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The Write Way

9 December 2005

Sounds Good to Me!


We try to get into the city at least once every month or so ... just to keep our finger on the pulse as it were. Our city of Brissie is a very laid-back place with lots of greenery, flowering trees and outdoor eateries, not really like a city at all. I think it has something to do with the fact that the river is so "there."

The Brisbane River snakes its way through the city and is criss-crossed with bridges of all shapes and styles, making it a nightmare for first-time visitors to remember where they are. I found some photos here and this is the Southbank Bouganvillea Walk.  

The Queen Street Mall is the centre of the shopping district, and since many of the buildings along the Mall are heritage listed, they're only 2-3 storeys high, so you don't get that dreadful sitting-at-the-bottom-of-a-pit feeling when you're there. (It's definitely not an Abyss-mall.) This photo I found after consulting my best mate, Google, gives you an idea of what it's like ...  Very casual as you can see.


We have a favourite spot on the first-floor open verandah of a hotel that is right in the middle of the Mall, and we usually try to time our activities so we get there for Happy Hour so we can watch the madding crowd below, and let me tell you, at this time of year, they're even more madding than normal!

Must be the Silly Season taking its toll because when we went in last week, we decided we needed sustenance before hurling ourselves into the fray, so we opted for lunch on the verandah. After a relaxing sojourn, I felt strong enough to soldier on, so I left the Love of My Life to his own devices, and after we arranged to meet up on the verandah for Happy Hour, off I went. 

My foray took me into the uncharted territory of one of those dress shops that cater strictly for teens ... you know the ones I'm talking about ... where every garment looks as if it would be too small for Barbie! But I had to get something for the teenage daughter of friends, and I rashly thought that I could just wander in, have a bit of a sticky-beak at what all the girls were oohing and aahing over and come out with a little something or other she'd always love and ... (Well, OK, I did say it was rash ...)

And I realised this as soon as I stepped through the door and my ears were assaulted by music (and I use the term loosely) screaming at me at around 150 decibels. I tried, I really did, but I was soon driven from the store a drivelling wreck. How those shop assistants bear it all day I'll never know.

My next brainwave was to buy her a book instead, so I made my way to the nearest bookstore where the music was subdued and soothing ... It was also air-conditioned, so I convinced myself that everyone loves a book and spent a happy time there browsing and choosing pressies for nearly everybody on my list. 

As the LoML and I sat on the verandah of our favourite watering hole an hour later, swapping shopping horror stories and once again watching the passing parade, I was reminded of a true story sent to me by Albert (one of our Merry Band who hails from San Diego). It's about a chap in Wales who got tired of all the kids hanging around outside his shop, "smoking, drinking, shouting rude words at customers and making regular disruptive forays inside," so he invented a device that he calls the Mosquito because "it's small and annoying." 

This little gizmo, "emits a high-frequency pulsing sound that can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30. The sound is designed to so irritate young people that after several minutes, they cannot stand it and go away."

Now is that brilliant or what?

Some sounds drive you away, while others can drag you back ...

It's surprising how evocative sounds can be, isn't it? A few bars from a song can instantly transport you back to memorable times. The LoML and I met at a dance, and Our Song is They Can't Take That Away from Me because that's what the band was playing when we started dancing together.

My parents met at a Surf Club dance in the late 1930s, and their song is South of the Border, Down Mexico Way. Both Mum and I still get teary when we hear that playing anywhere, remembering how Dad used to laugh about his two left feet ...  

When you write, be aware of the power of sounds. You should also be conscious of how your words sound, and it doesn't hurt to toss in the odd poetic device to keep your readers on their toes (which is an interesting image!)

Here's a list of poetic terms and devices so you can try your hand at them this weekend: 

And this site gives many examples of poetic devices using Robert Frost's poetry as examples: 

This week's quiz:

Let's see how much you remember ... We had these some time back. All have a musical theme (but no cheating and going back to the other quiz):

arpeggio, pizzicato, chordophone, metronome, cadenza, adagio, pastorale, allegro, pianissimo,  madrigal

1. Renaissance secular work originating in Italy for voices, with or without instruments, set to a short, lyric love poem

2. a stringed instrument of the group including harps, lutes, lyres, and zithers

3. device used to indicate the tempo by sounding regular beats at adjustable speeds

4. with a light plucking staccato sound

5. a musical composition that evokes rural life

6. quite slow

7. a chord whose notes are played in rapid succession rather than simultaneously

8. a brilliant solo passage occurring near the end of a piece of music

9. very soft

10. fast, cheerful

Special Favour

I have a favour to ask of you ... If you enjoy the newsletter and occasionally find something useful in it or on the website, would you nominate Write101 for the next Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers award? The details are below ... you can give reasons for your nomination or just send it off. 

(Some kind person nominated the site last year and it was listed as one of the 101 best sites for online writing groups: )

These are the categories from the Writer's Digest site: "articles, tips and discussion boards; creativity; general resources; genres; jobs; just for fun; media resources; niches; online writing and critique groups; online writing groups offering classes; organizations; and publishing resources. New this year: We've added a "YW" symbol if the site offers something for young writers."

Just click to send an email to  

Subject: 101 Sites

Message Body: I would like to nominate Write101( ) as one of the 101 best websites for writers (because ... )

Thank you for taking the time to do this ... I appreciate it.

And since it's nearly Christmas, I thought it timely to revisit the politically correct version of the Twelve Days:

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult monogamous relationship gave to me:

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming

(Read the rest here: )

Last week's quiz:

deckled, Bonbonniere, topiary, corsage, thermography, vestments, ganache, pomander, marzipan, damask

1. bloom-covered ball suspended from a ribbon usually carried by a flower girl - POMANDER

2. an arrangement of flowers that is usually given as a present - CORSAGE

3. paste made of sugar, egg whites and almonds that can be used as a base for icing and sculpting on a wedding cake - MARZIPAN

4. edge of the paper is rough or frayed - DECKLED

5. wedding favours - BONBONNIERE

6. linen or fabric with raised patterns woven into it - DAMASK

7. process for producing raised lettering, as on stationery or calling cards, by application of a powder that is fused by heat to the fresh ink - THERMOGRAPHY

8. making decorative shapes by trimming shrubs or trees - TOPIARY

9. mixture of chocolate and cream, used either to fill or garnish a wedding cake - GANACHE

10. any of the ritual robes worn by members of the clergy, acolytes, or other assistants at services or rites - VESTMENTS

Never-Ending Story

Dr Morgenes ... Elvis ... a talking Rottweiler who dreams of being the next Rin Tin Tin ... Orson Welles ... You name them, we've got them! Just click on the Comments button at the end of the entry to add your contribution. If you have friends who fancy themselves as writers, invite them to contribute (just forward this newsletter in its entirety to them).

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A Little Something Extra

This site describes (in detail) how to make your writing poetic: 

More than you'll ever need to know about poetry!

Word of the week: Prosody (n) the study of poetic metre and the art of versification

This word comes to us originally form the Greek prosodia (song sung to music).

Oxymoron of the week: talented Karaoke artist

And this week's Latin phrase is perfect for those friends who insist on reading you their dreadful poetry:

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.

[NOHN KOO-roh. SEE MAY-troom NOHN HAH-bet, NOHN EST POH-ay-mah]

(I don't care. If it doesn't rhyme, it's not a poem.)

Kind regards,


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