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Robert Reads and talks of Nano

Sir Integra Wingate Hellsing
So I'll talk about Nano first.

Normally when I do Nanowrimo I would be posting my daily word counts here, maybe even my caffeine/ noodle intake and occasional rants about being a moron who writes way too much. I also normally ask for challenges and punishments (or at least I have done for the last few years).

This year things are different as the way that I'm doing Nano is different. I'm not looking for challenges because I have set amounts that I need to reach each day and if I'm writing more than those amounts then I'm actually doing it WRONG! I Do NOT want to write more than 50,000 this year and I have planned it out so that there's going to be a lot of writing at the beginning of the month and tailing off near the end so that I get more social time. I have decided to allow myself a buffer of 200 words, as in I am allowed to write 200 extra words each day (which does not stack, so I can't write 400 extra one day and none the next!), but these need to be taken off from another day (preferably one of the ones with an already large word count.

This means that I should be able to be social with family and friends on days where I have a low count, and maybe even fit in some trips to the cinema (after hitting that day's count though, seeing as coming back from the cinema often takes me until after midnight depending on the time of the film), while being less social and stuff on days with a high count. I'll also be able to get in extra words without overdoing it, and I can have a few days where I'm not hitting MY word count (which is not the least bit like the official Nano count of 1,667) and add those on to days where I've set a low count.

It's all very complicated.

If anyone wants to choose a day and set a punishment for not reaching my count for the day (whatever I might have decided that should be), that's still welcome, though remember it must still be something legal, moral, provable and which doesn't put me at risk and (preferably) doesn't cost me money.

And the biggest difference, as far as you lot are concerned anyway, this year I shall *NOT* be putting my Nano updates on here, but on thesandwish. This is because I really do want to use that more as a writing journal and so it makes more sense to put my Nano ramblings there.

I will try to remember to provide links whenever I do so those of you who are interested but don't follow that journal, you'll be able to cross over to there just to see how the writing goes :)

I'm just impressed that I've managed to keep this up, even if I do sometimes leave it a little long after finishing a book! Today's book was a birthday present from my lovely lycoris :)

Title: Tortall and Other Lands
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I LOVED this book!!! ^_^ I really, really enjoyed the stories about the tree that became a man, and the Hidden Girl story was just wonderful! I Adored that one and how it was done. And The Dragon's Tale! OH YAY!!!!! Basically I just loved them :)
I found the last two kind of odd. The first because I was expecting something different. Because of all the references to lionesses and the Goddess, I was expecting Alanna to make a Modern Day Appearance, and the Goddess was rather different to how I'm used to seeing her in Tortall, but as a story, it was still very good and an excellent read (though how people are going to explain what happened would be... interesting), and the second one I know I only found it odd because it was not a fantasy story and I'm not used to reading non-fantasy by Tamora Pierce. I can't actually remember if I've read anything by her that isn't fantasy. It wasn't a bad story at all, but it wasn't what I'm used to and so I wasn't... as at ease as I was with the others.
Does that make sense?

Robert reads a bit more

So, after me saying this morning that e-books would could towards my reading, I then decided to read one that I downloaded today!

Title: Tom's Midnight Garden
Author: Philippa Pierce
Opinion: I remember reading this about... 20 years ago, possibly a little less (God, it sounds weird to say that I could have done something 20 years ago and still be a decade old!) in school and ever since then it's occasionally come back into my mind and sort of niggled away telling me to read it again.
So when I happened to find it quite randomly in a list of 100 Must Read Children's Books I decided that it was time I finally did read it again.
I think it works best as a book that you can read again so you can actually see how Hetty grows up with the knowledge of what's happening. I really like the whole idea of the book and the lovely descriptions of the garden. I suppose as a child who adored The Secret Garden, this book was kind of a way for me to continue that little dream myself.

Time for a little bit o' Robert Reads

Fai bored
So I've been busy recently! Going to York, turning THIRTY!!!!!, reading lots, making jewellery. I could talk for ages about all of these things, but I haven't been in the right mood for lots of chat and stuff, so instead I'm just going to talk about books :)

I'm rather tempted to start putting up books that I've read via my kindle apps on the computers and phone because they Are Still Books!!! I hadn't thought of it at first because I was mostly only reading books of characters prompts and other writing ideas, not actual stories or anything, and I don't really want to start writing about EVERYTHING I read because that would get very boring, very quickly, mostly for Me

But at the moment I'm reading a Steampunk version of Midsummer Night's Dream, a dark fantasy story about half-demons who carry one of the deadly sins in them, and I'm just starting another book on my phone, but I can't actually remember what the hell it was. heh! But yes, if I read something fictional, regardless of its medium, I shall put it into the Robert Reads list. I am still debating whether or not to include fanfiction in this list and if I do, whether that includes my own!

Anyway, for now I'm still on the physical books, and generally I'm probably always going to be reading those more than I am electronic versions.

Title: The Undead Pool (Rachel Morgan series)
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: This is the next to last book in the series, and the only reason that I am not currently reading the very last volume is because I don't own it yet! I put off buying it because of being so close to my birthday, and now I'm still waiting to find out what dad's got me before I can say "fuck it!" and buy it for myself!
It's really, really strange reading this book for the very first time, knowing that everything is going to come to an end soon! Things that have been hinted at in previous books are starting to niggle in the back of my head, wondering if everything is going to tie up nicely at the end, worries about certain characters and what might happen to them, and just basically being terrified that the last book is going to disappoint me!
As the penultimate book Undead Pool does very well. There's enough there that would make me want to buy the last book even if I hadn't already committed myself to getting this whole series, and there are still questions that I would like answering and hope that they will be in the next book. I was very pleased to see that a couple of things that had been mentioned in previous books have now been dealt with in this volume, though I have a feeling that at least one plot line might be left hanging, depending on how long the final book is.
There is a part of me that is incredibly tempted to go and get the first book off the shelf and re-read that (again) just to see the difference in all of the characters. Because they really have changed so much and in so many different ways, and I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm mentioning it again because it's done incredibly well to my mind.

Title: Guards! Guards!
Author: Terry Pratchett
Opinion: And so we finally get to possibly my favourite book of the series, or at least certainly the early half of the series! I think when I was younger and reading this for the first time there were a lot of jokes that I got and that made this book really fun without me needing to get all the more subtle humour, but when I did get the more subtle jokes it only added to the enjoyment.
I love the character of Captain Vimes, because it shows how a very flawed character can be a wonderful character. And he can be wrong, so very, very wrong at times, and as a reader I can still support him.
I know that I'm writing this with a lot of knowledge of later books, but Vimes is my favourite character in the Discworld series!
Interestingly, Carrot is one of my least favourite generally, but I have actually become more fond of him over the years and he's actually starting to climb his way up the ladder. I couldn't tell you exactly where I'd place him, but he's definitely no longer down at the bottom. I think I like the fact that as he progresses he so clearly grows up and grows into Ankh-Morpork (or Ankh-Morpork grows into him possibly...)

