In Stitches

March 13, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Australia, Nature, Poetry, Writing | 27 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

I have been occupied with other things than this blog lately. However, I would like to share a poem with you that I wrote a few years ago. It is about the beautiful Lake Macquarie where I live, and how I saw it one day as I walked along the shore.

The poem was recently commended in the Morisset Show Poetry Competition.

 

 

Wangi Bay stretches before me,

a coarse wind-ruffled

grey-green fabric;

patches of dirty brown

rain-stirred run-off

tacked onto it here and there

like jungle-camouflage.

 

Silver sequins

tossed onto the watery quilt

tumble and sparkle among

the grey jetty stripes and squares

and the multi-coloured

ship-shaped pieces

that have been tacked on

with contrasting whitecap stitches.

 

Here and there,

in out-of-the-way places

an occasional dot

of white embroidery –

a bobbing seagull or pelican.

 

A narrow, irregular strip

of breaking waves

marks the inner border

separating the nautical pattern

from its dark green edging

of eucalypt and casuarina

and spiky Lomandra longifolia

 

Today, the lake is a patch-work quilt

that I would like to take home with me.

 

 

© Linda Visman

11th October, 2010

 

Advertisements

A to Z Challenge – Y is for You’re in there!

April 29, 2015 at 12:05 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Poetry, Writing | 10 Comments
Tags: , , ,

.

A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

.

Do you ever have trouble finding a word?

.

You’re in There – I Know You Are!

.

Stop, Word! I saw you.

Get back here, I need you.

I’ve been looking for you everywhere.

Oh, no. Don’t you go and hide;

I know you’re in there –

Come out and let me see you!

.

Come on out. Please.

This happens every time I need you;

You’re nowhere to be found.

Stop hiding behind the others!

No, I don’t want them,

I want you!

They just aren’t right for this work.

.

Oh, please, Word.

Don’t you want to be famous;

Have everyone quoting you;

Be the very latest “bon mot”?

You do? Great!

Share? Well, yes, of course

You’ll have to share

The poem with the other words.

.

You don’t want to? But why?

They’re just the everyday words;

The run-of-the-mill words.

They just can’t do the job like you can!

I need a word

That says it just right;

That conveys the perfect idea;

That creates the exact emotion.

.

That’s you. Yes, you!

Oh, come on, Word.

You’ll look so good on the paper,

Or on the screen.

You’ll be admired, and …

.

Word! Come out, this minute!

You’re spoiling everything.

My poem will be ruined.

You don’t care, do you?

You just don’t care.

.

This is your last chance, Word.

Get yourself out here!

Come out of my memory.

Right now!

.

.

(c)  Linda Visman

A to Z Challenge – W is for Writers’ Block

April 27, 2015 at 12:05 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Poetry, Writing | 7 Comments
Tags: , , ,

A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

.

I am stuck with my creative writing. How can I get my mojo back?

.

Writer’s Block

.

What’s happened to my stories; where did they go?

The tales I‘m well into have just lost their flow.

What should I do to regain inspiration,

When rust is corroding my imagination?

.

My stories began with energy and verve,

And it seemed I had hit on my creative nerve.

But now that my characters have lives of their own,

They won’t tell me the next bit – it’s like talking to stone!

.

I’ve set them in time, and in distinctive places;

You wouldn’t expect they’d keep hiding their faces.

Yet that’s what they’re doing; they don’t seem to want me

To finish their stories; to let them be free.

.

Perhaps they don’t like what they’re expected to do;

They’re sulking, annoyed at a detail or two.

But I can’t change the fact that they put themselves there;

I just want to help them – don’t they know that I care?

.

Where are you Carla? What on earth are you doing?

Ben, surely you want to solve the mystery that’s stewing?

Then talk to me. Tell me, what’s happening next?

‘Cause I’m puzzled and lost – and very much vexed!

.

If you won’t let me come back and live in your tales,

I’ll cry, get depressed and believe that I’ve failed.

But if you take me back into these stories I’ve penned,

I can make it all right when we get to the end.

.

Inspiration! Come back!

.

(c)  Linda Visman

.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #6

February 11, 2015 at 9:46 am | Posted in Gratitude, Writing | 5 Comments
Tags: , ,

 Here we are again with Cee’s challengeShare Your World Week 6

 

What was the last time you went to a new place?

