26/11/2008

Proud Bookworm!



Well who isn't a bookworm?

I've been tagged by my fellow book lover and Blogger Michelle who I worked with in a Bookshop a few years ago. We spent many an afternoon comparing books tastes - dying for new things to be printed and dressing up in as sorts (witches, angles, cats, pyjamas...) for almost any event we could think of. All with horrible instant coffee, staff pick cards and paperbacks/comic books in hand.

Right now to the tag...

Rules: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 46. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The closest book, not the coolest, or the one you think will sound the best. THE CLOSEST.
Well my nearest books is Tales from Earthsea (a collection of short stories set between Tehanu and The Other Wind) as I'm re-reading all my Ursula Le Guin books. She rocks and Earthsea is one of my many fiction hideaways.

Here goes page 46...

He ran down from the straggle of huts to the quick, noisy stream he had heard singing through his sleep all the nights in Woodedge. He prayed to it. "Take me and save me", he asked it. He made the spell the old Changer had taught him long go, and said the word of transformation. Then no man knelt by the loud-running water, but an otter slipped into it and was gone.

I don't like to tag people anymore but if you do this please please let me know I'd really like to see what everyone who drops by is reading.

SF

25/11/2008

Losing the will to live


Well I've just got my 5th rejection letter for my book. It is more then disheartening. Yes Many many famous authors are rejected several time before they get published and you have to keep trying. Hence why I'll be sending out another begging letter with my first 3 chapters double line spaced. The thing is, finding a publisher or even an agent for that matter who will take unsolisited manuscripts are far and few between. 

I heep my book back on the slush pile and wonder what I'll do when I run out of publishers...

22/10/2008

Pick me up, you know you want me....

There is one comic book artist out there who can make me read almost anything.

I think every comic fan has their list of favourites and over time the styles change and the looks get updated. Then there are others who's work is timeless like Alex Ross.

There is also the odd issue that makes you gasp and buy it right away, for example the issue of Unccany X-men by Kia Asamiya (#417) was so cool. 

I a really like Billy Tan and also more recently Jo Chen (her work on Runaways is brilliant).

But there is one who is just above the rest the great Salvador Larroca.

So here are a few pics for all to enjoy...


13/10/2008

The deepest cut

As people we live in social groups. Well most people anyway. We cluster together in villages and cities. In family units and friends circles and all sorts. 

The thing about these social interactions is we have to care for other people. Family for example is closest of bonds and can excuse almost anything. Heaven's know if I wasn't blood related to some people, I would have walked out the door and never spoken to them again. I'm sure we've all been there. Friends even more so because we choose to be around them. There is no DNA link prehaps its common interests, mutual friends or a shared history at first but after a while it goes beyond that. You see the best in them and they forgive your faults and stick around anyway. Prehaps as human's we have a need to feel closer to other people and that's why we create this relationships. Why we live in communities rather then on our own. Why we call each other or strike up conversations in the strangest of places.

Friends are so important because the bonds you have to them are undefinable, they conect us to each other. For no other reason you trust them and confide in them more then you would anyone else. They are the ones you go to for comfort when you family upset you or a relationship breaks down. You drop your gaurd and invite them in, hope they'll defend you when you can't do it yourself, stand by you when your weak. So when a friend hurts you its all the more painful. 

I'm just rambling of course...I guess my questions is once you've been burned by someone you thought you knew and trusted how do you pick yourself up...

19/09/2008

Conversation Skills

I get in to work at about 7:30am. To some people this is really early and to others its like "what took you so long". The only problem with this is I'm not a morning person. In fact if I don't have to go to work, wild horses couldn't drag me out of bed. 

So why bother going to work at silly o'clock - well I need the time to acclimatise to people. Seriously I warn you don't speak to me, or people like me before say 10am, we just can't cope. 

Someone came in the office and asked me some at 7:50 today and it took me a few mins to figure out they were talking to me (not the empty chairs) and the words coming out of their mouth were coherent and that they was smiling, even cheerful...I have but one conclusion, its not right to be gleeful before 9am people...it just doesn't compute

19/08/2008

Do you want to Believe?

