Book A Day Challenge UK: Day 19 – Still Can’t Stop Talking About It – The Hunger Games

THURSDAY 19th JUNE 2014

Today’s #BookADayUK is one that I still can’t stop talking about.

The Hunger Games.

Image from Amazon, click here to get your copy ...

Image from Amazon, click here to get your copy …

I told you it would feature again. I’m not even sorry.

Recommended to me back in February 2012 by my lovely friend Andy Wright (who kindly let me borrow the book) I inhaled the whole story in a couple of days. You can even catch the urgent blog post I so desperately needed to write the morning after here.

Image from Amazon - click to grab your copy

Image from Amazon – click to grab your copy

The story has remnants of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ – which I read in August 2011 (catch my post here). Again, another Andy Wright read.

Both stories are tales of ‘What if’s?’

What if you don’t read these books?

I’ll tell you my fellow book lover – you are truly missing out.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Book a Day Challenge UK: Day 9 – Film or TV Tie-in – The Hunger Games

MONDAY 09th JUNE 2014

Thanks to fellow writer and North Easterner, Victoria Watson, (she blogs here at elementaryvwatson) for this inspiration ‘A Book A Day’ by the The Borough Press. I’ve picked it up a few days late but hey ho, better late than never.

Book a day

My choice for a Film or TV tie-in is The Hunger Games.

Picture from Amazon

Picture from Amazon

The Hunger Games trilogy is by far one of my most memorable reads.

I read The Hunger Games in a couple of days and it was the first book in a long while that burrowed into my brain and got the old clogs ticking. It was a plot that really freaked me out; so real was the concept of a future world with a twisted punishment for a past uprising that I was scared. I felt the fear of the District’s against the Capitol, the anxiety of the potential tributes as they took part in the reaping and the desperation as the chosen tributes struggled to survive.

So vivid was my imagination that I was excited for the films. I was a bit disappointed with the first one. I went with my hubby and our friend Andy, who introduced me to the books. Both Andy and I had read them and we didn’t enjoy the film as much as the hubby, who hadn’t read them.

I guess imagination is a powerful thing.

That said, Catching Fire did make up for it. I’m looking forward to the Mocking Jay film now … 

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Creative Writing Cafe – Term Three – Lesson Eight

THURSDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 2012

I was unable to make last weeks class so this week I bring you both pieces of homework .

The previous weeks homework was to take an existing character and write about what happened to them when the story finished. I went down The Hunger Games route and my piece leads on from the ending of the third book in the trilogy Catching Fire.

For those of you haven’t read the books it may be worth skipping over this section just incase there are any spoilers.

In the epilogue, twenty years later Katniss and Peeta are married and have two children. The Hunger Games are over, but Katniss dreads the day her children learn about their parents’ involvement in both the Games and the war. When she feels distressed, Katniss plays a comforting but repetitive “game,” reminding herself of every good thing that she has ever seen someone do. The series ends with Katniss claiming that “there are much worse games to play.

It had been a contentment she dared to dream, yet dared to accept. Happy endings didn’t happen to Katniss and she often found herself nipping the skin on her arm for reassurance that it was indeed real.

She watched lovingly as Peeta scooped up their youngest, her braided hair swooshing the air as he twirled her around. She felt a pang of longing, the memory bitter-sweet of when her father used to do that to her when they had been successful in their hunting.

Their oldest, a boy who mirrored Peeta’s handsome looks and Katniss’ fiery personality, pounced on her back, squeezing her tightly before trying to drag her up in desperation to show her the rat trap he had made.

It had been a talent she had taught him, hoping in vain that he would never have to use it in the circumstances that she had. A small part of her remained cynical to the facet that it was all over, over-cautious in preparation for her children should the worse become of them again.

It had been ten years since the fall of the Capitol; an inevitable marriage built on trust, survival and instinct had ensued, whimsical and fulfilling all that Katniss had ever worked for. However she could never fully relax into the life, the threat that it would be ripped from her grasp at any second was a fear that struggled to disappear.

The Hunger Games were no more.

Yet they had been a part of her life as natural as inhaling and exhaling. Even a decade on, Katniss still couldn’t shake the dread that she felt with every impending reaping.

Someone stroking her hair pulled her from her thoughts and she looked into the eyes of Peeta, who piggy backed their daughter as she squealed in delight.

It was a sight she drank in and savored, she remembered her refusal to ever get married and have children for the very reason of the Hunger Games. Since the demise of The Capitol and the eradication of The Hunger Games, Katniss had softened to the idea and for the first time in her life saw hope and felt pure happiness.

