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Carnage following Cyclone Debbie’s track down the Australian coastline

 by Jennifer M Ryan | quotable opinions, add yours? 🙂

Pictures create Cyclone Debbie stories

How many people have lost everything?

These pictures from the ABC national broadcaster give the big picture.

And, this video from Channel 9 shows the continuing disaster in Rockhampton, Queensland.

From Ayr in north Queensland to, at least, Lismore in New South Wales. xxxkm!

Queensland floods after cyclone Debbie
Too slow

There are real emergencies, a large clean up needed in huge % of east coastal properties.

In Agnes Water and 1770 in Qld, homes and public areas went from picnic and play areas to flooded in less than 2 hours.  Although many roads were flooded and some destroyed, the impact for them was generally minimal.  

While the waters are slowly retreated across flooded area, this post from Rockhampton Bulletin shows what the locals know, the emergencies are not over.

.Business’, caravan parks and homes were washed over by waves of water. People went from preparation to inudation in a matter of hours. Quotes on TV and radio indicated many ‘didn’t think it could be that bad’ … so they just didn’t follow emergency workers instructions. Maybe next time they will. SES rescue crews secured many properties and rescued many scared people. Scared not only of the water, but of the consequences of having no insurance. How will renew and rebuild their lives?

Its not unexpected that Brisbane’s newspaper, Courier Mail, records the events. However, when a radio station thousands of Kms away tells the story in pictures you know its a huge story. And when it pops up on Huffington Post you know for sure it is. 

More damage came to SE Qld. The City of Logan was ripped apart by moving water. In Beenleigh it was  race to secure and remove. Even the train station went under.

Pond goes under water
Where once was a park

There’s not enough adverbs to tell the story:  horrendous, fearful, frightening, terrible, alarming speed, formidable force, slow messy recovery, millions in  crop losses, and menacing swirls.

But a stream of images can say it all.

 

reading and writing hints and tips
Oops, you’ve caught me writing, again!

I’m always on the hunt for meaningless quotes. Post your favourites.


My Amazon author’s page: Jennifer M Ryan


Jennifer M Ryan on Facebook: 

Jennifer M Ryan posts some e-books on Amazon. Some are works in progress, some are experiments. Some are fiction. Some are educational.


Jennifer M Ryan is a writer and educator on the Discovery Coast, Queensland.

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I’m astounded, but really shouldn’t be!

 by Jennifer M Ryan | quotable opinions, add yours? 🙂

I’m astounded but, really, I wasn’t  surprised

 
 
 

In my neck of the woods, there’s a continuous stream of chatter about feminism. What it is. Why it is. etc. Nothing new there, but occasionally I get floored by something so simple it is very powerful.Workplace Decision Making

 

The Story

As part of my art explorations I’m sketching and painting female figures. The image I’m working from was a quick sketch and some important details  are, well,  ‘sketchy’. So, I figured a quick image search with Google would help me make sensible decisions. Ha! What it did was send me on a short journey that has started this post. 

My Procedures

Research, easy as. So, I pick my key words and press enter.

1. keywords: images seated women. Not brilliant, but how hard would this be?
2. got some ideas, did a few new sketches and then stopped. My female was wearing trousers (mining type work trousers), and most of the samples were of females in dresses, from other eras, with several famous painters works that didn’t reflect the representation I was  wanting.
3. so, I deleted the ‘wo’, and searched for “images seated men
4. this is where I got astounded. Not an artistic representation on the first page – all images were of suited, model like males in what appeared to be professional work stock photos. I didn’t check them all!!
 
But, I did a quick head count.
 

 Images seated men

The first ‘non-model’ like stock image was at 38. 
Image 60 was an irishkc.com  men on a bench painting
Image 66 was a Canadian chinatown mural 
 

Images seated women

Images 1 -10  were by Pablo Picasso. This link is to number 1
– minus Paul McCarney at 5
-minus a deviantart image  at 7.
 
