Tuesday 1 November 2016

My Top Five Stephen King Good Guys

I first wrote this list as part of my Friday Top Five series a few years ago, And I thought it was worth revisiting!!!

So it's not new information that I am a Stephen King fan. Look to your right.. over there... yep, check out The Illustrated Stephen King Universe Flow Chart if you haven't already... it's kinda like my 4th child....

Anyhoo, I know I have spoken about my favorite SK books before, but today, I thought I would look at my favourite:

Stephen King GOOD GUYS 

1) Jack Sawyer (The Talisman/ Black House) 
In the Talisman, Jack is the eternal little boy lost on a big adventure (a character that is seen in many books/ films- parentless kids out trying to save the world eg: Harry Potter) Jack is just so likeable and charismatic and essentially GOOD. Everyone roots for him. Everyone wants him to win. And then to give him a big hug. Then we get to see him as a grown man in Black House. And we still wanna hug him, but now it's because he's a big, handsome cop.

2) Eddie Dean (The Dark Tower series) 
Yes, Yes, I am finally reading the DT series! I have just finished The Wolves of Calla (my favourite so far). For me, the star of the series is junkie-turned-gunlinger Eddie Dean. Eddie's character is reminiscent of some other fast talking, wise-cracking jokers in SK literature- think Richie Tozier in It or Teddy Duchamp in The Body. Eddie's smart-assery is awesome, but I am intrigued by his transformation and redemption. I will be very sad if he dies. Don't tell me. I don't wanna know.

3) Frannie Goldsmith (The Stand) 
Frannie is awesome. She doesn't take any bullshit from anyone. She shoulda know better than to let creepy Harold Lauder tag along with her when she left Oganquit, but whatevs. SK writes strong women expertly. Frannie, Polly Chalmers (Needful Things) Sussanah Dean (The Dark Tower Series) are all kick ass chicks who aren't perfect and handle all the crazy shit going on around them with style and grace.

4) WOLF! (The Talisman) 
As I read Talisman's sequel Black House, all I wanted was for Jack to go to the Territories and find another Wolf. Man, I loved Wolf. In the same way I love Tom Cullen (The Stand). Stephen King manages to write these mentally challenged characters with dignity, warmth and extreme love. Characters like Wolf and Tom (and Dudders in Dreamcatcher and Sheemie Ruiz in The Tower) often have the answers that the protagonists can't see. They are often more than they seem. I like to think that these characters remind us that people who are often marginalised in our society are so valuable and important. 

5) Ray Garraty (The Long Walk) 
I remember the first time I read the long walk, I developed a bit of a crush on Ray Garraty. I visualised him as about my age (I was probably 14/15 at the time), sensitive and handsome, willing to do anything for his family. That story is harsh, dude. The Long Walk is a story ahead of it's time. Ray's world, where teenagers are disposable pawns used for the entertainment of the masses came way before The Hunger Games. King builds the desperation, injustice and violence of this world. It is shocking and so very sad. But Stephen King still manages to create these compelling, developed, intriguing characters. Ray was my hero. Go Go Garraty!

OK, there it is. I would love to think that someone who isn't a big King fan may think, 'Oh, OK, I might give one of his books a read, I didn't realise there was more to the Stephen King Universe than rabid dogs and creepy clowns.' 

There is, people. Heaps more. There is time traveling and love stories and humour and gunslinging and a fair amount of bad swears. All the bestest stuff.


Sunday 30 October 2016

The Stephen King Alphabet

I had so much fun making this chart! I love a good rhyme- although, finding a connection that starts with 'X' that rhymes and relates is TOUGH! 

I don't know that ill ever get tired of playing with Stephen King as a subject. There is so much!



Saturday 29 October 2016

The Illustrated Stephen King Universe Flowchart

When I was in Grade 5 (guess I was ten), my friend Tarnya Smyth brought her mum's battered copy of Stephen King's 'Carrie' to school. We broke it into about 4 pieces and passed them around, all taking turns reading each battered section. I told mum about it and she FLIPPED HER WIG and told me to 'Stop reading that book immediately!!' So, of course, I finished it.

Now, I TOTALLY do not recommend  ten year olds reading Stephen King books (messed me up pretty darn good), but this was when my life long relationship with Mr King began. My love for his books is based around his characters. They are so full. I love Stephen King dialogue. I love his sense of humour. And I love the links and connections between the books. I am the kind of annoying person who likes to know the 'In Joke'. So, of course, I MADE A FLOW CHART!!!

This is version 4.0 of this chart and the second version of the printed product. I can't believe, four years since I posted the first little chart I am still getting emails, tweets, and shares about this crazy thing! Love it!

click here to visit my Etsy Store and purchase the expanded, updated chart.


Friday 15 January 2016

Updating the Flowchart

So, it's been a long time coming, but my updated, illustrated Stephen King Flowchart poster is almost done!!!

As well as adding illustrations, there are a whole bunch of new connections and new books/ stories added. And a LOT of new lines. I almost broke my own brain!

The new version will be available for sale soon, and I am planning on offering a special price to those who have purchased the first version. 'Cos, I'm heaps nice.
I'm really looking forward to sharing it :-)

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Tuesday 4 February 2014

Big Day in a Small Town

I am settling into this countrified small town life. And I am in love with it.

