Cheer Yourself Up With A Children’s Book – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Here at Loony Literature, we believe that if you need help smiling, you might consider reading a children’s book. Many grown ups do not realize that throwing adultness to one side and losing themselves in a children’s story is as good as taking medicine. It liberates your soul and makes you feel as if anything is possible. Remember how you felt before you grew up and life got you down?

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

A wonderful one to try is ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ by Ian Fleming. It was actually written as three separate adventures. The first two were originally published in 1964 and the third one came out in 1965. What is really interesting is that Ian Fleming found his inspiration from a car really called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which was built in 1920 by Fleming’s chum, Count Zoborowski.

The main character of the story is the magical car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Her owners are the Pott family but their name was changed to Potts for the film. The father of the family, Caractacus Pott is an explorer and an inventor who lives with his wife and their twins.

One day, Caractacus invents a new type of candy which has holes in it that makes a whistling noise as it is being sucked. The owner of a sweet factory buys it for lots of money and that is how Caractacus buys Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Delight yourself by reading about this car which has a mind of her own as she flies and turns herself into a hovercraft. You may not get rid of all your worries but you will certainly forget about them for a time.

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Filed under Children's Books, For children, Reading, Self Esteem and Literature

Story Ideas To Get You Writing – Getting Married in the Buff!

Stuck for something to write about? Here at Loony Literature, we are pure suckers for history so when we come across something which we think might be a good springboard to get you folks writing, we will shout about it. Even if this doesn’t make you start writing frantically, it will inform and entertain you – hopefully.

To write or not to write.

To write or not to write.

In the 18th century ‘smock weddings’ were a type of ceremony. A ‘smock wedding’ would see a bride getting married in the nude or barefoot and wearing only a chemise or underskirt, as we call them these days. The idea was that if she brought no clothes or property to the marriage, her new husband to be was not liable for any of the debts of her past life.

The smock wedding was particularly useful for a widowed woman whose husband had died leaving a lot of debts. We know because of a newspaper report in September 1775 that a Mr Richard Elcock who was bricklayer married Mrs Judith Redding. It seems that so Mr Elcock would not be liable for any of the debts that Mrs Redding might have been left with from an earlier marriage, she went into one of the pews in the church and stripped off everything except her slip.

A few years earlier, at Saint Michael’s Church in Ashton under Lyne, Nathaniel Eller married the widow Hibbert. Both of them were around fifty years of age. The widow went through the ceremony with her hair tied behind with horse hair and wearing only a shift so that her new husband would not have to pay off any of her former husband’s debts.

In December 1797, several newspapers reported from St Philips parish church in Birmingham that the bride wore nothing. She was a woman of wealth and property but she was marrying a debt ridden husband and she believed that getting married in the nude would prevent her new husband’s creditors from seizing her property. She was not the only lady to be married in that fashion. It seems that some women would turn up to church in a cloak and nothing else. With a flourish they would remove the cloak and the ceremony would begin.

Happy writing.

 

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Getting Kids to Read – Lotta’s Bike

If we are to get little ones reading, we have to keep them interested. This means sharing a wide range of books with them. A wonderful book called ‘Lotta’s Bike’ by Astrid Lindgren will most certainly make them want to turn the pages and find out what happens to Lotta. It is aimed at children over the age of three.

Lotta's Bike

The book was published in 1971 and Lotta is one of the most popular characters in Swedish children’s literature. She is little girl who gets into also sorts of scrapes alongside her older siblings, Jonas and Maria. Some parents might view the antics of the children as being a bit too much but children love them and it is a great way of discussing behaviour with kids.

In ‘Lotta’s Bike’, Lotta is hoping to get a bike for her birthday. However, her parents get her something else instead and so she decides to borrow her neighbour’s bike and takes her toy pig Barnsie for a ride. Unfortunately, the bike is too big for Lotta and she loses control of it on a steep hill. As per usual, she has to face the consequences; think rose bush and bicycle owner here.

All the Lotta stories explore everyday events which small children can understand either through personal experience or by it happening to someone close to them. For instance, in ‘Lotta Leaves Home’, Lotta is not happy with her family and decides to run away from home. As you can guess, Lotta soon appreciates the value of her family and her home when she is away from them. All the stories are told with gentle humour which will make your child smile while thinking about the deeper meaning of the story. If you can get your hands on a copy of any of the Lotta books, you will probably enjoy it as much as your little ones.

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Welcome to the world of Loony Literature!

