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Showing posts from 2011

An interesting review about Anne Frank

I picked this one up for my blog, because as an English teacher, this is almost a requirement for students, at varying levels. This would be a great companion book for teachers, to help understand the content and the issues that come up on the page and in the classroom.

Winter Solstice

Today is a spiritual day, the darkest day of the year. This is the first time I am spending a Solstice/Christmas as a married lady! So I have a lot to be grateful for this holiday. I remember a lot more snow on the ground last season, it was up to my waist and now there's only a few patches here and there. I got the deer for this Yule tree because it seemed to tell a little story--and although we celebrate the season and the spirit of the holiday, we are not denominational--we have a tree and it was looking a little bare underneath so I arranged this tiny tableau to make it look like the two deer were resting, and safe, under a tree like they like to do in the wild--mostly in the summer. And that's what Solstice is, a reminder that the Holly King has gone to sleep, and though the days seem dark now, Light and Summer always come back.

Rare Books Burn In Egypt

And this is what led to the Dark Ages. One could argue that with ultra conservatism and the "death of literature" as the English language is being destroyed by text messages and instant messaging, can one truly compare the two? Is burning books the same as dumbing down our texts and emails to a series of abbrviations and numbers? That's the the first thing I thought of when I saw this article.

Flash Fiction #1

Here is my first attempt at Flash Fiction Fridays. I really enjoyed this excercise, (for me, that's what it was) and I think I'll keep doing this! I think 500 words is the limit, mine comes in just under 400. Just a brief note: I know the subject may not be new, but the words are all mine.



Irving sewed the last thread in place, tugging on the thick black suture, snapping it with his teeth. A black jagged mouth laced its way vertically down the middle of her chest, effectively silencingthe mouth-slit he had made. Out of impulse, he pressed his ear onto the wound, listening for the sound.The clockwork heart he had placed within her empty and cold breast began to tick, softly. Satisfied, he stood up, peeling off his bloody latex gloves. Pushing his glasses up onto his nose, he smiled at his work, his latest creation. Eve III.
The first was too afraid, too timid, she ran away screaming and naked from his touch. He recoiled from the memory…

Almost the end of the semester!

I haven't been on here as often as I like, due in part to the end of the semester. Students and the day job comes first, and then the writing. Then the blog. I'll have a lot more time when the semester ends in two weeks, so my posts will be more sporadic until then. In the meantime, I've collected reams of material and read about a million books. I'm behind I know, but I have to pay the bills! Talk to you all soon!

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Before I start the baking, I wanted to list a few things I am thankful for. Everyday I give thanks for my husband, because without him I don't know where I'd be. If I hadn't had the bad experiences that I've had in my life, I would never have met him, but I still can't make myself completely grateful for some of this shit I've gone through. But, here's a list of things I'm thankful for. It started out as 10 and evolved to 20.

1. My husband.
2. Paper books and the authors who write them
3. Music
4. Kindle
5. My four furry children
6. The internet
7. My writing, and my imagination that fuels it.
8. Hope that things will get better
9. A day job that I love (most of the time!)
10. The First Amendment and all my freedoms as an American
11. My individuality and creaticity
12. My Wiccan nature/faith/spirituality
13. Women everywhere
14. Zombie movies
15. Trash TV and soap operas because where would I be without my not-so-guilty pleasures?
16. My Master's …

Some thoughts on Anne McCaffery

I wanted to write my own tribute to the passing of Anne McCaffery. Like other writers and readers who posted about her passing I wanted to add my own contribution. This was sad news to hear, because some of her books were influential to me, not as much as a writer but definitely as a reader.
It's very difficult, in my opinion, to be a successful sci-fi writer. Sci-fi is a difficult genre to master, and Anne McCaffery did it--AND did it in a way that was enormously successful. What was also unique about her is that she was writing in the genre during a time when sci-fi was mostly dominated by the boy's club. One of the things that one sees a lot in sci-fi, unfortunately, is a lack of believable and realistic female characters you like to root for, or in roles in which women are typically wives, mothers, and the emphasis on their importance in the story has only to do with their reproductive qualities. Sadly, this trend still exists today. But Ms.McCaffery was one of the first,…

Friday Reads

I almost never buy a book this fast, but after reading just the first few pages as a sample, I headed right over to amazon to download it to my kindle. I love new book day! It's like getting presents from yourself. Now, I have: Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, The Poison Diaries by Mayrose Wood, and Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead. I have no idea where to start, its a buffet of literary goodness!

