Oisín the great! – Review of Mad Grandad series  

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As you know from my previous posts, one of my favorite writers ever is Oisín McGann.

I followed two of his writing workshops and I appreciate him not only as writer but also as teacher.

I loved his young adult books I’ve read and I’m looking forward to read the rest, although I’m a very slow kind of reader.

A part from those books, what I was aiming to find were the ones for kids.

Now that Maya is in Junior Infant I had the excuse to buy them. She still cannot read, but she’s old enough to follow stories more complex than a fairy tale.

My only problem was that it’s not very easy to find them in book stores.

The first two I found were Mad Grandad and the flying saucer and Mad Grandad and the robot garden.

Maya absolutely loved them. And to be brutally honest with you, I loved them too, I was bent in two for the laughter.

Oisín is an honest writer. In his books, there is everything he teaches about writing: while you turn the pages, it seems you’re hearing his advices.

We should write simple things, something easy to be identified with, of course adding a twist that makes them even more interesting.

Simple elements are easily recognized. Readers would emphasize better with the characters and the story.

Take for example these first books, what’s more normal than going to spend the day with your grandpa? Everybody can relate to that!

But then, if you make the cool grandad bring his grandson to buy a flying saucer or to assemble a gardener robot that has been in the cellar for ages folded into a box, you add a simple twist that is hilarious!

However, after I spent almost two months reading in loop these two volumes as Maya forgot completely the other hundreds she has at her disposal, I thought it was the time to buy the rest.  

I ordered then online Mad Grandad’s wicked pictures, Mad Grandad’s doppelganger, Mad Grandad and the mutant river, Mad Grandad and the Kleptoes.

Let me tell you, my dear readers, if I laughed my ass off with the first two books, I did even more with the rest.

These books aren’t just funny, they’re clever, creative, brilliant and enormously real story-wise. You have the sensation, and you really wish, that these adventures might happen to you one day.

Oisín is genius and these books don’t disappoint even the adult readers, who are used to Oisín’s other novels.

In these last books I bought, grandad and Lenny have to deal with some paint from the 70s that come to life, with a couple of doppelgangers who wants to find friends, with a mer-model fished in a river and with some weird beings living in grandad’s couch.

I have to be honest with you, I was so sorry when I finished them, I wanted more.

But I wasn’t the only one! This is the dialogue with Maya following the last page of the last book:

“Mummy are we buying more?”

“Maya, I’m sorry, but this was the last Mad Grandad adventure in the series… Oisín wrote a couple of other books for kids and…”

“It’s Ok mummy, we can ask Oisín to write more!”

“Yes…”

I don’t know if we can ask, but we hope he will!

Meanwhile I’ll order the other three books I spotted, I’m sure that Maya and me will love them too.

Well done Oisín, keep up the good work!

Happy Paddy’s day! 

Despite being here for 10 years, I’ve never been at the parade! However, Maya wanted really to go this year, so it was set!

We arrived a bit late and there was no space left to watch it properly, but I enjoyed and loved what I managed to see!

My thoughts and love to the few friends I left in the monster factory. They’re working their asses off these days for sure!

I miss them and my funny blog posts following the madness! But I don’t miss that job!

Mostly, respect to those geniuses who found the following hack to watch the parade properly!

I’ll do that for sure next year! 

What I mean to say with this post is Happy Patrick’s Day, everybdy! 

I’m satisfied when I watch action scenes.

 

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Samurai squirrel!

        

In a way connected with my second last post, I’ll publish this.

I’m sorry to bother you, my dear readers, but I’m living a period at the moment where the main feeling is the one of being powerless. Everything seems happening continuously leaving me with no choice.

I need at least to feel I’m in control and powerful and strong in my head! And writing on my blog helps a lot!

I think I am an eclectic type of person. It is very difficult to find something I dislike; actually, you can count the things I don’t like on the fingertips of the two hands.

Besides, with the time passing by, I realized that things I didn’t like before have become very interesting, like the second world war.

In these pages, little by little you’re discovering what I really love and I’m very passionate about.

With this post, you’ll discover something more!

I love martial arts and, as you gathered from my previous blog, I’d love to be stronger and cooler! I used to go to karate lessons during middle high school and, as far as I remember, I’ve never felt better and more self-confident in my life.

Although I haven’t done something like it for ages, I never stopped to be interested in the field and also, I’ve never said no to an action/ martial art film or TV shows.

To be brutally honest, the reason why I’m writing this post is trying to understand, through writing, why I feel so good and satisfied when I watch action scenes.

I think I’ve always been like it. I remember I used to watch Steven Segal’s films in loop when I was younger.

I guess everything was connected to the fact I did karate for three years when I was ten.

It was probably the most peaceful time ever, I felt good, I felt relaxed, understood, in my place, self-confident.

I was an entirely, totally different person or so I remember my old self as this. I wish I can recreate the same effect.

At the moment, as you know, I’m very stressed, and also, I have no spare time. Because of that I wouldn’t be able to look for a gym and start lessons of any martial art at all. Mostly, adding up to all that, you should consider that my back is very weak.

I guess that watching action scenes is a kind of palliative. They recall the sensation and makes me feel relaxed.

So sometimes when I feel a bit sad or restless or even angry I watch a film where the main themes are fights and action.

On this respect, I found out a couple of years ago that Chinese films are perfect for stress release.

They’re so packed with action and so poor of dialogue and, sometimes, of plot, that they’re like a full immersion for an emergency treatment.

How do you vent?

Watching what, exactly, makes you feel better?

Write to me in the comments below!

Writing and Reading log – February 2017

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I meant to write this post two days ago, my dear readers, but I didn’t really manage!

I have to say that, a part from a recent setback, I’m proceeding both with my reading and my writing, slowly but constantly.

As for my WIP, I keep going on with my writing 3 pages a day. I finished the first notebook and the second one is starting to get that shape of lived paper I love. I’m confident enough that I’ll be soon tackling the notebook number three.

On the back of my head I still have that angry voice telling me that I’ll regret this hand-writing thing when I’ll have to type my book into a Word file.

However, I manage to keep this voice at bay telling her that, at least, now my novel is going on steadily.

I’m optimistic today! If I keep going like this, I’ll manage to finish, not only this novel, but all the ones I’ve planned…sooner or later!

True that I’m behind of a few pages lately, but this might always happen.

I’m just happy that, otherwise, this has become a habit, this was my goal.

Next goal is to become able to post a blog every week.

I didn’t manage last week, for example, but I’ll try my best.

Maybe introducing one small goal per time I’ll manage. True is that my spare time is still the same, but It’s a good challenge and I’m on it!

 

As for the reading, I’m still trying to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

However, since old habits are hard to die, I’ve brought on three of them together and I’ve started again the audiobook Shadow magic, as I didn’t remember the beginning.

So just to summarize.

There is no news for Outlander, Hunger, Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1 and Madame Bovary.

However, there is big improvement for the said three titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 202 on 684.

City of bones – I’m at page 348 on 506.

 The book thief – I’m at page 120 on 554.

 And that’s it for the month of February.

I’m sorry because this month you’ll see two post on the same topic!

As mentioned, I’m trying to get more persistent on this and I’m confident that I’ll reach the point where I’ll blog constantly with no problem.

As usual the problem is I’m not very organized, but still open to advice.

So, in case you have any good one, please write to me in the comment.

Have a lovely day!