I am currently reading a Tamora Pierce book that I got for my birthday, then I'll be onto Eric from the Discworld series and I may pick a third book to make up for not having a Kim Harrison to read!

NaNoWriMo is Coming!

Sir Integra Wingate Hellsing
Well, it's that time once again when I start thinking about the prospect of writing 50,000 words over the course of 30 days.

For some this sounds an impossible challenge, but I have found that it is possible so long as I plan my time properly, if not whatever I'm writing. Last year I may have gone a little overboard and managed to nearly kill myself by writing over 200,000 words in that same amount of time. That included a number of days where I wrote over 10,000 in a single 24 hours.

Each year I've done Nano, other than the first, I have set myself my own challenge, one year it being just to finish a story I had failed to actually write two or three times previously. It hadn't exactly been a NaNo attempt, but I needed to get past the mental block that it had created.

This year I have decided to attempt to write 500 drabbles in 30 days.

NANOWRIMO- Noun- a challenge wherein participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the space of 30 days. Traditionally this takes place in the month of November, though version run in the summer are also popular. There is no "prize" for winning, other than the knowledge that you have managed it, and a completed, very rough, first draft of novel that might not have been written otherwise.

DRABBLE- Noun- a story consisting of exactly 100 words
- Verb- to write a story of 100 words

These drabbles will all come under certain themes.
The first 400 will be the 4 seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter, each with 100 drabbles), and the final 100 being anything and everything else I can think of ^_^

In order to complete this (insane) challenge I need prompts for each of the 500 drabbles. Now some of them I am coming up with all on my own, others I will need help with. I've decided to split the prompts into three categories- words, pictures and other media.

Words- this can literally be one word, or the title of a book or song, it could even be someone's name. For this though, I would prefer that things were kept short, maybe up to... six or seven words?
Pictures- of absolutely anything. They can be photos you took, pictures you found on a random search, a screen shot of a game, or even just a square of colour
Media- poems, videos, music, music videos, gifs, podcasts. More or less anything else

Each of these should fit with one of the themes, whether it's something that you associate with the season, something that happens during the season, or (for anything else) something that has been bugging you for the last eight weeks.

Anyone who sends me a prompt that gets used will be credited and publicly thanked. I will be making a table and putting it up on one of the livejournal accounts once I have more prompts. I know I've already mentioned this once on Livejournal already, so I apologise to all those who have seen it before, I also apologise to anyone who follows me on twitter who are about to get avalanched by all of these updates!


Discworld and the Hollows

Title: Ever After
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: Ok, so this marks the first of the books that I have NEVER read before! This is a big thing for me now because I'm coming into these completely fresh.
It is so interesting having gone through all of these and getting to this, watching how all of the characters have grown and changed over time, and how attitudes have changed as well. Before Rachel saw things very much in black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, but now you can see so much more that she sees a lot of grey around her, and this book especially spells that out.
It's also interesting reading this while knowing someone else who actually reads these books and hearing her opinions about one of the characters. I can totally see where she is coming from and while I probably wouldn't have considered it at all if she hadn't said I do try to keep that in mind as I'm reading because it is something that other people would pick up on as well.
My one issue with this book, and the one previously, is that either something has gone wrong during printing (which I know does happen) or the editor wasn't very good because there seem to be a lot of little mistakes, like words missing or the wrong word used, stuff like that. Also, and this is an author issue, some of the summaries of things that have happened in other books seem a little inaccurate. I can't decide if this is sloppy continuity checking, or one of those times where the author thinks that it makes total sense and is right, but because the reader isn't actually in the author's head, it doesn't actually make as much sense as it should.
Other than these little issues though, I thought it was a great book and so much set up for things that I really, really hope are going to be revealed in the next book (which I have already started of course!)

Title: Pyramids
Author: Terry Prattchet
Opinion: Alright, cards on the table- this was never one of my favourite books when I was reading them originally, although I did like spotting all of the Egyptian god parodies, and some stuff I just really didn't get at all. I think it was one of those ones that was just a little bit too clever for me, and it was mostly about subjects that I knew little to nothing about, and especially coming after Wyrd Sisters, which I adored, it always felt a bit like a let down.
Reading it this time I enjoyed it a lot more and I think there were a number of reasons for that. Firstly I was able to spot a lot more of the more subtle jokes, I understand more about philosophy and the people and things they're parodying there, and I was just able to take in a lot more.
Weirdly I think coming to this book thinking that I wasn't going to enjoy it and that it was one of my least favourites (down there with Equal Rites and Sorcery) actually helped me to enjoy it because I wasn't expecting it to wow me or to be up to the standard where I placed Wyrd Sisters. That's not to say that I now really, really like this book, it's still down there, but I at least appreciate it more than I did. That's the main thing.

Robert Reads!

error- want cake
Title: Wyrd Sisters
Author: Terry Pratchett
Opinion: This is one of my favourite Discworld books, and probably the first that I really, really enjoyed. I mean, I was actually studying Macbeth around the same time that I first read this and I found it REALLY difficult to stop writing Wyrd Sisters instead of your regular old Weird Sisters. Each time I read this one I spot another reference to a film or a play that I know. it helps that I keep re-reading the annotated Pratchett which points out some of the things that I would otherwise miss and then the next time I read the book I remember a little more from that and add it to the list of things that amuse me.

Title: Pale Demon
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: Now it starts getting weird because these two books I actually read not long before I started doing this. So this book I found a lot harder to read this time around because there seemed to be a lot more than I realised. It's like... I knew that various things had to happen, but they sort of ALL happened in this book and it kept feeling like there couldn't be any more to come and yet there was. There's also a sense of danger that isn't in the previous books because of the extra danger of the newest demon
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it because I really did, I just didn't realise how much longer it is in terms of action.

Title: A Perfect Blood
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: Now this is the last of the books in this particular series that I'm re-reading.
Now this book has a REAL sense of danger to it due the risks that Rachel takes and the choices that she makes. The fact that she is unable to use the demon magic that she's got so used to it's like the Rachel from Dead Witch Walking but with all of the knowledge and physical skills (if not the magical ones) of the older Rachel.
It's like my feelings about Merlin with no magic actually! Basically I want my talented and powerful characters to be denied access to their talents and powers somehow. I don't know why, it's just my thing! ^_^

AU 12 character meme

So I was bored and it's been years since I've done one of these, so I thought it would be fun.

Choose your 12 characters BEFORE looking at the questions, then look at the questions and answer each one. Bonus points awarded for writing a fic based on one of the AUs you have created
(This can work better with mixed fandoms, but using one is fine too

I ended up picking two characters from six fandoms, because I thought it would be funny. I just picked the first two characters I thought of from each.
1. Merlin (BBC's Merlin)
2. Gwaine (BBC's Merlin)
3. Dorian (Big Finish Production's Confessions of Dorian Gray)
4. Toby (Big Finish Production's Confessions of Dorian Gray)
5. Doctor (Doctor Who, the second Doctor)
6. Jamie (Doctor Who, the second Doctor's companion)
7. Avon (Blake's 7)
8. Blake (Blake's 7)
9. Ban (GetBackers)
10. Akabane (GetBackers)
11. Light (Death Note)
12. L (Death Note)

This way lies madnessCollapse )


Merlin S1 Ep8- The Beginning of the End

Eoin and Tom
Otherwise known as CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEPY LEEEEEEEEEEEEETTLE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORDRED! (if you don't say it with the extended vowels you're not doing it properly!)

