Wednesday, 22 December 2010

New Writing Dundee 6 - Call for Submissions

A while ago I posted up information on the short fiction writing anthology New Writing Dundee 5 which my friends Rachel and Amy edited and put together. I know I promised to review the peices in it, but haven't managed a review in a while. I've got two lined up for the New Year, but I'll pick a random story/poem from NWD5 after those are up on the blog.

Monday, 6 December 2010

World Book Night 2011

World Book Night 2011
I saw this on the news at the weekend, and  friend has helpfully posted the link to the application. This first World Book Night will take place in the UK next year on 5th March and the organisers are arranging for people to give away copies of thier chosen book on that night for free. The books to be given away are:

Saturday, 4 December 2010

So you want to write a novel?

I have a friend who is both a writer and a tutor and she posted this on her facebook recently. If you've ever spoken to a 'non-writer'* about your writing ambitions, there might be a few things in here you recognise from that conversation.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Closed on account of snow

This week has pretty much been a write-off. The University where I work has been closed most of the week and I've been unable to get out of town to get to Aberdeen to go to class. I'm feeling really frustrated, not the best mood to blog in I suppose but I haven't posted in so long and I'm feeling a little guilty about my absence from the crusade. Writing, both creative and academic, has stalled for the most part. I'm finding motivation a real issue just now and work stress is not helping.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Second Crusader Challenge

You may not know this about me but I've never spent more than two weeks in a country other than Scotland and I'm a bit of a Nationalist. I can hear my reader in the US spluttering 'kartoffelpuffer!?!' in disbelief, what with the connotations this has.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Joining the Crusade or Why I Blog

Rach over at Rach Writes... is hosting the Writers' Platform-Building Crusade, a crusade to get writers together to support each other. Its about building your online platform and helping others to do the same. You can get involved by checking out the original post on Rach Writes... and signing up via the comments. I've already had a few fellow crusaders popping by to say hello and comment on my last post. It really means a lot to know that someone has taken the time to read your post, even more for them to share their opinion on it.

In My Mailbox (3)

My mystery parcel

I got this amazing little parcel through my door this week, all the way from the USA. Checkout the picture at the bottom of the post to see what was in it, but for now my stash since my last IMM inculded:

Sunday, 17 October 2010

More Vampires: Vegitarians, VILFs and Fang Bangers

Much to the annoyance of my Other Half, I'm going to another Vampire conference and I'm presenting a paper again. I've not yet worked out why I'm such a glutton for punishment that I insist on doing papers on topics barely related to my main research interests i.e vampire literature. On the up side, I'll be giving this paper as a fully-fledged PhD student, so when people ask me what I'm doing I have a better answer than 'looking to start my PhD soon'. I also know people from the confrenece in April and even if Splooshface from The Dust Bunnies Under the Sofa won't be there this time (boo for being in Canada :-P) it'll still be a mini vamp-reunion.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Graham Crackers (2): Impossible

Title: Impossible
Author: Nancy Werin
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Supernatural Romance
Synopsis: At seventeen Lucy discovers that for generations the women of her family have been cursed by an evil Elfin Knight. She must complete three seemingly impossible tasks or surrender herself to slavery and madness, like her mother before her, and she must do it before her daughter is born.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Nex

Tim Pratt has been making my Monday's better since March this year with his serialised novel Broken Mirrors. It's now finished (boo!) and Marla Mason fans are attempting to persuade him to continue self-publishing for book 6 (yay!). While waiting with bated breath on the next Marla installment, I now have his new self-published novel The Nex to save my Monday's once again.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Where I've been

I've been AWOL from the blog for a while, and even ended up missing the deadline for most of the Read-A-Thon I was taking part in. Apart from the usual work comitments, I've been working on my appliction to the Univeristy of Aberdeen to study for a PhD. A few weeks ago I was at the Myth, Literature and the Unconscious conference at the University of Essex in relation to this.  My supervisor (I can say that now that I've officially accepted my offer) was giving one of the keynote lectures, as was the amazing Marina Warner. She's pretty big in the area of myth and fairytale in women's writing.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by the Story Siren.The Story Siren
I found that having an 'in my mailbox' meme and trying to comit to updating it every Sunday meant that I was on the look out for books just to blog about. Since I'm not doing a book blog and I have to buy them, it could have been a very unhealthy move for my bank balance, so I haven't posted an 'in my mailbox' since the first one. (Yes, there is a but).

