Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge – Day 1

I was nominated for this challenge by Irish Procrastinator – if you haven’t read her blog yet why not? It is ace! I love a good quote, so the real challenge here will be picking only three.  I hope my little offerings can live up to her expectations!

1. Thank the person who nominated you – muchas gracias my lovely!

2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).

3. Nominate three bloggers each day.

For my first quote, I have chosen the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett. Given events in the world today, this seemed appropriate.

Pratchett quote

Small Gods isn’t my favourite Discworld book, but I do love this quote.

Be the potato of defiance you wish to see in the world!

My nominees for today are:

Kezzie

Alison

Beth

I think you three will have some great quotes to share. But please don’t worry about playing along if you prefer not to!

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Inside the Theme: Woodland Fantasy

inside-the-theme

I’m going to do something a bit different today…

A while ago I mentioned that I had signed up for a geeky pen pals site. But the IGGPPC is so much more than just a place to find pen pals. There are forums where you can chat and a blog that discusses the latest happenings in the geeky world (new computer games, books, films, TV shows…). Each month, there is also a different theme including various activities to go along with it, such as a watch-along of a film (everyone watches a film at the same time and tweets about it). There is also a set of questions to go along with the theme. This month, the theme is Woodland Fantasy and I liked the questions so much that I’ve decided to answer them on my blog.

 

  • What is your favourite fantasy story, and what’s so great about it?That’s a difficult one to answer, but I think I’d have to go with Discworld. Pratchett was such an excellent writer. I love his humour, the way he incorporates elements of our world into his Discworld, managing to look at society critically while still being funny. The way he brings his characters to life. His descriptions. Just… everything about the series. Please don’t ask me to pick a specific book though!
  • What was your first experience with fantasy?It depends what you consider fantasy, I suppose. If animals that talk and dress in human clothing are fantasy then it was probably Beatrix Potter’s books. Otherwise it would have been something by Enid Blyton – maybe The Wishing Chair? Or it could have been Disney’s Alice in Wonderland – my favourite film as a child! Then again, there was also Bananaman and Superted. Which came first, books or cartoons? Hmm.
  • Modern technology allows fantasy stories to be told in a variety of different mediums now; do you prefer diving into a good old fashioned book, reading a colorful comic, yelling at your videogames while bathing in the blood of your virtual enemies, or snacking on all the popcorns in front of your TV or at the movies? (Listening to troubadours performing the ballad of Beowulf is also a totally valid choice.)Regular readers probably won’t need to be told this, but for me it’s definitely books! Real ones… no Kindles here, thank you. I do like a good fantasy film occasionally though.
  • Pets are a very popular choice in fantasy. Because pets are awesome. Which magical pet would you most like to adopt? (You can either go with a kind of creature, or a specific pet from a specific story you wouldn’t mind moving in with you – because let’s face it, we all want Toothless as a bestie.)Dragon Eastside GalleryA dragon! Party because of the relationship between the dragons and their riders in the Dragonlance series, and partly because of Toothless. I mean… who doesn’t want a Toothless of their very own? Obviously I’m assuming I would have somewhere to keep said dragon and that it would either be harmless (no fire-breathing!) or very, very tame!
  • Your RPG play style: alignment, faction, race, and class. Do you play tabletop style or in a digital medium?I play a wizard in Warhammer Quest. Never anything else. I’ve also played the original Warhammer (the one with the huge table filled with different armies) where I was dwarves. I prefer Warhammer Quest though. I’ve never actually played Dungeons and Dragons, the original roleplaying game! And neither have I played on of the various computer-based versions (World of Warcraft or whatever).

So there you have it. Feel free to answer the questions yourself if you want – there’s no need to sign up to the website to do so!

Top ten fictional places I would like to visit

Recently Metal and the Geek posted her top 5 fictional cities she would like to visit. Later I mentioned it to Jan and we had a fun conversation about the places we would like to visit (we changed it from cities because that was just too limiting!). And now I want to share my top ten list with my blog readers. I had to expand it from top 5 because I just couldn’t narrow it down!

