Today I finally got to see the movie based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle Of The Ninth. That’s made me think about her books all over again – I love them!
I think she’s the greatest writer of historical fiction for children and teens in the twentieth century. In fact, judging by what I’ve read in the last eleven years, maybe the best of this century too.
I woke up this morning listening to the rain on the roof, one of my favourite sounds. That’s the time when I make up stories in my head for later. Right now, I’m trying to think up a story for a science fiction and fantasy anthology about how things started. I don’t know much about it yet except it’s going to be something about the Trojan War and begin with, “It started with that stupid wedding invitation. The one I didn’t get…” and be seen from the viewpoint of Eris, goddess of trouble.
Ever had to write a book report for school? It’s not common these days, but I remember only a few years ago, before my school went into a literacy program, there were still teachers making our junior students write a book report.
So, what’s the difference between a book report for school and a book review on your blog?
(This picture is me in costume - I couldn't find the original SCA picture, but i made this costume for my signing last year.)
There are ways and ways of doing research. I’ve already talked about some, in my posts about my short story for Ford Street’s new anthology and my book Crime Time: Australians Behaving Badly. I’ll do another post on the research I did for my novel Wolfborn. But this one is about a different kind of research.
Have you ever wondered what writers have in mind when they name their characters?
I’m going to take a look at some names in the Harry Potter books because there are so many that are appropriate for the characters.
Let’s start with the staff at Hogwarts.
Albus Dumbledore means “White Bumblebee”.
Professor McGonagall’s first name is Minerva – the Roman goddess of wisdom, which certainly seems to suit this wise lady.
Worldbuilding is a writing term about creating a background for a science fiction or fantasy story. You decide that your characters are going to live somewhere that isn’t where you live and you design the place. But you start with our world and go from there.
The other day I heard a radio show about re-reading. Why, the presenter asked, would you want to re-read a book when there is so much to read in the world?
Good question. I have a huge to-be-read pile beside my bed. Some are brand new books I’ve bought or received for reviewing. And yet…
Sometimes you just need to look again at something you’ve loved. It gives me a sense of comfort, when I’m tired and want to be reading something I know I will love because I’ve read it before.
So - why would anyone volunteer to judge a writing competition? Especially one where you don't at least get a bunch of free books out of it? Is it the power? Mwa ha ha! All those trembling writers who have entrusted you with their magnificent stories and you alone have the choice of which one wins? (Clap of thunder! Again - mwa ha ha!)
Or - maybe you're just terribly flattered to be asked?
As I write this, it’s still Remembrance Day. I thought I’d put in a short post on the subject. November 11th 1918 was the official end of World War I, or the Great War as it was known then. There hadn’t been any previous world wars. So if you ever read a novel set at that time and find a character referring to World War I (and I have come across it) you can feel free to laugh.
It really was a great – in the sense of huge – war. Millions died during it, on truly horrible battlefields from France to Gallipoli.
Let’s face it, writing is lonely. No matter what you do or who you hang out with, in the end, it’s you and the computer. Nobody can write it for you. Well, yes, they can write it with you if you’re doing a collaborated piece of work, but I find the quickest way to lose friends is to write a book with them.