Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Postcrossing Adventure: Week 2

Week 2
// outgoing:
Another THREE postcards went out this week: An Aboriginal art postcard to China (AU-320774), a Leichardt Australia-Germany joint issue First Day of Issue card to France (AU-320775), and a Farming Australia First Day of Issue card to Belarus (AU-320776).

Postcrossing postcards sent to date: 6
All-time: 64
// incoming:

A staggering FIVE postcards arrive in my letterbox this week, all featuring some of my favourite things: Vampires (from Russia: RU-2147391), handmade (from Malaysia: MY-175829), Jane Austen (from USA: US-2493166), gelato (from Italy: IT-247678), and caravans (from Germany: DE-2618293).
My favourite message for the week came from Megan in the USA, who wrote:
"Greetings from the USA! My name is Megan, I am 39 years old, and I live with my husband in Saint Louis, Missouri. I read your profile with such a smile on my face, because we have many similar loves - Jane Austen, Joss Whedon, baking, photography, museums...I just took a quick look at your blog and I will surely be back. Your cottage is beautiful! Happy Postcrossing!"
Postcrossing postcards received to date: 8
All-time: 69

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Postcrossing Adventure: Week 1

As many of you would already know (it's kind of hard to miss), I am an avid snail mailer. From October 2012 until October 2013 I challenged myself to a 365 Mail Art Project, but once that came to an end I found myself wishing for another challenge - one that was a little easier, a little less time consuming, but just as interesting.
I have been a member of Postcrossing since April 2012. It is an easy and uncomplicated way to send and receive snail mail, but my participation has been sporadic over the past twelve months whilst I completed my Mail Art Project. So, that's when I decided that it would be fun to dedicate my next mail challenge to Postcrossing.
I've not set myself any limits for this challenge. The only goal is to send and receive as many postcards via Postcrossing as time and money will allow for the next 12 months, and to keep track of the progress. I will also record any cards that I've sent that end up lost.
This is where the blog comes in: After the last postal delivery for the week (which occurs on Friday in Australia), I will share the postcards that I have sent via Postcrossing for that week. In the event I also receive some Postcrossing postcards, I will share them too.
I started this project having sent 64 registered cards, and to date I have received 61 registered cards.
Week 1
// outgoing:
First Day of Issue postcards sent to Germany (AU-319188), the USA (AU-319191) and Poland (AU-319192).

// incoming:

This week I received three postcards, one each from the Netherlands (NL-2165888), Hong Kong (HK-189913), and Germany (DE-2618317).
My favourite message for the week comes from Mirjam in the Netherlands, who wrote on her postcard:
"As a fellow reader I would like to warn you about the dangers of reading. You probably already know but people who read are more prone to, well, get 'ideas into their heads'. Very dangerous! I have sent out other warnings to readers. You can see those in my postcard wall. I myself am positively addicted to books by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and other such perilous authors. Stay safe! and be warned."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Review: Dracula, My Love by Syrie James

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker
Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Dracula, My Love by Syrie James is a retelling of Bram Stoker's classic story, Dracula. Proclaimed as the true version of events from the point of view of Mina Harker, Dracula, My Love has Dracula portrayed as lost and lonely soul on the search for eternal love, the vampire hunters as blood-thirsty fools, and Mina as an independent, intelligent and adventurous woman who has the misfortune to fall in love with two men at the same time (Jonathan, her husband, and Dracula).

The story follows the original timeline quite neatly, except the portrayal of the characters is different with the change of perspective. However, no matter the point of view and no matter the difference in the characters, the ending will ultimately always be the same: That no matter how strong the feelings are between Dracula and Mina, their love is doomed to fail. Fate never meant for Dracula and Mina to be together.

It is that reason alone that makes a retelling of Dracula such a challenge for any author brave enough to take it on. Change the ending and you have an entirely different story altogether. Whilst I liked James' version of Mina a lot more than I have others, I still found her to be a distant and indecisive character. The constant to-ing and fro-ing between her desire for Dracula and love of Jonathan is enough to make the reader dizzy, and at times it became annoyingly repetitive.

Having said that, though, as a whole Dracula, My Love is a decent retelling of a classic story that stays true to the original, but as a result it may well make you feel as though you have heard it all before.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Isn't it nice to get away every now and then? To have a change of scenery and the opportunity to slow life's pace down a bit.
A few days by the seaside is a wonderful way to do it.