Sunday, 13 October 2013

Something on Sunday

Sunday! Oh no, the week is about to start all over again... *sigh*

Hello my dearies!

It's Tessa again, and I'm not looking forward to Monday. I missed a lot of last week due to an annoying stomach bug, so the pile of work on my desk is H-U-G-E.


I has an idea! Since yesterday! I am going to host a blogfest that is based on casting shows... but since it's NaNoWriMo in November I'm going to let the idea sit and do it in December ; )... 

However, I did want to share something about writing today. I haven't been doing very much of it lately for a whole slew of reasons. I plan on changing that, but then I always seem to plan on changing that. At least I've more or less kept up with my blogathon (I'm not counting my missed fever days last week). That's something, right? 

ANNNND.... I'm going to sign up for NaNo again. Yep, I am. It's kind of like an addiction... 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday Night

Hello my dearies!

It's saturday night and I'm home alone, watching the most inane casting show ever. Is there such a thing as "Supertalent" in US television? I'm going to guess the answer to that one is either YES or SOON. These kind of things tend to be epidemic. Have you ever watched on of those? 

Does the world need a pair of dogs playing For Elise on a doggy-adapted piano? So the kid rapping and dancing is cute but really? And the guy who really can't sing, we all know he's there for comic relief, right? 

But it did get me thinking. What if there were a casting show for writers (ok so I'm assuming there isn't there?). What would it look like? How would it work? And then I realized that really, what are we doing here? 

Blogging, I mean. Isn't this kind of like a social-networky talent show? How many followers do you have, and do you really care? Is it just about the pleasure of writing for you or is it all about having a tangible (well, sort of) measure of your writerly popularity? 

And then there's the blogfests... which gives me an idea... *puts on thinking hat* 

I'll leave you with the suspense on that one and let you know when I've figured it out! 


ps. word of the day today is "snollygoster"... *snigger*

Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday Fiction - or, in this case, a movie

I've just been to see Gravity, the new Sandra Bullock and George Clooney movie. Have you seen it? It's about this team of astronauts doing repairs to the Hubble telescope and then there's a whole lot of space junk..... *shudder*

It's a very scary subject. Lost in space, alone in the wide, empty universe - empty of air, of sound, of people, of help... very, very scary. But I digress. 

What I wanted to say was that this is a movie worth watching if you want to see some beautiful pictures of earth from space. I'd love to know whether those are actual ones or if they're totally computer-made or somewhere in between. Other than that the movie has some pretty hairy situations, and some really overly hollywood-soppy moments (including violins in the background...). The no-gravity scenes are pretty cool, as is the realism of the inside of those space stations. But then Hollywood has always been good at that sort of thing. 

I do think they overdid the violin moments, though. The flying around in space without a safety line bit was hair-raisingly scary, yes. A bit of relief from all the tension is necessary, and with only one character involved in a scene any sort of dialogue is going to be internal, but still... 

Have you seen this movie? What do you think? 


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Angels and Angles

Hello my dearies!

No, I'm not going to do a post on typos today... although that's an interesting one, isn't it, angles and angels? What I wanted to ask you guys was whether or not you've noticed the current trend towards angel-based stories. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that most of you have, in fact, seen this development.

What I find REALLY interesting is the way it started (as far as I could see) in the YA section of the market. I mean, there were LOADS of vampire novels out there (starting with Anne Rice) before Twilight came along. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think most of the more popular angel-involved novels have been YA ones. And now we have more and more novels on the 'adult fantasy' side of things that involve angels, too. I'm thinking Tad Williams' Bobby Dollar Novels, here, or Lou Morgan's Blood and Feathers, and also the Fallen series by Thomas E. Sniegoski.

So I'm curious to hear what you guys thing - why angels? And am I right or did I miss something about where it started?


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Gods of the North (A Blogfest)

Welcome to the Norse Gods Blogfest hosted by Siv Maria Otem  in celebration of her book and her birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!):

The obvious choice for my favourite northern god would probably be Thor...especially considering the rather tasty version currently running around Hollywood... *ahem*....

But I have to say my favourite is Loki, the trickster, has been since I first watched that old kid's movie Valhalla. I'm not sure it ever came out in English, though, so I don't know if you know it or not. 

The trailer doesn't really tell you much, but here it is anyhow...

Anyway, I couldn't help but think Loki got the short end of the stick, somehow... *grins*...ok maybe not the short end of the stick but he is rather amusing... 


