Wednesday, January 30, 2008

To honour you

My ALL TIME favorite shot that I took in the Privy Garden of Hampton Court Palace in London, England.
I post this to honor those who have passed this week.
My Auntie Jean, my neighbor Bruce, and a little girl called Clare, aged 11.

Click on image to see its delicate beauty...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Australia Day weekend

Views from Point Glorious lookout. Abseiling is done from the rocks here. I have based my story around consequences from an abseiling, rock climbing accident. Meanwhile enjoy the views. No drought here...

Warning: This is a 7MB movie. Sorry if you don't have broadband.

Now, here are the ones I promised some of you...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tragedy, fiction and reality

Okay, now I am feeling pretty terrible. The tragedy my heroine has to deal with has just happened for real. Close to where I live, a young woman fell to her death during a climbing accident. Of course in my story the victim was a male. The situation sounds very similar to what I conceived in my head (well, with the help of my rock-climbing instructor son).

The Sunshine Coast Daily reported the news on its website - the original article can be found here.

It was a news article that ignited my first thoughts for my first manuscript. A group of climbers got into difficulty in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales in Australia. I researched the topic and found many instances where accidents occurred, similarly to the one mentioned here. I figured where there was a group of young people on adventure there was bound to be a love interest. Then the 'what ifs' started happening. And my story was born.

While the loss of a loved one is a sad thing in real life, don't forget the power of a tragedy to build emotion, action or progress the plot in a work of fiction.

Regards Annie

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Making something from nothing

Here's a pic of my frangipani in flower. Just a year ago I was given two lovely pots as a gift. I wanted to put something special in them and checked out the stock at the local plant nursery. I decided I could achieve the look I wanted by raiding my own garden. What you see here is the result.
What you can't see is the determination to make something from nothing. To use what was in front of me, taking some effort to plant the thing, water it and watch it grow. Funny thing about frangipani is that it may look like it's growing, then all of a sudden it has used up the sap within the branches and struggles to survive. I've got to say I thought this one was going to die. After waiting a LONG time, along with a commitment to keep watering while it looked dead, I started to see some signs of life. Now I am enjoying its reward.
Not sure if you've picked it yet (excuse the pun), but this whole process can be juxtaposed with the writing process. It takes a lot of hard work, patience and a commitment to nurture the gift within, even as it struggles for life.
We must take something which only exists as a thought and put the ideas down on paper, make them coherent, throw in some complications, resolve the issues and with any good fortune, it will be entertaining. But then even when the words are already on the page, we need to prune it by editing, plant it by targeting it where it will flourish, water it by networking and marketing and learning more about our craft, and then wait for signs of life!! Hopefully one day we will all reap the reward of our labors.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Effervescent personalities

An Inside Sport magazine article has broached on the topic of personality on the tennis court, saying there was a complete lack of effervescent personalities.
Do your characters have effervescent personalities? It is an interesting question. If they don't, then what kind of appeal do they have?
A personality profile is one of the first things I fill in around the skeleton of my new characters. Not everyone can be that "effervescent" person but it is important to give your story real personalities. I recently read a sentence during a critique that seemed totally out of character for this particular character in the story. By compiling the personality profile, the writer is able to regularly check to make sure real personalities are being portrayed.
Of course, the alpha male, in my opinion is totally unreal but that's another topic.
How do you make your characters appear real or true to their personalities? Do you do a profile or just model them after 'real people' you know?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Invincible summer

Greetings all. Happy New Year.
Although the Christmas holidays weren't really kind to our family, there were no disasters or tragedies. Even in the hard times, glimmers of hope often emerge to bring a smile to our face or joy to our hearts. I cling to those and look forward to more of them in 2008.
The new year gives us a time of retrospect, to look back but also look forward. What are you looking forward to? Soren Kierkegaard's quote about living life forward but understanding it backwards, caught my eye this week. Don't you wish you had hindsight today! If only we knew then what we know now. How differently would we act or react or make decisions. If only we had hindsight sooner. But then that would deter from the experience of life itself.
Albert Camus wrote "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer". Some times we must dig deep to find that invincible summer but it is always there. Never lose touch with it. If you don't know what your invincible summer is, I really hope you find it in 2008.
Your life's destiny dwells there.