Friday, June 28, 2013

Feature and Follow #28



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This weeks Question:

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

For me, there's nothing like the feel of a book in your hand. I know my bag or purse feels lonely, like a giant cave, without a book to inhabit it. I don't understand why more people don't carry books with them. I always have a hard copy book with me, just like I always have a notebook and pen. 

But I like the convience of my Kindle. Honestly what I carry with me depends on what my reading goal for the month is, or challenges I'm working on and which book I was able to purchase on Kindle, and which I had to order through the library. So the answer is both. As long as I get that story! 

 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Feature and Follow #27

 Gain New Blog Followers

I love activities! This week's blog hop activity is to create a poem using the spines of your TBR pile.

Here's the pic:
Fifth Ave., 5 am
Elphame's Choice was to Wither
with the Raven Boys
Hidden and Eternally Yours, Hidden in a
Midsummer Night's Scream, I Sweep into
Letting Ana Go




Saturday, June 1, 2013

Armchair BEA Genre: From Kindergarten to Tween

Thinking about the books I grew up with as a kid is one of my most fondest memories of growing up. These books were (are) my friends, and I know I can say that here and not feel weird. If I say that around non-bookish people, you get the looks. If you say that around book people, you get understanding nods.

I have say I don't remember much of early childhood books, I do remember flipping through books of fairy tales and the Little Golden Books and being absolutely entranced, fascinated, and even at that small age, I attempted my own crude preschool attempts at writing. This was pre-Disneyification of girlhood, so thankfully I wasn't immersed in the world of Disney princesses--but the REAL princesses from Hans Christen Anderson and the Brothers Grimm and all the varieties in between. My absolute favorite was "East O the Sun, West 'O the Moon":

 

By the end of 1st grade, I was reading the classics: Black Beauty, Treasure Island, stuff like that. I still believe in the classics and fairy tales as wonderful gateway in which to experience the great minds and adventures of this world.
When I got older, 3rd and 4th grade, I would have to say Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables would be the essential reading for girls that age--they were certainly influential on me.I loved the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Lucy Maud Montgomery defying the conventions at the time by being writers when the world and society at the time were telling them to say home and embrace more traditional roles. A young feminist in the making!  Little did I know that in my adult years, I would become more like LIW and live in the country in a tiny rural town and write about my experiences as well....


 



 

The next stage in my growing up would be the Judy Blume stage. I can't tell you how many times I must have read and re-read her books in middle school. Especially these:



This should be required reading for all young girls, in my opinion. I didn't even find out until college these books were banned because of "graphic" depictions of masturbation and talks about (gasp!) periods and other icky girl stuff. People are really uptight. It's a fact of life, girls need to know about it, get over it.

So finally we enter the Tween stage, which is where I pretty much got into all things Sci Fi and Fantasy. I read some of those books before, and had written my own little stories about a girl who can travel through space, but I didn't get really hardcore into it until the end of middle school and beginning of high school in which I devoured all things Mercedes Lackey, the Dragonlance series, many graphic novels (that's when Neil Gaiman's Sandman series first took off), Charles de Lint, and Ursula Le Guin, among many, many others.  The library was my friend. And still is.





This was a lovely little trip down memory lane!




ArmchairBEA: Non-fiction Edition Day 4 (a day late)

I don't write a lot of posts from my phone, so I hope this goes well. I'm currently sleepless in Salt Lake, on a medical trip, 4 hours from home. It's the second stage in trying to discover what's going on with me.
I'm on summer break now, but August through May I'm an English teacher, so I read a lot of non-fiction by default, and a lot of it is either grammatical "how-to" mechanics, or how to cite in MLA format. Some of these are required for college writers, but I wanted to make the readings somewhat interesting, so I'm currently using Best American Essays (college edition) and Stephen King's memoir, "On Writing."
My most used phrase when it comes to teaching English is: "Writing is a measurement of how you think." That's the value in non fiction: to see how others perceive the world around them and, hopefully, add our thoughts, musings and contributions.
Genres:
Feminism
American Essay
Memoir


Favorites in the Feminism Genre:


 BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch MagazineThe Bust Guide to the New Girl Order



Favorites in the American Essay Genre:


 Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of FoodWithout a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class

Favorites in the Memoir: I love to read the (published) diaries and journals of people I love and admire as poets, artists, and here are just a few:

 ValenciaIncest: From a Journal of LoveThe Unabridged Journals of Sylvia PlathDirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 3 Life CHanigng Books and Instagram Challenge

Life changing books and Genre Fiction is the theme for today.

