Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blood Diamond

Ok, so I’m about as up-to-date as a paper version of Encyclopaedia Britannica. That’s what happens when you are SuperBusinessWoman, SuperMum, SuperCook and SuperNovelist... you don’t have time to be SuperViewer. Nevertheless, following the decision to take it easy (ok, easier), I’ve actually watched a movie.

“Blood Diamond” didn’t appeal to me when it was released, chiefly thanks to the violence and the war-with-child-soldiers theme. Still, my Afrophilic tendencies won, and I watched one of the best films made in the last couple of years.

While the script of “Blood Diamond” may not offer many twists or turns or original turns of phrase, the acting and the photography are Oscar-worthy. The message is there, a tad too obvious perhaps, but it’s an important message nonetheless. The leading man is gorgeous. And the accents warm my heart.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life is too short

Life is too short to read mediocre books and I’ve been reading too many mediocre books lately. Nothing truly awful, just clumsy an unmemorable.

There was that debut about a woman re-inventing herself post her husband’s death in a car accident which may not have been an accident - an interesting premise filled with too many uninteresting scenes. No, I don’t remember the title or the author.

Then there was that crime novel, a classic. It was supposed to have a brilliant twist at the end. I didn’t get past page 1.

One that I actually enjoyed was a comedian’s take on dating (non-fiction). If only it had a point, like that life is too short for mediocre sex encounters... or to short for marriage when so much fun can be had playing the field. The message I was left with, however was this:
· All women f---. You must just discover what makes them tick and decide whether you care enough to put it into action.
· All men f---. You must just name the time and the place.
Deep stuff.

Another non-fiction book I read almost to the end was inspirational, up to a point. It talked about the fashionable topic of thinking positive thoughts to attract the things you want in life. And you know, I actually believe the stuff works. Perhaps not exactly the way such books describe, but I agree with a lot of the principles: love, forgiveness, faith, believing in yourself. I stopped reading this particular one, however, when it tried to explain the phenomenon scientifically, using - nay, abusing - the author’s shaky understanding of quantum physics.

Perhaps the best bits of writing I had the pleasure to read lately were some of the entries in the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest and the entries in a local writing competition I’m judging. Which makes me wonder whether unpublished books aren’t currently better than what’s on the shelves. Which in turn makes me think that perhaps life is too short to chase publication at all cost....

(Yeah, ok, easy for me to say.)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Amazon Breakout Novel Contest

The Amazon Breakout Novel contest fever has broken past Ridiculous on the RealityCheckOmeter and is now registering PlainSilly. The constant debates as to who the lucky finalists will be. The review swaps. The nagging of your nearests and dearests (who are rapidly becoming not so near, while you're becoming even less dear) to comment and console and keep track.

I am anything but immune. So here is a desperate plea to those of you who haven't yet: please check out Substitute Wives, a semi finalist in http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001200CFK and make your voice count.