Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cleaning Neuroses and Bad Poetry

Today's Sunday.

Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring was playing on Starz.

I didn't go to church.

Yup, I think the Universe is telling me that today is The Day I clean my room.

And, I have book orders due to come intomorrow and the rest of the week from Amazon.  Lloyd Alexanders, a Stephen Lawhead, and a Diana Wynne Jones.  Oh yeah, and Princess Ben by Catherine Murdock.  That's the only book I ordered by an author I haven't read before.  Everybody else, I've read at least a little.

And yes, they are all children's books, save the Jones.  The Tough Guide to Fantasyland!!!

Well, that may be a children's book too.  I don't know yet.  I haven't read it.  But I can't wait!

So, I like really need to clean my room, so I can read my books and I can finish my books and maybe it won't be so noticeable that my TBR shelf had more books on top of it.

I clean my room on Sundays
Yeah, it's pretty strange
But nope, never on Mondays
Just means I'm a bit deranged.

Armed with just the broom,
Trash bags, and sometimes bleach
No more dust bunnies of doom:
They hang on the fan like a leech

Speaking of doom, it gets stranger still
I pop in the same movie to pass the hours
Fellowship of the Ring, I got time to kill
It's weird, I know, but it never sours.

If I can finish before it ends, I win!
If not, I pop in the second and try again.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Foundling and Other Tails of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain (The Chronicles of Prydain)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been a good visit back to Prydain.  Except, we see a lot of the history.  How Arawn stole the craftsmen's weapons, to tales about immortality and wisdom, and how Fflewddur got his harp with the strings that break.

Great if you loved the Prydain Chronicles, and certainly not to be missed.

There's an interesting story behind this.  My first copy of it turned out to be defective.  Parts of the pages were off center and the words were completely off the pages.


So, a few weeks ago, I ordered a new copy.  And I finished reading it today.

And yes, I'm well aware it's not on the percentage list.  I don't care.  And it was only 94 pages.


I just finished The Destined Queen.  Hey, I got my Long Ridge in the mail today, and I don't feel like writing.

Hello books!

I give it 5 stars. For both books, and for the series as a whole.  Mainly because, while some things didn't wow me, I can't really name what bugged me about it, you know?  I don't know how to describe it.  So, it doesn't exist, and I'll grant it the 5 stars gladly.

Since I'm doing both books, there'll be spoilers from the first one.

The Wizard's Ward

Years before, the peaceful world of Umbria was torn apart by the ruthless Hanish invaders.
The Wizard's Ward (Umbria, #1)Yet that is the only life Maura knows. Until her wizard guardian announces she is to be queen -- but that first she must find and unite with their country's legendary "Waiting King" in order to overthrow the enemy occupation. Men have searched for the fabled warrior for ages -- what chance has a young witch gifted in life-magic? Especially since she has only till midsummer's moon and her guardian's wisdom is tragically taken from her . . .

Filled with fear and determination as well as wits and magic, Maura sets forth. Her only ally is the outlaw Rath. Having Rath as a companion is as dangerous as having an enemy along -- but she must trust in him to save their country. As midsummer approaches, their mission is in jeopardy from the Han outlaws and treasure hunters -- and even their own folk, who are wary of "the witch and the wolf."

But the greatest complication is the knowledge that if they do not find the king, Maura need not sacrifice all to be queen . . . 

The Destined Queen:

The Destined Queen (Umbria, #2)After awakening the "Waiting King" -- the one destined to free her country from the long occupation of the Han -- Maura Woodbury thinks her duty to her country completed. But Maura's task has only just begun. Rath, once a notorious outlaw, has no magic, and thus no power to expel the invaders from their kingdom. Yet the people expect a miracle. And so Maura, still new to using life-magic, is their only hope....

Maura must journey into the unknown, searching for a magical staff -- one that will grant the awakened king one grand wish. But separation from her consort breeds jealousies, devastating secrets and ties to an intimate enemy. Stricken by doubt, Maura and Rath are tempted to ignore the call of fate -- but what will happen to the country if they do?

