Sunday, August 20, 2017

Weekly Goals 21-8-17

I didn't end up doing any writing last week, despite my goal.  I've had a cold for two weeks and it just keeps lingering on and I've been completely exhausted by the time I get home from work every night.  I've been in bed before 9, trying to get rid of the damn thing.

I feel like maybe I'm feeling a little better after the weekend, but I will have to wait until this afternoon to be entirely sure...

So my goal this week is to do some writing.  I'm a little stuck on the ghostwwriting project because I haven't managed to get more time with the subject and I've written everything I already had.  I could write a few small pieces here and there to slot in later, but I feel like I need another day or two of interviews before I can do justice to the pieces.

I did have an idea for a book of my own to write, but it still needs more time to percolate before I can start writing.  I'm thinking I might make it my NaNo project for this year.  Not that I've even looked at what I wrote during last year's NaNo....

I have plenty of stuff I could be editing and working on, so my goal this week is to try and start that, unless I can get some time on the phone with my ghostwriting partner, in which case I will continue with that.

What are your goals this week?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things 18-8-17

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

So what am I celebrating this week?

My partner had surgery on Tuesday and came through it fine.  We're just waiting for the effects of the operation to settle down before we know if it has actually fixed the problem.  So keeping all fingers crossed...  Last year's more major surgery for this problem worked for a few months, but didn't solve the issue entirely.

New laptop!  I'm writing this post on my new laptop and I love it.  So clean and shiny and all the parts work.  So nice...

I had an idea for a new book this week.  It's been a while.  I still need time to percolate it, and figure out if it's going to work, but I'm quite excited by the initial idea.  Fingers crossed it will percolate quickly because I feel like it has been too long since I let my imagination go on a new idea.  The ghostwriting is fun, but it's not the same as creating lives and worlds in my head.

An Unstill Life is now available in print!  I just spent a small fortune buying copies so I can get them into bookstores here and have some to give away to the library etc.  There's something so much more real about having a book in print.  Ebooks are great, but I guess I'm old fashioned.  I like paper books best.

Anyway, if you would like a copy, you can purchase them here.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Books I've Read: When Dimple Met Rishi

I don't usually write about books I didn't enjoy much, but this one has been so hyped, I really wanted to talk a little bit about it.

I was looking forward to reading this.  I've been seeing the cover everywhere so it was exciting when I found it at the library on Friday.  I was less excited when I started reading it on Saturday and highly underwhelmed by the time I finished it on Sunday.

Dimple is a smart girl from a traditional Indian family.  She wants to be an app coder and is looking forward to everything she is going to learn when she goes to Stanford in the fall.  Her mother drives her crazy, always telling her to change her clothes, her hair, to wear make-up and to always be on the lookout for the Ideal Indian Husband.

Dimple is overjoyed when her parents allow her to go to Insomnia Con, an app building course that might give her a chance to meet her idol, Jenny Lindt.

Rishi is also from a traditional Indian family, but unlike Dimple, he likes the rituals and behaviors required of him.  The only thing he isn't sure about is following in his father's footsteps as a career.  He wants to draw comics, but has already decided it is something better to keep as a hobby.

So far, so good.  Love the details about the different families and their expectations.  Where things started falling apart for me, was around about the time Rishi, who has also been accepted to Insomnia Con, and Dimple, first meet.

You see, Rishi goes knowing Dimple is going to be there and seeks her out.  The two sets of parents have engineered the whole thing, certain Dimple and Rishi are a perfect match.  But Dimple has been kept in the dark about the whole thing and believes she's going to the Con to work on her app.

But no app work seems to happen.  Despite being furious when she discovers she's been duped by her parents, Dimple and Rishi hang out together.  And of course they fall in love.

Most of the book deals with Dimple and Rishi dating while at the Con (which seems really odd because there is a talent show as part of it - the app coders I know aren't into performing, so that rang false to me) and various interactions with other teams who are not nice people.

The characters, other than Dimple and Rishi felt like sterotypes, and not even well drawn ones.  And don't even get me started on how much I disliked Dimple within a few chapters....

So while I want to champion books that deal with people with different racial and cultural backgrounds, I also want to champion books that are worth reading, and this one really isn't.

But don't rely on me.  Here's the blurb:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weekly Goals 14/8/17

The film festival is over, so it's time for reality to set in again.  Which means I need to get my butt in chair and get writing again.

So...  Goal for this week is to do that.  I'm still a little sick, so I'm not going to push myself too hard, plus my partner is going into hospital today for surgery which means I'll be running around after the kids twice as much as usual.

So the main goal is to get rid of this cold once and for all.  I'm sick of being sick!

And the other goal is to sit down to write at least a couple of times.  Next week we can settle back into a more regular routine.

And now,  to finish off my little film festival reviews, here are the last three films I saw.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web is a documentary about Kim Dotcom and the case against him.  It is very well balanced, offering commentary on the issues from all sides.  Dotcom comes off looking like a James Bond villain, more often than not, and it's hard to take him too seriously, but the issues this film raises around privacy and the internet are important ones to discuss.

The Beguiled is an utterly delightful Southern Gothic that walks a very fine line between being a parody of its own genre.  When Colin Farrell finds himself wounded and in the care of the seven women remaining at a girls' school during the Civil War, he doesn't know what he has got himself into.  Laugh-out-loud funny in places, and downright creepy in others, it is beautifully shot and features amazing performances from a steallar cast.

20th Century Women is an autobiographical film about filmmaker Mike Mills's mother and growing up in the 70s.  Annette Benning gives a fabulous performance as Dorothea, a single mother raising her teenage son.  Unsure she is able to give him everything he needs, she enlists the help of the girl next door and the slightly older punk-loving feminist living upstairs.  The results are perhaps not what she was hoping for...

What are your goals for this week.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things 11-8-17

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

So what am I celebrating this week?

I've had a horrible cold this week, and am starting to feel human again.  I even missed three days of films at the film festival, something I have never done before.  I must have been feeling truly rotten!

I did see two films though, once the cold had receded enough that I could climb out of bed.

The Killing of the Sacred Deer is an extremely odd film, but I expected that from the director of The Lobster.  The story is a kind of domestic horror that creeps up on you in kind of the same way Michael Haneke's Funny Games did.  But this is more absurd than horrific.  I felt like the filmmaking was brilliant, with the music often at odds with what was happening on screen, and the dialogue all being spoken in a way that was just slightly off naturalistic so the rhythm was unsettling.  A lot of the people around me seemed to have thought it ridiculous (listening to them on the way out), but while there were some aspects that were preposterous (Colin Farrell as a heart surgeon??) overall, I thought it was genius.

My Friend Dahmer is about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's high school years.  Based on a book by someone who grew up with him, it shows how Dahmer was an odd fish even as a teen, and how a group of kids befriended him in his senior year.  It shows the dysfunction of his homelife, with a mother who spent time in treatment for mental disorders and a father who couldn't cope.  The performances were universally excellent.  I didn't even recognise Anne Heche as Dahmer's mother even though I kept trying to place the voice.

I have a few more films over this final weekend, then it's back to real life next week.  What a bummer!

What are you celebrating this week?