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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Wow, I’m 3 for 3, and I even took a photo for your delectation!

Book 40 – Lady Oracle, by Margaret Atwood.  Joan Foster is a complicated woman, with a complicated history. After faking her own death she runs away to a small village in Italy to start a new life away from the fear and complexities of her own.  Alone and out of control, she thinks about the stages of her life and the people who have shaped her experiences. From fat child who used her weight as a weapon against her mother to loneliness in London; from a life with a Polish Count to bored housewife; from slush writer to acclaimed novelist, Joan has lost sight of her own identity.

However, she soon realises that running away is not quite as easy as she thought, and she knows someone is coming for her…

This book is actually really hard to explain, and in reading what I have written there I am not sure I have captured the essence of the story.  To me, this book is all about self, as in finding what exactly ‘self’ is to someone who has no clear idea who they are.

Despite her many accomplishments Joan still sees herself as the fat child: bullied and cajoled by others, fighting a battle of wills with her mother, even when her mother has passed away.  Her successful writing career is a secret from her husband because he won’t find her work sufficiently intellectual, and yet when she does finally make a literary impact he doesn’t support her anyway.  She hides her history, creating a new and more satisfying story for herself and in the meantime losing the opportunity to explain why she feels or behaves as she does.

Joan is not herself, and even when reading the book you wonder if her narrative is entirely accurate because there is so much of the world she chooses to hide, or ignore.

lady-oracle

I really enjoy reading Margaret Atwood because her characters drive the stories. There might be nothing in particular happening in a scene but their internal monologue is so convincing that you believe their dramatic explanations of events. They create drama even in the most simple of situations.

In this particular case you feel for Joan too – her lonely childhood punctuated by visits to an aunt who died in her teens, the naive way she accidentally ends up as a mistress, her desperate need to be loved fully and without judgement.  In creating a separate identity for her commercial writing she put part of herself behind a curtain and her husband never pulled it back.

This book was hard for me to put down once I started reading; I found the ending a bit odd but it was in keeping with the out of kilter nature of the story so worked in that context.  The characters were engaging, the story complicated but satisfying, and the style of writing full of depth and quality but fluid and easy to read – I never feel like I’m reading a thesaurus when reading Atwood, despite her clever and rich use of language.

As someone who enjoys this style of writing I would definitely recommend the book; I always enjoy books about the human experience.  This has more to it than just the one theme, but it’s the element which most interests me and therefore the one I absorb!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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Apparently I used up all my energy on yesterday’s post because the lurgy is back and I am writing this wrapped up feeling sorry for myself.

So it seemed a sensible time to go back to my Mediterranean sunshine images and find a few to share.

BudsSunset

Maybe they’ll cheer you up like they do me, or inspire a bit of writing, or maybe they’ll make you want to head off on your own holiday!

I’ve limited the number but there are lots so don’t be surprised if we head back there another time!

Whatever they make you think, I hope it’s posMeditive!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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Ending with a whimper, not a bang I’m afraid – I have been poorly today and unable to write…

I will write my book review tomorrow, if I am better.  In the meantime I am leaving you with this picture from my holiday.  Mostly because I need to remember that there is sunshine somewhere, even if it’s not where I live!

Blue sky

Happy writing,

EJ

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It’s my last full night away so I will be trying to turn one of these backwards, just for a few hours more.Time waits for no man

Saying that, I do love being away, but I do love coming home too! Hopefully I will have a lot of fun, exciting and entertaining memories to share – or at least a lot of writing done!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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I am still on my jaunt to discover another beautiful place; I love to be able to explore a little of the environment when I am away, even if I’m not the type of person who braves rock-climbing and skiing!

Today’s inspiration is on that theme; it’s not a new photo but it is a place I hold in my heart:

The Tides they are a changingThis is the beach we were on last May – the grey-looking lines are the black volcanic sand, the white the golden sand that sits on top of it. When we put our feet in the waves and the sea rolled back, these lines were created from the lighter golden sand washing away.

It looks like art to me – but then nature is like that!

I hope you can see the beauty in it too.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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My feet are by now on Spanish island soil, and I’ll be getting into the sunshine spirit – but I still need to fulfil my promise to you!  So here is today’s inspiration:

Mask for tea This picture is called, jokingly, mask for tea, because it’s all set up ready for me to eat it…  It is a very small reminder of a great Christmas night out with one of my best friends – and I still have the mask!

What I love about this is that the mask is so dramatic but a dinner table is fairly mundane, so the two together look rather incongruous, especially without the back story.  It gives an awful lot to ponder from a writing point of view.

So there we have it – May inspiration straight from December last year!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I am on holiday – woohoo!

So for the next week I’ll be unable to blog and you’ll have to put up with a bunch of pre-prepared posts (say that 20 times fast!) but these are things in my world I find inspiring.

Today’s offering is this – a book mark.  A few years ago, I got a set of these with a calendar; there was one for use each month.  Now I just use whichever one I can find – this was November’s!

Culture MarkThe reason I find this inspirational is because it is a brief snapshot of another culture, one I will never experience and can never fully understand – but I can read about it, look at images like this, and imagine it.

It makes it possible, in other words, to escape my reality and make a new one, and what fiction writer doesn’t do that?!

The bookmark has to have a friend, of course – and that brings me on to this week’s challenge Tuesday…

Book 20 – North of Nowhere, by Liz Kessler.  First, I will tell you I bought this because I liked the name, and only when I started reading it did I find out it was YA!  This is the story of Mia, a 13 year old girl, whose world is thrown into chaos when her grandad disappears.  Taken to quiet, boring Porthaven for the week to support her gran, Mia finds herself in the middle of an impossible reality…

So, as I said, this was a YA, and therefore not directed at me.  However, I rather enjoyed it.  There are three strands of the story – Mia and her missing grandad, her friend Peter, and the mysterious Dee.  These are neatly interwoven and although I could pick up the outcome relatively early on, I’m not sure if a younger reader could. Mainly because they might not have seen Terminator…

The style of writing is complex enough to keep me engaged, and I always appreciate YA books written without condescension; there’s nothing I like less than being spoken down to in a book!

Overall, I liked this story – it was descriptive, the characters were well-drawn and the premise worked well.

Happy reading,

EJ

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