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Last week’s homework was to write 750 words on how a relatively prosperous and happy member of society ends up falling through society to become homeless, penniless and with nothing. Well, the following also comes with a warning as it’s not the happiest of stories so here goes…

The cold sliced bitterly through his hands as the thin thread from his woollen gloves unravelled in tatters around his grip on the black bin liner. The energy summoned to put another battered boot forward was more than that released from the half eaten sandwich, rescued from a bin and devoured with relinquished hunger,  would allow. Nausea and fatigue wrapped around him simultaneously as he slumped to the frosty floor.

The light from the pub window above him shone down like a sore wound from his past as the revellers clinked their drinks and laughed raucously in Christmas glee.

Christmas drinks with the staff.

That had been him once upon a time; buying the rounds in, organising fancy Christmas Parties for his staff and placing an infinitive tab behind the bar. Watching the carefree expressions on their hardworking faces as they revelled in free booze had brought him a sense of joy and satisfaction.

He had loved his job; Director of his own successful company by the age of thirty had been one of the many things he had achieved on his life’s wish list. Marrying Tara and having their two beautiful daughters had been another. His hard work had earned them a lovely five bedroom detached house with luxury holidays at least twice a year. Life couldn’t have got any better than that.

And it didn’t.

As the snow fell from the skies and settled on his flaccid body, the sting of the flakes landing on any exposed skin jolted electrifying pain through his body as his blurry mind recalled that horrific night.

They weren’t going to go.  Tara had a severe cold, yet the trooper that she was insisted that they still go out for the annual family pantomime night to the local theatre. His girls loved the occasion and dressed in their finest party frocks as daddy always treated them to a lovely meal in an amazing restaurant beforehand. A few flakes of snow had escaped from the sky, drifting lazily before stubbornly refusing to settle on the wet ground. He and Tara had watched in delight as the girls squealed with excitement and awe, before having to comfort their sighs of disappointment when they realised there would be no snow man building.

He would never forget how she looked that night. Her porcelain skin paler than usual yet it still glowed as her smile radiated through. Her black hair all tousled up in a bun. He was the luckiest man alive.

A car drove by as he lay on the pavement half propped up against the pub wall; his foot dangling in the doorway, the power of the headlights blinding him through his defeated closed eyelids. A howl of pain escaped his lips as the headlight conjured a memory that stabbed through his brain. That had been the last thing he had seen before the accident, the intense fiery lights of the devil coming towards him about to snatch away everything he had ever worked for.

A drink driver had ploughed head on into his Audi. He later cursed himself as he regrettably nearly took the Range Rover when he had seen the first few snowflakes starting to fall, but had decided it against it as the Audi would be easier to park in the multi storey. The force of the impact had sent the Audi spiralling off the road, jamming it into a tree.

What followed was a disco of blue and white lights as he danced at deaths door. Four days of blissful coma induced sleep saw him skipping through luscious meadows, hand in hand with his girls as a peaceful white light watched over them. The intensity of the love and contentment he felt was suddenly snatched away from him as consciousness ripped through him. Devastation that all he had worked for, all that he had dreamed of had now been shattered as he learned he was the only survivor.

Tears of guilt, anger and frustration had attached themselves firmly to him, following his every move and had never left him since. The gaping wound was filled with copious amounts of alcohol, rendering him as dreadful as his family’s killer as he was later caught drink driving and subsequently banned. Lonely nights were spent gambling in a casino until he was penniless. His business suffered and with the added blow of the recession, it folded. His possessions and his cars were sharply snapped up by bailiffs whilst his house was repossessed.

 A jolt to his leg resurfaced him from the depths of his depression as the merry pub patrons stumbled out of the pub, knocking his foot in the process. As he tried to focus his eyes, he saw someone bending over him and the faint words, “Can I help you sir?”    

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Next week’s homework is a two parter, this first part is to;

* Create a Main Character whose journey through a story can fit different types of stories

* To come up with a template of my own and two different plots on top of it. Summarise the template in one a couple of sentences. The plot example is a paragraph.

We will then discuss these at next weeks lesson in order to write the stories ready for our final lesson.

To read:

Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey

EDITING:

A bit of advice discussed in today’s lesson was to consider when cutting paragraphs, place them in another document incase you want to use them at a later stage.

A tip that Woody Allen did when he edited his films was that he kept the edited pieces and placed them aside to possibly use in other films.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Creative Writing Cafe: Term Three – Lesson Six – What Happened Next

WEDNESDAY 07th NOV 2012

Missuswolf Creative Writing Cafe Book and pen

I returned to class this week following the half term break and my absence at the two classes prior to that. There was no homework set for this lesson so rather than classmates having their masterpieces to read out, we were put on the spot to come up with ideas for next weeks homework.

