Friday, 24 August 2007
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:35 am
Using a suggestion from Erin today:
When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)
I think that I have probably answered this question or something like it somewhere before. So I am not going to do a big long post on this. The straight answer is yes I did grow up in a family that shared a love of books. My mum used to talk to me all the time about the books she read when she was little and all her trips to the library. My dad on the other hand didn't begin reading much until he went to college. Funnily that was round the time he started dating my mum so maybe she influenced him a little. When I was little going to the library was a family event. Even my sister who reads sporadically loved going. We would all come away with handfuls of books and the rest of the evening we would all be quietly reading together in the living room. My dad doesn't read quite as much now so it's mainly my mum and I who share a love of books despite our widely differing tastes.
Thursday, 23 August 2007
Favourite episodes in the include "Progress" and "Duet" both of which I found very sad especially Duet. A Cardassian pretends to be the once leader of a Bajoran labour camp in order to receive the punishment he believes is deserved. Surprisingly both those episodes were mainly about Kira and she wasn't one of my favourite characters. Normally (especially at that age) I would have looked up to strong female characters. However, I found her to be just too much. Her character did mellow with time as characters usually do and I didn't mind her so much.
This series seemed to end very abruptly. I got to the last episode and was surprised that there was no more. This series was made during TNG season 6 (which might explain TNG's poorer story lines during that season) which was filled with two part episodes. This one had none and didn't even end on a cliffhanger. Something that changes later on though. The last episode is linked to a bigger story line though (the whole Winn/Boriel story) and maybe that was what they wanted. To end it with something a little more open. I have tried to find out if there was any other reason but have came up with nothing.
The one thing the other series of Star Trek has been notorious for is the carry on of the crew. While watching the extras on TNG it was always mentioned that when the whole senior crew got together to film it was a nightmare because there was always some practical joke or other. It sounded like everyone had fun and they always involved their guest stars . DS9 was notorious for being serious and this was mentioned on the extras here. Actress Nana Visitor put it down to the fact that most of them were stage actors originally (although a lot of TNG actors also came from the stage. Patric Stewart being the most famous and the most famous for his practical jokes). From what I have heard actor Avery Brooks wouldn't allow any carry on and the rest of the actors seemed to revere him. Sounded to me a little like Brooks took himself way too seriously. I think it is surprising because there was so much more chance for comic value within the stories themselves. You have the Quark/Odo duo and later the O'Brian/Bashir duo. I guess when you see them being funny on screen you expect the same off.
The one thing this series has over the others is that they have to have more aliens which was also talked about during the extras. They had to have lots of Cardassians, Bajorans and Ferengi as well as a sprinkling of others in the background to make it look like it really is a space station. I did enjoy hearing about their ideas for the station itself. Originally they had wanted to create a large sprawling station which had been built apon again and again over the years. They wanted it to be a station that was centuries old and had changed hands many times. That possibly no one really knew who built it in the first place. I think they were limited though by the size of the set which is why they gave up on that idea. Also due to limitations the promenade only had one level during the first season. They did things to make it look as though there was another level but it didn't actually make an official appearance until later in the show.
Monday, 20 August 2007
Mr Sparkles preparing to go and see Monty.
Mr Sparkles on the train.
Mr Sparkles and Monty are reunited.
They hang out.
Enjoy the view
Order some food.
And then to bed.
Two days later Mr Sparkles gets a letter
And a photo.
Crazee4books, I do recommend Tamora Pierce. It's basically teen fantasy where the lead characters are all female. Definitely worth reading but you should start from the beginning, the Lioness Quartet.
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
This is what I am listening to just now. It features a lot of covers and live performances by various artists. I am enjoying the covers more. I can't help but like hearing current artists singing classic hits (providing of course they don't make a complete hash of it). One of my favourite's is KT Turnstall's cover of "I want you Back". Mind you it helps that I do enjoy listening to Turnstall's own music.
Monday, 13 August 2007
Another reason to look forward to the Christmas season is that a few weeks ago I finished another scarf. I used another pattern from the knitting bible. This one is called eyelit rib. The pattern was very easy to follow. I quickly got into the rhythm of it and knitted away while watching the last of the Star Trek episodes. This scarf I have decided is for myself. I have knitted many scarves since taking up knitting and this will be the first thing I have made for myself. I'm looking forward to wearing it as the yarn is so soft.
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:13 am
Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read? If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?
There is only one book that I have multiple copies of and that's "Jpod" by Douglas Coupland. The reason I have three is that two of them are limited editions (in different formats). The third is also limited edition in the same format as one of the others but it is signed. I had no intentions of buying three copies of the book. It's one of my favourite books and while I am a collector of books I just never thought of collecting editions of one particular title. The first copy is actually a proof copy. Publishers give these out to book stores in the hopes that they will read them and therefore be able to sell them better when it comes to them being released to the public. They are also given to proof readers to spot any printing errors. I usually don't bother all that much with proofs. I have a couple but being such a Coupland fan I practically snatched this one out the reps hands when he handed it over. I had no intentions of buying a copy of the book but then they brought them out as a limited edition and I couldn't help myself. About 3 months after the release of the book and I had already bought my second copy we were sent signed editions and I couldn't resist then either. It's the only time I have ever done that though.
