Thursday, August 28, 2014

What is happiness?

What is happiness? Who's the happiest man on earth? Can a car make you happy? Famous Kiwi psychologist, Nigel Latta, has the answers here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dystopian Trilogies

Have you noticed the trend in the modern dystopian trilogies? I'm talking about the likes of The Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched, Delirium.

Book 1 is all about the world, the interesting setting, and how it's dusfunctional.
Book 2 sets up the rebellion, sometimes with the heroine reluctant to join.
Book 3 is the war.

I love reading about new ideas, so the first book in a dystopian series is always a delight. What follows is just a rehash of World War Two set in that imaginary world. You get sewers, home-made explosives, capture and torture. You get the civilians and children involved. You eventually claim the bitter-sweet victory.

I can't help wondering whether there is an improved formula somewhere.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Workshop at the 2014 RWNZ Casino Royale Conference

Making your Sentences Rock – Yvonne Walus: Create strong sentences. 

Warning: this is not a grammar class. The objective is to teach you many interesting ways of sentence construction. Avoid the boring “She went, she saw, she conquered”, avoid the treacherous “-ing” words (e.g., “Running down the stairs, she put down her slippers”), improve the pace and the style of your prose.


(In case you need more encoragement, have a look at this awesome Friday Workshop with one of the top writing coaches in the USA, JAMES SCOTT BELL, a bestselling and award winning suspense writer.)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Orange Is The New Black

From the people who brought us Weeds (The TV series) comes Orange Is The New Black, the "story of Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend."

Despite the many naked boobs displayed int he first episode, my husband says he prefers Prison Break because of its puzzle and thriller components. But Orange is growing on me. I like that it's women-centric. I like the back story of each inmate. I like that it makes me feel lucky to have my freedom, my family, my lifestyle. My teeny-weeny problems disappear when I watch it.