Saturday 5 December 2009

Writer's Digest short story competition

I just decided to enter the short story competition currently being run by Writer's Digest. If you have a story under 1500 words that you'd like to here and do so! You never know what'll happen until you try...

Friday 4 December 2009

Cookie recipe!

I wanted to write something today. I wasn't sure what, only that I wanted to write. Given it's now 4pm and I'm absolutely shattered, I've decided to do something a little different. A very late night involving air hockey, arcade games, pool and wandering around London until 3am left me with a craving for peanut butter cookies, so I decided to make some...and share the recipe. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 10 cookies. Half or double the amounts to make 5 or 20. I'm sure you can work the maths out for yourself.

Preheat the oven to 190°c and lightly grease a baking tray.

Mix 60g butter with 75g peanut butter. Mix well!

Add 115g granulated sugar. Again, mix well.

Stir in 75g plain flour, and 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder.

By this point the mixture will be quite dry and look like crumbs. Stir in a few splashes of milk until it binds together.

When you have a wet (but not sloppy) consistency, spoon balls of the mixture onto the baking tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, and hey presto! Yummy cookies!

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Brand new site!

I finally got fed up of the limited templates offered by my previous website provider, and took the plunge into personal webspace yesterday. I bought my domain name, set up an email address, and cobbled up a site in Dreamweaver. My blog is still my main point of focus, but at least now I have somewhere to host those stories that I haven't been able to place. There are currently six stories, ranging in length, available for free for you to check out!

Feel free to check it out here, and you can always send me an email at icy [at] icysedgwick [dot] com. (Writing the address like that stops spam spiders finding it and sending me junk. Useful tip!) Let me know what you think!

As an aside, the photo at the top of this entry is one of my own. So I don't just write, I do photomanipulations and graphics as well!!

Monday 30 November 2009

Twilight - why vampires are rubbish.

Unless you've been living under a rock for a while, you'll be thoroughly familiar with the Twilight phenomenon. I myself have never been the greatest fan of vampires, either in fiction or cinema, finding them to be far too...well...dull for my liking. It's too easy to be a vampire. Good-looking, usually wealthy, strong, fast, blah blah blah. I'm still not 100% sure why people would even like to be vampires. The living off other humans is bad enough, but living forever? Surely that would get boring after a while. There's only so many times you can go around the world before it becomes repetitive. Taj Mahal? Seen that. The Eiffel Tower? Done that. The Empire State Building? Spat off the roof.

Anyway. I don't really like to slag things off without some sort of awareness of them, so I finally got around to watching Twilight this evening. I felt I should probably familiarise myself with the story in some form before continuing to vehemently rip it to shreds, and I decided that the film would be quicker to watch than having to trawl through the book. It's clearly aimed at lovestruck fifteen-year-old girls - oh, the clumsy new girl at school winds up making friends on her very first day (yeah, because that always happens) and catches the eye of the best-looking boy...excuse me, Ms Meyer, can you say "wish fulfilment fantasy"? Anyway. Throughout the entire film, I found myself thinking, "What would Cassidy do?" (If you say you like vampires and you DON'T know who Cassidy is, then go to the back of the class and write "I must go and research Preacher" 800 times).

Exactly why would a family of vampires decide to put itself in harm's way to protect a human, just because this human is dating one of them? Let's be rational for a second. Lions don't decide to date antelope, and if they did, I bet the rest of the pride would just tuck in, regardless of whether or not another pride had their eye on said antelope. Don't for one minute try and say it's any different - it's not. Vampires are predators, humans are prey. Just because they both have the same basic collection of body parts does not make them suitable bedfellows. Look at Morecombe and Wise.

Vampirism has somehow become romanticised in popular culture. Why? What is so 'romantic' about a human-shaped leech? Let's be honest, people, that's all a vampire is. The beloved Edward even explains this concept to the hapless heroine Bella, and she says she doesn't care. Ah well, love is blind, and all that. Or, in Bella's case, simply stupid. The idea of a very old man (Edward has been a vampire since 1918, and if he was 17 when bitten, then he'd be 107 in total by 2008, when the film was released) falling in love with a teenager is just a little creepy, isn't it? It might look like a seventeen year old male, and sound like a seventeen year old male...but that doesn't mean that it IS a seventeen year old male (I sound like those campaigns warning about online predators, don't I?).

I can't really slag off the book as I still haven't read it, and based upon the film certainly don't intend to, but I can certainly dismiss the film as trash. Enjoyable in a 'chick lit' kind of way, but trash nonetheless. So Hollywood, if you're listening, ditch the brooding Sir Fangs-A-Lot and ensure that all future cinematic vampires are Irish drunkards who are pricks as often as they are heroes. Cassidy FTW!