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Showing posts from July, 2014

Whole Lotta Books! Dahl, Tolkien, Rogan, Nolan, and Martignetti, plus My ROW80 Check In

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ook chat!

It's the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings!




Penguin's hosting a contest that involves a year's supply of chocolate, a trip to New York City, and tickets to see Matilda the Musical. Matilda was always my favourite Dahl story. Enter the contest or take part in the other celebrations on the official Roald Dahl site.

There's a 60th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings that's just been released -- I want it mostly for the updated reader's companion. One way you can celebrate this anniversary is by quoting some of your favourite lines on Twitter with the #FR60th hashtag. Here are a few of mine:






In other book news, the paperback of Barbara Rogan's A Dangerous Fiction is out now!



I reviewed A Dangerous Fiction back when I read the hardcover and was full of praise - for the tenseness of the mystery, the vivid characters, and for being set in New York City! I love it when a story&…

Revisiting the AtoZ with Photos and Trivia on Switzerland, Zombie Attack!, and ROW80

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uess what?

I learned something new and relearned something old this past weekend.

The something old is a fact that I'd forgotten: Freddie Mercury lived in Montreux, Switzerland in the last years of his life and even owned a recording studio there. Apparently he used to say "If you want peace of mind, come to Montreux." There's been a statue of him by the lakefront since 1996 and there's a Freddie Mercury Memorial Day held there every September. We'll have to visit!

The new-to-me fact is that the Deep Purple classic Smoke on the Water is all about Lake Geneva!

Usually I'm really good with hearing and memorising lyrics, but you know how sometimes you think you know a song so well that you actually don't pay much attention to it? Yea, that. I mean, the opening lines to the song are "We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline, to make records with a mobile, we didn't have much time."

I'd never paid attention before! Here&#…

Book Reviews, Andy Capp, Blogs I Miss, and ROW80

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ood thing I added reading to my ROW80 goals!

I finished The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling the other day, and would highly recommend it, especially for fans of detective stories. I love the authors characterisation.

Then I read My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk, a brief biography of Andy Capp's creator Reg Smythe written by his niece. The book is interspersed with quotes from conversations with Smythe, and has a really 'close' feel, as if you're reading about one of your own distant family members.

The best part for me were the two aspects that could also relate to writing. The first was the glimpse of Smythe's complete dedication to his work. Even with a full time job, he would come home every evening and spend hours on his strips, sometimes working with a timer - one strip every half an hour. If he finished earlier, he carried over that time to the next strip. Day after day, without fail, even after he'd achieved a certain level of success.

Then the…

Songs of Summer Blogfest, Books I'm Reading, and Round Three of ROW80

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ime for another round of A Round of Words in 80 Days!

I'm going to carry over my main goal from the last round, which was to take part in the June exercise over on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community.

Speaking of which, one long-standing forumite and one forumite who hasn't been around in a few years got together on Twitter the other day:


For my other goals, I'm going to include items that have to be done, in the hopes that they will get done:

1. Transcribe the latest batch of Alfred Russel Wallace letters
2. Finish knitting a baby blanket and start a new project, a gift for a friend
3. Read!

I'm in the middle of four books at the moment:

1. My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk, a biography of Reg Smythe, the creator of Andy Capp
2. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
4. Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford

Has anyone read Parade's End (or each of the four novels that it's comprised of)? I'd rea…

Photos of Another Day Trip! Also, IWSG Day and WRiTE Club

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t's Insecure Writer's Support Group day!

According to Ninja Captain Alex, its purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"

Well, I'm feeling insecure about how little writing I've been doing. That feeling only comes from comparing my lack of progress to others' leaps and bounds, though.

And there's no call for that sort of thinking! Hopefully all the various real life happenings will be good story fodder someday when I do get back into the writing groove.

If you haven't been writing as often as you'd like, you can still support other writers!

For instance, Jessica Bell has a new book - White Lady - coming soon and she's giving away a copy for free to everyone who signs up to the "Two Lies and a Truth" blog tour (to take place from 1 …