Okay – class(es) are in full swing. I think taking the writing class and the anthro class that P wanted to take online MIGHT have been biting off more than I can chew. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the writing class. So fun and interesting and I’m really learning a lot. I fear that my interest in writing and the writing class have overshadowed the Anthro class. I’m trying to keep up – but if I don’t get my homework done with P then I fall really far behind. And – since it is a real college course, they have a lot of homework.
Sigh. I wish I had enough energy for both. It is fun taking a class with P. With NANO and launch around the corner, something will have to give.
That said – still on a reading tear. A little bit at a time, and still 5 books behind making my goal of 52 in 52. I have a quick flight tonight to LA and then back Sunday – on which I won’t be bringing my surface so no tv/movie distractions! I currently have 4 books rolling. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card) – I know, I know, controversy – Orson Scott – not a nice dude. But I can’t continue to have my scifi geek card if I don’t read this one), Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, A Memoir on Writing by Stephen King (recommended by my prof), and Strunk and White’s Element of Style (again, and this was recommended by Stephen King). The latter 3 are all actual books, the first is on my kindle. I’ll bring two with me on this trip so I can read during take off and landing too! 🙂 Let’s see if I can get through two in three days.
read 38 books toward her goal of 52 books.
I just finished reading my favorite book of the year – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. He wrote a magical, nerdy, nostalgic book about a geeky gamer who is trying to find the ultimate ‘easter egg’ (gaming term for a hidden code in a video game that gives the player a prize) within a massive open world/mmo video game and win a multibillion dollar fortune. All the 80’s references were AWESOME. And gave me an opportunity to reach out to the author and asked him how he obtained permission for all of the lyrics and other references in the book. It was insane. And written in first person – very fun. I have recommended it to about 20 people as required reading if you are in the gaming industry. 🙂
So on top of all this reading (to hone my ‘craft’ don’t you know…) I also am writing for class and getting ready for NanoWriMo starting November 1st. This week we got our first homework back – and the prof said after two additional days of lecture and learning that she wanted us all to rewrite our openings taking her feedback in mind. PHEW. Having read my piece out loud to P, I wanted to rewrite a bunch of things too. So that is our homework this week.
One of the things I love about class is that we write each week. She gives us a topic (week two – write an interview with your main character to learn more about him/her) and we write for about 20 minutes then she asks for volunteers to read out loud for critiques. She also taught us how to properly critique constructively and positively. This week’s writing exercise was to write about the catalyst (the point in the story where the ‘hero’ decides to go willingly or unwillingly on their ‘journey’ – think when Luke Skywalker first meets the droids and there is a message for ObiWan that needs to be delivered, then his farm and aunt/uncle are killed forcing him to go on this journey).
My story (for class anyway) has a willing hero going to college, so figuring out the catalyst has been challenging my brain a bit. In class this week, I wrote the below dialog to help determine what my catalyst is (the protagonist wants to go to college, but does she know where she wants to live yet? Having spent the past 8 years living on a studio lot, keeping her real identity a secret – would living amongst 50k students be a) overwhelming and/or b) ruin her cover? Anywhoo – I didn’t have enough time to finish the thought, but I DID volunteer to read out loud in class. My content is so simple and happy compared to the rest of the epic saga’s I wanted to get some feedback early. I did get some good feedback – none really negative though. This probably means that the story is SO simple they don’t know how to actually say that. ha!
Oh well – I’m having a good time.
Posted in reading, Video Game, Writing
Tagged Class, Dark Places, elements of style, Ender's Game, Ernest Cline, Gillian Flynn, Goodreads, Memoir on Writing, Orson Scott Card, Ready Player One, Stephen King, Strunk and White
I am at the edge of a great precipice. I need a new book to read. I love and loathe this moment. I always hope that I select a book that will be awesome and entertain, awe, shock or effect me in some way. I have several that I’ve loaded on ye ole kindle device waiting to be started. Just what to choose. The last book was so INTERESTING (Ocean at the End of the Lane), and before that Odd Thomas was such a nice surprise. I have an 11.5 hour flight tomorrow which means at some point my Kindle battery will probably die. I’ve loaded a few books in multiple locations (Kindle, laptop, and surface) so I’ll be ready to roll.
