Tag Archives: Writer

#WritersWednesday: the Secret Space, Near You

” But in the end we talked all night. Every story has a time to be told, I convinced her. Otherwise you’ll be forever a prisoner to the secret inside you.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart 

Alone She longed to see him, to hold him as she used to. But he was no longer there, so she looked in other places. No-one can disappear forever, without trace… She tried to convince herself.

He must be somewhere, perhaps still looking after me, perhaps watching our place, smiling at me? Days after days she waited, searching, listening, expecting a sound, his footsteps, his voice. His voice: what would she have given to hear his voice?

One day she decided to go to the little town, the place of his childhood. It was a long journey. She had prepared herself, before entering the small cemetery. All soldiers there. Once they had visited, together, in the heart of an icy winter. She went to the grave.

Alone she stood. The grey stone held her gaze.

Daily Prompt: Ebb and Flow #amwriting

Our blogs morph over time, as interests shift and life happens. Write a post for your blog — but three years in the future.

September 28, 2016

Sunset over the North Downs The failure of my first book did not surprise me: it was expected, and I was prepared for it. Then there was the second attempt, in a very different register, and the success of that left me speechless for weeks. I owe much to my editor and agent. I owe much to the followers of this blog who kept visiting at a time when the writer in learning was at his lowest… Of course I owe much to my readers, who have come back for more…

Above all I owe it to you: without your decision to go, to change your life, and therefore mine, it would not have happen, I would not have found enough rage in me to write that second novel, to write in a way that had such appeal to people. But now I am wondering. The book of life and happiness failed, the book of despair, betrayal, death and desolation succeeded.

What should I conclude?

Sisyphus47:

From the very roots…

Originally posted on Adventures In American Writing:

The Frontiers of the boundless future,

” I am writing a manifesto and I want nothing, yet I say certain things, and I am against manifestoes as a matter of principles, as I am also against principles…

I write this manifesto to show that one may perform opposed actions together, in a single fresh respiration.

I am against action and for continual contradiction, for affirmation also, I am neither for nor against and I do not explain for I hate good sense….

There is a literature which does not reach the voracious mass. The work of creators, sprung from a real necessity on the part of the author, and for himself. Consciousness of a supreme egotism where the stars waste away…

Each page must explode, either with the profoundly serious and heavy, the whirlwind, the dizziness, the new, the eternal, with the overwhelming hoax, with an enthusiasm for principles or with…

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#BlogMeMaybe: May 3 – May I tell you something about someone else? Daphnée and Sarah

 I want to tell you today about two people I care very much for. I have known them for a while, indeed, they are close friends. You may have met them already there. Writing this makes be smile.

But I’ll let one of them, Daphnée, tell you, herself, how she met the other. So it goes…

D: I am  a writer, and a successful one at that. I am also deaf and mute, from birth. This does not affect my writing, all the opposite.  I needed a translator, for a novel that was so successful that publishing houses were pushing my own publisher to let them translate and publish elsewhere, for a lot of money.  However I had retained the rights for other countries and wanted to keep my work as mine.

So I did some research, and advertised. 

My ad said: “ Published and successful deaf-mute writer seeks an independent, proven and qualified translator, from English into at least three EU languages, as well as Russian and Japanese. Please reply to xxx.”

And Sarah replied, one of a few dozen replies I received. But hers was special. She said:

S: I am an experienced translator into four European languages (German, French, Dutch and Italian), and Russian and Japanese. I’d love to work with you. I must tell you that I am paraplegic from birth, and work mainly online. However I am prepared to meet you in town, if you wish, but please make sure you chose a place suitable for my chair.

I know how to talk to you.”

I thought about the last remark, and concluded Sarah knew sign language. I thought it was rather sweet of her to say that. Her credentials were perfect. Sarah mailed me a picture of her as well. I looked at it, hesitating, somehow moved by it. Her red hair came out of the photo, framing a beautiful elvin face, with a smile, well, explosive, lighting her delicate features. That photo went straight to my heart. I replied, and attached my own pic, that of a tall athletic black woman, who could have been a model. I said I wanted to meet, and gave her a date, and the address of a wheelchair friendly bar in London.

