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Armageddon Super Heroes!

Just a few super heroes for you today. I didn’t take the time to write down who they were, I’ll put the photos up on a cosplay forum and see what eventuates, maybe someone will come and comment for me. The attention to detail almost has me in tears, I have such admiration.

The Joker

The Joker and Poison Ivy

Wonder Woman

Woman Woman! A very healthy looking Wonder Woman, even better!

Captain America

Captain America and someone I can’t identify but the costume is gorgeous.


Catwoman and something else awesome!

Captain Patch-it

I’m going to insert Captain Patch-it in the super heroes post. He’s the first really original cosplay I’ve seen or heard of. I was on the Melbourne Cosplay Community forum on Facebook when he floated the idea of being someone who helps others with their failing costumes. I can’t remember my contribution but it’s still exciting. There are now Patch-it-teers around the world all helping people out when their costumes need a little patching.

Doctor Who @ Armageddon 2014

Doctor Who was a very big theme at Armageddon this year, it might have something to do with Jenna Coleman being there as a speaker etc. There are some very inventive people doing costumes out there.

Dalek Dress

This lady in her Dalek costume had those shoes with wheely things underneath so she could have movements like a Dalek.

Group photo

Just to illustrate the number of people doing Doctor Who. It’s been photobombed by a ringin.


You can order your very own K-9. Photobombed again.


The Pandorica!

TARDIS and Doctor

Easy to see these people love the Doctor.


This is one of the people in my Melbourne Cosplay Community group on Facebook. I knew she’d be there and was determined to take a photo, next time I’ll endeavour to get the lighting right.

TARDIS tea light

I loved the light on top, it was so simple but worked so well.


Armageddon 2014

What a big weekend! I’ve just spent the past two days behind a table publicising the Australian Discworld Convention and converting (corrupting?) people to the goodness and cleverness that is Pterry Pratchett. Armageddon is a wonderfully exciting pop culture convention and the name lends itself to all sorts of puns, some of them are Pratchett in nature and some not. When I mentioned it on Discworld Monthly on Facebook people suggested I remember Ronnie Soak as the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse…there are some things that are very peculiar to Discworld fans.

Stuff on table

This is some of my table. What duck?

It was a massive weekend with lots happening on and around my table as well as other tables, signing booths, photography type stuff and panels. I didn’t make it to a single panel, bearing in mind we had luminaries such as Margot Kidder, Jenna Coleman, Kevin Eastman, Terry Brooks and Robert Rankin I should have at least gone to one of them. I totally missed seeing the signing queues, just looking at the queues is something I love doing…don’t know why. I was introduced to Terry Brooks and had a slight melt down afterwards, I do hope I was sensible while talking to him. Managed to have a handful of words with Robert Rankin and didn’t melt down afterwards!

There were so many costumes, people are so clever. I took lots of photos and when I have a chance later today to look at them all I’ll make some decisions as to the rest of this week. If I have enough photos I might just dedicate this week to Armageddon and celebrating people’s talent. I know I have enough Doctor Who photos and Lords of the Rings but whether I can make things stretch beyond that is something I’ll find out. If I do I’ll be cancelling Mondayitis for this week but if I don’t I have a Deltora Quest which I’ve been planning and that’s highly appropriate.

Friday Photos


If you’re promoting an event do try to get your spelling correct. Some people might consider it should be ‘costume’. Also, this photo has an extra special item. If you look carefully to the right of the photo you’ll see some of the Jenna Coleman’s name, she’ll be at Armageddon this weekend…guess where I’ll be!


Well, it was nice to get feedback and be told I was unsubscribed but three typos in the one short message was a bit much for me. I’m guessing English is not their native language.


Don’t look at the tshirt at the back, look at the friend or freind.

Sesame Seeds

I’m trying to figure out what Natrual Sesame Seeds are. Of course, if you’re dyslexic you might not see the problem and that’s a bonus for you.

These typos brought to you by…

ABB Linkup – Reading organisation

I often wonder how people remember all those details they put into their reviews. Are they really brilliant with fabulous memories? Do they take copious notes? Do they spend lots of time checking back through the book to find passages to quote? This is, in part, the topic for this week’s Book Bloggers Australia Blog Hop and this is my ‘secret’.

What you’re seeing with the photo above are a number of bookmarks I’ve used. I fold a piece of paper and use it to mark my place. When I come across something of interest I feel I might possibly use in my scribbles for that book I write it down. Most of them will go inside physical books, it’s a little harder with ebooks and so I take a piece of paper and scribble notes which is likely to get left anywhere around the house as I move my iPad around with me, this is the case with the Red Cross paper in the middle.

