Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Book Buys!

This month, I've been a bad, bad girl... really bad.  I bought books I wanted and really know I might not read.  And yes that's a bad thing - and a good thing too as they were book that were beautiful at the time and I wanted, but really I should not have bought.

Anyway, let's get on with this show:

Right at the beginning of this month, I wanted to buy something really special for myself.  I had a $12.00 K-Mart voucher from a refund from a few months ago, and thought to use it before it expired.  So, I drove up to Garden City and took my time with looking at new socks.  I badly needed a new pair of red socks; but they didn't have any.  They only had pink, grey and black.  Not really my favourite colours, so I left them alone and wandered around the place until I found what I wanted.  I bought two purple boxes, 'The Shining' and 'Doctor Sleep' by Stephen King.  Yes, I went out of my budget to get them, but it was well worth it.  These were bought on 2nd, October.
On 9th, October, I found 'The Pleasure of My Company' by Steve Martin.  Not only is this man an actor, but he also writes quite good mysteries; and I've yet to read some of his work... so I thought to start with this one.  And for $2.00 at Life Line, I knew it was a good deal.
On 16th, I found and early edition of 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron which was also found at Life Line; like the above book.  This is a book I've been looking for for Riley - my niece - and hoping she'd like for her artistic zone; for when she's stuck and she needs to clear her mind.  I've used my own copy a few times and found it great.  Now, she's got her own copy.
Then, on 18th, October, I drove over to 'The Really Good Book Store' where I walked around the place to find a birthday present for a friend of mine, and ended up finding two for two different people!  How cool is that?  I found 'Conversations With Myself' by Nelson Mandela and 'Inside Little Britian'.  The first book was for my Bookcrossing Birthday Buddy and the latter was for my brother as he loves the comedy duo Little Britian.  And for under $20, I scored well at this store!  
Just yesterday, I was out and about for a good part of the day; mainly running around talking to banks - of all places - to get my finances in place for The Creative Markets and organised for other things in my life (as I haven't really looked at my accounts for a while; and thought it was time to fix them up).  Well, I walked into 'The Book Warehouse' at Springwood here in Queensland and found out that they were closing down today!  I can hear you guys saying:  'No way!' I'm afraid to say: 'Yeppers!' by tonight, it'll be gone!  So, I looked around the store and found myself a nice little book to add to my collection titled 'Literati' by James Phelan for $4.99.  It'll be the last book I'll purchase from there - unless I find my way to Camp Hill sometime soon... um... I have no clue where that place is... but I guess there's always that great little store at Browns Plains I can get to:  'The Really Good Little Book Store' I can drop into instead.

So, what books have you purchased this month?  Did you need them?  Did you fit them into the budget?  Where they gifts or did you want them for yourself?  Do leave a comment and let us know.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How To Scare People!

Tonight, I listened to the radio.

Nothing out the of ordinary, right?  But what would you say if I listened to the original recording of 'The War of the Worlds' by H.G Welles?  Yeah... got your attention, didn't I?

Well, I did.  And you know?  It was a little wonder people in half of America were scared to death of what he did.  He didn't introduce his radio show!  He just began reading the damned thing!

Talk about how to scare you audience!  But he was great at science fiction... and it was how to grab the public's attention which got me.  Welles' used a radio show to make his work come to life in such a way that it kept me glued to the stereo for the whole time.  It was amazing how I could visualise everything he and his crew of actors were doing - how devastating it was all coming across as.  It was absolutely heart-breaking to hear it all and yet, I didn't need to see any of it.  

This was the amazing part!  

So, instead of me blabbing away here talking about it, here's the link to youtube so you can listen to it:

The War of the Worlds broadcast 1938 

And just in case you wanted to know more, I thought to include the report about it all too.

PBS Remembers H.G Welles' Reading 'The War of the Worlds'

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm Still Here!

