I recently watched Midnight in Paris – a 2011 Woody Allen film about a struggling American writer on holiday in Paris with his fiancée. The lead character Gil wishes in lived in Paris in the 1920′s when everything was far more magical and inspiring for writers and one night his fantasy comes true.
I really enjoyed this film – it’s romantic and funny and magical and if you’re a writer, you will definitely with Gil and his fantasies. It got me wondering if I had the opportunity to go back in time and experience a different era – which would I choose? The answer came pretty quickly. I fell in love with Jane Austen in my early teens and the love affair remains strong to this day. I’d love to get sucked back to her time and be able to live in the world she did.
Reasons why I would love to visit the Regency era of Jane Austen:
1. Courtship appears far more romantic – men are gentlemanly, dating is chaperoned and you fall in love at grand balls and across the table at dinner.
2. You get to wear long dresses and fancy gowns for special occasions made just for you.
3. No cars. Just horse-drawn carriages.
4. There’s no TV or internet so much more time for reading and writing. I’d have to give sewing a miss as I’m useless.
5. You actually have to converse with people and spend time with them. No calling on the phone or texting allowed.
Of course, if I did go back, I’d have to be a wealthy lady. I quite fancy a grand country pile somewhere. And I’d obviously bump into Mr Darcy, because he was real, and he’d sweep me off my feet.
Okay my imagination has carried me away as usual but I would definitely recommend Midnight in Paris if you want some pure escapism.
Which era would you go back to you if you could?
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 23, 2012
Ever since I watched Beauty and the Beast, I’ve dreamed of having my very own library like the one in the Beast’s castle or at the very least a huge bookshelf of my very own.
At the moment, I lack enough space but I keep buying books anyway in the hopes that one day I’ll be able to create one. I like to buy fancy hardcover versions of my favourite books and keep books that I’ve read and enjoyed.
This is probably why I haven’t succumbed to a Kindle yet – I can’t bear the thought of no printed books around me. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I look at them lined up, I think about how I enjoyed them and how they’ve inspired me and just having great works in my line of vision spurs me on to write. I want to end up on a bookshelf one day
I’d love to have a reading room where I could curl up or write in a comfy space surrounded by books. Kind of like this ….
Do you have a library / book shelf dream? Or do you have your dream book space already? If so, add a photo for us to drool over!
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 1, 2012
I watched Something Borrowed at the weekend and when it finished, I felt compelled to disagree with its ending on Facebook. Usually I find rom coms thoroughly predictable, which I like because I can root for the couple through the film and feel happy at the end. This one through me a curve ball as the ending I predicted didn’t happen. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. I quite liked that the film surprised me and I did enjoy it but I was rooting for something else than what they gave me.
I think endings are hard in books and films. On one hand, you want some suspense element so you can wonder what will happen and maintain your interest but I hate completely curve ball endings that make you wonder why you bothered. It’s a fine line for a creator to balance. Surprise vs. satisfaction. A twist vs. predictability. A make-up-your-own-mind ending vs. everyone and everything is happy.
Plus endings are important. If you pick the wrong one, you can destroy all the good stuff before it. An ending is also the deciding point for the audience / reader on whether they liked or didn’t like it. I still remember how nervous I was reading the last Harry Potter, praying that the ending would satisfy after so many years invested in the series. I still remember watching the last ever Dawson’s Creek with everything crossed for Joey and Pacey. Or the WTF? I wanted to scream at the end of War of the Worlds. I mean, seriously what was that about?!
What endings do you like? What ending made you want to throw your TV / book out the window?
Posted by Victoria-writes on January 11, 2012
I just finished the funny “Lia’s guide to winning the lottery” by Keren David, a YA book about a teenage London girl who wins £8 million on the lottery.
