Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Won An Award...

It's not very often I win something online - especially on here - however when I do, I like to display my awards on the sidebar.

I was nominated for 'The Versatile Blogger Award' by Captivated Reader.  She's a regular to my blog; and a good friend of mine offline.

Thank you very much for nominating me and now, I have to follow a few little rules, answer some questions and mention some other bloggers to get the ball rolling onwards... however, I'm doing this with a twist!

Don't worry - this is going to be fun!

Okay... seven random things about myself.  This shouldn't be hard; seeing I surprise a lot of my friends when it comes to my life.

I make terrariums.  These are gardens that live in a sealed bottle or environment.  Here's the most gorgeous one I own in my living room. It's on my coffee table and is the center of attention when people enter the room.

I love to write flash fiction.  Okay, I've been writing flash fiction for over 2 years now, and been a part of a community on Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Minds' blog since the beginning of 2013... it's fun, the stories are short, creepy and sometimes funny in a dark kind of way.  But I love writing them.  And yes they're all on another blog ('You Can't Go Back and Other Impossibilities' blog on my complete profile).

I have only begun driving a car again over the last 2 years; and become a car owner again just last year when Dad bought me a very cool, sweet little green Holden Astra for my 41st birthday.  For a good part of the last 20 years, I've been battling with Epilepsy and have been stable since 2004... now I have my life back completely.

I run a hobby business called 'Lynda's Crafty Pegs' and I attend markets all over Brisbane and at schools as well.  The hobby business has been going for only 2 years, but I love what I do.

Not only do I love to read books, collect them, write about them and write books, I also have a habit of making artwork about them... my whole life revolves around the written word.

I haven't had a relationship with anyone in over a decade - and wouldn't know how to have one if somebody approached me.  After leaving an abusive relationship, I have found letting somebody else that close again impossible.

I shaved all my hair off for the World's Greatest Shave.  This is to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland... my hair is growing back really fast.  But here's a collage of what happened on 14th, March! I did it to help raise money for research; and I raised over $800 this year! 

Now... there's stuff there you all didn't know about me.  And here's the fun part for the blog.  I nominated some blogs on my sidebar.

Book View Cafe
Open Culture
The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills
True Book Addict
The Passive Voice
Becky's Book Reviews
Debbie Robson
Reading To Know
Calico Writes
The New Dork Review of Books
Terrible Minds
Writer Beware Blog
Wet Panty Stories
Kate Sutherland
Graham Clements

Okay... now that's all done.  These blogs are found on my sidebar and are ones I visit on a regular basis.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Currently Reading

Over the last two weeks, I've been so very busy!  So, I picked up 'Other Colors' by Orhan Pamuk.  This book is one I keep in my collection to read when I either can't get my head around a story or into writing something, or I'm so busy I can't concentrate on a book plot right now.

At the moment it's both problems.

So, I killed two birds with one stone - very cool!

This book has helped me in the past get my butt back into writing simply by the way Orhan Pamuk writes.  He's got a way with words which pull me right into his world effortlessly, and in such a way I wish I could write the same way.

However, I can see from his writing that how he writes it's taken a lot of practice from life, from his love of his country and the city his lives in and basically from writing every day.

'Other Colors' is one book I will never get rid of, and I think will be one book I'd keep with me throughout my life until I'm old... and even then, I'd still re-read it just for the joy his words have brought me.

Which books have you read which have brought you such joy that you can't let them go?  Have you read this book?  If so, have you had the same feelings about it that I do?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

'Faylina' by D.L. Redshaw

Lina is a Fay who is the daughter of the King Fay in Fayland, where all the Fairies live and learn to be good fairies.  They all have special skills and travel around on ladybirds to fly to the human world.

On Lina's seventh birthday, her name is changed to Faylina and she travels to the human world to help teach children to read - as that's her special skill.  When she arrives to the human world, she finds herself at the bedside of a very sick child named Belinda.  Sitting by her on her pillow, Faylina begins to read to her.

But she takes longer than she is allowed, and she sends her friend, Bairy, to let her father know where she is.  Will her father let her stay and help Belinda become well?  Will little Belinda overcome her illness?  Will Faylina help Belinda learn to read?  Find out in the lovely first book of the 'Faylina' Series.

'Faylina' by D.L. Redshaw is a new book published by the Butterfly Kiss Books publishing.  This company is a very new company on the market and is a family-run, Brisbane-born company. 'Faylina' was illustrated by R.J. Simon who you can find on Facebook.  'Faylina' also has their own author page on Facebook you can follow as well.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Found and Abused Books

I was at the Logan Art Gallery today when I needed to use a book - one I could destroy if needs be.  And so I asked Jillian Beardsworth (our supervisor there) if there were books available to do just that so we didn't destroy books that were of value to the place.

