So, I thought I would make a post here to let you all know that this year I am competing in the wonderful competition known as NaNo WriMo.
But what is it? I hear some of you cry! Well, NaNo WriMo stands for; National Novel Writing Month. Which means I will be attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. (November). So in 30 days, I should hopefully have a glorious finished novel! This is an exciting thing for me but it will not be my first finished novel! It will, however, only be my second.
And, since I finished the first one during Camp NaNo WriMo in the month of August, I found it to be fairly easy time wise as I didn’t have to compete with university work or actual work. So, this november while I’m juggling uni work and actual work as well as blogging and reading, I am attempting to write my own story as well. I may just be a complete and utter loonatic, who knows?
Anyway, I thought I’d post this on here to let you guys know that if my reviews go down by the wayside or I seem to suddenly disappear completely from the world that I am in fact probably just locking myself in my room to write, write and write a little bit more. But, I am also posting this because I could probably do with as much support as I could possibly get! It’s not an easy feat writing so many words in so little a time and I really, really want to do it!
So wish me luck!
And, if any one else is doing it, let me know because I’d love to talk with you, help support you and witness your progress! =D
There is something so… special about being able to appreciate a book. Not everyone can do it, and quite a few don’t even bother to read anything but the books they are told to read by educational systems (and sometimes they don’t even do that). But once you know how to appreciate books for all that they’re worth, you are opened to an entire world of possibilities… no, more than a world, a billion worlds. Every single author, every single book, every single reader has their very own world and that, is what makes books so very uniquely special.
It has to be said that I have always been an avid reader. From the first time that I was read a fiction book, I became hooked and as soon as I could read myself I was barely ever seen without a book in my hand. Books became my life, my journey, my guidance through the world. Even, to this very day, there are steps I take in my life that I know I take because I have read something similiar or have been given advice from a book to make sure I don’t go down a certain path. Books to me are more than just paper and ink, they’re more than just an author’s imagination splashed onto a page. They are my friends. Ultimately, they are the one thing that will never let me down. They will never hurt me in the way that other people do and I always feel like a piece of my soul becomes dislodged when I finish an incredible book because I feel like I have just said goodbye to the best friend I own.
Books can transport you to destinations that you could never dream of before. But they also do so much more than that. If the author is good enough (and there are some brilliant author’s out there and I’m not just talking about J.K. Rowling here) they can make you get attached to the characters as though they are actually there with you. They take you on their journey and you feel so touched by them that when things start happening, you know they’re not happening to you but it feels like they’re happening to someone that is extremely close to you and it simply affects you on an emotional level.
Of course, there are always those books that we pick up, read and don’t really get anything from because they can’t all be brilliant but on the times when you pick up a book and truly feel taken to a new world with so many endless possibilities, those are the ones that make you feel so much more alive. Sometimes all it takes is one book, just one to make you remember that reading isn’t a chore, it is a pasttime; a hobby. ‘The Hunger Games‘ by Suzanne Collins which I only just finished on Friday night (and I literally read over half of it in one sitting) was one of those books and it just made me realise just how much I have missed reading over the last few years. University has just gotten in the way and taken over my reading time but now I know that I need to get back into reading again. Once more, I have returned to my friends, my love, my books.
Okay, so, every friday (and wednesday) the cinemas here in the UK release new films to the viewing public and so I thought of a good plan and something fun to do for this blog of mine. Basically, I will trawl through the new film releases, watch the trailers, read the synopsis and then tell all of you about each of them and then let you know which one is my favourite (the one I’m most looking forward to watching) and invite you to let me know your thoughts.
Let’s see if this works, shall we?
The Adventures of Tintin (Release Date: 26/10/11)
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg
The adventures of Tintin is an adaptation of the cartoon brought to life by Steven Speilberg. When Tintin buys a model boat, he finds an inscriped letter hidden within it that begins a new adventure. This adventure opens a new world of possibilities and failures to which he must conquer and even puts him against the villain, Red Rackham. Will Tintin be able to save the day?
