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Friday, 29 May 2020

A Break After Revision

Hi, how are you today? What's new in your part of the world? Hope you're all staying safe. Can you believe another month is almost over?

As if living through a pandemic isn't fucked up enough, this week has added more disgraceful acts of violence by racist assholes to the unrest. I just don't understand these despicable people who refuse to treat others with respect. Especially when they're supposed to be upholding the law.

This world is so gross sometimes.

As far as the pandemic goes, the rate of infections remains very low in Australia, but Covid-19 is still there. Lurking in the background and waiting to pounce if we're not careful. What pisses me off is seeing how people are acting as if everything's just fine and normal.

It's not. Just because governments are easing restrictions for financial reasons, it doesn't mean we can abandon the health restrictions. 😐

I just wish everyone would accept caution, and embrace the social distancing we must continue. It's really not a hard concept, yet random idiots are still trying to get too fucking close. Ugh.

Anyway, as I always do after a hard and busy revision, I'm taking a bit of time off. Mostly that means having a nice time with hubby enjoying delish meals, long walks, watching stuff and enjoying every day together. And reading, of course.

This week I picked up a classic book I've had on my TBR pile for agesREBECCA by Daphne du Maurier

I took my time with this one, enjoying the hell out of every dark page. Getting lost in the suspense and dread. I was seriously hooked from the first sentence. I have no idea why the hell it's taken me so long to read this! But I'm really glad I finally did because I LOVED it. 😍

Really looking forward to reading more titles by this excellent author.

THIS is what I'm reading next.

Asides from reading, I've been going through my Idea Files. Trying to clean up the folders and decide whether all of the ideas I have are going to develop into more. 

So far, the two I thought I might scrap have started speaking to me. I wrote the beginning for one, and the ending for the other. Gotta love that.

Now I just need to update everything on my laptop. Probably tomorrow. 

Well, that was my week. Getting lots of stuff done, and nothing at all. While trying to minimise our store visits and staying away from everyone. 

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, 28 May 2020

REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've wanted to read for ages. And I'm glad that I finally picked it up.

I was hooked from the first sentence. The lush writing style is lovely and captivated me instantly. I loved the narrator's whimsical look at everything she goes through, and how quickly her thoughts fly away in so many different directions she temporarily loses sight of reality.

She's the young companion of an awful rich woman determined to degrade her every time they have a conversation. But during a trip to Monte Carlo, she meets the mysterious and moody Maximilian de Winter.

Maxim is a widower who sweeps her off her feet. She's convinced she's in love with him, so his marriage proposal is a surprise she accepts. And so begins her new life at Manderley under the shadow of his dead wife Rebecca, and the awful Mrs Danvers...

The atmosphere and suspense in this book is so thick it felt like an actual storm cloud hung over every page. The descriptions of Manderley and its grounds are pretty but shadowed with menace. The house is a character itself.

Actually, the two main characters seemed to be the house and the dead wife. It's like the new Mrs de Winter is an invisible presence in her own home, and everyone around her totally feeds into this. Her inexperience and shyness keeps her from challenging or changing anything.

I loved how Mrs de Winter's story deals with mundane and simple everyday things, but everything is dripping with dread. I kept waiting for the most awful things to happen, and plenty of super creepy stuff does. There are so many terrible secrets that rise to the surface, and I was captivated every step of the way.

The narrator isn't even given a name. Which fits perfectly into how everyone else treats her. She's almost invisible and spoken to like a child. It was frustrating and often made me angry because she didn't stand up for herself, but she has her own strengths. And living in the dark corridors of Manderley certainly helps age her.

Oh, and how awful was that Mrs Danvers? What a cruel and conniving creeper. 😳

This is one of the most addictive books I've ever read. It's also beautifully written. And terrifying on so many levels. It's also interesting as hell and intrigued me all the way through.

That ending was also unexpected, but the only way it could end.

I seriously LOVED Rebecca. The book, not the woman haunting every page.



Monday, 25 May 2020

THE DEFENDERS by Philip K Dick

The Defenders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The concept of this story is SO clever. There's a bit of everything in this post-apocalyptic tale.