I was reading this news article about famous hoaxes, it got me thinking about people and the desire to believe in things when logic tell us otherwise. One of my colleague's commented that "some people will believe anything" rolled her eyes and left. But to me I think anyone can believe anything, it just depends on prospective.

Now I believe in all sort of things I have no evidence for - many of which don't need hard proof.

But lets take something ordinary like emotions. We trust people have emotions and people trust us to be honest with how we feel. Anyone can say "I love you" and mean it - but how do you know?

Can we have proof of things like love or hate or fear? Yet we as people believe in other peoples emotions when the only ones we can know for sure are our own feelings. Yet we still react accordingly when someone else is sad or happy - with no proof one way or another - its just people can't help but be empathetic. In fact their is a whole profession based on simulating emotions and we pay millions of pounds to see it.

Would cinema, theatre, television and fiction exist if humans weren't able to suspend reality and for 2 hours or 5 minuets believe in the impossible... How many people don't like a good movie or drama, with no basis in fact whatsoever. Humanity has a culture of story telling that goes back as far as we do. The Iliad and the Mahābhārata for example are traced back as far as the 9th century B.C and are still read and discussed today.

You could argue that we know all that stuff is made up and even though we watch and read we never really buy in and that is true to an extent. But I'm sure anyone who's cried after watching a film, felt that pang of tension as the protagonist closes in on the killer or regretted finishing book too quickly can see my point. Its not that we do believe its that we want to.

Where is all my babbling going? You see my colleges comment annoyed me. Its easy to look down from our lofty perches on those who have been duped by one thing or another. We all think that we would not ahve been taken in but aren't we all guilty of falling for something at some point. Perhaps people are taken in by hoaxes not because they are gullible but because we as human being have a desire to believe in all the possibilities the universe has to offer, rather then straight forward facts, even its its just for a moment. Prehaps we should believe nothing but I for one would find life rahter boring that way...

28/07/2008

The Dark Knight

Cinema I love - I'm sure you love it and if you happen to see a large number of movie review on my blog in the future it because I just can't help myself.

The Dark Knight came out on Friday, some or you Lucky souls with earlier release date might be thinking this old news but for me its still fresh in my mind. Christian Bale it seems has lost none of the talent he bought to Batman Begins and continues to deliver a Hero both flawed and awe inspiring.
True is not quiet the performance of The Machinist but he still brings depth to the role. I think that is why from the first batch of Batman films I loved Michael Keaton - he managed to capture just how insane and brilliant you've have to be to run around in a rubber suit hunting down criminals. Batman Returns being one of my all time favorite movies. The others (with the exception of Bale) were well just going through the motions. Poor George Clooney was only surpass in blandness by the terrible performance of Arnie as Mr Freeze, maybe I'm being too harsh but I'll leave you to judge. Before I begin my review I have to say it is a real shame about Heath Ledgers death, the world has lost a real star.

I think for a while it seemed like actors played comic book characters in a rather banal not effort sort of way. Something brilliant actors like Sir Ian McKellan and Edward Norton have shown us, is far from true. As an avid comic reader its nice to see that characters you love finally getting the portrayals they deserve.

So did Christopher Nolan manage to deliver? When Batman Begins came out I had my doubts, As I've already mentioned I loved and grew up with the Tim Burton movies and thought there was a hell of a lot to live up. Of course once I saw the film I was blown away, It was beyond any of my expectations (the Martial arts helped to). So when they announced Dark Knight I was
desperate to see if Nolan had manged to keep the wonder of the first movie.

Second parts tend to fall on their knees in trilogy/series law, a sort of in between syndrome that few things can avoid having. There was certainly no messing around here. Minuets in and the actions beings, no awful recap, not long winded this is what you missed in the meanwhile rubbish. A nice Cameo from Cillian Murphy (shame there wasn't more) and off we go.

The action sequenced didn't disappoint (though more marital arts would have been nice but I'm just nit picking). But rather then recap the whole movie scene for seen I will say the film is made by Heath Ledger. For almost the whole 2 hours I've forgotten it was an actor. The way Joker was written and Ledgers performance set this film apart. I never thought Joker could be such a scary and interesting villain. In fact I think I groaned when I heard joker was in this film but I take it all back.

