“I hadn’t been driving long when I felt what I thought was a bug fluttering around my left leg and ankle. I tried to brush it away, but it persisted. With my eyes on the road , I leaned down again to shoo it away, only to feel something much larger than an insect against my hand. Looking down, I saw the head and about 10 to 15 centimetres, of a snake. We had somehow picked up a passenger.”
‘The Biyamati Stowaway’ by Gordon Parratt, from ‘101 Kruger Tales’
A shriek came from a nearby cottage. Then we heard the crash of crockery shattering on a stone floor. A man shouted and swore in German.
Within seconds a large male baboon bounded onto the lawn in front of our cottage. He looked back a few times towards the last shouts of the angry German, then settled down on the grass. Continue reading Profiling a villain
“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The great artist in the sky is poised, pencil in hand, en train de dessiner.
He is drawing me.
Imagine the cartoon me. I’m sketchy and one-dimensional at present. I sit on a park bench along the Thames in the shade of a great plane tree. Millions of bottoms before me have sat on this very bench. Seagulls fly and cry high above me. Ducks drift past on the tide. I sit. I stare. Continue reading Lacking the creative juices
Stephen king remembers adding another rejection slip to the nail under the rafter above his tiny desk in his loft room, “Then I sat on my bed and listened to Fats sing ‘I’m Ready’. I felt pretty good, actually. When you’re still too young to shave, optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Q: Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl in the toilet?
A: Because the ‘P’ is silent.
I thought this was funny!
Where am I going with this?
The lead character in Death in Paradise (series 5:3), DI Humphrey Goodman, is a stereotypical bumbling, disheveled Englishman solving murder cases on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie.
He is lonely.
Encouragé by his islander colleagues (it’s a French island), he creates an online dating profile. That evening, having solved the crime, the murderer safely behind bars (cue the Agatha Christie formula), he is getting a lesson from his colleagues on how to talk to women. Continue reading Your first draft has permission to suck!
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Have you ever imagined telling a personal story or making a confession?
In the small hours of the night, when the seeds of the story begin to germinate, somehow the telling sounds better in your imagination. Such was the pattern of my thoughts a few nights ago, when I lay choked up with emotion and puffy-eyed, and Hubby suggested that I finally tell this story.
Deep disappointment is both difficult to carry alone and equally heavy to tell. Yes, we have told our immediate families and a couple of close friends. They have supported us in the best way they know how – sometimes helpful, at other times not so helpful, but always heartfelt. Continue reading When worlds collide: our fertility story without a happy ending … yet!
“Cords of saliva would collect on her lips; she would draw them in, then open her mouth again. Her mouth seemed to have a private existence of its own. It worked separate and apart from the rest of her, out and in, like a clam hole at low tide. Occasionally it would say, “Pt,” like some viscous substance coming to a boil.”
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Tuesday’s 1st September inspiration: a beautiful description from a novel which blew me away with its beauty at the time of reading it as a teenager, and still does. Some of my readers will know that part of the reason I write a weekly blog (occasionally more frequently) is because I want to live my life with purpose, on purpose, reflecting on life’s ups and downs and to be accountable. A little Birdie, my Hubby, my writer sister and my faith inspired me to start.
The other reason is because they say that if you want to call yourself a writer you need to write every day. Nyamazela.com accounts for 1 or 2 days a week. Continue reading 1st September
“Suppose there were a great big hollow sphere made of looking-glass and you were sitting inside. Where would it stop reflecting your face and begin reflecting your back? The more one thinks about this problem, the more puzzling it becomes.”
Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
I have been writing for many years and I’ve loved it always, and every piece must be found, formulated and pulled out of me.
I’ve written a diary or a journal most of my life – always delightful to re-read. Though generally not a daily writer, I keep coming back.
Some entries are trivial: “I broke a nail!” (1991 school diary complete with nail stuck into the diary with sticky tape).
Some entries are tentative: “How do I begin?” (2013 catching up after a few months of not picking up my journal). Continue reading Everything has a beginning