CSI:NY and NaNoWriMo and Ramblings…

Okay, so sorry for not posting in a while. I know I have only been reblogging stuff but I have been busy, yet not busy, if that makes any sense. As indicated by the title, I will be just rambling a bit in this and I apologise wholeheartedly. So if you don’t want to read my rambling, you are more than welcome not to read any further.

In the last few weeks, I have been working hard and preparing for graduation (which was last Friday), including doing my physiotherapy to get my knee into a position that I could go and now I am sort of trying to figure out what to do with myself, since job hunting is proving difficult (I haven’t really seen this “improvement in the jobs market” that the papers and news seem to keep mentioning) and I am still recovering from my knee dislocation. It sort of diminishes what I can really apply for whilst my knee is still a bit unsteady, I can only stand for so long, only move so fast and use stairs in a certain way. Not exactly a good place to be in when many of the local jobs at the moment are shop assistant types of ones where there is a lot of standing around to be done, at the very least. As well as that, I am dog-sitting my mum’s pup through the day when she is at work (including some dog training) and that seems to be taking up a lot of my time despite the dog being content enough to run around and play by herself.

I am also preparing to taking part in NaNoWriMo as some of you folks will know. Well, I say preparing, I should say I am still unsure what exactly is going to happen in my story and how it ends. I am just, unclear, what to do with it, which is not a good thing. I do know what I want to say and what themes and issues I want to raise with it but as for real planning, detailed planning, I have a mage character, her familiar and a possible friend for the character. The friend only announced himself today so I am still trying to figure out who he is exactly. Other than that, it is very unclear and murky if you will. I am also trying to work on the Autumn Writing Challenge and use it to help me plan a bit but that isn’t going too well either. This is not looking good for NaNo is it?

Just to clarify, the reblogs I have posted to try to keep the blog alive are ones I hop are inspiring and helpful to folks and are keeping with what I want to do with this blog! There’s another element to my planning that I probably could be getting on with and could help with the actual story planning: world building. Despite taking place in this world, the story is set on an island populated almost entirely by mages and their familiars. I could easily be working on the society and the politics of the island as they are probably going to be VERY important to my novel and the story, how the schools and educational system are set up and ran since the MC, main character, is going back initially to teach in the island’s schools and I also need to explain a thing or two about her education, how they dress, how the magic works and there are probably a load of other things I also need to consider!

I don’t even know what the island is going to even be called!

I know for definite some of the island’s traditions and it’s society is going to be based, even just loosely on 1900 to 1960’s Britain with many of the trappings of modern life. Possibly why I have been reading the Jennifer Worth book, In The Midst of Life, and re-watching the Call the Midwife series. I also vaguely know that the last episodes of CSI: New York are probably going to influence how the story develops and pans out

Mac Taylor

Gary Sinese as Mac Taylor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night saw the end of an era with CSI: New York finishing its last ever season here in the UK and I am not embarrassed to say it caused me to cry a lot (with the dog giving it some, what the heck!) and that it brings a lump to my throat now just thinking about it. Gary Sinese will always be Det. Mac Taylor in my eyes. Just thinking about how we will never see how Lindsay and Danny’s kids will grow up, how Flack’s relationship goes or even Mac’s wedding. Then there is also Sid’s illness! Oh that had me blubbing as well! Some spoilers ahead. I will try to keep them as minimal as possible but don’t say you haven’t been warned! It was certainly intense and made me think of the London Riots and how they were sparked. There did seem to be some parallels and made me wonder if the scriptwriter had actually based, at least partly, the story on the Riots here in the UK. I know that the riots and the episode last night could actually feed into the story for NaNo and how it ends possibly. Or at least play a part in the climax of the story.

This last season of CSI: New York has been intense, funny, enjoyable and very, very emotional all in just a few episodes. These emotions were heightened further by the fact that we all knew that these episodes would be the very last!