First let me say, I was all set to participate in all days of the #ArmchairBEA virtual conference. However, I've had a serious health diagnosis that I need to address, and I need to take a 5 hour trip out of town. But I wanted to conribute something, perhaps to take my mind off my troubles, and the best way for me to de-stress is to, you got, it, read. And write about it.

It's so hard to pick one book that changed my life. I think all books change you to some extent, that's why we read, isn't it? T0 experience different lives and learn new things? But in the intersts of me having to drive to Salt Lake today, I decided to pick just one. Here's the opening line:


"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."

I've always admired Sylvia Plath's power in her poetry and in what I think might be her best work. I've struggled with many of the same issues (depression, mostly but also a feeling of isolation and difficulty with making connections with people. struggling as a writer striving to be taken seriously) and it always felt like I had a friend in this book. Sylvia Plath has been a literary mentor to me as a writer, and I find my readings of the books have changes as I moved from my teen years, to my 20's and now in my 30's, it's like we're having this lifetime together and it's pretty cool. And the audiobook is wonderful as well. I love Maggie Gyllenhaal's voice as the narrator. I have it plugged into my phone as I prepare to face more doctors an tests and an uncertain diagnosis, and so this book is kind of my "binky" right now, if that makes sense.

INSTAGRAM CHALLENGE
The books on the left: mostly Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and some degree of YA or New Adult. Also challenge books from 2 different challenges. One the right are a bunch of old vintage gothic romances from the 60's and 70's (thanks, Ebay!) that I recently have become obsessed over.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Feature and Follow #26





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Q: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book??

  Anything by Francesca Lia Block. Although I have to say all my books on my Challenge and TBR lists are all part of my summer reading (for fun, as opposed to prep work for the semester). But the reason I like FLB as a summer reading choice is because its like all her books take you to this magical endless summer full of Christmas lights hung in the trees, ocean waves, exotic foods, glitter, roller skates, and worlds that literally light up in your hands. She's really a YA writer, but as an adult (and an aspiring YA writer myself) her descriptive powers are amazing and it makes me want to live in the enchanted world of her version City of Angels.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Long Time No Hop #25


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Q: Give us a sneak! What are you reading? Tell us about a fun or fail scene in your current read.

I'm currently reading Beautiful Creatures.  I hope to get through it this weekend. There are a lot more "funs" (I realize that's not a word, just go with it) than "fails" in this book. I just finished the scene where Lena and Ethan dig up Genevive's book from her grave. 

What I like about this book is that it's real. It's been billed as "give this book to fans of Twilight". Well, I have sort of a dim view of Twilight fans, so I would recommend this to people who enjoy YA but also like a little realism and heroines that don't rely on their boyfriends for every blink of an eye.  Another thing I like about this book is that it is remarkably layered with the prejudices of the Deep South and urban fantasy/magical realism. Even though I'm not in the Deep South personally, I can relate because I *am* in a rural area and the prejudices are much the same. Another thing I'm enjoying is that most YA novels are told from the female protagonist POV, and this one is from the male protagonist POV--it's a bit of a "culture shock" for me, if you will, because I don't always relate well to male protagonists in the first person voice. But this one I did, which surprised me, pleasantly. 

If you want to follow me, I hang out on Twitter. A lot. I blog and write about mostly about books and writing, and tweet about the topics I write about. 

 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Feature and Follow #24

 

  FF 2013Button 300x300 Feature & Follow #142

Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you’ve ever read in a book – and how did you react?

 It's hard to select only one so I'll start with the most recent--I just finished "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Greene a week or so ago, and it made me cry. (Spoiler alert coming up so leave now if you don't want to know....go ahead, I'll wait....). When Gus dies, that's not the part I wept at. What got me were all the little things he did as he was falling in love with Hazel, stuff that made me tear up and tell my hubs (as in hint, hint, look how romantic!) how wonderful this teen wonder was.

 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Image of the Day: Bks Xplained

I love this image, but maybe because I'm cynical...

Image of the Day: Bks Xplained

Feature and Follow #24

 

 8474595901 873f4993f4 Feature & Follow #141

 

Q: What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre, or is it a certain type of book?

 Hmm..I think all my pleasures are guilty ones! ;-) It's hard to say, and I know I'm equivocating here, but I think it would have to be comic books...I mean, graphic novels. It's how I discovered the incomparable Neil Gaiman and Sandman series, and a number of other adolescent faves. Favorite brand would definitely have to be the Vertigo line. Comics/Graphics can be really great ways to learn storyboarding for writers. No ink can be wasted!