Jillian took me to a couple of cupboards at the back of the workshop which were chock full of rejected and cancelled books from the Logan City Libraries!  I was amazed what books weren't being read by people anymore!  I picked out the book I wanted to use and then found two more 'The Cold One' by Christopher Pike and 'Bagombo Snuff Box' by Kurt Vonnegut.  One of these authors I haven't read since I was in my twenties and the other I've been looking for more of his work but it costs a small fortune to buy!

So, I asked if I could take those two books off their hands; and Jillian just let me take them home.  I'm so happy these books are in my collection now - and they didn't cost me a cent!  I'm looking forward to cracking the cover of 'Bagombo Snuff Box' by Kurt Vonnegut, as it's all his uncollected short fiction... very cool, and I've heard of the book but have never seen it before, and I love reading books filled with short stories as it's a lot more fun to get through.

I was also given a new piece of children's fiction by a friend of mine: 'Faylina' by D.L Redshaw.  I look forward to reading and reviewing this book for you all too.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How-To Books

I've been doing a lot of work lately; you know, to do with my Crafty Pegs hobby business.  Over the next few months I'm going to be adding on a few new lines for it and to do that I have to look up some non-fiction books to know how to do those things.

For example:  I need instructions on how to make dishcloths... but I already know how to knit.  So, I've been looking through my stitching books and changing the patterns to match the stitches so the dishcloths look and feel wonderful.  Also, I want to sell different styles, sizes and types of stitches in my cloths too.

I'm also getting right into cooking again.  So, I've been pulling out my cookbooks from under the sink.  Today, I woke up with the worse sinus ever!  And it was shopping day... so I went out and bought a huge amount of groceries and now the Slow Cooker has Potato and Leek Soup bubbling away in it!  How wonderful is that?  I've made my own changes to it and added garlic, basil, parsley and seasoned it too.  Now to wait the 6 hours for it to cook!  I can't wait to taste it after I blend it with the hand blender.

I do love the How-To books we all seem to collect over time.  Which ones do you get your nose into?  Mine always have to do with craft or my hands or cooking... what do yours always seem to get you doing?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Book Buys!

This month has been a big splurge on buying books; and mainly it was from nerves.  So, I bought them because I was nervous and stressed out.

Yep, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

At the beginning of the month, I went out and bought three books for $16 at Lucky Charms Newsagents at Springwood: 'The Copper Beech' and 'This Year It Will Be Different' by Maeve Binchy and 'Wicked Business' by Janet Evanovich. Those three were bought on 13th, March - the day before the World's Greatest Shave.  Yep, I was nervous alright!

After the big shave, I didn't do any book-buying at all.  I was kind of relieved it was over and done with.  I jumped in and got ready for a market at Murarrie; and with all the heat and storms around, my hair was so easy to look after and dry, I was happy to have the length of it so short.

Then, yesterday, I found a really lovely cookbook.  I love collecting cookbooks, they can show you so much to do in your kitchen; making to see what you're missing out on - you know, the forest for the tree bit.  Well, I found 'Fresh & Easy' by Marie Claire sitting on the table for just a $1.00.  This book was brand new and I saw so many vegetarian recipes and other great ideas in it I could adjust, that I knew I wanted it immediately.  So, I found a dollar in my purse and grabbed it.  
Well, that was my book-buying for this month.  I've been reading a few bits and pieces, but otherwise I'm too tired lately to read, and have been just turning out the light and going straight to sleep.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Unread Collection

It's known to many that a lot of people around the world love to read books as well as collect them; thus the traditional book isn't going out of fashion - it's just shifting a little.

To some having some bookcases stacked with books is a means of showing of status in the community, while for others having a collection of books - new and well-worn ones - means they just have a passion to read and collect; and have been a book nerd since they were young.

But then, there's people who have a collection of books which take over whole sections of their homes; like I do.  I have a room filled with books.  When I do finally move, I hope to expand the collection more and make my next place a more permanent home for my collection... have it part of my home instead being in just one room.

However, I haven't read all my books.

And I don't think I ever will.

And you know something?  I'm not too worried about not reading my entire collection as much as I used to be.

You see, I used to collect them to read them all over and over.  Now, I collect books because I want the books as a type of art form.  I do enjoy reading them; but I've become a much slower reader than I used to be - yep I used to zip through books only a few years ago.  I now wander through books as though they're a nice, open field and I'm just walking through the place at a nice slow pace.

