Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why not?

I stumbled across another reading challenge this evening and figured that I may as well. It's called "What's in a Name?". The challenge is to read six books in 2010 (not much really) in the following categories and review them:

1. A book with a food in the title
2. A book with a body of water in the title
3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title
4. A book with a plant in the title
5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title
6. A book with a music term in the title

It may prove very interesting, I just want to try an pace it out so I don't read them in one big clump in January or forget about it and read them all next December. Actually a friend of mine wrote a book (and had it published) that fits one of these categories, might be the time to finally read it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All About the Brontes Challenge 2010

Laura's Reviews is hosting a challenge for bloggers to read, watch and review the works and various adaptations of the Bronte sisters' works between January and June 2010. I have just signed up (a little under the wire) and will be reviewing:
Villette by Charlotte Bronte (it was on my reading list anyway)
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (I liked her Tenant of Wildfell Hall far better than Emily's Wuthering Heights, poor Anne needs some attention)
Film: Wuthering Heights 2003 (produced by MTV... uh oh)
Film: Jane Eyre 2007 (Masterpiece Theatre)
If you're interested in the challenge go here: Laura's Reviews
Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Last night I went to see this new film with a small group of friends and family. There have been many negative comments from purists, but everyone in the party I was with thoroughly enjoyed it. Though, I have not read much Sir Arthur Conan Doyle my older brother who was with us has read them all and I have seen some of the classic films. Neither of us had any qualms.

One element they greatly improved on from the original adaptations was the character of Watson. In the early films he was a bit bumbling, just really a sounding board for Holmes that wasn't very interesting or competant. This film, partly thanks to the handsome and charismatic Jude Law, made him far more compelling. The bromance between Holmes and Watson and the way they compliment each others' skills came to the forefront in this adaptation. They also cut out the need for heavy, extended monolgues from Holmes by giving the viewer insights into his thought process and planning. I thought it was a clever device.
The brilliant Holmes is shown to have cracks in his usually poised, dignified, almost asexual persona that Basil Rathbone helped create. He drinks to much (in the novels he actually had a cocaine habit- a legal substance in Victorian England), participates in underground boxing, and has a weakness for the beautiful Irene Adler, an underdeveloped character played by Rachel McAdams who is fairly believable as the 'only woman to outsmart Holmes' in spite of the limited material she is given to work with. She is under the control of a Professor Moriarty, Holmes' dramatic foil and archemeny in the classic stories, sure to play a major role in any forthcoming sequels, though only briefly seen in this film.
It does depart from Doyle's cannon and has some anachronisms, but it may be just the thing to breathe life into the old stories for a new generation of readers and watchers. The piece has energy, wit, and intrigue. Most of all it sticks to Doyle's classic themes of science and reason overcoming superstition and fear. The soundtrack is also fantastic, playing with strings (echoing Holmes' favorite instrument perhaps?) and Celtic sounds, never overly intrusive.
I'd give it an A- (sorry purists).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The End of Time Part 1

Last night the US saw this exciting special only one day after the UK got the chance, proving that it does not take a whole year for the reels to be paddled across the Atlantic in a rowboat as it seemed with previous imports... I digress. The first part of David Tennant's swansong as the Doctor held some fantastic moments and big surprises. Although some of the special effects were a little over done (is the Master going to join the X-Men?) and moments of music were a bit intrusive it is still fairly gripping. I wish it was going to play out in three parts however, then they wouldn't have to rush so much plot along, that is my only other negative- it felt a little crowded.
Bernard Cribbins returns as Donna's grandfather Wilf, funny, sympathetic and brave, helping fill the Doctor's empty companion slot in this episode. The highlight of the night was their scene in a small cafe where the Doctor sees Donna again through the window and confides to Wilf that he has done terrible things on his own (alluding to The Waters of Mars). It's rare to see the Doctor in such a vulnerable state. Of course John Simm as the Master is brilliantly terrifying after his resurrection goes horribly wrong. Simm and Tennant have an excellent scene together showing their acting prowess without upstaging each other.
Most importantly: the duel cliff-hanger ending. The Master converts every human being on earth into himself. I did not expect that, very nightmarish, I'll have to see how it pans out until I decide whether I love it or hate it. (Leaning towards hate, but hey, they could pull it together.) Simm does look nice in a dress however. The other cliffhanger is that the Timelords have returned. I was sort of expecting that honestly. What this means for the Doctor, the universe, the show, and how much the Master had to do with their return remains to be seen. Also, the mysterious "Lady in White" has cause much speculation.
The preview for the second part looks good, the Doctor seems to go through a bit of a beating if the shot of his face is any indication. There is also a clip of the Doctor, possibly for the first time ever, brandishing a gun in the preview. Uh-oh...
I can't give this a letter grade until I see its conclusion.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

I feel a bit ashamed that my discussions for the past week or so have been limited to Jane Austen and Doctor Who. Both very interesting topics, but not what I want my overall focus to be. This is an alert that TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is having a Sherlock Holmes marathon from this evening at eight until tomorrow at eight featuring many of the films they've never aired before.
Monday my brother and I are going to see the new film with Robert Downey Jr. which looks to be delightfully steampunk in terms of style. I must admit I haven't read mcuh of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Mystery was never my genre, it was my grandmother's. She read all the Holmes novels, everything Agatha Christie ever wrote, anything suspenseful she could find. "A Book Every Night" was her policy, so at least you know I get my addiction honestly. Perhaps I should add some Doyle to my 2010 list? That list has the potential to be far too mammoth for one year that will no doubt be quite busy besides. A continuous reading list for my life in general may be required.
As far as Middlemarch is concerned? I think my compatriots are losing heart. I posted my thoughts on the first book (the novel is divided into eight... or nine maybe?) on the 16th and have had no one else confirm making it to that point in their reading as well. I'm trudging along, but don't want to be too far ahead of my fellow readers. However, I have the depressing feeling that they may no longer be my fellow readers. That makes my resolve to continue for the next 650 pages considerably weaker now that I'm on my own.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Jane Austen Spin-Off (Sort of)

