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.


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

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...)


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.


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.


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