Friday, 25 February 2011

A blog post all about me (Crusader Challenge)

So, I've to tell you all about me in 300 words or less. In case you haven't noticed yet I'm not so good with concise so this really will be a challenge. I do have the habit of going on a bit, its one of the things that people find most annoying bout me. When I get onto a topic I feel passionately bout, one way or another, it’s hard to get me to stop and I do tend to bloviate a bit when it comes to academic-style debate. I think its something to do with having studied philosophy. Maybe.

One of my favourite things in the world when I was little was dressing up and my Grandma's fur coat was the best. Imagine how I felt when I found out that it was real rabbit.

I was bullied in high school, like most kids are but my story has a happy ending (kind of). I was bullied in first year for being flat chested; I was twelve. By the time I was thirteen I was on my way to a D-cup. Hmm, perhaps not the best secret to tell you, should I have gone for 'I’m a closet philatelist' instead?

I love toast and nutella for breakfast, and I always make sure I've got extra chocolate spread on the knife so that I can lick it off the blade.

I'm very determined and its a character trait I get from my family. We are fuliguline is many ways, belonging to quite a big flock but not your average birds of a feather: a bit quirky and not found in your usual pond.

Of all these things about me, one of them isn't quite true. Can you guess which one?

P.S. I don't share much about myslef on the blog, mainly because I like to keep sections of my life seperate and blogging is where I am the 'writer' me, rather than the girlfriend, daughter, friend, colleague, sister or student me. So, this was a bit diffucult and really challenged my writing skills. A huge big THANK YOU to Rach for hosting this awesome challenge. Keep crusading!

P. P. S. The moral of the story is not that you need big boobs to be happy, but that bullies are usually clueless individuals and you should never take what they say on board. And check what that vintage fur coat is really made of first, it might freak you out. And comparing your family to a flock of sea ducks is hard.

Monday, 14 February 2011


This is a bit of a blogoversary-valentines-spread the love kind of post. Jules from Trying to Get Over the Rainbow created this little love heart to say 'thank you' to her followers, without requiring any link backs to her blog. Of course, lots of people have linked back to her anyway but I thought this captured the spirit of both Valentines Day and the whole blogging community. I've been blogging for over a year now, and I still can't really believe that anyone is actually reading my blog and thinks what I have to say about the whole life-and-writing thing is interesting, but you're out there. So this is my big thank you to all of you who read and comment on my blog.

Also, check out the fabulous Crusade badge up there to the left, and the competition section to the right. I was complimented on the 'new look' of the blog today and it is looking rather snazzy, if I do say so myself.

And just to confirm everything I've been saying about blogging since the first Crusade, Heathfield Primary School were on the news this morning discussing their innovative use of blogging to get their pupils engaged in writing. Not only has this gotten the previously uninterested boys in the school writing 5,000+ words on a regular basis, higher than average literacy score have gone up from 7% to 63%. I also met up with a friend who is a primary school teacher and he was in the process of making a blog for his class (hi Mark), so it looks like its catching on north of the border as well.

Happy Blogging everyone!

Kar x

Friday, 11 February 2011

Confessions of a Justified Bibliofile (1)

Welcome to the first of my Confessions of a Justified Bibliophile blog features, where I discuss the authors and books which have made the biggest impact in my life and on my writing. Each will be accompnied by a 'confession' related to the author or genre of the month.

Since this is my first Confessions... post and my Blogoversary, I'm holding a little competition to win the book I'm discussing. Just fill in the form at the bottom of the post. The winner will be selcted at random on 11th March 2011. I'm using The Book Depository, so check that they ship to your country here. So what could you win?

Title: The Red Tent
Author: Anita Diamant
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Synopsis: You will have heard of Joseph, the youngest son of Jacob and the oldest son of his favourite wife Rachel, but do you remember his sister from the Bible? Dinah's story barely takes up any room in the book of Genesis and it is told from the male persepective. This novel expands Dinah's story and attempts to interact with the account in Genesis to answer some of the questions many readers face; how could the son's of Jacob slaughter an entire city? why would a Prince look to marry a woman he had raped? what happened to Dinah?

Confession #1: I love reimaginings of existing stories. Whether it's Little Red Riding Hood comic book style, a novel based on a play by Shakespeare or a funky new spin on the vampire, re-tellings have always captured my imagination. So much so that my PhD is on the rewriting of myth in contemporary literature because the best thing about doing English Lit as a subject is that I get to work with literature I love, rather than literture someone else thinks is important.

This novel was recomended to me by a friend who thought that every woman should read this book. Not only is the writing excellent, the research into the history of the red tent shows and the concept of reading between the lines of patriarchial society really griped me. In some places the word midrash is used to describe this novel, something which Diamant disagrees with. Midrash is a particular way of interpreting a biblical story which goes beyond the surface level of the text and fills in gaps in the narrative. Its also sacred, which is where Diamant disagrees, quite rightly giving the full title as The Red Tent: A Novel.

Dinah is a character who haunts the reader long after the book has been closed. She is witty and bold and flawed and hurt. She somehow manages not to come accross as bitter, but melancholy. I am not a mother, but I would like to be some day and The Red Tent along with Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty are novels which inspire me to be a good mum (hopefully) and a good writer.

You can check out Anita Diamant's blog here and her thoughts on midrash and The Red Tent here.

To enter fill in this form. All informtion supplied will be used for the puropse of the competition only and will be deleted once a winner has been selected and contacted. If you supply a shipping address which is not on The Book Depository list for shipping, your entry will be deleted, so please check first. Good luck!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Holy Potatoes, Batman! (or Crusade Mark II)

Ok, so I'm running out of quirky titles for the blog posts, but in my defence I need to get this post up so that I can sign up for the Second Writers Platform Building Crusade with Rach over at Rach Writes... and get on with my amazing, fantabulous Blogoversary COMPETITION! Besides,
Crusdade-->Holy-->Batman...not too much of a leap, is it?

I was late to the party for the first Crusade and I missed the first challenge, but I'm definitley hopping on board from the start for Rach's second crusde, and you should too. Its a great wy to meet new bloggers and this time round Rach is sorting us all into groups so that it's  bit easier to keep on top of the Crusading and, more importantly, we get intouch with other writers with a similar style or genre.

I can unequivocally say that my writing has improved in volume and regularity since joing the first Crusdae and being introduced to some wonderful fellow bloggers who write engaging posts and aske me questions about my writing, either directly or indirectly, which have really motivted me.

So sign up here and come Crusading!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Highwayman

A while ago Miles over at An Author's Quest posted about well written music being like good writing. He used the example of Taylor Swift and I had a big comment ('cos when are my comments ever little?) typed up about how I feel the same about Dido's album 'No Angel', but my internet being its usual temperamental self decided to flake out, and so the comment was lost in the void between typing and hitting 'comment'. What's got me on to the topic again is an acoustic gig at a bar in town I've just come home from. My friend Shoshana was playing, hence my being there, and she did a version of 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes which was set to music my Lorenne McKennit.