Monthly Archives: January 2015

Ideas where do they come from?

The Inspiration has hit.
We’ve all read those marvellous stories that keep us tightly gripped to the story right until the end, but how does the author come up with these wonderful ideas? What makes them think of these situations and how did they discover these creative thoughts. The following is of some famous authors, with their works and how they came up with the ideas and where they were when inspiration hit them.

J.R.R. Tolkien was grading college exam papers, and when he came across a blank sheet, he wrote down the first thing that randomly popped into his mind: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” He had no idea what a hobbit was or why it lived underground, and so he set out to solve the mystery. Thus began the creation of The Hobbit.

Leo Tolstoy was said to have had a vision of an elbow and the image expanded into a melancholy woman in a ball gown, one night after dinner. The woman was so intriguing and mysterious to him that he wrote her story. Thus began the creation of Anna Karenina.

In June of 2003, Stephenie Meyer woke up from an intense dream in which two young lovers were lying together in a meadow, discussing why their love could never work. And one of them, the boy, was a vampire. Thus began the creation of Twilight.

In the case of Misery a novel by Stephen King, King describes falling asleep on an airplane and having a dream about a fan kidnapping her favourite author and holding him hostage. When he awoke, King was so anxious to capture the story of his dream that he sat at the airport and frantically wrote the first 40-50 pages of the novel.

In 1816, Mary Shelley was just eighteen years old when she spent the summer with her lover (and future husband) Percy Shelley, at Lord Byron’s estate in Switzerland. One night, as they sat around the fire, the conversation turned to the subject of reanimating human bodies using electrical currents. Shelley went to bed that night with images of corpses coming back to life, and thus grew the creation of Frankenstein’s monster.

Suzanne Collins had said this on her idea for the Hunger Games series “One night, I was lying in bed and I was very tired, and I was just sort of channel surfing on television. And, I was going through, flipping through images of reality television where there were these young people competing for a million dollars or a bachelor or whatever. And then I was flipping and I was seeing footage from the Iraq War. And these two things began to sort of fuse together in a very unsettling way, and that is when I, really, I think was the moment where I really got the idea for Katniss’s story.”

J.K. Rowling had said that the creation for Harry Potter came to her one day when she was travelling on her own on a crowded train, and the idea of a boy who was a wizard simply fell into her head.


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My Five Favourite Australian Books

As today is Australia Day, I thought today’s topic should be on Australian books. Here are my top five favourites.

1.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
the book thief
(From Goodreads) It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time

2.Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
tomorrow when the war began
(From Goodreads)When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back.

3.Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
jasper jones
(From Goodreads) Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan.
Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery.
With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.
And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse.
In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

4.Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
big little lies
(From Goodreads) Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive

5.Cloud Street by Tim Winton
(From Goodreads) Hailed as a classic, Tim Winton’s masterful family saga is both a paean to working-class Australians and an unflinching examination of the human heart’s capacity for sorrow, joy, and endless gradations in between. An award-winning work, Cloudstreet exemplifies the brilliant ability of fiction to captivate and inspire.
Struggling to rebuild their lives after being touched by disaster, the Pickle family, who’ve inherited a big house called Cloudstreet in a suburb of Perth, take in the God-fearing Lambs as tenants. The Lambs have suffered their own catastrophes, and determined to survive, they open up a grocery on the ground floor. From 1944 to 1964, the shared experiences of the two overpopulated clans — running the gamut from drunkenness, adultery, and death to resurrection, marriage, and birth — bond them to each other and to the bustling, haunted house in ways no one could have anticipated.

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The Forgotten Sister, Anne Brontë

Having read an article the previous day that argued about how the youngest member of the Brontë family is less known in the world for her novels. Hidden behind the successful fame of her older sisters, Charlotte and Emily Brontë with their successful novels of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, I thought it would be nice to make today’s blog in a tribute to the forgotten sister, Anne Brontë.
Anne was born on January 17th 1820, the youngest of the family and was barely a year old when her mother would die (in 1821). After the quick and sudden deaths of the eldest children of the family, Anne with her remaining sisters Charlotte and Emily were educated at home by their father and aunt, (who had come to reside with the family during the illness of Mrs Brontë and latter stayed with the family to raise the children and take care of the household.) The children grew up close together, along with their only brother Branwell, and the bleak moors that surrounded their home, became their playground.
Anne along with her sisters, found more interest in literature, the collections of their father’s library having been well-stocked and they read from Shakespeare to Milton, also on topics of history and geography. Together, with her siblings, Anne and the others created an African kingdom called “Angria” which was illustrated with maps and water colourings. Characters of people in the kingdom were created and chronicles of the kingdom were written in little small books.
At age 15 Anne took the place of Emily as a pupil at Roe Head. She was quiet and hardworking and stayed for two years before she became ill and was sent home to recover. As the family were poor, Anne like her other siblings, had to find work to make a living. During this time the only well occupation for a poor but educated woman was to be a governess. In 1839 (age 19), Anne began to work for a family at Blake Hall. Anne had no enjoyment during her time as a governess, as the children were spoilt and rotten and ill-treated Anne. When she complained, she was criticised for not being able to properly handle the children. The family dismissed Anne and she returned home during Christmas of 1839, joining her sisters who had also left their positions, and Branwell. It is believed that her experience was so traumatising that Anne depicts it in her novel Agnes Grey, in almost perfect detail.
On her return home in 1839, Anne meet her father’s new curate, William Weightman. There is a suggestion that Anne fell in love with him, but if that is so, there is no proof that her love was returned. Anne wrote many poems during this time of her acquaintance with Weightman. Weightman died in 1842.
Between 1840 to 1845 Anne worked as a governess at Thorp Green Hall. At first she found herself in similar situations as Black Hall, feeling isolated and missing her home and family, but Anne stayed and taught the Robinson children – the daughters and her having a lifelong friendship, even after Anne left.
Together with her sisters Anne, completed a book of poems which, they published under pseudonyms. Charlotte became Currer Bell, Emily, Ellis Bell and Anne, Acton Bell. The poem was not a success as they had hoped. However, even before this Anne was writing her first novel, Agnes Grey whcih was published in 1847 with Emily’s Wuthering Heights. Agnes Grey was outshone by Emily’s novel. Anne’s last novel was published in late June of 1848. It was an instant success, the depictions of alcoholism and debauchery was profoundly disturbing to 19th-century sensibilities.
The following month Anne along with Charlotte travelled London to prove that the “Bell Brothers” were not the same person. The success of the novels of Anne and her sisters were a great achievement for them, many believed that a successfully career of literary was ahead of them.
However, tragedy struck the family and within ten months, the deaths of Branwell and Emily occurred causing a grief stricken family and Anne at only age of 29, died in 1849. A year after Anne’s death further editions of her novels were reprinted but Charlotte prevented re-publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Charlotte found the novel disliking to her tastes. Despite the fact that for years Anne lacked interst to literary soceity, in recent years her life and work has been re-examined. Sally McDonald of the Brontë Society said in 2013, “In some ways though she is now viewed as the most radical of the sisters, writing about tough subjects such as women’s need to maintain independence and how alcoholism can tear a family apart.”

