Tag Archives: Alexander Skarsgard

What is in a name?

Hello Scribblers!  J Monkeys coming atcha from inside a snow globe.  Or at least that’s how it looks from my office window.  A fresh batch of snow fell last night and everything in view is covered – trees, roofs, even the sky is white, matching the gently falling flakes.  Quite a contrast from the book I’ve been reading this morning.

How do you select a book at the store?  Usually, it’s one of two things that prompts me to pick something up – either a cover that attracts my attention, or the author’s name.  When it comes to authors, naturally, it’s repeat business for me – I’m buying books by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed.  Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux.  Sometimes it’s a new book written by a friend or acquaintance – especially when they are written in a genre that isn’t typically my cup of tea, but where I know from experience that I’ll enjoy the ride – Kristan Higgins’ contemporary romances, Katy Lee’s inspirational romances or Casey Wyatt’s urban fantasies, for example. 

This morning, I’m reading a book that I chose based on the author, but it isn’t an author whose work is familiar to me.  In fact, the book I’m reading is his debut novel.  Nor was the book/author recommended to me by a friend.  I’m reading Dracula the Un-Dead written by Dacre Stoker – great grand nephew of Bram Stoker.

dracula-the-un-deadI’m almost exactly to the half-way point in the book and it’s a delight!  It’s not scary, which is a good thing for me because I do NOT like scary stories.  Mr. King’s The Shinning still haunts me 25 years after I read it!  While I loved The Stand, there were parts that I found creepy – I remember reading it while sitting in a corner, hidden from any ghouls lurking in the ether.   But Dracula the Un-Dead seems more like a drama than horror as I think of it today.  It’s written as a sequel to the original book.  In truth it’s co-authored by Dacre Stoke and Ian Holt apparently written (according to Wikipedia) “Because of the Stokers’ frustrating history with Dracula’s copyright, Dacre with encouragement from screenwriter Ian Holt, decided to write “a sequel that bore the Stoker name” to “reestablish creative control over” the original novel.”  What an interesting idea.  I don’t know the extent to which it would reestablish copyright – but hey.

But if you’ve enjoyed the rise in vampire stories in the last decade or so, you might want to take a look at this homage to the original.  It’s well done (at least the first half!) and worth a few of your hard earned dollars.  And, again according to Wikipedia, they wrote it based on Bram’s original notes and stuff pulled out of the original novel.  Again, a cool idea. 

Today’s secret: Dracula is Un-Dead and available at the bookstore once again.  :)  Oh and by the way, they have begun filming season 6 of True Blood, speaking of popular vampires.  The delightful Mr. Skarsgard has revealed a spoiler-ish something from filming.  Click here to find out what.

Today’s question: how do you decide to buy a book?  What changes you from a browser to a buyer?

Hundred Year Old Cookies

Hi there!  J here.  I’m back with another old family-treat recipe.  Really old.  My grandmother was number 7 of 8 children.  She was born in 1909, her mother, Thea, was born in 1869.  That makes Thea just a bit more than 100 years older than me.  Click here to see my great-grandmother Thea’s Krisling Cookie recipe.  It’s an oldie but a goodie.

I grew up hearing stories about my grandmother’s youth.  Like everyone, my grandmother was a product of her environment and time.  We had tin foil, an ice box and a commode in my house as a child.  Or at least that’s what she always called aluminum foil, the ‘fridge and the toilet.  And every morning, my grandmother carried her canopy from her bedroom on the second floor to the only bathroom on the first.  Seem strange?  Well it wasn’t a canopy so much as it was a can o’ pee.  Yes, my granny was from a time when using a chamber pot was as normal to her as using the toilet is to us.  Imagine the control, the leg muscles she must have had…to accurately pee into an old coffee can in the middle of the night while in her 70’s!  It would be impressive if it wasn’t so yucky.

Another interesting factoid about my grandmother: she never wore pants.  Never.  Not even one time in her entire 95 year life, did the woman don a pair of slacks.  No trousers for her.  Ever.  Just dresses, skirts and housecoats.  And of course the appropriate foundation garments: a girdle, stockings with garters (not in any way something my hubby would EVER want to see on me…this garment was way more serviceable than things you find a Victoria’s Secret).  Imagine the picture here on a short, hunched over, ancient, wrinkly, droopy-boobed old woman and you’ve got the idea.   And don’t forget to add serious granny panties.  These things were giant – and she wasn’t a heavy woman.  These were undies that started just south of the bra and ended a bit north of the knees.  You may now want to go put your eyes out.  Or Google images of Alexander Skarsgard.  I’ll do it for you to recuperate.  Click here.  And here.  And here, too.  Here’s my top five faves in case you are still shuddering.  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.

My grandmother never flew on a plane or traveled further from Hartford, CT than New York with the exception of one train ride to South Carolina.  She only drove a car a few times.  She did get a license at some point in her 40’s, but then had a little fender-bender and never got behind the wheel again. 

And boy o’ boy could she play the 100-year old widow!  I remember one time, we went to the beach at the cape to fetch some wicked huge shells.  It was low-tide on the bay so we knew we’d have to walk for ages.  My grandmother decided to wait in the car.  We waded back through the incoming tide, hauling gads of palm sized shells (my sister claims to have almost drowned, but I’m sure somebody toted her short butt through the rising water) to find Granny knitting in the passenger seat of the car.  Apparently we were parked in some kind of no-parking zone and when the officer arrived to write out ticket, she gave him the 100-year-old widow routine well enough to get my mom out of the citation.  Good times.

