Sunday, 25 January 2015

War Horse

Last night, Mr Aquarius, my eldest son and I went to see War Horse at the Bristol Hippodrome. It was really lovely to be doing something different like going to the theatre.

After reading the book last year, when Ben was in Year 4, and discussing his reading with his teacher, she told me about the production coming to Bristol. I looked it up and booked the tickets way back in July. How fast did January turn up!?

In the meantime, we watched the film. (I have made my son do this with a lot of films... read the book first, then watch the film... All the Harry Potter's, The Hobbit, Matilda... He's already appreciating why I do this.)

The film was good, and brought a more visual horror of the war and what the horses would have endured than the book could maybe conjure. (This is probably more for my son's imagination than mine as he hasn't seen the same level of war movies etc. as I have and it is a children's book after all.) However, there are differences in the book to the film, and we also saw this on the stage too.

I don't wish to be negative in any way about the theatre production. It is amazing. Three people hold the horse puppet, but you really do take no notice of them after a while. The horses look incredibly life like, constantly moving, even when in the background, like a real horse would do. There is good amount of humour throughout the show too. And Ben and I jumped (quite) a few times with the gun shots and bangs - but luckily so did the whole theatre. Of course, it's to simulate the 1st World War, there are going to be canons and gun fire!

I was advised to take tissues. I don't know if it's because I've read the book and I knew there would be a happy ending, but although moved by the performance (I got goosebumps at times and a small lump in my throat) I didn't need the tissues. (Probably a good job really, because when I cry, I really do like let it all out and have a good bawl. It would have been highly embarrassing.)

Unfortunately, what the film and the stage lack is that the story is told from Joey's point of view; that he misses his mother; he learns to trust Albert more than anyone, (and Zoe (which rhymes with Joey - hence his name) the old mare on the farm who teaches him to plough the fields); Topthorn is his friend, that they teach each other, and in the end Joey doesn't want to leave his dead friend but is forced to, and after all he's been through, Joey had to survive Tetanus.

The way I look at this, and how I try to accept all films "based" on a (favourite) book, is to see how the writers will take the story and use what they can to make a great film or theatre show, and "adapt" some parts of it, because they feel this will work better (maybe?) for the film/show. Maybe some things work in a book, that won't in a film/show? Who am I to know...? I need to remember they are adaptations...

All I do know is, I'm glad I read the book first. It gave me a much bigger insight into the film and the show.

As we left, I heard someone saying, "the film was better." I had to mumble, "Actually, the book was better."

But you know, you can't beat a live performance, so if War Horse comes to your town/city... go see it! You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

I Love My Job

I've been neglecting my blog again haven't I? With the excitement of my second book publishing, I've sort of forgotten about over here. Sorry.

I'll give you a bit of a catch up on life.

Yesterday I handed my notice in at the school. I work one day a week as a dinner lady there. It used to be three days, until I transferred into the Post Office.

I continued to work in the school in the hope it might lead to bigger and brighter things because every mum dreams of working in a school. It fits around the kids and school holidays, blah blah blah...

Well, I either don't have a face that fits or must be rubbish at my job, because two administrative positions came and went, and I never got a look in. Nope, not even an interview.

What interviews I've had at other schools were unsuccessful and I have learnt that to get a job in a school it's not what you know... it's who. Sorry, but that is the truth of it.

Having been out of the professional environment for ten years, I did question my ability. And then I got a job in the Post Office, and have the responsibility of opening up the office on my own every Saturday, and I handle large amounts of money... so actually, I am still good at my job.

I decided I love my Post Office role, and this fits around the kids. I've done it for a year now and survived covering school holidays and inset days, I would waste no more time trying to find that perfect job in the school. It isn't there. I was sitting there, filling out application forms and attending interviews, when I should have been writing.

By leaving my dinner lady position, this will give me three solid days to concentrate on my writing, and allow me some relaxation if I meet a friend for coffee, or need to pop to the shops; I can still get my writing done. There is no way I can sit at this desk for six hours. I'd be crippled. So I do tend to do an hour, then some house work or my exercising (running or pilates) then come back for another hour and so on.

Today I am over on Jane Linfoot's blog talking PRETTY FEET.  Please pop along and see my gorgeous shoes!

And now I'm going to crack on with writing book three, where the hero looks very similar to Henry Cavill.... Yes! I love my job...

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Happy Publication Day To Me - One Fine Day

The day has finally arrived! Today is One Fine Day's ebook birthday and is available to download from all good ebook sellers... from Amazon, to Sainsburys and Waterstones! (Paperback launches 12th March!)

One Fine Day: 

Just a boy standing in front of a girl…

Steve Mason returns from Hollywood after 15 years to catch up with his sister, Ruby. He’s miserable because the woman he was planning on marrying has dumped him.

He’s now worried that with his A-list celebrity status he won’t find a woman who genuinely loves him. Ruby devises a plan to disguise Steve, so that he is unrecognisable as the famous Hollywood actor, in a hope to help him find true love. It worked for Clark Kent, right?

As Steve searches for his not-so-perfect woman and has a taste of normality, his relationship develops with his sister. But will he find the right woman before he has to head back to his real life in Hollywood?

Steve Mason looks a bit like this guy :)
Buy Links 

Amazon UK Ebook ~ Amazon US ~ Add On Goodreads ~ Harper Impulse (for all other buy links)