Monthly Archives: February 2014

Gothic Magic

I have an interest in gothic literature. I will post about the gothic in future posts. There is something about crumbling houses, dark family secrets and gloomy castles, that I love. I have set part of my WIP (work-in-progess) in a castle. Gothic genres are often set in Australia in the twentieth century and beyond.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón was born in Barcelona and is the author of The Shadow of the Wind, the most successful novel in Spanish publishing history after Don Quixote. Translated into more than 35 languages, it has been read by over 12m readers worldwide.

Mention the gothic and many readers will probably picture gloomy castles and an assortment of sinister Victoriana. However, the truth is that the gothic genre has continued to flourish and evolve since the days of Bram Stoker, producing some of its most interesting and accomplished examples in the 20th century – in literature, film and beyond. Ours is a time with a dark heart, ripe for the noir, the gothic and the baroque.

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My Writing Journey

I have had a good writing week. I now have twelve chapters and it feels right. The writing is good in some chapters in other chapters I need to make them sing. I had advice from a writer I met recently and it has helped to make the story flow.
Needless to say I worked hard for most days.
Last night I went to the city of Melbourne with a new friend, she is an art curator and
explained  the history of White Night. It started in Paris, which is my
favourite city, and France of course is which is a country I love, well perhaps Egypt comes first! We parked near The Willows a restaurant in St Kilda Road and caught a tram to the city. We saw
wonderful light shows and our beautiful buildings were lit up and magical.
There were about half a million people and the going was tough to get through the crowds.
But the feeling and togetherness of the crowds of people made up for this. I spoke to my
daughter this morning, told her I didn’t get home until after three this morning, and
she too had been at White Night with her family, although I didn’t know they had
decided to go. Her comments were exactly how I felt about a wonderful community event.
I was very lucky to be with someone who knows so much about art and is an artist
and sculptor and a teacher and curator of art. A good night but I’m sorry,
because of the crowds (well-behaved and friendly) we didn’t get to see as many
of the art exhibits as we wished.
My son is off to Paris in June, to Spain and other climes! My small granddaughter’s
favourite place (although she has never visited) is Paris, she tells me she feels a connection.
Perhaps her uncle will bring her home a gift from Paris, and also something
for her brothers. My oldest grandchild is now taller than his mother, a handsome
and engaging young man, and his brother is the light of everyone’s life! How blessed
we are with family and good friends. Remember, today tell someone you love them,
and friends of the heart are family too!
Enjoy your writing week, best, Elise.

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My Writing Journey

I continue the re-writing of my WIP (work-in-progress) and some chapters are now second or third drafts.  I have decided to cut my  point of view characters from four to three or possibly two. I will let you know how I go with it next week.  My novel follows a duel narrative structure which gives texture and depth to my story, ensuring the reader never tires of the one storyline. Both story strands are written in the third person but there is always the option to write one strand in the first person although it is not something I plan to do. I haven’t heard from the editor who has my manuscript From the Heart.

Have you read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran? AE George Russell wrote:

‘I do not think the East has spoken with so beautiful a voice since the Gitanjali of Rabindranath Tagore as in The Prophet of Kahlil Gibran, who is artist as well as poet. I have not seen for years a book more beautiful in its thought, and when reading it I understand better than ever before what Socrates meant in the Banquet when he spoke of the beauty of thought which exercises a deeper enchantment than the beauty of form . . . I could quote from every page, and from every page I could find some beautiful and liberating thought.’

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

(Part of the verse on marriage)

Have a good writing week,  Elise

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My Writing Journey

This past week, I spent some days writing, some days editing and some days with my family. I have made progress since I printed out the whole manuscript of my WIP (work-in-progress) of course not as much as I would have liked. I’ve had no word from the publisher who is going to read ‘My from the Heart’ manuscript but I’m confident she will get to it eventually.

Cliche’s to avoid in writing:   A single tear that runs or trickles down someone’s face, the character who is ‘worried sick’,  anytime the ’chips are down’, anything ‘on the brink’ of something, anyone who ‘takes pride’, is ‘bored to tears’, or anything/anyone who ‘lurks’ , I once wrote about shadows lurking in the corner of a room!

There are hundreds of cliches and because a lot of them are from the twentieth century or earlier they sound old-fashioned; it’s best to avoid them in dialogue, although one or two might add colour and ‘set the scene’.

Enjoy your writing week,

Elise

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Beauty and the Beast

I love fairytales (I do not split the word fairytale in two). On my bookshelf, from my childhood library, is a first edition (1949) copy of The Little Good People, Folk Tales of Ireland, by Kathleen Foyle, with illustrations by Peter Fraser. An excerpt from the preface:

‘You come on it in the cool of dawning, or at nightfall when the bats are flying and the old cummers lay by their knitting – Tir nan Og, fair land of promise and gathered dreams. For some it lied no farther than the bend of the road; and there are others who must retrace their steps to glimpse it with longing through a weariness of years. But all travel by way of a sleeping wood.’

‘It is but a step from the Sleeping Wood to the magic glades of Tir nan Og, the Irish fairyland, where glad hearts find eternal youth, and where the Little Good People stay safe and sheltered.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=knOJffdGDdg         (copy and paste the link to your search engine)

This is the trailer for  Beauty and the Beast a film on my ’to see list’. I love the richness of the story and the visual images of glowing costumes and scenery. I want my blog to be rich and colourful and filled with all things French. With Paris and Gothic and mystery and literature and the 19th century; this video is all these things. I have always felt a connection to France. Of course, my own wonderful homeland of Australia: the bush and the  Indian Ocean coastline where I have a house in Western Australia (Tim Winton country)  is the true country of my heart.

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Can’t read, Won’t read!

Ekaterina Botziou is a friend. This article is about people in the UK where she lives. Ekaterina is funny and wise and beautiful and comes from the heart.

Ekaterina's Greek Expectations

In the UK, it has been claimed that one in five adults struggle to read and write – that’s 8 million adults who are deemed functionally illiterate with an apparent reading score below level 2  (a report by the Sutton Trust). Worse still, that’s 8 million adults who can’t read or enjoy my blog! Something must be done!

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Anais Nin and Henry Miller

Lovers and always friends

“Anaïs, I don’t know how to tell you what I feel. I live in perpetual expectancy. You come and the time slips away in a dream. It is only when you go that I realize completely your presence. And then it is too late. You numb me.
This is a little drunken, Anaïs. I am saying to myself “here is the first woman with whom I can be absolutely sincere.” I remember your saying – “you could fool me, I wouldn’t know it.” When I walk along the boulevards and think of that. I can’t fool you – and yet I would like to. I mean that I can never be absolutely loyal – it’s not in me. I love women, or life, too much – which it is, I don’t know. But laugh, Anaïs, I love to hear you laugh. You are the only woman who has a sense of gaiety, a wise tolerance – no more, you seem to urge me to betray you. I love you for that.
I don’t know what to expect of you, but it is something in the way of a miracle. I am going to demand everything of you – even the impossible, because you encourage it. You are really strong. I even like your deceit, your treachery. It seems aristocratic to me.”
Henry Miller (A Literate Passion : Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953

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