The first ‘model’ like stock images were at 18 and 23. 
 

What does it mean?

I’m not sure. A couple of ‘good guesses’ to explain the results: 

A Sream
Image from local artist, Chad, paying homage to ‘The Scream’
 1. male painters like to paint female bodies, and rank high on google hits, 
2. female painters don’t rank painting male bodies high on their must paint list,
3. stock photo companies don’t get many requests for images of women in professional/work related poses. While, that appears illogical, as women make up about 50% of most workforces, there is some logic to it. 
 
4. Ssh! Whisper this one. Feminism. It’s all linked to male and female roles and expections – individual, community groups and the world!!
 
5. Heaven forbid – the keywords were atrocious! No, simple, clear words for a very sketchy topic.
 

The complete answer is anything but clear.

I’m always looking for other opinions and ideas. If you’ve got any, please send them in.
 
And, if anyone has facts,  please send them in. But, no SEO facts and figures please! We want the big picture, not the nitty gritty detail.
 

My Amazon author’s page: Jennifer M Ryan


Jennifer M Ryan on Facebook: 

Jennifer M Ryan posts some e-books on Amazon. Some are works in progress, some are experiments. Some are fiction. Some are educational.


Jennifer M Ryan is a writer and educator on the Discovery Coast, Queensland.

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It’s Personal – characters have to stand up to be counted

 by Jennifer M Ryan | quotable opinions, add yours? 🙂

It’s personal.

I’ve worked with many writers to help them make their stories personal, and it wasn’t easy for either of us.

 

If your characters are going to resonate with your readers they need to show:

  • who they are and
  • what they believe in.
 
If the author ‘tells‘ what the character  thinks and feels, and does it just gets BORING. The character stays a 2D representation of author’s internal image.
 

Examples are the best way to explain the idea.

1. in a quiet moment, the character is challenged to address an issue – the text includes something like “the cockatoos rose silently in the distance”, or “the swollen creek sloshed cold water over his polished boots “,”the sunny spot usually called to her, not today”.
2. ‘the little girl was feeling sad‘ becomes something like ”pushing her toes  through the gravel her whole feet turned a dusty red’. 
3. I taught my children to be resilient and pick their battles, can look like ” ….” Have a go at this one yourself.
 
 Create a personal collection

When you create a personal collection of writing ‘gems. Post them where you see them often. It is strangely satisfying. They help. I’ve selected some of my personal collection of ‘Literary Quotes’ for you to read.

  1. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” Virginia WoolfUse quotes to improve your writing
  2. “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” Philip Roth
  3. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.” Leigh Brackett, WD
  4. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Stephen King
  5. “The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” Joyce Carol Oates, WD
  6. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” Allen Ginsberg, WD
  7. “Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.” Allegra Goodman
  8. “It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” Jack Kerouac, WD
  9. “I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.” Roald Dahl, WD
  10. “I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” Tom Clancy, WD

Using your personal collection

The Comfy Reading Chair
It takes time to find the perfect quote

My advice is: collect quotes that can improve your writing. My most used quotes from those above are: Stephen King, Virginia Woolf, Leigh Bracket, and Tom Clancy.

Other Quotes

Rumi quotes are a favourite of mine. I prefer to read them typed in a Times New Roman like font, centred horizontally and vertically, on off white, slightly yellow page.

You can use philosophical quotes to isolate essential characteristics in seconds. “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music,” from Friedrich Nietzsche

However, you can go wrong with quotes? 

reading and writing hints and tips
Oops, you’ve caught me reading, again!

I’m always on the hunt for meaningless quotes. Post your favourites here, to help other authors avoid them!


My Amazon author’s page: Jennifer M Ryan


Jennifer M Ryan on Facebook: 

Jennifer M Ryan posts some e-books on Amazon. Some are works in progress, some are experiments. Some are fiction. Some are educational. She also publishes education resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Jennifer M Ryan is a writer and educator on the Discovery Coast, Queensland.