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A DESERTED VILLAGE…

ALONG CAME SOME VERY NICE PEOPLE

WHO BUILT A LABORATORY TO WORK IN AND THEN THEY CREATED SOME MONSTERS TO HELP THEM.

WHAT SHALL WE DO NOW?” ASKED ONE OF THE MONSTERS.

“We will start The Frankenstein Project? We can encourage others to get creative by putting things together.”

“Let’s write a sketch show and then film it – we could be a double act”

WITH EVERYTHING NICELY SORTED, THE LOONY LITERATURE FOLK, MONSTERS AND WISE HEADS, SAT DOWN TO SOME NICE TEA.

 

THE LOONY LITERATURE LOT ARE NOW FILMING THE FIRST SKETCH: 

FRANKENSTEIN’S FACTORY – CATARRH”

Watch out for the new faces which we’ve lured into the Laboratory. 

Get creative with us for Halloween.

 

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loonyliterature:

Here’s another of Nisha Moodley’s great posts on Literature. This time it is on Wilkie Collins – time to cuddle up with “The Woman in White!”

Originally posted on ArtiPeeps:

 

Classic Friday

Welcome to Classic Friday with Nisha Moodley, your monthly journey into Classic authors and their Literature!

Nisha MoodleyNisha is a South African writer, blogger, amateur historian, mystery-chaser and former ghost-hunter who, with a completed collection of short-stories under her belt, is currently working on her first full-length novel.

http://nmwritersbloq.wordpress.com

I hope you enjoy this ‘Classic Friday’ entry and I’ll be back on  Friday 22nd March for some more…

_______________________

WILKIE COLLINS

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Fans of Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle might be surprised to hear that as celebrated as these authors are, a lesser known writer has the distinction of being called the Father of English detective fiction. That man’s name was Wilkie Collins who, at one stage, was one of the highest paid writers in England. He is also well-known for having been a close friend of Charles Dickens and for leading an unconventional…

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Textual or Sexual?

English: Portrait of Virginia Woolf

English: Portrait of Virginia Woolf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my great interests in reading matter is how desire is handled.  After the huge sales of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, I had begun to wonder if readers needed their sex spelled out more nowadays, if so, does that mean that many readers are missing out on playful texts as titillating as Orlando by Virginia Woolf?  In this written piece, I hope to persuade readers to interact with text such as “Orlando” for a deeper and potentially more sexually satisfying read.

I have taken chapter 3 from Orlando (Great Classic Library, 1994) to demonstrate that often it is not what is said that conjures up fantasy but what is not said.  Also, I use the constant ‘she’ but this refers to both sexes, it is simply to keep the text tidy.

Cover of "Orlando"

Orlando by Virginia Woolf with the talented Tilda Swinton on the cover. She played Orlando in the film.

If we can imagine a courtship between reader and text, then it becomes obvious that the text (Orlando) is using details to entice the reader as love object.  Whilst the reader is consumed with the desire to see and know the text, it encourages fevered requests for knowledge by constant teasing.  It attempts to keep the reader interested by manipulative and provocative tantalisation which never allows the desire for textual knowledge to be fulfilled.  Subsequently the reader continues to endeavour to explore and undress the body of the text.  In other words, the text uses a playful strategy which depicts an innocence by using understated sexuality to allure and provoke the reader into the commitment of interpretation.  The signals are there, the reader merely needs to be seduced.

The text displays constant symptoms of needing the reader to become its love object.  Consequently, in order to overcome this, it must attain to interest its love object; therefore it is only by seducing the reader into the position of desiring to know the text that it can attempt to fulfill the desire for unattainable completion.  To initiate interest, the text suggests that it will become love slave to  the reader’s fantasies but only if the reader will respond by opening her psychic space.

 

“There was a hole in the manuscript big enough to put your finger through …. but it has been necessary to speculate, to surmise and even to use the imagination.” (page 54)

 

The language cleverly entices the reader to visualize that which is being suggested.  The beckoning finger attempts to coax the reader into penetrating the written sign and being seduced into allowing her repressed fantasy to filter through.  It invites the reader into its existence with a manipulative proposition which offers a text lacking in language, subtly suggesting that the reader fills in the gap for herself.  Subsequently, the text is pertaining to reach unity with the reader by a language of denial being impregnated by the reader completing the gaps.  However, the fantasy must remain fragmented as the text’s constant denial of knowledge defies fixed interpretation.

As the suggestive finger tempts the reader, so the text uses thresholds to tease and control the reader’s access.  Windows are used to allow a connived amount of voyeurism.