I could go on and on, but here’s today’s secret: when you create characters, think about what life was like for the first 15 years of their life.  I’m a product of the 1980’s and that decade had a lot to do with forming how I see the world and interact with it.  Certainly not all, but even now, I get nostalgic for the things from my childhood.  Things that happened in my 20’s and (gulp) 30’s are less “awwwww” inspiring to me than things that happened before I was 15.  What slang was popular in your character’s formative years?  Was there a “Where were you when Kennedy was killed, or when the Towers fell” moment?  Who was home to meet her after school in second grade?  What music did he listen to, and how was it played?  Victrola, vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD, mp3 or whatever comes next?

Today’s question: What is your favorite childhood memory and why?

My, My, My . . . Dell-ilah

Hello, Scribe Friends, Suze here.  Last week we had a great discussion about e-readers.  Let’s take it a step further and talk about computers, shall we?

Like virtually every writer out there, I do my writing on a computer.

Meet Dell-ilah, Suze's Laptop

Now I know there are still a few people who write longhand.  In fact, I just read somewhere that writing longhand provides a brain/hand connection that enhances creativity and intelligence.  (I can’t find that article right now, but when I do I’ll post it). Stephen King wrote Dreamcatcher, nearly 900 pages long, with a fountain pen.  Whatever Mr. King is doing seems to be working, and I’m not arguing.  And of course, most of the great literature of the world was written without electronics.  Somehow, I just can’t picture Jane Austen, little frilly cap on head, pecking away at a keyboard by candlelight.  Kind of takes away the romance, don’tcha think?

Me, I’ve been typing for so long, it’s a real effort for me just to fill out an occasional check, though I do make most of my to-do lists by hand in a spiral bound notebook.

My little laptop, Dell-ilah, and I have been friends for a long time. She’s very low tech as far as computers go — her CD drive is external, her Wi-Fi antenna is external (can’t use both of those things at the same time unless I buy a splitter of some kind, which I haven’t bothered with), and she can’t play a DVD at all.  Which, if you think about it, is all kind of a good thing when you’re writing.  Because you’re just supposed to be writing, right?  Not watching marathon episodes of True Blood and drooling over Alexander Skarsgard.

Gratuitous Hunk Picture

But I know Dell-ilah cannot live forever.  Her case has a crack.  Her hinges and some of her keys are loose.  Her processor brain is still pretty sharp, though.  (Even so, I back up my work on a flash drive after every writing session, and periodically I e-mail my WIP to myself.)  She and I have discussed it, and she’s given me the Do Not Resuscitate order.  When her time comes, I will need to let her go.  Right now, I’m researching with what I will replace her.

Dell-ilah is a PC.  I’ve always worked on PCs, but I’m open to exploring the Mac option if somebody can convince me that it really is worth the price differential.  Should I get another laptop?  A sweet little netbook?  What about a tablet with a wireless keyboard?  That might be fun.  Oooh, how about an iPad?

What kind of computer do you use, and what do you love/hate about it? This inquiring mind would love to know!

Book vs. The Movie/TV Show – You be the judge

Happy Friday everyone. Casey here. Before I get to today’s topic, a few announcements:

  • The Scribes now have a Facebook Fan page (click here). Please stop by. We’d love it if you “liked” us!
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Now back to our show.

If your family and friends are anything like mine, you’ve had this conversation before. The book vs. the movie (or TV show) – which is better? Usually followed by passionate debate. The book readers tend to favor the book, mercilessly poking holes in the movie or TV version. The non-readers (who don’t have the book as reference) like the movie or show (unless the movie/show is bad and deserves the scorn).

For today’s discussion, let’s talk True Blood. Notice how I have used this opportunity to showcase the eye pleasing actor – Alexander Skarsgard. Yum. Okay, moving along…

Long before the show hit HBO and popular culture, I discovered a book by Charlaine Harris about a Louisiana barmaid who could read minds. The town of Bon Temp was populated with amazing and quirky denizens. In my head, I created mental images of all the characters. Sookie was Barbie doll pretty. Eric was tall, hot and hunky and Bill was dark and brooding. Sam was scruffy, yet cute. Jason was the typical jock, while Hoyt was a big loveable goofball.

When True Blood aired on HBO, I was pleasantly surprised by the casting. I love each of the actors and their portrayals. For me, they all pretty much match the image in my head of Charlaine Harris’ world. The only exception is Sookie. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Anna Paquin. She has the spunk and nerve of Sookie (just not the Barbie doll looks and that is okay!).

Storyline-wise – they have deviated from the books. And thank goodness, otherwise we wouldn’t have the spectacular Lafayette (as portrayed by the fabulous Nelsan Ellis) or Jessica (the fangtastic Deborah Ann Woll). To sustain a weekly TV program, the writers obviously had to stray from the original story. And in my opinion, they are doing an entertaining job.

There have been a couple of times when I thought the movie was better than the book. The two biggest are The Lord of The Rings and Stardust. There are so many book adaptations that have been horrid, that I can’t just pick one (okay, I lied – Percy Jackson – why did they have to do such a bad job!!).

Enough about what I think. What are your favorite adaptations? Which ones did you loathe? Debate and discuss!