Friday, 24 December 2010

Seasons Greetings

* Peace, Love, Joy, Health & Happiness *
*
From Me to You...

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
&
A Happy New Year!

Where ever you live in our global village...
xxx

Have a wonderful holiday season!  I will be taking a relaxing break between Christmas through to the New Year,-planning to work on my revisions and reading.  *whispers* I will be tweeting randomly in between!  Keep safe where ever you may be, and carry on writing,-I look forward to seeing you in the New Year!   ~Talei  xoxo

Photocredits: via weheartit



Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Wishes

** If you were granted a Christmas wish right now, what would it be? **

Dear Santa Claus,

I've decided what I want for Christmas, and it's this...

View, 
Perfect for dreaming,
Wishing,
Writing,
Loving
x
 If you could arrange a small beach shack for me, just along that waterline dear Santa, I promise to be good for the next 365 days.  And I promise to give up martinis and champagne...wait, not that... I'll just promise not to swear...or if I do, I will do it quietly.  I promise that I will sit still for at least 3 hours in that beach shack and write.  And I promise that this view will greatly enhance the quality of my writing...really, truly, honestly.  And if I'm not writing next to that view, don't worry I be shall reading...or researching...pina coladas and seafood...just because, you know -research...and ooh inspiration. Yes, thats it.   Oh who am I kidding? - I need that view,-just because...  

Yours Wishfully,

Ms A.Scribe
xoxox


********

Response from Mr.S.Claus:

Dear Ms.A.Scribe,

Trust me, if I could wave a magical wand and grant your Christmas Wish...'to stand waist deep in that clear blue ocean, soaking up the sunshine...and perhaps sipping on a pina colada,' - I would!  For myself and er, Mrs Claus and a handful of my favourite elves.  I do applaud your enthusiam for writing, perhaps if you apply yourself more to finishing that book - you may fund your own beach shack!  For now, though - I'm enclosing a signed photo of myself for your mantel, I hope you enjoy it as much as that view.

Yours Joyfully

A.Jolly Green Helper
(On behalf or Mr.S.Claus who is somewhere over the rainbow tracking a couple of errant Elves.)

PS:  Please refrain from signing too many XOXOX to Mr.S.Claus, -our dear lady Mrs S.Claus gets a little antsy about all these women writing her husband kissy kissy letters this time of the year.

**

Now, whisper in my ear, -whats your secret wish this Christmas?

*

Photocredit courtesy via weheartit

A/N:  A big warm welcome and thank you to all my new friends following this week!  So lovely to meet you!  How's everyone doing?  Incredibly, we are down to our last two sleeps before Christmas dawns...are you ready for it?  Or still shopping like me?  So many shops - so little time!  I'm looking forward to wrapping presents and drinking eggnog on Friday night.  I hope you're having a lovely week so far, and that your Muse is keeping you on your writing toes!  Happy Writing dear friends!

Monday, 20 December 2010

By Golly Be Jolly!

The lovely Melissa and Jen are co-hosting this fabulously jolly blogfest!  It's all about how you celebrate Christmas and this lovely holiday season!  * Share pictures of your decorations * Holiday lights * Christmas tree * Favourite Holiday Treats * Drinks *  And of course, do help spread the cheer and visit  the Jolly Folk participating in the blog fest!    


* Happy Holidays Everyone! * 
* Here a few of my favourite things *

*Sparkly Decorations*
A Mirrorball,
Every tree should have one!
Three wise men whom
 I spend Christmas with every year!



My newest decoration,
courtesy of my dear friend K.

* A Fabulous Tree *
O Christmas Tree, How I love thee!
Decorated by Scribe Jnr and
 his merry team of helpers! 

* Christmas Treats *
Christmas Cookies,
-if I'm baking they look like this!

And if I'm not baking, -things look like this!
Afternoon Tea with one of my Besties
'somewhere nice.'

* Favourite tipple *
Nothing comes between me and my bubbly,
except perhaps...
a decent red and some fine old cheese!

* A Leisurely Stroll *
The essential leisurely stroll...post feasting.
Pull on those boots, there's always time for a nap later!
***

Photocredits yours truly

A/N: These are a few of the favourite things I love about Christmas and the holiday season.  Whether decorating the tree, sharing a few drinks with friends or snuggling up on the sofa -its always good to be with your nearest and dearest.  My usual ritual, depending of course on the previous nights frivolities, is something like this - wake early, grab a quick breakfast, walk and crack open some bubbly whilst opening presents!  Followed by a manic rush to help cook lunch, wait for friends to arrive, followed by more wine before falling down on sofa.  I'm in charge of the hors' dourves and cheese this year, -wish me luck!  After much feasting, there's a stroll or snooze, and preferably any activity that requires minimal effort, a movie or a book!  Tis the season to relax after all!  I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season with your loved ones! 


