The Trouble with GoodReads.

A good book

Don’t get me wrong, I think GoodReads is a really good idea but the trouble is that I discovered it quite late and I don’t know how many books I have read in my life but I do know it’s a lot! And the thought of having to write and post a review for every single one of them is overwhelming! I suppose the sensible thing would be to post a review or two a day on a persistent basis and eventually I might get through them.

But, as is often the case with a big job, it is often not the job itself but the thinking about it that is the worst part. As soon as I think about doing it, I just freeze and then apathy kicks in and consequently I have still barely started. When I go into GoodReads and see the pitifully few reviews I’ve posted I then feel guilty and embarrassed. I then start to think, well no-one will read my reviews anyway.

It’s not the physical part of any task that is most difficult, at least not for me. It is the mental resistance; all the thoughts of ‘it’s too much’ and ‘why should I bother?’, these are the thoughts that lead me into getting nothing done. And unproductive thoughts lead ultimately to an unproductive life.

I’m always reminded of the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke Skywalker is trying to get his plane out of the swamp and he says “It’s too big.” Yoda tells him it’s only too big in his mind. Then Yoda says he must do it again. Luke replies “I’ll try.” And Yoda says what is probably my favourite line from any film ever. “No. Do or don’t do. There is no try.”

The moral of the story is that when we undertake a big task we need to be more like Yoda and less like Luke Skywalker. May the force be with you!

A Review of Django Unchained

Gary and I went to see Django Unchained today.  We both enjoyed it but if you don’t like violence and gore I would advise you to avoid this film.  It’s a typical Tarantino film in that there is a lot of violence, mostly, but not all of it is quite stylised.  It is extremely graphic on the horrors of slavery; the most horrific moment is when it shows a runaway slave being torn to pieces by a pack of dogs.

I was glad I wore my hat because I just pulled the brim down over my eyes so I couldn’t see that bit.  It was too much even for me!  Leonardo Di Caprio is a right bastard in it!  And if anything, Samuel L. Jackson is worse!  I though Jamie Fox’s performance in the title role was almost too understated but that’s just my opinion.

A good film but not for the faint hearted.

ROW80 Check-In 23/01/2013

Have slowed down slightly on my goals.  For the original list, see here

Wrote every day on my numerology book except yesterday.  I’m not going to beat myself up for missing one day.

Still failing on the reading the books I have in the house goal because I went to the library yesterday and took out another four books!

Haven’t put any more of my work out into the big wide world either.

And am still spending excessive amounts of times on Facebook.

Despite this lack of progress I don’t feel bad and am actually feeling quite optimistic.  Did manage to locate some of the stuff for the book that lovely hubby and I are planning to do together.  Located his interview with Christopher Lee; it’s longer than I thought but that’s okay.  Still have a few more things to dig out and then I can start editing (mainly correcting his slightly erratic spelling) and we’ll be good to go!

Christopher Lee

Decided to use this picture as he looks very handsome here and I wanted to avoid the cliche Dracula stuff!


Going back to the Film Friday thing that I used to do (sporadically) last year.  My lovely hubby and I watched a film on the TV last night called UP.  Now I know this film came out ages ago but hubby and I had never seen it before so we sat down to watch it together and we both really liked it!

There’s a part at the beginning where they show the story of a couple’s marriage and it’s really well done but the amazing thing is that it is done without a word of dialogue being spoken!  I found it very moving.

All the characters are really interesting and the whole story has a touch of magic to it.  It was funny and silly and exciting and moving.  Just a really great film.

2013; Here I Come!

Ultimate Blog Challenge

To start off 2013 I have signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  The idea is to blog everyday for the month of January and it kick starts your blog into a new year.

Goals:  to try and stop fretting and worrying less and live more in the present.  This is an ongoing project.  I think I made a bit of progress last year but definitely not enough.

To read more, or at least to read some of the books I’ve been madly buying up and not getting around to reading yet.

I’m planning, rather ambitiously, to write four books this year!  Sounds horrendous I know, but they’re only going to be short books, of a maximum of about forty pages each.  I’m doing one on numerology now (that’s the occult power of numbers), and I have two short books about astrology planned as well.

Then the fourth book is going to be a collaberation with my lovely husband, who loathes all forms of publicity so I won’t mention his name.  He used to be a film journalist for a German film magazine and he interviewed amongst others, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Terence Fisher.  He self published a book himself years ago called The Films of Peter Cushing and I’ve been nagging him for ages to self publish it on Amazon.

