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Monday 22 June 2020

My "go-to" book or movie for a pick-me-up

This topic from Long and Short Reviews was an interesting one. For one thing, when I need a pick-me-up, I don't tend to turn to a book. I don't know why - I think it's just the immediacy of a film that does it. And my favourite film, funnily enough, is not one that people are likely to think of for a pick-me-up.

Heavenly Creatures.

I know a lot of people would look at that film and think "How on earth could a film with an ending like that be enjoyable?" And I would agree, except that the rest of the film is both passionate and uplifting. Peter Jackson's direction takes you through a wild swirl of romance and excitement which sweeps you up, all the more to shock you at the end - by which point I'm in a better mood and more ready for it.

My other two go-to films are Blazing Saddles and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I absolutely adore Gene Wilder and he is at his hysterical best in these two films, especially Blazing Saddles which is one of the few comedies I actually like. Even though I've seen them both dozens of times I don't miss a moment whenever I watch them.

So what do you go to for a pick-me-up?

Monday 15 June 2020

My life in photos

I am terrible at taking photos - my husband is the photographer in our family. So when this topic from Long and Short Reviews came up, I had him to thank for taking so many. In fact, I almost had too many to choose from. Before lockdown we went to a lot of scenic places and he always, always takes his camera, knowing full well that if he doesn't a red kite will start posing in front of him.

Firstly we have Dash and Spot, my two adorable little furballs who like to watch me write while begging for treats.

Then we have Cala D'Or, which is our favourite holiday destination. The bar in the photo is Kallypso Tutti Frutti, owned by two of our friends and governed by their two parrots Tutti and Frutti. We intend to go back there as soon as we're able, which will probably be next year now.

This was taken at Bruntingthorpe. We love going to aircraft museums - my husband gets to explain what everything is, while I get to admire them. We came here specifically to see this plane as I had never seen one before.

And of course, we have my writing.

The green bag above was a gift from a Smut By The Sea event run by Victoria Blisse. I haven't got to a Smut event for a while, but it was always fun playing games and listening to readings. I will always remember one by Rachel Kincaid which caused someone behind me to gasp "Oh my God!"

"The Hand He Dealt" was my first novel, published after being critiqued by the Romantic Novelists' Association, and it still holds a place in my heart after all this time. I've had many heroes and heroines over the years, but Ash will always be the hero to die for.

I'm so looking forward to seeing your photos!

Monday 8 June 2020

Favourite poems, short stories or novellas

An interesting topic from Long and Short Reviews this week. Most of my favourite stories are novel-length, so I had to stop and think which shorts I enjoyed. The first one was probably obvious.

Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle.

Oh, how I love Sherlock Holmes. Not so much as a personality - Watson is more likeable - but I love his stories. My favourite in particular is Silver Blaze, which contained the famous phrase "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time".

The others I immediately thought of were Stephen King, although I can't remember which book they were in. One was "Dolan's Cadillac", the other was "You Know They Got A Hell Of A Band".

"Dolan's Cadillac", which was later made into a rather poor quality film, involved a car being buried under a road and, according to King, could never have happened the way he told it as he didn't want to give people ideas.

"You Know They Got A Hell Of A Band" is probably best read without spoilers, but it was one of the creepiest King stories I've ever read, focussing on the fact that so many rock stars died young.

So which are your favourites?

Monday 1 June 2020

Things I wish I were better at

What do I wish I were better at? If you asked my husband, he'd probably say housework, which I admit I'm terrible at. But to be honest, I've never wanted to be any better at cleaning. I can run a dishwasher and that's about it.

What I would like to be better at is dancing. As a teenager I wanted to go into musical theatre; I studied acting and was a trained singer, but I fell down on the dance side of things. I have some rhythm, but can't remember a routine and lack the precision to be in a chorus line.

I have also always wanted to be able to write songs. I attempted this several times in my teens and can still remember most of them, but all were an embarrassment. I occasionally hit on an OK lyric, but I struggled to write original music and was limited by what I could play on my keyboard.

The final thing? Driving. I've been driving for years, but a few years ago I made use of vouchers for a drifting course and the chance to drive a Lamborghini and an Ariel Atom. Because it was made clear to me that if I spun the car it would immediately be taken back in and I would lose the rest of my laps, I didn't dare push either of the fast cars to do what I knew they could do. As for the drifting, I spent my five laps spinning round in circles. I never did manage a proper drift.

So what do you wish you were better at?