I still hold out hope though that we will see all three CSI teams (with living characters) return to our screens in one big, explosive episode or even movie. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Mac, Horatio and Grissom all together interacting? That would be amazing in my opinion!

To ease some of my boredom and maybe even help with planning, I am hoping to try out a new recipe this week. Now, you guys might not know that I really enjoy baking and the washing up afterwards bizarrely.  I actually find it oddly peaceful and because I don’t actually have to think too much about what I am dong, it gives me time to think about life and has sometimes helped me get through writer’s block. So who knows? It might help with NaNo. Anyway, I am hoping to make a chocolate mousse and theme it around Halloween. (I really enjoy Halloween and not just for the cheap chocolate on November 1st!) It’s a recipe I have seen in a magazine for one of the big supermarkets and I am hoping to give it a try soon. At the very least, it will help me figure out how I can do my normal baking with a pup around my feet. Who knows? It might give me the confidence to try a couple of other new recipes! But yeah, this is what is going on in my life at the moment. Just sort of figuring out what to do with myself.

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JK Rowling to pen Harry Potter spin-off film-BBC News

YAY! JK Rowling is making her big screen début as a screenwriter by turning the Hogwarts textbook (which she actually wrote as an actual book for Comic Relief) into a film. In collaboration with Warner Brothers, the film will focus on Newt Scamander, the fictional author of the book, and be set in New York, 70 years before Harry‘s story begins.

This film will not be a prequel or a sequel to the original book series but an extension to the world. More information and the BBC Article can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24067557

 

TV Review: CSI:Vegas Meets CSI:NY Part 2

Sorry, I know. I am breaking normal service again to talk about something I saw on TV but it wouldn’t be right not to review this when I have already reviewed Part 1. I did watch this last night and have slept and whatnot since so I apologise if this is short and/or wobble-y.

Moving from Las Vegas to New York, Detective Mac Taylor and DB continue their search for Christine, Mac’s girlfriend in the Big Apple, where things get more dangerous and more deadly, forcing Mac and DB to break regulation and go rogue.

So I have a preference for this episode and found it far more fun, entertaining and enjoyable than the first half. Maybe because there was more action and more danger in this plus the little trickery they undertook whilst going rogue. Maybe also because it was more focused on the actual search for Christine. All I know is that I preferred this episode over the first half.

I do have a question about this episode though and I don’t know if it’s because the NY episode is from like mid-season of season 9 or if it’s because I have missed episodes from the last season but… Where’s Stella? I like Stella. Where she go? (Please, no spoilers!)

But, in general, I do like this episode and I think I am going to re-watch both of these episodes and back to back if possible. Also, sorry about the picture. Struggled to find a picture from part 2 so just going to use the one posted.

TV Review: CSI:Vegas Meets CSI:NY Part 1

Okay, this blog is meant to be a book and film review site however my CSI Fangirl side of me wanted me to write a quick review of part of last nights CSI crossover. I promise to make this spoiler-free for those who might have recorded part 1 last night so they can watch the LV episode then the NY episode and I ask any readers who are in the USA to please NOT post anything that would be classed as spoiler as we, here in the UK, are about 1 season behind!

Detective Mac Taylor heads to Las Vegas to surprise his girlfriend, Christine who is in Vegas for a convention. After a quick pit stop into the LV lab, he heads over to Christine’s hotel with DB Russell to surprise her. However, they discover that Christine is not there and there are signs that Christine has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, the Vegas team investigate the death of a man stuffed into a wine barrel to pickle.

Now, the premise is great fun and works great however I felt that the episode seemed very lopsided. There seemed to be more time given over the wine murder plot and not to the LV/NY cross plot, which is what this episode is MEANT to be about! This is a bit of a disappointment as I thoroughly enjoyed the all the earlier crossover episodes between all three series (LV to Miami, Miami to NY and back and the CSI Trinity episodes). I was also slightly confused about who Christine was. We have not got Season 9 of CSI:NY yet over here in the UK so maybe that is explained in the next series or, if that started in the last series, I must have missed it as I have also missed some CSI in the last couple of years due to not being able to watch at university for various reasons.

