Monthly archives

Graduation Dog Makes Me Happy

This is Graduation Dog. He graduated from Harvard Law today. Isn’t he lovely? His mother wore pearls and a purple hat with blue flowers on it to the ceremony and everyone told her that she looked magnificent. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of Graduation Dog’s life. He plans to live it well. He plans to spend his time working at Legal Aid helping people who have been oppressed by “the system”. He plans to spend his spare time rescuing kittens from trees and serving soup to the homeless.

Good on you, Graduation Dog.

You are awesome.

Monthly archives

When Thinking Becomes Doing

My brain has been driving me crazy my whole life. I have one of those insufferable minds that is in constant motion, always working on some sort of thought whether I am conscious of it or not. Slowly these ideas tumble around my mind and sometimes they come out neatly polished and complete, other times they remain fragmented and barely graspable.

I’ve been struggling with the barely graspable a lot lately.

Around the first half of last year I was listening to the 5fm morning show on the radio while driving my husband to work. Gareth Cliff wasn’t there that day, it was some watered down male stand-in who for some unfathomable reason had chosen the topic of “things you would never eat”.  People called in with their answers to what they would never eat and a vague vegetarian pattern started developing. The conversation was dull and boring and not something that would normally hold my attention, until the female co-host remarked “what’s the point?” As in what is the point of not eating meat if everyone else just carries on eating meat anyway. Somehow this segued into what the point of every doing anything good was as she didn’t see that there was any use in any of it.

That idea has been pissing me off ever since.

Because that’s the whole problem with the entire world, isn’t it? Nothing counts. We are somehow made to believe that unless you do some major grandiose and self-sacrificing thing, that nothing you do actually does matter. I do it myself – and I’m pretty sure you do too.

Consider this:

I have a vegan friend who is especially radical in her ways. Now I admire her so much and her passion for her way of life is absolutely incredible. She uses and consumes absolutely no animal-related products whatsoever. She uses nothing tested on animals. She keeps herself informed of such things. And she is vocal as hell about it. If you watch her Facebook Timeline not a day goes by without several posts on animal cruelty. She is die hard when it comes to this and I cannot help but look up to her for it.

I have another friend who is trying to live as greenly as possible. She does the usuals of course – recycling, solar powered geysers, living off her garden, free range chickens etc. She is constantly looking for the next step to take – many of them even seem outright insane until you allow yourself to look at her reasons. She is an absolute inspiration in the way she lives.

But what happens when we are faced with such people? Immediately our brains go “but I can’t do that!” Never do we consider that it is possible that this inspiring life we look up to got that way by taking one small step and then adding another and another. Instead we look at the end result which seems an impossibility for our lives and so we do nothing. Suddenly the little bit of glass recycling that you do now and then doesn’t count. Suddenly nothing matters because it doesn’t compare to the largeness of someone else’s contribution. I can’t do that. I might as well not bother with anything. Sound familiar? Sure it does…

The thing is…it really isn’t like that. The little things DO count!  And I think most of us know and believe that if every person was brave enough to take all the little things seriously then a whole bunch of little things could very well be responsible for a change in the world. Naive? Perhaps. Impossible? Nothing is impossible…

I want to start. I want to start being one of those people who cares about the little things instead of being intimidated by the big things. Big things should inspire you – not drown you!  And I do believe that baby steps lead to bigger steps.

Do YOU have little things that you do? They don’t necessarily have to have anything to do with going green or with animals.

Do you do things that make the world a better place? Because I would really love it if you would share them with me…

Monthly archives

Coffee at Little Angels Winter Solstice Kindle Giveaway

Howdi  reader friends!

Winter is here on my part of the planet which means big mugs of hot chocolate, fireplaces, comforters and books!

Of course on YOUR side of the planet the sun may be shining – which simply means cocktails (ok fine…iced tea…) shady places, tank tops and…you guessed it…books!

Thankfully Kindles allow for sunshine reading as well as warm cosy fireplace reading so wherever you are I am sure a free book is always welcome!

Coffee at Little Angels is going to be free on Amazon for the next couple of days so pop on over and pick up a copy for yourself. And…as usual…please feel free to share the love with your friends.

http://www.amazon.com/Coffee-at-Little-Angels-ebook/dp/B007XDNQQC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340196156&sr=8-1&keywords=coffee+at+little+angels

Yours in love & ink!

Nadine

Monthly archives

Writing tips from Emma Coats (Pixar Animation storyboard artist)

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Monthly archives

Winter Solstice Kindle Giveaway

Howdi  reader friends!