Jane Bites Back, a new novel featuring Jane Austen as its protagonist is released December 29th. No, this is not a meditation on the possible secret love story of Austen's life or a speculation into what the letters Cassandra burned might have contained. In this story Jane is the owner of a book shop in present day Upstate New York. How is this possible? She is a vampire. Oh, yes, Jane Austen as a vampire. (Catherine Morland would have squealed with delight.) Reviews have been positive if the ones referenced on Jane Austen Today's are any indication. The premise of Jane having to endure all the ridiculous paraliterature she's inspired is rather amusing. I'm sure her "bite list" would include some very particular authors and film makers... read an excerpt at Austenprose. (Yes link button is working again.)
Also a belated reminder that the sublime Cranford started its encore on PBS this past Sunday. If you missed it visit PBS's Masterpiece site to watch the program online. January 10th sees the sequel Return to Cranford at 9 pm again starring Dame Judi Dench. My friend Eloise and I are having a viewing party to celebrate. Yes, we believe watching Masterpiece Classic constitutes a party, thank you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Waters of Mars

The first of the final three Doctor Who specials aired last night. As much as I thought the "infection" made its victims look vaguely zombie movie-ish, it was frightening. Water in itself is the most powerful force on earth, as the Doctor say 'it wears away the mountain tops.' There is so much unknown and unexplained in this episode, the source of whatever it is in the water is never revealed. The unknown is always something this series plays on. It's why "Midnight" was one of the most frightening episodes.
What was most terrifying about this particular epsiode was the Doctor himself. He's reaching the end, he knows his death is inevitable. That coupled with his extreme feeling of loneliness, of loss and his own fear leads him to rail against the rules he's been living by. He's tired of doing the right thing and suffering for it. In the end we see a half crazed Doctor decide that he can and has the right to change time. He wages a battle against time itself, and yet in the end we see his extreme vulnerability and fear eclipse the arrogance he was projecting. He asks "Have I gone too far?"
That is where we are left until next Saturday and the US premeire of "The End of Time Part 1."
There's an article in The Guardian today. It's a bit long and there are a few lines that are spoilerish about the finale, but if you don't mind risking it, check it out here.

Photo courtesy of The Guardian, December 20th 2009.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh Good Morning

Last night I couldn't sleep so I tried to continue with my Middlmarch reading. This morning I woke up and remembered nothing of what I read. So now I have to read it again. I wrote five pages of my new story today, I feel like a wuss, this would not cut it in a NaNo situation. The shifting weather patterns have been giving me migraines though.
The sun was out for a little while, it's going away now. I woke up to this:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Too Much Doctor Who

If there is such a thing.
Last night I watched the new Doctor Who animation "Dreamland" on YouTube. It's very... weird. The animation is a little stilted, not much expression from the characters. "Infinate Quest" is superior in animation in my opinion. Besides it has Anthony Stewart Head, the Doctor as a renegade running from library fines and impersonating a pirate, and light sabers. A win all around.
I say that maybe I've had too much Who lately because last night I actually dreamt about "The End of Time." I saw on IMDB that both Matt Smith and Billie Piper are appearing in the finale, in spite of the attempts to keep some things shrouded in mystery IMDB resumes reveal all. (So we will get to see 10 regenerate into 11, essentially.) Anyway, I had a really strange dream about Rose and the Doctor reuniting, they were in a huge pool of water, it was very peculiar. Being one that often remembers their dreams I sometimes try to analyze where different elements have come from. Water has been a constant underlying theme in DW- River Song, Jackson Lake, "The Waters of Mars" with Adelaide Brooke, the new companion will be named Amy Pond. There is a heavy significance placed on water with Doc 10. Does this mean anything? No idea. Just making a speculative observation.
Tomorrow is US premeire of "The Waters of Mars" and I am very excited. After that I swear I'm taking a break from Doctor Who until Boxing Day, when part 1 of the finale is aired.
I chalk it up to research, though. Since my new story is SciFi/Fantasy I need to educate myself about the genre, beyond DW I really don't usually watch or read any thing like that. To write well one must read well, that I firmly believe. I've just been to the library and have my hands full with reading over the holidays, Middlemarch included, it's like the book that never ends I swear.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Color Me Shame-Faced

After seeing so many other lovely entries about Jane Austen on other blogs, I feel ashamed that I squished her into an entry with mask making below. Though I can't compete with Jane Austen Today's picture of their Austen cupcake, I can tell you that I am planning a little movie marathon for tonight through tomorrow morning. It was going to be a read-a-thon, but I've had a raging headache since I got home from work. Tonight I will be watching Sense and Sensibility 2008 followed by Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Emma. I don't have Mansfield Park- it's my least favorite of her books I must admit, and I've overwatched Pride and Prejudice, not to mention it's too long for the relatively short span of time I'm cramming this into. Now should I wear the costume or would that be too much?
“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.”

Jane Austen and Getting Plastered

These two things are not connected, I would never imply that Miss Austen would behave indiscreetly at a public gathering or in even private. However I would like to note that today is her birthday. Her 234th birthday if my math is correct. What with all the turmoil surrounding her lately with paraliterature and poor adaptations, I suggest that in remembrance of her work, pure and untouched by others, we take a moment to read some favorite passages today. Northanger Abbey here I come! Though not very popular, I think it is hilarious. What are your favorites?

Now to the "getting plastered" bit which I'm sure sounds scandalous. Well, you may be dissapointed, but I mean it literally. An aquaintance of mine is directing an updated version of an ancient Greek play in the spring. To help out with her lack of actors I auditioned and was cast. Part of her vision for the piece is to have the players masked and perform in almost a pantomine style while the chorus narrates. last night we made my mask.
If you have never had strips of plaster soaked gauze applied to your face, you probably don't know how trippy it is. First you have thick greasy layer of vaseline applied to your face and straws pushed up your nose to enable breathing (always important). When first applied the strips almost feel nice, like a thick, damp second skin. Slowly though, they harden and draw away slightly, but are still somehow stuck to you; I imagine it's what an exoskeleton feels like. When it was set the plaster ended up sticking to my face more than it should have and left bits clinging to my red, irritated flesh. Due to the cumbersome and quick-drying nature of the paster paste applied over top the gauze, drops ended up in my hair and in my eyelashes. The latter led to me getting plaster dust in my eye.
As I washed my face with shampoo- which my friend supplied, assuring me it was fine for my skin- I reminded myself how much I love the theatre, and how lucky I was not to be the girl that is playing my daughter (in spite of our closeness in age). She ended up with a glop of plaster paste in her mouth which had to stay there for the fifteen minutes it took to set her mask. I realized too late that some photographic evidence should have been taken. Oh well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Small Rant About Doctor Who