Hey there... yeah, I'm still around, just busy as all hell.  Okay.  You're all wondering what the heck I've been doing with my time and myself if I'm not reading too many books... and look at that, only what?  Eight books read - if that? - this year!  Shame on me for being so damned slack!

But seriously, I'm not being slack, I'm just plainly exhausted every night.  And most nights, I've pushed through my barrier and just stumbled to my unmade bed and crashed after brushing my teeth, forgetting to put the toothpaste away and turning out the bathroom light, climb over the end of the bed, find my pillows and go to sleep...mmmm, yes blissful sleep.  Sleep after working my butt off on my Crafty Pegs.  I have put my hand up to go in to The Creative Markets in my area and sell my Crafty Pegs.  The one little, tiny problem is that I don't really have a lot of stock.  
So, I've been working day and night making more than enough stock to sell on the day.  Which day is that?  Oh... 24th, November.  Yes, I know, that's just under a month away, but I really do need to make sure I have enough stock to sell to people on the day.  I can't wait!  I'll be working on my own and hopefully be able to get it all going well... wish me luck!  

Otherwise, I have been writing Flash Fiction on Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Minds' blog every Friday... here's the link to my other blog where I do write some cool stories.  

You Can't Go Back and Other Impossibilities 

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Europen!

Yesterday, my folks arrived home from overseas!  They've had a wonderful time; and they were away a very long time - four very long, adventure-filled months!  They travelled around Scotland, Greece, Italia, Budapest, Turkey, Hungary, Germany... wow!... so many places!  They drove around Scotland and went on two cruises; one was on the Ruby Princess and the other was along the lochs in Europe.  There's been so many stories from both of them; and I'm sure so many more will come out too!

And the best thing I received from my folks is a Europen!  It's the cutest thing!  But it took them so long to find it.  They firstly asked around Italy, then Greece and then finally found it in Budapest!  So, very cool!  I'm totally stocked with it!  They have them for both lefties and right handed people! Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Neil Gaiman and His Beliefs for the Future

I love reading articles about writers and their ideas of how our future of writing and books and reading should be like - seeing how much electronic equipment is around now to make our lives 'easier'... and many of them enjoy the iPods and computers, but on the flipside, they also love the tactile feeling of the old-fashioned books and ways of what they experienced in their childhood too.

I found this article from Neil Gaiman's point of view and found it interesting; and thought you guys would too.

Neil Gaiman's Thoughts 

So, what did you think of the article?  Do you believe the same things as Neil, or do you see the world in a different light?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Techniques for Writers

Being a writer - as well as an avid reader - I'm always ready to try out new ways to get myself into the zone to write more of my books.  So, I'm constantly watching and reading interviews of famous writers who have revealed their ideas of how to write and keep yourself focused.

Today, I watched an interview on 'Brain Pickings' about Ray Bradbury a 30 minute interview in the 1970's where he talked about his childhood, where some of his characters came from, what he's read and how he's gotten into the zone of writing as well as where some of his characters came from.  He did tell the interviewer that he had a piece of cardboard taped to his typewriter with the words:  'Don't Think' written on it.  He sits at his typewriter and just writes whatever comes into his head, he doesn't think about what comes out of his fingers and knows that once he looks at it again, it'll be okay and he can edit it and work on it.
Ray Bradbury believes that at the typewriter or computer, you do your dreaming and it's where you write down your dreams; and away from it is where you do your thinking, never the other way around otherwise you'll fall asleep.

He also doesn't believe in reading lists but loved libraries.  He loved walking along the aisles of books and just picking one off the shelf and opening it up to read it... no planning of what to read or anything, just blindly walking up and finding a book to read was his way as it'd feel like a new adventure each time.

This interview brought a whole new light on Ray Bradbury I never knew about him as a person and a writer.  I loved it from beginning to end; as it wasn't boring and it was very interesting... he even talked about the interview itself saying that he wasn't thinking about his answers as he was being asked them.  How great is that?  