Links?Blog What You Write About

Blog What You Write About:
Fox New Anchor Megan Kelly apparently thinks getting your period equals abortion:
--Who here can tell me what Critical Thinking means?

This Blog has endless helpful and useful advice for writers seeking representation, querying, publishing and editing--and more!

Ms Magazine asks: What Would Make "Whitney" Worth Watching?

I could ask the same thing of "New Girl". Even if I have a mini-crush on Zooey Dechanel, and even look like her a little, there's not much I can get out of that program, either.

Excellent Essay on the Writing Life: link to Christine Rose's blog:

Friday Reads

Friday Reads is a weekly meme supported by readers and other bookish folk from all over the world where everyone posts what they are reading this week. I love seeing what people from all over are reading, it not only gives me ideas on what to read if I'm ever stuck, inspires me to read something I may not have picked up otherwise, expands both my reading powers (which are already pretty powerful) and strengthens by own writing. This week I'm tackling: some old favorite for inspiration and comfort, and some new friends.
I'm finishing Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton
I'm re-reading "Paint it Black" by Janet Fitch because I can't sty away. Plus the #fridaylistens audible version is narrated by Jennifer Jason Leigh!!
I'm starting: "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler and I'm also starting "Night Veil" by Yasmine Galenorn. 
Linky Goodness!
Well Read, a Reader's Retreat
Arts in t…

Friday Reads

Friday Reads is a weekly meme supported by readers and other bookish folk from all over the world where everyone posts what they are reading this week. I love seeing what people from all over are reading, it not only gives me ideas on what to read if I'm ever stuck, inspires me to read something I may not have picked up otherwise, expands both my reading powers (which are already pretty powerful) and strengthens by own writing. This week I'm tackling:

I've only read the first few paragraphs, but wow, I think I'm going to enjoy this. It's full of magic, which can be really tricky to write, but I'm confident this is going  to be a great read. Ms. Galenorn has a pretty intense following of loyal readers, and hopefully by the end of this, I'll be one of them!

Literary notes of interest that I've hand-picked for this week:
Movie Trailer: The Rum Diary

Top 10 Pick Up Lines to Use on a Girl Reading on an E-Book Reader

Movies from Books: I Don'…

Friday Reads

Friday Reads is a weekly meme supported by readers and other bookish folk from all over the world where everyone posts what they are reading this week. This week I'm tackling:
For some reason, I like the book covers from different countries better. The US book cover is too computer generated looking for me. This is more like how I pictured Georgia Kincaid to look. One of the great things about this succubus series is that the main character of Georgia Kincaid is a character you can't wait to hang out with, much like Anita Blake in Laurel K Hamilton's books. Or Raylene in Cherie Priest's "Bloodshot". (I can't wait until the second installment in the Cheshire Red Reports, coming out September 6th!!)
Needless to say, I can't wait ntil I get to hang out with Georgia later tonight!

Friday Reads

Friday Reads is a weekly meme supported by readers and other bookish folk from all over the world where everyone posts what they are reading this week. This week I'm tackling:

I am addicted to this author and this series. I haven't made my way to the Bloodlines series yet, but like Laurel K. Hamilton and other authors I think are mega talented, once I read something I like, I have to read everything they've written.
A YouTube response to the Facebook "I Hate Reading" page:
Blaze Romances:
Have you joined the #scriptchat gang on FB yet?
Why to avoid Publish America:
Vachel Lindsay, performance poet

The Writer's Cafe Daily is out!

Trailer Thursdays, Writing Prompt and Links

Movie Trailer: The Woman in Black

Casting for The Company You Keep and The Gray Man

Top 10 lists for Book to Film Adaptations:

Macmillan: Videos for All These THings I've Done: (Birthright): Books: Gabrielle Zevin

Writing Prompt:
On August 18, 1817, a special committee was set up to collect evidence for the Gloucester Sea Serpent, which according to witnesses was between 80 to 100 ft. in length, with "a head as broad as a horse." Who doesn't enjoy a good lock ness monster story? Many writers begin writing with questions, the biggest of which is: "What if?" Who or What was the Gloucester Sea Serpent? Many times in doing research on a subject I find …

Writer Wednesday

Juicy linky goodness! Awesome links for today plus a writing excercize, mostly because I had a friend complaining of writer's block today.

