Supernatural : The roads not taken by Tim Wagonner

5122lRyx99LI don’t always read ‘interactive books’, but when I do, it has to be Supernatural… Obvious. To be honest, The Roads not taken by Tim Waggoner is the first I ever read, and I’d quite enjoyed the experience. Being part of Sam and Dean’s investigation is new and refreshing, and I suddenly discover being a hunter is not easy (well, from the first time I watched an episode of Supernatural, I had always been convinced I will be the 5 first minutes victim…  Now I am sure… Well, maybe with a little training, I could make till the second commercial 😉 ).

synopsis : This interactive adventure lets Supernatural fans control the action for the first time, as they follow Sam and Dean Winchester in their quest to battle the monsters, ghosts and demons lurking in the darkest recesses of America. But remember: If you make the wrong decision, another victim could meet a dark and gory death. So, follow all the clues, interview the right suspects, and make the right choices…

There is 4 short-stories in this book, at first it has annoyed me. How could you get the time to make choices in 30 pages ? But never underestimated a Supernatural writer… This short-stories are finally an all-story, if you get what I mean, and the little things go to a greater one…

I enjoyed the four adventures, they are all different, they are all very « Supernatural », faithful to the show (as always with the series of books), but adding new interests and original monsters. I enjoyed making bad choices too (yes, weird, I know), and even when I did the right ones, I take the time to read the other possibilities… Sorry Sam and Dean, I enjoy when you win, but I enjoy when you lose too (I mean when you die, again… and again…), because Tim Waggoner is really good for unexpected twists and gruesome deaths…



Welsh Breakfast

In French

Miss Méloë, our dear Consulting Blogger, said it a fiew weeks ago, some delicaties from across the Channell could scared (Dear opposants to British « cuisine » could I remind you that snails and Froggs are also quite scary, as a dish, I mean…)… The product I want to highlight is the Laverbread, a Welsh speciality which doesn’t seem really appealing at first sight, I give you that.



What is laverbread (from the Welsh: bara lafwr or bara lawr… don’t ask me to pronounce it)? simply seaweed To prepare it, the seaweeds are boiled during several hours before being chopped or mashed. The result is the gelatinous past you could see on the first pic. You could have it like this, on toast, or use in a sauce for the traditional dishes of lamb, crab or monkfish. Or you could have it as the laver-soup (cawl lafwr). Last, you could use it in the recipe I will give you in a few lines, a recipe explained to me by my friend Stuart, a welsh chef (but not an « amateur » of Laverbread, tho…)

This seaweed is linked to the town of Penclawdd (South Wales, but North of the Gower Peninsula), and for breakfast, you associate it with cockles (I don’t, but I don’t like seafruit generally). It still uses by the Welsh today, it’s not simply a touristic of folkloric dish. Furthermore, it has huge nutritional assets, a strong proportion of proteins, iron and high level of vitamins B2, A, D and C.

Before giving you the recipe, I let the last world to the famous Welsh actor, Richard Burton, who used to say about laverbread that it was the « Welshman’s caviar ».

Welsh Breakfast

for 4 PEOPLE

½ cup of oil, 8 large Eggs, 8 rashers of bacon, Tin of laverbread, Rolled Oats, Juice of a whole lemon, Pinch of salt and pepper, Knob of butter.


IMG_5267Mix the laver bread, oats, lemon juice, salt & pepper together in a large bowl and split into four.

In your hand, form large patties (or 8 small patties if you prefer) leave these on a sheet of greaseproof paper.

Into one large frying pan, place the 8 rashers of bacon and fry on both sides till nice & brown (place these on a baking sheet and put in a warn oven to maintain heat).

Into this frying pan add the knob of butter to lift the bacon juices place all the Laver bread patties and cook on both sides.

Meanwhile put the ½ cup of vegetable oil into second frying pan with the 8 eggs and gently fly to your own liking.

Arrange on each plate the patties, 2 rashers of bacon and 2 eggs

(it is also traditional to fry cockles in the bacon fat with the laver bread patties but this is not essential, as the taste can be a little strong for some people).

Enjoy !



Early Horror Shorts at Chapter


French : ICI en FRANCAIS

I will start with the story of my life; I promise, there is a reason. A few years ago, when I was publishing assistant in France, I was given the heavy burden of typing a book about silent cinema… The writer, Mr. Pierre Allard, has written it entirely by hand! I have to confess that I would never have read a book about silent movie without this job… Silent for me was outmoded and outdated…. But…

Pierre Allard made me discover another world. It was a huge pleasure to read his book, even if I didn’t lose my head (like Méliès, you will understand later) about this lost cinematographic genre… Because we are in a talkative century (I am a proof of it). I saw the Artist, like everybody, I know Chaplin, and thanks to that copyist work, I have a few rudiments, but no more than that.

