Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Unread Collection

It's known to many that a lot of people around the world love to read books as well as collect them; thus the traditional book isn't going out of fashion - it's just shifting a little.

To some having some bookcases stacked with books is a means of showing of status in the community, while for others having a collection of books - new and well-worn ones - means they just have a passion to read and collect; and have been a book nerd since they were young.

But then, there's people who have a collection of books which take over whole sections of their homes; like I do.  I have a room filled with books.  When I do finally move, I hope to expand the collection more and make my next place a more permanent home for my collection... have it part of my home instead being in just one room.

However, I haven't read all my books.

And I don't think I ever will.

And you know something?  I'm not too worried about not reading my entire collection as much as I used to be.

You see, I used to collect them to read them all over and over.  Now, I collect books because I want the books as a type of art form.  I do enjoy reading them; but I've become a much slower reader than I used to be - yep I used to zip through books only a few years ago.  I now wander through books as though they're a nice, open field and I'm just walking through the place at a nice slow pace.

There's no rush and hurry.  I'm not in school anymore.  I don't have any deadlines to reach to finish the books by; so I can totally enjoy the book for what it is instead for what I'm told it is.
I've bought entire series of books by authors and have only just begun getting into reading them; and it's wonderful to totally enjoy the reading of books while I have the time... I mean, why hurry through a book when I can take my time. 

Reading a book is like life... why hurry when you can take your time?  Life is meant to be enjoyed, just as reading is.  So, I collect books here and there, add them to my collection and may not read them for years.  Then, many years down the track, I'll sit down and read them...

... after the hype has died down...

... after everyone has forgotten about the book...

... when I'm completely ready for the surprises between the pages...

Yep, collecting a huge number of books and leaving them unread isn't just something of a waste - as many seem to think - it's a planned attack on a bigger reading list.  It's just a matter of time before I get to that list.... if I ever do.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What I Got My Nose Into!

In the past week, I've been working on quite a few things for my Crafty Pegs Hobby Business.  So, reading has taken a back seat for little while; but not totally.

After the funny parody I wrote about 'Jaws', I looked for the book in my collection that night and have been reading a few pages of it each night before bed... and it's more detailed than I thought it would be.
I'm only a few chapters in, and I'm thinking that the film has only covered a tiny fraction of what Peter Benchley had written about the Great White Sharks.  His prose isn't stunning, but it pulls me along in such a way that I have read ten pages without realising it.  The dialogue in this book isn't snappy or anything you'd be able to quote - unlike the movie - however, it makes me feel as though I'm watching the whole story unfold; as though I'm a fly on the wall and a bona fide guest into the mind of this author.  I feel honoured to be part of this story, and yet it's being shown to be bit by bit, instead of being thrown at me.  I love how this is set out.

All this from only about three chapters of the book; and I haven't really made a dent.  Yes, this book has impressed me so far.  It's a book from the 1970's.  Yes, it's was a debut book for its author where it was  greatly unrecognised for its ability to go further than it did (it was knocked off the #1 spot by 'Watership Down' so didn't get to be in hardcover).  And the movie didn't do it justice.  

I have found a great article about 'Jaws' and how the movie differs markedly from the book here so have a read of it and let me know what you think of it; as I found it very indepth and caused me pause to think about how I'm going to approach the book now.  So, what are you reading at the moment?  I'd love to see what you're all up to now, as the seasons change.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Books Into Movies

Yesterday, I jumped off the computer and found that it was early afternoon, I was tired and I didn't really want to do anything too involved around the place.  So, I dug out a collection of classic movies my brother gave me and made a huge bowl of popcorn and settled in to watch 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.  I've tried to read the book however never made it past chapter 9, finding it tough reading.  And I read it when I was a teenager and an adult and still had difficulty reading this book, so when I found I had the opportunity to watch the film, I realised that reading the book was all the more important... especially with a book such as this.

