Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Folly: How to build a fictional world - Kate Messner

It's Friday.  The week has ended and the world looks brighter, well unless you are in Johannesburg and the rain is making you either long for a huge tome, or wishing to be in bed instead of behind a computer.  Well fear not, we are all standing there along side you, hoping for the whiff of weekend to trail by.

So to ease your weekend, I found an amazing TED talk animation by Kate Messner, a video on how to create a fiction world. How did Tolkien do it? Why did a boy under the stairs captivate us? It's all here.

So sit back relax and remember the weekend is almost here...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Confessions of a Book Whore: The Five Month Book-Bout

Greetings readers, book-whores and mongers alike,

I have been indisposed for the last couple of months, some call it a sabbatical, others call it the festive season, I call it a book-bout. Let me explain, I haven’t read a book in five months. F-I-V-E! Yes, the fingers on your hand, two short of the seven dwarves, two more than the three wise men, and the number of the preferred Chanel perfume. I dipped and delved into various genres, authors, begged and pleaded with the books on my shelf, but ended up flipping through a copy of Runner’s World Magazine.

I don’t want to be as brash as to say that I needed the break but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy drooling in front of the TV; slap my wrists if you must, but perhaps I lacked the excitement of ‘new’ books, that book the industry buzzes about (see: One Day by David Nicholls, Killing Kebble by Mandy Wiener, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, etc).

The book of the year, so to speak.

This year saw the release of Donna Tartt’s long awaited tome The Goldfinch, her debut stunner The Secret History; but at 600 pages my arms ached at the thought – not to say it wasn’t a stellar read, in fact check out Tamarin's, from I want a Dodo, review here. There was Ben Elton’s Two Brothers, my pick as winner for Exclusive Books Boeke Winner – which didn’t actually win. Then burst the local talent in the form of Lauren Beukes with her thriller The Shinning Girls. Then arrived the sporting book by Alex Ferguson, a self titled autobiography which soared to number one in its first week. Those are just a few books that crossed my interest. It was a good year for books.

The only thing was I didn’t have was that BOOK OF THE YEAR. So perhaps I lost faith, or perhaps I needed new inspiration.

Urban Dictionary defines a Book Hangover as “When you've finished a book and you suddenly return to the real world, but the real world feels incomplete or surreal because you're still living in the world of the book.” This wasn’t technically my problem, I purely just wasn’t interested in finishing a book.

So imagine my complete and utter surprise when I snapped a book shut, yesterday, and sighed with contentment ‘Now that was a good book’ – Thank you Fannie Flagg. I feel refreshed, revitalised and ready to be back from my book holiday. It’s safe to say that I am now back in the game, the game where my TBR pile excites me... Well for now, at least.

I am keen to know what you are all starting your 2014 reading with, tell me on Twitter, Facebook, or leave a comment below?

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