Monday, November 30, 2009


I am so indecisive. I got a $50 gift cert from amazon for my birthday (thanks Mom & Dad) but I am having a difficult time deciding what i should get myself. I know I'm getting the following, because I have wanted them and they are cheap:

The Secret Bride: In the Court of Henry VIII by Diane Haeger, because I keep picking it up and putting it back down because of the price.

Frozen River is only 6.99 on Amazon, and you guys know how much I love this movie.

Along those lines is the 20th Anniversary edition of Heathers for only 3.99. You're welcome.

And finally, a friend of mine coincidentally named Amanda recommended that I read Push by Sapphire, a month before I had even heard of it or the movie that's out now. So since it's only 5 bucks, I said deal.

This adds up to 31.84, so I need 20 bucks more, since I don't want to split up the order. Give me some recommendations!

ETA: I meant to add that I'm looking to get into the fantasy genre some too, since I am nearly finished with the Kushiel series (both trilogies). So if someone can point me towards another series that is along the same lines but doesn't really have a lot of the crazy fantasy stuff that would scare me off that would be great. Amazon keeps pushing Anne Bishop, but I'm a little leery of the series. What do you all think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book reviews!

If I hear the word "cardi" again and it's not referring to the Alpha Quadrant species in a derogatory way, I am going to stab the "modelquins" at Old Navy with a wooden stake tipped with a silver bullet. It's the only way.

Now for more book reviews:

Night Train to Lisbon, Pascal Mercier.
I originally picked this one up because Isabel Allende was one of the reviewers on the back, and since I love her, I figured I couldn't go wrong. And I couldn't. This is the story of a staid older man who lives an incredibly mundane life until an encounter shakes up his entire life. He up and moves to Lisbon from Switzerland on the spur of the moment, pursuing the story of a revolutionary genius.

The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos, Margaret Mascarenhas.
This book is about two childhood friends, one of whom allegedly disappeared in the jungles of Venezuela when they were teenagers. This is an incredibly well-written weaving tale that uses viewpoints from all the characters in the book. It's not as predictable as it would seem. Definitely a keeper.

The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks.

Yes, I can hear your disdain from here. Let me keep this short: cute story, very sad, horribly written book. I bet the movie's better.

American Gods, Neil Gaiman.
Most of you have read this already and I know you were breathlessly awaiting my response on it. LOL. Anyway, it was really good. That's all I got. I see the appeal of Gaiman, but am not yet in his cult.

Finally, thanks to a recommendation from , I started reading Kushiel's Legacy series and I can't put it down. I'm on the fourth book, and I haven't been disappointed yet. It's my first foray into fantasy, and the series is quite captivating. It's set in a Renaissance-esque world, and it's so captivating from start to finish.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One for the readers/writers in the hizzouse

Ok, so I finished a book earlier this summer, and I started on a prequel of sorts for it. What happened was I had this weird dream that consisted of an alien planet that, when encountered by humans for the first time, was a devoutly Catholic planet. So I started with that basis and created a first encounter novel of poison, revenge, and a multi-planet alliance. That was the first book. While I ended up giving hints that the Mirellans (as I called them) were Catholic, I did not explicitly come out and say it.

So the second book I started is an explanation of how that occured. But what I'm trying to decide (and it's nothing that needs deciding right this second, as I still have a ton more writing to do before I get there) is whether or not I should bridge it to the first by having characters from the first book in the second one. The thing of it is that the 'prequel' is set three hundred years earlier than the first book, so the characters wouldn't overlap. I did however, end the first book with the main character telling someone the story that I am telling in the second.

The idea for the return of those characters is threefold: 1) because Leah, the main character from the first book is researching the events of the second book to learn what Earth had said about the encounter; 2) because Leah's adventures are going to continue in the third book, and I think that something should link the three besides being set in the same universe; 3) because what happens in the second half of the 'prequel' sets up the events in the first book a bit more.

(Does this make sense without me telling what the story is?)

So the questions I have are : can I insert these characters without making it too obvious? Is there any easy way to transition to them? Should I keep this "prequel" the second book, or make it the first one? And if I do switch the order, do I really want to add in the future cast?

Any advice would be helpful!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

My take on NY-23.

So some of you might know that Representative John McHugh (R-Pierrepont Manor) is now the Secretary of the Army, after chairing the Armed Forces committee for years. This appointment led to the vacancy in New York's 23rd district, which just happens to be the same one I am from. This always-ignored corner of New York, right on the Canadian border and NO, not anywhere near Buffalo thank you very much, suddenly found itself in the national spotlight. The district found itself suddenly in a three way race, as the GOP endorsed State Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava, and Democrat Bill Owens ran the race, with Conservative Candidate Doug Hoffman also in the mix.

As it got closer to the election, Hoffman and Owens cut into Scozzafava's lead, and NY-23, aka Northern New York finally made national spotlight for something other than gang rape or a famous football player. (Don't ask about the former.) Newt Gingrich endorsed Scozzafava, and Sarah Palin came out for Hoffman. This article from the New York Times sums up pretty well what happened next.

Basically, Hoffman cut into Scozzafava's lead enough, spending more money than she had from Palin's BFFs across the country. She withdrew from the race Saturday morning. Today, Ms. Scozzafava endorsed Bill Owens for the district win.

None of this really bothers me, except the fact that Hoffman doesn't even LIVE in NY-23. That is correct, sir. While Scozzafava and Owens have lived in the district (and full disclosure: she used to live right behind our house when I was a kid), and Hoffman does not. That is a problem to me. While I don't live in that district anymore, I always have a difficult time accepting politicians from other locales running the government where I live. I'm looking at you, Secretary Clinton. I was excited for Kirsten Gillibrand's appointment as a senator because for once we got an upstate senator, even if she was from Albany. It's closer. Not like Arkansas.

Now to be fair, Hoffman is from Lake Placid, which is south of the district but still in the Adirondacks. You might know it as the place where the Miracle on Ice happened. It's very far north, but it's not in NY-23, and Hoffman shouldn't be elected as its Representative.

Course, I shot myself in the foot by failing to mail my application for an absentee ballot last week. Whoops. I hope Owens doesn't lose by one vote.