Tag Archives: Literature

Peter Pan Review

I finished reading Peter Pan in November 2015 because it is one of the children’s classics I’ve never picked up to read before; I liked it a lot and the characters seem more real, solid and not as passionate in their hatred for one and other like I thought because of various movies.
I was told by a fellow reader of the book that “it is a book about dead children”, though personally I don’t see it; because then you would need to explain to me why Wendy remembered Neverland and grew up and had a grandchild who took her place with Peter in Neverland at the end of the book.
Anyway, there are many things to note about the tale. Peter Pan was more of a bully than a hero in the book, unlike what media portrays and Hook is more of a softy than you are initially told. Perhaps I see this because I am a sympathiser of villains in most books and movies? Though from what I got from the book, Wendy and her brothers were more or less bullied into staying in Neverland for much longer than they wanted, until eventually Wendy put her foot down and went home with her brothers in tow.
I am also surprised at how young Peter Pan is supposed to be in the book, he had all of his milk teeth still, this puts him around three to six years of age, yet it’s a very popular idea that he is between nine and thirteen.
Also, my husband gave me some information about Peter Pan, because I noticed that the dog, Nana, was a Newfoundland in the book, not a St Bernard which again, is a very popular notion in movies – this was apparently popularised by the fact that Walt Disney’s artist for Nana in his Peter Pan adaption didn’t know how to draw Newfoundland’s properly, whether or not this is true or not I have no idea, but it is funny how easily lead society is with new notions, isn’t it?
The closest movie to the book in my opinion is Hook with Robin Williams, because it focuses on the most forgotten aspects of the book; such as the sheer conceitedness of Pan to Hook and how Hook was very noble and proud and despised Pan’s arrogance and the fact that he felt a little guilty fighting him because of the age difference. Then there is the fact that Wendy grew up and Pan reacted badly against her aging and developed a relationship with Moira her granddaughter. I personally think that if J.M Barrie had ever written a sequel to Peter Pan then this movie adaption would be the closest thing to what I think Barrie would have written himself!
I enjoyed the book much better than the movie adaptions out there and I have often thought of my own stories regarding the characters, which I suppose should go into my fan fiction blog, whenever I am ready to set it up.

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My fantasy knowledge

My to read list is huge on Goodreads.com, and I have one book left from the library that I must read before the 4th of July, it hasn’t been read thoroughly yet because I tend to borrow the maximum each time I visit the library, note bibliophile present. The last book I have from the library that’s half read at present is “H.P Lovecraft’s book of horror” an anthology of 21 classic short horror stories which includes with my personal rating;

Supernatural horror in literature essay/introduction by H.P Lovecraft 9/10
The signalman by Charles Dickens 8/10
The house and the brain by Edward Bulwer-Lytton 8/10
The body snatcher by Robert Louis-Stevenson 2/10 (low rating yes, shock horror)
The spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers 10/10
The foot of the mummy by Theophile Gautier 9/10
The horla by Guy De Maupassant 8/10

The rest have yet to be read and they will include;

The fall of the house of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
The dammed thing by Ambrose Bierce
The upper berth by F. Marion Crawford
The yellow sign by Robert W. Chambers
The shadows on the wall by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman
The dead valley by Ralph Adams Cram
Fish head by Irvin S. Cobb
Lukundoo by Edward Lucas White
The double shadow by Clark Ashton Smith
The mark of the beast by Rudyard Kipling
Negotium Perambulans by E.F Benson
Mrs. Lunt by Hugh Walpole
The Hog by William Hope Hodgson
The great god Pan by Arthur Machen
Count Magnus by M.R James
Followed by the afterword by Lovecraft and the literature of cosmic fear:

Yesterday I finished Coraline by Neil Gaiman and other stories. Which were very compelling reads and I am what a readers quiz calls a polygamous reader, therefore I started reading H.P Lovecraft’s anthology before Coraline’s anthology, but I was so much more taken with Neil Gaiman than I was with H.P Lovecraft’s compilation, that I literally abandoned H.P Lovecraft until there was no more Neil Gaiman to read.

If I am having a good day with my health on the days I visit my work advisor I usually treat myself to a book or three at the local charity shops on the way home, it’s a habit I can’t get out of; unfortunately yesterday there were quite a few I liked, in fact, I would have by choice bought home five books, but I only had enough money for two. The ones I found and bought home were books three and four of the Eragon series (the inheritance cycle) by Christopher Paolini. I have never watched the movie Eragon and nor have I ever read the books. I had the first two books at home, never read and abandoned on the shelves until I could get the complete set and now I have them I am thrilled. Unfortunately, knowing me, it will probably be 3+ months before I start reading them, because I am currently reading 26 books according to my goodreads.com currently reading list.