Now, I have techniques that get me into the zone of writing too.  Even though I'm not published or famous or well-known, I still enjoy the act of writing books and poetry.  And my techniques work for me.

1.  I have my desk pointed into a corner away from the door of my office.  It's the most boring idea ever!  But if you point your desk into a corner with your back to the door, it's practically closed to the world, you have to turn around to talk to anyone coming in. 

2.  I have a window, but it looks out at the back wall of my back neighbours... not a great view.  There's nothing to interest me but television antennas, tile roofs and brick walls... and that's how it should be.  Yeah I have the sky, but it's not all that exciting, we see sky every day.

3.  I have no other electronic thing in my office.  No television, no radio, no other works.  Yes, I have a phone or two (landline and mobile) and my iPod, but I'm too lazy to get up and go to the next room to pick up the phone if it rings.

4.  Nobody else uses my office without asking me first... it's where my book collection is and where I get my ideas, so if they just walk in here without asking, I feel kind of violated as though they don't care it's my private lair.

5.  I have a collection of toys and weird things where the printer used to be above the monitor.  I no longer own a printer as I don't print out stuff anymore - well not as much - and I don't move those things much.  There's a stuffed toy there I call Mr PeaBody who I can't write anything without him being around.  He's a weird-looking critter with round blue glasses - looks like a cross between a skunk and a badger... but he's cute... and if he'd gone from his spot, I draw a blank when I sit down at my desk.

What things and rituals do you have as a writer - if you are one?  And if you're a reader, are there funny things you do to get into the zone of reading?  Do you read with your cat, dog or a favourite piece of music playing on a loop?  Do you have to have a cup of peppermint tea next to you (whether you drink it or not) just to keep you transfixed?  Do tell... we'd love to know your ideas and rituals - now you know mine.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My New Favourite Place to Read!

I have it!  It's absolute bliss!  It's a new favourite reading spot in my backyard; and it took me a long time to create!  
Over the last 4 months, I've been working on The Four Month Makeover in my home and garden and it's finally coming to an end very soon; so much so, I'm just adding on the finishing touches - well for now anyway.  Since July, I've had access to a car - my Mum's - and anyone who knows me offline, knows I haven't driven a car in over 10 years.  Now, before you guys all swear yourselves off the footpaths and the roads, I'm not that bad at driving... actually it all came back to me pretty darned quick!  And yes, I gotta say, there's more nuts, idjits and a.... umm.. I can't say that word here!  Well, you get the jist.
And just now, it's only 2 weeks from my folks returning from overseas, and my backyard has had a major makeover!  A lot of plants have been repotted, an outdoor setting has been thrown out (being replaced with a new one) and I've bought some statues, a garden mirror and I've had some fun with the front garden too.  However I've created a lovely new place to chill out and read while sipping on coffee, tea or Hank's Root Beer this Summer.. and boy is it heating up here Brisbane!  We've had some really hot days!
So, where is your favourite reading place when the weather warms up?  Seeing I've now created the ideal one in my backyard, I'm hoping to chill out under the trees and read in the afternoons there.  Oh!  And, of course, it's not good enough just telling you guys about this place, I must show you the lovely little haven I've created!  Until my next post, happy reading!

Outdoor Haven1 

Outdoor Haven2 

Outdoor Haven3

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Birthday!

Yesterday was my milestone birthday of 40!  Yep, I turned an age where it ended in a zero and not worried about it.  Anyway, I had received a couple of parcels in the mail and they were from family and friends for my big day on Saturday... so I waited to open them yesterday.