Just last week, actually. I wrote about it and posted photos last Friday of our ferry ride to Manly, on the north side of Sydney Harbour. It was a place I had never been to and a ferry ride I’d never taken.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels, other? And what type of genre would you prefer?

I am a writer. I love to write, and have written, all those forms and others – poetry, short stories, novels, memoir, biography, essays. Although my novels tend to be historical, and aimed primarily at middle grade and young adult, I am not necessarily limited by genre. My short stories cover a range from contemporary to slightly paranormal to historical. My poetry is about real life and feelings, nature, the act of writing, and occasional humour.

Out of your five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing) which is your favorite?

All of our senses are windows to the world, and I don’t know that any one is my favourite. They each give me a different perspective that I would lose if that sense were not there. But if I go by the sense that I would least like to lose, I’d say sight. How awful to be unable to see my grandchildren as they grow up, to not see the trees and birds, the sweeping plains and sky, the sea and the mountains that I love. However, I would hate to lose any of my senses – I already suffer some hearing loss, but I hope it never goes completely.

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

I would say hardly any of them. Although we are not well off financially and we have a few health problems, we have everything we need to enjoy a full life. We may not be able to travel widely, have a big house and car, or buy whatever we want, but we have a wonderful family, friends we care about, and we can take short holidays in our little camper van. We also have interests that stimulate us and keep us active and aware. We lead a simple but satisfying life.

Of course, there are things we would like to do and places we would like to see. We see many of our friends doing some of those things. But we accept that, for us, they are out of reach. It is that acceptance that probably ensures we are content – indeed, more content – with life than most other people.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week, I was able to catch up with a friend for lunch, and we spent two hours sharing, catching up and supporting each other.

Later this week, we will be on our way to a week’s holiday in our national capital and along the coast. We will also see a daughter and grandchildren, and perhaps other family members, siblings, as well.

(c) Linda Visman

January 20, 2015 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Friendship, Gratitude, Social mores, Writing | 3 Comments
Tags: , ,

Share Your World blog badge

 

Here are Cee’s Share Your World questions for Week 3

 

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

I don’t really know, apart from my family and friends. I am not a celebrity follower, rarely watch TV (and even less if it’s commercial TV), don’t often go to movies or follow sports. The only possibility I could see would be an author whose work I enjoy, so we could chat about writing.

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I sang to myself a few days ago as I listened to the radio whilst doing the ironing. It’s a good way to make the job (seem to) go faster. I’ll often sing a few lines of a song to my husband when I am reminded of one that seems appropriate.

Because I know a lot of (usually) old songs, I developed a habit that he’s also taken up. When we hear a phrase or sentence that brings a song to mind, we’ll start to sing it. Sometimes we can hardly have a conversation because so many come up! We usually laugh a lot then too.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

I would like to get back the passion and enthusiasm I used to have for my creative writing. It seems to have gone walkabout and I cannot find it anywhere.

What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

I am looking at the broader context of society here, and child sexual abuse should never be something to joke about. There is nothing funny about such a horrendous crime.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week, we were invited to dinner by our good friends. The meal, the wine, the conversation and the friendship were all wonderful.

This coming weekend, we may be able to go out in our sailing boat to join people from our Careel Cruising Association to enjoy friendship and celebrate Australia Day, which falls on the 26th January.

Linda Visman

Getting into a Blogging Routine

January 11, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Posted in blogging, Discipline, Writing | 5 Comments
Tags: ,

My friend, also named  Linda, blogs at Queasy Peasy, and she is much more disciplined than I am. Her latest post, 2015 Blog Plan, has at last stirred me to action, and I intend to have a blogging plan of my own.

I actually devised a routine at the start of 2014, but I never even started it, let alone stayed with it. My plan was for three posts a week: Memoir Monday; Wildlife Wednesday; and Freestyle Friday.

I did manage to complete the whole of the April 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge, and intend to join that again for this year. I have also joined Cee’s Share Your World challenge, and have managed to post every week since I began it in August 2014.