10. The Inn of the Last Home from the Dragonlance Chronicles.

It’s an inn in a tree, how could anyone not want to visit! Also, I want to try the spiced potatoes. And hopefully meat some of the heroes of the lance, stopped by for a visit to chat about old times (obviously I would time my visit so there wasn’t a war going on!)

9. Many of the lands at the top of the Faraway Tree

Not the nasty ones though – I’d prefer to stay away from Dame Slap! The land of Birthdays would be nice. And of course I would like to meet all the characters on the way up – Moonface and the Saucepan Mana and Silky the Elf with her pop biscuits.

8. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory

I seem to be all about the children’s books, don’t I? That’s because those were the first ones that influenced me and got me imagining all these things in the first place. But who wouldn’t want to visit Willy Wonka’s factory, try all the goodies on offer (only with permission, of course!) and see the square sweets that look round?

7. Lancre on the Discworld

Partly because, in my imagination, it’s all gorgeous and green and hilly, but mostly because I want to meet the witches.

6. Rivendell

I love waterfalls, and what could be more magical than the waterfalls in J.R.R Tolkien’s Elven city?

5. Staying with a theme… The Shire

The scenery! The hobbit holes! I bet it’s even more beautiful than Switzerland. And of course I would have to pay a visit to Hobbiton and check out Frodo’s home for myself.

4. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Not to be confused with the Bar at the End of the World; that’s in Paris 😉 The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, or Milliways to give it its proper name, is a five-star restaurant located at the end of time and matter… but then you knew that, didn’t you? I would love to meet all the patrons, view the extravagent decor and see (but not necessarily consume) talking food.

3. La Céleste Praline

That’s the chocolate shop from Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Because Vianne would know exactly what my favourite is and if I was lucky I might even get to sample her yummy hot chocolate. Plus, I want to see Pantoufle (and yes, of course I would be able to!)

2. The Unseen University library

Well, the rest of the university too, of course, but my first stop would definitely be the library. So. Many. Books! I would never get tired of browsing its shelves. And then there’s the librarian to make friends with. All you need is a bunch of bananas and to make sure you never call him a monkey!

1. Narnia

I may have told this story on my blog before, but as a child I honestly believed Narnia was a real place. I spent hours trying to devise ways of getting there! If I was offered the chance to go to just one fictional place I wouldn’t even have to think about it – Narnia wins every time!

So, there you go. I also want to add that Night Vale almost made the list, but then I decided I probably wouödn’t survive two seconds there without breaking a law and being taken away by a vague yet menacing government agency, or accidently getting too close to the dog park and looking at a hooded figure. Nope… I think I’ll stick to listening to Cecil’s voice from a safe distance 😉

Which fictional places would you visit if you had the chance? Join in in the comments or write your own post – I know there are many more amazing places, but my post had to end some time!

Friday letter(s): For Sir Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett booksDear Terry Pratchett,

I must have been about 14 when I first picked up one of your books. I’d read all my own books – most of them several times – and was bored. I don’t remember whether my dad suggested that I might like the Disc World novels or I just picked one up from the bookshelf downstairs myself, out of curiosity, but either way I was instantly hooked. Soon after, I got my own mini set with the first four books in the series. I still have those tiny books, somewhere (in England I suspect). I loved you so much that when my dad said he was getting tickets for a play of Guards! Guards! I jumped at the chance, even though going to the theatre as a teenager was “uncool”. I’ve even seen the cartoon version of Wyrd Sisters! (Anyone else?). Later, when I first got talking to my (now) boyfriend, Discworld was one of the things we discovered we had in common. My first gift to him was a copy of one of your novels (Carpe Juggulum, I believe), and to this day one of our favourite ways of spending time together is to read your novels allowed to each other. So it was fitting that he was the one to tell me the news. The text message consisted of just four words: “Terry Pratchett is dead,” followed by a sad face, and it was like a punch in the gut. Even knowing it had been coming (and let’s be honest, we all knew) didn’t make it any less of a shock. I immediately hit the Internet, hoping he had made a mistake. The first result I was confronted with was your Wikipedia page with the words “Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English author of fantasy novels…” Was! Those Wikipedia editors are quick! Two results down was the BBC News article. Not long after that, the tributes started to flood my Facebook and Twitter. It was true; another legend had gone from us.

