rflong: (Meeting on the Turret Square)
( Apr. 28th, 2009 03:32 pm)
I went to see this last night

Bear with me. There are not enough superlatives in the English language.

In places it was actually so beautiful that in between listening to the music, the lyrics (and er... reading subtitles - my Italian is not that good), and watching the images unfold on the screen my mind just could not keep up. I just had to sort of sit back and be swept away with it.

Anna Netrebko  and Rolando Villazón starred and were marvellous - opera stars who can both sing and act and look the part. Musetta almost stole the show (so did her costumes) and the scene where the two pairs of lovers sing - one pair reaffirming their love, the other breaking up, was wonderful. There's tremendous humour in this story which the film brings out well, which serves to make the tragedy which it strikes, as it inevitably must, all the more poignant.

And that moment near the very end, where the music stops and they speak a few lines instead of sing -- shocking and heartbreaking.

rflong: (Dogmatix)
( Mar. 27th, 2009 06:04 pm)
Oh Sheer, unfettered, unadulterated JOY!

(shamelessly pilfered from DisenchantedDoc)

And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”

And will be some more.

This weekend is P-Con, so I will be there, for the most part. This weekend is also [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h 's birthday so I will be at his party on Saturday night as well. And staying overnight in parents. There is a fair amount of running around to be done anyway, and child-wrangling.


For some reason my stress levels have gone through the roof lately. Its a combination of many small things rather than any one biggie, but its irritating the hell out of me as I have now graduated to those ridiculous dreams where you keep thinking you've woken up, but you haven't. I'm trying to ignore things. Not sure its working.


We watched Quantum of Solace last night, which wasn't as bad as I was led to believe, but I really couldn't* buy the villain in his flowery shirts. And as for the theme song... *shudders* I am one of the few people in the world it seems who liked the Chris Cornell one for Casino Royale, but this... uh... nothanksbyebye.

*eta: Couldn't buy the villain in a flowery shirt, I had "could", probably was half asleep when I typed this. He was not a James Bond villain. Sorry. Not at all. Blofeld and Goldfinger would never have allowed him in the club.


I have no news. I started working on Moy Tura Echoes again last night. I thought I had gone wrong with a scene and should have killed off a character, but when I went back to look it turns out I still need him. This is not to say he will be safe for much longer. but for a little while. That said, there are already two characters slated to die towards the end so another might be overkill (Ha! Pardon the pun).

Another thing I have to do is write an article on Fantasy Worldbuilding before the 5th, which I would like to do without repeating all the things I've said about it elsewhere. This might be the tricky part, mainly because when I sit down to write about a subject I tend to forget whatever I've written on it before and before I know it... identicle article. So I want to have a long hard think about it. Sometime. When I have some time. Which I won't. Suspect I will sit down on the 4th to write and forget everything I have ever written on the subject before and... well, you get the idea. Not that my theories have changed. I'd just like it to be fresh.


Also one of my colleagues just showed me this website. I am a cat person, sure, but sorry this is just WRONG!

Over on Gnattering.com, its Entertainment Thursday combined with a Thursday Thirteen on Keanu Reeves - actor or robot. 13 Keanu Reeves films, from worst to best. I've left out huge chunks. But these are the ones that stuck with me or will haunt me to my grave.

So come and play with the Shinys.

Today I discovered that it is impossible to buy a single cassette tape anymore. I eventually got a pack of 10. I need 1 for the Boy Wonder's piano teacher to record about 10 minutes of music. We may never need to buy cassette tapes again. Seriously.

Oh, and I saw one of the anthologies the alter-ego is in on the shelf in a major bookshop here. Yay! Turned it face out. Went back to admire again it a little later. Bookshop staff might think I'm wierd now.

rflong: (Default)
( Feb. 10th, 2009 09:29 pm)
So I'm on the mend, both from the 'flu, the absence of [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h on a worktrip and the submission process. Kind of.