Winter is here on my part of the planet which means big mugs of hot chocolate, fireplaces, comforters and books!

Of course on YOUR side of the planet the sun may be shining – which simply means cocktails (ok fine…iced tea…) shady places, tank tops and…you guessed it…books!

Thankfully Kindles allow for sunshine reading as well as warm cosy fireplace reading so wherever you are I am sure a free book is always welcome!

Coffee at Little Angels is going to be free on Amazon for the next couple of days so pop on over and pick up a copy for yourself. And…as usual…please feel free to share the love with your friends.

http://www.amazon.com/Coffee-at-Little-Angels-ebook/dp/B007XDNQQC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340196156&sr=8-1&keywords=coffee+at+little+angels

Yours in love & ink!

Nadine

Monthly archives

Stuck in my head today & I might be slowly breaking

Monthly archives

Gaiman’s Guide to Surviving the Freelance World

Monthly archives

PROMO POST: Infinite Sacrifice ~ L.E. Waters

 

 

Title: Infinite Sacrifice

Author: L.E. Waters

Genre: Fantasy, Historical fiction, Reincarnation Fantasy

Publisher:RockCastle Publishing

Ebook

Pages: 240

 

Book Description:

 

“Maya’s shocked to discover it’s not the heaven she imagined; in fact, a life of adventure begins the moment you die.

(more…)

Monthly archives

So…what I wanted to do… ~ by Lana Breedt

After watching Neil Gaiman’s Keynote Address, which I suppose was meant to be encouraging, (and it really, really was…well, kind of) the following things ran through my head:

I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I suppose this is a teenager-writing-final-exams statement, but really; I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. Gaiman suggested you picture your goal(s) as something far-far away (he did not realise how far!) and work your way towards it. When you come across opportunities you have doubts about, think about your destination and ask yourself: Is this taking me towards that?

Great in concept, but how do you decide what to put there, far-far away on some distant misty mountain guarded by dragons and witches which might eventually turn out to be a volcano spitting fire and shit? So I asked myself again: “what do I want to do with my life?” Frankly, at that particular moment, I wanted to kill myself. I need help.

It is always so easy playing pretend when you lie down on your back on fresh-cut grass thinking about being an illusionist in a circus, or a plastic surgeon who fixes the not-so-precious or anything else. Maybe an astronaut. Maybe just a person sitting in the corner of a dusty room making things pretty…

 

Yeah. Maybe just that.

Monthly archives

What do you want to do?

Following the Neil Gaiman Video I asked my fellow writers to start writing down all the things they would like to do. This particular task is something that could go on forever…but something Gaiman said in his speech just grabbed me. He said that when he was about fifteen years old he wrote a list of the things he wanted to do and every time he finished something on that list he would just go onto the next one. I loved that idea. Far too simple to be profound surely…but is it?

I started to write down the things I wanted to do. I wrote down the titled of books that I have ideas for. I wrote down the children’s books that I have started but not completed. I wrote down articles and think pieces that I would like to write. I wrote down the poetry collaboration that I want to do.

And you know what? That is one long list! I’m not even kidding! There is a page full of articles and another page of book titles. TITLES!!! I just need to write the books…

So?

So write it down. All those things that you have wanted to do. Those things you want to do “later”. Write them down. Write them down today and think about them. Because on Thursday we are going to start doing them…

Monthly archives

Neil Gaiman’s Keynote Address

I have admired Neil Gaiman for a while. There is something about the diversity of this man’s career that just makes me in awe of him. I love that he thinks being a writer is about sleeping late and travelling the world. And I love his face. I love his voice. I love his aura. I look at him and instinctively I know that this is a good man. And goodness is such a beautiful quality. I admit that I have not read everything he has ever written. What I have read I have enjoyed. I loved Stardust and Mirrormask. I adored The day I Sold My Dad for Two Goldfish. And though I have not experienced his entire body of work I admire what there is of it. I am not a die-hard fan, no. I do not aspire to write like he does or to mirror his career. I appreciate his work, even love some of it,, but his work is not why I love him.  I love him for his work ethic. I saw this video a little while ago (which I have subsequently showed to the writer’s club) and I fell in love with him just a little more.

 

 

(more…)

Monthly archives

The Wishing Well ~ Shannon Glen

The Wishing Well (Seamus and the Leprechaun, #1)The Wishing Well by Shannon Glenn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cute-as-a-button story about a poor kid and a leprechaun. A nice short length for kids who struggle to read longer books. I will definitely pass this one on to my stepkids. The only thing I’m not nuts about is the cover which I think is a bit too busy.

View all my reviews