Sharp Objects: the series and the book

Sharp Objects: the series and the book

Are you the type to often obsess over a movie or a book?

Well, I must confess I am. And I also must confess that I intentionally inserted that “often” there, to discreetly (well, not so much so anymore!) imply that this is a state I found myself in more than once. Much more than once.

And this time we’re talking about a double obsession, as I’ll try to explain – and hopefully do that without any spoilers – what is it that’s so captivating about “Sharp Objects”, the TV series AND the book.

First thing to note, and a recommendation from my part, is to take them exactly in this order: first watch the series and then read the book. It used to be kind of a universal truth that you should start with the book; I find that this is not valid anymore, with so many movies and series that are standing on their own two feet even if they are inspired or closely follow the action in a book.
In this case, both are great. The book is written by Gillian Flynn, who is the author of “Gone Girl” and “Dark Places”, and she is also part of the team creating the series directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (does “Big Little Lies” ring a bell?).

So, there’s probably no surprise that the novel is a must read and the TV show one to definitely watch. But why see the series first?, you might ask. Because it bottles up the novel’s dark atmosphere and troubled characters and offer them to you straight up, unapologetically and somehow forcing you to see the essence of who they are.

To be honest, the TV show feels much darker than the book and while reading it I used to stop and think that the characters are more human and softer here. Also, the narrative is a bit extended, it offers context for how they got to be as they are. And the book goes further after the series abruptly ends with that “Don’t….”. Aaaaa, no, I said no spoilers!!!

Right, spoilers free then, here’s what happens: Camille Preaker is a crime reporter coming back to her home town, Wind Gap, to investigate the murders of two local little girls. Except that’s not the only thing she’s doing, as the story of her confronting her past – most gloriously embodied by Adora, her mother – takes center stage.

Now, and this is not a spoiler as it will be obvious from the first time you see her – Adora is the perfect villain. I saw an interview with Patricia Clarkson, the actress playing Adora, saying that Gillian Flynn advised her not to read the book and just follow the script. That might seem surprising, but when you read the book you understand why. Adora is, again, more toned down in the book, not as cold and sharp as she is on screen. So when you get to the book, you might find some explanations for her behavior, but it doesn’t matter because you will be already in love with her dark side.

Camille also has a dark side. Or several, actually, but I would say she is a kind human being. She is played by Amy Adams, who manages to bring life to all the ranges of emotions that Camille goes through, especially when dealing with her mother. In the book, she is described as the town’s beauty queen, dealing now with her drinking problem, among others. Adams’ performance dials down a bit the beauty part and up on the feeling. A feeling of unrest which complements quite nicely the quest theme.

The story, which I’m not going to detail upon, is pretty much about women. It might seem the opposite at first, but it is a feminist novel. The twist here is that it talks about equality, but from a surprising perspective: women can be as bad as men, they can do mean stuff, they can be criminals, they can have a dark side. They have the right to be as guilty as men who do terrible things. It does sound twisted, doesn’t it? But when you think about it, I would say it makes total sense.

And speaking of women, the character of Amma, Camille’s little half-sister, is one to watch. In the book, she’s really an annoying brat, but the TV persona is quite charmingly bad, in this case I really prefer the show to the book.

What’s really interesting about this whole series/book dichotomy is that both come from the same person’s mind, which I find so captivating. That’s reason enough to give both a try, but then the more captivating thing is that you get to replay the series by reading the book and now your own interpretation comes into play. You know, that movie that we play in our minds when we read a book. My movie would have been quite different shouldn’t I have seen the show in advance.

I mean…creepy filmed and lit scenes, haunting music, visual riddles? They wouldn’t have crossed my mind, I’m quite convinced about this. The written words may mean different things to different persons, especially when we’re alone with them and, to put it bluntly, I think that my own interpretation of this book wouldn’t have been so daring as the one on the screen.

And, speaking of written words, you’ll see that they play a central role in the action. But giving you more details on this would really be a spoiler…

Needless to say, I could go on and on about this, or rather around it, as it’s quite a challenge not to get in the depth of things. So not to drag this text for ever and ever, I’ll stop here.

But I do hope that you will not and that you’ll enjoy the story, however you choose to experience it.

