Monday 31 October 2011

Halloween Reads

Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Middle Grade Horror

Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “Other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy, black button eyes.
When they make it clear however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and the three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures…
It may be a book for kids but I personally think Coraline is one of the creepiest stories I’ve ever read. Hair-raisingly chilling, it is a total must-read story for Halloween night!
Neil Gaiman is an amazing writer who skilfully brings to life a nightmarish world that hovers just close enough to reality to be truly frightening. With rats, ghost children, a stalking dismembered hand and especially the ‘other’ buttoned-eyed people, this book had me completely captivated from the beginning to end. Not to mention the fantastic illustrations - which in truth - creeped me out just as much as the writing.  
And, while it may sound strange, I think the older you are the scarier you will find this book to be. My younger self would probably have thought this story was about a girl on a great adventure to battle evil. Now at 22, I think it’s a book about a girl (who will probably have nightmares for the rest of her life) trying to escape the clutches of evil. Trust me, there is a huge difference.
Yet either way, Coraline is a fantastic read that truly stirs the imagination and rattles the nerves. It is so much more than a children’s book. Adults (and Y/As), I suggest you go find yourselves a copy and make sure you’re not in the house alone. Trust me, after reading this you will definitely want to sleep with the light on.
Have a Happy Halloween! J
*Note: there is a movie version but I have never seen it. For me the book was more than creepy enough but I would be interested to know which you guys think is scarier?

Monday 24 October 2011

Inspirational Writer-ly Quotes

Hey guys, I know I know I haven’t posted in over week. I have fallen victim to the evil demon of winter, the horrid, soul sucking monster of dread that has rendered me helpless and completely incapable of doing anything productive – so yeah, I have a cold.  
Therefore, rather than posting another book review (which I admit I attempted and failed miserably to write), I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite inspirational quotes. I have them pinned up near my computer to help me with me sluggish, less motivated and more brain dead days.
Also forgive me, I don’t actually know who I’m quoting here so if you know who said what please let me know :)

1) ‘The worst novel that you put on paper is far better than the best novel that you have in your head’
2) ‘Idea’s are not the hardest part, making yourself sit down and write is.’

3) ‘Even the best books like to repeatedly punch you in the face while you are working on them.’

4) ‘You don’t need to be inspired to write, You need to write to be inspired.’

5) 'If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’

6) ‘I do not like to write, I like to have written.’

7) ‘Write with your heart and the story will follow.’

Hope you guys have a good week. I’m going back to bed now armed with my books, cup-a-soup and favourite panda-teddy hot water bottle. *Sniff* I’ll see you all when I come out of hibernation.

Saturday 15 October 2011



So I was curious, is anyone else out there taking part in this year’s national novel writing month? If so, are you all targeting 50,000 words?
I have to admit I feel a little bad. November is probably the worst month for me to try and write a novel. I mean for me it’s a month of Christmas shopping, Uni deadlines and of course my birthday -which naturally I try and drag out in a weeklong celebration :) Also did I mention I’m meant to be starting my dissertation?  

Of course these are all just excuses. Each month of the year I have at least two important dates marked on my calendar - and day to day life soon takes up the rest of the month. I’m pretty certain this is the same for everyone? So, as I finally realised that these things aren’t ever going to change, I’ve decided this year that I’m going to stop procrastinating. This year I’m challenging myself to nanowrimo!
As much as I’d like to dream that a writer’s life involves lazy mornings in bed and days spent working in my pyjamas, I know the reality is rather different. Writers have lives, they have jobs, they have family and friends, dogs to walk, kids to chauffeur and a million other everyday commitments… and yet they write.

Whether it means writing on the train, on their lunch breaks of even getting up that extra hour early – they find ways to fit writing into their lives. So therefore what’s the excuse?  50,000 words, ok that’s a lot but even if it’s 30, 000 or 20,000 or even just 5,000, it’s all progress that will bring us that much closer to our dreams.

So I’ll ask again. Are you participating in NANOWRIMO 2011?