read and give me his verdict. I'll ask around for some other opinions too.

Any thoughts from the blogosphere?

- Bonnee.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

To Write, or Not to Write?

That is the question. I may have recently watched an episode of Dr Who where The Doctor and Martha go back to when Shakespeare was alive. Good episode :)

ANYWAY! I will finish editing 'Evergreen'. I have the last seven chapters to go. And my little proofreader, Shaun, has already read over the thirty I've already done. I promise I'll get it done, and write up queries and start sending them out to agents...

But I may have started writing a new story. Yes. I definitely started writing a new story. Thursday two weeks ago. I'm such a terrible person, putting 'Evergreen'  aside again. But I had an idea, and I needed to get it down on paper, so I though I'd start writing... and I did, and now I'm probably about half-way through the fourth chapter. We'll refer to this new project as 'Katherine', though I'm not satisfied with the title being the name of the protagonist. I'll let you know if/when I think of something better.

Aside from the three and a half chapters I have written for 'Katherine' I've also written a synopsis (my way of planning, at least for now), and I may have started a character profile thing which I probably won't complete. This isn't going to be as complicated as 'Evergreen' was. Much to Shaun's disappointment, 'Katherine' is just a straight out YA: no fantasy. I don't know if I'd class it any more specifically than YA. There's a girl with some relatively normal teenager issues, and some issues that are a little less common. A lot of family and friendship orientated stuff, maybe a splash of romance, among other things. That's about all I can say for now without giving away too much.

But just for you guys, here's my opening sentence. Tell me what you think after reading it. Feel free to give suggestions and whatnot. Thank you in advance.
Katherine gazed out of the passenger window as the car rolled into the driveway of the new house; the seventh new house she’d moved to since she’d started high-school three years ago.
 Anyone else want to share the first line of their WiP while we're here?

- Bonnee.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Delicious Quotes

From anywhere! Books, movies, songs, T.V series, people. Let's share some quotes that are your favourites, and lines that really stand out to you. If you want, even give us a bit of a run-down as to WHY these are your favourite quotes, or WHY they stand out to you.

Some of mine:

'The fields are made of glass.'
This is a line from 'Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice', by Nam Le. This is the first short story to appear in his collection 'The Boat'. I cannot explain exactly why this line stands out to me. It is repeated several times throughout the short story, and to me it created the most beautiful image of perfection ever.

"Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof."
This quote is one of many from my favourite movie 'V for Vendetta'. I love the utter power behind its meaning, the sheer truth in those last three words, and the intensity of the moment the line was delivered in. The masked vigilante who goes by the name of V had just been subject to a hail of gunfire, and his last standing opponent is in disbelief because he won't die. Read the quote one more time now that you have that knowledge. You see? Go and watch the movie and see it in full context, and then tell me what you think. Every line in that movie is worth quoting, but this one is by far the one that sticks out to me most. 

"Life's a journey, not a destination."
I share this quote as a favourite with my dad (LOVE YOU DADDYKINS!), who intends to get it tattooed to himself some time in the near future. The quote is from the song 'Amazing' by Aerosmith, and I cannot describe to you how up-lifting the whole song is. I agree with this quote from the bottom of my heart, it's just so absolutely true and I love that Steve Tyler put it in his song. We aren't on this earth for the sake of it; we're supposed to do something while we're here. It's not just the waiting room between the womb and the grave.  It's a maze with many different possible ways to the end. I could go on for hours about what this quote means to me, but I'll leave it there.

Your turn: share some of your favourite quotes, tell me where they're from and why they stand out to you. 


- Bonnee.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

That Short Story I had Published

Well I eventually got around to emailing the subscriptions manager of SpineOut Online Magazine last week, where my short story 'Walking to the Shop' was published in the March 2012 edition. I had decided it was time that I worked out how to access it, seeing as the link my school had provided me with wasn't working for me.

The link doesn't work because SpineOut only sells subscriptions to schools and libraries, so if your school or local library has a subscription, you might be able to view the full story via them! Although I'm pretty sure this is an Australian publication, so I'm not entirely sure if many schools or libraries outside of Australia will have a subscription.

The subscription manager, Bonnie Maher, was kind enough to attach a document of the page in the magazine where my short story was featured. I've zoomed in and print screened in the image below to make it a bit easier for you to read what it says:






































All I can say is that I'm happy.  :)

- Bonnee.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Winner

Congratulations to running4him, who was the default winner of last Tuesday's competition: describe something beautiful in 100 words or less.

running4him shared an excerpt from their WiP which fit the criteria of the competition, and here it is:
"True, she was graceful and beautiful, yet what caught the eye was her overpowering majesty. At once Caleb realized this was the horse he had been waiting for... With movement akin to waves on some forgotten sea, and an auburn mane flowing down her neck softer than the snowflakes which settled around her slim legs, all other appaloosa in Smewasin Territory paled in comparison. Even her leopard coat was silkier than his own rabbit fur gloves. But what startled Caleb was her eyes; icy, piercing, ancient - as if when he gazed into them he saw..." -Mack Isbell
running4him now has bragging rights! Yay!

Thanks for your participation, and maybe I'll wait until I have a few more followers before I run another competition.  :)

- Bonnee.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Titles

As far as texts go - books, ebooks, poetry, films etc. - what are your thoughts on titles? What do you value in a title? 

In my literature class over the past week, we have been studying William Blake poetry, and discussed how a lot could be perceived from the title of the poems we had read so far; poems from the collection 'Songs of Innocence'. A poem called 'The Lamb' was about a lamb, and one called 'The Little Black Boy' was being told by a little black boy. A piece titled 'The Chimney Sweeper' was about chimney sweepers, and the poem titled 'Infant Joy' was about a happy new-born. Simple, straight-forward titles.

I think of how Blake has used titles and think of other titles I've seen and what can be said about the text they belong to. 'Hush, Hush' by Becca Fitzpatrick is about a human girl's romance with a fallen angel, and Tony Scott's film 'Man on Fire' is about an alcoholic body-guard and child abduction in Latin America. The titles are intriguing, but don't have much at all to do with the stories they are attached to. I enjoyed both the titles and the stories attached to these texts.

So what do you like in a title as far as relation to the story goes? 

- Bonnee.

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