I've discovered the most wonderful method which involves self-medication with gin & tonic, crackers &gorgonzola and pride & prejudice...

My favorite bit - can't embed it, sadly but here's the link

Here's a longer clip. I wonder if all men should in future begin any proposals of marriage with "First, I must tell you that I have been the most  unmitigated and comprehensive ass..." It has a nice ring to it. *g*

The downside is I've only written a few pages this evening. Ah well.

rflong: (Default)
( Dec. 22nd, 2008 09:00 am)
The postcards and bookmarks for The Scroll Thief arrived today! And they look lovely. If anyone would like one send me a message offline with your name and address and I will organise sending it to you. Though its unlikely to be before Christmas at this stage ;)

And the boy wonder and I are off to see Inkheart this morning. One of E-w-h 's younger nieces loaned me the book several years ago and I loved it, so I am praying it lives up to my memories.

And if not, hey, Brendan Friaser! (Another happy thought).
rflong: (Sive)
( Jul. 20th, 2008 09:56 am)
I am currently working on a new novella.

But not the one I am supposed to be working on!


And I saw Mama Mia with the girls last night, also catching up on much gossip and getting a promise of duck and partrige from E's boyfriend. Yay! Oh yeah, I enjoyed the film too. Laughed and laughed, especially at the end. If you haven't seen it stay for the credits. Really.

Is it worrying that the prospect of roast duck gets me all excited though?

Anyway, back to reality as the kids need feeding. Again. *sigh*
LOL - you've got to read this post by [livejournal.com profile] mistful!!!

Peter the Magnificent and Caspian the Super Fine

I haven't seen it yet. Hopefully tomorrow! :D
I have to go and vote shortly

I'm mostly decided. (possibly a bit like "mostly harmless")

Referendums are fun. Really they are. The whole country starts talking like they have a clue what we're talking about. Which we don't. Really. The judiciary don't. The press don't. The public don't. The jargon is flying. it is times like this when, frankly, I feel a bit thick.

I read lots on the subject today. I don't feel a hell of a lot more enlightened. Its a bit like 2001: A Space Odyssey - just when I think I have a handle on it, a question comes up and it turns out that I don't. Seriously, I get to the end of that film and I go "yes! That's it! I finally understand! I can see it all so clearly!" and then five seconds later I'm "oh no. No, I don't actually. It's gone."

Maybe that blinding flash of understanding will strike as I enter the polling booth.

Unlikely really.

The only time I ever felt I fully got that film was when I watched it in college. Certain illicit substances could have been involved. I can't remember now. Neither can I remember what the revelation I had at the end of the film is, so not a lot of use.

Anyway, going to vote this evening. I may not know what for, but its my right and I'm going to seize it. I think I have a good basic handle on what's at stake. I hope I do. But I wonder how many voters actually understand what the Yes or the No mean.

Actually, I believe in voting, and in exercising your right to vote rather than sitting back and just bitching about the country. A lot of people didn't/don't have it. Make use of what you have.
rflong: (Clock)
( Apr. 3rd, 2008 09:17 pm)
I've finished the first pass edit - 62,576 words. So I need to add a hell of a lot more which is a bit disappointing. But at least I have something to work with. I've put out a call for beta readers to see what I can do with it. I'll probably still fiddle with it over the next couple of days but I think I could do with a bit of a rest right now.

EWH is reading over my shoulder! We're meant to be watching In the Shadow of the Moon . Nice to be able to type without looking at the keys. We have just realised we have only four degress of Kevin Bacon which is most exciting. Seriously though, if you haven't seen this film, get it. It's wonderful.
rflong: (Plotbunny)
( Apr. 3rd, 2008 10:36 am)
I had said I would finish last night no matter what. I only had two chapters left so what could go wrong? Last night was it. No matter what...

No matter what, except for going back to add a fairly vital scene to Chapter 15 which I suddenly realised wasn't there, but is referenced in Chapter 19. Oops.

