Just Finished…The Crucible

CrucibleThis is a re-read for me of one of my favourite plays to read – if that makes sense?

I first read this in school as a required text and it was one of the first times I really saw clearly escalating drama, then a lull, then another escalation, over the four acts of the play. If I had seen it in a play before, I hadn’t noticed it really. The characters in the play are also strong, whether good, bad or other, I enjoy the story that they come together to tell. It feels like you get more character development in this than other plays I’ve read.

In reading this at school, you really do to death (no pun) the motifs and themes and imagery, dissecting everything until you’ve pulled the text apart, but perhaps aren’t enjoying it so much. Coming back to it again after so many years, I still remember elements of what I learned and so in reading this reasonably fresh the elements that I revised for exam questions now just add texture and depth to a reading of an explosive play.

I’ve seen a few Miller plays performed, but never this one, even though it is my favourite of his. Re-reading this today just reminded me of this. Plus, the edition I have is the one pictured: a little ratty on the outside, found in a second hand book shop and purchased for the grand price of 85p when I was at Uni – so it’s nostalgia all around, even down to the musty-smelling, slightly yellow pages.

Yeah, I suppose this wasn’t a review of the play at all, but of my experiences reading it. Oh, well. It’s Sunday, don’t hold it against me.

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I’m three, I’m three!

On my way back from beautiful Scotland and what do I find when I do the usual author-stalk of my books on Amazon….?

I find this!

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Thats right, Faris and Jack at number three in the top ‘horse’ book charts 😊 It also made it to twelve in the ‘sword and sorcery’ category, very exciting… Finges crossed I might break the top ten there soon too!

Thursday thoughts…

Mama Cass 1972“Nobody can tell you, there’s only one song worth singing.

They may try and tell you, cos it hangs them up to see someone like you”

I love this song and, although I don’t know why, it always gives me little chills. That’s good music.

Now, I should try and get back to writing like I’m supposed to be doing 🙂

Blast from the past…

#AccidentalPoet

Poem

Well, look what my Mum found while ‘spring cleaning’ – a cheeky poem, dropped into my Dad’s birthday card nearly 20 years ago – I think I’d have been seventeen or eighteen-ish. I’ll share it with you here and you’ll get the picture on why I don’t normally write poetry!

Happy Thursday! 😀

The Reason Why People “Like” But They Don’t Comment

Interesting post here on why people ‘like’ but don’t always comment. (I’m not sure where ‘reblogging’ sits in this situation…?)

I think there are some valid ideas here in what makes people comment more than like, or do nothing at all. The only one I find that stops me commenting is when I follow blogs which aren’t WordPress and get into the horrible ‘sign in’ to comment thing, which has deleted my lengthy comments or requires me to set up a load of new user stuff just to comment back on something I found interesting…

What do you think, commenter, liker or invisible reader… which are you?

The Golden Lands

I’ve been seeing a lot of blogs recently where the authors have a MAD following.  I sigh and drool and faint whenever I see how many followers these people have.  They average at LEAST 40 likes a post.

But they also average MAYBE 2-3 comments a post.

Why?

These people have 5,000+ followers.  Some have 20,000+ followers.  Why is no one commenting?

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Let’s be honest.  Everybody likes to get Liked.  But I think we can agree that when people take the time to comment, this feedback means way more to us.  Because it’s easy for people to click the Like button, but it takes effort to comment.  And that means they are taking us seriously and actually paying attention.  We like comments more than Likes.

The question is then: What makes people comment?

Personality.

Sig and Armstrong

You might have a huge following, but if you don’t have a sense of personality

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TGIF Throw back!

Looking at old blogs and things last week got me thinking about ‘blogging’ things I used to do and I saw this! The TGIF Look Back was a meme idea, ideally it just took a few minutes to jot down and share how your week had been. For old times sake, this is how my week stacked up – how was yours?

It just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following questions with some Friday feeling…or come up with your own examples for the F R I D A Y letters!

FUNNY – What made you laugh this week?

READING – What were you reading this week?

INSPIRED – What inspired you this week? 

DREAM – What were you dreaming about this week?

ANGEL – Who was your angel of the week?