As a series, I can say I really liked it.  What Rath wishes it GREAT!  So not what I was expecting, but it shows his character growth.  Even Maura would've never thought of it, but she was proud of him.

Although, I will say that it will seem a little anti-climatic.

It's one of those Bigger Picture type books. It's not about what these characters want, it's about what's best for their world.  It's about having a destiny you so don't want, and having not only your life, but the lives of everybody that's following you in the balance.

So, instead of a pig/farm/temple acolyte boy becoming king, we have an outlaw for a king.  So checking out that trope to see if it's happened before.  In literature, mind, not in the real world.  Outlaws aren't half as attractive in this world.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dork Much?

I know which books I started this year that I haven't finished.  So, some weeks ago, I typed in whatever page number I was on for the respective book on Goodreads, and stacked the books according to percentage I had finished.

The Name of the Wind was at the highest percentage.  So, I started there.  I finished it.


Books I'm about done with (or not) are at the top.  Books I'm only a few pages into before I stopped reading it are on the bottom:

1.  The Destined Queen by Deborah Hale.  LUNA Fantasy.

2.  Lady of Conquest by Teresa Medeiros.  Historical Romance.

3.  Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet.  I've been the longest in this book, actually.  But not the farthest.  Christian Fantasy.

4.  Whispers Along the Rails by Judith Miller.  Historical Christian Fiction.

5.  The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson.  Fantasy.

6.  The Dragon Book.  This is a collection.  I'm not in the middle of any current stories, but I started reading in it this year, and it would be really nice to finish reading it this year.  Fantasy.

Underneath all this dorkiness, I can't help but think there's a deeper problem.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

4 stars.

I've mentioned this book before. From the time I didn't want to buy it at first, to my purchasing it, to my actual reading of it.

Product Description (From Amazon)
The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)NOT TO BE MISSED:


Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.  The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic [....] form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

From the Inside Flap

My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to.  The Adem call me Maedre.  Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree.

"The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire.

"The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age.
I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic.

My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them.

But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know."
I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of Kvothe-from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more-for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend.

 What I didn't like:  (a) The length.  722 pages. 

(b) It did seem to lack a bit of direction at times.  Which is bad for a book that length.

It's the fantasy equivalent of an autobiography, in effect.  It's different, for fantasy, but I don't know if I agree with all of the rave reviews.  It's not the best I've read, but one of the best.

I really liked it overall, though.  The writing is very clever.  It's funny at times.  Deadly serious at others.  The characters are very likable, even if not completely sympathetic.

It's interesting, you know.  If you've got the time for it, read it.

And I am going to get book 2 at my earliest convenience.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Natural Disasters

I like Christian comedians.  I like listening to someone who doesn't constantly make sex jokes and curse.  Among other things.

I really wish I would've found this when Obama caught Osama.

Wow, that just sounds so so creepy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How Much?

So, I don't want to end my college career at community college.  I like living at home, so I want to go to either H-burg or G-port.  There's a University of South Mississippi campus and a William Carey campus in both.  I live smack-dab between the two cities and go to both H-Burg and G-Port whenever Wiggins (the nearest "town") doesn't have what I want.

So, we were looking at their websites.  We were worrying about cost, mostly.

But then you get sidetracked.

You check to see if this college will even accept you, if it offers your major.  Then you see all of the programs and the clubs.  It looks like heaven on earth.  Meet new people!  Get involved!

At the back of your mind, you hear your parents' voices. But how much will it cost?  

When you finally find the tuition page, you won't care how much it costs.  Even if it means you have to work for a few years just to get the money, or take out the dreaded student loan, you are going.

OR, when you find the cost, you click out of that college's website, and never ever click on it again.  Nope, it doesn't seem that great!

Bird Flight and Old Undies

I've been doing a little bit more research.

(a)  How do birds fly/bird flight mechanics.  Mort specifically, wing shapes & why, speed...  I found the bit about the Peregrine falcon.  When it's diving, it reachs that 200+ mph speed.  But what about when it's just flying around?  I read somewhere that messenger pigeons could fly 60mph.