With the weather being increasingly unpleasant, outdoor activity has been out of the question this weekend. Even driving around has been advised against. I've started drafting my new story, currently called "Matchless"- I'm very enthusiastic about it and the way my ideas are progressing. Mostly though, I've been watching Doctor Who.
I came onto this phenomenon late, Tennant is the only Dr. I have a realm of experience with, I have seen a bit of Eccleston and some clips of some of the earlier Drs, but for me Tennant is and always will be the Dr. Some friends assert that he's too angry for the part, but honestly, with all he's seen and lost, wouldn't you expect a little angst? I think he's one of the elements that keep the show from getting campy.
That and the fantastic writing. I love Robin Hood, of course, but it can not compare to Doctor Who in terms of continuity and story arching. They plan out the sereis so well and tie in little things that seem incidental early on, they all play out later on.
Next Saturday "The Waters of Mars" the second of the four specials is airing and then I believe on Boxing Day "The End of Time: Part One" will air. From the previews it looks like there might be a return of The Master. How? I have know idea, but I look forward to finding out. Of course, the 'infection' in "The Waters of Mars" looks a bit like a zombie problem from those previews. I still have hope.
And yes... I have been reading Middlemarch as well. Do you even need to ask?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Scheme Has Lift-Off

The first entry of the Epic Book Blog is up. It has been a trial to get everything together and organized, as of a few hours ago we were waiting for our third to sign in, but none the less, it's a go. I'm a few chapters into Middlemarch, it's not bad, but there is so much of it to go! The "Literary Amazon Warrior" feeling during the after glow of NaNoWriMo that helped spur this on has faded a little bit, and I can't help but wonder how high the book's word count is.
Is there a database for such things?
At least I won't be alone and will have time off.
Oh, hey, speaking of new projects, I've decided to stash my historical fiction for next year's NaNo, and work on another idea I had recently. There have been so many ideas lately, I can't keep up. At least they have assuaged my fears that I would be a one story writer. This one is quite different from anything I've ever written, and different from what I normally read as well. It's sort of SciFi/Fantasy and uses some of Joseph Campbell's outlines for the hero's journey. I'm actually really excited, in a way it's like the opposite of my historical piece as far as the freedom I have with it. I can create everything, make it any way I want to.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review: Glee Season 1

I just watched the season finale of Glee. How can I describe my feelings for this show? In many ways it is a mess, the structure is lopsided, plot holes abound, sub-plots have sub-plots and there are secondary protagonists galore all vying for attention. Yet I am addicted. Even though the writers tried to cram too much into their first season, most of what they crammed was really high quality, the more realistic and uplifting version of High School Musical, many have equated it to. There is also something incredibly moving about the show. It's silly, and sometimes the musical numbers are bit too deliberate, but out of that comes passages that are beautiful. A few weeks ago when New Directions sang "Imagine" with the deaf choir? Suddenly tears were dripping down my face and I felt like a moron. They have also perfected the significant musical montage.
Music has a highly emotional affect on people. It's why we have "break up songs," why we create soundtracks for our lives. Films depend on that, soundtracks are used to heighten emotion, essentially manipulating the audience to have certain feelings on certain cues. So, is Glee manipulating us? Yes, and I love it. The final song, "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson meshes perfectly, over scenes of Will going to stop Emma from leaving and profess his feelings to her. It was a little melodramatic, but sometimes that's not so bad.
How long until next season?
What are your thoughts on this phenomenon?


I have been turning over an idea for an historical fiction piece based off the poetry of the Exeter book for months. I have a basic story idea, but every time I try and start work on it I feel really trapped by my ignorance. I mean there is not a lot of information about the 10th century abounding. I've found some basic "here's what type of clothing they wore" and "Vikings came and pillaged in typical Viking style," information, but I really need to know about daily life, the life of women, marriage. What did it feel like to live among them, go to battle with them?
So if anyone has good sources for information about the early Celtic people from this period; books, documentaries, articles, even historically accurate feature films- I would be most obliged. I would cite you in my dedication if it ever gets published.
Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

John Lennon

"After all, how do you explain to anyone that some guy I had never met, never spoken to, or never even seen in concert, had taken a more central role in my life than many people I dealt with every day?"
Joe Scarborough, "Remembering John Lennon 29 Years Later
I wasn't even alive when Lennon met his untimely end, but many an afternoon was spent bonding with my parents over their vinyls. They saw The Beatles make their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and still listen to them to this day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just a Rumor (Thank Goodness)

According to an article on there were rumors of a mini series based off Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies , but they are untrue. Everyone with me now: Collective Sigh of Relief.
However, the "living author" has said there is interest in creating a theatrical film based off the piece. The writer of the article seems dissapointed at the lack of mini series and says "I've just started reading it, Jane Austen was never this funny." Well maybe her humor is more subtle than say... Shaun of the Dead, but plenty of people would disagree with you there sir. JASNA for example?
Picture and Quotation courtesy of
Oh and in case you thought Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters was going to be the end of this, you were wrong. (Why oh why couldn't you have been right??) Coming December 8th: Emma and the Werewolves.
However, on the bright (?) side, Jane Austen is not the only author being ravaged by monster mash ups. Apparently there is also:
The Undead World of Oz by L. Frank Baum and Ryan C. Thomas
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim by Mark Twain and W. Bill Czolgosz
The War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies by H.G. Wells and Eric S. Brown
Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook
Dracula vs. Zombulaby Bram Stoker and A.P. Fuchs
Persuasion ... in Space! by Jane Austen and W. Bill Czolgosz
(Information courtesy of
I'm sorry, there are no words... none that can be said in polite company, anyway.
I can't feel my toes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Love/Hate Relationship

With the weather. The snow has gotten as close to pouring as snow possibly can. I'm watching it swirl outside the window (along with my cat who is a bit agitated by it) and I admire it's beauty. Yet, at the same time I resent its presence today. I was supposed to go hear my friend's blues band tonight, but I suspect by the time I'll be heading out this evening my town and the two towns over will resemble an arctic tundra.
The real shame is that this friend's band may be on hiatus for quite sometime because she may need surgery on her vocal chords.
I will instead content myself to reading Middlemarch and watching the series finale of Robin Hood tonight. My impatience led me to watch it this summer, but on a tv instead of my computer screen and with time to process the nuances, philosophy and tragedy of the show, the second viewing of the season has been a very different experience.
Most of the country is enjoying/bemoaning the snow as well right now according to the weather map, I wish you all the best with flannel pajamas, hot cocoa, and period dramas of your own.

Masterpiece Classic update!