The Help (Release Date: 26/10/11)
Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain
An adaptation of Kathryn Stocketts novel, The Help tells the story of a writer who sees the world differently to those around her and consequently writes a book in the perspective of ‘the help’; the black maids. This leads to scandall and changes within society that may be irreversable…
Ides of March (Release Date: 28/10/11)
Starring: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman
This is a film about an ambitious press secretary who continuously works harder than most to get his candidate to win presidency. Before long, however he gets caught in the middle of back-room politics that ends in a high-end scandall that has the power to ruin everything…
Anonymous (Release Date: 28/10/11)
Starring: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewliss and Edward Hogg
This film questions whether or not Shakespeare ever actually wrote anything. Set back in his time, Anonymous tells the tale of life during those times. One filled with politics, scandall, forbidden liasons and scheming noblemen and maybe, just maybe, the truthful idea that Shakespeare is a fraud.
THE FAVOURITE: The Help
This is a film that I have been waiting for since the first time that I saw the trailer and, in all honesty, the fact that it’s a novel adaptation only makes me more inspired to go and see it. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to reading the novel yet but it is on my to-read list and will definitely be read after I have watched this film. I have heard only good thinks regarding this and so my anticipation is definitely up high.
But what of you? What do you want to see most?
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Written by: Scott Z. Burns
Main Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Jennifer Ehle
Storyline: Beth Emhoff comes home to America from Hong Kong with a deadly and unkown virus. This virus is then passed on to her lover in Chicago and her son in Michigan. Her son goes to school where he becomes sick and consequently passes the virus on to his school nurse as well as his classmates and teachers. The health regulators and doctors have a short time to work out what the virus actually is and find a way to cure it before it wipes out the planet. Some are immune but if you catch it, it is only a matter of time before your time is up. What do you do when widespread panic is all around you?
Two out of Five Stars **
This is one of those films that has varied reviews. Some will like it and may even feel that it is a film of pure brilliance, while others will agree that it simply lacked that certain something that would make it spectacular. Perhaps it was due to all the hype surrounding this film, but it certainly did not present itself as a film that should be watched again; if at all. This is an extremely disappointing feeling as it was supposed to be a film that really captured the audience’s attention; or perhaps that was the real problem.
Essentially, if nothing else, this film is nothing but an informercial. It informs audiences of what not to do if there is an epidemic and how not to behave when you have a cold. If it does nothing else, it certainly makes you concious of everything you touch and do within the space of twenty-four hours. Unfortunately, due to it’s almost ‘government message’ feel, it did not really bring any entertainment along with it and honestly just felt like we were watching this film to be given instructions on how to properly behave if anything this drastic were to happen in real life.
Most disappointingly was the fact that all the well-known actors and actresses in this film really couldn’t bring it out of the darkness. The problem was, there was too many characters to really get your head stuck in to an emotional feel of the film. Do we feel for Matt Damon’s character who has to look after his daughter alone now? Are we supposed to feel emotionally attached to Marion Cotillard’s character who is kidnapped by a village in the surburbs of Hong Kong? Is there a feeling of ultimate kindness from Laurence Fishburne’s character who offers to look at the janitor’s son? If we are, it certainly doesn’t come across from the film. There is just too much going on with too many characters to focus our attention on.
Furthermore, the major flaw with this film was the storyline. While the concept was an extremely interesting one and one that could have gone on to do so much, it simply just flopped as soon as it hit the big screen. With so many statistics flying around, as well as literally flying around on screen from character to character, it was just too difficult to really get into the story. Not to mention, where the script really failed was the lack of a strong griphold. Where was the downfall, the almost happy ending and then the eventual downfall again? Often you find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat but not because it’s gripping but because you’re about ready to get up and leave the cinema if nothing interesting happens soon.
Ironically enough, if this film had been marketed as an art film as opposed to a blockbuster movie that was produced by Hollywood then it would probably have had a hell of a lot more potential. It is a sad but honest declaration that says a hell of a lot about the film industry today. All in all, if this film didn’t have so many characters, had a better story arch and didn’t feel like an informercial then it probably would have deserved five stars (or maybe four, depending on the direction of course) but, as it is, this film just lacked in so many places that it is lucky to even deserve two.
This film certainly isn’t worth paying money to see.
Summary: Katie DeMaio is a county prosecuter who skids on the ice in her car, causing her to crash into a tree. With the accident landing her in hospital, it is with sleeping eyes that she truthfully witnesses a doctor carrying a dead patient through the parking lot. However, when she wakes, it all seems to be a bad nightmare.
The next day, Vangie Lewis is found dead in her house by her husband Chris after she commits suicide and Katie is called in on the case and there is something eerily familiar about Vangie Lewis that she cannot quite place.
