Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Right to Bear Arms

Another school shooting, another senseless tragedy....to quote  Peter Seeger who asked in his  1950s song,  Where have all the Flowers Gone?– "When will they ever learn?"
The flowers that have now gone in this latest carnage are not soldiers lost in war. They are the flowers of childhood, children whose  lives have been wasted, given up to the God of the gun lovers. The mourners are not young women who have lost lovers. They are parents  who thought their children were safe in school, who should have been safe.
The  innocence of childhood has gone from the lives of the children who witnessed this outcome of everyone's right to bear arms. 
In eight days the people who defend their right to bear arms will attend their churches to celebrate Christ 's birth and pray for peace that will never come in a society with an enemy within. God's own country?   Perhaps  God has left the building.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Stephen King Said

I don’t want to plagiarise the master but the gist of what he said was – if he didn't know how the book he was writing would end then he was sure the reader wouldn't know either.
Thank you Mr King.  Having had your book “On Writing” on my book shelf since the time it was released here in Oz, it sure has taken me a long time to follow your advice.
I am usually a plotter and a planner. But having decided in October to write a book in a month in November, I made a change.  
With a ‘what if’ that gave me a problem and a cast of characters, I set out with only a mud map and no destination in sight. My task was to write a 60000 words in the month, 2000 words a day,  to make the writing as good as it could be given the deadline, to be aware of structure and to carry along all the threads of the story and not leave smoking guns lying about.
I made the 60000 word deadline but the destination is still not in sight. More writing has to be done.  Much editing and rewriting is required. Much research is needed. I guess I will kill a lot of ‘darlings’ before it is finished. 
But what an enriching experience to find that what began as a crime fiction story became a multi-layered novel about the dynamics of friendship along with the mystery, crime and romance-I hadn't anticipated the latter but it evolved.
It took a lot of self control to not look back, not to read past chapters. No time for that. Resisting  the urge to print the day’s work, to read and edit it, broke a lot of my entrenched writing habits.
Magic happened and I learned a lot about motivation, cause and effect and all the other aspects of writing we read about but maybe don’t give enough attention. It was a great experience and I recommend it to any one who wants to lift their writing to another level.