Monday, 29 August 2011

Review of Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Title: Witches Abroad
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

Like Moving Pictures was to Hollywood, Witches Abroad is to fairytales. Only a lot more funny, and everything is fair game.
It starts off as it ends, with fairy godmothers, specifically the death of one, leading to the snowballing that is the witches three (Nanny, Granny and Magrat) to travel from there cosy homes in Lancre and see to some godmothering duties in the strange town of Genua. Parts of it remind me of that movie the Frog Princess, right down to the voodoo. And then there’s Baron Saturday to top it all off.
The main focus there is around the non-marriage of Ella (otherwise known as Embers. Emberella if you will.) to a rather slimy guy who has interesting sleeping habits. But many hilarious events take place before the trio arrive there. Bulls, wolves, sleeping princesses, red hoods and falling houses included.

Small wonder I sped through it all in one day. Though being sick also helps. And I feel a little sad to be leaving the Discworld due to my inability to find a cheap copy of Small Gods.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Review of Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

Title: Reaper Man
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

So in this one Death (or Bill Door, whichever you like), has been given the sack and turns to reaping corn (you must admit, he’s a lot of experience with a scythe) for an old woman while he waits for the new death. The way he reaps the corn one strand at a time had, to me, a reverential sort of feeling to it.
Now Death has got to be my favourite character. I think it’s the way he tries to understand our world and will, on occasion, get the wrong end of the stick. His time in the village is very much like
this. Especially when it comes to the little girl there that can see exactly what he is.
But it doesn’t just focus on Death and the pastoral life. No, no. With no Death aren’t dying ... that is to say, they are, but not in the typical sense. At least, not for humans. And there’s the chaos with stuff that wasn’t/hasn’t been alive moving about.
On top of this, there are the mysterious trolleys. Lots of them. They were quite amusing actually. They’re like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. You could imagine the seagulls saying “Mine” all the time and you could, without much trouble, imagine trolleys wheeling themselves to some out-of-the-way place.
The ending ... I kind of already knew the ending. At least the outcome for Death. What happened to the trolleys and the wizards was a whole different
In short: I loved this.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Introducing ...

Right then, Introducing post. So here's the deal ... there'll be an image, a name, what story they're in, their status within said story and bit about them.
Since it's the first post, I thought it fitting to start with a character from my first story.


Name: Friskal/Frisk
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Rich Merchant's Son

This boy/young man started off as a 'comic relief'. A fool who was slightly scatty and would say the right thing in the wrong way, yet you couldn't help but love. This sort of outlook changed as he got less foolish with each rewrite. Especially once the quest began and he started to stand out like an elephant in a flock of flamingos.
Though I couldn't bring myself to wipe his slate completely clean. He kept his lovable element, but it's less goofy and more roguishly dense. This got mixed with his original, unwavering loyalty to one's friends and his tendency to be a bit of a twit.
On top of that, he became an unexpected charmer of ladies. He never mastered board games though. Strategy just wasn't his forte.

Modifying the texture around his eye and ears was a pain, and the tips of his ears are meant to be floppy ...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Dragon, DOM & A New Weekly Thing

Dragon overtook the 60k mark yesterday. As such, it's beginning its wind down period. Two and a half chapters left to go (probably will be two by the weekend, if not today). Which brings me to the ever present problem of 'what next?'
Well, obviously there's editing to be done, but while I'm serious about the editing process and will examine my work several times (at least three), editing is 'night work' and my muse finds it a shade on the boring side. Fortunately, I've already got WiPs in progress.
I was thinking about doing a fresh overhaul of Witch of Morthin followed by its sequel.

But, dilemma, a shiny new plot presented itself to me some weeks back. And while I've been tinkering with it on the odd occasion - world-building and the like - while I write Dragon, I am certain that I cannot hold back typing this for one whole story, let alone two.

So onward to The Dark One's Mistress! DOM for short. And I shall be endeavouring to stick to the one point of view for this one. If I succeed, it'll be a first for me. I like popping into different character's heads, especially when one character has information the other doesn't. Even The Unborn has more than one point of view, short though the other two are.
But wait, a new story requires a new plot, conflicts, places (check, check and check). Most importantly for a new world, it needs new characters.
I do so love new characters, they let me do things like this with them:
Clarabelle (She looks like a nice sorta gal, eh?)