 

 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Live Stream: Steubenville Rape Trial, Sunday, March 17 - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

They say blog what you write about--and I write a lot about my own experiences with sexual assault, rape and abuse. So I am watching this case closely.  I'll be out today on the mountains, getting away from the computer for a while, but as soon as I'm back, I'll be glued to the screen, to see what happens. I have a lot more to say about this, and I'm sure I'll be thinking about it while we're in the hills today. Sometimes getting out in the fresh air can help with putting my thoughts together--relatively calmly. Or as calm as I ever tend to be!

Live Stream: Steubenville Rape Trial, Sunday, March 17 - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Friday, March 15, 2013

Feature and Follow #23

8474595901 873f4993f4 Feature & Follow #140http://parajunkee.com/category/ff

Activity! Hopefully warm weather for most of us is here soon…so tell us about your favorite outdoor reading spot. Or take a picture.

I went a little artistic with it because we just moved in October, then all the snow came, and although it's pretty spring-like here, the chill is still in the air and we've had snow up until May. In the mountains, it has been known to snow on the Fourth of July. But today is gorgeous, and even though it's not quite time to start working on the yard of our new home, I have my reading spot all picked out--this is a view of our apple tree, horse stables beyond (not ours) and the mountains in the distance. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Feature and Follow # 22

 

 

Confess your blogger sins! Is there anything as a newbie blogger that you’ve done, that as you gained more experience you were like — oops?

 

My biggest newbie blogger sin was exactly like Kathryn's Inbox featured blog today at Parajunkee:

So bless me, fellow bloggers, I have sinned. I have used images that I skimmed from Google images. While I wasn't passing the work off as my own or anything, I still have failed to give credit where credit is due. I was new once upon a time, and I've learned to either give credit or use my own images where I can. So at least I've learned from my mistakes!

I ask humbly for forgiveness!  

I've also learned to make sure I state very clearly what kind of books I review. For example, if someone wants me to review a book and it is clearly listed I don't, for example, review science fiction anymore just for this very reason. If I want real science fiction, I'll go the greats, like Ray Bradbury and Ursula Le Guin. Sadly, I still get requests to read science fiction from people who think they ARE on this level. 

I think that was a rant. But anyway, it's something I've learned not to do! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Thursday Threads #2

So this is a flash fiction meme from  the blog The Weird, the Wild and the Wicked

#ThursThreads - Tying Tales Together for Valentine's Day - Week 58






Here's how it works:
  • The prompt is a line from the previous week's winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • Incorporate the prompt as written anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 7 PM Pacific Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up. ;)
How it benefits you:
  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we're all about promotion - you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 58:


The erotic romance author who loves roses, and has a new release out, Sandra Bunino.


I just want to say--I'm not really in it to win it, so to speak. I just feel like its been too long since I've posted any fiction on my blog, and I just want to get back into the practice again. And I love promoting authors (like the ones mentioned above) and other fiction writers (like the kinds you encounter in these flash fiction deals.) 
Plus it's probably been about a hundred years since I wrote anything for Valentine's Day. 

Here we go!

The Prompt:


“What good does it do?”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors.




BECAUSE IT IS MY HEART
I don’t know if you’ll read this,  but what do I do with your question, when I’m not even sure if I should reply to it at all? I feel like you’ve pierced me on every tender point of my skin, which lies flayed, like something you could bite into.
I know this is dangerous, but who cares? I do, I care. This is my life and this is my heart. My parents can go to hell, they spend so much time talking about it anyway, it’s like they have firsthand knowledge of what its like.
You want to know what good this all does, all this sneaking around, hiding behind emails, not being able to hold hands in public like everyone else? The good it does is this: I’ve scraped my heart raw for you. I’ve been slapped, kicked, punched, spit on, made fun of, called the most vicious names and had complete strangers threaten to kill me, all because I love you. Change comes from letting yourself believe what they say about us is true.
Despite everything, I love you for being yourself. Don’t give up now.  Don’t let them win. We have found each other after lifetimes of being apart, don’t let them take it away, I beg you.





Friday, February 1, 2013

Feature and Follow #21

 

 

Q: What is the first thing you would do if you woke up to find yourself in your favorite book?

 What would I do? I would figure out a way to stay there. Simple! What's not simple? Asking me to choose a book to wake up in. If I absolutely had to--maybe the book worlds of Charles de Lint.

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Asking for Help and Reasoned, Academic Responses!

