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About Viccie

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    reading, writing, wine, dawdling around
  • How did you hear about this site?
    Sunday Times article

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  1. what is everyone doing?

    Go and splurge Momac! Davd Austin roses sometimes take a bit of time to get going but when they do they're prolific, smell heavenly and really tough. I do absolutely nothing to mine except hack them back occasionally because they grow so fast.
  2. Book Chain

    The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  3. The Dark Circle

    I thought this started brilliantly, got very slow in the middle, then picked up. Having finished it I can't stop thinking about it, both of the sometime inhuman treatments the patients endured and of what happened afterwards.
  4. Book Chain

    Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  5. Narrator or First Person?

    About 20 years ago many How To Write books would say that writing in the first person was the sign of a novice writer, this was probably partially a reaction to the vast quantities of badly written chicklit books that were about. It was also superior bollocks written by those who just happen to find it easier to write in the third person and also look down on "popular" fiction. While it's true that beginners often start off writing in the first person that changes as they find their voice and as MM says, first person narration isn't always easy. It's a horses for courses situation; some storylines or styles just lend themselves to one or the other. Can you imagine Jane Eyre in the third person? Or Bertie Wooster? And a dotty eccentric like Lord Emsworth would stop being funny in the first person and might even become a bit disturbing. I like both, the vital thing is not first or thrid person buyt whether it's decently written.
  6. I hate this!

    I loathe the 'This is the new...' type of quote. It's meaningless and offputting too, I bought online a blogger's reccommendation which turned out to have a strapline of 'Twilight for grownups'. If I'd seen that in the shops I'd never have bought it. It was actually quite a good book... And being a snobby pedant (as my children tell me) I'd be put off any book that has a thumbs up from a site that calls itself Novel Deelights.
  7. Book Chain

    We Have Always Lived In The Castle - Shirley Jackson
  8. Reservoir 13

    Like Mr HG I'm not sure why I liked this book so much. It's got loads of elements that I usually really dislike in books, particularly all the reported speech, ad it was difficult to keep track of who everyone was, but I still found myself totally gripped by it.
  9. I don't think that's quite true. When I started in advertising we were told that people generally only remember about 15% of what they hear, 40% of what they see, and 65% of what they see and hear which is why TV advertising can be so effective. Of course nowadays you'd have to work out how much you remember of what you see on screen, considerably less than 40% in my experience. I think it goes back to listening being quite different to reading. I love hearing good poetry being read out loud but I never read it. I remember listening to a book in the car on the way to England once where there was a sex scene, nothing too raunchy, the sort of thing that crops up quite often describing a certain amount of action, and it wasn't easy to listen to. Not because it was embarrassing, it just felt not quite right, too public somehow, rather like when you see a couple making out in a park who really ought to be thinking of getting a room. Reading about sex, in the privacy of your own head, is different.
  10. what is everyone doing?

    I'm so sorry about your mother: it's hard enough when you're expecting it like I was with my mother, I can't imagine what it must be liketo haveit happen out of the blue.
  11. Fated is the first book in an urban fantasy series set in London. Alex Verus, the likeable narrator, runs a magic shop in Camden which has some items that are a lot more magical than others and is also a Diviner, in that he can see the future. He tries to stay out of politics but needless to say gets drawn into battling the Dark, even though he doesn't entirely trust the Light either over a mysterious artifact in the British Museum added by an assistant who brings bad luck to anyone she touches and a completely brainless air sprite. Yes, it owes a lot to The Desden Files - there's even a joking reference to Harry Dresden in the first chapter, and it's not as original as the Rivers of London books but I gallaped through this, and the second in the series, Cursed. They're thoroughly enjoyable, light and smooth and even my husband, who normally hates this sort of book, picked Cursed up at lunchtime and is now about 70 pages in.
  12. what is everyone doing?

    Ir's cold here Momac, not cold like in Canada but still about -5°C at night rising to 2 or 3 during the day at the moment. The wind chill factor is something else though. Fortunately the house is well insulated so though it doesn't get above about 16° unless the sun is shining through the big windows in the kitchen it doesn't drop below 13° at night. Both my husband and I grew up in freezing cold houses so it's harking backto our childhoods. Unfortunately the company is theonly one thatdeals with our sort of heat pump in the region. It's the typical story of "managers" from a big company thinking they know how to make all sorts of cost savings, ie staff cuts, and then discovering they can't operate properly. They decided not to replace engineers who left so while last year there were 4 engineers to cover Nouvelle Aquitaine, this year one hasleft and one is on long term sickleave so there are only 2 to cover the whole region.
  13. what is everyone doing?

    Lucky you! It's now four weeks since we had heating. The sevicing company, which has recently been taken over and now gives a new mean to "inefficient", actually had on our customer page that our next appointment was booked for July... My husband took a screen shot and sent it to them saying what a hilarious joke and did they have a Facebook page so he could share it. We got a call back within hours saying they're hoping to come "in March", amended to "beginning of". I'm not holding my breath.
  14. Currently Reading

    My youngest daughter and I swopped e-readers this weekend and I'm having a lovely time going through stuff I wouldn't normally read. She loves fantascy, Sf, steampunk and Elizabeth Peters. So far I've been through one Elizabeth Peters and am currently on a History of Dragons byMarie Brennan which is steampunk and great fun.
  15. This sounds terrific. Thanks for the heads up.