Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Long Weekend

It's the 4-day weekend we all look forward to - well, most of us - and I'm wondering: what are you all up to this weekend?

Today, being Friday, I've already gotten out 3 loads of laundry, put out the rubbish, washed up and put away the reusable shopping bags and folded all the towels and put them away and it's not yet 11am. Yep, I'm an early riser today (and not by choice - as neighbours screaming at each other woke me). 

Otherwise, I'm off to lunch with an online craft group of ladies tomorrow. It's going to be lovely to catch up with them all! I can't wait.

In between my housework and socialising, I'm hoping to read some of 'The Silmarillion' by JRR Tolkien and get into looking at 'Simply Too Good To Be True 6' by Annette Sims (it's a whopper of a volume this one). And I'm hand-writing a couple of books too. 
I've been doing my one-page-per-day experiment since Christmas last year and it's turned out to be harder than I first expected. Some days I can't find the space on that one page to get out what I want to say, while other days I just can't fill the page - how weird is that? Otherwise, it's a good writing exercise on how the mind works. 
I'm also starting to write another book about living in unit complexes and apartment buildings. Seeing that all I've lived in all my life is these places, I thought to give it a try - to write about life in one of these places - and let people know what it's like to see what I've seen. I'd say the public will never see unit/townhouse complexes exactly the same way ever again; nor believe some of the stories that I'll tell.

Well, this long weekend is sure to be an interesting one. Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tolkien Reading Day

Today I went out to celebrate Tolkien Reading Day. It's a day of celebrating this great author and his works. And so, when I spotted that this event was on at a local library, I thought it was about time I went to see who was giving the talk; and what it was about.

However, a few days ago, I was at the Logan North Library when I spotted the advertising about this event and called up Peter Kenny - Brisbane's biggest collector of JRR Tolkien memorabilia - and we chatted for a good half hour about just that topic; as well as collecting books. I found that Peter has a huge collection of 'The Hobbit' in a variety of languages, of merchandise, costumes and other information he's researched about the realms that JRR Tolkien created just to write 'Lord of the Rings', 'The Hobbit' and 'The Silmarillion'; as well as other books on how those books came together. 

There weren't many people at today's reading, but the few who were there knew their fair share of information about Middle Earth and some of the specifics. One girl showed up and greeted us in Elvish - a language that JRR Tolkien developed himself to use in the just the books, but people have learned and used for themselves - and she bowed to him as well; fun stuff.

Well, the talk went for over an hour on the history of how the spirit guides and the lands were created. This was very briefly explained. Then, Peter talked in-depth about how 'Lord of the Rings' was about Aragorn more and less about Frodo and him getting the ring he had to Mount Doom. Believe me, I'll be rereading that book again just to pick up on it all.
He also made note that the movies were a mess of mis-quoted lines from the books that were placed in the wrong places, into the wrong character's mouths in the movies.  

Overall, the whole talk was fascinating and was well worth my morning there. I stuck around to chat to Peter more as he asked me to stay after his talk so we could catch up about our books and collections. It was good to talk to somebody about something we both understood completely. What made it worthwhile was that he had a huge amount of knowledge and books I didn't; and I had some books he wanted to look at that he hadn't seen. So, it was good for us both. Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Milford Method

I've been having problems with critiquing at a new writer's group over the last few months. It's the method of critiquing that has been of importance to them.

Now, being somebody who has been critiquing the same way for the past 20 years, I didn't think there was any new way of doing this. And it took me long enough to learn the way I do it now. So, when I heard about this Milford Method, I didn't believe in it at first - seeing I hadn't heard of it before - so I did some Googling and found there were a few different ways of doing it. But all of them included the person being critiqued to sit quietly while the people who critiqued their work tell them what's wrong with what they've written. This takes around 20 minutes to do, something I can't hold onto in my memory. For those who know me very well in Real Life, you know I have bad recall; and the very idea of sitting through 20 minutes of people telling me things while I sit quietly is huge and quite draining. Most of the time, I just don't remember anything that's been said. And then, I'm handed my piece of writing with suggestions written in and I'm expected to remember the added-on bits they have told me; even though they've written a short piece on the back page of what's what in their opinion.

So, this Milford Method isn't something that works for me; in more ways than one. There is another half.

