ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Awards and bits and pieces...

I thank Kittie Howard for my Making Smiles on Faces Award before I lose its trail. Thank you Kittie. Pop over to Kittie's wonderful blog, The Block, if you haven't already. She found this cute award on e-How.
e-How is a great site where you can submit articles on your areas of expertise and actually (ahem) GET PAID FOR THEM!! Always a bonus as most of us tap away for free most of the time, for love anyway!



Clever Kittie! I am passing this award onto:

Jennie Bailey at A Garden Full of Lily
Alex J Cavanaugh
The Happy Whisk
Joanna St James



Thhank you to Kari Marie from A sideways journey to lifelong bliss for the Honest Scrap Award. I've passed this one on before and I may again, but not today!



Thank you to kangaroobee for making this award and passing it onto myself and many other fellow Crusaders. Thank you so much Catherine! How nice to have a Christmas award.

I am passing it onto:

Nomes at Inkcrush
Michael at In Time



On a sadder note, I am very sad at the death of Ruth Park, a very famous Australian author, who passed away on the 17th December. She wrote so many tomes on early Australia, some which were made into mini-series on Australian television. Harp in the South would be one of my favourites. Since her death the price of this book has skyrocked to AUS $55!

Happy Christmas everyone!


Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas dinner with my blogger family...Be Jolly By Golly blogfest. This is all about food, lights and tinsel!

This blogfest is Christmas dinner with your blogger family

I want to thank Melissa from Through the Looking Glass for this Christmassy blogfest Be Jolly By Golly. It's all about the way you celebrate, how you decorate.

I have a little problem as I mainly live in an apartment in inner-city Brisbane, but celebrate Christmas at our beach house 100 kilometers north at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast. 

Here is a photo of a family member at the beach house with my little doggie, Foxy Lady, smelling a rose from our garden.

 As we won't be in the apartment at Christmastime, we just bang up fairy lights and have a small Christmas tree here. All the pressies are in the car waiting for me to drive up early this week to decorate the tree at the beach and have everything ready for the family when they arrive on Christmas Eve.


This is beautiful, quiet, perfect Peregian Beach at low tide. Our village is up the sand dunes and very tiny. The metropolis you see is the next town, Coolum Beach. I can't wait to get running along that golden sand...

The first thing Melissa and Jen want is pictures of my decorations, holiday lights and Christmas tree.

 
SO, I don't just want to post our pov little tree and lights here. I thought I'd post a piccie of the Christmas tree in King George Square in the city, just a few minutes from my home here. It is the largest Christmas tree in the world that is completely solar powered. Not bad to have in your backyard!


How we celebrate.


We celebrate Christmas Day by coming together as a family. This changes every year as there are new family members. Everyone comes to the beach house.

We don't bother much with breakfast. Used to, but no one felt like lunch after all that bacon and eggs and croissants and danish pastries! 


We have a roast at lunch (even in this heat!). I'm in charge of desserts and my Toblerone Cheesecake always takes pride of place. There is always Christmas pud for those with a remnant of the Empire flowing through their veins.


We especially love Christmas Tea which is very relaxed. We sit on the deck overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We indulge in fresh prawns, hams etc and delicious duck liver pate (made by a chef we know), all sorts of cheeses, toasted Turkish breads, tropical fruits ad infinitum! 


I am to share our favorite holiday treat, ahem, well mine anyway.

TOBLERONE CHEESECAKE


Ingredients:

1 cup plain chocolate biscuit crumbs

1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup thickened cream
1/4 cup ground almonds
200g TOBLERONE Milk or Dark Chocolate for shaving 
200g TOBLERONE Milk or Dark Chocolate, melted
500g block PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
80g butter, melted


Instructions:

Combine biscuit crumbs, butter and almonds, press into the base of a lightly greased 20cm springform pan. Chill.


Beat PHILADELPHIA and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the melted Toblerone and cream until well combined.


Pour onto the prepared crumb base and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours until set, or overnight. Serve topped with the TOBLERONE shavings.


This only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. I usually make three for various functions, so just as well it's quick!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Share your favorite holiday drink (Either alcoholic or non, share your recipe if you please - Melissa and Jen reckon we're all going to want to drink theirs so they'd like some options to steal too).

We like to make what we call a Toblerone (like a mudslide) for after Christmas Tea. It makes a delicious change after all the wine that's been sipped during the day along with the odd majito or two!