I read my email from Masterpiece and found that the fabulous Laura Linney is returning as the host of Classic this year. Her informative commentaries and engaging manner was a big hit last year according to discussions on the board forum.
Also, David Oyelowo is one of the stars of Small Island. I first saw this adorable and talented actor in his brief turn on As Time Goes By during one of their specials, more recently I enjoyed him in Ken Branaugh's new As You Like It. I'm not familiar with the book the piece is based off of, but I'm looking forward to seeing this actor at work again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Quick Disclosure and PBS Reminders

Oh, by the way; to fully comply with the new FTC guidelines I must inform you that my reviews on this site are in no way compensated. The books and CDs are bought with my own dwindling pocket money and the television programs are viewed (usually off my DVR) in my own time on my television. If I recieve any swag, I'll let you know. I doubt it, but I'll let you know.
Quick reminders about Masterpiece Classic: They are re-airing their spectacular Cranford starring Dame Judi Dench beginning December 20th and following that they will premiere their sequel, Return to Cranford. The first was impeccable, I eagerly look forward to the sequel.
This is followed by a new version of Jane Austen's Emma starring Romola Garai. I heard the first episode isn't great, but that it does pick up. This will be followed by a re-airing of 2007's Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
New additions to the schedule for early spring: The 39 Steps, Sharpe's Challenge, Sharpe's Peril, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Small Island.
My favorite time of the PBS programming year.
Image courtesy of

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Review: Wiloughby's Return by Jane Odiwe

Sequels, prequels, paraliterature; we see it everywhere, especially in regard to Austen. I am often skeptical, but when I saw Jane Odiwe (author of Lydia Bennet's Story) had a new sequel to Sense and Sensibility I thought I'd give it a read. I'm glad I did.
Unlike most sequels that endow Austen's characters with alarming amounts of sex and violence, Odiwe keeps in the spirit of Austen's style. She resurrects her most charming rogue with success. At the end of S&S the secondary heroine, Marianne Dashwood, marries the much older Colonel Brandon and the dashing Wiloughby disappears with his wife, married only for the money. Many fans have often asserted that Wiloughby's not a bad guy, that they almost wish in spite of everything that he and Marianne end up together.
This novel begins three years after the close of Austen's novel. It brings up very real concerns in Marianne's marriage to the Colonel. Does he only love her because she reminds him of his long dead first love? Does he spend too much time with his ward? At the same time, Odiwe also shows how much their relationship has grown from the timid affection and gratitude Marianne originally had toward the Colonel. It has a believable conflict for Marianne to face as her husband is constantly absent and her first love waltzes back into her life.
Though the title character, Wiloughby has comparably few scenes in the book, his prescence hangs over the story, even in the subplot surrounding Margaret, Marianne's younger sister, who is falling in love for the first time herself. It was refreshing to see her character grow, she is barely a shadow in the original novel. Perhaps 'subplot' is too subdued a term for her role in this book, she dominates the story at many moments, her struggles recieving almost equal time to Marianne's.
I would have liked to see more of Elinor and how her life with the trying Ferrars clan is at this point. Her major role in this story is to present an image of an ideal marriage match for Margaret. There are some spectacular cameos by Mrs. Jennings, Lucy and Robert Ferrars, and other amusing characters from S&S.
Overall, it was a tasteful, well constructed story that paid homage to Austen's style and characters. Jane would approve.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Epic Book Blog

It's not really running yet, but it does exist. My Middlemarch project has turned into an idea for an epic online book club. We'll be reading all those epically long, dense classics that no one really wants to any more. Well, we want to. First is Middlemarch, of course. We are also looking at Moby Dick and Anna Karenina for spring. Penguin Classics has a list of 10 essential classics, some of which we've already read, but we might tackle the whole list just to refresh what we know and learn some of what we don't. Here's the list from Penguin:(links are still not working...grr.)
Here's the link for the blog, it will have a total of three to four contributors, but anyone that has any questions or knowledge of the books we're reading is more than welcome to comment and discuss.
There is a working link for the above in "Places I Visit" on the right hand side of the posts.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters; and Withdrawal

I just saw a television commercial for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. It was a shortened version of the book trailer I saw on Austenblog a while back. For some reason every time I think about these Austen/Monster Mash-ups I can't banish the image of the creative(?) team behind this franchise with their feet up on the board room table crushing beer cans against their heads and laughing. Probably unfounded, but I can see the conversation going something like this:
1- Dude, let's do something really funny, like a parody.
2- Of what?
1- Ooh, something really boring and old that no one, like, actually reads.
2- What about that movie with Keira Knightly? Pride and Prejudice, I heard it's also a book.
Again probably unfounded, but I chuckled inside at the image. I'm sure the people behind this are very deft bussiness men, they are certainly making a lot of money, but for their Sea Monster scenerio may I suggest that Persuasion is more nautically oriented, though not as popular so I suppose it would fall down in the money part of the scheme.
Also chalk this up to the possiblity that I may actually be suffering from NaNoWriMo withdrawal of all things. I don't have any novel to come home to at night, and I finished the novel I was reading this afternoon, so I don't have that to come home to either. I'm waiting to start reading Middlemarch because two of my friends want to get in on that too, we might start our own book club blog so we can all discuss it together, I'll link it to this site. Feel free to join us if you want to climb that mountain over the winter holidays as well, or if you already have.
It's not even December yet, I have got to pull myself together, but I have always hated that feeling when I'm between books. I need a life- though this weekend I spent an evening playing Rock Band with some friends. I suck at guitar; the strumming and button pressing at the same time really gets me. I used to play a bit of piano which involved both hands, but the strumming was ridiculously hard for me to accomplish simultaniously.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Winner! 50,248

I just logged my winning word count into the verifier on NaNoWriMo's website! Apparenly only 10% of participants actually make 50k each year; chalk it up to my extreme stubborness and my determination not to let my story die, as dangerously close as it came.
This is a blissful moment, and I get my little winner icon for this site now, I'm going to go upload it right now.

