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I'm actually quite pleased with how my reading went over the summer. Alright, so I didn't actually finish any of the books that I was reading for the first time (apart from 'A Sentimental Journey', but that was short) and I left the Aristotle completely untouched, but I managed to read some of a theology book for the first time ever and lots of Conrad who - even with Achebe's disapproval - I think is one of the best writers of his age. The theology was titled 'Honest to God' by John AT Robinson and is the sort of book you begin hating the author for, if only because they seem to completely agree with you (and if you're me, you take that as a negative). Maybe that's why I haven't finished reading it.

What I did seem to get really into were all the books I'd read before, 'Gormenghast' by Mervyn Peake and the entire output of Tamora Pierce. I had plans, for some reason, to leave Gormenghast in Nigeria as the cornerstone of my library but between seeing the damage the alliance between the cockroach and moth can do, and just why I loved it so, I decided against it. The language is so beautiful, it makes me want to read dictionaries and study Latin so I can make up whole new words. Reading through my novel so far made me want to weep at how thin my own writing is and yet how even if I tried to fatten it up, I could never achieve Peake's balance between the grandiose and the gothic macabre. It's very frustrating.

As for Tamora Pierce, well, I found her frustrating in many other ways.

Let me give thee the reasons why... )So, in short, the only downside to Pierce is, being such an intelligent writer, she invites you to be an intelligent reader which can sometimes be a bit of a headache. As a fan, it's even worse because one starts reading her interviews and realising the intentions she has for her writing, some realised and others a little bit insulting - there's an uncomfortable number of male gay characters, both major and minor, who end up evil or dead or both and it would have been nice to have an extremely femme lesbian as a main character for once (I think we're rather used to the near stereotype of muscly girls who eat a lot, but I suppose it wouldn't have been so bad if I'd been a Daja fan before). I suppose I'm just one of those terminally unsatisfied readers *shrugs*. 
mmoa_writes: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mmoa_writes at 10:08pm on 12/05/2009 under , , , ,
Sometimes I wish I studied the arts for a degree, because there are all sorts of things you don't realise until someone points them out to you.

For instance, in the latest Newsnight Review, during an interview with Colm Toibin about his new book, he mentioned how he wanted to write the novel in a linear, pared down style similar to Jane Austen's - no flashbacks, very few descriptions of people's expressions etc.

In the case of facial descriptions, one result is that it becomes clear to the reader that people may not be saying precisely what they mean, that they may be concealing their personal thoughts and opinions as they outwardly proclaim another.

Now obviously there are many techniques that arrive at the same effect, but I found this very interesting because of it's simplicity (and also because I hadn't noticed this before, even though I'd read most of Austen's output and paid - by my reckoning - a lot of attention to them). This was so interesting that I began to think how I could implement this technique when writing from certain characters povs.Read more... )

So post-exam season is going to be a lot of fun, I can tell!
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I know I sound a bit Hermione Granger, but it's fascinating studying ones culture from another perspective. Mind you, considering the range of the culture, that doesn't really need to be said.

[Igbo] Culture and Socialization

General info about the Igbo people

I am so glad we're going back home to Nigeria this summer, if only because there are a tonne of books I have to read including this one, titled 'Igbo Philosophy of Law'. The only bad thing is that we're spending a world record of five weeks (as opposed to the usual month and a half) this time, which isn't long enough. Oh, the irony that when I've finally got something I really need to go home to do, I'll be spending the shortest time there.

Still, I'm sure there'll be lots of stuff in the University library if this is anything to go by. I know practically nothing about traditional Igbo poetry, so this is an intriguing first step in curing this particular area of ignorance.

On another note, it's times like this I realise I need to get into reading more fantasy/sci-fiRead more... )
Mood:: 'curious' curious
mmoa_writes: (Default)
The previously titled 'T____?' is now veering towards Toatl/Tirros as a working title.

It is titled after the ancient (and mostly disused) name of the dominant 'Blackland' Empire on the 'Reaching' continent. In the past, the Blackland Empire (then called the T____ empire) controlled the whole of the north. It receded, then increased and vice versa over time, until a supervolcanic explosion brought it to an end. A new tribe eventually came to dominance, giving rise to the Blackland Empire.

Read more... )
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I really hate how 'good' vampires are always 'vegetarian',Read more... )

I'm also curious if anyone knows of any ancient (well, ancient to... late-renaissance perhaps) technqiues used to forecast volcanic eruptions. Earthquakes are a pretty good indicator (I hear!) but I'm particularly interested in the possibility of 'measuring' sulphur dioxide levels in the air via some natural, but obviously misunderstood, phenomena.
Music:: Random techno from next door
Mood:: 'curious' curious
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posted by [personal profile] mmoa_writes at 06:53pm on 11/04/2009 under , ,
Background/Settings/World building info on current projects:

Read more... )

For the moment, the novel will remain T??? as I'm having difficulty finding a decent name for it. It will begin with 'T', but that's all I can work out for now - until my knowledge of Zimbabwean languages improves.

Read more... )

Story is rather complicated and I am quite tired so I'll carry on with the last one at random intervals.
Mood:: 'lethargic' lethargic
Music:: Hindi Sad Diamonds
location: bedroom


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