Instabits

A little DIY never hurt nobody

A little DIY never hurt nobody

…and, just as I was typing this, I realized that DIY probably DID hurt some people, the chances of this happening are quite high. But as I am fighting the urge to change the title to satisfy my accuracy-related OCD, let me just go ahead and introduce you to the DIY we’re talking about here: my tree stump table, which you’ve probably spotted in the previous post.

Mind you, if you continue to read this (well, mostly look at the pictures…) you are agreeing that this is not a very professional example of a homemade tree stump table, as probably there are plenty of steps that I omitted. Mostly because I had no idea they were supposed to be taken or purely out of laziness (such as applying a finishing wax coat).

So, you will need:

1. A grandpa to help you get in the possession of a tree stump. Extra points if you are presented with a variety of tree stumps to choose from.
2. Someone to help you get rid of the tree bark. Suggestion: husbands come in handy for this step.
3. Chalk paint. Got mine from Hornbach, I can’t remember the price, but it was one quite affordable, nothing fancy.
4. Some time off on a Sunday afternoon to just paint. And wait. And paint again. And then stare at the finish product, which is quite nice, wouldn’t you agree?

Now let’s just hope it will not disintegrate or something due to the things I -let’s just say it like this😊 – forgot to do!

Instabits

That cosy feeling

That cosy feeling

If you know me, you know that one of the most predictable things about me – besides taking a trip to Italy every.single.year. – is an almost absolute preference for all things Scandinavian. Never mind the fancy restaurant, take me to IKEA and you’ll make my day😊 Just kidding… actually, take me to IKEA and order some good food on the way and that will do it.

On a more serious note, remember that Swedish company I mentioned here? Well, it just so happens that I came back, after one year…

While you ponder on this (believe me, I did too), corporate matters aside, let me lay the explanation out there: it’s really nothing very complicated, it’s just the cosy and comfortable feeling that I find in all things Nordic.

Flatlay on www.storiesandcolours.com, cosy, Scandinavian, Nordic

First and foremost, interior design. It’s still a wonder for me how Nordic homes manage to be so simple and yet so warm and welcoming. When furnishing my apartment, I literally devoured interior design magazines and websites and one of my go-to places was and still is the apartments section on www.freshome.com. They feature a lot of Scandinavian homes and I just found myself naturally drawn to them. It’s probably because they somehow feel lived-in or, to be more exact, made to be lived in. And, by the way…that IKEA thing, not a joke. I do love their products and, more then that, their philosophy.

Moving on to another type of design, Nordic clothing labels. COS, H&M and &Other Stories forever. I really am a simple girl, don’t need anything more than this. There are very few occasions in which I walk into a COS store and don’t find anything to my liking, I think &Other Stories cosmetics are the equivalent of candy and one of my favourite pastimes is to hunt for H&M items that look 10x their price. And no, this is not a myth, it can really be done.

I guess the question needs to be asked: what’s that damn special about them? Again, easy answer: timeless design and quality fabrics. It can actually get annoying at times; I mean, when your dresses don’t really get worn out, it’s a bit difficult to justify buying new ones, isn’t it?

Flatlay on www.storiesandcolours.com, cosy, Scandinavian, Nordic

Making it in my top 3, coffee. Not just the beverage, but the entire culture around it. Swedes, for example, do love their fika. And it seems that I love Espresso House, as the recent trip to Stockholm proved it. While going to the office, me and my colleagues used to spice up our morning train rides with a stop at Espresso House to fuel up for the day. Well, that and getting lost in the subway…but, shhh, that’s secret, don’t tell anyone😊

And to finish the list with a personal staple: at least 10.000 steps everyday. I think my Fitbit was ecstatic. At home, I get to reach the 10.000 goal only if I take a run or go to the gym or forget my phone or my coffee in the car and then forget the key when going to get them from the car…you get the drill. Not here, where people seem to walk everywhere and are impossibly fit considering all the sweets they eat. Yeap, if you feel envy coming up from the screen, that’s me counting calories…or something like that.

 

What about you? What’s your special attraction when it comes to foreign cultures?