Friday, November 27, 2009

45352, and Collision Part 2

I have hit 45352. I am in the home stretch and I'm really starting to think I can do this, especially because I realized that December doesn't start until Tuesday, not Monday as I previously thought. So what if my sleep pattern may be permanently screwed up and several of my personal relationships in decay? I'm feeling good.
For a non-sugary reward, I finally watched the second part of Collsion saved on my DVR. Lucy Griffiths was the highlight of the program in my opinion, though Douglas Henshall was quite good as well. He portrayed the different emotional layers of his character very well, but Lucy's character was the one I found the most sympathetic. She was focused on quite a bit and had a quiet, but empowering end to her story.
The story itself was a bit of a mess, many, many layers and jumps forward and backward that the subtitles barely help keep straight. Although some of the stories were intersting it felt like way too much going on. (Just like the first season of the strangely addictive Glee.)The ending was also very peculiar in a post modern sort of way. All of a sudden the narrative (not voiced mind you) asks what would have happen if the accident had never occured, and all the victims are seen continuing on their journey, riding in a sort of passive, Elysian Fields way while piano music- by Chopin I believe?- plays whistfully in the background. I'd give it a B.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Ha! I broke 40,000! Of course it isn't technically yesterday does that mean that it was part of yesterday's word goal or today's? I have no idea, but I am so happy.
"Des, go to bed," my reasonable roommate called out to me about an hour ago.
"Not until I've hit 40k!" I triumphantly answered.
And I did it. I was so happy because:
1.) I'm writing literary fiction which isn't really plot driven. It's about characters with all sorts of "significant feelings," and "expressing thematic ideas," blah, blah, blah- I ran out of my plot a while ago. (see post below)
2.) After running out of my originally planned plot several thousand words ago I hit up "Adoptable Stuff" a thread list on the NaNoWriMo site. I found some ideas to adopt to stretch out my story, and it totally works with what I originally intended.

I was celebrating and wondering if I should call one of my friends... then I realized it was a somewhat indecent hour on the eve of a day most people will need energy to spend on their families. So I came here to tell you. All three of you or so, as I suspect that's all the reading this blog gets most days. Well, I love the three of you and think that if you've ever had any inclination to write anything, but have never had the drive to just do it, you should NaNo with me next year. Or join me for Script Frenzy in April. I was checking out the site a minute ago while still on my 40k high, I had to stop myself from signing up immediately. I decided that I will wait until the "Script Frenzy 2009" changes to 2010, that seemed wise.

I want that "NaNoWriMo 2009 Winner" banner so bad!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I finally reached the goal I had for yesterday...oh well. The crux of what my novel's really about is becoming clear to me, in December (hear that inner editor, not until December!) when I go back and start editing I'm going to have to adjust a few things to make the theme and feeling cohesive overall. I finally know where it's set for one thing!
There is one tiny little problem. I don't know if I have almost 15,000 words worth of plot left. The story's pretty close to over and I don't want to take another random dare from one of the forums. I've already taken about four dares to keep things moving and I broke out the Plot Device Jar. I made it a few years ago to put little phrases like "An inheritence is gained," and other prompts that might change the direction of the story. Some verging on cliche, some completely bizzare. I think I originally thought of making it when I read that August Wilson I think, kept a jar of character traits on his desk or something like that. A few of the dares on NaNoWriMo's thread have been so good I added them to the jar even though I can't use them right now in this story.
Maybe I'll just kill someone off or make an epilogue... I'll update in a day or two. Next Monday's December. (Screams of horror)

Monday, November 23, 2009


Okay, didn't make 35,000 but still. Whoa. Even some of the stuff I just wrote thinking, "Whatever comes to mind, I'll put down," turns out to have significance. Some character revelations have come out of that spew. Thank you subconscious.
More great Threads from the NaNoWriMo's site:
Please injure my MC
Calling All Drunk Dialers
Morgue Visiting Hours
REALISTIC Superpowers… yeah, I know.
Forks? Weapons of Death?
Prison, hard time, all that.
I chased my character through Wal-Mart today…
Be SAD Dammit!!!!

It is quite an interesting sub-culture actually, the NaNo people. There's a whole vernacular I'm gradually learning. In one week it will be December and it will be over much to the relief of friends and family who are tired of hearing me say, "I can't, I'm writing a novel!" or, "Stop interrupting my noveling!"
I can't wait until the script challenge in April, I have so many ideas! However a lot of things are going by the wayside: laundry, dishes, academic research, my hair.
All for my art I guess.
Planning on at least a two hour marathon tomorrow.
Also, first week of December I will be reviewing Wiloughby's Return by Jane Odiwe, a new sequel to Sense and Sensibility and "A Tale of Almost Irresistable Temptation" according to the subtitle.

Friday, November 20, 2009

So maybe I should be working on NaNoWriMo

But I've been playing around on Robin Hood boards instead. The first couple times I took their Hero or Villain quiz I got Much. I don't think I'm like him at all. So I'll be honest, I been trying to get Marian, I realized that a key question that set Marian apart was one of the last ones. It asked about working with others, and I had been misreading it. The way you take the quiz is a bit annoying, rating one way or the other and it was very easy to vote the exact opposite of the way I actually meant. I'm pretty sure that question is what did it, I didn't really change my other answers very much when I retook it. I did take it just for fun once and purposely skewed it to get Sir Guy.
It's true though, like Marian I can be a little bit stubborn, impatient, indecisive, but my heart's always there.
Feel free to comparably waste your time.


I did it! I have astounded myself at how much I can achieve in such a short time when I really set my mind to it. Denying myself internet distractions probably helped as well. I can't pat myself on the back too much because A) don't want to overextend my shoulder and B) according to my "Daily Goal" I should be at around 30,300 by today. Blast. Well, since I will not be in CA on Sunday night to participate in their write-a-thon "A Night of Writing Dangerously" I'm going to have my own. Probably not six hours long, my friends and family may become concerned, but I will try to have.... 35,000 words by Monday. That is terrifying, but I must do it. I wrote 5000 words in two days and about 10,000 this week. I can totally write... 15,000 in three days. Maybe. But I'm supposed to go to a movie on Saturday. Well it's a goal, okay, it's what I'm aiming for.
My reward for being so diligent is to review the latter half of "Raditude" and post some of my favorite thread names from the NaNoWriMo site.
First: "Raditude"- "Trippin' Down the Freeway" is a little more... Green Album to me maybe, not overly impressed, but it captures some of that classic "awkward with women and relationships" feeling the Weezer is master of. Catchy though.
"Love is the Answer" was very experimental. It was in a Bollywood style, which isn't a bad thing, I actually went through a Bollywood movie phase and still secretly love settling in with one occasionally. The song is very mellow and distinctly not cynical or self depreciating which is refreshing to hear on a Weezer album. Amrita Sen offers her vocals to the track and sounds beautiful.
"Let it all Hang Out" captures a very current feeling among the public. The need to go out on the weekend and let loose, there are multiple references to the recession and the stress from everyday life connected to it. Although, on the surface not an especially poignant song, it may be an important hallmark of the attitude of the times- and they make a reference to Vitamin Water which makes me happy.
"In the Mall" is a driving anthem about shenanigans in the mall. Eh, okay.
"I Don't Want to Let You Go" brings back more serious undertones touched on in "Put Me Back Together" showing a deeper emotional realm than most of the other songs. The only thing on the album I would refer to as a ballad. I think River's voice sounds fantastic on it too, but I just love his voice which this song really showcases.
Overall I give this album a B. There are a couple fantastic songs that I have unintentionally found myself singing in the shower and a few are just okay. I do see levels of experiementation along with a return to some of their earlier sound. Maybe this is a stepping stone toward a new era of Weezer...
Okay now for funny thread names- all are from various participants of NaNoWriMo, none of them belong to me or are created by me:
The Pros and Cons of Believing Santa Claus
Medieval Backpacks
Weird, Gross, and Creepy Mythology
My character threw away all her anti-depressants, now what happens?
Help give my character personality
Evil/Horrible Things that the British Invented
I need to blow up a bridge!!!
Instant stabby death