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Read-A-Thon Day's 2-5

So, I was totally rubbish and didn't post my updates for the Dusk Till Dawn Read-A-Thon, which was now ages ago. I had some of the challenges worked out (on paper at least) and I did read along with my chosen books and keep an eye on what everyone else was up to, but I totally fell behind with the 'blogging about it' bit.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Read-A-Thon: Day 1

I'm a little late, but here's my pic of me with my first book for the Dusk till Dawn Read-A-Thon:
I had to take it at work, with my phone and borrow a cable from the other half to upload it, and my arms look all funny 'cos I'm holding the camera, but hey. That's Jami from YA Addict's challenge.

For Book Savy's challenge, I'd have the say that the book I've most enjoyed in 2010 that's a bit different from my usual 'long awaited next installment in a series' reads would be Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera. I read for a book group that I joined, but didn't really get off the ground. It was not something I would normaly picky up, but it was very well written and and engaging story.
I doubt I'll manage Norwegian Book Girl 's victorian book challenge, but if I finish the five booksI've already got on my list, I'll see if I can find something on my bookshelf.

For now I'm still trying to finish Never Bite a Boy on the First Date and get started in Impossible. And, of course, more challenges tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Graham Crackers (1): Never Bite a Boy on the First Date

Title: Never Bite A Boy on the First Date
Author: Tamara Summers
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Teen Vampire Detective/Romance
Synopsis: Kira is an American teen vampire, living with her newly aquired vampire 'family' and trying to blend in with the humans. When a boy at her school is found dead with bite marks on his neck, previous offender Kira is the main suspect. She faces a few years in a padded coffin unless she can expose the real murderer.

As a teen, I devoured vampire novels. Anne Rice, Christopher Pike, L J Smith, Bram Stoker, you name it, I'd probably read it. I got older and did my degree and found legitimate vampire reading in the Gothic and the Literature of Terror course. The recent vampire 'craze' supposedly spawned by the Twilight franchise didn't come as a surprise ot me the way it did to many in the media, however it has been hard to get away from teen vampire fiction of late and the teen vampire's 'voice' has become more than a little clichĂ©d. Summers attempts to walk that most subtle of lines between indulgence and farce in Never Bite a Boy on the First Date. I'd say that by the end of the novel it's a sucess, but it did start off a little shaky. 
The plot is thankfully less melodramatic than the aforementioned, and Kira is a likable character. She makes the big mistake of converting her first post-transformation boyfriend into a vampire, and the banter between Kira and Zach which ensues from this is entertaining, and the fact that Kira can kick his butt anytime she likes is a nice change. There's plenty of the boys, fashion and school for a light-hearted novel. The detective element gives the story drive and depth. The revelations about Kira's untimely death come at nearly the end of the novel, and feel a bit rushed, however the ending does leave it open for a sequel. Overall, an enjoyable read.


I've recently had to buy a new bookcase to house some of the many new books I have, and that's before I start my PhD (I'll post an update on that shortly). So, I was pleased to catch the Dusk Till Dawn Read-A-Thon hosted by Book Crazy Jen and Jami at YA Addict.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Book Wishlists

After my lovely parcel of books arrived lst week a couple of my friends came in to my office and, of course, noticed the books. My friend was delighted to discover a new source of affordable YA literature and we got chattying about book buying over the internet. One of the things that we talked about was the book 'wishlist' that you can build up on your preferred book buying website.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Book Contest Pimp

Check out the latest contest from Jenn at Book Crazy. It's international - woo hoo. I'm probably reducing my chances of winning somewhat by pimping it, so don't say I'm not good to you. *mwah* (Ok, I get another entry if I pimp it but sshhh).

