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.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Brushing With Fame

Today I went to the Logan Car Show.  Yep, I thought to go to see if my cousin's gorgeous Mustang was going to be in it. 

But I couldn't find it.

Instead, I came across the most delightfully creepy and beautiful car ever to be written about... yes... I came across a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

It was red.

It was gorgeous.

It was creepy.

And yes... I squealed: 'Oh my God! Christine!' to the people sitting by her; at which they laughed and said the owner probably didn't call her that, but yeah, I had the right car.  He wasn't there at the time I showed up first off to talk to about her.

But he was by the time I was leaving.  And we got talking about Stephen King books and how they were turned into movies; and how a lot of his books weren't very good movies.  Some of the people sitting there asked why, I told them that once a writer signs over their books to have them made into a movie, the whole screen-writing part of it and directing part of it is out of their hands.  Unless they're asked to come in and help with creative issues (which sometimes happens) the books and movies are totally different from each other due to the way they're portrayed.  

I did hear some news though:  they are thinking of remaking 'Christine'.  However, it's going to be different from the 1983 disaster of a movie that was made.  Not so many cars are going to be destroyed due to the technology that's around now.  They will be able to have only a couple of cars they'll use and better ways of making things happen.

The best part of today was that I got to sit in the Plymouth Fury!  What a car!  Autumn Red, original in every way, beautiful bench seats, automatic transmission and ... every bit the way I thought it would be.  However, the Christine in the movie had a few things that this Plymouth Fury didn't.  Which makes me wonder:  exactly which year did they use in the movie?  They said it was a 1958 Plymouth Fury, but they showed a 4-door car, with locks on the tops of the doors when in 1958, they only made 2-door cars and there were no locks on the tops of the doors... really strange.  But I guess that's what made the movie so different from the book, and what made the whole mystique of the car to the world and fans who want to get close to those particular cars.

So, have you ever 'met' a car (or anything else for that matter) which has made it into a book which has been playing on your mind as a character?  Was it worth it when you did finally meet that Darlek, Sith Lord, Vulcan or Luke Skywalker or even that particular piece of city you've seen in 'The Da Vinci Code'?  For me, meeting this car today was one of my biggest dreams come true.  As I said, it was creepy and beautiful at the same time... and the one thing I didn't call her - and would never call her - was a rustbucket... why would I?  A 1958 Plymouth Fury is just a thing of beauty, don't you think; especially a red one?  Until my next post, happy reading.

And here's a collage of the day!

Logan Car Show 2015