 

“The windows of the Embassy brilliantly illuminated.  Again details are lacking.” (page 57)

 

Windows are used to set a scene to draw the reader in.  They are used as a controlled promise of an insight into the text.  The text manipulates a sense of deviant excitement as the reader anticipates the fantasy of voyeur as illicit views through the windows suggest that the reader should not be in attendance, that she will be witness to a scene which is too prurient to be written about.  However, the text denies the details the reader is hoping for; in essence, the text leaves spaces for the reader to mould it into whatever is fantasised about.

As opened windows are used to lure the reader into the ranks of hopeful voyeur, so the closing of doors is a carefully operated device which causes the reader’s mind to engage itself in a frenzied thought process which hungers for knowledge of the text.

 

“The Ambassador was seen to go to his room, still wearing the insignia of his rank, and shut the door.  Some say he locked it, which was against his custom.” (page 59)

 

The narrative content of the text draws the reader in by locking her out.  The concept of the text as love slave is being played as the reader is only provided with alleged details.  The text essentially offers the reader the chance to create her own fantasy within the text.  In other words, the text is again using denial of details as a promise of adaption in order to satisfy the reader’s fantasy.

English: Entrance to Freuds consulting room

English: Entrance to Freuds consulting room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a never ending craving to complete the cycle of lack and desire the text successfully employs the device of ellipsis to create more gaps to encourage the reader to allow her repressed fantasies to surface.  The use of ellipsis suggests events which are too shocking to mention.

 

“Wondrous… utterly beyond description… gold plates…candelabras…negroes in plush breeches…” (page 58) ( please note that I do not agree with racist labels and I am not suggesting that Virginia was racist either; I am merely quoting the text)

 

The language which is used paints a decadence to indicate indulgence; to add ellipsis creates a subjacent meaning for the reader which arouses the most dormant of fantasies.  Fundamentally, the text works the reader’s mind.  The lack of language in the text encourages the reader to search the decadent language which is present for signs which indicate what the reader is hoping to locate.  As ellipsis in the text intimates a joining of language and absent language, the marriage must result in a lack desire interchange which can never be fulfilled as both are always acting as chameleons in search of each other.

The text uses Orlando as bait for the reader’s desires.  The sexual titillation concerning Orlando’s body is ambivalent.  The denial of details can be interpreted as writing which is vaguely aware of sexuality but unaware of how to work it; similarly it can be interpreted as the love object who attempts to lure the reader by a provocative indication of sexuality.  The interpretation will be open to the reader’s own exploration of the text but it is ultimately a stimulation used to attempt satiation of the reader’s psychic erotic space.

 

“Going indoors again, withdrew to his bath.  An hour later, properly scented, curled and anointed.” (page 54)

 

The reader is denied access to the bathroom in order to fantasise about Orlando having his body prepared for the events of the day.  The connotations of the above quotations are erotic by denial of detail.  It is probable that nudity and genital washing is involved, but it is purposely ambiguous as to whether he is vainly paying homage to his body himself or whether another is used to cleanse and cream the crevices of the protagonist’s person.  The innuendo is perverse as the use of the two sentences allows the reader to act as voyeur (which can be regarded as a perverse act in itself) to the most personal erotic bathroom fantasies desired.

If the text entices the reader with suggestions of being voyeur to Orlando’s personal moments, then to have Orlando in position of ultimately any fantasy is the pinnacle of invitations for the reader.

 

“And still Orlando slept.  Morning and evening they watched him.” (page 60)

 

The text deigns to give details as to Orlando’s long sleep but using sleep is an indication of death which can be an interpretation of orgasm.  According to Sigmund Freud in “The Interpretation of Dreams” sleep also is a signal for repressed fantasies being released in the form of dream.  Therefore the written sign becomes cohesive with the code of sexuality which encourages the reader to embark upon a scenario of being the mistress of Orlando’s body.  In actuality, the text as love slave is seducing the reader into being the love object by stimulating the fantasy of control for Orlando’s sleeping body.

Finally, as Orlando undergoes metamorphosis from man to woman:

 

“THE SOUND OF TRUMPETS died away and Orlando stood stark naked.  No human being, since the world began has ever looked more ravishing.  His form combined in one the strength of a man and a woman’s grace.” (page 62)

 

The reader is denied details of Orlando’s perfect form except the fact that he/she is ravishing.  This implies that the text is again using Orlando to capture the reader as love object.  In other words, Orlando is there to be moulded and created into the reader’s version of that which would be desirable, a Frankenstein’s monster made in the form of beauty to the eye of the reader.  The denial of details are cleverly used to incorporate whatever the reader desires in the way of physical features.  Therefore, as details of Orlando are lacking, the reader will write the body of Orlando herself to portray her own fantasy of loveliness.  Subsequently, by continual denial of detail to the reader, the text ensures in a controlled and intelligent manner that the reader commits an interest to it by being whatever she desires.

