Monday, April 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday--Attention Grabbing Words

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: Z
policymic.com

Z is for Zombie craze.

Z is another letter that NO literary or bookish terms start with. at least none that I could find. So, I went with zombie. We all know that zombie books are the some of the hottest ones on the market. Like dystopian, it's a genre that's taken off over the past few years. 

I've even argued before that zombie apocalypse is just a sub-genre of dystopian. So why are we so drawn to these stories in our current society? There could be many reasons, but, like dystopian, I think it has to do with us being obsessed with the fall of our civilization. There are so many things wrong with the world today, so many things we are condoning, that most people can just see it falling apart at some point.

A to Z Challenge + Game of Thrones Recap

Today, the wonderful and talented Alisa Selene is doing a pictoral review of Persistence of Vision on her blog, Picture Me Reading. If you have time, hop over and check out what she's done! ;D Thanks! 


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: Y
Source

Y is for YA.

YA is a major genre these days. That's no secret. Personally, it's not my favorite genre. But that's not true of most people, and while I may not always prefer it, I do understand why so many people do.

Teenager-hood is full of hormones, growing pains, first experiences, finding oneself, and it's an era in human development where everything feels like the end of the world. In other words, awesome fodder for both the drama of story telling and the dynamic of great conflicts and characters. 

For me, I just need high stakes. If they're really high, life-and-death sort of things, like Hunger Games, then I'm game. It's just that I've read a lot of YA that isn't up to par so I don't jump to read it anymore. That said, the stuff that's well-written is VERY well-written and it's a great genre for budding writers to experiment with. As competitive as the market is, I always respect YA authors who hone their craft and put out really stellar fiction!

What are everyone else's thoughts on YA?

Game of Thrones Recap

Episode 4.5 

Whaw-hoo! Episode five--officially half-way through season 3--is off with a bang! I watched this episode with my two sisters, my brother, and his girlfriend. They like watching it with me because I've read the books and can clarify things for them. The conversation goes something like this: 

Sibling: Uh, who's this guy again?
Me: Oh, that's Lord Bolton. He's allied with Robb.
Siblings: Oh right, right.

It's kind of fun. Makes me feel powerful and stuff. So anyway, onto the recap. *Spoilers for episode 5 ahead. Read at your own peril!*


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We open with the sword battle between Dondarion and the Hound. As I said last week, I was quite bitter that they started this scene in one episode and made us wait an entire week to see its conclusion. The scene was well-executed, though. The fight (including the burning blade) looked awesome and was all kinds of suspenseful. Totally loved it when Gendry tackled Arya. (Totally shipping for Gendrya over here.) And there was an appropriate amount of oohing and ahhing from my siblings when Dondarion got back up. Dondarion sends the Hound on his way with Arya pouting nearby. Later she has a chat with Gendry and learns that he wants to join the brotherhood as a smith. His reasons are good--they're free men and he is sick of being a servant--but we're seeing the first threads of Arya feeling true abandonment from her friends. She later chats with Dondarion about his resurrection, wondering if he could use it to bring her father back, which he refuses.


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Then we go to Jon Snow north of the wall. He's being forced to give out information about the Night's Watch and their patrols. We see him being very conflicted about whether or not to tell the truth. Lying will surely get him killed if any of the wildlings find out. Telling the truth will get his black brothers killed. Then we finally get some sexy times with Ygritte, which sticks by the book pretty well. That's pretty much all we see of Jon this episode.

Brienne and Jaime arrive at Bolton's castle, where they're treated with hospitality. Jaime's arm is treated by a meister (reminding us all once again why we're grateful to live in ye old 21st century) and then we have the famous bath scene. Seriously everyone, google "brienne jaime bath" or something along those lines, and click images. There are like a billion fan pics of this scene. Okay, maybe not that many, but it's a scene that's much talked about among the book's fans. Probably because we see some of the first real, profound bonding between the two misfits. Before, it's either been non-existent or one-sided, but it doesn't get much more intimate than when you're bathing with someone, even if it's really not sexual. The Jaime/Brienne story line is moving right along.


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Meanwhile, back in King's Landing, Cersei asks for Baelish's help in ferreting out any schemes the Tyrells might be hatching, which he agrees to. Tyrion, the newly appointed Master of Coin, asks Lady Olenna for help in paying for the lavish royal wedding. After plenty of her priceless snipping, she agrees, making Tyrion a (temporarily) happy camper.  We also see that Loras Tyrell (who is secretly gay) is okay with marrying Sansa, but planning to have plenty of male lovers on the side. Again, this is a departure from whom Sansa was set to marry in the books, but in the tv series, she's clueless as to Loras's true sexual orientation. Poor girl. Well, Baelish finds out about the plot to marry Sansa to Loras and does the thing that comes most naturally to him: manipulation. He's so good, it's almost hard to see through. He tells Sansa that if she wants to stay, she has his blessing. She'll always look on him as a true friend and benefactor. Meanwhile, he reports to Cersei, ensuring that things will never work out as Sansa hopes. 

