Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa

We took our next door neighbours to see this, and it was fairly funny I have to admit. I like the penguins. However, it had even less plot than the first one, and I didn't think it was as good. It was completely ridiculous in parts, but apart from two bits, I think it got away with it. The first was when Alex bobbed across the sea in a crate, travelling from Africa to New York. The main reason I hated this little bit of ridiculously far-fetched nonsense was because it was entirely unnecessary to the plot. It would've worked just as well to have Alex shipped across, maybe even better. The other bit was the fish. Now, I'm sorry, but just one fish? And it surviving out of water for so long? No, just didn't work. The shark did, because the shark was funny. But not the fish. Anyway, it was quite amusing in parts. Worth watching the first first though.

Survival

This is the first book in Chris Ryan's Alpha Force series, which sadly seems to have ended now, as I don't think the Code Red series is anywhere near as good. It's very well written, and quite exciting. A group of teenagers are on what should be a fantastic holiday, working on a sailing boat in the Indonesian Archipalago. However, the five teenagers on A-watch do not get on at all. After angering their watch leader once too often, they end up sitting in a tender and then fall asleep. While they're sleeping, the rope connecting them to the boat snaps and they go floating off. They have to work together to survive. There's a section with survival tips at the end, and it's really pretty interesting. It's worth reading this one first, before any of the others in the series, but after that I think they can be read in pretty much any order. It's not absolutely essential to read this first, but it does set the scene and give you an idea of how Alpha Force first got together.

Sky Hunters: Anarchy's Reign

I just happened to pick this one up from the library, because it looked kind of interesting. A top secret special forces battalion, X-bat, ends up fighting a group of anarchists determined to destroy Los Angeles and kill the president of the US, along with a bunch of other dignitaries/foreign heads of state from the worlds wealthiest countries. It was very exciting and interesting, up to the last chapter or so which I thought really let the book down. It was too confusing and random, and it took me a while to work out what was supposed to be going on with that bit. Didn't like the ending at all. If it had finished about a chapter sooner than it did, it would've been great. Still, apart from the disappointing ending, which really didn't make a whole lot of sense at all, it was a very good book and well worth reading. Shall have to try and find the first two in the series.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

By Royal Command

It's the fifth of the Young Bond books, and the last featuring James at Eton. I don't know whether I want it to end there or not. It was certainly a very good book, although it's worth reading the others first. It rounded off the series very nicely and it had a more complicated and intriguing plot than any of the others. I half want there to be more, but after that, they'd have to be wildly complex to retain the interest that one has created. It kind of explains James Bond's behaviour in some of the adult books too, the way he's so casual with women, and I know that's going to influence how I think of him in the 'adult' books. Definitely worth getting. And some nice big twists, especially near the end. All I'll say is that it's not quite what you think...

Monday, 29 December 2008

Happy Endings

Oh yeh, here's the next part of Happy Endings, in case you're interested. If not, well, it's here whether you want it or not. :D

Chapter 2 (Shadow)

I distrusted him the moment I saw him. He was red-faced, red-haired and overweight, and the sprawling, ranch-style mansion was newly built. He was most likely one of those people who’d got rich off the War while the best of all humanity was butchered. On the ground or above it, it makes no difference once you’re dead. People think of being a war pilot as being more glamorous, more noble, but it wasn’t. I’ve shot at men on the ground, and I shot men in the air, and they’re all equally dead. On the other hand, being a spy is an evil profession. Supposedly. I was a spy once, when I was young and carefree and had no idea how to fly a plane. Both were equally hard work, equally dangerous and meant killing people.
People also say Germans are evil. Personally, I can’t see the difference between them and us. We had different tactics formation wise, but other than type of machine and language we’re all the same people, pilots. Just as likely to be killed by a bullet or archie (anti-aircraft fire) as by a machine deciding to disintegrate or engine failure. Actually, the other difference was that their archie was a different colour, so you could see which side was shooting at her. I’m probably one of the only people who’s been in the rather interesting position of being fired at by both sides at once.
As I said, I disliked him at first sight, but I needed the money, and he had a proposition and I’d agreed to listen, so I went with him. He leads me in and I sit at a table in the big kitchen. A young black girl comes in, but Abe shoos her away and removes a tray from a cupboard.
“Glass of something Mr. Silverdale?” he drawls, looking at me like to him I’m on about the same level as that girl he has locked away in a tower.
“Water would be fine.”
“I can’t tempt you to some cider, or beer perhaps?” So I told him I don’t drink, not bothering to tell him why, but it’s not because of Prohibition. I’ve seen too many pilots go to an early grave, and all down to the bottle. The stress of war got to be too much for them and they drowned their sorrows with drink. Stupid things it always was that got them, like coming in to land without checking the wind, forgetting about the little hole and turning over, misjudging a gap and sheering off a wing. I even saw someone fly into the side of the hill after they’d been at the bottle. Scary thing was, they were all decent pilots, twenty, maybe thirty kills to their name.
“Mr Catlington. You brought me here for a business proposition. I have a feeling it has to do with transporting alcohol. Well, just for the record, I certainly don’t approve of alcohol. However, I’m in a bit of a fix. I was, as I think you’re aware, working for a company that did pleasure flights and air shows. They went bankrupt. I don’t know why, the accountancy wasn’t my business, but I haven’t had a pay check in over three months. I need money to keep flying, because petrol and spares cost money, and I guess you could say I’m getting homesick. There is one thing you must understand though. I will not commit to anything for longer than six months.”
“Fair enough. All I ask is that you try it for a month, and if it isn’t to your liking… Well, feel free to leave after a month. I shall supply aviation spirit, of course, and the gardener was a mechanic during the War, he’ll be able to see to your aeroplane I’m sure.” I nod. “Now people of your type rarely bother about the law, do you?” I shake my head.
He’s got me sussed completely, knows that I’m desperate to keep flying, knows of my reputation, knows that I’m not overly enamoured with governments of any form. He probably knows I’d like nothing more than to emigrate to Russia. In fact, if I can get there, I’ve been offered a position heading up a new Air Force initiative. What ‘planes the Russians have are sadly dilapidated, and they didn’t stay in the War long enough to get to need an air force as such, so they don’t exactly have one. Just a smattering of requisitioned private aeroplanes of pre-War antiquity that were owned by a couple of the rich enthusiasts. At the start of the War, it was second only to France, but it’s fallen into disuse and there isn’t much of a structure to it.

Southport

Was supposed to be going into Preston today with friends from High School, only they couldn't come. Ill and busy revising. So I went to Southport with my parents instead. Had a great time. Spent some of my Christmas money buying books... Well, what do you expect? Three of them are nonfiction though. One on the RAF's history, one on merceneries, and a sociology text book to revise from. Plus the new Young Bond book, By Royal Command. Will let you know what they're like after I read them. Oh, and tell me if this is ridiculous or not: £13 for a paperback book. I wouldn't mind paying that for a hardback, I have done in the past. But for a paperback? That's just a wee bit ridiculous. Mind you, I reckon £8 for a paperback is getting pretty expensive, especially when I'd normally get them from the market or Oxfam books and pay £1-3 for them. Still. I suppose the author has to make a living, and if the shops start taking bigger and bigger cuts for themselves, same with publishers, it's not exactly their fault the prices go up. Anyway, that's me done wittering for now. Going to go do some more work on Nutmeg Angel, since I've kind of decided to add in an extra scene...

Oooh, exciting!

I've just realised that I've been keeping this blog for just over a year now. I wasn't sure if I'd manage to keep it up to date. Apart from a few scant months (look at the numbers of posts per month if you want to see what I mean...) I am still writing it, and it is still staying fairly up to date. Ok, so maybe it's a little different to what I first imagined. Maybe it's less like a diary than I thought it would be. But that's ok, because I'm enjoying writing what I am, and hopefully I'll keep it going for another year yet.

Christmas

Oh yeh, I just realised I never wrote about Christmas properly. Got up at 6:20, not actually intending to get up until my brother came charging up and saying 'Merry Christmas, have you opened your stocking'. Apparantly, he opened his at exactly one second past midnight (as he has a radio controlled clock, it will have been exact...). So then we tootled downstairs, and then James wanted to go wake mum and dad up. I persuaded him it would be worth taking them up a cup of tea at the same time... So. After breakfast, we chilled out for a bit (James did not appreciate), then opened all our presents. Got two Delirious? CDs off my parents, they're really good. I especially like Glo. Was supposed to be getting a subscription to the BBC history magazine, but the company screwed up. Don't know if I'll still get it. What else? Quite a few WHSmiths vouchers and some money, chocolate, and a gorgeous little dragon Rachael made for me. So cute!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Dream

I had a really odd dream last night. I dreamt that I got arrested for a murder in Clitheroe and put in jail. Only I had a really good alibi--I'd been in college at the time, in history. It was really quite amusing in some ways, especially because the jail was ridiculously easy to break out of. Anyway. It was weird. As is the spelling of that stupid word. But hey, you know. That's what the English language is like for you. Lots of nice little confusing bits that make no sense to anyone. Including us. :D

Writing update

So, I've been working on editing Nutmeg Angel, so I can get it ready to put on Amazon and all the rest of it. It's turning into a bit of a rewrite session. For example, a part of the story which was about three lines has suddenly turned into nearly three pages (book size, not A4). And I also changed the first fight with the Devil, because it didn't seem anywhere near as exciting as it could be. I guess that's because I've never bothered to really change it before. It's almost identical to how it was originally (I think), although I had added a bit more to the lead up. Anyway. I don't want to write too much about the changes I'm making, because it's coming out soon and you all have to buy it :D.

As for other stories. Well, I've done a fair bit of work on Two For Joy (before version), but I seem to have stalled. Done some more work on my Artemis Fowl fanfic too (If All is Fair, you can read it on FanFiction.net if you're interested). Anyway, that's about it.