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A Writer’s Soul

 by Jennifer M Ryan | quotable opinions, add yours? 🙂

The writer’s dilemma, “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works”,  that  Virginia Woolf makes utterly clear. Even school children understand the implications of their written words. But, how does it really work?

Watch as I decompose an example.

Expression of a writer's dilemma
Image from local artist, Chad, developed from ‘The Scream’

The character had a troubled childhood, nothing obvious.

  1. She was persecuted every day by her mother, she was belittled, ignored, shouted at and strapped for often unfathomable reasons. But always in the ‘safety’ of the family home.
  2. Experiences like sudden, unexpected loud noises bring forth an internal physical response – much like responding to an unexpected ‘BOO!!’ that actually scares you.
  3. Her responses fall into a couple of categories – she becomes highly regulated, reclusive and non internally monitored responses are exceptionally difficult for her.
  4. Effects last her whole life and affect all relationships: close friends, partners, children and colleagues.
  5. Addressing the problem sends her on a life long search: philosophical peace, zen moments, supreme fitness and highest levels of personal responsibility.
  6. Eventually, a previously unknown incurable, systemic disease attacks her. Every personal pleasure is eventually removed. Day by day. Until, at 35 years of age she is in danger of living life the remainder of her life  in a wheel chair.

Writer's need to be brave to publish
The Writer’s Task: morph the facts into your character.

  • A teenager begins to act erratically. Her mother cannot understand how this happens over night. It turns out her new replacement teacher is cruel and has no empathy for students. Now your teenager has no safe place.
  • A new mother is physically unable to hold her child. Her arms will bend but she has no strength in her hands. Fear of becoming her mother has ‘frozen’ her musclea. Later, after years of searching for a physical cause, she understands the underlying cause.

 

 

 


My Amazon author’s page: Jennifer M Ryan


Jennifer M Ryan on Facebook: 

Jennifer M Ryan posts some e-books on Amazon. Some are works in progress, some are experiments. Some are fiction. Some are educational.


Jennifer M Ryan is a writer and educator on the Discovery Coast, Queensland.

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10 Quotes to Help your Writing

 by Jennifer M Ryan | quotable opinions, add yours? 🙂

 Using Quotes When You’re Writing

Do you love or hate quotes in stories? Quotes can be a good entry to a subject. And can be the perfect summary.
The main problem with quotes is – they are everywhere! A “literary quotes” search in Google provided “About 55,300,000 results (0.72 seconds”.

Create a personal collection

When you create a personal collection, post them where you see them often. It is strangely satisfying. They help. I’ve selected some of my personal collection of ‘Literary Quotes’ for you to read.

  1. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” Virginia WoolfUse quotes to improve your writing
  2. “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” Philip Roth
  3. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.” Leigh Brackett, WD
  4. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Stephen King
  5. “The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” Joyce Carol Oates, WD
  6. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” Allen Ginsberg, WD
  7. “Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.” Allegra Goodman
  8. “It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” Jack Kerouac, WD
  9. “I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.” Roald Dahl, WD
  10. “I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” Tom Clancy, WD

Using your personal collection

The Comfy Reading Chair
It takes time to find the perfect quote

My advice is: collect quotes that can improve your writing. My most used quotes from those above are: Stephen King, Virginia Woolf, Leigh Bracket, and Tom Clancy.

Other Quotes

Rumi quotes are a favourite of mine. I prefer to read them typed in a Times New Roman like font, centred horizontally and vertically, on off white, slightly yellow page.

You can use philosophical quotes to isolate essential characteristics in seconds. “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music,” from Friedrich Nietzsche

However, you can go wrong with quotes? 

reading and writing hints and tips
Oops, you’ve caught me reading, again!

I’m always on the hunt for meaningless quotes. Post your favourites.


