Welcome to my place. Make a cup of coffee and have a look around.
A bit about me:
I am an author, an editor, and a poet (moonlighting as musician, Grace Pageant). Teacher-trained, I am currently working as a resource development editor at Education Institute in Collingwood.
This blog is designed for people who want to know more about the creative journey, how to become a published writer and how to find the tools they need for success. I blog about my personal journey with writing and creativity, and include insights into the publishing process.
For those in need of a tailored solution to their publishing and communications needs, look no further. My business, Best Light Communications can help develop a customised communications solution for you and help guide you on the path to publication.
Links to some of my commercially available books, including poetry books and educational resources, are included below.
Nice of you to drop in. Feel free to add your thoughts to the mix.
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I love Pat Pattison from Berklee. He teaches that if you want your writing to be more universal, you have to get more specific. Everybody has sense memories – engaging people’s senses is the number one way to draw your reader into the experience.
Object writing exercise
1. Pick an object (my friend and I chose binoffi pie)
2. Set the timer for 2 minutes
3. Using the object as a starting point, write about the object from each of the senses.
4. Read your writing out loud to each other
There are no rules, except that the writing needs to be sense-bound. It is a great exercise for capturing an object or an experience in a way that everyone can relate to, through their senses.
Bananas washed up like flotsam
Looks good enough to dip my spoon in
Sandy dusting of cinnamon and cocoa
Teeth crunching over the biscuity base
Reminds me of shell seeking
Wriggling my toes in the mangroves
Oozing caramel on my tongue
By the way, this was the weirdest binoffi I have eaten – chocolate chip cookies in a martini glass with a dash of caramel and banana. Weird! (But still kind of delicious)
1. Know your craft
The best way to be an ineffective writer is to read as much as you can about writing. Read every 10 step book there is. Fill your head with those tips. This is hands down the number one way to procrastinate, on your way to becoming a highly ineffective writer.
2. Write about what you know
I can guarantee you that if you want to be ineffective as a writer, you should only write about what you know and write for yourself. Forget about the reader – if you are a brilliant writer, you will be discovered for your esoteric and original genius. It is always better to be an underground legend than sell out straight away and then fade quickly into oblivion.
3. Follow in Kerouac’s footsteps
Developing the habit of drinking and smoking weed before you write is one way to guarantee ineffectiveness, believe me. It doesn’t take much to loosen up and really get the words flowing. Follow in the footsteps of the greats, like Bukowski and Jack Kerouac. If you really develop the habit, you too could develop cirrhosis of the liver. (Hang on – I take that back, Bukowski and Kerouac were both effective in their own ways.)
4. Honesty is the best policy
Censorship is the enemy of ineffective writing. If you want to be ineffective, you should always be as honest as possible. Top of the mind, tip of the pen, as they say. Leave nothing to the imagination. The more poignant and emotive, the better.
5. Break free from restrictive forms
When it comes to being ineffective, you can’t beat free form. We live in the 21st century. Structure and antiquated forms are for those who can’t think for themselves. They are restrictive and boring. I would say the most unstructured writers are usually the most ineffective. Unless you’re Rimbaud or someone like that.
6. Feedback is crucial
The best way to know if you are being ineffective or not is to ask for feedback from as many people as you can, particularly those who love you and who know you best. These are the people who will really keep you on the path to ineffectiveness, with their well-meaning, flattering and pointless advice. Their opinions are very valuable.
7. Keep the dream alive
Finally, the most important tip I can give you if you want to be an ineffective writer, is to hold onto the vision you have for your future retirement as a wealthy, reputable writer. Pin up that picture of yourself in a Paris cafe with your laptop, or imagine the day when you make the New York Times bestseller list. Forget about writing…just dream.
Some of my tries are now up on my other blog site: http://sometimesiwander.wordpress.com/
Check it out!
More info to come…all poetry-related guff will now be on that one.
Peace and poetry.
Hi. So I have decided I am going to migrate all of my poetry and poetry-related blog posts over to my other WordPress. Here’s a teaser – a poem about Jack Kerouac. Watch this space for the address and regular content…
In other news…I will be releasing my first full length poetry book in August for National Poetry Day in Auckland.
The book will be titled ‘A tender moment between strangers’ and it is a compilation of the 4 chapbooks of poetry I have published over the years.
The Joint – Jack Kerouac
By Anna Forsyth
You and I should run this joint
You know that right?
Two heads ahead of the pack
You and I
Smoke ‘em out.
They’ll get hip to us my friend
but in the meantime…
Hips make the best joints, hipsters
Lift it up
go on get high for me
I was going to work for a man
and a woman came
and I decided I’d rather
do that also
they’ll make you work for that too
all of it
how much merit you got boy?
how much effort?
It’ll pay/you’ll pay it off
in the end
but we all know what happens
to those who don’t give/give a fuck
they end up on the porch
of some beat up joint
thinking about how nice it was/is
being higher than every other man
Thanks to Brainpickings for the Susan Sontag journal notes:
‘Idea’ as method of instant transport away from direct experience, carrying a tiny suitcase.
‘Idea’ as a means of miniaturizing experience, rendering it portable. Someone who regularly has ideas is — by definition — homeless.
Intellectual is a refugee from experience. In Diaspora.
What’s wrong with direct experience? Why would one ever want to flee it, by transforming it — into a brick?
I love this, especially the last line. What a philosopher, God she’s awesome!
So much food for thought right there, wow! For me, the thing that struck me the most was that the reason I got into writing was to escape into the world of ideas. Ideas are black and white. They are an attempt to make sense of emotions by intellectualising them. Living in the world of intellect was easier for me as a child than facing the painful reality of constant bullying. But it’s experiencing reality and crunching through that reality again in different forms that gives fiction it’s power, not peddling ideas.
God I love waxing philosophical at 4.12am. Now for some peanut butter toast! (I’m sensing a theme here)
Here’s a little something for all the poetry lovers, by Anonymous.
I want to bear hug you and kiss your neck, then tell you how much I enjoy having you around
I’m a goose
But you are the one who stuck you’re neck out in the petrol station car park
Sorry – tongue tied that’s all
There’s this inexplicable beauty you see
Well I wish you did anyway
It was blowing a gale today
but you weren’t there to see me
throw my caution into it
so I practised my aim for next time
I keep telling myself
I will surprise you
and knock the cigarette right out of your hand