May 21, 2013
We don’t often write or quote poetry here, but Burn’s poem struck a chord with me, especially since I had to battle silverfishes in my previous apartment. I’d freak out each time I saw one, thinking I’d wake up the next morning and half my book collection would be eaten… which is ridiculous, of course, although my imagination has a life of its own. Anyway, here is the poem titled The Book-Worms:
Through and through the inspired leaves,
Ye maggots, make your windings;
But, oh! respect his lordship’s taste,
And spare his golden bindings.
May 16, 2013
My writing group asked: Can you perhaps submit something for next week?
I know I had a short story on my computer that I thought was ready to be read by others. So I said yes. This morning I figured it might be wise to read it again before submitting it. The problem was, however, that I had no clue what name I had given the file. I had written it in a single session, and didn’t looked at it anymore.
After opening my Short Stories file, I had to conclude it wasn’t in there. How odd. Since the title was a mystery to me, I searched on the date it was last modified. I knew I wrote it after hearing some unfortunate news at the end of March. So any file older than March couldn’t be the one I was looking for. An eerie idea was slowly taking hold of me. What if I never saved the story?
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May 7, 2013
Vanessa’s post ‘A Different Perspective‘ got me thinking about my own process when writing the opposite sex. Although I often prefer to stick more to the male characters (I do understand them better), I also have to work with female characters. I’d start off by saying its fun. Lots of fun. And difficult. Capturing the essence of a female character’s emotion in a specific scene due to certain circumstances, and letting that emotion play itself out through action has always been challenging.
One of the things I often do first, is to compare myself (what I think I would feel and do) to that of the female character. Equipped with this basic knowledge, I would conjure up images either from personal observations or characters in other texts (often from the literary spectrum) and then apply the different possible actions the female character can take. The next step is to analyze what fits this particular character’s personality so as to establish credibility and consistency. Despite this somewhat methodical approach, I do get it wrong more often than not.
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May 3, 2013
The first time I made a list of all the things that had to be organised for a wedding, my initial thought was ‘that’s it?’ I knew that this couldn’t be true. And joy, was I proven right. Luckily, I had two very helpful wedding MCs who helped me out. One of the last things I did was thinking about the opening dance. Now I don’t mind dancing, but it isn’t something you’ll find in my top 3 past-time activities.
So here we were sitting opposite the dance teacher. And the first question he asked was about our song. Well we don’t really have a special song. We do have one that we both like, but we’re not going to use it. Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light is just not the most appropriate song for a wedding. (See the lyrics. I kind of liked the idea, but husband-to-be thought otherwise.) It soon became apparent that we were very difficult people music-wise. We like all kinds of music, from classical (he doesn’t) to death metal, but nothing really in particular.
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April 28, 2013
Whispers is a novellette I stumbled upon in a second hand bookstore, in a town I’d been to only that one time. Going straight to the publication details of the book, I saw it was by a Kenyan author, and as I’m always interested in African writers, I bought it. Besides, who can refuse an interesting book for only 50 cents?
Muli wa Kyendo has apparently written several more books and plays, which I’ll be trying to hunt for in the future. It’s always a pleasure to read a writer’s work which makes you want more.
Josephine is a young woman trying to make ends meet in Nairobi, where she works as a secretary. When her boss continuously encourages her to “visit” his place and she continuously ignores or refuses, he fires her. Without a job, she must also decide whether she loves Musyoki or Joseph as all her friends, including her best friend Agens, are off getting married.
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April 26, 2013
My partner and I decided it would be nice to go away for a couple of days after the wedding. While Rome is romantic just like Paris, my Italian is non-existant and I can hardly remember anything from French. And the idea of the next couple of days is that we can relax. So I really don’t want to be bothered with translating what the menu says or what the guy behind the reception is desperately trying to explain.
London is the next possible destination. I love London; it’s becoming a tradition to go there at least once a year. But I want to be somewhere I’ve never been before. (I’m not high-demanding or anything.) So we decided to go to Dublin. And while browsing through the must sees and must dos of Dublin, my significant other discovered there is going to be a Magic tournament the weekend we’ll arrive. So he’s been teasing me that he’ll spend the Sunday playing games.
Seconds later, we came across the writers museum and I figured that while he’s playing games, I’ll spend my day at the museum. I don’t think it’s the reaction he had in mind. It’s very unlikely he’ll be playing Magic; however, I’m pretty convinced we’ll visit the Dublin Writers Museum.
April 23, 2013
How do you know when a sentence is correct or not? As any native speaker of any language will tell you: it’s correct because it feels right. Of course, if you’ve studied linguistics, you might reply with something a little more high brow. You might refer to the “correct” or “incorrectness” of the grammar/wording/syntax/pronunciation/etc.
Now, assuming that you aren’t a native speaker of English (for example) – but you’ve been speaking it for a long time, long enough to write creatively in it anyway – you might have that feeling of ‘rightness’. Here at Cecile’s Writers, we are for the most part ‘native’ speakers. However, discussion on the rightness or wrongness of a word or sentence construction can get heated. For example, Vanessa asked us if you travel ‘in’ or ‘on’ a plane (you can see the blog post that spurred this particular conversation), to which each of us responded yes, no and maybe. Ask a native speaker and they will probably tell you I travel ‘in’ a train or I will travel ‘on’ a train.
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