This morning I helped with reading and alphabets at the boys school. So many unique, awesome small humans. Kids are ace, man. They don't sugar coat it. I was doing my best awesome mummy schtick, while going through the alphabet.  I thought I was doing great, then one kid said, "I just wanna go away from you. I don't wanna do this." Totally without malice. He was just being honest. That's cool, little dude. I won't take it personally.
After reading, I wandered up town, did some errands, then dropped in to see my mum at the Maleny Artists Pop Up Gallery. There is a lot of new work in there since last time I visited. Great stuff. Love the attitude of Shireen's sculpture! And my mums fishy plates of course!
 Then I dropped into the coolest bookstore in town, and possibly the world, Rosetta Books and Cafe. This is a book shop that knows how to get it right. I am hoping they will be interested in stocking my Stephen King flowchart… we will see. 

BUT! while I was there I saw that the final Tales From the City novel, The Days of Anna Madrigal had been relaeased!! Holy Hotpants, Micheal Tolliver!!! I cannot wait to be back in the world of San Francisco and Michael and Anna and even Mary Ann. I think know what is going to happen and my heart is already broken, but I want to see it through to the end with Anna. We have been through a lot together.
So, it was just a simple day in my small town… but it was a good one. 

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Tuesday 28 January 2014

The Stephen King Universe Flowchart- my fourth child and craziest creation

So, people ask me, "What's your blog about?"

I say, "Um… Well, It's a lifestyle blog.. and an Art blog… and I kinda talk about my kids and my family.. and movies and craft and… and I… um… made a flowchart… That's what most people visit for…"

And they say, "A Flowchart? Whaddya mean?"

And then I try to explain The Stephen King Universe Flowchart….
Some people get the idea straight away and say, "Awesome.  My favourite book is …….. and I love Eddie Dean*!"

Other people, after their eyes have glazed over, say, "I have no idea what you are talking about, but I still like you, cos you're pretty and stuff"

Thanks! Now, just 'cos you said that, Im gonna blow my own trumpet!!

This crazy flowchart has been one of the most satisfying creative endeavours I have ever embarked upon. I love knowing I have created something that has resonated with so many people. 

It makes my head spin that my chart has featured in some awesome places like

The New Yorker The Paris Review i09 Cracked.com The Huffington Post

And I love that there are so many nutty people out there who get it. Who love it. Who want it. You guys rock.

And of course, thanks to Stephen King…. I'm still waiting for an email :-)

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*in related news, did you know that Aaron Paul might be playing Eddie in Ron Howard's  Dark Tower films!!! I think this is fantastic news, BITCH**!

** That's a Breaking Bad reference, Mum. Don't rouse on me for saying bad words on may blog…

Sunday 26 January 2014

It's a nice day for an Australia Day

In honour of 'Straya Day, here is a post I wrote a while ago about Australian Stuff.

Enjoy. I'm off to eat a lamington shaped like Alf Stewart.



I am not an overly patriotic person. Australia's awesome, sure. But I'm not gonna carry on like a dick about it. There aren't many things that make me get all Aussie. The Olympics don't do it for me. I like to watch it, don't get me wrong. I like the Opening Ceremony... it's like a big Rock Eistedfod.

 I like the running and the falling and the jumping and the splashing. I don't care for the cycling and the lifting... but I am equally as inspired by the Russian twirly ribbon gymnast midget as I am by the Australian one. Although, I must say, Sally Pearson is my favouritest Gold Coast bogan-chick to ever win a gold medal. She is super cute. "Did you see me!!"

My husband gets a lot of stick for aligning with both England and Australia. Like, he can't be happy for the country of his birth AND for the country of his children's birth for being good at swimming fast? Cos that's all it is, isn't it? It's just swimming, running, whatever better than the other guy. It's not world peace or rocket surgery. Or something else important. Like flow charts.

At the end of the day, I'm pretty cool with whatever, you know? I don't know or understand enough about politics to have  an opinion on many subjects around immigration and nationalism. I believe that patriotism and 'Aussie Pride' can lead to some fairly unpleasant thinking and behaviour. I don't believe that loving your country means wanting to keep it all for yourself. 

I believe in people just being cool, for flip's sake. That's my platform. When I become Prime Minister (or Supreme Leader) my campaign slogan will be: "For flip's sake, just be cool, you guys."  I think I will win.

Anyway, I discovered last week that there is one thing that gets me all patriotic and proud to be an Australian. 

And that is a mob of kangaroos, just hanging out in a field.

Stone the flamin' crows! How cool is that.

They were just lying there, being all, "Yeah, so we are like totally on your Coat of Arms. All those tourists who come all the way to OZ, just to see us? They would be shitting their pants right now. THAT'S how awesome we are."

"Oh, and by the way, if you come any closer I will kick your arse."

Kangaroos. No one else in the world has them. Millions of people on the planet will never see one in the flesh. And they are just hanging out in our fields. Being awesome. THAT'S why Australia is pretty flippin' ace.

What makes you proud to be an Aussie? And if you are NOT an Aussie, what  makes you proud to be where YOU are from?

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