(b) Ancient and Medieval underwear.  There is very little known about it.  Most of it is speculation.  So, I'll stick to learning what it was made of.  Linen & wool mostly.  Sounds so comfortable, doesn't it?  

Actually, I would need to brush up on the clothing notes I have somewhere.

Clothing's not always practical, and some of it wasn't anymore practical then than it is now.  Unless they're a peasant or poor.  Then you make practical with what you got.

This WiP takes place during the summer.  Personally, I don't know how summers are in other places.  Here in Mississippi, summer starts in May/June and doesn't end until Christmas.  Yes, January through March are pure bliss.  Sometimes we're lucky and it gets cold a little bit sooner.

How awful would it be for a psuedo-medieval prince to just wear some modern-day-looking shorts and sandals?  Oh yeah, and a sleeveless shirt?

Next on the list:
How the early printing presses worked.  This has been drilled into me for the past few years in school, both high and college.  I want a little more information.

Will any of this actually make an appearance in any of my books?

Probably not.  But I want to know.  I like to have a clue at least of what I'm trying to write about, or even if I can pull it off my whichever world I'm working on.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yeah, Right...

I was looking for scholarship jokes.  Thought it would be a great beginner.  Couldn't find one, so I posted a bunch of college humor.

So, back to the scholarships.  My college (I think) is just about paid for this year via merit scholarships that comes from the college, except the small grants.  YAY!!!!  So, unless I screw up, I'm good to go.

Still, I'm looking at scholarships for next year, when I'll be transferring.

The education system is really really screwed up.

1. (a) Unwed mother to get a scholarship/grant:  all or most expenses paid.
(b) Other students for a scholarship not offered by colleges:  essay or a complicated project, 3.5 GPA, community service, leadership programs, clubs, sports, fighting tooth and nail at Financial Aid...

2.  The Financial Aid office is run by student workers who haven't the slightest idea of what they're doing.

3.  Native American?  You have to be a member of a Federally Recognized Tribe.  The fact you're more Indian than white doesn't matter.

4. (a) Goverment-Mandated Schooling both public and private (remember, I've been to both): teaches the test.  So what if we're not as smart as China?  At least we're not Communist!  I could go on and on about this.
(b) College:  doesn't teach the test.  You actually have to learn.  That was a whole new experience, although an enjoyable one.

5  (a) Teachers aren't paid enough to deal with students.  They should get paid for teaching AND for keeping the worst people on the planet, minors, myself included {emancipation age in MS is 21}, busy all day.
(b)Teachers don't need to complain about how terrible we are.  If they don't like us, they don't need to teach us.  The money's not worth it.

Messed-up education system with parents not fighting with the system for better stuff.  Messed up adults being turned out because of the education system and messed-up parents who don't care.  See the progression?

Some people wonder why America's fallen so far.   I just figured out why.  On while we're on the topic of college and logic:  If it offends, I'm sorry.

Thibodeaux gets in his pirogue and goes down to the college and meets the dean of admissions, who signs him up for the four basic classes: Math, English, History, and Logic. 

Logic?" Thibodeaux says. "Wha's dat?" 

The dean says, "I'll show you. Do you own a weed eater?" 

"Why shur," replies Thibodeaux. 

"Then logically, because you own a weed eater, I think that you would have a yard." 

"Das true, I do have some land on da bayou." 

"I'm not done," the dean says. "Because you have a yard, I think logically that you would have a house." 

"Meh, yeah, I do have a house." 

"And because you have a house, I think that you might logically have a family." 

"Meh, yes I have a family, too." 

"I'm not done yet. Because you have a family, then logically you must have a wife." 

"Yes, I do have a wife." 

"And because you have a wife, then logically you must be a heterosexual." 

"A hetero what?" Thibodeaux asks. 

The dean explains the term to Thibodeaux and he says "Why, yes, I am a heterosexual. Das amazing, you were able to find out all dat because I have a weed eater." 