 On the day, I was sitting there, the place was already busy and, I assume, noisy. I ignored the usual show of males parading and approaching. I was wearing my badge: “F***off I’m mute”. Then I saw her, she was wheeling herself into that place, gracefully, and I realised that the bar had fallen silent. All eyes were turned to her. She was exquisitely beautiful, in a way that only exists in dream, or in the mind of a writer. I stood up, went to her, greeted her in signs, she smiled, replied, and as she spoke I read her gorgeous lips, my heart beating the chamade, and I helped her to my table. We looked at each other, silent for long seconds. We talked about the book, then ourselves, then were silent again, just absorbing the pleasure of each other’s presence. We talked again about ourselves. Our hands touched, ever so lightly. Then she signed:

“ You are how I imagined you would be. I know this is a professional interview, and I am at risk of failing. I am just very emotional, and you are so impressive.”

She succeeded as you already know. Ever since, we have been working together, and she’s of course much more for me now. As I am for her.

Sisyphus47:

Congratulations Joanne!

Originally posted on Joanne Phillips:

Today I feel like a real author – and I’m one important step closer to publishing my novel. Can’t Live Without has just been sent off to the proofreader – yippee!

I’ve been a little quiet this week as I’ve been working hard to get it ready in time. I’m so excited I can barely sit still now, and before I do anything else I just want to say a really big thank you to all my wonderful beta-readers – that’s You! Thanks for all the comments, all the advice and support, and a special thank you to Emma and Bev. The book would not be as great as it is now without all your comments.

So, what next? This week I have a post coming about ISBNs – which books need them, and how many you need (you might be surprised) – and a rant about free ebooks. So…

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#AtoZChallenge: April 16 – N is for Names

Names
© Eric Rosoman

Names talk to us, readers and writers, dreamers, believers, lovers, children’s names, characters names, book titles, cities names, river names: the Thames, the Seine, the Danube, the Mekong… Prague, Berlin, Barcelona, New-York, London, Paris, Sydney, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Oslo… Country names, names that evoke encounters, special moments, Chicago, Casablanca, Rome, Venice, Clichy (of Jours Heureux…), love, or misery.

But also names that evoke wars, ancient and modern: Troy, Sparta, Carthage, Dunkirk, Huè, Saïgon, Fallujah, Nagasaki, Waterloo, Stalingrad, Guadalcanal…

Our lives, dreams and nightmares are festooned with names of places and of human beings we adore, may never see or meet, or that we would rather forget.

#AtoZChallenge: April 14 – M is for Masculus

Building where Stendhal dictated "la Char...
Building where Stendhal dictated "la Chartreuse de Parme" in 1839 : 8, rue de Caumartin, 9th arrond. Français : Immeuble où Stendhal a dicté "la Chartreuse de Parme" en 1839 : 8, rue de Caumartin, 9e arr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

masculus, mascula, masculum: male/masculine, proper to males; manly/virile

Reflecting on male characters… What influences us now in the development of a character? For a fiction writer the credibility of a character is important is it not? At least for the sort of fiction this writer fancies doing: fantastic maybe, but still anchored in real life. The speculation is about circumstances and events: those can be extraordinary, once in a decade, once in a century, or even more far-fetched. But good fantastic arises from the ordinary. And the characters must be credible. It is about you, reader, ultimately, you are the central character.  But I am diverging.

If you are male, a male reader, what do you expect from a male character? And what if you are a female reader? What makes an attractive male character you may be tempted, or, better still, compelled, to identify with? And how has this evolved over time, say, since Stendhal wrote “La Chartreuse de Parme”? For example, James Bond belonged to the fantasy world of Ian Fleming, and probably drew more than one trait from the rat bag of more or less secret agents he must have known in the 40’s-50’s. But was Bond credible? Maybe he was for contemporary readers. How about Hiro Protagonist in Snow Crash (1992)? Can you believe in a sword-fighter/hacker/pizza-delivery-boy? But few readers would really believe in or identify with those characters surely? Did they a decade ago, twenty, thirty years ago? Strangely enough, still in Snow Crash, 15 year-old YT  – the Kourier – is, for this ageing male reader, a more realistic human being (says a lot about this writer’s prejudices?)

What has “realism” got to do with a character’s gender? I happen to believe it has, but can’t pin down why exactly. Is “credibility” be equated with “realism”? Another wild guess: the male gender – as characters and perhaps reality go – has become highly undifferentiated, so that male characters have tended to slide into stereotypes: the heart-of-steel ninja, the ageing benevolent geezer, the serial killer, the lost writer? Is there a maleness “trend” in fictional characters?