'To Kill A Mockingbird' is about racism in the South of America in the 1930's and how quick people are to accept that an African-American will commit the crime a white man committed just because the white man said so.  There was a lot of stuff the movie left out that I did notice from the book... like Bo Radley was white in the movie - I thought he was African-American in the book, and that's one of the reasons why he was kept inside the house; and how the storyline of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' would come a full circle seeing how the court case was built against an innocent man all because of his race; and yet society didn't like an ordinary man inside his own home because of his race.  The movie didn't really make any sense seeing Bo Radley was white... and they missed out on the house burning down (which was a turning point in the book; but was a major detail missed out in the movie). Instead, they concentrated on the mad dog and got Atticus Finch to shoot the dog (why this was so important, I'm not sure).  But this movie seemed to cover some things that what little of the book I read but not enough of it... silly really.

Then, later that night, I stumbled upon 'Jaws', 1975 suspense horror; and what a great film!  I caught the last half hour of the movie - the best part! - where the monster of the shark was starting to sink the 'Orca' fishing vessel with the shark hunter, the scientist and James Wood's character (I never remember who he plays) on board... and the shark is playing the best crazy nut job around.  The music is perfect.  And after the motor is blown in the boat and it's taking on water, they decide to do the only thing possible... send the scientist over the side in the tiniest metal box you've ever seen!  Of course this is going to go sideways! 

And it does in every possible way.

the shark hunter gets killed.  James Woods' character seriously shits himself while trying to get out of the smallest cabin on the face of the planet - all the while the boat is sinking and shark wants to eat him!  He shoulders a rifle and a spear (the only two instruments he sees near his feet when he starts to climb).  The music escalates and it becomes more and more like he's going to be eaten.  Then he does the best thing!  He picks up an oxygen tank as the shark comes through the huge hole he's made in the cabin and James feeds it to the shark!  But the shark can't swallow it (it's too big) and he starts chewing on it as he turns around to come back... yes, it still wants to kill this guy.
James Woods' character takes aim with the spear and loses out with that - of course - then, he shoots the shark about three times.  The fourth time gets the oxygen tank and the shark explodes!  There's shark guts everywhere!  Shark blood in the water, it starts to colour the water.  Seagulls inundate the area for scraps (as they do!) and the scientist (who we are all thinking is dead at this stage) decides to come to the surface... what a great show! 

But... I've never read the book; and yet I own it.  Yeah... I've only ever watched the movie.  I think it's time I sat down and read the book.  But don't you think that the book is better than the movie, or vise versa?  I've asked this before, however, we've never really come to a good logical conclusion.  Some movies do well with the transferring from book to film, while others don't.  Let me know your views on this subject.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Our World Loses Terry Pratchett

Sitting on the backs of four elephants, while they stand on the shell of a giant turtle, being propelled through space is Discworld.  This brilliant creation was from the fantastic mind of Terry Pratchett.  However, I'm sadden to say that I've only just found out he passed away just last night.  

Terry Pratchett fired our imaginations with this brilliantly created world when he published his series of books bringing us into a hilarious storyline filled with characters we could relate to, some we love and some we hated... some we just knew would keep coming back - like Death (one of my all-time favourites.. he had such a dry wit).

However, in 2007, the author was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer; posterior cortical atrophy, which was a progressive degenerative condition.  He continued to write his books and campaigned to make assisted dying legal, as well as giving numerous lectures about his conditions and interviews as well.

His publishers have said Terry Pratchett was one of the brightest and sharpest writing minds.  He'd published over 70 books, enriching this planet like very few before him. His world was filled with parody, wit and a colourful cast of characters inspired from the worlds of folk tales, fantasy and mythology.  His most favoured character - Death - always had his dialogue written in all capitals, and his last tweet was a conversation with this character from his books.

A famous example of Death's dialogue - and wit - would be:  'DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING' Death said, 'JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.'

