Thursday, May 28, 2015

This is a test, or not.

This is a test. 
Failed or Passed?
I enjoyed the beginning of THIS IS NOT A TEST
I did. 
It was exciting and fun and moved at a good clip.
The characters were good and strongly drawn.
I kind of got stuck in the middle and didn't quite move forward as quickly as 
I would have liked, but then I got sidetracked and finished two other books in between,
so, I guess, expected. 
Overall, I think it's worth a good go.
Courtney's a strong writer and develops the story at good pace.
The feeling and mood, believable.
I'm not one for zombies though, I kind of prefer a different kind of beast.
But the way it was worked, worked.
So dig into,
And, did they pass?
I'll leave that to you.
I got my answer in a middle of the night read.
This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)
This blitz is going to blast nosey nose pickers.
Not literally nose pickers, but the kind of people that poke noses.
Yes, this is going to be a sticky blitz!
Gross name and all!
Until then,
 Be good!

What makes YA YA?

What makes YA YA?
Simple rule of thumb.
The MC is a teenager.
teenagers animated GIF
Everything after that becomes an anything goes situation, and pretty much
anything really does go.
Think about it.
Think about yourself as a teenager.
Think about some of your friends at the time.
Like I said anything goes.
You've got the innocent types.
The wild ones.
The violent types.
You have any story or situation that any adult lives, breathes and experiences, but it's happening to a kid that might just handle it a little bit differently.
Not much, but a bit.
Stupid Relatable animated GIF
Some of those experiences are new, and reactions might reflect that,
but on the whole
what adults live, teenagers live too.
What we feel, they too feel.
Some intensity comes with that,
 but a lot of adults hold and carry that same intensity right through life, so...
back to the rule of thumb.
Anything goes in YA.
Movies Surprise animated GIF
 I often hear people ask about reigning it in.
Don't do it.
Life is life.
Love Girls animated GIF
So writing YA is like writing anything.
It's writing life.
Live the moment with your MC.
Let the story take you
to anything goes,  
wherever it goes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ah, yes, Cummings.

The beauty of our words.
Spoken. Written. Felt.
Be kind in thought, in expression.
Hear the stories of those around you.
Take them into your hearts.

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” 
-- E.E. Cummings

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stephen King. Finders Keepers & Blacklists.

Stephen King.
You want to know about the inside of a writers life, little tips, and
probably the best book written on writing,
everyone knows you hit King's, "ON WRITING."
Part memoir, part masterclass, ON WRITING is a great reminder to, "cut the crap."
You know cut down to the chase, stop waffling about.
There's a lovely sharing of personal moments in there too. 
Basically, it's a good story about the journey of the "Terror King" himself.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
And this, "FINDERS KEEPERS," might just be a 
breakoff twist. 
We've got the same characters spinning this story as in MR. MERCEDES, but this time we're
 dealing with a reader obsessed with a reclusive writer.
All writer's are reclusive to some degree. 
So when, and if, we get a blacklist black dot it's all a bit of a laugh. 
Finders Keepers: A Novel
Writer's live with black dots.
We actually like them.
Ah, the boys.
See, writers are always going to be the odd man out to some degree.
I mean think about it.
We sit for hours at a time in a story that we are creating,
in characters and life that we are trying to make breathe.
The ordinary guy's going to have some difficulty with that amount of
 time, energy, thought, care, and puzzle piecing done to put it all together.
It's what we do.
Don't make me laugh.
Just don't.
By the by, Jack Spader and BLACKLIST kicks off it's new season soon. 
Check out the latest Vanity Fair.
Ah, writer's writing stories.
Real or not.
Where would we be without them?
Where would the unimaginative get their ideas?
Actually, that's really too scary.
And that deserves it's own post.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May Release!

New Releases for May.
Let's explore.
This intrigues me. 
Philosopher Susan Neiman confronts the highly discussed topic of growing up
and challenges those who see innocence as privilege, and those who see it as a weakness.
Innocence is beautiful.

Well, everyone went nuts for Kate's last book, "Life after Life,"
so expecting good things with this companion book to that title. 

Mmm, intriguing.
Psychological thriller takes readers in the world of a writer who pens dark, violent novels  under
the name of "Jack of Spades."

Hmmm, Ani who seems to have a perfect life, but holds a secret. 
It explores the pressures women feel to “have it all” and how telling the truth 
can threaten to crush everything.

Some people find sanctuary here, others find a nightmare.
Hmm, just a little bit cool and spooky I'd say.
Okay, I'll leave you with this lot and continue on with mine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Top YA readers picks.

I posted the top 100.
Blogger did not like me doing that. All my other posts vanished.
I cut it back to 50, my picks out of the readers picks.
Still didn't like me.
So, I'm snatching a few out from the hundred and giving you the link.
Best it would seem Blogger will let me do.
And it did look so pretty all those covers together. Very disappointing.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Book first, movie second, & David Mitchell.

