Sunday, December 29, 2013

Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 1

Hello Everyone, Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

I'm going off line until the New Year. I'll be back January 1st with new posts. I do have some read-along posts scheduled between now and then, which I've mostly prepared in advance, but other than that, I won't be posting or be on line much at all for the next week and a half.

Everyone have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year!




Welcome to Week 1 of our Crown of Swords read-along. We officially started book 7 this week. This week we read from the Prologue through chapter 2. Remember that everything in this section as well as well as everything that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your risk!


1) Elaida has a new office, plenty of schemes, and lots of confidence. What do you think of all this? Will she be successful? Should she be afraid of Bryne's approaching army? Will she be the woman to 'save humankind?' (Totally didn't snort while typing that.)

Wow. The scope of Elaida's ego and the depth of her stupidity just seem to be growing. The woman who saved humankind? Really? Her high tower office and the castle she's building herself are very telling. Not only of her ego and what's really important to her, but also of her stupidity and how much she's living in her own world. If you want to go against thousands of years of tradition and do your own radical thing, you might want to keep a close eye on those who may or may not be happy about it. She's isolating herself. The Hall and other sisters could be plotting against her, talking freely in the hallways of the Tower, and she wouldn't even know it. Unless she decides to descend and start residing on planet earth (or planet Randland, or whatever) I think it's only a matter of time before something happens that she doesn't seem coming. People like Elaida put themselves on an inevitable course with disaster and then have the nerve to be shocked when it happens.

Oh, and by the way, if an army with a world-renowned general at its head is coming for your city, you should be at least a tinsy bit worried. Even if they don't look like much, there must be some reason they feel confident to march on the most intimidating city in the world, right? Again, Elaida=ding bat. Oh, and kudos to the Ogier for telling her to stuff it when she asked them to build for her! :D

Sevanna and her...cleavage.
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2) Sevanna seems to be planning to make use of her little boxes. What do you think she's planning? What will she use them for? (Does anyone else want to put her and Elaida together in a really small room. Just to see what happens?)

I honestly can't remember what the boxes specifically pertain to, but it'll be interesting to see. Obviously her plans, like Elaida's, involve being Queen of the World and marrying Rand. (Because while juggling Elayne, Min, Aviendha and Alanna, he'll totally be open to marrying an older-than-him Aiel woman who flashes her cleavage at everything male that moves!) 

And yes, I'd love to put Elaida and Sevanna together. It'd be nice if they could just kill one another, clearing the path for Egwene to assume her place in the Tower and make an alliance with Rand. But, of course it's not that simple. Elaida can channel and Sevanna can't, which means Sevanna would be flattened. Not that I would mind that, as far as Sevanna goes, but then Elaida would just go back to her castle and world domination plans.

Pedron Niall - Doesn't look much like an old man in
this picture, does he?  Source
3) Pedron Niall is assassinated in his fortress, followed by the death of his dim-witted assassin, Omerna. What do you think the message he received said? What do you predict will happen in the wake of the assassination, both in general and more specifically concerning Morgase and her retinue?

This was pretty intense, wasn't it? And unexpected. I didn't remember that this was when Niall got killed. Before it happened, I thought it was actually kind of a boring section. Then it was like, 'whoa!' I actually kind of felt bad for Omerna (sorry I misspelled his name in the question), but given what a nitwit he was, without Niall watching out for him, he probably wouldn't have lasted long one way or another. And he definitely bit the hand that fed him, so I suppose it was poetic justice. 

This is going to put Morgase in quite a pickle though, isn't it? The chaos might be a great opportunity to escape. Let's just hope she's not stupid enough to try and forge an alliance with the Questioners. Based on what we've seen of her so far, though, I doubt that's much of a worry. This will definitely shake things up in the world at large. Maybe it will help Rand in that, until the Whitecloaks get new leadership put in, they'll be too busy to harass him. On the other hand, if someone like Aswuana becomes Lord Captain Commander, that can only bode ill for everyone in Randland.

Gawyn Trakand
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4) Gawyn tries to get his bearings in the aftermath of the battle and seems to be aware of a plot against him and the Younglings, which we've already had hints of. Do you think this plot will ever reach fruition? Will he make it back to Tar Valon alive? And what do you think happened to the wounded sister who disappeared before he could rescue her?

