Some RALink Love

Some of you readers may have heard me bemoaning the constant flux of design and features on WordPress. Yup, not too happy with tech changes which usually come unannounced and *always* have technical issues with subscriptions and notifications in their wake. However, I have just spent a rather pleasant hour thanks to a new feature on the WP backend, and I want to share the spoils with you.

For those of you who blog on WP – you may have noticed that the reader view recently got an overhaul. As part of the redesign, WP added a large search box at the top of the page. Here’s what it looks like – conveniently showing a picture of darling Guy on the guyest of days…

wp-reader-viewSee the search box? Now, don’t ask me why WP suggests I look for “Elasticsearch” whatever that is, Yoga totally not into that, and Life rather general search term in my book. But it suddenly occurred to me to test the feature by typing in the name of TMIAOA. (New coinage. The Most Important Actor Of All. I doubt it’s going to catch on…) So I searched for “richard armitage”. Not sure what I was looking for. After all I get my daily fix by being subscribed to the relevant blogs, anyway (as seen in the screen shot – this is the reader view when set for the blogs I am following). But lo and behold, blog posts came up in the search results, that all contain the keywords – and among them some blogs and/or blog posts that I had not seen before.

Usually I get my info on noteworthy posts by bloggers who are not necessarily part of our community on me+richard, maybe I missed some of Servetus’ posts. In any case, after perusing the search results for a rather enjoyable morning, leaving a comment here and there, I thought I might as well start off our usual weekend link love fest with a short list of blog posts all relating to Mr A and his work in some shape or form. If you read there, why don’t you leave the respective bloggers a “like” or a comment to reward them for their work. So not in any kind of chronological or other order, but with a few remarks from yours truly on what you can expect, here goes… (Click the link in my little blurbs.)

  • An account of visiting New York to watch LLL (and see Richard at the SD) by published romance author Amanda Jayde. (I think I must check out her eBooks. Chances are that I may recognise Mr A in some of her work…)
  • Movie blog The Gunn Range reports the news that Armitage has joined the cast of O8, and spends a paragraph on why Armitage is a great choice for the movie.
  • Remember the latest Christmas message from Richard? Unforgettable? Well, young fan Wathi from Kenya fell under Richard’s spell, too. Nice post – and lovely to know that Richard has fans in Africa, too.
  • This post by Ann J. Rippin is not really about Richard as such – although containing a nice picture of him and some flattering words – but the craft item displayed in the post… I can see where the author was coming from
  • Another published author, who has even been translated into German (!), Rosemary Clement-Moore is into a certain “Mr Relevant-to-my-Interests”. You’ll see who she means.
  • We are developing a theme here: Writer Fay Keenan has Richard at number 1 on her “free pass” list. Also check her detailed review of The Crucible which is clearly written from the POV of someone who really appreciates Armitage
  • Lastly, Ready.Set.Jet saw LLL in New York with her mates and attended the SD

Right, since I don’t really want a screen shot of the WP reader as my automatically featured image of this post, please take this:


Kissie-kissie. A lucky screen grab from the Audible interview with Richard Armitage and David Hewson.

Ok, perfect transition to my need to anchor the latest piece of Armitage here for eternity. Can you tell I have been watching this *intently* when I wasn’t trawling blogworld for Armitage scraps.


What a fabulous gift – 25 minutes of Armitage. Ok, some of it shared with author David Hewson. But both are eloquently discussing their collaboration on the Hewson audio novel Romeo and Juliet, performed by Richard Armitage. It comes as no surprise that Hewson articulates himself very well – he is a professional writer, after all. And bonus points for knowing the German term kopfkino. But it is – of course – the way Mr A expresses himself concisely, animatedly, eloquently, that attracts my attention. Words and some examples of his written prose aside – I like that he actually *knows* where he is going with what he is saying, and finishes his sentences. There are ellipses, of course; we all occasionally abandon a sentence as a new thought pops into our minds, but he usually finishes his thought and sentence before he gets into the next. And believe me, it is worth praising that; I have transcribed many an interview in my careers as a producer of language learning material, as well as a journalist, and you wouldn’t believe how many people seem to be unable to finish a sentence. It is hair-raising!

I have very much enjoyed watching this interview for the insights into writing for audio production (as opposed to a novel for a reading audience), the voice-creating of character, the difficulties of “being-in-character” in the confines of a recording booth, and the observations on Juliet as a character. (I must add here, though, that it did cross my mind that here were two adult men making claims about the mindset and emotions of a teenage girl… Never mind the fact that she is supposed to be a product of 15th century Italy, but I am not sure whether it is that easy to look into the mind of a teenager of the opposite sex, from the perspective of middle-age… Since I have not heard the audio book myself, yet, I stand to be corrected by those of my – predominantly female – readers. As *you* have at least *one* thing in common with Juliet, maybe you can assess whether RA and Hewson get it right?!)

Regardless of this little niggle, and solely based on my knowledge of the Hamlet audiobook cooperation between Hewson and Armitage, it sounds as if the production of RJ was almost a collaborative process for the two creatives involved in it, with Hewson writing specifically with Armitage’s ability for performing by voice only in mind, and Armitage very aware of honouring the material provided to him. Just judging by the interview, the two men seem to enjoy great rapport – essential for collaboration. I would be delighted if they collaborated on another project in the future.

