Jilly: Putting My Feet Up

Putting My Feet UpDo you know The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars? Then you’ll have a pretty good idea how I’m feeling today. For one whole 24-hour period I am officially going document closed, pen down, not even going to read through a single scene of the manuscript I think of as Not Rent & Cornflakes / Something McKenzie. Because – cue fireworks! – last Friday I finally got to the end of what I believe is my last major re-write.

And as an additional feel-good bonus, over the holiday period I learned that the opening scenes of said story, under its latest title Dealing With McKenzie, made it to the final of two RWA contests – Spacecoast Authors of Romance Launching A Star and West Houston RWA Emily. Double yay!

The job’s not done. I have a l-o-n-g list of things I still have to do to get this sucker polished up before it’s ready to upload to the Golden Heart contest website or send to anyone in the industry, but I’ll talk about that next week. Finishing the damn re-write is a major milestone, so I’m telling Clipboard Woman in my head to shut up and stand down for a day.

I’m not sure how I’ll spend my day of luxury. There will probably be a good book, a glass of wine, and the (American) football tonight, plus some other feel-good self-indulgences. Chances are the book will be a much-loved favorite like Georgette Heyer, Jenny Crusie, Loretta Chase or Terry Pratchett, so I’ve nothing new to offer there. Instead, here’s a smorgasbord of my top non-book hits of happy:

I’d happily watch any of these movies, any time, any day:

The Princess Bride
Cult romantic comedy fantasy adventure – what’s not to like? And even better – I can’t believe I never mentioned this in my many Derbyshire posts – this is an American movie, but guess where it was filmed? Yep. You’re probably familiar with this film already, but if not – according to Wikipedia, this film makes the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Film Love Stories, Bravo’s list of the 100 Funniest Movies, and Channel 4’s 50 Greatest Comedy Films List.

Strictly Ballroom
1992 Australian romantic comedy about true love and competitive ballroom dancing. Baz Luhrmann’s first ever film, based on a stage play he set up with fellow students while he was still at the Sydney National Institute of Dramatic Arts.

Warm Bodies
2013 post-apocalyptic zombie Romeo & Juliet with a HEA. Just watch it. Really.

I might want a hit of music theater rom-com, like

The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Fabulous comic opera from the late nineteenth century, still going strong more than a century later. Top quality music, sparkling, witty libretto (lyrics) and a hilarious plot. If you never tried G&S, you’re missing out. There’s a fun Hollywood version available on DVD, with swashbuckling Kevin Kline as the Pirate King and Linda Ronstadt as the heroine, beautiful, faithful Mabel.

Thoroughly Modern Millie
I owe Michaeline big thanks for this one. I’ve never seen the stage production but I bought the audio CD of the original cast recording after Micki recommended it. Joyous, fun and funny 1960s comic musical set in 1920s New York, starring a small-town girl who moves to the city to find a rich husband. My husband loved it from the first time I played it, and quite often we’ll play it to the end, laugh, and start again.

Or maybe some great music:

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony/Ode to Joy
If you’re a classical music fan, you’ll know this, whether it’s your catnip or not. Play it loud, or if you can, listen to it live, and you can’t fail to be uplifted. If you don’t do classical, maybe consider taking a look at this ten-minute youtube clip of Leonard Bernstein talking about the piece and conducting the Vienna Philarmonic.

Sunny Side Up (Paolo Nutini)
Second album by Scottish singer/songwriter, self-recorded and featuring his own songs. Upbeat, fun, energetic, honest. Apparently the Guardian’s music critic described the opening track, 10/10 as ‘jaunty enough to make you retch.’ I love it.

Tropical Brainstorm (Kirsty MacColl)
Kirsty MacColl’s final album, inspired by her trips to Cuba, full of tropical rhythms and bitingly witty lyrics. Aural sunshine.

