Saturday, 28 September 2013

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

WHAT THE FLUCK have Disney done to Cinderella?

Plastic surgery, it seems, she's now about ten years younger and ten times uglier. Y'know Disney, mature beauty is a nice thing to aspire to sometimes. Just saying.




A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS MESS (and a new hairdo - ?!)

Okay, I'm going over the top. The new Cindy isn't that bad, really. I just don't like seeing things change that had no problems in the first place. Like, why. That's the question here. WHY.


Necessary? Not really.

'BLONDE' IN THE 1950's

I'll stick with this.


Star xx

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Summer Reading

I made it my goal to read books that I wanted to read over the summer, because my friend Jellybean was telling me about how she only reads books for her degree now (she takes Creative Writing) and I thought, if I did that, I would die. Okay, no. Dramatic, but I certainly would fall out of love with reading, so I rekindled [no pun, I don't have a kindle] my love for books. Yaaay.

I don't really give a duck about the great divide between 'literature' and 'teen reading'.... I've great so many so-called 'classics' (Wuthering Heights was AWFUL) and teen reads let me relax and transport myself, instead of focussing hard on the themes and literary devices. Teens reads are fun. At work, the teen reads are now separated into Teenage and Young Adult, which makes a lot of sense because some of those books... I'm telling you... not for kids. Have you READ the Hunger Games? That shit is DARK! So many deaths! I'm tellin you!

Surprisingly, I didn't read a great many science fiction or fantasy books, because I was writing my book (still am) and its fantasy, so I didn't want to be too heavily influenced.

From May to September 2013, COMPLETELY unrelated to my English Lit Degree, I read:
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
- How To Plot Your Novel by Jean Saunders
- Magician by Raymond E. Feist
- Lizka And Her Men by Alexander Ikonnikov
- Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
- My Name Is Anne, She Said, Anne Frank by Jacqueline Van Maarsen
- The Fast Track Detox Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman
- The Angel's Game by Carloz Ruiz Zafon
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Kingmaker's Daughter by Phillipa Gregory
- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
- Broken Homes by Ben Aaranovitch
- The Witch Of Portobello by Paulo Coelho
- The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Murial Sparks

Books I started and didn't finish for whatever reason
- 11.22.63 by Stephen King
- Defeat Depression: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Healing a Troubled Mind by Sabina Dosani
- The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway
- Reamde by Neal Stephenson
- A Little Light on Spiritual Laws by Diana Cooper

Currently Reading
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I'll try to keep them short.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
It's been a long time coming. I'd been recommended to read this years ago when I was writing a story called Battlegame Forfeit, which was, I can now admit with shame, straight off flipped from Battle Royale. But it was fun. ^_^ It's an incredibly well thought-out story, I read the whole series in two days and felt empty when it was done. Dystopian novel often make me feel that way, when written well. (See The Handmaid's Tale below.)

How To Plot Your Novel by Jean Saunders
I didn't like it.

Magician by Raymond E. Feist
MY FAVOURITE FANTASY BOOK - EVAAAR! Can't even remember how many times I've read this. Actually... this might be the second... or third O_O it's a huge book.

Lizka And Her Men by Alexander Ikonnikov
This. Was. Hilarious. I liked this view on life in general, even though it did feel kinda bleak and made me wonder what my own life was for. But that's not saying much because a lot of books say that.

Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
Seriously thrilling, an enjoyable read, although basically like the film Momento. I'd recommend.

My Name Is Anne, She Said, Anne Frank by Jacqueline Van Maarsen
This book is so well written that it was hard to remember that this is a retelling of actual events, not a fictional story. It's heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time. Just INCREDIBLE. Everybody read this!

The Fast Track Detox Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman
I already knew much of what was in this book, which reassured me that I hadn't previously been reading a bunch of lies! Informative and really helpful. That said, I haven't done it yet...

The Angel's Game by Carloz Ruiz Zafon
Everything this man writes is PHENOMENAL. One of my favourite authors, I love all of his books, I hate how once I'm hooked, I just can't put them down. I love how they interconnect, I love the twists and turns that you didn't see coming. Every book takes you on an adventure so far from the original premise that I'm always thinking about it for days. About to read The Prisoner Of Heaven now.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I really liked this, both as a story to entertain and a story with a moral. But even more from Paulo Coelho, I liked...  (see below)

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Phillipa Gregory
Loved this. Couldn't stop thinking about it for ages - went and bought the whole set afterwards, couldn't help it. The cover for The White Princess is so beautiful! (How nice would it be to be that beautiful?!) At work, I also saw that she has a non-fiction book about the history behind the Cousins War series. I think I'll buy that. (I really, really disliked the Kingmaker - the actual character, that is. A manipulative sod.)

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
I hate trashing other people's work, because their baby is still their baby. But this was one of, if not THE worst and most misleading book I have ever 'read', and I say 'read' because at parts it was too graphic for me to read without my stomach turning. All of the characters talk in this vulgar, aggressive way that, yeah, I can take from one character - Hector. But from all of them? really? Does every single one of them naturally use the word 'cunt'? Really? That's just poor character development. I thought we were dealing with a sociological issue here, I thought it was about the CHILD, Hugo - not about various affairs and sex lives of scandalous adults. I wondered why the friend I lent it to 'finished' it so quickly. She's fast, but not that fast.

I feel bad for dissing, but just how I felt. My personal opinion. If at least there was a story to follow that wasn't just about self gratification, I could have appreciated that. Or at least, self-gratification with a moral, at LEAST, so I wouldn't get to the end and think 'what was the point in this entire novel?' Hugo wasn't the story, he was the subplot.

