Thursday 29 March 2007
The third instalment of the Wind of Fire Trilogy. I liked the developments in this book and he wrapped up the tale very neatly, however I didn’t enjoy it as much as Slaves of the Mastery. – 7/10 Not Bad
17. DEATH DU JOUR by Kathy Reichs
Why did I read this book? I don’t really know. It must be hard to be Dr Temperance Brennan, heroine of this book. Everywhere she goes skeletons leap out at her and people try to kill her. – 3/10 Almost Darren Shan
18. THE TIME TRAVELERS WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger
Ms Niffenegger’s debut novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife intrigued me because of the time travel, not the wife. However, it turns out the book is more about the latter than the former. The book is told through the point of view of Henry, a man who has a medical condition that makes him travel randomly through time and space, and Clare, Henry’s wife, who has loved him since he first appeared to her when she was six. The subject matter is very skilfully woven and the lives of these two people are written with depth and understanding. It is a compelling read, however I don’t particularly like any of the characters in the book, so not one that I would recommend.
7/10 Not Bad
19. DAYWATCH by Sergei Lukyanenko
I very much enjoyed NightWatch, the first in the trilogy of books about the forces of Light and Dark that make up the Moscow division of the two watches, but I was very disappointed in this offering. The Dark Others come across as selfish and the Light Others come across as fools and, apart from that, there is very little difference between them. The insight into the Russian way of thinking was interesting, but otherwise the book wasn’t great.
6/10 The Curate’s Egg
20. LUCINDA’S SECRET (THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES 3)
by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Another chapter in this very dull, but very short series of books. I only read this to boost my book count. It took less than 30 minutes to read and I borrowed it from the library, so I can’t really lose, can I?
1/10 Darren Shan-tastic
Wednesday 28 March 2007
This site is anxiously waiting for an advance copy of Mango: The Unlucky Monkey, so that we can review and recommend it to you all!
Fans of Mungo will be terribly excited to hear the news - although we still await more details about when and where, there is sure to be a great crowd gathered for the book launch!
We'll be there too!
Tuesday 27 March 2007
We'll start with Valpot today - haven't heard from her for a while.
Book 16: 7 Little Australians
Brought me back to my childhood as we were all glued to the tv serialisation. I enjoyed it, though it's quited dated, similar in some ways to L.M. Alcott (though lighter in tone), quite sweet and very sad.
Book 17: Pistols for Two
Lazing in bed one Sunday morning I picked up this collection of Georgette Heyer short stories, and enjoyed them - rather like a taster for her complete works, though not quite as satisfactory.
Rating: Not Bad
Book 18: Artemis Fowl & the Lost Colony
Like the others, enjoyable. And like the others.
Rating: Not Bad
Book 19: Allies of the night
I read this Darren Shan is the spirit of market research - why is he so successful? The librarian recommended - she liked a children's book that was literature! Badly written and incredibly dull.
Rating: Darren Shan-tastic
Book 20: Dracula
The original and still best. I didn't enjoy quite as much as the last time - I found Mina Harker quite painful, the men's adulation of her annoying, and some of the prose a little repetitive (maybe I felt the same last time?). Still a very enjoyable read & highly recommended.
Rating: I like it
Thursday 22 March 2007
This turned out to be I.M.M. Murphy (well, you probably knew that!).
She said a few words on the joy of being DNOTY.
After she spoke, the floor was thrown open to the audience for questions.
All the speakers were asked questions on their talks.
Finally, only slightly behind schedule, the conference attendees went for lunch.
They look like they needed a break from all that intellectual activity!
We will conclude the report on the afternoon session later on this week.
Hope you're enjoying it as much as the DNs did!
Tuesday 13 March 2007
She ended by presenting the audience with a clever mnemonic on her talk - I bet they'll remember it for a long time to come!
I.M.M. Murphy was followed by Valinora Troy. Ms Troy spoke about the joy of rewriting, what a pleasure it was to write again and again about the story and characters you love... (And she should know!)
A much needed coffee break was taken, allowing the attendees digest the vast amount of information they had received. After the break, one of the star guest speakers took the podium - Mungo, Disresponsible Nodpot of the year 2006, the current champion, and much loved author.
Mungo spoke on his well known theme - Writing is Easy.
The audience was enthralled, and listened with rapt attention! His words will remain with me for a long time - THINK, PLAN, WRITE, & FINISH UP your writing - he made the whole process feel so simple, seem so logical.
After Mungo came Marvin, who spoke on turning negatives into positives.
It was a thoughtful and well-prepared speech, and the Nodpots appeared to be duly impressed. Overall his words left an extremely positive impression...
