Making a comeback

So I never had many posts on here but I’m gonna start blogging again. ym a graduate now, have had one full time job, which came to a rather sad end about a month ago now.

 

I’m going to talk about whatever I like. Write a few reviews, comment on things and there May even be some snippets of my new script! Also I’m planning a trip to Ireland because it’s beautiful and the last time I was there I was far too young to remember it.

 

So that’s about all for now. If you’re interested in what I have to say let me know what you want to hear about. Now its time for me to start planning some posts!

Here’s an epic Irish song and some rather nice looking men to enjoy…

 

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I have recently come across ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’ a very successful video blog taking the viewer through Austen’s classical novel, Pride and Prejudice. I’ve heard a lot of people say how great it is but I didn’t really check it out until I saw one of my favourite authors, Julia Quinn, keep posting about how she couldn’t stop watching them.

So I gave it a go, and I have to say for a modern adaptation it’s not bad. I’m coming to it very late – it started roughly a year ago. I’m only on episode three so very behind the times with it.

There are 95 short episodes – each under 5 minutes. It has a huge following and pages on all necessary social media: Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Just the amount of likes on the YouTube videos are a good indicator of it’s popularity.

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Hank Green started the idea to vlog the famous book and created the project with Bernie Su. While the story is mainly told through the YouTube videos, it is also supported by vlogs from other characters and interaction through the different social media. It is scripted and the actors are professionally trained, volunteering their time to bring this classic novel to a new generation who may not even think to pick up the book.

Now, I am a massive fan of the book and I have seen other adaptations and there are plenty set in the modern era as well as reiterations of the period drama. One of the recent attempts was ITV’s Lost in Austen where we see Amanda Price go through a portal in her bathroom and enter the Austen world  causing all sorts of issues with her modern ways – handing out lip gloss, singing ‘Downtown’ and being caught smoking a cigarette. The mini-series received critical praise but struggled in the ratings. When I watched it a few years later I found it to be very light-hearted and a good effort, but not something that will always be viewed. A good adaptation for anyone to watch if they’re reading the book for school but it really shouldn’t be taken seriously.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is another light-hearted adaptation. From the formal language in the novel to the contemporary language we use today, it’s a bit odd in how it somehow works so well.

_LBdiaries

When you get quotes like this, it’s not hard to see why.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are a lighthearted, frivolous and thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of the novel and now i’m off to watch more.

Add to basket?

Following my post on e-books and print books I found this rather interesting article on The Guardian.

The ONS (Office for National Statistics) has added e-books into the basket of goods that measure the cost of living.

It’s really quite interesting that sales of e-books have impacted our revenue so much.

Nielsen and Kantar Worldpanel supplied data which suggests e-books accounted for 13%-14% of all book sales in the UK in 2012. This is following the decline of physical books in 2012 by £74m.

It’s all a bit scary. Though I reiterate what I said in my previous post: I do not believe digital books will completely eradicate print books. No matter what.

Relationship status: Single

I’ve recently become single and when I changed my Facebook relationship status I was a bit dumbfounded by the response.

I instantly had several people comment on it asking if I was okay, or a simple ‘awww’ and plenty of sad-faced smileys. I was perfectly fine. It was a mutual decision yet this made me feel like I should have been upset about the break-up.

I also noticed another thing – no one commented on my ex-boyfriend’s status apart from one mutual friend with a simple sad-face smiley and another friend of his give a non-committal comment.

I found that pretty odd.

Why should I need more comforting than a guy? Did my friends instantly assume I was the one who was dumped? It certainly didn’t happen that way. I know girls often talk more about feelings and I don’t doubt that he had his close friends around to ‘help’ him through it.

I hope I acted pretty responsibly by refusing to talk about it publicly on Facebook. Now to wait for the Facebook ads directed towards one more single person.

I got to thinking a bit more about this and realised that Facebook has ultimately changed the way we communicate. With my change of status as an example, only a few of my friends actually thought to text/ring me, instead putting their sympathies out for the world to see.

A lot of people talk about the negativity around Facebook and how it’s going downhill because of all it’s privacy issues (but that is a topic for another time) but the communication over Facebook can be awful. It can also be good, you may have some friends on the social media giant that you don’t see all the time so you catch up on Facebook and everything’s fine and dandy. But what about those friends who you never speak to?

This brings down communication skills. The addition of text-speak and acronyms such as Lol or dillygaf that circulate the internet don’t exactly give you much hope for the coming generations who are going to be getting onto these sites at younger and younger ages.

But social media does have a shelf life – just look at old sites like Bebo and MySpace. Once Facebook dies – what will be the next social media giant?

Bath Lit Festival

I went along to the Bath Literature Festival the other week to sit in a debate with the delightful Robert Fisk.

It was really interesting to hear what he said about his time reporting on the Middle East and all the riots that have been going on, dictators and the huge amount of death in Syria. Okay that last part wasn’t a nice topic, but his views on it were very interesting.

I’m not one to really follow war correspondents in the news or things like that – I much prefer a lighter read. However, I will now be looking closer at what’s going on around the world and will definitely try and find his article in particular.

Before I went I thought the debate was going to be on a topic I didn’t know or understand with a speaker who would most likely be boring and monotonous. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Fisk brought the tragedy and the tyranny to life with his words, he brought up some truly emotive and poignant thoughts that churned around the mind as he spoke. There were some who opposed his ideas and tried to condemn him for repeating words and ideas from other people. However, Fisk dealt with all the questions and accusations easily and fairly. He gave plenty of time for everyone to speak even allowing the event to run over slightly to ensure everyone had their say. Then he sat down to sign books and continue talking to those who wished to speak to him.