Sir Terry, ever since that first day, your books have been the ones I would turn to when nothing else would do. No matter what mood I was in, even if I was feeling too restless, down or just plain lonely to concentrate on any other book, the Discworld would always suck me in. I laughed, I cried and I learned so much about human nature and about our very own round world. Sam Vimes, The Librarian, the Nac Mac Feegle, Esme Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Death of Rats and, of course, DEATH himself remain among my favourite characters in literature. And as the granddaughter of somebody who has been diagnosed with dementia, I was awed by your response to your own “embuggerance”. Rather than feeling sorry for yourself, you chose to fight, to raise awareness and, above all, you handled everything with humour and humility. Any bitterness you may have felt certainly didn’t show. For that, if nothing else, you were a true inspiration.

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…” – and I expect it will be a very long time before your ripples die away.

Farewell, Sir Terry Pratchett and thank you for everything!

Photo meme

Katyboo tagged me for this meme days ago, but as you can see I’m only getting round to doing it now.
The idea is that you open the fourth folder of photos on your PC, take the fourth photo from that album and post it on your blog. Then I suppose you’re meant to talk about it – at least that’s what everyone else has done.
I was a little afraid I might have to cheat on this one. You see, most of my photos are of people I know – family, friends, people from my student residence… that sort of thing. And while I don’t mind writing about my own life I do draw the line at posting photos of people on the internet without their knowledge (I don’t even use people’s full first names on my blog, unless they’re really, really common names meaning they could be anybody). As it turned out I didn’t even have to do any cheating. Photo four from album number four was this:
Halloween

I’m sure none of you need me to tell you that “this” is a photo of a skull and cross bones necklace. What you may, however, be wondering is why.

It’s part of my Halloween costume from 2007. I went as Susan Sto Helit. I had a half black, half white wig that I rearranged a bit to make look white with a black streak. I wore a long black skirt, long sleeved black top and a lacy kind of cardigan, black lipstick and lots of black mascara. This necklace was something I had discovered that very day in a one euro shop and decided it would be the perfect accessory for my costume. I thought I did a good job. Unfortunately nobody managed to figure out who I was. Most of you are probably asking yourselves who Susan Sto Helit is as well**. *Sigh*. Where, oh where have all the Terry Pratchett readers gone?
I’m not entirely sure why I took a photo of the random euro shop necklace part of my costume. But for some reason I did. Maybe I knew even back then I would one day be called upon to find a fourth photo in a fourth album that was hopefully not a picture of one of my friends…

** Just in case any of you actually is wondering who Susan Sto helit is, she’s Death’s granddaughter in the Discworld novels. Yes, I said Death. Huge skeleton, walks around with a scythe, that Death. Obviously she’s not his real granddaughter. She can walk through walls though. Look, you’ll just have to read the books. It will all make perfect sense then.

The year I was born…

On the way home today I went to Thalia, a book shop that’s practically opposite where I work. They’re selling some of their books of for 2.95 each (that’s only about 2 English pounds!) so I thought I’d take the opportunity to grab some reading material for the journey to Hamburg tomorrow. Of course, all the cheap books are in German (the English books live downstairs and are not on sale) but I did choose to move to Germany so I really should start reading the occasional book in the native language. As it happens, both of the books I got were tranlated from the English so I shall give you the original titles:
Shooting Butterflies by Marika Cobbold (definitely women’s fiction but probably not quite chick lit) and Bad Prince Charlie by John Moore (fantasy that claims to be perfect for “all Terry Pratchett fans” – the cover even has Pratchett-esque (or rather Josh Kirby-esque) illustrations all over it).

On the way out of the shop I spotted the Pratchett book “Making Money” on the best seller shelves. A little gold sticker caught my eye. On closer inspection it turned out the sticker had the words “25 years of Discworld” on it. “Ooooh” I thought “I didn’t know Discworld was the same age as me!” I suppose it’s probably not really – I bet he started writing it long before 1983. But it was published in the year I was born. Suddenly I feel a lot better about my impending quarter of a century birthday. After all, not everybody can say they were born the same year The Colour of Magic came out…