( A waterfall in our north eastern part of South Africa. Don't you just love the rainbow?)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
( A waterfall in our north eastern part of South Africa. Don't you just love the rainbow?)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
PROGRESS REPORT: Still sitting on 26 out of 40...same as yesterday!
I realise its most likely an over-reaction but that is the nature of our relationship. He keeps really close to my side when he's ill and uses those golden eyes to implore me to understand his problems.
Each plant, each tree, each brick, the water tank as well as the contents inside that little rondavel are relevant to my writings today. Even the thin pipe in the foreground suggests something to me. I am however curious to know if the word, "RONDAVEL" is familiar to my overseas readers. It is a common word here in South Africa and refers to the little round building which you see in the picture.
At the entrance to this "RONDAVEL" is a "STOEP". Again the word, "STOEP" is common to our country and refers to the covered varandah outside a building. In some cultures here in SA sundowners are taken on the STOEP. That time presents the opportunity to catch up on the events of the day and to socialise with family and friends.
Are you familiar with these words? If I were to use them, within the context of a book set in Africa, what sort of response do they evoke in you? Your opinion is important to me...
...please leave a comment!
'till next time,
Monday, January 25, 2010
The latest count: 26 chapters out of 40! I am making progress!
I have had an incredibly productive past weekend. Although it's been domestically busy, the creative wave has truly hit me and I can't seem to switch my mind off. The setting and characters of my book have taken shape and are now well and truly occupying my entire being. It is with great difficulty that I write this blogpost.
Although this emotional submersion is a good mental place to be in terms of writing my book, the fatigue is setting in. I feel an urgency however to ride this wave of creativity as I am nervous that it will soon leave me.
It is however a truly exciting journey! Whether this work is ever published or not is irrelevant. I am working towards my own goal of completing it. I am passionate about the story, so it simply has to work for someone!
The early mornings continue to be my best time to write. It just feels right! My head is clear and the progress of the story has taken shape during my sleep. What better way than to reap it at first light!
I am including two photographs which are my inspiration for today. Perhaps they might inspire you too. Here is the first...
There is nothing more soul touching than standing on the summit of a mountain and looking out over the vast African landscape. It is a moment where I become acutely aware of exactly how small I am as a human being and I am awestruck by our magnificent and unbelievable heritage in this beautiful country of ours!
This particular picture was taken whilst standing on the edge of the escarpment, overlooking the Blyde river dam, in the north eastern part of South Africa. It offers a view into the vast expanse of the Kruger national park in the distance; a place where the animals of Africa are free to roam albeit with a few restrictions.
The drop below defies all understanding. It is simply breathtaking! As one peeps over the edge of the cliff you feel that you want to stretch out your wings and mimic the birds which hover in the thermals. Whilst the hot African sun drenches one in perspiration you are consoled by the knowledge that not many people get to see such beauty. How can I not love this country!
This next picture has particular sentimental value to me. It was painted by a family friend - Tony Schoeman - and graces the wall of my sitting room at home. It was given to me on my 16th birthday as a symbol of my love for the African Savanah and, in particular, the bush of the Lowveld. This was the place which I romped and roamed as a child. It's aura was carved deep into my soul and as I look at the painting I almost feel the heat of the day and the urgency of the land crying out for rain.Why am I telling you these things? Well, none of us can work without inspiration! Since my story is set in Africa I need to be inspired by its setting... and the pictures help since I am holed up in a big, bustling city.
I am really excited about this story. Hold thumbs that my energy and inspiration stays with me.
Take care, 'till next time,
Friday, January 22, 2010
"In Ireland, there is a poster with about eleven photographs of famous male writers, only one female writer and the reason is TIME - not an absence of FEMALE WRITING TALENT those eleven males had a woman doing the sort of jobs that started to nag at you this morning. Remember to put aside at least two hours each day for your writing; from what you have written and the way you are being inspired you have the talent, take time to write each day.
Anne Byrne, Dublin"
Last evening I decided to share the story which I had spent time on yesterday. Luckily I have at least two very supportive members in this household and they gathered around to listen. I didn't read my story to them, but rather TOLD it to them. I found myself choosing my words really carefully, building in silences and pauses and delivering pertinent statements at the precise moment for maximum effect.