Excited to take the class now, Thibodeaux shakes the dean's hand and leaves to go meet Boudreaux at the bar. 

He tells Boudreaux about his classes, how he is signed up for Math, English, History, and Logic. 

"Logic?" Boudreaux says, "Wha's dat?" 

Thibodeaux says, "I'll show you. Do you have a weed eater?" 

"Meh, no." 

"Then you a queer."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some College Humor


Several colleges have started a pilot program that uses a simple group experiment with Legos as a replacement for the standard admissions test. The group must recreate a model of a robot in the next room, with only one team member allowed to view the robot at any one time.
Since different schools have different admissions requirements, the test has been generalized to meet the requirements of various schools:
ENGINEERING COLLEGE:   Build a real, working robot out of Legos.
LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE:   Pick your favorite color of Lego block.
CULINARY COLLEGE:   Bake an Eggo that no one would want to Lego.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE:   Ring this box of Legos up on a cash register.
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY:   Steal as many Legos as possible.


Three students, a student from Tennessee, a student from Alabama, and a student from Auburn are out walking together one day. They come across a lantern and a Genie pops out of it.
"I will give you each one wish, that's three wishes total," says the Genie.
The Tennessee student says, "I am a farmer, my dad was a farmer, and my son will also farm. I want the land to be forever fertile in Tennessee."
With a blink of the Genie's eye, "FOOM," the land in Tennessee was forever made fertile for farming.
The Auburn student was amazed, so he said, "I want a wall around the University of Auburn, so that nobody from out of state can come into our precious school."
Again, with the blink of the Genie's eye,"POOF," there was a huge wall around Auburn.
The Alabama student says, "I'm very curious. Please tell me more about this wall."
The Genie explains, "Well, it is about 150 feet high, 50 feet thick and completely surrounds the University of Auburn. Nothing can get in or out."
The Alabama student says, "Fill it with water."


Professors of different subjects define the same word in different ways:
Prof. of Computer Science:
A kiss is a few bits of love compiled into a byte.

Prof. of Algebra:
A kiss is two divided by nothing.

Prof. of Geometry:
A kiss is the shortest distance between two straight lines.

Prof. of Physics:
A kiss is the contraction of mouth due to the expansion of the heart.

Prof. of Chemistry:
A kiss is the reaction of the interaction between two hearts.

Prof. of Zoology:
A kiss is the interchange of unisexual salivary bacteria.

Prof. of Physiology:
A kiss is the juxtaposition of two orbicular ors muscles in the state of contraction.

Prof. of Dentistry:
A kiss is infectious and antiseptic.

Prof. of Accountancy:
A kiss is a credit because it is profitable when returned.

Prof. of Economics:
A kiss is that thing for which the demand is higher than the supply.

Prof. of Statistics:
A kiss is an event whose probability depends on the vital statistics of 36-24-36.

Prof. of Philosophy:
A kiss is the persecution for the child, ecstasy for the youth and homage for the old.

Prof. of English:
A kiss is a noun that is used as a conjunction; it is more common than proper; it is spoken in the plural and it is applicable to all.

Prof. of Engineering:
Uh, What? I'm not familiar with that term.


CAFETERIA: From 2 Latin words, "cafe" meaning place to eat and "teria" meaning to wretch.
MAJOR:   Area of study that no longer interest you.
STUDENT ATHLETE:   See "contradiction in terms."
GRADE:   Unrealistic and limited measure of academic accomplishment.
SUMMER SCHOOL:   A viable alternative to a summer job.
QUARTER:   The most coveted form of currency on campus.
HUNGER:   Condition produced by five minutes of continuous studying.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

But How Does it End?

I don't care how great or how bad a book is.  (And this applies to movies too.)  If it ends good, I'll like it.

This is probably why I never liked Romeo and Juliet.  

This is also probably why I read so many romance books.  I know that, no matter what, it will end right.  If the book is middle rate, and it ends well, I'll still give it 3 stars.  I mean, it still ends good.  That's the only thing that matters.