Glad to see that Gawyn isn't totally oblivious to the Aes Sedai plots swirling around him, though I hope he doesn't try to return to Tar Valon at all, until Egwene is instated there. It seems to me that, if you think the Aes Sedai might be trying to assassinate you and your men, you should just steer clear of their capital all together. 

I don't know what the significance of that sister disappearing is. Maybe someone snatched her up for their own plans--the Aiel? One of the Aes Sedai? Sevanna? A Forsaken? I honestly don't remember, but hopefully we'll figure it out eventually. 

5) Perrin and his companions observe all the bad blood between groups following the battle. Do you think all this animosity will blow up eventually, or will they work out their differences? What did you think of Rand's decision to hand the Aes Sedai over to the Wise Ones and send Taim back to the farm? And how about how he handled Alanna? The fact that Rand memorized the names of 151 dead Maidens? Anything stick out to you about Perrin's observations, or what are your other general impressions about this chapter?

Ta'veren
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Not much happened in this section, but it definitely established the state of things in the aftermath of this horrific battle. Poor Loial! He gets so nervous when Perrin mouths off to the Aes Sedai, I just want to give him a hug. Though I am glad that Perrin isn't letting anyone bully him. 

In terms of who took over with the captive Aes Sedai, I think Rand did a good job. There was no way to placate everyone, but giving them to Taim might have been considered downright sadistic, and we've seen how the Wise Ones teach their apprentices. They're hard, but fair, which might be exactly the kind of thing these Aes Sedai need. And a great big gold star for how Rand handled Alanna. It might not be terribly transcendent of me, but I was totally thinking, "Take THAT, Alanna and Verin!"

The part where Perrin found Rand reciting the names? So stinkin' sad! This doesn't bode well for Rand's state of mind. He was shouting at Lews Therin and so full of grief. But I love the way Perrin handles this! He doesn't criticize Rand or try to give advice. He just listens. And yes, he worries a lot about Rand's sanity, but he doesn't freak out about it. As Rand's psychological state goes downhill, we'll see that Perrin tends to observe it a lot. Certainly a lot more than Mat does. Even though they aren't close in a chummy-chummy sort of way, I think it's cool that Perrin gets to see it in this way. He totally agonizes over it, which is sad, but I think it also helps him understand Rand more and be closer to him.

An Asha'man
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Extras:

Thought it was interesting that Perrin said Taim's scent was "complicated." He had a hard time pinning it down. Just more interesting stuff to consider about Taim.

How uncomfortable the Two Rivers and other wetlanders are about Aiel nudity is still funny, though I do kind of feel bad for these young guys who were raised to be proper gentlemen. Poor guys! They have zero chance of keeping their cool or finishing a sentence without stammering.

Keep an eye on Dashiva, the seemingly absent-minded Asha'man that Rand allowed to stay with him. He'll figure more in the story in the future. 

What other bloggers thought:     Dab of Darkness     Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers

How did everyone else like this section?



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 10--Thank Goodness for Epic Battles!

Hello Everyone, and Merry Christmas!

I'm going off line from now until the New Year. I'll be back January 1st with new posts. I do have some read-along posts scheduled between now and then, which I've mostly prepared in advance, but other than that, I won't be posting or be on line much at all for the next week and a half.

Everyone have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year!




Welcome to week 10 (our final week!) of the Lord of Chaos Read-Along. What an epic conclusion. We read roughly 100 pages a week for this read-along, so ten weeks should give you an idea of how long this installment is, but the ending is totally worth it!

Remember that this section, chapters 52-the end, as well as anything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk.
My Little Mat Cauthon
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday: Optimism

Thoughts for Thursday is a feature 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 optimism. I've had a remarkably disheartening week, so I really needed this topic.  (For even more quotes, visit my other blog.)


There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for.--J.R.R. Tolkien

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.--Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.--Ralph Waldo Emerson

You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down.--Charles Chaplin

For myself I am an optimist-it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.--Winston Churchill

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.--William James

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier--Colin Powell

Which quote about optimism is your favorite? Do you have one to add?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments

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So I FINALLY got to see The Mortal Instruments film. Took me long enough, right? 