I do have a friend who actually collects editions of one book title. She loves books as much as I do but unlike me she can actually say that she has one ultimate favourite book. She's a "Pride And Prejudice" fan. She has always loved the story even before the days of the television adaption (although it did help fuel her addiction). I wouldn't even like to guess how many copies of the book she has. She once saw an edition of the book in a film. The leading lady was reading it. She took one look at the cover and then was straight on the net trying to hunt a copy down (luckily enough she did find it). She also reads the book again every time she buys another copy of it. I think it is sweet. I have loved many books but not enough to go out and do that. Or at least I couldn't single just one out to do that with. "Jpod" was an exception.
My sister has just about finished moving her things out and I have all but finished tidying and gutting out. Would have went a lot quicker if I hadn't been working. There are still things that I need to do but I am having crafts withdrawal. I am itching to work on something, anything, as it feels like days since I have worked on anything. I have decided that tonight I am going to take a break and do something crafty.
Lili, I am glad that you liked the mascots. I very much enjoyed making them. I have since made another which I will post later. I also found a bag of felt that I forgot I had so I will have to make more with that. "Magician" was a great read. I hope your DH likes it when you track down a copy of it. How are you getting on with "First Among Sequels"? I finished it last week. Plan on posting my thoughts on it soon.
Timewarden, I haven't read "Stark" or saw the adaption. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of Ben Elton himself. I tend to switch over if I catch him on television. It put me off trying any of his books. The only reason I really read that one was that a friend has recommended it and made it sound interesting. I did like it and I will probably try more but who knows when that will be. I loved "Preemptive Strike" too. Ro was never a favourite character of mine (although she had a major role in some of my favourite episodes) but I loved this one and I did like her character in it. It was great to see. The main reason they did that episode was partly to tie up loose ends with Ro but also to introduce the Maquis. Chasing the Maquis was how "Voyager" started and they used both Next Gen and DS9 to add in the background they needed. I didn't actually realise that until I watched the extras.
Crazee4books, I loved Salem's Lot. I am also a bit of a King fan (I think that has probably come across in a few of my posts, lol). I am not a horror fan on the whole though. I think the genre is a very difficult one to write for. You either do it very well or very badly and King does it well. His books tend to stand out amongst all the others. I have tried James Herbert who I feel is a bit in your face with his books. The sex and violence stand out more than the story does at times which is off putting. I have also read a number of Dean Koontz and I now feel that after reading a few I could probably guess the rest just by reading the blurb. Richard Laymon is the same in that sense but he also uses sex as a bludgeon in his books. I would almost class his books as soft porn. Mind you I have heard the same said for a lot of horror writers. I tend to rarely bother with horror these days unless something really catches my eye or it's King.
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Thursday, 2 August 2007
Last night I finished the last of the TNG boxsets. I seem to have rushed through them this week but it wasn't like that at all. Each of the episodes on this series were so familiar to me that it was easy to just keep watching. It was funny though as there were a number of episodes and themes that I was convinced were in an earlier season. Episodes like "Phantasms", "Masks","Eye of the Beholder" and "Emergence" I definitely remember as being in the last series. At the time of first watching I saw these as some of the more bizarre story lines in NG which is probably why I remember it from this season. Episodes though such as "Inheritance", "Parallel's" and "Attached" I was convinced were in an earlier series. I don't know why it got all mixed in my head. As I was watching them I remember wondering what happened with the episode where DaiMon Bok returns for yet more revenge. I was convinced that I had missed an episode somewhere along the way until I came across it near the end. I even thought that the Deanna/Worf relationship had begun much earlier than it did. Funny how that happens.
Some of my favourite episodes have to be some of the stranger ones. I loved "Phantasms", "Masks" and "Genesis". Data plays a rather large role in each of these (as he does through out the majority of the series). Although it would have been nice to see more of the other characters Data has always been one of my favourite characters. I especially liked the idea of an android discussing his dreams with Freud. I also have a soft spot for "Lower Decks" even when I first watched it. I loved this story that was about the officers who were at the beginning of their career. The ones who are usually just background in each episode. It was also nice to see what happened to one of the four academy cadets who got into trouble along with Wesley for carrying out an illegal maneuver.
