29 March 2011

Short stories

I read an article the other day titled: Is the Short Story Really the Novel's Poor Relation?

I have a mixed relationship (as a reader & writer) with short stories so this topic kinda fascinates. I often feel short changed by a short story, I want to know what happens next, I want more (my penchant for long fantasy series is indicative of my greed).
However, when time is limited, short stories also give a complete escape. I can read one then go on to do something else without wanting to get back to read/writing a story I was in the middle of. Also the market is changing I think, eBooks are driving more readers to short stories because they are hard to find in paper print, so as a writer they are an opportunity, and as a reader they are getting ever more plentiful.

"JG Ballard sees short stories as "the loose change in the treasury of fiction, easily ignored beside the wealth of novels available, an over-valued currency that often turns out to be counterfeit"."

"Steven Millhauser knows whereof he speaks, having written novels as well as some outstanding short fiction, and begins on familiar ground: "The novel is insatiable - it wants to devour the world. What's left for the poor short story to do? [...] The novel buys up the land, cuts down the trees, puts up the condos. The short story scampers across a lawn, squeezes under a fence."

But he quickly subverts the idea of the "poor short story" and its modest ambitions. The novel, obsessed with containing the whole world, is doomed to fail, whereas the short story can see "a world in a grain of sand": "In that single grain of sand lies the beach that contains the grain of sand. In that single grain of sand lies the ocean that dashes against the beach, the ship that sails the ocean, the sun that shines down on the ship, the interstellar winds, a teaspoon in Kansas, the structure of the universe. And there you have the ambition of the short story, the terrible ambition that lies behind its fraudulent modesty: to body forth the whole world."

But for me this quote summed it up for, because depending on time, mood and a host of other things, we want to read, what we want to read right then, not have our choice dictated to us.

"As Richard Ford once told the Paris review, "Forms of literature don't compete. They don't have to compete. We can have it all."

How do you feel, do you have preferences for novels vs. novellas.
Never read a novella - heck, why don't you try mine :) Redemption's Kiss

25 March 2011

Recreated covers

Totally forgot I hadn't done a post this week - mea culpa.
As apology I thought I would do a post about covers (it's a while since we've had one).

An artist has set about recreating some old Mills&Boon covers.
Can't say I love these old covers, the colours and poses are so dated now - and while some come across as retro-cool, these don't fall into that category (IMO).
Especially creepy is the guy who looks like he's strangling her.

15 March 2011

Take bras off

Following on from last weeks education lesson on how to get your sports bra on, I thought this was an appropriate follow-up... how to get the bra off. Only this time I thought it would be fun ot do it from a male point of view. So gentlemen you want to know how to get a ladies bra of in the smoothest, most suave way possible, then the video below is all for you. full step by step instructions here ... what I want to know is how guys manged before the internet :)

08 March 2011

Sports Bra

This totally cracked me up. For anyone who has ever tried in the small confines of a store dressing room to put on sport bra... or if you've reached the stage where you can look at sport bra without fear, think back to your first time, and read on....

Instructions: How to put on a sports bra

1. Approach the sports bra with confidence, secure in the belief that you will wear it.

2. Holding the sports bra open by its bottom edge, peer into it and locate the medium-sized opening in the center of the cavity. This is your target.

3. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

A. Am I naked from the waist up?

B. Have I removed my glasses?

If the answer to either is "no," make the necessary adjustments and return to Step 1.

4. Snake your right arm through the right armhole as far as it will go. Repeat for left arm and left armhole.

5. Assume power stance: feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hook your thumbs into the sports bra's bottom-edge elastic and pull it out in front of you as far as possible. (Note: do not let go.)

6. In one, deft motion, pull the elastic toward you and over your head. If you have martial arts training, this would be the time to release your battle cry, or kiai.

7. You should now be standing with arms pointing skyward, the sports bra encircling you at chin level, binding your biceps to your ears.

8. Remain calm. Visualize yourself wearing the sports bra while engaged in a pleasant activity, such as not watching Jersey Shore.

9. Cross your arms in front of your face, grasp the bottom of the sports bra and begin tugging it down to your chest. This process should take 2-25 minutes and can be streamlined by the removal of one of your arms (advanced yoga practitioners only).

10. If you have followed steps 1-9 correctly, the sports bra is now strapped across the rise of your bosom, compressing the breasts downward to the point that you can see your pulse in your areolas.

11. Resume power stance (see Step 5). Holding firmly to the bottom edge of the sports bra, pull it away from your body in a downward arc until it grazes your kneecaps. Then, with a scraping motion, drag the sports bra upward along the front of your body, capturing all excess flesh in its path.

12. When the bottom elastic reaches the desired altitude on your rib cage, release it. Then, while holding the top of the sports bra away from your body with one hand, plunge the other hand into the sports bra to distribute and align its contents, which should include both of your breasts.

Note: If you are unable to locate two (2) breasts in the sports bra, do not become alarmed as they are likely nearby. Remove the sports bra (see "How to Take Off a Sports Bra") and return to Step 1 of these instructions.