Then comes the Lannister family counsel. Ah the drama! There were plenty of gasps from my siblings when they realized Tywin meant for Tyrion to marry Sansa. And I just had to smile at how well Lena Heady plays the simpering Cersei: all too smug when it comes to spoiling Tyrion's pudding, but she turns into a whiny, would-be victim when she's called upon to take one for the team. Her ruthless father, of course, has no sympathy for either of his children and storms out after informing them that they will accede to his wishes. And I thought my family dinners were tense!


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Lord Karstark murders two young, Lannister hostages, leaving Robb no choice (as he sees it) but to execute the lord of one of his most loyal households. He loses another large chunk of his army and for the first time doubts he can keep the North secure. Later, talking to his wife, he realizes taking Storm's End (the former home of Stannis Baratheon) will make a unifying goal for his army, but he'll need the help of Walder Frey, who's daughter he was supposed to marry but spurned in favor of his wife. (Dun, dun, DUN!)

Finally, Dany is traveling with her army of Unsullied (we meet Grey Worm) while Jorah Mormont and Barrister Selmy argue over what will be best when they reach Westeros. This is another early setup for something we won't see come to fruition for a while. Selmy suggests that perhaps Jorah's presence (who is known as a slave monger) won't best serve Dany's claims. Of course Jorah won't hear of leaving, and we all want to slap Barrister for suggesting it, but he really is looking out for Dany's interests. You know, politically.

Finally, we get to see Stannis's wife and daughter this episode. Neither is nearly as ugly as they are described in the books--curse of the beautiful actors--and they didn't explain the girl's greyscale disease at all. Hopefully they do in the future. (Of course, I already did to my siblings. :D)


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Overall, an awesome episode packed with tons of good stuff. The real questions to ask for this season is where will it end? We know they won't get all the way through book 3, but where will they cut us off for another year? The royal wedding? The Red Wedding? A certain trial? Dany's next conquest? Only time will tell. Can't wait to get more of all these story lines. (Not sad Theon wasn't in this episode, btw.) But I wouldn't mind more of Bran's story. Just like in the books, his plot is very drawn out, with never much happening all at one time.

So, where do YOU think they'll end season 3?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Dragon Reborn Read-Along, Week 2




Welcome to The Dragon Reborn Read-Along. This is week 3, hosted right here on Musings on Fantasia. If you want to join the read-along, see the schedule HERE.

1) Perrin saw Hopper in his dreams right after Moiraine warned him to be cautious of them. What do you think it means that he saw Hopper? Should he be as paranoid about his dreams as Moiraine leads him to be?

Perrin is unsure what all the wolf stuff, but I think he really needs to find out more about it all. The wolves have never done him wrong, and as long as he conscious about what might happen, I don't think there's much chance that it actually will happen. I totally love Hopper! I'd be right in there trying to talk to him again. As for Moiraine, it's important to remember that his wolf gifts are not of the One Power, which makes her naturally suspicious of them. That doesn't mean Perrin necessarily needs to be, though he should proceed with caution.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A to Z Challenge: X is for Xenophobia

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: X
Source


X is for Xenophobia.

So there are absitively, posolutely NO literary terms that begin with the letter X. So, I randomly came up with the word 'xenophobia,' which means fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.

It struck me how most bookish people are simply NOT xenophobic. Granted, this applies to the page, rather than the tangible life of the reader or writer, but we are all so intrigued by what might be, rather than what is. We like to learn about and envision exciting new worlds and exciting new people, as well as conflicts that are not and will never be our own.

We are intrigued by these things, which by definition makes us the opposite of xenophobic. I'd totally love to get a poster or bumper sticker that reads, "Un-xenophobic and Proud!"

Who's with me?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

W is for World-Building + Follow Friday Blog Hop

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: W
Source


W is for World Building.

World building is an essential part of any story. Last year I attended the annual fall conference of the League of Utah Writers where Brandon Sanderson taught one of the classes. He was talking about World Building, specifically in fantasy worlds, though I think most of his comments would be appropriate for almost any world.

In truth, even a contemporary setting in our world is still a world that needs building. Whatever is familiar to your characters may not be familiar to your audience, so you have to build it until it is.

Always think of the world of your story as the most important character. It figures in every scene. It's visible to the reader, but only unconsciously so, which makes it the most important and subtle character in your book. 


Follow Friday Blog Hop


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Q: Is there a song that reminds you of a book? Or vice versa? What is the song & the book?


Just recently I've discovered the awesomeness that is "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark by Fall Out Boy. This song reminds me SO much of Game of Thrones. I would love someone to make a youtube fan video after season 3 and put it to this song. It talks says, "light 'em up" and talks about messed up childhoods and stuff. Plus, it's got an awesome beat. Totally loving this song. I think it goes really well with the Song of Fire and Ice story line! :D

Best line of song: In the end all things collide, my childhood spat back out the monster that you see..."




