All posts filed under: arts

“Me Before You” Book, Movie, & Thoughts

Originally posted on Life According to Jamie:
Me Before You, a novel by Jojo Moyes was published four years ago and was made into a movie this year starring Emilia Clarke (queen of all our hearts on  Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (charming heartthrob from The Hunger Games and Love, Rosie). I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie and now that I’ve read the book and watched the movie I’m finally getting around to writing up my comparison and some other deep thoughts I’ve had about the story. So to briefly give you a synopsis of the storyline if you’re unfamiliar with it, the story is narrated by a mid-20s woman named Louisa (Lou for short). She lives in a small English town and after losing her job at a local cafe she finds a new job as a companion/caretaker of sorts to Will, a rich mid-30s man who was involved in a horrible accident and left a paraplegic. Understandably, when Lou first meets Will he is taciturn, bitter, and generally an unhappy person…

Book Review: The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

When I saw this book on the fiction shelves in Borders, I knew I must have it. The cover was attractive enough, the back of the book told me enough to know roughly what the story would be about, and also because I’ve begun drinking tea (Lipton, to be exact) more so than coffee. Of course, what you read on the back of a book cover can barely tell you much but it can give you an inkling into what to expect from it. Where there is love and romance, there would be secrets and a likelihood of a betrayal or two. It was enough for me to pay for the book and leave. It took me four days to finish reading The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies. Four days. It’s not as short as I thought, but for me, finishing a book in less than a week is a good achievement. The last time I ever recalled having finished reading an entire book in a day or two, or staying up way past midnight …

Write What You Know

Originally posted on The Sunflower Cafe:
Everyone knows that phrase uttered in every creative writing course. The famous, “write what you know.” This is solid advice for writers both new and experienced. My only problem is that people tend to take it at a face value. They assume they should only write about plots or settings that they know well. If that were the case, then fantasy and sci-fi wouldn’t exist. I doubt J. R.R. Tolkien truly experienced a trek to Mordor. Writing what you know doesn’t always have to be a place. Sometimes putting qualities you see in yourself or those around you into your characters is writing what you know. Sometimes looking at the way people speak to one another or the way emotions are handled in times of stress or happiness is writing what you know. To create a character who breathes, it helps to be perceptive on the way real people think and act. When I write, I tend to give my cast a few of my own flaws. This normally…

Fields & Farms

Originally posted on mailbox mermaid:
I never thought I would say this, but with temperatures skyrocketing to the 90s and beyond in Massachusetts this week, I’m rather missing the temperate/constantly rainy climes of my time in England! Though we dodged raindrops with every outing, at least each drizzly day was bearable with an umbrella and a coat. I actually enjoy staying inside on a rainy day; conversely, I feel guilty for avoiding the outdoors when the sun is shining. Yet that’s exactly what I’ll have to do over the next few days until the East Coast decides to chill! I suppose it will give me a good opportunity to look back through some more of my photos capturing moments in the English woods… One of the most delightful places I visited on my trip was an urban farm on Bidston Hill, named after Tam O’Shanter. It was a lovely place to stroll and offered plenty of opportunities to say hello to the resident animals, from geese– –to goats! I only wish our fellow visitors (many with…

I’m Already Mentally Casting Emma Cline’s The Girls

Originally posted on Sorry Television:
On paper, Emma Cline is the kind of girl I want to punch. A?stylish waif with a successful?middle-part and piercing blue eyes. The owner of a near-monochromatic wardrobe that’s both simple and defiant in?its simplicity. The recipient of a $2 million advance, at the age of 25, for her first book (and two to come),?the end result of a bidding war between 12?major publishers. The author of a debut novel whose film rights were snapped up by Scott Rudin before the?manuscript even sold. Cline is living a charmed life, a romantic-comedy-set-in-Manhattan kind of life, an I-live-in-a-shed-for-the-novelty-of-it kind of life. I want to find her wherever she’s tapping away on her laptop at twee essays for vaunted?literary magazines and punch her right below that middle-part. There’s only one problem with this plan—several, if you count the unlikelihood?of my finding her shed or her even still living in the shed, or my managing to punch anyone in the face, arguably?unprovoked, without consequence. The problem is that The Girls, the novel loosely based…

The Reality of Freelance Writing

I guess I’m living the dream right now. After I left my boring office job four months ago,  I’ve been spending my time travelling the world. I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Mexico and Amsterdam and am currently planning a trip to Romania and another trip from New York to California. This is what I have wanted to do ever since I can remember, and I now have the perfect job to go alongside it. I don’t have to choose between this job and travelling because I can work whilst travelling.

Lake Distrct, Part I: Arts & Crafts

Originally posted on mailbox mermaid:
The Lake District is the place where many (non-British) forest girls’ dreams were born–exploring the land of Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth felt like returning to a childhood home that I’d never visited before. I imagined all the romanticized visions of idyllic woods-and-country life from children’s stories playing out before me as we drove by the lakes and trees and mountains and stone cottages… The first stop, though, was a place entirely unlike a simple “cottage”: Blackwell, a great Arts & Crafts manor decorated in the most beautiful Art Nouveau-esque style. Every grand, sweeping room included tiny windowside reading nooks, tucked-away places for contemplation and creation. (So who wants to contribute to the “let me live in an Arts & Crafts house in the Lake District” fund? I promise it will be a good investment [for me, at least]!) Everything from the wall friezes to the books on display reflected the same core design values of simplicity, beauty, and a connection to nature. Works for me! Speaking of connections to nature, each room…

The Rose and the Dagger (Renée Ahdieh)

Originally posted on My Tiny Obsessions:
The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as “a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.” I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust. In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse — one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan. While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces…

Poetic Love

Originally posted on vinnylanni:
She fell in love with my words. I couldn’t compete. My stories, poetic flow, and ability to ignite emotion in others held her a captive to my craft. My words are my catalyst; the perfect muse to manipulate her mind, make her fall in love, with me; if she only knew of my intentions. The way I can press ink to paper made me worth something. In her world, she saw my beautiful letters in-coherence, stories of love, and fictional tales of our future beyond the page before she spoke real words to me. Poetry can help land a dream girl, a beautiful one too; I’m different; most guys don’t write. And she’ll adore me for my talent, until she realizes, my ink speaks of non-fiction, and I’m more than an emotion-soaked white blue-lined page on the inside.

What’s In My Mailbox? | Things Dangerous To Come To

Originally posted on mailbox mermaid:
To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life. – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Every week, I send and receive letters that travel to places I’ve never been–and they end up in the hands of people I’ve never met. If you’re feeling trapped and sad in your comparatively dull little world, there’s nothing I’d suggest more than finding a pen pal or two. While I remained physically in Massachusetts this week, a beautiful trio of letters sent me on a hand-written journey to Italy, Spain, and Ireland. That’ll have to do until the day that I can randomly jet off to Greenland like Ben Stiller! Though I dearly love all of my American pen pals, I do get a secret, extra thrill every time I get a letter from abroad: as international mail means international postage! I’m pretty familiar with every USPS offering by this point, so foreign postmarks are a delight.…