I do have a confession to make. I always hated the last episode. I remember watching "All Good Things..." the first time and I was so disappointed. I refused to watch it again. I hated everything about the episode. I thought it was dull and boring and a bad way to end the show. As I neared the end of watching this boxset I wasn't looking forward to it. I even thought about just leaving it out. In the end I couldn't do that and I'm glad that I did. The running theme as I have watched all these episodes again from the first series through to this is that I found that my opinion on many episodes had changed. Some that I wasn't to fond of the first time I learned to enjoy. Others I grew out of. Watching this last one was probably the most dramatic change. I was hooked from the first moment and I enjoyed every minute of it. I like seeing the crew in the past and the future. I loved the fact that the Q were back testing humanity as they had in the first episode and that Q had helped Picard get the answers he needed. It was a nice ending to the whole show.
Have you ever written an author a fan letter?
Did you get an answer?
Did it spark a conversation? A meeting?
(And, sure, I suppose that e-mails DO count . . . but I’d say no to something like a message board on which the author happens to participate.)
No, I have never written a fan letter to an author. When I was younger it never occurred to me that I could otherwise I probably would have. I had heard of people writing fan mail to pop stars and actors. I remember one of those pop magazines showing addresses of where you could send various fan mail to. I was never teeny boppy enough to go ahead and write one of those letters.
I did consider writing a fan letter to an author a year or so ago. I had planned to write a letter to Stephen King. I had not long finished the last of the Dark Tower books and once I had I came across a lot of criticism on how he ended the series. I think it was because of those criticisms that I wanted to write a letter explaining how much I enjoyed his books. There was more to it than that although I don't think it was a gushy letter. I think I was annoyed about all the criticism (although I have to say that in some cases I could see their point) and I just wanted to show some support. Of course I only composed it in my head. It was one of those things that I had in my head to do before I went to sleep and then it didn't seem like such a good idea after I woke up the next day.
At the time I found it very easy to imagine what I would say in this letter. Now though I can't imagine it. At least I can't imagine writing something that he probably hasn't heard before. "Hi, I really enjoy reading your books. They really mean a lot to me. Hope there is more to come." I am sure he and most authors have had many letters like it. I think King actually puts a lot of himself in his books. Many of the main characters are writers or have had drinking problems. In "Lisey's Story" the husband of the main character was a writer. Some of his fan mail was mentioned in it where people saw things in his books that weren't there. One particular fan took it to the extreme and it ended in the writer being shot. I think that there is some truth in this. Not that the author has ever been shot but that he has received some very strange mail too. I think for any author it must be frustrating to receive letters like that and I think King showed that in this book (as well as a hint of amusement).
I've kind of went off track there. I would be interested to hear if any of you have ever written to a favourite author and what you said. Or if you haven't what would you say?
Wednesday, 1 August 2007
Inspector Coleridge is hating his current assignment. He is in charge of an investigation into a murder. One that means he has to sit in front of a screen and watch a group of people he has now respect for or any interest in. Well, except maybe one but even that disturbs him. Coleridge has to investigate the murder of one of the contestants of Peeping Tom. How can someone be murdered in a house where the inmates are watched and recorded 24/7. It's up to Coleridge and his team to find out.
If you haven't guessed this book is a Big Brother spoof. We have a bunch of contestants no one really likes (Elton has managed to bring together a group of very unlikeable characters), a team of police most of whom enjoy the show and one Inspector who is behind the times and can't understand why anyone would want to watch the show never mind be a part of it. This book was pretty funny. Elton was able to take everything that is dislikeable and shallow of big brother contestants and put it all into his own characters. As you are reading you do find yourself agreeing with Coleridge and wondering why anyone would want to watch it. The murder itself is just an addition to the book until of course you get to the end and discover who the murderer is.
"Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Discovering that Armageddon is close at hand Crowley and Aziraphale (agents from both sides) decide to try an stop it. Neither like the idea of Heaven or Hell winning having spent centuries enjoying themselves on Earth. To do that they must find Satin's child who had been brought to Earth to be raised by a powerful human family. Something went wrong though and he is being raised in a village in England. Adam Young is more concerned about having fun with his friends than bringing the world to an end. At least he is until he starts getting some funny ideas.
I read this book because it was the first book written by Gaiman (although he co wrote with Pratchett). This book has the humour of Pratchett and the style of Gaiman. I like the whole premise of what would happen if Damien was brought up as a normal child by a normal family. There is not an aspect of the story that isn't taken by the authors and twisted into something funny. If you haven't read anything by either author I recommend starting with this.
Crazee4books, I agree you are more likely to get a true evil villain in fantasy and sci fi. A character that has no redeemable qualities. General fiction tends to be a bit more fair (or realistic). Every time I hear or read about the new Star Trek movie it's usually about problems they are having and possible contenders to play the part of Kirk. I think something was mentioned in a magazine I bought the other day. I have yet to read it in detail so if it has anything interesting on it I will be sure to mention it. We have avoided most of the floods. It has remained warm but with short heavy showers throughout the day. And I mean short. It's almost blink and you miss it. It's starting to get a little cooler though.