Good Intentions and Daytime TV

Hello my dearies,

So... you may have noticed that I've missed a couple of days in my October Blogathon. Well. Turns out that at that wedding I went to last weekend, the one with the photos? I caught some sort of stomach bug that's had me in bed till now, with nary the energy to read a book, never mind write anything.

I had to resort to daytime TV, can you imagine the horror??

OK so it wasn't all that bad... I haven't actually seen any Murder She Wrote or Diagnosis: Murder episodes in ages, and it was rather fun watching reruns of my childhood/early teen favourites. Did you ever watch one of those series? Apart from the eighties-ish style horrors that crop up they were rather good - classic whodunit with lots of humour thrown in for good measure. I must admit that I don't usually read that sort of thing, but watching them was certainly entertaining.

Do you like watching classic whodunits? Or reading them? What's your favourite entertainment when you're ill and can't really do anything that involves thinking?


Saturday, 5 October 2013


So... I know I said I'd be posting about writing, but I'm busy attending a cousin's wedding today so I thought I'd leave you with a picture of my very Austrian hair-do.... *snigger* (and yes, I'm wearing a dirndl in that one). And here's one for tonight....


Friday, 4 October 2013

Fiction Friday - The Selection by Kiera Cass

Hello my dearies and welcome to today's episode of Fiction Friday!

You may have noticed that I am currently lacking a logo for my Fiction Friday. Sorry, I'm working on that....


I haven't read much YA in the last few months (because frankly, it all started sounding the same) so I was rather surprised with myself for picking this particular book off the shelves. I like the cover (I happen to be very fond of blueish green or greenish blue or however you want to call that), so maybe that explains it. 

This particular YA "distopian fairytale", as Kiersten White calls it on the back cover, is the first in a series by Kiera Cass. I do believe it's her first novel of this type (she wrote one called The Siren earlier, but I haven't read it). It is set in a world after a 4th World War, in a country where the number of your caste determines everything - your job, your prospects, the likelihood of you going to bed hungry or not.

America Singer, aptly named for a country that fought hard for its independence, is quite happy being a 5 - an artist by caste. She's in love with Aspen, a 6, one caste lower than hers, but she doesn't care about that. Love conquers all...or does it? When she's selected to be one of 35 girls to compete for the hand of Prince Maxon in a Bacheloresque TV-show setting, she finds out that feelings are not that simple.

And then, as if falling in like with the Prince in spite of herself, living through rebel attacks and trying to get along with the competition (35 girls wanting one thing? Bitchiness is pretty much pre-programmed there...), she has to decide what to do with her feelings for Aspen... does she love him still?

The whole book was a nicely flowing read, and kept me amused well into the night (yes, I had to finish it before I went to bed...always a good sign for a book). I rather like the way more and more of these fairy-tale inspired stories are turning up. Fairy tales have been around so long for a reason - they're classic plots that fit a whole load of situations and cultures. This book is clearly starting with a Cinderella premise, but I'm very curious to see if it'll start leaning towards a Lancelot-Arthur-Guinevere triangle situation...

I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. Ok, so I still prefer the epic scale and intrigue of, say Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archives 1), but this book is GOOD. Definitely one of the best YA novels (especially of the dystopian kind) I've read in the last couple of years, and that's saying something. There's been a lot of really good YA literature going around the last decade or so.

Therefore, without further ado, I do say this book deserves

Four out of Five Stars! 


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Thrilling Thursdays of Talking to Tessa's Characters...

Hello my dearies!

It's Thursday today and I've decided to unearth a type of post I used last autumn but then sort of forgot about. In honour of my October Blogathon, Thrilling Thursdays are back! Well, they thrill me, at least -   I hope you like them, too.

Let me explain the concept - one of my favourite methods of characterisation and plot-development is through character interviews. I pretend I'm sitting down right there with one of my characters, and we strike up a conversation. Sometimes it worked out stranger than others (here's a short one and here's another), but no matter what, I've always had fun doing character interviews.

Tessa Conte sits in a comfy armchair before a happily dancing hearth-fire in a room full of books and leather. She has a yellow legal pad on her lap, and is busily chewing the end of her pencil. 

There's a knock at the door.

TC: Come in, please.

A man enters the room, dressed in a desertman's garb, all loosely flowing robes and leather belts holding it all together. He's armed with at least two blades -  a sword on his back and a knife in his belt - that Tessa can see, but there's bound to be more. He comes to a stop before Tessa's chair. 

TC (waits a bit, tapping her pencil against the legal pad): Well? Are you going to sit down? (He sits and pulls off the black turban and veil) Thank you. So, what are we talking about today? How about we start with you introducing yourself to the audience?