Terry Pratchett's books were filled with Death's very quotable dialogues, which often made people see him in a funny light, making him a favourite character.  However, Terry's passing came through a series of tweets written in the form of his Discworld novels, where Death and Terry started to talk:

'AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.' said the first tweet on @terryondrob.
"Terry took his arm and followed through the doors and on to the black desert and under the endless night." said the second, while the third simply said, "The End."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dreams and the Written Word

As a writer I get my ideas from pretty much anywhere in my life - this includes my dreams.  So, I have about three or four Dream Journals I keep; along with two rather large Dream Dictionaries in my bedside table.

I have found that the best story ideas come from dreams which are either very weird, really scary or so off-the-planet and vivid, I wonder exactly what I've been eating the night before.  And often the best dreams are the ones that stay with me for days afterwards; and are the most detailed as well.

However, the weirdest ones are also the repetitive dreams.  I've had one lot of dreams where I kept on dreaming about a blue house.  It was the same house I dreamed of over about two months and I felt really strange about it after waking up and writing about it... honestly I felt as though my dream world was becoming a broken record of blue houses.  I stopped watching 'Dr Who' and I tried to keep from wearing too much blue as well... but the dreams kept on coming.  And I kept on writing them down.  Then, one day, the Blue House Dreams stopped - much to my relief - and I had other dreams which were just as strange, but had nothing to do with blue houses.  After about three months, I had a great story idea, but nothing to base it on.  So, out came my dream journals about the Blue House; and 'Another World Away' was created.  It took me ages to write about it and I had to find the house I was dreaming about on Google.. and you wanna know something?  That damned house actually existed!  Talk about creepy!  But I was relieved that the house I dreamed about was real, and not something my brain cooked up.

Since that collection of dreams, I've found a lot of my dreams have been turned into stories, poems and flash fictions.  It's fun to do and seeing the dreams are just something my brain cooks up from the day's proceedings, it's harmless fun.  So, what do you do with your dreams - if you remember them?  Do you do what I do with them?  Or do you just write a story just from your imagination ... like I do most of the time?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pearls of Wisdom

I love my children's books.  I have a good collection of them on the very top shelf of the tallest bookcase in my home office.

I know that sounds very much something which Roald Dahl would write in one of his books, but it happens to be true.

My folks saved all my childhood books, put them away for safe-keeping - in the hope I'd have children.  But when I didn't, and I asked about them, they pulled them out, wiped them off and I saw them in as though they had never aged... ever.

However, today, I found a great site on Facebook where people have picked out some quotes from children's books which most certainly ring true for adults as well.  These quotes are just the best ones to have grown up with; and ones I have read many times and never really thought about until now.  And below is the site to them.

World Book Day Children's Book Quotes

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Brushing With Fame

Today I went to the Logan Car Show.  Yep, I thought to go to see if my cousin's gorgeous Mustang was going to be in it. 

But I couldn't find it.

Instead, I came across the most delightfully creepy and beautiful car ever to be written about... yes... I came across a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

It was red.

It was gorgeous.

It was creepy.

And yes... I squealed: 'Oh my God! Christine!' to the people sitting by her; at which they laughed and said the owner probably didn't call her that, but yeah, I had the right car.  He wasn't there at the time I showed up first off to talk to about her.

But he was by the time I was leaving.  And we got talking about Stephen King books and how they were turned into movies; and how a lot of his books weren't very good movies.  Some of the people sitting there asked why, I told them that once a writer signs over their books to have them made into a movie, the whole screen-writing part of it and directing part of it is out of their hands.  Unless they're asked to come in and help with creative issues (which sometimes happens) the books and movies are totally different from each other due to the way they're portrayed.  

I did hear some news though:  they are thinking of remaking 'Christine'.  However, it's going to be different from the 1983 disaster of a movie that was made.  Not so many cars are going to be destroyed due to the technology that's around now.  They will be able to have only a couple of cars they'll use and better ways of making things happen.

