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Monday 27 April 2020

Reason why I stopped reading a series I loved

This topic from Long and Short Reviews was a tough one, because when I start a series I usually finish it even if it is driving me mad. So I struggled to find one that I had actually given up on.

I did, however, find one.

"The Forest of Hands and Teeth".

I had never read a zombie novel before so I thought I would give the series a try. The first one I enjoyed, although I did notice a couple of points which should have given me an idea of where the series was going. Unfortunately these points became serious annoyances in the second novel, which is why I gave up.

The reason? The utter inertia of the characters. Nobody could make a decision, nobody could do anything, they just sat and agonised about everything. I spent most of the second novel screaming "Just DO something!" Needless to say, the third novel and the prequel remained unbought, because I couldn't face any more characters who let the world go past them.

So what led you to give up on a series?

Monday 20 April 2020

My silliest pet peeves

Another tough topic from Long and Short Reviews, because I struggled to think of pet peeves that could be considered silly. All mine seem quite obvious to me. I did, however, manage to think of a few which might not fit into everyone's world.

My first is best explained by saying that I hate, absolutely hate, being in the cab on the way home from a restaurant thinking "I wonder what that would have been like?" If there is something weird or new to me on the menu, I have to try it. Often this has worked out (cactus sorbet, anyone?) but a number of times I've been left with a meal I couldn't stand, leading my husband to get annoyed that I didn't just order the spaghetti bolognese like a normal person.

Another hate? Streets that don't show up properly on satnavs. Mine is built into my dashboard and can't be updated, which means new streets (like the one I live on) completely confuse it - but even without that, I have spent many times driving in circles because my satnav has decided that there is no number 125 on this street even though I know that's where the restaurant is.

And finally, as a film lover - trailers that give away the plot. Particularly, as a horror fan, trailers that give away all the good bits. I recently saw a film called "The Prodigy" which had, in its promo, announced that they had had to re-edit a scene after test screenings because audiences had been so floored by one scare that they missed all the dialogue in the following scene. It was a good scare, I agree, so why the hell was it in the trailer? What a great way to ruin a film!

So what are your weirdest pet peeves?

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Characters I'd invite to a dinner party

Since I'm not a dinner party person, this topic from Long and Short Reviews was a tricky one. I ended up going from episodes of Come Dine With Me for inspiration as to what makes a good dinner party guest. And going from that show, what I really want is someone who doesn't nitpick over whether I hand-rolled my pasta. However, I did manage to come up with a few possibilities.

Emma Woodhouse and Jane Fairfax. Two rivals from Jane Austen, to a degree anyway, as both are far too polite to openly rival each other so wouldn't be bickering over the soup. Emma Woodhouse has the wit and charm to carry a good conversation, while Jane Fairfax could entertain everyone by singing and playing the piano.

Eric Northman. Primarily because he was my favourite character from the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, although I can't remember if vampires can eat, so maybe he could just stop in for drinks afterwards.

Lorraine Warren. I'm thinking of the character from the "Conjuring" films rather than Lorraine in real life, who obviously I didn't know personally. Lorraine in the films is a fascinating, caring woman who I think would be a great conversationalist.

So who would you invite to a dinner party?

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Topics I could give an impromptu speech on

This topic from Long and Short Reviews made me cringe, simply because the idea of giving any sort of impromptu speech is enough to bring me out in hives. I can’t even bring myself to join Toastmasters. However, I used to run student inductions, so I suppose I can’t claim to be as terrible at speech-making as I’m making out, although I still would never volunteer to do it.

So what could I give a speech on?

There are only two topics I can think of that I know enough about for this. One is the Parker-Hulme murder case. Slightly odd thing to know a lot about, I admit, but as my favourite film is “Heavenly Creatures” I did a lot of research into the background of the case and read a lot of the considerable literature on the subject – into the families of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, their schooling, the fantasy worlds they created, and the ultimate murder trial. So I could probably manage that, if anyone would actually want to hear it.

The other possible topic is paranormal investigating. While researching one of my stories I went on several paranormal investigations and, while very little actually happened, I could go into some detail on the sorts of activities these crews use to try and coax spirits out of hiding. I could also give plenty of information on how people fake this, too – I don’t believe the actual organisers were faking, but there were definitely a few attendees who I’m certain were playing tricks.

So what could you give an impromptu speech on?