Update Feb 2021

Hi Everyone!

AT HOME:
Following on from last month, we finished the dining room makeover, taking down the curtains, painting two end walls the same colour as the hall (a much better shade to go with the wallpaper), swapping three pieces of furniture around, and putting up a window scarf in place of the curtains. A weekend’s work that’s given us a completely new feel to the room, one which makes us more interested in using the area. Next we have plans for the garden. Alas, I’ve had a few bad days again, which meant I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked in the home or with writing. I also missed a week’s blogging.

As for lockdown, saw a news item referring to home schooling, showed someone doing 250 x 10 with a group of children on zoom, and they were writing numbers in boxes below the problem. What the hell for? You put a 0 on the end and get 2500. No need to write anything. No wonder the parents struggle to teach them anything. I’d want to throw these new-fangled ways out the window.

FILM/TV:
We finished watching Fortitude, the British horror psychological thriller television series I mentioned last time, which grew increasing bizarre and violent, though overall we must have enjoyed watching as we finished all three seasons. Currently, we’re ploughing through the latest Death in Paradise (recommend every season), and the current series of The Black List — been good but can’t help feeling it’s overstayed its welcome now. We also started watching Resident Alien, for which I’m a little biased as it stars Alan Tudyk who I love mostly from Firefly. It’s quirky and madcap enough to make us laugh. We also started Black Mirror. Never realised this is individual stories or we might have watched it a long time ago. As with all anthologies, no doubt we’ll love some tales more than others, but so far so great.

Best film seen recently was likely Mank. Gary Oldman’s appeared on The One Show talking about the film on Netflix, the story of the man who wrote Citizen Kane. We watched it the other day, and it’s extremely stylish in the way it’s filmed with a beautiful look in black and white, and was way more interesting than we expected it to be.

READING:
Voice of the Gods, Age of the Five trilogy, Trudi Canavan
An interesting book to complete the trilogy, which certainly deals with the clash of politics and religions. One that brings the tale of Auraya and Leiard to a satisfying and hopeful conclusion. Some have said there are no big surprises in this trilogy, and for anyone who understands story construction in some ways, that’s true; however, I found this trilogy a joy to read and expertly told. I also wish I could adopt one of the adorable creatures called a Veez. I loved all the characters, and this author’s skilful plot.

The Accidental Werewolf, Dakota Cassidy
A light, fun read, well-written for the genre. Although I wasn’t sure about the high-maintenance protagonist Marty, I was pleased to see her over-talkative, somewhat scatty personality develop over the course of the story. The council issue and Keegan’s relationship with them might have benefitted from fledging out a little more. Summer holiday entertainment.

Mr Mercedes, Stephen King
Though widely known for horror, I’ve always said King is more than a horror novelist. In this thriller we meet Bill Hodges, a retired detective who crosses paths once more with one of his incomplete cases. I grew to like this character and have a good deal of fondness for him. Like all of King’s work, I found the storytelling comfortable and the work character driven. I did not like the tense changes, or what I felt was a rather stereotypical or ‘comic book’ bad guy, but for all I know King did his research and psychoanalysed his perp, or ‘perk’ as anyone who reads the book with come to know him. Also found a few elements (one especially) predictable, and a few details overlooked by a supposedly trained detective. But characters, even the good ones, make mistakes. I’ll move on to the second book in this ‘trilogy’ of what appears to be independent stories featuring Hodges.

I started a fourth book, but I’ve not quite finished so will include that next month.

WRITING:
Alas, nothing to report. I’m still doing some editing. Also, some research. I’ve plans for later in the year, but health and other issues mean that’s still to come.

Stay happy and healthy!
Sharon x

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