Take Your Dog to Work Day – if you have a hound you love so much you can’t bear leaving them at home, why not ask your boss if you can bring him or her in for the day? Dogs are great stress relievers, just sitting and patting for a few minutes a dog can greatly reduce stress. Plus, your dog will brighten up your workplace for you and workmates. Please don’t arrive, mutt in tow, without running it by the boss first!
You may be wondering why I have started this post with a picture of Joanne Harris. Well, the reason is that I have been probably the most boring person in the world this week – my life has been filled with writing, reading and housework (ie no change) – and I decided that filling you in on aforementioned boring-ness would not be a good idea. So I am dedicating this blog to some of the writers who are not only my favourites, but who have had a profound effect on me as a reader and a writer.
I am going to start with the ladies. Joanne Harris (already pictured) is one of my all time favourite writers. I LOVE her books. I think she writes beautifully and her stories are wonderful. They are full of excitement and darkness and joy. Sorry for sounding so gushy, but her books are superb.
Other female writers I am a huge fan of are much less contemporary. In fact, they date back a lot of years. They are:
Emily Bronte (above) for Wuthering Heights. I still cry when Cathy and Heathcliff die.
Charlotte Bronte (above) for Jane Eyre. One of the best books I have ever read. I never tire of it. I am afraid I have only read one of Anne Bronte’s books The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and I didn’t like it…sorry.
E Nesbit, below, whose Bastable books and her fantasy books such as the Phoenix and the Carpet, and Five Children & It, made me want to become a writer at a very young age.
I also loved…
Enid Blyton. My favourite books of her were The Faraway Tree and The Magic Wishing Chair. Amazing books to read when you are very young.
Now the boys…
Male authors I love include:
Terry Pratchett, above, was a wonderful writer of amazing books. I don’t have them all, but am still collecting them. One day I will have the full set. 🙂
Sir Walter Scott – I have read Ivanhoe five times and Rob Roy at least seven. I now have collection of most of his books and aim to spend this summer reading Waverley.
Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is superb: funny, exciting and full of tongue in cheek good humour. Excellent writer. Also loved his Dirk Gently books. So funny.
The grizzled old bear Charles Dickens. I do love his books, although some of his heroines annoy me with their simpering goodness. His bad women are far more interesting. My favourite books of his include Bleak House and Oliver Twist.
C S Lewis’ Narnia books were my absolute favourite books from childhood. I have two copies of the full sets: one set is hardback and not to be touched by my kids (cos they will damage them) and the other can be read by my kids and were bought specifically for that purpose.
Okay, I’ve shared mine, now you share yours…who are your favourite authors of all time? Please comment below, I’d love to hear about them.
Til next time,
Hello everyone, Bertie here and today I am going to talk about my most favourite hobby of all and that is collecting old maps. I am a cartophile, a lover of maps, and I have quite a large collection of maps from both the magical world and that of man.
If you are wondering where Aldiss is, he’s at his Zumba class with his current girlfriend, a guinea pig called Heather.
Anyway on to maps, I thought I would show you a few of my favourites. The first one (above) is of the United States of America and it just shows you how enormous that country is. I hope to one day visit, but for now I have to make do with my map.
Below is a strange map I found in the attic of an old sea captain. He said he thought it was somewhere in South America, but couldn’t remember how or where he got it. I swapped a ball of Edam cheese for it. He got a great bargain there!
And finally, here’s a picture of one of my 20 world globes that I have in my house underneath the tree.
This I my favourite one and the map you are looking at is one of South America. I have some family living in Patagonia on the very tip of that continent. I may go and visit them some day.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Next week Aldiss has promised to write something very funny. As Aldiss isn’t really that funny at any time, I think you should brace yourselves for the possibility that it will in fact NOT be funny.
Goodbye until the next time I have this post all to myself.
I’m starting this post today with a picture of one of a lovely bunch of peonies I have sitting on the dining room table in the living room. I bought them at our local Aldi, where I frequently shop because it is such great value for money and the food is good quality (I don’t like their ready meals, but I don’t like any ready meals anyway). Isn’t it beautiful? On a miserable day like today, I think it’s nice to start the day with some natural beauty.
