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Sunday, February 24th, 2008
6:15 pm - Too Good To Resist

Hey ladies -- I bet you all thought this site was dead!

Well -- I still occasionally go to the random word generator, but I hadn't been posting words for anyone because it seemed like we were all just busy surviving and/or writing our own things in between on-line parties and the like.

But I really like this word:


I mean, the possibilities may be endless. Gasp of pain (moonette1), gasp of pleasure, gasp of surprise. I want to see some gasp-inspired writing!

Or not.

current mood: amused

(1 burning flame | flash of inspiration)

Saturday, November 10th, 2007
9:57 pm - I did it!

I sent my story in to the magazine. *crosses fingers*

While I was on the website checking out the submission guidelines I noticed that they've announced a competition for stories (still in the less than 1000 words category) with prizes up to $100. You can see the details here.

It involves a $5 entry fee - I figure that if this story gets accepted, I'll spend my 'earnings' entering the competition.

(9 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007
10:28 pm - Reading Like A Writer

A book recommendation and a question.

I've finally started reading "Reading Like a Writer", after having it recommended to me months and months ago. Francine Prose (yes, I believe that is her real name) is an author of adult and young adult fiction and has taught creative writing and English literature for many years. The subtitle of her book is 'A Guide for People who Love Books and Those Who Want to Write Them'. Is that you? Thought so!

I'm really, really enjoying her approach to writing. It's not about how to write a bestseller, nor how to get your 2,000 words a day out, or any of those things. It's about how to craft beautiful prose.

Her first chapter is on Words. Throughout the book she draws on numerous examples of great writing to illustrate her points. Here she's looking at how word choice matters. Chapter two is on Sentences. How do you craft a sentence? How do you make it say what you want it to, clearly and precisely? How do you make it sing? Chapter three is on paragraphs. Where should you break and why? Are there rules and is it okay to break them?

What I'm loving is the high standards she has. Her students are clearly encouraged to read the great writers and aim to produce work in that mould. If Dickens does it, or Hemingway, or Austen, or Chekhov, why not you?

One section that really struck me was where she addresses the question of showing versus telling. It seems to be an accepted axiom among the writers I hang out with (especially on AW) that showing is better than telling. Writers are often criticised for telling what they could have shown.

This is what Prose says:

Needless to say, many great novelists combine "dramatic" showing with long sections of the flat-out authorial narration that is, I guess, what is meant by telling. And the warning against telling leads to a confusion that causes novice writers to think that everything should be acted out - don't tell us a character is happy, show us how she screams "yay" and jumps up and down for joy - when in fact the responsibility of showing should be assumed by the energetic and specific use of language. There are many occasions in literature in which telling is far more effective than showing.

What do you think? Can you think of examples in your own writing when you chose to tell rather than show something? Why is one sometimes better than the other?

It strikes me that often when we're critiquing each other, we do it in small sections. But in a larger work, such as a novel, there must be ups and downs in the writing as there are in the plot. Not every scene has to have the greatest possible drama squeezed out of it, does it? Wouldn't that get rather wearing to read?

And I also really like her point of letting the 'energetic and specific use of language' do the work for you. If you tell us a character is 'heart-wrenchingly happy' or 'childlike in her happiness' or 'as happy as Dobby when Harry Potter gave him a sock for Christmas', that's still telling, but isn't it often more enlightening than describing the actions/sounds/sensations of happiness?

(7 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Monday, August 20th, 2007
9:22 am - Word for the Week

Hey ladies.

As you can see, I turned that painting I liked into an Icon -- there we are, looking for inspiration.

And here's the word I got this morning:


Need some? Got some? I can't help think this is a good word for a missing moment with Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets -- it seems like he finally hits his confident stride there or something.

Too bad I'm not much at Ron/Hermione writing. But I'm writing Neville now, so confidence issues are still something echoing around in my head. Hope you have a good writing week!

(2 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Sunday, August 12th, 2007
12:07 pm - Getting Back in the Game

Hey girls, my head is a jumble of scenes right now -- none ready to write, but all forming up quite nicely.

When the computer crashed, so did all my bookmarks and saved/modified pics (like icons and potential future icons). *sigh*

Anyway, I found the link to the random word generator again -- so here's a word to think about:


Hmm... could be using abbreviations (like SPEW!) or an abbreviated story.

Also, I just love This Picture. I know Mary doesn't like herself in Black -- but in my mind it is us on the French Riviera (or someplace equally romantic and beautiful) -- all decked out in LBRs. We are hot!

Now what delicious crumpets are we looking at? Hunky wizards trying to play beach volleyball? Spartans taking a bath? Michael and Richard sailing out on the water? Tell me!