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Twisted Christmas Fairy Tale Blogfest


The delightful Francine at Romancing the blog is hosting this Twisted Christmas Fairy Tale Blogfest.  All genre welcome, 700 - 1000 words and it's your opportunity to let rip with a twisted fairy tale!  Here's my entry, I hope you will enjoy reading, please let me know what you think!


**  Waiting for Her Prince  **

Snow White fanned her face with her hands, removing an errant hair that strayed across her eyes, tickling her forehead.  The dwarves had left the cabin at dawn, whistling that nonsensical tune which now played over and over in her head.  Surveying the row of unmade beds, she muttered forlornly.  "I'm knee deep in dirty linen and bed socks."  This was going to be a long morning.  "If only these dwarves would pick up after themselves, all this cleaning and cooking and caring for seven messy men is starting to wear me out." 

It was almost a month since she'd stumbled upon this clearing in the woods and she was beginning to wonder what might have happened if she'd kept walking that fateful day.  She plumped Gumpy's pillow, giving it an extra hard punch, before placing back on the bed and moving onto to Sleepy's drawers.  If only, if only.  She closed her eyes to remember his face, those chiseled features, noble nose, thick dark hair, -beautiful lush lashes and those lips -Prince Reginald Winslow-Charming.  He'd attended at her Father's Summer Ball and she'd caught him staring at her over the roasted boars head, she smiled recalling Reginald's compelling eyes, his strong arms, she hugged Sleepy's drawers close.  "Eww, these reek!"  She dropped them quickly, kicking them under his bed.

Meanwhile, Prince Reginald Winslow-Charming strode determinedly from a distant tower, eyebrows knitted, lips pouting.  That was the last time he would slash through thorns, climb a winding 500 steps to an ungrateful wretched Princess, -Beauty was a fake?  How could he have fallen for that story?  Climb the tower, kiss the girl, bring a bride home to bear him an heir and live happily ever after.  Beauty had taunted his bee-stung lips, choosing instead to settle with that hairy Beast. Well, the monster was welcome to her.  She was too high maintenance, -the hair, the dresses, and the jewellery!

He pushed Beauty from his mind, forcing his steed on through the woods; an unseen force pulled him deeper through the tangled branches, towards a small dimly lit log cabin whose chimney pumped out clouds of smoke, its ivy covered roof provided camouflage in the early evening light and dark red and white toad stools lined the white-pebbled path that led to the heavy oak door.  He could hear whistling in the distance and moved to hide below the largest oaks, covering himself behind the thicket.  His eyes widened in disbelief as seven small figures carrying lanterns marched by.  What on earth?  The door to the cabin was flung open and there in the doorway stood the most beautiful creature.  Snow White.

"Evening Snowy."  Sleepy looked up at her.
"Hello Boys, how was your day?"  Her voice rang out to the Prince who unconsciously moved from his hiding place, breathing heavily, his eyes falling on her luscious black hair that framed her delicate face, -had he ever seen such beauty?  Her eye's fluttered, flashing deep chocolate lashes and his own lips twitched as she ran her tongue along her ruby lips.  Dopey, Bashful and Doc stared up at her adoringly.  "It was great."  They answered in unison, blushing a little.

Grumpy stomped impatiently.  "Can we get inside? Its flippin' cold outside."
Snow White stepped aside.  "Sure thing, Stumpy. Dinner's ready - I made your favourite 'Toad in a Hole'."
"It's Grumpy,-not Stumpy."
"Right, that's what I said, -Stumpy..."  She coughed his name as he slipped by, Sneezy and Happy following on his coat tails.  Happy beamed at her.  "You look lovely Snowy."  He held out a White Mountain flower.  "For you."
"Oh, so..."  She bent to kiss him on his cheek.  "Sweet."  Her eyes flickered, a small sensation ran along the top of her shoulders, making her shiver.  Someone else was here, watching her, she sensed him.  Turning slowly, she sought out those beautiful dark eyes.

"Snow White?"  Reginald whispered, stepping into the doorway now lit with the lanterns that the dwarves had carried home.
"Prince Reginald, how is it possible? What are you doing here?"  Her hand flew to her mouth, her cheeks flushed, surely he could hear how loud her heart was beating.  If only, if only.
Reginald couldn't believe his luck, she was 'the one', she needed rescuing and he darn well needed to rescue a Princess right now -it was their destiny.  He licked his lips, bowing low, he held out his gloved hand.  "Why dear Snowy, I am your Knight,-come to rescue you.  Of course."  

