Sunday, 26 July 2015

It's really about time

It's really about time that I linked my EVE review of About Time (2013) on here. For those that might remember, back in September of last year I did a long appreciation/critical post about said film here:

Meanwhile I later reviewed the same film for EVE from a more generic viewpoint for the general reader who might not exactly be interested in all the little filming details. Here it is and, despite that we are now in July and not January as stated in the piece, I would still suggest the particular film to many a type of people. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Rounding up the week

I am writing this to the sound of the microwave cooking my fish - note: healthy meal - at ten pm on a Sunday evening. Not the ideal time to be doing any kind of updating at all, especially when I am once again lacking enough good nights of sleep in a row.

On the other hand a Sunday night is a good time to reflect on the previous week with all its ups and downs and curiosities so I will today be doing just that - giving an overview (in random train of thought mode) of this past week.

I mentioned in the very first sentence how I am cooking a healthy meal. I doubt the pizza I had at midday would also count as such but then again that was an emergency plan amid housework, a child in an inventive (and therefore potentially disastrous) mood and no one else around to do the cooking. Please do note I mean I ate pizza, not my son... I am very diligent in cooking healthy food for him but given that he doesn't eat the same things we do (think he still loves boiled veggies, plain rice or pasta, bovril or egg topping on the pasta, and practically nothing else but more veggies and chicken) I think it would be a very boring diet for myself to just always make more of the same for myself.

Anyways, food is not one of the topics in question. But Bridget Jones is! I am still reading Bridget Jones: Mad about The Boy. I don't usually take this long on a book. I do confess I read two more books in between - one being a very useful book about decluttering and the other being a memoir that was important for me to read for one of my upcoming articles. However the fact that I needed to share my reading-time between different books is unfortunately not the only reason why I am still slowly flipping through the pages of Fielding's third BJ instalment. When BJ is funny, it is hilariously funny, and I must say might even top the first two books. BUT, and it's a very big BUT, I think this plot is too much like more of the same to be really considered a masterpiece like the first two (most notably Bridget Jones' Diary). It is true that given we are still reading about the same character there can't be much changed about the character aspect, but I have to confess I am quite disappointed in this book anyway. To put it bluntly - the one thing keeping me on edge is who, if anyone, is Bridget going to end up with by the end of the book. I'd love it to be Daniel, have a feeling it's not Roxter, and would bet my money on the PE teacher. Do not worry, this was not a spoiler alert - I am still reading the book myself and this is just my speculation, not based on any info at all that I could really pinpoint other than maybe experience with plots. I have been proven wrong before though, more than once, so there - rest assured you will still have an enjoyable 'will they, will they not?' till the end of it if you do still intend to read the book following my disappointment.

And I've gone on too long about the book so here's moving on to other stuff that's happening:

1) I got my driver's license! At a pretty old age you might be thinking. Unfortunately there were quite a few bumps (and a swollen knee ligament) and being-too-broke issues as well as babysitting problems involved in my actually getting to the test, following the one I did back in 2006 (yes that long ago!) which I'd failed miserably. Oh don't worry, I haven't been taking lessons from 2006 to now or I'd have given up long ago if I were so bad!!

2) Although I can't reveal any of my current projects (other than that the Part 3 of my Film Location: London series will be out on EVE in the near future for those that are awaiting said article), I do have quite a few tricks (or interesting articles really) up my sleeve. I am one of those crazy people who have their own method of working things out and that, despite probably being mind-boggling to anyone else, it works for me splendidly. As a result, I have to admit I am working on multiple articles and doing research about various things, and reading different books, all at one go (I got exhausted just thinking that right now!!)

3) It's been an overall good week (and one with multiple early wake up calls as well as sleepless nights worrying over the car exam) with a zillion little points to how it was made up so excuse me if I'm feeling a little lost as to how to present it to you people.

