Welcome to my blog!

Why Jacaranda you ask? In case you are reading this the other side of the world and are not sure, Jacaranda is the name of a beautiful tree, which blooms around Oct/Nov, mostly in the Eastern states of Australia. Its flowers are the most exquisite shade of blue-purple, the nearest comparison probably being hyacinth blue, so who could not be inspired to write by such a spiritual colour? When the jacarandas start to blossom, you know it's exam time, but you also know that Christmas is just around the corner. It is said that if a jacaranda flower falls on your head as you walk underneath a tree, good fortune is sure to follow, so guess who did a lot of walking under jacaranda trees! Watch this space for changing images of this lovely tree!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why use multiple narrators?

In the Advanced Practice Unit of my MA in Professional Writing, I have been researching and playing around with using multiple narrators.

So why do authors sometimes use multiple narrators? There are multiple answers.

The most common reason seems to be when it is important to obtain different characters' views on a single matter, such as in mystery or detective novels.

Another use of multiple narrators is to describe separate events that occur at the same time in different locations, rather like the usage of several split screens in some contemporary television series.

Yet another is to introduce or describe a main character from different people's perspectives.

What other reasons do you know?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sebastian Faulks

You probably all know Sebastian Faulks has just published a new novel A Week in December, which I purchased in hardback. (Faulks, MacEwan and Le Carre - still got to find that acute accent - are the only authors to whom I would accord this tribute.) I have only just started to read this book, but as usual I'm already totally engaged by and drooling over his superb writing style. There are no gimmicks, no pithy modernisms, no lazy writing, - just plain, good - supremely good writing using a good old-fashioned third person narrator, plenty of imagery, description, metaphors and similes. The writing just flows. Have a look at my website in a few days for a proper review of this novel. He's still one of the greats!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Glass harmonica

I never thought the day would come that I would feel as miffed about missing something (now that's given me the idea of creating a wonderful tongue-twister!) as I did when I somehow didn't realise that my idol John Le Carre was in town. (Now have to work out how you access an acute accent on this thing - alliteration is alive and well today!)

There has been a performance called Fractured again by Ensemble Offerings the last few days in the Great Hall of Sydney University, as part of the Sydney Festival 2010, which features a glass harmonica and other things glass and plastic.

I have never heard of a glass harmonica, but always one to be intrigued by the exotic and different, I'm spitting mad that I missed hearing this instrument, which apparently has the potential to drive people mad with its eerie tones. In a television interview, one of the players actually said the vibrations through her fingers and the resonance in her head had made her throw up!

Mind you added to the 41 degree heat today it probably would have been the final straw to drive me madder than I am.

If anyone has heard, played or knows more about this instrument or where I could next listen to one, would love to hear from you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Drafts, digitals and deletions

Have you ever lost photos on your digital camera? I am sooooo upset - I took some wonderful photos (well, with digital cameras you never really know if they're wonderful until you view them on your computer or whatever, do you?) of, amongst other places, Cambridge, in the snow. After convincing my friends that punting on the Cam in the Big Freeze at 4pm was a unique opportunity that may not occur again in our lifetime, we set off wrapped in layers of blankets, clutching hot water bottles and alternately drinking hot chocolate and mulled wine. I promised to let them have images of our adventure, but I now find that something went wrong with the camera. I've either deleted those photos of snow-clad, ancient academic spires bathed in the most exquisite light or the memory card was full.

This led me to think about our delightful tutor's advice to never delete or play with those first, raw drafts of written work without keeping a copy of them intact in their original state, as we might want to revisit them.

I was going to accompany this posting with a delightful image but the fickle finger of fate or the camera operator (moi!) has decided otherwise. Sorry!