However, Chapter Art Centre has proposed this week a program I could not resist to : Early Horror Shorts. Nothing to do with Hammer, we talk about movies filmed between 1898 and 1927… and all silent. A silent broken by a scores composed and performed live by Paul Shallcross, who has been also a gifted speaker to introduced the audience to the movies.

1207506038_2How wonderful it was to discovered Georges Méliès juggling (literally speaking!) with his own heas in Un Homme de Têtes (1898). This sketch, where the director remove his head from his own shoulder four times in order to have a choir while he plays guitar is full of smartness and brightness. Méliès is a fantastic magician who created wonderful effect with nearly nothing at the dawn of cinema. Computer has simplified the work of filmmaker, but taken away a lot of magic.

panic at picnikIn Une Excursion Incohérente by Segundo de Chomon (1908), a couple goes for a trip, but the picnic is disturbed by mice in the eggs and maggots in the cake… not really tasty. Then, while they reached their country house, it’s full of fairy, ghosts and even a crocodile on the roof. the actors are great, acrobats I think by their jumping performance. I really liked the crocodile… and some effects remained me of Wallace &  Gromit… yes, plasticine is not that new!

prelude2Prelude by Castleton Knight (1927) is a reflexion on the fear of being buried alive. The director took his inspiration in a pice by Rachmaninov (prelude in C sharp minor). It’s more dreamlike and sinister than the previous, while The Thieving Hand by Stuart Blackton (1908) is fast and funny. In this short movie, a harm which has lost his owner does everything it could to find him… An ancestor or the Thing in the Addams Family, surely.

At last, the projection ended with The Haunted House by Buster Keaton (1921). This haunted house is a real gift of humour, energy, inventiveness. For me, Keaton already direct modern cinema. His comic effects haven’t age the slightest, his eye for details is amazing. You just forget it’s a silent movie because you are taken by the adventure of this poor bank employee, wrongly accused of forgery who takes refuge in a house which ghosts are not honest spooks…


I put at the end of the article some link, Méliès and Keation, unfortunately without the wonderful music of Tuesday afternoon…  I really hope there will be more silent movies at Chapter.


Supernatural : Writer and Characters

SupernaturalSeason9The 18th episode of the 9th series of Supernatural offered me Heaven… No, not Dean’s 10 seconds in the shower (this is not sexy, ladies; the poor beggar is morally drowning! This is symbolic!… But this is another story), no it was heaven as a writer I reached !

Let’s be fair, there is not an awful lot of action in this episode, the shenanigan of series 8 and 9 is far from being solved (it’s even more complicated), so don’t be afraid of spoilers… Yes, there is not a lot of action, however,it’s one of the most brilliant, the most original episodes of the show (and there were already numerous brilliant and original episodes!).

I was carried away in this particular plot because of the relationship between writer and characters. Indeed, one villain of this season ventures in writing the story (yes, in Supernatural, sometimes the characters write the story themselves… before it happens), and this character’s opinion on writing is absolutely mine!

Some of you may shout and complain, but I am absolutely convinced that you’re not alone in charge of your fictions. The characters have their parts to play but also have a say on it. Yes, Ladies and gents, my characters had been able to astonished me in the past; they had acted again my authoress’ will… You, psychoanalysts of the literature, just go your own way, it’s something else than the subconscious! Even if you know where you are going (as Metatron explains it so well), sometimes the path is  surprising.

I have never planned everything in my writings. I could tell you about a supporting character… Yes, I’d just created him for one thing, his death. It’s a fact, I should have not get attached, but I’d never dreamt the power this character took on the plot, as practical he seemed to be in the beginning! and some of my creatures harassed me, they want to come back, they never want to stop!… Yes, I lend them their own will; but hasn’t Maurice Leblanc say, about Arsène Lupin, something like : « I sit at the table, it is him who writes » ?…

Sometimes, I put my pen, and I know they have influenced me… because it was planned like this… And they have win, because they know what is good for them…

Maybe it’s mad, maybe it’s strange, I give you that; and it’s why I really want to thank the writers of Supernatural, take my hat off to them, because we are on the same wavelength. It’s so nice to feel you’re not alone to love your character, to respect them, to let them have their own voice!

As a way to conclude, a quote from the episode:

« Now, do you understand that the universe is made up of stories, not atoms? »

I Will add this stories are powerful enough to drive the writers to tell them… And in the end, the writer always fades behind his creatures ; and I think it’s an amazing compliment. All the Conan Doyle of this world should meditate on this.


A character in command of the story… Well done to the SPN writers.