4) A last point I will make today is about my novel-in-the-works, which is unfortunately sitting at the sideline waiting for the future when a forty-eight-hour day might actually provide me with enough time to get on with it. I often do get discouraged thinking just how much there is left to the writing of the first draft (let alone a rewrite!) but I was just thinking this week how good the plot is, how detailed and therefore reader-friendly and interesting, and mostly just how, well, how real the characters have become to me. They might have started out as a hotchpotch of ideas taken from characters I love well that would suit the plot, they might wear the argyle sweater I saw in a pic and have their hair type depend on whether I class them as fave characters or ones I would want nothing to do with (yes I do have a thing about hair!) but after all the moulding and imagining (I imagine out every scene, thinking 'What would Jeanne/Darren/Michael do?') these 'people' have become so real to me, so much like someone whose life has intertwined with mine at times, who have ideas and dreams and disappointments that I would like to brush away but can't unless I want to be useless as an author, that I will eventually finish the story and get it published - if for no other reason, then to give my characters their epilogue.

I am off now to eat the fish that is starting to cool down a little too much for my liking (I guess I got carried away on this post and it's on the long side!) So I leave you to your thoughts about whether BJ3 should really have sold two million copies (yes it did!!), whether you think the roads are still as safe (or unsafe here in Malta!) now that I'm going to be a driver and not a passenger, and just how worth it it is going to be to buy my novel once it's out ;-)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Who is Hugh Grant the personality? - A Short Summary

Although I talk a lot about my favourite actor in the world - Hugh Grant - on here, I recently had the opportunity of writing a short feature about him for EVE for the general public, i.e. those who do not obsess about him to the point of knowing all he gets up to in real life, complete with his pet peeves, what kind of girls he fancies and his BLT sandwich breakfast!! So here's a link to an article that covers basic but interesting facts about a personality, rather than involving his more personal information:

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

About Art - In whatever form it may come

So... I had a blog post in mind for today which morphed into an article which I will be submitting to EVE instead. Rather than postpone this entry any longer, I will take a few minutes to mention something currently on my mind instead. As always I will be moving away from the personal except to say that my son (5 years old) had his first real art lesson today and he seems to be as good at and interested in art as I had gauged him to be! I am so happy to see how much he loves aesthetics and being creative and he really is good at art for his young years (at least I think that!)

Which brings me to something I learnt only a few months ago. Back in March I had the lovely opportunity of corresponding with and then interviewing the very talented artist Lisa Falzon. Primarily the exercise was intended for a feature I then wrote about Lisa for one of Malta's biggest hard-copy magazines - The Circle. Not only was it amazing to see my name on the magazine, which has been around since I was just a girl, but it provided me with more diversity in my job and more knowledge and experience.

But above all, it also provided me with an insight into a real artist's world, and a quote from Lisa herself will never leave me. "Artists tend to be children who as they grew, never stopped creating. Everyone has the capacity to create things..... what holds us back is that the skill to create things, unlike the drive, is an acquired one that requires us to keep at it and create a lot of mediocre work..... As we grow, so does self-consciousness, and embarrassment and unwillingness to 'fail'..... It's up to parents and educators to encourage confidence in these areas....." For as long as I live, I don't think I will ever forget that quote or the impact it had on me.

It is like she is explaining exactly what happens not only in the visual arts, but even in writing. As a child I would happily while the hours away writing first chapters to stories I never finished, and at times whole stories too. Reading them now makes me cringe but back then I looked upon them as achievements. They will never get published, none of them are up to standard for that, but I do realise that back then I had what adults find very hard to keep - a self-confidence. And yes - since I did stop writing regularly (though maybe never altogether) for some years - I found it harder as an adult to go through the process of the practice side of things, producing page upon page of thoughts only coherent to myself, bits and pieces and phrases and ideas, turning them all into first one article and then another differently-worded one, all the while striving to achieve the perfection I crave in whatever I do (other than in cooking my husband would point out!!)

I leave you today with this thought, this big 'push' I mention that I, and any other artist, has to go through, swimming through the multitude of crossed out pages and deleted document versions, in order to find your own voice, your own mind, your own masterpieces.

Saturday, 4 July 2015