Thursday, May 31, 2012

Masterclass for Pantsers

What I learnt at Louise Cusack’s Gold Coast Literati Masterclass last week...

Well I can’t share everything, because the very brilliant Louise Cusack has protected her work with copyright. So I suggest you get along to one of her classes/sessions/seminars because she’s an awesome teacher.

The theme of the class was ‘Plotting after the novel is written.’ Yes, a perfect class for pantsers like mwa!
We took a moment to write down our main character’s greatest virtue and worst flaw. Then we wrote down the character’s goal, motivation and conflicts. With these tiny pieces of information, we partnered up (with someone we’d only just met who knew nothing about the novel we’d written) to share our character.  

This exercise sounds easy but proved to be quite difficult. It quickly became obvious that if the motivation isn’t strong and clear, there will be weak plot issues. And by strengthening the goal, motivation and conflicts while working with your character's flaws and virtues - an amazing plot can be achieved. (we hope)

So, I learnt a new technique to tighten up my plot after I’ve written my novel, which suits the pants off this pantser!

Have you tried analysing your characters after you’ve written a story with someone who doesn’t know anything about the story? 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Though the Bud Be Bruised

written by Jo Wanmer

~ An Aussie Review~ 


  “Can one little note, read at midnight, really trigger a chain of events that could shake the very foundation of Zara Heymer's life? Can she even grasp the horror of what has happened within her family? The shock of discovering that evil, cleverly disguised, has penetrated her home and her church has left Zara reeling. Feeling a total failure, she looks for a way to resign as a mother; a way to stop this nightmare.
But her daughter, Issy, desperately needs a good mother as she attempts to face life. Can Zara put aside her grief, her own need for acceptance, her narrow thinking, and deeply ingrained religiosity in time to help Issy? Will Issy even survive?
How could God allow this to happen? Is God even there? Is her faith relevant or is it just a false crutch she has lent upon all these years? Could it possibly be that this nightmare is the way God has answered her prayers?”

Oh my goodness! 
Though the Bud Be Bruised was the most heart breaking, gut wrenching book I've ever read. As the story unfolded, I read through squinted eyes because I didn't want to know the painful details. Thankfully, Jo Wanmer has written this book in such a charming way, that my mind was never bombarded with visual images I’d rather not see.  Jo has written a real life story in a fictional frame. A faction.

I admit, I had to put the book down not once, but twice. Though compelling to read Though the Bud Be Bruised sent me off into my own life, thinking about my relationship with my children, my relationship with God, my friends, my involvement at church, and the big one... my parenting ability. I was moved emotionally and challenged to my core over and over throughout the book.

If you have the slightest desire to protect anyone from sexual abuse – this book is for you. If you know someone who has been abused and want to understand them or be there for them (or anyone in their family) as they heal – this book is for you. If you are a Christian – this book is for you.  If you aren’t a Christian – this book is for you. You get the picture... it's for everyone!

I attended the release of this book where Jo’s husband took the microphone and encouraged men to pick this book up too. (My hubby took the challenge and enjoyed the book as well) This book is filled with stories that will touch and encourage everyone.

2012 Book Challenge

Though the Bud Be Bruised was forwarded to me by Even Before Publishing to read and review and I loved the book so much, I purchased an autographed copy at the launch.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Holiday Celebration

Where my hubby took me for my 40th....
Our Thailand holiday in pictures... 

Yes, it was amazing! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Arranged Marriage

Cora Villa by Meredith Resce

     ~ a review ~ 

Cora VillaIt's all arranged: Marriage to a man she's never met.
Garrison Stewart is looking forward to the day when his daughter, Cora, will be wed to his former neighbour's son, just as had been arranged fifteen years ago. But that arrangement had been made before Cora had grown up, before the Stewarts had immigrated to Australia, and before Cora had fallen in love with someone else.
Now, Cora is forced to choose between the love of her father and the love of a mysterious who is all too secretive about his past...
A historical romance that examines duty, deceit and desire in 19th century Victoria, from Australian author Meredith Resce. Blurb copiedfrom Goodreads

 I loved this book. It was predictable, the main character Cora was someone I had love/hate feelings towards and at times I wanted to shake many of the characters. But it made me feel, it made me think and it consumed me from the minute I began reading until days after I’d finished.

Seriously, imagine if you knew from a young age your parents had already decided who you would marry. Arranged marriages still happen in our world today. Some say it works fine and for others it turns into disaster.
How do you think you would cope with the knowledge of your own arranged marriage?

2012 Book Challenge

This post is not sponsored. I purchased Cora Villa and chose to write a review

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Tumbled Stone ~ Silence and Lies

by Marcia Lee Laycock

~ Review~
Andrea Calvert had to run away. She couldn't stay on the farm with her foster parents, shaming them before their neighbours and legalistic church. She couldn't face going to live with strangers in her condition, as her foster mother had arranged. But she couldn't face being pregnant and alone. She would have to take care of this in her own way. But when Andrea arrives at Evie's Rocky Road Diner, she sees an opportunity for work and decides to stay. Evie's gentle advice begins to change her heart. She shows her the stone tumbler set up in the basement of the diner and gives Andrea a stone pendant, saying, "God is always doing things in our lives, but it takes time. He knows exactly when to take the pressure off or increase it. He knows just how much tumbling we need." As she struggles to make decisions that will change her life, Andrea discovers her foster mother's diary and the wrenching story that reveals the deep reasons for the dysfunction in their family. Meanwhile, a figure from Andrea's past has hired investigators to find her. Is Andrea's life at risk at Evie's Diner? Blurb taken directly from Goodreads

A Tumbled Stone is an unfolding story discovering the unconditional love of God. This is an amazing story of a Andrea, foster child who has always felt misplaced. She runs away from the lies and silence of her parents, into the arms of a gentle and loving woman. Evie gives Andrea a job and allows her to make informed choices regarding her unborn baby’s future.

This novel covers themes of fostering, adoption, teen pregnancy, abortion and infant death.

A Tumbled Stone is the sequel to One Smooth Stone, Marcia has written A Tumbled Stone so well that I didn’t realise it was a sequel until I researched Marcia Lee Laycock after I read her book.

Thoughts while reading…
Lies and silence are a hindrance and in no way help heal pain. The truth will set you free.

I highly recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

 White Butterfly Project ~ Caring for those who’ve lost babies through pregnancy or infancy 

A Tumbled Stone was forwarded to me by the author to read and review