Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Writing Week: Issue 39, year 4

Hi all,

New article on Divine: Men’s Sheds.

If you have always wondered what men get up to at a Men’s Shed, I visited one a couple of weeks ago that resulted in an article for DiVine magazine. 

Fixed Facebook Newsfeed

Anyone who uses facebook would have noticed they have turned the newsfeeds into even more of a popularity contest, with the top section dominated by the top stories. I was annoyed as it made it more work to see what all my friends were up to. So after trying several things like changing the language setting to UK English – this worked for one day – I stumbled on to a solution within the top stories. Here it is:

  1. I highlighted lists on the left hand side of my homepage and clicked on the more that appeared.
  2. I clicked on create a list.
  3. I called my list friends.
  4. I clicked on add friends.
  5. I then clicked on the pictures of all my thousands and thousands of friends.
  6. Now when I log in I make sure I am in the friends’ list newsfeed by clicking on it.  

He/she at the Start of a Sentence.

One writing comment that caught my attention last week said that really good writers only use he or she to start a sentence three to five times a page. Whether this is true I don’t know, but less repetition can’t be bad. So I counted the he/she starts in my latest story. Page one: five (hey, I’m a good writer, just), page two: twelve (damn, let’s change a few), page three: three (no problems there)… I assume the same goes for using I when writing in first person.

David Hick’s Nominated for Literary Award.

I was surprised to read that David Hick’s autobiography, Guantanamo: My Journey was shortlisted for the non-fiction prize in the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.But I wasn't surprised to hear that it didn’t win. Although it is a compelling book, it is not of outstanding literary merit. It is not badly written for someone who didn’t complete high school. I must post my review of it soon.

DiVine Articles: A Breakdown.

I had a twelve month contract with DiVine that ends in a week. In that time I wrote twelve articles. Both of my sample articles were also used by DiVine. Happily, DiVine and I are keen to continue working together. They pay professional rates, but the catch for all you writers out there is that you have to have a disability and live in Victoria.

The fourteen articles I wrote covered: ebooks, writers with disabilities, disabilities in science fiction, dementia, studying online, gardening, recycling televisions, universal remote controls, the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, cataract surgery, and the Wangaratta Men’s Shed. A diverse range of subjects.

Some of the articles were from personal experience, others from research on the web, others were the result of email interviews, and many involved ringing people and asking them questions. Only one, on the Men’s Shed, was the result of me attending a venue and personally interviewing people. I am setting myself the challenge to interview in person more often, but face-to-face story opportunities are limited in the bush.  

I reckon my best article for DiVine was on writers with disabilities.

My Fiction Writing

I am still editing my short story, which is unfortunately getting bigger – it is now 5,600 words, and I am changing plenty of he/she’s.

Including my writing of the DiVine article, I wrote every day of last week once again.

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