31 March 2012

Law & Order

So...I've been called up. For jury service that is, not military service *grin* (Which is probably a good thing because somehow I don't think drill sergeants and I would get along :) I have been called up for jury service once before, although I never saw the inside of a courtroom. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it this time. On the one hand I would like to see the inside of a New Zealand courtroom...preferably as a juror rather than as a defendant or as a victim. On the other hand it's a lot of responsibility, being a juror.

So, have you ever been called up for jury service?

Edited to add: For those of you who are curious, according to Wikipedia, there will be no white wigs :(

28 March 2012

Inadequacy Central

Or Why I Don't Like Special Characters!

You may (or not :) have noticed that I have been reading far less paranormal romance and urban fantasy books than I used too. This is because of the rise of the 'special character'. And by 'special character' I mean those characters that have everything going for them and more. Those characters that everything revolves around. They are popular: most readers like them, most authors write them. I loathe them. Why? It's simple really (and a 'me' thing). I compare myself to them and come up...wanting. I'm...inadequate. By the time I finish the book I'm...despondent (for lack of a better word). Yes, I know they are fictional characters, so I guess what I'm saying it I want realism. I want flaws. I want the not so beautiful, the not so extraordinarily talented and intelligent, the not so feisty (oh do I hate that word!) character (be they male or female) to get the guy. Because that makes me feel that is may be possible (for me)..

And yes, I know feeling inadequate is not a good reason to dislike a character. After all, it's my issue, not their issue. I was chatting about this with my lovely friend Kerry from Too Many Books earlier today and Kerry made a really good point. (And I hope I have articulated this correctly.) The author doesn't need to make a character 'special' in order for the reader (OK, me) to buy into the character. And they definitely don't need to make them more 'special' as the book/series progresses (e.g. Anita Blake). Not. Necessary. Instead, all they need (IMHO) to do is give the character a solid foundation and allow the character's thoughts and actions to speak for them. Patricia Briggs is a great example of an author not imbuing her character (Mercy Thompson) with endless 'special' traits. Mercy isn't what I would call pretty. She's in her early thirties, so no ingenue. While she is a Coyote walker, her coyote form, while fast and agile, is no match for a werewolf when it comes to strength. And Mercy is aware of this. She is like a willow, bending when required (instead of attempting to mimic King Canute and stop the tide), but otherwise standing firm. I love characters like that!

So, what type of character drives you to spit tacks? And how much realism do you like in your books?

26 March 2012

Gem

I was going to post a rant...ummm...thought or two, but Headache 1, orannia 0 ATM, so I'm turning to music. And then I was going to wax lyrical and St Elmo's Fire and the delicious Rob Lowe, but the following 80s song caught my attention.



I love this song. And then I noticed something else, and this is probably showing up my lack of sleep, but...the lead singer of Mr Mister looks (to my mind) a bit like Jared Leto. Thoughts?

And what do we think of that hair and those tight jeans? *grin*

22 March 2012

What Ya Reading?

I have been drawing a blank on what to write tonight. All my ideas are like moths to a flame - they won't settle! And then it hit me! What ya reading? Currently I'm reading two books: River Marked (Patricia Briggs) and WMSmoker Seeks Seclusion (Pirate Grrl). The former is a UF - my first UF is quite a while; the latter is m/m and a free book. Both (surprisingly) are written in the first person. I say surprisingly because up until a year or so ago I was not a fan.

So, what ya reading?

20 March 2012

The Hunger Games

So...my best friend and I are (planets [and our schedules] aligning :) going to see The Hunger Games over the Easter weekend. I have yet to read the book. TBH I've been on the fence about the book. But then I saw the trailer and thought...hmmm. Maybe :)

So, I'm curious - have you read and/or seen The Hunger Games? And...are you a 'read the book' or 'watch the movie' first person? Or does it not matter? Because ATM I'm going to see the movie first and then decide on whether or not to tackle the book. (I'm a watch the movie first person, mostly because I find a movie can never do a book justice, and if I read a book before seeing the movie I end up getting very annoyed at the various shortcuts taken. LOTR being an exception of course, because otherwise we would have ended up with hundreds of movies :)

17 March 2012

Blast From The Past

I used to do this. Not the smoking. Nor the drinking. The dancing. No thinking just dancing was my way of releasing tension. Which is why I love this scene from Footloose the most:



And the song. Gotta love the song *grin* And my favourite line from the song?
If you don't give your heart wings you'll never, never, never, never learn to fly.
The line makes far more sense now than it ever did then! 0_0 I haven't seen the remake. IDK what it is, but often remakes are less....gritty. That was definitely the case for Fame. Battlestar Galactica on the other hand? Oh was that remake gritty!

Hmmm. I quite enjoyed delving back into some 80s music. I can't believe what I've found on the time suck known as YouTube :) Would you like another blast from the past later this month?

13 March 2012

Preparation

The tenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (JR Ward) - Lover Reborn - is scheduled to be published on 27 March 2012. And its looming publication got me to thinking...should I be preparing for its release? Should I re-read the last book in the series? What about the whole series? Maybe just my favourite scenes? Hmmm...Qhuay :)

So...how do you prepare for the release of a book in a favourite series? Do you:
a) Do nothing;
b) Re-read the last book in the series;
c) Re-read the entire series;
d) Re-read your favourite scenes;
e) Something else :)

11 March 2012

Snapshot

Note: And it's back...for good this time :)

It's amazing what one finds when unpacking boxes that have been untouched for...years! *blushes* I found a photo of myself from a university (college for those of you in North America) ball. I was 21. I'm wearing a dress I borrowed off a friend of my flatmate's because the dress I had (a dress from my college [high school for those of you in North America :)] no longer fit me. My hair was done by the same friend as the hairdressing appointment I had booked had been overlooked and my hairdresser wasn't available. Someone else at the salon ended up doing my hair, someone who didn't understand fine hair at all. I came home looking like I had fallen into a vat of gel!

This is probably my favourite photo of me. Amusingly this photo was taken without me realizing. I heard my name, looked up, and then photo! Needless to say I wasn't amused at the time... I don't like how I look generally (read 99.9% of the time). But occasionally....very occasionally I don't think I look half bad. This is one of those times.

So, what was the last interesting thing you found unpacking a box?

05 March 2012

Books 2012: February Update

Total: 20 books (10 books this month: m/m [nine books]; urban fantasy [one book])

The 2012 M/M Romance Challenge total: 18 books (nine books this month)

A list of all the books I've read to date (from 01 January 2010) can be found at GoodReads.

Favourite books of the month? (There were a few)

* At His Throat, A Promise (Lilith Grey)

* Breaking Cover (Kaje Harper)

* Life Lessons (Kaje Harper)

Currently reading:

* Shattered Glass (Dani Alexander)

And the books I'm most looking forward to reading this month:

* Lover Reborn (JR Ward) [GO TEAM QHUAY! (And Sax :)]

* The Rebuilding Year (Kaje Harper) [What can I say, I'm a completely fan]

So, what did you read last month?

03 March 2012

Tinkering

So...as you've probably already noticed I've been tinkering with my blog. I've changed the design, the background and the colours. (And YAH for the templates or else I would have no idea what I was doing :) I like it...I think :) I haven't changed much since I started this blog back in January 2009. Yes the colours are still somber (small steps), but..they aren't black. Progress? *grin*

So, what do you think? (I'm still not sure about the blue...) And...out of interest...how often do you tinker with your blog?