My Amazon author’s page: Jennifer M Ryan


Jennifer M Ryan on Facebook: 

Jennifer M Ryan posts some e-books on Amazon. Some are works in progress, some are experiments. Some are fiction. Some are educational.


Jennifer M Ryan is a writer and educator on the Discovery Coast, Queensland.

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Its Almost Writing Time – WooHoo

The Holiday Season is just around the corner, meaning it’s almost ‘writing time’.

 

MY ‘writing time’ is between December and February each year. Not ideal, and it will be changing in the near future, but for now I have 3 months of writing time.

 

It's Writing Time
It’s Writing Time

To maximize my writing efforts, and make sure I don’t re-write unnecessarily, I re-read random pages from the current writing project in November .  The quote below is from ‘Seeing Me Sweetly’, my first full length novel.

Some Chapters are on Amazon. I did that just to make the ‘author’ moniker feel real!

“Well before she could understand most her Mother’s actions, Jemma had built up a solid wall of invisible personal protections. She used her natural talents to identify and hone skills valued by the world outside her home; superior fitness and sport skills and success, but not brilliance, at school were at the top of her list. From the age of ten, every time she stumbled, failed or quivered in fear, she chanted the mantra that had come to her while listening to the story of Snow White and the Wicked Witch. It had become Jemma’s replacement for the Hail Mary.

“She is the queen of mean, and the master of disaster. I will not be my mother!”

Like a golden rainbow, these words floated beneath her skin and worked their way into her psyche.”

Listening to what other understand your writing says
Listening to what other understand your writing says

Writing for publication is a tough gig! Finding yourself as you lose yourself in the story can be problematic. Sometimes I feel like the cyclists, other times I’m the building. Regardless of these feelings and in spite of the terror, all published authors will tell you – editors are essential. So all budding authors need to hand their words to others in the hope they will be given some useful feedback.

I’ve had some positive feedback about SMS.

A couple suggested little Jemma seemed to mature or wise for her age so I’ll be looking at that. A couple of others commented on how ‘dark’ it was. I’m already aware of that.

When I write it’s a bit like painting for me.

I create my characters and plots in layers, with each edit building upon and revealing details and previously hidden aspects of the story. For some reason, I find it an easier process to lay down all the ‘dark stuff’ and then work to reveal goodness and light. This has two advantages. One, when I say something is fiction – it really is. Two, finding just the right word to explain, reveal and puzzle is time-consuming, but with  my process I hardly notice how long its taken.

The disadvantage

After a trial, I have decided my writing and editing process is not suited to slow-release chapter publications on Amazon. So, there’ll be no more of them.


My Amazon author’s page: Jennifer M Ryan


Exemplary work booklet: “Let the Characters Speak” by Boost Tutoring and Training … apologies its been moved – you need to scroll down, left column  🙁

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On Being Precious – 3 steps to create realistic characters

 How do you display a ‘precious’ character? 


 

Don’t settle with almost right.
Search for that defining character foible or peculiarity.

Create Realistic Characters

Creating a realistic character is never a chore, and that last character change  can make the story click. 

 

Today’s challenge  is the ‘precious character‘, they are ..

1. the ones that can dish it out but not suck it up?
2. the ones who lash out of anyone who points a finger at an obvious character or career inability, obsession or flaw.
3. the ones that rally the troops around to destroy the enemy who dared.

Create Character Flaws

What could they have dared?
– to voice the obvious flaw in a plan or idea, or
– delay boarding the hero ship without more detail.

My 3 best pieces of advice when developing characters

1. Own these two books.

One, literary devices and how to use them. Two, relationships from a counsellors perspective (not a clinical one). Then play mix-n-match and mould characters to your needs.

You Need 2 Books

2. Create a realistic ‘Philosopher of Preciousness’

Create the ultimate  ‘Philosopher of Preciousness’ as you work through options like: warped reactions; hidden and contradictory public and private views held by them, and held of them; their obliviousness to the fact they need others to carry the burden of the relationship, while floating  above as protector and angel.

