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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    his death hat posing There are 3 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Inner four year olds 20 March 08 I have seen the most stunning examples of inner four year olds tantruming in the first round auditions to American Idol Last week there was a man a very large very grown up looking man with bright red trousers who threw a tantrum when they eliminated him He said all There are 4 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Being an Award Losing Author 12 March 08 So I went to Pretoria and met up with a collection of very nice very friendly Afrikaans writers And the conversation got around to awards Jeez they had rows of them Shelves of trophies medals statues prizes handed out like smarties And my inner four year old let out an There are 5 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Boekjol 03 March 08 So on Wednesday I m off to Pretoria University for the Literary Festival It s going to be fun talking to groups of kids every day I bought a pair of shoes with mice face to entertain the audience I was thinking of giving one mouse a pirate eye patch Actually what There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Handmade Books 03 March 08 I ve started making little books again This is my latest It s one of my bigger ones about twelve centimeters by eight and four centimeters thick The

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog.php?d=200803 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    own Suicide Note 12 February 08 So my friend Sal went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens with a friend and they found a suicide note They were too scared they d find a corpse hanging in a tree so they ran home Luckily they photocopied if before they took it to security at the gardens There are 3 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Sermonds about Mrs Potatohead 10 February 08 So one of you googled Sermonds about Mrs Potatohead and found my blog I require a full confession Remember lying is a sin So is being economical with the truth Why are you looking for sermons about Mrs Potatohead What about Mr Potatohead Has he got nothing to teach us But There are 1 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own I made 2 American cents 08 February 08 So I have made it onto Suite 101 s list of writers Do go and have a look at http www suite101 com I made 2 USA cents yesterday There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Writer s College 04 February 08 This has been a busy two weeks Firstly my online writing course has opened for registration go to www sawriterscollege co za to find out more And secondly I am aiming to become the feature writer on How to write Children s books at Suite 101 a Canadian online webzine that employs specialist writers in There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog.php?d=200802 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Blackouts 23 January 08 The rest of South Africa has been enduring rolling blackouts as Eskom load sheds Here in Mowbray we haven t had a single one I like blackouts First I can t work at the computer so I m forced to find other things to do like think Secondly we get takeouts so I don t There are 1 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Proof reading 20 January 08 So what punishment I am exacting for my pecunial sins An overloading of Christmas spending including an impulse Nintendo Wii has left me financially embarrassed come January But strange and mysterious ways have brought me a huge job to do proofreading the Bible Not the words but the setting Do There are 4 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own How half arse became Captain 17 January 08 At the end of the second world war a man was rebuilding his bombed house in Paris He found a handwritten manuscript in the cellar It contained the memoir of a French buccaneer Louis le Golif known as half arse due to the effects of a well aimed cannonball No one There are 2 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Calculating 14 January 08 So now I know more about pyramids than I ever dreamt I would If it took 20 years to lay 2 300 000 blocks in the pyramid of Giza how many did they have to lay in the bottom layer And how long did the first layer take them There are 2 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Bower birds 09 January 08 While we re at it here s a picture of my front door I am trying to make a bower bird bower The rule is that I can only use things I pick up in the road are given to me or I buy at a charity shop The button walls are There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own buttons 06 January 08 I love buttons It started with my mother s button bottle an old coffee jar filled to the top with buttons from the forties and fifties Then my husband s aunt gave me a tin of buttons belonging to his grandmother She was wealthy and her buttons were very grand and sparkly There are 2 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Downloads 03 January 08 Luke woke me up at the crack of

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog.php?d=200801 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    entry and to add to a comment of your own Yippee Yay 15 December 07 So this week I went to see my publisher and hear the verdict on the story of the Pirate Lads Will and Joe which I wrote for the Clacey family in Pietermaritzburg I was very apprehensive as the only other fantasy story I ve written was Perpie which became part of There are 1 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own saintly or non assertive 12 December 07 When I was a little girl being trained by the Hitler Jugend to be holy and submissive I learned that nice girls never complain They offer their suffering up for the souls in purgatory Well I don t believe in Purgatory anymore And I don t like the feeling of having people walk There are 1 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own I know I shouldn t laugh 09 December 07 I know it was bad to laugh but we did Uproariously It was so unexpected her moment of triumph descending into bathos like that Sartorial disaster of the worst kind Janet Jackson did it sluttily but Jody did it like a shy little girl wearing her mom s dress and her There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own 04 December 07 There are 6 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Glenda 03 December 07 So who remembers Glenda Kemp Anyone apart from my husband He has fond teenage memories