There's no rush and hurry.  I'm not in school anymore.  I don't have any deadlines to reach to finish the books by; so I can totally enjoy the book for what it is instead for what I'm told it is.
I've bought entire series of books by authors and have only just begun getting into reading them; and it's wonderful to totally enjoy the reading of books while I have the time... I mean, why hurry through a book when I can take my time. 

Reading a book is like life... why hurry when you can take your time?  Life is meant to be enjoyed, just as reading is.  So, I collect books here and there, add them to my collection and may not read them for years.  Then, many years down the track, I'll sit down and read them...

... after the hype has died down...

... after everyone has forgotten about the book...

... when I'm completely ready for the surprises between the pages...

Yep, collecting a huge number of books and leaving them unread isn't just something of a waste - as many seem to think - it's a planned attack on a bigger reading list.  It's just a matter of time before I get to that list.... if I ever do.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What I Got My Nose Into!

In the past week, I've been working on quite a few things for my Crafty Pegs Hobby Business.  So, reading has taken a back seat for little while; but not totally.

After the funny parody I wrote about 'Jaws', I looked for the book in my collection that night and have been reading a few pages of it each night before bed... and it's more detailed than I thought it would be.
I'm only a few chapters in, and I'm thinking that the film has only covered a tiny fraction of what Peter Benchley had written about the Great White Sharks.  His prose isn't stunning, but it pulls me along in such a way that I have read ten pages without realising it.  The dialogue in this book isn't snappy or anything you'd be able to quote - unlike the movie - however, it makes me feel as though I'm watching the whole story unfold; as though I'm a fly on the wall and a bona fide guest into the mind of this author.  I feel honoured to be part of this story, and yet it's being shown to be bit by bit, instead of being thrown at me.  I love how this is set out.

All this from only about three chapters of the book; and I haven't really made a dent.  Yes, this book has impressed me so far.  It's a book from the 1970's.  Yes, it's was a debut book for its author where it was  greatly unrecognised for its ability to go further than it did (it was knocked off the #1 spot by 'Watership Down' so didn't get to be in hardcover).  And the movie didn't do it justice.  

I have found a great article about 'Jaws' and how the movie differs markedly from the book here so have a read of it and let me know what you think of it; as I found it very indepth and caused me pause to think about how I'm going to approach the book now.  So, what are you reading at the moment?  I'd love to see what you're all up to now, as the seasons change.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Books Into Movies

Yesterday, I jumped off the computer and found that it was early afternoon, I was tired and I didn't really want to do anything too involved around the place.  So, I dug out a collection of classic movies my brother gave me and made a huge bowl of popcorn and settled in to watch 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.  I've tried to read the book however never made it past chapter 9, finding it tough reading.  And I read it when I was a teenager and an adult and still had difficulty reading this book, so when I found I had the opportunity to watch the film, I realised that reading the book was all the more important... especially with a book such as this.

'To Kill A Mockingbird' is about racism in the South of America in the 1930's and how quick people are to accept that an African-American will commit the crime a white man committed just because the white man said so.  There was a lot of stuff the movie left out that I did notice from the book... like Bo Radley was white in the movie - I thought he was African-American in the book, and that's one of the reasons why he was kept inside the house; and how the storyline of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' would come a full circle seeing how the court case was built against an innocent man all because of his race; and yet society didn't like an ordinary man inside his own home because of his race.  The movie didn't really make any sense seeing Bo Radley was white... and they missed out on the house burning down (which was a turning point in the book; but was a major detail missed out in the movie). Instead, they concentrated on the mad dog and got Atticus Finch to shoot the dog (why this was so important, I'm not sure).  But this movie seemed to cover some things that what little of the book I read but not enough of it... silly really.

Then, later that night, I stumbled upon 'Jaws', 1975 suspense horror; and what a great film!  I caught the last half hour of the movie - the best part! - where the monster of the shark was starting to sink the 'Orca' fishing vessel with the shark hunter, the scientist and James Wood's character (I never remember who he plays) on board... and the shark is playing the best crazy nut job around.  The music is perfect.  And after the motor is blown in the boat and it's taking on water, they decide to do the only thing possible... send the scientist over the side in the tiniest metal box you've ever seen!  Of course this is going to go sideways! 

And it does in every possible way.

the shark hunter gets killed.  James Woods' character seriously shits himself while trying to get out of the smallest cabin on the face of the planet - all the while the boat is sinking and shark wants to eat him!  He shoulders a rifle and a spear (the only two instruments he sees near his feet when he starts to climb).  The music escalates and it becomes more and more like he's going to be eaten.  Then he does the best thing!  He picks up an oxygen tank as the shark comes through the huge hole he's made in the cabin and James feeds it to the shark!  But the shark can't swallow it (it's too big) and he starts chewing on it as he turns around to come back... yes, it still wants to kill this guy.
James Woods' character takes aim with the spear and loses out with that - of course - then, he shoots the shark about three times.  The fourth time gets the oxygen tank and the shark explodes!  There's shark guts everywhere!  Shark blood in the water, it starts to colour the water.  Seagulls inundate the area for scraps (as they do!) and the scientist (who we are all thinking is dead at this stage) decides to come to the surface... what a great show! 

