Flash or Maybe More?

Sometimes ideas come at the strangest times, like this one.  I actually have no idea where it came from at all but there I was laying in the bath up to my neck in bubbles relaxing properly for the first time since the op when it pounced upon me and made me get out of my nice warm bath and write it down.

So the idea is a little along the lines of the Handmaidens Tale but more drastic where women are reduced to little more than slaves and commodities.  I am really not sure if I want to follow this idea despite the fact I filled half a dozen A4 sheets with notes in the space of 5 minutes.

The opening lines came to me and it is those I shall share here and whether anything grows from it we shall see in the future.

I am a child of the millenium, born in the opening hours of this century,

I believed in the system until the system was corrupted with the madness and insanity that comes with fear.

As my fortieth birthday approached I worried about the normal things, getting older, getting a few grey hairs and the lines appearing on my brow.  How foolish I was!  If I had written the future in one of my novels it would have been dismissed as nonsense and too far fetched but as is so often fact is far more strange than fiction.  This is my story and the story of millions, it is the story of all and yet of none.

It is the story of how civilisation destroyed itself.

As I say am really not sure what I will do with this if anything.

Vlog #2

I am sure once I get the hang of this the quality will improve but for now I am really not spending too much time thinking about editing if I do I am sure I would just hit delete. So here is my second attempt I am hoping the sound quality is a little better this way if it is then next time I can start thinking more about editing I promise. Not sure whether it is youtube or my computer but how can it take 35 minutes to upload a three minute video?

So Back to Getting Creative

Well yesterday I sat done and knocked out 900 words towards the ghost stories.  I am woefully behind schedule and it is going to be a very close call whether I am ready for the proposed release date I had in mind.  If you remember the idea behind this collection was to be able to order some myself as christmas presents but the op and recovery has made this harder than anticipated.  but I shall crack on nevertheless I still have a couple of weeks and as all the stories are outlined or in first draft form you never know I may still make it.  For now I shall share a teaser with you and post the opening few lines from one of the stories…

The girl dropped to her knees. She reached out to brush her hand against the lush, green grass, then recoiled in anguish. Her hand passed through the blades, a slight tingling sensation all she could feel in her fingertips. She turned her gaze back to the house, the whitewash looked faded,paint flaked slightly round the windows. The lawns and hedges though still tidy, did not quite live up to the exact standards she remembered. It was as though several storms had passed without the careful repairs taking place in between to put everything back as it should be. Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of the orchard off to the left of the house, apples which should have been picked and stored weeks ago, lay strewn across the grass beneath the trees wasted and decaying. Memories came flooding back to her, she recalled happy times here, not always, that she knew but at this moment it was the laughter that came to her she could almost hear it now as she sat looking at the imposing white building before her. She could almost smell the food the cook had prepared in the kitchen, grand sumptuous meals, not for their consumption. They would wait secretly hoping for left overs to be returned from the dining room even though they knew should this happen cook would be in a foul mood and they would suffer. It had been a hard life but she knew compared to some she had been lucky.

Their mistress was not kind but neither was she particularly harsh rather she treat her servants and slaves the same way one would treat unruly children, the master left those who worked in the house to his wifes control something she was grateful for if the stories she heard whispered in the slave quarters were true. She doubted the master or even the mistress knew anything more of her existence than they knew of the chickens in the yard, she had be taught to be invisible that those who provided her daily bread should never have to look upon her face and that if they ever had reason to she would be lucky if she lived to regret it. She shuddered as she thought of the warnings the cook had given her and the other young girls who worked in the kitchen and yard, she had always done her best to obey, to be a good girl.

So what do you think?

 

The Return of Udolpho

Well not quite, I intend to begin Udolpho posts again next week and hope that MsKatykins will be joining back in very soon, as it has been a while anyone wishing to refresh their minds as to our progress can find all the posts here.

I have started the new week with high hopes of finally being back in the swing although I have made a discovery which I hope will help me in the future.  What have you discovered you may ask? Well simple when it comes to editing windows 8 sucks!  I spent an hour trying to split screens between a fresh document to type up an edited version of my WOCA story and the version marked up for editing and it just didn’t work.  I realise that I need to print it off and actually scribble on the paper to get my head round it.  Now this may seem like such a simple thing but previously I have always managed editing directly onto the computer.  I am not sure if this change is to do with my standards getting higher or my medication levels getting lower either way I need to get some ink for the printer.