Maggie Gyllenhaal was a brilliant improvement, it was nice to seen a Rachel Dawes who did something other then scowl. Harvey Dent was a nice surprise too - but I think Aaron Eckhart is really underrated. I won't give anything away but the two-face effect made me gasp. Alfred had more lines and continued as the voice of wisdom - I look forward to seeing more of him in the next one...? Gary Oldman makes Commissioner Gordon something other then the bloke who turns on the Batlight. It didn't have the wow thrill I thought I wanted but instead it gave us a Gotham and characters you could really believe and get swept away with. This movie has an even darker tone then the first and its hard not to when you think about who and what Batman
really is.

There were few unanswered questions at the end but I think Dark Knight was the precisely the edgy, clever and shadowy sequel Batman Begins deserved to have. So I'll be using my cinema pass to see it again...

later dudes SF

24/06/2008

Myth and Legends

I have a thing about myths.

I love them, reading about them finding any ties they have to history. As a kid I almost dies when I found out that Troy was a real place. My love of Myth and Legends is probably why I ended up doing a degree in Ancient History. As a kid my parents would regale me with stories from Ancient India, tale of demon's and gods and normal people getting caught up in the most extraordinary adventures. This could be why I love fantasy books so much (thank you Tolkien).

Britain has as many myth as anywhere else but there is one that I can safely say hold some international fascination and that's the Legend of King Arthur. I don't know what it is but something about that particular story has had people dreaming for a long time.

Tomorrow I'm off to Cornwall, where ancient history can bee seen with your own eyes. I'll be dragging E off to Tintagel.

I've no idea (I don't think anyone does) if this is the real Tintagel (the castle of King Marc of Cornwall) featured in the Arthurian Legends and the story of Tristan and Isolde. But a part of me wants to believe that sometime the story we are told hold some truth...

On the subject of Legends, the Red Wings won the Stanley cup this year, I'm over the Moon.

30/05/2008

Sushi!!!!!

Well its been ages since my last post. We had two weeks of glorious sun in London and then it disappeared and left us in an odd state of grey rainy days. With June round the corner I'm sure we are all hoping for a lovely summer ahead - even if we can't see it yet.

I've been working like mad and running around after my demanding family so have neglected this blog and barely read anyone elses.
The only problem with parent who care a little too much even though your 25 and married, is that they don't stop caring too much. Thus taking up all your time, I think my laptop will shun me soon for lack of attention.

Anyway here is something I LOVE, Sushi!

I ate myself silly in Japan and tonight E is making me more. Last year I sent him on a Sushi training thing for his birthday.

Great present for him...purely selfish for me...

Here is some he made earlier
Tell me something you LOVE? actually I don't mean I mean something you absolutely go insane far, have craving for and withdrawal if you don't get enough....

25/04/2008

Heroes

I've been watching the new series of Heroes, I've also had a huge comic book shipment. It's so nice to be home and have the joys and cheapness of Amazon back. Anyway it got me thinking about the question "Who is your Hero?"

Perhaps we pick people we want to be like, or people we could never become in real life who knows. There is probably a million books on the subject. I was also thinking how much I want super powers and why do people always complain when they get them!

My heroes tend to be fictional, you can give me the psycho babel explaining this if you like but now here are my top 3.

1. SAGE
You might have noticed I use her as my Avatar, she super smart being a living computer, direct and nothing gets by her. One of those Comic characters that doesn't get as much press as she should. Check her out in New Excalibur.

2. Sydney Bristow
After 5 seasons of Alias I was more then hooked I was devoted.


3. Xena Warrior Princess
You can stop laughing, to me Xena is perfect.

Before anyone says anything I do have one male hero - Indiana Jones but I think he deserves a whole post to himself in light of Crystal Skull coming out soon.

So who is your Hero?

09/04/2008

London Calling



Greetings All, Sorry I've been quiet recently but I've moved home to London!

We left the lovely land of Oz on the Friday before Easter, 32 degrees and the sun on our faces. 24 hours later we land in the snow and high winds at Heathrow Airport. You should always worry when the pilot say something ominous like "We are going to attempt a landing".

Its been a few weeks and getting settled in, so I'll be back spoon!

20/03/2008

Land of the Rising Sun

I just spent the last week in Osaka and Kyoto. This was my first trip to Japan and I was completely blown away.

