Catch-Up Time!

-vigorously waves- I’m here! I’m sorry, I’ve been neglecting my blog, my website, my Facebook page… I’m a bad, bad, bad panda. I’m sorry 😦

In my defence, like every single one of my shows started again in Autumn. Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Grimm… even Doctor Who has had at least one good episode this season. I’m starting to notice a pattern in the shows I watch… I know, it’s no excuse. I’ve been doing other things too!

Celtic Woman concert on Wednesday was absolutely fantastic. Their 10th Anniversary concert, and it was breathtaking. Perfect atmosphere for an evening of Celtic and folk music. And it was my first visit to the Sage in Gateshead too. I’d never been. OH and Steeleye Span are playing there in December, too! 😀 Don’t think I’d be able to get tickets this late, though. 😦

New bed arrived. It’s comfy-cosy and bouncy. Only problem is that there’s enough space underneath for at maybe two monsters to hide, so getting up in the middle of the night is going to be problematic if my fear of the dark gets the better of me. No more scary movies for me!

Speaking of, I’ve finally seen Crimson Peak! 😀 😀 😀

Shameless Hiddles gif!

Shameless Hiddleston gif!

It’s purely amazing. Such a gothically (is that a word? It is now. Up yours, My Immortal fanfic) romantic story. It had aspects of Du Maurier in there, specifically my favourite novel of hers, Rebecca. You know the story; a mysterious, rich, Byronesque anti-hero whisks away a naive, young, swooning heroine to a dark and crumbling mansion, where an old and haunting secret still bleeds from the walls. That sort of thing.

In other news… pussy cat is coming out of her shell a lot more. She’s on the mend from having Cat-Flu. And/Or conjunctivitis. Cat bogies eeeeverywhere. She still cries a little bit for us, but it’s not as pathetically heart-wrenching any more. Now it’s more of a “Hey, why did you close this door, Hooman? My tall climby thing is in there” type of miaow.

OOH and one of my friends is struggling with her morals because her favourite character in The Old Ways (so far, anyway) is Erlik. Little did she realise that was my goal all along! -evil laughter-

Well, she knows now, as I told her she’s sort of meant to like him, even just a little bit.

So… who’s started on their Christmas shopping? :/

I’ve bought…. four things. Yaaaay, progress… I really need to go shopping. I can’t just present someone with a mug on Christmas morning. Merry Christmas, here’s a receptacle for your hot beverages.

Like I said… bad panda 😦

Oh, and I replayed and finished Alice: Madness Returns… it’s been a while, and I felt like revisiting the most disturbing imagining of Wonderland I’ve ever seen. It’s an exquisitely psychotic game, I highly recommend it. If you’ve never played it, check out the trailer here.

Alright, enough rambling. I need to work on my dragon chapters. Whoops! Spoilers! ^-^

Blessed be,

RK )O(

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RK’s Top Ten Favourite Films

top_10

I’ve decided to not participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve seen what it does to people. It’s like the One Ring. It tempts you. Glints, winks, at you. You think you can resist it. Then, before you know it, you’re a skinny, drooling, insane mess, clutching papers and coffee mugs, twitching and giggling to yourself in the corner.

Maybe I’ve been talking to the wrong people.

Anyway, since I’m not partaking in this delightful… event, I’ve decided to instead dedicate a post to my Top Ten Favourite Films of ALL TIME. Runners up will be at the bottom. I’ll talk a little bit about each one, too. Because, y’know, I don’t have ten chapters I should be editing instead.

10) The Avengers

Released: 2012
Starring: Tony Stark. And some other people. And Tom Hiddleston, obviously.

Arguably the most popular film of all time, The Avengers for years was thought to be an unmakeable film. Enter Joss Whedon, King of the Nerds. Everything about this film screams “awesome”. The casting is perfect, the writing is perfect, the effects are perfect. It’s just fantastic, let’s face it. And if you don’t like it, you’re wrong. I know that’s your opinion, but it’s wrong.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m not a fan of DC, and I loathe Superman as a “hero”, so I find it especially satisfying when SIX heroes do less damage to a city in trying to defend it than Superman causes ALONE. Come on, Supes. Get it together.

9) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Released: 1991
Starring: Kevin Costner and Professor Snape Alan Rickman.