I’m 100% sure I’ll start the day with:

Back in the day, I worked in an office in Mayfair situated almost next door to HR Higgins, a third-generation family owned tea and coffee merchant. They select and roast the best coffee from all around the globe. Browsing their list is almost as good as taking a holiday, and the smell of their shop is heaven. They have a small coffee bar in the basement, and once I tried their wares, I was ruined for coffee chains or flashy pod dispensers. I especially love their beans from Central and South America, so I’ll probably choose between Nicaragua Sabor de Segovia, Costa Rica Tarrazu Hermosa, or Peru Inambari. Like I said, almost as good as a vacation 🙂 .

And I’m pretty sure I’ll end it with

There are as many kinds of good wine as there are good books, but my desert island wine-maker is a man called Sean Thackrey. He’s also an archivist, historian, linguist, photographer and art dealer, based in Bolinas, California. Check out this video for a taste of the man and his philosophy. Or browse the section of his website called The Thackrey Library, an archive of early printed books and manuscripts on wine-making, transcribed by him from his own collection. I love his style, I love his wines, and I’ll probably be opening Orion Syrah or Sirius Petite Sirah.

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you enjoy every minute of it. And any suggestions for additions to my feel-good pick ‘n mix would be very much appreciated.

14 thoughts on “Jilly: Putting My Feet Up

  1. Three of my favourite movies are:

    The Castle, a very sweet movie about a family who refuse to let their home be bulldozed so a company can build on the site. The family isn’t perfect, but they love each other (and their home) so much.

    Howl’s Moving Castle. This is not really a kids’ movie, despite being an animation.

    Bed of Roses – an old-fashioned weepy romance, with flowers. Lots and lots of flowers 🙂

    • I love Howl! Both in English and Japanese, and I really liked the book, too (although the book and the movie really shouldn’t be compared — different thematics). Ghibli studios . . . just beautiful in the details, and it often makes me cry without making me feel jerked around.

    • Just added Howl! and Howl’s Moving Castle to my Netflix DVD queue and this afternoon I may take a little vacay myself and watch Bed of Roses streaming. Thanks for the suggestions, Anne!

  2. What a good plan for the end of the year!

    I plan to take my days off during the first three days of the year — that’s when all of Japan goes on holiday and relaxes with family. In the meantime, I’m cleaning, cooking (so I don’t have to cook on the first, second and third) and chauffering my eldest to driving school. My goodness, this turn of the year will certainly be filled with all the old thoughts — time flies, auld lang syne, fresh starts.

    When we do settle down, I want to have a Shakespeare film festival. I haven’t seen many of the plays, and there are some real goodies. I’ll try to sneak Shakespeare In Love into the mix, as well! So far, we’ve got a MacBeth, two Romeo and Juliets, and I’d love to find a good 12th Night or Midsummer’s Night Dream.

    • What about Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing? That’s great, and it was filmed around his home, so you can indulge in a case of serious house envy at the same time 🙂

      • And there’s Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V (oh – and he also did Much Ado).

        If you have two Romeo & Juliets, I think it would be really fun to watch Warm Bodies too as part of your festival. The zombie hero is even called R (he can’t remember his full name), and the heroine is Julie.

  3. Congratulations on finishing Dealing with McKenzie. Putting your feet up and just staring at a wall might be in order, too, to give your brain a rest. Several good suggestions here. I’ll have to see if any of them are on Amazon Prime.

  4. I’m not sure if The Castle is available – it’s Australian – but it’s worth tracking down. I think it was released under a different name in the US.

    • Just checked – The Castle is readily available on DVD on amazon uk and com, and that’s good enough for me. I never heard of it before, but it looks great. I can think of a few other friends who’d really like it, too.

  5. No movie recommendations here, Jilly, just my heartiest congrats on finishing the book. (Awesome on finalling in the contests, too–fingers crossed).

    Hope you’ll make copies available at the winter retreat!

    • Thank you, Kat, and … oh, yeah, copies will most definitely be available, by 12th Jan (Golden Heart deadline) if not before.

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