That doesn’t need to get any longer does it? I am I have to start on the fifth to fourteenth book of the Wizard of Oz series before I can think of moving onto another series, also I have the last book of the Fifty Shades of Grey to read as well.
Oh the life of a bibliophile is far too short!

It’s stupid to think that I get through an average of 1 to 4 books a week and that my “to read” list is currently 4647 and that expands by no less than 20 books per week. It’s ridiculous, even if I was immortal and glued my arse to a chair and read 24/7 I would never ever catch up in reading unless there was a total ban for thousands of years of new material being published!

I hope in the future there will be a little chip inside people’s brains where you can download information immediately by the press of a button; I would opt to be a literary and historical know-all and I would also want to be proficient in all creative mediums and telepathy.

I get huge bouts of depression because I can’t do more than one thing at once. I want to read, but I have to go through a painstaking process of choosing which book gets my attention at that precise moment; but then I want to paint or write and I am sitting back thinking, well one things has to be put on hold, which will it be? What shall I do? I have so many things to write about and so many ideas, that I can never knuckle down and write them, because as I am writing I am being flooded with too much future work, that I surrender and do nothing.

I don’t suffer from writers block, I suffer from writers flood and because of that, I don’t write a majority of the time. Because it sends me mad, I write gibberish and I lack focus, because I think as I concentrate on other things, many things at once.
You can probably see this problem in my updates here.

I am a huge fantasy fan, but I don’t know much of the most commonly known fantasy books and movies because I refrain from watching or reading them if they’re popular, because they normally end up being frustrating commercialised entities that are constantly pushing out new material every few months. When I sit down to read a book and it’s a series, I like to think I have the whole series ready on my shelves before I start. If there are more books in that series coming out months later, it infuriates me, because I don’t always remember what happened in the books in great details and I do not like re-reading books if I can absolutely help it; (too many books and so little time).

The books I have not read and the movies I have not watched so far, that are popular in fantasy and family genres.

Eragon series books and movies
How to train your dragon books and movies?
The books after Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire haven’t been read yet
The movies past Harry Potter’s order of the phoenix
Once upon a time TV series
Supernatural TV series
The lion the witch and the wardrobe book
Narnia books
Final fantasy games
World of Warcraft games
Game of thrones TV series and books
Blood ties TV series
Twilight movie and books
True blood TV series and books
Nanny McPhee and the big bang
The Terminator movies
Maleficent movie

So as you can see, I have not watch nor read the biggies; but I do know a lot of fantasy that gets people scratching their heads at me and wondering what the hell I am talking about.

Those include;

The Gor series of books
Diary of a wimpy vampire books
The Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman (though they are becoming popular)
The weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
The play your own adventure books and fighting fantasies of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson
Nightmare TV series
Raven TV series
Highlander TV series
The fact there are 14 stories of OZ from the Wizard of OZ and that nobody knows the world completely, that is a complete bafflement for many
The Deptford mice books
Troll movie 1986
Critters movies
Tremors movies
The Disney movie – the gnome mobile
Shirley Temple’s movie – the blue bird
Angels in America movie
Dogma the movie

So, go feast yourself on these so-called unheard of books and movies.

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Chivalry by Neil Gaiman

Chivalry by Neil Gaiman
The first short story from the Neil Gaiman anthology “Smoke and Mirrors”, “chivalry” was enchanting in that it bought medieval fairy-tale to the modern world and included as a main character a person who is rarely considered for a main protagonist role in literature – an old lady browsing the shelves of a charity shop for some hidden gem; and what she found was a chalice that had unknowingly to her special links to the knights of the round table. A clever tale of bartering and cunning, knights and old ladies, wishes coming true and a taste of real history all rolled into one, made this story, for me, delightful.

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Read before Aug 15

My current reading list or books which are to be read before August 15th are;

The lady’s maid (my life in service) by Rosina Harrison – I’ve read 66 pages so far

Sociology; themes and perspectives (second edition) by M Haralambos – I’ve read 34 pages so far

The adventure of English (the biography of a language) by Melvyn Bragg – I haven’t even started this book yet and that’s very bad of me as I always wanted this book and it was given to me as a 16th Christmas present by my cousin Shane that was 14yrs ago.  To think I wanted that book so badly and I’ve never even read the introduction, naughty, naughty!