Despite Costner’s accent, this film is beautiful. It’s a (fairly) faithful adaptation of all those Robin Hood tales I read growing up. Even satire film Men in Tights pokes loving fun at this one the most, because they know it’s the most popular, and most people will have seen it. And laughed at Costner’s accent. Alright, enough about the accent. But really, he couldn’t have toned down that drawl just a tad?

8) The Winter Witch (US title, The Snow Queen)

Released: 2002
Starring: Bridget Fonda and Chelsea Hobbs

I’m not sure how many of you will have seen this particular film. It usually floats around on TV at Christmas time. It’s not particularly well known and wasn’t received very well because of its bad effects and sometimes stilted writing, but it always makes me feel nostalgic and cuddly inside. It’s based on the Hans Christian-Anderson tale The Snow Queen (also the basis of Disney’s Frozen), and it’s very loyal to the source material.

7) Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Released: 1991
Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, and Angela Lansbury

What can be said about this film? It’s practically a modern classic. I can’t say much about it, because it’s perfect in every way. If you haven’t seen it, you had no childhood. If you hate it, you have no soul.

6) Labyrinth

Released: 1986
Starring: Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie

Sorry, Mother. I know you really, really, really hate Bowie, but this film is a Jim Henson classic. Yes, it’s very… 80’s. Costumes and music are a little cringe-worthy, effects make CGI artists cry, and Pre-Academy-Award Jennifer Connolly has a long way to go. Still, it’s a classic, and I love it.

5) Dragonheart

Released: 1996
Starring: Dennis Quaid, David Thewlis, and Sean Connery’s voice

Fantastic, original storyline. Excellent effects for the day. A novelisation. What more could a dragon-lover want? Except maybe a better haircut for Einon. Seriously. Get it trimmed. You look like a mushroom. Oh, and the accent, again. C’mon, Quaid, I know Costner did it, but the film is set in Britain. You even say it in the film! Get your accent together.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The novelisation is, incidentally, a fantastic read, and one of my favourite books.

4) Stardust

Released: 2007
Starring: Claire Danes and Charlie Cox. And a lot of other people.

One of the most romantic, heart-warming stories that has ever graced the screen. Neil Gaiman, the author of the novel, is one of my favourite authors. I heard he’s got a cameo on Captain Shakespeare’s ship. Which I find weird, since Captain Shakespeare was barely in the novel at all. Ah, I’m nitpicking. It’s a beautiful film, makes me cry every time, and it has this:

How can you not die laughing?

How can you not die laughing?

3) Willow

Released: 1988
Starring: Warwick Davies, Val Kilmer, and some fairies

I think this is the first film I remember watching. Yes, I probably watched some Disney ones first, but I remember this one the most vividly. It screams 80’s all over it. Had this been made in 2014, it would already have two-dozen sequels lined up, because it was so original and well-made. Also, oddly enough, has a novelisation that expands on Elora Danan’s background, what happened to Sorsha’s father, and why Bavmorda Madmartigan is such a badass.

2) The Princess Bride

Released: 1987
Starring: Cary Elwes and Robin Wright

*takes deep breath* THIS IS THE MOST FANTASTIC FANTASY FILM THAT FELL OUT OF THE 80’S.
That is all.
No, really. It has everything. True Love. Giants. Fencing. Torture. Miracles. Billy Crystal (yes, you read that right). Rodents of Unusual Size.
See it. SEE IT.

 

And my absolute favourite film of all time ever is….

*INSERT DRUM ROLL HERE*

1) Merlin

Released: 1998
Starring: Miranda Richardson and Sam Neill

Technically not a “film”, it’s a TV mini-series. Still, although I could recite this back to front, I would watch this again. This movie is the reason The Old Ways exists. It fed my love of fantasy. It sparked my interest in the old legends of Britain. Many people criticize its bad effects, and yes they are very bad, but everything else makes up for it. Miranda Richardson as Queen Mab and the Lady of the Lake, Sam Neill as the titular Merlin, Isabella Rossellini as Merlin’s True Love, Nimue… if you’re going to watch anything on TV ever again, watch this.

Oh, and if you’re thinking of watching the 2006 sequel, Merlin’s Apprentice… don’t.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Also has a novelisation, in three seperate books. Merlin: The Old Magic, Merlin: The King’s Wizard, and Merlin: The End of Magic. They’re my favourite. I cuddle them when no one is looking.

EDIT: Er, I don’t actually do that.

