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.


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.


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.


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


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 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.


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.


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.


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


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