And changing the fish tank water. Fish don't like that. Giant mutant goldfish like it least of all and delighted in flicking water EVERYWHERE while they were being moved to safety.

I got Chapter 19 done, but not 20. I tried to start it but I was too sleepy so it wasn't a good time to deal with that.

So 19 went like this: added 809 words, and with the additions to Chapter 15, the total is now 61,637. I'm still 8363 words short in total. I've 7 pages still to go.

Best typo: "Tim grows short," said the King.

Poor Tim.

I also got a bit distracted by this.



I wonder when it comes out here.
rflong: (Maggie Cheung Hero)
( Feb. 25th, 2008 10:11 am)
To make up for the horror that is Dustin - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's "Falling Slowly" from the movie Once won the Oscar.

Beyond thrilled for them!

The Song

The Speeches

Tis an overwealming YAY!
In honour of the release of the trailer for Indiana Jones IV today...

rflong: (Meeting on the Turret Square)
( Jan. 29th, 2008 10:35 am)
So, my random thoughts I was going to set down here have completely slipped out of my head like so much melted butter that I will have to start again...

I am not good on Tuesdays. They vex me. I think I use up all my energy on Mondays and its downhill for the rest of the week. By Wednesday, the end is in sight (its distant, but its there). But Tuesdays... *sigh*


I think I have picked a penname if I am going to pursue the romance side of my writing. Some of the scenes get a bit em... detailed so if I am writing fanatsy with a "from 14 years old" target, I don't want confusion arising over something a little more... shall we say adult. Styles vary. Fashions vary. Tastes vary. Something written by a fantasy writer wouldn't necessarily market to a romance reader.

Hey! I'm trying to think business here. It doesn't happen very often!

So, I have finally - I think - picked a name. No one else seems to be using it. (I Googled). And I'm not going to tell you what it is. I can be a person of mystery for a while. (Strangely enough, I typed mysery first. I hope that's not an omen.)

Hmmm maybe I am overthinking this....


I watched a WONDERFUL film last night called Once. Seriously, strongly recommend it. A very gentle, genuine love story, or rather a story about love perhaps. Glen Hansard from the Frames and Markéta Irglová take the lead. It was written and directed by John Carney. One of the songs may be up for an Oscar (sadly it may not be eligible and that still has to be decided). GO AND SEE THIS FILM. Or get it on DVD but make sure you get to see it.

The other fine thing about it is that it gives this picture of Dublin that is very close to the Dublin I know, rather than the Bord Failte tourist version. Grafton Street, Stephens Green, Mountjoy Square, bits of Fairview and Phibsboro... And Dalkey and Killiney hill in all their glory. You even get to see the Sugarloaf in the distance. My house is near there. Technically, with a very strong magnifying glass and superpowers you could see my house in some of the scenes! Seriously though, I grew up walking Dalkey Hill, and along the Vico Road. Its is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Really. Look!

I'll post one of my photos up here in a bit too.

Here goes...
Yes, I grew up within walking distance of this. I am very very lucky!

Anyway, here's a trailer
rflong: (Clock)
( Dec. 3rd, 2007 11:04 am)
A bit of a mad weekend in the end. Lots of frantic running about but not an large amount of anything ACTUALLY done.

Friday night: Watched Blackbook by Paul Verhoeven. A wonderful film. I sobbed like a baby for most of the final third. Carice von Houten playing Ellis was magnificent. I don't know why but anything about the second world war, particularly about the occupied countries always really upsets me. I realised at one point that I was sitting there with my hand curled so tightly into a fist that my nails were digging into my palm.

Saturday: two birthday parties - my son went to his friend up the road's part and had a ball. I did the shopping. My husband worked on shelves for the kids room (yay!). We then thought we would go out and work on the garden. And opened the back door. And the heavens opened. So I had a nap instead. Bliss! Then we went to another birthday party, this time for our friend's one year old. They also live on our road. We met more neighbours. Yay.