Anyway, how are you? Hope you are all hail and hearty? What’s your week been like? As usual I have been busy writing. The good thing about Storm Hector and all the rainy horrible weather we’ve been having is that I can’t get outside to garden, so have been writing even more. I am nearly half way through a sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I’m steaming ahead with it because I am keen to have the complete story down before I set it aside to start editing my last book, which is a murder mystery set in the 1920s. The murder book has been cooling away in the background, leaving my memory so that when I go back to give it its first edit, it’ll be all bright and fresh to me…and, more importantly, I’ll pick up on any omissions, mistakes or things that do not work.
Are you intrigued by the title of this post? Then I’ll tell you all about it. Are you sitting comfortably? All cosy and warm and waiting with baited breath to find out about our spectre? Yes? Well, here we go. Picture this: a dark and stormy night (had to put the cliché in here because it amuses me). It was the night of Storm Hector and the storm had not yet built itself up to its full glory, although it was getting there. Myself and kids were in bed. At exactly 10.20pm our doorbell rang. I had been reading in bed, but sat up when I heard the bell go. The dogs, who had been sleeping peacefully, jumped to their feet and began barking hysterically. The kids were alarmed. Who was ringing the doorbell at this time of night? I put my housecoat on, slipped on my slippers (I hate having cold feet, it’s just one of my things) and hurried downstairs. I unlocked the inside front door and looked out. Our porch door is half glass so you can easily see who is there. There was no-one there. I opened the porch door and peered out into the windy damp night. Not a soul to be seen anywhere in our garden or street? My kids were at my back. “Who was it?” “Where are they?” “Do you think they are playing a game?” They wanted to know. I had no idea, but ushered everyone back to bed and we all settled down for the night once again.
Ten minutes later the doorbell rang again, this time more urgently. Ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong. A little annoyed now, I pulled on my slippers and housecoat and ran downstairs to catch the culprit for surely someone was playing a nasty game of knock-the-door-and-run-away. Or could it be a ghost? Although who or what it was I had no idea. Once again there was no-one there. My children were beginning to panic. What was happening?
Outside, the wind howled and the rain started to come down.
And then it struck me.
It wasn’t someone playing a horrible late night game nor some spectre sent to torment us.
It was the wind. Ringing the doorbell which was not fully raised itself back out of its ‘bed’ after a delivery man had rung it earlier. I pressed it a couple of times to release it and went back to bed.
“It’s okay,” I said to the kids who were fearfully peering down from the top of the stairs. “It’s just the wind.”
My jiggling of the doorbell seemed to do the trick for we were not annoyed again by any ghostly ding-donging of the doorbell that night.
Wooooooooooo! Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
See, that’s one of the problems of being an author: an over excitable imagination. I had the doorbell ringing down as someone or some thing tormenting us when it was only the wind. All sorts of things went through my feverish mind, but it was something simple.
Anyway, the rest of the week has been relatively peaceful. I have been reading the Guardians fantasy trilogy by American author Nora Roberts. I’ve just finished number two and am on to number three. The books are Stars of Fortune, Bay of Sighs and Island of Glass. I’m really enjoying them. I love a good fantasy story with a bit of romance thrown in and these don’t disappoint. I would really recommend them if you are looking for something to read that is fun, exciting, romantic and with a bit of fantasy thrown in. There are six main characters and an evil baddy they have to fight. I’m not going to go into it any more. Grab copies of these books for yourself and enjoy.
Right, I am going to finish up here for today. It is 9.15am on a Saturday morning and I have things to do. Plus the dogs have decided to freak us all out again by barking frantically at nothing. I need to go and investigate. Til next time.
Beer Day Britain – this is a UK event celebrating a glass of the cold stuff (or warm if you live south of the border). I quite like a cold beer on a hot day, but am more of a wine drinker. However, I may be encouraged to imbibe a beer…would be rude not to!
Just a quick post to say don’t worry, you are still on my blog site. I just changed the themes (several times – until I got the one I liked) today. Hope you like it. Will be writing a proper post soon. Til next time.