Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sunday Summary: Slumps, Slayers and Shakespeare

It feels like ages since I've written anything on the blog. I've not exactly been in a reading slump, but it has taken me a long time to get through the two books I was reading: my least favourite Harry Potter book, and a science fiction book called Mindstar Rising. After a pretty bad start, Mindstar shaped out to be pretty all right, but the plot was too reliant on fictitious technology which confused me and lost my interest. The book's best part was the description of the landscape, an England after global warming has wreaked havoc on the environment and flooded much of the east of the country. It was interesting to see a future visualised from the 1990s. I noticed that there were no mobile phones, and the student grumbling about not getting a big enough student grant made me chuckle rather sadly. They weren't paying him enough to study? Oh, sweet summer child...

I've got back into my writing with a vengeance this year, aiming for 500 words per day (but with weekends off.) My story so far is centred around a geeky teenage girl at the turn of the millennium, and I'm drawing on a lot of my memories of high school. And if I'm writing about a geeky teen in 1999, then I really need to brush up on my Buffy the Vampire Slayer knowledge. Would you believe I never watched it? That is a shameful confession from such an incurable nerd and Whedonphile as myself. I've never been a big fan of the "chosen one" trope (Even in Harry Potter it is a thing to be endured for the sake of the rest of the story) or of vampires. I've borrowed the complete boxset from Judith and have whizzed through the first season in three days flat. Yes, the vampires are cheesier than a fondue, but I've started to really like some of the characters. Buffy is awesome: cute and petite and girly, but who will suffer no nonsense for either vampires or school bullies. If you think back to when the series was new, it is refreshing to have the pretty blonde teenager chasing the monsters rather than vice versa. I also love Giles and Willow (aw, Willow is adorable!) but Xander is showing definite signs of Nice Guy Syndrome. And as for Angel - well, he doesn't sparkle, I'll give him that.

One of my friends is a founder of the new Isle of Wight Shakespeare Company, and after a lot of dithering, I decided to audition for a part in their first production, Much Ado About Nothing. I saw that play in London in 2011, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, and Joss Whedon produced a black-and-white film of it last year at his house with a cast made almost entirely out of the stars of his shows: Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse. Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays (although why does Hero take Claudio back? Foolish girl!) Benedick and Beatrice are the prototype bickering couple, setting the standard for every other romantic comedy duo since, and Beatrice is a wonderful character, probably Shakespeare's most rounded and modern heroine. Of course, there is no way I'll actually get the part of Beatrice, or any major role - I'm not expecting even a minor part - but I know I'd regret it if I wimped out.


  1. Yay for watching Buffy! I keep meaning to re-watch them all, although the spin-off serious Angel was always my favourite (I had/have a massive crush on Angel).

    Good luck with auditioning for the play! Much Ado is by far the best Shakespeare play, even if Hero is a foolish woman. Beatrice does make up for Hero's entire lack of a backbone with her insults alone though.

  2. I flipping love Buffy! I've re-watched the whole seven seasons recently (as in, I watched the last tear-jerker of an episode a couple of weeks ago) and I realised just how much I really do love it. I pretty much adore Willow the whole way through but Buffy is also the best. It improves a LOT after the first series and I'm a huge fan of it all. I am so excited that you're getting into it - you have to do Buffy updates here so that I can fan girl at you!!

    Angel was the defining crush of my teenage years. Along with plenty of other delightful specimens that you won't have met yet! Oh you have some good stuff coming up!

    Also, updates on your amateur dramatic fun would be super :) Hope the audition went well!

    1. I can write Buffy update posts! The story twists keep on taking my by surprise. I was convinced that the Annointed One was going to be the evil mastermind villain of season 2, but then Spike put an end to that before he'd really got started.
      It's funny, I remember at high school hearing my friends raving about Spike, and just seeing pictures of him, I didn't see the appeal. But watching him in action, what a brilliant character! (and yes, he has a certain villainous charm.)

      I haven't heard whether I've got a part in the play yet - I think I'd have heard by now if I had. But that's OK. I had a lot of fun at the audition, meeting some great people, and I didn't disgrace myself.


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