I haven't done one of these in a while, but it's time for some (reasonably) sensible thoughts about Merlin episodes. When I first started doing this it was before we'd finished the final season, which means that at some point I may end up watching the first few AGAIN just to see if anything else comes to mind!

Alright, let's do some links first:
ep 1- Dragon's Call
ep 2- Valiant
ep 3- Mark of Nimueh
ep 4- Poisoned Chalice
ep 5- Lancelot
ep 6- Remedy to Cure All Ills
ep 7- The Gates of Avalon

Merrrrlin Merlin Merlin :)Collapse )


I've been reading quite a bit!

Title: Page (book 2 of the Protector of the Small Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: Really I shouldn't have read these all in one go because now they're all mixing together and I can't remember my opinions of each one! Heh!
So, I have worked out one of the reasons why I really like the Kel books. I like to think that if I had had a little more self-confidence, I would have been like Kel. I was terrible at standing up for, or defending, myself but if one of my friends were bullied or hurt, I would defend them even if it meant putting myself back in harm's way.
I love how Kel risks pain to protect people she doesn't even know, and then risks everything to protect those she cares about. She is the sort of person I want to be.

Title: Squire (book 3 of the Protector of the Small Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: In this I remember there being a lot of things that I have noticed in the other Tamora Pierce books, and that's a brilliant way of setting things up for the next book. I think there were some in the first and second books (more in the second), but because these books are ones I remember least of all of them I didn't pick up on them straight away while I did in Squire.
One of the things that I really love that's been done with Kel is her noticing her changes in feelings about the men in her life- Neal, Cleon, Dom- and her reactions to those. It seems more real than what I've seen in a lot of books. Crushes do come and go, like Kel's, and I think it's done very realistically in this series. Neal's over the top romances which start from book 1 are brilliant, but seeing in Kel's head and her feelings about her own just hits home really well.
I also really liked that regardless of how she felt about anyone, she was determined to continue on her course and become a knight without being burdened with other things.

Title: Lady Knight (book 4 of the Protector of the Small Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I think the moment I started this book I started remembering bits of it, but, as I said, these were the ones I remembered least and so it really was like reading them for the first time, and having just little bits in my mind didn't spoil anything because I couldn't remember enough detail to spoil.
I love this book and I love the way that she takes up command and leads and her dedication to her people, and also people's dedication to her.
Basically I loved this whole series!

So I'm now at the point where I have to decide whether I want to get the Trickster books or the Bekka Cooper books, because when I started this I mostly wanted to get Alanna, Daine and Kel (because nostalgia), but I do like the rest of the Tortal books and probably would like to own them at some point. And then I'll have to decide whether I want the other Tamora Pierce books- the Winding Circle books for example. I mean, I like those books alright, but I was never *as* keen as I was for Tortal

Title: The Borrowers
Author: Mary Norton
Opinion: Ok, I have no idea whether this is one of mum's old books, one of mine that I've had for years or one that we've picked up from somewhere or been given, but this copy is from 1959. It's old. It's so old, in fact, that there is a moment where a character is described as looking "like a washed out Golly Wog" Old!
So I don't know how much of this book has been changed compared to the books that I would have read (if it wasn't this book in the first place).
Reading this really was like reading a new book because I remember nothing about the book, and I only remember little glimpses of the old tv show (I used to watch it all the time! I loved that show!). It's funny reading it because it's such an... odd sort of book. Because the idea is that it's all told by a old woman who's telling her granddaughter about something that happened to her brother when he was a child, but it's all told from the PoV of the Borrowers. And if you think about it really logically you realise that this doesn't actually make any fucking sense! But I still really enjoyed it, I just had to ignore the premise!
I did find it a little strange when it suddenly finished, but then the granddaughter reacted in the same way because it was a very sudden place to finish. But then again, I know that there are at least another three or four books about the Borrowers, which makes me wonder how many were originally planned.

Title: Black Magic Sanction
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: It's interesting rereading these books at the moment because I only fairly recently read the last two, in fact I think I have actually done a Robert Reads on them before, that's how recent it is. Black Magic Sanction really sets up a lot of what happens in the next book in a way, though it doesn't feel like a set-up book, if you know what I mean. Strangely I don't remember this as well as some of the others, and I'm trying to work out if there's a reason for it or not.
I think it's quite an exciting book, and one with a lot more tension than some of the others. This is something like the third time that Rachel Morgan has had a death threat put out on her, but I think it's the first where you could feel really anxious about it because of various things that make her far more vulnerable than in previous books.
It is really strange though, re-reading them, because I can remember the beginning far clearer and I'm remembering the Rachel from the first book, but I've also got my knowledge of Rachel from the books I've read later in the series, and the difference is rather clear.
The next book, Pale Demon, is actually the one that I thought this was going to be. I've apparently shifted the events in the books around again, but no matter. Black Magic Sanction was another break from Trent, though he does turn up a few times to be a help or a hindrance (or sometimes both)

My NaNoWriMo Idea

(Yes I know it's very, very early)

Ok, so I had this great idea for this year's Nano, only due to mood and the amount of writing I've been doing this year I don't think that idea is actually going to pan out and so I came up with an idea yesterday while I was at work that I think might work better.

Some of you may remember the Charloft 100 Drabbles of Summer Challenge that I've done a few times, well this idea would follow a similar theme except for instead of 100 drabbles in 100 days, it would be 500 drabbles in 30 days!

I would have to do around 16-17 a day to keep on track, which I think I can probably do, if I use my time wisely, and it means that it's impossible to kill myself like I did last year because I won't be able to go over the 50,000 words due to there only being prompts for 500 drabbles, no more, no less.

And that brings me onto why I'm actually making this post.

In order to do this idea I need 500 prompts; 400 covering each of the seasons (100 for spring, 100 for summer, etc) and then the final 100 being ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING!!!

In each 100 I'm thinking that 20 should be picture prompts, and maybe 10 could be other media (music, youtube videos, gifs, whatever else takes people's fancy), which leaves 70 as words and phrases.


PLEAAAAASE!!! send me prompts. Anything you like; a word, a feeling, a colour, a song, a title, a quote, anything, and let me know which category its meant to be for. Basically just send me something that looks like this:
Summer: PROMPT!
LINK (pic)

Spring: LINK (vid) (NSFW)

Anything: PROMPT!

Obviously it doesn't all have to be in caps or have exclamations or anything (though adding NSFW for anything that I wouldn't want my co-workers or my AUNT to see when I'm browsing on my phone would be really, really appreciated!)

I will probably use more or less anything that I get sent and I will credit the people who sent the prompts, whatever they may be. If two or more people send me the same prompt I'll credit both people, if two or more people send me the same prompt in different forms (eg- the word RED and a picture of the colour red) I will probably only use and credit one. If, however, one of them inspires me in a different way then I will use both and credit both separately.

