I love the idea of
the blog as a platform as it not only allows us to speak up about a number of
things but also to share things we love.
One of my closest friends, Patricia, told me I should do more of it even
in as far as sharing a recipe, or small facets of day to day life. It might sound strange but what she is
meaning is that this kind of sharing allows insight into the author and that is
one of the best ways to connect to readers. The blog was never meant to be
about just writing as readers are keen to absorb information about all sorts of
things. Why not add sharing things
personal to ourselves? I mean it is a
way to make more of a connection to readers and readers are what gives our writing
credence. Of course in many ways I
already do that by discussing writers I like but I would like to take it
further. Fortunately for me I get to
share two things at once by talking about a fellow writer and an old Japanese
Gavin Austin is a
gentleman I met through my eldest daughter.
He dabbles in many things and writing is one of them. The reason I have become a fan is because of
his affinity with the ‘haiku’. Actually
it is much more than that as he is also a short story writer but it was the
poetry that first held my interest. I am
not someone of few words. I wish I was
but I’m not and hence my love for most things Japanese. There is such an elegant simplicity in their
culture that I find irresistible. It
began when I was made to dress up as a geisha for a school play when I was four
years old. It was before a lot of
changes occurred in my family’s lives so it is a wonderful memory. If there was such a thing as past lives (not
saying there isn’t) then I was made for this culture, or at least parts of
it. The ‘haiku’ is one small part but a
part I love. When I first looked at
Shadow Play (a few posts ago) by Gavin Austin I was enthralled by the manner in
which so much is said in so little a combination of words. To keep it up for a whole book is amazing and
such a pleasure to browse through.
Recently Gavin sent
me a link to the 17th issue of A Hundred Gourds, a quarterly journal
found online of haiku, haibun, haiga, tanka and renku poetry. If you care to follow www.ahundredgourds.com you
will find yourself on a reading journey with a burst of sweet simplicity that
makes you wonder why anyone takes so long to get to the point. I am Italian and I was born taking the long
way to get to the point so I often ask myself why I feel so drawn to the clean
cool lines of Japanese culture. I just
am. It is bold yet crisp, elegant yet
simple and lastly beautiful yet never overpowering but always complete. How can you not like that? It’s funny but in Unexpected Obsession what happens between Nico and Lia is very much
along these lines Whatever leads them to
be with each other is powerful but once together it is simple, complete and
Recently Gavin had
a short story published with Blue Crow Magazine, Issue 4, October 2015 entitled
A Piece of Sky. This publication
showcases some wonderful Australian talent but I particularly liked Gavin’s
story. Again with great succinctness he manages to tell a story about someone
who wasn’t given an opportunity to understand something that as a mother she
would have accepted with such grace.
People often think they know us and they have no idea. This was poignantly clear and brought to mind
so many times when those that claim to love us the most fail to see who we
are. You can see it left quite an
impression on me. I would love to make
that kind of impact but first I need to consider what I say and how I say it.
This brings me to another interesting link Gavin provided and has
this also had a huge effect on me? Hell,
yes! Try this link and be prepared to be
horrified at how often we use the exact words discussed. The web site is very good in general but this
link had me thinking about how unthinking or complacent we can become
about the way we write and the choices in word we make. The link provides some
good insight. http://dianaurban.com/words-you-should-cut-from-your-writing-immediately.
just some brief examples. Note my comments
at the end are not flattering to me.
That. If a sentence still makes sense
after removing “that,” delete it. For example, “This is the most
amazing blog post that I’ve ever read.” can be, “This is the most amazing blog
post I’ve ever read.” I say to this that
I am guilty over and over again.
I have a hard time removing “just,” especially in dialogue. But for the most
part, you don’t need it, and too many can make your dialogue or prose
repetitive. Guilty again I’m afraid but I can’t lie.
When showing a sequence of events, either remove “then” or try using “and”
instead of “then.” Oh my goodness the amount of times I do this.
Definitely, certainly, probably, actually,
basically, virtually. Again, these words
don’t add information. If the sentence makes sense without these words,
remove them. I am too scared to check this post. Because I know I have used them.
So my sharing has been
interesting I hope but if not I tried. I
wonder what Patricia would say. I shared
my love for Japan; I shared a favourite writer and in the end shared some of my
sillier errors. I think that may be
enough for me to start with. What do you