For the first time since I have started writing the stories in my book (some 7 years ago), I got the comment:
"That was MAGIC!"
...It made my spirits soar!
Today I put pen to paper and wrote up that particular story. I felt quite good once I'd completed it, so I called my two guinea pigs back and asked them to listen again.
This time however, they were distinctively BORED! They commented that I had elaborated far too much and detracted from the story's essence. Guess what...they are entirely correct!!!
I feel quite exhausted and have to reassure myself that nothing is lost - I merely have to float in a different direction.
Hope you all have a happy weekend.
Till next time, luv C
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I am finding, however that the more I write the more changes I make to my work, so my progress becomes progressively slower. Some stories which I have already written, don't seem so appropriate any more...the essence of my book is changing. This journey is obviously a floating one!
...this too is a source inspiration. I find that my attention to small details is "acute" at this point in time. Each small detail has a word to describe it and by playing with the descriptive words my ceativity is stimulated. Afterall, it's the 'words' in a book that paint the picture, so perhaps my mood is apt?
I find too that I am getting an enormous amount of inspiration from simple pictures. They centre my ideas and allow me to toy with the words. For example, if I were to take a picture of my writing progress up to this point in time, the picture would look like this...
(Meaning:...My writing is past the half-way point but the beauty of the story is only just emerging...)
Now, if I chose a picture of the final product of my work, perhaps it will look like this...
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
You see, I am a novice writer, somewhat socio-phobic, but I have a real story to tell. I am busy writing this story - my book - with the hope of completing it this year.
The story itself won’t necessarily be revealed in these pages, but rather the process of its writing. It is a daunting project. It is massive, but already fully shaped in my mind. I know that getting it down on paper is going to be fraught with obstacles and since it's my first real attempt to write, Im hoping that you, my blog readers, will help to become my support structure.
My wish is also that, as a reader of this blog, you will become actively involved in it. As I share my journey with you, will you perhaps consider offering me advice, guidance and encouragement during its process?
Please feel free to write whatever you wish in the comments section of this blog:
If you hate my style, please feel free to say so!.
If you have a suggestion, include it!
If you have a question – ask it!
If you are inspired – show it!
If you want to encourage – do it!
So lets begin...
When I woke up this morning, the world looked entirely different. I opened the curtains and peered into the breaking dawn outside. It was going to be one of those 'gloomy' days. I took one more look at the misty setting and climbed back into bed to sit and absorb its atmosphere.
It had been raining all night yet the rain was still pelting down and the sun seemed behind schedule. Buckets of water were streaming off our roof, gurgling down our gutters and damming up onto an already waterlogged lawn. Only some birds were audible amidst the storm, and my dogs - in the corner of the bedroom - were totally lost in dreamland. I resolved to take in this gift I had been given - the inspiration for the day...RAIN!
You might ask:"How can such a day be an inspiration?"
Well, whilst I was sitting there, under the warm duvet, I remembered that section of my book that involved rain. The puzzle pieces of that part of my story seemed to slide together - clearly revealing that it was time to write it NOW!
Normally, I would get up out of bed, have my shower, do my usual duties and become distracted in the plans for the day, but since I have the privilege of prioritising these things I thought I'd try out something new.
I grabbed my laptop, opened a clean page and began to write...
I wrote for an hour and a half, hardly stopping for a breath. Questions I'd previously pondered seem to instantly answer themselves. That specific chapter was taking shape...and quickly! Scenes linked beautifully together, sentences flowed and my mind and creativity was soaring.
Eventually nagging obligations started calling and guilt got the better of me. I simply had to put my writing aside and tackle my day. I know its going to be difficult to schedule my writing to coincide with my daily routine but I also realise that I have to GRANT MYSELF PERMISSION for it to happen.
My story is really a collection of stories in chronological order. It could be termed 'factional' - half fact and half fiction. Each individualised 'short' story is a completed work, but together they form a whole and reveal a much greater picture. The beauty of this construction is that I can write it in pieces and not necessarily in the final order. Today's experience demonstrated to me that this is entirely possible and practical.
So what do you think? I know many of you are experienced writers... how do you approach your books? What are your sources of inspiration? Any suggestions?
Must go and write now!...will be back again soon!
Take care and reap the day!