An amusing little discovery...

I decided to do the Myers-Briggs type test for Nutmeg and Ternalice, just out of curiousity. Now I've always known they're pretty different. However, they scored exactly the opposite of each other. I then did a marriage compatibility test thing based on that. And it came out with a very low possibility of it working. Oops... :D Never mind. I'm sure they can make it work. After all, they do love each other a lot, and sometimes differences can be good. Make things more interesting for me at any rate.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Operation Cobra

This is another book in the 633 Squadron series, and the only other one I have. I would go to the library because I'm sure they've got a couple in the Harris, but it's closed until Monday, and their stupid website isn't working either. Which is annoying because I need to renew some books... Anyway. That's irrelevant. It's a great book, very interesting, but it's suffered because I haven't read the ones in between this one and the first. Plus I do miss the MC from the first one, because he was just so ace! I gotta go. It's worth reading, but read them in order, best that way. See ya!

633 Squadron (book)

After watching the film last night, I felt like I just had to reread the book. And it's even better than the film. There's a very interesting bit of romance in there, and plenty of excitement. Plus the MC of the book comes across even more incredibly in there than he did in the film, although I do think the idea of him being a barnstormer before the war that they put in the film was a really good one. I stayed up till nearly midnight last night reading it. So good, I'd recommend it if you're into that sort of thing. If not, well, it is a war story and no matter how good, and how interesting the romance is, if that doesn't interest you you probably won't like it.

633 Squadron (film)

I watched this on TV last night, because it looked kind of interesting and I remembered reading the book. Boy was it good. Some of the flying scenes they did were incredible. I really enjoyed it. The only mega annoying thing was that there were soooo many ad breaks and they were really long too. That just drove me mad, because it broke up the film in all the wrong places. And I was a bit miffed that I missed one about WW1 aircraft that was on just before because I was so caught up with the fact that I'd seen 633 Squadron was going to be on. It was pretty true to the book, though inevitably it missed quite a bit out, a couple of preliminary operations and an interesting bit of romance. Still, it was a fairly long book, even if the copy I have doesn't look that long, not with it being in such small print.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Baby Reuben!

I've just seen my cousin's new baby Reuben, he is so cute! And really long too. His fingers are really, really long and he's absolutely gorgeous. Just thought you might like to know :D.

Inkheart

Wow! I absolutely loved it! Haven't read the book for ages, so I'm not in the best position to comment on how well it followed the book, but apart from the introduction of a love interest which is pretty standard (one of the 40 Thieves, called Farid), and a few slight changes, including to the ending and the role of the elderly aunt, I think it did stay pretty true to the original story. Of course, that's not what really matters. What really matters is how good a film it makes and how good the characters are. Dustfinger was my favourite by a mile. He was soooo awesome! My brother liked the ferret he always had with him the best, but he didn't even notice that it had horns, so I don't know how much attention he was paying. Then again, you wouldn't notice it so much if you didn't know to look for it. Mo was a little weak at times, same with Meggie, but it didn't affect the film overly much. Elinor (the Aunt) was a pretty impressive character. Maybe a little stereotypical, but played well. Farid was an interesting one too, especially because I don't remember him from the book at all. The plot was good. It's about a bookbinder, Mo, who has the ability to bring things from stories into our world. However, there is an exchange. Something, or someone, must go back into that world. And when he accidentally read out characters from the book Inkheart, his wife disappeared into the book. He is captured by the evil villain of the book, and made to read out first gold, and then, later, the worst creature of all, though he escapes and that duty falls to his daughter, Meggie, who is left to save the day. And her mother...

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Hey everyone! Merry Christmas, hope you have a good one. Don't have a whole lot of time to post just now, heading off to my Aunty's for more food and whatever soon, but I thought I'd just say hey. So, hey! And be merry and happy and full of good cheer, because Christmas is here!!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Happy Endings

Ok, I'm not entirely sure what to do with this. It's a bit short to be a book, but too long to be a short story. So I'm going to stick the first chapter up here and see what happens...

Chapter 1 (Sophia)

Uncle Abe’s locked me in my room. Again. I lean my forehead against the cold, iron bars he fitted when he realised I could get out. It wasn’t hard, not after the first few times, and I hate being cooped up here, in my highest room of the tallest tower, guarded by a fierce dragon of a man who drinks too much, despite Prohibition. Any Prince who braves the scorching heat of Kentucky, USA, to rescue me will really have their work cut out. For a start, even if they could get through the bars, my hair is nowhere near long enough for them to use as a rope. I cut it myself a few weeks back—it was far too hot—and it’s scarcely past shoulder length, black and kind of wispy. You really should have seen Uncle’s face when he realised I’d cut it. The look was almost worth the beating I got afterwards. Still, Robert, who’s as close to a Prince as I’m ever going to get in this hell-hole, even if he is black, came and helped me up here. He’s really sweet Pa, I think you’d like him, because you weren’t like Uncle Abe is.

Unless you fly up here in your aeroplane and save me Pa, I’m doomed to marry the ugly, ancient farmer down the road who’s more than old enough to be my grandfather. Uncle’s determined to ‘acquire’ his land one way or another. Either that or he’ll marry me off to the Sheriff to cement their truce. He’s already married, but around here, anything goes as long as you’re rich enough. If you happen to be Black though, or foreign, or, heaven forbid, both, it’s a different story. Slavery may have been abolished years ago, but it’s cruel legacy still lives on, especially with people like Uncle around. He treats his servants like they’re still slaves, especially Robert, the gardener. He beats him if he does even the tiniest thing wrong, and it’s the same with me. Then, for good measure, he locks me up here. This time, it was for rolling up my sleeves ‘in public’. I felt like screaming at him, it’s so unjust. I was in the field at the back of the house, so it’s not even as though there was anyone much to see.

I hear the muffled roar of an aeroplane, and look up, hoping to see the source. It’s pretty rare around here, and for a moment, I think you’ve heard my plea and are coming in to save me. And then I sigh, because I know it will never happen. The ‘plane comes in lower and Uncle goes racing across the fields on his big black mare and clutching that foppish cowboy hat he thinks makes him look cool. At first I think he’s trying to stop the pilot landing—Uncle hates aeroplanes almost as much as you loved them—but then I realise no, he’s showing him where best to land.

The aircraft comes down slowly, taxiing in close to the house and I can see it’s a biplane painted deep green save for the front edge of the wings, the middle part of the propeller and the struts, which are red. There’s a man made up of thin grey lines painted on the front of the fuselage, and the centre of the top wing, and written over it in red, curling scrip are the words ‘Shadow’s Slayer’. The pilot jumps out, tossing his helmet back into the cockpit and draping his thick leather jacket over the side, but he keeps his goggles on for some reason.

He glances up at my window and smiles slightly, and I wonder why he’s keeping his goggles and what his eyes are like. He’s got fair hair, like you did, but fairer even than yours, almost white. He looks strong, despite being pretty small and thin, and I remember you telling me some ‘planes are real pigs when it comes to handling, try to leap right out your hands, so you’ve gotta be strong. I miss you Pa.


Ok, just ignore the dodgy spacing thing, don't know why it's done that...

Monday, 22 December 2008

The General

Ok, so I cheated. I was going to reread them all in order, but I kind of pulled The General off the shelf to see if I could find out when the newest book's coming out and ended up reading it. Never mind. I'll just read it all over again when I get back up to it. Aww, I'm really annoyed now. Just found out on FantasticFiction that the new Cherub one isn't out until next September. The Henderson's boys books are coming out before that, one in February, one in June. And it looks like it's coming out in hardback first, which is rubbish because I've got all the others in paperback all lined up neatly. Never mind. That's not what I should be talking about, although I suspect I've reveiwed this one before. Anyway, it starts out with James' mission getting a bit mucked up, and he's annoyed that another team made the sting while he was involved, and then he gets sent with a team to help the US Army train in urban warfare tactics and causes havoc by following the slightly unorthodox procedures of an extremely anti-American training instructor. There's the first hint at what he thinks he'll spend the rest of his life doing, as his Cherub days are nearing a close. Looks like the twelfth book might be the last, nooo!!! I really hope it isn't, I love him as a character.

Class A

This is the second Cherub book, and it's pretty decent. Ok, so maybe going after a drug dealer is not the most imaginative crime you can come up with, but still. It's good. James really starts to become a real person in this one, and the 'romance' starts properly, although it seems kind of immature. Then again, James is, and Kerry's only twelve too, so it's hardly likely they'll go into a serious relationship. I suppose it's just in comparison to the newer books. Don't really know what else to say. I kind of just grabbed The General off the shelf and now I really want to read that...

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Writing update

So, I haven't really said much about my stories for a while. Nanowrimo finished, I managed to complete One For Sorrow (before version), which was mainly inspired by my English Lit teachers statement that putting two characters in a lift and watching what they do is one of the best ways of getting to know them. Naturally Ash shot his way out...
Since then, I've been working on The Desert Rat (provisional title, really need a better one) which is set in 1916 and 1929 and I think might be starting to get near the end. Might be. Maybe another two days, three days. Although that could easily be another thirty or so chapters...
After that dream about Red, I felt really inspired and did a load more work on To Touch Life. And while I was in London, I got hit with mega-inspiration for it, and now have a major plot thing to work out and fit in somehow or other. Sure I can manage it. It involves the introduction of two new characters, one called Sarah, one called Cam. Cam knows she has to get back to her original home, after having lost pretty much all her memory when she was healed and put back into a different part of heaven (when angels receive a fatal wound, they join a queue to be healed and then get put into a different place with no specific memories, unlike the demons 'time out' style system). Trouble is, she doesn't know where it is, only that it was maybe vaguely near Zion. Sarah explains that she's been looking for her first home too, and discovered that there are hundreds of Zions in heaven, but she agrees to help Cam. After all, it's something to do, isn't it? Little does she know it will bring her into conflict with a massive invasion and occupation force of demons, and cause havoc for Terry and his new girlfriend Sky.
Oh yeh, plus there's that one I posted the start of up before, which I'm feeling inspired for again. So I might do some more work on that. Don't know. Anyway. It's provisionally titled Dream Random, which indicates a severe lack of any title at all to call it by. Hopefully I'll find something if I do actually finish it.