Tied to these conundrums of character (one last lazy little alliteration for today) is their personal rage (overt or covert) at some offence they have taken to a comment, action, supposition, prediction, taunt, consequence.

Create Curious Characters

3. Don’t Limit Yourself

A ‘Precious One’ could be a person, or they could be a: casual group of friends, formal group, club, political party, a country or state/county. Consider how you could create an animal, plant or inanimate object, a building for example, as a’precious one’.

Which ever way you do it “create realistic characters” for the story you are telling. Avoid using stereotypes.


Exemplary work booklet: “Let the Characters Speak” by Boost Tutoring and Training … apologies its been moved – you need to scroll down, left column  🙁

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Journalists make dynamic characters

Journalists make me scream
Image from local artist, Chad, developed from ‘The Scream’

Journalists: tragic-heroes?

A few days back I was playing around with the idea as I created a new character.

After creating some graffiti like pictures and a linked word-bank, confidence and arrogance stood out as essential traits – I went with them. The picture of a  journalist – sex to be determined – with twin fatal flaws, confidence and arrogance  began to reveal a story.

 

Eventually journalist types reveal themselves:

only three types of confidence remained:
1. valid confidence, deserved and earned – not this character;
2. I can step-up confidence, the type that assumes needs lead wants and create goals – could work;
3. naĂŻve confidence, based on nothing but a want – unrelated to daily reality. Workable?

So:

a number 0f, 2 or 3, confident journalists with an arrogant streak.

A journalist with a streak of:

1. self-importance, if I want it the job, it has a value beyond the skills of others;
2. arrogance supported by hubris, a noisy aggressive journalist who demands quality jobs. The punishment due this type of tragic hero could be germinate some lively relationships;
3. the arrogance that comes from presumptions, self-proclaimed superiority and an overbearing way. A tragic-hero? I’m not sure yet.

What relationships or interactions would work?

1. supervisor and rooky;
2. journalist who plays the part, but lives conflict and aggression in their head;
3. the event: the perfect career defining opportunity. The journalist: skills suitable for simple jobs. The flaw: lacks the rigour, reflection and research skills (apologies – love a little alliteration) to pull off a complex national interest story.

Next steps:

  • essential events, conversations, tracking character flaw through events, tragic event – cause and effect, relationships.
  • Have your ever worked with this type of character? Share your thoughts with us, please. I enjoy learning from those who have done it before.

Jennie

Jennifer M Ryan
Dip Teach, MEd.

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Discover Reality Today

Crazy thoughts

Building succinct ‘menus’ for life has become a bit of a habit in 2015. I am beginning to like the idea of creating phrases or short sentences that sum up a simple truth; randomly adding them to notebooks, scraps of paper and calendars is part of the attraction.

Robert, my husband, and I worked on this one over many breakfasts before we liked it: your thoughts  yesterday, influence your actions today,  that become your memories tomorrow.

This morning we were discussing comments on Facebook related to the recent ‘booing’ of a talented and ‘good guy’ of Aussie Rules football (AFL), Adam Goodes, because of a post on a friends page.

My personal conundrum, ‘where do people get the self-assurance to post what, to me, represent miserable comments’, was followed up with these two thoughts.

  • Do readers of those comments have any obligation to express that they take issue with the comment?
  • Why would one not post a contrary view?

Without my permission, this question popped into my working memory.

  • In 2015, what are the boundary markers of one’s community?

This is what we discussed; the discussion didn’t get us to the essence of anything: “when good people stay silent, then ill will flourishes”.

Breakfast was over without any acceptable understanding being arrived at. The best we got was: if the fear of the response prevents good people from speaking, then we have a problem. This  morphed into:

 When fear of the consequences prevents a good person from speaking out
is bullying, browbeating and intimidation in play ?

And, at what stage does this become a problem?

There is no doubt we will revisit these thoughts again, and again … especially if we keep reading Facebook posts!

 

 

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