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July 15th, 2009

10:57 pm - "Nicola and Max" WIP Playlist
Playlist.com is a fun toy...and a bad time sink when I'm supposed to be working on my new novel. But, hey, this is the playlist for that novel, to get me in "the mood" so it's not time TOTALLY wasted, right?


Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: "Cry Me a River"- Justin Timberlake

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July 7th, 2009

03:26 am - Ah, the joys of insomnia...

So, I've been meaning to do this for awhile, and well, what else am I going to do at 3am on a work night when I should be sleeping?

Right. So, I am an avid reader, and I read pretty quick, and I thought it might be interesting to track what I've read in the past few months and give a short recounting of what I thought.

Ok, here we go:
Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers: VERY slow start. The character of Peter Wimsey was charming and engaging, but I just didn't feel interested enough to try the rest of the series. It was a bit slow-paced, I think, for modern sensibilities. C+

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre: LOVED this book, until the last 1/4 of the book where it suddenly became (rather implausibly) a blow-em-up action movie (complete with grenades and guns and shit). I also HATED the ending and it's rabid sequel-baiting. I get wanting to build anticipation for the rest of the series, but I firmly believe that each individual book in a series should stand alone and, with the ending this one has, that is SO not the case. Not cool Ann Aguirre. Not cool. A+ for the first part. C- for the last 1/4.

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre: I re-read this book recently and it really is almost impossible to put down. Ann Aguirre is I think a rising star in the SF/F world, and this book is really great. Some issues with a persistent Red-Shirt Syndrome (ie killing off minor characters left and right to show how serious the situation is. Problem with this in books is it's kind of like, 'Wow. The body count's high, but it's not really affecting me because I didn't get to know or care about any of these people before they got eaten/shot/squashed, etc. It got a leetle ridiculous how many people got killed 3 pages after they were introduced.) Really great book, though, and I love the character of Jax. The romance in this is understated but really enjoyable. And the hero is HOT. The deus ex machina ending bugged me a bit, but I liked the "deus" part of it so much I was OK with it. (Although he's not really a god- just an alien). A-/ B+

Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre: Suffers a bit of sequel-itis. IE, Undoing a lot of what was settled in the first book to provide conflict in this book. It's still very fast-paced and enjoyable, though. Feels very SF movie-ish to me. Which I enjoyed. The part on the space station is very evocative of Pitch Black and Aliens. Which is cool. I don't need my SF all stodgy and literary, thanks. One of my favorite minor characters from Grimspace has a much more beefed up role in this one, which made me happy. (Especially because I was picturing him as Zachary Quinto ala Star Trek. V. nice visual). B

Nurk by Ursula Vernon: I love her art and her blog, but this was just too young for me. It's a children's book, though, so I suppose that's fine. DNF (Did Not Finish)

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas: *sigh* I think I just need to give up on Sherry Thomas. She is a brilliant writer. I recognize that. Her prose is beautifully crafted, emotional and evocative. I've tried all three of her books and I just find myself getting annoyed with the characters. I think her characters are just too cold, too stubborn in holding onto the past. And it always seems like they waste YEARS apart instead of talking their problems out. Lack of simple communication is one of my hot button issues for romance novels. This book annoyed me less than Private Arrangments and Delicious. And the couple weren't as bad of people. Just TSTL. And some of the sex scenes squicked me out... actually, I think ALL the sex scenes squicked me out. Or if they didn't they just seemed ridiculous to me. For instance, just how much time can a couple really have for sex in the middle of a siege? I mean, jeez, he was out manning the walls to the point of exhaustion. She was in the surgery handling the wounded. Just where did they really find the time for all that nookie? I had high hopes for this book but it was slow and a little boring, the action in the Swat Valley felt out of place to me, and for all the bullets whizzing by it was oddly unexciting. C-

And that's probably enough to be going on with for now. More to come sometime in the future. :)


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June 26th, 2009

06:43 pm - Most Awesome Thing EVER!!!

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May 2nd, 2009

07:42 pm - Fables Icon
Not much to report except I have two new LJ icons and I pronounce them EXCELLENT!!!