I then have all these potentially awesome notes waiting for me to use. You’re looking for the gotcha I can tell. The gotcha here is that I can barely read my own writing. I do most of my reading in places where it’s easier for me to remove my glasses and read up close and personal to the book (book not ebook, that’s done in a chair, with glasses) and that makes writing challenging…although, if you’ve seen my writing you’d be adding in the word ‘more’. Having admitted I can barely read my own writing at the best of times you’ll notice the writing on these papers is more scribble than anything else. I learned to type a long time ago on a manual typewriter partly because my handwriting was so horrible.

The other gotcha is that I even more rarely actually look at my notes. It seems that the very act of writing stuff down makes it easier for me to remember, not just what I’ve written but also what I haven’t. This is fine if I don’t want to quote anything but there’s a book coming up next week which I’ll want to quote great slabs of, this is only if I can read my writing enough to be able to figure out which page the quote is on.

I haven’t mentioned keeping my books in order and reviewing them in advance or anything like that as I rarely do. I’m hoping for some insights from other bloggers and our ‘home’ blog, Debbish has some very good tips. She sometimes reads books months in advance, reviewing them as she reads and has a schedule but I admit I’m not that organised. When I have that many books sitting here awaiting a review or waiting for publishing date so a review can be published in a timely fashion I will have a physical pile of books sitting in front of my monitor making things challenging to see and eventually I just knuckle down and write so I’m able to see the screen.

As for being overworked and underpaid? Sometimes a week off is just the ticket. This gives me a chance to read at leisure or not read as the fit takes me and then not feel the pressure to even look at my website. I did that recently and came back to find writing was a breeze and the pile of books in front of me disappeared at a rapid rate of knots while the articles piled up and I ended up with the opposite of my normal, a nice stack of scheduled articles. Other times I need to let the creative part of me get working and I can only seem to do that in a coffee shop so I schedule some time with my iPad and head down to a busy coffee shop where I can sit and ignore everyone else around me to write a short story.

The Sound of Music – Maria Von Trapp

The Sound of Music. You probably all know it as the movie with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and you may even know it was a book before that but it all started in the 1920s in Austria when Maria Augusta Kutschera was sent to Captain Georg von Trapp’s house to look after his ill daughter, she never went back to Nonnberg to become a nun.

The Sound of Music by Maria Von Trapp

The Sound of Music by Maria Von Trapp

Instead she married the Captain, had two children with him and then while pregnant with another they escaped over the hills on foot. This was after having two miscarriages. Not only that but she had kidney problems and was actually meant to be on bedrest but they had to escape the Nazis. Not only that but I didn’t mention the seven children the Captain had before Von Trapp came to look after his ill daughter. So, that’s walking across the hills on foot with nine children while pregnant.

Extensive research has been cut short as I have a funeral to attend today but I’ve watched some documentaries, the movie, read the book and viewed some of the special features on the DVD. The book is most amazing, written by Maria Von Trapp herself, she does sugarcoat some things but she does tell us how disobedient she is and how she has trouble with her tongue, it runs away with her at times. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll remember the Captain whistling at his children, this apparently is true and each child had their own tune and would come running when he blew.

Von Trapp was a very audacious person. Whenever she saw something she wanted to do then nothing got in her way. In America she got it in her head that a particular person would represent the Von Trapp Family Singers and ensure they had plenty of successful concert bookings and she kept going back until he finally accepted. This happened time and again. When she saw a way to make money she had the family going full throttle to make this work. One time the government were going to demolish a building the family had sung in and Von Trapp took it into her head to take out a lease on this building and hold music camps there. Yes, this happened but there were so many problems along the way and she solved each and every one of them, while the family worked on the family farm and also went on extensive concert tours, and also creating large debts into the bargain…and also while taking vast amounts of donations of food and clothing which were sent back to Austria.

It is a truly amazing story. I do recommend it and I also recommend watching the movie. They are rather different beasts with the movie being a Hollywood love story with the Von Trapp story as a background. The movie does a good job of showing us some of the qualities of the Von Trapps and ensures we have some idea of the political problems facing Austria during the 1930s and ’40s but both of these are rather subtly shown until near the end when the Captain is supposed to be taken away to captain a submarine for Germany.

Sound of Music DVDI couldn’t find a copy of either the book or DVD for sale in any of my normal places. I picked up the book in an op shop and found the DVD at the local video library. If you can get a copy take the time to watch the special features.


Mondayitis – Manch

Boys. They shouldn’t be let out on their own they only get in trouble. If they don’t get themselves in trouble then we get in trouble saving them.

Josh is mine. I do try to look after him but we’ve just moved to Vermont and I’m still learning my way around. Also, he has school. I approve of school, it’s good for him to learn stuff…believe me he has a lot to learn.