In a blender throw some icy cold rich milk, shots of any liquor you have left - (Tia Maria, Kahlua, Frangelico, Cointreau, vodka, Bailey's Irish Creme - get the drift - not all!! but you need the Bailey's and about three others), whizz for a bit. Get some parfait glasses or somesuch out of the freezer. 


Artistically drizzle (if you can keep your hand steady by this stage) melted Cadbury's chocolate or Toblerone chocolate or at the very least, chocolate sauce, around the inside of the glass (like my Eiffel Tower?), then gently pour in the mix. Top with whipped cream if you're absolutely disgusting! And why not some hunks of Toblerone or chocolate sauce if you're determined to milk this for all it's worth!

Sip reverently.

Remember to drink sensibly. Everyone crashes at the beach house (on a bed, not in a car!) No one drives anywhere. We all go for a run/walk/swim after lunch and dinner at night to deal with all the calories and alcohol. It's nice to greet in the street and admire Christmas lights and on-going parties before yet another perfect Christmas Day is over. 




Once all the Christmas hoo ha is over, this is where I'll sit and read and watch the sunset...dinner will be BBQs on the deck for the rest of the week...


Happy Christmas and New Year everyone!


Don't forget to visit everyone else, share in the holiday spirit and spread the cheer.


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Twisted Christmas Fairy Tale Blogfest! Dec 18

I want to thank Francine at Romancing the Blog for hosting the Twisted Christmas Fairy Tale Blogfest! This was a real challenge and I've learned a lot about fairy tales whilst researching this story!


I have posted my story on my Flashquake blog as it's paying double service as my #fridayflash fiction story for the week. The opening:

     ‘Cindy, please don’t go,’ the step-sisters begged.
      ‘I’m 18 years old! I’ll do what I want!’ Cindy snarled.


To read the rest of the story, go here



Oh! Just a moment! Before you go I'd like to wish you the happiest Christmas ever, lovely blogger buddies.



Now I hope you'll pop over to Flashquake to read my story and comment and maybe even follow me there if you like to read short fiction. I publish most Fridays.

Then click on Francine's link to read more twisted fairy tales...

Thanks


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Aussie Author Book Review No 8 - Belinda Alexandra's Silver Wattle plus author interview.

I've just finished reading Belinda Alexandra's Silver Wattle. It didn't take me long as I was rivited! I love her emotive style of writing. She leads me right into the story through her wonderful settings and characters. I loved her two previous novels - White Gardenia and Wild Lavender and have had Silver Wattle sitting on my bookshelf for months.

Belinda brings her love of other cultures to her books, and Silver Wattle begins in glorious Prague. It’s the story of two Czech sisters, Adela and Klara, whose nefarious stepfather murders their mother – and plans to murder them too so that he and his fancy woman can have their inheritance.


The girls flee to Sydney, Australia to live in safety with their uncle and his wife, an Indian who had been saved from committing sete. Indian culture and early Australian bigotry is explored through Ranjana. Things go smoothly enough for awhile. Klara is a talented but highly strung pianist, while Adela turns out to be a gifted photographer who eventually makes a career in film. There is an interesting sub theme about the early days of the film industry in Australia and how American distributers sabotaged the development of Australian cinema which was flourishing, but Adela marries one of these distributers (a) because he clandestinely supports her career and (b) because Beastly Beatrice cons Adela’s beloved Dr Philip into marriage and Adela is on the rebound. Unrequited love is a powerful theme throughout the novel.

Adela's character is the most interesting I think. Belinda Alexandra draws on her own love of wildlife to paint a picture of a character deeply moved by native animals (she raises a pet possum that she plucked from a dead mother's pouch) and wildlife is the major recurring theme in her photography. In real life, the author is a volunteer rescuer and carer for the New South Wales Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES.)

Alexandra keeps the tension going throughout the novel and I couldn't put it down. There were so many mysteries to be solved...

I'm re-posting an author interview from auslit. If you like the sound of this author, read on...
 