The best part of today was that I got to sit in the Plymouth Fury!  What a car!  Autumn Red, original in every way, beautiful bench seats, automatic transmission and ... every bit the way I thought it would be.  However, the Christine in the movie had a few things that this Plymouth Fury didn't.  Which makes me wonder:  exactly which year did they use in the movie?  They said it was a 1958 Plymouth Fury, but they showed a 4-door car, with locks on the tops of the doors when in 1958, they only made 2-door cars and there were no locks on the tops of the doors... really strange.  But I guess that's what made the movie so different from the book, and what made the whole mystique of the car to the world and fans who want to get close to those particular cars.

So, have you ever 'met' a car (or anything else for that matter) which has made it into a book which has been playing on your mind as a character?  Was it worth it when you did finally meet that Darlek, Sith Lord, Vulcan or Luke Skywalker or even that particular piece of city you've seen in 'The Da Vinci Code'?  For me, meeting this car today was one of my biggest dreams come true.  As I said, it was creepy and beautiful at the same time... and the one thing I didn't call her - and would never call her - was a rustbucket... why would I?  A 1958 Plymouth Fury is just a thing of beauty, don't you think; especially a red one?  Until my next post, happy reading.

And here's a collage of the day!

Logan Car Show 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Busy Week of New Reading Material

I've had a busy week, and it's been filled with my craft group, reading and organising myself to get my butt into this year... yep, it's February already and this year isn't slowing down!

But on Monday, I thought to check my mail - seeing the rain had eased - and my PO Box was filled to the brim!  I also had to pull out a blue pick-up card!  Yay!  There was a parcel to get from inside the post office!  Anyway, once I did that, I found my curiosity got the better of me and I opened it right there in the place and found a brand new copy of 'Eucalyptus' by Murray Bail.  This came all the way from Scotland for the Australia Day Sweepstakes on Bookcrossing.  Well, I'd never heard of this author or the book, so this was a first for me.  And I'm looking forward to reading it too!
Then, while I was at my craft group, Nola (a lady who sits across from me at the tables) brought in some books she didn't want and showed them to us ladies before putting them up for grabs on the show and tell tables, where they're sold for $1.00 each.  I found a great copy of 'Hour's The Limit: Great Food In Less Than 60 Minutes' by 'Fast Ed' Halmagyi.  What a cookbook!  The pictures look great, the recipes look wonderful, and I've yet to try out anything in it, but it's all delicious sounding and I think I'll have to have a try of one of the pastas first... I'm not sure yet.

Also in the mail on Monday came my March issue of 'Good Reading' Magazine.  It's a bumper copy with all sorts of great articles about books, authors, and anything about the written word.  And you all know what I'm like about that!  Yep, obsessed!  Well, how was your week?  Filled with reading material like mine, or are you happily reading along like last week... please do keep us updated.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Writing Work This Wet Weekend

This weekend just gone has been one of the wettest around for some years; and I got a lot done!  

As I mentioned in the last post, I wanted to get some reading done - and I did.  I read a few chapters of 'Wizard and Glass' book 4 of 'The Dark Tower' Series by Stephen King.  That was on Friday night, but then on Thursday night, I read a few chapters of 'Dandelion Wine' by Ray Bradbury.  These books are total opposites, but both writers are absolute genius' as what they do in this world.

On Saturday, I cleaned out my lounge room.  It was great to be able to move around the house again, throw out a rubbish bag and fill up the Donation Box completely.  But then, it was also great to put things away too, check the water in the piano (yep, they need it to keep from warping) and I cleaned the coffee table and now, all I have to do is clear the dining table and the place look sweet!

But then, I stumbled upon two recipe books I'm working with.  They're lovely books.  One book is one Mum bought me where I write down recipes I've created or gotten from people and they are my favourites and the other is one I bought from my craft group and it's more professional-looking.  The second one is cut up into sections where you write your recipes down and there's little pockets where you can slot recipes cards that are loose and sitting around - a very nice book in all, something I'd definitely use!  So, I'm working with these two books, off and on.  Honestly, I really need to get them finished up and put away, they are getting in the way.
Then, I have a recipe book on my tablet.  This one is one where I've copied out my recipes from the first book onto an app I scored from the 'Play Store' for free.  It's great to have this on my tablet because I can take it anywhere and I have a recipe book at my fingertips without having to be hooked up on the internet - not a bad deal, right?  Well, I have to update that 'invisible' recipe book soon as well so I'm not without the needed recipe when I'm on holidays.  You never know when I'll need a recipe or two and if it's not on my table, it'll be at home.  Just what did we ever do without technology?