Just as her office begin to realise that Vangie Lewis was actually murdered and that Dr Highley is the leading suspect, Katie DeMaio is on her way to his hospital department for surgery…
Four out of Five Stars ****
This is an incredible read. From start to finish it manages to fully pull the reader in, and makes it extremely difficult to put the book down. Clark gives the narrative a vast scope of many different points of view, allowing the reader to be given the enitre scope. This ploy is the one that truly hooks the reader into the story for they understand what has happened, they realise what is about to happen and yet, at the same time, they are completely and utterly in the dark.
It is a story that awakens the spirit in the mind, the one that urges you to carry on reading to find out if he manages to get away with it, or whether she gets saved in time. There a moments of pure shock and horror and other moments that really manage to get the reader emotionally involved. In my personal experience, I felt I needed to take a break from the book as I could tell what was going to happen but I simply didn’t want to read about it. A feeling that I miss when I read novels that twist and turn all over the place.
But don’t get me wrong, because this story definitely has its twists and turns as well. As you turn page after page, your brain gets bogged down in the story, trying to piece together all the little pieces along with the detectives solving the case and you can’t help but express a little joy when certain events unfold along the way.
This is a brilliantly written novel that truly brings out the best emotions in a person, and one that leaves you feeling like you lost a friend when you reach its end. It is one that I would recommend to many and I, for one, cannot wait to read another of her books and get ready to launch into another spectacular journey.
The Northern Lights written by Phillip Pullman is an extraordinary tale of a young girl, Lyra Belacqua, who travels north (to the northern lights) to rescue her best friend who has been kidnapped with many other children. Little does she know that her destiny is foretold and that she is the key to something much larger, nor does she realise that her journey will open the world up to her in ways that she could never have even imagined in her wildest dreams.
The story is an enchanting one which pulls the reader in to a world where humans have their souls as a deamon in the shape of animal. Someone who will always be there to talk to and will forever share your thoughts as your minds are entwined into one. Lyra is a fierce, brave and loyal child who only wants to do what is right. She is an imaginative liar, without actually being imaginative and is always able to come up with a good plan in the spur of the moment. She is the person who pulls the story along and as a reader, you find yourself holding your breath for her and clinging on to her story with every ounce of your being as she gets bashed and beaten and pulled into things that are completely out of her control.
Phillip Pullman is, and in my eyes always will be, a brilliant writer. His style is fluid and easy to read, but this may have something to do with his target audience, of course. However, it cannot be denied that this first book in ‘The Dark Materials‘ trilogy is one that really gets the ball rolling. It opens up possibilities and questions that lead the reader into wanting more, which is a relief when you realise that there is actually another two books to continue reading.
Unfortunately, this book, but more the trilogy as a whole, is covered in controversy as the novels question religious Christian beliefs and has been commented as a very ‘atheist’ story. Personally, I try not to let these things ruin my reading, especially for books designed for teenagers and young adults, and so I do not have much to say on this topic except that even if it did somehow push the boundary, then good for it. Surely the whole point of being able to write is to be able to question things that you can not question outright? For this, I simply give Pullman props and am glad that despite the controversary, these books are still widely circulated as they definitely in my top ten favourite books of all time.
In 2007, Hollywood decided that they liked the books so much that they would try and make a film out of them. The Golden Compass (2007) was directed by Chris Weitz but, unfortunately, it was a complete and utter flop. It may just be that I couldn’t see past the magical brilliance of the books or it could have been that the censorship rating of 12 was too low but whatever the real reason was, it is simply a real shame that this film didn’t become the huge success that it should have been. With Nicole Kidman playing Mrs Coulter and Daniel Craig playing Lord Asriel, it had all the qualities it needed to truly bring this story alive as both are remarkable at acting and would have been able to set the characters to life except that they just didn’t. There was just something missing.
Moreover, the film just struggled to capture Lyra in all of her infinte beauty (inner, that is) and it was hard to sympathise with her when things just continuously went wrong for her. I’m certain that Dakota Richards is a brilliant actress, I have no doubt about that, but unfortunately the directing and plot just let it all slip down the drain. This film simply didn’t have the buzz, excitement and magic that was so well fuelled in the books and thus it didn’t become the box office success it should have been. It is, therefore, not surprising that four years down the line there still hasn’t been a sequel made.
Perhaps, ‘His Dark Materials’, are simply better left on the page, accessable only to those willing to actually pick them up and read the magic that they leave in all of our hearts.