Monday, February 22, 2010

working fun

The other day I participated in a live chat paranormal romance/urban fantasy roundtable author panel over at The participants included Kelley Armstrong, Jenna Black, Carolyn Crane, Alex Prentiss, Diana Rowland, and Lucy Snyder. You can see a replay/transcript on Suvudu's website.

Anyway, I jotted down some comments I wanted to remember and you deserve them too!

In talking about the explosion in the popularity of vampire/werewolf romances and the metaphorical importance of literature in general: "If it's not a metaphor, a vampire becomes just a large tick" - Alex Prentiss

A discussion arose about the differences between and among science fiction, fantasy (urban vs. traditional), romance, romantic suspense, etc. and how those already fuzzy lines are becoming increasingly indistinct: "It's nice to be able to write what the book needs, rather than what the genre dictates." -Lucy Snyder
I experienced this first hand during the discussion of Cherie Priest's Boneshaker at my sci-fi/fant bookgroup meeting last week. The question was, "Is this science fiction, fantasy, or horror?" A somewhat cutthroat lively discussion ensued. I am a relative newcomer to the group and I shamefully chickened out, but what I wanted to say was, "Does it matter?".

I don't have a clear memory as to what this pertains to exactly, but I liked it nonetheless: "I prefer to think of it as "result-oriented," not evil." -Alex Prentiss

Sunday, February 21, 2010

here comes the sun

I tell you, ever since I've played Beatles Rock Band with my niece, nephew, and brother, I REALLY would like to get the soundtrack to that game. Is such a thing even possible? I don't want to collect everything, just those. Anyway, the sun is out and it makes the days so much more pleasant. A whole lot of things seem to be going pretty well for me lately. I got my taxes done, we're getting geared up for the library conference in Oregon next month, I've picked up a few petsitting jobs between now and then so I'll have a little spending money, I've been exercising AND making fairly decent food choices every day for the past week, I've had lots of social activity (for me anyway), and I have a wonderful group of friends!

On Friday night, KT invited me over for dinner so I grabbed one of the library's Scrabble games (used for teen game day programs), stopped by the store for some wine, and headed over there. KT's family has given up TV for Lent so I thought a rousing game of Scrabble after dinner would be just the thing and boy, was it! We played the longest game ever helped along by three bottles of wine and a 7, 6, and 3 year was EPIC :-) By midnight, KT had beat Doug and I by a mile and we had laughed and told a million ridiculous (but true) stories. It was one of the best evenings I've had in a long time! For those keeping score, the kids went to bed around 9:30 and, of course, did not partake of any spirits :-)

Last night I went to a friend's quite rowdy birthday party and had a fantastic time except that a lot of the festivities went on in the smoking area out in the garage and I don't do well in smoky environments. I contented myself with the relatively small group of people who also don't like cigarette smoke but this also led me to overindulge in party food. I got home around 1am this morning but I did get up and exercise as usual this morning so I'm putting the party food incident behind me.

After all of KT and my wailing and gnashing of teeth over how long it took The Road to get here and then having to go to an somewhat out of the way theater to see it, The Road has just shown up at the local $1 theater. Now, I'm not bitter and am glad I supported the film at full cost AND I'm pretty impressed that the $1 theater, where Paul Blart: Mall Cop showed for an astounding amount of time considering how absolutely moronic it was, has chosen to pick it up. KT and I are planning to have dinner and go see it again tonight!

How was your weekend?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Birthday fun!

I blogged earlier about my nephew's birthday a couple of weeks ago so here are some pics from the best weekend evah! Conner plays on an Upward Bound team. Shelby's pic is from the trip to the late Laserland and this is when we were loading up the two arcade games afterward. I fondly remember the days when I could still ride around in a grocery cart...of course, my friend Kevin accidently pushed me into a display of barbecue sauce in glass jars. We fled the grocery store quickly. It was a weekend and the store was within walking distance of the house so we wisely refrained from (a) being caught by the store employees who could not catch our youthful selves and (b) telling our parents about it. Of course, we shopped there so often that I don't know how they failed to either recognize us then or later but those who argue with the fates or luck are foolish indeed.

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An evening with the author!

My friend Polly and I had SUCH a good time at this fundraiser dinner featuring not only one of our favorite teachers from the U of AL School of Library and Information Studies, Dr. Joan Atkinson, but also YA author extraordinaire Richard Peck! He is one of the best speakers I have heard EVER! If he ever visits your town, go and see him!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

things about which I'm excited

1. the picture I got my friend Polly to take of author Richard Peck and I two weeks ago at a fund raising dinner for a local middle school

2. the cardboard display a local grocery store let me have featuring your favorite chicken and mine!

3. the loaf of kalamata olive/feta cheese/roasted garlic stuffed bread brought to me by a coworker earlier today (see #2 for an excellent accompaniment to this bread)

4. the Mardi Gras party I have been invited to this weekend

5. the Decadent Dessert party we are having at work next tuesday...I'm making madeleines since I got a pan for christmas

6. going home after petsitting all week!

7. the Reader's Advisory Roundtable meeting in the morning...I lurve my job!

I'll think of some more as soon as this is posted, I'm sure!

Monday, February 1, 2010

january reads

I started off the year, and the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, with a bang by reading 9 books! Check it out!

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - I hated it with a deep purple passion, blech!

2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke - I cannot BELIEVE I've never read him before! Exciting! Now I've got to read the first and watch the movies!

The Hours by Michael Cunningham - A very somber book exploring issues of suicide but the writing is SO beautiful! Another movie to add to my Netflix queue!

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - Winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize. Dense, complex, and totally worth your time if you have any interest in the time period surrounding Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - A bit of a slow mover, but haunting and very well done for a first novel. I read it in advance of seeing the movie and, as usual, the book is much, much better!

Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories, and My Life in Ink by Jeff Johnson - A rollicking, hilarious, crude, irreverent good time from tattoo artist and co-owner of the oldest tattoo shop in Portland, Oregon, the Sea Tramp Tattoo Company.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - A new angle on the teenage werewolf. Dark, poignant, and perfect for the Team Jacob fan you know!

Believe Me by Nina Killham - Not exactly Christian fiction but deals heavily in themes of conflict between fundamentalist Christians and atheists as viewed through the eyes of 13-year-old Nick.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - Zombies, dirigibles, poisonous gas, oh my! This steampunk adventure will have you on the edge of your seat as Briar enters the walled off, poisoned, zombie-ridden city in search of her son. Bonus: the type is set in brown ink!

Hopefully February will be just as productive!