Good Sex?

Dec. 1st, 2010 10:16 pm
blacklilly: (Ero ero ero)
Whatever happened to the days where I used to be able to discuss books all the time?  I need to get a job in a bookshop again, and move to Texas and live with [ profile] jennarose who was always good for book chat.

The Guardian and I may be on the same page with regards to the good sex/bad sex thing.  Of course, they have a huge readership and don't have to resort to trying to goad people on Facebook into taking the time to read what they're saying.  Has anyone else noticed that people just don't READ things anymore?  Emails, notes, blogs etc.  Have you even read this far into my burblings, fair reader??

Last of the 13 hour work days today, as high school has finished until January.  Am deliberating going to find some company at the bar, or staying here and lack of readership????

Seeing as no one is paying attention by the fourth paragraph (and congrats to those who held on this long) I should tell you that I have begun work on a novel which has been floating about my head for a year or so.  Strangely, it is requiring a huge amount of pre-planning, which is not something I've ever really had to do with stories before.  It's closely plotted and I've been using an excellent program called Scrivener to help me structure things out.  Rather than putting things down into notebooks, I'm making notecards on the virtual corkboard.  I can then rearrange them, add sub-categories and name each section.  Each card provides a short synopsis of the scene, which I can then write directly into the program.  Should I need to rearrange the scenes, I can just pull the notecards about and the text will re-organize itself.  I've never been a fan of writing straight into the computer, but so far this thing is so user-intuitive that I'm yet to get frustrated with it.  Anyway, I'm midway through plotting the thing out, and have just reached the "crisis" in the second-act.  Where it goes from here, I'm still trying to work out...  I can also tell you that it is called "The Hanging Forest", until something better comes along.

What I like most about this is that all my thoughts at the moment are taken up with it, which makes the morning train journeys on packed commuter trains all the more bearable.

I was gonna do the Japan Meme, but currently I'm at a loss for over- or under-rated things about Japan.  Except for the men, who are, so far,  totally over-rated.
blacklilly: (books)
So, according to  my very messy notebook, which is conveniently undated, this is what I read (in no particular order) last year:

(Book in italics are re-reads, books in blue I'm not totally convinced were read in 2009)

Jonathan Carroll - Sleeping in Flame
Susan Hill - Strange Meeting
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
Angela Carter - Heroes and Villains
Evelyn Waugh - Vile Bodies
John Berendt -  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Robert Graves - Goodbye to All That

Dominic Hibbard - Wilfred Owen
Eveleyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
Elmore Leonard - Out of Sight (this one I picked  up at a bookshop in Ebisu whilst on a day out with a guy who could talk about heavy metal and movies all day in English, but clammed up on any other subject)
Daphne du Maurier - Jamaica Inn
Wilkie Collins - The Moonstone
Kate Summerscale - The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

Joe Hill - 20th Century Ghosts
Joe Hill - Heart-shaped Box
David Mitchell - Number9Dream
David Mitchell - Ghostwritten
Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore
Haruki Murakami - Dance Dance Dance
Caitlin R Kiernan - A is for Alien
Kiran Desai - The Inheritance of Loss
E M Forster - A Passage to India (I read this book about 20 times for my A-Levels, so it was nice to come back to it with no exam looming.  E M Forster is still one of the best writers ever)
George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia
George Orwell - Down and Out in Paris and London
David Crytsal - By Hook or by Crook
Nicola Barker - Darkmans
Mark Gatiss - The Devil in Amber
Charles R Cross - Heavier than Heaven
Charlie Connolly - Attention All Shipping
Chuck Palahniuk - Choke
Azar Nafisi - Reading Lolita in Tehran
Donna Tartt - The Little Friend
E M Forster - Howard's End
Out - Natsuo Kirino (Where did this book go?  Did I lend it to Kate?)
I no longer have a train journey to and from work, so my forced reading time is dramatically reduced.  And I had a Japanese exam to study for, so for about 3 months, there was little in the way of reading, and for one month, nothing except reading in Japanese which, as it was mostly textbooks, is not included here.

As for movies...who knows.

blacklilly: (Default)
Here's a interesting article on the nature of reading and readers from The Guardian.

I spent last week reading Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine", which I found myself reading, but not actually paying much attention to, on numerous occasions; but equally becoming engrossed in on the train, two stops before my station. Now I'm reading "The Suspicions of Mr Whicher" which is having quite the opposite effect of being un-put-downable.

Anyway, I think I'll go read a bit more it... Back later.


Jun. 22nd, 2007 06:19 pm
blacklilly: (Default)
A quick update from work. My 6pm cancelled so I'm sitting in the office wondering why my head isn't with me today. All week I've woken up late, having slept through my alarm. Given that the alarm is normally by my ear, this is not good.

I should do something constructive for tomorrow's lessons...

Later I will be cooking Aubergine Parmagiana (sp?) and watching "パプリカ”、which I've heard good things about. Let's hope the subs I downloaded for it aren't for the Tinto Brass film of the same name.

