Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Poetry Challenge: The Sonnet

Because we all love Shakespeare, right?

Of course, we do, since he was the master. So, sonnets.

Sonnet basics:
  1. The Shakespearean sonnet is also called the English sonnet;
  2. Each line has five pairs of syllables, and every second syllable is stressed - this is called an iambic pentameter;
  3.  The sonnet is divided into three verses of four lines;
  4. There is a rhyming scheme: abab cdcd efef (meaning the last word of the first line of each verse rhymes with the last word of the third, and the end of second line rhymes with the end of the fourth);
  5. There are two more lines at the end of the poem, after the third verse;
  6. These last two lines end with words that rhyme with each other: gg.
Notes on Writing:

I found this incredibly hard to write, and I'm not sure the iambic pentameter is perfect, but everyone has to start somewhere. I wish you good luck with yours.

Example Sonnet:

"Do not laugh at me," roared my inner ghost
"Keep me secret. Keep me safe. Tell you none,
or I will make you mourn your soul, my host.
From me you cannot hide. You cannot run."

"Oh ghost of mine," I said, "leave me alone."
"Never!" it replied, "You're forever mine."
"We'll see," I said, and raised the telephone.
"Crusaders of Canb'ra? Please come in time."

They soon came, but the wicked ghost took hold.
It did not want to leave me. How I raved!
A ghostly fever raged, then left me cold.
The ghost, it fled. My soul was safe and saved.

I joined the ranks of the crusaders bold.
To the One they served, my own soul I sold.

More information:

Google "Shakespearean sonnet" or check out these sites:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Writing and Publishing: Finding the Balance

The Back-on-Track Challenge and the last university semester have taught me that I have some balancing to do in order to make all the bits of my life fit. Being a full-time student, and wanting to achieve good grades is a full-time job, and that means that, during semester, my writing can’t be. This has meant that I haven’t been making regular releases and that I’ve been expecting too much of myself as a writer, so I’ve had to make a few changes.

The first of these is that I had to revamp my writing schedule to take some of the pressure down. Instead of aiming at a release a week, I’m aiming at having a release every 2nd month, starting in January 2016. It also means that I can’t keep working on a ‘backlog’, but that I have to work out how to move forward with what I have, and then to keep moving forward as I keep writing. To do this, I did the following:

  • I rescheduled all the work I’d completed, with the first release coming out in the first week of January. This gave me completed work to release all the way up to July, and partial work that will take me through to May 2017 with releases becoming monthly as of January 2017 (or, that’s the plan).
  • I put in place a publishing plan, to help make sure I meet my publishing needs for pre-releases;
  • and I planned a writing schedule that would allow me to fill the gaps, while keeping the release schedule on track. 

The second thing I realised I needed to do was to get this blog, and my publishing and photography blogs on track. For now, I’m focussing on this blog, but I have ideas for keeping the other two a little better updated:

  • Once I have the items for publishing schedule for the first six months uploaded and available for pre-release, I will release that schedule to the publishing blog;
  • Each cover completed will go to the publishing and art blogs;
  • I will pre-plan the entries for this blog so that there is something up at lease every second day. So far, I’m thinking on keeping the Sunday Progress Reports, making Monday Birds and Bugs, switching the poetry challenge to Wednesdays, and to try for the Friday RPG writing or news or playing reports. I might try for a regular Writing post, and the terribleminds flash fiction challenge on two of the other days. Publishing and cover announcements will be extra posts.

The third thing I realised was that I had to work on my fitness. Basically, you can’t write any novels when you’re dead… or not well, so fitness is important. Diabetes, high blood pressure, stress and so on, are all reduced with an increased fitness, so, now, I’m walking twice a day most days.

Apparently, there’s this thing called life-balance, and I’m a long way off being there. That’s the goal for the Christmas break – establish a better life-balance. A better life-balance can only mean a better writing balance, right?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Birds and Bugs... And Butterflies

It's late spring in Australia - the last month of spring, to be exact, so I thought I'd share a couple of butterflies that came to visit.

At first glance, they don't look like much... and they're fairly well camoflauged.

And then they start to open their wings, and we see a flash of promise.

If we shift the angle, just a little bit...

We saw more of the colour hidden inside

And then a little more...

Until the butterfly reveals its true colours...

 ...and then it flies away.