I have a rule.
It's a simple one.
Read the book first. I don't care how long the movie's been waiting for you to take a seat in,
read the damn book first.
 I broke my own preaching rule. 
I did not read David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. I did not.
Cloud Atlas
But, I did go and watch the perversely ever present hollywood icon that is 
Tom Hanks parade around in the intellectual philosophical territory that wove themes of knowledge over time, and memories over past.  
And okay, I admit it, Hanks did a good job.
Was I surprised? 
Yeah, I was.
The art direction was beautiful. I remember thinking that at the time.
I remember also being touched at different points in the film,
but since then I put Tom Hanks and that movie out of my mind.
I mean I shoved it right on out of there. 
Cause I want to read the book.
I do not want to remember any scenes. I do not want to know how it was strung together.
I am reversing the deed.
Yep. You can do that sometimes, with movies and books anyway.
And, why now?
Well, that's easy.
The Wheeler Centre's bringing us David Mitchell, May 19.
Here's the Wheeler link.
Mitchell is coming to talk all things books, but I suspect he's also coming
to talk about his NEW book.
The Bone Clocks
I love the cover. 
Love. Love. Love.
I love the title even more.
Talk is, THE BONE CLOCKS is pretty darn special.
And my talk?
I will be reading this book
before Tom Hanks gets any ideas.
Tom Hanks Cloud Atlas animated GIF

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fiendish eyes sewn shut.

Fiendish much?
Well, sure I guess we all can be at times, but this Fiendish belongs to
Brenna Yovanoff.
I got into the first couple of chapters pretty quick and became very, very excited by this work.
I mean c'mon! That is fabulous!
I did make one mistake.
I popped over to Goodreads for a peep and wasn't much pleased with what I saw.
I didn't want MY experience spoiled by other viewpoints, something to hold true to in life.
 I got out of there pretty fast.
Now chapter four awaits and I'm so looking forward to getting stuck in further.
The writing is beautiful, the pace right now perfect.
I suppose I don't frankly care where it goes.
All I can think is 
poor CLEMENTINE and her sewn shut eyes.
How will she get them open?
Who will help her?
And, why was she held by
 twisted roots underground?
Who cast that spell?
This weeks read.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A night with James.

A night with James Patterson.
It's not about legacy: James Patterson has donated $100,000 to Australian and New Zealand book stores.
No doubt, the guy's likeable.
He's personable, easy to listen to and has a good sense of humour.
He's outspoken over Amazon, and
gets behind the little guys. 
Okay, I'm looking for the halo cause not only is he putting his voice behind
his beliefs, but his hard earned cash.
He's donated $100,000 to Australian and New Zealand bookstores.
The little guys.
And that is simply very, very, admirable.
He spoke about his first book being turned down by 47 editors.
John Grisham had his first turned down by every publisher in New York
until a little shop picked it up in the Bronx.
These stories are endless in the world of writing.
And James Patterson is testament to one other thing.
Our stories are endless too.
It's only time that stops them.
Keep writing.
Keep working hard.
Keep the world reading.
And a shout out to the Wheeler Centre, for not only putting these
nights together, but doing so in a relaxed, comfortable and approachable manner.
It always ends up as a night enjoyed.

Jane Austin please.

I've put in my requests.
Jane Austin is one of them.
I was once obsessed with Austin and today I was reminded of the parallels as to why that was.
It's always so wonderful to revisit old treasures, old pleasures.
It got me digging through my shelves for some 
of her other works, but here are a few 
loved and adored.
Pride and Prejudice
Ah, yes Pride and Prejudice and its two beautiful lovers 
whose pride must be humbled and prejudices dissolved. 
And of course, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy.
There has never been a man more adored then the quiet, secretively plotting and seductive Mr. Darcy. There wasn't one of us that didn't want him to walk straight out of that book
and straight into our arms.
Sense and Sensibility
Sense and sensibility. Of course, a must, but
I can not attest to having either. If I did I certainly would have
run from instead of toward. Ah, maybe not. 
Some things are just meant to happen, people too. 
And yes the Abbey. 
Catherine Morland, her nose constantly stuck in a book, and still catches 
the attention of two men. She expected hidden secrets at Northanager Abbey. 
What she found was even better.  
Ah yes, the good find.
Like these.
So pull them out and find them again.
The forgotten treasures.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mother's Day. Mother's Day. Books. Books. Books.

Gimme. Gimme.
There are some things that just make me very happy. Simple things.
A new book is certainly one of them. 
Here's some that popped into my "in-box"and tickled enough to pass along. 
Might spark some ideas for mother's day treats.
It sparked mine, as in any of these will do me just fine.
All the Light We Cannot SeeSecret Keeping for BeginnersThe LiarAt the Water's EdgeThe Girl on the Train
His Other HouseMy Sunshine AwayThe NightingaleThe AnchoressWolf Winter