Is that all clear? Anyway, yes, that's the idea. Give Me Your Prompts, People!!!!


Robert Reads times! ^_^

Ok, two books today.

Title: White Witch, Black Curse (Rachel Morgan series)
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: Ok, so I have long admitted that I like these books and they're a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I know that they have their flaws and some of them have caused some people to really dislike the books, but I honestly enjoy them despite of their flaws. On rereading, with new knowledge that I didn't have when I first read them, I can see some flaws more clearly than I could back then, but I get a lovely nostalgic feeling from the first one, and then there are all these wonderful memories of reading some of them in York, and that makes me happy, and then others I read when I was still with Jamie (in fact she bought me two of them), and again that makes me happy. I have no bad memories connected to these books and so long as the last books in the series (two of which are sitting in my cupboard, waiting to be read!) don't disappoint me, I will love them always, regardless of the things that could possibly be better!
So, now I've said all of that, I really loved re-reading this one. It's an interesting one actually, because it's another one that I couldn't really remember and yet so much of it is so very important to just about everything that happens in the next books (certainly the next few that I've read anyway). I kind of like that this one doesn't have a lot of Trent in it because, firstly, it makes sense considering things that happened in the previous book, and in the next, but also it gives a much needed break and a chance to see Rachel in her element- dealing with things in her way, which sometimes includes doing really stupid things without thinking! :)

Title: Sorcery (Discworld series)
Author: Terry Pratchett
Opinion: Ok, I have to admit, I don't really like this book. Now, I will admit that I am bias even before picking it up because it's a Rincewind books and I don't actually enjoy the Rincewind books as much as a lot of other people do. And there's part of me that knows that I should enjoy them more than I do, but I just don't. And I don't even know what it is I don't like about them really.
Anyway, on a re-read there are parts of it that I like a little more than I did the first time I read it (and this is only the... third time I've read this book), but it still down there with Equal Rites as books in this series which I just did not take to. Sorry, Pterry.

Right, now, I want an opinion on something that I've been thinking about today at work.

I don't know if you will remember this, but a while ago I was asking about whether I should resurrect my prompt me Mondays and Friday fiction (which I will do soon, once I've finished the editing I'm working on). My thought at the moment is... what if I made a writing community based on those things.

So on Monday people can post prompts and then everyone can pick a prompt they like the look/ sound of and then they have a week to write something. Then everyone can post something on Friday (though I'm thinking the rest of the weekend is allowed for posting as well, because I'm nice like that), and maybe there could even be regular votes on which we like best. People could even post art based on the prompts, and then someone could write a story based on the art (I haven't really thought that bit through, but I like the idea of keeping it open to all kinds of creation and stuff)

Would anyone be interested in this sort of thing and if you are, do you have any suggestions other than what I've already put. I mean, I was half-thinking that maybe the rest of the week (Tuesday-Thursday) people can post questions and stuff about writing and if people know the answers they can give them, or we have those days as when we can post resource sites or helpful advice or something? I don't know. Let me know what you think.

Robert Reads and Watches and Marches!

learning to fly

Title: First Test (Book 1 of the Protector of the Small quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I have really been looking forward to re-reading this series because I think it might actually be my favourite. I don't remember it as fully as the Alanna books, though I remember specific bits, and as I'm reading my brain is starting to remember other little bits, but nothing that is going to get in the way of fully enjoying these books.
I think one of the reasons that I like the Kel books so much is because she's just a regular girl- she doesn't have magic like Alanna or Daine- and she's able to prove that a girl really is as good as any boy. And she really has to try with a lot of things. Yes, she has had training with the Yamanis and so is able to do certain things better, or in a different way, but she's not perfect and has a lot to learn.
She feels a lot more real in many ways, especially when she first encounters Joren and his bullying ways. That is pretty much what I would have done as well at age ten.
I can't wait until the next book arrives, though due to the fact that it's coming from the US while the other books are from the UK, I have a feeling that I might be waiting a while :(

Title: Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse)
Author: Colin Dexter
Opinion: I was kind of looking forward to reading this one, not because I especially like the episode, though I do remember it quite clearly, but lycoris had been talking about it recently and when I discovered that I still had this one waiting to be read I thought that it would be fitting to do so now.
I think the proper way to read any Morse book is to read the book first and then watch the episode after because if you have the episode too clearly in your head then you will NOT be able to follow the events in the books properly. A lot of things have been changed, and generally it is very obvious WHY they have been changed- there are certain lines that Morse says in the books that you absolutely cannot imagine John Thaw saying, and other things where I just don't think people would have liked him as much. And then there are a lot of bits in the books where they just wouldn't work in the move from page to screen.
There are things that you can get away with in print that you can't on film, either because of ratings, time, cost or physical limitations! (there are other things that get in the way too, but these are the ones that seem to come up a lot)
I think with the Morse books the cuts and changes that are made make the stories a lot easier to follow- Colin Dexter is a very clever man and he proves this time and time again in the books, and that's all well and good, but if you're not very intelligent it gets quite annoying when he's there filling in crossword clues and using Latin and never actually explaining their meaning or why they're important. he does it a lot less in 'Service' than in some of the other books, but there were still moments where I was reading the same line over and over again trying to work out the significance.
I think it ended well, though felt a little drawn out with the overly long statement, and then the Except of the court transcript and then the final chapter. Yeah, that just felt a little too much really.


Title: Guardians of the Galaxy
Opinion: Well, I decided that I was going to see this because a few month ago I realised that it was now my goal to see EVERY SINGLE MARVEL FILM EVER!! Preferably in order if I can get my hands on the earlier ones and watch them all. otherwise it'll just be a case of watching them as I get my hands on them. So, to this end I went to see Guardians on the night it came out.
When I went I basically knew two things- 1. There was a raccoon who could talk, wears clothes, has a machine gun and builds a bomb and is going to put it in a box. 2. There is a talking tree played by Vin Diesel. I had also learnt from reading part of a review in Empire Magazine that the main character is abducted by aliens and that the little group consists of a thief and an assassin and a bounty hunter and someone in jail, and a tree.
Literally that was all I knew about this film!
I enjoyed the film so much and laughed so hard and it was glorious and wonderful and there were even sad moments and I cared about the characters (especially Groot and Rocket) and I just adored the whole thing! I want to see much, much more!!
(Also, apparently my older brother was in it, so that was cool)

Title: Midsummer Night's Dream (Recorded at the Globe Theatre)
Opinion: MND is pretty much my favourite Shakespeare play ever, and possibly my favourite play of all time! (not including musicals, which I don't count as plays!) so when I saw on the Cineworld site that this was going to be coming I made sure that I could go!
I am SO glad that I did. I don't think I have laughed so hard in such a long time. There were a lot of sight gags, so that even if you weren't quite following the Shakespearian English, there were still a lot of laughs.
At first I wasn't too sure about Puck- I didn't particularly like the way that he spoke (he sounded sort of drunk), but as it went on I got more and more fond of him and I ended up really liking him. And Oberon was AMAZINGLY STRONG!!!! I mean, he picks up Puck with one arm, he does this amazing crouched handstand, he's climbing up the pillars on stage and at one point picks Puck up again, snogs him and then holds him upside-down, again with One Arm!!!
Not that the snog made me like either of them more... no... had no effect on me at all *grin*
And the way that they changed the costumes for our young Athenians lost in the woods was wonderful and when... Demitrius does fucking BACKFLIPS for Helena. Literally!!! He Did Fucking Backflips when he saw her after his eyes had been doused!!! That was brilliant! There were a lot of excellent moments like that actually.
Oh! The play-within-a-play! The rude mechanicals! Oh My God!!! Guys! Seriously, you have to get this and watch it because it was wonderful! I was laughing so hard that I ended up having to use my inhaler at the cinema!!!!!


