Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Serious Misunderstanding of Rape

My earlier post “What Feminism means to me” has been very popular (if the number of people going to that page is an indicator) so it turns out that I’m going to do occasional political posts on topics of the moment. I’ll try to share my perspective on things but I apologise now if I come across as preachy at times – it’s hard to keep things level headed with certain topics like the one I’m taking on in this post; rape. Not a topic I like thinking about, let alone writing about, but recently I’ve been reminded yet again how skewed the general portrayal and understanding of rape is. Specifically the still prevalent victim blaming that goes on, and the idea that some men accused of rape may have had sex with the woman but not thought for a moment it was rape. That latter point, I’m ashamed to say, was one I used to think was a likely explanation for some “he said, she said” cases but I’ve since seen some studies that have made me think again. And that are very relevant to the Strauss-Khan situation.

Monday, 30 May 2011

A Productive Bank Holiday

Bank holidays. They're a great day off but, more often than not, end up being wasted around a TV or computer screen. Today though I bought my cork board (a vital instrument for would-be-writers everywhere) and then had a stroll through a local park, which has been enough to get the creative juices flowing. Here are a few photos I took of the place - and only ten minutes walk away from my flat. Not bad.

I enjoy taking photos - it's like painting but quicker. Well, okay, it's not exactly like painting but it does let you try out compositions, and to get a good photo you have to think about colour too. I've never taken it up as a proper hobby though. Maybe one day. If I can ever bear to add yet another hobby to the list.

These ducks were asleep but I think I woke one of them up.

The Geese and their babies being fed by people and their babies.

The park is huge, with a nature trail behind this.

Really like this photo, even with the random man toddling along to the side of the shot.

Now I'm off to do some more words and possibly do a bit of "where the hell am I" work on the novel. Not sure if other writers do it, but I've reached the stage where I need to review what I've written (not change it, just review it) and work out where in the world I'm headed. The cork board will help with this as I can write all the chapter headings on bits of paper and put them up to get a view of what's going on. I think some of my characters have made plans I haven't considered yet so before delving in and getting ambushed I want to work out what they might be up to. If that sounds odd you likely haven't tried to write a long piece of fiction - trust me, characters may be your friends but they're sneaky and do things you least expect at the last moment. And it's normally a million times better than what you were planning on getting them to do.

What about you? What have you been doing with your bank holiday? (If you're having one - if you're not then I hope you're day isn't too bad, even though it's a Monday.)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

An unexpected post - RIP Rolo

I was planning on doing a long post today but events have made me want to write something else and I'll put the intended post off until later in the week. This morning my boyfriend's dog Rolo died, a 7-year-old (would have have been 8 next week) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It was very sudden, and has taken us all by surprise. If any of you don't understand why I would write about this then you've never had a close relationship with an animal, one of the most rewarding and rich experiences any human beng can have. I highly recommend it.

Rolo will be much missed by his family, and those of us lucky enough to have known him. Bright, dopey, excitable, and always looking for that elusive piece of dropped food, he will live long in our thoughts. His favourite past times were licking my boyfriend's face, sleeping, eating, eating some more and snatching chocolates if they came anywhere near to falling on the floor.

RIP Rolo

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Film Review: Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides (2011)

I remember watching the first Pirates of the Caribbean film and being totally blown out of the water by it (pun intended); it had sea-faring adventure, pirates, comedy, adventure and a neat supernatural twist. What wasn't to love. So I was very keen to see the rest as they came out and am one of the few that seems to have enjoyed At World's End (I liked the weird convoluted plot - though I freely admit it was unnecessarily twisty in places). But even so, as each film came out I had a little welling of disappointment, with none coming close to capturing the fun and adventure of the first one. So with Stranger Tides, I hoped we would see a return to the tale of old, this time just with Jack Sparrow and no Will or Elizabeth. Sadly Stranger Tides is more like At World's End, which for me wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, if it weren't for some poor decisions made on the script and story level.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Film Review: Tekken (2010)

Video-game movies are a definite niche in cinema, and by and large are rubbish. And within that niche is another niche, even more specialised - the fighting video-game movie. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Double Dragon, D.O.A., The King of Fighters, these have all attempted to take a fighting game (or "beat 'em up" if you're old skool) and turn it into a compelling live action event. Or at least one with a lot of kicking and punching. Most have not been successful and arguably only the original Mortal Kombat movie was coherent, as they always have trouble presenting a scenario that justifies a tournament of fighting, while including some non-fighting sequences to, you know, get a bit of a story in there. Don't even get me started on the Chun Li film... So now we have Tekken as the newest addition to this dubious honour role. And much to my surprise it didn't suck as badly as I expected.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Where are They Now?

During the week I happened to come across the new Blu-ray release for "A Simple Wish", starring Mara Wilson. Remember her? She was a big deal in the nineties, and seemed to have a long prosperous career ahead of her. But aside from one role in 2000 she hasn't been in anything after the nineties. This got me thinking about other young actors and actresses that seem to have fallen off the face of the earth after a promising start, or never quite reached the heights of fame that some expected. Here are some that I remember well:

Monday, 9 May 2011

I Return (Sort of)

Moving is a bitch. Especially when the flat you're moving into is filthy... but after a week away getting the place sorted with my boyfriend we are almost done. The sofa is comfy, the TV and games machines are set up - and the bathrooms are now clean. But to our pain and dismay we don't have the internet up and running yet, as Royal Mail have managed to lose the BT homehub that should have arrived last Friday. I have my fingers crossed that my man's trip to the sorting office today will be successful but knowing Royal Mail I strongly doubt anything will come of it. Sigh.

Now I'm back at work I have access to the web again so will be doing little posts until such time as our flat joins the world on the old interwebby thing. It's weird how cut off you feel without it - smart phones just don't replace the joy of surfing on a computer.

The writing has also been in the "off" position this last week while we settled in. But the schedule will once more be in place to do between 5000 to 7000 words a week from tonight. I have a desk so I should use it - top marks to boyfriend for constructing it (a lovely black number from Argos - the desk, not my boyfriend). I made the chair, which came from Ikea so it was a piece of piss to put together. Well, I say that... we'll see how soon I fall off it. Though whether that will be the chair's fault or mine remains to be seen.

And finally I want to do a little shout out for work as LOVEFiLM have an interactive Q&A tonight for "Attack the Block", a film I am very keen to see. For anyone not aware, the film is about a gang of urban "yoofs" coming up against an alien invasion. In the estates of South London. The aliens don't stand a chance... It starts at 7:30pm and gives you the chance to ask and get answers from the director Joe Cornish (of Adam and Joe fame - I miss that show), and a selection of the actors, specifically Jodie Whitaker, Luke Treadway and John Boyega. Just go here and fill in a nickname and you're good to go.

Right, back to actual work - and looking up recipe sites to see what I can make for dinner this week. Domestication is not as fun as it sounds. Actually it is exactly as fun as it sounds...