He says its too short but then he told me he still had other interviews tucked away with various other Hammer Horror people, so I said that I could type up the interviews and collate it all for him and then I could publish it on Amazon for him under both our names and eventually he has agreed.  All he has to do is remember where he put all these interviews.  You know what it’s like when you put things somewhere safe!

I’m also doing background work on another novel; I’m not sure if I will actually start writing it this year, I might leave it until November and use it for NaNoWriMo, I haven’t decided yet.  I’m doing character sheets and fine tuning the plot at the moment.

Well I think that’s enough for now.  Let me know what you lot are up to because I’m nosy like that!

Film Friday – Lawless

Gary and I both liked this film a lot though the fact that its set in one of our favourite time periods goes someway to explaining why.  Its set in 1930s Mid-West just before the end of prohibition.  The cast is pretty stellar too with a cameo from Gary Oldman, who is always one of my favourite actors, and Guy Pearce plays one of the meanest baddies I’ve ever seen.

However I must say, if you don’t like the sight of blood and graphic violence then don’t go and see this film.  It even includes a brief glimpse of a pair of testicles in a jar!  The script is by Nicholas Cage and I thought it was really good and the soundtrack is to die for!  It’s all folk songs and stuff like that which I love and includes performances by Emmylou Harris and Wille Nelson and a really original version of the Lou Reed song White Heat/White Light.

The photography was very beautiful in parts as well and it was very atmospheric.  As a historian I didn’t spot any obvious historical inaccuracies.  I think Hollywood is getting a bit better at the research.  All in all, a great film that we both enjoyed very much!

ROW80 Check-In 08/08/2012

Well like Arnie in the Terminator, I’m back.  Dropped out of ROW for a bit as you know but I didn’t get on the M.A. course so now I’m dropping back in again.  I have done a bit of work on Emily Swann but not much.  I did about five hundred words yesterday and the day before but didn’t work on it last week except for one day, I forget which one, when I did another five hundred words.

I think I need to set new goals so I’m going to do at least five hundred words of Emily Swann every day and on good days, of which I hope they’ll be many I’m going to try and do one thousand words a day.  I will read at least one chapter of a book every day and one poem.  I will do at least four blog posts a week, of which two will be ROW.  And I will do my best to remember to do the 750 words every day as well.

I did my 750 words for today just after lunch and I’m doing the blog post ROW check-in now so that’s those two out of the way.  Still have five hundred words of Emily Swann to do plus the reading.  I know the reading won’t be a problem because it never is.  When everything else slips I still always manage to read so that’s good.  I am a bit behind on my 50/50 challenge.  To be honest, I’m way behind on the films but I’ve given up on that part but I’m just about five books behind on the reading which isn’t too bad.

I hope everyone else is getting on fabulously and look forward to getting back in to reading and commenting on all the blogs.

ROW80 Check – In 13/05/2012

After saying I wouldn’t do I gave in to temptation and signed up for 750words.  Not only did I start doing it but I signed up for the monthly challenge, am on a thirteen day streak so far.  Have also finished chapter four of Emily Swann and finished reading The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad.  I’m trying to catch up with all the classics that I missed but if I had known when I started reading that all three of the central characters were going to end up dead I don’t think I would have finished.  A good book but depressing.

I am actually falling behind on my 50/50 challenge.  I’m so far behind with the films I’ve practically given up and I’ve read only fourteen books so far this year.  Part of the trouble is that I keep picking up new books and starting those when I should be concentrating on finishing the ones I’m already reading.  So I have decided not to start another new book until I finish at least one of the ones I’m reading.

But as Alberta said, at least the sun is shining!

Film Friday – John Carter

Gary and I went to see John Carter on Wednesday and we both really enjoyed it!  It’s based on a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs called The Princess of Mars.  It’s exciting and funny and romantic and quite thrilling; the scenes set on Earth are almost always filmed at night or in the rain and the scenes on Mars are always in full sunshine giving the film a slight Wizard of Oz feel.

He gets this doggie sort of alien pet about half way through which is the cutest thing.  It has a big blue tongue and slobbers all over him.  It’s also so playful and loyal just like a real dog and I want one!

It’s not the greatest highbrow entertainment but it is a fun entertaining film.

Film Friday

In honour of Film Friday Gary and I sat down and watched a film together last night called The Gundown and I can honestly say it was probably the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever seen in my life.  Gary said it looked like a made for TV/Cable movie with crap sets and a crap cast.  From a writer’s point of view, the plot, such as it was, was totally contrived and the characters were cardboard.  Most of the cast were young and some of the men were relatively good-looking and the women were pretty but that was about the best thing about the whole film!  What a disappointment!  I’m picking the film next time!