My choices are endless – which is part of the problem. There are so many great great books. I was reading another blog earlier today from a writer, and they recommended reading great literature every once and a while to continue to hone your own ‘voice’ with the classics. I have a few classics loaded (Great Gatsby, Tale of Two Cities, and Call of the Wild). I have a bunch of books from authors I’ve enjoyed in the past (More Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich, the next Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, Red Shirts by John Scalzi, Scarlet by Marissa Meyers, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde and a few others). And I have a few books that are new to me by recommended by others (Cloud Atlas, Life After Life). What to choose? I will most likely have time to read a couple of books with the downtime on the plane and at night after tackling email. I am sort of leaning towards Jasper Fforde. I really enjoyed the Thursday Next series – so creative and written like no other books I’d ever read, and who doesn’t like Dragons? Neato.
I’m also bringing a paperback for take off, landings and complete battery suckage if all devices die. For the paperback I have a creepy book by Gillian Flynn called Dark Places. I am a few chapters in on that one, and like Gone Girl it’s giving me the eebie jeebies. I also recently picked up a book by Pam Binder, who will be my professor this fall, called The Quest (looks like it’s about Scottish Highlanders in a mystical time… ). Will probably bring The Quest because its slightly smaller than the Dark Places book and space/weight is a premium when you’re carrying on a flight. I also have the giant fall Vogue to look through and leave with the flight attendants (heck, that will take up 1.5 hours, so YAY for pretty pictures).
If all else fails, I have also downloaded the rest of the season for Continuum, 666 Park Avenue (RIP), and the latest Project Runway. I should be able to fill up those hours with ease!!
Posted in reading, Writing
Tagged Call of the Wild, Dark Places, Gillian Flynn, Great Gatsby, Janet Evanovich, Jasper Fforde, John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, Pam Binder, Project Runway, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The quest, Vogue
Okay – time to give a 52 in 52 update! First, after finishing the (slightly boring) new JK Rowling detective novel, I had a couple of plane rides coming up so went to my ‘go to’ plane books – good ole Stephanie Plum the bounty hunter. I finished 11 and 12 in the weekend with a couple of plane rides down to LAX and back. Always good for a laugh. I’m sure my seat mates on the plane thought I was a little crazy with the laughing out loud moments I had.
Also – after going into the goodreads.com tool and cleaning up my reads for the year, it appears I have read 26 books this year. That would be 26 of the 52 I’d like to read. This gives me 26 books to read in 22 weeks. I’m half way through the 52 books, but over half way through the year. Good news, I have a massive flight to and from Europe and some time in Germany coming up that will give me time to make up some more ground.
I just cracked open the last in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I usually read these within days of them releasing, but this one is getting pretty horrible reviews, my guess is because 1) Charlaine Harris is D-O-N-E writing this series and sort of phoned this one in. 2) I think she does something fans don’t like to our beloved Sookie in the end. And finally 3) I’ve really been put off by how wayward the show modeled after the books has gone (HBO’s True Blood) and have lost track of the path the books went vs. the show. But, I’ve read the others, and for the most part, enjoyed them so here’s to being a completionist.
I’m also eager to start Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season (coming out 8/20 and hailed as potentially the next Harry Potter!!), Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. They are all loaded on my Kindle and ready to roll. I also picked up a paperback copy of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn to read during take offs and landing (and when Kindle batteries die after an 8 hour flight). That girl is DARK and depressing. A few chapters in and it is disturbing, more so even than Gone Girl. yeesh.
Anywhooo, you can see I’m at least keeping up my end of the bargain from a reading perspective. Now to get writing as well. I STILL have to do my homework for this week (due in two days) – we again have to read in class (it’s our last class) AND I haven’t heard yet if I’ve been accepted into the Popular Fiction program. Nail biters both! Stay tuned.
Posted in Writing
Tagged Bone Season, Charlaine Harris, Dark Places, Dead Ever After, Gillian Flynn, Good Reads, Neil Gaiman, reading, Samantha Shannon, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, True Blood