So I have proved that I can rake up the discipline if I want to. After all, if my friend can do it working four days a week, then surely I can when I am retired! I just need now to make a marathon commitment, not just a sprint. And I need to be organised enough to include these blog posts into my already fairly busy schedule.

I intend to join Queasy Peasy in what she is calling her Monday for Memoir. I will continue to post weekly to Cee’s Share Your World. And I will do my best to post an entry each week on Australian flora and fauna (especially from my area) under Wednesday Wildlife.

Now I just need to work out how to make a banner for the memoir and wildlife posts. My friend did tell me how to do it a couple of months ago but I forget now. All right, where is that notebook I wrote the name of the program in?

Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2015 Week #1

January 8, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Gratitude, Writing | 3 Comments
Tags: , ,

Share Your World blog badge

Here we are at the start of a new year, and Cee has sent us her questions for the first week of Share Your World.

How do you get rid of pesky phone calls from telemarketers?

In Australia, we have a facility that telemarketers must refer to in order to see if we will accept such call. It is the “Do Not Call Registry”, which you can opt-into. It costs nothing and has been part of our land line service for several years now. A couple of years ago it was extended to mobile (cell) phones; again, an opt-in.

If you don’t register, you do not gain the benefits, and telemarketers are free to call you any time. Registered charities and political parties are excluded from the register, but we don’t get a lot of calls from them anyway. I am just thankful we have aprotection from those darned telemarketers.

What are you a “natural” at doing?

I don’t know that I am a “natural” at doing anything. I certainly don’t have any great talent to boast of. I’m not too bad at listening I suppose. Many people have told me I am a good leader, a good writer (I often have doubts about that) and teacher. I am also reasonably good with my hands – as in making stuff. I used to do leatherwork, make small wooden items, and other things, but scrapbooking is now my only creative activity outside of writing.

How often do you get a haircut?

When my hair starts tickling my eyebrows – which it is doing now! I used to have waist-length hair until ten years ago, but now have it short. I didn’t need to get haircuts before, just a trim on the bottom when I visited my sister once in a while. But now I need to get it cut about three or four times a year.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

My memory takes me back to my childhood, when my extended family would get together at a park for a picnic and a game of cricket. That was fun. I don’t seem to think in terms of fun any more, just enjoyment. And I do enjoy getting together with a friend for a coffee and chat.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It was wonderful to have one of my sons and his family stay with us for a few days over the New Year period. Hubby took my son and my two grandsons sailing on one day and I got to spend time with my lovely daughter-in-law.

This Saturday, writing group begins again for the year. I don’t know if I am looking forward to it or not, as I haven’t been doing much writing. However, I am certainly looking forward to seeing my lovely writing friends again.

Linda Visman

Share Your World – 2014 Week 40

October 7, 2014 at 12:11 am | Posted in Australia, Culture, Family, Gardens, Nature, Reading, Writing | 12 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Share Your World blog badge

Every week, Cee, at Share Your World, posts a few questions for us to answer. This is a great way of getting to know others, and to let others know about our own world. Here are my answers to Cee’s latest Share Your World Questions.

You’re given $500,000 dollars tax free (any currency), what do you spend it on? 

I would give each of our eight children $50,000 to reduce their mortgages or, for one, to buy his own place at last. The rest I would use to pay off our own mortgage and to pay for us to visit the countries of our birth for the first time since we left them over 60 years ago.

What’s the finest education?

I must say that, of all the formal education I have received – primary (elementary) and high school, Teachers’ College diploma, a university degree and graduate diploma – nothing can compare to the education I have received from life itself. To be open to what is around you, to observe and learn to understand the world, its people and yourself grants you an education that is second to none.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

Although many people will say it is not an art, my favourite is writing. I have always loved reading. I love the worlds and the characters and the situations that are created by writers, and I have become one of them myself.

I believe that those who cannot be impressed by how words can be put together in artistic, creative and meaningful ways to create works of wonder and beauty – and even horror and violence – are missing a piece of what it means to be human.

Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

When I was in primary school, I learned a poem that expresses much of what our country (Australia) is. That poem is “My Country” by Dorothea McKellar (1885-1968) when she was in England, and homesick for her own country. It was first published in 1908. It compares the softness of the English countryside with the starkness of the Australian. I love the poem, as I have seen so much of what it expresses.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Through the last week, I spent quite a bit of time in the garden. It is spring here in Australia, and there are so many plants and trees blooming that there is a riot of colour all around us. The blossoms also bring the birdlife, and I enjoy listening to them warble, twitter and even shriek through the trees that surround us.

In the week ahead, I will be spending plenty of hours with my writing group, being stimulated in my word-production, helping others with their writing, and hopefully letting non-members know what we can do to assist them if they want to write.

I Write, Therefore I Am

October 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Australia, Making History, Psychology, Writing, Writing and Life | 10 Comments
Tags: , ,

Life is better when you're writing

On a recent Saturday at my writing group, I led a brain-storming session on why we write. It was a wonderful and animated exercise. After the session, we wrote a piece about how we would feel if we were suddenly unable to write.

Erasmus writing quote

Just this morning, I read an article by a very successful author, Warren Adler about what to do after constant rejections. In the end, Adler says, it comes down to three options. You can:

  1. Give up;
  2. Wait to acquire the requisite life experience; or
  3. Never, never, ever give up.

I am neither determined nor passionate enough about achieving success as a writer that I would keep trying to get traditionally published. I don’t have the killer instinct. And besides, I don’t have that much confidence in my ability as a writer, or enough hope that anyone will want what I write.

My nephew, Peter Abela, has much more drive and commitment, and is more likely to be recognised; I hope he will be. But I have no hope or expectation of a future where I will be recognised in that way.

Write for yourself first

So, why do I keep writing? Because I have to, I think.

Because putting my thoughts and my life on paper or into the computer is a sort of validation of myself, of my existence in this world. Because I want to tell stories about what the world was like when I was young, when my parents were young. Because if I don’t write, I am not. If I don’t leave a record, I do not and never will have existed.

I suppose it is part of the reason that we have graffiti everywhere – tags of varying quality and artistry sprayed on fences and buildings and anywhere else that is accessible. These people are also saying, ‘I am here! I exist, even if you don’t see me!’

Write emotions you fear most

Someone might say, ‘What of your children, your grandchildren? Surely they are proof that you are, that you were?’

Genetically, yes. They would not be if I hadn’t been. In whatever influence I have had on them, yes. They will take a little of me into the future.

But me as an individual, a person with her own loves and hates, talents and weaknesses, wisdom and foolishness – where is the evidence for that me if I do not leave a record?

Then they will ask, ‘What about people’s memories of you?’ And I will ask how long will those memories remain, and the answer will be, only until those who have known me have gone.

Write

So why is that not enough; that people remember me until there is no memory left of me? That is all 99.99% of the world can expect. What mark have I made on the world that I should be different? And I must answer, honestly, none. I don’t even have the talent or the passion to make that mark.

Why do we have such self awareness if we are expected to negate it in the ocean of humanity, in the survival of a species that proves every day that it doesn’t deserve to survive?

Why can’t that little drop that is/was me have its own memorial to say that I was not a part of that destructiveness, that I fought against it in action and in my writing?

The narcissist in me wants it. The realist knows that I do not merit it. And my writing will not make it so. But I will still keep writing.

 Write to please oneself

(c)  Linda Visman

Reading and Writing Books

August 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Australia, Culture, Mental Health, Reading, Writing, Writing and Life | 9 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

the-author-and-the-reader-know-each-other-madeleine-lengle

I have written a whole series of posts about my reading through my life. But I am not just a reader. For the last eight years, I have also been a writer.

Read and write a lot -S.King quote

I write in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. If you want to improve your craft, you read about it as well as practising it. I write teen novels, children’s stories, memoir, biography, family history, articles, and even poetry.

Book genres

There are lots of great books on all aspects of writing available in both print and electronic format. I have quite a number in both formats. Among them are:
Writing Craft: – Kate Grenville: The Writing Book.
– Natalie Goldberg: Writing Down the Bones; and Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life.
Memoir: – Patti Miller: The Memoir Book; Writing Your Life,
– Denis Ledoux: Turning Memories Into Memoirs
– – Ann Patchett: The Getaway Car – A Practical Memoir

The Memoir Book

Because I write memoir, I read memoir. Mostly, they are Australian. The first I ever read was Alan Marshall’s I Can Jump Puddles. C.J. Koch’s The Year of Living Dangerously was a good one too, then A.B. Facey’s A Fortunate Life. I also read Frank McCourt’s two memoirs, among others.