Tripwire

It's in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, and I love his books. They're so descriptive, and plenty of action too. Very realistic settings, and Reacher is such a great character. I only realised last night how much he's impacted on Ash as a character. They've got the same drifter lifestyle, though I don't reckon it goes much beyond their fear of settling down. Ash is a bit more like Sean Dillon only a little rougher maybe, and certainly younger. But that's besides the point. Tripwire is a very interesting tale, with Reacher drawn into a pretty intriguing mystery, chasing after an elderly couples missing son, supposedly held captive in Vietnam still, victims of a scam. But woven in is another tale, and the two end up on a head on collision with each other, with a nice juicy twist at the end. These books flick between being first and third person, which can be a litttle disorientating at times. I missed Reacher's narration, I have to admit, even if I'm not such a great lover of first person usually. However, the third was needed here so that he could flick between the different places and stories. Not sure whether I like it as much or not. Still, it's well worth reading.

The Recruit

Don't know whether or not I've reveiewed this before. Don't think so. It's the first Cherub book. I've decided to reread them all in proper order. Although it may be a bit slow, given I need to revise and do some work on my distance learning course which I was supposed to finish by Christmas but I'm only a little over half way through. Oops. Anyway, The Recruit really is good. Sets the scene for the rest of the Cherub books, introduces James as a very flawed hero, but likeable nevertheless. Maybe he's slightly stereotypical in the first book, but he definitely progresses to become a very real character. It's worth reading this one first, and then the others in whatever order, as it helps put the others into a context and helps them make more sense. James' recruitment, training, and first mission are covered here, and I don't want to say too much and spoil it, but the mission is a very clever one and with a nice culmination. There is consideration of moral issues, but only in very vague and broad terms, so don't read it for that. I didn't. Ir read it because I quite like kid spy books, and I reread it because it's a very good example of the genre and likeable even if you don't like other books in the genre so much because it's not a complete out and out spy novel, and it certainly is more believable than the Alex Rider books.

Since it probably won't go anywhere else

I had this idea, based half off a dream, half off a random thought I had after watching the news about the guy the police killed by accident. Don't reckon I'll ever finish it. If I do, well, a bit of it's on here to start off with.

Outside St Paul's Cathedral, Christmas Day 2028

A loud voice cut through the merry chatter, shouted words in an alien language. People looked. Armed police. The leader had his gun levelled, pointing at someone, finger on the trigger. Two bangs, close together, the lead policeman jerking up as a flash leapt from his muzzle, the bullet going high and wild.
A young man, Asian in appearance, nodded briefly to the officer behind the fallen one.
Explosion. Blinding white light, searing heat, screams.

Hospital of Lower London, 30th December 2028

The patient opened his eyes slowly. He blinked a couple of times. Bright, disorientating light, fuzzy people.
"Greetings hero," a gruff voice stated. "Nice to know you're still a serious injury stat and not another death."
The patient's eyes focussed, a gasp as memory crashed back into him, and with that awareness, pain. He tried to push himself up, but a nurse pinned him back down.
"Stay still sir. You're seriously injured. I'll fetch the..."
"How many?" the patient demanded, though his voice was hoarse and it pained him to gasp even those two words.
"Two-hundred-seventy-three dead at the last count. Close on another three hundred serious, maybe a thousand or so injured. You were lucky Thimba, very lucky."
Thimba paused for a second, breathing quickly and shallowly. He didn't dare breathe at all deeply--felt like he'd at least one or two ribs broken, maybe more.
"My team?"
The man sighed. "All the ones with you, except Mig, are dead. The ones who weren't, or presumably weren't, killed by the explosion have been shot through the head."
"Treacherous bastard," Thimba snarled weakly. He gathered his energy and pushed himself to a sitting position, biting his lip a little as pain shot out from his back and crashed in from his left cheek and most of the rest of his body, rippling about and holding discussions about the price of blood in various parts of himself. "He..."
"We guessed. I'm afraid he's out there somewhere, but we can't let that slip. The public's panicked enough as is. You're a hero. All over the papers how you tried to stop that suicider blowing, tried to shoot him, but were shot yourself.
"Lovely," Thimba muttered.

Olympia Horse Show

Wow, it was absolutely fantastic. Went down to London on the train, and saw the Friday afternoon bit. Started out with the young showjumper of the year thing, which was really good. Small dogs agility trials, and you should've seen the little tiny things leaping! Some of them were going twice as high as the jumps they were meant to go over. And the seesaw nearly wouldn't come down on them, because they were about the same weight as the counterweight was. It was the pairs relay, and I was a bit disappointed when one of the dogs who went round without any faults was let down by a partner that got twelve or something like that. Bit of a shame really, but it's a team effort. There was a Shetland Pony Grand National, which was really cute, and impressive. A flying Frenchman who rode with one foot on each of two horses and drove a team as well, going over jumps and round poles. There was another lot of showjumping, with thirteen (I think) going through to the jumpoff, which was really exciting because everyone kept topping each other. And then dancing horses to finish off, which was really neat.

Simpsons Movie

Ok, so I watched it twice in a row on the last day of college, and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much at all. I've never really liked the Simpsons, it's just dumb humour as far as I'm concerned, and not particularly funny either. Well, I have to say, I didn't find it mega hilarious, but I did really enjoy the film. So shoot me now, for betraying all my previous principles, but I guess I'd never bothered to see if they were well-founded or not. It was remarkably interesting. And I didn't mind seeing it twice in a row. The plot was ridiculous and unrealistic, but good unrealistic. After all, if you have yellow people running around, you can't expect it to be something deep and serious, can you? And I don't mind totally unrealistic, provided it's done well. There were moments that were quite amusing, the romance was quite nicely done, and of course Homer came back in the end and was pretty miserable at trying to save everyone, though there was a happy ending. It did brush on some deep issues, thinking about it, and came out with a bit of a moral. I was amused when the people from the pub and from the church raced past each other when the crisis started, because it seems in many ways an accurate reflection of the society we live in.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Dream involving Red

I really should have posted this earlier. I had a dream over the weekend, maybe Friday night I think, and it completely inspired me to write loads on the angel book I'm working on at the moment (provisionally titled To Touch Life, may change depending on whether what I originally thought would be a key idea remains a key idea). I was in PE at Wilfrids, in the sports hall, and there was this girl who had special needs, and we were playing ball for a while, then she had to leave. Then Red (he's one of the angels in my books, a captain) stood up, and this was so totally in character for him although I never really thought of it before, and said that people had been bullying her. He showed a clip of her all dressed up, with lovely curly blonde hair and the most gorgeous smile, explained that she had to have her hair cut short because she messed with it and tore at it too much, and that he wouldn't tolerate anybody bullying her. If they did, he'd come after them personally. He completely got everyone on her side, or at least, he got me on her side, and I felt so sorry for her. I might just have to stick a character like her in...

Maximum Security

It's the third Cherub book, and they're well worth a read. I suppose you'll get the most out of them if you read them in order, but I don't think it'll spoil things a whole lot if you don't. It's really good, although it's not my favourite in the series. The life for young offenders in Arizona Max is portrayed very realistically and well, the escape plan sounds like it might actually work, and the flaws that are introduced into the prison to make the escape possible are certainly believable ones. I admit, the idea of a teenage spying organisation, and Lauren's escapade in extreme cold at the start of the book does require a little suspension of disbelief, but the idea is created remarkably well, such that it really could be true, unlike Alex Rider which requires a lot more suspension of disbelief than this. One of the things I really like about the series is that you can actually see the characters growing up. In this one, James is a bit of a brat I have to admit, and he's a very well written character too. The only thing I will say is that the final capture at the end was a bit of an anti-climax and seemed almost an after thought with all that build up. However, Lauren's comments to James (her older brother) put things into context, and it did probably add to the realism of the book, even if it didn't add a whole lot of excitement value.

Celebration Evening

Well, I got my GCSE results certificates last night. What a silly little ceremony. I mean, why on earth did we have to stand up for those people to walk onto the stage? And that speaker. *Bangs head on wall in frustration* He completely did not know how to use a microphone, and I could hardly hear him most of the time. Wasn't the system, it was working just fine for everyone else. What he was saying was probably fairly ok, least, the bits I heard of it seemed that way, but he just didn't hold his audience well at all. Lots of pompous speeches, pretty much glorifying Wilfrids as the greatest place on the planet. Two head girls, which kind of amused me for a bit. Their speeches had so obviously been doctored though, and pre-approved. That annoyed me, because I know one of them is quite capable of delivering a decent speech, and I'm sure they both could've done much better if they hadn't been forced to read it out. Anyway. I got the results certificate, even if my chair didn't exist for a while, and I got two prizes, which I guess made it worth my while to go. I might never go there again, which is kind of weird seeing as I spent five years of my life going to that place. Still, everything changes, and it's not as though I don't love college.

St Wilfrid's Carol Service

Just to say, anyone who sang in that, it was really, really good. It sounded almost like a recording. I do have one criticism though... The Bible readings would've been much easier to follow, and much easier for those poor Year 7s to manage, if they'd been from the NIV, or even The Message (is that allowed in a C of E service!?), rather than the King James. And they didn't sing my favourites of The Shepherds Pie Carol... Sorry, [I]Pipe[/I] Carol... and Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel. But I haven't heard either of them this year yet, apart from a really, really rubbish version of Oh Come Oh Come Emanuel on CD. But that doesn't count, because it was so pathetically bad.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Blurbs for Nutmeg Angel (not me, the book...)