Excercise to banish writer's block:
I've used this excercise before in my own blocked moments, and in my classes. I'm a huge fan of the cut up.
Write a bio of yourself in about a paragraph (that's 5-7 sentences). Cut the paragraphy down to individual words. Mix and match.You'll be surprised what you come up with--a completely different life history! You can do this with newspaper articles, magazines, old books you don't mind cutting up, poems, whatever...

In other news:
Book banning continues in VA:

BookLamp Launches a Pandora For Books

How NOT to open a novel is here.(tip 'o the hat to James Scott Bell)

Links Galore for Teaser Tuesday!

Pennie Picks The Hangman's Daughter

Bluestockings Re-Opened in NYC

Your Child's Writing Life

Story Ideas: Culled from Twitter: Doesn't this seem like a GREAT story idea?

Five Tips for Writing Erotica:

Ms. Review of "The Help"

Blog What You Write About: Tide thinks your daughter is a big old lesbo because she plays with blocks and wears camo:

Re-imagining Angels: Paranormal Romance Blog: Michele Hauf

Visions of Magic: The Awakening by Regan Hastings Review

I think its interesting the stuff you learn about yourself when you become a blogger/reviewer/professional reader.

For instance, in the case of this review, I've learned that I have more to say about books I dislike than books I love, which is a little weird, but I think someone once said you remember bad experiences more because they cause you so much grief you remember suffering more than happiness. And that's what I remember from this book: suffering.
Don't get me wrong, I don't like trashing books, or authors.Most people know once I start a book I can't abandon it, I have to read it all the way through.
I admit that from about the middle of the book on, I had to scan instead of read. It was a way to appease my conscience and "leave no book behind" policy.
The plot was thin. The characters were cardboard cuttouts. There was no danger, no sypmthay, no empathy, no ticking clock. I couldn't care about the characters, which were vague and one dimen…

Trailer Thursday (8)

Book News: Samuel L. Jackson Narrates "Go the F*** to Sleep"
I discovered Richelle Mead quite by accident. Sort of. I'd heard of her through different blogs and tweets, but never persued her until I saw a book staring at me (of all places) in the grocery store. So I picked it up. And I am so intensely glad that I did. I really believe she's one of the best authors to come into the paranormal fantasy/romance urban fantasy genre. It's a hard genre to write, I know, because I'm a writer too. It's so hard to avoid seeming too cutesy or cliche or self-deprecating in this genre, yet still maintain a style people can read and feel well-read at the same time. Put her on your wish list, to buy now list, kindle list, or challenge list, and I assure you you'll love spending time with this character!

Teaser Tuesday (7)

"Visions of Magic: The Awakening" by Regan Hastings

Teaser: "Sometimes safety was the open road and a cold wind at your back."

I have to admit I'm having trouble getting going with this one, but I'm pushing through to see if the enormous potential it promises will deliver.

In Other Literary News, here are some links culled from the Internet of interest to writers and readers both:

Some of my favorite writers recently convened to, shall we say, match wits. Read all about it here:

Wits: Minnesota Public Radio

BLog What You Write About: Plot/Story Ideas

Orna Ross'S Journey of Writing Novel online

Blog What You Write About: Story Elements…

Monday Morning Pages (5)

Many things to share today, including cool blogs, interesting links and a writing exercise.

Jump over to Ethan O. Roses's blog to read some free stories and get some insight into writing  on flash fiction--it could inspire you to challenge yourself!
Erotica writer and sexpert Susie Bright's Daily is out over at I've been reading and listening to Susie Bright since the late 90's, so long she's like an old friend. Not for the faint of heart.
More free e-books! Twitter was all a-tweet with links this weekend. Christine Rose is the YA author of the bestselling Rowan of the Wood series. Read her books, then send her some love! Writing exercise. Try writing a scene based on a generic conflict scenario, that you can then tailor to your own particular writing style. A great place to mine for these scenarios are places like Dear Abby or Miss Manners, in which people write to the columnists with various problems or conflicts that need resolving. The responses of the co…

Writing Ideas

Even though I traditionally use Thursdays as a spot for exploring books to media, such as movies or tv series, I'd like to start posting interesting links that make for good stories, or could serve as ideas for characters, monologues, short stories, 10-minute or one act plays, or other writerly endeavors. Here's the first!