I know I'm placing myself on the chopping block here, and I kinda wanted to not talk about politics, but I'm having a hard time explaining discrepancy in academic sources to my students. For those who don't know, an academic source should, ideally, not be biased, or contain as little bias as possible. For example, the President clearly said he isn't "taking away everyone's guns", only placing restrictions. I had to point out there are restrictions on the the First Amendment in this class. For example, you can't pass someone else's work as your own. However, there are groups of people that seem to say that the President said the exact opposite--that the President wants to "take away guns".

I tried doing a Google search from a student's perspective, and typed in "Obama taking away guns." I am just not finding information that supports this argument. I see restrictions, I see "curbing gun violence", but I am not seeing any actions being taken to support this position.  

How to explain this gap to my students? I'm trying to show different perspectives in arguments when writing an essay.

My students are college age Intro to English students. 

I'm looking for academic responses, NOT finger pointing, please!

With Sincere Thanks,

Carissa

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feature and Follow #20

 


Q:  What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?

 

A: Everyday by David Leviathan. I read it in one long wonderful, book filled day. This book, to me, is what writing is all about. It's all about getting into other people's heads and walking in their shoes--in this case, quite literally.

Every Day

Friday, January 18, 2013

Feature and Follow #19

  FF 2012 Feature and Follow #132

 

Q:  Who is your favorite villain from a book?

 I like political/cultural villains. Characters who earn my hate and my enmity by being so I did some searching and found a list of villains (from the Telegraph, here, and one caught my

"Fred from The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood Placing America under the yoke of a brutal Christian Taliban would have been bad enough, not to mention reducing all women to whores and baby-factories. Commander Fred really loses sympathy, however, when it emerges that he used to work in marketing. Hiss!"

 

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Theme: #amlistening

#NowPlaying on @8tracks: "Friday Night Chilla Vol.54" at http://8tracks.com/cnouseforaname/friday-night-chilla-vol-54 - Sent from the 8tracks Android app

Feature and Follow #18

 

 

Q: What New Years Blogging or Writing resolution have you placed on yourself?

 

It's really more of a writing resolution for me, and for the first 4 days of the New Year are so far so good. I have a few that I can mention without giving away too many spoilers:

 1) Explore new genres in writing

2) Write more essays, especially in feminism and pop culture

3) Publish quarterly (every 3 months)

4) Write more flash fiction

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Darkness Falls Review





I loved this book. I'm not going to lie, and I'm not going to waste time. Here's what its about:
(from Amazon):
You can run from your past, but it will always catch up.

Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason it never seems to get any easier. She's left behind her days of debauchery to find peace and forgiveness at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There she's uncovered her family's epic history, reclaimed her magickal powers, and met Reyn, whom she dubs "the Viking god. " Just as she settles into her new life, Nastasya learns that her old friends might be in town....

Reuniting with her gorgeous and dangerous ex-best-friend, Innocencio, Nas wonders if she'll ever be truly free of her dark legacy. Is Incy dangerous, power-hungry, and wicked? Or is he the only one who truly understands Nas's darkness? Either way, Nas is desperate to find out who she really is-even if the answer kills her.

WHY I LIKED IT:
1)The main character is someone I can relate to. Someone who struggles with the choices she's made in the past and reconciling them to the person she is in the present. Instead of being whiny, it's real, it's genuine, and I love Nas's sarcastic sense of humor, it really let me get into her head.
2)Positive view on witch craft, and not just floaty spells. Not only does Nas have to learn to control her own power, she has to wrestle with the actual WORK that goes into The Craft. Good to know there are characters out there that aren't handed powers on a silver spoon.
3) I love the love/struggle between Nas and Reyn. It's interesting to watch how someone could fall in love with the Viking who (helped) kill her family, over 400 years ago.
4) I love-love-love all the snippets from Nas's past, and seeing the richness of all the different lives she's lived. It really drew me into the story, and the detail just made it all the more real.
5) Even though Boz and Katy were kinda bad, I still felt bad when they died.

MY ONLY CAVEAT:
I will definitely be reading this whole series, I only regret I started with the 2nd book, now I HAVE to read the whole series!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #5

 

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

This is from my Witchy Books Challenge:
 

1.


2.
3.

I actually never read this book. Seriously.
4.

I'm a new Cate Tiernan convert. Excited to read this!
5.

6.--

7.

8.

9.

10.

There are several more, but this is the TOP TEN! Some are classics, some I've read before but its been a long long time, and I wanted to refresh myself. A very interesting and eclectic witchy mix. 

Not there yet, but a little closer than yesterday

3500 WORDS PER POUND WEEK 9 (I THINK) WRITING So, how’s the writing going? Not that great, but I did just rewrite a chapter of the WIP I’v...