Celebrating Friendships!

Toy storyNicola here. Today I’m celebrating the power of friendship as yesterday was International Friendship Day. The value of friendship has been recognised since people first walked the earth – and it’s pretty strong between some animals too and between humans and animals. Greek philosopher Herodotus wrote “Of all possessions, a friend is the most precious.” More recently, the lyrics of the song is the Toy Story movie say “We stick together and can see it through, ‘Cause you've got a friend in me.”

What is friendship, really? A dictionary definition calls it “a state of mutual trust and support” but it’s so much more complicated than that sounds. Some of Friends us are lucky enough to have friends we have known since childhood, others from school or college. I’m part of a group of college friends who first came together almost 40 years ago and we still meet up twice a year as a group. It's lovely to have such enduring relationships with people I know so well and feel I can pick up with so easily. Then there are the other friends we make at different stages of our lives. You don’t even have to see each other that much, though when you do, it’s special. The Wenches are an amazing group of friends scattered across three continents; we don’t get the chance to see each other much but we’re so supportive of each other through the thick and thin of writing and life. In fact, being an author is a wonderful way to meet friends across the world, through readers’ and writers’ groups.

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From Page to Screen


Photo by Gage Skidmore

Christina here. Authors are often asked if we’d like our books made into film or a TV series. (Anne discussed this in one of her posts here). Silly question – of course we would! We can spend hours imagining exactly which actor we’d like to play our heroes (Chris Hemsworth usually for me, in case you were wondering) or actresses for the leading lady role. But personally, I’d rather see some of my favourite books by other authors being turned into movies. There are so many that would make absolutely wonderful viewing!

It's rare though that when it happens, it is done right. And by right, I mean that the film actually turns out to be as amazing as the story it’s based on. I am always very reluctant to watch adaptations because I’m invariably disappointed. The producer and/or screen writer often leave out details I consider crucial, or they invent some new sub-plot – or even major plot point – that wasn’t in the book to begin with. I find that infuriating because it’s not what I want to see!

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Adventures in Middle Earth

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

I've already written about my visit to Melbourne,where I spoke at the annual conference of the Romance Writers of Australia.  The day after that conference ended, it was off to New Zealand for the conference of the Romance Writers of New Zealand.  

This is my third visit Down Under, and I firmly believe that one shouldn't fly that far without seeing both countries.  As former British colonies that are a long way from the rest of the world, Australia and New Zealand have much in common.  New Zealand MapBut they are also very different, and beautiful in very different ways.  Australia is vast and ancient and has a lot of desert, while New Zealand is green and lush and–Middle Earth-ish.  

Before traveling Down Under for our third visit, we watched the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy again, partly because it's a great story with great characters, but also to feast our eyes on the stunning scenery, from the green fields of Hobbiton to the rolling grasslands of Rohan and the dramatic snowy peaks that must be conquered on the route to Mordor.  Splendid!

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Lord of the Rings: All kinds of heroes

by Mary Jo We just finished rewatching DVDs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and once more the story and characters riveted me.  Warning: I will be giving spoilers, so if you’ve not seen the movies and don’t want to know what happens, stop right here! I was startled to realize that it’s been a dozen years since the first movie came out, ten years since the last.  But a great story doesn’t age, and Tolkien understood the power of epic tales of danger, destruction, and heroism.  I read the trilogy long ago in college, and while I never …

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