Tag Archives | genre

The best kind of problem

I’ve been relatively quiet online recently, because I’m revising my book and it’s totally absorbing*. Right now, at least; I expect a sticky, scary stretch will come along, but I’m not there yet. I bought Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course as a Christmas present for myself, and it’s GREAT. Cuts out a lot of flailing by giving me specifics to work on each week, plus the forums are really helpful. These things make me happy. Definitely recommended, if you’re looking to avoid flailing too.

(*plus, my iphone is still broken so I have to actually, like, get up and turn the computer on in order to be online. My laziness often overrides my social-media urge).

My only problem is that other things make me happy, too – especially books by Stacia Kane. Here I am, deep in revision, proud of my swotty, good-girl focus, and along comes a book I know I’m going to drop everything to read – Sacrificial Magic is out in the UK today! I read each of the first three Downside novels in a day and I’m sure this one will be as gripping, and as good. So that’s at least 24 hours of my writing schedule written off, while I catch up with Chess and Terrible.

Even worse,  Bring Up the Bodies is also out today – the sequel to Wolf Hall that I’ve been itching for since I heard it was being written. If I’d noticed when I pre-ordered that they’d both be released at the same time I would have kept my weekend free. Instead I’ve made plans and will have to leave the house and spend time with real people, grr 😉

Any genre-heads who haven’t heard of these are forgiven for seeing ‘Wolf’ and ‘Bodies’ in the titles and assuming I’m reading horror. Nope – they’re the story of Thomas Cromwell, and Wolf Hall was exactly the kind of well-written masterpiece that puts one off ever trying to write anything at all, because it will never be as good. You know the sort of thing. Disgustingly excellent.

Also, I totally fell for Cromwell.  These aren’t romance novels, but he was so well drawn, so complex and real that I sigh every time I think of him. My poor Thomas.  Sigh. I am so looking forward to spending more time with him.

The only flaw with Wolf Hall was that there were about twenty other characters also called Thomas, who were invariably all in the same scene talking to or about each other, and neither ‘Thomas’ nor ‘he’ were useful signifiers as to who did what. One of the drawbacks of reading on a Kindle is the relative difficulty of flicking back a few pages or referring to the index to see who’s who. Still, better than having to haul a 600 page hardback around, and a useful writing lesson learned – not to give all my characters the same damn name. There, I’m gaining on Hilary Mantel as I write…

I don’t know which book I’m more excited about. The only reason I’m starting Sacrificial Magic first is because it’ll be the quicker read. The Downside books aren’t short, but they are fast-paced and I always inhale them in one or two sittings, whereas Wolf Hall – woah, that was 674 pages, and Bring up the Bodies is 608. Wolf Hall was the first book I ever read on my Kindle, and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have read it if I’d had to lug a book of that size around.

Instead, both of these new books weigh nothing at all (or not?) and were magically delivered to my Kindle by the Amazon fairies overnight, which was thrilling to wake up to, in the same way that eBay purchases always feel like (free) gifts when they arrive.

Back later. Gone reading. X

Source: last.fm via Jenni on Pinterest

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Advent Thanksgiving: Crafty Cool

Source: whitezine.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Last week I posted on the coolest kitchenware of 2011 – today I bring you the very best in knit & crochet fandom. You’re welcome ;-). Click on the images for sources/patterns.

 

Knit your own Death Star. One time you want holes in your knitting, or else how will the rebels get in?

Source: etsy.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

Look at these Star Wars amigurumi! You can buy the patterns from Etsy here, make all of them and send them to me. Please. I can crochet but I’m too lazy. I think I like the ewok best (my dark side should obviously prefer Darth, but I’m on a kawaii tip at the moment. I think it’s from all the Studio Ghibli films on Film4 at the moment. Bliss).

 

More amigurumi genius – bow down to smapte for making these perfect Star Trek: New Generation figures. She’s also made characters from The Big Lebowski, Dune, Doctor Who, Tron, Firefly, Mad Men and Lost. I think I just fell in love. Gallery of the others here.

 

In the future, we won’t need Zoidberg costumes because the sea-levels will have risen and it’ll be ‘Evolve or Die’. We’ll have our own tentacley crustacea thing going on. Til then, why not knit this Zoidberg balaclava and mittens. They’ll call you futuristic. They’ll be right.

Source: ravelry.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

Pessimists among you may dispute my ‘in the future we’ll all have gills’ theory. Perhaps you think it more likely that a zombie plague will wipe us out before we get to evolve to Zoidberg heights. Knit yourself a zombie brraaiins hat and go to war against the zoidberg-balaclava people. Fight! Fight! Fight!

 

Me, I’m a pacifist, more about the theorising than the fisticuffs, so I won’t get involved in the dispute even though I started it. I’ll be at home, snuggled under my Doctor Who quilt. Night night. Sweet dreams.

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