We did try to pretend he couldn’t have heard us talking but in the end I had no choice but to tell him about Ace. Poor Ace, that Weimaraner got him good didn’t look like he’d pull through but we talked him through it while he was at the vet’s now it looks like he’ll be fine. If Josh hadn’t been able to get Greg to take him to the vet he would have been a goner.

Didn’t know snow could be so cold, at least I get to stay inside when I want where it’s nice and warm. Couldn’t do that too much the first couple of nights of Ace’s stay in the vets. We took turns talking to him. Wish my fur would thicken up faster.

But still that boy will be the death of me. Now he wants me to make friends with that Weimaraner and he can’t even say the word right! I told him his name is Ghost…maybe that’s the beginning of a friendship and then we’ll all be safe.


The Field of the Dogs by Katherine Paterson

The Field of the Dogs by Katherine Paterson

Zachor I remember Will you? – Vera Freiden with Kathy Kaplan and Sue Newton


Zachor I remember Will you? – Vera Freiden with Kathy Kaplan and Sue Newton

This book is a moving account of one person’s survival during and following the Holocaust. I had the honour of proofreading it before publishing.

Born in Žilina, Slovakia in 1929, Freidin was brought up in a loving family and somehow managed to survive the Holocaust even managing to return home and then to school topping the class. She is bright and articulate. She has since lived in Israel but now considers Melbourne, Australia to be her home.

I found this book to be easier to read than other Holocaust titles, not just for the writing style but also the horror stories are slightly less horrific than others have written about. This one will haunt me less.

I’m writing this in no particular order as I’ve kept no notes and am going from memory. Freidin details how her family managed to stay together in the roof of a house while they were looked after, how they were found and how they coped at this time. She details when her mother became pregnant and had an abortion as they’d heard stories of how pregnant women were treated. While her mother was in hospital following complications the rest of the family were incarcerated with a 13 year old Freidin having to pack up everything they needed and then learn how to wash everything by hand as she’d never had to do anything like that before.

There is so much more here. Freidin’s mother was skilled at many things and even created forged documents in fake names to help protect them, drilling both Freidin and her brother in those details in order for them to escape the Nazis. These documents were never used. When they returned to their house after the war the house was in a dreadful condition and needed much cleaning and repair work before they could actually return and live there, the Nazis had occupied it and not treated it well.

I cried many tears while proofreading this book and then I added many kilos to my waistline reading the recipes at the end. Do I recommend this? Most certainly and absolutely, it is a valuable edition to the Holocaust stable of books and also to your memoir collection.

Gone: Lies – Michael Grant

Lies by Michael Grant

Lies by Michael Grant

This is the third book in the Gone series, I will finally get through them all.

In Lies we find out what happened to Brittany, the girl who can’t die, and we find out more details of how hard it is to impose laws.

As with the other books I loved the creation and the writing but it is still very much Lord of the Flies and I have an issue with the cover. I’m assuming these are Sam and Astrid but they could very well be another couple such as Caine and Diana but they look way too clean and healthy. In this book Grant takes great pains to tell us how challenging it is to get oneself and one’s clothes clean in salt water, apparently the salt dries on the clothes and they itch (I’m sure you all know that itch). Grant also details the challenges involved in feeding all the kids, The Hunter tells us about his hunting, Quinn talks about fishing and we learn about the added challenges of harvesting vegies that arose in Hunger, all of which make it harder to eat properly and would make people start to look thin and malnourished. So why does this gorgeous young couple continue to look gorgeous, clean and healthy?

Apart from all of this, Grant is moving things on quite nicely. I won’t give you the details but I keep making guesses as to what is likely to happen at the end. Will the wall disappear for good and everyone get back to their families? Will the people stranded on the islands be rescued? Oh yes, the islands…I’d quite forgotten there might have been islands there and this caused me to chuckle when it was revealed who owned and lived on one island. It was quite obvious from the outset this was meant to be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their menagerie of adopted children, only the adopted children don’t seem as grateful as they should be.

This book is quite dark as is the whole series, I’m not waiting for it to get easier to deal with emotionally and I do intend to read the other three books as soon as I can as they’re easier to deal with than The Hunger Games. At the library next week I’ll endeavour to get the next book and then with each successive visit the other two books but I won’t review each of them individually, at this point I’ll wait and talk about the series as a whole. Each book is as good as the last and each book has its good points and bad but I won’t discuss them individually again.

You can buy this book here. Yes, I get paid every time you buy a book using this link and I appreciate each and every single one.

Friday Photos

Gods and services

I’m trying not to look at typos in websites but this was a doozy. It sounds very Terry Pratchett to me.


Just in case I haven’t shared my collection of M.A.S.H. books with you. If I haven’t written about them yet then I really should.

sf Murrumbeena

A lovely box of science fantasy books at an op shop in Murrumbeena. I liked the look of the Roger Zelanzy, my shelves are groaning otherwise I would have bought it.

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