That night we watched The Curse of the Golden Flower which was spectacular but maddeningly hard to follow. There were a couple of Pirates of the Carribean moments as in "Whose side is X on now?" *shrug* But thoroughly enjoyable and fantastic to look at. And really really depressing! But in the prettiest way.

So a non-Hollywood filmic weekend, which can be an eye-opener. For a really enthralling film though, I'd recommend Blackbook.

Sunday: Visited hardware shop. Visited parents. And (highlight for me) I went to the Messiah for All concert in Monkstown. This is an annual event which my Dad's choir organises where the whole Messiah is performed, and the "audience" brings their own librettos and joins in the chorus parts. It gives the effect of a mass chorus and is thoroughly enjoyable. It's the beginning of my Christmas and has been for some years. The Hallelujah chorus is phenominal. Last night they were accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Cecilia and I think I now prefer the orchestral accompaniment to the organ one. It was beautiful. There is a moment in the final Great Amen when the choir stops and the melody is played briefly. Noramlly as I said this is an organ piece, but last night it was played by two violins in perfect harmony. Then the full choral power of about four hundred people took over and raised the roof.

The soloists were marvelous, particularly the soprano, Anna Devin who I think is very much someone to watch out for. Let's just put it this way. She sang Rejoice Greatly, and smiled like someone actually rejoicing, just like the song says! You don't always see that. Fab!

I'm shattered! And run off my feet this morning!

Writing? What's that?

I need to start thinking about the LH end of year contest too.

Not feeling well. Nothing turning up in tests, but totally blah!  No energy and not a lot of ability to do much. I do keep falling asleep on the sofa remarkably effectively however.

I am home from work anyway minding my son who is on half-term this week. I took him to see Stardust today and it was WONDERFUL! Empire called it "The Princess Bride" for the 21st century. They may be right.

Anyway, once I have the kids to bed, I think a bath and an early night are in order. I have so many crits to catch up on, and slush, and my own writing, but I am totally wiped out!

Have you guessed that I am not a good patient.
The reason for said excitement is not actually the holiday (for once) but instead is the book that I stumbled across in the local bookshop at lunchtime today - Stephen R. Lawhead's Hood. 

Stephen Lawhead + Robin Hood + Fantasy + the early years of Norman England!!!!!!!!

So I have picked my holiday reading then. Actually its sitting on my desk here. I've already read the prologue. But not here. NO, that was in the shop. I am trying to stop myself from turning to those magical words "Chapter 1".

Yes, I still haven't finished Crossstitch, or Terry Brooks' autobio. Yes, I have a pile of books to read, including Simon Greene and things I borrowed off people ages ago, and the Dark Is Rising Sequence which I need to reread before the film comes out in case they butcher it. (which looks likely given the trailers).

There is also the fact that I don't buy books. Not just like that. I go away, I read reviews, I see if they're in the library, I borrow them from friends and family. But buy a new book, in a bookshop, on first sight, the first of a series I haven't already read at least 7 of? - well, that's just hasty!

But... but... Robin Hood!

I mean this is up there with my childhood love of pirate movies. Errol Flynn has a lot to answer for.

Seriously thought, I will watch ANY adaptation of the Robin Hood legend, even the awful Xena type one (with aliens) from a few years back, the geographically challenged Prince of Thieves (Hadrian's wall? On the way from Dover to Nottingham?) even the marginally less awful recent BBC one. If it involves those magic two words, I'm hooked. Completely.

So, two more days to the holiday. Can I hold off reading the book before it? Well... we'll just have to see, won't we?