Sacrifier une Reine / l’apprentie de l’apiculteur de Laurie R. King

beekeeper 2Qu’a fait Sherlock Holmes après s’être retiré dans le Sussex ? Vous l’imaginez se limitant à étudier des abeilles ? Bien sûr que non ! Un homme comme Sherlock Holmes ne peut pas abandonner tout à fait le monde trépidant des enquêtes policières et des bas-fonds de Londres, et les bas-fonds de Londres ne veulent pas oublier non plus celui qui leur mit tant de bâtons dans les roues… 

La bonne idée de Laurie R. King est d’offrir à Holmes, dans sa « retraite », un cerveau aussi brillant que le sien, et en plus, celui d’une femme !

résumé : Mary Russell et Sherlock Holmes se croisent un jour de 1915 dans les collines du Sussex. De leur rencontre – celle d’une jeune fille surdouée et solitaire et du génial détective qui a déserté Londres et sa criminalité galopante – naît le tandem le plus improbable d’Europe, et le plus redouté. D’affaires insolites, en missions plus délicates, effectuées sur prière de la Couronne
le maître et l’élève se mesurent brillamment à des adversaires implacables. Des espions, bien sûr, à la solde de la belliqueuse Allemagne, mais il apparaît vite que le Kaiser n’est pas leur ennemi le plus menaçant. Holmes et Russell sont contraints de fuir l’Angleterre dans l’espoir de démasquer celui – ou celle – qui, dans l’ombre, a résolu de les tuer.

Coup de coeur ? non, soyons honnête. Cependant, cette lecture est très plaisante et la jeune Mary bien sympathique. Le monde de 14-18 n’est plus celui de la Reine Victoria, et les femmes commencent à s’émanciper, Mary en tête, puisqu’elle est une brillante étudiante d’Oxford. Il est aussi plaisant de voir un Holmes différent, puisque sur un terrain d’égalité avec son « partner in crime ». Mary n’est pas Watson, et elle comprend rapidement ce qui se passe dans la tête de Holmes, puisqu’elle aussi possède un esprit exceptionnel.

Ce que je reproche à l’auteur, c’est les effets d’annonce nombreux dans la narration, puisque Mary nous répète à loisirs, « si ce que je vais vous raconter n’était pas arrivé, tout aurait été différent à tel ou tel moment » ou encore « les effroyables événements que je vais vous raconter »… Ces effets d’annonce là pour attiser la curiosités du lecteur m’ont plutôt exaspérée. Pour 2 raisons : la première, les mystères sont assez évidents à dénouer (aurais-je trop lu de Sherlock Holmes et mon cerveau se serait-il mis au diapason ? peut-être…). En tout cas, quand on m’annonce l’apocalypse, et que cela donne un pétard mouillé… je râle (et oui, je ne dis jamais non à une bonne petite apocalypse… je suis comme ça). Cependant, les aventures sont relativement originales, même dans leur simplicité… Seconde raison à mon exaspération… une page ou deux d’annonce, je râle, mais je supporte encore, tout un chapitre qui ne même finalement qu’à une discussion sur les échecs… certes importante, mais qu’on aurait pu casser ailleurs…

beekeeper apprentice

Mon édition (bien plus jolie que la version française ! c’est dit ! )

Point positif, qui rejoint mon idée de Holmes : l’homme est finalement plus misanthrope que misogyne puisqu’il se moque bien du sexe de Mary et ne s’intéresse qu’à son cerveau (d’après mes sources, cela va changer… mais évitons les révélations fracassantes sur l’ami Sherlock). J’aimerais d’ailleurs citer l’auteur : « Il aimait cette humanité qui ne pouvait le comprendre ou l’accepter totalement » (« he loved the humanity that could not understand or fully accepted him »). Oui, Holmes sauve des vies, protègent les innocents, et s’il est dur, brusque, c’est que (comme le dit BBC Sherlock) il n’est pas aisé d’avoir une intelligence comme la sienne face au commun des mortels. Je pense qu’il y aurait à creuser dans ce sens… Mais je ne suis pas là pour démarrer un débat philosophico-fictionnel sur la personnalité de Sherlock Holmes ! je suis partante quand même 😉 .

En résumé, ce roman est plaisant, mais souffre de quelques lourdeurs et maladresses… N’en demeure pas moins que si je tombe sur le deuxième tome des aventures de Mary Russell et Sherlock Holmes, il se peut que je me laisse tenter… 

Post-Scriptum : pourquoi l’éditeur français a-t-il changé le titre ? The Beekeeper’s apprentice (l’apprentie de l’apiculteur) est une jolie trouvaille ! Ce « sacrifier une reine » (certes, une référence au texte) en dit trop et pas assez à la fois ! Ce roman est le récit de l’apprentissage de Mary auprès de Holmes qui forme sont esprit aiguisé à la détection criminelle… Parfois, je me pose des questions…

second Post-Scriptum : Les citations qui ouvrent chaque chapitre sont tirées de « La vie des abeilles » d’un certain Maurice Maeterlinck qui vécut pendant des années avec Georgette Leblanc, cantatrice et surtout soeur de Maurice… Et oui, Arsène Lupin est partout ! et je trouve délicieux de trouver ces citations dans un ouvrage mettant en scène Holmes !