Belinda Alexandra – Author Interview

Posted on October 4, 2010 by auslit

For those not familiar with your fiction writing, how would you describe it?
Sweeping, epic stories usually with historical backgrounds. I’m very interested in how massive historical events such as wars impact on the individual lives of my characters. Each story is a journey of endurance, courage, love, tragedy and triumph. My style is clean cut with an eye for sensuous detail and a touch of magic realism.
You have depicted a number of early to mid twentieth century settings in your novels, from the border region of Japanese occupied Russia and China during World War 2 in White Gardenia to provincial France at the outbreak of the war in Wild Lavender, to 1920s Sydney in Silver Wattle, to Tuscany during Mussolini’s rule of Italy in Tuscan Rose. What kind of research do you do for your novels?
Apart from the academic research to understand the history of those times, I pore over as much first hand material as possible – almost like an actress preparing for a part. I read the newspapers, learn the language of the culture I am writing about, read the interior design magazines, popular novels of the day and listen to the music. I even research cookbooks of the country and era to make sure any recipes given are true to the times. For Wild Lavender I learned to dance the tango, which is how I ended up meeting my husband.
You have written, “I’d studied modern history for my HSC but had been bored mindless by the endless essays on the political causes for war. I was interested in the impact these catastrophic world events had on individual people.” What advantages, in terms of storytelling, does concerning yourself with particular characters offer over trying to make your characters symbolise political ideas?
It’s very important to me that my characters live and breathe authenticity – that they are never wooden. Therefore I do spend time focusing on their particular beliefs and mindsets so everything they do and say (even when they contradict themselves) makes sense to their point of view of the world. I obviously have very passionate ideas about world peace, the nature of human beings and animal welfare and some of my characters do too … but as I don’t have all the answers myself and am constantly learning, I put my characters on a search for their own truths. This way they can be inspiring (or dreadful) but they are always human – as opposed to one-dimensional characters voicing political points of view.
Who is one of your favourite fictional characters, and what makes them stand out for you?
Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I first read that book when I was 16 years of age and the ability of Carton to transcend life and death through love made a huge impact on me.
You have written, “The end of my novels always comes to me first – I see the end of the story and then I have to work out who these characters are and how they all got to the position they are in.” Could you give us an overview of how you worked back from the ending to develop the story for one of your novels?
This is a bit tricky to do without spoilers. But I can say that working this way gives my work a sense of narrative drive. I see a character that has been through a lot, who has learned something very important, on whom truth and knowledge weigh heavily … and I have to answer what’s happened to them and how they got there.
If you could attend your ideal 2-day fiction writing workshop next weekend, what would that involve?
Not doing any work, I need a rest! Seriously, I love improving my technique and although I do spend time working on exercises most of my improvement comes from studying books where the story grabs me from the opening sentence and gives me plenty of ‘ah-ha’ moments by expressing life through the characters. But my style always has to be my own … so my ideal weekend would be talking to other fiction writers about life, about what inspires them and absorbing the energy that I get from being around other creative minds, but basically being left to work on my style and technique on my own.
Do you read much fiction by Australian authors, and do you have some favourites?
I am always hanging out for the next Kim Wilkins and Kate Morton novels. I love how their stories unfold. I have always admired the styles of Helen Gardner and Drusilla Modjeska. Their styles are different to mine – I often find Gardner’s work a challenge to my vision of beauty, but that’s good. It’s always good to be challenged.
What is the one piece of advice you would most like to offer for new fiction writers?
That good writing is all in the rewriting – whether you do that revision on paper or in your head. Keep working and layering a scene until it is just there so clearly before you in every sensual detail. A scene that breathes with life has a lot of thought behind it, whether conscious or subconscious.
What is next for your fiction writing?
I am constantly challenging myself to become a better and better storyteller. I’m currently working on a novel set during the Spanish Civil War.

I, for one, can't wait to read it.
Click on the kangaroo in my sidebar to read more Aussie Author Reviews.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A Christmas Tale Blogfest - Camping in the gorges of the Australian outback and a galah or two

Thanks to Ellie Garratt who is hosting the Christmas Tale blogfest. More details go here for more details and more entries.


I wracked what is left of my brain to come up with something as I've already posted one Christmas story. This time I thought I'd take you to the Australian Outback, red gorges, birds and camping.



The Kimberley Gorge WA

Many Aussies head off camping over Christmas - no snow to worry about here! So most camping grounds the length and breadth of the country are full of campers, some who go to the same spot every Christmas and join their extended camping family. Whether it's by the sea, by a billabong, out in the bush under the stars, you can be sure  many Aussies are 'roughing it' for Christmas. Some will eat 'bang up' meals, whilst others will bring along all the makings for a Christmas feast to share.