Women Priests Ordained in Maryland | Women's Interviews - The Daily Femme

Teaser Tuesday (7)

My selection this week is "The Edge of Grace" by Christa Allen. The book blurb goes like this: "A family ultimately explores the struggle of acceptance, the grace of forgiveness, and moving from prejudice to loving others as they are, not as we'd like them to be." 
The story intrigues me because I don't normally, as a rule, read Christian themed books, (I do read and accept GLBTQ literature) but this one promises to be a slight departure from mainstream Christian fiction. I have no quotes from the book yet, but if the book blurb is correct, I'll be seeing if it promises what it delivers. If I encounter "we hate anyone who isn't like us" kind of prejudices with no turnaround or reversal at the end where the character realizes they've been mean and judgmental the whole time, then I promise a scathing review. If this novel does deliver acceptance between beginning and end, I will be one happy blogger. So we'll see, won't we? =)

Monday Morning Pages

Using fairy tales, myths, legends, songs and urban legends are a great way to get themuse invited in, start or end a story, or to get a stuck story going again. Resources abound all over the internet, but I find that is a fun place to start because it blends humor with information (sort of) and everything, including urban legends themselves, should be taken with a grain of salt. Pick one of these stories and start writing. The legend itself will give you your outline for you. It will help flex unused writing muscles, or help unstick you if you get stuck on a different story. The point is, a writer writes.

Teaser Tuesday (6)

In this week's teaser Tuesday, there are so many great quotes, I've taken my favorites from around the web. 
The Book: "Halfway to the Grave" by Jeaniene Frost
"I'm saying that I'm a moody, insecure, narrow-minded, jealous, borderline homicidal bitch, and I want you to promise me that you're okay with that, because it's who I am, and you're what I need." 

"Don't kiss me like a woman if you're going to treat me like a child." 
"He looked at the box with interest. 'Well, well. Five speeds. Heat and massage. Deep, penetrating action. Sure this isn't yours?" 

Trailer Thursday (7)

Lots of info culled from the Internet on this week's Trailer Thursday. Trailer Thursday highlights what's going on in the literary world when it mixes with tv, movies and other media. 

This Weekend on Book TV: BookExpo America

Cool Idea of the Day: Critiques to Help Victims

Casting Book-to-Film Adaptations: It's Personal

DIY Authors Turn Out for Pre-BEA Event

Carrie Remake Gives Stephen King the Creeps

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme sponsored by Breaking the Spine in which bloggers, authors and other bookish folk talk about books they are highly anticipating.

This week, an exciting anthology of kick-ass women and their heroines due for release on June 7th, 2011. One of the staples of the urban fantasy genre is a heroine who is strong independent and, to use a buzz word, nothing short of fierce, so it makes sense to dedicate a whole volume of work to these strong women and the women who write them. 

Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine, Chicks Kick Butt features original stories from thirteen authors, eleven of whom are New York Times bestsellers: - Rachel Caine (with a story from her bestselling Weather Wardens universe) - L.A. Banks - Rachel Vincent - Karen Chance - Lilith Saintcrow - Cheyenne McCray - Susan Krinard - Jeanne Stein - Jenna Black - Susan Krinard - Jeanne Stein - Jenna Black - Elizabeth Vaughan - Carole Nelson Douglas - P.N. Elrod - Nancy Holder

Teaser Tuesday (5)

"His voice was soft and sweet as molasses; but my mother once told me that you had to trust that the first thing out of a person's mouth was truth. After they have a chance to think about it, they'll change what they say to be more socially acceptable, something they think you'll be happier with, something that will get the results they want." 

Trailer Thursday (6)

This week in the book related TV, Audio and Movie news:
Television: Villains of All Nations

Audible has launched ACX, the Audiobook Creation Exchange, that allows "any professionally published book, new or old, to become a professionally produced audiobook." The site links authors, publishers and agents with narrators and studios who work in a variety of ways: deals and contracts have several structures. Audio titles that evolve from ACX are distributed by Audible (including Amazon and iTunes) for at least seven years, either exclusively or nonexclusively. Authors can also narrate their own works. (Check out a video about this audio venture here.)