Kate Grenville’s novel, The Secret River, I enjoyed, and then followed it up with her memoir about the writing of it, The Search for the Secret River. The latest I read was Patti Miller’s The Mind of a Thief, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are several other memoirs I’ve read whose titles and authors escape me at present.

Over the Top with Jim

Because I write memoir, biography and historical novels (as mine are), there is lots of research to be done. Two memoirs by Hugh Lunn have been helpful in reminding me about growing up in 1950s and 1960s Australia – Over the Top With Jim was the first, as was his Lost for Words, about Australian idiom of the time. –I have also read memoirs by people who lived in Lancashire mill towns at the time I was little, and my parents’ generation before that. Two good ones were William Woodruff’s The Road to Nab End and W.R. Mitchell’s By gum, life were sparse!

Total Teen Fiction

I also write Teen/Young Adult novels. Because I do, I enjoy reading them – indeed, I would be silly if I didn’t. I find that many teen/YA novels are more real than most of those written for adults. They – even the fantasy stories – mostly deal with issues that have relevance, depth and guts.

Ben's Challenge look inside

I recently read two teen novels that I came across at a print book sale, and I still have a couple more of them to read. The quality of the first two is high, and I expect the rest to be also. I’d recommend anyone to have a look at this genre. A lot of good stuff is being written – often much better than that being written for adults. Jesse Blackadder’s two books are on my To Be Read list also.

Stay Last Dog Blackadder

Children’s and Young Adult books I have read in the last couple of years include:
Morris Gleitzman’s trilogy: Once; Then; and Now
JK Rowling: The Harry Potter series
Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider
Marilyn Halvorson: Let It Go
Jackie French: Pennies for Hitler

Pennies For Hitler

Ebooks for Children and Young Adults
C.S. Lakin: Time Sniffers (Shadow World 1) I rated 5 stars.
Aida Brassington: Between Seasons
Amy Kathleen Ryan: Shadow Falls
Kristah Price (from New Zealand)’s Where the Moths Dance

BeyondFear_Cover_FINAL.indd

Being a writer, I know how difficult it is to get your work out to the reading public. So I like to support local writers. Wherever I can, I attend book launches and author talks. I usually come away with signed copies of their books that I have purchased.
Some of these local authors and their books are
– Jaye Ford’s psychological thrillers: Beyond Fear; Scared Yet?; and Blood Secret.
– Kaz Delaney’s Y.A. paranormal novels Dead Actually and Almost Dead.
– Lachlan Ness’s stories of his time as a Presbyterian minister, the first of which is A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock.
– Debbie Robson’s historical novel, Tomaree
.
– Victoria Norton’s short stories, purple emerald gold.
– Pam Garfoot and Elizabeth Conway’s Making Them Real: Finding a Queensland Past.

so-many-books-so-little-time

There are always more books than anyone can find, let alone read. However, within the limits of reason, I am doing the best I can.

Books -imprisoned souls

Are you a reader? What are your favourite genres?

© Linda Visman

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

roughwighting

Life in a flash - a weekly blog on daily living

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.

barsetshirediaries

A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Leigh Warren :: Country Music Outlaw

The ramblings of Leigh Warren about himself, country music and maybe... well who knows

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Looking Back

With Mick Roberts. Est. Online 2000

Explore China

Four weeks of flying, cycling, hiking, cruising, eating and exploring

Repurposed Genealogy

Explore What's Possible

Appalachian Ink ~ Home of Anna Wess (and Granny)

Home of Anna Wess, Writer & Ghost Chaser

Myths of the Mirror

Life is make believe, fantasy given form

Writing on the Pages of Life

Exploring, creating and celebrating the writing life

ME and the Boss

Motivation and life......lived and loved one day at a time.

QP and Eye

Easy Going Introvert Blogs Here

Our Rumbling Ocean

Every day brings new adventures

Frederick Anderson

The Journey Home

Victoria Norton

Short stories, poems, and comments on life.