Showing posts from December 27, 2015

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions... by Diane Bator

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So are the pages of a good novel.

In real life, we all have all had good intentions that go wrong. That is one of those things that makes us all human and makes our characters more believable. Sometimes a character is only "evil" because he or she makes choices that seem like a good idea at the time. Many times he has the ability to undertake something that will correct a bad situation but fails to do so due to spite, procrastination, laziness or vice. These situations are what create such great tension and conflict in many novels and movies.

One of the best examples I can think of is Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. He is a character we all love to hate, yet we find out in the end that all he has wanted from the beginning is to protect Harry rather than see him killed. His actions were intended to help Harry all along and yet, Snape's own good intentions cost him his life.

In my third Wild Blue …


At the risk of revealing my age, I have to say the 1960’s was my time. Mini-skirts, stilettos (I’ve got the bunions to prove it), beehive hair-dos, I couldn’t quite manage that, although I did tease the life out of my hair and regularly put in coloured rinses, French Plum or Rich Burgundy, were the colours I favoured. I can remember when the Beatles made their first visit out to Australia. A couple of girls I worked with were lucky enough to get tickets to their concerts, (we hated them, of course), they came to work the next days minus their voices, and stayed that way for about a week, because they had screamed so much.
We used manual typewriters in those days. One original and four copies of everything we typed. I don’t know how many blouses I ruined because I got ink on the sleeves from changing the typewriter ribbon or the black stuff off the carbon paper.
During this time the Vietnam War loomed in the background. The Australian government introduced conscription. It wa…


In my late teens in the 1960’s, I worked for a large government department in a typing pool with about twenty girls in it. Yes, I am that old.I started off with a manual typewriter and we had to type up an original and four carbon copies of every report or letter we did. I used to arrive home every night with black carbon marks on my sleeve. And don’t get me started on the woes of changing a typewriter ribbon.But I digress.
In those times in the typing pool, a blind date was a thing of ridicule. You were looked upon as desperate because you couldn’t find a man of your own, and had to rely on some other girl’s generosity to introduce you to her brother, her boyfriend’s mate etc.
Anyway, every year there was an annual ball, and if you didn’t attend, you were socially ruined. It was then public knowledge that you couldn’t get yourself a man.
My girlfriend and I cringed when everyone else was discussing their ball gown etc. and we hadn’t even been asked. W…

AMERICA SINGS by Shirley Martin

Even before this country became a nation, music and singing had been part of our heritage.  We’ve all heard this song:

Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony
He stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni

According to legend, British soldiers sang this song to mock the disheveled American soldiers they fought with during the French and Indian War.

The War for Independence spawned a plethora of patriotic songs.  Here is a glimpse of one by Thomas Paine, author of “The Age of Reason” and “Common Sense.”

In a chariot of light from the regions of day, the Goddess of Liberty came;
Ten-thousand celestials directed the way, and hither conducted the dame.

If the War of 1812 is remembered for nothing else, it should be recognized as producing our national anthem, ‘The Star Spangled Banner.”  Many people have trouble reaching the high notes and many others would prefer “America, The Beautiful.”  But our national anthem is here to stay.

Known as “the father of American music” Stephen Foste…

What’s the World Coming To? by Eleanor Stem


An approach to writing: Lord Esterleigh's Daughter