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Showing posts from July, 2011

The blogpost that wasn't (or, a review of Branaugh's Twelfth Night)

Today's post was going to be a review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2. However, I have been sick all weekend--I think I ate some funny crab cake--and not up to the effort. I have literally been closeted in my room all of Saturday, only emerging for the evening meal. I get extremely sour when sick (in terms of temperment, not smell), and my darkened room was transformed into the Bear Cave of Bitchiness. Far more pleasant for everyone if I didn't come out...

Whilst in the Bear Cave, when not curled into a ball of migraine misery, I was watching Twelfth Night and editing The Book. I made a feeble attempt at writing more of The Book, but gave up when my neurons started screaming after half a page. 

Branaugh's Twelfth Night is pretty good, I guess, but it's really weirdly shot for a movie. The set is very stage-like, not really movie-like at all--it looks like a set, whereas most movies try to disguise the fact that their set is a set. If that makes sense. Ther…

Oh, the torment bred in the race...

The kids I babysit are adorable and very nice. Occasionally difficult, but aren't all kids? If kids are a little difficult sometimes, that just means they're smart. Would you really want some robot of a kid who obeys your every command?

...Well, maybe some parents would. Case in point: my dad is washing dishes while I dry them. He is dissatisfied with the speed at which I am drying the dishes (though I'm not getting in his way). He says: "You know, if you had a drill sergeant breathing down your neck, you might consider going a little faster." Me: "Well, luckily I don't have a drill sergeant breathing down my neck, then. The dishes aren't going anywhere fast."

I firmly believe that you can't run a family like you run the military. Which brings me to the topic for today's post: "be yourself." Someone I follow on twitter tweeted a link to their blogpost "Be yourself? What do you think that really means?" I tweeted a cyni…

In Defense of Slytherin ;)

Ravenclaws are smart, love to learn, and value knowledge above all. Hufflepuffs are loyal, hardworking, honest, and accepting. Gryffindors are brave -- sometimes reckless -- and value courage. And now for the House everyone seems to hate (though admittedly, there are good reasons for its reputation):


Ambitious, cunning, resourceful, with "a certain disregard for rules" -- these qualities describe members of Slytherin House. And as Hagrid (incorrectly) said in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, "there's not a witch or wizard went bad that wasn't in Slytherin." Founded by Salazar Slytherin, it has included Tom Riddle/Voldemort (Dark Lord), Bellatrix Lestrange (Death Eater), and Lucius Malfoy (rich, arrogant ass).

However, it has also included Phineas Nigellus (Hogwarts Headmaster, if a rather unpleasant person), Horace Slughorn (the quintessential college professor), Draco Malfoy (sympathetic if foolish and master of the Elder Wand), Narcissa Malfoy (th…

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest--Ask the Teens

I'm really sorry to have missed the first page critique. Vacation, you know. We just got back home at 11 last night, so bear with me.

Today the other participants and I will be answering questions submitted by readers about YA lit, what teens prefer, how teens read, etc. I am grateful for a chance to answer these kinds of questions. Often, when I read the blogs of agents and editors, they'll make broad, assumptive, and/or high-and-mighty statements about young adults and young adult literature--to which my indignant reaction is, "That's not true!" Or at least, not as true as they seem to believe.

So, we have four questions from Jess, which I will endeavor to answer. :)

1.) Middle grade novels are defined as books for the 8-12 age range. Do teens still read middle grade fiction as they get older (for example, Harry Potter is an example of middle grade that's read by teens and adults) or are they naturally attracted to books with older themes and characters? Is it…

Spending the 4th in Mississippi

This year, I'm spending July 4th with my grandparents in Mississippi. Here, you can get REAL (read: dangerous) fireworks, unlike the pissy little sparklers they limit you to in Maryland.

The fireworks were actually an anticlimax this year, but who cares--I've been in a nearly constant state of geekout since Saturday. I WENT TO FAULKNER'S HOUSE!!! (the one in Oxford, near University of Mississippi--or as the locals call it, Ole Miss). No better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to visit the home of a legendary American novelist...unless you follow up that visit with lunch at the Ajax Diner, home of the most orgasmically tasty mac-an-cheese on the face of the planet. NO SERIOUSLY. IT IS AMAZING. I had a sausage po-boy sandwich and stole my mom's mac-an-cheese. They also had amazing salads, classics like chicken and dumplings and catfish, AND an extensive vegetarian menu.

And just when you're thinking you can't POSSIBLY top that...there's Square Books. It…

TWSB--On Reading, Romance, and my YA pet peeves

"Read, read, read. Read everything." - William Faulkner

What I just finished: 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King *shiver*
What I'm reading now: Longitude by Dava Sobel; The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie; Across the Wall by Garth Nix; Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
On my reading list for later: The Count of Monte Cristo, Four Plays by Oscar Wilde, and Vanity Fair. What can I say, Barnes and Noble had a deal on classics--buy two get one free. Whether and when I will actually finish them is another question.
Favorite genre: I like epic fantasy, but there's surprisingly little of it in YA. Perhaps the People in Charge think teens can't handle the complexity or the length, or something. Who knows. I read an interview with Tamora Pierce, author of many YA fantasy quartets--she was asked why she'd switched to writing pairs of books instead of quartets. Her dryly humorous answer was that Harry Potter had proved kids were willing a…