I also have some other reading to look forward to, I have nearly finished reading Chocolate for Breakfast by Martha Reynolds and have just received my beta copy of Thomas Rydder’s The Clearing then throw into the mix The Life of Pi which I would love to read before the film comes out here next month I shall have a busy month or so ahead but luckily I am still off work and reading doesn’t involve too much strenuous movement.

For those of you who loved my accent I have a treat for you, not only will I be doing my second video blog later this week but one of my favourite reality type tv shows here in the UK Come Dine With Me is actually showing a week of episodes from my home town so I shall share the link today then again at the end of the week when all the episodes are up.  You have to laugh at the people they pick for these shows to represent an area as they pick the strangest people and throw in one or two normal ones.

I have quite a busy week planned this week including the annual scrub down of the skirting boards in the living room (you know the one where you shift the furniture to try to work out how you fit the christmas tree in last year – don’t worry I am not doing the actual moving part).  I hope to really get stuck in on various things over the next couple of weeks so watch this space.

 

DVD Review – Dogville (2004)

I first saw this film just after my back problems started.  I woke in pain in the middle of the night and turned the tv on while I waited for my pain meds to kick in.   I caught just the last few minutes but it was enough to make me want to see more.

Now i have to say it is a very strange film to say the least.  Directed by Lars Von Trier and starring Nicole Kiidman and Lauren Bacall you may be forgiven for expecting a big budget hollywood blockbuster, however you would be wrong.  The whole thing is filmed on literally an empty lot with minimal set.  In many ways it looks a little like rehearsals for a play but the advantage of stripping away all the special effects and scenery is that you can really concentrate on the performances.  The first clip I have for you is from the trailer which gives you a taste of the story without giving too much away

I picked this next clip as it is one of my favourite parts of the film for numerous reasons which I am not going to tell you, I would but it would spoil things so you are just going to have to watch it for yourselves (the full length film is actually on youtube).

And finally I have picked a clip from an interview with the director and lead, you will notice I haven’t really actually said much about the film but I really do think this is one you should watch without someone else telling you too much in advance.

I love this film and give it 5 out of 5, it is not always easy viewing and if you spend some time actually thinking about the messages contained within it regarding humanity, greed and the desire corrupt for selfish purposes then it can be quite depressing but it is as wonderful as it is brutal.   The performances are exceptional especially given the way it is filmed and I really hope that one day the trilogy is made.

DVD Review – Tony Robinson’s Crime and Punishment (Box set 2007)

Originally aired on Channel 4 here in the UK as a series Tony Robinson once more wears his history hat rather than that of the comedian and leads the viewer on a journey through the origins of British Law.

The series moves swiftly through the ages and deals only with major incidents which shaped British History.  The fact that Tony Robinson is not an actual historian works in this case, his enthusiasm for history shines through and as those who have watched his Time Team programmes will know it is a passion which illuminates him on the screen.  He uses visual re-enactments of certain elements to demonstrate some of the issues raised as well as visiting many places of historical events.

If you are a real history buff this may not be detailed enough for you but if you have a teenager you want to get interested in history this may be the way to do it.   Robinson uses his natural gift for humour to provide vivid descriptions of torture methods of times past without the need for graphic illustrations.   He is witty and what information given is done so in such a way that it does not feel like studying.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 as I personally think a longer series with a little more detail could easily have been justified.

Weekly Round Up #2

I am going to be totally honest my attempts at my goals were half-hearted and rather lacklustre.  I did a little on each but not enough to be able to claim completion so I shall carry them forward for the next week and hopefully I will now be back on track.

I have had a very strange week first physio took it out of me then I split part of my wound again – not much just the top bit but enough to hurt like hell.  I have spent most of the week feeling rather sorry for myself and being slightly self-pitying.  Now I have reached the point where I am annoyed at myself and have given myself a damn good talking to.  I really have nothing to feel sorry for myself about – the pain I have now is far less than before the op, my physical limitations once I recover will be limited to a few yoga poses I shall never bend into again but on the whole it will hold me back from doing nothing of any real significance.