YUCK – What made you go ‘ewwww’ this week?
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My TGIF Look Back…

FUNNY – I watched The Hitman’s Bodyguard this week and was crying laughing at parts of it – I love Ryan Reynolds (esp. Deadpool) and his character in this was like a slightly toned down, smart-talking, kick-ass Deadpool – replacing the red stretchy suit with a natty grey one. If you like him in that, and Samuel L. Jackson in a role with shades of his Marvel counterpart, you’ll probably enjoy this.

READING – Currently reading my first David Estes book Slip and enjoying the shades of Philip K Dick that the first half of the novel has had…

INSPIRED – Maybe it’s the new year ‘blow out the cobwebs’ feeling I’ve been inspired by this week, but getting my latest book finished and coming fresh into the new year is leaving me in a generally writer-y mood! 🙂

DREAM – Oh – an absolutely crazy one last night about trying to get back to a friend’s wedding because I was her bridesmaid – but to get there I had to navigate the sewers by boat to get there, because that’s where she was holding it! I suggest that Co-Op’s garlic soft cheese roulade is yummy, but best not consumed after 9pm if you don’t want to get the crazy dreams!

ANGEL – Angel / star of the week for me are the lovely people who will have been in to Dogs Trust, RSPCA and other dogs homes in the last few days to rescue and give good homes to little puppies gifted at Christmas and already dumped. It’s astounding – and sad – how much this still happens… They’re for life!

YUCK – Yeah, my attempt at home made stroganoff did not go so well this week. It wasn’t awful, but it really wasn’t good!

‘Thank you’ to Bloggers

dear-blogger
Coincidentally, another Melanie seems to appreciate bloggers too! 🙂

I’ve just been doing a little ‘spring cleaning’ on my laptop today, tidying up the bookmarks that I keep on here relating to all things books: I have YA book blogger lists, MG/kids blogger lists, blogs on writing that I follow as well as other general writing resources.

For once, instead of dipping in and out of blogs based on what Twitter flashed up at me and made me go ‘Ooh shiny shiny!’ *click* I started at the top of my list (around 40 YA blogs) and I began running down from the top, to see who was out there from when I first started blogging and reading blogs myself, back in 2011… There are six active blogs left posting today. Just six.

Some of the blogs that have gone were ‘big’ to me – they had between 1000-10,000 regular followers and the bloggers who ran them took part in everything from read/reviews to author giveaways, features, blog tours, interviews. Some of the blogs had hundreds of posts, reviewing hundreds of books, which will have meant thousands of hours reading and preparing posts…

I know how easy it is to beat yourself up when it comes to blogging: it starts out as a hobby, an extension of something you love (in my case reading and writing!) that you want to share with the wider world and it can very quickly snowball into a job. (One you don’t get paid for, funnily enough!)  If you already have a full time job, are in school, (have any kind of life), or maybe even trying to write yourself, maintaining a blog and keeping your passion for it can be difficult. It sets you objectives: what to post, what to read, running a giveaway, responding to emails/requests…

In recent years I had to choose, for my own available time – and maybe my sanity, a little – to reduce what I blogged on my own YA blog asidefromwriting.com because I couldn’t keep up with the pace needed. We used to run an annual Indie Author Month, but the volume of work to co-ordinate 30 authors and features for a one month block became absolutely impossible for me. I feel bad looking at it today – I really need to post some things in there! Even on my author blog, where I tend to post mainly now, I struggle to deliver new posts and content, because if I write here then I don’t write my own books.

And this is why I’m saying ‘thank you’ to the other book bloggers that are out there. It is a hard hobby you have set yourself and can often feel thankless, or like you’re writing to no one, but you aren’t – you are still writing for yourself, sharing what you love and helping people, authors probably more than readers, in the ever-growing world of books and e-books.

Please don’t let it become so much of a chore that you eventually turn your back on your blog – let it quiet down and give yourself some space, if you need it. Post less frequently and let the pressure off until you feel the spark return. Your readers will still be there, as will the books to read, it’s important that your blog is about you and what you wanted to share in the first place.

Most of the blogs I’ve seen today that disappeared lasted between 12-24months… If you’ve made it past that, then you’ve done an amazing job because this shows how hard being a blogger can be. If you’ve only been blogging for a week, I still say thank you – because you’re starting something that means something to you 🙂 keep it up!

Best wishes for 2018 and beyond x x

Blogging is HARD