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog.php?d=200712 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    to a comment of your own Laughing 21 November 07 I m reading a fascinating book called The Definitive Book of Body Language by Alan and Barbara Pease And there I have discovered that the ability to make people laugh is seen as a dominant trait That s why men like to compete with each other to tell the funniest joke or There are 2 comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Remorseless 17 November 07 Deliver us from evil continues to haunt me What gets to me most is the character of Oliver O Grady charming suave warm childlike in his wide eyed innocence He can t or won t make the connection between what he did and the suffering he caused I was a little There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Deliver us from evil 14 November 07 There were only four of us in the movie theatre on Monday morning watching this film Two people in the very front row a man one row down from me and many seats in and me I cried so hard I got embarrassed thinking I was making the row of There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Subconscious journeying 12 November 07 Sometimes it seems like I pursue my life here on the surface and my subconscious is on its own journey underneath without me knowing Just sometimes like a whale swimming under the sea it breaks above the surface and and thrashes about beating its tail doing handstands and blowing There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Wrongly Directed Rant 10 November 07 My husband who is a publisher and sits through editorial meetings has corrected me Do not blame the editor for changing Margaret Mahy s stories he says They are almost always sensitive intelligent people who understand the intricacies and beauties of texts He doesn t actually talk like that but it sounded good There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own The Man whose mother was a Pirate 09 November 07 I am reading Margaret Mahy a writer s life by Tessa Duder Its a great book written by another New Zealand children s writer who knows what questions to ask and where to find the answers The question I want to ask her was Why did they shorten and update the text of There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Tilly Steyn 07 November 07 Today I woke up and knew I

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog.php?d=200711 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    in the There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own What is Beauty 25 October 07 I was sixteen when I moved schools for the first time St Mary s DSG was an Anglican school and as a child from a staunch Catholic home I had never been inside an Anglican church before It was a revelation Firstly there were clivias I had never seen a clivia There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Singoff 21 October 07 So if you had to have a singoff between the three wunderdivas of song Sinead O Connor Sarah McClachlan and Annie Lennox who would win and what would be the criteria for judging I d put Sinead first for authentic no neurosis barring I ve got to sing or I ll die fanaticism Annie writes better songs There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own What shape ball do they use 19 October 07 That used to be my first question when anyone got through to me on the subject of rugby Until last Sunday I d only ever watched one Rugby game the 1995 world cup We lived in Laaiplek a tiny village on the West Coast and it was impossible to escape the There are no comments for this article Click here to read full blog entry and to add to a comment of your own Wild Pirate Lads 16 October 07 I am deep in the adventures of Pirate Will and Pirate Joe two valiant piratical lads who were forced to walk the

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog.php?d=200710 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    September 14 August 14 June 14 May 14 April 14 March 14 January 14 December 13 November 13 October 13 September 13 July 13 June 13 May 13 April 13 March 13 February 13 January 13 December 12 November 12 October 12 September 12 August 12 July 12 May 12 April 12 March 12 February 12 January 12 December 11 November 11 October 11 September 11 August 11 July 11

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog.php?d=200709 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain : author & creative writing teacher
    minor character to highlight can set the reader s imagination alight and do the job far better than five or six details Make sure that the detail chosen is the strongest and that it most clearly captures the image and feeling you want to develop around the character Look at the following examples of excess detail cut down to the most evocative minimum Example One Hey don t push in snapped the plump middle aged woman half way down the queue She was wearing a shabby lilac sweatshirt over purple sweatpants Her hair was bleached platinum blond with the roots showing black and her six inch stilettos and knockoff designer handbag were meant to make her look sexy but instead just made her seem desperate and insecure like mutton dressed as lamb Hey don t push in snapped the plump middle aged woman half way down the queue Her purple sweatpants and six inch stilettos made her seem desperate Example Two The water lapped against the sides of the rowing boats slapping the faded painted surfaces with a gentle thud thud The reed beds were filled with warblers chirping and calling to one another in a frantic rush to get their nests built and their eggs laid before the weather turned and it was too late Flamingos and spoonbills waded in the shallows Drying racks lined up along the water s edge were packed with salted fish lined up tightly against each other hanging in groups of twelve from twine The locals called them bokkoms The water slapped the faded rowing boats Warblers chirped in the reed beds and the racks at the water s edge were packed with salted fish Example Three The house was set in a dark overgrown garden Huge bougainvillea bushes flamed pink and purple over

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/view_article.php?id=4 (2016-04-24)
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