Now, those gorges I was talking about (there are many more):



Ormiston Gorge NT


      Ormiston Gorge NT


                                               Kakadu NT  


Stanley Chasm, Alice Springs NT
                


Red mounting scales of cliff lead the eye up;
but here the rock has spaces of tenderness
where light and water open its heart. A lip
of narrow green shows where the creek banks bless
a niche for trees and birds. So many birds!
Outside our tent they cross and recross our patch
of vision, hatch the air and double-hatch
in diving curves and lines.



A flock of Australian galahs




Judith Wright, Australian Colonial Poet circa. 1966


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Midwinter Blogfest entry - Interlude of Solitude, a warm Christmas on Nantucket

Thanks to Marieke from Mariekes Musings for hosting this blogfest where she suggested we show what our MC in our WIP is doing for Christmas.

I wrote an interlude using my MCs from my latest NaNo novel, 'Search for the Last Cowboy.' Shakira and Byron have been to hell and back, and are now married and looking forward to their first Christmas together on Nantucket which they have made their home.

This is not my typical story - there are no deaths, no fast-paced action, no twists. I've just written a peaceful interlude into their turbulent lives especially for Marieke's blogfest. I hope you enjoy it along with your Christmas preparations, whether in a cold clime as in my story, or in a warm clime such as I experience.

And yes, I spent a long time cutting it down to just under 500 words!


CHRISTMAS INTERLUDE OF SOLITUDE


Shakira should have been exhausted after the nightmare of the ferry ride from Hyannis. She and Byron had shivered in the Fog Island Café for hours waiting to get back to Nantucket for Christmas. They were amongst the last passengers to make it.


They kept their lunch reservation at The Blue Fin, their favorite bar on North Beach Street. After some Seared Rare Yellow fin Tuna for Byron and a curried Miso and Lobster Reduction for Shakira they rugged up and began their Christmas Stroll down Harbor House Village.



The snow was falling, the wind was blowing, and the Christmas trees downtown created the perfect setting for their stroll. So did Main Street, but it was dangerous to walk on the cobblestones slick with ice. They held each other close and laughed and slipped their way down the street until it was time for dinner.

Byron had left nothing to chance. He had wanted their first Christmas on Nantucket as husband and wife to be perfect. That meant Michael LaScola’s.


Byron liked Michael’s because the menu was divided into selections from four different areas of the country - Pacific Coast, Down South, New England and Wild West. Shakira had never been to Michael’s, so Byron took her to the old home just outside of the center of town. It was wonderfully dark and romantic.


Shakira loved it instantly.


‘Oh, Byron, it’s perfect,’ she said, as he took her coat. Byron looked around. He loved the wide-beamed wood plank ceilings, the wide pane windows, the wall murals and sconces, the soft jazz music. 'Hmm,' he said, dropping a kiss on the top of her head.


After their mulled wine, Byron started with a choice from Down South - seared scallops with pulled pork, tomato and red onion marmalade in a roasted corn sauce. Shakira couldn’t resist the orange and basil butter poached lobster from New England, with baby beets and asparagus in a vanilla soubise. Both dishes tasted sublime accompanied by the NZ Sauvignon Blanc they’d chosen.

For mains, Byron had sake-glazed tuna from the Pacific Coast with a shitake mushroom slaw, avocado and wasabi puree and a sesame seed and potato gyoza. Shakira had a hanger steak in a roasted garlic jus (Down South) with buttermilk mashed potatoes and a slow roasted short rib that had an incredible flavor.

For dessert they fed each other the Key Lime pie. Then they kicked back and enjoyed a sweet dessert wine to finish.


They just made it home before the rain started.


‘Happy, my love?’ Byron asked as they lay in each other’s arms listening to the storm.


Shakira moved to his chest and whispered close to his ear. ‘Say that poem to me again Byron.’


He held her tightly and began in his best Lord Byron voice:


‘She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:'

‘Sleep well my love,’ they whispered to each other.
 
Now let's shut the door on Byron and Shakira and go here  to read some more entries...

Oh, and if you'd like to do a twisted fairytale Christmas yarn, click Francine's button on my sidebar, or talk about your lights, tinsel and food for Christmas click on the Be Jolly badge.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Fair dinkum is as fair dinkum does. L'Aussie explains...


Hey are you guys fair dinkum or what?  Not satisfied with following the comment stream you must have a fair dinkum explanation from moi. Ha! You asked for it!

Before I launch into the translation, I'd like to give fair dinkum thanks to all of you who were so happy to receive this strange liitle award and ponder over what it meant. I'll just say for an Aussie to tell you that you're 'fair dinkum' is the highest accolate you will get from one of us. I think you're a 'bonza' lot as Crocodile Dundee would say.