Early indications are... Unlikely.
rflong: (Clock)
( Jul. 18th, 2007 10:15 am)
Thrilled with a Moy Tura Echoes scene I wrote last night involving Tuan, the search for the Lia Fail and general practices in this country when it comes to building motorways (i.e plough through an area thick with archaeological treasures as quickly as possible and hope no one notices, blindly ignoring those who do). All happy with m'self! Yes, I know, I get a little too jazzed when things go well.

Although I may have just invented a secret order of nuns who guard the holy grail. Didn't intend to. They sort of popped out suddenly when I wasn't looking.

Meanwhile Nuada is negotiating with the King of Sidhe in Newgrange at night. (Which worries me as it wasn't night anywhere else when I looked. Rats! WIll have to change that then).

Why won't they do what I tell them?????

And as for the villains, where the hell have they gone? Really have to track them down. Which was what Nuada was meant to be doing. This thing needs some action and it needs it quick! I feel a demonic black dog attack coming on. That'll teach them.

Anyway, struggling on, half in this world, half in that. I need to do some work on May Queen too, just to get the next part ready for the crit group. And I have to do crits.

We watched Pan's Labyrinth last night which was just phenomenal! One of those wonders of European cinema which after standard Hollywood fare is like having your eyes washed out in lemon juice! Fantasy, disturbing, historical, tear jerking, and a line which made me laugh out loud and yell my agreement to the screen. Luckily I was at home rather than in a cinema. My husband still gave me that look though. Oh, and it had one of the scariest, childhood nightmare inspired scenes of a demon, The Pale Man, which ate kids and had his eyes in the palms of his hands. Yuk and Wow!

It's both inspiring and depressing. I wish I could write like that!

At home, the kitchen is going to be done this weekend. We dragged ourselves and the children around shops looking for cookers, fridges, freezers and tumble driers yesterday evening. It was kind of hell on earth, as we were all too tired to do it and my daughter mainly signified this by screaming at the top of her voice. But we've picked what we want and can now order them. Fingers crossed they will be available before the weekend. The cooker is the main thing. The others we can slot in when they come but we need a cooker! Much as I would love to live on take away for a while, I don't think my waistline would handle it too well. It's taken long enough to get back to a reasonable clothes size as it is!!!

rflong: (Default)
( Jun. 11th, 2007 09:34 am)

I don't care what anyone says. I loved Pirates 3. Maybe I don't have refined tastes. I thought it was a ball. I loved the truly surreal moments, the "nobody move - I've dropped my brain" line, the action, the twists and the double dealing. I loved the end. I even - *gasp* Shock horror - think I might love all Orlando Bloom's chest shots!

Don't get me wrong - I am a Johnny Depp girl through and through and have, up to this point, found Bloom far too girly and squeaky clean in every part I've seem him play.

Perhaps he's grown up. Perhaps I've turned into a bone fide "dirty old woman" (tm).

I have always loved pirate films and their ilk. As a kid I used to watch Erroll Flynn and the Gainsborough type films on Saturday afternoons. - Captain Blood, The Wicked Lady, Son of Fury, The Sea Hawk, Anything with a pirate ship, swords and some buckles being swashed and I was in there. In like Flynn! :D I suppose this has carried over into the Sword and Sorcery stories which I just find so fulfilling.

I love to watch a thought provoking, esoteric film with exquisite character development and finely tuned plots. But I also love to be entertained. And this is what Pirates 3 did for me last night. 

Complete with swords, cannons, Orly's chest, Geoffrey Rush's scenery chewing and Johnny's totally off the wall performance. Actually Johnny and Geoffry seemed to be competing for who could devour the most scenery in the fastest time possible but there you go. In parts it was utterly surreal, which is also unusual in a Hollywood summer blockbuster.

I just keep drifting off and replaying little bits in my head!

Perhaps its a good thing when a film gets a poor review when it deserves (in my opinion) better. When you go, you expect the worst. This was never going to be the same as the first movie (anymore than Return of the Jedi was like Star Wars). But it was a rousing finale.

And yes, they did leave the way open for another one...

What else did we expect?




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