Posted in Books

Book Ban Update

Way back at the start of this hell year, I made myself a challenge that I wouldn’t buy any new books for 2020. The only exceptions were my Kindle Subscriptions, Audible and the new Dresden Files book.

Temptation is everywhere

I hadn’t realised on the one hand how freaking easy it would be because I’ve not been in a bookshop since… November? Obviously Amazon keep tempting me with their Kindle Daily Deals with amazing books for only 99p, but I’m resisting! I have also cancelled my Kindle Unlimited sub because I’m not reading the books I have in real life, never mind those on my online shelf. I got through a few of them before it cancelled. I have also put Audible on pause for a few months since I’ve quite a collection of lecture series to listen to. Plus, I’m skint.

I like Big Books and I cannot lie

Being home so much has got me looking at the books which I want to read but are too big and awkward to take out to read. One is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I’m very much into the Shadowhunters books, but felt the departure from Jace and Clary with the new trilogy, The Dark Artifices – Lady Midnight quite strongly and it took me a bit to warm up to Emma and Julian. Needless to say I was quickly hooked and rushed out to buy the blue edged paperback of Lord of Shadows when it came out… then it sat on my shelf for years. And I’m sorry it did. It was great. I won’t go into a full review here, but I’m pissed as hell at the ending, if you can call it an ending and not a total ploy into making you buy the next book: Queen of Air and Darkness. Which of course, I priced on Amazon – but book ban! I didn’t buy it. My birthday is in November, perhaps the book fairy might visit.

Damn you, Butcher!

While taking a wee break from reading last week, I noticed Prime added the old Dresden Files TV show. I’ve heard so many bad things about it but Paul Blackthorne is a good actor and I watched the Shadowhunters movie twice. Needless to say the show was cancelled after only one season, and I imagine because the fans couldn’t get behind it. They changed so many little things that make no sense why they would need to be changed. The casting was odd for Murphy and the actress who played Susan gave it a good shot, but she was not Susan. I won’t say much more other than, where’s the damn Beetle (car)?, Why is Bob a person? and a drumstick?!?!

Alas, it got me thinking about the new book and that I should probably read back over the summaries and maybe read the last few books to refresh my memory since it’s been six years since the last book. So I jumped onto Jim Butcher’s website and saw the artwork has been released for Peace Talks.

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Isn’t it beautiful?

Then I noticed on the upcoming works… a very interesting sentence:

THIS JUST IN: TWO DRESDEN BOOKS WILL BE RELEASED IN 2020! PEACE TALKS HITS STORES JULY 14TH, AND BATTLE GROUND COMES OUT SEPTEMBER 29TH!

Jim-Butcher.com

OMG! That crazy freaking wonderful man has decided to treat us to two books this year! After all it is the 20th Anniversary of The Dresden Files (how wild is that?) I’ve only been around for the last ten years of it and it’s such a big part of my literary life.

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

Finally some good news during this hell year! I’m holding off pre-ordering just now, maybe I’m hoping against hope but I’d imagine if bookshops are open again by July that they might do a midnight launch of Peace Talks… I guess we’ll see.

Anyway, I’m off to stir myself into further hysteria with all the YA and Urban Fantasy books I have.

Have any of you read the Dresden Files? Might you be inclined to try it now? Would you go to a midnight launch if there was one?

Stay safe and keep reading!

e x

Posted in University, Writing

Dissertation Update #7

It’s been a wee while between updates thanks to health stuff and not knowing what is causing me to still feel so ill.

Anyway! I’ve been working away bit by bit and last night I hit the 10k words mark! Woohoo! Then today I started four new crochet projects because I’m procrochetenating finishing the excerpt.

I’ve sat back down at my desk, lit some candles, have the Gladiator soundtrack playing and cracking on back to work. My hook is next to me once I earn a break.

I’m itching to get back to normal stuff again, gaming and reading. My goodreads challenge is getting out of control so I’ll be speed reading through my TBR list after October 3rd!