This account was written while on the bus home and so most things were still fresh in my mind
Liverpool Pride 2014
Got up, showered, cut and painted my fairy Godmother wand, got dressed, glued the ribbons to the wand, put on my make up, put on my jewellery, checked my bag and left.

I was leaving earlier than I really needed to because I needed to puck up the tickets I won the other night, and that was going to mean walking down to the pick up and then all the way back to the other side of town to get to the march starting point.

My tickets in my basket I headed for St George's Hall where it was all kicking off.

I stood on the steps for a while, looking out for my friends, but lost my little spot as more and more people arrived, so I went to join the St Bride's group ready for the march.

Ben (who I'd arranged to meet) and his friend arrived just as we were about to start marching and we set off.

Now, there are 2 things I have missed from this account:
1. I had a little basket (actually one of those plastic peg bags with handles) and I'd filled it with loads of pots of glitter in various colours- fairy dust for granting gay wishes ("Gay as in happy, and gay and in gay!"), plus the tickets and colourful feathers
2. It was raining. A lot. It basically rained on and off the whole day, some times much harder than others!

During the march I often left the crowd in order to approach mostly children to ask if they would like some fairy dust to make their wishes come true. I also approached giggly teenagers and some adults.

People Like glitter.

One parent actually asked if they could have a photo of me with their daughter after I gave them glitter! I was so pleased.

My shoes- a pair of sandals mum had suggest I wear with my dress- actually broke part of the way up Bolt Street, so I marched the rest of the way Bare Foot!

When we got down the the docks we hung around for a bit, Ben and friend got a drink from one of the bars and then we went to find a cash point for me and Ben, and a shoe shop! I left Ben and friend because I'd realised that we were close to the Costa where our writing group normally meet and I thought I'd go to say hello, and I knew there was a shoe shop nearby where I could get replacement footware.

So I said hello to my fellow writing geeks, explained about the lack of shoes, talked about my dress and my jewellery, and then head off to the shop and got some new sandals. they aren't as pretty as mums, but much more comfortable!

I'd told the boys that I'd meet up with them later so I ambled around Stanley Street and watched a rather amazing drag act (they were dressed as Maleficent, did a perfect lip sync to some of the lines from the film and then did a couple of songs), and then walked back to the pier head for more music and the stalls.

My gold ticket got me up close to the stage so when I saw Samantha Fox perform (OHMYGOD!) it was beautiful and amazing!!

There was a new tent this year, specifically aimed at Trans information and events, so I was there for a great Q+A session, the latter half of a makeover for this gorgeous trans-woman, and then an all female comedy spot which was really good, especially the last one! She was AMAZING!!!

Now, I mentioned the rain before, and that was important because people often expect rain to put people off from attending outdoor events like Pride, and sometimes they're right, but sometimes it just doesn't matter, and this was one of those times.

Yes, sometimes the rain was horrible and it was probably a big part of why my shoes broke, but there's something about being in a big crowd like that where everyone is cheering and so happy and you get so swept up in the feeling that it doesn't even matter that the weather is awful.

Maybe there were less people this year, and whether that was because of the weather or the fact that we had to pay this year, I don't know, but that too didn't matter! Everyone was having fun, the music was great, the stalls were good (I bought a ring ^_^) and the atmosphere was excellent, especially in the paid areas.

For me at least it was reassuring to know that I was surrounded by people who had paid to get in and therefore probably really wanted to be there, and even more so in the golden ticket areas where the tickets would have cost £20 (unless they won theirs), and so the people in those areas must have really wanted to be there and it was unlikely that any of them were about to cause problems for anyone else.

I enjoyed myself to much and a few people commented on my dress- two people even asked me to make jewellery for them!! However, I'm tired and bored of carrying things. One year I'm going to plan ahead, get a hotel room or something, then stow my stuff in the room before heading back for dancing and late night fun!

maybe next year.

Maybe I'll even go somewhere else to a Pride event and do it!

It's Not An Age Thing!

Someone annoyed me at work today.

We were in the kitchen having our morning tea break and someone commented on the fact that I was playing with my phone again (I was actually reading a rather interesting post on Tumblr)

E: It's an age thing.
Me: It's *not* an age thing. I will still be doing this when I'm 82.
L: You won't be here when you're 82.
Me: No, I mean *this*. I always read, it's what I do. When I was younger I would always be reading books, and then when I discovered a way to read things on my phone, that's what I did. When I'm in a room and there's stuff going on, I'm far more likely to read than to speak; that's who I am.

Yeah, maybe being on the phone could be argued to be "an age thing" seeing as all of the people who spend a lot of time on their phones at work tend to be within the 25-35 age range, but the fact that what I'm actually doing is reading, or reading my book, or writing in my notebook certainly isn't. That is how I relax. That is how I recharge. I sometimes HAVE to be sociable in work, and I don't mind, but it does ware me out quicker than it does other people in work and I get my energy back by doing something like reading funny things online or reading a Morse book and going "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, MORSE??!! THAT IS NOT APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR!!!!!"

Tomorrow I will try to remember to do a write up of two films that I've been to see recently

And to finish I will report on something that has just happened within the last... 40minutes- I won some tickets for Liverpool Pride. I know I already have tickets, but these are the more expensive ones which includes special stuff and what not! OOOOH! I only entered on the off chance of winning! I didn't actually think I would!!! I entered like... five minutes or less before it finished as well! heh!

time for some Roberty Readings!

Finished a book the other day, decided to start two books more or less simultaneously, then decided to read another completely different book this morning! Heh.

Title: Where Demons Dare
Author: Kim Harrison
Opinion: So I have quite a bit of love for this book because it's only of those where more or less everything that happened I could remember (apart from who was summoning demons), but I couldn't remember which book it all appeared in.
There were a lot of times when I was reading this where I would spot things that get referred back to in the later books. This is actually one of the reasons I'm glad about reading them one after the other because I have been forgetting so much, due to the large gaps between me buying and reading the later books, and now I can remember all these brilliant moments.
So yeah, still enjoying my re-reading :)

Title: The Asbo Fairy Tales
Author: Hans Christian Asbosen (Chris Pilbeam)
Opinion: Well, you should all know by now that I kind of love my fairy stories and my retellings of fairy stories, and that includes parodies! I really, really enjoy reading these Asbo tales and chuckling at the ways that they've turned Chavvy lifestyles into fairy tale worlds!
One thing that I have to give this book a special mention for is the fact that some parts of the stories are taken word for word from the originals, or at least tweaked only enough to include the modern day parts. I was really, really pleased with that!