But... I've never read the book; and yet I own it.  Yeah... I've only ever watched the movie.  I think it's time I sat down and read the book.  But don't you think that the book is better than the movie, or vise versa?  I've asked this before, however, we've never really come to a good logical conclusion.  Some movies do well with the transferring from book to film, while others don't.  Let me know your views on this subject.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Our World Loses Terry Pratchett

Sitting on the backs of four elephants, while they stand on the shell of a giant turtle, being propelled through space is Discworld.  This brilliant creation was from the fantastic mind of Terry Pratchett.  However, I'm sadden to say that I've only just found out he passed away just last night.  

Terry Pratchett fired our imaginations with this brilliantly created world when he published his series of books bringing us into a hilarious storyline filled with characters we could relate to, some we love and some we hated... some we just knew would keep coming back - like Death (one of my all-time favourites.. he had such a dry wit).

However, in 2007, the author was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer; posterior cortical atrophy, which was a progressive degenerative condition.  He continued to write his books and campaigned to make assisted dying legal, as well as giving numerous lectures about his conditions and interviews as well.

His publishers have said Terry Pratchett was one of the brightest and sharpest writing minds.  He'd published over 70 books, enriching this planet like very few before him. His world was filled with parody, wit and a colourful cast of characters inspired from the worlds of folk tales, fantasy and mythology.  His most favoured character - Death - always had his dialogue written in all capitals, and his last tweet was a conversation with this character from his books.

A famous example of Death's dialogue - and wit - would be:  'DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING' Death said, 'JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.'

Terry Pratchett's books were filled with Death's very quotable dialogues, which often made people see him in a funny light, making him a favourite character.  However, Terry's passing came through a series of tweets written in the form of his Discworld novels, where Death and Terry started to talk:

'AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.' said the first tweet on @terryondrob.
"Terry took his arm and followed through the doors and on to the black desert and under the endless night." said the second, while the third simply said, "The End."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dreams and the Written Word

As a writer I get my ideas from pretty much anywhere in my life - this includes my dreams.  So, I have about three or four Dream Journals I keep; along with two rather large Dream Dictionaries in my bedside table.

I have found that the best story ideas come from dreams which are either very weird, really scary or so off-the-planet and vivid, I wonder exactly what I've been eating the night before.  And often the best dreams are the ones that stay with me for days afterwards; and are the most detailed as well.

However, the weirdest ones are also the repetitive dreams.  I've had one lot of dreams where I kept on dreaming about a blue house.  It was the same house I dreamed of over about two months and I felt really strange about it after waking up and writing about it... honestly I felt as though my dream world was becoming a broken record of blue houses.  I stopped watching 'Dr Who' and I tried to keep from wearing too much blue as well... but the dreams kept on coming.  And I kept on writing them down.  Then, one day, the Blue House Dreams stopped - much to my relief - and I had other dreams which were just as strange, but had nothing to do with blue houses.  After about three months, I had a great story idea, but nothing to base it on.  So, out came my dream journals about the Blue House; and 'Another World Away' was created.  It took me ages to write about it and I had to find the house I was dreaming about on Google.. and you wanna know something?  That damned house actually existed!  Talk about creepy!  But I was relieved that the house I dreamed about was real, and not something my brain cooked up.

Since that collection of dreams, I've found a lot of my dreams have been turned into stories, poems and flash fictions.  It's fun to do and seeing the dreams are just something my brain cooks up from the day's proceedings, it's harmless fun.  So, what do you do with your dreams - if you remember them?  Do you do what I do with them?  Or do you just write a story just from your imagination ... like I do most of the time?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pearls of Wisdom

I love my children's books.  I have a good collection of them on the very top shelf of the tallest bookcase in my home office.

I know that sounds very much something which Roald Dahl would write in one of his books, but it happens to be true.

My folks saved all my childhood books, put them away for safe-keeping - in the hope I'd have children.  But when I didn't, and I asked about them, they pulled them out, wiped them off and I saw them in as though they had never aged... ever.

However, today, I found a great site on Facebook where people have picked out some quotes from children's books which most certainly ring true for adults as well.  These quotes are just the best ones to have grown up with; and ones I have read many times and never really thought about until now.  And below is the site to them.

World Book Day Children's Book Quotes

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.  Until my next post, happy reading.