(17 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Thursday, July 26th, 2007
1:42 pm - No Way

Just for fun/curiosity, I went to my random word generator site and this is the word it gave me:


Can you believe it? The universe so likes to taunt. It seems no matter what I do, I can't stop thinking of George.

(1 burning flame | flash of inspiration)

Monday, July 9th, 2007
11:37 pm - Affirmations update

You remember when stmargarets wrote her writing affirmations and we all followed suit? Well, it seemed to me like this might be a good time to see how we're doing on those and maybe make some new ones.

Here, for your convenience are the original affirmations:

St MargaretsCollapse )

HezCollapse )

girlyswotCollapse )

moonetteCollapse )

Gabriella Du SultCollapse )

(11 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Sunday, July 8th, 2007
8:00 pm - Two Words

I can't tell you how much I miss you guys -- moving to a new area with boxes to unpack and new stores and streets to familiarize myself with -- and meeting new people, which I am terrible at in real life.

And, the International Fluff Summit anniversary came and went without me even getting a chance to e-mail Mary.

So...here are two words for your inspiration. Since I'm sure I missed at least a week somewhere in all this.




And I wrote about 60 or 70 words today on my Palm Pilot whilel breast feeding. It is slow going that way -- the baby often grabs at the Palm and I'm not exactly adept at the graffiti -- but it is the only time when I don't feel like writing is a guilty pleasure when there are boxes to unpack and I actually have stuff I want to get down now.

How to handle the end of writer's block when there are still RL obstacles between you and your writing medium?

(3 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Sunday, July 1st, 2007
10:18 pm - Who's writing?

Well, I've had 6 weeks holiday and written one chapter of my WIP plus some more Mary Sue nonsense. Not really the result I was hoping for. I need to have a big push and get The Squib finished soon. At the moment it feels like a bit more of a chore than anything else. But then, I'm not sure what else I want to be writing instead. I had a couple of ideas for original (more or less) stories, but they're going to be hard work in terms of research and plotting - not my strengths!

I need to be inspired.

So tell me, what are you writing at the moment? What would you like to be writing? And how do you make yourself press on with your writing when it's not as much fun as you'd like?

ETA: I seem to have found a technique that works brilliantly for me. Find something I really, really ought to be doing (reading dull books in the library) and let myself write instead. That way it seems much more fun and exciting automatically! I've also realised that the next chapter of The Squib is one I've been planning for so long I'd already written most of it (it was the one inspired by Gabby's word "double"!) It just needed putting together and tidying up. So now I'm on a roll...

Big thanks to moonette1 and stmargarets for their encouraging and insightful responses to my cry for help!

(11 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Sunday, June 24th, 2007
6:43 pm - Can I get it Right this Time?

Well -- I know you barely had time to consider "whoop" -- but the packers come tomorrow and although I'm not letting them touch my beloved laptop, my internet connectivity will probably be gone for at least a week. So, the good news about that is, that if I Do have time to sit at the laptop, there will be no surfing or game playing or time wasting -- just actual writing.

So -- word for the week:


Perhaps that's what these little words are? Except for Ros, who I know has used them. I think real life and the impending book release is really just freezing us all up.

Which reminds me -- if you aren't going to a party in your particular area, should we throw a virtual one on somebody's live journal? We would have to have a policy about spoilers since we are spread out time-zone wise and some people read faster than others as it is -- maybe we should have a night before the release party so we can enjoy our fictional characters without impediment one last time...or will we all be too freaked out that night?

I think I'll have most of my important boxes unpacked by then, so maybe it would be fun.

current mood: anxious

(5 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
11:42 pm - Double Ack!

Cross-posted from my journal because I can't seem to remember which journal I'm posting to.

I could just skip a week and wait two days until next Friday -- but I got a good word from the generator today:


This says quidditch or dragon riding to me...but there are definitely other reasons to whoop. Oh, and new idea since I posted this on my journal...you could make it Whoopy and go in a totally different direction.

In other writing news...came down from switching laundry around and found the baby (who started crawling Monday and pulling up to a stand today) had pulled my spiral binder off the coffee table. Lukily she only ripped on page out and I only write on one side (so I can put edits on the other side if necessary) -- but obviously I'm going to have to be more careful where I leave my notebook -- the kid loves paper.

( flash of inspiration)

Sunday, June 10th, 2007
11:37 pm - Late Again

My Admiral-free weekends make time and space stall out in my head. Since Ros at least likes having these words around, I'm going to continue.

This week see if this word inspires you:


If that's scatter-brained I think just a RL prose post will cover it for me. :P Especially considering I posted this to the wrong journal.