Snow White glanced at the seven pairs of expectant eyes peering from the windows before carefully placing her hand in the Prince's.  "Well, its about bloomin' time, where's your horse?"  A collective groan rose from inside the cabin, they were waiting for their dinner, and then it would be dishes and mopping the floor, and darning socks by the fire.  No, a thousand times, no!  Grinning wickedly she shook her head at the seven shocked faces pushed up against the frosted glass.  She nodded at her Prince, lifting her skirts high and together they ran, down the pebbled path and across the clearing towards his waiting horse, headfirst into their own happily ever after.



A/N:  I hope you enjoyed my twisted fairy tale, I had to give the dear couple a happy ending! Please let me know what you think, and have a wonderful writerly weekend!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Falling


Last night I dreamt

I was falling down

Through the ocean

My hair swirling all around

Cold salty liquid drawing me in

My fingers reached above my head

Releasing bubbles that coat my skin

Down I fell

Towards the sand

And as I went I felt this peace

A light above me

Giving release

Let go old life

Farewell dear friend

I listened quietly as waves lulled my fears

Hold me closer, I said

My blue sea

Grant me

Blissful

Eternal

Sleep

*



Falling © 2010 T.Loto. All rights reserved.
Photocredits via weheartit

A/N: I hope everyone's week is coming along swimmingly!  Sometimes I feel like waves are rushing me, other times its as though I'm floating, drifting through the hours, the minutes, the seconds.  How is your week thus far?

Monday, 13 December 2010

Book Review: Garden Spells

If someone offered you an apple that revealed the greatest event in your life, -good or bad, would you take a bite?

Garden Spells is set in a small American town in North Carolina, -Claire Waverly is from a long line of gifted women whose natural talents allow them to see certain events or know exactly what others need.  Her Grandmother passed down her knowledge of garden spells which both Claire and the local community rely on for various occasions. In the Waverly's garden, you will find enchanted plants, flowers, and herbs; and in the centre is 'the' magical apple tree,-its fruits will reveal your happiest event, or worse, -death.

This book had me enchanted from the early chapters, initially I thought, it was about the central figure Claire Waverly, however there are several love stories interwoven; firstly Claire, and the very attractive man next door, just arrived in town, secondly there's her sister Bay who returns home suddenly after many years away, and then there's a number of local characters who will have you smiling and laughing so hard, you won't want to put this book down.  The story has many reunions, former school friendships rediscovered, lovers reunited,- but crucial to the plot is the story of lost sisterhood that comes full circle.  Claire and Bay slowly uncover each others secrets.  Did I mention Evanelle?  She's the eccentric Aunt, who I want to adopt.

I stumbled across this book in a local store, its pretty green dust jacket bedazzled, beckoned to me, and I floated willingly towards it.  How could I not resist?  If you enjoyed reading 'Like Water for Chocolate' by Laura Esquivel, or if you loved watching the movie 'Serendipity' -then this is a book for you.  Enchanting and entertaining.

What's the only thing better than finding a book like this? - Finding out the author has many other titles ready for you to read!  Garden Spells was Sarah Addison Allen's debut novel, her books are available via amazon.com, and you can find Sarah here.

Friday, 10 December 2010

An Orphan in a Foggy City

I watched the film 'Lost in Translation' when it was first released, - who can resist Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson?  The funny thing is - I didn't find it that funny, -it was too real.  This movie is precisely how life was in Tokyo, at least when I lived there and we all have own perception of what reality is.  So many wonderful characters, an eclectic mix of surreal situations against the background of Tokyo's neon cityscape.  When you land in a foreign city like Tokyo or Hong Kong one of the biggest assaults on your senses is the language, -both visually and audibly. How lost we are without our English?

Recently, I signed up for Chinese Mandarin language lessons, one hour a week for 10 weeks.  Don't worry, I had little expectation that one could master such an ancient language after so short a time.  It's just a language I've always been fascinated with.

My last lesson made me smile, -a few book titles 'popped up' during the usual banter with our tutor.  We should have been revising 'how to tell the time,'  instead we were discussing literal translations of Chinese Mandarin to English and how amusing they were.  A few riotous laughs erupted around the classroom.  

Here's a few book translations that had us laughing:
Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist translates to 'An Orphan in a Foggy City.'
Daphne DuMaurier's  - Rebecca transforms into 'Butterfly Dreams.'
Jane Austen's - Pride and Prejudice becomes 'Arrogant and Prejudice or as my tutor says (Preconceived Idea of Someone's character)

I also loved this sentence:  I want to go to the movies - translates to 'I want to see Electric Shadows'

And lastly, our humble P.C, Computer translates to 'Electric Brain.'



If you have any English Translations that make you smile, please feel free to share them.