The way you critique is chopped up into tiny segments. This sounds good, but really I don't work this way. I read the way I edit: I'll read the piece - fixing up the tiny errors as I go through. Then, I'll read it again, going through it with a fine-tooth comb - ie: my editor's cap on. Then, the third time around, I open a new document on the computer and start taking notes (eg: Page 1, paragraph 3: ....) and I'll go from there in a more informal description of what needs to fixed up, looked into, worked on and examined. Then? I save the document, the edited piece of writing and email it back to the author - including the two documents - and it's all done without printing out a single thing. 

I don't leave anything out, I write everything I need to say in this document and so when it comes down to it, when I attend the writer's meeting, they don't have to ask me any questions about their work, they have everything I want to say to them via an email. I also talk about their work in the group - repeating what I've told them to the group. 

However, the group's leader doesn't see how my critiquing method is best and wants me to change it. I have tried it out and find his way isn't something I can work with. Have you guys critiqued somebody else's work? Is there more than one way to critique or do you use the Milford Method as well? Seeing I use one type of method - which I find is easier for me than the Milford Method - what method do you use? I'm just asking as I have come up against some people who think I'm being too critical about this new method. Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I'm Back!

Woah! It's been a long silence between posts and I gotta apologise to you all.

I've been very busy lately doing a needlepoint for an art deadline which is coming up next week! And finally - yay! Finally! - I've finished it, signed it and it's now at the framers here in Logan City. 

Damned I'm so relieved!

But in between all that needlwork, I've been writing, cleaning out my house - bit by tiny bit - and editing a collection of flash fictions to be looked at by InHouse Publishing at Underwood. I'm hoping to get my name down to get an arts grant as well... hoping is a good word, and I do hope to get it because I do need that grant money to get my first book published.

That's not the only thing I've been doing.

I got my David Bowie 'Blackstar' vinyl off layby, as well as 'Molly' miniseries paid off too. Then, I put a set of retro drawers on layby at Fantastic furniture and I've been eyeing off a new bookcase - yes! I'm finally going to look into replacing The Saggy Bookcase! About time too! I know there's a home-spun theory about how that bookcase is holding itself up through the space-time continuem - with the help of the Sonic Screwdriver and the Tardis (wherever it may be right now) and The Doctor as well - but truthfully, it's not doing me any favours by sitting here and looking like crap. I need a bigger bookcase and I need one that can handle the weight of the books I currently have - as well as take on the weight of more books of an expanding collection.

So, I'm in the search of 'the perfect bookcase' ... if one exists ... to house the books that are on it and the collection that will be in the future of my home library.

Well, that's what I've been up to lately. What about you guys? Have you been hunting for books, bookcases or hoping to get in and read more books (which is another dream of mine... to get in and finish some of the books I've started, instead of sitting in my Reading Chair for 10 minutes and nodding off. Yes, it's that comfy - darned chair! Making sleep when I should be reading! How dare it be that comfy!) Until my next post, happy reading. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Loving Collecting Books

I totally enjoy my book collection. I also love indulging in being around my books at any time of day - but mainly at night, when it's late and I'm about to go to bed. What I do is I sit in my Reading Chair and look around that the shelves of books surrounding me. From this angle, they appear to reach up to the ceiling and look as though they're about to topple over on top of me (like the huge bookcase almost did in Wales when I found my very first collectible book; and I pulled it from its well-packed case there!), but they're not going to.

The one thing I absolutely love doing is going through my stacks and finding books I had forgotten I had bought; and yet I'll still want to read them. Or funnier still, I'll find about three copies of the same thing because I've forgotten I've bought the first copy.

Now, that's hilarious!

But I do enjoy being around my books so much that I actually miss them when I go on holidays for more than a week. Yes, I come home and just have to touch them with my hands to feel as though I'm really home - and be around them to feel relaxed. 

My reading room/library is a very private room, though. I find that when people do come into the room, they are amazed at how many books there are. From the outside of my place, you wouldn't think I had such a large collection of books, or a room such as this, but it's nice to see one like this.

So, do you have a large collection at  your disposal at your place where you can escape into whenever you want to? Or do you have to go to the library to do that? Until my next post, happy reading.