So, having listened to the interview, I am now ready to splash out on the Audible book. It may come in handy for my planned return to regular walking/jogging exercise. Armitage’s narration of David Copperfield proved extraordinarily distracting and entertaining in that regard. Let’s hope RJ will help me shed another stone or two in the future.




25 thoughts on “Some RALink Love

  1. I’ve not heard the audio book either, but I was very taken with David Hewson’s comment about teenage daughters. Like him, I have had one and lived to tell the tale.


    • hehe, that was Hewson’s redeeming statement on the matter ;-). I currently have one, of almost-Juliet-age, and while things are relatively calm and easy, I have to say that it sometimes feels as if I am living on the crater edge of a volcano that is constantly ready to explode (or implode)…


  2. I am only 30 minutes in and it hasn’t grabbed me yet, it is confusing and the thugs’ voices sound very stereotyped which has surprised me, I loved Hamlet so much (it has me in tears every time that I listen to it) that I feel disappointed, now I have heard Richard enthusiasm I must give it another chance.


    • Oh, that is interesting to hear, Yve. Here’s a confession – I never finished listening to Hamlet. Audio books are not quite my genre – which is why an audio performance specifically created for listening sounds like an alternative that I might enjoy. I loved RA in “Clarissa” (more of an audio play than an audio book), hence I have high hopes.


      • I have listened to R&J 2 times already. Second time just to pick up the nuances – I’m not a native speaker so always miss something when listening to the audio book for the first time. The beginning of the book didn’t impress me much and I found the first chapters (about 20 or 30 minutes) a bit boring. Maybe because it is devoted to a breif excursus towards Renaissance. But since the main characters appeard I liked the narration very much. Old Capuletti is just brillliant. Juliet is very intelligent young lady and exactly like Richard and David Hewson described her, strong and thoughtful person so I wasn’t surprised by the ending of the book.
        Think the script is written very well and Richard’s narration is perfect. The scenes between Romeo&Juliet are especially strong.


        • This is a great review, Julia. Thank you for that. I find it really interesting to read this – seeing that I haven’t heard RJ yet. I wanted to buy the audio book today, but unfortunately you can’t do so via the Audible app… Must check it out via web.


          • My pleasure☺
            I always purchase the audio book via Audible app but as I know to download the book to the mobile device, the app should be updated to the latest app version. The easiest way to buy the audio book is to do on their website site and you can listen to the book via web.
            Hope you will enjoy R&J.


  3. I follow both Ann Rippin (for years, actually) and Fay Keenan myself personally. I think that I linked her review of The Crucible. As far as I know, one has always been able to search WP globally for posts tagged with Armitage; I’ve done it intermittently for years. However, I made the conscious decision to stop providing an overview of what was happening on the web when Legenda ended. At that point, my blog returned to being solely a record of what moved or interested me.


    • I do remember you linking to Fay Keenan’s review of TC way back when. (I mentioned it here only as an after-thought.)
      Yes, there has always been a search feature on WP – it just was not as prominently displayed as now. Hence I rarely used it.
      Legenda was great, a fabulous source of info, but I know how time-consuming it is to compile a link list every week. The tumblr round-up is a lot of work – and that is just *one* platform to work through. It must have been so much more work, compiling links across different media, so your decision to link individually to the blogs, posts, items that catch *your* attention, is fully comprehendable.
      BTW, I don’t really think that *I* will be getting into a regular “WP round-up”, either. Finding these 7 links took up the best part of my morning; I don’t have the time to do this regularly. I was just surprised about what I dug up.


      • The amount of time it took was part of why i always said it was really doubtful Armitage could process what was said about him on the web in any meaningful way. It took so much time (to do essentially a part of the task of a professional publicist) that even if the act of reading all that stuff didn’t make him cringe, he still wouldn’t have time for the things he had to do.


        • Very good point. It’s impossible to keep up with all of it when you have a full-time job as an actor. (But if he wanted to read sporadically, he would only have to tune into a few blogs that regularly repost and link the noteworthy blogs 😉 )


  4. *seufz* Wieder ein Interview, das ich auf morgen verschieben muss. Wo kann ich beantragen, jedem Tag mehrere Stunden für Freizeitvergnügen hinzuzufügen?

    Geschmunzelt habe ich über deinen Kommentar zur Kommunikation in vollständigen Sätzen. Ich bemerk’s bei mir selbst und meinen Gesprächspartnern natürlich auch immer wieder, dass während des Sprechens ein Gedanke von der Seite kommend auf die Überholspur rast, den bisherigen Erstling von seinem Platz (und vermutlich in den Graben 😀 ) drängt und die Spitzenposition auf der Zunge übernimmt.
    Dabei ist es doch wirklich so irritierend, wenn ein Satz anders als erwartet Kartoffel. 😛


  5. You should have preordered it when the price was lower. 😉 I am half way through RJ and I like it so far. The only thing I hate is that I had, accidentally, read thow it ends in someone’s review. *sigh*


  6. I enjoyed R&J, though I’m not sure I’ll listen to it again. I do subscribe though and think it’s a bargain to get a book each month for £7.99 (I think) when most of them cost a lot more than that. And there is some fantastic stuff to listen to if you have the time… I listen when I am doing boring stuff like housework. (Ha, says my conscience, when was that then?) 😉


    • I have been deliberating that – should I sign up for the subscription? It might also come in handy for my regular exercise plan, which involves 1.5 hours of walking every day. I haven’t figured out the technology yet, though. When listening to a book via app, I presume you still need wifi, do you?


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