writing by hand

I learnt to touch-type sometime around Grade five. The vast majority of my writing is on the computer, but I still like handwriting things sometimes. In fact, there are times when I actually crave it, and I feel a need to pick up a pen and just write something.

Kids these days, I believe, are probably learning to type at a younger age. It is essential, surely (maybe not at that age, but in their lives it will be an essential skill) but so is good handwriting. I’ll not be the first to lament the declining value placed on handwriting – I’m sure I’ve read and heard plenty of people reflect on this subject before – so, instead, let’s celebrate what handwriting there is to celebrate.

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counting progress

Maths is not my forte. That’s what I tell people anyway. Sure, I did reasonably well at maths in high school, but I’m sure at least some of that was a fluke. And, yes, I have been known to use the word “fun” in describing maths, but I did not like trigonometry, I thought financial maths was tedious, and statistics is one of the most boring things I’ve ever had to study.

But I do have a fascination with numbers and statistics. There is a part of me that is curious about averages and percentages and ranges and trends.

It’s so easy these days to keep track of things like steps walked, kilometres run, blog views, comments, pages read, words written, money spent…

But it’s also tiring. So very tiring.  Continue reading

afternoon contemplation

Today was a lovely day. A blue sky, mild weather sort of day. Brisbane springtime at its best. Around mid-afternoon, after having met up with a friend for lunch and a general catch up, I made my way over to my favourite grassy spot in South Bank to just sit and relax.

I’ve gotten into the habit of always (or almost always) bringing pen and paper, and a novel with me wherever I go; but today I’d also brought earphones, and decided I just wanted to sit back, listen to music, and people-watch. (Well, initially I did try to write a bit, but the inspiration wasn’t really coming, so I didn’t worry about it.)

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forget me not

These last two weeks, I’ve been reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I feel like people have been recommending Shadow to me for so long, it’s really about time I got around to it. But I’m only about 200 pages in, so no spoilers please.

Anyway, anyone who has read it, or knows anything about the work of Ruiz Zafón will know that Shadow is magnificently written, and full of beautifully poetic prose. If I spent all day trying to mark or note down every line I liked, it would take me forever to finish reading it. Since I haven’t been writing down notable quotes, I actually feel like I’m really powering through this. I mean, considering how slowly I usually read, this feels almost too fast; but it’s just such a page-turner, and maybe I’ve just been in more of a reading mindset lately (?)

All of that aside, there is one quote that I wanted to share:

“He would have liked to know that somebody wanted to keep him alive, that someone remembered him. He used to say that we exist as long as somebody remembers us.”
– Nuria Monfort, speaking of Julián Carax (Chapter 20)

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a fictional life

I was thinking about writing stories, and why I write, and I had this thought that maybe I write stories as a way to make my thoughts and emotions more accessible to others, in a medium that’s less confronting because it’s more detached.

But then I thought about it some more, and I thought, no, it’s not really detached. Story-writing is very personal, and that whole statement seems contradictory for some reason.

Maybe I need to add in the word “seemingly” – it is seemingly more detached. I can tell people that my stories are “pure fiction”, all the while knowing and believing that all fiction is autobiographical to some extent. (I really wish I remembered where I got that quote from. Goodreads tells me it’s from author P.D. James.)

I suppose it makes sense to write about things that are important to you, or that you’re deeply interested in. It certainly would not make sense to write about things that you care very little about, or that you have zero interest in.

The more I write (and the more I read), the more I want to write, and the more I think what a wondrous thing it is that I can write and that I love to write. How lucky am I? Now if only I could make a living out of it, then I’d be set.

in case of (writing) emergency

There are a lot of people out there who give advice about writing – bloggers included. When I was writing my novel last year, I read a lot of posts from other writers and editors about the writing process, and I reckon it did help. Maybe I would’ve figured it all out for myself eventually, but why not save some time and pain, and learn from the experiences of other people?  Continue reading