Friday, 30 September 2011

A Peachy Writing Hut

A few eyebrows were raised on learning that the Dahl Family were asking for public donations to 'restore and move' the late great Roald Dahl's beloved writing hut from his estate to a museum in his own name.  I gasped when I read this news a few weeks ago, though not so much that the family were seeking donations, more that they felt the need to move the writing hut itself.  I mean, like, why?  Surely people would gain more from viewing the hut as it stood in the garden - precisely as Roald Dahl would have seen it.  To sit in the very spot where his wonderful novels were first penned but more than that, to soak in a little of the atmosphere, the sunlight hitting the windows in the morning, the breeze in the afternoon.  Surely, all of that is lost if it is moved 'brick by brick' and placed in a museum where the surroundings would hold little connection to the beloved hut itself.   

Deep sigh.  Or am I just being a great-big-girls-blouse, overly romantic and whimsical.  I think not.  Readers, fans, writers, -all walks of life, like to visit the writing huts of the literary heroes or heroines and let their own imagination wander wild and carefree.  I know I've stared out of castle windows and thought... imagine that - 'Queen-whats-her-face probably saw this view, just before she lost her head'... well, something like that.  But you know what I mean, don't you?  

Writers bolts, sheds, huts, call them what you will - they are sacred, and messing with them, well - messes with the karma.  Methinks.  

In the meanwhile, how do I find this place?
Ps:  And do check out the pictures of  famous writers sheds which the Independent has kindly listed. 

Monday, 26 September 2011

What Makes A Perfectly Sexy Man?

Devastatingly Perfect

What makes the Perfect Man?  That is quite 'the' question, darlings.  Being 'Honest' took the top spot in a poll by the Festival of Romance recently, being 'Loyal' and having a 'Sense of Humour' came in second and third places respectively.  On a note of humour or not, 'Kind'  and 'Personal Hygiene' ranked equally at number four.  Over at the Daily express - 'Speaking a foreign language' took honours in the Carte Noire study of seduction, with cooking and a love for literature and the arts trailing close behind.  It makes you wonder though, are we of the fairer sex 'projecting' just a bit?  Personally, I'd say so.

I've embraced the Metrosexual amongst my friends but when it comes down to it, give me a 'Manly Man' any old day.  You know, that perfect man who moonlights as a culinary wizard behind closed doors, someone who preempts that your wine glass needs refilling before you know it,  the 'one' who is so uber cool, he doesn't follow fashion, - fashion follows him and he has a dapper style, though perhaps never as good as mine.  There'd be mirror fights...not pretty.  The Perfect Gentleman would also keep a private jet on tap, travel willy-nilly 24/7, shower me with Louboutins and Hermes scarves and oh... you know, just pamper me.  I'm easy-pleasey-peasey really.  But lets push our fantasies aside.  For now.  

What I want to know is this - when writing your Male Characters, how real are they? Is it all 'fiction', or do you add a dash of what you find appealing in real life?  There's a saying that 'what makes a woman attractive is between her ears, not her legs' - I think that applies to the perfect Manly Man too.  A sense of humour, definitely.  And as for personal hygiene? Well, toliet-seat 'down' is always a winner.   Now, tell me - what attributes are key for the men in your writing lives? 

Perfectly Compelling
Photocredits via weheartit

Friday, 23 September 2011

Blogfest: What I Did This Summer

"I KNOW what you did this summer" a sinister voice  trills down the phone line.  Horrified, my head automatically rears up, my eyes widen in horror.  ( Cue theme music from Psycho shower scene or Uma's deadly snow scene in Kill Bill)  I stare helplessly at the receiver "You know what I did?! you know that?" I gasp.   Oh, that's right - there are no secrets these days, what with all my twittering and online social networking.  Here's a flash-back of how my summer was spent - are you ready

My summer was spent in London- Milano-London-Norfolk-Paris-London.  It went something like this - Sweltering-Heating-Milano-Shopping-Sunshine-English-Countryside-Rain-Clay-Pigeon-Shooting-Spa-Rabbits-Ducks-Family-Sailing-Mother-Paris-Croissants-Lust-Hermes-Heaven-Sunshine-St-Pancras-Station-Home.   Deep sigh.  

