Obituaries

I don’t make a habit of reading obituaries or what is called the death notices, but as part of my reading The Film Year Book Volume 5 (edited by Al Clark), I am finding myself delving into the lives of who died in the film industry during the 1985-86 film year. It’s in these obituaries that we get a good look at how one’s life panned out in the long run.

The book’s obituaries are to the point and informative giving me a solid summary of the cast or crew member who died and many interesting moments of a life.

I was amazed at how the obituary columns came together, as back then the information was not as easy to come over as it is today, with the advent of the internet and what not. Without meaning to sound macabre, the work gone into them makes those death notices all the more special and awe-inspiring. I think I will never look at a death notice the same way again.

Being an author

Why be an author? I mean, an author of books. This is the question I ask myself and I come up with the same answer, which is really a question. Am I committed to being an author of books? Commitment, I believe is key, if I ever do become a published author with traditional publishers. I must be committed to the whole process and have enthusiasm. This is why, I must believe in the publisher–a publisher which i am enthusiastic about. This is the key in deciding on a publisher. If keen on the publisher, perhaps deciding on being an author will follow. I may like the publisher so much I cannot help myself.

I remember looking at traditional book publishers online a couple of years ago. Of the ones liked, I didn’t like their requirements. An author should market their work in partnership with the publisher. An author must attend interviews to promote their work. I didn’t want to do all that. And like any other job, I rejected being a book author. But from time to time, I got to thinking, I’ll give it a go again. This is one of those times. As thinking on it, in the end, I am not committed to the process of being a book author…which means my ambition may suffer, but I get to think outside the box of just being a book author. There are other things that I can get involved in, and writing things other than books.

Down by the river

The Wind in the Willows. By Kenneth Grahame. Year: 1908. Genre: Classic Children’s. Synopsis: Follows the adventures of ‘clever’ Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, and close friends Ratty, Mole, and Badger down by the river bank (based on London’s River Thames), and the animals and humans met along the way, such as the ‘Wayfarer’, the train driver, and the washerwoman. Wonderful book, delightfully told, a masterpiece of children’s literature.

Going further

For the last twenty-five years I’ve been published in the “smallies”, the newspapers, the magazines, the journals, the websites, you get the picture, but I’ve been also greedy for the book deal, the “biggie”. I went into writing the book not thinking too much about the ins and outs of publishing, but I’ve learnt from experience as you’d say. It was phase one of learning about submitting to book publishers; yes, I got rejection slips. I learnt that when the publisher rejects one’s work, or most times the publisher rejects your work, they are most likely right, to the degree that they think the work isn’t the right fit, more or less, or they have better work than yours. I’ve accepted this reality and don’t really mind. Even if I’ve done my research on the publisher, there’s the possibility my work will be rejected. Don’t worry about it, I say. Life is bigger than that. It doesn’t really matter. But I will try, in not an ideal world, to exhaust the possibilities, if the book deal is still something I want, after realizing a thing or two about publishing.

Running in parallel

In “The Wind in the Willows”, a children’s book that’s considered a classic and that I am presently reading, there’s the main action and we find out later what was going on in parallel to that action in a conversational scene. The author chose to tell what happened in parallel in just one scene. I found this worked perfectly, in this case. So, the question I have, is why would an author choose one lot of action first and tell the reader what happened in parallel later on, in just one scene? I think the author must know how this choice would effect the flow of the story. It may flow better that way. By telling two stories at once in parallel may lesson the effectiveness of the story as a whole. You may lose the gist of the story. Parallel plot lines — where two stories are told in parallel at virtually the same time — are the exception and one uses it only for the purposes of telling the story more effectively, without losing the gist of the story.