Saturday, November 29, 2003

Sometimes the internet really tries my patience. I was on the book discussion site and someone had started a debate on hard sci fi. I had written out this long post on it. Basically this person believed that hard sci fi was to blame for the decline in the readership of the genre. Personally I don't think that this is the case although sometimes it can go over my head. I said that there are many brilliant sci fi books out there which get absolutely no attention simply because they are sci fi. Too many people now see it as trash and won't even open a book of that type. I think that is part of the reason. There are a lot of good books out there which aren't easier so I don't think the growth in hard sci fi has anything to do with it. I also said that there is a person I work with who is a prime example of this closed mindedness. He is well read in fiction, poetry and the classics and won't even consider opening a sci fi book because he sees it as pure trash. I then clicked on post and the page not found came up. There is nothing worse.

Here is the review of His Dark Materials trilogy I promised;

This book is about a little girl who lives in Jordan College in Oxford. Her parents are unknown to her and since several old professors and a housekeeper are responsible for her she runs wild around the streets with her friends. She lives in a different would from ours where part of the human spirit manifests itself in the form of a daemon. Lyra's daemon, pan, is still able to change form since she has not yet reached maturity. Lyra hears of children who are being captured and then separated from their daemons. At first the children and herself make a game of this until her friend is captured and Lyra sets out to rescue him. On the way she makes many friends and also hopes to find some answers to some questions that have been bothering her. What is dust? Why is her role so crucial? What is her mother and fathers part in this?

This eventually leads Lyra to other worlds and Will. Will is from our world who is trying to find his father and protect his mother. He soon discovers that he has a destiny too and becomes the bearer of the subtle knife. will and Lyra team up to search for his father and then to help with a war that is affecting all worlds.

I have to admit that when I heard people say that if you like Harry Potter you will like these that I thought they would be very similar. It has magic, strange creatures, witches and the central character is a child but this is where the similarity ends. These books were more complex and more suited to young adult than young children. I am a Harry Potter fan but I would say that I enjoyed these more and can't help but hoping that the autor will continue to write tales about Lyra.

I am about halfway through reading 1984. I haven't been able to read much because I was out on Thursday and then I was doing Christmas shopping today but I am enjoying it. I can't believe how good it is and I can't believe that non of the teachers at my school never thought of having us study this. This is definitely one of those timeless books and one that sticks in your mind. I actually find myself holding my breath thinking that this characters getting away with his rebellion can't last. I know it doesn't ;last which is the whole point of the book. However, I keep anticipating the moment when he is captured. If you haven't read this I strongly recommend that you do. I've since read that all of his books are warnings against totalitarianism. I think I will have to eventually work my way through them.

The play was hilarious. I have never laughed so hard. In the style of Morecombe and Wise (my spelling is terrible I know) there is supposed to a different famous person every night. The night we went it was Richard Wilson. He was brilliant. He did the whole, I'm a serious actor, routine.

Today as I said I did some Christmas shopping. I got everything I set out to get. On Monday it is staff discount day and I will be getting a few more things. Then I just need to get bits and pieces which I will do next pay day. Since I also did some wrapping I haven't done any stitching or writing today.

Tonight I plan to do a little stitching while watching the muppet Christmas Carol.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Still enjoying 1984. It is very easy to tell the era this was written in. It has lots of references to communism and a few similarities to Hitlers time in power. I will try to go into detail when I do a review.

Mickey is going well. I have done the back stitching for most of the music notes and the frame. It's amazing the difference it makes. I might put off doing a Celtic Christmas update this week to try and get him finished. If I do I might finish it at the weekend.

Going to see The Play what I wrote tonight. Looking forward to that. Yesterday I bought the Muppet Christmas Movie on DVD. I didn't even know there was a new one out until I was browsing in the shop. It was very good. Lots of different Christmas movie references. I'm going to have to look out The Muppets Christmas Carol video and watch it at least half a dozen times before Christmas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Okay this is just a quick post.

Obviously the link in the last post did not appear. When I have more time I'll read through the instructions and see what I did wrong. My friend was very chuffed with the book mark. I have finished doing the main part of stitching on Mickey and I'm now doing the backstitch. I think that by the end of next week I will be finished.

I finished reading Get off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey. It's a book of short stories some of which are based on books she has already written. They were good and have bought another book of her short stories, The Girl Who Heard Dragons. I'm now going to start George Orwell's 1984. Since the Big Read on Saturday I couldn't put it off any longer. I also did my review on the book discussion site of His Dark Materials trilogy. When I have more time I will post it here too.

I did do some writing as promised. I'm working my way through chapter 2 of the Pegasus story. At the weekend I am going to type them both up and then make some changes to them. I want to give my characters more depth now that I have done an introductory story.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I finished the bookmark for my friend. I'm actually proud of the way it turned out. I took part of the border from a blackwork book and stitched two rows of it. I then did a gold border and frayed the edges. I hope she likes it. I have also sent week 2s update of Celtic Christmas and have started a WIP album on my photo page so that I can post them there too.

Hopefully that link will work, not very good when it comes to things like this. With that done yesterday I can spend today concentrating on my writing. I'm going to look out chapter one of the new Pegasus story and do some work on it. I had already started chapter two but I think chapter one could use some improving. I will maybe look out the Dr Who story too and do some work on that.

