Thursday, December 17, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
So, apologies to Mr Heller:
Papa Bear, Big Mamma and Baby-face stumbled back through the woods, roaringly drunk. Baby-face peered around him.
Friday, December 4, 2009
If you’re someone who finds it easy to imitate styles of writing, then maybe it’s better not to read anything at all while you’re trying to write your own stuff. It's difficult to not pick up another author's style, and the stronger a style, the more likely it is to stay in your head and take over your own. I admit, this is just my own experience, and other people might not have any problems of this kind at all (I'm the sort of person who unconsciously mimics other people's accents when speaking to them). Still, despite the mantra about readers and writers, maybe sometimes it's better to declutter your brain and just focus on your own style. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it don't necessarily make good writing.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
a) Who needs a light bulb? the glow of my computer screen will do just nicely.
b) Who needs a light bulb? my mind is illuminated from within.
c) Stuff it, it only adds to the heat anyway.
d) Oh look, the light's gone. I'll have a cup of tea, then I'll change it and then I'll sit down and do some work...
Thursday, November 5, 2009
'Mordants?' I thought. 'I know that word. But as a noun? What the hell are they?' I turned to page 59 to find out, and discovered that as far as spinners are concerned, mordants are chemicals (such as alum, chrome, iron, copper) used to fix dyes in fabrics. I was pretty sure however that I'd seen the word used as an adjective.
So, out came the ACOD (Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary - because it's used so frequently nowadays it has been permanently removed from under my desk lamp and has its own corner of the desk to balance on):
'Mordant * adj. 1 (of sarcasm etc.) caustic, biting. 2 pungent, smarting. 3 corrosive or cleansing. 4 (of a substance) serving to fix colouring matter or gold leaf on another substance. * n. a mordant substance (in senses 3, 4 of adj.).'
I love it when words have both a physical and abstract meaning and you can see the link between them. So someone may have a mordant wit (caustic and biting) or they may just need to set their dyed wool with something mordant (caustic and pungent).
I read on about mordants in the guide book and learnt that they are indeed quite caustic. I found out alum is the best, but the hardest to work with, and chrome is poisonous. Then I came across this little bit of poetry from the Hamilton Wool and Craft Guild:
'Iron darkens or saddens colours.'
What a lovely idea.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Something Happened, Joseph Heller
Just started it so not quite sure what it's about yet.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Alternative Regency England with magicians, faeries and quaint manners.
Finnikin of the Rock, Melina Marchetta
YA fantasy a long way from Alibrandi.
Beloved, Toni Morrison
Ex-slaves haunted by a baby's ghost. Can see why it's a classic.
Catch-22, Heller again
God I love this book! Reading it for just second time, at same time as Something Happened, in an attempt to analyse Heller's style, which I think forms mostly around his talent for the absurd and the incidental.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
1 latte - extra shot if you're a writer of pot-boilers.
Alphabet soup - for writers who like to play with their food.
Carrots - good for the eyes.
Rice - Cheap, plentiful and quite sustaining.
Red wine. Of course.
Things to avoid:
Too many vegetables
Too much fruit
All of the above are said to lower levels of depression, thus hampering the writer's development of a tortured soul to mine for inspiration. If you must eat vegetables, try to balance them with decreased exercise and lots of processed sugar.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A nice easy pattern - make two rectangles and sew them together, except where you want your arms, neck or body to stick out. Revers sc around armholes and bottom (I admit I had to learn this stitch off Youtube).
And here's an experiment that turned out pretty well:
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I'm experiencing an enforced such exercise in my life at the moment, as the number 7 button on my phone doesn't work. I spilt shampoo on it, and although it was organic, as my brother pointed out: unless it's special mobile phone shampoo it's probably going to do some damage.
Anyway, writing clear texts to people without the use of p q r or s poses some problems, but I've managed for the last month or so. It forces me to be creative with words (and grammar and spelling) on a daily basis, and I'm considering just living with it. Who knows, it might even be protecting my brain against dementia.
The only words I have trouble substituting others for are 'sorry', 'yep' and 'where', all very useful in text conversations. I have a feeling they will be the reason I get sick of this experiment before long.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Oh my God, yes, crikey moses you wouldn't believe it and Dear Lord the tedium. Does it really matter whether or not you must italicise the comma that comes after an italicised phrase? Do we need to spend fifteen minutes wondering aloud about it? Can't we just do what we like and hope that no one notices either way?
Don't get me started on the uses of capital letters and numbers. Maybe I'm not editor material. I like to think I have my eye on the bigger picture - you know, the vibe of the thing.
Anyway, I'm a sucker for punishment, so afterwards I came home and finished off an intricate crochet piece, which was frustrating, tedious and eye-straining. Happy with the result tho.