Thursday, July 30, 2009

Writer's Conferences

Getting involved in the book blog and reviewing world was a piece to my puzzle that encouraged me to go after my lifelong dream of writing a novel. I read a statistic somewhere that 8 out of 10 Americans want to write a book. I wonder what is stopping them from trying. I know what my reasons were, and I know now that those reasons were not good enough to take time to do something I love.

When you read lots of good books, develop relationships with authors, agents and publishers, you are going to naturally want to write well if you are going to write at all. My suggestion would be to attend a Writer's Conference.

I was lucky enough to attend a writer's conference at a local university about a month and a half ago. I was nervous and excited to share my work in progress with other aspiring authors, but other than that I didn't really know what to expect. What I found was a community of amazing people who want each and every person who has the desire to write, to write their best -- whether that leads to publishing or not. It was one of the singular most wonderful experiences of my life.

I met amazing people, authors, agents, editors who work in the buisness and take time out of their busy lives to attend these conferences to teach and encourage others to join in the ranks. I have since teamed up with the amazing women in my class (my class happened to be all women. I think it had something to do with it being the chic-lit/romance class) and joined a writer's group, so I can continue to hone my craft.

I could go on and on about specific people that I met, classes that inspired me, and how excited I am to attend next year -- but that would make this post VERY long. What I can say is, if you have ever wanted to write START! And if you want to hone your craft, find a conference near you! You will love it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Books on the Big Screen - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

It has been forever since I have posted anything, and a big part of that is I have not had time to read much. I was prepping for my Harry Potter pre-movie party. And let me tell you that took a lot of my time!

One thing I will do periodically is give my review of how the movie biz interprets some of my favorite books.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is perhaps my favorite book in the entire series. I love how much information we get about Voldemort, what Harry has to do, and how in depth it is. I love seeing the struggle in Draco Malfoy. Previously he was just a git. Now we see a bit of his internal struggles and why he is the way he is. Professor Snape starts to take a new role and JK Rowling does an INCREDIBLE job with giving you more information, but still not being clear about his true character.

With all of this in mind the previews for the movie looked action packed and as if it would contain all of that vital information we get in the books. Sadly, I was dissapointed in that aspect. It very lightly skims the information that we need, or completely skips it, or messes it up with a line from a character that isn't better explained (ie. "How do you know if something is a horcrux professor?" "It could be any old thing laying around." technically yes, but Dumbledore went on to explain his theories on what Voldemort sought out as his Horcruxes, because they weren't just any old objects!).

What WAS shown was done very well. The inferi were terrifying, Dumbledore was more relateable, the acting was better, the direction was better, etc. I just think the screenplay needed a lot of help. More focus on the important things and less on the humor.

Oh and the kiss with Ginny was very anti-climactic. I mean really, Daniel Radcliffe now needs lifts in his shoes when doing scenes with the Ginny actress. Sigh.

What did you think?

Friday, July 10, 2009

TBR Pile

Well as you can see I haven't had much time for reading lately, so my TBR pile is getting bigger and bigger. Darn that pile! Here are a few books I have on there that I hope to finish soon and review for you.

MY FAIR GODMOTHER by Janette Rallison
BREATHLESS by Jessica Warman (Pub date September)

What's in your pile???

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

For all of you out there who might read this, I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review: SUN, MOON, ICE AND SNOW by Jessica Day George

by Jessica Day George
336 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Bloomsbury

Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

I have had the great opportunity to meet Jessica Day George on several occasions. She is a blast, and such an inventive person. You can feel the creativity flowing out of her. I absolutely LOVED her novel PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL, so I bought and read this book when I saw her at an author event (photo on right is from that event).

I really really liked this book! I can tell that George put a lot of love and research into this one. It reminded me a lot of George's voice in Midnight Ball combined with more of a Shannon Hale feeling, because of the lesser known story and setting.

There were elements to this story that my brain said "pay attention to that" but it couldn't figure out why until it was revealed. I like that in a book. If the plot can keep me guessing in a good way and surprise me with the answer that is a great thing!

**gets a bit spoilery here...**

My ONLY complaint has nothing to do with what George has done here!

My complaint is that I watched a really really badly done cheap movie of a story about a young girl who goes off to live with a bear, who is really a prince, and she's not supposed to look at his face and she messes up and so the witch takes him away and she goes to save him from having to marry the witch. Not EXACTLY the same story, but pretty similar with a few elements twisted around. I assume it is one of the stories that George based this novel on.

Having seen that really bad movie that made me laugh at the ridiculous effects even when I couldn't turn it off because the story was interesting kind of messed with my pleasure in reading this, because elements that should not have been predictable were (like the fact that looking at the "nightly visitor"s face was a bad idea).