Thursday’s Child – Introducing my Main Character

January 15, 2018 at 11:58 am | Posted in 1960s, Australia, divisions in society, Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, historical fiction, History, Reading, Social mores, Society, War and Conflict, Ways of Living, Writing | 4 Comments
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I would like to introduce the main character in my new Young Adult novel, Thursday’s Child.

It is 1961, and Victoria (Tori) Delaney is in her second year of high school. Her class has been discussing social issues that affect Australia. Her teacher, Miss Bradshaw, has given the class an assignment to complete for homework.

Choose an issue that you think is important and write a one to two page essay on it.

This is what Tori writes:

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Why are girls and women treated as if they are not as good as boys and men? Why are they not allowed to do the same things as they are, or given the same opportunities?

It surprises me that women are even allowed to vote. I am sure that if it hadn’t been for the Suffragettes, they would still not be allowed to. I think it is very unfair that we are treated as if we are inferior. Women have often shown that they are just as good as men, the most obvious way is when they had to step in during the Great War and again in the last war.

Women who had never even lived in the country joined the Australian Women’s Land Army so that farming could carry on when the men went off to war. They did everything that the men had done. They drove tractors and did the ploughing, the reaping and the carting of the crop. They cared for the animals, shore the sheep and milked the cows, as well as butchering them for meat.

Some women took over jobs that needed specialist knowledge and strength. They became mechanics, drivers, engineers and aeroplane builders, as well as producing guns and ammunition.

The Australian Army, Navy and Air Force would have found it harder to keep going without the women who joined the special Women’s Services. They drove jeeps and big trucks, piloted planes to be repaired and returned to service. They became radio operators and even observers and anti-aircraft gunners.

It was mostly the women at home who made the men’s uniforms, who went into danger to nurse the sick and wounded, and who took over from the male doctors when they joined the forces. And many of them did this as well as raising families, often on their own, and worrying about their husbands and sons who were fighting or imprisoned.

When the war ended, the men returned home and, of course they wanted their jobs back. Most women were happy to go back to the home life they’d had before the war, but more than a few thought they had earned the right to work at jobs they had done well for many years. They didn’t want to go back to being under men’s thumb again.

They had kept vital industries going, kept the country fed and the forces clothed and supplied. They had learned new skills, felt they could contribute something to society. Now the exciting days of responsibility and self-respect were over, they didn’t want to go back to household drudgery and lose what they had showed they were capable of. It must have been really hard for them

Many women and even girls like me resent that they are not treated as equal to men, and are not satisfied with a life of pandering to them. What hope is there in that?

 

Tori will tell us a bit more about herself in the next few posts.

If you wish to purchase Thursday’s Child on Kindle, click here to pre-order. It will be available for download on the 1st of February.

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Getting Closer!

January 8, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Australia, Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, historical fiction, Reading, Writing, Writing and Life | 8 Comments
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Front cover -Dave

 

The second proof copy of my novel ‘Thursday’s Child’ arrived today. It took less than a week from when I ordered it.

It looks great – the cover, the font, the setting out are all wonderful.  I don’t expect to find any issues, but it is always better to be sure than sorry. So, after a final check, I will be able to make it available on Kindle, and as a Print-on-demand paper copy.

I have also begun work on my third Young Adult novel, as yet untitled.

Exciting times!

 

 

 

Cover of my second novel

December 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Australia, Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Publishing, Reading, Social mores, Writing | 14 Comments
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I am excited!

I will shortly receive a proof copy of my second coming-of-age Young Adult novel, Thursday’s Child, to go through and make sure it is ready for publication.

Here is the cover for the book – back, spine and front.

 

Book Cover Preview on CreateSpace

It is always rather thrilling to get to this stage.

 

 

 

A Letter to a Friend about Writing

November 30, 2017 at 11:55 am | Posted in Australia, Writing | 5 Comments
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I recently received an email from a friend who wants to write:

 

Linda, have you been writing anymore chapters on your 2nd book?  I tried what you suggested about just sitting down and start writing but perhaps I’m doing all wrong, to me it seems my sentences don’t have the flow that you read in yours and other books.

 

I gave her plaint some thought, and this is what I wrote back to her:

 

Hi Jane,

Sorry to take so long to get back to you about the writing.

To answer your question about my latest book, Thursday’s Child: I have completed it and am trying to get it published on CreateSpace. I am having trouble with it getting up there as they’ve changed the process since I did Ben’s Challenge. However, I am still trying.

Re your own writing: what kind of writing are you doing? Memoir? Fiction? Whichever it is, don’t worry if the words won’t flow. It took years before my own writing was at the standard it was for that first book. I am told that this second book is even better, & that’s due to constant improvement through actually writing a lot.

It’s that first draft that matters, no matter how good or bad it is. In my own writing, I am constantly editing. The book that comes out at the end has probably gone through 6-12 drafts! So don’t worry if you can’t get the flow immediately. You can’t make your writing better if you don’t write it first – even if it is badly.

Whatever you are writing, fiction or non-fiction, then you will find the writing will flow better if you imagine you are telling someone the story or writing a letter to them – perhaps one of your kids, or a friend – or even an imaginary person. Don’t think about the writing – think about the story and the people in the story. You can always fix it up and make it better once you have actually written it. With the computer, it is so much easier to go back and change things.

I find it hard to tell a story verbally. For me, it is the written word that lets the story flow. When I lived far from my parents, my mother used to tell me my letters were like a novel. If I get stuck, I imagine I’m writing it to a person (perhaps Mum), or I imagine I am the person in the story. It is amazing how a character (even a real one in a memoir) can come to life if you put yourself into their head and their emotions. Try it and see what happens. But don’t over-think it.