I think I've told this story before, but when this movie came out, I was very excited to see it. I'd just recently read the books and really liked them. But, for the first few weeks it was in theaters (and by few, I mean something like six or eight) I was either too busy or didn't have the funds to go see it.

One weekend, my sister (who is also a fan of the books) and I realized we were free and could go see it. Finally. Yeah, it had left the theaters by then. We were SO disappointed!

But, it's okay. It's on DVD now and I finally got to watch it. I will admit that the first time I watched it, I had some issues with it. I think it's because I spent most of the movie cataloging what they differently from the books. But, each time I watch it (I've seen it three times now) I like it a little bit better. It's kind of won me over.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Top Ten New Authors (To Me) for 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top 10 New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2013 (pictures courtesy of goodreads.com unless otherwise linked)

This one's easy! I think MOST of the authors I read in 2013 were new to me, so I'll go with my faves! :D In no particular order:

Songs for Writers: Monster by Eminem and Rihanna

Okay, this might be a sort of lame Monday post, but I was pressed for time this weekend, so deal with it.


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One of my sisters is a big Eminem fan. She's not big on his really vulgar, exploitative stuff, but she always just says she loves the sound of his voice and the songs that are more tragic or meaningful without being too R-rated.

I'm not as big a fan as she is, but there's a few Eminem songs I can get behind. The more I listen, the more I like, even if I am very picky about which of his songs I can stand to listen to.

That said, my sister recently introduced me to the song Monster, sung by Eminem and Rihanna. I was more open to listening to it than I probably would have otherwise been, mostly because the last collaboration of these two, Love the Way You Lie, (listen HERE) was a song I liked. That one is both tragic and haunting, but if you've ever been witness to an abusive relationship (I have) or perhaps been in one, there's a lot of truth in it.

So, I listened to Monster. It just made me smile. This is SO a writer's song. I don't know if it's meant to be, or if it was written about something else entirely, but as a writer, I can really get behind it.

Some of the lyrics:

I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed,
Get along with the voices inside of my head.
You keep trying to save me, stop holding your breath.
And you think I'm crazy, and you think I'm crazy...well that's not fair!

Eminem's part talks about poetry and how if he can affect even one person's life, all the drama and agony is worth it. (A common theme for him.)

Anyway, watch/listen to the song below (courtesy of youtube.com) and tell me what you think. 




What did this song make you think of? Did you relate it to your writing or some other part of you life?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 9



Welcome to week 9 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along! This week, we read chapters 46-51. Remember that everything in this section, as well as everything that came before, is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk.


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1. So the meeting that we have all been waiting for took place and Perrin met his in-laws. Perrin found the whole thing rather confusing, and I have to say that I agree with him: either Saldaeans are all crazy or it is just this particular family. What did you think of the encounters and do you think he will succeed in ruling his wife in a suitable fashion from now on?

I thought the meetings between Perrin and his in-laws were suitably amusing. I will say that I was impressed that Bashere was impressed with Perrin. When I first read it, I expected him to be all you're-unsuitable-for-my-daughter but he actually thought Perrin would be a good son-in-law, which made me like Bashere more. As for their relationship, I think Perrin's got a long way to go before he finds a comfortable niche in his relationship with Faile. The poor guy's trying so hard, but it's all turmoil for him right now.

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2. Aiel attacking Aes Sedai: what is the world coming to? Any guesses as to who instigated the attack on Demira and why they let her survive?

Well it's obviously not any of the normal Aes Sedai we usually see. My guess would be either Shaido--who knows what their rationale might be--or Darkfriend Aiel. It would make sense if they were working for Sammael and trying to undermine Rand.






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3. Ebou Dar is certainly proving to be interesting. Any suggestions as to why Nynaeve is so upset with Mat? Also, what were your impressions of Tylin?

I can't remember exactly why Nynaeve's being weird. It may have something to do with how they're manipulating him and the Band. Maybe her conscience is kicking in. I always think the Nynaeve/Mat dynamic is interesting (a.k.a. funny) because in many ways, these two are genre-opposite reflections of one another. Which means they'll never get along, always but heads, and always be funny together. Tylin still seems relatively normal at this point. Later, I end up not being a big fan of her character, but she speaks easily enough with our girls and seems very down to earth when it comes to her throne and cooperating with Nynaeve and Elayne. Which is good.