I posted a few snaps on my earlier enchanted Paris post,  here - and as promised, below are a few more pictures from that trip, for your pleasure.  My Milano trip, I have blogged my pictures here, it was mostly for work in a parallel universe but I got to check out the famous designer shopping streets in the evenings and the old town when I caught with a dear friend who lives there. Lucky him!  I hope you had a wonderful Summer!

The Louvre

Beneath the Louvre's glass pyramid  

Hordes admiring one of the famous residents at the Louvre

The 'other' famous lady at the Louvre

The Grande Eiffel Tower!
Fabulous structure...

Magnificent views from the Tower

Musee D'Orsay

Notre Dame, view from the River
I recommend a cruise on The Seine!

Painters Market,

My favourite Artwork,

Notre Dame

Lovers Lockets with their carved initials,
Pont De Arts Bridge

St Germain des Pres

My favourite view...
Waking up in Paris

Photo courtesy via yours truly 
(I played around with a new lens which I think works well)

A/N:  I could rabbit on about Paris, its a beautiful city, perfect to walk around and after a day of trekking and shopping, my favourite thing to do was relax in my local hood early evenings, so many lively cafes to hang out in and of course, old friends to catch up with. You must go there! I am already pondering my next trip.

Thank you to the lovely Michael Di Gesu  for hosting this Super Summer blogfest, do check out the other entries!  Wishing you a lovely weekend!  Talei xox

Monday, 19 September 2011

Let It Fall

This weekend, as I took a jaunty stroll in the park with trusty hound dancing at my feet, it was hard not to notice the changing seasons. A thick carpet of golden hues crunched underfoot, children collected conkers, acorns rolled along the roots of ancient oaks, squirrels chased the errant acorns and the hound chased the squirrels. Wait, that was someone else's ill-behaved four-legged friend.  Anyway, I just wanted to say....

 Autumn or Fall - whatever your name is, I am glad you came...

You make me want
To raise my hands, run carefree,
Through avenues of ancient trees
 And wide-open spaces 

 And your crisp fallen leaves 
Always brings forth the wondrous 
Sound of children's laughter

And I love snuggling
On a picnic rug in the cold, cold air
Or in my favourite chair

You remind me that
Pumpkins, Halloween,
And Christmas, 
Are all just
Around the corner...
And I do like that
A lot...



Let It Fall Copyright © T.Loto, all rights reserved
Photocredits via weheartit

A/N: I hope you are enjoying the change in seasons where ever you are in the world!  Let me know, whats your favourite thing about the season, that you in right now?  Talei xox

Friday, 16 September 2011

Flash Fiction: The Ivy, the Bishop and his Lollipop

The Bishop wandered idly through the ancient cemetery, poking his walking stick at the soft ground.  Ornately carved angels lay broken, their faces turned towards the sky; ivy wound around throats. “Such pretty faces” he thought and he pulled a lollipop from his pocket.  The juices of his mouth worked through the pink sweet as he stepped over the remains of Lord Higginbotham’s tombstone, freshly stained with dog urine. Bastards.  His left boot slid forward, his arms flew upwards  “my lollipop!” he screamed.  Down, down, down it fell – landing in a pile of dog excrement.  “Shit” he muttered to himself. 

Come, walk with me...

Photocredit via tumblr, weheartit
The Ivy, The Bishop and his Lollipop © Copyright T.Loto All rights reserved. 

A/N:  Hello, dear friends!  I stumbled onto Chuck Wendig's blog and found this wonderful flash fiction challenge -  from five randomly chosen words, you select three to include in a 100 word story.  Tonights words were Enzyme, Ivy, Bishop, Blister and Lollipop.  It's a no brainer, you know which three called to me, right?  I hope you enjoyed my 100 flash fiction - its always good to exercise the grey matter, on-the-fly as it were.  Happy writing this weekend! Talei xox

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

"If I could be anyone, I would be..."

Right now, I'd love to be this lady, if just for a day...

And here's why I think she's so flipping wonderful...