Here are some commenters' ideas of what 'fair dinkum' means:

NR Williams - kind and thoughtful
Coelene Murphy - I have no idea!
Lynda Young - genuine, real, honest
Words Crafter - the real deal
Jeffrey Beesler -  I think a dinkum is kind of like a snookum in the US, and a snookums is a term of endearment for a loved one.
Writers Block NZ - truthful/honest
Grandpa - it's about truth, honesty, and about being fair, really - which I think is what Australia and all Aussies are all about!
Cheryl -  honest, genuine, a great person
Francine - I'm a fair dinkum Pom, and an Aussie says so!
Theresa -  People who are faithful in their support.
Nomes - genuine. It's true blue awesomeness.
Kangaroobee -  sure enough or okay and perhaps cool,
Rachael: it always means genuine and true blue for me.
Ellie: all round nice, honest, and caring person. Someone who I could trust with my life.
Christine - true or genuine (and Rolf Harris!)
The Golden Eagle - they do something that says that they care.
Julie Musil: Could it be that it's named after a writer?
Theres Just Life: You are fair dinkum in my book. 
Adina West - the simplest definition for fair dinkum is 'true blue'. Two words. Yep. Reckon I showed 'em. Gob smacked by that, aren't you, eh, you lot? Bloody oath!
Madeline: So since you had to stop somewhere with awarding I guess the answer would be 'Fair Dinkum'.

Well, as Kangaroobee's husband told her to tell me, just to show off his complete understanding of Aussie slanguage - I've been flat out like a lizard drinking, making this award or two, awarding it to 'fair dinkum' blogging mates, reading some sincere guesses and some downright show-offy Aussie know-all definitions, and now sifting through.


The iconic images on my award - a pub, a horse, the outback, the isolation, the sunset, the tranquility - all Aussie! Not a ranch in sight - we call 'em 'stations' and they are bigger than some countries!

The pic was taken near the largest station is the world, Anna Creek Station. It is located in South Australia. Its area is roughly 24,000 km² (6,000,000 acres) which is bigger than Israel. It is 8,000 km² larger than Alexandria Station (its nearest rival) in the Northern Territory, Australia and eight times the size of America's biggest ranch, King Ranch in Texas, which is only 3,000 km². Now howzat! Maybe I'll set my next HM&B romance there!

Now that you've read through the above comments, you've probably seen that the most popular definition of 'fair dinkum' is - a person who is kind, caring, thoughtful, genuine, straight, TRUE BLUE. Aussies love the term 'True Blue' as it means 'fair dinkum.' Don't get me started again!

True Blue: The Very Best ofWe have many examples of Aussies we consider true blue, such as the late Steve Irwin, who was a mate of John Williamson, a true-blue Aussie balladeer. I'm going to leave you with his song, 'True Blue'. He sang it live at Steve Irwin's memorial. I'll include that clip for any Steve Irwin fans. It shows an Australia Zoo worker loading Steve's camping gear and paraphenalia in his ute, then driving away. Very moving. As John Williamson croons - 'just knocked off for smoko...'





The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, a 'true-blue' Aussie.



Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Announcing L'Aussie's Fair Dinkum Award! Did you receive one?

Ooooooh, aren't they cute?


Around NaNo time I posted some awards I'd received. I was really pressed for time and didn't pass them on, so I promised I'd create my very own L'Aussie Fair Dinkum Award. I said I'd award it to all commenters under my Award post.

Well, as you can see, I've created two! Choose the one you like the best to post on your blog! For those newbies, the quickest way to copy this award is to right click it, click on properties, then copy the http code. Any problems, just ask.

All of these bloggers are fair dinkum in that their blogs are always very interesting and creative. Some have been very fair dinkum to me in that they comment as often as time allows. Who can beat Joanna St James? Is she fair dinkum or what? I no sooner hit 'Publish' and Joanna's there! Now if the rest of us didn't worry about things like sleeping, we could do that too! Ha! Ha! Thanks so much to Joanna and all you lovely people for your support.

Please visit their blogs if you aren't already a follower. You won't be sorry!

