Lovely poem about looking into the mirror from Idiot Writing. Had to reblog as mirrors, reflections, shadows are some of the elements that I explore in my novel
I was a bit apprehensive when I received my appointment letter for my Gallbladder operation. The date was set as Monday 13th of October, being a bit superstitious the number 13 just didn’t do much to alleviate my fears. On the day of the operation my husband was driving me to Addenbrookes in the early hours of the morning when he suddenly said, “Oh No.” I thought his outburst was most probably due to an announcement about bad traffic ahead, but no of course it couldn’t be that, the NHS were on strike! So as we drove to the hospital I had no idea whether my operation would go ahead as planned. The superstitious no 13, lifted his ugly head and smirked.
I was admitted, given a bed, and everything seemed to be going as planned. The doctors and nurses checked me for everything under the sun, diabetes, high blood pressure, and my medical record was clarified and re-checked over and over again. One thing surprised me, the check for nail polish and makeup, whatever was that in aid of? This one might seem irrelevant but believe me it is not. Your nails and skin are a means to verify that enough oxygen is reaching you whilst you are under. So leave the make up and nail polish at home ladies, oh and any gents too who are so inclined! I met my anaesthetist and was somewhat perturbed when I saw that she was very heavily pregnant. She made a comment about coming in as a patient herself in the next two weeks. Please don’t have your baby today, I silently prayed.
I hadn’t eaten or had any fluid since the night before and my operation wasn’t scheduled until around 3 o’clock. A very chatty member of the hospital staff waited with me while I perspired anxiously. I told him all about my writing journey and my completed book. Then I was called in. No going back. I woke up around 4.20pm and just before I stirred I could have sworn that I was on my computer writing my latest blog post about my experience at the hospital! Trust me to think about writing whilst I was under the surgeon’s knife. Fortunately I didn’t embarrass myself too much, I was a quiet patient, but the guy in the bed next to me was a challenge to say the least. He just wouldn’t stay still when he awoke. The nurses had a difficult job restraining him. I suppose even the quietest of guys may react badly to a general anaesthetic.
I didn’t stay in recovery for long and was quickly transferred back to the original ward. It was a bit of a lonely night as I was all by myself on the ward. Mind you it wasn’t as if I was up to much socialising I had enough trouble going to the toilet! The next morning one of the nurses casually suggested that I might like to wash my face and freshen up a bit. I must have smelt pretty bad and this was her polite way of saying I needed to wash. I really wished that I’d packed some nicely smelling deodorant but all I had was a functional roll on. Still, I was so glad I had packed a dressing gown, a must if you are going in for an operation.
Then a new batch of patients arrived waiting for their operations. I was struck by their positivity and cheerfulness. I felt guilty eating and drinking as they were unable to indulge in either of these pursuits. The aroma of my food must have been distressing. Nevertheless, we were drawn together by this strange experience, it was a club of sorts but not one you would normally want to join. An elderly Italian lady made a big impression upon me. She had been for countless operations before but she just smiled, and talked endlessly. I have never heard anyone talk so much! Even though everything must have been a bit of a challenge for her, she had a walking stick, suffered from dizzy spells, yet she didn’t complain. Even after she returned from her operation she still had so much to say! She gave me a lovely wave and wished me well when she left to go home. I just hope she will be fine too, her arm was limp after the operation and I wonder whether it is fine now? She made light of it, joking that she didn’t think the alien arm belonged to her. I couldn’t believe she was released within a day, what a tough old cookie! Not like me, I stayed overnight, was hardly able to walk after the operation, and had a raised temperature for the first night. An eighty three year old with a walking stick, definitely put me to shame!
Overall surgery is not an experience I would like to repeat in a hurry, but the nurses and doctors did a sterling job. NHS staff shouldn’t need to strike to get a 1% pay rise, they deserve every single penny. I’m relieved that my short stay at Addenbrookes is all over. Hopefully now I’ll be able to eat normally again, a favourite pastime of mine. I can’t wait to tuck into a long awaited Chinese Buffet!
Oh and now my Gallbladder is gone I may never suffer from indecisiveness ever again, apparently in Chinese medicine, quoting Wikipedia, ” the Gallbladder is a Yang (Fu) organ; its paired Yin (Zang) organ is the Liver. The pair is associated with the element of Wood. While the Liver is associated with the emotion of anger, the Gallbladder is associated with indecision or decisiveness.” So no more procrastinating, time to get my book published!
Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr’s birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.
In this sequel to Sabriel, winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.
