Sunday, January 13, 2013

Animals Scare me Stiff - Childrens Book

Animals scare me stiff is a children’s story book which I read with surprise to me. The reason that I write this is because in my experience the first time that children meet a large dog  they tend to be fearful.

I would not like your child, who is not used to having animals around him become scared of animals as a result of reading this book for kids. I am sure it was not the author’s intention for children to be fearful of animals but instead be able to frighten them away.

In fact, I am not sure that I would  recommend this book to a parent to read to their child, if the child was not used to playing with animals.

I do however, have to acknowledge that the view I hold of this book is not universal. The Independent on Sunday commented ….”Hilariously Rude” and the TES primary commented …”unrelenting wit and inspired drawing”

One the dog food bowl there written “Pedigree Boy”. The small boy is lying  in the bowl with dog food half covering him up. There is an enormous giant size like dog looking down on the little boy.

There is no doubt that there is wit in this book. My only concern is that it is possible that the wit will not be understood by kids at such a young age.

You as parent know your child best and are in a position of knowing if your child is confident around animals and will take this book in the sense that it has been written.

The young boys scariest weapon is himself and he manages to scare all of the animals away. This saves the day in this book for kids.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Target

I really look forward to my children’s developmental milestones.  They’re so exciting because everything changes – your child, your routine, you.  One of the most exciting milestones, I think, is talking.  After 18 months or so (or much earlier, if you child is a genius), you finally get to hear what your child is thinking.  They tell you what excites them or makes them sad.  They talk about memories.  They even spontaneously tell you they love you.  It’s a milestone that allows you to know and connect with your child in a more personal way.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Not Being Dejected

Yesterday was interesting.  I received an email from an agent I submitted my screenplay to in August last year.  It was a rejection, as the title of this post suggests, but a surprisingly good one.  'What the hell is a good rejection?'  I hear you ask.  Well, a good rejection is one that offers feedback - no matter how small.  It basically said that the writing wasn't good enough, but there were some interesting ideas there.  When I first read it I'll admit I searched and searched for every possible meaning - so I could pick the best one, of course.  I settled on:  'Your writing isn't terrible, but not up to a good enough standard.  Some of your ideas are interesting, but not demonstrated well enough.'  It's made me view the project a bit more positively as I really wasn't sure about how my ideas would be perceived before sending it off to anyone.  I wouldn't describe myself as praise-hungry - you know, one of those people who needs praise like cupid needs an arrow - but it's encouraging to know I'm not just clutching at straws.

I've continued to work on my novel and I'm currently editing Chapter Seventeen.  So far this 'editing' process has seen 20,000 words disappear from the manuscript.  It's gut-wrenching to think about all that time I spent writing those words which have now ended up in a folder aptly nicknamed 'trash'.  It's equally gut-wrenching to think that it pushes my word count way below an acceptable level for a young adult novel.  But this is only my second draft so I'm not going to get too disheartened about it all.

On the plus side, things are making much more sense in the story now.  You never know, I may have finished the second draft by the end of this week!  That's highly unlikely, but I do intend to have it finished soon!  My plan is to start work on my screenplay as soon as I've finished the second draft.  This will help me achieve the required 'distance' from my work before I return to it.  I've already had lots of ideas for improvements.  There are a few scenes that can be taken out completely and a lot of dialogue can be condensed in some others.  This could be the year of the novel and the screenplay for me.

Female Voices Are Easier to Hear?

Picture of an infant wearing a hearing aid
According to a recent study, female voices are easier to hear because they're processed by the brain's auditory section.  However, female voices are also very rhythmic, which makes them more complex.  This, according to the study, may explain why men grow weary from listening to women speak: our complex prosody taxes their brain power.

Okaaaaay.  But I'm only willing to accept this as a partial reason for male selective hearing.
The study also suggests that people suffering from aural hallucinations (false voices) hear male voices.  This is further evidence that male and female voices are processed by different brain areas.

Interesting.  But it doesn't explain why my aural hallucination sounds like my mother.