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole – I’ve been reading a lot of historical books lately that focuses on either horror, cult fiction, gothic history and literature and this book crops up several times as a re-commendatory read; so maybe I should pick it up?  I downloaded it as it’s completely free on kindle.

Dragon-lance chronicles (books 1 – 3) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (though personally I think it will take me 3 months to read this particular book). – I’ve read 24 pages so far, but it is going to be cast aside a few weeks whilst I read other books; because I am getting into non-fiction history lately as research material for my stories; hence the servant biographies that are appearing.

Nutmeg by Maria Goodin – I did read about 10 pages but then I put it down as it was hilarious but I was already very nearly finished reading some other compelling book – this book made such a good impression on me I sent it back to the library and purchased it on amazon; I did this because I want to take my time reading it and soaking up its fantastical imagery and comedy.  I am looking forward to re-reading those 10 pages and reading more at a later date, hopefully before August.

Lucky by Alice Sebold – I’ve read 38 pages so far and I have to admit the author has made me paranoid about making and keeping my hair short these days, though they do say that it’s rare to be raped more than once in a life time!

Parallel worlds by Michio Kaku – I’ve read 293 pages so far, though I’ve been reading this since last year and I am unsure if I will start reading the rest of this for at least another month or two, there’s something about me where I become more scientific in the autumn.  Don’t ask why, I don’t know ha-ha.

Whatever you think by Richard Gentle – I personally know the author of this book, I was supposed to of read it about 2 months ago but I got involved in other books, I really owe it to him to read it and give my opinion.  I am not a very persistent reader at the best of times and its shockingly rude behavior not to have given a special effort to this book.  So far I have read 18% of this kindle book and it was very interesting so there was no reason for me to of put it aside all this time.

The art of happiness by the Dalai Lama – I’ve read 51 pages of this so far and I am looking forward to reading more as it’s really eye opening. 

The goddess experience by Gisele Scanlon – I started this book last summer, I’ve read 137 pages so far, a lot of information in it is out of date as some of the recommended stores and websites have closed down which is such a shame. 

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King – I started this book just after Christmas 2012, I’ve read the first story of this anthology and I’ve read to read more; that’s 156 pages so far.  I think the reason why I didn’t continue the anthology was because the first story sent me into a state of shock about how horrific it was.

 

 

 

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Gothic literature & history

Just finished reading “The Gothic” by David Punter and Glennis Byron today; it was mostly about Gothic literature as opposed to Gothic history, architecture and fashion like it did portray at the back of the book which I found both disappointing and misleading.

I do like Gothic literature and the Gothic subculture a lot, but I was eager to learn more about Gothic history and architecture and unfortunately this was written in all but twenty pages of the book, so it seemed.

I am on the lookout for more books that concentrates largely on Gothic history and architecture, and doesn’t revert too much on literature; if anybody knows of any good books, please let me know.

My latest books added to the “to read” pile are “Cuckoo” by Julia Crouch, “The Castle of Otranto” by Horace Walpole; and “The Lady’s Maid” by Rosina Harrison. 

 

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Reading deadline met June 2013

My reading list has gone down a lot; although I will be adding time on three books I’ve borrowed from the library because I haven’t finished them yet.

I finished “Testament of a witch” by Douglas Watt, it was a very good read but I found it a little too predictable.  The plot to me seemed to have been given away very early on in the book.  I enjoyed the prose like scenes and the descriptions very much, I was also impressed by the writer’s ability to understand and know what went on during those times.

The Rudolph Steiner school book I was reading helped me to determine that perhaps Steiner isn’t the best sort of school for my children as well as I used to think, but I am thinking about further research on the schools; I hoped they’d be good for my children because of their encouragement for spiritual and individual development matches what we believe a childhood should be like, so I was disappointed when I found perhaps it wasn’t suitable after all.

I liked “The Dork Diaries” but I am a little unsure where to go now, whether I should read the whole series or whether or I am best to leave them on the shelves of the library; because again, the plot in the first book seemed too predictable and also found it a little too cruel for a teen book.

“Cult Fiction” never actually told me what cult fiction was in so many words, but it did give me insight to popular writers I’ve never heard of before and gave a name to many art forms I was familiar with but never knew the names of.  This book was definitely mind broadening and I recommend it to people who aren’t too adept at art and literary terminologies.