Ok, so I'm getting my book up on Amazon soon, and I have to come up with a blurb. I have two, and I think I've decided which I'm using, but I'd appreciate some more input. So:

Blurb 1:
Nutmeg is determined to prove to all of heaven that she has what it takes to be a great warrior, despite her youth. However, the Devil is determined otherwise, as are other elements within the force itself. And when the whole city is plunged into chaos, the burden of responsibility falls heavily on the youngest member of the force and her team.

Blurb 2:
Angels are not all cute and sweet. In fact, some are pretty determined to do away with that sort of stereotype. Like Nutmeg. Fierce, tough, warrior through and through, she's determined that nothing will get in the way of doing her job. Not demons, not the perceptions of others, and not even the Devil himself.

Clubbing Together

All right, so it isn't really my kind of book, but I won a signed copy ages ago, and while I was tidying up my bookcases, because dad's just made me a new one and we're kind of rearranging my whole bedroom (well, feels like it) in order to fit in more book space since I have so many, I figured I might as well read it. And it was surprisingly good. I've read the first three of the books (it's an omnibus with the first four After School Club books by Helena Peliechaty (think that's how it's spelt)). Lots of brackets there. Never mind. Anyway. Surprisingly nice. Very well written, though definitely for younger children than me... Probably aimed more at 8-11 or so. Quite interesting and insightful, with very good characters. Maybe a little too happy endingy for my liking, but I'm not really the right age to get the most out of them I don't think. So maybe a good book for younger sisters. A nice quiet calm read, I'll certainly keep hold of it for when I can't sleep in hte middle of the night (James Patterson's books are not the best choice for middle of hte night reading, if they're any good to start with that is--they're of very variable quality. Jack Higgins and Alaistar McLean are a little long too...).

Jimmy Coates: Power

I realised all of a sudden why I love this series so much. It has lots of explosions, big action scenes, and yet it's pretty darn believable. Jimmy Coates is part machine, part human, intended to become an assassin for a Britain of the future where neo-democracy is a codename for dictatorship and the public is controlled through careful manipulation of the media and a common enemy of France. Jimmy is determined that he won't kill people. The government is now determined to kill him. Unfortunately, I missed out the book before, and so it kind of spoilt the plot of the previous one, while also making me desperately want to read it. Jimmy thinks he's dying in this book, and is desperate to try and restore true democary to England before his time runs out. I think this was originally intended to be a trilogy, but unlike Maximum Ride, the extension really works and I'm completely glad it was written. I met Joe Craig when I was at Wilfrids, he came in once, and I loved his talk. I have a signed copy of one of the books--the others I've got from the library. Well, I can't buy every single good book, much as I'd like to. Although the soon to hppen expansion of my book storage space should let me store a good few more. My dad reckons I've about a thousand or so. Gotta go say hello to my mum's cousins or something like that who've come round. See ya soon.

Moonraker and Goldfinger

I've been reading the James Bond books recently. I blame my English Lit teacher for listing one of them in the 'fifty books you should read' he gave us at the start of the year. They're surprisingly good. A little sexist, I have to admit, but so are most thrillers from that era. I've not seen the films, but I've heard they're very different. The books are good at any rate. I really enjoyed these two. A little too detailed in the card games at parts, making very little sense to me as I don't play cards, but the attention to detail is, I suppose, admirable. Maybe not my absolute favourite thrillers, but they're good enough that I'm determined to read the whole lot. I'd recomend them to anyone, but be aware that they can be a little too detailed in the 'lesser' aspects of the story, or at least, what I take to be lesser aspects of the story. I have to admit, I think the card game described in the Young Bond series (and so far as I've read up to--haven't yet got a copy of the newest one--there's only been one game described in much detail at all) was done much better. But times have changed, and I really don't follow card games or gambling at all.

The Keys of Hell

Another one in the Paul Chavasse series by Jack Higgins. And yes, as per the previous discussion, they really are by Jack Higgins, that's what it says on the spine. Very good. I've read it before, had half forgotten it. Realised once I started reading it though. A nice twist and betrayal, and plenty of decent action. A good thriller to read, if you like that sort of thing. If not, well, maybe don't bother. It's good, but if you hate thrillers and action, you're not that likely to like it I have to admit.

Sorry...

Ok, so I've been really bad about posting and updating and all that. I missed three days of college the week before last, had a fair bit of catching up to do. Not too much though, not compared to what I expected to get. Um... I've no excuse. Just been lazy really. Same with the distance learning course I'm supposed to be finishing by Christmas. Like that's going to happen now. I've a bunch of Christmas presents to make, cards to write, and I would like to actually finish the story I'm working on at some point. Plus I keep getting odd flashes of inspiration for the Nutmeg one I'm also working on. Hmm. I've read a fair bit too. And yeh. I'm lazy and haven't updated as much as I should have done. So sorry.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Rainbow

Your rainbow is strongly shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Testament of Caspar Schultz

This book by Jack Higgins is part of the Paul Chavasse series which I absolutely love but cannot find the books in it. That might be partially because they were originally published under the name Martin Fallon (I think, don't quote me on that). That's odd. I've just had a look on the Fantastic Fiction site to see if I can verify that, and they don't have any record of Jack Higgins ever having written The Testament of Caspar Schultz or any of the Paul Chavasse series. Hmm... I shall have to investigate. Ooh, it says it's the first book. It also says it was written as Martin Fallon, a psudenym of Harry Patterson. Now I'm really confused. Especially because the book cover it shows says Jack Higgins on it. Ok, so Harry Patterson and Jack Higgins are both the same person. All the book covers I can see on the right show Jack Higgins as the author. But they aren't on Jack Higgins' page on the site. I think it's a bit screwed up. That's odd. Really odd. Anyway...
It's a fantastic book. It's the tale of the quest for a book to be published by an ex-Nazi by a British spy. There's a pretty girl who gets involved (an Isreli who wants to get hold of the book) and her step-brother, and there's plenty of excitment. Apparently it's the first book in the series, but I'm no longer quite sure I trust Fantastic Fiction after what I've just found out. Hmm. Anyway, it's well worth reading if you like action. If not, well, you might still enjoy it, because it's very well written and there're plenty of twists in the plot, but it is a thriller. I'd really recomend it. Haven't yet read a Jack Higgins (or maybe I should say Harry Patterson!) book which I don't like.

RAF Harrier Ground Attack Falklands

Yes, I actually read some non-fiction. And very interesting it was too, even though I know absolutely nothing about the Falklands War. Or I didn't until now. It's basically the autobiography of Squadron Leader Jerry Pook, spreading the (as far as I can tell) pretty much untold story of the ground attack sorties flown pretty much exclusively by the RAF pilots who were sent in as attrition replacements. He tells of how the navy was incompetant, the Harrier equipment dodgy, and gives plenty of detail about just what went on. I really enjoyed it actually. It was a lot longer than it first looked because the print was pretty tiny. So if you've any interest in history or aeroplanes or anything like that, it's a very good book to read. If not, you might still find it fairly interesting. I should probably start assessing the reliability and all that of the book now as source material, but I don't think it matters. It's an eyewitness account. Maybe it has a little bias, maybe it says very little about anything bar the ground attack sorties, but I read it out of interest, not after using it as a source. Anyway, it's well worth reading.

The Romanov Prophecy

Set a short distance in the future, this book is about what happens when the Russians decide they want their Tsar back. So begins a discussion over which person has the closest relation to Tsar Nicholas II. Several contenders appear, and Miles Lord has been ordered to check for any weaknesses in the candidate a group of powerful men decided to support. He discovers a suggestion that the two youngest children may have survived. Guided by an ancient prophecy from Rasputin and a secretive group that has been around since the fall of the Romanovs, Lord is launched into a quest to find a direct descendent of Nicholas II. However, the men who have their puppet Tsar ready and willing to step into position are not so happy about this, and try to stop him. It was quite an interesting idea. However, it wasn't that well written I have to admit, and it would've been much more interesting if the reader wasn't told pretty much straight away that Lord's boss was working for the group trying to bring in a puppet Tsar. I've not spoilt anything by telling you that--you find out pretty much as soon as the group is first shown to exist. So, it's not a terrible book, but it's certainly not the best thing I've ever read either. If you've an interest in Russian history at all, or conspiracy theories about the survival of Anastasia, you'll probably find it fairly good. If not, you might not want to bother reading it.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Whoo! I am now an official winner!

So, here are all the badges etc... Haven't yet decided which one to use. Maybe you can help if I can work out how to use that new voting thing...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Whoooo!!!!

Hello. I finished my story this morning. Just over the 50000 mark, though the nanowrimo word count checker seems to eat some of the words that OpenOffice gives me. Humph about that. But never mind, the official count is still enough. I finished One For Sorrow (before version). Which means I need a new name for the original One For Sorrow, but I don't yet know where in the series it's going to come. So I guess I could just call it after version or something temporarily. Anyway. My story involved lots of explosions and fighting and so forth, was pretty good fun to write, and didn't go anywhere near as random as last yaer, despite the fact taht I started with no clear plan at all, and the fact that plenty of unexpected characters or characters with unexpected twists (such as Jon being in a wheelchair, and the appearance of a love interest in Lady Irin...). I enjoyed it. Needs a little editing, but not so bad as last year's needed it. Shall now try and finish The Desert Rat, which needs renaming, perhaps to The Snake of the Desert because the title hasn't shown up how I expected it too. Anyway. Maybe I'll call it something completely different. Still. Just thought I'd tell you that. And I'm not dead, despite the fact my lack of posts seems to suggest otherwise...

