Friday, 14 January 2011

Show vs Tell Blogfest... before the Rose Emperor

I only heard about this blogfest when I saw Roland's entry go up early, so my own entry is a little haphazard.... but you see, one of the pictures just sort of matched a plot bunny that's been haunting me so here I go.

This Blogfest is about Showing vs Telling, and is brought to us by the wonderful Misty @ Writer's Block - oh wait! I mean blog...

So here goes.... uhm...not sure I'm getting this right but I'm sure you'll let me know.


I looked down at Thane, not quite believing the guilt I saw in his eyes. That bastard, he'd betrayed me. So much for the bond he'd sworn. I glanced down at him and had to struggle not to spit right in his oh so pretty face. The last thing we needed was th eRose Emperor laughing at us. 


Cold seeped into my knees from the icy white marble. I turned my face to her, my consort. It was as cold as the stone beneath me. The way she stood she was framed by the flowing blood-red robes of the Emperor's personal guard. Just behind her shoulder, the guard captain's smirk contrasted perfectly with the angry V between her eyes. There was no sound to echo against the walls of the vast throne room, no rustle of cloth, no spoken word. I wanted to break the silence, to take that frown from her face. One word would not do it, though, and all I could do was lift my hand towards her, hope no doubt in my eyes. 

There, that's it. Short, I know, but it's a last minute entry and I'm really struggling with the writing at the moment. I have lots of ideas in my head, whole scenes, but then I sit down and the words just won't come.

Wish me luck, maybe it'll go better tomorrow. And now tell me what you think of this and then off with you to read the other entries (HERE).


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Can't wait.... (movie edition)

So, I was on this website checking out what's playing at the movies next week, and look what I stumbled across....

(sorry there's a lot of movie clips embedded here...)

OMG!!!! This looks like EXACTLY my kind of movie!!!


Other movies I want to see...




oh and this

So, any movie you can't wait to see? I realize you might have seen some of these already, what with me being in Europe and many of you in the US of A. What are you looking forward to?


Friday, 7 January 2011

The Blank Page Phenomenon


Oh no! Writers, beware, it's a BLANK PAGE!!! 

*runs away screaming like Kevin Home Alone*


OK calm again. 

I'm one of those people who have a seriously schizophrenic love-hate relationship with blank pages (or new notebooks, or pages/word files). There's nothing quite like that smooth crispness of the new, virgin field to sow your inky seeds upon, to spread and populate and live lives of their own. 

And yet.... only too easy for those little bits of ink to get away from you. Blots appear, words get smeared and then - OMFG - the ink runs out. Everything goes blank. 

Where's that Muse when you need him? 

Oh, that's right. He's on holiday. 

So I'm here stuck with a blank page, a head full of ideas and a mish-mash of characters screaming at me or just sulking in the corners of my mind, with no clue where to start.  Sometimes I wish I could paint, or even draw a reasonably life-like stick figure, so I could get on paper exactly what my ideas look like. My father can do that. My sister, too. (paint, that is, not draw life-like stick figures though I'm sure they can do that, too)

Instead, I get to paint with words. 

Only sometimes the paint dries out, or the paper isn't quite what I'm looking for that day. Maybe I'd do better with yellow paper, or white, or lined, squared, plain, whatever colour/texture/type I happen to NOT have at hand. 

You know what that's called? Let me spell it for you. 


otherwise known as


I'm really good at that.

If I were a psychologist, I'd probably tell myself I have a deeply rooted fear of failure. So in order not to fail at something (or rather not do as well as I'd like), I don't do it. I sabotage myself by giving in to the BPP (Blank Page Phenomenon, do keep up).


This year, my resolution is to STOP WASTING TIME and FINISH WHAT I START. 

There, I've said it. You're all my witnesses. 

What about you? Do you suffer from BPP? What stops you from being the writer you know you are? Any coping mechanisms you've developed? 

Go on, do share! 