Good news is coming soon, I’ll tell you all closer to the time 🙂

e x

Posted in Books, Education, Writing

Currently Reading – August 2018

I’m slowly trying to work my way through the reading list for my MA course. I’ve never been a fast reader – unless I’m completely absorbed by what I’m reading (see Harry Potter) so when it comes to reading technical books or deep literature then it’s going to be a bit of a slog.

Pictured above is two of my newest additions to my rampant collection. The Self-Editing for Fiction Writers book, by Brown and King, I already know will be an invaluable resource so I’m trying to take notes and read it carefully enough to get as much out of it as possible (and so I don’t struggle to reread it before assessments). It was highly recommended by someone on our course and I promptly picked up a copy on amazon, reasonably cheaply.

The second book Searches and Seizures by Stanley Elkin was a bit of a challenge to locate a copy of! I managed to find an old second-hand copy on amazon again but it was sent from Better World Books in Mishawaka, Indiana! The book has travelled further than me. Also, I’m certain I ordered another book off them before. Alas, this book was recommended through another book on my reading list: Reading like a writer by Francine Prose. The Elkin book is three novellas, but the Making of Ashenden is the one Prose suggested to read… about a man who falls in love with a bear. Odd, but interesting. I’ve only glanced at the first page but Elkin has a unique style of writing and description.

I finished reading Brief Cases by Jim Butcher, the newest collection of short stories from the Dresden Files world. It’s helped a little to ease the pain from waiting so long for Peace Talks to come out, but I understand the author has had major personal happenings in the last few years, so I won’t add to the complaints. I’m likely to do a more in depth review of Brief Cases, as I want to start doing for more books I read – simply because I have a terrible memory after I’ve read something, reviews would be a good way to keep track. The short version is Brief Cases was amazing – especially the original novella Zoo Day – brought Maggie into much sharper focus, not just as a character (finally) but what may come of her in the future.

I’m still reading On Writing by A.L. Kennedy from the reading list last year. It’s a very interesting insight into one of Scotland’s cult (?) writers. I like how she describes her own process as lasting years but a constant slog, even while travelling and ill. Most of the book is blog posts lifted straight from her site, so I enjoy just reading a post or two at a time, hence why it’s taking me so long to get through it.

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White must be top-of-the-list for all writing students whether English Lit, Composition, or Creative Writing, like me. But it really ought to be top-of-the-list for everyone who ever uses English. Ever. It’s a short volume, but concise and definitely something I’ll refer back to time and again.

Other than these, I’ve been working through my new Italian books for my course starting mid-September. They are A1 beginners books and while I do already know all of this stuff, it doesn’t hurt to revise the basics. Language learning is more of a wander than rushing straight to the final destination. Plus, it’s been 3 years since I did my C1 classes in Spain -_-

e x

Posted in Musings

Freezing

So it’s almost the end of August but Scotland hasn’t realised that it’s technically still summer… Back to the ice age for us, sadly.

I’m sitting here trying to do work and read but keep getting distracted by recipes and studyspo on Pinterest. Alas, there’s always tomorrow.

Did I mention I’m cold? I’m wearing my Harry Potter pj set (jumper and long trousers) and my little bear slippers because it’s so damn cold. It’s probably a sign to turn in for the night. I’m hoping tomorrow will be a bit more productive – the most I did today was get coffee and my eyebrows done. Small self-care steps matter. Booked a hair appointment for next week on my day off because it needs cut and my hairdresser is moving 😩.

I’m impatient and excited for September, so much good new stuff will start!

e x

Posted in Education, Musings, rant, work, Writing

Blogoversary!

So it’s around a year since evallone.com happened and I’m thrilled with how my little site has developed in that time. Initially pre-domain name it did start as a blog of a recent graduate trying to find decent work in this pre-apocalyptic world, then evolved, backtracked and evolved some more!

Tomorrow marks a year since I got that fresh out of uni job which lasted all of 10 weeks. I am not ashamed to admit it as I’m much happier in my current job of seven and a half months! I never spoke in great detail on here about what happened in the last job, but since I’ve hardly heard from anyone since I left, there’s little problem if I were to speak about it, but that’s for another time.