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Brisingr

Have just realised I never reveiwed this. It stole me from writing last Friday. Started reading it in the car on the way to Aunty Gladys' funeral. Should've posted about that too. Ooops. Anyway, I borrowed it off a friend, and I couldn't put it down. Finished it at ten past midnight that night. It was AMAZING! The only thing that really annoys me is that you still don't find out who the new rider is. But the revaltation about Brom was incredible. I was just stunned. Wow. Won't tell you, as it happens near the end of the book and I don't want to spoil anything for you. Eragon learns where the emporer gets his power from too, and that's pretty impressive, a very clever idea indeed. Didn't see it coming. But again, you find out near the end, so you'll have to read it yourself. Don't read it before the other two though. It'll spoil them. And it won't make as much sense. I have to admit I thought the whole thing rescuing Katrina could've been made more of, but then it would've detracted from the rest of the story.
Gotta go. Worth reading for sure. Very good book.

I'm Alive!

And loads of stuff has happened recently. I've just been writing waaaay too much to post. :D Sorry. So. My nano story is on 34147 words, which is *fishes out calculater thing on computer* 9147 words above where I should be. Yay! It's going well. Random events, but going well. And I can hardly claim it isn't going to plan when I had no plan to start with. Lady Irin showed up and Ash fell in love with her. She was a bit of an unexpected character to say the least. Ash ran into a room when the building was under attack by a load of Birdie terrorists (it followed naturally from the one scene, a broken lift, that I had planned. Actually, I had kind of planned that attack. Just not Ash meeting Lady Irin and managing to fall in love with the head of the police, and not the whole blowing up police headquarters that followed that). She's a great character though. Very interesting. As is writing the romantic bit, which I'm really enjoying. Have settled on the piece I'm using for my English coursework. I would post it up, only that might be a bit of a cutting your own throat type thing since they search the web to check you've not nabbed it from anyone, and as this doesn't have my real name, that could prove interesting. I also had an unexpected abused small child show up, called June. She's Ash's ex-girlfriend's daughter, and she betrayed him to the cops, and pretty much straight after that had the girl, who definitely isn't Ash's child. He was pretty miffed about that, as you can imagine. I'm amazed he didn't just kill her when he found out to be honest. Um... What else?

Mum's started back playing her oboe at church, which is great, it makes me feel like she's actually better now. I have to admit I've missed hearing it, even if it is a pretty noisy instrument (almost as bad as James' tenor horn, but it usually sounds nicer). She's going back to work in January all being well.

College is great fun and I still love it. History is hard work though. As is English Lit. Sociology and maths just aren't though. Although we're starting Decision next week, oh heck I have maths homework, I forgot all about that, and apparently that's quite different. It's all been algebra so far, which I love. (Weird, I know, but I can't help it.)

I'm listening to WOW Hits 2009 as I post this, which is basically a complation of 30 songs by Christian artists. It's really good, I'm enjoying it. I hope it'll fit on my iPod. Should do. I only have 2 GB, and I doubt there'll be a whole lot of room left now. Maybe I should start saving up for a new one. Especially if I ever get round to writing a reveiw for Crossrhythms and joining their reveiw team, getting 'paid' in CDs. Which could fill up what remains of iPod space pretty quick.

Friday, 31 October 2008

3 Hours and 15 Minutes!!!!!

Yay, only three and a quarter hours to go until Nanowrimo starts!!! I can't promise to be very good at updating during November. Most of my spare time will probably go towards writing. Must fish out the notebook I used last year, as I used probably less than half of it and it has my Nanowrimo sticker on it. It says: 'be nice to me or I'll put you in my novel', or something along those lines. It's probably my favourite notebook... (Yes, I'm sad like that, I have favourites. I prefer squared paper to lined, and usually prefer lined to plain as it stops me writing too small, provided the lines aren't ridiculously large, tempting me to fit three/four lines to a printend line... I have no idea why I like lined paper, it's just nice to write on.)

Death's Door

So, it's by Quintin Jardine, and I think I'm right in saying that it's the most recent in the Bob Skinner series. It's certainly the furthest along the series that I've read. Oh no, sorry, it's not the most recent to be published. Aftershock came out in May and it follows it on. Well, it's very deep and serious, a crime novel with a lot of human content in their too. I couldn't believe what happened to Stevie! And Maggie too, that was just creepy, but especially because it struck so close to home, and plus it's pretty much exactly how I imagine Nutmeg dying in the end. It's very well written, but I would recomend starting at the start of the series, or at least as near to it as you can get--I admit that I haven't, and I think I've lost a lot by not doing so, but the libraries never seem to have all the books in a series, and certainly not the first few. Especially when, like with the Bob Skinner ones, they started a fair while ago, even if they are still continuing now. Anyway, do your best to read the others first, but even if you don't, it's still a cracking read. The crime aspect is very well done, has a realistic feel to it, but I think to me what makes it so good is the way the people are actually people, and you can completely relate to them. They aren't perfect, they have differing relationships with each other, and the difference between this and the James Patterson ones which I also quite like, is that they're much more discrete when the boyfriend/girlfriend thing gets serious. James Patterson has a tendency to go into waaaay too much detail on that and you lose out on the plot in that way. I'm not saying his books aren't good--I love them--but I am saying that they aren't perfect. I don't think any book ever can be. Anyway, you should certainly read the Bob Skinner books if you like a good bit of crime, and even if you don't there's a good chance you'll enjoy them.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Shaman's Crossing

It's another of those by Robin Hobb that seem determined to steal all your time until you finish them. It's the first book of the Soldier Son trilogy, and boy is it good! I really struggled to put it down, stayed up till past midnight to finish it. Like the others of hers, it is quite a long book, so don't start reading too late or you're liable to not go to bed. The world she's created is amazing, and the characters are as good as ever. I have to admit, I would like to see a link with the world of the other novels--the magic of the old gods would work well as being the Skill and the Wit and the Hedge magic she used in the Farseer and Tawney Man trilogies. However, I can see why she's done it in a totally different place--you can't keep reusing the same ideas forever, no matter how good they are, and I think I'm right in saying the Liveship traders books are set in the same world as those two, although I haven't been able to find them. Anyway, it follows the tale of Nevarre, and his experience with the old magic that tries to claim him as he tries to make his way in a training camp biased against sons of new nobles like him. It really is awesome, and I so want to read the next book. Just hope I don't find it during Nanowrimo, or I'll never get my story finished!

Aunty Gladys

Ok, so I've just had even more bad news, as if what I've had so far hasn't been enough. My Aunty Gladys (she's actually my great step grandmother, but it's a lot easier to call her Aunty Gladys) was taken into hospital yesterday and died this morning at about two. It hasn't really sunk in yet, I mean, she had just moved into an old people's home, because she couldn't look after herself at home any more, but she was still pretty with it and smiling and all that the last time I saw her. My mum's quite upset, because they were close since mum went up pretty much every other week for ages to do her shopping for her and help her around the house and so on. It seems quite sudden to me. Admittedly, she was fairly old, and not especially mobile any more, but still.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

This is quite amusing...

I can't claim credit for it, my mum e-mailed it to me and I don't know who she got it from. However, it does put a good spin on the 'credit crunch' or whatever they're calling it now.

Uncertainty has now hit Japan.

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up
and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will
likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended
after they nose-dived.

While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank
is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report
that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared
that staff may get a raw deal.

Religious Freedom v Equal Rights

So, it seems to me these come into conflict a lot. The recent changes to make it legal for homosexual couples to 'marry' have annoyed a lot of Christians. (Other faiths too I'm sure, but as I don't really know much about that, I'll stick to my own beliefs, and I don't pretend to be representative of every single Christian). Now, I'm sure you can understand why, if you believe something is wrong, you wouldn't want to be involved in it. For example, if I say that I believe that having sex before marriage is wrong (and I do believe this), then I wouldn't want to be involved in giving contraceptive advice to teenagers. However, if I was a counsellor and suddenly my job description was changed so that I had to do so, I would naturally be a bit upset. I would ask to be excluded from such issues, and to concentrate on counselling people with other issues. Fair enough, I'm sure you'll agree, whether you think my belief that having sex before marriage is wrong or not. However, a few weeks ago, I became aware of a case where a Christian registrar, who asked not to perform Civil Partnerships as they went against her beliefs, was suspended and treated cruelly and accused of being homophobic. Today, I found out about another case, where a counsellor who refused to give advice on sexual problems to homosexual couples has been dismissed. He hadn't even refused to counsel them on relationship problems, but when it came to this, he felt he had to draw the line. And I might add, that I wouldn't feel comfortable giving advice on sexual problems to anyone, on the basis that I don't have experience in that side of things. Naturally, he wouldn't have experience in that area either. He spoke to his supervisors, who leaked details of the meeting to colleagues, damaging the relationships between them. Now, I don't think you can say that refusing to counsel same sex couples on having sex is discriminating against them, certainly not when you have religious reasons to do so. I could go on, but I won't. I think those examples are enough.
Anyway, what do you think? Should a person be forced to sacrifice their religious beliefs in order to make some pretence at equal rights? Is it not much better that those people are allowed to make a stand for what they believe is right, without being labelled homophobic? I might add, that they said nothing against the people involved. After all, God does not hate the sinner, but the sin. And if you view homosexual relationships as sinful (and I'm going to invite a lot of controversy by saying that I do think they're wrong and go against God's plan for the world), that does not mean you have to hate the people involved in it. On the contrary, Jesus called for us to love the unlovable, to care for those who would go against us, and in that vein, I don't believe it's fair to simply dismiss anyone on the grounds of their sexual orientation. I would protest against their practising it and encouraging others to do so, I would protest that we haven't yet seen the consequences for it, but I wouldn't out and out say 'you are evil for doing so'. They're not. This is a rather thorny issue, I'm sure you'll agree.
Just one little thought I'd like to leave you with. The guidelines laid out in the Bible are there for a reason. The reason behind no sex before marriage is because it should be something special, and if you look at what's happening now, with the increased spread of STDs, you can see that it does have detrimental effects upon people. The incredibly complicated guidelines laid out about what to do with mouldy things may not have made much sense then, but if you remember that they had no way of destroying mould, and that it would rapidly spread to contaminate everything, then it makes sense. So there you go. There's a good reason why the Bible condemns homosexuality, we just haven't stumbled onto it yet. Please respond, but please don't start slagging people off with generalisations. I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm just stating my views. I am not homophobic (i.e. afraid of people who are homosexual, because that's what the word means, not that I disagree with it), I just don't think it's morally right.