This wonderful trilogy was introduced to me on Goodreads via the Hot Key books Old Kingdom READ-ALONG.
It is quite fascinating how Garth Nix fast forwarded the essential elements of the story many years into the future, rather than continuing Sabriel and Touchstone’s more youthful story. We are introduced to Lirael, a young woman who wants desperately to be accepted as a Clayr, yet she is lacking in one important quality that the Clayr must possess. Each year she grows older but the ability to see into the future, which is a coming of age gift of the Clayr, bypasses her. Lirael can’t help but feel excluded, an outsider, overgrown, useless, lonely and ultimately desperate.
Unable to bare her wretched existence a day longer she decides to commit suicide by flinging herself off of the glacier, a dramatic attention seeking act! But she is thwarted by her own fear and by an unexpected interruption. We are re-introduced to the Abhorsen Sabriel, and King Touchstone but the two main characters of the previous novel play a much smaller part in this second novel. Instead of killing herself Lirael discovers a sense of purpose in the quiet duties of a Librarian, learns Charter magic, and creates the magnificent Disreputable dog a Free Magic creature infused with Charter Magic. If you loved Mogget, an ancient Free Magic cat construct of unknown origin bound by a red Charter magic collar to serve the Abhorsen, you’ll love the dog. These two furry characters are just so amusing. Loved them both! Their banter is just so on point.
So the adventure continues and what an entertaining ride it is. Along the way we meet Sameth, Sabriel and Touchstone’s son, who is overwhelmed by his princely duties as Abhorsen in waiting. He would prefer to construct toys to catch insects than stare into the eyes of evil Necromancers and who can blame him? He feels inadequate, and the efficiency of his sister Ellimere just makes him feel even more useless and paranoid. There are interesting parallels between Sameth and Lirael, but the way in which they deal with overcoming obstacles are quite different. Lirael is without a doubt the stronger character. It is interesting how Garth Nix writes strong female characters but his male characters tend to be a bit lacking and not quite up to the task! All in all, I really enjoyed the character of Lirael, I warmed to her straight away. Sameth was a bit pathetic at times but he grew on me! Even when he tries his best to escape trouble he just seems to walk deeper into its clutches!
The ending came as a bit of a surprise but maybe I should have seen it coming!
Overall, I would highly recommend Lirael to readers of Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic, and Adventure.
Have you read Lirael? Do comment I’d love to hear from you.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
Continuing on from my previous Writers resources, Memes and Hashtags: http://mjmallon.com/2014/09/11/writers-resources-and-memes/
Here are some more Writer’s resources, Memes, Blog Hops, Challenges, and Promotional ideas that have caught my eye:
Lots of helpful writer resources worth checking out on Elsie Elmore’s blog: http://elsieelmore.com/writers-
and more on Abby Reed’s blog: http://abbyjreed.com/resources-for-writers/resources-a-helpful-list/
Great tips from author Shannon Donnelly about common dialogue mistakes: http://www.romance-ffp.com/the-seven-most-common-dialogue-mistakes/
Lots of tips from Derek Haines on promoting self published books: http://www.derekhaines.ch/justpublishing/10-ideas-to-promote-self-published-books/
Lots of information about WordPress. http://apanache.wordpress.com/about-me/wordpress-tips/
Different blogs that host writing prompts: http://kattermonran.com/2014/10/07/the-world-is-a-stage-and-it-is-time-to-tell-your-story
Novel Nostalgias is a weekly feature/meme held every Thursday at Gwen & Kate’s and Along the Same Lines As… is a weekly feature/meme held every Sunday at Gwen & Kate’s Library. http://gwenkatelibrary.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/gwen-kates-1-year-anniversary/comment-page-1/#comment-318
Silver Threading has a Writer’s Quote Wednesday : http://silverthreading.com/2015/02/18/writers-quote-wednesdaydowager-countess-of-grantham-downton-abbey-2015-8/comment-page-1/#comment-11052
Why I write blog hop
This blog hop was created by http://follyandbloom.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/the-folly-bloom-blog-hop/
I originally found it via Amandas nose in a book! http://amandasnoseinabook.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/why-i-write/ why I write blog hop.
Words that you just don’t come across on a daily basis but that doesn’t stop them from being beguiling:
Bookish and Not so Bookish!
Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #9 http://lipsyy.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/bookish-and-not-so-bookish-thoughts-9/
“Bookish (and not so bookish Thoughts) is a round-up of your week, in and out of book world. A place to store your thoughts, and basically anything you’d like to share on your blog.” Hosted by http://bookishlyboisterous.blogspot.co.uk/
Sites about professional paid book reviews:
To Be Read Pile Challenge. “The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months)” http://tasseledbooks.com/2013/12/17/2014-tbr-pile-challenge/ Hosted by http://roofbeamreader.com/tbr-pile-challenge
Around the world in 12 books challenge, different levels of participation available at : http://www.giraffedays.com/?p=18795/
Thankful blogging thoughts: http://serinssphere.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/10-things-of-thankful-15/
“Thunderclap is a tool that lets a message be heard when you and your friends say it together. Think of it as an “online flash mob.” Join a Thunderclap, and you and others will share the same message at the same time, spreading an idea through Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr that cannot be ignored.”
Thunderclap promotional device: https://www.thunderclap.it/faq
The Dhammakaya is a symbol of World peace. It is a Buddhist parkland and sanctuary, located at Pathum Thani Province in Thailand.
Find out more about it at http://www.peacefulweb.com/dhammakaya-pagoda.html.
And Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Dhammakaya_Centre
Isn’t it an amazing sight? To give you an idea of the scale of the endeavour the outer shell is decorated with 300,000 Buddha images.
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.
Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?
With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.
Once again, Victoria Schwab has charmed me. In my opinion this is even better than the Archived, which is some compliment considering that The Archived was a 4 star read, and well sequel books must be so hard to write. I totally relate to this as I’ve finished my first novel and I’m now at that point when I should be thinking about writing the sequel, but it is so hard to begin. Where do you even start? I love the way in which Victoria Schwab effortlessly managed to re-introduce the back story, and all the characters, and added some new ones too. This book is a wonderful read, it has been a great help and an inspiration to me.
I was amused by her own self-reflexive review on Goodreads :
Writing this book gave me hives. Finishing it gave me an ulcer. Revising it made me hypertensive.
I am pretty sure it nearly killed me.
Here’s hoping it doesn’t hurt you to read. At least not in the same ways it hurt me to write.”
Well it didn’t hurt me, I did wince a bit in certain parts, but that was only because lady you can and do deliver a story with a punch.
I’m developing a bit of a fan thing going on here for Victoria Schwab. It all started with Vicious, then progressed onto The Archived and now we have The Unbound. Wherever will Victoria take me to next?
What did I like about the Unbound?
just buzzed with ACTION!
You could just hear her protagonists talk, see their gestures and movements. The action was full on and at times it made me flinch but in a wow that’s incredible way. Wesley was super cute. I really enjoyed his character in the Archived but somehow in The Unbound he just evolved into super cute Wes, caring, patient, and well just there for Mac. The romance really develops in the sequel, in fact it smoulders and then sizzles at the end, so be prepared! Mac is such a wonderfully strong female character. After all that has happened to her, she is allowed to crumble, to question her nightmares, to fear where Owen is taking her. But she does it in such a believable way, she manages to pick herself up, and in this fragile state she has the courage to take on Agatha, now that’s brave. What else did I enjoy? Without doubt I admired the almost detective like feel to the second novel, and the way in which Mac touches other people’s lives, and her sense of guilt when she discovers what has befallen these innocent people when her instinctive acts of kindness have unexpected consequences.
My favourite Quotes:
“The funny thing about armor is that it doesn’t just keep other people out. It keeps us in. We build it up around us, not realizing that we’re trapping ourselves.”
Would I recommend it?
Of course. Yes, I’m most definitely a Victoria Schwab fan. I’d recommend it to readers of Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance. Well, just about anybody that enjoys a really good read.
My rating. How am I going to rate this?
You guessed it!
Authors website: http://www.victoriaschwab.com/
Have you read The Unbound? Do comment I’d love to hear from you.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
Olive Cotton’s fantastic photography reblogged from The Art of Quotation. Fascinating effect ordinary objects make when shadowed.
Contrary to popular belief the White Peacock is my Friday Favourite image from http://www.pixabay.com. I’m standing up for the understated proud bearing of the White Peacock. Very unique. The guy below is doing his best to make him feel a bit like a delicate bundle of suspended cotton wool, appealing in a fluffy sort of way, but is the iridescent peacock stealing all of the attention? Mr Colourful. Come on, white’s cool too. Huh Mr Show Off!
I found this on Facebook today. This is a gem of a video for Yoga and Wine lovers, and anybody who just loves a good old laugh.
Don’t try this at home!
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Stranger at Sunset – Eden Baylee. Goodreads Giveaway.