( flash of inspiration)

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
7:19 pm - Late this week!

OK -- I was getting ready for a work weekend (my last) and Friday kind-of got by me. So here's another word for the week...it's a good one, just screaming for Sirius or Death Eaters or something dark and threatening:


I don't have anything bubbling that specifically matches -- but I still think it's good.

I might be breaking out of my own block -- so if this isn't helping anybody else, maybe next week I'll just let you read something I've written instead of giving you a word.

Or I'll do both.

current mood: pushy

(5 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Friday, May 25th, 2007
11:25 pm - Weekly Word

I cheated -- this is the second word because I didn't like the first one. Plus, I don't have anything for last week's word, but that's only because there was like crazy no writing time this past week. I've actually been thinking a lot about Padma and George and yoga. And Parvati and Fred and flirting.

Anyway -- if you need a word to jump start this week's writing, the random word generator gave me:


Hopefully I'll post something for either this word or last week's word by this coming Friday.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

current mood: determined

(2 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Friday, May 18th, 2007
8:37 pm - I warned you!

Ok -- it's been a week, and I've seen a couple of Mary Sues out there, so at least we're still writing. I know Ros has had finals and everyone else has been busy -- this is just something I'm going to continue to throw out there so that if you don't have anything going in RL or writing, you have something to keep you connected.

Here's my "mother" submission. It was almost done on Mother's Day, but the ending had to be rewritten about six times -- still a bit off, but what's a blocked writer to do.

Bonny CharlieCollapse )

And now for this weeks word. When I went to the random word generator this morning, I got the following:


I think the cosmos is trying to tell me something, anyway. I hope I'll have something next week related to that -- please play too if you have the time.

current mood: busy

(8 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Friday, May 11th, 2007
11:31 am - Roll Call

Ok -- Mary's done with NZC and even though the rest of us have lots of real life and WIPs churning, it's time to start putting this community to use.

I was cleaning out my bookmarks yesterday when I found this:


It's a random word generator that I used to get the five words the Famiglia used for our very first exercise (remember, Annette?). I'm not suggesting anything so ambitious as that but a random word a week to play with however you see fit (drabble, scene, haiku, one sentence) just so that we know that everybody is alive and checking their computer every now and then.

So, the first word that came up when I went to the site was:


Interesting considering this coming weekend. Lots of great things -- you can show Molly or Lily being a mother, how a child feels about his/her mother, how a young woman feels about impending motherhood (or newly achieved motherhood). Or you could just write, "I love my mother."

I just hope to give this community a little boost.

I'll post another word next Friday whether you write about this one or not! :P

current mood: determined

(4 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007
9:24 pm - Congratulations!

To stmargarets who posted the final chapter of the very wonderful New Zealand Chronicles today. Such an achievement definitely deserves some fireworks. And it's a great inspiration to me to get on and finish my WIP!!

(3 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Friday, April 13th, 2007
11:07 am - Man Candy Found

So I was doing this poll on AOL about whether or not certain actors looked better bald. In a close-up of Hugh Jackman I noted that he had warm brown eyes (and let's all take a moment to reflect on his abs!)

I wonder why he didn't spring to mind earlier. Possibly because the scruffy Wolvering made me forget his more clean shaven roles such as Kate and Leopold seen here

And here's a shot from The Prestige of Hugh holding a book which would suit the "Knows Big Words and how to use them" quote for Richard (although he's a bit frowny there)...perhaps one without a book would serve... like this or this.

In any case, I think I have found my Richard...(unless he is being used as imagery for some other character?). Jeremy and Ioan, thank you for playing.

(7 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Thursday, April 12th, 2007
12:09 am - A question of point of view

Okay, so I'm struggling with the next chapter of my WIP. I know what needs to happen and I have bits of the dialogue already written. But I can't seem to work out how to make the whole thing fit together, or whose point(s) of view will work best. 

So my question to all you wise, talented, muses of fires is - how do you choose what point of view to take and why?  Do you write scenes that jump heads (I do this a lot!) and how do you make that work?

(13 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

Saturday, April 7th, 2007
11:57 am - Writing Affirmations

1. I *will* finish my WIP. Even if it is crap - it will be finished crap!

2. Something doesn't have to be perfect to be loved. (Like me. LOL)

3. I don't have to have the *right* answer for what happened in DH, I just have to have *an* answer that will fit the themes of the story I'm writing.

4. It doesn't matter if it's five chapters longer than what I originally planned - as long as it tells the story I originally planned.

What are your writing affirmations?

(20 burning flames | flash of inspiration)

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