Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions and all that

The new year is almost upon us, and the resolutions are flying thick and fast. I have never been a great enthusiast of the concept, because I know, like many, that you are just fooling yourself. Promises made, and yet rarely kept for longer than January. Right? You know exactly what I mean.
Until I read an article about doing it a little differently. Instead of -- this year I will loose the 20kg that I have been promising myself for the last ten years (:-o), or going to the gym (but I hate exercise) or running the Comrades marathon (and I never even park far away from the mall entrance), what about committing yourself to something that you can do?
Like 'be a bit nicer to people' or 'tell someone about something positive that happened every week' or just maybe 'be a better friend to just one other person'? These are not impossible things and yet the impact on your life or that of someone else, can be more far reaching than you might imagine.
I have often thought that loosing that 20kg (at least) will make me a happier person, but will it really? I might be a more healthy (not a bad thing) but if I am happy now, what is that 20kg going to do for me anyway?
So here is my resolution for 2012 - I am going to chase my dream. Yeah, yeah, I know, one of those vague things that will probably only last until 31 January, right? Wrong! I have already put the wheels in motion, and this will only be the beginning.
Géra's Gift (my first novel) will soon be available, and I am not going to stop there. My dream of being a writer will take some time, but I will get there. Even if I have to strangle the muse, now and then.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Joining the Land of the Tweet

I have finally made my way towards Twitter and all because my favourite second hand book shop 'lives' there. Find me (@LinzeBrandon) or the bookshop (@TallStories) and see what we find ourselves up to in December.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Here it is! My first NaNoWriMo

I am so pleased that I managed to do this on my debut attempt. For some the word count target might have been a challenge, for me it was writing it in such a short time. It was fun, it still is since the story isn't quite finished, but seeing this certificate with my name on it, is a big thrill.
I love the last sentence where it says -- eternal bragging rights. I will definitely be bragging about this for some time to come ;-)
November isn't over yet, so I will still be writing, and uploading daily word counts, but life is slowly getting back to normal. How soon the household chores will be back to normal we will have to see.
But for now -- This butterfly is basking in the glow of my achievement.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - day 6

Well, for a writing contest pushing a word count of 50,000, I am not doing badly at all. Just reached 13500 words, and going strong. My plot just twisted itself in an unexpected direction, but not necessarily a bad one. Twists and turns in a mystery, could only add spice to the overall story.

Not letting it derail me from the main plot, a little detour might be good for the overall outcome anyway.

On to the next chapter, it is then.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

November is Upon me - help!

I attended the launch of the Pretoria area of NaNoWriMo this afternoon and it was great meeting so many new people - in the same semi-sinking, desperately coping situation of trying to get 50 000 words out in thirty days and still remain sane.
My plot outline is done - a murder mystery for a change - and I will post some of it here in my struggle to move towards that looming word count deadline.

Then again, if the struggle to find the murderer becomes too much, I could always commit the deadliest sin in creative writing - get a knight in shining armour to save the day. Yuck! Kill me before I ever stoop to that level.

So here goes my first NaNoWriMo novel - and the great lengths it will travel!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Lunch with Friends

Have you ever had the kind of week where you had the sneaky feeling that this was going to be the quiet before the storm? I am sure you can relate.

You know, the kind  where you aren't quite sure if panicking in advance or proactively seeking to prevent a crisis will be helpful in dealing with impedending disaster?

My solution is simple: have lunch.

Take the afternoon off. Join a good friend or two for a drink and a leisurely lunch. Chat about life, love and everything, and don't worry about it. My experience has shown that worrying never solved anything, and most of the time, the worrying is for nothing. The bomb will explode or it won't.

So here is my thought for today: its the weekend! Relax, enjoy. It is what I am going to do.

Monday, 17 October 2011

October Writing

Bad, bad, bad. Terribly clumsy fingers - my computer is definitely in better shape than I am. The October SUBJECT for the competition is PICTURES.

Creative Writing Competition: October Subject

With all the writing and plotting and other goings on, I completely forgot to post the SUBJECT for the October writing competition.

It is a SUBJECT month and the rules for the subject writing applies, as usual. So here goes - write anything about or with the word SHADOWS and send it to me by 15 January 2012.

So far the competition has generated some enthusiasm, but few submissions. Come on, everyone, dust the cobwebs from the creative thoughts and let the words flow ...

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Géra's Gift update

Géra's Gift is on its way to the publisher. My first novel in the series of The Grandmasters is going to see the light very soon. I will post the cover here, with a link to where it can be found online when it is ready.

I am excited to find out what the cover will look like, and can't wait to have actual copies of it in my hands. Let's hope the magic of the written word won't take too long to reach this blog.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tears

When this time comes it is often the words of others that best say what we cannot. I came across this quotation, and today it expresses the way a number of people are feeling, myself included.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.
       – Washington Irving

Monday, 19 September 2011

Start of the New Week

Weeks like this should not come very often. A colleague and a friend passed away from cancer within days of each other. Although they both were in great pain at the end, it is still hard on those of us that are left behind. One can only hold on to our faith that they have left this world for a better one -- where there is no pain, and no tears.

On a happier note: I got my camera, and I love it. It is easy to use, and produces amazing quality pictures. Just what I needed. I will post one or two here, not of the dogs as gorgeous as they are, to share with my writing. Perhaps they will inspire a new story or two, or grace the front cover of a book of mine one of these days.

Still working on a SF (science fiction) short story for a competition, titled: Hunger. I am not sure if the title will remain, but right now it is appropriate. It is a story of a genderless person who wishes to find love in a world where children can only be raised by couples of male and/or female partners. Isa, my main character, does not have much time left to find a mate and be transformed into either a male or a female. Love does arrive, but it only signals the start of the struggle. The ending is still in the making, as I have no idea if Isa becomes male or female as a result of the struggle.