21/02/2008

Another World

A friend of mine came over to Australia to visit me, so naturally no trip over would be complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Even though I've been before I was terribly excited, as soon as we were on the plane the two of us were positively giddy. After getting soaked to our skin in Cairns (Rainy Season!) the morning came and we boarded the boat that would take us out.

Even if you've been diving or snorkeling before, even if you've seen every documentary on the ocean nothing can really prepare you for how wonderful it is, the first moment you put your head in the water and look all around you. Its more then just fish or coral, its the abundance of life all around. The colors are far more vibrant then any photograph can capture the shoals of small curious fish swim right past your mask, the bigger ones just at arms reach.  Creatures you didn't believe could be real are just swimming along like everything it normal. It truly is another world right here on earth and for a moment you get to glimpse it.

Unfortunately the sad reality is, the Reef is slowly being destroyed due to climate change. If something isn't done soon, the Barrier Reef will soon be nothing more then a memory. 

04/02/2008

I'm giving up Me for Mii

There is a new thing in my life, I never expected it, at first I resisted. I came up with a million reasons not to but its allure was too strong to deny. Yes that's right I've fallen prey to the Wii.
I never had a games console of my own, my 286 PC back in the day could only handle Space Invaders and if I was lucky a DOS game called Crystal Caves. Occasionally I'd visit a friend or cousin and play something like Sonic or Prince of Persia but until E came into my life with his PS2 I never really got the whole gaming thing. Even then I was so awful that it never took hold. Until now. Like thousands before me I've been suckered in and now look forward to holding that WiiMote in my hand for hours on end.  First it was Wii Sport, now the word Sport and Shadow never ever went together the only sport I like is Ice Hockey and I'm purely a spectator. We can blame School Physical Education for my hate of anything sporty but I'll save that one for therapy, if
 I ever need to go. I tried to go for a run once, I think I had a heart attack instead. Imagine my surprise I find I could hit a golf ball and kick ass boxing!
Then we got Link Crossbow trainning and now I'll never look back...At least I'm exercising right?

23/01/2008

Goodbye Old Friend


Seamus was my husbands dog for 13 years. He'd been my friend for the past 5. His ashes arrived at the house yesterday telling us all that he was really gone. Half of me expects to find him sleeping under the desk as I type, he'll wake up and give me the "Are we going for a walk yet?" look as if nothing had happened and he'd been there all along.


Seamus was more then a pet, he was a part of the family and I'll be missing him everyday.

08/01/2008

Home is where the Heart is...


Its January, named for Janus, God of beginnings, endings and doorways.
I always think of this month as being rather special, it has a way of telling you how the rest of the year is going to be. I'm a real believer in starting things the way you mean to end them. Its one of the reasons I don't bother with New Year resolutions - I think if your going to do sometime you don't need to declare it, you need to just get on with it. Though I know some people find them useful  but few ever keep them.
Its summer here in Australia so nice and hot rather then the frosty weather I'm used to this time of year. Normally I'd relish the heat, but the longer I'm here the more I miss London and I think January is trying to tell me something. Before I thought I hated the gloomy mist that surrounds Hyde Park at 6:45 am but now its something I long to see.
I've always felt like and outsider, at school, at work even with my own family. London was the only place I ever felt truly comfortable. Its strange that it takes living on the other side of the world to realize a great many things. I miss the noise and the feel of that large city, I love the way there are about 10-12 million people buzzing about but you still feel connected somehow.
I miss the bookshops I like to browse in with dusty shelves and hidden cafes on cobbled backstreets. I long for those magnificent pieces of the city that reflect the long passage of time, from ancients Celts, settling Romans, invading Vikings and so forth to new cultures from even further a field each with its own pocket in the city. The familiar buildings, walks, statues and gardens the modern futurist buildings of Canary Wharf to the Gothic beauty of St Pancras Station.
I had hoped to come here and experience new things and find whatever it was I thought I was lacking.
I have experienced and gained many things I couldn't or haven't been able to do before, I got my drivers license for one, I've held a bird of prey and stroked a crocodile, climbed a sort of mountain. But the longing in my heart is telling me to go home...