The task set was:

* Take an existing fictional character and write about what happened to them when the story finished. We must take a character that was alive – not killed off. We can use one from a book/film/soap/drama.

The tutor gave us fifteen minutes at the desk to pool our ideas onto paper.

Well, the experience I can describe is one of instant panic, the type you are exposed to in an exam-like scenario. Where your mind blanks as everyone around you is frantically writing away, flicking through papers as you are desperately still trying to remember what your own name is. The urge is so great to take a peak at what everyone else is up to but I managed to strongly resist.

As a result, this is the utter chaos that filtered from my brain through to my hand:

* The Little Mermaid (could she have really been a man and her new husband just finds out?)

* Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games (creating an opposite called The Feast Games as to who could eat the most. A bit sadistic)

* Harry Potter

* Frodo from Lord of The Rings

* James Bond (make him gay)

* Mr Darcy (he becomes a serial killer)

I read my options out and there was a short pause as the tumbleweed blew by. I think my ideas were a bit nuts(to be polite) and this class seems to stretch into rather random loops of my imagination.

We discussed a few options and Katniss’s character was thrown about a lot; how I could write a post rebellion happy ending for her that she had always wanted then another threat looms over her. I’m also strangely drawn to Killer Darcy.

Once a character is chosen, the next thing we have to consider is:

* Do they repeat their behaviour or fight it?

I open the floor up to my readers

as to which character excites you the most.

 

Again, I have to write a story of 750 words for next week.

TO READ/WATCH

Missuswolf Creative Writing Book reading

* Gone With The Wind

* Read The Hobbit and then Lord of The Rings

* The Killing (Danish programme with subtitles currently onto 3rd series)

* The Scandal (American Politics fast moving drama)

* The Bridge (Scandinavian Subtitles)

* The House of Elliott (TV Series possibly on yesterday channel)

INTERESTING TOPICS OF CONVERSATION:

This term we are having such a laugh, the tangents we go off on and the banter thrashed around is making this a really enjoyable class, especially when someone says ‘Erotic’ when they mean Erratic…

The tutor came up with an interesting perspective; that of from the murderers point of view when we watch films/drama’s. His examples were first that of the Psycho film where the body is bundled into the car and pushed into a lake where, for a split second, it stops and doesn’t roll any further. As a viewer, you willingly want the car to keep rolling and then realise you are somehow on the side of the killer. The same happened in a Cracker episode where Robert Carlise was a shaven headed killer who took newspaper clippings of his kills. The police attended his house on suspect enquiries and walked past these clippings on the wall, all the while the viewer subconsciously willing the police not to see it. Something for me to muse over and one day write into a story…

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Pixabay

The Hunger Games – The World Will Be Watching (well, I will be, in less than 12 hours)

FRIDAY 23rd MARCH 2012

MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOUR 

Picture from IMDB

The day is finally here!

After immersing myself in the literary world of Panem and it’s Districts over the past couple of weeks, I am now ready to be transported there and have my imagination transferred into a visual tonight and I can not contain my excitement!

So much so that I am doing this blog before I go to work as I will have by no means any time to do this afterwards – I am now heading off for a ten hour shift which is followed by a quick change of clothing then I am whizzing off to the good old Cinema Complex.

LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN!

Love Missuswolf

The Hunger Games – Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

WEDNESDAY 21st MARCH 2012

Good Morning All!

Last night I reached a celebratory milestone….I completed the third book in Suzanne Collins‘ trilogyThe Hunger Games – Mockingjay. Woohoo! I wanted them all read before going to see the film (out this Friday 23d March eeeeeekkk!!!)

Admittedly, out of all the three, the first one definitely provided that addictive drug and overwhelming compulsion that made we want to devour the whole book over two days. The two books that have followed have been extremely good, both different in their own respects, just not quite as hooking at the first.

Again, Suzanne Collins takes you on a turbulent ride with her characters in Mockingjay;

Who to trust?

Who to sympathise with?

Who to absolutely despise?

There was something that happened in this book that I did not expect; taking me by surprise and I was completely devastated by it, hoping that somehow it wouldn’t be real. However, I will not tell you as I don’t wish to give any of this book away as it is absolutely worth your time to read it.

I consider these books to have changed my life; they are thought provoking and written beautifully – an inspiration to aspiring writers to allow yourself to go to the depths of your imagination and let it run wild.

You really do fall in love with the characters and you feel their pain, their determination and their love. Suzanne Collins has provided strong characters for us to both love and hate across all three books.

