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Topics - Dansinger

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1
Ask a Question / Blurbs. Help, please!
« on: October 20, 2020, 04:18:13 PM »
One of my friends is about to have her book published. She just got the blurb from her publisher, and does not like it at all. So I offered to try and smooth her own blurb out for her a bit.

I know, silly, but I'm a softie. When a woman starts crying, I'd do anything to make her dry those tears. Anything.

But I don't know how to write blurbs. I've never done one before.

Obviously, I'm not at liberty to share her blurb here, but I could do with some general guidance. That would be helpful, I think.

So, please, if any of you can tell me the rules, I'd be eternally grateful.

2
Poet's Corner / A poem a day
« on: October 16, 2020, 10:06:10 PM »
I promised myself to write a poem (at least one) every day during the month my MS is in quarantine. I need to keep those fingers nimble, eh?

And, for accountability, I'll post my daily poems in this thread. They don't have to be good. It would, of course, be nice if they were, but they can also be absolute rubbish. The only requirement is that I write them, and post them here.

Here's today's poem. Just a Four And Twenty, created using the cut-up technique. I thought it best to give myself an easy start, but I do intend to write at least one villanelle too. Probably near the end of my month.


manuscript

the smooth lack of tears
may approach extreme proportions
of labour and hardship
weighed in gold

3
The Bar & Grill / Kreg de Kerauna! - and other Dutch curses
« on: October 15, 2020, 03:39:11 PM »
Yes, it's true. We Dutch are a funny people. We like to curse in nasty diseases. Cancer has been the number one disease for cursing ever since I was little. Get the cancer! Cancer sufferer! Cancer shoes. Cancer whore. Those are just a few of the curses that colour our day-to-day conversations.

We have a new disease added to the long list of curses now: Corona.
Get the corona, you cancer sufferer! is only one of the curses we might shout at each other now.

Dan Nosowits (I have to wonder if that's his real name) wrote this delightful article about it. It made me nod, and smile - and even laugh out loud. Literally.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/coronavirus-dutch-swears

4
Success Stories / The End
« on: October 15, 2020, 11:17:29 AM »
108,647 Words, 41 chapters. The End. (Of book 1)

I'm still in shock.

Now I have to lock it into a (virtual) drawer for a month or so, before the editing starts. I'm going to miss my friends so much!

5
Ask a Question / Quick grammar question
« on: September 25, 2020, 07:06:17 PM »
I've got this sentence, but am not sure. Should I use were, or was?

“You were (was) going to tell me about my mother, when we were interrupted,” Neel said. He took a sip of his iced tea and looked at his father.

6
Writer's Talk / My MC on YouTube
« on: August 16, 2020, 09:39:59 PM »
We all know what our characters look like, and how they sound, right? So, I've had this picture of Bel in my head, and I know exactly what her voice sounds like (she's a professional singer). And then YouTube suggested I might like this video.
https://youtu.be/I065oHtGSu8
And there she was. MY Bel! OK, she doesn't look exactly the same. Bel's got ivory skin and verdigris eyes, and short hair, because she's a practical young woman. And there's that tiny detail of her being in a wheelchair. But apart from that. This is Bel.
And the voice? Exactly the way I imagined she would sound. That has never happened to me before.

7
Ask a Question / A laughing matter
« on: July 24, 2020, 07:35:39 PM »
Somewhere in my story I have Leks laughing thunderously. And that's a problem, because Leks is an old man. He's a very fit old man - despite being an amputee - but still, he's old. He's not large either. In fact, he's a rather small guy. Tough, wiry. Retired gangster. He does not laugh thunderously.

I can actually hear inside my mind how he sounds when he laughs, and it's more something of a cackling laugh - but not loud or irritating, which makes me feel I can't use cackling either.

So I need another word, and while the thesaurus is usually a big help, it isn't this time. What would you suggest?


8
Writer's Talk / My muse has fled
« on: June 08, 2020, 09:36:55 PM »
I have been unhappy for most of my life. I'm not complaining; merely making an observation.

These last few years, the unhappiness is no longer there. Sure, like everyone else, I have my unhappy moments but for the most part, I'm happy - for the first time in my life. It's strange, how becoming disabled, getting a divorce, and having to start over should result in happiness rather than even more unhappiness, but somehow, that's what happened.

There's a drawback though. (Isn't there always?)

