Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reading and Writing

Except for editing and the final touches, I have more or less finished my Collins work (which incidentally is showing on the Amazon site although the information is not completely accurate at the moment). This leaves me free to concentrate on my VERY IMPORTANT MA assignment. To this end, I am currently reading What I was by Meg Rosoff having enjoyed her very interesting and Carnegie Award winning novel Just in Case.
I realise both books may not be to everyone's tastes but her style is mesmerising. She creates really interesting voices in her work which I really like. I'm also hoping to read some other texts- The World According to Humphrey, Finding Violet Park and others, in my efforts to widen my experience of novels in different genres and for various age groups.

As an English specialist, I am familiar with lots of books for the school age market but I'm toying with a few ideas for my assignment and I always find reading books helps me with my writing, so that's what I'm doing!! As Stephen King said in his wonderful book On Writing: If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still and Christmas Time

I am in the middle of my Christmas holidays (I use the term 'holidays' loosely as I have a ton of work to do what with my MA assignment and my Collins work and another potential publishing project). In the midst of this, I have managed to see The Day the Earth Stood Still which is a remake of the 1951 sci fi film starring Keanu Reeves, whom I have to admit having once had a crush on! Well the film was a bit of a disappointment, maybe because sci fi isn't my thing but probably more likely because the story wasn't very strong. Special effects were okay but the idea of an alien coming to Earth to save it from us humans whilst moderately believable, became unbelievable once he started to change his mind, and for me, the moment Keanu Reeves' character used his finger tip ( I kid you not) to fix a phone line, the film lost what little credibility it had.

Aside from film watching, I have been to visit some relatives and experienced crazy Christmas shopping fever. It is the Christmas season after all and shopping malls are crazy crazy wild, in case you hadn't noticed.

Amongst my shopping experiences is the Woolworths' Sale which I ventured into this week- to anyone thinking of going, a word of advice: don't. You wouldn't think the shop was closing down based on the discounts.

And what with all this time off, I have had time to consider things- life, work and everything, and I have come to the conclusion that sometimes you just have to go for what you want or in the wonderful words of Starsky and Hutch- just do it!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Spirit and the Changeling

I have succumbed to the spirit of Christmas and put my tree and decorations up! And now, in the spirit of Christmas - here are two jokes:

How did the snail keep its shell shiny? By using snail varnish.
How did the human canon ball lose his job? He got fired.

Both were in crackers, so don't blame me, if you don't think they're funny.

As for my writing- well let's just say that is on hold till the Christmas hols which are soon, thankfully.

In the meantime, let me post about the film Changeling which I went to see this week. My advice to anyone going to see this film is be prepared to be shocked and saddened. The film starring Angelina Joli and John Malkovich is an engaging and moving film based on true and shocking events in 1920s America.

If you've ever read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the situation Angelina Jolie's character faces will simply reinforce your understanding of how the medical profession can abuse its power and how women in particular were and (and may still be) at its mercy. This aspect of the film also reminded me of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. However the film is not simply about a woman's ill treatment at the hands of doctors. It is about much more than this- a mother's love for her child, her pursuit for justice in the face of adversity, police corruption and the abuse of power.... but I don't want to ruin the plot for you.

All I will say is despite the film being very sad and disturbing in places, it is well worth a viewing. Just take some tissues.