21 Mar 2012

Using emotion in writing: Appreciation

First, let me mention why I'm appreciative. I've heard about the health problems of two writer friends recently. The consequences must affect on their work.
After a fall, a broken hand and damaged arm have stopped one friend from learning a difficult new computer technique with iClone movie-making.
I know what she's going through. On two consecutive years, I broke limbs: a finger and thumb joint. Every simple household task turned into a mountain to climb and my coping mechanism took over. Sure, I could type with other fingers, but the drain of energy tends to weaken creativity.
An autoimmune disease has struck another friend. Her positive attitude and the support of wonderful friends help her to overcome any obstacles. She's half my age and full of drive and ideas. Modern medicine has ensured her disease will remain under control.
In the civilized world, we're so lucky to live in free societies where we can expect assistance. Even without money, the authorities would care for us. Around the world, so many people suffer and die, perhaps leaving children unprotected. No use decrying the cruel fate which places one person in a life of luxury and another in a hovel. We must make the best of our situation. We're here for a reason. As Desiderata says: You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here.
Both my friends' conditions make me appreciate my good fortune. They bring into focus the world surrounding me.
Birds trill a welcome to spring and daffodils bloom wild under the bare branches of giant trees lining the street outside. With the use of my hands, I'm free to do the simple tasks of everyday life without relying on someone else. In the afternoon, a walker helps me up the hill for my daily exercise in the fresh air. Of course, the quality would be improved without exhaust fumes. Yet, even the constant stream of traffic makes me smile. I'm in contact with other people. A river of life streams past my door.
I can use this appreciation in my writing. The heroine could be untied and released from a hostage situation. Instead of hurrying on to her next assignment, let her pause and smell the freshness which only comes with spring. Let her rub her wrists, flex her fingers and reach for a daffodil.

18 Mar 2012

I got tagged

I got tagged. We bloggers play silly games.I'll have a go at this one.

Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of my current work-in-progress

2. Find line 7

3. Copy and paste the next 7 lines (or sentences) into a blog post

4. Tag 7 other bloggers to do the same.

This is from my forthcoming book Still Rock Water to be published by Solstice Publishing in a month or two:

    Alissa's steps thumped down the stairs and she pointed through the open doorway.  "Oh look, there's   Walnut."  She bounded outside, bent and stroked his fur.  The cat opened an eye, reached out one paw with a yawn, then settled again in his sunny spot.  "He remembers me."
"Of course," Liliha said.  "And so do I."
"Well, you would.  You're my mother."  Alissa reached out and hugged her.
"Love makes all the difference, and Walnut loves you already.  You're his family."
Kaelyn strode into the room.  "It looks much better than the last time I saw it.  Smells though."

As for tagging, I think I'll leave it for the moment. Too many things to do.
I'm in the middle of editing my second novel in the Moonstone series to ready it for publishing. 
I'm nearing the end of a new novel, which is the story of Tallulah McBride, who wrote the diary entries at the beginning of each of Edith Parzefall and my Higher Ground series. Double Dragon Publishing will publish the first of these:Wind Over Troubled Waters in May.

So, instead of tagging, here's the section from Wind Over Troubled Waters:

... loins. Sasha on top of him, her round firm—
"I'm tired," Sasha announced and spun around. "Why don't we stay here for the night?"
Boris felt his cheeks burn. If she lay next to him, he might not sleep all night.
"Sure." Aron slapped him on the back again. In his village nobody dared to do that. Though he never beat anyone unless they...


9 Mar 2012

Using emotion in writing

Use every experience in your writing.

Right now, I'm trying not to worry. On the whole, I'm succeeding. But every now and again, niggling concern intrudes. What if I never see my friend again? I've already experienced the death of a writing friend recently. We weren't close, but now he's gone, I miss him. The world is bereft of one more gifted writer. Were his stories ever published? Will his family take over and posthumously share them with the world? I won't name the people, but rather give an idea of how to turn a negative withdrawal into a positive drive.
Long ago, I learned not to worry. I read Edgar Cayce's books published by his family on readings he performed for people he'd never met. A psychic healer. He gave the message that the object of our worry might never come about, given that circumstances are in constant flux. Concern—that's different. One can control concern, batter it with flour and contain the emotion in a neat parcel to be fried later, either in sorrow or joy.