Sunday 11 March 2007
The conference took place in Dublin on Saturday last (yesterday). Guests and speakers queued up alike to register at 10am.
Guest speaker & author I.M.M. Murphy queueing to register:
There was great excitement as conference attendees signed their names...
October, co-author of the long-expected mystery blog, and long time member of the DNs.
Rusty, Mascot of the Disresponsible Nodpots, registers
Valinora Troy, Guest Speaker, registers for the conference, while Leppie, an interested spectator, looks on
At 10.15, the call came for all the attendees to move into the conference centre itself. Then began the scramble for seats...
The good seats at the front were quickly filled...
Eventually everyone was seated. There was some chatter among the audience as friends waved to each other, and attendees introduced themselves to their neighbours...
You'd think these two would have met by now!
Marvin, Chairtoy of the Disresponsible Nodpots, and Parsley, Treasurer of same, took their positions at the podium, before the large crowd of Disresponsible Nodpots. Tottie, designated time-keeper for the event, took her place beside the giant clock, emblem of the DNs.
It was time to begin. This year the theme was the conference was "THE FIGHT TO WRITE".
Marvin calling the room to order...
We will continue in our next post with the events and gossip that formed the morning of the inaugural conference of the Disresponsible Nodpots!
Friday 9 March 2007
11. The Windsinger by William Nicholson
Penned by the screenplay writer who wrote Gladiator and First Knight, among other things, this children’s fantasy bares more than a passing resemblance to Garth Nix’s Tower Series, but without as much magic as the Australian writer. An interesting book.
6/10 Curates Egg
12. Stranger to the Sun by Jeff Mariotte
An original novel based on the series Angel. This book is set somewhere in season 2 of the TV show, and has Angel, Wesley, Gunn and Cordy as the main characters. This book was competently written with an engaging story line and was very similar to watching an episode of Angel. Entertaining without straining the brain.
13. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
For the last two years of his life, Jean-Dominique Bauby, French editor of Elle magazine, suffered from Locked-in Syndrome, caused by a massive stroke. He was only 44. This book was dictated by him using his left eyelid. It is a series of moving, funny and thought provoking memories and vignettes from his life in hospital. A good read.
8/10 I like it
14. Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston
One of the great things about being a writer is that ANYTHING can happen in the fiction worlds that you create. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder why Douglas Preston decided to confine himself to the boring, reined in world he presents in Tyrannosaur Canyon. Not worth the paper it is printed on.
3/10 Almost Darren Shan
15. The Slaves of the Mastery by William Nicholson
A sequel to The Windsinger, Nicholson’s characters really come into their own in this book and I found it a thoroughly engaging and unputdownable read. Can’t wait for the third instalment.
9/10 A good read
Wednesday 7 March 2007
The Disresponsible Nodpots are to hold their FIRST EVER conference this weekend.
The venue is a SECRET location in Dublin.
The Conference title is: THE FIGHT TO WRITE
And that's quite a struggle for the DNs, as we know from this blog! I'm sure they'll all benefit greatly from it!
Guest speakers include: DNOTY '06 - the wonderful Mungo! DNOTY '04 & '05 - the talented Inkpot! DNOTY of the Month (not sure if that is phrased correctly?) - birthday girl Valpot! And, of course, the Chairtoy - the incomparable Marvin!
At time of publication, our sources tell us that the press will not be excluded, so look forward to a full report on the event next week, on this blog!
Monday 5 March 2007
In reverse order, for a change:
Valpot, you didn't do too badly last month - what plans do you have for this month?
Valpot: Em - well -
1. Read 12 books
2. Do assignment 3 & 4 for the WB
3. Read an exciting new synopsis for TLD (very difficult)
4. Work on either Lottie or the sequel to TLD - not sure which yet.
Not aiming too high, I see. Sparkie?
Sparkie: No targets this month.
And probably never again! Parlsey, how about you?
Parsley: Keep the accounts up to date.
I'm sure you'll have no difficulty with that! October and November - I hope you've rested enough!
November: We'll decide our theme - thriller, ghost, horror, comedy, etc
For the blog, you mean? Don't get left behind - the other Nodpots are accumulating lots of points! Marvin?
Marvin: No targets this month.
That's a shame - I love the work you've done on the website. Mungo - another new book?
Mungo: Bask in my glory
All the best with that plan! Inkpot, you won't disappoint, I'm sure - what are you hoping to accomplish?
1. Write Til the Moon Fails (get at least 50% done)
2. Read 12 books
Looking forward to hearing how you get on. And finally, Blueberry - any personal DN goals for this month?