Merlin_(movie)_1

Alright, that’s enough gushing about Merlin. Here are the runners up, in no particular order:

The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Brothers Grimm
Inkheart
Frozen
Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy (don’t judge me. It has Tom Hiddleston in it. Singing. *swoon*)
Corpse Bride
Ladyhawke
Legend
The Mask of Zorro
Elf

 

Blessed Be )O(

RK

I’m allliiiive!

I liiiiiiiive

 

Okay, so I’ve been a bit quiet lately.  In my defence, I’ve been on holiday. And I’ve been editing until my fingers bled. Slight exaggeration there.

I also overdosed on Scottish butter tablet. Mmm it’s like a sugar cube but edible. I ate a whole box in one go. Recipe is here, by the way!

Returned to day-job after two week holiday to find my desk in a complete shambles. A total pigsty. It was a mess. Crisp packets, Coke cans, sweetie wrappers… vile creatures, leaving my desk like that.

 

How are we all finding Capaldi-Doctor? I like him. He’s like a grumpy grandad. Moffat, on the other hand… *sigh* what can be said?

Apart from–

WHAT WAS ON THE BED, MOFFAT? WHAT WAS ON THE BED?!

 

My nightmares for the next two years. That's what was on the bed.

My nightmares for the next two years. That’s what was on the bed.

 

My friend tried to console me. “It was just a kid playing a joke,” she said, “there wasn’t a monster, really.” Didn’t stop me from being terrified though, did it?

I can’t stop looking at it. Why did I think it would be a good idea to put that screenshot there? It’s looking at me. Make it stop. Quick! Distraction!

Ahhh, much better. Tom Hiddleston and a puppy...

Ahhh, much better. Tom Hiddleston and a puppy…

In other news, the release date for my novel has been decided! Well, sort of. We’re hoping for a release before October 2015. Which means I’d better shift my cute little butt and get editing! Only… *mentally counts* twenty-six more chapters to go! 😀

And then, of course, there’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The release date has been announced as 7th October 2014. Excuse me a moment.

OHMYGODSICAN’TBREATHTHISISSOEXCITINGOHGODSIT’SLESSTHANAMONTHAWAYOHMYGOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Thank you. It escapes every so often. Worse when I’m in public. Oh! And Sleepy Hollow starts on Monday. And Grimm comes back on 24th October. Aaaand I’ve started watching Supernatural from the beginning.

I’m such a fantasy freak -_- AH I DON’T CARE! 😀

I’d better go before I babble myself into complete insanity… *snort* I’m way too late for that. I’ve been here a while. With those rooms made of mattresses and those comfy-looking hug-jackets.

 

Blessed be,

)O( RK

What even IS centaur anatomy?

Centaurs

SRS FACE

Seriously, this question has bugged the life out of me for ages. I don’t mean a few weeks, no. I mean at least a year. I’m yet to find a suitable answer.

Okay, so centaurs are horse bodies with man bodies grafted on (getting technical now, people). I get this. But the horse bit has organs.  It’s the main body of the horse. It has organs; stomach, lungs, heart, liver, etc. You know organs, you can fill in the blanks.

But the man bit is the body of a man. Or woman, I guess. I’ve seen Narnia, female centaurs exist. But the human bit also has organs. Heart, lungs, stomach, etc.

My question, do they have double the amount of organs? That seems very poor planning. So, they’ve got a heart up top, and underneath as well? Are they Time Lords? They got two sets of lungs? That’s a whole lot of breathing going on. What, do they pant with every breath? Two stomachs? Why? Do they eat double the amount? Do they have to eat grass and hay to satisfy the horse stomach? While also eating meat to satisfy the human stomach? Do they get back problems because of the way their spines just… sort of… curl?

I don't trust this. It has no kidneys.

I don’t trust this. It has no kidneys.

What even IS centaur anatomy?! You’ve no idea how much this bugs me. I seriously hope someone, someday, answers this for me, because short of that, I’m gonna have to kidnap a centaur and ask him or her. Or dissect one. Which is a rude thing to do to a guest when you’ve just offered them shortbread.

Other things bug me too: what’s a unicorn horn made of? Is it keratin, like a rhino horn? Or is made of pure magic, like that one episode of Charmed suggests? What makes the spark at the back of a dragon’s throat that ignites its breath? Does a phoenix ever get bored? Why does my copy of Smoke and Mirrors keep disappearing off my bookshelf? Is Neil Gaiman stealing it back every two weeks? And what is Tom Hiddleston really made of?

Puppy smiles and fangirl screams, is the answer to that last one.