These are gems. I still maintain that their forums alone are reason enough to do NaNo.
Agenda for the weekend looks like:
1. Where the Wild Things Are (I hope!)
2. Robin Hood
3. Collision part 2
4. 15,000 words
Maybe I'll sleep at some point. Talk to you Monday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poetry and Other Forms of Procrastination

I've been pondering "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot. Until recently, I had never even heard of the poem, in school I studied "The Waste Land" of course, but didn't know much of Eliot beyond that. However, recently people around me have been quoting it, making allusions to it and the other week I read it for the first time.
The poem is beautiful and the language is mesmorizing, lulling even. But what does it mean? It is called a love song, but the main character is conspicuously alone, disconnected, indecisive. Not even the sirens, or mermaids as he says, call to him. They are luring someone else. My favorite verse:
"For I have known them all already, known them all
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room
So how should I presume?"

I think it may be one of those poems that everyone will take in a completely different direction depending on their own state of mind and experience. Still, it's beautiful and I have been thinking of it all afternoon.
Poetry used to be my passion. I wrote poems all the time, but suddenly stopped for some reason that is still a mystery to myself. Lately however, I've had a penchant for sonnets. (Stop the eye rolls- just because it reminds you of high school English class, sheesh). I've written quite a few in the past week. All of this creative energy should be poured into my NaNoWriMo, but as the title says, I've been procrastinating. A friend of mine asked me to describe my story to her and I reallized I do know what I want to happen and where I want to end up, I've just got to *Woman-Up* and do it.
I'll be back when I've hit 20,000 words.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reviews: Part 1 Collision, "Raditudes"

Ok, not as great as I hoped. I was a little upset by that fact that within the first five minutes we know which characters are going to die in the accident. That ruined some of the suspense for me and made me feel like I shouldn't become emotionally invested in these particular characters. The structure was a little confusing as well, without the sub-titles I would have been totally lost. I know there are two more parts to go, but I'm still waiting for the "so what?", the theme, why the story of all these people in this collision are important and how they connect to each other beyond the simple visceral experience. Also, this may just be me being an ignorant American and I know it was impportant to the plot but, is it commonplace for ambulances to take less injured patients to diners? That struck me as strange.
On the positive: Fantastic cast! Alum of Pride and Prejudice, Robin Hood, Doctor Who, Primeval, Torchwood, Being Human, The Twelth Night, Sparkhouse, and many other great programs. Some of the stories are interesting and intruiging. Did one man purposely become onvolved in the accident? Why was one of the survivors found possibly murdered shortly after leaving the hospital? Why was there a man hidden in the furniture delivery van? Some of those questions will inspire me to tune in to the next part. As well as Lucy Griffiths- even though I think she looks better as a brunette- she is refreshing in a contemporary role and a sympathetic character.
I was irresponible today and bought Weezer's new album, "Raditude". I just put it on my computer and haven't finished listening, but will post my initial impressions. Alot of people have had negative comments about this album, but in a way it reminds me alot of their "Blue" album. There's something kind of early rock/punk about their radio single "If You're Wondering if I Want You To (I Want You To) that is reminiscent of songs like "Buddy Holly". The poetic angsty-ness of "Put Me Back Together" pairs with songs like "The World Has Turned (And Left Me Here)". There is also a sense of shamelessly reveling in witty geekiness which I find irrestible. I did have to ask "What? Is that Lil' Wayne?" During "Can't Stop Partying". That was a slightly confusing song. Four more to listen to, I'll post further thoughts later. So far it's not my favorite album, but doesn't warrant alot of the bashing it's been given.
Oh one thing that upset me a little: you can only get the bonus track of Weezer doing two covers in one of Kids and Poker Face if you buy the album on iTunes. Grr. I refuse, it's not fair. Why are you so cruel iTunes? Always keeping things for yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Entertainment of the Weekend

Oh Robin Hood, how you consume a pathetic and socially unacceptable percentage of my thoughts. This week's episode was a major moment with Robin and Guy; it gave fantastic insights on the boys that became the men and how the "bad blood" between them goes back to their fathers. Who cares if it doesn't completely mesh with the backstory that has been implied for the past two seasons? Well... some people care, but besides throwing off the timeline and amount of history between characters a bit, it actually makes alot of things make even more sense in my opinion. I still, stubbornly insist that they should not have killed off Marian and that S3 could have been much more interesting with her. Maybe once the American premiere of S3 concludes in a few weeks I'll post my rewrite of the S2 finale and new outline of S3. Although I must give credit where it is due, the writers did very much redeem themselves in the end of this season. But not 100%
Tonight is the premiere of Collision which has Lucy Griffiths- Lady Marian herself appearing in it. Many BBCA viewers will find familiar actors in this series. I'm excited, Place of Execution has me feeling positive about Mas Contemporary. I'll post my notes later this week.
For books: I have been reading Girl, Interrupted. It's amazing, I'm obsessed. I've never seen the movie, but need to read the book for a class I'm taking. Though I'm not sure what this says about me, I find it fascinating to read about experiences with mental illness. I read The Bell Jar in high school- changed my life. The book is not a cohesive A-B-C plotline, but a collection of memories of the author's experience in the mental hospital. It's as if she wrote each chapter, each episode in the book as it came to mind, not in any order but the one her mind drew up. I can't wait to watch the movie and see how they arrange the plot.
One other bit of exciting, geeky news: BBCA has announced they are showing the final three Dr. Who specials starring David Tennant in December! Can't wait.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kurt Vonnegut

And since I am just procrastinating instead of doing real work or NaNoWriMo, I may as well say that in all the chaos of life, I forgot to post that Wenesday the 11th was Kurt Vonnegut's birthday. Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle are some of my favorite banned books (for lists of the 100 most challenged classics and the most commonly banned books in recent decades check out and celebrate Banned Books Week the last week of September each year- I proudly wear my "I read banned books" pin). That was a long aside. I apologize.
For incentive to pick up some Vonnegut check out "15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better than Anyone Else Ever Has or Will". Be aware a few quotations contain some intemperate language. My link button is stil acting childishly, so copy/paste my friends, copy/paste:,1858/
It has inspired me to read some of Vonnegut's earlier works.
So it goes.

