Book Review | The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Sherlock Holmes is roused from drug-induced depression by a beautiful young woman. Her name is Mary Morstan and every year since the mysterious disappearance of her father she has received a lustrous pearl. Now her anonymous benefactor has requested a meeting and she wants Holmes and Watson to accompany her.

I can’t believe that I’m a crime writer and it’s taken me so long to read some Arthur Conan Doyle! I think I was put off because it’s Victorian and I thought it’d be full of long, hard-to-understand sentences, boring dialogue, and Holmes just sitting around all day (*cough*Dupin*cough*). But NO!

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Three Days, Three Quotes: Tag Challenge [Day Two]

So the great and glorious Ellen from eveningreads tagged me to do this challenge, thank you! Ok so these are the rules:

Rules
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day). (I’m assuming these are from books!)
3. Nominate three new bloggers each day (oh this should be fun, if I can remember anyone XD)

My second quote comes from The One Dollar Horse by Lauren St John, which, although not to everyone’s taste, I love. I’m a horsey girl at heart, okay?

…and he whispered to the horse, “Trust no man in whose eyes you do not see yourself reflected as an equal.” 

– page 24, see I found it this time!

And for my three taggers to be tagged…

Last installment tomorrow! ;D

Three Days, Three Quotes: Tag Challenge [Day 1]

So the great and glorious Ellen from eveningreads tagged me to do this challenge, thank you! Ok so these are the rules:

Rules
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day). (I’m assuming these are from books!)
3. Nominate three new bloggers each day (oh this should be fun, if I can remember anyone XD)

My first quote comes from a book I finished last week (I think?) called The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani:

If you truly love someone, when he is cut, you bleed.

I’m sorry, being a not-very-good-reader-person I lost the page number this was on…. but it’s a lovely quote anyway, isn’t it?

For my first three bloggers, I am tagging…

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment! ;D

How To Create a Memorable Quote

Before you read this post, pause for a moment. Think of the most memorable book quote from a book you have read (that also happens to be your favourite). Cast your mind around for a while. Look at the books on your shelves if you have to. Got it? Great.

Throughout the ages, there have been many memorable quotes. They have been said in speeches, such as by Nelson Mandela, appeared on the internet, such as users on Tumblr and Twitter, or, most commonly perhaps, they have been written in books.

JK Rowling managed to make tons of people cry with just one word: “Always.” She also managed to make one of my favourite ones:

“Mischief Managed.”

So quotes can be long or short. For example, one of my favourites is from The Great Gatsby and the entire sentence is 36 words long. When I started writing this article, the first quote that came to mind was, actually, “Always.”

You want – need – to make your readers remember you. Sure, you can do that with a lot of words. I remember plots of books, rather than certain bits. But think about the great series’ and books out there – if you google for posters for them, you’ll often find a picture of a quote. You only need one to make the desired effect (although lots are loved as well).

Making a great quote is harder than it looks (believe me, I’ve tried). Sometimes, they just come to you. That’s the most often way to do it. But if you really want to make it memorable, a fan-favourite, then there are a few things that can help you:

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Inspirenza

I didn’t know what to write about today. So, I Googled ‘writing advice’, and a quote from Jack London came up:

Jack London Inspiration

Many people – not just writers; artists, even teachers looking for entertaining ways to teach their urchins – suffer from severe case of what I like to call inspirenza.

Are you a sufferer? There’s some ways to tell:

  • When you sit down to write/draw/teach your mind goes blank and you have no idea what to say.
  • You catch yourself browsing social media for ideas. Yes…even Twitter.
  • The outside is scarily looking welcoming.
  • You think you’d rather have a job where you know what you’re doing and it requires little-to-no work for your brain.

So if you’ve caught inspirenza, what can you do about it? Well, let me tell you now, antibiotics aren’t an option and plagarisation will get you sued. You’re on your own (well, apart from the entirety of the writing community willing to help you out).

As Jack London said, you have to go after your inspiration with a club. IE: you have to drive out that inspirenza yourself. So. Cures.

  • Google. Google is life, everyone knows that. Google random words, prompts, whatever. Have fun.
  • Walkies! Take the dog, or if you don’t have a dog, the cat, turtle, even the goldfish (ok maybe not the goldfish) and have a walk. Don’t listen to music – instead, listen to the sounds of the outdoors. Eavesdrop carefully and steal conversations. Look at the flowers and the trees, the people, interactions, buildings.
  • If the hint of an idea comes to you WRITE IT DOWN. The thing with inspirenza is that it can take an instant to recover from, but you can relapse just as easily. Don’t let those ideas get away from you!
  • Ask friends and family. Scary idea, but they can really help. Bounce ideas around (unless you’re JKR who says that that kills them for her). Ask if they have any ideas.
  • If all else fails, grab a club and go caveman style. I don’t mean killing buffalo and going after your PE teacher (as hard as it is to differentiate, they’re not a Neanderthal). I mean just think of something. Just get some words, any words, your thoughts on the page. Set the timer for a minute, 5 minutes. Write. Just write.

Inspirenza is curable. Honest. If it can take a hold of you, you can shake it off. It may seem dark and dreary when it’s hovering over your shoulders like a mouldy blanket you can’t bear to wash, but as soon as you scrub it clean things will be better on the other side.

If you want a real life example, look at me right now: I had no idea what to write about, and I’ve just invented a new word. Anything is possible.

Everybody has days when inspirenza strikes. Sometimes you just have a mind blank. And then you have to fight it off. Go on, try it now! Otherwise this guy will be after you and he looks pretty frickin’ angry.

AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