Bucket list continued…

This feels like the never ending story, to be fair I have started scratching a few items off the bucket list. We have started travelling, happy happy happy… but from what I see on the news and what is happening around the world I´m not sure we will see all the countries we wanted to see, sad really.

As for the writing, well that is still an ongoing process, I keep changing things and never really happy with the result at the end of a chapter. I keep reminding myself that I am writing for me, I don´t want to sound like any other author, I don´t want to please anyone but as I´m writing I keep having thoughts of bad reviews that I have read over the years and cringe and delete the whole hour of work. At some point I will not care what people (that actually are never going to read it) will think and I will finish this damn book!

Going to see an Iron Maiden concert sits high on my list, hubby bought tickets for their concert in May, the golden circle. Happy dance and grinning, oh yes! This is going to be amazing. Taking child 1 and 2 with us, child 2 loves the Winery Dogs and child 1 listens to some sort of noise that she calls music… hmmm it will be interesting to see the reactions. Will post photos :)

Another attempt at writing, not going to well. It´s infernally hot, hubby and child 2 are outside, I can hear them splashing in the pool and I´ve just deleted another chapter. Maybe a dip in the pool, a bit of sun and get out of the zombie like state, my mind needs more coffee but my body is threatening to do bizarre things if I feed it any more caffeine.

I think I will take that swim now, maybe have some pasta. Just undid the delete, the chapter is back. Perhaps it won´t look as bad when I sit down and read through it again.

Happy Sunday people!

11 Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books

We all have books we love and occasionally that one favourite gets selected for the onscreen version. Do you have a film that you absolutely hated because it came nowhere close the book? Mine is the The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré.

For those who have not read the Little Drummer Girl, the book is about Martin Kurtz, an Israeli spymaster, recruits Charlie, a radical left-wing English actress, as part of an elaborate scheme to discover the whereabouts of Khalil, a Palestinian terrorist. Charlie’s case officer and furtive lover is Joseph.

Khalil’s younger brother Salim is abducted, interrogated, and killed by Kurtz’s unit. Joseph impersonates Salim and travels through Europe with Charlie in order to make Khalil believe that Charlie and Salim are lovers, the goal being that, when Khalil discovers the affair and contacts Charlie, the Israelis will be able to track him down.

Khalil does contact Charlie through intermediaries, and she travels to Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon to be trained as a bomber. She becomes more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, and her divided loyalties bring her close to collapse.

Finally, Charlie is sent on a mission to pretend to place a bomb at a lecture given by an Israeli moderate whose peace proposals are not to Khalil’s liking. She carries out the mission under the Israelis’ supervision. As a result, Khalil is killed, and Charlie’s mission comes to an end. She subsequently has a mental breakdown caused by the strain of her mission and her own internal contradictions. 

The Little Drummer Girl was made into a feature film by George Roy Hill in 1984. It starred Diane Keaton as Charlie, the film changes Charlie from an English twentysomething to a thirty-ish American. The book is brilliant and the film just skips all the brilliance and the clever plotting.

One of my favourite books ever and I should never have watched that film, it was just awful. I wonder what John le Carré thought about it?

Anyway here is the article from mentalfloss.com on 11 authors that did not like the film adaptations of their books.


Disney’s Mary Poppins might be a cherished childhood memory for a lot of us, but for author P.L. Travers, it was a complete slap in the face. Despite having script approval, Travers’ edits were largely disregarded. Travers loathed the movie’s animated sequences and was perturbed that Mary Poppins’ strict side was downplayed. After some heated meetings, Travers reluctantly approved. She would have been shunned from the star-studded premiere had she not shamed a Disney exec into an invite. The 65-year-old Travers spent most of the movie crying and ultimately refused to let Disney touch the rest of the series. [Update: This became a movie, with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.


Stephen King probably made movie buffs cringe when he said he hated what Stanley Kubrick did to The Shining.

“I’d admired Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. … Kubrick just couldn’t grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters and made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones. That was the basic flaw: because he couldn’t believe, he couldn’t make the film believable to others.” He was also unhappy with Jack Nicholson’s performance—King wanted it to be clear that Jack Torrance wasn’t crazy until he got to the hotel and felt that Nicholson made the character crazy from the start. King recently described the movie as “a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it.” With director Mick Garris, King ended up working on another version of The Shining that aired on ABC in 1997.


After casting was completed for the movie version of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, she said Tom Cruise was “no more my vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler.” The casting was “so bizarre,” she said, “it’s almost impossible to imagine how it’s going to work.” When she saw the movie, however, she actually loved Cruise’s portrayal and told him what an impressive job he had done. She still hasn’t come around to liking Queen of the Damned, though, telling her Facebook fans to avoid seeing the film that “mutilated” her books.


Note to filmmakers: don’t anger the author of the book before the sequel has been written. Unhappy with the way Hollywood treated Forrest Gump by omitting plot points and sanitizing some of the language and sex, author Winston Groom started its sequel with the lines, “Don’t never let nobody make a movie of your life’s story,” and “Whether they get it right or wrong, it don’t matter.” You can’t blame Groom for being mad: he sued for the 3% net profits his contract promised him, which he hadn’t received because producers claimed that by the time they took out production costs and advertising and promotional costs, the movie didn’t turn a profit. To add insult to injury, Groom wasn’t mentioned in any of the six Academy Award acceptance speeches given by various cast and crew members of Forrest Gump.


Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt tales have a cult following. Dirk Pitt movies don’t, especially 2005’s Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz. In fact, it was a certified flop: the $145 million production made just $68 million at the box office. Cussler said it was because the producer failed to give him total script control as agreed upon and sued for $38 million. He lost. In fact, Cussler was ordered to pay $13.9 million for legal fees incurred by the Saharaproduction company. Though that order was overturned in 2010, it’s safe to say that Cussler probably won’t be pursuing that relationship again. By the way, the other Dirk Pitt movie adaptation, Raise the Titanic!, was also an epic stinker and was even nominated for the first ever Golden Raspberry Award (in multiple categories). Despite having the star presence of Oscar winners Jason Robards and Alec Guinness, the movie made back less than 20 percent of its $40 million budget.


There’s a reason no one has ever seen a big-screen version of Catcher in the Rye or Franny and Zooey. In the late ‘40s, J.D. Salinger consented to have his short story Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut made into a movie retitled My Foolish Heart. He was so mortified by the swooning love story that he swore his works would never be butchered again.


Not only did Anthony Burgess dislike the movie based on his novella A Clockwork Orange, he later regretted writing any of it in the first place. “The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence. The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die. I should not have written the book because of this danger of misinterpretation.”


Bret Easton Ellis doesn’t think any of the film adaptations of his books are that great (save for maybe The Rules of Attraction), but he dislikes some more than others. Though he worked on 2009’s The Informers, he says, “That movie doesn’t work for a lot reasons but I don’t think any of those reasons are my fault.”

And Ellis believes American Psycho never should have happened: “American Psycho was a book I didn’t think needed to be turned into a movie. I think the problem with American Psychowas that it was conceived as a novel, as a literary work with a very unreliable narrator at the center of it and the medium of film demands answers. It demands answers. You can be as ambiguous as you want with a movie, but it doesn’t matter — we’re still looking at it. It’s still being answered for us visually. I don’t think American Psycho is particularly more interesting if you knew that he did it or think that it all happens in his head. I think the answer to that question makes the book infinitely less interesting.”


Ever wonder why Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator hasn’t followed in the silver screen footsteps of its predecessor, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Because Roald Dahl felt the movie version of his book was “crummy,” found Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka to be “pretentious” and “bouncy,” and thought the director had “no talent or flair.” He vowed that film producers would never get their hands on the sequel to similarly ruin it, at least not in his lifetime.


Despite the fact that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest swept the Academy Awards—it won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay—author Ken Kesey was not impressed. He was originally slated to help with the production, but left two weeks into the process. Though he claimed for a long time that he didn’t even watch it and was especially upset that they didn’t keep the viewpoint of Chief Bromden, his wife later said that he was glad the movie was made.


Richard Matheson has been annoyed with the adaptations of his book I Am Legend since 1964. The first one, The Last Man on Earth, starred Vincent Price. “I was disappointed in The Last Man on Earth, even though they more or less followed my story. I think Vincent Price, whom I love in every one of his pictures that I wrote, was miscast. I also felt the direction was kind of poor.” Another version, The Omega Man, starred Charlton Heston. “The Omega Manwas so removed from my book that it didn’t even bother me,” Matheson said. And when I Am Legend starring Will Smith was announced, the author commented, “I don’t know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it.” The most recent adaptation, by the way, completely changed Matheson’s ending because it didn’t test well with audiences.

The 20 classic books most people have lied about reading

I picked up this article on shortlist.com and found it interesting that people lie about reading certain books. They attach a list of the top twenty and no I haven´t read all of them. I am not a fan of Tolstoy, I don´t like Charles Dickens and EL James is not my cup of tea, while I have not and don´t plan to read all the classics on this list there are a few that are on my bookshelf that I read and enjoyed.



Why did you read those books?!

A few years ago I bought the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer for child 1, recently she reread the books and like always didn´t put them back on the bookshelf. This weekend I was putting them away and decided that maybe I should give them a read (yes I know that I´m a little late) but with my aversion to young adult books I thought it was rather brave of me.

I made it all the way to book four and finished… sort of, I skipped a lot of pages in all four books, being constantly reminded as to why I do not and should not read YA. Are the books appropriate for young adults? Hum… I guess it doesn´t really matter since so many people have read them. My question is why do adults like these books?

There were no vampires! Okay so the copper haired kid say´s that the big one likes to hunt grizzly bears, now those cuddly creatures are hairy as hell so I have to raise the question, what sort of teeth do these vampires have to bite through all that fur? Fair enough, I skipped a few pages but not once did I read about rows of razor sharp teeth like a shark, I don´t even recall the “acceptable” fangs getting an honorary mention in this book. Do they break the animal´s neck and then shave a piece of fur to dig in their perfect straight white teeth (those were mentioned a few times).

