Friday, July 30, 2010


When you see the word "combo," you would probably think of the plate at Panda Express, a Chinese fast food restaurant, which allows you to have a combination of chao mein, walnut shrimps, and sweet and sour pork; the list goes on. Well, I'm not talking about Chinese fast food here, I'm talking about combination of genres in writing. I wrote about this topic before; now I revisit the subject because a movie came out recently and caught my attention. It's a box-office hit and still playing. I haven't seen it, though. Due to my knee injury, sitting without raising my legs in a theatre causes me pain, which will aggravate my condition--a knee with a never-healing damaged cartilage. Since November, Wes and I haven't been to a movie theatre. We see "new" flicks on DVD.

What movie is it that I just mentioned? Inception. In its ad in The Seattle Times, it says "'Inception' dreams big. . . . It's James Bond meets 'The Matrix!'" That's what I mean "Combo." To write a novel that combines genres, we can have Jane Austin meet the vampire. Unfortunately, some authors have already done that. I use it to illustrate my point. Got the idea?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Voice

A blue jay usually, but not always, heralds its arrival every time it comes to our deck for food in the summer. Its distinctive voice is being recognized right away. I don't have to be close to the deck to hear its coming. Another bird that has a distinctive sound is a crow. When it caws, we can tell immediately that it's a crow. While talking about a distinctive voice, I naturally think of some actors, whose voice can be identified in an instant, and every time I hear them speak in a movie Wes watches at home without watching it myself, I know who is speaking. Such actors are Al Paccino, and Tom Hanks, and of course, the deceased John Wayne.

So far I seem to be talking about the vocal sound. But am I? Absolutely not. I am using the birds and the actors to illustrate my point--the importance of the voice. For an actor to be born with a distinctive voice is a gift. For a writer to write with a distinctive voice is a talent. If you think you don't have a distinctive voice in your writing, don't be disheartened. You can get it by practice.