Photo Story – Blog Fest

August 6, 2010 at 6:08 am (fiction) (, , , , , , , , )

Today Melissa from the Undeveloped Story is hosting a blogfest. The idea:

I can remember being told this many times in my life: “Every photo has a great  story behind it.” And they’re right. So, for this fest, I want you to find a photo, any photo, and make up a short story (or poem for all the poets out there) about it. It doesn’t have to be very long. Make it as long as you want, just as long as you tell your story. I know that many of you have other writing projects to do, so I don’t want this to take up too much of your time. Just write however much you want to. The length is up to you this time!

I decided given I have just recently taken a million photos, surely one of them could inspire me to write a short story. So here we go – the photo I chose is one I took in the British Museum – I think I was in the section on Enlightenment at the time but I went through so many exhibits it is hard to remember. Anyway, this photo just continues my thing of taking photos of feet and shoes.

However after staring at said photo for a long time and having a lot on my mind I’ve come up with many ideas and rejected them so I think maybe my part of this blog fest will be every photo inspires a thousand rejections.

Rejected – any notion of weaving greek and or roman gods into a modern setting (mostly because it’s been done and because I wasn’t really in the mood to get historical).

Rejected  – statues coming to life either as discovery or as horror (mostly because its been done. In point of fact, I’ve done it before in a short story).

Rejected – a fallen civilisation being rediscovered with far reaching impact (mostly because this isn’t the start of a short story, but an entire work).

Rejected – a story told from the perspective of an abused platform (mostly because I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to figure out what an abused platform’s voice would sound like).

And on it went.

There is my photo. What would you have done with it?

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Vampire Fiction – Again

May 25, 2010 at 6:37 am (Feature, fiction) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve been reading a little bit lately.  actually I’ve read more books this last week than I had the entire month previous so I should probably amend that statement. Most recently I’ve been reading YA lit, mostly because I’ve been trying to evaluate texts for use in  the classroom.  This means I’ve been reading a wide range of genres and styles and there are some really strange books out there (also some brilliant ones).

One book that I originally cringed at the thought of reading was Tamara Summers “Never Bite a Boy on the First Date”.  I immediately assumed it would be a bad retelling of Twilight and I’d spend a week reading a single page at a time before finally deciding I just couldn’t read anymore. Yet the cover kind of intrigued me.

Despite my trepidation, I bought this book.  Why? Because I read the first page. Not the prologue but the first page of chapter one. And I nearly fell over laughing while standing in the book store. Not because it was bad, but because it was really quite amusing and the narrator used understatement so well I just couldn’t help but laugh. Once I recovered from my fit of giggles, I read a few more pages and then I bought the book.

It is a very modern vampire story. The narrator is a sixteen year old, newly made vampire, with an interesting personality that is well expressed in her green hair, multiple-piercings and her general ability to forget about the murdered corpse lying on the steps of the school when distracted by a guy with a cute smile.

There were definitely moments where the narration intruded on the story and they were my least favourite moments. Sometimes you just want her to get on with the story and to stop being so delighted with her own cleverness but other times it works really well.

My favourite line: “But he seemed so… non-murdery He was all ice cream and puppies and sexy-swimmer’s arms.”

I’m still on the fence about whether I love this book or not because I know there were definite moments where I really was annoyed at the story but I’ve finished it with a smile on my face. I guess it goes to show you won’t know what lies inside a book until you try it.

Have you ever had a book that has turned out to be surprisingly good?

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Favourite Female Protagonist

May 20, 2010 at 5:50 am (Character, fiction) (, , , , , , , )

I love reading books with interesting female protagonists.  Anything other than the basic damsel in distress works for me. Strong, funny, awkward, shy, as long as they feel fresh and unique. What I want to know is who are your favourite female protagonists from books or movies.

So…if you’re interested create a post sharing your favourite female protagonist and then add your link to the list.  Let’s see how many female protagonists we can list.

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Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

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100+ Reading Challenge

May 7, 2010 at 6:25 am (100+ Reading, fiction) (, , , , , )

Just an update on how I am going .  I started the year so well.  In January I read 8 books.  That was great.  Since then I’ve read 11.  19 books.  A little off my target of 40 by the end of April.  Admittedly, I’ve been really distracted this year so far and things are only just settling down.  But at least I’m reading again, and for the most part I’m reading books I’ve never read.

Okay, I reread 100 Years of Solitude but I hadn’t read it in nearly three years so it was kind of like reading it for the first time.

I did, however find a delightful YA novel by Scott Westerfeld called “Specials”.  It is the third book in a series but there is enough backstory interspersed throughout to fill you in and it isn’t done in an info dump that just annoys people who have actually read the previous two books so that doesn’t really bother it.

I really enjoyed reading it and it reminded me how much fun reading could be.  There is depth to the story if you want to look at the bigger issues but you can also just glance over them and enjoy the story.  At times you may want to ditch Tally, the protagonist, in favour of one of the more interesting characters but for the most part the story works well at keeping you drawn in.

I may not succeed at the 100+ target but I am enjoying the journey.  Hope everyone else who took on this challenge is enjoying it as well.

By the way, I’ve had First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde sitting on my desk for nearly two days and I still don’t know whether I want to read it or not.  Has anyone read it before?

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Best Movie Endings

February 3, 2010 at 5:36 am (fiction) (, , , , , )

The Best Endings For Movies (Yes there are spoilers if you have not watched the movies):

  1. The Matrix (the first movie) – The story itself had ended. The protagonist had gone on his journey, discovered the truth and learnt to use his inner power. Yes there were still problems but they weren’t important to this story. This story was about Neo finding out what the matrix was and who he was. He did that. The end. No sequels. I loved the ending of this movie.
  2. Once Upon a Time In Mexico – I think I have to love a movie that ends with everyone really getting exactly what they deserve. The ending is explosive, it is a little gory and it brings together multiple plot threads in a really interesting way.
  3. The Princess Bride – Classic fairy tale ending for both Buttercup and Westley and the grandfather and his grandson. Beautifully told and it just leaves you feeling very happy.
  4. Willow – Same as the Princess Bride really. He saves the day, returns to his village, is reunited with his wife and shows the bully what for. Classic ending and well-executed.
  5. Kill Bill Vol 2 – The ending of this surprised me. The violence throughout the story kind of had me anticipating a massive fight sequence with way over the top gore but instead it ended with a more intimate family note. Yes there was still a bit of violence but it was definitely a sequence more about experiencing emotion. Plus, Bill’s speech about Superman has to go down as one of the most interesting monologues in a long time.

I think what all of these movies have in common is that the ending fits the plot, it resolves the main issues, it is interesting, and it ends. That might seem odd but there are quite a few brilliant movies and books out there that just don’t seem to know when enough is enough. We don’t need to see anymore of Westley and Buttercup. They kiss as the sun is setting the end. Yes they are then going to have to find somewhere to stay for the night and figure out what they are going to do now that Westley is no longer a pirate and Buttercup is no longer a Princess but we don’t really need to see any of that.

What are your favourite movie or book endings?

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