Likewise, if the last installment of a series sucks, it's like the bottom falls out and the first books lose their greatness too.  I think I may just start reading the reviews for the last book first, and then decide whether or not the series as a whole is even worth my time.  Something for me to think on.

Stephen R. Lawhead is my favorite author for that exact reason.  Well, that's the most important reason, anyway.

In Taliesin, Taliesin dies at the end.  But it doesn't exactly end there.  There's 2 or 3 scenes afterwards, and the last little part is just beautiful.  The point of it was that it wasn't over yet.  After all, there's four more books after it in the Pendragon Cycle, and a political thriller, Avalon:  The Return of King Arthur, set in the 21st century following it.  It wasn't over yet.  Grail, the last true book of the cycle was great.  Avalon, either read as a standalone, or as the last book, is an awesome read as well.  I mean, just the right way to end it all.

I may have been at one point, but right now in my life, I am never sorry to see a book/series end.  Sometimes it's a long time coming as far as series go. 

It's like a roller coaster.  I enjoy the ride, but when it's over, it's over.  Either you get back on and re-live the thrills, or you find another ride.  And the best roller coasters save the biggest loop-de-loop for last, as in, the ending.  And you feel great afterwards.

Now I feel like going to Six Flags again and riding the Goliath again.  Or re-reading Nectar from a Stone. ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Didn't Want To

I got an idea for a poem last night or early this morning.  It was dark outside whatever time it was.

I don't consider myself a poet, but every now and then, inspiration strikes and I can write one.

I didn't want to write it at first.  Even though I knew I wouldn't share it right away (if I did at all), writing it down still seemed like sharing.

Well, I guess I would be sharing it with a paper.  But I guess when I wrote it down, it wouldn't feel like mine anymore.  And it wouldn't just be in my head anymore.  It would actually--GASP--manifest.

I didn't want that.

I finally did set pen to paper earlier today.  The only problem was, what I had in my head came back in such a scatter-shot way of what I wanted to write.  Oops.  Should've written it down last night when inspiration first struck.

I could've gotten it all down and revised it later.  But no, my own reluctance cost me...well, it didn't cost me anything, really.  It just annoyed me later.

Lesson learned.

I wrote down what I did remember of the different stanzas, and the refrain.  It won't be the first time I wrote a poem out of order.  Sometimes lines just come.  I don't want to throw it out, but I don't know where to put it.  So I just cut the stanzas out and rearrange them until I'm happy with it.

And the Golden Girls Rejection (I really should've posted this when I mention that I got a rejection letter):

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sirs Read-a-lot and Write-a-lot

"This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit."

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut."

— Stephen King (On Writing)

Q: Do you have advice for aspiring writers?
A:  First of all, read. Read widely, not just the stuff you think you’ll like or with which you will agree. Keep an open mind. Pay attention the writer's style, the way he or she puts the point across or tells the story. Analyse what various writers are doing and learn from it.
Secondly, write. I actually get letters from people who want to know how to get a book published, when they haven’t written it yet. Write, write, write. Try to keep to some sort of disciplined schedule, especially if you have a day job or family responsibilities that compete for your time. Subject your writing to the most stringent criticism you can find; do not seek encouraging words from family and friends who tell you you’re great. Be hard on yourself. Don’t assume that the world is waiting for your deathless prose – it isn’t. You have to be better than everyone else to get read.  -Stephen Lawhead's website
Stephen King, by the time my generation rolled around, had a big name for himself.  And, even though I didn't even crack one of his books until last year, I knew who he was, and so did a lot of the readers around me.  King is King, you know?  Kind of like the Queen of England or the President.  You don't know them, but you know of them.  If a person asked their names, you'd know.

Stephen R. Lawhead has been my favorite author since I read Byzantium back in ninth grade.     Obviously, I'd listen to any advice he'd have to offer to aspiring writers.

Although, they did contradict each other, but I didn't post King's quote.  He said he read because he liked to read.  Lawhead, as above, says to analyze it.