So I Watched It...

I watched the final part of Place of Execution and I was not dissapointed. The moral ambiguity is captured so well; a particular line stands out to me (not quoted exactly) "In this case truth and justice are not the same". It was definately worth the watching- if you missed it check out the videos on
As I wrote that I swallowed my gum. Fantastic.
NaNoWriMo is seriously kicking my butt. Current word count is only around 11,000. Very shabby considering it's the 13th. I knew how hard this would be with my current schedule this month, but I was optomistic- that was my first mistake. Next week my theatrical obligations will end and then I will have to seriously buckle down on this. I already have an idea for the script writing challenge in April, I'm very excited about that.
Oh, and I have a new project for the holiday season (mid-December to mid-January I'm thinking): Reading George Eliot's Middlemarch. It is a beastly long book, but I've been meaning to read something of Eliot's for ages and haven't done it. A friend of mine is also planning on climbing that mountain and we have decided to have weekly sessions (on Skype if not in person) to check up on each other's progress. I'll journal about it on here as well to make me feel more obligated to continue with it.
I still want to do a series about film adaptations as well... that might be too much for one month, we'll just see how it goes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crazy Week

I am way behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. I knew that this would be a tough month to attempt this because of all I have going on. However, my theatrical obligations will over soon and I can (hopefully) get myself back on track.
I have not seen the conclusion to Place of Execution yet, it is waiting patiently on my DVR. This Sunday Collision premieres of Masterpiece. I am actually very excited, Place of Execution has my hopes up now. This Saturday will also see a major revelation on BBC's Robin Hood in a long flashback that somewhat contradicts some earlier parts of the show... but we'll pretend it doesn't.
Also, I have just heard of a new film about Keats! It's called Bright Star and is about the young poet's romance that inspired a poem by the same name. Not living in a major city, I must patiently wait until the little arthouse theatre in the next town gets it. This could be a while, but in the meantime I have watched the trailer and looked everyone up on IMDB. Playing Keats is the same actor that appeared as Sebastian Flyte in the recent adaptation of Bridehead Revisited- not my favorite film, it lacked many things, but the cast was quite good. I hope Bright Star doesn't dissapoint; I am uncharacteristically optomistic about it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Tech: Hot Man Edition

Oh, and a little Happy November gift for all the ladies: (sorry, but I can't get the link button to work lately, so copy and paste in your address bar)
Fantastic British actors Dominic West, Greg Wise, and Dan Stevens read excerpts of classic and more contemporary novels so you can enjoy a "more seductive coffee break". Or, as I call it: Bedtime Stories! I imagine if I ever married a charming British man with a nice speaking voice, I would have him read me excerpts of classic novels whenever I couldn't sleep. Until then, for my insomnia and yours, enjoy!

Place of Execution

Alright... so after writing about 2000 words for the innagural day of NaNoWriMo, I decided I would check out Materpiece Contemporary's latest offering and I'm very glad I did. This was only part one, so I look forward to the coming conclusion of the story. At first it seems a fairly straight forward story of an impassioned detective catching the murderer of a young girl. However, the story quickly develops with more layers of intrigue and ambiguity.
In modern day London, Catherine Heathcote, a divorced reporter with a troubled daughter, tries to make a documentary about the case of Alison Carter's murder. In her interview with George Bennett, the lead detective, she uncovers some unusual facts about the crime and the evidence used try Alison's stepfather (played by the adorable Greg Wise). The story is told largely through extended flashback scenes and has many great performances.
Check it out!

Current word count: 3018 ... about 6% there I believe?

Friday, October 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo Love Affair

National Novel Writing Month, I'm obsessed. Now that I am officially a member of this insane gang worldwide, I have been browsing the forums, participating in the lively discussions. Even though the writing does not commense until Sunday, the boards are lively with questions about the realism of subjects, plot holes, plot devices, and how to survive the thirty day write-a-thon.
Here are some fantastic thread titles on the realism boards (all written by other participants, not my own devising, therefore quoted):
"nailing Jello to the wall"
"Kissing someone with a mustache"
"Evil Hoboes During the Great Depression"
"how to get the blood out (of a person)"
"Manly Coffee Drinks"
"Short males of the world! How does it feel?"
"Teach me about String Theory!"
"Ever been shot?"
"Zombies eat brains, but why?"

I could go for days, that is just a handful of peculiar, fascinating and hilarious discussions on the Character and Plot Realism boards. Honestly, I would join just for the lively ecclectic discussion. There are boards for the various genres, to discuss particular devises and difficulties, and you can get writing buddies! So you don't feel all alone with your angst.
I even made "cover art" this afternoon for my hypothetical book. That is the banner at the top of this post as it appears on my "Novel Info" page. The title came across a little lighter than I hoped, it's called "Jaded" at this point. (Click image to enlarge)
This is terribly unhealthy, but hey it's only until December 1st... and then there's the script writing challenge in April.... I need to stop.
Not going to watch Place of Execution on Masterpiece Contemporary this Sunday because I'm a bad person. Mas. Contemporary always leaves me a little cold and I'd rather be novelling.
Hurry up November and get here! (Once you're here however, feel free to linger slowly while I bring up my word count)
I will watch Robin Hood on Saturday. I feel it's my civic duty.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Have I Done???

Today I signed up for National Novel Writing Month.
50,000 words in 30 days.
"Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon" the website promises.
I look at it this way, it will either be:
1. The push I need to sit down and really write out one of the new stories I've been think about for months, forcing me to focus and stop over-analyzing.
2. Be the final push towards madness, finally sending me over the edge and making me loathe English and all the hours I've spent studying it, finally conceeding that I should become a teacher or something equally depressing. (Note: I've had many great teachers, it's a noble proffession, just not for me).