You might wonder what the catalyst for this reflection on my pity-party was, well I saw my cat get hit by a car last night.  I had gone to the shop and she had followed me as she frequently does, however normally she does not cross the main road she sits on a wall and waits for me to cross back over.  Last night she crossed while I was in the shop and as I came out she ran past me heading for the road.  Time slowed down, I actually managed to stick a foot out and slow her as she dashed past, if I hadn’t she would have been under the wheel.  As it was the wheel clipped her and she flew into the air.  She must have used 8 of her 9 lives because she has come through the accident totally unscathed as far as I can see although she is still under strict observation and being kept quiet.

Life is just too short to hold ourselves back with negative thoughts and worrying about what might happen, better to knuckle down and work through the pain than let it consume you, and with that said I am going to write tomorrows post a very interesting DVD review…

Happy Turkey Day

I just want to take a few minutes to wish all my friends in the States a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Even in the darkest of moments we have so much to be thankful for.  We have so many things we take for granted that others still fight for such as education, access to health care.  Our systems may be far from perfect but compared to many we have little room for complaint.

And although we here in the UK do not celebrate thanksgiving I still give thanks fir all the wonderful people I have met through wordpress.

 

Now I also have a strange request for help from a fb friend does anyone know the answer to her question?

As a young lady, I recall a series of books for youthful readers containing classical short stories, such as The Gift of the Magi, The Monkey’s Paw, etc. I recall them being in different colors such as orange, green, yellow and blue.
The story I am trying to find is about an elderly couple on board a train bound for their hometown. I believe they are going to attend a relatives funeral, possibly her cousins.
The couple discusses how they met at a dance to which the husband had escorted the wife’s aforementioned cousin. They ponder what would have happened if the husband had remained with and married the cousin instead.
In their compartment is a box that actually shows them the tragic answer they were pondering, and if I recall correctly, end up with them together but after a great deal of heartache and trauma.

This story has haunted me for years so I beg, on behalf of my dwindling sanity, for someone to help me find this story or even better, the series of books.

I am sure one of you must know being in the UK even the description of the books does not ring bells for me so it maybe a series published only in the US

Just a Quickie

I am feeling a little under the weather after yesterdays physio but I just wanted to share this with you all brave little Charlie was best man yesterday at his parents wedding.  A newspaper did pick up the story which you can read and see pics here tissues at the ready though!

All New Weekly Round Up #01

Okay it has been a while but I finally feel up to starting to set some goals again and feel the need to refocus my work after the distractions of surgery.  each week there will once again be 5 aims or targets to get creative juices flowing for the up coming week plus a review of the previous weeks targets and how the were met if indeed they were.

1.  Each week goal number one will be my proposed word count which I want to try to increase each week in preparation for my personal NaNo style writmo in January.  As I mentioned in a previous post I found some great spreadsheets to keep track of my word count and I will be using these to keep track of my progress.  I am starting the word count target at a thousand words a day but that will include blog posts so on average it will be around 400-500 on the blog then the rest on my WIP.

I know this one is not very clear to read but it is just to give you an idea and I will do a close up showing each weeks progress,

2.  I will begin reading Udolpho again, it has sat waiting patiently while I recovered but if I do not get back into it now I will still be looking at it next christmas.

3.  Editing Counting Down for the WOCA Anthology the first notes came back just before my surgery and I have to say they were all totally fair points I read through and can see all the changes required, now just to sit down and get it done.

4.  Reading blogs! you know how terrible I have been lately due to various problems then my surgery there are currently 3,445 posts sat waiting to be read in my email inbox.  Obviously no way am I going to get them all caught up at once so what I propose is to try to keep up with your new posts then randomly knock off 50 per week from the total waiting.  This means reading between 5 – 10 extra emails a day which in theory shouldn’t be too hard lol but you will also understand why I havent been commenting as much lately as I am trying to get through as many as possible when I got out f hospital my inbox had nearly 6.000 posts in it the hundred blogs I follow currently are producing nearly a 500 posts a day and I am sadly having to reconsider how I cope with these as much as I don’t want to drop any I am beginning to fear I may have to.

5.  This is a personal one which is to get through another week cig free!  It is strange the first week which should have been hardest was relatively easy but I am finding it really hard now.  I know I do not need one but I really want one I know the actually physical craving has passed and this is mental but it doesn’t help.