Find your voice to speak/write

Voices reveal all. Writers wrestle to ‘find their voice’ and that of characters.

Public pressure may cause speakers to lose resonance, even voice.

  • Tension causes tight timbre. (Tip: Hum into your head, so you feel vibration in your crown. Hum while opening your nostrils and nasal passages; and while accessing the front “mask” area of your face. Keep your throat open and posture upright.)
  • Insecurity causes ‘up talk’ or that recent trend, ‘vocal fry‘.
  • Tip: Before presenting, find your natural range with a conversational ‘aha’)

Edit, edit and more edit!

Whether you write for the ear or the eye, prune excess words and redraft. 

But my coming book cries ‘no more culls!’ But how to choose between fascinating stories? Rather than publish a brick doorstop tome, I opted for two books:

  • Burn My LettersTwoCovers
  • Midnight Sun to Southern Cross

Curb – or censor?

My characters expressed their voices in archival letters and recorded interviews. 

These and my research unearthed answers to why refugee Karl Johan Back wrote in 1899 to ‘Burn My Letters!’ Under Russian occupied Finland his words were censored. Letters that were saved from the fire uncover insights into his story–and his unique voice. 

Will you help me crowd fund the final leg of a decade long journey?
This week I launch a crowdfunding campaign to publish my next two books. I’ll post a link when it goes live. I offer rewards in return for pledges from $7 up. Books, of course. Scandinavian goodies like home-baked Finnish gingerbread. 

I’m excited! It’s countdown to campaign lift off. I hope you will come aboard. 

More on my Facebook page.

Enjoy the journey as I have done with its discovery. 

April opportunity – coaching and presentation NZ, Adelaide

As I fly there for other bookings, I can offer presentations and coaching without usual travel costs. Email for available dates. 

Of voice, gifts and refugees

It’s Twelfth Night. Dismantle the tree and lights, throw out perfume boxes and cheap bling, and casserole the last turkey remnants. Let me share my “Aha!” illuminations of the past weeks. 

Let your light shine

An earlier post bewailed ever-tighter restrictions on “free speech” yet even I bowed to political correctness pressure. Some Christmas greetings wimped out with a vague “Whoever and however you celebrate” rather than wish happy Christmas.

“Aha!” I thought, I dodged my own issue and missed the boat of the true meaning. That the Christmas story goes on to tell of a Palestinian refugee family who fled from a despot dictator.

Soon after, The Australian newspaper reported that singing Christmas carols is now banned in Victorian public schools! Bah, humbug, to quote Ebenezer Scrooge, for singing and praise uplift the spirits!

“Aha!” at the carol service

Ever thought a casserole might be more practical for a poor, young family, not the Magi gold, frankincense and myrrh? Yet these gifts were God’s provision to afford their refugee flight to Egypt.The father, Joseph was warned by a dream that the despotic King Herod was so threatened by a baby Messiah, that he would massacre all young boys. Refugee Jesus Christ lived–to put the real meaning into Christ’s Mass. Then suffer and overcome a miscarriage of justice.

What propelled refugees’ flight?

Many struggle to comprehend, welcome and assimilate the mass of refugees who fled Syria and other regimes into Europe. What ordeals propelled them? A book has illumined this tough issue: the gripping yet lyrical I Confess – Revelations in Exile by Iranian doctor Kooshyar Karimi (Wild Dingo Press). Read my review of this eye and heart opener.

(And while on goodreads.com and Amazon do comment on any of my own books you’ve read. Or order them here.)

Another refugee story

My next book tells of another flight from oppression – a refugee from Russian occupied Finland, where a rigid regime’s Board of Censors suppressed newspapers and free association. Self-described “pen-fighter” Karl Johan Back, my great-uncle, fled in 1899 to asylum in Australia. Three years later his brother, my grandfather, followed to settle. He become the Migrant-Made-Good, developing much of the northern NSW, St Lucia in Brisbane, and western Queensland pastoral land.

Burn My Letters; Midnight Sun to Southern Cross is closer to publication, as I explore options. Email for info about release date and launch, to join my crowd funding caravan.

Writing Life Stories

See tips in my blog on this tricky process.

This year, may you shine in all your endeavours.
Rise and shine!” my mother chirruped to wake her eight children.
          It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. (Proverb)

                                   Be that light.