A Messy Business – I have been blogged!

Jason Beech was kind enough to interview me for his fabulous blog Messy Business!

If you haven’t read this super blog before then you have missed a treat. It’s not the usual stuff.

The questions were a little crazy – or maybe that was me  :). The interview is part of a sequence in which some very imaginative writers talk about what inspires them, and why they do it. But the best bit is where Jason creates a  really cool story featuring the writers themselves – a scary gangster lady – who me?

 You have the right to remain silent … here goes…

I’m at the pelican crossing, Madness’ Shut Up loud through the car speakers, the rain in competition with the beat. I drum the steering wheel and if I had whiskers I’d twiddle them and slurp some cream. The woman walks slow, her tartan shopping trolley rickety and bound to get stuck in the road’s shallowest cracks. I reach back to touch the bag on the back seat and grin.

The windscreen wipers thud dull and work to ruin Suggs’ cheeky excuse and I realise the old woman is too slow, even for an octogenarian.

Too late, and I should have known. The woman slides out a shotgun from the trolley and points it at me. I slam the accelerator and she swings and arcs her body to avoid my car’s bullhorns. She fires and a tyre bursts. I slip, slide and do an unintentional one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn. The airbag punches my face and sends my nose to the left.

I shake the fuzz away and check the rear view for Sonia Kilvington. She holds the shotgun over a shoulder and swaggers all Joan Jett my way. I grab the bag and slide out the passenger side. I stumble and slip as privet leaves are scythed by shotgun pellets behind me. I hear the reload and the click as she fires again. Read more

 

 

 

 

You’re Not Supposed to Cry ∼ Gary Duncan

After I mentioned this book by Gary Duncan in the previous post (when I was interviewed by Fiona Mcvie), I thought it would be a good idea to write a book review – as hopefully, you will already be aware, I try to keep  a balanced  blend of books, travel pieces and my own writing on this site, and I haven’t reviewed any new books for almost a year!

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So why this one? Obviously, I really enjoyed reading it or I wouldn’t be posting this; but what was so special about it? This book is actually a collection of flash fiction – around 60 in total, each one beautifully crafted and insightful from writer and editor Gary Duncan, who runs the website Spelk, which is dedicated to amazing pieces of flash fiction. Do I have a personal favorite? , Yes of course, for me it got to be Better Than This,  in which a young man with sex on his mind, is lured into babysitting for a woman who appears to have no moral qualms about deceiving him, or leaving her young children with someone she barely knows; in order to enjoy a night out with her equally horrible boyfriend. The story made me smile, but horrified me at the same time!

In this collection, the situations and characters are very flawed and human, and there are many layers of complexity, which draw you into a fragmented, but instantly recognizable, fictional world. But instead of  me wittering on  endlessly about how much I  enjoyed it, here is my actual review:

This superb collection of flash fiction offers readers a perfectly formed, miniature world of other people’s wishes, desires, dreams and regrets. The elegant but understated writing style creates a dynamic tension between the simplicity of the stories, and the complexity of the lives and actions of the beautifully formed characters, which we are observing. Each story, memory, fragment and feeling, has been crafted with a very poignant sense of emotional intelligence.  Some stories are subtle; some will make you smile, while others are uncompromisingly honest. This book is a kaleidoscope of multifaceted characters and situations, whom you will remember long after you have finished reading; finding their hopes, fears and very human humiliations, have somehow, quite imperceptibly, blended into your own.

Yes – it really is that good – but don’t just take my word for it! – check it out for yourself…

 

Gary’s book at Vagabond Voices

At Amazon co.uk

Sci- fi Review! 10 Cloverfield Lane~Synchronicity~ Uncanny

10 Cloverfield Lane vs Cloverfield
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I must admit to being a big fan of the alien Invasion genre; so it was great to see what an amazing job the makers of the Cloverfield franchise, have done with their latest film, 10 Cloverfield Lane. In the original film, which was out in 2008, the alien invasion began in Manhattan, New York, with a monstrous almost mammalian type alien, inflicting its own brand of terror on city residents. The original film had its viewing drawbacks in that it was supposed to be shot on a home video recorder, complete with shaky shots and sharp camera angles, which were quite a trend in those days, especially in paranormal films of that era…

The new 10 Cloverfield Lane has none of this home movie quality about it, and would have been an excellent psychological thriller in its own right, even without those poisonous gasses spreading predators.  John Goodman is superb as the psychopathic Howard, who runs a very tight bunker indeed. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)the main character is tenacious, aggressive and resourceful, much like Ripley in the Alien films.  The aliens, it must be noted, have been updated since their original outing in 2008; they have a more much sophisticated looking spacecraft and lethal toxic gas at their disposal.

The thing I really liked about 10 Cloverfield Lane, was that it wasn’t a strict sequel from the first film, because the invasion happens simultaneously in a different area; but as the characters were holed up in a bunker for an undisclosed period, this also allows for the passage of time from the original invasion. Apart from the wonderful acting, it is the first film I have seen in years that made me literally jump out of my skin…poor Emmett!

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It had all of the hall marks of a decent Sci- fi film, but it seriously failed to deliver on that promise.  We have an obsessed scientist who was trying to create a wormhole for the purpose of time travel (always a good thing). But his scientific obsessions are quickly derailed when he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman, rapidly transferring his obsession on to her. The whole movie is set in a small laboratory and a seventies style, concrete block of flats, which doesn’t add that much to the atmosphere.

The obsessed scientist spends much of his time running through a tinfoil tunnel (so achingly low budget) and repeating earlier scenes, which have apparently acquired new depth and meaning, with small dramatic tweaks now added. Most of us have seen this type of thing before, (it was done beautifully Memento 2000 with Guy Pearce), and this film really doesn’t have the depth or brilliant acting, to make it that interesting, unfortunately.

Uncanny (2015)

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For lovers of all things android! It has a solid plot and some real potential, when a struggling but beautiful young journalist interviews a reclusive, brilliant scientist, and discovers he has made exciting new progress in creating a stunning, realistic looking android; who is trying to learn the nuances of being human. The journalist agrees to spend time with these two strange males, and a love triangle ensues. I am not going to give away any spoilers, but the whole plot hinges on a dramatic twist ending, which unfortunately seems to make nonsense of the previous half hours dialogue. Still worth watching though – especially if you like androids…

Travel Blog

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 Hi!  If you didn’t already know, I have a travel blog on blogger,  and here is my latest post at:

http://soniawriter.blogspot.com/2015/05/bucharest-romanitic-romania.html

 If you fancy a little armchair travelling, why not let me whisk  you away to an exotic destination?