lindaghill

Life in progress


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One-Liner Wednesday – Swingin’

On the subject of “Things People with Hearing Children Don’t Have to Think About”:

Never talk to a Deaf child when he’s going really high on a swing – he just might answer you… in Sign Language.

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Anyone who would like to try it out, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday, if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are as follows:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Make it either funny or inspirational.

Have fun!


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Character-Driven vs Plot-Driven Stories

There are many writers out there who craft their stories based on a “what if” situation. They will come up with a scenario, such as “what if a meteor hit the earth?” or “what if a guy goes to the store and finds all the cars in the parking lot stacked on top of each other?”

These two scenarios may sound very similar, but they’re not. Yes, both start with the same three words, but the difference is this: the first revolves around a plot. The plot has yet to be populated by humans (assuming there are humans left alive after the meteor hit). The second scenario already has a human in it. Here may be the difference between a plot-driven story and a character-driven one.

For me, populating a story that contains a story first (aforementioned meteor crashing down) is near impossible. I can’t wrap my head around a crowd of people who have been plunked down in the middle of a situation. But give me a person to work with first, and I’m off and running. What any ONE person would do in a strange situation is fairly unique to that one person. That, to me, gives a story its excitement and its hook, if you will.

This whole topic came about when I started to think about how difficult it is for me to write a short story. Given a plot, I may be able to bang out a few words. But when I get my head wrapped around a character I find it hard to let go after just a few hundred words. I get attached to my characters very easily, and once I have them in my head I don’t just want to tell a bit of their story, I want to tell it all. Before I know it, I’m well on my way into a novel.

When I first began writing, I belonged to a Yahoo group in which a bunch of writers developed characters who not only interacted with one another, they told each other stories of their lives before they met one another. Quite like anyone would in real life. So I’m thinking about writing a character on my fiction blog rather than attempting and consistently failing to write short stories. Just a thought at the moment.

The character-driven story is a subject very dear to my heart. My characters become almost like  family to me, much as the characters do in some of the novels I read. Especially the ones I’m sad to put down when they’re finished.

I’d like to hear from the writers out there – do you write character-driven or plot-driven stories? Have you ever ventured out of your comfort zone and tried the other one?

And from the readers – have you ever become attached to a character that was so well written, you never wanted their story to end?


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A Day at the Opera

My trip to Ottawa to go backstage at the National Arts Centre was amazing! I managed to talk to a few of the staff members, including stage managers, prop builders, and lighting staff, I ate lunch in the green room, and took loads of photos.

Photo from one of the box seats

Photo from one of the box seats

There are four stages there; the seating for the largest is above.

View from the back of the stage

View from the back of the stage

I found out some handy tidbits of info. It is indeed possible to get horses on stage (in my novel, my character uses horses in his magic act). I was told they’ve had an elephant on this stage.

The stage will also hold a thirty foot ladder

The stage will also hold a thirty foot ladder

My novel also has a ladder as a prop. I discovered yesterday how tall it can be – and also how they would set it up so it won’t fall.

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The backstage corridors are like a maze. I got lost.

The ladies chorus dressing room

The ladies chorus dressing room

Getting ready to go onstage

Getting ready to go onstage

(No, that’s not me.)

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I had to find out what this was!

Apparently, a vomitory in a theatre isn’t somewhere you go to upchuck your lunch. It’s a quick exit from the stage. I learned something new!

I actually learned a lot of things–details–I will use in my novel. Even if the whole ten hour trip results in the fact that I know how to get a large animal on stage, that I know how many rungs my magician’s assistant will have to climb and whether they enter and exit stage left or right–and all this results in a couple of sentences or a paragraph–I will have accurate details! An essential part of any novel worth its weight, in my estimation.

Exit stage right

Exit stage right


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About My Fiction Blog

I’ve been trying to find ways to get more people to follow my fiction blog. I realize that fiction doesn’t tend to be as popular as real life sorts of sites, like this one; I think that’s partly because fiction is more subjective. If the first piece someone reads isn’t quite their cup of tea, they’re more likely to skip the whole thing. Which is, not so oddly enough, why it’s so important to have a great ‘hook’ at the beginning of a story.

But I digress.

In an attempt to get more bloggers to go to my fiction blog–to see that it exists–I’ve decided to make it my primary blog for a week. What this means is, if you click on my name, say, in the comment section of a post, the link will take you to “Inspiration in Progress” instead of here: “Life in Progress.”

I’m telling you this because if it annoys you, my regular followers, I’ll change it back. But I need you to let me know. The place to do it is in the comment section below.

I’ll make the change Monday morning, since I won’t be around for most of today.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!


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10 Random Whys

1. Why are people surprised when they get a groan instead of a laugh at the end of a joke? It’s called a PUNCHline after all.

2. Why can’t I kiss my own elbow?

3. Why are there so many fruit flies in the world when there’s nothing to eat them?

4. Why do the things that are so bad for us, taste so good?

5. Why must our faculties go to pot as we get older?

6. Why does a bottle of water cost more than the same amount of gasoline?

7. Why can’t we just all get along?

8. Why do we call flies flies, and yet there’s not a bug called a “walk”?

9. Why do men have such a hard time asking for directions?

10. Why are there not more hours in a day when we need them?

 

One point for every question you answer. Bonus points if you can come up with another “why” question for me to answer.

Aaand GO!


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Engaging The Masses – A Re-Post from April, 2013

Alex 2006

Alex, circa 2006

My son, Alex, is a very charming little boy. He’s twelve years old, stands 4′ 2″n and has the brightest blue eyes imaginable. He’s also Deaf. He loves to watch people and often smiles at them, prompting them to talk to him. When they look at him expecting an answer, nine times out of ten I will tell them he is Deaf.

The response to this information goes from a polite nod–those are the people who will then ignore him completely–to most often a whispered ‘Oh I’m sorry’.  … WHY do people whisper to me when I tell them my son can’t hear them? I have no clue. But it happens so frequently that there must be some kind of emotion or psychological reasoning behind this collective conclusion that if he can’t hear, I must have a heightened sense for it.

I find it hilarious.


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The Friday Reminder and Prompt for SoCS September 27/14

Hi there! Here we are once again on the fifth or sixth day of the week (depending on when your calendar starts your week) which is, of course Friday. And that means it’s time once again for the Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. When I started writing this I had a completely different idea for your prompt, but my second sentence up there has me thinking – what if we make this the prompt?

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: Use an ordinal number, i.e. first, second, third and so on.

After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here at the prompt page in the comments so others can find it and see your awesome Stream of Consciousness post. Anyone can join in!

Try out our new, handy dandy SoCS badge. Paste it in your Saturday post so people browsing the reader will immediately know your post is stream of consciousness and/or pin it as a widget to your site to show you’re a participant. Wear it with pride!!

socs-badge

Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!

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