Showing posts from February, 2021

The War at Troy/The Return from Troy by Lindsay Clarke (archives)

Originally written in 2016. Also on Goodreads . I will never get tired of the Trojan War. It's one of the world's oldest stories and it offers everything - love, war, sacrifice, pain, loss, triumph. There is a reason why it's survived nearly 3000 years and why so many authors choose to retell it. I'm on a quest to read as many versions of the epic as I can. This quest began years ago when I took a University course about Homer's Odyssey and only grew stronger when I devoted the Major Research Paper (MRP) of my Master's Degree to studying the Odyssey . Unfortunately, my journey has been full of disappointment and frustration. A lot of the retellings are either completely inaccurate, spend too much time on self-insert characters, or turn everyone into terrible, unlikeable people. Then I found Lindsay Clarke's Troy. The War at Troy and its sequel, The Return from Troy , (which I read out of order), managed to satisfy the balance between accuracy

End of Watch by Stephen King (archives)

Originally written in 2016. Also on Goodreads .   Twenty-five percent of the books I've read this year have been by Stephen King and the most recent one is End of Watch. I've been rereading/reliving all of his books and jumping from his early work to his most recent is jarring. I enjoyed End of Watch, but all I could see in it was how it underlined some of the ways that King's writing has evolved. The series is about a retired cop, Bill Hodges, called back in for one last crime he can't resist. That doesn't sound like a typical Stephen King plot, nor is Bill the old-style King protagonist. Bill has a drinking problem, but compared to earlier characters, it's pretty minor and he even has control of his temper. After Charlie Decker, Jack Torrance, Ben Richards, Barton Dawes, etc, Bill is a calm, rational, good man. It's refreshing. He doesn't even relapse on his drinking during the series! Furthermore, there are no supernatural elements until

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (from the archives)

 Originally written in 2017. Also on Goodreads . Sequel to The Shining . I put off reading this one for a while because I wanted to wait until I had reread The Shining , and then after I had, I didn't want a sequel. The majority of King's books are stand alone, or if they are connected, it's usually more of an overlap than a sequel. I felt (and still feel) that The Shining is a masterpiece on its own and I was afraid that any attempt to follow it up would ruin it for me. I have been one of King's Constant Readers for a long time now and will remain one the rest of my life I imagine, but there have been times when his books have missed the mark and disappointed me. I didn't want that to happen again. I should have known better. Doctor Sleep is an excellent book. It follows the sad life of Danny Torrance and how the effects of his father's weakness and the evil of the Overlook Hotel never quite left him. Just like most of King's pr

Star Wars Cross Stitch

For Christmas 2020, I made a Star Wars Cross-Stitch double picture of a stormtrooper and Darth Vader. I started it in the Summer and it took many months and hours despite being a relatively simple design (black/white). Pattern here . I chose this pattern for its simplicity. I thought that the opposing black/white patterns were a nice contrast. The concept was easy. Black thread on white fabric and white thread on black fabric. At least in theory. Design/Marking: The pattern itself was well done and easy to follow. I chose to mark the fabric to aid in counting. On the white fabric, it was easy. I used heat erase pens and then ironed them out afterwards. With the black fabric, the pens would not show. I used a grease pencil which took a bit of washing afterwards to come out. Sewing: I'd made small projects on black aida cloth before, but something of this scale was difficult. Black fabric makes it hard to see the holes and while I do cross-stitch partially by feel, it still helps to