Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spiffy New Look

In time for the A to Z Blogging Challenge beginning April 1st, I did some housecleaning and created a new look for my blog.

Any accolades?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Got motivation? Can you spare me some?

I think of blogging topics all the time. Too bad I'm usually picking up a gallon of milk or cleaning out the kitty litter when I do.

I need motivation but I am fresh out of snarling dogs.

To that end, I signed up for Alex J. Cavanaugh's A to Z Blogging Challenge.
His SciFi novel, CassaStar is lighting up the bestseller lists at Amazon.

His challenge is to blog a letter of the alphabet every day of the month of April with Sundays off. It begins April 1st with the letter A and ends April 30 with the letter Z.

Motivation, here I come. Huffing and puffing to be sure, but as Rooster Cogburn says, with grit teeth.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Review – The Wise Man’s Fear

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

My interest in this novel began after downloading the first free chapter. I read five pages then bought the Kindle version.

In little more than four chapters, I knew this book was ‘antique oak bookshelf’ worthy, fit to be alongside my most beloved of novels. I purchased the binding and paper version to rest beside LOTR.

The Wise Man’s Fear is second in the series and does not disappoint. Too often, when I begin a new book, I get bored, irritated and start skipping whole paragraphs then whole pages. Mr. Rothfuss wrote in such a way, with voice, drama, and subtle descriptions that I skimmed nothing. Filled with bits and pieces of mysteries, tail ends of questions for the reader, I find this style fascinating to the nth degree.

Congratulations to Mr. Rothfuss on writing a truly fine series and achieving the NYT bestseller list.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is it YA or Adult?

YA vs Adult

When I was a kid, I read books independent of my English teacher’s assignments. Novels like Tom Jones, The Three Musketeers, and Bambi.

None of these is exactly youth oriented. Yeah, you look at Bambi and may disagree but try reading it. Then you’ll see. And btw, Tom Jones is hilarious.

By today’s standards, these books are incomprehensible to kids. Pick up a modern YA, judge the dialogue and literary writing for yourself, and tell me this isn’t so.

So what’s happened? Was I especially gifted? *insert belly laugh here* Or are today's young people unable to digest weightier tomes like The Call of the Wild, White Fang, or Burning Daylight by Jack London?

Too much Graphic Novels? Sound bites in book form?

Or do we expect too little from them?

Whatever the reason, it perplexes me when I see ‘unrealistic narrative’ in a critique of a YA. Or, damn an author because their novel doesn’t follow an unwritten, incomprehensible rule that shifts in the wind according to the moral whims of the critic.

Kids have brains. Some folks don’t give them enough credit for what they can absorb. The youth’s literary base should be as broad as the sky and never, ever slotted in a hole just because of their age.

(One caveat: I am speaking literary here. I do believe graphic sex acts and gore should be in the adult section.)

Expect the universe, encourage their intelligence, and assume they can do anything. Don’t limit them to slang and jargon, pictures and a format in their reading menu. Bring out Pride and Prejudice, Plato’s Republic, and Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Mars Freedman.

Let them breathe. Let them expand.

Whatcha think?
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