A/N: What are you working on this weekend?  I'm super excited that we're getting our tree tomorrow - a tree decorating tea party is in order!  And, I will also dive into my revisions.  Happy Writing this weekend dear friends!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Why I Read

It's a trending topic right now on twitter, and has got me thinking about books and my lifelong affair with the written word.

Why do I read?  As a child I remember reading in quiet corners, avoiding conversation with siblings, ignoring piano lessons, gardening, chores, -pretending nothing existed but the world in the book that I held in my hands.  Early childhood, adolescence, adulthood, the affair continues...


I love the written word, the enchanting voice of the storyteller, the tales he weaves, drawing us into secret places, carefully placing us under delicate spells.  Stories transport us to destinations, to experience parallel lives, thoughts, and dreams.  Wanderlust.  I love travelling, books at my side, and if at home -I cosy up into my sofa and still wander the world. 


It's pure escapism, I love to run my fingers over the pages, -I like to cast my net far and wide - catching those magical butterflies, watch them flutter over my skin, if just for a short time.  It's a moment in time - a glimpse into another world before floating back into reality.  Sometimes I wish I could linger in those secret worlds where my favourite characters roam, put down roots and stay awhile.  How about you?  




Escape to Parallel Universes


Photo credit via wehearit

Monday, 6 December 2010

Snow Birds and Dark Woods

I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself.  
A little bird will fall dead, frozen from a bough, without ever having felt sorry for itself.  
- D.H. Lawrence


Our Snow Goddess delivered the lovely fluffy icy stuff in buckets last week, and for a few days our local streets were picturesque.   What is it about snow?  When I see images like the bird in the tree, it evokes the lines from old poets - like DH Lawrence and Robert Frost.  A few lines popped into my head last week as I crunched along the icy paths.  And, don't worry - that pigeon was full of life when I left him, -he flapped his wings so sudden and hard, covering moir in snow.  Payback for snapping him with my flash, methinks.   Here are a few Christmas cards from London which I hope you will enjoy! 

Two Roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost


Alas, the Postman did not ring twice,
 -he stayed away until Sunday...
An old blue shed, gets a dusting of icing sugar.

The quintessential British icon all iced up



Our snow has melted away for now but I have a sneaky feeling it may be back.  *whispers* Christmas Eve, dear Snow Goddess, please come back then. x

Photo credits Yours truly.




A/N:  How's everyone's WIPs?   My first draft edits are chugging along, despite losing half a chapter - unwittingly swallowed by my netbook a week ago, -I did manage to rewrite another.   I also stumbled upon another book from my TBR pile.  It's fabulous-so far, kept me up all night.  I shall review it later this month.


  Did your Muse have you working over the weekend?







Friday, 3 December 2010

Evolution of the Book

Oh twitter, how I love thee!  I want to share a really 'neat' clip which I found via twitter last week.  You find so much information in the twink of an eye.  This short film is on the Evolution of the Book, sourced via George Walkley.com .   I found it really both fascinating and entertaining!  What are your thoughts on how the book has changed?  



Video credits courtesy via GeorgeWalkley.com

A/N:
A big wave to my lovely blogging buddies, its been a crazy busy week!  How is everyone doing?  The Snow Goddess has been waving her lovely wand over London, it's like a Christmas card around these here parts.  I shall post a few pictures soon.  Happy writing dear friends and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Book Review: The Hating Game


Ever thought of mud-wrestling your ex-boyfriend?  How about staying in a caravan with two of your ex-boyfriends?  What if you unwittingly had a second chance at romance with 'the one'?  Would you take it?  These are just a few of the scenarios Mattie Johns must overcome to win the £200,000 prize money for the reality show ' The Hating Game.'   And if you're a fan of Chicklit and Romantic Comedy, pull up a pew, - this could be a book for you.

Mattie Johns is a young business woman whose recruitment agency could go under, -unless she signs up to a reality game show.  Enter, Nate - a very ambitious media type who is very keen to make his name in the show biz world.  This is like X-factor and Mystery Date rolled up in one, even though you know who the candidates are, you really want to find out which one Mattie may or may not give a second chance of the happily ever after with.  

Now - being a fan of reality shows I enjoyed the jostling behind the scenes of the Hating Game, the bickering between producers and crew - does this really go on?  *whispers* It could.  I don't know but it was entertaining. This is a chicklit book which delivers funny scenes, a touch of snark, and love -lost,found and unrequited.

Talli Roland is a lovely lady who supports many writers and bloggers in our blogging community, this is her debut novel, it's available now for kindle via Amazon.com., and the hard copy will be out in early 2011. Psst, if you don't already follow, you can find Talli here.