Tag Archives: blogs

Grumpy on a Friday

Welcome to the bat cave. The coffee pot is full, so help yourself. Please excuse the dog as she has not had her walk yet and probably thinks that if she jumps high enough into your arms, you’ll take her out! I’m a bit slow today. My arthritis has decided to flare like an alien beast in my body. Continue reading

I am the virus

I am the virus.

I need to be contained.

My venom spreads with every word I say.

I am the virus.

I wish I was contained.

The spikes are taken out of the wheels and I’m definitely not sane.

I am the virus.

You’ll wish I was contained.

I’ll make your every word the last one in this endless game.

I was the virus.

I’m all alone.

Not that I regret your number calling on my phone.

I was the virus.

I followed your decree.

Now your head sits alone on my bare knee.

I am the virus

I am the virus.

I need to be contained.

My venom spreads with every word I say.

I am the virus.

I wish I was contained.

The spikes are taken out of the wheels and I’m definitely not sane.

I am the virus.

You’ll wish I was contained.

I’ll make your every word the last one in this endless game.

I was the virus.

I’m all alone.

Not that I regret your number calling on my phone.

I was the virus.

I followed your decree.

Now your head sits alone on my bare knee.

Sacha Black’s ‘The Anatomy of Prose’ is out!

I do not like manuals, self help or how to books! Yet, here I am endorsing an author who is not only a well-established Young Adult novelist, but has also written incredibly fun, readable manuals on prose, creating heroes and building believable villains. Her name is Sacha Black and she takes no prisoners when compiling helpful advice for readers and writers.

If you’re offended by a bit of profanity then this is probably not the book or author for you. But, if you’re happy to skip the bullshit and get cracking with the nitty gritty details of empowering your prose, order your copy today.

Sacha’s ability to capture the debilitating aspects of writers’ crutch words and faults and her straight forward advice on how to strengthen your knowledge on essential elements of drawing your audience into your prose without putting you to sleep or drowning you in condensed rhetoric puts her a cut above the rest.

Here is a brief outline on what The Anatomy of Prose has to offer:

Do your sentences fail to sound the way you want? Are they lackluster, with flat characters and settings? Is your prose full of bad habits and crutches?

In The Anatomy of Prose, you’ll discover:

  • A step-by-step guide to creating descriptions that sing
  • The key to crafting character emotions that will hook a reader
  • How to harness all five senses to make your stories come alive, deepening your reader’s experience
  • Tips and tricks for balancing details at the sentence level
  • Methods for strengthening each sentence through strategic word choice, rhythm and flow
  • Dozens of literary devices, and how to utilize them to give your prose power
  • Tactics for differentiating characters in dialogue as well as making it punchy and unforgettable
  • A comprehensive prose-specific self-editing check list
  • How to embody your character’s personality at the sentence level
  • The most common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid

The Anatomy of Prose is a comprehensive writing guide that will help you create sensational sentences. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will power up your prose, eliminate line-level distractions and help you find the perfect balance of show and tell. By the end of this book, you’ll know how to strengthen your sentences to give your story, prose and characters the extra sparkle they need to capture a reader’s heart.

If you like dark humor, learning through examples and want to create perfect prose, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting sensational sentences. Read The Anatomy of Prose today and start creating kick-ass stories.

Join Sacha celebrate the launch of The Anatomy of Prose at her website and order your copy here. Don’t forget to leave a review!

#StaySafe Monday Coffee

Come and sit next to me in our Covid-free coffee house. I can reach over and give you a big hug because, in this world, we are away from the madness, away from the social distancing that has kept us imprisoned in our homes and away from the chaos of confusing instructions on what our future holds.

The news of a lift on lock down protocols has sent ripples through our world, no matter where we live. Some of us feel exasperated by the ridiculous conflicting messages of lifting a lock down when we have no cure in sight. But, on the flip side, others are questioning how we are going to keep eating, drinking and switching on the lights and heating in our caves if the economy dies? We could sit here and enjoy the chocolate cake and finger sandwiches, but even this won’t last if the world stops. First world problems compared to those living in developing countries I hear you say – or maybe not.

I was discussing this dilemma the other day. To say that we are a mixed bag of circumstances is not a strong enough statement to capture the worrying conditions of some families locked away in high rise buildings with only the graffiti on dirty walls to entertain children. The conclusion I reached was: humans will always find a way. We are the cockroaches of the earth. Bickering, name calling, finger pointing and wearing impassioned charitable cloaks to cover our self-serving natures are all part and parcel of our nature. But so is our adaptability and enduring natures. What we need is a common enemy – something or someone that will force nations to break down their feeble fences and hold hands with neighbours to battle for our freedom and survival. Will this current destructive force be enough to evolve our muted minds and make us move towards a more cohesive future with our environment? I don’t know. History votes against us. Will our current invisible enemy win? That depends on our attitudes towards authority, their guidance and whether or not we follow it without question.