Who here reads the Fables comics? Because if you haven't yet- you should be!

That is all.

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April 9th, 2009

07:22 pm - Books Books Books
Mike did this and you know I can't resist a good book meme.

1) What author do you own the most books by?
*toddles off to count*
It's a tie between Georgette Heyer and Ellis Peters at 18 each (I own 40 of Shakespeare's plays but I'm not really counting those).  The Peters books are all in the Cadfael series, though, and all the Heyer's are single titles.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I do this thing where I sometimes have two copies of things. One for the pretty cover and one to be a reading copy. So this is another tie, as I own two copies of each of these:
These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
The Raider by Jude Deveraux
Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Nope. I'm not grammar nazi.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Cazaril. Robinton. Cadfael. Miles Vorkosigan. Shadow from AG. Davy Dempsey. Rupert Carsington... the list goes on and on...

4a) What fictional character would you most like to be?

Hmmm... I wouldn't mind being one of the fictional women who had a fling with Cadfael before he became a monk.

4b) What fictional character do you think most resembles you?
Well, personality wise many of the characters I write have certain similiar traits. If we're talking books written by other people... dunno. Tilda from Faking It maybe? 

5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
I reread books a LOT, so there's no single book that really stands out. My top rereads are probably American Gods, Faking It, and the Heyer ouevre. Oh, and Mary Stewart too.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Probably Raptor Red by Robert Bakker. I had a thing for dinosaurs.

7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
Do I have to have finished it? Because a bunch come to mind that were such wall bangers I didn't even finish them: Sword of Rome, Technogenesis, The Hidden Worlds... if I have to have actually finished it... um, Taken by the Viking, I think.

8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Well, last year I discovered Crusie and Bujold. So, it's a tie between Faking It and Curse of Chalion.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Men: Curse of Chalion by Lois M. Bujold
Women: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
Neil Gaiman? (I don't really care.)

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Curse of Chalion OR The Dragonrider books (could I hire Pete Jackson?)

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Can we stop with the Twilight movies like now? Pretty please?

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I had a dream Johnny Depp was the captain of a cruise ship that was attacked by a rogue sperm whale. It was a weird dream.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
Blood Moon Over Bengal by Morag McKendrick Pippin. Total camp!

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
Toss up between Moby Dick and The Sound and Fury by Faulkner. God, how I loathe Faulkner.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
A Winter's Tale at the Theatricum Botanicum. There was a man in a bear suit. It was awesome!

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
What's the matter with you? Where's your patriotism offerring me a choice between the frogs and the commies? Jeez!

18) Roth or Updike?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Eggers because he has a funny last name. :)

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
I used to be an actor. Who do you think I'm going to pick?
*sigh* Shakespeare.

21) Austen or Eliot?
Austen all the way.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I think I need to read more scifi if I want to write it. Which I do. :)

23) What is your favorite novel?
Curse of Chalion by Bujold at the moment I think. But ask me again in two minutes and my answer might change.

24) Play?
A Midsummer Night's Dream will, I think, always hold a very special place in my heart.

25) Poem?

From Fatal Interview by Edna St. Vincent Millay


Even in the moment of our earliest kiss,
When sighed the straitened bud into the flower,
Sat the dry seed of most unwelcome this;
And that I knew, though not the day and hour.
Too season-wise am I, being country-bred,
To tilt at autumn or defy the frost:
Snuffing the chill even as my fathers did,
I say with them, "What's out tonight is lost."
I only hoped, with the mild hope of all
Who watch the leaf take shape upon the tree,
A fairer summer and a later fall
Than in these parts a man is apt to see,
And sunny clusters ripened for the wine:
I tell you this across the blackened vine.

26) Essay?
"The Five Things I've Learned About Writing Romance from TV" by Jennifer Crusie

27) Short story?
Chivalry by Neil Gaiman, but if novellas count then "Borders of Infinity" by Bujold.

28) Work of non-fiction?
Not really a big non-fic fan. I found "Writing the Breakout Novel" by literary agent Donald Maas to be very helpful...

29) Who is your favorite writer?
Bujold, Gaiman, Crusie, Heyer

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Gotta agree with Mike and say Stephanie Meyer. I mean, sparkly vampires? Seriously?!

