Category Archives: Notes

NaNoWriMo Day 5 Characters & Intro

I’ve decided to get some inspiration for my characters, because I’m really struggling with this.

First, I wrote down all my friends’ names and their characteristics. But now I can’t even figure out what is our common interest???

The only stories that I know of that has a group of friends is The Famous Five, Secret Seven and Scooby Doo.

Famous Five: 2 boys, 2 girls, younger, and a dog.
Secret Seven: 4 boys, 3 girls, older, some are related.

Scooby Doo: 2 boys, 2 girls, older (students) and a dog.

Maybe I don’t need to have 5 characters, maybe 4 is enough?

I’ve picked random names just so I can differentiate between the characters for now – it can always change later on. (I’m so TERRIBLE with giving names to my characters).

Sometimes I think this whole thing is a waste of time and I’ll never be able to pull it off. And then I get a crazy idea that might just work.

Okay, so if I am going to try to write a farce I need to figure out what I am going to make absurd in the story. And it’s okay if my characters are stereotypes.

I’ve also started writing the beginning of the story. So far it’s only dialogue, I will fill in the blanks later.

I remember long ago, I also tried to write a beginning to the story. I should find my notes and see if I can use something from that as well.


NaNoWriMo Day 4 Research

What kind of story is it? I want it to be somewhat absurd like a ‘farce’.

A farce is a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay. It has crude characterizations and ludicrous improbable situations. A farce describes an event that is absurd and/or disorganized. The characters are deliberately exaggerated.

Examples of famous farces:

  • John Cleese in Fawlty Towers and Monty Python.
  • Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
  • Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest
  • William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors
  • ‘Allo! ‘Allo! 
  • Airplane!
  • Freaky Friday
  • Arsenic and old lace. I fondly remember the character Teddy who believes he is President F. D. Roosevelt and how he announces his presence with a bugle.
  • Mrs Brown’s Boys
  • My Boetie se boetie se baba    ?

How to write a perfect farce: According to John Cleese, the absurd situations must be believable. It must read like clockwork: writer winds it up with credible premises and let’s it unwind with inevitable but startling logic. The characters are usually stereotyped. Sex and death are common themes.

So, if I do decide to write a farce maybe older characters would be more appropriate.

I also wanted to research how a trial is described in some absurd texts, because I’m thinking of including one in my story.

In Alice in Wonderland Chapter 11: Who stole the tarts? Caroll uses the following words/jargon: court, judge, jurors, herald (messenger) reads accusation, witness, testimony, jury box, verdict.

I’m thinking perhaps I should read Kafka’s The Trial. It describes a legal process but doesn’t process anything.

NaNoWriMo Day 3 Milieu

So I have 5 characters (that I still have to figure out). I’m placing them in the woods, but where? USA, UK, South Africa or entirely fictional?

They come across a house. What does it look like? White, old, dilapidated comes to mind. Shuttered windows perhaps? Roof is black.

Is there a garden? Trees?
Is the house surrounded by a wall or a fence? Does it have a gate?

How many storeys? 2 or 3?
Is the door unlocked? Yes
Is the house spooky or charming? Maybe a bit of both.
Is the house real or enchanted?

How many rooms does it have? Hallway, sitting room with grandfather clock and piano, heavy furniture, staircase, dining room, library, kitchen, scullery, two bedrooms, bathroom, study, hall closet, games/play room. I’m going to have to make a drawing with the layout of the house (another day perhaps).

There is a sign with a warning not to trespass. This sign will start a debate where the ‘moral compass’ will tell the others it’s a bad idea to check out the house and another character saying what harm could it do? Maybe calling the ‘moral compass’ character a chicken.

Once they are inside the house, it’s as if they stepped into another time. They see a vicious looking dog/wolf patrolling the grounds outside.


I’m not sure how comfortable I am in publishing these details. I hate for someone to read it and steal my ideas.

NaNoWriMo Day 2 Characters

I’ve decided I want a group of friends to feature in the story. At first I couldn’t decide if it should be 5 or 7 friends – I also thought I could make it interesting and base each character’s personality on one of the deadly sins (that is if I chose 7) but I realised I was making it too complicated for myself so I’m sticking with 5.

The next problem I have is that I can’t decide on the age group: should they be older teenagers or younger? I can’t really work on their personalities and common interest until I’ve decided that.

Also: how many boys and girls in the group of friends? Are there some that are dating? Are they brothers and sisters? Maybe they don’t all have to be the same age?


I have to say I really like this approach of working on one specific story element each day. But it is also very overwhelming, because right now I end up with more unanswered questions.


I have a general idea of some of the characters. There should be someone in the group who is the ‘moral compass’, a goodie-two-shoes; someone who doesn’t like to get into trouble. Maybe a bit of a know-it-all.

There should be a clown or joker in the group: someone who always joke and fools around, seeing the lighter side of things.

Also: a superficial character. This one will definitely be a girl. Someone who is obsessed with themselves and material things. Maybe a little greedy.

The other two I haven’t really decided on yet: one can be chubby or geeky?

April Fools!

I know April Fools usually marks the beginning of NaPoWriMo, but I’ve decided that this year instead of writing nonsense or dada poems I’m going to force myself to finish a story.

I have so many story ideas that I usually start with and then I either get bored or stuck. I really think I owe it to myself (and the story) to at least try finish the story. It’s really an awesome idea.