And For Those Who Didn't See It!!!
My Liverpool Pride 2014 costume and it's (rather slow) creation!

Books and a film or two

Sir Integra Wingate Hellsing
Ok, so I've been doing some more reading and I've seen two films recently. Well, one of them was a rewatch, but whatever! Three films if you include Netflix... I'm including it. *nods*

So, Films First!

Title: Carrie (2013 remake)
Opinion: I watched the original Carrie film some months ago and I will confess that I enjoyed it. I wasn't sure how I was going to enjoy the remake because I felt the original was really well done.
But I actually did enjoy it! I felt that all the death scenes were perhaps a little gorier than they really needed to be, but her sparing the PE teacher and the conversation with Sue before she brings the house down around their ears were both done really well. She doesn't let either of them off scott free, but she does let them live, which is rather good of her.
Also, I actually believed in the interactions between her and the lad (whose name I have temporarily forgotten) she goes to the dance with. In the original I occasionally found it a little difficult, but I thought it worked better in the remake.

I then watched the beginning of a 2002 remake... and turned it off rather quickly. It was bad!!

Title: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Opinion: So Cineworld does this thing where if you have an Unlimited card they do secret screenings where the only thing they tell you is when the film is, whether it's in 3D or not, the running time and I think it mentions the rating. I haven't been to one of these before, so I went hoping that it wouldn't be Transformers because I REALLY don't give a shit about Transformers!
Anyway, Dawn wasn't something that I would have chosen to go to see, so I suppose it's a good thing that it was a Secret screening because otherwise I wouldn't have seen it at all. It wasn't a bad film, and there were some really great moments, and I loved seeing all of the different types of apes that they'd used.
Every now and then I would be distracted because I would notice the CGI, but a lot of the time I was able to forget that it was all motion capture technology and marvel at how well they'd managed to get the movements down and wonder at just how much the actors had to do.

Title: How to Train Your Dragons 2
Opinion: Diana came to see me and we decided that we'd go to the cinema. How to Train Your Dragons was the vote because who wouldn't want to see that?
God Damn It That Film Makes Me Cry!!!!!

Title: Wild Magic (book 1 of the Immortals Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I ordered these four books from 3 different sellers and was very worried that this was actually going to arrive last, which would have REALLY annoyed and frustrated me! Thankfully it did manage to arrive first and the others arrived in succession, a day after the other, which pleased me no end.
The fun thing about this particular quartet is that I remember so much about it, but I couldn't remember what order anything happened and there was loads that I had forgotten. So there was a character that I could remember, though I couldn't remember his name or how he came to be involved with the other characters. It was pleasing when he turned up, though I was shocked to realise the age difference between Numair and Daine. In my head I had definitely changed their ages!!
There are also a few things that I thought happened during these books but which actually happen in the next quartet, so that was a surprise too!
I think this book does really well at introducing this new character, Daine, and the wild magic, and gives her a really good reason to only reveal parts of her past bit by bit. I love her slow learning of how to use her powers and how scared she gets when learning some of those things. It also starts to set up things that we keep coming up in other books, and even mentions a character that we won't even meet until book three. If there is one thing that Tamora Pierce is really good at I think it's the way that she paces her books and sets things up, making sure that we have decent foreshadowing and mentions of things that we might well forget by the time that we actually come to them later, but they are there and when you know what you're looking for, it is so pleasing.
Also I would like to note that I had stared at my cover of this book a number of times and belatedly realised that it was a spidren on the cover. I then was somewhat confused because although I recognised the cover in terms of style, I didn't actually RECOGNISE it. I originally borrowed these books from lycoris and so the next time that I visited her I scurried over to her books and pulled out the first and second books and realised that they did in fact have different covers. But the third and fourth were the same as the ones I'd bought. I had seen those two covers so often that when I got the first two with a similar style I didn't think anything of it until I started to click that I hadn't actually ever seen a picture of a Spidren or of a Coldfang.

Title: Wolf Speaker (book 2 of the Immortals Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I think a lot of what I could remember about these books comes from this one actually. Particularly the beginning of the shapeshifting because I remember there being a number of times when I was reading the first book that I expected her to end up with cat ears or something.
Although she takes a little while to grow on me, I really end up liking Murara (I'm sure I've spelt that wrong... but the book is somewhere I can't see. Poop). She's a regular girl who's suddenly faced with this girl who can talk to animals, and of course she believes that bats can get into her hair and that wolves will eat her because Everyone knows that's what happens.
I also really like getting so see the other side of the Stormwings. Rikash was another element that I thought appeared in book 1 and was surprised when he didn't. I end up feeling similarly fond of him really.
The one thing that I found difficult in this book was when I read the scene with the kitten being dead and Daine holding her. I was crying buckets.
Fucking emotions.

Title: The Emperor Mage (book 3 of the Immortals Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I actually remembered a lot about this book, which was interesting really. There were a few bits which I'd still mixed up with book 4, but mostly I had this one down pretty well. Oh, there was plenty that had completely escaped me, but the bits that I did remember were pretty much all from this book!
I thought that Ozorne was written really well and his two-faced nature was brilliant, and Daine's reactions to everything felt really real. I like how the world that was created in Alanna has now been expanded so much and I look forward to seeing more of both Tortall and further in the next Quartet. I love looking forward to reading things. (But that's getting ahead of myself a little!)
I also really liked Vivaine (or whatever her name was), because although at first it is easy to dislike her, mostly because it's hard to tell whether she's someone that we, as the readers, shouldn't trust, and also because of her attention to Numair, but then when Daine sees her later and Zek points out that she's not wearing perfume or make up and she's so distraught, that was so very, very real and brilliant!

Title: The Realm of the Gods (book 4 of the Immortals Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I have... a slightly mixed feeling about the beginning of the book because, well, the introduction makes out that the pink fleshy things that Ozorne is looking at are important, and technically they are, but not as important as it kind of implies because then they're only really around for one chapter and never turn up again. They're basically just there to give a reason for Daine to end up in the realm of the Gods.
Saying that though, the rest of the book is really enjoyable and I do like it, I just am not quite sure about that bit. It's really fun getting to see the realm of the Gods and some of the things that are said give a lot to be thought about, both in terms of the plot of this particular book, and in general when thinking about the world and the gods (theirs and ours even sometimes!)
One of the things that I really liked was the pretty careless nature that the Gods think of the mortals' wars. I liked seeing Daine and Numair getting frustrated about that and the Gods' reactions to it- of course they don't care about mortal pain; they're not mortal and they don't feel it.
I think that is how I see Gods in fantasy a lot really- they don't really understand the way that humans suffer even if the Gods do care about them. It's why I sometimes like to see a more human kind of God, one that understands and really wants to help.

