Life(style) Reviewer

Damaris Culturewatch: My Sister’s Keeper (review)

In My Sister’s Keeper, Kate Fitzgerald (Sofia Vassilieva) is diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia when she is two years old, and the prognosis is not positive. Her parents, Sara (Cameron Diaz) and Brian (Jason Patric), and her brother Jesse (Evan Ellingson) are not genetic matches. Sara, at least, will do anything to save Kate, and Dr Wayne (Jeffrey Markle) suggests, off the record, that producing another child in a test-tube would provide a perfectly matched donor. Anna (Abigail Breslin) is the result. The initial expectation is that only the blood from the umbilical cord will be used, but by the time Anna is 11, she’s undergone a number of medical procedures, including bone marrow transplants, and the latest call is for a kidney.

Download the rest of this article (be aware, it contains plot spoilers), which I wrote.
Life(style) Reviewer

Easy Virtue #Review for Damaris Culturewatch

Easy Virtue
My most recent film review for Damaris Culturewatch covers ‘Easy Virtue’, based on the Noel Coward play, released in the cinema in November 2008, reviewed once released on DVD last month.

Themes coverered: Masks, honesty, relationships, family, class
See full text: [Sept 2015 – download PDF]

P.S. For those who were wondering about outcome of “Web Development and Digital Marketing Manager” at University of Winchester, I know now that job’s not for me (on both their/my part), but has led to other options, so the adventure continues!


Some books, and an attempt at creative writing…

Do It Tomorrow
A book I picked up from The Discovery Centre in Winchester is ‘Do it Tomorrow‘ by Mark Forster, which I have found quite liberating, even just putting a couple of his tips into action over the last 2-3 days, and am slowly getting myself a bit more sorted and prioritised (rather than spending ALL my time trying to find a job, I still want to get some of my other projects moving). I thought I was pretty good at time management – I completed a PhD after all, that doesn’t happen on it’s own, however I am guilty of trying to do too much and of getting distracted by what comes in! Mark works on a system of ‘Closed Lists’, allowed space for some urgent things to crop up. He urges us to have a default of “I’ll do it tomorrow” for everything we’re asked to do, as we can only do one days one in one day, and PLAN for tomorrow, and just do one days work in one day!!! If people know that when you say you’ll do it tomorrow, you really will, efficiency levels will improve. It’ll take practice but it’s an unusual approach and I think it works!

The Write Brain
I picked up this book “The Write Brain” by Bonnie Neubauer last year, and it’s in my pile of “things to do”. Yesterday, I decided that I was going to do ONE exercise from this book at least 5 days out of 10 (along with my plan, which is going pretty well, to read at least one chapter of The Message every day). So, I’ve done it for the past 2 days… it promises only 10 minutes for an exercise as you shouldn’t think too much about what you’re writing…! So, here’s today’s exercise (you may see a few more of these):

Resolution Revolution
Use each letter as you get to it (marked in bold): New Year’s resolutions make me…

Nervous because no one ever sticks to them! It has just become a joke for everyone – no one thinks “Well, I must do it”, yet every year everyone does it, every year we all make the same tired old promises but set no action plans to go with them. Over and over again we resolve to lose weight, to write that book, to stick with whatever we promised someone! Over and over again this falls through. We make no definite plans to see us through to the next stage. However, if we saw each days as a new day, fresh and new with lovely chance to do u-turns, and focus on ourselves and what we want to achieve/contribute to the world then we just commit to making that first step, then the next step, over the course of time those small steps will build up to a great journey, fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives!

And that was it… There’s an option at the base of each page to do more. Today’s was “New Year’s resolutions are passé. Think New Day resolutions instead. What new writing-related thing do you resolve to do in the next 24 hours?

Mine are:

  • Do tomorrow’s exercise in ‘The Write Brain’
  • Work on my review for ‘Easy Virtue’ for Damaris Culturewatch (already part-way there)
  • Add another entry to the blog (this one!)