Well, I hope you survived the weekend, like I did.  I heard that overseas in the USA, there was a huge ice storm and everyone there was trapped at home as much as we were.  So, what did you get up to during that time? Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Weekend of Wet Horrible Weather

Okay, here in Queensland, we are famous for our tropical cyclones - and their names can be really weird too.  Some are really violent, whereas others are just filled with rain, rain and more rain.  However, when they hit up north, the rain depression they turn into as they travel down the coastline often travel towards Brisbane and the border of New South Wales and we get some good falls of rain.

This time, we got Cyclone Marcia.  Yep, we got a Brady Bunch sister heading towards Bundaberg and Gladstone, and landfall is early tomorrow morning.  Now, we've had this kind of thing before, where it's just poured rain for a few days with lots of wind; and it's really unsettling for everyone.  But it does keep us indoors a lot over a weekend - which this one is going to do.

So, this weekend is going to be a good few days of cleaning out, cleaning up and a lot of reading... mainly the latter because I know that sleep will not be on the agenda.  This kind of weather really freaks me out.  It's not the rain, it's the wind that does it to me.  So, I'll be reading a lot of Stephen King (the 'Dark Tower Series' will be getting a look into) and probably some Ray Bradbury (yep, I'll be reading some of his 'Dandelion Wine' late at night if I can't sleep while the wind howls outside my window).  Otherwise, during the day, I'll be working on cleaning out my house more permanently.  Honestly, there's nothing else to do while it's raining... well, there's painting, but I mainly do that at night.

Well, you know what I'll be up to this weekend during the horrible weather.  What are you doing when the weather turns bad?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Blank Page

Today, I opened up a new post here to see what I would write.  

There was nothing that came to mind immediately, and I worried about this a little. 

Sometimes this happens to me as a writer; and it's not a good thing to happen.  However, you have to remember, I worked on two books last year, and have been working on flash fictions throughout the year last year as well.  For this I'm really happy, so for now, I think a bit of imaginative silence is good... well, until the next great idea shows up!

I'm not reading very much either.  But I'm not worried about that either, I think it's just my mind taking a break from the written word for a while, until it wants to take it all in later on.

Do you do this?  Stop and slow down from reading or writing for a while, just to see the world around you for what it is?  If so, what do you get up to?  For me, it's delving into painting and gardening and cleaning out my house.  I know all of those are the complete opposite of writing, but it's probably best if they are.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reading For Dumbies

I've got a great collection of books... I mean, there's some intellectual stuff here in my home office.  Some of the books I have here, I had to wait until the right time to read them.  I mean, I received them years ago, but didn't understand them until around a year or so ago, when I had read other things to catch up with the one I wanted to read (does that make sense?).

Then, once in a while I go out and get myself a 'dumbie' book.  It was 'SeinLanguage' by Jerry Seinfeld.  Now, I have absolutely zero interest in this guy - I actually don't like him as a comedian - and yet I picked up his book yesterday at my craft group and brought it home to read.

Okay... it's more than once in a while; it's a few times a year.  These are books which are pinch easy to read by people I have nearly next to no interest in; and they didn't sell any of their books here in Australia - or I'd never heard of the title here.  But I come across the book and pick it up anyway because it's an easy read.

My question to you today is:  have you ever done this, just to read something?  If so, whose book was most memorable?  Was it because you found out something weird about them, or was it something you already knew about them that nobody else did?  Do you remember the title and is it in print anymore?  If not, do you still have it hiding in your bookcase anymore?  Well, okay, that's more than one question - I'm just being nosy today.  Well, until my next post, happy reading!