The answer to that last one is actually puppy smiles, rainbow sparkles, and fangirl screams.

And why is it, even though I’ve combed through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at least 24 times (seriously, I can practically recite the entry for the Lethifold), can I not find any reference to three-headed dogs? Because, really JK, the only theory I can come up with is that Fluffy is actually Cerberus, and he’s just on loan from Hades. Takin’ a holiday from guarding the entrance to Hell, just gonna go hang out with Dumbledore and his crew.

This is not cool. These questions irritate me.

 

In between banging my head against the wall, hoping to answer these deep and profound questions, I’ve been working with E.J. Runyon, a genuinely lovely lady from across the pond, who has been helping me edit The Old Ways. I want to say how it’s going, but there are spoilers, and… hhhnnnggggg, so many spoilers. Let’s just say, it’s a fantastic experience and I’m learning so much ^-^ oh, and my first chapter is a beautiful experience. It’s so shiny. Yes, I am a Firefly fan. Browncoats forever!

 

Blessed be,

RK )O(

The World As Seen By RK, aka, 10 things you didn’t know about me

I haven’t got much to say right now. I’ve had the flu for a week, so I’m going to do a special blog post that gives you ten facts about me, instead of doing something constructive *evil laugh*

1) I hate spiders. Seriously, with a burning passion. Last night, whilst watching I, Frankenstein (a strange movie, by the way. Basically just watch Underworld and replace the vampires with gargoyles and the werewolves with demons and you can say you’ve seen it), a huge ugly garden spider started crawling across the floor. We paused the movie and got rid of the spider. Ten minutes later, and EVEN BIGGER SPIDER appeared, closer to me this time. And when we paused the movie to catch it, holy crap did that spider run for its life… and that’s why I don’t like spiders.

2) For as much as I love dragons, I can’t stand the movie Reign of Fire. It’s just silly. Now Dragonheart, that’s another story altogether…

3) I’m an RPG player. I adore Elder Scrolls, and I love Dragon Age. I’m so excited for Inquisition to be released later this year, and despite everyone screaming that they can’t wait to play as a Qunari/Kossith, I’m sticking to what I know and love and I’m making my Inquisitor a Dalish elf. Or any elf, really. She doesn’t have to be Dalish. Okay, I’ll stop now, sorry…

4) I still sleep with a teddy bear. Yes, I’m twenty-four years old. Don’t judge me. His name is Bunnykins. No, he’s not a bunny. He’s a bear. He’s called Bunnykins because he’s wearing bunny slippers. He used to have glow-in-the-dark clouds and moons and stars on his pajamas, but now he’s so old, they’ve worn away.

5) I was named after two famous literary characters. Both fantastically bitchy women who refuse to be forgotten or dominated by men. Also, in my day-to-day life, I go by my middle name, which makes for a great Rumpelstiltskin-like game in which I get people to guess what my first name really is. Just… without the whole “I’m taking your first-born child if you can’t guess my name” thing…

Rumpelstiltskin-once-upon-a-time

I also really love Once Upon A Time…

6) My favourite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. I once let my friend borrow the DVD and I didn’t see it again for two years. I just feel like it has everything that makes a movie great. It has action, romance, comedy, suspense, fantasy, unforgettable characters, I just love everything about it. And even though I could probably recite the whole thing by heart, I would watch it again at any moment.

7) I love hats. Winter, summer, any time, I love hats. Big ones, little ones, fluffy ones, sensible ones. The only hat I hate wearing is a cap. Despite having a “head for hats”, as my mother says, I don’t suit caps. Weird, isn’t it?

8) I find Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch to be two of the most attractive men on the entire planet. I truly believe I have some strange thing for sharp cheekbones and long legs. Seriously, those guys are like six-feet-tall or something. It’s also the reason I watched War Horse. I knew I could never watch a movie about a horse without sobbing like a child, but when I discovered those two were in it? Well… you can imagine what happened on my way to the cinema…

tumblr_inline_miw7noEPrY1rrxhtg

9) I’m disgustingly sarcastic in my everyday life. Not much else I can say about this one, other than I think there should be a sarcasm font.

10) Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors. In fact… no, he’s my favourite author. Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, and American Gods are my three favourite novels by him, and I’d love to meet him one day, shake his hand, and say “THANK YOU FOR BEING AWESOME”. In a totally uncreepy way, of course.

This is all I have for now. I can post more when I feel better. In the meantime, pity me, and beware of spiders.

RK )O(