Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Thimble of Magickal Tea - A Fanged Fable of Fright!

Marcella has just moved to the puddly town of Guimpton and something is very wrong. No one else can see it - not her parents, not her spaniel, Spotbottom, not even Old Jake Suspenderson who lives in the rowhouse next door! But Marcella can feel it: the grass curls strangely under her toes, her plastic play earrings crawl up her ears, even her jelly-tots play in her hand and refuse to be eaten. It would all be wonderful, if only Spotbottom wasn't turning so mean..."

There. That's my approximation of all the twee-and-crumpets crap that Neil Gaiman has written with this book. I've just read Coraline. Perhaps I was put off Gaiman years ago by someone who, er, used to influence me, shall we say? But lord knows, I've tried. I really tried with this book, because PHILIP PULLMAN is quoted on the front. (However, he just says to "applaud" for Coraline is "the real thing", by which he might mean, well, anything.)

The only original element in this book is the buttons. Read it and you'll see what I mean. Everything else is so derivative. When it's not derivative, it's plain and cliched. Blarf. I'm ready for a fight, all you Gaiman-worshippers.

Read Lewis Carroll. Read Pullman. Read C. S. Lewis. Read Beatrix Potter. Heck, I'm a big fan of Good Omens. But Coraline? Bah. I'm sure it'll be a nice little animated film one day, but please stop calling it a "classic".

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I promise

I promise I won't turn this into "solely" a shoe blog.
But look, a running shoe I would wear!

I'm ba-aack

"Why Ms. Mazal, would you care to explain your absence?"

You might think that being off blogging and jobless would have resulted in a flurry of creativity and productivity, but you would be wrong. I have nothing nothing to report on the writing front. Really. It's embarrassing. But since NOT blogging didn't help any, I'm back to blogging.

However, there is some news.

Two week ago I started a new full-time job. It's nine to five. It's a very short walk from home, and so far, it's great. It's an organization that helps children, so hurray.

I've also started taking a writing class at U of T. I'll let you know more about it, but so far, we've only had one class.

Next week I start volunteering at a literacy foundation called Frontier College.

Otherwise, I've been happily watching the leaves turn, 'cause Autumn is my favourite season. I've been reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Nothing like a pioneer family to make you feel dull, slow, lazy, unaccomplished, ungrateful, and morally lacking in comparison! Laura's knowledge of English grammar at age 15 is more than I have ever learned.

I also just read The Ruby in the Smoke, the first in the Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman. It's terrific. It's too bad I didn't hear about it in the '80s. The cover on the edition I got from the library is awful, though. The one in the middle of this Amazon page is my favourite - and the only one I've seen on store shelves here in Toronto.

Oh, and if you've never read The Devil's Storybook by Natalie Babbitt, you should. It's a lot of fun. I've been on a bit of a children's lit kick, as you can see.

And lastly, here's a page of fall boots that you are all welcome to buy for me. I like the Nydia, Beta, and the Tamika. I should never ever have gone into the Cole Haan store, because nothing in any other store will measure up now.
Buy us!

Hope you're all having a lovely October, wherever you are.