Trauma, Philosophy, MFA, Pink Moon, TikTok

Weekly musings on writers and writing, from Conked


Update from Rand

During my seven-year heart health journey, I was once almost floored remembering that seminal set of lines by Roy Batty, a replicant in Blade Runner, which ends: "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.”

Was I to die? That day? Any day? All my moments would be lost in time!

I went on a photo shoot this week with a former professional photographer, who has beaten cancer. We got talking about our innate ability to draw on our reserves to tackle life-threatening situations and conquer them. Roy's lines came up as the super moon rose into the sky. I was both moved and inspired to do my own rendition of the full Blade Runner monologue:

"I've seen things you wouldn't believe. I watched another man's heart beating live inside my chest. All of time glittering in a quantum flash. A ventricular tachycardia storm breaking on a tropical island. All those moments may one day be lost in time. But not today, for today I live!" 

4 Tips for Writing Your Character’s PTSD and Trauma Memories

Writing Coach | Writers Helping Writers | 22 April 2021

As a writer, you may have a storyline for your book that will involve your characters experiencing some form of trauma. It is important for you to understand some key facts about those who may experience PTSD or another form of trauma and how they may recall the experience. Memories may miss key bits of information that can be filled in by other sources; a victim may remember different parts of the event at different times and PTSD memory is "frozen in time". This article on 'Writers Helping Writers' gives some great information to be aware of in your writing when approaching these difficult topics. (1,715 words)

On Exploring Philosophy in Fiction and Autobiography: A Reading List

Tom Whyman | Literary Hub | 26 April 2021

Writer, philosopher, and academic Tom Whyman was considering how philosophical ideas should be expressed when writing his book Infinitely Full of Hope. Many of his favourite books addressed this question, and like his, "fuse philosophy and autobiography", and others "do things quite differently." He outlines ten books, from 'Minima Moralia' by Theodor Adorno, (teaches "a sort of hope"), The Lives of Animals by J.M. Coetzee,("pushes at the bounds of sense"), through to Love's Work by Gillian Rose, ("draws beauty, strength, and hope"). His list of ten books provided him with useful models to draw on and are quite illuminating to consider. (1,437 words)

How To Build Your Own MFA Experience

Tasha Seegmiller | Writers in the Storm | 26 April 2021

Having just finished her Master of Fine Arts, writer, and academic Tasha Seegmiller shares some of her biggest lessons and what she will practice in her writing career. Some of her lessons include: Read in your own and adjacent genres. Study both writing and fulfillment (creating and getting to readers). Have people reading and critiquing your work. Beta readers can be "often hard, and so so valuable." Expanding on these points and offering references for further learning, this article offers valuable suggestions for those not able to take an MFA. (1,313 words)

Pink Moon

Nina MacLaughlin | The Paris Review | 26 April 2021

Wow, one not to miss. This inaugural monthly column in the Paris Review by Nina MacLaughlin "illuminates humanity’s long-standing lunar fascination," and starts with a Pink Moon. "April’s full moon is the Pink Moon, per the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which draws on Native American and Colonial American sources." MacLaughlin draws together the descriptions and beautiful words used about this "chalky pearl two hundred forty thousand miles away, give and take." Fascinating to read that in 24 languages the words for 'month' and 'moon' are the same - and we are "subjects to its rhythms, its pull, its power, the night’s one glowing, slow-blinking eye." (1,497 words)

Using TikTok to Sell Books

Dominika Pindor | Writers Helping Writers | 27April 2021

Teen author Dominika Pin explains how to use video-sharing social media platform TikTok to sell books. It has hundreds of millions of users and the #BookTok hashtag is used by readers to talk about their books of choice. Dominika has over a quarter of a million followers, and growing, and she shares her tips. Use hashtags related to your target audience, ie #author, #writingabook, or genre-related tags. Post consistently, preferably daily. Don't just sell sell sell - offer content related to writing not just your book. Use trending sounds. Appeal to the trends of the moment. Read the article for all the inside tips on this platform. (727 words)


“There's more than two to a story -- the doers, the done-tos, and the ones who interpret who's who.”
― Nina MacLaughlin, Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

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Rand Leeb-du Toit, Conkerer

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