Am also about to finish David Mitchell's "Number9Dream", which is going to take book of the year, unless something astoundingly good comes along. There is a particular pleasure gained from reading books in the country they are set in. Those little bits of information you miss in England - like knowing what a Lawson is - add a familiar, engaging touch.

Today's weather is very English, rain rain rain all day. The kind of rain that gets under your clothes. I'm going to think about what else I'm going to do with my next class.
blacklilly: (Default)
No, not that Orlando, but Virginia Woolf's "Orlando".

I picked it up in my second-hand book haul in Tokyo and started reading it last week. I first read it when I was at university, I guess for my Women and Myth and course, or the other one with the git of a tutor whose name was John...something. Anyway, I have fond memories of reading it, and have always remembered the frozen Thames section with the parties and Orlando running off with his Russian princess.

However, it has taken me one week to read 100 pages - a woeful number - and it had much to do with the fact that I didn't seem to be enjoying it this time. Reading page after page of Orlando moping about his big house, musing on poetry and the like, was not doing anything for me. But then, yesterday, Orlando goes to Turkey as Ambassador, lives through a revolt and wakes up a woman. And that's when my interest was finally piqued.

Is it because I am reading it as a woman? Surely not, for I've read many an interesting book with a male protagonist and felt able to identify or sympathise with them. I'm not sure Woolf was as successful at writing the male Orlando as she was the female one. We seem to be much more inside Orlando's head upon the ship back to England than at any other time, much more able to break that barrier between the page and story.

Anyway, my little thoughts so far.

On a related note, I was discussing literature with our sub-teacher Lucas, who is going back to Canada to study for an MA in English Lit, and he asked me: "Which classic author do you wish to be wiped from the bookshelves?" Which got me thinking. I don't know. I have a mental image of the classics bay in Ottakar's and I'm trying to work through the shelves picking out the authors I despise. Stern's "Tristram Shandy" can happily be consigned to the depths, in my opinion; Bronte's "Villette" I hate with a fiery passion. So it's not authors, as much as individual books. I have a bad relationship with "classic" literature. I'm not sure where it stems from; maybe being surrounded by pretentious art students for three years?

I was listening to David Mitchell on Radio 4's Book Club last week, talking about "Cloud Atlas". An audience member asked him which authors inspired him. Up until this point I had a good feeling about him, he seemed like a nice guy. He paused, then said: " The Russians." Curse your fancy literary ways!I thought. How bloody pretentious to claim all of Russian literature as an influence. He did also cite Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, so I won't consign "Number 9 Dream" (next on my shelf) to the Tengu river just yet.

Do you have a book or author you would like to see removed? Lucas' choice was Hemingway. I will second him on this as I have only bad memories of reading him (again, I think it was the git-tutor's course). Apparently Hemingway pulled the trigger of his gun with his toe. At least he used an appropriately big gun...
blacklilly: (Default)
This is really slow going for me:

1) H P Lovecraft - The Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories (Penguin)
2) Sonya Taaffe - Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime)
3) Caitlin R Kiernan - To Charles Fort, With Love (Subterranean)
4) Poppy Z Brite - D*U*C*K* (Subterranean)
5) Viggo Mortensen - Recent Forgeries (Smart Art)
6) Philip K Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Tor)
7) Henry D Thoreau - Walden
8) Poppy Z Brite - Soul Kitchen (Three Rivers)
9) Caitlin R Kiernan - Daughter of Hounds (Roc)
10) Angela Carter - The Bloody Chamber (Virago)
11) Caitlin R Keirnan - Tales From The Woeful Platypus (Subterranean)
12) H P Lovecraft - At The Mountains of Madness (Penguin)
13) Gideon Defoe - The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists (Orion)

I'm currently flicking between short stories in various collections I've got (Kiernan, Taaffe, Gaiman, Lovecraft) as I can't settle down to anything. I'm also reading the latest issue of "Strange Attractor" -last night I was reading about magic lanterns, H G Wells and time.
blacklilly: (Default)
After the near all-nighter of Saturday and only five hours sleep, I managed a personal sleep record of 11 hours on Sunday night, waking up feeling quite lovely yesterday. Today is when my brain gets back at me for it. "How dare you remain unconscious for so long?" it said at about 4am. I lay in bed for a good hour with a line going round in my head which I'm going to have to use in a story now. I then finally gave in, wrote the line down, and got up to finish reading [ profile] docbrite's "D*U*C*K" which I started yesterday afternoon. I fell back asleep at some point and was barraged by strange dreams. I over-slept by an hour and now feel pretty nasty.

The dreams are all bitty and keep coming in and out of focus, so I think I'm going to have to write them down over the course of the day as they come to me. It's a good thing Tuesday's are pretty easy teaching days, particularly if my 8pm cancels and I get to go home at 6pm. Which reminds me, I think I have a kids class today. Nuts.
blacklilly: (Default)
Went out on Friday night with Helen. Didn't drink too much but ended up mixing wine with one beer and spent yesterday feeling shitty. Went shopping with Polly in Reading - bought some new cords and oggled the young man in the shop - yummy. Tried on a bikini which had flames all over it but decided I need more skin coverage! Came home and had to rescue the kitten off the roof of the porch - these things always happen when the olds aren't about.

