Friday, April 19, 2013


Why is it that many photographers pose writers with their hand(s) awkwardly hovering around their face? 
How often do we do this in real life? Almost never.

•   the chin-on-fist pose (looks like a punch on the chin)
•    the finger-on-chin pose (smart and pensive)
•    the drooping fingers under-chin pose (nonchalant)
•    the chin-almost-on-palm pose (uncomfortably relaxed)
•    the fingers clasped pose (please buy my book, I beg you)

•    the fingers-over-mouth pose (I'm muzzling myself)
*   the Mr. Burns evil steeple (come into my parlour)

As few of us are actors or models, we’re not usually comfortable with cameras so posing can be awkward and unnatural and we tend to do what we’re told by the photographer. 

But few photographers are directors so they don’t really know how to get our quintessential body language right. 

When you feel uncomfortable in a pose, you'll look uncomfortable so, pick your own, the photographer wont mind and you’ll look much better.

Friday, April 12, 2013


The reason I haven’t written about writing for a while is that I’m not really writing, I’m re-writing. This, for me, is a thrill and a pain. A thrill because I get to re-invent a character and look at the story from a different point of view. Like picking up a snow-globe and giving it a turn and a shake. It’s also a pain because my imagination tends to write little novels around each new angle and this is exhausting.
    A character usually pops into my mind fully formed, as did the protagonist I'm changing. But he's now been promoted from a rather bland beauty to a leading man with the same motivations but more time on stage. I had no idea how much trouble this would be. Even though he looks the same and has the same role in the story, he’s got to think, speak and behave more dramatically and this involves massive amounts of re-working.
    And of course, his new importance affects every other character. Some just slightly, other more profoundly. The trick is not to get carried away with the new aspects, not to let them branch out and grow into useless distractions. Ruthlessly managing each is like riding an ostrich: you don’t want to hurt it but you also don’t want it to hurt you by bolting and wasting your time.
    * Surrounded my desk with many leafy plants so the additional oxygen will  feed the writerly neurons in my brain.
    * Read magnificent books that made me gasp with admiration and feel yes, I could do that even though I knew I couldn't because I’m not those writers.
    * Got up at 3AM and sometimes just sat stupidly staring at my screen until lunch but on magic days, I wrote like a banshee until bed time.
    * Painted trompe-l’oeils on all my walls which allowed me to think and plot while giving my fingers a rest from the keyboard. Painting as meditation.
    * Had other pressing things to do, which never fails to give me a powerful urge to write.