My muse fed on my unhappiness and now that the unhappiness has gone, so has she. I miss her. I don't miss the unhappiness - I'm no masochist - but I do wish I could entice my muse to come back to me.

I know I can still write. Technically. It's just that it seems like I've no stories left to tell. The old, sad stories seem obsolete and hollow now, but I don't know how to write happy ones. I don't even like them.

So for now, I'm just writing non-fiction, which feels wrong. As if I'm not really writing, but I guess at least I'm keeping those fingers busy. So be it.

For now.

9
The Bar & Grill / It was meant to be
« on: June 02, 2020, 08:20:17 PM »
During my absence from the forum I've been busy moving house. The apartment on the fourth floor, with a lift that was often out of business - which forced me to take the stairs (on my skinny butt, dragging my chair up behind me), was not ideal. There were other things as well. An inaccessible bathroom, not enough space in either bedroom... There was the "What if there's a fire? How do I get out safely? And how do I get my cats to safety?" Then there was an actual fire in an apartment building not far from mine on New Year's Eve, and there was a family trapped in the lift. Two of them died, the other two ended up in hospital, severely injured.
I'd been looking for a new home for a while already and found the apartment of my dreams. Ground floor, spacious rooms, a tiny little garden (I suck at gardening, so this is perfect for me) and still close to my ex and children. Money was tight, so I gave myself one month to pack up and get the new apartment ready to move into.
When we finally removed the last of the twenty million layers of wallpaper from the living room, we found a message (of sorts) there. Underneath all those layers of wallpaper, someone had graffitied, "DAAN" which in Dutch is short for Daniel. So we figured, somehow, someone already knew, back in 1990 when the house was built, that I was going to be living here.
I took a picture of it, had it printed (poster format) and framed it. It found a place of honour in the hallway.

(I don't know why this site puts my picture on its side, but I guess you'll just have to tilt your head sideways to look at it.)

10
Ask a Question / Website Name
« on: October 18, 2019, 08:35:02 AM »
I've been working on a new website lately. It's not online yet, as I want it to be as close to perfect as I canget it before it goes life. Unlinke any of my not so successful endeavours before, I intend this one to become a business, so this is a bit more serious. I've been doing quite a bit of work on it. Not only when it comes the actual writing, but also the research, and brushing up on my photography skills.
Now there's the matter of names and domains. I need a good name for my website. Preferably something that's easy to remember for my target audience - and that's not been taken yet.
Target audience: Spoonies and foodies. This is going to be a food blog, primarily targetting the chronically ill, who (like everyone else) want to eat well, only, well, it's a bit harder to achieve. So it's basically going to be about preparing healthy and tasty food, without kiling yourself in the process. (Should also work for healthy people who are strapped for time, or just lazy.)
So I've got two candidates so far: Spoons-N-Stripes and Daan's Kitchen
Which one, do you think, would be the better choice? Other suggestions are welcome too.

11
The Bar & Grill / That's how I roll
« on: August 21, 2019, 09:31:01 PM »
Yes, really. You can see me rolling. And falling. Because I was showing off. And having tons of fun.

https://kampen.online/rolstoelgebruikers-centraal-op-kamper-stripspektakel-2019/

Yes, I know. The talk is all in Dutch and will be gibberish to most (if not all) of you, but it's not about the talk anyway. You wouldn't pass up the chance to see me fall now, would you?  ;)

12
The Coffee Table / Weird but fun
« on: August 14, 2019, 02:22:02 PM »
So I ordered "The Writer's Toolbox" by Jamie Cat Callan the other day, and it was delivered today. Of course I couldn't wait and had to try it out immediately and this is the story it generated. That is, it gave me some nudges: a First Sentence, a Non-Sequitur, a Last Straw, and then three Sixth-Sense cards. I wrote on each one of them for three minutes and wrote maybe the weirdest thing I've ever written.  ;D


I put tulips under all the pillows, and then I set fire to the house. I still don't know why I did it. It was just one of those things. You do it, because something compels you, something bigger than you. Of course, I've always been intrigued by flames. That may have had something to do with it. Or not. Who can tell?

Anyway. I ran out of the house, down the garden path and then walked around to the front. Leisurely, so no-one would take notice.

On Tuesday, she asked me the most peculiar question. Nel. The pretty brunette with the large blue eyes. Maybe that's what got this whole thing going. She said, “But what if the house burned down?” Yes, what indeed. I couldn't stop thinking about it. And then, when I saw those tulip bulbs, this silly idea popped into my head. Would they make good fire starters? So I took them. And walked around with them for several days. Until today.