R: I'm Rashid.

TC: That's it? Just Rashid?

R (he's studying the room, the fire, the books, anything but looking straight at Tessa): Yes. I'm the Peacemaker's guard.

TC (frowns): Care to elaborate on that? And why aren't you looking at me?

R (deliberately turns his head to look straight at a spot behind Tessa's right shoulder): I'm just a guard, I shouldn't be looking at you.

TC (watches him for a bit): Are you looking for threats, Rashid? (he just nods) So you'd protect me, too, then?

R (apparently startled, he meets Tessa's gaze and she sees that his eyes are a strangely mezmerizing honey shade): Yes, my lady. Of course I would! That's my purpose, is it not?

TC: To protect?

R (frowns, then nods as if he needs to reassure himself of this): Yes. I protect, that's what I'm here for. There's nothing else for me, is there?

TC: You don't sound very certain of that.

R (looks into the fire; his hand is resting on the hilt of his dagger, clenching and unclenching): I don't know what to think. I have no memory older than the day I was given into the Peacemaker's service, you know that, don't you? How am I to know what or who I was before then? It should not matter. I know I can't be that anymore, that I'm not allowed to, but...

TC (leans forward): But?

R: But there's something there, shadows, echoes of something...

TC (sits back in her chair): We'll figure it out, don't worry.  


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Insecure in October

Hello my dearies and welcome to this month's IWSG post! (you can find the other participants on a linky list if you click on the tab up above)

brought to you by Ninja Captain and Author Extraordinaire

Not only is it the first Wednesday of the month, it's also the second day of my self-imposed October Blogathon. This month, I am trying to post every single day, and not only that - I'm going to post about my writing, or bits of my writing, or something specifically relevant to writing. No complaints, no whining, nothing blue, if you know what I mean.

The reason? I have come to the realisation that I do two things waaaay too often: I don't blog at all or I blog only to complain about how little time I have for writing. So for once, I am not going to talk about that. Instead, I give you a small sample of what I'm writing right now - tell me, what do you think of it? I haven't checked it for tenses or grammar or the like, I'm just going for the feel of it right now.

The market was teeming with people, and every one of them wanted to shake the peacemaker’s hand. It made Rashid’s skin crawl, but it wasn’t his choice, and it certainly was not an argument he could win. Master Aleh said it was part of a Peacemaker’s job description to be known to people, and that was that. So they walked through the crowded Moonday morning market, not jostled, exactly, but certainly surrounded by what the master called his Potentials. Potentially his customers, potentially affected by what he did, by the judgements he handed down. 
Potential threats, is how Rashid thought of them. It took all he could all his willpower to keep his hand from clenching on the grip of his sword. It was his job to keep the master safe, and in this kind of environment, that was close to impossible. Even more so since the master insisted on handing everything he bought to his bodyguard, as if Rashid didn’t need his hands to protect him. Halfway through the market, he was already loaded down with no less than five neatly wrapped parcels. If someone truly meant the peacemaker harm, it would be impossible to even put himself before the blade and protect his master that way. All he could do now was glower at the people pressing against the peacemaker, vying for his attention, and hope he looked scary enough to give any evildoer pause.   
It took them what felt like several hours to cross the market, and by the time they got to the master’s home with the things they’d set out to buy, Rashid was covered in cold sweat and he could have sworn he wore through his teeth, he’d been grinding them so hard. Jol, the master’s housekeeper, met them at the gate to relieve Rashid of the parcels he was carrying. Jol could have done the shopping for them, of course, but the master liked to think of their weekly trip into Rashid’s own personal hell as a recruiting trip, advertisment of his services. Unfortunately, it worked. 
“Master, there is a man here waiting to speak to you,” Jol said while trying to close the door and keep hold of the parcels at the same time. 


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Back in the Game

Hello my dearies!

It's the first of October already - we're officially in the fourth quarter of the year. Time flies, more so lately if you ask me. That's what happens when you have a lot of stuff on your plate... in the end, you don't have time for anything. At least that's how it feels to me. 

I've also realised that most of my posts lately have been about the same old, same old - I haven't been writing much. 

I want to remedy that, and to achieve such a goal, I'm starting a project: 

*drumroll, please* 


October Blogathon!!

In preparation for November (NaNoWriMo!!!) I shall be attempting to post every day this October. Small posts, mostly (well come on, I have a day job), but one post every day is the aim of the game. There's one more rule, too: no whining. I can only post about writing, post writing, or something to do with writing. 

What do you think, will I make it? Want to join me? 


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