“Pam Ayres, the works” was also a good read, very comical but I wouldn’t have expected anything less; I found her work to be very good, but not good enough to go out and add to my personal collection unfortunately.

“My dad is ten years old” by Mark O’Sullivan, was frustrating and I threw the book across the room, how many times does a writer need to empathize in the first three pages of a book that a person was running?

Along with all these books I added some more to the pile in the past three weeks and didn’t announce them on here, those books were; “Bible proven and 666 solved” by Erik Lee Giles, “101 corporate haiku” by William Warriner and “Miss Abernathy’s concise slave training manual” by Christina Abernathy.

The first book “Bible proven and 666 solved” by Erik Lee Giles was very good, very informative and shockingly accurate to my own beliefs.  I would love to engage in further studies of this subject, everything about the biblical revelations and doomsday attracts me.  I have many planned novels for various dystopian tales, apocalyptic landscapes and lifestyles caused by an array of disasters both religiously oriented and naturally oriented.  I rated this particularly book a five star on goodreads.com

The second book “101 corporate haiku” gave me insight to what I can personally do with my own haiku’s, it didn’t teach me how to create haiku’s it merely showed me by the writers own art form of his own work.  I read this book in less than ten minutes because it’s so small and quick to read.

Thirdly, I read “Miss Abernathy’s concise slave training manual” this book is about consensual slavery for those interested in a long-term, live in BDSM situations.  I find this book interesting for two reasons; one I am personally involved in this kind of lifestyle and secondly I also write erotic fiction based in and around BDSM.

The last book was very interesting; it opened my mind to a gentler approach and helped to advise me on how to socialise in the scene outside of the internet, albeit in America.

I’ve been to the library today and collected two pre-ordered books called “The Lady’s Maid” by Rosina Harrison and “Cuckoo” by Julia Crouch.

I have also added the first three books of DragonLance to my reading pile “DragonLance chronicles 1-3 written by a team of fantasy writers, notably Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman; it’s a large anthology of the collection of which I’ve actually bought from Amazon and I am collecting them alongside the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett.

Needless to say, the last few mentioned books are the type of books I am planning on getting noticed for, alongside dystopian stories and erotica; despite this blog portraying me mostly as a poet. 

I am also reading “The Gothic” by David Punter and I am still reading “The revolting peasant” by Robin Page and a few other books I’ve mentioned since three weeks ago.

But I’ve read eight out of the eleven library books I’ve mentioned last month and my deadline was to read half of the eleven books by the 30th June which isn’t at all bad is it?

 

 

 

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Writing style and narratives

Many new writers write in a first person narrative; this is very limiting and produces problems if they want to include other characters opinions and viewpoints.  The main character of a story isn’t psychic, so wouldn’t know the real reasons behind their nemesis or co-inhabitants reactions to various events.

When I first started writing my vampire dark fantasy series, I was also to blame for writing in a first person narrative; this made it very complicated for me to introduce new characters with their personalities effectively.  My aim was to write the series as a series of biographies of individual characters from the same story, but this wouldn’t work well as it had already more or less been done by Anne Rice and I wanted to be different.  I found it much easier moving onto the third person narrative, which is what’s happening in my rewrites.

Writing in a third person narrative gives me more flexibility for my story’s direction.  I can skip viewpoints and characters at will, I can write about how everyone feels simultaneously and without too much effort.  Since writing in this style I have been able to write more words to my story daily, much more than before, alongside another technique I will tell you about shortly.

As a writer you must see yourself as a god, you are creating a world and these are your people; you’ve made them, you control them, you control events; you should be as dedicated to your creations as you are to your own god, you should be motivated by the sheer fact that your characters are waiting in limbo for how you are going to progress their lives.  But gods have two sides to them, good and bad, cruel and kind and so you should not feel too emotional about wrecking their lives, otherwise you’ll have a happy, clappy, crappy story.

Thinking about how I structure my novels, I am not the usual can of beans; I’ll share with you why;  It seems to me that most writers write a book from beginning to end, I’ve noticed I can’t dedicated myself to surprises. 

I write down my ideas in my ideas book, then I put up bullet point of events on my computer that I’d like to see happen in my story; then as scenes come to mind I write them, whilst trying to write from beginning to end, then I sew it altogether and sometimes I revise but mostly I don’t – in fact, everything that’s posted on this blog is never revised, I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I don’t have faith that what I write up here is my best work?