Right. I'm not worrying. That's established. How can I use this emotion in my writing? Maybe the brain exercise will tire me out so I can't think. One of my characters could go to hospital for tests and come out with every problem solved. Trouble is: I've already written the death of the mentor in my plot. She didn't leave hospital. You see where my mind is taking me now? I don't need to use this concern in my plot. Maybe I should rewrite the mentor's outcome from her stay in hospital. But the whole story would change. The mentor gives an enabling message to the hero.

My darling, wonderful brother-in-law died a few years ago. I used the sorrow aroused to finish one of my novels. What a powerful emotion grief is. It takes the body hostage until the passion dissipates with tearful regret. We live on, carrying a small part of that person's goodness inside us. How strange that the best is all we remember of a person. Even a pet's wonderful moments of love cling to us constantly, no matter how many years go by. I remember the first time a pet's death affected me. At ten years old, I watched through the window as the collectors came for a little stray dog. I thought my heart would break. But I recovered.

Enough of this descent into sorrow. Think of the positive.

My friend will come out of hospital any day. I'll get an email, telling me she felt to lethargic to contact me. I'll understand and thank God for my good fortune. I'll laugh with my husband and we'll say how silly I was.
One thing I know: I'll use this emotion in my writing. I'm working on my tenth novel right now. After that, another plot will bubble around in my mind and fly out through my fingers. It'll be the best story yet, and all because of this concern.

P.S. I've just heard that she's all right with a diagnosis made and treatment prescribed. She's come back. Thank you God.

4 Mar 2012

Aging brings understanding

Each person's life begins with innocence.
An individual's life choices lead different ways and the expedition reveals a plethora of stories.
It's the author's job to reveal thoughts and actions so the reader can understand the human condition.
My poem below follows from childhood through seventy years of life.


I am the same now as at five years
So full of laughter, then racked with tears
I learned to keep myself steady then
The only one, on whom I'd depend.

I am the same now as at twenty
Smooth youthful beauty, there was plenty
Joyful, bountiful years of sunshine
Golden, wonderful life in my prime.

I am the same now as at thirty
Learning then to become less flirty
To care for others along with me
And cuddle the children on my knee.
(I'm the one with the bent knees)

I am the same now as at forty
Teenage children becoming naughty
But offering love no matter what
And wondering if that's all I got.

I am the same now as at fifty
Adjusting to become less thrifty
The world expanding as I travelled
Observing, as loose ends unravelled

I am the same now as at sixty 
Then things started to become tricky
Gone the elasticity of youth
Replaced by maturity of truth.


I can't pretend I don't regret the aging of my body. That's probably vanity, although I'm sure everyone feels the same. Yet, I'm privileged in so many ways.
Health, which I attribute to genetics and good living habits.
Freedom from hunger, when so many in the world have no such rights.
Long life, which continues in harmony with my loving husband, who takes great pleasure in creating culinary masterpieces, and considers cleaning up to be his duty.
Experience--joy, regret, pain, sorrow, (losing a son, followed twenty years later by a daughter), coping alone, finding a partner, travelling all over the world, visiting Jesus Christ's birthplace, Egypt with it's pyramids and museum exhibiting King Tut's treasure, Caribbean paradise, the ancient monoliths in England.
In each different era:
Life in The Fifties. Rock and Roll, realizing what life offered and exploring everything safe.
Life in The Sixties. I watched freedom explode in the world while I nursed babies and considered their future.
Life in The Seventies. Our family unit of father, mother and three children explored alternate ways of living from a large caravan pulled by a 4WD all over Australia.
Life in The Eighties. Thrust into the world of Glam Rock and big shoulder pads, I left Australia and travelled alone to England, where I met my present husband and reside now.
Life in The Nineties. Working at Elstree Film Studios and seeing an artistic side of life.
Life in The Two Thousands. A cruise to the Caribbean followed by retirement.
So many stories.