The current purpose of my blog is to give me a platform to display all my creative tendencies and to rant. I’ve much in the pipeline, but have been fighting with time to get on with actually writing blog posts. I did go on holiday to York a few weeks ago but I’ve had a hell of a time trying to edit and upload the pictures (I shot them all in RAW and it’s been a while…) Alas, they’re coming soon along with the written-at-the-time blog posts. Check out my photography page as I’ll be posting plenty of additional pictures there.

I spent much of yesterday desperately clinging onto reality after a rare night out on Saturday. I’ve questioned my mortality, my age, the unstoppable passing of time, why I peaked at age 3, and my appearance. So today I got up, my food tasted better than in months, I slept better than I have in quite some time (with lots of wild dreams) and have a plan for today and the next wee while. My course starts back in October so that gives me several weeks to work my way through the reading list (as best as I can, cannot afford many of the books) and trying to really embrace the opportunity this course and year will give me. I know all too well from this past year just how fast time goes, so I need to try and enjoy every single minute of it.

I’m rambling now, I know, but I’m abuzz with ideas and the need to just read for a solid amount of time. I just needed this to break the ice a bit, and I promise I should be back to regular updates from now on.

Thanks for this last year of support!

e x

Posted in Musings, Writing

Swamped

Hello dear readers,

It’s been a crazy busy month. I feel like I’ve barely just gotten my last assessment out of the way and already the next one is due in a couple of weeks. There’s so much to prepare for it, not just the text itself, but the idea and knowing that I will have to do several edits (I hate editing) while trying to bring in concepts that we’ve studied over this block and maintaining an organic development to the chapter. There’s also the commentary where I explain how the idea germinated and developed, what I’ve learned and included from this block into the work and additional readings I’ve been inspired by to help this work.  There is also marks allocated to feedback I’ve given on other people’s work, so that’s what’s been taking up my time just now. The Workshop is a great idea in principle, but I’m concerned that for my one piece of writing I submit for feedback I have to give feedback on three other pieces of work. I’ve still plenty of time to get it in, but I’ve already been on it for a few days. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing for it now, but it’s intense giving such serious critique of someone else’s work.

Aside from that I’ve been working pretty much non-stop (yay!) and I’m now a permanent staff member so loads of pressure has been taken off, don’t need to go back to job hunting again. I’m in a good routine with work, I know what I’m doing, the staff seem to like me well enough and I’ve taken on extra hours and shifts where I could.

It’s all working out well for me now, I’m finding a balance but trying to improve everyday to carve out more time for reading, extra reading, and writing for more than just my course. I have a busy day ahead tomorrow with studying, hoping to catch up on everything tomorrow and get a draft of the TMA done as well. I’m trying to get back to blogging more regularly as well, the last few weeks have honestly just flown by in a flash I can’t believe it’s the middle of March already!

Anyway, back to work!

e x

Posted in Books, Films, Musings, Outings

Chill Time

Went into town yesterday to run a few errands and hit Starbucks because I wanted my free, extra stars they offered bribed me with. Cover photo is of my yummy soya latte and I started reading Robin Lane Fox’s book on Alexander the Great (which provided the context and inspiration of the Alexander film by Oliver Stone). I’m loving the book thus far and I have loved the movie for years, despite the naysayers. Ultimately, Alexander lived so long ago but left little primary sources behind and much of what we have to read about him was written by people centuries after him and cannot be held as wholly accurate. But neither can all the stories be dismissed, something had to be true. So in this book Fox is giving his own understandings of how things might have gone down, including all the sordid stuff.

Obviously every time I read about Alexander the Great I picture Colin Farrell. Not a bad thing at all.

Starbucks was really warm, which was a welcome respite from the freezing, icy, winter weather which seems to be staying. Couldn’t help overhearing the loud conversation next to me, most of which was boring and inaccurate, but it’s not proper to jump into someone’s conversation to correct them. Most painful part was when one girl gave her friend a bunch of presents (late birthday, I assume?) and then proceeded to ‘giftsplain’ every single present as she unwrapped it while the other girl had to feign interest. Eek!

Hasta luego!

P.S. I got a brand new copy of Robert Graves The Greek Myths for a fiver! From WHSmith in the sale section. So jazzed!

e x