Here’s what I learnt:
* Most women who win the lottery store the ticket in their bras for safe keeping
* If you go public with your win, a Facebook group slagging you off will follow
* If you are brought the ticket by a friend, make sure their mum never finds out or you’ll try to sue you
* The gorgeous guy at school you’ve had your eye on will suddenly find you attractive, and he might be a vampire
* Everyone will expect a lot of gifts
* You get a personal advisor and banker to help you manage your money and they will try to suck the fun out of your win
* Money can’t buy you new family and friends so you probably should buy them something nice
* Twilight isn’t real life so the gorgeous boy at school won’t turn out to be a vampire but you might just like him as a human
Who plays the lottery here? What would you do if you won?
Posted by Victoria-writes on November 18, 2011
I don’t think I would have put my hand up when asked if I was a girlie girl when I was a teenager. But spending my Sunday relaxing in a bubble bath using a body scrub and hair mask, I realised that I am definitely one now. I may not like pink but I definitely indulge in my girlie side.
Here’s the evidence:
1. I love to pamper myself. I love products. I get excited walking into Boots and seeing all the creams and lotions on sale.
2. I use make-up pretty much every day and have quite a large collection. And yes I don’t look good without it
3. I get very excited by accessories. Mainly handbags and scarves. I have far too many and my eye goes straight to them in a shop.
4. I have been to a Westlife concert. And enjoyed it.
5. I am a huge fan of Twilight. Mainly because I fell in love with Edward.
6. I’d like to be serenaded by Michael Buble and swept off my feet by Mr Darcy.
7. I love teddy bears. I have far too many for a woman my age. Plus they colour coordinate with my bedroom!
8. Pictures of animals like this make me melt:
9. I am not practical. I managed to fuse all the upstairs lights trying to change one bulb.
10. I love cupcakes especially if they have glitter on!
Any other girlie girls out there?
Posted by Victoria-writes on November 15, 2011
Searching for an agent to take on your manuscript and turn you into a published author is a bit like internet dating.
You search online, try and find one that matches your tastes and who you might have something in common with then you submit your profile – a submission aiming to tempt said agent into wanting to see more of you. It may be using a manuscript and not a photo but it’s the same leap into the unknown, the same “pick me please” chant at a stranger albeit with a different purpose in mind.
Then once they like what you can offer, they will like an internet date, try to woo you – maybe not with flowers or chocolates but with talks of book deals and career promises. Once you have agreed on both sides that you have chemistry, you enter into what will hopefully be a long term relationship. Although, unlike an online dating match, the agent will continue to look for new writers whereas you’d hope your new boyfriend would leave the dating site once they’ve found you!
I just hope I can find an agent who is attracted to me. Well, my writing obviously
Posted by Victoria-writes on October 13, 2011
In this country, and now America, if you want to be a pop star you can enter the X Factor. You get a chance to show your talent, personality, appearance and background to a panel of judges who take everything into account and choose their favourites to win a recording contract and go on to work in the music business. If you’re a writer, there’s no big money competition like this, you take your chance with individual agents and publishing houses. But what if there was such a competition, what would it look like? ….
The Book Factor
Finding the next J.K Rowling!
1. The panel
Firstly, you need a panel of judges. The X Factor currently has four judges – three of which are singers themselves and one is a music manager. The Book Factor could also have four judges – a literary agent, an editor at a top publishing house, an author and a book critic from a newspaper. These people should know what a “good” book looks likes, what type of writer could have a successful career and what it takes to hit the bestseller charts.
2. The categories
X Factor has four categories – girls, boys, over 25′s and groups. You could split wannabe authors by age or perhaps by the type of writer there are so we could have a category for adult fiction, non-fiction, children’s / young adult fiction and poetry.
3. The competition
X Factor has open auditions followed by boot camp auditions then a final selection by the judges who are given one category to mentor. In the book factor, writers could give a pitch for their book as the open audition, then the first chapter then a final audition of the first three chapters and synopsis. The judges could then mentor their picks and help them craft the final novel with a chapter revealed each week for the live shows when in X Factor the contestants sing live on stage. The viewers would then vote for a winner.