I don´t think it is really necessary to name all the reasons why Bela Swan is an idiot of a girl, let´s just take it as a fact that she is an imbecile.

Although I don´t expect realistic situations in this genre but some things are just a bit too much. So this Edward Cullen kid dies when he was seventeen and one hundred years later he is still a virgin??? At least Andy Stitzer was only forty.

Either way, I think she should have chosen elves or something like that instead of vampires. It was´t even the sparkling thing that bothered me, it was the lack of everything else, even for a YA book.

If you have to read just one vampire book in your whole life at least read Bram Stoker, Dracula is where it all started.

Famous Authors Who Were Not Fans of Other Famous Authors

Have you ever felt like some famous writers are a little overrated? Well, you’re in good company—other famous writers felt the same way (and were neither polite nor cautious about expressing it). Enjoy our favorite author-on-author insults below!

Not a fan: H.G. Wells
“An idiot child screaming in a hospital.”

Not a fan: Vladimir Nabokov
“As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early ‘forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it.”

Not a fan: Mark Twain
“Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

Not a fan: William Faulkner
“A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.”

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Not a fan: D.H. Lawrence
“Nobody can be more clownish, more clumsy and sententiously in bad taste, than Herman Melville, even in a great book like Moby-Dick…. One wearies of the grand serieux. And that’s Melville. Oh dear, when the solemn ass brays! brays! brays!”

Ulysses by James Joyce

Not a fan: Virgina Woolf
“[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.”

Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Not a fan: Friedrich Nietzsche
“A hyena that wrote poetry on tombs.”

The Cantos by Ezra Pound

Not a fan: Gertrude Stein
“A village explainer. Excellent if you were a village, but if you were not, not.”

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Not a fan: Truman Capote
“That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

The Old Man and the Seaby Ernest Hemingway
Not a fan: William Faulkner
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

The Sound and the Furyby William Faulkner
Not a fan: Ernest Hemingway
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Not a fan: Stephen King
“Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people…. The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”
source: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/608-famous-authors-who-were-not-fans-of-other-famous-authors?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=editorial&utm_campaign=famousauthorinsults

Catching up on my bucket list

I haven´t been reading (so sad) but on a good note 2015 ended in the most superb way. Husband and I took child 2 on holiday, because child 1´s words were, and I quote “Europe in the winter? I hate the cold! I´ll go next year in June when it´s warm.” Roll eyes, yes my child because nine months of summer and three of autumn are just not enough for you.

After an eleven hour flight we landed in Lisbon and took child 2 sight seeing. Lisbon is beautiful even in winter, the weather was kind to us and the temperatures were warm enough during the day to get away with wearing jeans and a t-shirt. If you happen to visit that corner of the world pop in at Sintra, absolutely gorgeous. At the Ruinas do Convento do Carmo I discovered that child 2 has a weird sense of humour when we caught her taking selfies with all the tombs and mummies……… she takes after her father. Week one goes by too fast and before we know it we´re at the airport on the way to Barcelona.

Barcelona is almost a perfect city, there are magnificent buildings on every street one next to the other. We tried really hard not to look like tourists but the constant `ooh´ and `aah´ with our heads tilted up looking at the unique and beautiful architecture of that city might have given us away. The squares with the cafés, restaurantes and the tabaco shops are filled with life for what felt like 24/7 and the people are really nice. I loved the dog culture in Barcelona, dogs in the subway, on the busses, restaurants and shops. People take their dogs to play and socialise in the squares while they sit down for coffee and chat. As soon as we stepped in to the Sagrada Familia Cathedral no one would mistake us for locals, yes, we did the tourist thing and gaped like idiots at the sheer beauty and magnificence of the Cathedral. Five days later when we had to leave child 2 was refusing to leave and demanding that we have all our things brought over and live in Barcelona.

One more airport another flight and a few hours later we land in Milano. That is just weird because Malpensa is not Milano, to get to Milano Centrale requires a train and forty-five minutes later you arrive in Milano…. Anyway, freezing cold we run to the next train on our way for a quick stop in Modena. If you´re wondering what there was in Modena, well not much except for the Enzo Ferrari Museum, we took a shuttle to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello and hubby got to drive a Ferrari, I still see him smile and a twinkle in his eyes when he talks about it. He has converted child 2 to a Ferrari fan, because it was´t enough to know the name, now she knows which model she wants to buy when she grows up.

The train service in Italy is really good and on schedule we took the train to  Firenze. My absolutely favourite city. I fell in love with Firenze, the historical city is just amazing and just to think about the people that have stepped on those same stones and touched the same walls that I did… wow, just wow! After that to Siena, the medieval town is lovely and the fact that you can see all of it in two days is great.

There is something great about travelling in winter, we avoided the ten thousand tourists and actually got to see everything we wanted to see in the museums without having to shove people out of our way to do it.

Time to return to Lisbon and visit our family which we didn´t do in the first week and back home from the cold to the scorching heat of south east Africa.

On a sad note, we had initially intended to visit Istanbul but when the situation there seemed a little unstable we changed our plans and extended our time in Italy instead. I hope that Turkey will soon be safe again .

So all that is left to say is I hope you have a wonderful 2016!