jenniferkoliver: (Wolves | Wouldn't Like Me)
Went holidaying in Wales last week and wanted to share some photos, which I mostly took to turn into textures that can be used for graphic design (feel free to use them if you like, no permission needed).

There are a few pics of The Puzzlewood, an ancient, winding maze of tangled forest, strange rock formations and caves so otherworldly that it inspired J.R.R. Tolkien for some of the settings in The Lord of the Rings. It's also been used in Star Wars VII, Merlin and Dr Who, apparently! There are a few pics of castles in various states of ruin, including Raglan Castle, another place where parts of Merlin were filmed.

But I didn't really go to see places where things were filmed. Mostly I just love old castles and history. And if that's your cuppa, then Wales is your place.

Gallivanting around the Forest of Dean and parts of Wales )

Back to normalcy now, and back to work, feeling tired and like I ate too much, but really looking forwards to some exciting web and graphic design projects, too, so it's not all bad!

Oats in the Water, by Ben Howard.
jenniferkoliver: (Stock | Balloons)
I'm back from New York, feeling exhilarated and happy and very refreshed. Now I'm home it feels like a dream—I can't believe I was there just a few days ago. Me and a friend flew out on Friday 13th (we figured there would be fewer superstitious types around that day) and came back on Saturday 21st. And the only thing I wasn't too keen on was the flying—everything else was incredible. My New York rambles include photos so I'll cut this for length to spare bandwidth and friends pages )

Oh, and P.S. [ profile] getyourwordsout will be back for 2014! Sign-ups have begun and will remain open until 20th January. This is such a good challenge, especially if you want to increase your yearly word count. The community hosts tons of encouragement, games and discussions should you need them.

Sleepwalking, by Photek feat. Linche.
jenniferkoliver: (Wolves | Wolfwomen)
Still on something of a hiatus (which I don't think I mentioned before), hence I've not been so commenty lately. Everything is OK, I'm just getting on with a lot of offline things right now, while snatching a little time to work on the novel in between. I do hope everyone on my f-list is doing well!

I've watched a few videos of Dragon Age: Inquisition gameplay and I have to say, it's looking incredible. I know I often bang on about Skyrim, but there are echoes of it in the DA:I world-building—in the scenery, the way the trails are set out, and the more open-world feel of the game. Not that I'm going to spend all my time comparing the two; they're very different games with very different goals. It sounds like DA:I is still going to focus greatly on character relationships, and interactions will impact the course of the game in fundamental ways. More thoughts about Dragon Age Inquisition here, with links to gameplay videos )

And just in case you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out: Dragon Age: Inquisition HD Teaser Trailer. (My god, but doesn't it look gorgeous?) Now all I have to do is be patient until autumn 2014. Riiiight.

You know, every time I think EXO can't get any derpier, they go and derp all over the internet. This video is... well. Some of the members were given a punishment for failing a game. The punishment? They have to spell out their names using the movement of their butts. No, I'm not kidding, Buttwriting is a thing now, and apparently Xiumin is the king and lord of all. (Chen's flailing commentary in the background nearly made me rupture something.) I just. I just can't. 13/08/2013 Sukira EXO Punishment (Subtitled).

Also, I realise I haven't mentioned that I'm going to New York at Christmastime. Aaaah! Will post more about that soon.

Badman, by B.A.P.
jenniferkoliver: (Wolves | Girl with Wolf Hat)
I'm writing about a trip I took to India over a decade ago because some of the locations will feature in my novel. I went to southern India for three months back in the year 2000 as part of a conservation programme. Honestly, I wanted to see a wild tiger, but I also wanted to do something completely different and it marked my first ever trip outside the UK.

I mostly lived in a small city called Puliangudi with a family who were volunteers on the programme. They made me and the other British girls feel like part of the family, and when I had photos taken towards the end of my stay, mummy lent me her wedding jewellery to wear. She also asked some of the girls from the local school to dress me in a lilac crepe sari and weave fresh jasmine flowers into my hair (because I would have made a complete hash of it if left to my own devices).

Alas, I didn't get to see my wild tiger, though I did see a couple in captivity, as well as crocodiles, countless monkeys and birds, elephants and boars. Oh, and during a weekend excursion, a small island inhabited by lions whose roars drifted eerily across the lake to my hotel balcony at sunset.

One of the coolest things about staying in Puliangudi, apart from the amazing hospitality, was that I was close to the Ghat Mountains which run along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau—a 62,000 square mile deciduous rainforest. My most memorable place in the Ghats is Periyar National Park, where I could have happily stayed forever. I vividly remember taking the boat ride across Periyar Lake, barely blinking in case I missed the flick of an orange and black striped tail. Here is a video highlighting some of the area's wildlife and flora.

Anyway, what I'm basically saying is that this is my favourite type of research because it takes me right back to that time. Sometimes I can almost smell the towns in the air, a mix of dust and cooking spices and heat and open sewers; there are so many great memories attached. I love that I can take my characters there and relive it (somewhat; they're there over a hundred years before me, of course, which I have to take into consideration).

OK, for the song, I'm picking the main theme to a Tamil political thriller movie I went to see while in Chennai (Madras). The movie was Mudhalvan and it was epic.

Kurukku Chiruththavale, composed by A.R. Rahman.


jenniferkoliver: (Default)
Jennifer K. Oliver

March 2017

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