Anyway, next month I will be ordering the Protector of the Small quartet (which I'm really looking forward to rereading) and in the meantime I have Sorcery, Where Demons Dare and Service of All the Dead to read, plus a number of books that I brought down from the living room yesterday.

Later this month I'll also be watching Midsummer Night's Dream at the cinema, and early next month I'll be watching What if (which I know nothing about, but it stars Danny Radcliffe, so I'm willing to give it a chance)

If anyone is interested...

Sir Integra Wingate Hellsing
I have decided to restart my old character journal, but this time use it as a writing blog. I don't know how often I'll post or how interesting I'll be, but I'll do my best to update at least once a week about how writing/ rewriting and things is going, and most likely I'll talk about the RPG that I'm putting together and things like that. it'll just be somewhere I can splurge about all sorts of writing things.

You don't have to read it, and unless something really important comes up, I'm probably not going to mention it again on here, so yeah. However, if you *ARE* interested, go check out thesandwish and read the first post and (if you really want) the drabbles from the last 100 drabbles of summer challenge


Robert Reads some more Tamora Pierce

Title: Lioness Rampant (book 4 of 'The Song of the Lioness' Quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I'm both Yay! and Awww!! because I have finished the series and now I have to hunt down the next quartet and work out when I'm buying them before I can read the next ones.
I've been really enjoying reading this series again and it's nice to be reminded of something that I enjoyed when I was younger and not be disappointed by them. It's always horrible to go back to something, even if it's only been a few years, and realise that actually there are these huge flaws, or things in it that aren't flaws, but now trigger things that they didn't used to because you hadn't experienced them back then.
So this being the last book and everything there's always the chance that there's going to be some deaths and sometimes who lives and who dies, and how its handled, those things can make or break a book, and I thought that this one handled it really well. How things were tied up at the end was good as well, with all the characters doing the things that they should be doing, and working towards them, and certain relationships being confirmed so that we know that they're together rather than leaving us going "BUT WHAT ABOUT PERSON1 AND PERSON2?! DID THEY EVER GET TOGETHER?!" which I feel only works in exceptional circumstances.
I will admit that although I knew it was coming, I wasn't quite ready for Faithful. Apparently I'm not even ready to write that. Heh. *wipes eyes*

Anyway, I'm going back to my Kim Harrison books for the moment and it's really interesting going to those after Tamora Pierce because it's two different age groups that they're aimed at and the Kim Harrison books are MUCH longer. So I've spent quite a while today reading and I still haven't finished the book whereas I read the first of this quartet in full in... less that that time I think. The second book was finished in a similar amount of time too. (minus the falling asleep while reading!)

Robert reads (again) and watches Xmen

Akabane-Ginji Obsession
yeah, I went to see Xmen: Days of Future Past last night. I didn't do another post when I got home because it was a lot later than I expected, and I REALLY enjoyed it! ^_^ So much fun, though seriously, a lot more graphic than I was expecting! Warn me about these things, people! Come on!

Anyway, despite surprise graphic-ness, I really, really enjoyed it and I loved how clever it was. I like films that can be fun and clever. I will admit that I spent some of the later part of the film trying not to whimper!

Title: The Woman Who Rides Like A Man (book 3 of the 'Song of the Lioness' quartet)
Author: Tamera Pierce
Opinion: So much love for these books!!! Though I do have to take a moment to just comment on the *cover* of this one. These covers are not the same as the ones from the books that lycoris let me borrow all those years ago, this one has... Alanna in the middle and then two young men on either side and just slightly behind her. I am still not completely sure who these men are meant to be. Normally I would say Jon and George, but that wouldn't be right for this book. They could be the Head Man and the Shaman, or the Head Man and the Voice or... just two random guys... It's a very strange cover, not least because it's the ONLY ONE of the four books which features anyone other than Alanna (well, anyone human anyway)
Ok, my review of the book- I do really enjoy this book because we're getting to see more of the world, and I like fantasy where we've got to know one place, but then we get to see a bit more of the world around as well. And here we see a tribe that's very different and there's stuff about a different culture and different life style and all sorts of things. I love that the girls decide to keep their face veils, by the way. One of my favourite bits of just... not-plot actually! It's not made into a big deal- Alanna mentions it, the Head Man responds, and that's it. End of discussion- but I feel it's really good, and important in a way. It pleases me.
I didn't mention this last time, and I really should have, but the way the books set each other up is brilliant, even if sometimes they end rather... abruptly sometimes. I mean, the first book ends just after the Black City, they don't even get back to where they were staying, we don't get to see the reactions, it just ends with them still out in the desert. We learn a bit about people's reactions once they returned later on (can't remember if it's mentioned in book 2, but I know it's mentioned in book 3 because it's a major reason why some of the tribe will accept her).
And yet there are so many things already set up for book 2- like Duke Roger. And then that book sets up things for book 3 and so on. And this whole series sets up everything for the Protector of the Small of course. I can't remember exactly how much what happens in this series affects the Wild Magic quartet though... Looking forward to that one!

Anyway, I've just got the last book to go and I think I remember most of what happens. Unless I manage to read quickly assume the next review will be up tomorrow at some point :)

And further to that, I have decreed that today is a rest day which shall be spent with music and reading. See, every day for almost a full fortnight now I have given myself a short list of things to do (averaging about 6 things a day). These things are all typing stuff up from paper, making maps, proofreading, backing up, etc. Basically me sorting out my RP game, my current rewrite and proofreading for someone else. Every day I have been doing these jobs, sometimes managing to do everything, other times maybe only missing out one or two.

On days where I've been out all day (last Saturday), or the majority of the day (yesterday) I have either tried to do a few jobs before going out, or made up for what I've missed by doing a little extra the next day, and you know what? I've been keeping up.

however, tonight I have decided that I deserve a rest because I have been so good about this. So I've not even done a jewellery post (partly because it's got to the point where I've still not taken photos of the newer things and the photos I do have aren't great quality and it's starting to really annoy me that I haven't taken the new photos yet. I'll get there, but it involves setting up a space and dealing with lighting and all sorts of things. Taking a photo of a piece of jewellery takes a HELL of a lot more effort than people realise if you want it to look good!

