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Monday 29 April 2024

Villains I'd root for instead of the protagonist

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was a tough one. I can think of plenty of villains I liked purely because of who played them in the film, but I still wouldn't say I would root for them over the protagonist. Even if they were played by Alan Rickman, who was always amazing at playing villains.

Then I thought of "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen.

The heroine Fanny Price, a painfully good and moralistic girl, is pursued by rakish Henry Crawford while being secretly in love with her equally prim and proper cousin Edmund. We'll bypass the whole cousin-marriage thing for a moment since apparently that was fine at the time. Henry Crawford is charming, entertaining and - most importantly - is very much in love with Fanny Price, despite having misbehaved with women in the past. Edmund, on the other hand, is hopelessly in love with Henry's sister and completely unaware of Fanny's feelings, while also disapproving of basically everything interesting in life. I find it impossible to prefer Edmund over Henry.

Of course, Fanny is an insufferable character, so she probably deserves to end up with her equally annoying cousin. But if I had been her, I would have run off with Henry Crawford any day of the week. 

So which villains would you root for?

Monday 22 April 2024

Songs that confused me when I was a kid

 When this topic from Long and Short Reviews came up, one particular song immediately came to mind. It wasn't so much a matter of mishearing the lyrics or being confused by the meaning, although I'm sure there were plenty of songs back then that I completely misunderstood. 

No - in this instance, it was the video.

The song was "Twisting By The Pool" by Dire Straits. I didn't know what "twisting" was, so that part went completely over my head. However, when I saw the video on Top of the Pops, I was absolutely terrified. Why? Because the video consisted mainly of synchronised swimmers, upside down, gleefully kicking their legs in the air.

I had never seen synchronised swimming before, so I assumed that if they were upside down in the water and kicking their legs, they had obviously fallen in backwards and were drowning.

I had nightmares about that for a week until I told my dad about it. To be fair to him, he didn't laugh - not in front of me anyway, although he may well have enjoyed telling this to my mum afterwards.

I'm interested to see which songs everyone else will come up with!

Monday 8 April 2024

A moment I wish I could relive

 When this topic from Long and Short Reviews came up, I immediately thought of three possibilities.

My wedding day was the top one. Everything about it was perfect - not just the groom, although he was definitely the best thing about it.

Then when I graduated from university the first time, which was a blast, although I did regret not having a mortarboard as part of the outfit. 

However, the one I'd like to particularly mention here, given I'm a writer, is the day my debut novel was accepted for publication.

After doing a lot of edits based on the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writer's Scheme feedback, I had submitted it to seven publishers and received a few rejections, some nicer than others. As my husband and I were about to go out to dinner at a Brazilian restaurant, I happened to check my phone and saw I had an email from Totally Bound, so I opened it.

I can't remember what I said when I saw it had a contract attached, but I think it was something like "Shit!" Possibly not the most relevant thing to say when getting good news of that quality, but I was completely floored. It's a very strange feeling when you've wanted something your whole life and suddenly there it is in front of you.

And then we went out, and we may have had champagne with the meal. Or possibly cava. Let's not overdo it.

So which moment would you relive?