Who are your all time favourite authors?


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

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.

 

E Nesbit

I also loved…

Enid Blyton

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. ūüôā

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

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.

Charles Dickens

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

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,

Dawn

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Scarves, scarves and more scarves!

Three of 12 - sounds like a Grimm fairytale  title or the name of a Borg soldier!

Three of 12 – sounds like a Grimm fairytale title or the name of a Borg soldier!

Two days ago…

It’s amazing how one little inspiration can turn into a major project. About four weeks ago I was flicking through my knitting books looking for something that would be simple to do so that I could knit them for my kids. In Jane Brocket’s Gentle Art of Knitting she has a few scarves that are just lovely and I nearly made one of them. However, I was a tad stressed in the run up to Christmas (having had a November of birthdays to contend with including my own) and didn’t want to follow a pattern, so inspired by the Moss stitch creations in that book, I decided to do one of my own. I bought chunky wool and used size¬†8 needles, cast on 21 stitches and knitted in Moss stitch¬†’til the ball of wool was finished. Well, I actually didn’t do this at the beginning…instead I used size 6 needles and one-and-a-half balls of chunky yarn, knitting over 25 stitches. The first scarves were wider, but took longer to do. The¬†simple pattern I¬†ended up with was a lot faster. In the end, I knitted ten scarves as Christmas gifts¬†for friends and family: one each for my kids and hubby; one each for my mum, dad and father-in-law; one each for two friends and their daughters. I also knitted one for me (finished yesterday) and have started another for my sister who saw the boy’s lovely green scarf and wanted one for herself. I love the green scarf and am thinking of embarking on an expedition to Glasgow to get the yarn I want to do one for myself.

Other home-made gifts including some papercut pictures for the kids and I used a Little Girl’s Rose Barrette pattern from the Purl Bee to create brooches for my friends and their two kids and hairclips (as we in sunny Scotland call barrettes) for my girl. She loves them and is currently wearing them whilst watching Phineas and Ferb.

So how was Christmas for you? Ours was great. We went over to my parents’¬† house where we were totally spoiled by my mother who put on an excellent spread as usual. The whole family was there and the kids (six in total) ran around in a pack…even my one-year-old nephew joined in. We had a great day, but were all exhausted. Thank goodness for Boxing Day and Marks & Spencer!! We spent that day chilling out and catching¬† up on Christmas Day tv (Dr Who…those snowmen were scary!) and eating M&S party food (ie shove in the oven, easy-to-make, very little effort food…which was delicious!).

In the run up to the Big Day, I was feeling exhausted, wrung out, but after a few days off and lounging about (which I don’t normally do) I am starting to feel normal…well, as normal as I can be!! Ha ha! (Said it before you could Ian!). I even made bread today. I love making bread, but had¬†lost my bread ‘mojo’ until today when it returned with a flourish. I love the Spanish rustic loaf (tomorrow’s bread) from the Hairy Bikers’ Baking Book and the sweet breakfast bread which I made tonight. Mmmmmmmm!

Today…Hogmanay

Over the weekend, we caught up with some friends, which was fun. Although  my head feels a little fuzzy today (damn you wine!), but it was great to see them.

Regarding writing, I completed what I hope is the final final draft of DarkIsle 3 plus I put together a teachers’ pack for the second book, which I hope will be useful to teachers and their classes.¬† Am going to go back to the book for adults I’m halfway through. I really want to get that finished to see if I can get it published.

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours cleaning up my study which was stuffed to the gills with a lot of Christmas type stuff like packaging and some decorations and other bits and bobs that I hadn’t had the time to tidy up until today. It’s amazing what you find…my row counter for one, which I thought had been lost forever!

I also ventured outside and was nearly blown away as I walked round to our local shop to pick up some milk. Talk about blowing the cobwebs away! Mine were blown way up to the Artic!!

Anyway, I must go…my current reading book – Dodger by Terry¬† Prachett (bought for me by my lovely hubby who buys me the current Prachett every Christmas) – is calling to me. I am really enjoying it, particularly as Charles Dickens appears as one of the main characters in it. Never thought I’d read a Dickens/Prachett combo in one book.

Happy New Year when it comes!

Dawn xxxx