Sunday 2 November 2014

Sunday Summary: fly-by post 4

Well, my manic October is over and now I go back to having weekends of a sort again, even if, as is the case this week, actually in the middle of the week. Hurrah! But although I'm doing fewer hours at work, with Halloween over, the world is ready to catch up with the retail calendar and launch into Christmas, and of course things will only get busier. This Thursday I actually ran out of tasks to do. (There is never actually nothing to do, even if it's just cleaning and replenishing the shelves, but I stopped chasing my tail for a moment, making the most of the fact that this was probably going to be my last afternoon like that.

This week I have been:


The last part of 11.22.63. Beautiful, devastating, a wonderful book (that has already altered the way I think time travel in other fiction, such as last night's Doctor Who.) Stephen King does it again! I plan to write a proper review of this one later this week.

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, a novella about a thirty-something Japanese couple who get adopted by their neighbours' cat, and form a bond with this darling creature. A pensive, poetic read that is worth taking time over, despite its short length.

Rereading Redshirts, one of my top books of last year, and one which I recommend to anyone who has affectionately noticed the absurdity inherent in certain kinds of science fiction TV shows. A must-read if you like the film Galaxy Quest.


A bit more of Heroes - season two is a short one, due to the writers' strike of a few years ago.

Captain America, to remind my dad of Steve Rogers' story so far, before we watch the sequel. (The Avengers is, naturally, also on the cards.)

A bit more Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are some great, thought-provoking episodes of this series, but the fact remains that it doesn't capture my affections as much as the original series, the original cast. I do like Worf and Data, though.


The Addams Family, on Netflix. It seemed appropriate Halloween viewing, with hot chocolate and marshmallows, while tucked up with a rotten head cold.

Doctor Who. The first part of the season finale was powerful stuff. I've been a bit ambivalent about this season, enjoying each episode well enough, but not really hanging on to the story during the week. A recurring small character through the series really gave me the creeps in a way I term "the Umbridge Effect" - making the watching experience less enjoyable when the character is on screen. But a few weeks back, I stumbled upon someone's apparently random idea about this person which, if it were true, might make me rethink my approach to them.

Last night's episode was really powerful. An unforeseen* major event within the first minutes, some fine acting, especially from Jenna Coleman, some fantastic lines (including a reference to Peter Capaldi's most famous previous role), a journey somewhere that seemed impossible even for the TARDIS, and some huge plot twists that were unusual in being none the worse for being anticipated.

Scaring myself with: just the thought of getting scared by certain Stephen King books. Perhaps it is not a good idea to read his "Nightmare fuel" page on TV Tropes just before bed. I was the child who had to be taken out of birthday parties and school assemblies because I'd freak out when I saw a clown. Guess which book is not on my immediate to-read pile!

Can't sleep. Clown'll eat me.

But who needs Stephen King when you've got some of the stuff in that last Doctor Who episode? There was a time watching that episode that made me really wonder if the show had crossed a line, gone too far - and I like it when it goes dark. There were some ideas that will linger uncomfortably for a long time, I think.

Sneezing: A lot, especially (naturally) on my day off.

Writing: Well, I've made a start on NaNoWriMo, although I didn't even manage the wordcount for the first day. That's fine. For me it's not about reaching the 50 thousand words, so much as getting back into writing stories, and sticking with it. I don't know who I am when I can't write, and it's been such a long time.

Also, this week I hope to get back into some proper reviews for the blog, now I've (potentially) got a little more time on my hands.

SPOILER in white text >>> 

Actually, I did think for a moment, "Danny's too close to the road" before the phone went silent his end.  <<<


  1. Hurrah for two days off in a row! I can't imagine working long stretches without a "weekend" - you deserve a massive rest and lots of chocolate and books!

    I *loved* 11.22.63 so much when I read it...a couple of years ago (which I can't believe - I originally wrote "last year" and went to check and it was 2012! Shocking). It was just so much smarter than I'd expected and it ended up being one of my favourite books of the year. That ENDING! Just brilliant. I haven't read much King but this one made me feel as though I really out to have done.

    I'm pretty sure I've only seen the first series of Heroes so I'm curious to see what the next one's like. I only found out at the end of the first series that it got cancelled before the story was finished so I became a bit wary of getting even more invested in something that might leave me adrift - tell me that isn't so because I would be happy to get some Sylar back in my life :)

    1. It was bad enough not getting my days off together, but though I had every Sunday, I'd have a day off on, say, Tuesday one week, then Friday the next. There will be chocolate and books and rest, you can be sure of that.

      I'd read the occasional Stephen King before this year, and enjoyed (except for Dreamcatcher which is dire and I gave up on halfway through) but it wasn't until I rediscovered him this year that I appreciated what an amazing storyteller he is, not just a writer of horror stories, but about people. 11.22.63 is one of the best I've read so far! The ending was inevitable but still so upsetting.

      I didn't realise that Heroes got cancelled mid-story, so I'll watch out for that. I think Season 2 might be a bit rushed because of the writers' strike cutting it short. It's not the greatest show I've ever watched, but it's quite entertaining and contains Sylar, which is a massive point in its favour!

  2. Hooray for a little more downtime - especially if you've got an autumn cold, poor muffin. Now I REALLY need to get too 11.22.63, thanks for that. Not sure when I'm going to fit it in with The Pickwick Papers coming up too - another monster novel - but we'll see. Are you talking about Missy in DW? I've only seen a couple of episodes of this series, but I hear your Umbridge-inklings may be correct? AND YES THE ADDAMS FAMILY PERFECT. I went for World War Z this year, but it was my choice of Halloween viewing last year, I'd forgotten how good it was!

    Feel better soon chuck, and enjoy those precious moments of downtime. :D

    1. Yay downtime! I've now got today AND tomorrow, AND only have a four-hour shift on Friday instead of working all day. Woohoo! The cold has now gone, thankfully, though I had an unsightly glow-in-the-dark red nose for a couple of days. YES YOU NEED TO READ 11.22.63! A lady bought that from me yesterday and got the full force of my fangirling. (I love customers with good taste in books. She fangirled right back at me.) Yes, Missy was the person with the Umbridge effect, though her story turned out rather interesting after all.

      THE ADDAMS FAMILY WAS AMAZING! I love Wednesday. "Are they made from real girl scouts?" :D :D


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