Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Fictional character I'd love to meet and why

 After a break last week due to being away, I've picked up this topic from Long and Short Reviews and, just for a change, I had an idea straight away.

I've been very into reading Kazuo Ishiguro lately. His novels have a contemplative air which somehow draws the reader even when you realise that very little action has taken place. I read "Never Let Me Go" some years ago and "Klara and the Sun" just recently, so after that I took up "The Remains of the Day".

For which reason I've decided that I would like to meet Mr Stevens, the famed butler.

Why? The central point of the novel is that Stevens has dedicated his entire life to serving as a butler, never allowing any time for a personal life, and as he grows old he goes on a journey and starts wanting to enjoy what is left of his days. So I would like to follow Stevens on his journey and introduce him to a few places and life experiences he hasn't known. Frankly, given how limited his life has been, even taking him on a tour of the UK would be an adventure for him.

So which fictional character would you like to meet?

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Creative outlets I enjoy

 I was rather ashamed when I saw this topic from Long and Short Reviews come up, because I am surprisingly limited in my creative outlets.

I am not, for instance, a person who goes in for arts and crafts. I can't draw, I don't knit or crochet, and while I know people who cross-stitch and embroider, I've never done it myself. So at the moment my only creative outlet is my writing.

I'm currently working on a piece with the working title of Hyperventilating. It has been re-planned about five times now but it's finally getting somewhere - and it has the advantage of allowing me to use a past creative outlet, which is songwriting. My hero is a rock star, and in my past I made several attempts at writing song lyrics, none of which were worthy of anything but which can be quoted safely whenever I write about my hero in performance. 

Makes a nice change from having to remove all song lyrics for trademark purposes!

So what are your creative outlets?

Monday, 12 April 2021

If I won a large lottery jackpot, I would...

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was an interesting one, in that it reminded me how much life has changed since covid happened. My first thought was that I'd travel... if covid let me. As things currently stand, nowhere on my bucket list is available at the moment without having to self-isolate afterwards, which isn't ideal for a pair of key workers.

In any event, if I had a large amount of money, I would travel. I've always wanted to take a fly-drive across America - there are hundreds of places in the US I would love to see, such as the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. I would also like to visit Thailand for the stunning beaches and the food (which is probably nothing like Thai food over here) and tour around Europe. I'd love to go somewhere like Iceland where we might stand a chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

The other thing I would get is a car. I absolutely love classic American cars and would really love a customised pink Cadillac Eldorado, one with a right-hand drive and better fuel consumption than they're known for. Actually, with enough cash, I'd probably end up with a T-bird as well.

So what would you do with a lottery win?

Monday, 5 April 2021

Books I chose based on the title

 I deliberately missed out the part about covers in this topic from Long and Short Reviews, as I couldn't think of a single book I chose based on its cover. I have, however, chosen a number of books based on their title.

Here Be Sexist Vampires - Suzanne Wright. I had no idea what this would be about (other than sexist vampires) but I couldn't resist a title like that. As it happened, it's a remarkably well written erotic romance with some interesting world building.

In Appreciation Of Their Cox - Janine Ashbless. This is a short erotica about an eight-man rowing team with a female cox, and definitely does what it says on the tin.

Stacy's Dad Has Got It Going On - Giselle Renarde. The title made me collapse laughing - the song is a guilty pleasure for me, and this was certainly a take on romance that I had never seen before. It didn't go the way I expected, but was always entertaining.

So which books did you choose based on the cover or title?

Monday, 29 March 2021

TV Shows I binge watch

 I had to twist this topic from Long and Short Reviews a bit, because I don't generally binge watch shows. My husband does - he likes to watch "The Expanse" while I'm working, since he finishes before I do. But I tend to watch things I've recorded, nothing that I could watch in large doses.

So what have I been watching recently?

We recently got a subscription to Disney Plus, so we've been watching shows on there. As well as the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in timeline order, we watched "The Mandalorian" (loved the ending to the last series), "WandaVision", and are now watching "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier". I admit I'm not enjoying that last one as much as "WandaVision", but I've always been a fan of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and it has only been two episodes of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" so far, so it may get better.

So what do you binge watch?

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

What my last meal would be

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was a tough one. I have a fairly wide-ranging palate and my favourite foods can vary from week to week, so trying to come up with one dish - or three, if you allow for a three-course meal - was hard work. I can like something one week and be bored with it the next.

For the starter, I think I'd go for burrata. For those not in the know, it's mozzarella cheese mixed with cream. I discovered this at a local Italian restaurant since I love mozzarella, so this is the perfect way to begin a meal.

I'd follow this with a roast dinner of some description. I've recently been hankering after roast pork with crackling, so I'd probably go for that, along with roast potatoes, carrots and green beans. You can't beat a decent roast.

And finally - cheesecake. I love almost all types of cheesecake but my favourite is lime, which unfortunately is impossible to find anywhere at the moment.

So what would your last meal be?

Monday, 15 March 2021

My theme song

 I had to laugh when this topic came up at Long and Short Reviews, because this is pretty much how I work when I write - a lot of scenes are written with music in mind. Unfortunately we're not allowed to quote lyrics and just using song titles doesn't always cut it, as not everyone will know why "Break Me Shake Me" would make a good background track to this sex scene. I've often wanted to include a flash drive or CD with every book and tell readers to play track X for scene Y.

I have also embarrassed my husband a few times by singing along to music in public. I can get away with this a bit more at the moment because I'm wearing a mask, so he doesn't always notice I'm doing it. I can still remember the time I found myself doing a duet of "Blurred Lines" with a random stranger in Asda, or the lunch break last year when everyone in Greggs was singing along to "Love Yourself".

But what would be my theme song?

I actually came up with this last year, before it was mandatory to wear masks in supermarkets. I had gone shopping wearing a mask and found myself surrounded by shoppers wandering around maskless, ignoring the arrows on the aisles - and, appropriately, playing on the radio was Chesney Hawkes' "The One and Only". Yes, I really was. And I think it works for most of my life - we all are, after all, the one and only.

So what would be your theme song?