Blueberry: No targets for this month
Well, thanks DNs - that completes the plans for March, and we wish the Nodpots all the best in their endeavours!
Thursday 1 March 2007
Of much greater interest, of course, is the update of the February targets. Did the Nodpots do well? Did they reach all or most of their ambitions for the month? Or did they fail miserably, and want to curl up and hide in the corner, away from our questioning eyes?
Let's find out!
Blueberry, first as always - how did you get on last month?
Blueberry: My targets were:
1. Have Fun – Yes, certainly had a lot of fun in Feb. Played with Janna, which
2. Take things easy – Had lots of lovely nights in.
I'm glad to hear you're playing with Janna - we did hear rumours that she sometimes invaded your space...
Inkpot, you always have great ambitions - an inspiration for the other Nodpots. What's the news?
Inkpot: My targets - and results - are as follows:
1. Write 50K words of Til the Moon Fails – No
2. Complete and submit assignments 4 and 5 for the writers bureau – no
3. Read 12 books – 10 and counting
4. Start rewriting The Mark of the wolf – No
5. Edit and submit zombie flash fiction Deadly – No
Well, you did amend your targets slightly during the month, didn't you? I mean, you decided to re-write Til The Moon Fails from scratch, didn't you? So that finished no. 1. Then I believe Valpot is holding you up with the WB assignments. And could it be that Mungo has hogged more than his share of pc-time?
Inkpot: No comment
Marvin, I'm sure you agree with me about Inkpot's achievements. But what of your own?
Marvin: Due to circumstances beyond my control -
1. Do at least one more page on the Nodpot website – regrettably no
2. Keep my blog up to date – Also, unfortunately, no
Alas, indeed! (Aside to readers - can you believe it? The Chairtoy of the DNs doesn't meet either of his self-imposed February targets!)
Mungo, you haven't let us down have you?
Mungo: My target was:
1. Finish Mango, the Unlucky Monkey – Well, I’m not quite finished my masterpiece.
Just putting the final polish on it.
That's good news - I'm really looking forward to reading it! As, I'm sure, are all your fans.
October & November, you were going to write out the first draft of your mystery blog. Did you?
October: In the words of our honourable Chairtoy - regrettably, no.
November: We were still caught up in our January target of resting a lot. But we did talk about the blog.
Parsley, did you too fall by the wayside?
Parsley: My target was:
1. Keep the accounts up to date – yes
Congratulations, Parsley, well done!
Sparkie, I'm glad to see you available to talk to me. I guess I shouldn't ask - should I?
1. Get Marvin a gavel – yes, Mungo made good on his promise!
(Sounds of cheering break out in the immediate vicinity, and several fireworks go off).
Sparkie, I am so impressed! I know that has been your DN task for many many years! How did you get Mungo to do what you couldn't?
Sparkie: Well, he promised me the gavel if I did something for him. We both kept our promises.
Well done (I guess Curly will be very interested in the news!)
And finally Valpot. Is it true you always give yourself attainable targets and then not meet them?
Valpot: Maybe. This is what I hoped to get done - but my plans were slightly disrupted by starting a course with lots of assignments, assignments with deadlines too - not what I'm used to! Anyway:
1. Submit TLD for the full editing service. This may sound like a simple email job, but there was quite a bit of work to it. However, I am glad to report that the revised version was sent to the horse early in February, and she has already reverted on the first 6 chapters (sadly, another 17 to go!). I received a lot of help from Inkpot for the revision of the first few chapters, and I'd like to publicly thank her. (Applause from the crowd). She spent a lot of time on it. I got the book printed up once more and it reads an awful lot better.
So what happened with the WB?
Valpot: Ah yes.
2. Submit assignments 3 & 4 to the WB and plan assignment 5. Well, I would have
submitted them if I had written them...
3. I didn't submit my article either, as I am still waiting to hear back about permission
to use the image of St Albert (maybe I'll try somewhere else).
4. Write the first draft of Lottie - yes, I completed this. A little shorter than I intended -
about 25k or 26k - it is Darren Shan-tastic! However, it gave me lots of ideas for the
5. I didn't mention this last time, but I should have included my book pledge. Can't
remember how many I read in January, but I have now read 20/150.
Shouldn't you be at 25/150 by now? If you want to reach the target by December 31st?
Valpot: Your maths are excellent, DN. Yes, I should, but I'm doing a good steady pace, and I'm
So, if only you had submitted to the WB, you would have been quite successful for February. Better luck this month, Valpot.
Coming soon: The Nodpots March targets!!