Last week, during our pregnant pause awaiting the delivery of the newly born protocols on  lock down, I noticed a rise in traffic outside my house. Cars and trucks trundled past every few minutes. Residents filled the pavements leading to the forest down the road, chatting and laughing under the warm spring sun. A gentle breeze carried conversations about coping with isolation and home schooling. Joggers took to the street, sparing irritated glances at the congregated socialites littering their paths. People forgot just how dangerous it is to travel around, to meet up with each other and to socialise in close proximity.  Their lulled sense of security made me think of the invisible enemy watching them, following them back into their lives, their homes. We won’t see their mistake, not just yet. Give it a week, or two.

As we sip at our cups and wonder at mankind’s dilemma, let’s remember what the unlocking of restrictions without a cure or proper tests will release. Let’s think about the dying economy and families imprisoned in homes that can’t cope with unstable financial futures. Let’s sit here knowing that there will be no sirens to announce the tsunami of cases rising and approaching with speed in the coming weeks. Germany saw this rise  less than a week after they lifted their restrictions on lock down. Logically, this means the movement began once the whispers of change drifted on the media wind in the precluding weeks, just like my road told the tale of forgetfulness last week.

With all this in mind, I’d rather sit here, with you, sipping at my Darjeeling tea. What will you do? What choices do you have?

Stay well and stay safe. x

 

 

A Thousand Thanks

Dear readers,

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and liking my posts. We are now a thousand strong! I am so grateful.

You are all awesome!

Sending you all big hugs. Stay well and stay safe.

El x

Thank you!

The Far Away Land

THE FAR AWAY LAND

 

Strands

floating,

reaching out –

hair in a breeze,

holding onto cliffs,

their jagged angles like

shards of glass, all broken and

sprinkled with hot ice that can burn

exposed shivering fingers and toes;

where whispering winds steal my breath away.

 

 

Copyright held by ©Eloise De Sousa (2020)

 

Bitter Love

Nuances once found endearing

Now grate against my skin

Scratching, screaming down my vertebrae

Telling me all your sins

 

Incompetence and flagrant misdirection

Needles picking at your inconsistency

Integral parts of my anatomy

Shouting out allegories against your existence

 

Deprivation within the biomass

This disorder known as yourself

Rip disregarded respect and faith

Away from all harmony; my loss, your wealth

 

 

Copyright held by ©Eloise De Sousa (2018)

 

Monday Coffee in Lockdown

Come on in and grab a seat. I’ve taken the liberty and separating our sofas so that we adhere to the two metre rule. It’s wonderful to see you again. Grab your cup and remember to put it straight into the dishwasher to avoid contaminating anyone around you.

It’s unfortunate that our usual haunt has closed during this lockdown, but it does give me a chance to host our coffee catch up in my ethereal lounge. Time seems to have slowed and everything has taken on an apocalyptic appearance, especially venturing outside. I know it sounds terrible, and I really shouldn’t do it, but I’ve adopted the reference of ‘walkers’ used on the television show, The Walking Dead, to describe those souls traipsing past my house making their way to the forest just down the road. I fear them, each one a prospective carrier oblivious to the inhabitant that is growing within their healthy bodies.

I’m sure I can be forgiven for thinking that a trip to our local food store is not dissimilar to bathing in a septic tank filled with clean water. Chances are, you won’t see the germs but they will certainly be taking liberties with your clothes and exposed skin. Gloves are pointless as they just add to the contamination of different surfaces. You might not catch anything but the person two metres behind you won’t be thanking you when you’ve touched all the metal railings, containers and unwrapped food with those ‘safe’ gloves. If you don’t believe me, find a pair of clean gloves and spray a little paint on the fingers. Now go touch all your precious surfaces and see what happens.

My cynicism is born from spending too much time reading about the non-conformers – the free thinkers – who assume this is just a bunch of bull. ‘Scare mongering tactics’ and ‘utter nonsense’, and my favourite: ‘the government is just using this to control you’! I wonder what you think of those comments? How far should we accept what we’re told to do before saying: no, this affects my civil liberties? Do you feel the same way?

Considering I’ve been locked away for more than two weeks, I have to admit I haven’t found this lifestyle much different to my normal hermit lifestyle. The big difference is running my Writers Club Online, though my Zoom meetings have taken care of face to face group discussions. The children love it and have adapted well to the new norms. Social distancing was something I happily practiced anyway and travelling as little as possible is just sensible to reduce your carbon footprint.

Do you notice how fast technology is being developed now that we are facing a new war. Is this our version of an industrial revolution that sets a precedent for working at home to become a cultural norm, reducing travel and therefore activating a movement for climate change? I wonder if those who work from home will want to return to the office after tasting the opportunity to be closer to their families while accomplishing those same roles. I know it won’t be the case for everyone. Some will balk at the idea of being trapped at home. Others though, might appreciate it. Definitely something to think about in a future, especially with housing shortages and office blocks standing empty for years.

Maybe the future will see less office space eating up our central business districts and instead, housing estates with forests, play areas and facilities taking precedence over those spaces so that workers live closer to CBD’s but work remotely, time sharing office space. Just a thought.

Anyway, it’s nearly time for me to prepare for my webex meeting with my writers from Wooden Hill Primary. Thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you think our future holds.

Stay well and stay safe.

Friday with the Covid Gang

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