I fall somewhere in between the two.  I read for the heck of it a lot.  But sometimes when I read a book because I want to figure out the hype, I pay more attention to the elements of the story.  Sometimes I do both.

Of course, there's no right or wrong way to do it, I guess.  Either way, read.

Either way, write.

Back in the summer of 2007, I spent hours upon hours of looking up writing advice online.  I also started getting writing books.

So far, the only actual books that I found really helpful were The Everything Guides, and The Writer's Handbook from 1990 that I got from a garage sale when I was either or freshman or sophomore in high school.  The book's older than I am.

I have a huge binder--and I'm talking 3, maybe 4 inches--of writing advice.
I am this close to throwing it all out.  The only things I want to keep are the Pointers from the Pros that I have to get from Long Ridge anyway, and all my cliche lists.  You know, the Fantasy Novelist's Exam, the Grand List of Fantasy Cliches, the Not-So-Grand List, 13 Fantasy Cliches I Hope to Never See Again, 13 Mistakes I Hope Your Heroine Never Makes, etc.

I get "It's great that you're starting so young" a lot. Personally, I hope they're right.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  Based on what I've been told, and my own meager experience, I'm starting to think this:

Reading will be your best teacher.

Your writing will be your best test.  But instead of the kind where you'd get a letter grade, it's more like an ACT.

Is that the secret other writers have found out?

And I've also heard/read Creative Writing classes really don't help.  I've taken one, and it didn't.  I'm taking another one in the fall.  I mean, it won't hurt anything, and a lot of people have told me to take it.  And I need the credits anyway.  

Ironically, I found more stuff I could apply to writing in eighth grade Drama class, and in my tenth grade Introduction to Theatre class.  Just a thought.

I remember telling my eighth grade teacher so, she had told me, "Well, at least somebody's getting something out of this class."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's So Fluffy, I'm Gonna Die (Or Maybe Just Kill It)

I was working on a contemporary.  Well, the characters were having a conversation, and the conversation, while fun to write, was incredibly stupid, unrealistic, etc.

After I wrote a line, I just started cracking up and I had to get out of the Word Document.

"This is the biggest lost of BS."  But we'll call it fluff for now.  It's more...polite.

Note to self:  stick to fantasy

But it's still so much fun writing it anyway.  But it's not good.  But it was still fun.  It just wasn't good.  I hope there's no direct correlation there. 

I guess this is the best part about not sharing your work and just hoarding it for yourself.  Nobody will ever see this draft.  Or, at least this part.

And nobody needs to.  Except maybe Lacey.  Then it'll get REALLY weird.  But she'd get a kick out of it.

Too bad this isn't a first draft.

On a brighter note, I did post 2 chapters of The Eyes of the Prince (SFKBS), on Goodreads.  There's the link to it on the "Writing" tab.  That I wasn't so hesitant to share.  It's good as it can be I guess.  For that draft.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wanted: Book That Can WOW Me

The past two books I've read were just...

Well, I hated one.  I liked it up until the last two chapters.

DISAPPOINTING.  Actually, if it hadn't been an ebook, I probably would have thrown it across the room.  I was worse than furious or ticked.

The one I just finished, while I did like, was just some middle-rate, not terrible-but-not-wonderful book.  I finished it.  I was glad to see it over.  It was interesting.  It did end right.  But like another book very similar to it, it was just way too slow-paced towards the end.

I need another book.

Or perhaps finished one of the ones I already have a bookmark in.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Scattered Thoughts: On Religion

"....there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it's because he's ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they're responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I'd want nothing to do with them." — Philip Pullman 
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."  Mahatma Gandhi

I understand these quotes very well.  The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the ruling of England from Henry VIII to the Glorious Revolution, Martin Luther burning Jews, the Puritans, the group right now that's invading soldiers' funerals.

Every generation of the Church has had its Tragic Failures.  And it's the radicals that make the news.  The county preacher who's actually filled with the Holy Spirit, never did anything "really" wrong, doesn't get an article written about him.

