Friday, April 29, 2011

Review: The Heart of Midlothian

So I took a little break from the Internet - and, in fact, the computer! - over the Easter break (something my Script Frenzy script is now punishing me for) and spent a bit of time reading a bunch of books I've been meaning to finish for a long, long time. One of these was The Heart of Midlothian, by Sir Walter Scott, which has been sitting on my night desk for about three months. No kidding. But I finally finished it and I wanted to post a review on it, seeing as I haven't posted for a while. Plus the fact that I finally finished the book made me want to celebrate a bit. I thought it was a waste to read the book for three months and then just put it back on my shelf. So, with that in mind....

How far would you go to save a sister's life? Would you tell a lie? How much would you sacrifice?

The Heart of Midlothian is a simple story which probably could have been several times shorter than it actually was; it essentially centres around a young woman called Jeanie Deans, whose half-sister is accused of child-murder and sentenced to death. Jeanie, unable to lie in a court of law to save her sister's life (a point which didn't quite sit with me, but more on that later), heads down the long road to London to try and get a pardon for her sister from the King.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

'I'm Lord Vader' and Other Signs He's Probably Not 'First Kiss' Material

Wednesdays are 'blog carnival' days over at YA Highway, where readers respond to questions posted by the YA Highway team. Today's question is:

Compare your first kiss with your favorite characters first kiss?

Ok. So this topic is a little problematic for me because I often struggle with the accounts of first kisses in YA fiction. My main problem? They're over-romanticised.

Let me start by describing my first kiss; being fairly hopeless with men on a 'romantic' level when I was younger, I didn't have my first kiss until just after leaving school. By the time it actually happened any romantic notions I'd developed about it had all been blown out of the water. Eventually, I had my first kiss because I was so desperate to tick another box in the 'teenage experiences' list that I managed to get over my customary awkwardness around sexually appealing members of the opposite sex and just went for it. It happened in a dingy club, after a few too many shots* and with a man whose name I instantly forgot (which probably wouldn't have mattered anyway as it was so loud in the club he could have said anything from 'I'm Jim' to 'I'm Lord Vader, scourge of the Galaxy' and I wouldn't have known the difference) and whose face I cannot now recall. He was very attractive, thankfully, and my kiss was relatively brief but with it came a rush of understanding.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Narnia Debate: or, Kids vs. Adults

"Make 'em think, Blondie." Even kids'
films are trying to tell us something.
But can we figure it out?
The other day I was reading this post over at Erinn’s blog and yesterday, it popped into my head again. You see, up until yesterday I’d been firmly convinced that being an adult runs circles around being a kid. Sure, I know all the usual arguments: lack of responsibility, freedom of imagination, ability to wear awesome Elmo backpacks without irony... but I was still convinced that being an adult was several hundred times better than being a kid.

And then yesterday I sat down to watch Disney’s latest movie Tangled, having heard how wonderful it was, and my sister said to me, “Wow, now I want to watch old Disney movies.” Without thinking I replied, “me too.” At this we shared a look; what were we thinking? We were two mature, intelligent and – though I say so myself – not unattractive young women... and all we wanted to do of a Sunday afternoon was sit down and watch kid’s films. At first I was dreadfully embarrassed, but then I began to think to myself... maybe being a kid isn’t so bad after all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

And For Your Challenge THIS Month...

Nothing to do in April, as the cold winds begin to roll in and you feel it’s almost socially acceptable for you to wrap yourself in a massive doonah and disappear for months on end, until forced once more out of your little cocoon by the hot weather?

Yeah. That’s how I felt mid-March this year. So I thought I’d try something different. I decided to try out Script Frenzy. What is Script Frenzy, you may ask? Well, it’s to screenwriting what Nanowrimo is to novel-writing. Essentially it challenges you to write a 100-page script – TV, film, stage – in the month of April. Sounds like fun, right? I thought so, while I was pondering how I was going to celebrate the long winter nights that were fast approaching. And so I decided to take a leap into previously uncharted writing territory. Essentially, this was my thought process...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

RTW: A Tourist's Guide to 2111

Wednesdays are 'blog carnival' days over at YA Highway, where readers respond to questions posted by the YA Highway team. Today's question is:

Assuming we make it through the 2010 apocalypse, what do you imagine the publishing world will look like 100 years from now?

Picture it. The year is 2111. A lazy afternoon sun dips across the scorching red wasteland that is the Australian outback. The dust stirs. One man - dressed all in leather, Mad Max style, despite the heat - zips across the landscape on a motorcycle like a black-and-grey wasp. But this is no joy ride. This is war.

Suddenly, on the horizon, shimmering, appear his pursuers. Even from a distance, they're high-tech in comparison to this Mel Gibsoneque vigilante. You can't see their faces because their vehicles seem to encase them in what looks like - if you're not afraid to have your fingers broken for making such an observation - a giant, flying silver egg.

Welcome, traveller, to the future.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Layout... But Will it Last?

New layout. Why do those words always fill me with such dread? I guess I just get bored easily. I like new, shiny things. So every once in a while I like to renovate. And that doesn't just go for my online haunts. I think if I had the money and the upper body strength I'd constantly be re-arranging my room. As it is I generally take down the books on my bookshelf every couple of months and just put them all back in a different order. Thrilling, right?

But today I re-arranged the layout for the blog. And gave it a new name, though I decided to stick with the mirror theme. Just to keep a little consistency going.

Chicago Ink is going well; it'll probably start showing up around Easter. Yay!