Resolution and an award

July 16, 2010 at 11:47 pm (Author Info, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Stop taking photos. I’ve been sorting through photos for days and still haven’t actually looked at all the photos I took on this holiday. The strange thing is that there are entire stretches where my batteries were flat, I left the camera at the hotel and all manner of reasons why I had half days all throughout the trip where I didn’t have a camera and I still managed to take far too many photos.

The thing that really gets me though is that I don’t actually look at my photos. I have a few up around the house from various trips and times and they are lovely but I don’t go through photo albums or look at any saved pictures. I didn’t when I went to Thailand and I haven’t from any of the holidays I’ve had in Australia, so why do I keep taking photos?

I think it comes down to freezing a moment. If you see something then you’ll remember it but the memory gets hazy quickly. If you see something, line up a photo, frame it and press click you have far more chance of remembering what you saw. Possibly.

I guess the other problem is that most things look better in reality than they ever will in the photo. There are so many other sensations of sound and smell and just the presence of the place that they photo just doesn’t capture. It can’t capture how you felt standing in that place at that time. That’s probably true of any medium. Words don’t capture everything, images don’t, film doesn’t, in the end it is up to us to hold on to the memories.

Okay…

I’ve also been given a lovely blogger award.

Thanks Susie for the award. Here are the rewards.

  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. Thanks again Susie!
  2. Share 7 things about yourself. See below.
  3. Pass the award along to 5* bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (*Changed from 15 to 5, but I’ll leave it up to you the amount you want to give.) Also see below.
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award. To do…

Seven things about me that you can’t read on my ABOUT page:

1.  I am a collector of some really random things.

2.  When working I listen to music but I don’t listen to entire songs.

3.  I love watching movies over and over again and pulling apart the plots.

4.  When I was in highschool I loved watching SeaQuest but when I bought the first season on DVD I realised I really can’t remember why I liked it.

5.  I don’t like toast but I love the word toast.

6.  I eat when I’m bored.

7.  My favourite colour to write in is green.

As to passing this award along… By the way if you want to know why I’ve given them the award, click on the link and check out these very interesting blogs.

Barbara G Tarn

Mason Canyon

Cat Woods

Alex J Cavanaugh

Elizabeth Spann Craig

Congratulations and thanks for writing such amazing blogs.

I’m hopefully going to be resuming a more normal posting schedule and will be back tomorrow.

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Collecting Characters

July 14, 2010 at 6:07 am (Character, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Thanks everyone for your comments and warm welcome back.  I’m still slightly jet-lagged, back at work full-time, have in-house guests and a number of other things going on at the moment so am having a wonderful time trying to settle back into a rhythm. No writing happening at the moment but I know now for sure that I’m going to be rewriting my WIP in first person. Ever since I made that decision I’ve had ideas and pieces of narration flowing through my head continuously so I know I’m on the right track.

This post I want to talk a bit about my trip but not about all the amazing things I saw. I want to talk about the characters I collected.

I am a people watcher. I can’t help it. And when I see a person my first thought is usually about what sort of character could they be. From there my head then adds details and backstories and extra physical features and the final character ends up nothing like the person that was the catalyst for their creation which is probably just as well as they are based on a five minute impression of someone I’ve probably never spoken to.

So which characters did I collect?

The Bore. This is the guy who sits behind you in the bus and tells the same boring story four times throughout the day. Everytime someone new comes along, out comes the story. And it was a boring story to begin with. This is the guy whose girlfriend starts talking over because he is that boring. Yet he insists on getting to the end of his story even if nobody is listening. Plus, he doesn’t vary the story or expand it with the retelling. It is told the same way every time with the same words and in the same monotone drone.

The Tourist.  There are people who tour and then there are tourists. The tourist is the one who actually believes that speaking louder will help people understand the words they are saying. The tourist is the one who criticises the hotel staff for not speaking English (in a non-English speaking country). The one who pokes the breakfast rolls and grimaces at the idea of eating food that they are unfamiliar with. Instead of responding with wonder and the strange and unusual, the tourist either photographs it or turns their nose up at it.