This morning, my mother put on the kids' version of Christian TV.  Charlie the Church Mouse.  And Monster Sunday School.  (Because, like Monsters need Jesus more than anybody, I guess.  Certainly more than vegetables and fruits ;).  )

The show really bugs me.  It always seems to be only 1 monster doing wrong, or only 1 putting his foot in his mouth.  He's the Designated Failure.  The rest just seem to be perfect.

Annoying.  Nobody's perfect.  I would've liked it a lot more if several of them were constantly messing up.  (Not that the little that I've seen didn't show another messing up, but one kept messing up.  Why not another one?  Bad writing.)  Sure, there's the people who seem to have it all together, but I tend to shy away from those people.  We have nothing in common, after all.

I wonder if the children that are worrying about being sexy and cool are too young to hear this and should they hear it?:
"We are closest to Christ when sharing the world’s misery. Think you Jesus came to remove our pains? Wherever did you get that notion? The Lord came, not to remove our suffering, but to show us the way through it to the glory beyond. We can overcome our travails. That is the promise of the cross."  Stephen R. Lawhead 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues

This has happened every year for several years.

I am SO ready to get back to classes.  Taking care of the farm and pretending to learn how to drive is most of what I'm doing these days.  Oh, and reading and writing.

Saints and angels, I'm ready to go back to classes.  I want to sit in a classroom and learn something.  I want to talk to somebody in between classes.  I want to spend time in the library.

Man, I loved spending time in that library.  It wasn't the same hushed reverance I feel in a bookstore, but it was still a comfortable place.  I knew my way around there.  I knew which books I dreamt of checking out someday.  I was comfortable around the librarians.  They're nice people.  I mean, really nice.  I could play on the computers in there, like check my email and blog and get on Goodreads.  I met up with some of my first high school friends on occasion.

Oh, and during our first go-round with exams, Lacey YouTubed some comedians on her phone.  Three of us are on the upper level trying so hard not to laugh out loud.  Luckily, we didn't get caught.

Man, I can't wait until classes start back up again.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's Not Enough = Shelf or Trash

This is something that's been happening to me for years.  In the grand scheme of writing, I've worked with ideas that Just Don't Work.

I shelved a short story idea today.  Or at least partially.  I'm not going to use the idea at all.  I have enough ideas for right now.  And I can't even use all of those at the moment.

So fow now, I'm rewriting backstory.  And working on Long Ridge.  And trying to finish a novel or two.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

4 stars to The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger

This isn't the sort of book I'd usually read.  Like usual, I'm going to ruin the book. But, before I get to the ruining part, if you think you can see past the language (and a good number of f-bombs are dropped) and the sex, I'd recommend it for you to read.  If, not, well, that's just as well.  It's my opinion.

Okay, on to what the book's about now:  

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

In Regency romances, the rule is "Reformed rakes make the best husbands."  The 21st Teeny-Bopper Corollary is "Reformed man-whore makes the best distraction--and later, boyfriend.

Wesley calls Bianca "Duffy" throughout the entire book, by the way.  

Duffy.  The Duff.  The unattractive one.  Lots of girls feel this way, and I'm certain there's a bunch of books, both fiction and non, on this topic.

After Bianca breaks it off with Wesley, because of her friends are feeling neglected and because she's let him in, and because she's falling for him, the guy she's been crushing on since her freshmen year asks her out.

He's the perfect boyfriend in every way.  Considerate.  Thinks she's beautiful.  Polite.  The whole she-bang.

But she's not happy with him.

And Wesley's not man-whoring around anymore.  He also finally worked up the gall to call his ever-absent parents.

The perfect boyfriend notices Wesley staring at Bianca during their date.  The entire time.  Turns out, Mr. Perfect not over his last girlfriend either.

Bianca goes to Wesley and wants a normal relationship.  And Wesley, wonder of wonders, is willing to give it.  Or at least partially.  ;)

It's a great book.  It's not perfect or life changing, but it's great anyway.