It's for Eve of Samhain by Lisa Sanchez and I'm putting it on my Book Depository wish list right now just in case I don't win the comp.

Monday, 28 June 2010

And exhale...

I've been absent from the blog for a while now due to the massive amount of my time that my job takes up around this time of the year. I work for the External Relations department at a University and last week was our biggest event - Graduation.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Bigots and Imigrants and Reporters, Oh My!

We're all up to our eyeballs in general election campaigning here and as usual the printed and televised media in the UK has charged head first into its 'duty' to 'guide' us plebs through the storm.

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Somehow the majority of the blogs that I follow are written by blogger in the US, and so I rarely get to enter the wonderful competitions that they run, so when I saw that Book Crazy Jenn was running a comp for a fantasic book that included an 'international' giveaway I had to enter. So, here is my picture of light.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

It's probably a good idea if I try to keep track of the books I buy, and I've recently stared following the Story Siren's blog so the In My Mailbox meme seemed like a good idea, plus I've got a lot of books this week (14 *gulp* but 2 were free, honest).

Thursday, 22 April 2010

New Writing Dundee

New Writing Dundee is here. This is an anthology of  original writing by amitures and pros which is organised by my friend Rachel. and published in association with Literary Dundee. I've been buying NWD since its very first publication and this one is its biggest and best to date. I'll be reading and reviewing individual peices from it on the blog in the near future, but for now it has its big launch tonight. Professor of literature and creative writing at the University of St Andrews, Robert Crawford will be there to launch this year's volume at the DCA, 152 Netergate, Dundee so if you're in the area come check it out.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Breaking News...really this time

After my last blog about Stephenie Meyer's new novella and my (healthy) obsession with Vampires, the University of Hertfordshire has annouinced that it is launching a Masters Degree in Reading the Vampire at the conference I'm presenting at this weekend. Since this happened there has been surge in the press attentions, and a few sites (like Jezzebel) even mention my paper. Its got me in a bit of a spin, and added some serious pressure to a conference I was really only doing for fun, but there is now a good chance of publication afterwards so YAY!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Breaking news...

...ok, not really breaking news since most twihards will know already, but I'm working on my Twilight paper for the 'Open graves, Open Minds' conference at the University of Hertfordshire in April, I thought a blog about vampire fiction in general and Stephenie Meyer's surprise publication specifically was relevant.

Friday, 5 March 2010

A very merry Unbirthday to you

So I officially got older this weekend, which is a rather pompous way of saying that it was my birthday on Saturday. My Mum and Dad had bought me presents throughout the year so I just got a card from them on the day. Rather poignantly the main present (as far as I was concerned) was an early edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol. I watched the Disney cartoon version when I was younger, but only read the book later at about 19 or 20, the same age that Alice re-visits Wonderland in the new Tim Burton adaptation out today.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Dealing with rejection

From the ages of 3-16 I attended dance classes on a weekly basis. By the time I was 14 I was attending 3 days a week in two different towns and doing about 6 hours a week in class and a bit more in practice. I was good at it. It was also the centre of my social life with most of my non-school friends being girls I danced with and the other kids who hung out at the community centres where the classes were held. I met my fiancĂ© through one of those friends and he would meet me after class most evenings. I wasn't one of the ones who would go on to a career in dance, but I was quite good. It was a huge part of my life and on finding out that I attended so many classes adults often asked me if I was going to be dancer.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Its me!!!

So I've decided to start a blog. Hi, I've never done this before; I don't really know what to say. I can't help but wonder how many first blog posts start with something like that, people stating that they are giving this a go, but they doubt that anyone will ever read this. I'm trying not to go down that route, but the truth is this is something for me and if no-one ever reads it, I don't really mind. At least not much.