ACX was launched in part because of "the tremendous demand for audiobooks created by the growth of the digital audiobook sector," which is regularly the second-fastest-growing category next to e-books in the Association of American Publisher monthly sales reports. Noting that the average Audible members listens to close to …

Teaser Tuesday (4)

I've been having a hard time getting into "Boneshaker". I'm being patient because this is really my first steampunk novel. Yes, I'm a steampunk virgin. Let me say though, that my hard time is more due to a time constraint and other pesky life things getting in the way than any animosity towards the characters or the writing. I AM getting married in 5 weeks, so I'm trying to cut myself some slack. But I came across this quote, from the author Cherie Priest herself about "Boneshaker" and not from the book itself, but I thought it was funny and relevant, so here it is. Her quote alone makes me want to keep reading, especially since I haven't gotten to the zombie part yet....
"OMG YOU GUYS it has come to my attention that SOMEONE on the internet is saying that my fictional 19th century zombies are NOT SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND. Naturally, I am crushed. To think, IF ONLY I’d consulted with a zombologist or two before sitting down to write, I could’ve …

Friday Reads (4)

Friday Readsis a weekly meme supported by readers and other bookish folk from all over the world where everyone posts what they are reading this week. This week I'm tackling: One of the best lines from this book: "Dolls with no little girls around to mind them were sort of creepy under any conditions." Dolls do have a creep factor to them, don't they?Often used as metaphors for women and girls, I think dolls can be as creepy as clowns in that they sort of represent something that is unknown in us, a archetype or an empty vessel that can hold our fears and contain that which is broken in us...
3500 Pounds will be back next week some reviews and writing updates and other fun stuff, so stay tuned! 

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Here's my teaser for today, and here's the link for this weekly host at Should Be Reading which posts the rules. 
"You say that like I have a choice. These are the ideas that come to me. These are the ideas that have always come to me. If it can bleed me,eat me, or fuck me, I want to write about it. -L.K. on why she writes about sex and monsters in 'Flirt' Afterword

Friday Reads (4)

Friday Readsis a weekly meme supported by readers and other bookish folk from all over the world where everyone posts what they are reading this week. This week I'm tackling:

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme sponsored by Breaking the Spine in which bloggers, authors and other bookish folk talk about books they are highly anticipating.

Today I take a slight departure from both National Poetry Month and my usual waiting on wednesday fare to something a little different than my normal urban fantasy/paranormal romance/young adult genres. I do love to read the occasional memoir, especially of women, so I was interested and curious when I came across "The Last of the Live Nude Girls" by Sheila McClear. 
I'm facinated by the lives and stories of women who have lived and worked in the sex industry. I'm a huge advocate for a dialogue about sex in this country, and I think we need more first hand accounts of what its really like in the trenches, so to speak. It's a really tenuous line to cross and the debate circles around in several circles: is sex work empowering or degrading to women? Can it/is it both? I can't wait to see what Ms. Mc…

Trailer Thursday (4)

In the spirit of National Poetry Month, I'd like to post some excerpts of poetry slams, one of my very favorite types of poetry. Love it!

Poet Profile: Eileen Myles

Poet Eileen Myles brings moments out of time and shows the reader, through the particular lens of her perspective, the significance of that moment, or sometimes a shared universal experience in matters like love, war and death. Many of these moments can be found in her volume of poetry, School of Fish. In this volume of poetry, she brings to the reader personal moments of experience.
The moments Myles presents in her poems range from the dark explorations of the possible reasons behind her father’s suicide, to the more mundane: sitting on a park bench watching her dog chase geese in a park.
She writes of stripes of light, of her dog Rosie and city animals; she writes of water and homeless men; she writes of her father and food; she writes of being a lesbian and what it might be like if she were a man. In this collection, Myles states her poetic manifesto in The Lesbian Poet. She writes about her identity as a lesbian poet, and the responsibilities she has to both men and women. In many of …

Morning Pages (4) National Poetry Month

What is National Poetry Month? 
National Poetry Month is a month long poetry party celebrating poets and poetry, began in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. The concept of NPM is to gain some attention to individual poets and poetry in general to the media, to what poetry is, and to celebrate living and dead poets. The goals of NPM are to bring notice to the accomplishments of the American poets, expose more people to the awesomeness of reading (and watching, and performing) poetry, expose poetry to the public, make poetry more important in our education system, increase poetry sales, and encourage people of all ages to write their OWN poetry. This week I'll be posting some poetry themed teasers and audio and video clips highlighting my favorite poets and poetry.