4. The prize
The X Factor offers a recording contract so the Book Factor would have to offer a publishing contract. Instead of an album deal, a one or two book deal with a top UK publisher. A marketing campaign would follow as with the X Factor and likely the book would hit no.1 as the winners song does for the X Factor.
Would you enter the book Factor?
Posted by Victoria-writes on October 10, 2011
Here’s what has popped my cork this week ….
I brought ….
Tickets to see Evanescence and The Pretty Reckless in November at Hammersmith Apollo. Yay something to look forward to!
I watched …
The series 4 boxset of Gossip Girl. Everyone is so pretty and glam on that show it makes me sick but I love all the drama and taste of New York life! It ended on a great cliffhanger so bring on series 5! Until then, I’m going to crack on with Vampire Diaries series 2 and Fringe series 3.
I embraced the start of September …
I got my first boots of the winter from River Island (£40) and then the sun came out Oh well, at least I’m prepared!
I crossed my fingers…
Laura (http://laughteriscatching.com/) alerted me to the Cosmo blog awards 2011 (http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmopolitan-blog-awards-2011/cosmo-blog-awards-2011). You can either nominate yourself or your favourite blog to win an award!
Here’s a bit of shameless hinting for you …
What did you find this week?
*** new playlist on the music page – road trip songs ***
Posted by Victoria-writes on September 2, 2011
I needed a button sewn this weekend and having no sewing skills whatsoever I had to plead with my mum who hates sewing herself to help me out. Growing up, I had no instruction at school in sewing, knitting, mending and it’s left me pretty short when it comes to practical know-how.
I think it’s real shame that such skills seems to be dying out. I love clothes and am always moaning how things in shops never look or fit quite right. I’d love to be able to make my own clothes or be a whizz at the sewing machine but I’m hopeless! If I’m ever able to cut down on work I’d love to take a class so I can finally learn these things.
I actually did learn to knit although my skills are pretty low rent and did produce two winter scarves. I attempted to do a throw for my room but gave up because nothing looked right. I find it frustrating and disappointing that I’m not creative in this way.
If there was ever a clothes shortage, I think my generation would be pretty hopeless at getting through it. We live in such a disposal society now – people can buy a cheap top from Primark rather than mend an old favourite or make their own clothes but it’s sad to see the art dying out I think. I hope one day I can learn to do something otherwise if I ever have children I’ll have to buy them new shirts because I can’t sew on new buttons
How are your sewing skills?
Posted by Victoria-writes on August 22, 2011
I thought I’d try out a new weekly post to add to my Sunday Songs so here is the premiere of Friday Finds!
This post will be an opportunity for me to talk about things that I found during the week – books, films, TV shows, clothes, products, music etc and hopefully talk them out of my system before they become an obsession
Ok so this week…
I listened to …
Charlie Simpson’s album Young Pilgrim
Charlie started out his musical life in boy band Busted before joining a heavy rock band. This is his debut solo album and it’s far superior to any of his previous musical journeys. Heartfelt, mostly acoustic and solely written and performed by Charlie, it’s a gorgeous record and well worth picking up.
I watched ….
Absolutely Fabulous was a 90′s sitcom starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as heavy drinking and heavy smoking best friends. I’ve been re-watching the box set and this show still makes me laugh out loud. Completely crazy and utterly over-the-top. Rumours persist a new series is on its way, fingers crossed!
I brought …
Boots was offering a free Rimmel eyeliner if you spend over £6 so I ended up with two mascaras, blush, eye shadow and lip gloss oops! But at least I got my free eye liner
I read …
Bree Despain’s The Lost Saint – the second novel in the Grace Divine series. I thought this was a solid book, as good as the first novel combining romance, mystery and some great action tied in with religious mythology. Worth a read.
What do you think of this theme? What have you discovered this week?
Posted by Victoria-writes on August 19, 2011