troubleshooting

Crazy Convos and Christie

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Review of “The Christie Curse” by Victoria Abbott

15808728I can start by saying that the book met the two primary objectives of the whodunit genre: one, I didn’t work out whodunit straight away, and two, the narrative kept me hooked till the end.

As for the plot, “The Christie Curse” is a mystery about a supposedly lost Agatha Christie play, which is linked to a possible murder. The protagonist, Jordan Bingham, is relatable enough despite most readers probably weren’t raised by crooks as she was. Her job, to track down the play for her book-collecting, dragon of an employer, quickly looks to be dangerous but she continues stubbornly at it—if only to keep her luscious room and meals at the Van Alst manor house. She is a little too quick to point the finger but that only makes her more human.

The mystery itself is intriguing. Whilst I guessed about the cat quite early on, I only realised whodunit a few sentences before it was actually stated—about the right time, in my view, for the reader to work it out. A few scenes ran tingles up my spine, but there was nothing at all thriller-rish about the book—overall it’s what I think is called a ‘cosy’ mystery. There was definitely a Christie element, though you don’t have to be particularly familiar with her works to read the story.

I enjoyed every moment of the book, and highly recommend it. The best thing is, it’s the first in a series, and I believe the second one is out now.

Insane Facebook Conversation

My friend gave me permission to post this here. I had to save it for posterity. Possibly the most bonkers conversation I ever had, except maybe with the lady in New York who could tell I was English just from my complexion (apparently).

Me: I think my computer’s got Chizpurfles[1].

Friend: Oh dear … This is what happens when you exterminate all the Doxies in your home. Doxies feed primarily on dead skin cells and Chizpurfles.

Me: Hmm. I guess I shouldn’t have bought all that Doxycide from amazon.wiz—what a waste of Galleons. I should have trained them to guard my electrical items instead. Especially my TARDIS[2], it’s been crashing for weeks. Mr Scamander should have informed me. That book of his has some serious gaps.

Friend: Scamander? The Scamander prejudice against Doxies is well known. I’m surprised you hadn’t heard. They all despise Doxies and have advocated the complete extermination of the entire species. There was an article about it in the Prophet the other day, I’ll send it to you by owl when I find it. As for your TARDIS, I find when mine is malfunctioning, a good kick to the console tends to fix it for a while. Alternatively, I’ve heard that some people have luck with blue or green jello.

Me: Scamander? Prejudices? Well I never. Thank you very much for the article. I’m a Quibbler reader myself, hence why I didn’t see it. I would kick my TARDIS, but it was rather delicate before those pests got at it. I could try the jelly, if I had some. My first instinct was a powerful Reparo, but I’m afraid of the whole magic vs electronics clash.

Friend: Just once, I tried an enlargement charm on a computer screen, I was trying to turn it into a TV you see, and nothing happened except that all the actors, characters and animals on the screen seemed to have red eyes. It was a bit unsettling after a while. Since then, I prefer not to mix the two, just in case. I wouldn’t try it on something the size of a TARDIS. I suppose you could hire a Jedi mechanic … I mean, the Force is, after all, as much magic as science … but it could be expensive.

Me: Bro, help, I need Star Wars knowledge for a comeback.

Bro: May the unhelpful quote be with you.

Friend: Victory is mine

Me: [struggles to think of something witty to say about the currency in Star Wars—what IS the currency in Star Wars???] You are no longer my brother.

Bro: [grins inanely—at least, that’s what I reckon he did though I wasn’t actually there]

Footnotes

[1] Chizpurfle: a pest (from Harry Potter, but mentioned only in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) which feeds on magic or, in the absence of such, “has been known to attack electrical objects … explaining the puzzling failure of many relatively new Muggle artifacts” (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, page 7 footnote.)

[2] My phone, which has a TARDIS skin.

Pin of the week

bronz-abstract-phoenix

If anyone can help me properly embed a Pin so it SHOWS UP properly, please get in touch! At the moment I’m having to save the pics and upload them. The guidance on Pinterest is not working.

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Prompts Themed: Dad

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So I was going to do something else this post, but moving plus internet issues equals a short, sweet post.

I’m setting a theme for these writing prompts, and the theme is DAD. (It is Father’s Day after all.)

Fiction Prompt

Write a monologue from the point of view of a father (not a real person), or if you are one, from a child about their father. Have it cover the best and the worst aspects of parenthood. Use it to form the beginnings of a character(s).

Poetry Prompt

Write a Father’s Day poem to your dad. Make it personal to him using specific images and references that mean something to you both.

Mosaic, Tech Bad, Brain Being Bonkers (What’s New?)

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In response to those who asked me in the workshop yesterday about my reasoning behind the line “Two chimes in my ear”–I remember now!

The chimes reflect running out of time. There’s two of them to reflect the choice being made in the song.

Yesterday was moving. The last class. Not my last class, considering I’ve still got next year, but my last class with my peers, so I felt a little tearful afterwards. It fuelled a new poem.

It’s been a weird week. Now my Genre coursework’s done I think the pressure’s eased a bit, which might explain the sudden splurge of fanfiction inspiration. The rest of my coursework either fits in the definitely will have in on time, or definitely won’t and am deferring, categories, so I feel a bit more relaxed. I’d probably feel a lot more relaxed if my laptop didn’t keep deleting parts of my Word documents.

(Anyone had that issue before, when you’ve opened a Word file and found it’s somehow reverted to a previous version? And for some reason my laptop doesn’t keep copies of previous saved versions so I can’t restore it.)

Still, at least all I lost is a couple of paragraphs; the second time it happened I had made a copy so all I lost was the author’s notes, thank goodness. It hasn’t happened since; still I’m copying into Dropbox every time now just in case. I just wish I could remember how I ended Chapter Two of One Over Many (or if I even did, I can’t actually remember).