The wine plot was fun though and provided some laughs and would have been excellent in another episode but seemed to suffocate the crossover plot which was the main attraction for this episode. I feel this was a great shame. Also, I have been on the Channel Five website and an article about this says something that annoys me a little:

“Although star Gary Sinise was involved in two stories that merged his series with CSI: Miami, he’d never before been on the set of the Vegas-based drama and, since Ted Danson only joined CSI last season, this is first opportunity to visit a related show”. (Channel Five Broadcasting (2013). CSI: Vegas Meets New York on Channel 5. [Online]. Available at http://www.channel5.com/shows/csi-new-york/articles/csi-vegas-meets-new-york-on-channel-5. [Accessed 21/5/2013])

Um, can I just remind channel 5 that, to my recollection, NY has NEVER been to LV. LV has gone to NY but not vice versa! This is the first time we have ever seen anyone from NY in Las Vegas! Yes, I might be being picky but as a big fan of the show, that annoyed me!

Anyway, the episode was fun and I would reccommend it to fans of the show because, as I have just ranted above, this is the first time any of the NY team has been to Vegas, but the episode was not maybe as goof as it could have been, Maybe, and hopefully, tonight’s episode, part 2, will be a heck of a lot better…and not confusing!

Film Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

So on top of finishing Ranger’s Apprentice 11, I saw Iron Man 3 today, starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Kingsley.

Following the events of New York and Avenger’s Assemble (2012), Tony Stark is struggling with what happened, especially having faced dying and leaving girlfriend, Pepper Potts, behind. His anxiety and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has badly affected his behaviour, making it hard for him to sleep and experiencing nightmares, placing Pepper in trouble. His problems are compounded when his world is ripped apart by a terrorist called the Mandarin, who has been targeting the US with a new drug called Extremis (which has unfortunately side effects for it’s users) and it leads to him going on a journey of self-discovery as he tries to figure out if the man makes the suit or the suit makes the man?

This film is good fun and has everything you would expect from a Marvel Iron Man movie: Tony Stark being, well, Tony Stark, brilliantly choreographed  fight scenes (especially the one at the end with all the Iron Man suits and the Iron Patriot suit), explosions, the US military and government in disarray whilst trying to use the technology behind the suits to protect the US, a major plot twist in regards to the Mandarin (I shall say no more!), the almost slapstick comedy and the USA‘s War on Terror. I also liked the fact that it explored (to a limited degree) mental health issues and their effects of the people (friends, family, partners) around the person, as well as on the person. Here in the UK at least, we struggle with the idea of talking about mental health so maybe the movie will help start that dialogue. The film also explored the use of drugs in army veterans (again very limited and I will grant this is in regards to a fictional drug). The fact that a film has explored some of the moral issues that face both the USA and the UK (and no doubt many other countries around the world) is commendable and I hope it leads to discussion of these issues.

There are though one or two things I would pick at with this film.

The first I would say is the timing with which it has been released. The events in the film take place coming up to Christmas and yet Marvel decided to release it earlier in the Summer Blockbuster season. Maybe it would have been more advisable to release it at Christmas to fight it out with Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit but at the same time, I can see why they did it since we are meant to  have Thor 2 coming out later this year so maybe it was released now to get the Marvel vibe going for their fans.

The second (and I don’t know if this is because I need to re-watch it maybe) is the length due to the script seeming to be a little higgledy piggledy so having Tony going this way and that, turning into a bit of a arrogant twit (in my opinion) and then the end seeming to end up being both wide open for a sequel and yet the whole story of Iron Man and Tony Stark being all wrapped up.

I did enjoy this film and would re-watch it (I think I need to anyway to understand it better) and would recommend it to Marvel fans and non-Marvel fans alike. It’s got the usual comedy, the great fight scenes and the characters being, well, themselves!