My back still hurts from last week. Knowing my bloody luck I've probably done something awful to my spine. And the weird thing is that the top of my nose has swollen up. I don't remember hitting it. Bodies are WEIRD. Anyway, I'm going on holiday in three weeks and I can't afford to have something wrong with me as it's been long in the planning and very expensive!!

Finished my Pro Jekt artcile. 1820 words. V. Good.
blacklilly: (Default)
I am now 22 British Years Old. Well, yesterday actually. Got up late, ate chocolate cake for breakfast and opened presents. Got nice Clinique Make-up, Ghost perfume and Estee Lauder (spelling?) nail varnish in harlot and vampy reds! Also got lots of book tokens to fund habit. Lou bought me Hell's Angels by Hunter S Thompson (so cunningly hinted at on my wishlist) - Thank you LOU! Jenny bought me some choccies and some glittery purple eyeshadow! Gideon was going to add to my Living Dead Dolls collection but instead got me a cuddly Sully toy. I was particularly amused by one birthday card which must have been hunted for high and low as it actually says " Goth Chick" on it. Well spotted.

One of the agencies phoned me and asked if I wanted to work. I thought about it. I said no and watched an ER double-bill instead. Oh, which reminds me - did anyone tape the last epidsode of CSI? HILARY ask Tom if he's got it and if I can borrow it?

Went to Reading last night and drank lots of cocktails in TGI's. Then went to the Turtle and drank a bit more. Then we went to the Fez Club. The last time I went there it was still the Alley Cat, so the chintz (and the gross underage-ness)frightened me a bit. Drank some more; Naomi got molested by some bloke who was staring at us in TGI's, went to the Turtle and eventually got home at 3.30am.

I've got a job for Thursday and Friday. That bastard advertising agency didn't want me. Apparantly there were more qualified people than me. Do they have Phd's in gophering then? Damn them.

One of our many TV gave up the ghost on Saturday. This was most distressing to everyone as it was the one in the dining room so everyone has to eat in silence now. He he he! Strange how the loss of one TV in a house of four can cause so much grief.

Anyway, I'm going to spend some imaginary money now.


Jun. 27th, 2002 11:26 pm
blacklilly: (Default)
UURGHH! YUCK! I had to wear a suit yesterday! I look like an idiot in a suit! I at least endeavoured to go all black save for my funky iridescent red knee length jacket. I went to the London Graduate Recruitment Fair and ponced about with all the younger and far more qualified members of society. I spoke to the BBC and the Guardian and also a company called Nova who teach English in Japan. That'll scare you all, me going to the other side of the world. Or is more scary that I will be doing what I always suspected would happen - teaching English? Sounds good though, doesn't it?

The fair was in Islington, which is far more posh than I remember. I felt the urge to give into the corporate crap and wandered about with a frappacino. Then I got the fear so went to Camden where I began to feel much better. I bought an Opeth album which cheered me up too.

Gideon has a gig in Putney tonight. Should be amusing as it will be Pillow Talk's ( first London gig and mention has been made of 80 people turning up. Good luck...

Well, on the upside I have a job interview next week with an advertising agency in Maidenhead. My more nightime and pessimistic self holds little hope of an outcome, though my skipping-in-the-fields daytime self says otherwise. We shall see...

I've been re-reading "Pride and Prejudice", spurred on by the BBC re-showing the adaptation. I forgot how good it was! It helps that we have it on video so I have been reading and watching in conjunction. I keep finding myself talking like them which is worrying...

What shall I do this weekend? I have been busy since I got back so this will the first unplanned one. Not sure I fancy Reading after the last fiasco, and due to a lack of funds. It may be a night in with the DVD player while all my PVC hangs limp in the wardrobe... alas!
blacklilly: (Default)
Grrrr, weirdos. There's weird to a point, and then there's weird to punching point. Jenny took Naomi and I to Reading in Friday night though Naomi and I ran off the the 'goblin first for cheap-er beer and cathcing up with old chums. Got hastled by drunk people shouting "1-0!" a lot. Well done, you like football. Didn't one of the managers of TopMan say their clothes were all bought by thugs? Football and Topman. Anyway, went to Reading got hassled less. Went to pub and drunk black sambuca and got spoken to by drunk men in suits. I phoned Gideon as I suddenly missed him but someone was on the phone at 1.30am.

Missed last train home as 2.30 train was cancelled. Had to get taxi which cost £28 but we found two blokes to share it with so it wasn't too bad. Slept on a sofa and got woken up by road works.

Had hair dyed - it just looks...normal. Once we've saved it from complete destruction though we're going to put big red and gold slices through it.

Am going to attempt to switch computers over today as cannot read my emails properly because this computer doesn't load the page up properly. Christ, it's boring down here. Am going to go to village fete for donkey ride now...


blacklilly: (Default)

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