I do have massive flaws grammatically, punctuation wise and possibly prattle on too much needlessly, this is mainly down to the fact that I’ve had limited formal education.  My mother home educated me mostly and had a problem with me studying in college and university so I was put under pressure to become a drop out on seven occasions.

I must remind you too, that my main tutor at home was my mother who is dyslexic; yet I still managed to do a distance learning course when I was nineteen and got my only qualification in the world of a B grade GCSE for English Literature.

So, if I am not fine-tuned or polished, those are my excuses and I learn through tenderness.  This is why I beg for criticism and comments; I need help fine tuning my art of writing.

 

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Prosy fiction

I like writing very prosy descriptions from time to time and I was wondering if there was a market for prose fiction novels where there is a storyline but it’s mostly prose, such as;

The sand was warm to walk upon, like a heated blanket, she felt wrapped in a blanket of light.  She looked into the blue skies of noon and smiled to herself, for her love was far away on the ocean pirating his life for her wealth, so she could maintain her velvety fashions.

Her red hair blew in front of her eyes, giving the world a rusty tinge, the ocean seemed like melted copper when it did that, and her thoughts drifted into memories of the last time she was with Timothy.

I like writing like this sometimes, but I sometimes worry that there’s no market for it and that publishers will simply ask me to not to describe things so much, when over description was my intention.

I like reading things like this but not all the time and I was wondering if there’s a market that’s not been touched yet and the reason behind it is because publishers and agents are becoming afraid of new forms of writing (in my opinion).

As a fantasy reader I prefer prose like fantasy books than those traditional types of books.  Who agrees with me?  Please comment…

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Little sea maiden

Rising up into the wistful rainy night, I don’t see the stars shining bright

Awoken from my bed of sea, I sit on a rock and sulk grumpily

There are no boats out this eventide

No one to call to doom

I’ll sit and wait for the sailors to come

So I can sing my tune

Little fishes swim with me

Under the beautiful briny sea

A pearl necklace around my neck

I wait for you or a shipwreck

How beautiful you see me now

Sitting on my rock

But if you’re wise you’ll know what I am

And your ears you will block

Oh come to me dear sailor

My friend and my foe

I know you have faraway places that you are meant to go

But I will bring you jewels a plenty

My beauty is unparalleled

Come closer to the water, and I will show you hell

 

 

 

 

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Reading VS Writing – take 2

A few days ago I read another person’s blog (wished I remember whose) and they said that they used to predominantly write poetry and they’ve somehow unwillingly switched to story writing now, they still dabble in poetry from time to time but it is no longer their focus.  It’s funny but I’ve got the opposite problem, I’ve written stories since I was ten years old, in fact novel length stories and even a few sagas but in the last few months I can’t seem to focus on stories anymore (I noticed it’s been since I started reading fiction more) and poetry is coming more than easy for me. 

Why this happened I’ve no clue, but I suspect it has something to do with me reading other peoples stories and their style affecting the way I think about my stories to the point I have probably lost my courage to write effectively.  I think reading fiction for some writers may be dangerous and detrimental to their own story writing and style, if we enjoy non-fiction more but want to write fiction; maybe it’s best for us never to dip our hands into focusing on other peoples novels? 

Whatever I write in story mode seems to be bland and boring, less interesting than what I can read; yet a few years ago when I hardly ever read fiction my stories were interesting, exciting, different and a lot more people commented positively in my work, these days I am getting a lot of frowns and a lot of “what the Hell happened to you” kind of comments.

I tend to over think things, so reading other peoples work makes me analyze them and start comparing myself to them, which is dangerous in any situation to any person.

The problem is, I am starting to enjoy fiction as a reading source, to the extent I am searching high and low for good books I can sink my teeth into, it’s become as big as an addiction as my lust for non-fiction books and the more I read, the less I write.

I am trying to steer myself back into reading non-fiction only, but it’s difficult.

If I want to write stories I’ve noticed it’s coming out in very short prose forms these days, writing in a normal story telling way isn’t working anymore; especially lengthening the stories to a novel size.

Poetry is easier for me these days; in fact I can throw out a poem every fifteen minutes on average and I am desperately trying to teach myself that it’s quality of work not quantity, which seems to be what my subconscious is doing – focusing on quantity, not quality.

I believe the old saying that all writers are mad, because of this…  I certainly feel mad.

 

 

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