Monday, April 8, 2013

A to Z Challenge: G is for Ghosts + Announcements and Game of Thrones Recap

Announcements

I hope everyone had a great Easter! My only announcements for this week are that I have two signings near the end of it.

1) Thursday, 4/11 I will be signing/selling books at the Ogden Hastings store from 3 to 5 pm. 
2) Friday, 4/12 I will be signing/selling books at the Barnes and Noble in Layton, Utah from 1-3 pm.

If you're local, come on in and see me, even if you don't buy anything. I'd love to meet you!


A TO Z CHALLENGE

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! This is my first year participating. Basically, we post every day except Sunday, which in April means we'll finish on the 30th. We blog about something each day which starts with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. So, day 1=A, day 2=B, etc. Visit the A to Z blog for more details.

My theme is writing and related bookish things. A pretty vague theme, I'll admit, but as this is a writing/bookish blog, I thought I'd clarify. 

Today's letter: G 
G is for Ghost Lit.

Along with plenty of other niche paranormal creatures, ghosts have appeared more and more in the world's literature in recent years. But just because they're more prevalent, though, doesn't mean they're new. Ghost stories have been around since before stories were written down. They started as an oral tradition.

So, what makes us so fascinated with the unseen world? 

Well, you could argue that it's a religious or psychological issue, and you'd be at least partly right. You could argue that we humans are perceptive and almost universally have a sixth sense. It's not something we can prove scientifically, as we can't observe it with the five senses (hence the title of 'sixth sense') but there's no denying it's there and we're curious about it. All that would be true, as least for some people.

But what about in terms of writing stories? Why do ghosts show up again and again? 

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I think ghosts represent the ultimate unknown. They create contrasting, visceral emotional responses in us. Fear. Confusion. Fascination. Sometimes enlightenment. As human beings, that means that we're eternally (pun intended) curious about them. But we also genuinely want to understand them. And how do we understand things? By trying to relate to them. So we create stories about this perpetual question mark, trying to categorize and define them.

Human beings will probably continue to write stories about ghosts (and all the other unknowns) forever. Or at least until we figure out how to enter the unseen world and make the unknown known. Obviously we're working on that, but until then, stories that go boo can keep us company. ;D

What do you think? Why are ghosts so prevalent in our literature?

Game of Thrones Recap

Okay so I totally didn't do this last week, but I might start rambling about Game of Thrones (the HBO series) on Mondays, because I'm a somewhat...obsessed viewer who will always be glued to the T.V. for exactly one hour on Sunday nights. Feel free to join in the discussion. Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones, Season 3, Episode 2. If you haven't watched and don't want to know what happens, stop reading NOW!

So this week's episode was number 2. This was the first we've seen this season of Bran, Arya, and Theon, though Danerys was left out this week, and we saw but little of Jon.

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I should warn you that Arya's story line is my favorite, so I may rave about her a lot, and I really love Bran too. Needless to say, I was glad to see them both. Bran has met up with Jojen and his sister and they are all traveling North together. Already the role of the siblings is different than in the books. They were introduced much earlier in the book version, and even aided Bran and Rickon's escape from Winterfell. Still, details like that are fairly mundane and don't affect the story  as a whole too much. I hope we get to hear a lot of the histories Jojen tells Bran from the books. Things like that often get left out when a book is adapted for the screen, but they were some of my favorite parts of this story line. The one funny thing about Bran is that he looks so much older than he should. The series tries valiantly to make him look young, but the fact of the matter is that they can't keep the kids from aging, and Bran is obviously not ten years old anymore. Ce la vie.

Ah, Arya. One of my very favorite characters EVER! Already her story is being cut as well, but so far I don't mind the cuts. In the book, she didn't run into the Hound until nearly half-way through. Rather, she ran into a man who used to work for her father and told him who she was. She was angry because even he decided he'd take her to Robb and her mother, but would sell her for ransom to them. Instead of that, the series has decided to let Clegane out her identity to Dondarion, which I thought worked pretty well. It upped the drama immediately and does cut right to the core of what Arya's conflicts will revolve around for this season.

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And of course I was glad to see more of Jaime and Brienne. I remember not particularly liking that story line while reading the books until I got to book 4. That's when I really fell in love with Brienne as a character. Now, watching it, I wish I would have given this whole part in the books a bit more respect. While Jaime (and the actor who plays him) definitely has sex appeal, and I know that many people like him, I never did. He's just so twisted that I couldn't ever see really liking him. BUT...as so often happens in great books, an awesome character (like Brienne) can bring out his good qualities--few and far between though they may be--and make you start to root for him, whether you want to or not. The actors who play these two have great chemistry. Humor abounds as Jaime constantly insults Brienne and says stupid things, trying to catch her off guard (though there's no such thing as catching Brienne off guard) and I'm excited to see their relationship develop this season.


So, what did you think of the episode? Do you like how the series is handling necessary adaptation change? Which character or storyline are you most excited to see come alive? 

5 comments :

  1. We don't have HBO, so I've only seen the first season. I do plan to catch up eventually.

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  2. I WANT TO WATCH GAMES OF THRONES! *sobbbbbss* Seriously I am jealous you have already...sigh..I don't have HBO so I have to go to my parents house to see it..alas..I will come back and squee once I have though!

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  3. Awesome you're doing a book signing. I just watched Episode 1. I really love this series so am looking forward to seeing the next episode. I really like Arya too.

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  4. Congrats, and good luck on your book signings. I love ghost stories, and even watch the cheesy ghost chaser shows on basic cable. I do not know why I do this, but I do.
    Shawn at Laughing at Life 2

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  5. Good luck with your book signing. I love the mystic around ghosts. The scary aspect. Never watched Game of Thrones. My family tells me I'm missing out.
    Connie
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

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