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.