Monday, 3 January 2011

Reading The Classics in 2011

Having signed up for oh-so-many reading challenges this year, I've decided to add my very own to the list. For Christmas, my mom gave me some beautifully bound Penguin Classics, each with an individual cover design. Here's some of them (EDIT: I changed the picture to one of all of them from the Penguin website, because they're so pretty):

Penguin Clothbound Classics, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith

So I've decided to make something of it, and start a many classics can I read (or re-read) this year? 

Challenge Details: 
  • The challenge runs 1st Jan 2011 to Dec 31st 2011. 
  • Read either SIX (Student level),TWELVE (Scholar level) or TWENTY-FOUR (Professor level) classic novels.
  • Add them to your list as you read or make a list beforehand - it's up to you.
  • Join any time before Dec 31st 2011
  • Write a post on your blog about joining the challenge, then sign up on the linky list below with the link to that SPECIFIC post, or the link to the PAGE you use to keep track of your progress.
  • You don't have to do reviews, but if you do please remember to link them somehow to the page you signed up with so people can find them.
  • If you want to chat about this on twitter, use #readtheclassics2011

Grab my button (if it works - fingers crossed):

If you have trouble signing up, let me know. 

Here's a provisional list of what I want to read:

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Treasure Island by Robert Luis Stephenson
  4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol
  5. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carol
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  8. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  9. Emma by Jane Austen
  10. The Odyssey by Homer
  11. Lady Chatterly's Lover by DH Lawrence
  12. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
If you need inspiration for what books are "classic", just type "Penguin Classics" into amazon's search box. That'll give you a long list of classic books. 

Vampire Chronicles Reading Challenge and other reading stuff

(blogfest entry(s) below!)

I'm a big fan of the Book Chick City website. They do the greatest Reading Challenges (some of which I spectacularly failed last year). Case to point.... BCC is hosting an Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles Reading Challenge this year!!!

I've added it to my "Reading Challenges in 2011" page above if you want to check my progress. I have, in fact, read most of them before (in my teenage years) but from what I remember they are well worth the re-read.

Here's the Challenge Details: 

Challenge Details
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules - Read all TEN (10) books in the Vampire Chronicles series (books titles below).
  • The reading challenge can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
  • At the beginning of Jan 2011, I will add a link so you can add your reviews but this is not obligatory.
  • You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog just FILL IN THIS FORM and I will add you to the list - just join the discussion in the comments section to let us know when you've read a book and what you thought of it! :)
  • You can also follow each other's progress and chat about the VC books you read on twitter too - just use #VampireChronicles2011 :)
Books in Series Order:
  1. Interview with the Vampire
  2. The Vampire Lestat
  3. The Queen of the Damned
  4. The Tale of the Body Thief
  5. Memnoch the Devil
  6. The Vampire Armand
  7. Merrick
  8. Blood and Gold
  9. Blackwood Farm
  10. Blood Canticle

When I last did a post on the reading challenges I've signed up for in 2011, I asked for info on other challenges people had come across. Here's a couple I found on Stephanie M. Lorée's site that I've decided to add to my list: 

  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules: To read 12 Speculative Fiction novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum - you can read more if you wish!)
  • You don't have to choose your books ahead of time, you can add them as you go. If you do list them upfront, you can change them. Books for this challenge can be used to fulfil other challenges.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next week - but the sooner you start, the sooner your chances for prizes!
    • At the beginning of Jan 2011 (and the beginning of all subsequent months in 2011), you will find a link to add your reviews. I am going to be putting up a monthly prize which will be formed from duplicate books/ARCs that I receive as a reviewer. You must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw!
    @ The Story Siren

    2011 Debut Author Challenge participant information:

    • The objective of the DAC is to read at least twelve novels from Young Adult or Middle Grade Authors. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit! I encourage readers who can read more than twelve to do so!
    • Anyone can join. You don't have to be a blogger, and you don't have to live in the United States. 
    • You do not have to have an blog written in English to participate. 
    • You can join at anytime. Deadline to join is November 20, 2011. (not 2010 you still have PLENTY of time to sign up!) The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. 

    Qualifying books:

    • Books must be a Young Adult or Middle Grade novel.
    • DO NOTE: Just because a book has a teen character or is about a teen, does not mean that it is necessarily a Young Adult novel. 
    • This must be the authors debut with a release date in 2011
    • If an author has a previous novel published under adult fiction/nonfiction or children's fiction/nonfiction, they can still qualify for the challenge if they are releasing their YA or MG debut. 

