Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Please Sir, I Want Some More

IT'S very well known that I'm a sucker for a good BBC miniseries, and so I was very excited to watch Oliver Twist last Sunday, because I'm always up for some Dickens. What I like most about modern interpretations of Dickens is that they tone down some of the sentimentality of his work and really tease out the weighty issues of the text. 

Now, first things first, this adaptation aired in 2007 on the BBC, and it's pretty disgusting that we're getting it at the end of 2009. But whatever. We are, after all, living on the bottom of the world. XD

I certainly wasn't disappointed with this new adaptation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rereading 2009 - or, My Year of Reading Dangerously

I'M a little bit behind this time, but I love the 'Road Trip Wednesdays' over at YA Highway, and last week's was a particularly interesting one I was eager to answer, because it gives me the chance to look over the past year, reading-wise. I've decided to add a few questions of my own, just to really summarise 2009. So, the questions:

1) What are the three best books you've read this year?

It's Been A While, Hasn't It?

SO, it's been some time since I posted anything. Partly that's because I've had a busy month; what with schoolwork and holidays and work. In fact, I've barely picked up a pen to write for more than five weeks. As a result, I've got quite a few ideas running wild and unchecked in my brain.

But first things first: as you may have noticed, I've posted the last few instalments of The Manor on the Moor. It's now well past Halloween so there's absolutely no excuse for it sitting idly on my computer.

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style: Letter the Seventh

Letter the Seventh

To Mrs E— Kirk

1st December 18—

MY Darling E—,

I mentioned in my last letter that my tale is nearly complete. I am going now to Scotland, and thence to Ireland, and thence to – I know not where. The only thing I am sure of is that I am going with the best and dearest of girls, and when I return, I trust you will pay your dutiful and devoted respects to the new Mrs Jane Notingham.

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style: Letter the Sixth

Letter the Sixth

To Mrs Kirk
E—ton House, —shire

31st October 18—

My Dearest Sister,

I have at last removed to a more comfortable lodging than that which I had hitherto remained in. Being, at last, deemed strong enough to remove myself, Miss Jane was most helpful in the moving and re-establishing of my personage in a smaller but infinitely more comfortable abode. I am now quite settled here and determined to regain my full strength before any continuation of my journey. Your letter much cheered my spirits, and your eagerness to hear the end of my tale prompts me to once again take up Miss Jane’s Tale. I last told you of the machinations of the Knight with respect to the person of Mrs Forbeson. In continuation;
“The Knight went out onto the moor in search of this plant, but could not find it. It grew rarely, and so he was forced to wander across unfamiliar land. With no lamp to guide him as night fell, he tumbled into a bog, breaking both his legs and fracturing his neck, and there he drowned. Thus the household was dissolved, but Mrs Forbeson, loyal to the last, was cursed with remaining in this house. For, unknown to the Knight (who was blinded by ambition and by jealousy, and who had never, I believe, looked at his wife properly above twice since their marriage) the Countess had in secrecy given birth to a child by the Nephew, a little girl. Mrs Forbeson was charged with raising this girl, and the Countess had forced her to swear never to remove the child from the house.”

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style: Letter the Fifth

Letter the Fifth

To Mrs E— Kirk
E—ton House, —shire

13th October 18—

My Darling Sister,

Words cannot surprise my happiness – my surprise – at receiving your letter which informs me that you were, in that short period during which I fought for my life, happily engaged in the pursuit of Matrimony. What a shock it was, indeed, to open a letter addressed to me and signed by Mrs Kirk, wife to the esteemed Captain Kirk of the Royal Navy!

My reply comes later than expected, and for that I am truly sorry.

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style: Letter the Fourth

Letter the Fourth

To Miss E— Notingham
Henrow House, —shire

2nd October 18—

My Dearest E—,

I continue my Narration with no more interruptions, for I must and will finish this Tale for you. I too am anxious to unburden myself of it, and this History will no doubt live on in our family. I trust for this reason you will retain my letters to you that we may entertain our children and they in turn their own children with tales of my Adventure, what one may say is currently my only claim (though I trust it will not long remain so) to Fame.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Miss Austen Regrets... Several Things?

GREAT was my excitement when I saw on the ABC site that Miss Austen Regrets (made in 2008) would FINALLY be screening in Australia. I saw it advertised last year when it was shown in the UK, and I just couldn't believe we'd finally gotten it. I taped it when it was on but only just got around to watching it today. I sat down with a warm blanket and noodles determined to flood my brain with all things Austen.

Now, the story...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Do You Read?

OVER at Young Adult Highway, the question this week for their Road Trip Wednesday was:

I'm one of those annoying people who likes to go around saying they read 'everything'. Which is not strictly true. I read a lot of the 'Classics'. I love Jane Austen and the Brontes, and I also really like Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I'm not big on magazines; that's the one thing I barely ever read. I like historical fiction, including prehistoric (I read The Clan of the Cave Bear a few months ago...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Columbine Icefly, the Goddess of Scandanavia

I'M one of those people who has an obsession for online quizzes and name generators. I was browsing just this afternoon and came across a fairy name generator. Now I've always wondered, if I had wings and was ten centimetres tall, what they'd call me. It seems they'd call me something like:

Your fairy is called Columbine Icefly
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen at midday under a quiet, cloudless sky.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It was OK. A bit rubbery. Tasted Like Chicken.

DON"T The Beatles have some of the weirdest lyrics in the world? Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm not listening to the right stuff. But honestly. Look at this. I was listening to Octopus's Garden just a little while ago, and wondering what must have possessed Ringo Starr when he wrote it:
" I'd like to be, under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade

He'd let us in, knows where we've been

in his octupus' garden, in the shade.