I have devoured all three hand held books this month, neglecting My Beloved Kindle (don’t worry Kindle I will be back now)

Thank you so much to Andy Wright for introducing me to them and I can’t wait for our cinema trip on Friday!

If you do read anything in your lifetime, please, please, please put these on your ‘To Read’ list.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

The Hunger Games – Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

TUESDAY 13th MARCH 2012

I have just this moment put down the  second book  in Suzanne Collins’s trilogy The Hunger Games and I had to dive straight onto my Laptop so I could harp on about how much I am LOVING these books!

What makes a good book is when you are so absorbed in it that you don’t realise time fleeting passed you (I went to have an ‘early night’ at 10pm, only to realise I was so engrossed I hadn’t realised two hours had gone by – with me having to be up for Early shift at 5.30am! zzzz) Never mind – it was worth every page.

So this afternoon I have curled up on my settee after having an early finish (woohoo!) from work, and devoured this masterpiece.

Suzanne Collin’s has the ability to suck you into a fast paced, action packed adventure where you can fully immerse yourself amongst the story and believe that you are right there – in the thick of it – with our heroine Katniss Everdeen. She has a way of building up your anticipation by pulling you through the emotions; lulling you into a sense of security at times throughout the book, only for this to be shattered in a matter of words and leave you wondering, ‘What the hell is going to happen now?’, ‘How are they going to deal with this one’ and the most important part of story telling ‘I want to read on and know more! Know where it is going!’

I love the idea behind these books, so unique and well thought-out, as well as how they ignite your imagination and you can get lost in them.

I now have the third (and final – sob!) book to start on Mockingjay.

I can’t WAIT for the films! (First one out March 23 2012 – view trailer here)

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

TUESDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2012

 

I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  on the recommendation of a very good friend who kindly let meMissuswolf The Hunger Games book borrow their book. Like myself, he loves his books and his writing and I finally got round to reading The Stand by Stephen King last year – again which he let me borrow (and I still have ooops! I will return all these I promise Andy!)

Actually, this book reminds me ofThe Standin a way as it is all about the fight for survival.

The Hunger Games is set in the future in Panem; where there is a Capitol and twelve Districts. Each year, there is a reaping in which twelve boys and twelve girls aged 12-18 are chosen by a system of names in glass bowl that are drawn at random. They then have to compete in The Hunger Games – a fight to the death – as there can only be one winner.

The scene in which the draw takes place reminded me of a short piece of writing I studied in my Creative Writing Class last year – Shirley Jackson ‘The Lottery’.

I have had this book a few weeks just lying patiently by my bed, waiting for me to finish New Moon on my Kindle (which I still haven’t – 90% of the way there though.)

So, last night, I thought hummm…I will just read a couple of pages ofThe Hunger Gamesbefore I go to bed.

Three hours later and about 150 or so pages in I was still lying curled up at 1am this morning unable to put it down.

Even once I dragged myself away from it and made the painful decision to turn the bedside lamp off, I lay there thinking about it for most of the night, eventually drifting to sleep. In hindsight, I should have stayed up and devoured the whole novel

So, first thing this morning – pot of coffee on and snuggled on the settee, all plans of housework abolished as I settled in to read another hundred or so pages.

I eventually prised myself off the settee, had a shower and did some writing on my own novel (another 2,000 or so words on my Novel Project 2012 – reading really does help you write.) After that I went to the gym, but not before fitting in a few more pages.

I have then sat this evening and consumed every last word in this book, including the Author Interview at the end.

I had  to. There was no other choice; I so desperately wanted to know what happened.

The storyline itself is very thought-provoking and had a similar effect on me as to what The Stand did; although it is highly unlikely to happen – but what if?  Panem – The Capitol and the Districts have risen out of disasters that destroyed North America, not too dissimilar to what happens in The Stand. Things like this really dig deep with me and burrow in, that one day a disaster could strike and it is left to the survival of the fittest (which I fear I may not be one!)

It was these thoughts in that respect that kept me wide awake, as well as the suspense that is present from beginning to end; what is happening next? Where can this lead? How on earth is it going to end?

It is told from the perspective of Katniss Everdeen and you really do experience the turbulent turmoil of emotions she goes through. At times I felt my heart beating fast and I was on edge with suspense, my mind working overtime and what could possibly happen.

It’s not hard to see why this has been made a film, which is actually out on March 23 2012.

And this is only the first book in a trilogy!  I may need to cross out two days in my diary as ‘duvet days’ and dedicate them both to the next two!

As soon as I completed the book I fired up the laptop to record my thoughts on here – for anyone who will listen but more to remind me what I thought and felt about the story.

A must, must must read!

Love Missuswolf xxx