My Lucky Commenters

List No 1

Joanna St James the bionic writer
Erica @ Hypothetically Speaking
Coelene Murphy @ The Journey
Ellie Garret
The Golden Eagle
Lynda Young @ WIP It
Elliot Grace @ So close but..
N R Williams Fantasy Author
Velvet over Steel
Christine @ Inwardly Digesting
Laura Eno @ A Shift in Dimensions
Julie Musil

My other Faithful Followers

List No 2

These guys didn't comment on my Awards post, (probably thrashing out their NaNo novel,) but they are VIPs to moi and I'd like to send this award skittering their way. Most of them constantly comment on my posts in a thoughtful way. Some don't comment so much, but I know they're there and they pop back to cheer me up every so often! A few are receiving this award just because they're Aussies and we Aussies know all about 'fair dinkum.'

Francine @ Romancing the Blog
Grandpa @ Life on the Farm
Rachel Harrie @ Rach Writes
Catherine @ Kangaroobee's Blog
Theresa @ the Substitute Teacher Saga
Jai Joshie @ the Tulsi Tree
Jeffrey Beesler @ World of the Scribe
Al @ Publish or Perish
Writer's Block NZ
Nomes @ Inkcrush
Cheryl @ Kangaroos of the Scrubby Bush
Lisa @ Notes from Nadir
Lenny @ Lenny's World
Donna Hole
The Words Crafter
Pamela Jo @ There's Just Life
Amie Kaufman
Adina West @ Stairways and Landings

Sure, I know. You should have been on the list, but I thought I'd better stop somewhere. I will be sending this award to more of you in the future, as your name leaks back into my NaNo zapped brain. Be ready!

INSTRUCTIONS

Recipients of this very first L'Aussie Fair Dinkum award are asked to:

  • leave me a comment on this post, telling me what you think Fair Dinkum really means in 30 words or less - not just in the blogging world, but in your whole world view. Do you know some fair dinkum people? Tell us about them. er, do you think Julian Assange is fair dinkum for example?
  • tell me why you think I chose these particular images to represent Oz
    THEN:
  • post on your blog, linking back to me if you're pleased to receive my award
  • pass the award onto the 'fair dinkum' bloggers in your life - as many/few as you like

    OPTIONAL: Write a blog post on your thoughts about being fair dinkum but please link back to me so I can read it!

Thank you all you fair dinkum bloggers out there!

L'Aussie Denise

Thursday, 2 December 2010

NaNo's history! Let's go from writing to reading - Here's my Book Tag - How many have you read?



Okay, NaNo's over. I was going to do a smart post-NaNo post, but I'm sure there'll be heaps of those around. I'll just say it was very difficult and I have 20,000+ words to go to turn my 50,000 word novel into the book I want. Lots of work ahead as always after NaNo. Posts I've read so far have questions as to whether we found NaNo worthwhile. Yes, yes, yes. I'm a great fan because of the discipline it encourages. If we can write 50,000 words in November, which is such a busy month in many ways, we should be able to repeat that in a quieter month.

So, let's go from writing books to reading books...

You may have seen this tag around the blogosphere and fb. I find it interesting, do you? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. The challenge is: Have you read more than 6 of these books? Please join in, accept the challenge, then pass it on. Perhaps some wag will contact the BBC with the results...

And I'm sorry, I'm not sure who I copied this post from...maybe Ellie? Theresa? If I find out, I'll link back...



Instructions:


• Copy this list.
Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
• Tag other book nerds.

I'm going to add another instruction (why not!): underline those books you plan to read in 2011. So here goes:

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible - (yes, really!)
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare - I own it, who could possibly read ALL?
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt
Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Watership Down – Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


??? (Hmm, the list does appear to be missing book no. 100!)


So here's my addition to the list, to fill in missing #100 – The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough (let's be indulgent here!) Which book would you add!


Woot, 52 (I think I added it up right)!!! Take that BBC!!


Too many tags to be made. Take the list if you'd like to have a go at the challenge. Can't wait to see what you've read!

Before you leave, if you are a member of Networked Blogs, please click on the 'follow me' bar on mine and I will return the favour. I've just joined.

And if you have missed it, Talli Roland's book The Hating Game The Hating Gameis now out on kindle. Grab yourself a copy. It may not be on the BBC list, but it's a lot more fun than a lot of the 100 Books listed above. Oh, no Kindle, no problem. You can download a free app. from the mighty Amazon.


And, in the interests of furthering my literacy-ness (anyone else find the humour in making up a word when talking about whether or not you're well-read?), are there any books you'd recommend I read from the non-italicized, non-bolded, non-underlined books above?

Happy reading and writing!

Denise