Novels by Anne Brontë.
Agnes Grey: (from Goodreads) Agnes was the daughter of a minister whose family was in financial difficulty. She has only a few choices for employment. Agnes experiences the difficulty of reining in spoiled children and how wealth can corrupt morals. She later opens a school and finds happiness.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall: (from Goodreads) Gilbert Markham is deeply intrigued by Helen Graham, a beautiful and secretive young widow who has moved into nearby Wildfell Hall with her young son. He is quick to offer Helen his friendship, but when her reclusive behaviour becomes the subject of local gossip and speculation, Gilbert begins to wonder whether his trust in her has been misplaced. It is only when she allows Gilbert to read her diary that the truth is revealed and the shocking details of her past.

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How did you come to learn about your favourite books?

Today we are going to talk about how you came to learn about your favourite books. Were you shopping in the bookstore and just picked it up and read the blurb and took it home with you. Did someone give the book to you as a gift? Did you discover it, hidden away in the back of your family’s library bookshelf covered in dust? Or did word of mouth from friends or family tell you about it?

Harry Potter series:
As I was still very young, and not old enough to read the first book when the series started, but thankfully my older sisters were and it is because they brought the books and liked the series so much, so when i was old enought to read them, I quickly got pulled into the wizarding world. Thank you to my sisters for introducing me to Harry Potter.
Twilight Saga: This is one of the most interesting things of how I came to learn of the book. It was in 2008 when I was waiting for the school bus one morning, when a girl was waiting with me and she was reading…twilight. I asked her about it and she explained what it was. In the next few weeks I had my hands on the copy of the first book.
Austen and Bronte novels: In my teenage years, I was introduced to the name of Austen and Bronte by my sister, (she herself is literature fan), and what do you think happened I fell in love with their novels.
Little Women: Found the book in the bookshelf of my family’s and picked it out and within the next week I was reading it and was captured by the lives of the March sisters.
Gone Girl: The most recent best-seller of Gillian Flynn, which i had heard about from the internet about the book and when I saw the trailer of the movie version – I thought I must read the book before the movie. And I did.

But what about your favourite books? How did you learn about them?

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The New Project Continues

I mentioned in November that I had started on a new project and I am so excited to say that the first draft is done. Many days of sitting at the desk and writing on the computer as the ideas came and then other days when I hated to even look at my computer where the new project waited for my return.
For the past few years I’ve been writing and editing my previous work but now it is finished as well as it can be and has been put on the shelf as I tackle another project entirley. And this one is different from my YA(Project 1).
Project 2 is for an adult audience and is centred with murder, so much murder and mystery.
It has been fun writing this darker story and I’ve enjoyed it writing it, even if some days I just starred blankly at the blank document. Sometimes it feels that that empty document is laughing at my lack of creative mind. Don’t you think?
As of today I’ve began the stage of editing and am excited to get back to this story and go hammering and chopping on the manuscript to make the story as good as it can be. Project 2 get ready to meet the red pen.
Edit, edit, edit!

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Sunday Quotes

Here are some wonderful quotes from some wonderful writers, who have shared their thoughts on writing and reading. May these quotes bring you some inspiration for your reading, writing and in your every day life.

“We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.” — Philip Pullman

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” — Ernest Hemingway

“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss

“Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.” — Louisa May Alcott

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Hello 2015

Hello 2015,
I hope this year you bring much joy and happiness. Of learning and care, with playfulness and tone of glee.
I hope to see what waits for me and others.
Shall I read more books of splendid form and rich in writing. Shall there be so many that join the read pile that grows continously every year, but I read just as much as I add to it.
The writing continues and I don’t give up. Write a book and edit two.
Hello 2015, it is nice to meet you.

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