* Philanthropist  * UN Ambassador *

*  Controversial * Free Spirit * Fabulous tattoos *

"If being sane is thinking there's something wrong with being different, then I'd rather be completely freaking mental" -  Angelina Jolie

* Loving Mother * Sassy * Sexy  *

"I don't believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person, and don't judge people in your life.  I think you should live completely free."  - Angelina Jolie 

* Fly Girl - as in she has her pilots license * Private Jet, anyone? * 

* Kick-Ass Actress * Designers Galore *  Red Carpet Queen * 

 * And last but not least, who wouldn't want to cuddle up with Monsieur Pitt at night? *

Photocredits via tumblr

A/N: Its a sassy post today and with good reason -  I'm helping to celebrate Talli Roland's launch party for her new novel 'Watching Willow Watts'.  A bevy of Beauties are welcoming Willow to the world by posting who we'd like to be and why.  Honestly, I quite like being myself, controversial, I know! But really, I figure I could possibly live as Angelina, if just for one day, non?  What do you think? If you could be anyone, who would you be?   - Talei xoxo

Monday, 12 September 2011

Book Review: The Sugar Queen

Ever fallen under the spell of another writer?  Humour me, darlings. I know you have.  After reading 'Garden Spells' by Sarah Addison Allen, I did the usual 'google-stalk-search' thing for her online and was happily placated when I stumbled upon her other book titles.  Within a heartbeat of closing 'Garden Spells', I was flying through amazon reviews and filling my virtual shopping basket like a kid in a candy store.  Out-of-control, in need of that sugar hit.

'The Sugar Queen' is set in North Carolina and the main protagonist is Josey Cirrini, a recluse at twenty-seven years old who lives the life of a nun at home with her over-bearing mother - a true Southern Belle, whose whims she must attend to on a daily basis - its like a self-imposed penance for past sins.  Skeletons, secrets and closets feature throughout the scenes and Josey has several secrets of her own - her hankering for junk food and romance novels which she keeps stashed in the back of her rather large wardrobe and her crush on the hunky mailman.  One morning, Josey's life is turned upside when bad girl Della Lee appears in her wardrobe - and refuses to budge. Della Lee seems to be hiding her own problems but freely offers up unsolicited advice to Josey, provoking her on her daily routine - her clothes, her make-up, her mother, and her non-existent love life.  Needless to say, Josey finds herself thrown into situations she'd never dreamt of before the great intrusion of Della Lee.

Did I like it?  'The Sugar Queen' had me from chapter one, its a wonderfully woven tale of love, friendship and relationships, with a touch of the supernatural throughout.  I enjoyed all the characters and mini sub-plots. Would I recommend it?  Hell, yes.  If you like a witty storyline with lashings of magic, this ones for you. I read it in one sitting and I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms Allen's offerings.

A/N:  I hope you had a wonderful weekend, mine was relatively sane.  Mother has flown the coop and its back to a peaceful existence, ahem... I jest.  This week, its another hectic schedule in the parallel universe but I'll be posting on Wednesday and Friday - I hope to catch up with you all soon.  Talei xox

Friday, 9 September 2011

Movie Review: Limitless

Who doesn't love a film with a hunky Hollywood star in the lead role?  Let's be clear though -its not the only reason I picked this movie.  Bradley Cooper's baby blues are swoon worthy but what really caught my attention is the main character.  Eddie Morra is a writer - not just any writer - he's a 'tortured-soul-complete-with-messy-hair-bleary-eyed-in-throes-of-writers-block'type of writer.  A writer whose rather pretty and clever girlfriend (with the credit card) leaves him to his own demise.

Enter the devil in the form of his ex-brother-law, who offers him salvation in the form of a smart drug, NZT, - of course its untested and illegal.  Miraculously or not, Eddie is able to perform incredible feats - such as total recall of everything he's read in the past, like, ever.  Overnight, he becomes a talented linguist and he plays the stock market - not unlike a demon on RedBull - trading live stock for dollar signs.  Life for Eddie hums along nicely for all of five minutes - until he runs out of the NZT.  Gordon Gekko comes knocking in the guise of Wall Street Jackal, Van Loon, played by Robert De Niro - a would-be corporate mentor for Eddie.  Throw into the mix one particular nasty Russian crime-boss from the streets and well, things slide from bad to horrifically awful in milliseconds.