The Impatient Man. This one is the guy who does everything short of running you over to get ahead of you in a cue. Then he proceeds to try to work his way around you, gently shoving you and your belongings to the side. When that doesn’t work he starts calling out to the person at the head of the cue trying to get himself a reason to walk around you. Then, if someone else dares to push in anywhere in the line, this is the man that goes off at them and berates them. Signature of the impatient man is the rumpled, grey suit. It is always grey for some reason.

The Dreamer. This one I saw several of, mostly in London. They wander around in the parks staring at the grass or the trees and they seem to tilt in the direction the wind is blowing. These people are in serious danger of getting run over by bike riders or even running squirrels because they are not at all focused on what is happening around them. They frequently have paper backs stuffed into their back pockets.

I collected many others but what is important is that being around new people in new situations got me looking closer at the people around me. I am always watching people but this trip really helped me to focus on some of the smaller details.

One thing that amazed me was when I was in line to go to the Eiffel Tower there were a group of soldiers, with very large guns, walking around underneath and generally keeping an eye on things. That kind of freaked me out because seeing a soldier in uniform is kind of something for ANZAC day only and seeing someone with a gun that big in public is fairly uncommon in Australia. It was interesting watching how some of the other visitors responded. Some tried to photograph them and were rebuked. Others utterly ignored them, treated them as if they were part of the scenery. Others snuck covert glances at them while others stared openly. It was just interesting seeing the array of reactions.

Well, I probably won’t get to post again until the weekend but I am wishing everyone a very good week. In the meantime, I would love to hear some of the characters you have collected over the years.

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Back

July 10, 2010 at 10:11 pm (Author Info) (, , , , , )

Back from holidays and ready to jump back into work.

Paris and London were amazing and I had a fantastic time running around and seeing everything. I will be putting the pictures up on facebook soonish. What I loved most was how many ideas I came up with while I was travelling. I felt very much re-energised and focused toward writing.

Given I have a few things I need to do very quickly and I have a couple of things to deal with I’m probably only going to post a couple of times this week but I will be back to regular blogging next week and I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone. I really appreciated the comments you all left me while I was away.

Here I am in London, checking out the London Eye.

Incidentally, while I was away I was thinking about my current WIP and I realised what I dislike about it is the narration. So I am backtracking and going from third person back to first but for some reason have decided it is one of my male characters who will make the most interesting narrator for the story. This may all end in tears yet but once I get settled I am going to be rewriting the story from the beginning and seeing where this change takes me.

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Time for a break

June 25, 2010 at 5:37 am (Author Info) (, , , , )

Okay – just letting everyone know that I am going on holidays. Real holiday, not just being denied access from the computer for a week. I’ll be gone for just under two weeks and during that time I’ve scheduled a series of posts that were originally posted onto my blog on blogger – Darkened Jade.

Wishing everyone the best over the next two weeks with their writing and hopefully I’ll be dropping in to check on how everyone is going.

As I’m flying off to Paris let’s just hope that the airports stay open and hopefully I will have some great stories to share when I get back. And if you happen to be in Paris and see a crazy red head completely lost, be nice and point her in the right direction.

Best wishes to everyone.

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They’re Dropping Like Flies

June 23, 2010 at 7:15 am (Character) (, , , )

Actually this is true literally as well as metaphorically. They recently sprayed the flies at work (fortunately over a weekend so I didn’t have to deal with the smell).  The flies did die and for two days there were none in the room and then new ones invaded. Now we’re waging a war with them and hitting them with various books and rules and whatever else is handy and I am sad to say we’re losing. The flies just keep coming.

The title of the post was actually talking about people I know. Everyone is getting sick or tired or both. I didn’t post yesterday because of absolute and complete exhaustion. I know that if I were to go to any group of teachers in the state at the moment they would be equally exhausted and there would be a high number falling ill. It’s the end of term.

We’ve all worked ourselves ragged over the last few weeks trying to meet deadlines for this term while trying to prepare for next and now that the final report has been written our bodies are telling us, enough is enough.

It is interesting that this phenomenon of people in similar professions getting sick at the same time is fairly common.  The stresses of various jobs really have a solid impact on people.

Could I use this in a story? Coud it add depth to a character or group of characters? Possibly but I’m too tired right now to try and find the link.

What I am going to do is catch up on reading a few blogs and then I’m going to crash on the couch for a few hours because tomorrow I have to get up and be and entertaining, energetic and enthused and I need to keep that up for three more days. Or at least keep up a very good pretense.

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