Flatlay on www.storiesandcolours.com, cosy, Scandinavian, Nordic

Instabits

S&C Features: AMA session

S&C Features: AMA session

I have been away for a while… a bit of vacation, changing jobs, feeling a bit sick. Just life, mostly. On the vacation front, this means new places to write about, so do drop by soon for some new travel posts.

In the meantime, I realized I haven’t shared the AMA session I’ve been invited to hold recently, so I thought to do a quick post about it.

To be honest, I was quite flattered by the invitation, but at the same time pretty sure that no one will be interested in asking me anything. I’ve taken a look on the AMAfeed site, the platform facilitating the event and was impressed by the variety of topics and the interesting people who hosted similar sessions. So I said yes quite reluctantly, being very curious about the entire experience but not really expecting too many questions coming my way.

Turns out I was wrong. Granted, there weren’t hundreds of questions, but still a fair amount of them. And the nice thing is they weren’t easy questions; I mean I needed to take the proper time to think about the answers and just the fact that someone was interested in finding more about me and my blog made me treat this with genuine responsibility.

The session was hosted in the Blogging section of the site and the aim was just to share my honest journey in search of creativity. If you want to find out more on this and would like to take a look, you may follow this link. And should this spark any more questions or ideas to discuss, just let me know, I think I’ve developed a taste for it😊

Enjoy!

Instabits

Bits of Creativity #2

Bits of Creativity #2

 

Back on the creativity front, the search continues.

We’re not there yet, but haven’t abandoned the fight either and, as sometimes happens in life, opportunity presents itself like a rabbit out of a hat. Well, maybe not exaaaactly like that, but if you’ll have a look at the pictures below, you’ll realize what it is about this analogy that I found appealing.

Now, as the opportunity presenting itself is not that actionable (other than not letting it pass without taking advantage of it, obviously) and, also, as I’m not going to send you hunting for rabbits, today’s advice for finding creativity is, I’m afraid, still not that out of the box as I wished. But, hey, it appears that it does work anyway!

So, here it goes: dare to step out of your comfort zone, whatever that might mean to you!

 

 

 

To illustrate how I put this into practice, I’ll just renew the invitation to have a look at the pictures below. They are the product of an unexpected opportunity – a closed road and of the decision to do something I wouldn’t normally do – just sit there on the road and take some pictures, even if there were people passing and staring.

I’m quite pleased with the result, so I guess I’m gonna be on the lookout for rabbits…erm, opportunities, presenting themselves from now on.

Have a great end of the week!

 

Instabits

Bits of Creativity #1

Bits of Creativity #1

Might be an abused principle or a Holy Grail, what’s for sure is that creativity it’s something most of us aspire for.

With the risk of sounding super stereotypical, must confess that lately I’m finding myself in kind of a struggle in this direction…which is a fancy way of saying that I’m totally lacking it. And it’s actually funny, because why would anybody create a blog if not because of creative overflow, doh?:)

In any case, as clearly I’m in no position of offering any advice on the matter, I thought that it might be useful to share the simple steps I’m taking in the pursuit of creativity. And, mind you, no guarantee here, I’m only taking the steps now, who knows if it works or not?

Still, if you’d like to read some pro advice, I suggest heading off to Kika’s blog, who is one of my favourite creative persons at the moment. I was actually going to direct you to a specific blog post, but I’m seeing now that she has an entire section on creativity, so do check it out.

Now, for my BIG first advice…. Well, it’s a quite simple one: JUST DO SOMETHING, FOR GOD’S SAKE!

I mean, it’s quite obvious, but if you don’t start somewhere, you’ll never get anything done, so better to try even if you’re not trusting that the result will be the best one.

So what I did to make good on my own advice is experimenting with Instagram (even if I’m not the one taking the photos) and one way of keeping yourself motivated in this respect is by joining challenges.

The photos below have been inspired by the #mycreativemmer_letscelebrate challenge and I must say it was quite fun doing it. I even took one of the photos myself:)

To make it a little more personal, I decided to add a theme to the challenge, so this became #myflowerweek.

Hope you’ll like it!

Creative flower glasses
girl with flowers bouquet
girl with flowers bouquet
flowers flatlay
creativity
creative flowers
dlowers hairdo

Instabits