Tomorrow...

So, I'm really not looking forward to tomorrow. My nana died last week, I haven't posted about it because I really didn't know what to say, and it's her funeral tomorrow. I still don't know how I feel about it. She'd had Parkinson's for a while, and the last time I went to see her, she didn't really know who I was. She went into hospital a few weeks ago, and she was refusing treatment and food. They said she didn't have long, maybe two, three days, and then the next day she died in the morning. She hadn't even really recognised my granddad, or my parents. So I guess in a way, she'd been gone for a while, but I still don't know how I feel about it. Anyway.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Nutmeg Angel

Well, I've worked out how to format it all. Kind of at any rate. It's a start, even if it isn't complete. I'm going to do this one, because what with it being my first, it has a special place in my heart. So I intend to go over it once more, and the it'll be up on Amazon. And I'll try to get the second one, Winged Fire, which can make perfect sense without the first one, and has a more exciting plot (in my opinion at any rate), published for real.

Oh, I didn't know it did that. Must remember in future

I forgot to log out last time I was on here, and so when I clicked on blogger in my bookmarks, it came straight up with my dashboard. Never knew it did that. Oh well.

Writing update

Ok, so at the moment I'm working on The Desert Rat (name subject to change), which is set during the First World War, about a British pilot, a German pilot, and a female spy (I don't know whose side she's on yet though. I mean, I'm only on Chapter 53, wouldn't expect me to know a crucial thing like that yet, would you?!), oh and a mechanic turned spy, and then in 1929, as the Great Depression/Wall Street Crash is about to happen, in Chicago, about a pilot bootlegger, the daughter of the mechanic turned spy who falls in love with him and then they argue when he admits he's German, and the British pilot, who her father heavily approves of, starts trying to seduce her. I still haven't quite worked out who she ends up with. I'd like to finish it before November starts, but I don't know if I will manage it. I'm doubtful, given how big it is already and the fact that I'm not really even half way through.
For Nanowrimo, I've decided (I think) on a fantasy/crime novel, set in an alternate reality. The MC is Sheol, who's a bitter ex-cop and is badly scarred through a bad experience that led to him being forced to leave the police. There's also Joab, who's a young, eager cop trying to prove himself to everyone and get promoted etc. He comes across a series of murders, involving prostitutes having all the magic sucked out of them (this is the fantasy bit :D) and their appendixes disappearing (where all the magic comes from). As he's the most junior officer and they aren't considered important, he's put onto it. When he finds the fourth body, he realises the area he's in isn't quite so deserted as he thought--there's a boarding house at the end of the street, a boarding house run by Sheol. Sheol is suspected as he casually reveals that he knows exactly what's happened to them. Up till then it was just conjecture and speculation. He also admits he was the last to see the latest girl alive. He has to work with Joab, reluctant to go near him, to clear his name and find justice for the murdered women. That's about it. I'm sure more plot will emerge as I write. It did last year...

Hmm, how interesting.

And what a profitable use of my time I might add. Hmm...

I could survive for 38 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds.net



Let's see if that works...

OpenOffice 3

The new OpenOffice has just come out, yay! I'm downloading it now. Let you know how it works once it's all set on my computer, but I have to say, other than the spellchecker sometimes taking a long while on the version I have at the moment (2.4 I think), it's really good. My favourite feature is the way it remembers any words over a certain length that you use and offers them to you as you type. It's really useful that, means I can type even faster than usual. :D

Saturday, 25 October 2008

High School Musical Three

Ok, so I haven't seen the first two, and it's never really seemed likemy kind of thing, although I have to admit to having loved several chick flick type films (PS I love you, which is sooo sweet, even if I did sob the whole way through, Mama Mia, Wildchild...). However, it was pretty good. They could've made a lot more of the storyline in the first part, which was a little confusing (and not just because I haven't seen the other two), and with too many songs. The choreography was pretty awesome, as was the music, although some of it was just annoyingly unrealistic. Like the way they danced so well on their first ever time. The second part of the film redeemed itself though, but they didn't show the actual prom (I don't think, it was a bit hard to tell exactly what was going on...). Anyway, it's probably worth seeing. I enjoyed it for the most part.

Formatting PDF

Have now looked at the website offering it, and I have to transform my book into a PDF document and find a cover and stuff like that too... So I don't know how I'll do that, but somebody must know. And how hard can it be? (Famous last words most likely...)

WOW WOW WOW WOW YAY!!!!

I've just got an e-mail from Nanowrimo, and all of last years winners (people who managed over 50000 verified words in the month), can have a free copy of their book printed up. And then I can sell it over Amazon for free too!!!! So I might just be in print soon, I think it'll all work out ok, just have to check with my parents that I can do it, but WOWOWOWOWOW!!!! (Guess what? I'm somewhat excited!)

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Writing update

As you maybe noticed, I'm participating in Nanowrimo this year, as of November First. Until then, I'm working on about a bazillion projects at once. I'm working on a gothicy novel, set in an alternate reality which isn't hugely different to Victorian Britain although England has conquered a lot more of the world and there's a different religion. Plus the existence of magic. Although it's debateable whether the magic I've referred to exists for real in this world. I'm inclined towards 'yes, it does'. Anyway. That's quite fun. I've done a fair bit of work on re-writing Winged Fire, which is turning out very different and quite good fun. What else? I wrote a short story for the W-Factor (my old school newspaper, they asked me, I thought 'why not?'). I'm working on two stories about Ash simultaneously. One inspired by the English Lit coursework I decided to do several months early, or maybe not quite that early, but still well before we were asked to, and so it's about when Ash first becomes a cop. It's quite fun to write, because there's a lot of conflict there and he's still very rough and tumble, living on the streets and who cares what happens to me? A lot of that's still present with the first book I wrote about him, about two years after he joins the cops, but it's interesting to me how different he is, how the rough edges have been knocked off him by the time I started the first one. The other one I'm working on is what was the second book, but now probably isn't, because I've been working on that on and off for ages and ages and ages. Anything else? I think that's about it. Don't quite know what I'll do for Nano. I have a couple of ideas floating around now, shall see where they end up taking me. I think either a full-on sci fi, set around Saturn, or a proper fantasy I've been trying to write for a while but have never quite managed to pull off. Or maybe I'll go with an action one. Who knows? I probably won't decide until the day it starts.

College

Ok, so it seems I've hardly said a thing about college. Which is a bit ridiculous, considering how much time I'm spending there. All my teachers are nice, the workload is quite high for Lit and History, but almost non-existant for Sociology. Maths and Language are somewhere in the middle. I'm making friends, have people who I feel like I'm part of a 'group' with, and I'm enjoying myself a heck of a lot more than I did at highschool. Large portions of which I really did not enjoy. Bonuses of college: no uniform, no bells, teachers treat you like adults and real people, friendly atmosphere, freedom to do as you please pretty much, more relaxed atmosphere in many respects. Downside: more work. But I knew when I decided to do five A-levels that I was letting myself in for a lot of work. So I'll just get on with it.

Expect the Impossible

I love this CD. It's the new Stellar Kart one, and I'm going to use it to write a review for Crossrhythms and hopefully become a reviewer for them, which'd be pretty cool, and a good 'job'. Anyway, it's even better than the last one, and I'm already starting to learn a lot of the lyrics even though I've only had it a couple of days, and I haven't even put it on my iPod yet (my disk drive's bust, probably full of dust because I haven't used it for ages). Ok, one of the songs is virtually identical to on the last one they did, but still. It's good. I love it.

Rant about Microsoft

Grr, my computer's suddenly decided that because my dad put some more RAM in it recently, it needs me to reactivate windows. Unfortunately, when I tried to do that, it then decided the product key, whatever that means, has been used too many times, and so I had to find another or something like that. I don't know why it couldn't tell me straight after my dad did it, so that I could get him to sort it before he went off to Germany. Now it means I won't have any computer tomorrow, apart from the downstairs ones, because it expires tomorrow. It gave me like two days to do it, which is just ridiculous. I mean, do they never think that maybe a teenager who has no idea what or where a product key can be found is going to be able to sort it in two days? So, I'm annoyed at microsoft. Plus, IE's pretty naff, seeing as I was reviewing browsers before for no real reason whatsoever.

Offered a Job!

Well, I went in today to Bethany, and the manager called me in and asked if I'd like a job on Saturday mornings. I'm really pleased she asked me, even if I don't go for it. I'd quite like to, my mum keeps saying I ought to get a job, at least over Christmas, and it wouldn't be so scary to start one there, now that I know some of the residents and staff and feel like a part of it in a way. It'd just be a kind of extension of the volunteer work I do now. Plus it'd mean I could have some money for myself, to do what I like with, instead of just relying on pocket money and whatever I can persuade my parents to get me.