What songs make YOU think of books?

V is for Villains + Thoughts for Thursday: Good vs. Evil

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: V


V is for Villains.

What to say about villains? This is a subject that's probably been beaten to death. In fact, a while back, I did a whole series about villains. Here are parts 1, 2, and 3 if you want more detail. Suffice it to say, if you want to know the secret to writing great villains, it's really no different than writing other characters, especially heroes. 

Make your heroes as flawed, as three-dimensional, and as dynamic as your heroes. Give them a personality, quirks, make them relatable in some sense. That is the only way to create awesome heroes.

What tips do YOU have for writing great villains?

Thoughts for Thursday

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is good vs. evilWith all the tragedy that's happened in the world over the past week both in Boston and in Texas, I thought it an appropriate subject.


Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil.--Friedrich Nietzsche

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.--Martin Luther King, Jr.

If I could, Sister James, I would certainly choose to live in innocence. But innocence can only be wisdom in a world without evil. Situations arise and we are confronted with wrongdoing and the need to act.--John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

True evil can indeed be defeated, but it can never be completely eradicated. Even if you destroy every dark soul that comes your way, others will rise up to replace them.--Peter Koevari, Prophecies Awakening

The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.--Marcus Tullius Cicero
God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.--Albert Einstein
Which quote is your favorite? Do you have any to add?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unreliable Narrators

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: U

U is for Unreliable Narrators.
litreactor.com

Monday, April 22, 2013

T is for Time Travel, Top Ten Tuesday, and Teaser Tuesday! (Would'ja look how that worked out!)

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: T

T is for Time Travel.

A to Z: S is for Symbolism + Game of Thrones Recap

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: S
P is for Symbolism.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Quirks and Rebellion

So I totally forgot to write the A to Z Challenge part of my post yesterday so I'm doing a quick blurb for both Q and R today.

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. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Follow Friday--Fave Author to Hang Out With

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Q: If you could hang out with any author (living) who would it be and what would you want to do?


Source
Okay, I'll probably get tomatoes thrown at me for this answer, but I think I'd choose Stephenie Meyer. Why?

1) She has written a fantastic dystopian novel (The Host--which I recently read. My review HERE.)
2) She's a ridiculously successful writer. Whether you like her stuff or not, there's no arguing with her (very bankable) success.
3) She's LDS and doesn't write LDS fiction, which is exactly my situation. I'd like to just have a chat with her and swap notes/stories about her experiences, good and bad, and how she's dealt and still deals with her fame and all the criticism of her writing.

What author would you hang out with and why?

A to Z Challenge: P is for Plot Points + The Host Book Review

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: P

P is for Plot Points.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge!!!

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: O 


O is for 'Oh my!' moments.

Monday, April 15, 2013

N is for Names + Teaser Tuesday: Neverending Story

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: N 

N is for Names.

A to Z Challenge, Announcements, Game of Thrones Recap

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: M 

M is for Mystery.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A to Z Challenge: L is for Love

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: L 
L is for Love.

I promise this won't be a cheesy post. Let's face it: most stories are--at least somewhat--about love. It doesn't always have to be romantic love, either. Most stories do have at least one romantic love story line, but of course that's not required. Platonic love--whether between siblings, friends, kids, animals, etc.--is just as potent as romantic love.

When creating your stories, take a moment to think through all the love relationships in them, no matter what form they may take. Doing this will help you flesh them out and leave your readers more satisfied with whatever type of relationship you put forward.

What is your favorite love relationship that you've ever read about?


Friday, April 12, 2013

A to Z Challenge: K is for Karma

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: K 
Source
K is for Karma.

Karma, when used to denote something like poetic justice, is a lot like just plain justice, which is what I posted about yesterday.

However, karma can be a bit different too. It can often be used to mean destiny or fate. Sometimes this is interchangeable with justice because some scumbag character did something so bad or scumbag-ish that their 'destiny' to pay for the bad things they've done. Of course, this isn't always the cast. Karma can mean the fate or destiny of a good character as well.

This is often shown through foreshadow (i.e. prophecy, flash forward, ice-monster prologue, etc.), though obvious that's not a requirement. Readers always want to see a character get their comeuppance, whether good or bad. Hinting at a destiny early on--though with subtlety, of course--can keep a reader interested, just so they can see that destiny, be it poetic justice or awesome rewards--meted out.

Keep karma in mind in your writing. It can be invaluable as a literary device.

Any other thoughts on karma in writing?

Review of earlier A to Z Posts:


A is for (story) Arcs                     F is for FOIL                        
B is for Back Story                       G is for Ghost Lit 
C is for Characters                       H is for History
D is for Dragons                            I is for Irony/Imagery
E is or Excellent Endings            J is for Justice

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A to Z Challenge + The Great Hunt Book Review

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: J 

J is for Justice.