Broken Homes by Ben Aaranovitch
I've been following the story, and although it was slower to get going than the previous novels, and I felt more could have been tied in from earlier in the series, it left me on a high. I'm waiting eagerly for the next one.

The Witch Of Portobello by Paulo Coelho
Amazing. My favourite book by him so far. Better than Alchemist ^ It's enlightening and really makes you question what you want out of life. You can take it as a simple story, or as moral or spiritual guidance, just like The Alchemist. It's up to the reader. I like that.

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks
I thought this book was really funny, but it spells things out at times when it didn't need to and it's quite repetitive. All in all, a good read. I picked it up because I'd read Loitering With Intent and really liked it. I refer L.W.I.

Unfinished books...

11.22.63 by Stephen King
Great beginning. I'd read The Shining recently and was noticing a lot of parallels between the books, from concepts right down to names (pretty sure there's an Al in each) But when the adventure actually began (he goes back in time for real) I got bored and it no longer kept my attention. It's on my shelf, I'll try and read it again at half-term or Christmas.

Defeat Depression: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Healing a Troubled Mind by Sabina Dosani
Reading this made me feel more depressed than I was already, so I can only read this when I feel happy, which is why I'm still only two chapters in after buying this months ago. Ironically, the more time passes without me reading it, the worse my depression gets. I'm going to have to bite the bullet soon because I'm losing it.

The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway
Given to me by a friend as a present. There's one fundamental problem why I'm struggling to get through the first chapter. I can't picture anything. At all. Descriptions of setting are lacking to the point where I can't see where anyone is or put the action in a location, so out of context, things don't make sense. The similes are a bit disjointed from what they are describing. I'M STRUGGLIN. It could just be me though, I skim over words when I'm bored. I'm going to try again. Also, the blurb doesn't tell me what this story is actually about so I'm not sure what I should be expecting. Not gonna lie, I'm doubtful. =/

Reamde by Neal Stephenson
I loved the idea of this, and I love the way it's written? The thing is, whenever I'm reading it, I get stuck in, but whenever I put it down, it's never the next book I pick up again. I kinda have to force myself to do it, which isn't great and I can't explain why because I like the book. Maybe the action isn't picking up fast enough. Also, it is a HUGE book. I haven't seen a book that huge since Les Mis, or Dance of Dragons in hardback.

A Little Light on Spiritual Laws by Diana Cooper
Religion and spirituality and what I'm meant to be doing in this life and what it all means and what I should believe in - are things that I'm very unsure about right now. So I'm reading this, but I'm nervous, fearful, skeptical, and I feel like I'm unworthy to be reading such obviously ascended knowledge that I never seem to be able to put into good use. So its at the bottom of my drawer with a bookmark in it.

Currently Reading
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Scrap that, I finished it today. this book is SOOOOO GOOD. I felt so aimless after reading it though, but not in a depressed way, it an breathless, lost in thought kind of way. In terms of dystopian novels, I don't know why this isn't talked about as much as the Hunger Games, though this was published in 1985. I love it because it distorts ideas on love, marriage, sex, religion, women as people vs. women as objects, class divide and all sorts of fundamental aspects of society and human nature. I feel like it touches every angle of life that I have very lately been thinking and worrying about. It's a reminder of all the good and all the bad that a society like ours can spew up, compared to the Totalitarian society portrayed in The Handmaid's Tale.

The Epilogue was the real mindf-k. I had really thought it was real, but something about the way the Professor spoke about the story sounded strange, so I want back; date of transcript, 2195. Ha ha, Margaret Atwood. You tricked me again. This book is amazing.

Back to Uni on Monday. I'm hoping getting back into the swing of things will help take my mind away from things that are frightening or disturbing me right now. You've heard it said a million times, but the thought of suicide is really persistent. The truth is, I'm really scared, but I don't know who to talk to. I don't know what to do. I don't trust anyone.

Star xx

Monday, 16 September 2013

SIRO-A Review :3

Hey dudes, been a while.

I have NO IDEA who Blue Man group are, so let's, for the moment, not compare.

I went to see SIRO-A last Wednesday, it was a matinee performance so the audience was quite a small intimate one, I'd say. If you're unfamiliar, SIRO-A is basically a show that entertains through technology, dance, music, mime, very precise choreography and imaginative visual displays.

The performance was absolutely amazing, from costume to lighting to MUSIC (oh boy, lovedd to the music) to special effects, it was very well synchronised, VERY entertaining and well worth what I paid! I really want to take my younger and older brother to go and see it too.

What I really liked was that there were many references to things that we know well, like videos games of general knowledge trivia or pop songs, so there was a connection or nostalgia element on that level that was really nice. Also, they got the audience involved in ways I didn't expect and it wasn't embarrassing at all, just really funny! (I thought so, anyway.)

And as always, the music was great and well matched to every piece. Or perhaps its the other way around...

My favourite pieces were 'BOX' and the opening pieces, though I liked all of the performances, 'T-Shirt Man' and 'BALL' stuck in my head quite a bit too. Oh, I also liked the one where the guy created a song with a shadow-ball and had his various shadows upholding the different parts, and the dancing in that piece was excellent coupled with the special effects. I want to go and see it again! ^_^

What Else?

Other than that, and other than cutting myself (oh yeah, I didn't mention but I'm back to that) and writing my book (almost finished WHOOOOO!), I'm also working on a new project, this time it's a musical venture. I know.

It's been on my mind for over a week and I've been getting my youtube and blog ready so I can post as soon as its done. I've always loved doing harmonies, but this time I was thinking about merging songs as well as harmonising, which would be really fun but of course there's only one be, so I'd HAVE to film it anyway.

I also want to start a girl group but that's WAAAAY ahead. You know me. Getting ahead of myself.

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