The Golden Fool and Fool's Fate

I've only just realised I never posted about this. Boy am I behind. It's the second in the Tawny Man series by Robin Hobb, and Fool's Fate is the third and they are so good, and boy do I think Fitz is a great character. Web's a pretty neat guy too. Sorry this is so late and brief, it's a while since I read them now, and the series has kind of merged into one, like a good series should do (in my opinion at any rate, if it's too obvious they're separate books, they don't flow together properly and that's not so good). Fool's Fate is absolutely amazing, with the dragons and Fitz' daughter and finally healing the rift between Fitz and the Fool (well, it had to come at some point). I was a little bit disappointed that Fitz didn't bond again, but I can see why he wouldn't, and it makes sense, and the ending's really good, nice and complete, but not too final. There could be another book quite easily, but there doesn't have to be, if that makes sense? Anyway, I love these books. You really should read them.

Dad's Job

Ok, so dad was threatened with redundancy, and he was supposed to be leaving tomorrow. However, last week, he got an e-mail and said 'hi, it's good to be working with you again, we've booked you a hotel' from these guys in Germany. And so he rung up to find out what the heck was going on, because he was supposed to be finishing, and they said 'ah, well, we've decided that we'd like to keep you on longer, potentially another six months or so'. So he's in Germany now. And he has a job for a bit longer.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Fight Club

It's by Chuck Palahniuk, and it was on a list of fifty books you should read. Having just finished it, I can totally agree with why it should be. It's terrifying in many respects, but absolutely gripping. I wish my English Lit teacher hadn't told me the ending, it spoiled it a little, so I won't tell you who Tyler is. I haven't read such a good twist for a while, not since Fear is the Key. Anyway, it's about a man who starts a club where men can go and fight each other. And then, when the fighting until you're a bruised mess loses its attraction, you progress onto a plan for anarchy that looks set to shake the whole of the USA. It really is terrifying, and the worst thing is, I believe it could happen. *Shudders*. Anyway, read it, but not just before you go to bed. It's probably not the best thing to read in order to manage sleeping.

Wow, I've been really bad at updating

I didn't realise I hadn't even posted to say my mum was out of hospital! She came out just over a week ago, and she's starting to get better. We took her to Southport today. She's eating, she doesn't have much energy, so we took her round in a wheelchair, and it's great to have her home again.

Biggles

I got more Biggles books today. We went to Southport, that's why. Two of them, and they're already read and on my bookcase. Biggles buries a hatchet, about Biggles rescuing his enemy Von Stalhien, which is really good, and I think I might use the idea for my English coursework. I have way too many ideas for that coursework than can possibly be good for me. The other one was Biggles of the Interpol, which was a collection of shorter stories, some better than others.

Friday, 3 October 2008

HI

Hi, I'm at a friends house using a strange keyboard. This is just so I can get the pictures up. Bye.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Update on... Well, on everything

Hello. I've been bad, I know, not updating for ages. But I've been kind of busy/tired/couldn't be bothered. Sorry.
So. What to write. I'm listening to CrossRhythms. I'm tired. I've walked five miles today, to college and back. I also walked into town today at lunch. My sociology teacher wasn't here, I finished the work really fast, but I still had to hang around for ages and wait for the end of the day near enough. Pity the sub couldn't come in earlier and let us go.
Mum's getting better. They've started letting her eat stuff, and she's not on the TPN tonight. Nana's gone into hospital though, don't know why.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Act of God

This one was non-fiction, and very, very interesting. It was all about the mystery of Tomb 55, a tomb designed to keep somebody in, and the evidence for the exodus of the Israelites. Believe it or not, there is evidence that the Red See actually did part, through a tsunami, which bared the ground for the Israelites to cross and then swept back and removed all the Israelites. It also gave historical evidence for the plagues, brought on by an erruption six times more powerful than Krakatoa. Well worth reading, it set the facts out clearly and gave reasons for all the conclusions. I learnt a lot from it, and really enjoyed it.

Crossrhythms

Ok, so this is a new one on me. I'm reveiwing a radio station. But seriously, if you're like me and absolutely sick of the rubbish the media is feeding you through song lyrics that equate love to sex and imply that girls kissing girls as an experiment is a wonderful thing to do, then Crossrhytms is brilliant. The music is modern and really good, and there is no rubbish perpetuated in the lyrics. They aren't all overtly Christian, although much of it is. And I love it. My only complaint is that I can only get it online. Oh, and I'm a bit annoyed that I've only just found out about it. I'm listening to it now actually. Oh, and Stellar Kart, who're one of my favourite Christian bands, have just released a new album. Shall have to try and find it somewhere. The one I've heard on the radio is amazing.

Fool's Errand

Wow. This book kept me up till half two in the morning. I literally could not put it down. It was incredible. The first book in the second trilogy about Fitz, now Tom Badgerlock. I cannot believe that... Well, I don't want to tell you, because it might spoil it. But it involves Nighteyes, Fitz's wit-bond partner. I absolutely loved it. It's fairly long I guess, but it's fantastic, really recommend it. Robin Hobb is definitely now one of my all time favourite authors. I don't want to write too much and spoil it for everyone, it's too good for me to dare tell you how it goes. But basically, Fitz is found again and taken to find the Prince who has run away.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Update on Mum

So, she's still in hospital.  They fried her intestines, so she can't eat.  However, she's making progress.  Today, she had a cup of tea.  Her first drink bar water for ages, and she's only been drinking teeny tiny bits of water.
So, that's where things are at.  Improving slowly.  Hopefully she'll be home again soon.

Chrome Beta

Ok, so I'm moving on from reveiwing just the 'normal' stuff like books and films and so on, to browsers. I'm not a computer geek, honest, I just don't really like the fact that Microsoft has taken over the entire computer world.
So, google's browser. Maybe I ought to be nice about it, because this is hosted by google. They may not appreciate me knocking their products. But I won't anyway. It's pretty decent. Very open, the stuff at the top etc is not too in your face. I like the favourites bar a lot, pretty nifty feature. Took less time to download and install than Firefox did. My complaints? Took me a few seconds to realise the star icon was to bookmark something, and it doesn't seem to be spellchecking the text of this post, although it did do the text I was talking to Rachel with. Which is weird. Having said that, Firefox's spellchecker started doing random and unpredictable things on here too. Maybe it's blogger rather than the browser. Don't know. Anyway, it's worth checking out. I want to do a little more experimenting before I decide 'this is the browser I want to use', but right now, it seems pretty decent.
Oh, I like the little thumbnail thing whenever you open a tab with suggestions of what pages you might like to use. Seems a pretty good browser. Better than internet explorer for sure.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Visitor (Lee Child)

Another Jack Reacher thriller. Reacher looks like he might be starting to settle down. He has a house left to him by an old army buddy, he has a steady girlfriend who he's known for years, and he has a car. Ties that he's not used to. And then the FBI pulls him in, and he's trapped into a maze of deceit and murder and bluff and double bluff. The ultimate conclusion? Well, he wanders off again, of course, and leaves a lot of bodies behind, but that's never really in any doubt. After all, there's more to the series after that. Anyway, it truly is full of twists and turns and I love the series. Want to find the whole lot of them. Which may take a while, as I can never seem to find them, no matter how much looking I do. Well, I suppose that's not true. I've found three, plus one I borrowed from the library and one I had on tape which I never finished listening too. Not because I wasn't enjoying the story, but because I really don't do listening to tapes. I can't sit still and listen to them, drives me scatty. I listened to about ten CDs, maybe 11, out of the 14 while I was tidying my room, but there's a limit to how much of that you can do. So I gave it up, and now I really want to know how it ends, so I need to find a 'proper' copy of it somewhere.

Killing Floor

This is the book which first introduces Jack Reacher, and it's a marvellous first book. I absolutely could not put it down and was reading till one this morning. *Smiles innocently*. Decent size, took me four hours, give or take a bit. But I read really fast.
Anyway, it's absolutely fantastic, twist piled upon twist. This series is definitely one of my favourites, although I think favourite ever book goes to Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb.
I can't really tell you much about the book without giving stuff away that it's better to find out while reading. Basically, Jack Reacher has left the army, six months back, and now he's wandering without any routes. He walks into a town pursueing a thread of an idea--a hunt for a long ago deceased guitar player his brother mentioned years back--and is instantly pulled in for a murder. But things get more complicated, and one murder turns into two. He's able to prove that it wasn't him--he was miles away when it happened--but circumstances mean he decides to stay and see the thing through to its final. I won't tell you what the circumstances are, they shocked me and I think they'll do the same for you. It's good.

From Russia with Love

Ok, I've been really bad about doing this, sorry. I actually read this book a couple of days ago, but hey. It's being reveiwed now, that's what counts, right?
It's a James Bond book, and I don't care what you think of the films, this book was really good. Just forget your preconceptions. It's an intrigueing plot line, plenty of action, and one interesting feature I think is worth noting: you don't actually meet James Bond until well into the story. It starts off with the evil bad guy, a psychopathic killer who works for SMERSH, a Russian spy-killing thing. An author's note at the front says that agency is for real. I wonder how he knew. I mean, it's not exactly going to be common knowledge, is it? Anyway, I really enjoyed it, and shall be looking out for more James Bond books. Including the Young Bond, possibly the last in the series, which comes out this month. Along with Brisingr, Oath Breaker, and a whole host of other books. Seems like this month is the month for releasing books. I would've thought just before summer would be better, to get them for summer reads. Still. I'm not a publisher, or an agent, or even a published author. Yet.