In conclusion, with a text as fluid as Orlando, we can write our own sexual fantasies, in essence, this means that the text can be read as a sexual fantasy or simply as a fine story; fundamentally, it adapts to what its love object – you the reader wants – can this be said about text like “Fifty Shades of Grey?”

 

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loonyliterature:

This is one of Will’s interviews. I am quite tickled with this interview with Gary Russell as he played Dick in the 1978 television version of the Famous Five – truly scrumptious!

Originally posted on The Consulting Detective:

Gary_Russell_promo

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, I shall be conducting several interviews throughout the year with members of the Doctor Who team past and present. The second in the series is with Doctor Who writer, script editor, producer and all ground good egg, Gary Russell.

Hello Gary. You have written several different excellent Doctor Who books for different Doctors. Do you think your approach to writing them differs with each Doctor or is there one set formula that only needs tweaking from book to book?

I think you would be doing a massive disservice to the actors and production teams if you believed each one was that easily interchangeable. So no, each Doctor and each companion has be treated as indivduals. Similarly there are tropes and cliches for each Doctor’s era that I reckon should be stuck to. Yes, obviously the Doctor is the same person in…

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loonyliterature:

Here is one of Will’s interviews with writer, Paul Cornell who interestingly enough gets lots of good ideas from Tesco! To find out more, read on.

Originally posted on The Consulting Detective:

398px-Paul_cornell
Hello Paul. Thank you for agreeing to talk to us. Your most recent book, London Falling, has been very successful with readers and critics alike.  Can you tell us a bit about it?
It’s a modern urban fantasy about a team of undercover Metropolitan Police officers who accidentally gain the ability to see the magic and monsters of London, and decide to use actual police tactics against them.
You have written for both Marvel and DC comics. Is there much difference between the two comic book giants? Do you approach the writing of DC in a more gritty manner than that of Marvel?
No, they’re pretty much the same in terms of content.  The two organisations have different quirks and shapes to them, different cultures you might say, but one writes the same way for both.
Do you approach the writing of television in a different way…

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loonyliterature:

The lovely Nisha Moodley is talking about Turn of the Screw. I adore Henry James, even if he does have convoluted sentences. If you are not familiar with this story, read on, it might just be what you are looking for.

Originally posted on ArtiPeeps:

Welcome to Classic Friday with Nisha Moodley, your monthly journey into  Classic authors  and their Literature!

Nisha MoodleyNisha is a South African writer, blogger, amateur historian, mystery-chaser and former ghost-hunter who, with a completed collection of short-stories under her belt, is currently working on her first full-length novel.

http://nmwritersbloq.wordpress.com

I hope you enjoy this ‘Classic Friday’ entry and I’ll be back on  Friday 22nd February for some more…

____________________________

The Turn Of the Screw - PenguinTITLE: TURN OF THE SCREW

AUTHOR: HENRY JAMES

GENRE: 19th century GOTHIC HORROR

DATE FIRST PUBLISHED: 1898

NO. OF PAGES: 133 (my copy : Vintage Classics/Random House)

It’s been mentioned in numerous popular TV shows including CSI and LOST; it has been the inspiration for many Hollywood movies like Deborah Kerr’s The Innocents (1961) and Nicole Kidman’s The Others (2001). Oscar Wilde described it as “a most wonderful, lurid and poisonous little tale.”

So what is it about Henry James’ Turn…

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loonyliterature:

For all you readers and writers out there, we are pleased to give you Will’s interview with none other than the author, Darren Shan. This is off our sister site theconsultingdetectivesblog.com

Originally posted on The Consulting Detective:

_38461827_pg_shan_darren

Hello Darren. Your first book was Cirque du Freak published in 2000. Did you expect it to take off as it did or was it a surprise?

I was hopeful that it would do well when I wrote it, but then 20 different publishers all rejected it, so I started to wonder if I was wrong! When HarperCollins finally bought it, they didn’t pay a huge amount for it, and it took them more than 2 years to publish it, so my expectations were not super-high. But then, in the run-up to publication, things began to change – in-house staff read the book and loved it and started to push hard for it. A movie company got interested and optioned the rights. Other publishers around the world began to bid for it. So, by the time it came out, my hopes were back up high again – although it would…

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