I am old-fashioned. I didn’t grow up with computers, but with paper and pencil/pen so, especially when I am writing my novels and short stories – and even poems, I do it longhand. I write it into an A4 school notebook. I can write, scribble, cross out, draw arrows to change the order, etc, as I go. It is only once I have the first draft of a chapter or a short story written in the book that I type it up, editing & improving as I go, onto the computer.

So, Jane, don’t think about the quality of the writing. Don’t try to make it good at first. Just try to get it down. I think the main things though, to release that creative flow, is to make it personal,  imagine you are telling it to someone. And don’t be impatient. The more you just write, the easier it will become to just write.

I hope these suggestions help you to get the writing juices going and flowing, Jane. Happy writing!

Best regards,

Linda

 

How do you get the writing to flow?

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Photo Challenge – Glow

October 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Australia, Nature, Photography, Special Occasions | 4 Comments

This week, share something that glows. Maybe you’d like to experiment with some Golden Hour photography, or perhaps you know someone with a glowing smile. We’re excited to see what you share.

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The glow of the setting sun on the last day of 2010, at a concert in the lakeshore park at Warners Bay, NSW, Australia.

 

Weekly photo challenge – textures

August 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Posted in Australia, Nature, Photography, wordpress photo challenge | 8 Comments
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This week’s challenge asks us to look through our photos for those that show textures.

Photography is a primarily visual medium, but we can experience it with more than one sense. This week, focus on the tactile element of the objects you shoot, whether it’s one distinct quality — softness, smoothness, graininess, or any other texture you find interesting — or a combination of several within one frame.

On a walk along the lake shore near where we live, I was really taken with some casuarina trees that had roots protruding from the soil. The roughness, roundedness and moss coverings of these roots were all beautiful, and I couldn’t resist taking photos of them.

Texture 01

Texture 02

Texture 03

Texture 04

 

(c) Linda Visman

 

 

Wednesday photo challenge – Satisfaction

July 30, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Australia, Gardens, Leisure activities, Nature, Photography, wordpress photo challenge | 2 Comments
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The challenge this week: Satisfaction.

“Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from doing little things well.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I always get great satisfaction from working outside in the garden. I may just potter about, trimming here or pulling a few weeds there. But I also love constructing things that will improve the look of the yard.

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This week, hubby and I build a flower bed next to the path, to bring some colour and, hopefully attract the bees that we haven’t seen around for months. The bed is part of an extension to a mulched area of trees and shrubs, and I still have some work to do on that. But here is a photo of the completed flowerbed, in which we take a lot of satisfaction. It will be even better when the plants grow more.

New flowerbed 29.07.17

 

What little things give you satisfaction?

 

Wednesday Photo Challenge – Unusual

July 21, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Australia, Culture, History, Photography, Special Occasions | 5 Comments
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Something unusual, or at least unusual to me. That is the topic of this week’s Wednesday Photo Challenge. I had a quick look through my photos and found my writers’ group Christmas party from last year.

The function was held in the common room of a retirement village – that is itself is probably unusual. But an item they have in that room is one that many people, especially young people, have never seen, and may not have even heard of.

It was a pianola, and it gave us a lot of fun and laughs whilst we early birds waited for everyone else to arrive.

A pianola is a piano with a special ability. Rolls of heavy paper are punched with the notes of particular tunes and can be inserted in a section above the keyboard. Then someone plays it by pumping a foot pedal. The quicker one pedals, the faster the music plays. The strip can be seen and often has the words to the tune alongside the punched holes, so that people around the pianola can sing it.

 

Pianola 01

Here is my husband loading one of the punched rolls into the pianola, while a friend checks what tune is held on another boxed roll.

 

 

Pianola 02

Several members of our group and their partners enjoy a singalong whilst my husband pumps the pedals.

 

Pianolas used to be popular entertainment for get-togethers of family and friends and other social events in the days before TV. They were aimed mainly at people who couldn’t actually play the piano, or who didn’t play well enough to accompany the songs that were popular at the time.

 

Have you seen, played, or even owned a pianola?

 

 

Wednesday Photo Challenge – Bridge

July 9, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Posted in Australia, heritage, History, Photography, Tourism | 6 Comments
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I am having another go at the photo challenge, and hope that my photos will upload and present themselves as they are supposed to do this time. It has been frustrating to miss the last challenges due to difficulties that wordpress has not been able to resolve for me.

The challenge this week is to post a photo of a bridge – either a physical bridge between two sides of a landscape, or a metaphorical one where a person or event has allowed you to move from one position to another.

My photos are of a different kind of bridge. The old Catherine Hill Bay jetty was a bridge between the coal mine and the colliers that carried their product to other places along the NSW coast.

 

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The jetty is crumbling now and under threat of being pulled down for safety reasons.

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It is an icon of the coal mining and transport industries of NSW and it is a pity nothing was done to save it after it ceased operation with the closure of the mine.

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Catherine Hill Bay – Catho to the locals and those who love it – will not be the same without the jetty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Garden

June 15, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Posted in Australia, Birds, Gardens, Photography | 7 Comments
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I didn’t join in the wordpress photo challenge this week because I always delete my out-of-focus photos, and we were to post a clear photo and an out=of-focus one that we like.

Instead, I thought I would share a little of my Aussie winter garden.

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Here is one of my zygocactus plants, with a jade plant behind it.

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Two varieties of bromeliad, with the green one flowering. I love the stalks of pink and blue. The purple one does not flower as far as I know.

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I have about six or seven different grevillea species in my garden. This is the flower of one of them. Grevillea are great for attracting native birds with their nectar. Most of them flower for much of the year.

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Here is a similar grevillea to the one above, with a beautiful rainbow lorikeet that has come to feed off the nectar.

I love my garden, made up mostly of Australian natives, but with various plants from other parts of the world as well.

I hope you enjoy the colour.

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