Mr. Pelotti stepped outside and looked at the house. The way he writes with both his left and right hands made me cringe. Didn't know why I thought about that just now. He wasn't even writing. But now I wanted to pick a fight with him. Was that because of his writing habit, or because he was just weird and I didn't want him to be the first one to discover my fireworks?

I wanted Nel to come out and see what I'd done. I wanted to see the flames reflected in her eyes. I wanted to hear her sweet voice when she squealed, “Oooooh, that house is on fire!” But Nel was nowhere to be seen, and that weird Pelotti was just standing there. Rubbing his hands together.

A ripe apple fell off the tree on the opposite side of the road. I went to pick it up and smelled it. Fresh, a little tangy- and it mingled with a faint smell of smoke. I grew excited. My fire was catching. It had to be, even though I couldn't see it yet. The smell was there. All I had to do was wait around, unobtrusively, and I'd see my handiwork come to life.

I was already looking forward to seeing the flames springing forth from the roof. Colouring the sky red. And the smoke. Blackening everything. I imagined it would be akin to the taste of Woody Allen's kiss. Ha! Not that I'd ever kissed him or anything, but it's how I imagined his kiss would taste like. Like ashes.

Those ash trays in a dark pub. Way back, when public smoking was still perfectly acceptable. When you sat too close to one of those ash trays, you could practically taste them. It was gross. Like those charred ends of meat on a barbecue, that you ate because you didn't want to be seen as a baby, but you really wanted to puke your guts out.

The smokey scent was quite noticeable. Like the smell of Susie's leftovers, only far better. Because that was a sour smell. Sometimes tinged with mould. But this, this was a heady, intoxicating smell. It made my head swim. I stepped up closer to the house, and could see the flames playing a game inside. They were like phantoms, chasing one another. Dancing, jumping, running. I knew they were having fun. I could feel it. The soul of the fire, it was burning inside of me.


13
Review My Writing - Getting Started / One parapgraph
« on: August 11, 2019, 09:30:44 AM »
On the other side, we used to have topic in which you could post your first sentence (and only that one) for critique. Often, people would post more than one sentence, and got away with it. It was a rather popular topic.

I'd like to try something similar here. But not a first sentence. I'd suggest to post one paragraph - and please, no more than one! - in this thread. It doesn't have to be a first paragraph. Just one that you'd like to get some feedback on.

I'll start. And please feel free to jump in. Anytime.

***

"That would be a first." Some people would give anything to have an exciting life. Neel would be just as happy if his life weren't so interesting, even if only for one or two turnings. "Kata?"

14
The Bar & Grill / inspiration
« on: May 30, 2019, 01:40:41 PM »
I found this little gem in my FB feed.
Isn't this what our writing is all about?

15
Writer's Talk / I had a dream
« on: May 28, 2019, 02:04:02 PM »
Nothing special about that. Everyone has dreams.

But some dreams are special. This one was. It was a fever dream. That alone made it incredibly vivid and detailed. But there was more to it. In this dream, one of my characters came to me. A minor character from a story I abandoned a couple of years ago because I'd become stuck. Now, this lass demanded - not asked, but really demanded - that I go back to the story and write it.

Moreover, she suggested (and quite strongly so) that I should start with her. The audacity, eh?

So here I am, attempting to do as she told me to. Trying to write her giving birth to her son, who's the male protagonist of the story. And it's killing me. I've been working on it for days now. Two or three sentences at a time.

Meanwhile, I'm working on the worldbuilding, as I can see now how severely I was lacking there. I created a world but neglected so many areas, it's really quite amazing I didn't get stuck far sooner than I did.

Also, I need a new female main character, as the one I had was a whiny bitch. Very much a stereotype of the worst kind, as I quite honestly hadn't a clue as to how to write women. So I went with the damsel in distress stereotype and the more time I spent with her, the more I loathed her. I don't like crybabies. I like my women strong. That's how I like them in real life, and I guess that's how I like them in my writing as well. But how do you write a strong female character? It's easy enough to write a real tomboy. But a woman who's both feminine and strong? Not so easy at all.

So, I'm struggling. And I can't take the easy way out again. The lass won't have me. Unless I write that story, she'll keep haunting me.

Three sentences at a time. Maybe that whisky I just bought would help?

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