Jun 26, 2014

TALKING ANIMALS

The idea for this post comes from a short story I wrote last week about a cat and his decision to move out of his place in search of a better life. His plan to sneak out avoiding confrontation is shattered by the owner's obsession with keeping the windows locked for safety. As a domestic educated cat, he has no choice but to face a heated discussion in the humans' language... Creating the dialogue was fun to write and hopefully readers will find it hilarious.

Animals have their own personality

If you wish to write about talking animals, keep in mind that the tone of voice, the choice of vocabulary and the spelling should match the size, the looks and the unique personality of the animal. If your character is a horse he should have a deep, meaningful voice. Unless he's in truth a tiny mouse jinxed in a stallion's body, then it makes sense for him to speak in a high pitched, feeble voice. Have you ever heard a thundering scary scream coming from a caterpillar? There's a story there, ready to be told. The cat in my story spoke elegant words in a calm, contained manner, and if there was a tale about a dolphin I would expect him to laugh easily and think positive.

Animals can break the rules

Once your animal character is believable, set free your creativity to find a new, unseen approach for your plot. For example, just think of  what Pixar did to bugs. It is quite remarkable how they transformed scary disgusting insects into tiny animated heroes. The cat in my story wants to move in with the next door neighbor, a seducing woman offering him fresh tuna and cuddles. Breaking the rules is fun and readers will go along if you play it smart.

Cute or ugly, animals raise emotions

Most people feel for animals more then they would feel for humans. We laugh at someone getting hit in the sack but we cry in front of an injured animal. As a writer, you can use this enhanced feelings to create a more dramatic or humorous situation. Talking or not, an abandoned dog would cause pity to most people. A lonely cub evokes a sense of protection, and a snake will always be scary, unless of course there's a lion taking care of it.

robin hood



Jun 17, 2014

HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN by CHARLES CROSS

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt CobainHeavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The premature death of a rock star is a hard truth for every fan to accept, and conspirator theories are likely to abound and linger for a while.

Years ago I watched "Kurt & Courtney" and was left with a tiny hope that maybe heroin and depression were not the real cause of my hero's death after all. "Heavier than Heaven" totally shred that hope and left me with a sad disgust of how anyone can trash a person's life.

Charles Cross collected 400 interviews and read Kurt's diaries, like a meticulous journalist would do, then filled his book with half truths and fiction elements with the intent of elevating Courtney Love to the Angel & Saints Club while trashing Kurt Cobain as a hopeless deviated junkie.

Charles Cross's biography of Kurt Cobain should be banned, especially on account of the purely fictional and in no way documented record of Kurt's thoughts and actions during his last few hours of life.

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Jun 2, 2014

LONG WALK TO FREEDOM by NELSON MANDELA

Long Walk to FreedomLong Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela

Growing up in the 80's I remember hearingthe name Nelson Mandela every now and the then in the news, in association with the terms Apartheid and Fight against Racism.

One day in the mid 90's that name became a symbol of victory and hope for freedom and justice. Released after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela talked to his people and published his biography specifying that the battle was not over, there was still a long walk to freedom.

From 1994 to 1999 Nelson Mandela was President of South Africa and he remained involved in the World's politics until his death in 2013.

When I approached "Long Walk to Freedom" I feared the dates and facts would be overwhelming for a person like me who is not into politics and know pretty much nothing about South Africa. I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself reading a humble, felt tale of a down-to-earth man, admitting how he never actually decided to be a hero and how he regrets not having being present for his family as he wished. Nelson Mandela speaks of hope and beliefs that never faltered, not even when denied to receive visits from his family or attend his own son's funeral.

I recommend this significant and moving biography of a man who believed freedom is a natural right for everyone.

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