31) What is your desert island book?
Just one? Haha. It is to laugh! I could totally grab at least 3! So:
1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2. Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
3. Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

32) And... what are you reading right now?
Re-reading Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. But now I'm past the part where Jess shoots Dain I can feel my interest waning. The book, excellent as it is, loses steam once Jess and Dain get married. :( 

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: complacentcomplacent
Current Music: "The Moresca"- Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack

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April 5th, 2009

07:03 pm - Meme on Books (Yes, Another one. :D )

1. Tell me about the book that has been on your shelves the longest. Hmmm. I know I have old picture books from when I was a baby in storage in our garage but actually ON my shelves?... *goes to look* I think it's a tie between Raptor Red by Robert Bakker and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. I think I've had both since fifth grade or so.

2. Tell me about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life. I have a playbook for The Desert Song. A really, really old musical. It's my mom's favorite, and she's only ever been able to see it performed live three times in her whole life. It's got a soft spot in her heart because my grandpa (who was an amateur opera singer) performed it when he was in high school. He used to sing her the songs and play her the Mario Lanza records when she was a kid. I look at that playbook and remember when I found it and one other copy in Samuel French's in Hollywood and then triumphantly presented one to my mom for her birthday, and kept one for myself. I look at that beat-up old playbook and remember when I discovered there was a production of The Desert Song in San Diego. My and my boyfriend drove two hours each way and took my mom to see the show. Twice. And she was grinning fit to split her face through the whole show. Both times. :D 

3. Tell me about a book you acquired in some interesting way. Another playbook. In middle school my favorite Drama teacher was leaving in the middle of the semester. She had a massive collection of playbooks that we would borrow and then do play reports on for credit. I borrowed one and then didn't return it before she left. The playbooks went to the school. I didn't much like her successor so I just...never returned the playbook. Gingerbread Lady by Neil Simon. I look at that play and remember my favorite teacher ever.

4. Tell me about a book that has been with you to the most places. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. I've taken it on vacations, across two moves, and loaned it out to my boyfriend.

5. Tell me about the most recent addition to your shelves. This past Friday I bought the new category by Sarah Mayberry...  *scampers to look at the title* She's Got It Bad by Sarah Mayberry. I've been on a little Mayberry kick ever since I read Anything For You, which is a best friends to lovers book. I really loved that one and I've bought 3 others of hers since. They were all used copies, though, and I thought it was about time I supported the poor woman with some royalties.

And here's the excerpt off the back:

Twelve years ago Zoe Ford let Liam Masters break her heart. But now? There's not a chance. Zoe is as tough and wild as they come. So when Liam shows up at her tattoo parlor, she's more than ready to take him on again. That's not going to be a hardship, since he's hotter than he ever was.

This time she's staying in charge. And she's not going to consider their score settled until he's hot, bothered and begging for more! Then she'll move on as callously as he left her. Unless all that deliciously bad sex is just too good to give up...

Ah, I love books!

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April 1st, 2009

10:38 pm - home

"...at the end of the day, I think Home is something you make, not something you find. Something you're always leaving, and somewhere you're always looking for or returning to. It's part of growing up, and not the best part." ~Neil Gaiman 
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "Unchained Melody"- The Righteous Brothers

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February 7th, 2009

07:04 pm - Tattoos
"Attende et espère." ("Wait and hope" in French, which I would like to get tattooed on my left wrist if I ever man up enough to go through with it).


So, I am brainstorming a character right now who's going to be all tatted up (a girl character incidentally). If you know of any cool tattoo images, or you have a tattoo, or if there's a neat image you always wanted to get, or if you just know of any tattoo resources that you think might help me, please drop me a note here. Thanks! :)

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January 25th, 2009

01:33 pm - Library means SSSSHHHH!!!!
Dude, can I just ask when it became OK to talk on your cell phone in the library? I mean, fuck. Shut up. We don't care about your Quest for Car Insurance. Print the info out and call people OUTSIDE the library. Some of us are trying to get our internetting done in quiet and you are not helping. </rant>

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January 19th, 2009

07:00 pm

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