    More challenge guidelines: 

    • Novels must be read between January 1, 2011- December 31, 2011. That means, those of you that have read arc forms of the titles early will not be able to count those toward your challenge totals. 
    • You can use debuts from other countries, but the novel cannot be previously released in your county. (I explain this a little bit more in the FAQ section, if you want to check that out!)
    So there, I'm done challenging.

    Oh wait! Fitting in with all of the above, I'm also joining the 100 Books in 2011 challenge (should be easy considering all the other ones). This one gets its own page, though... (see above in the tab bar).

    Challenge Details
    • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
    • Rules - Read 100 or more books in 2011
    • All books can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
    • Only print books and ebooks count (no audiobooks).
    • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
    • At the beginning of Jan 2011, I will add a link so you can add your reviews but this is not obligatory.
    • You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog just FILL IN THIS FORM and I will add you to the list - just join the discussion in the comments section to let us know when you've read a book and what you thought of it! :)
    • You can also follow each other's progress and chat about the VC books you read on twitter too - just use #100BooksInAYear :)

    Sunday, 2 January 2011

    No Kiss Blogfest

    Today's the day for the

    Here's what Frankie said to do: 

    1) Sometime between now and Jan 2, 2011 write a post about the No Kiss Blogfest to let everyone know you are participating and that they should too. Why? Because it's awesome!

    2) Sign up for No Kiss Blogfest by filling in the Mr. Linky below.  Because Mr. Linky is awesome.

    3)Tweet about No Kiss Blogfest, using the hash tag: #nokissblogfest because #hashtagsareawesome

    4) After you've recovered from New Years Eve, write a blog sharing your Almost Kiss, No Kiss Blogfest entry (either one from your WIP, one you just wrote, one from a book, movie or tv show)and post on January 2, 2011!!!

    Sorry my entry is a bit late (but it's still the 2nd!!), I drove home today from a friend's house and got stuck in the traffic jam FROM HELL. 2 1/2 hours for a 1-hour journey.

    Here's my entry. I'm not going to tell you about it - I want you to read it with an open mind and then tell me what impression you got. ; )


    Mary rubbed her hands over her tired face, wiping away the tears that escaped her eyes. They'd done it again, just as they had so many times before. They'd sent her away with some transparent excuse of an errand he'd ordered. 

    He would never have sent her away, and she could not believe He knew what his so-called disciples were up to. 

    Like children, she thought, they were jealous of the time he gave her, a mere woman. A widow, yes, and thus permitted into their company without great danger to her reputation, but a woman still. 

    Not worthy of the secret teachings. 

    "Mary," a voice called from somewhere behind her, deep and smooth. She smiled, lips parting in a broad grin almost in spite of herself. She stopped and turned, hands bunching in the fabric of her dress. He'd come to speak to her. 

    Just her. 

    "Mary, why are you not with the others?" he asked, laying a soft hand on her shoulder. "Come, we must go to them. They are waiting on us." 

    She could see it in his eyes. He knew what they did behind his back. How could he not? He would not be who - what - he was, and not know. 

    "I am here," Mary said, the very thought of tears gone from her mind. "I am always here for you, and always will be." 

    His hand tightened on her shoulder, his fingers moving, almost caressing her. "Don't let it touch you, what they think, what they say," he whispered, his face very close to hers. 

    She felt like she was drowning in his eyes, so full of love and knowlege and, she sometimes thought, pain. They were so close now his every breath caressed her face. Her gaze jumped down to his full lips and back to his eyes. She'd dreamed about him kissing her, and woken up with a pounding heart and a guilty mind. He was not hers to touch, though perhaps he'd welcome it, perhaps he needed it. 

    Now he was so close, so very close, the warmth of his body seeping across the scant space between them, warming her very heart. He smiled, then, and just barely shook his head. 

    "Come, Mary, we must return or they will search for us." 


    So there, almost a kiss...but not. Now tell me what you think and then off with you to read the other entries HERE.

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