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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Why didn’t I write anything here this week?

No good reason, I guess. I just got distracted by my new discovery, the fanfiction.net app.

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Seriously, I spent so much time on that thing this week. It might just be my discovery of the year. The only thing that could make this better would be to include the possibility to read completed stories offline.

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Posted by on July 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Meet the new roommate.

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This is Rosie. She is one of the Montreal sibling’s cat, and she’s going to be staying with me for a while, maybe until Christmas.  (Long story)

Personality-wise, she is really different from my old cat. For one thing,  as you can see, she is capable of sitting still and taking a good picture. For another, she really doesn’t like being brushed. She also lets me touch her a lot less then Miou-Miou did, but I’ve only had her for a day,  so maybe that will change in time.  Or not.

In any case, she is a good, quiet kitty, and I’m happy to help out by keeping her for a while.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Flick Friday: Secrets, by Peter H Hunt

This is the movie review I said I would do last week. (I wish I had an excuse better then “the heat is messing with my head”. Seriously, how long before autumn?) It is a made-for-tv adaptation of the Danielle Steel novel of the same name, starring Stephanie Beacham, Josie Bisset, Ben Browder, Gary Collins, Christopher Plummer and Linda Purl.

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I avoided specific plot details in my review of the book, but a large portion of this review is going to be compare and contrast, so be warned: spoilers ahead for both book and movie.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Tuesday: Between the Lines, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

I picked up this book because it’s sequel (Off the Page) had been popping on my Goodreads feed with some frequency during the month of June, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I clicked on the handy-dandy Goodreads link, found that the book popping on my feed was the second of a series (a duology, at the very least) and that the first book would arrive from the library quicker anyway, so I started with that one.

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Resume: Once upon a time, there was a fairy tale prince named Oliver, who knew that he was a fairy tale prince. He relived his life over and over again, every time someone opens the book which contains his story, and is only free to live what independent life he can manage when the covers are closed. Until one day, Delilah picks up the book. She’s a fifteen years old who lives with her single mother, seems cursed with unpopularity, and is the first person ever to notice that sometimes, when the characters are not careful, the book changes.

It is a perfectly lovely book, and a quick read: I finished it off in one sitting. I am a sucker for the teenage fantasy love drama, however predictable it is in many ways. I am also a sucker for stories where the fictional characters know that they are fictional and strive to enter “the real world” and escape their fictional destinies. To top it all off, there were beautiful, full-page colour illustrations, by Yvonne Gilbert, and very cute black silhouette art by Scott M Fisher throughout the book. I haven’t read a lot of illustrated novels in my life, I think the last one was The Graveyard Book, and that was six years ago. I don’t know if I’m going to go out and look for more, because the surprise is part of what makes the illustrations fun, as is the rarity.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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A new game

This one will be quick,  because it is very late.  I spent this afternoon and evening playing games with my friends, including this one. This is a new purchase of mine, played with for the first time today, and I love it.

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That, right there,  says a lot about my personality.

Have a good week!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Tuesday: Secrets, by Danielle Steel

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Now that book, I did read as a teenager. I remembered enough of the story during this re-read o be sure of that.I also watched the movie, starring Christopher Plummer and Stephanie Beacham. I spent days tracking a copy of the movie, to give it a serious re-watch. I’m going to be talking about the movie on Friday, but for now, here is what I thought of the novel.

I think the book is best approached as a loosely connected collection of character vignettes. As a single narrative unit, it leaves a lot to be desired. There is no one story here, and that is the simple fact. There are six stories here, the story of five actors who star in a new primetime soap called Manhattan, and the story of it’s producer.

Of the six stories, those of the lead actor, Zach Taylor, and the producer, Mel Weschler, are the least developed: they have a lot of backstory, which is exposed in a few pages, and they have their romantic relationships: Zach with second lady Jane Adams and Mel with leading lady Sabina Quarles. I especially wished that the character development of Zach had been better explored. On the other hand, his story is one that could very easily become insulting to a lot of people if not properly handled. The 80’s romance novels field being what it was, it’s probably best that the author didn’t delve too much into it.

The stories of Jane Adams and ingenue Gabby Smith are more detailed, but they are wrapped up early in the story, leaving little room for the characters to evolve, other then in their romances, Jane with Zach and Gabby with the brooding new sex symbol Bill Warwick. Sabina Quarles’s story is also wrapped quickly, but the effect is disguised by the fact that Sabina is the first character we are introduced to, and her story is the last one exposed and resolved.

The only real narrative arc that really lasts for the length of the novel is that of Bill Warwick. His problem, his secret, is introduced on chapter 3 and is wrapped by chapter 32 (of 39, the next four chapters are when Sabina’s story finally unfolds, and the last three are pure fluff) and with every appearance his story moves along one careful step at a time. If all the stories were set up that carefully, the book would likely be much better for it.

Then there are the little quirks that bugged me, like the endless repetition of certain plot points (any editor worth it’s salary should have caught those!) and the plot bunny that is the fake tv show. The characters are all presenting this Manhattan thing as something brand new, unlike anything anyone has seen before. The book was written in 1985, and nothing about the setting indicates that the story is set in the past. Primetime soaps weren’t new by 1985. Dallas existed, and so did Dynasty, and probably others that I just can’t think up right now.

Far from the best book I’ve read. There are many ways of improving that story, and the movie actually does improve on some level. But it’s not essentially a bad book: it is entertaining, and the nostalgia factor boosts the rating to 5.5 out of ten.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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This week

This week, I feel like I accomplished more. I got a really good chunk of prep work done on the writing project that’s been eating my brain for the past couple of months, I translated the rules of A Match Made in Austen so that we could launch a French version simultaneously with the English one, I read a whole novel, I did some work on the “alpha” version of this board game I want to create, and I found a really cute jeweled lamp for my office, on sale at 12 bucks to boot.

I also spent Canada Day watching a bunch of dvds I’d been meaning to watch for a while, and I spent most of Saturday at a double birthday party for a friend and the child she happened to give birth to on her own birthday (there were two parties, a kid one in the afternoon and a dinner one at an all-you-can-eat sushi place in the evening) and I watched the Queen’s Plate this evening. All those years watching the Stater triple crown, and I never watched the Canadian one until now; I can’t believe it either.

So I feel much better then I did last week, all in all. I was productive, which I prefer being when I can possibly help it. And the time I spent not working or creating, I spent doing stuff that I really enjoy. I hope the following week keeps the same pattern.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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