Monday, January 30, 2012

You know you watch a lot of Sci-Fi when........

....your nine-year-old finds a cat hair in his dinner and comments,

"Someone's DNA is in my food!"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bad reviews

What is it about bad reviews that gets my attention? Is it just curiosity like when you pass a car wreck? Or is there something more? Why do I care if someone didn't like a book? I try to read books that readers I'm familiar with recommend (Goodreads/Blogs/Friends). I usually LOVE the books I read. But once in awhile, a book takes a wrong turn or just isn't coming together for me and I wonder if it was me.

Did I just not get it? Did others love it and only I missed the point? That's when I find myself digging into reviews to see if anyone else noticed something was off. What's to be gained from it? I guess in the interest of writing someday, knowing what went wrong is a valuable tool. If I really, really hate the writing, I won't blog about it - there's nothing to be gained in the blogging world when someone tears a writer apart. I will write about ones I'm on the fence about or ones that had some really good aspects and some I didn't care for.

Still, when I see a one star review written by someone I respect, it gets my attention. What about you?
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book Review: Radiance by Alyson Noel

     This is one of the strangest books I've ever read! It's an odd mix of shimmery clouds, dark experiences, disconnected loved ones and new friendships. The story takes place a year after Riley Bloom dies and watches her parents cross over into the Here and Now and her sister returns to the Earth Plane to continue living.

     When Riley finally crosses over into the Here and Now, she's sorely disappointed. Although there are radiant beings, mostly there are people like her. The saddest part is that they fail to welcome her and leave her feeling lost and alone until Bhodi offers to be her guide.

     Bhodi takes Riley to guide a soul that's been resisting for over a hundred years and Riley believes she's up to the task. If she succeeds, she gets her wish to tour London and be among the living for a time - the one thing she thinks will soothe her discontent. Surprisingly, another soul is waiting in London, but this time she has to conquer her strong impulse to interfere.

     While I enjoyed Riley's plucky character and loved her strong will, Radiance gave me a very bad, lost feeling - like there was no reality, only experiences.  It gave me a huge case of separation anxiety for the characters.  I give the author credit that if that is what she was trying to convey, she succeeded.  She certainly is original and creative in depicting the afterlife.  One inconsistency that the author addresses in the story is the language fluctuating from pre-teen to college level vocabulary. While it may offer something for older and younger audiences, it just felt a bit off to me.  I did love the inclusion of the dog in the story and the ending left me hopeful that the characters are in a good place and ready to lead a good solid adventure in book two, Shimmer.

I give Radiance three stars!3 stars3 star 2

Monday, January 2, 2012

When is the writing good?

     Reading the comments on Elana Johnson's post about taking a short break from writing got me thinking. She talked about focusing on things that make you who you are and then coming back more equipped for your next writing. One of her commenter's, L.L. Muir said, "Write while the writing's good," and mentioned 8pm to 2am. I have to agree that is the BEST time for creativity to flow.
     I may not be writing a novel, no, just planning for when I finally do, but I write many, many papers for school and other random outlets.
     I find that concentrating on the topic, starting an outline and then sleeping on it yields inspiration in my sleep. What? I write in my sleep? Actually, yes! I go to sleep thinking about tying these difficult topics and sources into a meaningful paper - aiming for a high score and working to analyze everything discussed in class prior to the paper. Then I sleep on it, but find myself waking every few hours and mulling over main points, weaving together sources and quotes. Sometimes it's a little less serious, like funny things I want to share on my blog.
     I am fully aware that I've crossed over into some land of the strange-minded, but it works for me and I hope it helps me write my first novel once I find my inspiration.
     What about you? When do you write? When you have your best pen? When you have your favorite pajamas on? When you are fully awake? When you are done watching some emotionally exhausting drama and in touch with your deepest feelings? After you get off the phone with a friend that makes you laugh until tears are sneaking out of the outer corners of your eyes? What works for you?