I enjoy opening parcels - big ones - which I've been sent and have to wait for the right time to open... it's like waiting for Christmas.  Anyway, I thought to share with you guys what I scored.  My Bookcrossing Birthday Buddy - froggirlwendy - sent me a heavy box filled with some great stuff... and that included some books and a BIG COFFEE MUG so I can drink some great coffee or tea while I read... very cool, and not to mention good thinking!  The books I received are:  'Hello Darkness' by Sandra Brown, 'A Painted House' by John Grisham and 'The Dream Life of Sukhanov' by Olga Grushin.  And the main title I found wrapped up with my coffee mug and tea cannister was 'Joyland' by Stephen King!  How cool is that?  And here's a photo of my birthday pressie!

I had a great day with some friends coming over to hang out, listen to music, eat food and scoff into a home-made cake while we got into some serious drawing and sketching... a great day to turn 40!  Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, October 4, 2013

What Star Wars Taught Us

Movies can teach us great things.  They can teach us that sharks have a really bad temper and can scared the crap out of us.  They can teach us that you can become the belle of the ball when the snob at a ballroom dancing studio gets into a car accident and hot guy you've wanted your whole life needs a partner; and he picks you!  Movies can teach us a lot about space too... like there's some really ugly aliens out there that can scare you horribly; and yes nobody in space can hear you scream.  And then, there's Star Wars... it's taught writers all kinds of things about writing.  As people who love to read, would you like to know about how writers get into their writing?  

Sure you do!

So, here's the list of 8 things that Star Wars taught writers about their craft.  I read it and thought it was great, funny and pretty true.  Until my next post, happy reading... and writing...!

The Essentials

Have you ever wondered where certain words we use everyday came from?  A good part of our language is derived from Latin, Spanish and a few other languages all mixed in together and handed down through a few thousand years.  This is why our parents and grandparents went and took up Latin, German and other such languages when they went to school and were found to have great vocabularies and then wondered why we don't - seeing we don't have the same lessons taught to us in our high schools.  

However, literature has given us some great words that have made it into our dictionaries and our everyday life.  Have you wondered which ones?  Well, I found out on the Huffington Post... and here they are!

Words From Literature 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The King of Horror On My Mind

I've been doing more writing and art lately than reading.  But when I look at what's next to my bed, I've found that I'm getting my nose into Stephen King books a lot more than I did two years ago.  When I began this blog a little over 3 years ago, I was a huge Stephen King reader and found myself in a massive rut where I couldn't find much else to read.

However, as the years have passed, I have pushed past those boundaries and read other books.  Some were good, some great and some downright dreadful... but I've always come back to my staple of the King of Horror to get my kicks.  Yeah, if you're reading this post, Stephen, you scare the crap outa me, but your writing is addictive.  I love it.  
I love Stephen King's writing for a reason.  I'm a writer as well, and if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have learned the things I have about writing and editing that I have.  This great author writes great, adverbless writing that pulls you long and keeps you turning the pages even though your brain is telling you it's time to turn out the light.  What makes Stephen King the best in story-telling is that you feel as though you're sitting at a campfire in the middle of a forest and he's telling you a good, old-fashioned ghost-story... with his own twist at the end which will keep you from sleeping for months to come.  How he does this is beyond me, and I really admire him for it, but it's something I'd love to learn to do.

I have, over time, collected together books by him and about him.  I'm currently reading 'The Dark Tower' Series (I'm up to 'The Wastelands' book 3) and there's 8 books in the series; and I love it.  The first book I ever read of his was 'Christine'; which scared the crap out of me at the tender age of 16... and I had to con my parents into letting me read it.  I next read 'Salem's Lot' then, 'Carrie'... and I knew I was hooked on his style.

More recently - today in fact - I bought 'The Shining' and 'Doctor Sleep' from K-Mart.  I'm looking forward to reading the old with the new soon; as they ought to be a great comparison of what has taken place in his writing over time and how it's matured like a good wine since he wrote 'The Shining'.  I haven't seen the movie, but then, I'd rather read the book first before a screen-writer and director changes a book and misses points a writer puts into a book on purpose for readers to notice.  I think that's why I much prefer books to movies, don't you?  Until my next post, happy reading.