to all of my readers.
I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas.
This year our Christmas has been very low key. Just my daughter home for a holiday, and my wife and I. Speaking of my daughter – she surprised us when she came home on Wednesday with a lovely set of three presents for us. In consultation with our son she bought us a new set of three bird baths. Many of the photos which appear on my other site Trevor’s Birding are taken of birds having a drink or a bath, including the photo above taken of a White-browed Woodswallow having a drink. This photo shows the old bird bath. It was taken on a very hot day last week.
Last night I went to the 11:30pm service at our church. This was a very moving service and a great way to see in Christmas Day. This morning we all ventured out again to our church service. Later we cooked up a storm for lunch: roast pork and vegetables on our barbecue. Despite the heat this went well. Today was the hottest Christmas Day we have had in South Australia since 1945. Thankfully our air conditioner coped well.
After our main course my wife served up the Christmas fruit pudding she made yesterday. Together with home made custard it was delicious. While none of us over-indulged, we all tried to read our books during the afternoon but sleepiness got the better of us. We all had a snooze. Thankfully, no noisy children or noisy toys in this household this Christmas. That will change next week when our son and family arrive from Sydney for three weeks.
Dinner was a repeat of lunch with a enough leftovers to go around. It was just as enjoyable as lunch.
Happy Christmas, everyone.
Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Back in April I wrote about the fact that I had finally relented and procured an eReader. It was interesting adapting to a new form of technology. It was also quite a different reading experience. I found it very easy to use and quickly downloaded several books to read.
I also included my wife in this wonderful new addition to our reading regime. I was quite surprised how easily she also took to it. In fact, during the first few weeks we had to share the reader. She usually heads off to bed before me and reads for 20 – 30 minutes, and then when I arrive in bed it is lying there waiting for me. So far, we have not argued over its use at all. Not yet.
But I digress.
Well, not so much of a digression but more of an introduction to the review I want to do. The first book I bought and read on my eReader was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When I mentioned this on Facebook many of my friends said how enjoyable this book was, as well as being totally gripping in its exciting subject matter.
I have to disagree.
Yes – I was totally absorbed by the storyline. At times I had trouble putting the reader down. I even took it out in the back yard to read – when the grandchildren allowed me this luxury. We were staying with my son and family in Sydney at the time. The utter fascination with the characters and the events in this novel had me spellbound, and about half way through the book, this began to bother me, and towards the end it concerned me greatly.
While I concede that this is a brilliantly written book – it has the reader in its grip right from the beginning – it was the subject matter which rang alarm bells in my conscience. I found the sadistic subject matter towards the end of the novel to be quite repulsive; I guess that was what the author was trying to achieve. I also found that many of the characters had no moral compasses at all. Instead, they displayed very strong ‘immoral compasses.’
Certainly it is a very well written novel – no disputing that. I just found that this type of novel is not for me – especially when I have so many other books waiting to be read.
And I have resolved not to read the sequels in this series. Good thing I didn’t buy them.
I took the photo above while on a tour of Morocco in December 2011. You can read more about my travels on Trevor’s Travels.
My wife and I found that our experiences over just two weeks in Morocco were not only fascinating – they were almost overwhelming. The colours, the sounds, the aromas, the food, the masses of people in the medinas, the amazing mosaics everywhere and the silence of the Sahara. Everywhere we looked we saw new things, different things, amazing and downright perplexing things.
I found it easy to write a daily journal during our trip. I also wrote many poems along the way. (You can read some of my poetry here.) Unusual experiences, or undertaking activities which are out of our usual realm of experience are often excellent stepping off points for writing.
Today I want you to focus on the photo of the farmer shown above. I am assuming he is a farmer on his way to, or just coming back from, the market place. Here are some ideas to help you with your writing.
- Imagine you are the farmer in the photo. Reminisce on your day so far.
- Write a poem (or poems) inspired by the photo.
- Imagine the man in the photo has had a tragedy in his life recently. Describe how he is feeling, what happened and how he is going to respond to his changed circumstances.
- Use the photo as a jumping off point for a short story. It does not have to be set in Morocco.
- Where is the man going? Where has he been? What is his purpose in travelling along this road? Let your imagination soar.
- Imagine that the man has just heard some bad news. Describe his feelings, trying to get inside his head, his thoughts, his emotions.
- Write a story about the man in the photo assuming that he is not a farmer. What is he doing? Where is he going? What is his background? What happens next?