It’s hard to believe that December is almost upon us and with it, one of the most important dates in the year – my youngest daughter’s birthday. I’ve finished birthday shopping for her, which means that my attention now turns to Christmas. I try to keep it relatively low key. For us, birthdays are more important because they’re the one day of the year that belongs to YOU, but Christmas is still nice as a time for the whole family to come together and enjoy each other’s company.
We’ve been doing quite a lot recently, what with the Into Film Festival, Pizza Express workshop, a home ed trip down to Jump Cardiff and more besides. There’s barely enough time to fit in work – just when I’m being inundated with requests for books from people. I’d like to focus more on my own writing, but at the moment, I have so many projects on the go, it’s hard to figure out when I’ll find the time.
Still, with the signing of a contract for my second book and a sneaky preview of a review of Behind the Scenes, the first release from So Vain Books, there’s plenty on the horizon to get my teeth into.
I must say, though, that I don’t enjoy how quickly this year’s speeding to a close. This weekend I’m performing at a hafla, doing a solo with two swords for the first time. Right now, my goal is not to drop either of them. If I can actually dance in between that, it’ll be a bonus…
Well I didn’t score enough to move on to the next round, but I did place joint 6th in my group out of 42 people, which I’m pretty proud of. My second story came 4th, which I don’t think is too shabby.
I found it a pretty positive experience overall. The judges’ feedback was really useful and I’ll certainly take on board what they’ve said for future reference. Even though I tend to be too verbose for 1000 word limits, it was a really useful writing exercise and I may well even enter again next year if I think I’ll have a bit more time. It would be nice to be able to read other entries and interact more with my fellow contestants.
You can read my entries under the Flash Fiction tab and I’ll add in the judges’ comments when I get them for the second story.
Last night I went to see The Babadook, an Australian movie that had been well received at the Sundance Film Festival. There are a lot of films out at the moment that I really want to watch, but I’d been told that this one would only be on for a few days and it came highly recommended by the cinema staff, so I thought I’d give it a go and I’m glad I did.
It’s hard to be a single mother, more so for Amelia (Essie Davis) than most, ever since her husband (Benjamin Winspear) died in a car crash while taking her to hospital to give birth to their son, Samuel (Noah Wieseman). Oskar’s death has cast a cloud over Samuel’s birthday ever since and Amelia has struggled to cope on her own while coming to terms with Oskar’s loss.
Things are complicated when Samuel starts becoming afraid of a monster he calls the Babadook. His refusal to sleep at night means that Amelia has to juggle work in a care home with dealing with Samuel’s increasingly aggressive and difficult behaviour at school, which eventually results in her keeping him home while she tries to find somewhere that can cope with him in a compassionate manner.
However, when Samuel asks Amelia to read him a bedtime story one night, he produces a book she’s never seen before. Entitled The Babadook, it warns of an evil spirit who cannot be defeated. After reading the book, Amelia starts seeing signs of the Babadook herself, leaving the audience to wonder whether the Babadook is real or simply a product of her being stressed and overtired.
Essie Davis’ gives an outstanding performance, possibly the best I’ve seen this year, in a film that keeps you on the edge of the seat as the seemingly all-powerful Babadook increases its grip on Amelia and Samuel.
Is a mother’s love enough to save her son or will the Babadook succeed in its quest to destroy what remains of their family?
5 out of 5 stars
If you liked this, you’ll also enjoy Stoker