Anyway, yes, rest night. *nods* I feel that it is deserved and I'm going to enjoy it. And read :)

Robert Reads

I was going to do these a while ago, but then I got distracted and stuff, but then after yesterday I felt that doing a little book review would help me to relax :)

Title: Alanna: The First Adventure (book 1 of the 'Song of the Lioness' quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: I decided that I NEEDED to buy this book so that I can reread it whenever I want. I first borrowed this series off lycoris long ago and I really enjoyed it and rereading it I've remembered how much I love it, though I was horrified at myself for forgetting about a totally wonderful character who is just awesome in every way.
I love reading about this awesome girl and the things that she does, and while it does have flaws, some of which I missed when I read them originally because it was a younger me reading and stuff, they are engaging and I care about what's going on and who these people are and even about the side characters and everything and everyone!
I then promptly ordered the rest of the series as soon as my wages went in on Monday, and they arrived yesterday ^_^

Title: Kalmari (book 1 of the 'SandWish' series)
Author: H. Stilwell
Opinion: Well, obviously the author is a genius and should be given all sorts of awards and stuff!
So I was debating on whether I was going to do this one for obvious reasons, but part of the reason I am doing this is for me to see what I'm reading and how many books I'm getting through and maybe trying to read a few more as well. And to keep track of where I am with various series as well.
Alright, so... putting aside the typos and things that were missed either by myself or annoyingly added by whatever program it is that converts computer documents (it really does happen! So annoying!), I do honestly enjoy rereading this book. I mean, I've read it over and over so many times that I should really be sick of it, and there are chapters where I'm more or less skimming, but it is still something that I want to read, even if I skip parts of it sometimes.
Though it is interesting to read this and then reading some of the chapters of book five and seeing just how much some of them have actually grown over the series, which I sometimes forget when I'm just reading through. Even between books 1 and 2 there is a certain growth in maturity for some of the characters.
I do think that there is still room for improvement in terms of the writing and stuff, but there almost always is.

Title: In the Hands of the Goddess (book 2 of the 'Song of the Lioness' quartet)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Opinion: So, the moment that the books arrived I started reading book 2, but then I forced myself to do my various writing jobs first, but once I had finished them, I was reading again and stayed up way too late trying to finish the book.
I fell asleep reading and then finished it this morning before work.
That's how much I enjoy these books, and I love watching the progressing of the characters and how close they all are and the reactions of them all as they learn about Alanna. I actually also quite like the timing of the books with book one covering the page years, book two covering squire and then her first adventures as a knight in book 3. I have a vague idea for a series of books that I want to write at some point and I kind of want to do them in a similar fashion, but I'm not sure that it would work in the same way really. But we'll see. I have like... five or six other books that I want to write before I even think about that one!
Anyway, this book, yes, I really, really enjoyed it! ^_^
I've very almost finished the third book, so I'll probably end up doing a second post when I get back from my cinema trip tonight!

Anyway, I hope that wasn't too annoying a few reviews. Look forward to my reviews of the rest of the Lioness books!!

Oh, two other things:
1. Would anyone object to me restarting Prompt Me Monday and Fiction Friday, maybe in a few months? I need some more writing excuses rather than just the planning and editing that I'm doing at the moment.

2. Would anyone be interested if I started a writing LJ blog? I would mostly just be writing about writing (and sometimes writing about writing about writing!) and the joys and frustrations to be found within. I'm sort of tempted, but I'm not sure how interesting/annoying people find those things, so I thought I'd ask

working with family is hard

So let me tell you about my woes.

I quite like my job, but sometimes it is very difficult working with Aunty V. She is the one that doesn't read books, only magazines, so we're already starting out at a bit of an uneven balance because, as we know, my life is all about reading books and writing books. That's kind of my *thing* really.

The thing that you have to know about Aunty V is that she has absolutely NO tact and if she thinks it, she's probably say it, so this one time when I was talking about staying over at lycoris and trying to explain how long we'd been friends she suddenly interrupts me with "Is she fat?" I mean, anyone who has MET lycoris... yeah, I didn't quite know how to reply to that at first. My brain was like "Why the hell would you ask that? Why would you even need to KNOW that?!"

Oh, and this time mum was trying to explain how a friend of hers has difficulty with trains (because she's disabled and sometimes the gap between the train and the platform is a little too big for her) and Aunty V's first question was still "Is it because she's too fat?" I mean seriously, she has a thing about this. And yes, Aunty V IS fat! (most of the women in our family are actually *sighs for genetics*)

This is a woman who phoned my mum more or less to ask if I was "still gay" and then a couple of weeks later says in front of me how "gay stuff" is disgusting and that it shouldn't be allowed. This was because of a gay kiss that was shown on a soap before the watershed. I forget which. She also told us (me and L) that she and my Uncle A had been to Portugal once and ended up in a "gay place" (her words, not mine) and there were gay people kissing. In public. In a Gay Place.


Apparently that shouldn't be allowed either.

Anyway, let's fast forward to today. (By the way, I am neither locking nor lj-cutting any of this because I have passed the point of caring if anyone sees this. I was Pissed Off!! And Upset!

I think I have mentioned before that I have a slight issue with being compared to my brothers, and by compared I mean having to sit and listen to a long list of all the wonderful things about them (good looking, clever, "doing so well", "working so hard", sweet, lovely, etc, etc, etc) while I get "You write/ read a lot don't you?"

Well this happens a lot around Aunty V, especially about my younger brother, Peter. He is three years younger than me and is arrogant as all hell because he has CONSTANTLY been told by various people (not mum and dad, no fear there!) how sweet he is and how lovely and how cute. He now pretty much believes that he is loved by all and he doesn't hide this. He is an arrogant fucker and we all know it. It drives me and mum crazy sometimes. He's also kind of... he over reacts at times and doesn't hold back when he should. I'll ruffle his (non-existent) hair and he'll try to slap me, almost always aiming for the face. Now, this is meant playfully, not as an actual slap, but he doesn't always pull his punches and so sometimes he does hurt, and other times he'll get my glasses, which all glasses wearing folk know can really hurt!

Aunty V loves him though, thinks he's lovely and sweet and clever and wonderful and possibly a fucking God, I'm not sure.

Every 1st of the month I send a pinch-punch message to a group of friends and family, including Peter, and almost every single time I manage to get him first because he loses track of the dates and has no idea that it's the first of the month until he gets my text. Today he sent back a very rude message including the word "sonofabitch" So naturally I sent him back a text saying that it was very cruel thing to say about mum. Anyway, my phone keeps bleeping as messages come through and L asks who I'm talking to and explain that it's my brother, who's being very mean and she suggests telling him to bugger off

V: What? She can't do that! Is that your Peter?
Me: Yeah *already sending the text telling him to Bugger off* He's being rude to me, so I'm being rude back
V: You can't do that. Peter's lovely.
Me: *sighs and prepares to hear another long list of Pete's virtues*
V: He's your mum's favourite, isn't he?
Me: ... *uncomfortable shrug* ehh
V: He's your mum's favourite. She's always telling me how lovely he is
Me: yeah, just tell me that my brother is my mum's favourite, Thanks



Due to sudden caps lock and lots of swearing, let's just assume that all of this happened in my head, not out loud (well, ok, a bit out loud, but only once I was alone) and I was really, really fucking pissed off. I know he's her favourite, and always will be because she sees this snapshot of him whenever she's over and she doesn't have to see what an arrogant lazy careless shit he can be, but she can NOT! say that he is my mum's.

Oh, and I did tell my mum about this (Peter's been out so it was the perfect time really) and she was horrified that she would say that to me. She has never said that Peter was her favourite, and certainly never to Aunty V.

Oh yeah, one more thing, my mum using the word "lovely" to describe any of? Often that's kind of mocking, not an actual endearment. It's always affectionate, but she has often called us lovely when she's being slightly sarcastic. When asked what it was like to have me living back at home again, her words were "She's lovely, but mad." Lovely is not actually mum saying that someone is a fucking favourite!