Even a fictional story can surprise its creator sometimes. I do hope it will still be a good ending, irrespective of the outcome.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Writing in September

I am like a little kid waiting in anticipation for a new toy -- I bought myself a new digital camera and can't wait for it to arrive. In the meantime, of course, the next short story competition details needs to be provided, and here we go.

It is a subject competition, and this month it is SHADOWS. Rules apply as normal, and the closing date is 15 December 2011.

Happy writing, and don't forget to register for NaNoWriMo in November!
Linzé

Monday, 5 September 2011

Rockfig's Daughter

One of my all time favourite photographs taken in the Timbavati Game Reserve with a Pentax K10 digital SLR. It was awesome to be so close to such a magnificent animal and of course, the memory card in the camera was filled up with record speed. This was a photographic opportunity of a beautiful lady not seen very often.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Celebrate a new season

Summer is on its way in the southern hemisphere. Temperatures are soaring and all the layers of winter are flying --away. What a relief! Writing season is open too it seems, with NaNoWriMo on its way and www.fanstory.com also jumping onto that bandwagon.
I have already registered for NaNoWriMo, my first, and I am looking forward to it with some trepidation and a whole lot of excitement. I will be starting my seventh story during November and hopefully will be able to make the word count required. Fanstory, however, is not gong to be so lenient on the word count. Ten thousand more words than NaNo and of course, it has to follow the rules of good plotting, no jumping in just to generate the required 50,000. No, there will be a vote and reviews, and a prize on the line for the best submission.
Two competions with one effort? Sounds good, but that extra 10,000 words may seem insignificant, I mean it is only 20% more, right? That translates to an additional 333 words per day -- that is on top of the NaNo target of 1667 words per day.
Hard it will be, harder if you do Fanstory too. Well, my friend, we will fight the fight, and write the write, one word at a time.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Creative Writing Competition: August

This month there is an opening line to start your short story: The lights went off.
Start your short story with this opening line exactly as is. There is no limit on the subject matter, as long as this opening line is used.
Closing date for this month's competition is 15 November 2011. If you are planning on taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, I suggest that you submit your story before end of October.
And lastly -- we will need a judge for the August competition.
Happy writing, Linzé

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The photograph of the Harvard is courtesy of Francois Venter.

This old veteran of the war still has some serious mojo as it dances through the skies above the city. While it is true that its fighting days are over, just seeing it fly and hearing the drone of the engines, makes for some wonderful inspiration. If freedom had a sound, it would sound like that of an aircraft engine. Freedom from the gravitational pull that keeps us anchored to the earth we inhabit; freedom from our daily struggle that presses us even closer to the ground.

To fly -- the temporary release from the ties of our existence -- freedom.





Beauty of Yesteryear

Harvard Aircraft Propeller and Engine

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Teamwork

As writers we have a fairly 'alone' kind of occupation, unless you collaborate with someone on a book. Not the realm of the still-waiting-to-be-published author. That being said, in my normal day job teamwork forms the essence of what I do as a project manager. It usually takes a crisis or a problem for that teamwork to be visible in its essential human context. I saw this today when a colleague received some really distressing news and how everyone just jumped in ... to get him out the door.
Not because we were nasty, quite the opposite. We understood his need to be with his sick parent, so we quickly sorted out the urgent things that needed to be done, while he could go and be where he should -- at the bedside of the patient.
That is the essence of people pulling together, putting differences and difficulties aside, to do what must be done -- getting the job out the door.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Writer's Competition August

July has come and gone, and the August competition is coming up in two weeks time.  It will be an opening line competition -- and I have already got the line that your piece has to start with. Nope, not going to give it away -- not yet. It will be made public on 15 August. So watch this space, or sign up to remind yourself to come and have a look on the 15th.

For those who decided to take part in the July competition, you still have until 15 October to submit your short story.

Happy writing!

Friday, 15 July 2011

July Competition: Subject

The subject for the writing competition is FRECKLES. Be creative! You may use the word at least once, but not more than three times in the story.

Competition closes on 15 October 2011. Please forward your entries to me, in time, so that you won't miss the deadline.

Happy writing!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Subscription

The subscription feeds at the bottom should now be operational - my apologies for those of you who had tried before when it wasn't activated.

July Competition

After a few thought provoking minutes, inspiration struck and I have come up with the subject for the writing competition that starts tomorrow. I will post it here for all who wants to write along.

Remember that we will also need people to act as independent judges. If you are busy with another writing project and feel up to reading some new and good stuff, give us a shout and then you can be a judge for the July competition.

Don't forget to visit tomorrow to start taking part in this exciting project!

Linzé

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Creative Writing Competition

The first installment of the competition will launch on 15 July 2011, with a short story on a subject to be released then. The story can be in any genre, with any POV, as long as it complies with the submission requirements of language, format and layout. The objective is for novice writers to write towards a deadline with a prescribed subject or opening line. If you are interested in taking part, and you are not part of the RHS Feb 2011 Writers group, please send me an email and I will forward the rules to you.

We also need judges to help out - please let me know if you want to judge the first installment instead of taking part in the writing section.

Remember 15 July 2011 - subscribe so that you can receive email notification of the start of the project and the subject.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Articles from all over the world

www.viewshound.com
Look at this site for interesting views from people from anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Géra's Gift

The story of two magicians who have to live through a war with another planet, and then figure out a way to be together despite the rules of their order.

It is in process of final editing before submission, so I will post a chapter (or two) here as a sneak preview of what is to come.

Géra's Gift

A paranormal romance novel about two magicians who have to overcome the rules of their order and live through a war with another planet to be together.

The novel is in process of final editing before submission, and I will post a chapter (or two) here for a sneak preview of what is to come!