Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas again

Oops- I accidentally published the last post before I said: Merry Christmas, everyone and may 2011 bring you all all the good things you and yours wish for. Merry Christmas.

Christmas Linkage

A few links I enjoyed, two from favourite blogs and the other via Tehani.

From John Scalzi's blog this.

From Hyperbole and a Half this

And this.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Dove Disaster

I found a nearly fledged dead chick on the ground under the verandah nest yesterday morning and the little hen, who has been sitting very diligently, was not on the nest. When I climbed up I discovered another dead chick in the nest. I have no idea what happened but we decided that perhaps it would be a good thing to remove the nest completely since the dead chick was entangled in it. So now we have an empty plastic crate, less the accumulated debris of several years nesting, back up on top of the cupboard. I hope the doves will come back and rebuild because we enjoy their company. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Island Tragedy

My heart goes out to all the victims of the tragic wreck at Christmas Island - to the families and friends of those who lost their lives, to the injured, the survivors and to those who tried to save them in the appalling conditions. I cannot imagine what they went through and are still experiencing. Let us hope that the urge to make political capital out of an horrific situation is resisted by all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music and Writing

I have certain essentials for writing. They are slightly different depending on what I am writing but they nearly all centre around music. I use music partly to block out distractions but also to pull me into whatever I am writing. The novel I finished recently was written entirely to traditional Irish songs, mostly instrumentals played on the harp or panpipes, but sometimes vocal versions. The tunes varied from jigs and reels to slow sad ballads but in some way they tapped into my mood and the story I was working on. Whenever I tried to introduce some other music I would lose my rhythm and it became much harder to tell my tale. I'm now well into the sequel and still using the same music in a continuous loop on the computer. Whenever I turn it on I'm immediately transported to this imaginary world and I am ready to write.

For short stories I like variety. It ranges from musicals ( my current favourites are Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Chicago), Country & Western artists specially Johnny Cash, rock in many of its permutations from when it started to the present day, popular music, Scottish traditional music, bagpipes, Andean panpipes, Greek traditional music, Gregorian chants, Abba, folk ... I could go indefinitely. As you can see my taste is very wide ranging but once I have the right piece of music the story flows onto the page.

I tackle non-fiction differently. When I am working on something factual I prefer instrumental and usually opt for something quiet in the background.

Poems are the exception. They tend to come from things I feel very passionate about and I don't want the distraction of other ideas or anything that interferes with rhythm so I tend to not have music on at all when I'm working on a poem.

Thinking about this has made me wonder about how other writers work. I'd love to hear about what are the essential things for you.

BTW I have a rousing version of The Boys of Killibegs on right now.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

This is Just...

Well see for yourself.

Found on Hoyden About Town I give you this. I have no words to describe it but I just had to pass it on. For the best effect view it full screen - and don't let the slow start and the shaky camera work put you off. It gets better.

Whatever did we do without the internet.