Tuesday 5 March 2013

An Award from Sharon of Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails

I've received an award!  
Sharon of Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails has given me a Liebster Award.

Thank you Sharon! 

Sharon has written eleven questions for me to answer:

Eleven questions from me:

1. What is your favorite form of recreation?

Sleeping. When I am not working with some of my artistic or literary projects, which I love. I like to cook too.

2. What kinds of books do you read?

I read all kinds of books: non-fiction and handbooks for information. I love good 'how-to' books. I then I do read novels too. I like a good cozy mystery.

3. Why did you start blogging?  

I started blogging about my cat because I admired Daisy the Curly Cat's Blog so much. But my cat, Sara, was not as good of a fashion model as Daisy. Sara could not do the funny things that Daisy can do. I discovered that it was better for Sara and me to be ourselves as we are instead. I let Sara write about the cinema from a cats point of view, and she also showed talent as a cat-poet. (Read her poem for the letter 'M': 'I love them Mousies'.)
Sara Cat passed away (or as they say 'went over the Rainbow Bridge' a couple of weeks ago, so I may let the younger cats take over Sara's old blog. (See Sara Cat Writes

Then I started my jewellery blog, and it is now a strange mixture of crafts and writing!

3. Do you read books on an e-reader or prefer printed books?

I read printed books because I like the feel of paper. I would like to try a Kindle, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

4. Name two actors or authors you admire.  

Lars Hanson in 1919

From the past, I admire the Swedish silent film actor, Lars Hanson (1886-1965). He went to Hollywood and acted in several films until his Swedish accent put him at a disadvantage when the talkies made silent films obsolete. (But he continued his acting career in Europe.) Greta Garbo was his contemporary, but her film career continued with the talkies, as we all know. (See my post about Selma Lagerlöf first novel, Gösta Berlings Saga.)

I admire the author, Selma Lagerlöf (1858 – 1940). (see the same post.)

5. What makes you laugh?  

Oh, that's a hard question. I don't know. 

6. Which do you prefer and why: dogs or cats?

I love them both, but I have chosen to live with five cats because they are more independent and actually help each other. I don't have time to go out with a dog several times a day. But I do love dogs too.

7. When or where do you feel most creative?  

When I am well-rested, well-fed and come into a creative flow. I hate the myth of the starving artist. You work better as an artist if you are in good health. Just like any other occupation.

8. What is your favorite fast food or snack?  

I love Chinese food. Sweet and sour chicken and rice.

9. Do you have a special place you go to relax?

No. I don't have time for relaxation. I take care of the children and fall into bed!

10. Do you have a favorite comic strip?

Not right now. I don't have a newspaper subscription at this time.

11. If you could travel back in time, where would you like to go?

I would like to travel back in time to see my grandparents and father again. But I probably would not be able to take it emotionally. I would like to be able to ask them questions or just listen one more time to what they said to me, as a child, who was not listening very attentively at the time. I would like to take a tape recorder or at least paper and pencil.

Hmmm. Great story idea! Thank you Sharon! 

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Sharon Himsl
Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog hop for Wednesday March 6th, 2013


Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This is my first post for IWSG. For those who are new to my blog, let me introduce myself.  My name is Anna Nordeman, I live in Sweden and my blog is supposed to be about the craft of making jewellery. But my interest in writing has let fictional stories sneak into this blog where jewellery-tutorials should be. It went as far as me trying to write a novel in November for NaNoWriMo, but I had to quit midway.

Let's look at what happened to me in November. I wrote as much as I could, but some days I could not write at all, and I got behind. It was impossible to catch up and I felt defeated, and decided to quit. NaNo is just not for me. I need a longer time, maybe just writing one day a week, like Saturday mornings while everyone else is asleep. There is just not enough time between all the small emergencies of two school children and five cats.

Another reason I quit NaNo was that I felt that I needed more time to think and do research. And I needed a better outline. I did not feel like writing a lot of bla-ha that would be deleted later. I have something I want to say when I write my novel.

I had already started reading how-to books on novel-writing and learned two important lessons: 

First, you need to feel free when you write your first draft. Keep the door closed, as Stephen King writes in his book On Writing. You need to feel free to just get that crazy story down on paper or a paper napkin or a bakery-bag or that envelope from the tax people. Get it down and then let it cool off a time. And then look at it again and revise it. Correct the spelling and grammar as you go along. And then open the door again and let others read what you have written.

The second piece of advice that I have seen in every how to book I've read is that if something is going to be needed for something to happen in chapter seventeen, a loaded gun or a parachute, you'd better make sure that you mention it, imply it or show it, already in chapter one. 

Having learned these two lessons, my writing has improved, even if I am still a long way from my goal to finish my novel and send it off to a publisher. But I have a plan. I'll get my novel written even if I have to get up at four am everyday.

Don't get me wrong. I love my children. I would probably be a very unhappy woman if I did not have them. I'd live in an immaculately clean apartment and roll my thumbs instead of living in the creative chaos that is our home at present. My children inspire me. I thought of a good name for a character in the middle of a heated argument between my son and my daughter, between 'He started it...' and 'I won't quit until she does.' They are my life-breath, my raison d’être.

This is my first try at writing this sort of thing. Be patient. I'll catch on eventually.

(I am number 304 on the list.)

Best wishes,

First Commenter: 

Roland Yeomans



Writing in the Crosshairs  

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