Eight years after a nuclear war, humans are still living underground and robots are above fighting their war. Taylor is supposed to have a bit of time off, instead he ends up stumbling on a surprising secret about what's really going on...

Yikes! This was really cool.

I really enjoyed the surprises, twists and turns. Even the ending was totally unexpected. Not to mention how well the social commentary about men and war is captured. And these robots are so interesting. Did I mention that I love stories about robots? 😁

My only problem was the portrayal of Taylor's wife. Mary is so crippled by fear that she's annoying and crabby, not much more. Then again, it makes total sense. I'd be crabby too if I couldn't see the sun and sky and the world was radioactive. 😳

Anyway, this is another great PKD story.


Sunday, 24 May 2020

The Crystal Crypt by Philip K Dick

The Crystal Crypt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe it's because I just finished writing a story about Mars, but I was definitely in the mood for this shortie.

The last flight out of Mars is headed for Terra, and the Leiters stop the ship long enough to check each passenger in search of three saboteurs...

What a cool story!

I enjoyed this a lot, but my favourite thing about this story is how seemingly average the beginning appears, before everything starts taking shape and becomes very clear. And of course, when that happens, I was once again amazed by how clever PKD's stories always turn out to be.

In a story so short and with so much happening, it's easy to assume that character development will fall flat. But it didn't. With just a few details, situations and circumstances, the main characters are quickly fully formed. And the imagery he describes filled my mind with the utter beauty of Mars.

Not to mention that twist ending! PKD did it again. I enjoyed the hell out of this.


Saturday, 23 May 2020

More Revision

Hey! How are you today? What's new with you? Did you have a nice week? Things in Sydney are weird, but we're good.

As I mentioned last week, most states in Australia seem to be in a real hurry to open up and pretend everything's normal. Never mind the pandemic. As long as you tell people to keep doing social distancing--which so many don't--and set patron limits in restaurants, I'm sure everyone will fall in line. 😒

We took advantage of the kinda proper re-opening at the vet. One person and pet in the consultation room is better than dropping off pet and waiting outside. We couldn't do that with Loki, he would freak out. So we finally booked him in and he got his vaccination. 

Very glad it's done.

Oh, you know what I got in the mail the other day? A freaking jury duty summons. During a pandemic. Ugh. This is really stressing me out, and doesn't fit with our plans to stay away from strangers.

Trying not to think about it too much, but it's messing with my head and I'm having nightmares. It sucks. 😣

Anyway, let's talk about something else...

Here's how my revision went:
  • Monday: 32/54pgs (20,936w) 
  • Tuesday: 54/54pgs (21,063w) 
     THIRD DRAFT DONE
  • Wednesday: Break
  • Thursday: Break
  • Friday: 54/54pgs (20,651w) 
     READ-THRU DONE ON PAPERWHITE
  • Saturday: 54pgs (20,099w)

That's right. I finished my latest novella WIP today and I'm very excited! Not just because I finally reached The End of this story, but because it's one I've had in my head for a while and it finally all came together.

I love stories about robots. I love cyberpunk. And with this novella, I took both of these elements and twisted them into my own Sci-Fi tale. It was a lot of fun.

Love it when an idea becomes so much more! 🖤🤖

Speaking of ideas. The other night I was going to trash an Idea Folder from my phone. But while taking one last look at the inspirational pics, the start of the story came to me. Out of nowhere!

So, after 1,400 words, I'm pretty sure this will turn into something. LOL

Hubby and I watched The Outsider. Wow. It was such an awesome show. It took the King novel (which I loved!) and ran with it. The show is different but so similar. The cinematography was gritty and spooky, the performances outstanding, and I liked how everything wrapped up.

Strange coincidence: the only book I read this week is IF IT BLEEDS by Stephen King. Which contains an excellent Holly Gibney novella.

Well, that's in for now. I'm going to enjoy the rest of the weekend and will probably take the next week off to read and recharge.

Have a great weekend!

 
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