Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, a time to be with family, and a time to watch the Macy's parade. It's also a time to remember all the turkeys that have become one with the Force in honor of the day. Thank you, turkeys everywhere: your deaths are not in vain. We shall always keep you on our table, next to the cranberry sauce and the mashed potatoes- 'scuse me, in our hearts.
Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Done done done (say it out loud to get my meaning)

No, an evil genius did not just enter the room. It's just me...though some might say that's one and the same. I'm gloating because I'm done, done, done with my second novel, Isa: The Elementals (working title).

I would have finished it in August if I'd been writing my first draft on the computer( blame my anachronistic habits). But now I'm all ready to start the next step in my creative process: editing and revising. Yay!
Yes, I just cheered about getting to edit.
But at least I'm done typing up the contents of three one-hundred page notebooks...until, of course, I finish with the next book I'm writing (and the next, and the next). Hopefully my next book will go as smoothly as this one did!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part one

When I went to the movie theater earlier today, I was prepared for the next installment of the Harry Potter movie series. I mentioned on the way there, "I hope that this movie is a good version of the first half of the book!"
And it did not disappoint.
Poster that was outside the movie theater
From the Ministry of Magic to Godric's Hollow, Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Horcruxes, the bewitched objects keeping Voldemort alive, and discover the mysterious and powerful Deathly Hallows. 
J. K. Rowling wrote the screenplay, which preserved the vital moments of the book, and the darkly foreboding tone. There's more of a pervading, immediate sense of danger than previous installments, and more violence. Several times, I jumped about two feet in the air, and pulled out my wand. This movie had many beautiful locations, such as clifftops, forests, and seashores, which add to the wildness of the entire film.
The Forest of Swinley, where Hermione, Harry, and Ron camp while on the run
Freshwater West, near Bill and Fleur's cottage
I went dressed as a character from the books, of course. 
Me as Tonks
The Deathly Hallows was my favorite title of the series, and this movie adaption stays true to the original book, even improving upon it in places. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and can't wait for the next installment in July!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

"Maybe that is all any life is composed of, trivia that eventually adds up to a person, and maybe I just don't have enough of it yet to be a whole one."
Seventeen year-old Jenna Fox can't remember who she is. She can't remember what her favorite color was, or which side she parted her hair on. She can't even remember if she had friends, or recognize her family. The car crash that left her comatose took all her memories. The home videos that her mother makes her watch bring back fragments, but even those give her questions. Why can she remember her own christening, and the particulars of the classics and world history, yet can't remember her grandmother's face?
 The Adoration of Jenna Fox is dystopian literature. But still, it seems as if it could happen ten years from now-or sooner. That's what makes it so frightening. And that's why I loved it so much.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Amazing Human Chameleon (aka moi)

Chameleons are amazing creatures. They can catch prey with their long tongues in thirty thousandths of a second. Their eyes can move independently of each other, allowing them a full 360-angle view of their surroundings. And (most famously) they can change their skin colors to match their surroundings.

I can’t catch anything with my tongue but popcorn, and my eyes are bad enough as it is, so I ‘m not even going to try to imitate chameleons in that regard. But I have had the marvelous experience of changing my skin a pale shade of green.
This has only happened twice. The first time was the day before Halloween, and the second time was the day of Halloween itself. Since I was not endowed with chromatophores in my skin, as chameleons are, I had to resort to eye-shadow. Then, I dressed in black, donned a pointy hat, and went out the door.
That year, I was portraying Elphaba, the misunderstood “Wicked Witch of the West.”

This year, I turned blue. Not because I was cold, or because I managed to gain chromatophores, but because I dressed as Aayla Secura, the cerulean Twi’lek Jedi master. I love blue. I love Star Wars. It was a good night.

Who knows what I'll be next year?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Anachronistic Writer

I am euphoric right now. Why, you ask?
♪ I've started a new book, I've started a new book, and I'm on Chapter Three-ee... ♪ 
Yes, I was singing just now.
However, this euphoria will dissipate when I begin to type it into the computer, unfortunately. My joy is stolen somehow when I look at all the pages I've written, and then at that blank screen staring accusingly at me.
My computer's face (if it had a face)
'You anachronistic writer!' it seems to yell. 'Why don't you use me, instead of that archaic thing called a college-ruled notebook?! I'm greener! I'm more streamlined! I come with all kinds of different fonts that make your work look so much cooler than it actually is!!'
Please be quiet, computer. I will type my work up eventually, but after I'm done with Chapter Three.

Monday, November 8, 2010

How I first started reading dystopian sci-fi/fantasy

It all started with The Hunger Games.
I had enjoyed Susanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander books on CD as I commuted back and forth to various commitments, and when I was looking through the library catalogue, I happened to visit her page and see that she'd written another book- the first of a trilogy, in fact- The Hunger Games. Oh, good, I thought, and reserved the book, expecting another tale of abnormally large talking beasts and maybe another underground city.

I was definitely in for a surprise. When I got the book, I skimmed the blurb on the dustjacket without really taking in the words, and began Chapter One.
Katniss Everdeen is sixteen, and her family's sole provider. She passes her weekends hunting illegally in the woods outside District Twelve. Her twelve year old sister Prim is the only spot of color in her otherwise grey existence.
Every year, the Capitol of Panem holds the Hunger Games, a punishment for the Districts' revolt almost a century ago. The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. One boy and one girl from each of the 12 Districts are incarcerated in an immense arena, and forced to fight until all but one are killed. And their families and friends are forced to watch it all on live television.
Katniss isn't really affected by the Hunger Games- until Prim is chosen for their district's girl tribute.
Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place, plunging herself into a world of intrigue and violence.
To put it simply, I LOVED The Hunger Games. I read its sequels with equal avidity. The Hunger Games trilogy led me to the Uglies series, and the Uglies series led me to the The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner led me to Incarceron...etc.
Yes, I like dystopian sci-fi/fantasy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Les Miserables

original cover art by Emile Bayard
For the longest time, I'd been wanting to read Victor Hugo's master work, but for one reason or another, had never picked it up. Then I saw that it was the next book assigned for my literature class, and decided to read it a few weeks ahead of time so I'd be able to enjoy it fully. I reserved it at the library, and awaited its arrival with huge anticipation.
I tried any number of tactics to distract myself - watching the musical, listening to a radio drama, (which was horrendous) and even toyed with the idea of getting an abridged copy(but forsook the notion in shame). Finally, finally it came in, and I seized it from the circulation desk, and stared down at the cover. It felt so good in my hands, like a solid brick. So many pages...(I'm drooling as I write this)
The instant I got home, I cracked it open, and began to DEVOUR it. I read it all of that evening, woke up early the next morning and read a little more.
I read the book, in bits and pieces, over a period of three days. The story of innocent Cosette, pursued Valjean,  and pursuer Javert caught hold of me, and would not let go. When it was over, I put it down, went to the computer, and reserved The Hunchback of Notre Dame. There's no way it's anywhere near as good, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. After all, if it's too depressing, I can always return to Les Miserables.