So, did I like this film?  You know the 'Its Complicated' status on Facebook?  Well, it's like that - not quite knowing who's telling the truth - and the disparity between Good vs. Evil? Yes, that old cookie - in our fluffy-cotton-wool-world, Good naturally takes Evil, right?  Not so with this movie - it's well... complicated... in a 'wannabe-Inception-meets-the original-Wall-Street-and-flirts-with-Bourne-Identity' type of way.  What I really loved? His kick-ass apartment and the special effects when his old self caught up to his shiny -new improved version.  And the humour, there's plenty of it - I especially love the Chinese restaurant scene.  Do I recommend viewing?  Er, yes.  I'd definitely recommend this one for Bradley Cooper Pantsers and De Niro Worshippers.  Needless to say, I tick both those boxes.

Gratuitous shot of Mr Cooper
* deep sigh *

Photocredits via weheartit

A/N:  Hello!  Yes, it's another late night post this side of the pond, the parallel universe is certainly keeping me on my toes.  I hope you are all well - and writing?  Have a fabulous weekend wherever you are on this lovely planet.  I'll be relaxing and spending the last few days with my mother this weekend - she flies back very, very soon.   Talei xox

PS:  And yes, I posted Mr Coopers pic at the end of my review - so you wouldn't get distracted before reading it... I know you didn't, right? 

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Waiting Game

"So I will wait for you like a lonely house
Till you see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache"
- Pablo Neruda

Photocredit via weheartit

A/N:  Hello dear friends,  its a short and sweet post from my writing world today as the parallel universe is tres crazy.  This weekend, I found Pablo Neruda's words pretty inspiring, some times its feels as though I'm waiting for my writing to finish itself but in reality, its all down to me.  I know, I know... deep sigh.  Inspiration, motivation - each day - you must to go out and find it for yourself.  Carpe diem, indeed.  I'll be writing furiously in snatches of time as I fly through this week.  How about you?  Talei xox

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Enchanted Paris

My top five reasons for loving Paris:

View from the Eiffel tour, looking towards Montmartre
1.  Decadence - the opulent architecture, sweeping boulevards, stunning jardins and romantic bridges, - in some quarters of the city, its as though time has stood still.  I love to take a slow stroll along the river, or better still - a leisurely boat cruise. 

Hermes, Rue St Honore
(My favourite shade of orange)
2.  Style - It's that air of effortless chic amongst the Parisiens.  That je ne sais quoi.  Riding bikes in floral-print-bell-bottom-one-pieces with sky-high heels?  Quite normal.  Meeting friends for coffee? More sky-high heels and a matching purse.  I'm always impressed by the natural style of my french friends.  How do they do it?  *whispers*  head down Rue du St Honore...all will be revealed.

Laduree, St Germain des Pres
3.  Culinary Delights - Local delicacies, sweet smelling aromas to tantalise your taste buds.  Cafes, tea shops, bakeries. Pain Chocolat, fresh baquette, macaroons... don't get me started on oeuf mayonaise and escargot.  J'adore...  You'll be tempted at every turn, go on - give in, just once.

Wander through 15kms of art in The Louvre...
4.  Art -   There are so many galleries, museums, - where to start?  The Louvre,  The D'Orsay, The Painters Market in Montmartre... enjoy! 

My room with a view
5. Atmosphere -  Its compelling, its exciting, its those joyful moments when discovering a new city, one whose beautiful language will seduce you in a heartbeart.  You may feel sad when leaving but remember as Hemingway said  'Paris is a moveable feast.'  Tonight, when I close my eyes to sleep, I will be transported back to the little balcony of my hotel room, in that small street in St Germain des Pres.  Simply heavenly.

Photocredits via yours truly, these are taken off my iPhone.  I snapped a lot on my SLR but am yet to download them, I shall post more of those images at a later date. 

A/N:  A few days in the city of love and I'm under its spell. So, what's in your diary for this weekend?  Mine will be spent largely on writing projects, catching up with old friends, and if my energy levels are up on sunday - there's always the mayor's bike ride.  C'est la vie.  I hope you are all well, dear friends!  Have a lovely weekend wherever you are in this beautiful global village of ours.  Talei xox