I’m not sure how NaNoWriMo usually works if you have to share your work with everyone or if you can just say you worked on a certain story element that day.

I’ll try to work on something each day: I thought I might work on the outline of the plot today and develop my characters on another day and so on.

So here goes. Wish me luck.

Dada was just the beginning

It’s so strange to me to think that so many people (myself included) don’t know that if it weren’t for Dadaism, we wouldn’t have Surrealism, Pop Art and Post-modernism.

A lot of the original dadaists actually moved on to a new art form called Surrealism.

Here are a few names from each art movement:

Did away with traditional esthetics, embraced nonsense and absurdity. 

Marchel Duchamp, Tristan Tzara, Hannah Höch, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Francis Picabia, Hans Arp, Hugo Ball.

Tried to find meaning in the unconscious, dreams. Bypass reason and rationality, automatic writing. 

Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Man Ray, Marchel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Max Ernst. Hans Arp, Frida Kahlo.

Pop Art:
Boundaries blurred between high and low art, visual communication, art becomes a commodity, influenced by the masses. 

Andy Warhol, George Segal, David Hockney.

Scepticism, Subjectivity, rejection of meta-narratives, questioning everything associated with modernism, kitsch

Justin Michael Jenkins, Robert Breer, Jeff Koons.

Of course, these are just a few artists who stand out to me.

You are welcome to explore further but proceed with caution. This is not for the light-hearted.


I decided not to do Napowrimo this year.


I am thinking of trying to write a villanelle. If you’ve never wrote a villanelle, they are really hard.

Some people are lucky. It’s just 1-2-3 and they have a masterpiece.

Not me. It’s probably going to take a while.

Fingers crossed.

2 stupid dogs

Who remembers watching this show when you we’re a kid in the 90’s? There was always this random guy popping up whenever the two dogs did something stupid.

Awwww.. isn’t that cute?

BUT IT’S WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does this remind you of someone?

I was reminded of this random character in the first few weeks at my new job. Every time I did something wrong, my boss would look at me as if to say:

Awwww, isn’t that cute?

BUT IT’S WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!


Nils Holgersson se wonderbaarlike reis

Ek was altyd mal oor die kinderstories wat ons op TV gekyk het toe ek nog klein was. Nils Holgersson was my gunsteling kinder TV-reeks.

Ek het laas jaar by ‘n boekuitverkoping op die vertaling van Nils Holgersson afgekom en dit dadelik gekoop.

Groot was my verbasing toe ek die boek begin lees en besef dit stem nie ooreen met my herinneringe nie.


NIls en Krummel op Martien se rug

Daar is nou wel baie verskille tussen die boekstorie en die TV-storie. Die grootste verskil is dat Krummel glad nie in die boek voorkom nie. Dit blyk dat die Japannese wat die TV animasie geskep het, daardie storie element ook geskep het.

Van die ganse se name is ook anderster. Ek onthou die TV-reeks is daar Gunar, Gustar, Ingrid, Lasse en Siri. Donsveertjie is sommer Donsie en Martien is Maarten.

Smirre is darem in die boek – of eintlik net in die eerste helfte.


Agtergrond: Selma Lagerlöf (1858 – 1940), Sweedse skrywer, onderwyser en eerste vroulike wenner van die Nobelprys vir Letterkunde.


Sy het “Nils Holgersson” in opdrag van die Nasionale Onderwyser Assosiasie geskryf – hulle wou spesifiek ‘n geografie boek vir kinders hê.

Die boek is in 1906 gepubliseer. Dit was oorspronklik as twee boeke gepubliseer; die eerste in 1906 en die tweede in 1907.

Sy het baie ander werke ook geskryf, alhoewel “Nils Holgersson” die mees bekendste is.

Die Japannese TV-animasie reeks is in 1980 geskep. Die regie is gedoen deur Hisayuki Toriumi (1941 – 2009) van Studio Pierrot, Tokio. Die studio bestaan nou nog

Dié reeks is later aangepas en in die volgende lande gewys: Arabië, Kanada, Frankryk, Duitsland, Swede, Finland, Iran, Ysland, België, Griekeland, Nederland, Poland, Portugal, Romenië, Spanje, Slovenië, Hongarye, die Sjeggiese Republiek, Israel, Turkye, Italië, Hong Kong, China, Suid-Afrika en Albanië.

Ek beveel hierdie boek vir enigiemand aan. 5/5


Friends vs Facebook Friends

I think social media has created confusion on what the word “friend” means. Let me try to make it clearer.

A Facebook friend is someone who likes and comments on your posts. Who tags you when they upload a photo of you.

A Facebook friend thinks that by following your profile means that they are actively involved in your life.

A Facebook friend is someone who tells you “Happy Birthday” on your wall, but only when Facebook tells them that it is your birthday.

A Facebook friend is someone who you might have been close to earlier in your life but you have moved apart from.

A Facebook friend is someone who was really your friend once and promised to stay your friend forever no matter what, promised that you will never lose touch.


A friend is someone who really cares about you and makes time for you. They will actually call you or message you or even come over to your house.

A friend is someone who knows your birthday and that you hate receiving flowers or plants as gifts.

A friend is someone who accepts you for who you are, but are not afraid to tell you when you are wrong.

A friend is someone who won’t reject or unfriend you.

So, you can just be my Facebook Friend or you can be my real friend. The choice is yours.