He is one journalist who is firmly against certain aspects of US military management in the Middle East and I for one agree with him. These countries do not need more tanks and guns going in and forcing democracy onto countries that don’t want it. He also said to look out for the new dictators that we, the Western World, are creating.

Fisk still works as a journalist for the Independent and lives in Beirut with his wife, he really is a superb writer and speaker and I urge you all to form your own opinions of him but me? I’m a huge fan.

Digital Vs Print: Will e-books be the death of paperbacks?

The publishing world is constantly changing – a fact known by all who are currently in or trying to get in it. The biggest change is how technology is affecting this two millennia old profession as the twenty-first century brings about its newest trend: digital publishing. Within the scope of digital publishing one of the newest phases is the e-book. The explosion of e-books has had a massive impact on how we view the printed word in that it doesn’t have to be printed at all. But what does this mean for the good old paperback and hardback?

There’s a lot of disagreement when the first e-book came about. Here’s a pretty nifty infographic which can explain it much better than I. Nowadays there are plenty of e-book readers to choose from such as the Apple iBooks, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Nook just to name a few.

However, we no longer want  just an e-reader or that’s what the companies are trying to tell us. No, we want to be able to read a book/magazine/newspaper, play a game, update our Twitter and Facebook status and watch YouTube videos. I’m sure this is just the start. This is where Nook seems to be falling short as there are rumours that revenue is down almost 9%. It seems that it simply cannot keep up with the giants that are Apple and Amazon.

I have only recently joined the e-book craze. Despite being a Creative Writing student I was adamant I didn’t want a Kindle or an e-reader. I liked my books. I wanted the feel of something physical, the smell of an old book, the texture of the pages beneath my fingers. Then I was given one and to be honest, I don’t use it as much as I could do. It’s great for classic books as they’re free and most of the books I would buy are cheaper in the e-book form than if they are published. I really cannot wait until I get a chance to go on holiday and take my Kindle instead of five books.

So in answer to the question, I think there is a place for both printed and digital books. Digital book sales may soar and print books may become a niche market, but I do not believe we will ever lose printed books. No matter what happens.

Do you agree?

…and call it Steampunk

So with my novel I have been completely captivated by the notion of Steampunk. It’s a fascinating subject with some ambiguous laws and very distinct differences between other sub-genres such as Dieselpunk.

Unfortunately, Steampunk is still only a sub-genre so when i say I’m writing a steampunk novel i mostly get blank stares and one question: What is steampunk? Well, according to Wikipedia its ‘a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired industralised Western civilisation during the 19th century.’

To be honest, that defines the term…but it does not show the passion which people have for steampunk. The fascination and the dedication to this cult genre. Simply put ‘steampunk’ into Google image search and you’ll some very interesting pictures of people dressed in crazy costumes with lace, corsets and brass galore.

steampunk people

How delightfully Victorian is that?

Of course, steampunk doesn’t just refer to people’s apparel, people put steampunk to all sorts of things…

steampunk laptop

Of course, there are some fools who haven’t quite got the steampunk affliction and are simply trying it out as a new fad. These people are welcomed into the steampunk communities on the internet and drawn in if possible, but there will always be others waiting to fill their space if they decide steampunk is not for them. It is mainly a visually orientated genre but you can now find more and more steampunk books pushing themselves onto the shelves. One I read recently was Chris Wooding’s Retribution Falls which was simply amazing. Full of adventure, intrigue and airships.

However, steampunk books are not a new idea. They are not the most popular idea – go to any steampunk convention and you will see tables upon tables of jewellery, gadgets and gizmos and maybe one table selling books. The grandfather of Steampunk, James P. Blaylock mentions this in his article in the Huff Post and goes on to how he is known as the original steampunk writer, once K.W. Jeter coined the term in 1988.

Now if that hasn’t convinced you there is more about steampunk than just dressing up like a victorian with an abundance of cogs, gears and rivets about your person – maybe this will…

Colourful Tubes and Pretty Lights

So if you haven’t been living under a rock then you’ll know that Google has opened it’s doors and invited us all to take a gander at it’s Server Farms.

This is a big thing for people who are interested – which is about 90% of the internet. If you’re not so interested then maybe you should take a look. It’s pretty BIG NEWS. Plus the pictures are pretty.

Clever colour choice for the pipes!

More colours…

One of the reasons why this is such a big thing is that Google took such great pains to hide their technology before. This was for our own privacy as stated on the official Google Blog ‘our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it’. Some might ask how opening their server farms are protecting our privacy. However, sometimes you can make yourself safer by not hiding away. If everyone knows the secret then who wants to sneak in and find it out?

Of course with these images you can look – going in and touching or messing with the data at the server farms are a whole other kettle of fish. I presume that the security is as tight as ever. So all the time you spent procrastinating by looking at LolCats or Webfail are still hidden from the majority of the world unless someone particularly wants to break in and mess up the internet.

This is the beating heart of this new technological age. Within hours of their website going live and a walk-through video being posted on Youtube bloggers went crazy for this and now I suppose I’m one of them.

If you want a better look inside the server farms take a trip to their specially made website Where the Internet Lives or check out the video below…