Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Probably the fastest blog post in the West...

Hello, sorry I haven't been around when I said I would be, there has been a bit of a crisis in my building again, which I won't go into, but my family and I had to leave our flat and move to another one quickly!

So unfortunately, as I don't have my beloved internet and have to go to an internet cafe to connect with the world, I won't be able to blog until further notice. Although when I get back, I guarantee a review on Jules Verne's 'Around the World in 80 Days', so see you then.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Musings

2125 words. That's how many words I have written for my new short story in the last week. I've quite impressed myself how quickly things have been progressing with this story. As I've probably mentioned previously, I have also been trying to write a novel for children for the past 5ish years and even though I envisage finishing it, lately I've been lacking in motivation to continue with it.Also for a while, since a very strange dream, the image of it have been swimming around in my head and so I have finally given in and started to write my ideas down.

Due to the fact that I can't keep with one thing for too long, this new story was a welcome change and I'm finding that writing this type of story, compliments my need to get things done NOW.

I had planned to write a lot more and also finish off '80 Days Around the World' by Jules Verne to review today, but I have been busy watching the parades at the Moors and Christians festival. For those who don't know, this is a 3 day festival to commemorate the capture of Spain, by the Moorish people many centuries ago and the subsequent recapture by the Spanish. The festival is fun, colourful and loud, it is one of the things I look forward to most during the year and I managed to take 139 photos and 5 videos.....I'm one of those people that takes photos of EVERYTHING!

So as for book stuff, there isn't much to talk about at the moment. However, going back to the topic of short stories, who are you favourite short story authors?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Back!

Hello my lovely readers! After being away for about a week, I'm back to blogging again.

I've had a week of meals out, catching the sun and doing A LOT of shopping. However, I didn't get an awful lot of reading done.

I'm currently on page 48 of Jules Verne's 'Around the World in 80 Days' and, as it came free with one of the HUGE pile of magazines brought over by my sister, I did begin to read Cecelia Ahern's novel 'Thanks for the Memories' but soon gave up. The reason was because I could guess what was going to happen, after only the second chapter, so I put it down. I may return to reading it again in the future, just to see if my predictions were correct or not.

On other matters, I've been contemplating what to do with the blog and I have come to the decision to only blog once a week. The reason is because it would give me more time to develop my blog posts more fully. Before, having produced posts every 2 days or sooner, I felt that I had been rushing my posts to meet deadlines which in turn, affected the quality of my blog posts in my opinion.

Another reason, is that it will give me more time to focus on finishing my novel and to develop a short novel that my imagination has become involved with.

This doesn't mean that I will be neglecting the blog, I really enjoy projecting my thoughts through Cyberspace and also reading what you think too. So I look forward to posting every Monday and I hope that you can join me!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer Holiday

I know that it is rather unusual for me to be blogging twice in one day, but this is just to let you all know, that the blog is taking a little holiday.

My sister arrives from England in the early hours of tomorrow morning and so I'll be too busy to blog, while she is here.

I do intend to try and get some reading done though. So check back on the 14th July, for more reviews and book stuff!

Until then, happy reading x

'Misery'- Review

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 0-450-41739-5

369 Pages

Opening Line:
'umber whunnnn
yernnn umber whunnnn
These sounds: even in the haze.'


So far I haven't reviewed any books from the horror genre, so I thought it was about time that I did.

I read a lot of Stephen King novels when I was a teenage and I still think that 'Misery' is one of my favourites.

When Paul Sheldon, a semi-famous fiction novelist, heads out to celebrate the completion of his latest novel, he could never imagine that his life would take a turn for the worst. After too much champagne and thick snow covering the mountains, Paul crashes his Camaro and is left in the woods, unconscious.

The next thing he knows, a strange woman is giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation and she then takes him to recuperate in her isolated farm. The woman's name is Annie Wilkes, an ex-nurse with a passion for Paul's novels and deadly mood swings.

Annie holds Paul as her prisoner, by pumping him full of drugs and the only way he can survive, is to resurrect Misery Chastain, the character from his popular trashy novels, for a very special one off copy of 'Misery's Return.'

The plot in this novel is gripping. At no point throughout did I feel that it wained or raced towards an unsatisfactory end. The characters were believable, even Annie Wilkes was believable and extremely intense. I could feel Paul's fear and anticipation, as you didn't know what Annie would do next.

I liked King's use of multiple styles of writing throughout the novel. He used stream of consciousness, third person and even first person in such a seamless way, that instead of being confusing, for me, it was intriguing and exciting to read.

I also liked the way in which King played with the idea of what is 'good' and what is 'evil'. At one point in the novel, the situation which is perceived as 'evil' i.e Paul being incarcerated in the cabin with the psychotic woman, is actually seen as a bit of a saviour for Paul, taking him away from the evils of the outside worlds i.e of drink, woman and lack of work ethic. Whilst in the cabin, Paul's sees some sort of clarity in a more sober life and he finds that he can create some of his best work, even in such highly stressful situations

For me, the element that made the book most impressive, was that 'Misery' works on many levels. Firstly, you have the level that takes a reader on a journey with a few scares thrown in for good measure. In fact, some of the scenes within the book are shocking. I didn't feel at any point, that the book was predictable or silly, which in a lot of cases, horror books can become like that.

However, being a writer myself, what was interesting, was that throughout the novel, Stephen King gives the reader a glimpse into how a writer creates a story.

He doesn't deny that what he is writing is something that is crafted from the imagination and lets the reader into the writing process. From the conception of ideas, to the way in which writers don't just simply write words on a page, but they actually mentally step into the character's world and simply write what is being presented before them. This element, I myself, can definitely relate to. I particularly like the way in which Paul explains his game of 'Can You?' which involves imagining how you are going to get certain characters out of seemingly impossible situations and most of the time, I feel like I do that too.

'Misery' is exhilarating, scary and intriguing. It had me hooked from beginning to end. I would definitely recommend this novel, if you like some good old fashioned horror, or are a writer interested in observing great writing technique.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tired of waiting....

For the past year (maybe more), builders have been constructing a library very close to where I live. Gradually I have watched it come together and this morning, I thought that I would go around, to see if it was open.

From the outside, it looks finished. It's a lovely, cheerful shade of yellow with modern, funky windows and it looks so inviting (I wish that I had taken my camera with me so I could show you). However, it's STILL not open!

I can understand that it takes time for a library to be fitted out with books and computers, but, as August approaches and everything shuts down because of the heat, I can't see the library opening until at least September now.

I miss going to the library. I love its tranquil atmosphere, the smell of the books and I was looking forward to enjoying that again. There is a library across the road, but it's smaller and possibly difficult, to get my scooter inside.

Also, I was hoping that the library would be open this summer, so that I could be free of distractions and finish writing my book.

For now though, I'll just have to wait a little longer and try and get some work done...