Either way it's bound to be a crazy thirty days. Why couldn't they have picked a month with 31 days? I'm just glad they didn't pick February. Though in April they have a script-writing version of the challenge, which I intend on participating in if this challenge doesn't kill me. Check it out and join the insanity. I'll try and update my progress here occasionally, maybe it will encourage or discourage you from it for next year. We'll see.
For some reason I can't get the link to attach, so here's the address:

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I watched Endgame tonight. I am not a political person, so I really appreciated the wonderful intro by David Tennant. It was not just wonderful because DT looked very nice and was speaking in his home accent. The intro was minimal, no frills, it gave a backdrop of context for the piece.
It was a difficult story to translate to film, a lot of "table talk" scenes, but there were some very solid performances from the cast. The camera points of view added visual interest to the piece, giving impressions of justified paranoia, that the characters (especially Michael Young played by Johnny Lee Miller)were being watched- which they were. At one moment, the camera shifted focus from Mandela to the bars of his cell, highlighting his incarceration. Perhaps because of my lack of connection to the situation or the documentary feel of many scenes, but I did have trouble feeling engaged and involved in the story and the characters. That always happens to me when watching Masterpiece Contemporary. Last year The Last Enemy left me feeling much the same. I don't know if it's me or the filming styles or the script, but I can't get emotionally involved with their series'. *Sigh*

Beforehand I was watching Nature, it was their program about the wild Stallions, beautiful creatures. There were previews for some upcoming programs after the show, their new Frontline "Close to Home" about the recession is cleverly filmed in a hair salon. Everyone opens up about their problems when their hair is being washed. Maybe because it's comforting, because our parents always washed and combed our hair as children.
I love PBS. Just wanted to share that.

This Week

So after last night's Robin Hood the main story arch is finally speeding toward the inevitable climax. It's a relief, there were a few episodes that didn't do much to push the season forward, but now we are moving. Looking forward to some fantastic performances, an unexpected twist, and a heartbreaking finale. Saturday the 31st the eighth episode premiers in America.
Also on the 31st TCM is doing a special tribute to Mad Scientists. Their showing Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde starring Spencer Tracy from 1941. It's based off the short novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and also stars Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner. Not a bad film, but it bears little resemblance to original story.
I've decided to do a little series of reviews comparing various film adaptations to their original texts.
Any suggestions?
Update: I'm a few chapters into The Blood of Flowers now, it's very engaging. One custom/superstition mentioned in the book that I found very interesting was the idea of "stealing" something from a loved one going on a journey to ensure that they'll come back to you. Without even realizing it I think we've all done it. Photographs, letters, trinkets, little things we give an take. When one of my friends and I had to seperate to go off to college we swapped books so that we would be sure to meet up again. We had to swap them back.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Masterpiece Contemporary

photo credit:

Guess who the new host of Masterpiece Contemporary is? Okay, I sort of spoiled it with the photo, but yes, it is the incomparable David Tennant.
Their season starting this Sunday is as follows (courtesy of
Endgame- October 25th Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Johnny Lee Miller (also in the new Emma coming to Masterpiece Classic this season!)
Place of Execution- November 1-8 Starring Juliet Stevenson and Greg Wise
Collision-November 15-22 With Lucy Griffiths from BBC's Robin Hood

Speaking of David Tennant... did anyone hear that the RSC is making a film of their recent production of Hamlet starring DT? I wept with joy personally.
Oh, and Collision stars the eighth Doctor, Paul McGann. Isn't that cute? Getting the Whos together. Warm fuzzy feelings.
Oh- and Philip Davis who was in "The Fires of Pompeii" with Doctor eleven, DT. It' like a class reunion.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Voices of Persia

Pokeygirl and The Guys have expressed interest in modern writers from the Middle East, I've done some research and found some authors of to add to their reading list. Many of the writers I looked up are difficult to locate in the US and copies of their books must be ordered online. From everything I've read today Simin Daneshvar, the first Iranian woman to be published, and Bahman Sholevar, whose last novel has never been printed in his own country, seem like very interesting and important authors to look at. A book that's been very popular in the last couple years has also been Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.
I've picked up a novel called The Blood of Flowers at my local library. It's the first novel by Iranian born author Anita Amirrezvani. The story is a historical fiction about Persian carpet dyers in the seventeenth century. It sounds very interesting and I love the title. I'll report back as I read it.
Film wise, I must recomend Persepolis, especially if you're into graphic art. A beautiful story about a young Iranian woman during the Islamic Revolution that is funnier than you might expect due to the serious setting.
In most of my English studies the focus was American and British literature, I would love to start expanding to world literature and this might be a great place to start. Let me know if these suggestions are helpful or any books and authors from this region or others that you have read or heard of. If you've read any of the above it would be very nice to have your opinion on the texts.

Book Tech

I have received an email from Barnes and Noble about their new eBook reader, The Nook. It is advertised as"The World's Most Advanced eBook Reader" at $259. Although only on pre-order right now it has it's own tab on B&N's website and has caused a flurry of excited discussion in my local lit. group.I see a major competition starting between the two devices. The Kindle seems to have lowered it's price from $279 to match the Nook's slightly lower price. Coincidence? I doubt it.
Personally, I like books. I like the feel and the smell (apart from several unfortunate used books I've found that need to be sanitized) of books. Will this wave of eBooks begin slowing book production? Shutting down bookstores? Will kids be curling up for a bedtime story via screen? I see the logic, they will save space and trees, but in the end paper books are recyclable, eWaste less so.
How does everyone else feel about this step? Will it simplify your literary life?
Check out the Nook at It is a really cute name at any rate.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Awkward First Blog

I keep seeing more and more authors nowadays that have gotten their start online through blogging. It struck me that perhaps there really is something useful and educational about it, that I should move with the times.
I don't want to talk about my personal life or the exploits of celebrities, mainly I want to create an intelligent forum for literary based discussions in relation to life, pop culture, and more literature. At the forefront I should state I am not just an English geek, I have many geeky interest or at least interests that I have been told are geeky.
Mostly I have been inspired by the fantastic girls on the BBCA Robin Hood forum that provide stimulating discussion every week and have given me confidence in my own ability to give commentary.
Now that this awkward first blog is out of the way, hopefully enthralling discussions are to come.