So what is Dark One's Mistress about?
In short: DOM is all about Clarabelle. That's why I'm sticking to a one person point of view, I think it'll work great for this. ^_^
Now I write in a pantsing semi-outlined kind of way, so I'm only certain of a few things at this very moment, like the big picture. And the end. I need an end to write towards, of course.
Back to what DOM is about ... as I said, it's about a seventeen year old, sarcastic, young woman who's champing at the bit to leave her village and see the world. She gets a little more than she bargained for when she's chosen by the village's new Lord to be his mistress.


Now for the new weekly thing: Characters. More specifically my characters.
I know I'm not the only one obsessed with crafting an image of one's imaginary people, be it for future reference or pure fun. My obsession has left me with 150+ images just kicking round my computer (I've seven stories after all, even if most are WiPs).
So tomorrow, that is my tomorrow, shall be my first Introducing post. Basically, a picture and a few words about who (or what) they are.

You have been warned.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Campaigning for the First Time

Once again Rachael Harrie's Writers' Platform-Building Campaign has begun. ^_^

What's that? You didn't know about it? Well in Rach's own words it's "the Campaign is a way to link those of us in the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms."
Interested? Then I suggest getting over there and checking it out. Who isn't up for some good times with good people and fun challenges?

Plus, who wouldn't want to sport a badge like this?

Got me joined up in the Aussie/NZ and Fantasy (Adult) Groups. ^_^

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Review of Moving Pictures

Title: Moving Pictures
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 4/5

Once again the Discworld has me giggling. Darn near chronically. This time, it’s Holy Wood and all the references to various films. Especially when it’s just plain wrong (have you followed a “yellow sick toad” lately? Or perhaps you’ve a desire to be “a lawn”?).
There’s a lot of things going on in this one, lots of characters with their viewpoints and plots. But the main one focuses on Victor, and later Ginger, and the strange magic of Holy Wood (not real magic, mind, silver screen magic). At first it’s just hilarious.
Then the Things arrive and it’s world-threatening as well as funny. But less funny. The ending is even more chock full of movie references and, while there’s a strange kind of logic to what’s going on, it does start to wear a little thin. Fortunately, this proved to be a small dint in my enjoyment as it gets back to my more favoured Pratchett brand of humour.
Strange note #1: There is one piece (page 250 in my little paperback) where there are yetis and a troll suddenly speaks. Error or not, he’s funny. ^_^

Bane, Thy Name is Snow

Monday, 15th of August, a polar blast travelled up New Zealand. Outcome: Snow.

Now there's recently been a smattering of the falling white stuff around here before. That time, it came one afternoon and was gone by the next day. This time, we had flurries that went on for several days and took a fair few more to go (even now, there's still bits where it hasn't gone from the hills). The snow was a foot deep around our house and the roads ... well our road and the hill leading to it were officially closed. Thank goodness for 4WDs.
If that had been all then it would've been a good, fun few days of snowmen and snowball fights. The snow melted to the point that driving out was possible by Wednesday, providing it was slow. By Thursday, if nothing else, the roads were clear. Friday brought rain, turning a large chunk of the hillside green. But nature had other plans before letting us go.
For on that very Monday, as it headed for 6pm, the power cut off (for two whole days). This lead first to cold pizza by candle-driven lanterns, then soup warmed by the victoriously brandished camp stove (I've now a new appreciation for soup. And spaghetti. Lovely stuff).
Before soup or camp stoves could be acquired, at around 9 or 10pm Monday as I was desperately trying to contact my other half and ward him off coming home, a tree gave in to the weight it hadn't grown to hold and took out our phone lines.
No lines meant no way to connect to the outside world, except for one itty bitty blip of a cellphone signal. And getting this required the hopeful caller to stand in one precise part of our windy, riverbed-like driveway while the snow and wind has their way with whatever clothing it could get hold of. Joyous.

Already being someone who feels the cold and abhors winter, there is no doubt about it ...
I hate snow.