Finished The Amber Spyglass yesterday. It was very good although the ending was a little sad. I have been left wanting more and can't help but hope that there will be more stories with Lyra. I know he has written Lyra's Oxford but it is a small book of short stories (although it does have a cool pull out map and lots of diagrams). I am planning to do a book review of that today and will post it on the book discussion group. I bought the fifth Stephen King book in the Dark Tower series yesterday. I plan to start that as Decembers horror discussion. I have forgotten most of the others because it has been so long since I read them I will have to read snippets on them from the site. Hopefully that will jog my memory. Still not sure what to read until then.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Did more of Celtic Christmas today as it is a SAL day. I love the colours. Still can't tell what it is but that will take time. I can see it but then I can't stop looking at the picture of the original design. Plan to put all of my stitching on hold over the weekend for a special project. Friend in the work uses a bus ticket as a book mark. She liked the one I was using (stitched by my mum) so I thought I would stitch one for her. I'm going to try one of the black work designs from the book I bought a while ago.

Still reading Amber Spyglass and still enjoying it. I'm going to do a book review of the trilogy for the book club. Still not sure what to read next. Tempted to buy the 13 1/2 lives of Captain Blue Bear. Quite a few people have been raving about it in work and I have to admit that it does look good.

Have a few ideas running through my head over what I will be writing over the weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

No, I didn't do any writing at the weekend. I'm actually a little disappointed with myself over this. I basically slept the whole weekend. I didn't have time to do half the things I planned. I guess that's what doing overtime on top of full time hours does for you. Thankfully I am back to normal hours this week. I plan to do a little Christmas shopping on Saturday, come home and then do some writing.

My stitching is going well. Hopefully this week I will have the border for Mickey finished and I can make a start on the backstitch. I also posted my first update for Celtic Christmas. You can't actually tell what it is unless you know the design. It will take a while to get there. Thinking of saving the weekly pictures to my album as well as the SAL page.

Reading Amber Spyglass which is the last book in His Dark Materials trilogy. It is very good. Definitely not just for kids. If you want to read something a little bit different to Harry Potter and a lot more complex then read this.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Off at the weekend. I am very excited as I will get a chance to do some long awaited writing.

Went to see "Oh What a Night" at the Kings last night. If anyone wants some disco fun I recommend that they go. It was very good. Was even up dancing and singing and was sorry when it ended.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Just wanted to rectify my mistake from last entry. I meant Wuthering Heights not Withering. My own fault for believing the spell checker completely. Also now reading Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman. Very good and not just for kids.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Yes, I know it has been a while.

Actually I have a good reason for that. I now have a full time job. I'm working in a book store. I still can't believe that I'm working with books. It's sad I know but it is something I have always wanted to work with. It involves a lot of physical work since I spend most of the day shelving books which really tiered me out the first week or so. I'm now used to it and so I don't find myself falling asleep as soon as I get home. It has meant that I am very behind in a lot of things.

I have got back into my stitching again. I'm doing well with Mickey and should have him finished over the next few weeks. The photo chart I have put aside for now. I really can't face it and it is really beginning to annoy me. Hopefully I will go back to it in the new year. I did receive all the items I need to do Celtic Christmas. I made a start on it today and I'm restricting myself to just stitching it on Tuesdays and Thursdays as those are the two stitch along days. Once Mickey is finished I will lift the restriction. I know today is Sunday but I sorted out the threads for it yesterday and wanted to make a little start on it. It is my first time using linen and I have to say it is a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I haven't been able to take part in the book discussions at all over the last few weeks. My time spent on the net has been reduced drastically because of work. I can't get to use it as much after because those are the times my dad usually uses it. That doesn't mean I haven't been reading. I have read The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocolypse by Robert Rankin which was extremely funny. I couldn't put it down. I also finished last week Bleak House by Charles Dickens which was amazing. I loved almost every minute of it. I was a little disappointed by the person who was supposed to explode. I had heard about it on the Big Read and I thought The reader would get to see it but in fact we just get to read a description of the remains. I am now reading City by Clifford D. Simak which is part of the sci fi discussion. It is a book of short stories which all follow on from each other. It is good if not a little strange. I like the idea of talking dogs though.

I did watch the Big Read although I haven't been able to watch each personality pushing for their book. Last night I caught the end of hitchhikers guide and Gone With the Wind. I was annoyed with myself that I missed the part on To Kill a Mocking Bird. Actually think I would like to read Gone With the Wind after listening to it being discussed yesterday. Next week one of the books discussed is withering Heights which I loved so hopefully I will remember to watch that. All in all though I am very disappointed with the top 21. Actually I don't really think much of the top 100. I can't believe what some people chose as their favourite books. Mind you everyone has different tastes. I have 1984 there to read which I am looking foward to. I hope that does well. I don't think Harry Potter, Wind and the Willows, Winnie the Pooh or Lord of The Rings should win. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed LOTR I just think that there are more deserving books out there. I've probably alienated thousands of people with that (including my boyfriend,LOL) but never mind.

Writing, I haven't had any time for at all. I may be restricted to just weekends for that. It is now the only time I get any peace.

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