Something interesting I thought I'd share with you

So, on Sunday night last week, we forgot the sermon at church again. It happens with no particular regularity, sometimes a couple of nights in a row, sometimes not. Anyway, we all went down to the bottom and stood in a circle and we were annointed. We were praying for bonds to be broken. While we were praying, I saw my mum in the middle of the circle, lying there. She's still in hospital, and she was there with us in a way, in the middle.
All Sunday I'd been getting really nervous about my first day at Newman. My stomach was knotting up and so on, I was getting to the point where I was starting to feel sick with worry. I get like that sometimes. Anyway, this is the honest truth. Not once on Monday did I feel the tiniest bit worried. I was just filled with this incredible peace. Think what you like, but that's how it was. I was not scared about it, I was not worried about it, and because I went in there happy, expecting to enjoy myself, I did. I've had a great week. Just thought you might find that interesting, anyone who happens to read this. I won't force my opinion on you--as far as I'm concerned, that was God at work in me--but that's a truthful account of what happened.
Oh, and at the prayer meeting on Monday night, we were praying for all manner of stuff. A lot of it was for husbands/wifes/boyfriends/girlfriends for various people in the church, including me. So watch this space, there could be a spate of weddings in our church next year...

Monday, 1 September 2008

First Day at College!!!

I had a pretty good day. Didn't know anyone at first, but then I saw Conor and Becky, who are both in the year above but were in today as guide people. I met a bunch of people in my lessons, and I think I should settle in fairly well. It's going to be heaving as of Wednesday though. We only had half of my year in today, there's going to be four times that on Wednesday. Ahhh!!! I managed to lose my umbrella, and of course it rained coming home. Thankfully Aunty Lynne drove past when I was about five/ten minutes from home and gave me a lift the rest of the way.
My Literature teacher seems really good. Plus we have a crazy Scottish guy in charge of the chaplaincy. What is it about the Scottish and church work? I swear, three quarters of the pastors I know well/expect to know well (Buster, Clark, Mr D, chaplaincy pastor) are Scottish. Guess which are which...
Anyway, I can't wait to start properly in many ways, although I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to get swamped with homework. Five hours a week is what some subjects are claiming. Maths claims a little less though, only eighty minutes per week, and I work fast at maths so hopefully it'll be a bit less than that even.
We're reading the Great Gatsby for English, wonder what it'll be like... Perhaps I should post the essay I ultimately do on here.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

College Tomorrow!!!!

I start college tomorrow. Which is both scary and very exciting. I do, however, now know where I'm going. There was a load of stuff in a pack I got given at enrollment which I never looked through, oops. And now I have a form thing to fill in and need dad to sign something, but there you go. Better get on with it.

Assassin's Quest

This is a brilliant end to the Farseer trilogy. And what makes it even better is that I know there's a trilogy following on from this. I can't think of a single loose end I'd like tied off, only that I wish it had lasted longer. Again, this is a very long book, over 800 pages, so don't read it if you haven't time to finish it, else it will gnaw away at you and drive you insane. Anyway, it's a very, very good ending to the trilogy. It draws on that annoying circle thing that so many trilogies do, but it does it in a way which isn't OTT, like the third books in the trilogies by William Nicholson. Although it would probably make sense without the rest of the trilogy, you really should read them in order. Anyway, it's pretty amazing. So there you go. Read it.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

St John in the Vale

So I'm sure you're all dying to know what I did while I was away. No? Well, I'll tell you anyway. Buster and Norma took me down on hte Saturday, and once we arrived and got settled into our rooms (I was in a six room), we went up to the top of the hill and played a netball/basketball/wrestling type game, which was great crazy fun. Then we had tea, and did the first part of the Search, and stayed up until about three in the morning in the end. On the Sunday, we had breakfast (I was on making duty) and then did a bit more of the Search and then went into Grasmere for a treasure hunt using cameras. Great fun, even if people may have thought us a wee bit crazy. Next thing we did was a pamper session, BBQ, talent evening and bonfire. Some people slept out on the hill all night, but I didn't want to climb back up again in the dark. Then Monday we went on a hike after cooked breakfast, which took ages to clear up from, and then we went on the hike and I got soaked because I kind of forgot to take waterproof trousers with me and it was throwing it down... But the next thing was go back and have a shower and do not much until we did the Search again in the evening. Tuesday we did a bit more of the Search, cleaned up, and came home. It was my birthday too, so we had birthday cake at lunch time, and I had a great time.

Cherub: The General

I love the cherub books. As far as realism goes, I think they have to be the best teenage spy books ever. It's incredible, because it could be true, it could so easily be true, and yet you'd never know. There wasn't quite as much spying and action as there ha been in other books, but one of the things I really love about the series is the way you can see the characters, especially James, starting to mature and change. James is a very, very realistic character, and it's the same with all the rest of them. They aren't stereotyped teenagers, they aren't basic, cardboard things, they're real, and you can see them interacting in such a true to life way. But besides that, you've got the spying, a handful of gadgets, though nothing particularly ludicrous, and they're just fab. The Sleepwalker (the previous one) was absolutely gripping from the first page, and made my heart pound so fast, but you can't have that all the time. I can't remember whether I've ever reviewed a Cherub book on here or not, don't think I have. I would recommend reading them in order, because you can watch them grow up, but it doesn't really, really, really matter. The first one, the Recruit is worth reading first as it gives good background to the rest of it, and after that it doesn't matter too much. I suppose if you read everything I recomend (ie about ninety percent of what I read...) you'd never get anywhere, but I think this goes high on the good teenage books list. But if spying or action really isn't your thing, I wouldn't bother, because it's a teenage spy book. Better than Alex Rider, and if it's something you're not fussed about then I would read them, because there is a lot of 'teenagey' stuff in there (cheating on boyfriend/girlfriend, friendship issues, etc) along with the rest of it, but if you hate spy stuff, then I wouldn't read them.

One Shot

A book in the Jack Reacher series, don't know what number, but it doesn't seem to matter all that much what order you read them in. I absolutely love these books, by Lee Child. They're a little difficult to find, but it's worth the effort of hunting them down without a shadow of a doubt. Mystery, plot twists, action, a main character you have to love, and a style of writing that puts you right there. Lots of detailed description, but in a way that you hardly realise you're reading it. Quite long, it has to be said, so not for you if you've not much time to read/don't want to stay up late reading, but it's very, very, very good.
Anyway, a man Jack Reacher once tracked down during his army days appears to have gone off the rails again and calls for him. Reacher is convinced he's come off the rails again, and determines to bring him down, but gradually it becomes clear all is not as it seemed. Things are complicated by the fact that the 'murderer' was attacked while being held in prison and has amnesia, covering the day of the murders. I don't want to say any more and spoil it for you, but if you've the time, this is a fantastic read.

Spy Girl: Dead Man Walking (Carol Hedges)

Ok, so maybe the glitter on the cover and the obvious 'girliness' of the book would put you off. And maybe it isn't such a great book for boys to read. But if you brave the cover, inside you'll find a humourous, witty, engaging read, with a sprinkling of action, and more than a sprinkling of a fantastic teenage character.
Jaz Dawson wants nothing more than to be a super crime-fighting superstar, just like her mum. Two things get in her way though. The first: classes at the learning centre. The second: a mother and friend who insist that she's making something from nothing. Oh, and an addiction to cookies and lack of gadgets... But Jaz sticks with her instincts and is ultimately proved right. An amusing alternative to Alex Rider or Young Bond, but still with some good action scenes and mystery solving in, I'd recomend this book to anyone who's looking for something a bit different and a bit of light-hearted stress relief.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Royal Assassin

The second book in the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb. Kept me up until half two in the morning night before last, and I still hadn't finished it. Only finished it late in the afternoon. Hardly surprising, looking at it, it's 750 pages. It has firmly cemented Robin Hobb as one of my all time favourite authors, it's so amazing. You really have to read it. It carries on from the first (obviously...), and it's great to see how FitzChivalry is growing up and learning and taking command of himself. He's really growing up, and he's making mistakes. The book is riddled with court intrigue and all manner of incredible things, and I absolutely love it. Definitely one of the best books I've ever read. So, I just hope that the third book is as good, because to my mind, the third book of the trilogy is the one that really tests how good the writer is, because it's how they finish the thing off and wrap it up. I reckon trilogies are a different way of writing to series, even though they may seem similar. Because with a trilogy, the third book has to wrap the whole thing up in a satisfying way, leaving the reader with no pressing, annoying questions, and it has to be complete of itself, it can't just be long strings of explanation. With a series, it's easier. You have no set point for the book to finish, if you leave any unanswered questions, people just assume it's going to be revealed in the next book, and when you get asked about things, you can put them into the next book, you don't have the finality of a trilogy. That's just me though.

Mum...

She's in hospital still. They fried her intestines, because they moved into the space they were radiating, and so now she can't eat anything for about three weeks. She was a little better yesterday than she had been the day before, because she was all plugged in, so that she was getting predigested food and saline and anti-sickness drugs, but she's going to be in for at least a week, maybe more. I'm going away today, so I'm not going to see her again till Tuesday at the earliest. Will try to text her regularly though.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Wild Child (warning, slight spoilers)

This film is absolutely brilliant. I would completely recommend it to just about anyone, although it is a bit of a chick flick. It's about an American girl who lives in California, and she's a bit of a brat. Her mother died, and her stepmother is moving in, and she pulls one stunt too many. Her father decides to send her to boarding school. Unknown to her, it's the same one her mother went to. At first she finds it hard to settle in, and determines to get herself expelled so she can go home. But she finds herself warming to it rather more than she thought she would, and becomes captain of the lacrosse team, leading them to more success than the school has had for a long time. And then she falls in love with the headteachers son. At first, she sees him as the best way of getting expelled--it's forbidden for him to fraternise with the students--but she finds herself falling for him, and becoming surprisingly close to her dorm mates. And then the evil Head Girl dupes both her friends and Freddy into hating her, and she sits playing with her lighter, accidentally touching it to some cloth hangings. She quickly puts it out, and, hearing footsteps, flees. Later on, she discovers the fire raging and rescues one of the girls, as well as alerting everyone to the danger. She is put before an honour court, and remarks that at first she fought to get out, but now she really, really wants to stay. It all ends happily though, don't worry, and I won't reveal how she manages to stay...