Share Your World – 2014 Week 40

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

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Local Writers Showcase

August 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Posted in Australia, Promotion, Reading, Writing, Writing and Life | 2 Comments
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I have been very busy lately helping to organise a showcase of local writers in the Lake Macquarie area. That has means I’ve been unable to do much in the way of writing myself.
The Showcase is on tomorrow, and goes for five hours – a mini Writers Festival. I am looking forward to it. Should be a great day – and the weather is fabulous too, even though it is the last day of winter tomorrow.

Here are the details:

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Showcase Programme FINAL.2

Keep Your World Real

February 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Reading, Writing, Writing and Life | 1 Comment
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If-people-winked-in-real-life

In the real world, people and their inter-actions are not ruled by laws that say this, or that, must happen. Instead, we live in a world where anything is possible and most events can never be predicted with any certainty. We cannot even go with the balance of probabilities all of the time – although we hope that the odds will work out as we want them to.

 So it should really be the same when we create our stories, the characters and their worlds, and the interactions between them. We must make it all look real. The reader should expect the unexpected, and yet feel that the story has been worked out by Fate.

 However we cannot, in reality, toss all the ingredients together as we do with a salad, and then hope our story will somehow play itself out as we wish. We have to make it happen; there is nothing else for it.

 We must make it appear that events occur as they would in everyday life, that the uncertainties and the surprises we all experience are reflected authentically. We do this by the use of techniques and tricks, not by a random assemblage of characters and events in a certain setting. We, as writers, need to make ourselves aware of what these techniques are.

 As Robert Graves says, we have to tell lies to make our readers believe that the story we tell is true.

 The Devil’s Advice to Story-Tellers

Robert Graves

 Lest men suspect your tale to be untrue,

Keep probability—some say—in view.
But my advice to story-tellers is:
Weigh out no gross of probabilities,
Nor yet make diligent transcriptions of
Known instances of virtue, crime or love.

To forge a picture that will pass for true,
Do conscientiously what liars do—
Born liars, not the lesser sort that raid
The mouths of others for their stock-in-trade–
Assemble, first, all casual bits and scraps
That may shake down into a world perhaps;

People this world, by chance created so,
With random persons whom you do not know—
The teashop sort, or travellers in a train
Seen once, guessed idly at, not seen again;
Let the erratic course they steer surprise
Their own and your own and your readers’ eyes;

Sigh then, or frown, but leave (as in despair)
Motive and end and moral in the air;
Nice contradiction between fact and fact
Will make the whole read human and exact

Robert von Ranke Graves novelist, poet, soldier & scholar

 Born 24 July 1895 Wimbledon, England

Died:  7 December 1985, Majorca, Spain

(c) Linda Visman

Some More Small Stones

January 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Mental Health, Nature | 2 Comments
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Here are four more of my Small Stones.

I intend to write a proper blog post tomorrow.

 

9. Sharing

At a holiday plaza today, Sunday, a sea breeze cools the sun’s summer heat.

People stroll in ones and twos, but mainly in family groups. 

Children squeal with delight as they splash in the fountains.

At alfresco tables, people dine: 

head-scarfed Muslim women, their husbands and children share a meal of fish and chips;

a Japanese family of three generations also tuck into the same fare;

Southern Europeans and Scandinavians enjoy hamburgers, with soft drink or coffee;

we white Australians relish our lunch of doner kebabs.

We share what we like, what we enjoy from other cultures –

the good things don’t have to be foisted upon us.

Can we not agree to disagree on those things that divide us?

 

10. Acceptance

Ninety-year-old man,

active and independent all his life,

must now accept assistance

in even intimate activities,

because he knows

it is the only way he can remain

living in the home he built himself

almost sixty years ago.

 

11a. Dreams – Crushed Stone

She looks into her mind to watch the thoughts

that flit and circle and wander aimlessly

changing, running together,

like the soft amorphous globs in a lava lamp.

She finally sleeps, and falls into dreams

that come from nowhere and go nowhere;

mares of the night that offer only

frustration and hopelessness,

that echo with futility and despair.

Awakening, she cries out in anger

against these dreams that seem to be

more horribly real that reality.

But at least she awakes.

 

11b Tidy

My desk is tidy at last, after being in a mess for two months.

Today I cleared it and threw out the rubbish.

The rest, I have put into order, so that I can find what I want and what I need for my writing and my work.

I hope I can soon throw out the rubbish in my mind;

the dreams that have recently reflected its turmoil.

 

12. Flying Foxes

Thousands of flying foxes (many people call them bats)

hang from the trees beside the Parramatta River.

From them comes a constant chittering, even though they are supposed to be sleeping.

What are they saying?

Are they talking in their sleep?

I wonder what flying foxes dream about.

 

© Linda Visman

 

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