I'd ask my friends to come and see

An octopus' garden with me

I'd like to be under the sea

In an octopus' garden in the shade.

We would be warm, below the storm

In our little hideaway beneath the waves

Resting our head, on the sea bed

In an octopus' garden near a cave "
Having said that, it is an awesome song. It's fun to listen to, but then perhaps I'm just a little too serious about it...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Imaginariums and Crunchy Nuts

WELL, time is hurrying by without even bothering to stop and say hello (unforgivably rude) and I've been in a terribly lazy, over-the-counter-flu-tablet-induced stupor for most of the week (damn those pesky colds). I did manage to drag myself out of bed, I must admit, to go to the movies the other day. I decided on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus as I've always been quite a Heath Ledger fan. Plus I'm a sucker for bizarre, twisted fantasy, and I must say I wasn't disappointed. The film was definitely well-made, but at times your brain threatened to explode watching it, because there was just so much to take in all at once. But it was definitely a testament to the creators' resilience that they didn't let Heath Ledger's death stop their film (with a budget of $30 million dollars I don't think they could afford to let it) and in the end I think it turned out very well...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Pursuit of the Nano

WITH the spirit of Nanowrimo in the air, I've been thinking about last year's all-out Nanowrimo challenge. It was the first time I'd heard about Nano and I was eager to give it a go. Reading over my completed novel today made me wish I had the time to do it this year. It's a lot of fun, writing flat-out for a month; it's even more fun when you're juggling exams, housework and Christmas plans into the bargain. But I finished it in the end, and I remember just how proud I was when I opened up the certificate pdf.

I was considering doing Nano this year for a while...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Looking Up

Hah. After much agonising searching (nearly half the morning, actually) I've managed to fix the blog layout and the Amazing Disappearing Sidebar. It looks like it was something in the posts themselves, possibly helped along by the fact that I'd copied and pasted the Manor on the Moor stuff straight from Word. In the end I was forced to delete the posts and code them all myself. Luckily I've only got a few posts to my name!

I watched the second half of Wuthering Heights last night and was pretty happy with how it turned out. From what I can remember of the book...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style: Letter the Third

Letter the Third

To Miss E— Notingham
Henrow House, —shire

1st October 18—

MY Dearest Sister E—,

I thank you for your kind letter, which reached me in good time. The post is slow here, but that is not, I confess, the reason for my delay in replying to your letter. Though I do not wish to alarm you, I must explain my long silence which surely caused you much anxiety. Not long after despatching my last letter to you, I was taken to bed with a fever, and for many days lay unconscious of time and human presence. I surely felt that I had come near to the end, and in my fevered lamentations was greatly sorry that I could not write to you even once to bid you adieu. I spent the better part of September unwell here at this unsavoury inn, with nobody to attend me but a lady I will later dwell upon at length, Miss Jane, who is an uncommonly hard-working and kindly girl. She offered many a time to pen a letter to you but I did not wish to alarm you by sending tidings in another’s hand, which I was convinced would only serve to distress you more. But let that matter rest – I am now strong enough to hold my pen again, and Miss Jane has been clever in fashioning, with the help of the local blacksmith, a kind of writing-table which I may use from the comfort of my bed, thereby eliminating the need to spend many hours in the draughty room, sitting up rather than remaining in my current position.

But I have now done with myself – You are no doubt anxious to hear the continuation of my story, which you showed so much enthusiasm for in your letter.

Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Emma. Quite Possibly Heaven?

IT'S been a long time since I sat down and coded anything, and I must admit the thought doesn't thrill me. Easy-to-customise layouts were made for lazy people like me. I've been trying to fix up the sidebar on the right, but it's persistent in wanting to hang round down the bottom of the page, for some unknown reason. Anyone who knows how I can get this pesky critter back where he belongs...

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style: Letter the Second

Letter The Second
To Miss E— Notingham, London

25th August 18—

My Dearest E—,

Having attempted, over the course of yesterday’s rest, to improve the state of my Health, which is not, I fear, at its very best (though certainly not nearly so bad as to trouble yourself with, my dearest E—) I have again come to my writing-desk to pen the promised tale of Horror to you. I trust the first instalment was amusing, and to your liking – certainly it was diverting for my own sake. The experience of it will live on in my Remembrance I believe, until my Final Hour. And so, without further ado, Dearest Sister (for I know how you hate to be diverted from the topic you are most interested in) I continue with my tale.

I had just told you, Sister, of my entrance into the House, and how I came to see the most astounding Sight in my eight-and-twenty years of life.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style: Letter the First

A letter in the Gothic Style.
To Miss E. Notingham
23rd August 18—

MY Dearest Sister,

What a rare moment is this when, in my solitary rambles across the countryside, I occasionally have the pleasure of addressing you in a confidential letter! I trust you enjoy the quiet pleasures of home as you have always done. Though my heart is, as well you know, steeled with a Lion Strength, I must admit to you, my sweet sister that the experiences of the past twenty-four hours have stirred within my breast such Convulsions and Terrors that I shudder to recall. So great are these Horrors that they surpass anything one might encounter in the most horrid of Modern Novels. I shrink back from describing such things to one as gentle as you, my dear E— yet share them I must, for I fear that even my hearty Constitution will not long withstand the concealment.

The Manor on the Moor: A Letter in the Gothic Style

TWO posts, one after the other; I must admit I am a little eager (but give me a little time, until the novelty wears off!) But today being Halloween, and this piece being written expressly for Halloween, I thought it would be right to post it.

And So It Begins...

INEVITABLY, when starting up a blog or anything of the kind, I end up writing a lot of rubbish that generally begins with "Well Now" and "I can't believe".

But this time I've vowed it's going to be different.