Loial traveling to Stedding
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4. Yay, Loial is back and being all nervous and cute about Erith trying to track him down! No need to ask if you are happy to see him, but do you think he will abandon his friends and spend the rest of the War in a Stedding if she catches up with him?

Loial is determined to write his book about the Dragon Reborn and the Last Battle, and I don't think anything will deter him from that. Erith doesn't seem like the bullying type. Loial's mother, of course, is another matter entirely. If he can keep away from her, I think he could do whatever he wanted. But, of course, marriage would probably change his freedoms a bit. We'll just have to see what happens. :D

Travelling
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5. On a scale of one to eleven, how stupid was Demira’s attempt to chastise the Dragon Reborn by making herself look big and shouting at him? Also, what do you think of Kiruna’s great plans to bring him to heel?

Twenty! Rand has already shown that he won't let them push him around. This is what's known as a learning disability. Moiraine learned the lesson quickly. If he's being stubborn, you have to try and find other ways to influence him, in such a way that he won't feel cornered. These Aes Sedai aren't the brightest crayons in the box, you know? Ditto about Kiruna. I think they're going about this all the wrong way. They're thinking of him like a pouty kid, rather than the most powerful man in the world. Big mistake. I had to roll my eyes when they went, "Oh, he re-discovered Traveling. Bummer." Yeah. He's the Dragon Reborn. Think outside the box, Ladies.


Beardless Perrin with a Falcon on his
shoulder. Source
6. Berelain seems to be trying to give Faile a very good reason to stab her to death, but poor Perrin is getting all the blame, of course. Any idea what Berelain is doing and how Perrin is going to repair his marriage? Do you think Faile is handling this in a sensible and mature way?

I think this is in line with what we've seen of Berelain so far. Her country is small and she doesn't have much power, so she latches onto people she thinks can help her. She's being fairly sensible about Rand, which I'm sure is at least partly Rhuarc's doing, but she seems to think that Perrin might be able to help her or care for her somehow. And for some reason, his being a married dude isn't a problem for her. This is why I don't like Berelain. It's bad enough that she's pretty loose to begin with, but the minute she starts trying to come between Perrin and Faile, she becomes public enemy #1 in my book.

7. Holy boxes of Dragon Reborn, Batman! They actually went ahead and took Rand! I think we all knew that the Tower envoy might try something like this, but were you surprised by how well it worked? Any ideas on what has happened to Min?

It definitely happened fast and unexpectedly. Dingbats though they may be, I'll give them credit for putting him at his ease and pulling this off without a hitch. I was surprised how well it worked the first time I read it. Rand has so many precautions in place, you wouldn't think it would have been so easy. This doesn't bode well for his Aes Sedai trust issues. I'm assuming their incessant channeling was expressly for this purpose--so people would stop paying attention. I've always been a bit confused on this point because it isn't very well explained but if this was intentional, then I guess we've got to give them kudos for thinking ahead that far, even if the kudos are grudgingly given.

I can't remember what happened to Min, but I'm thinking the embassy found a way to keep her from being there. Just can't recall the exact details.

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8. Now that Rand has been captured, what do you expect to happen? Will someone eventually work out that he is missing? Will Loial Hulk-out and tear all the Aes Sedai’s heads off? Arghhhhhhh!!!!!!!

I feel ya. Well, I know what's going to happen, so I won't say much, except that the ending of book 6 is friggin epic! So excited! I remember when my dad was reading this, I kept bugging him when he was reading book 6 so we could geek out about the ending together. When he finally read it, he loved it too. Way cool!

I won't say anything about Loial--we do get to see more Ogier fighting in the future, but I can't remember what his role, if any, is at the end of book 6--but look for Perrin to call on some of his largely unknown weapons. *waggles eyebrows* And, you know, I can't imagine Sulin will be able to do much to help Rand while wearing that livery. Just sayin'.

Extras:

I was glad to see more of Thom and Juilin again. Glad to see they're still loyal to our girls. (Anyone find themselves spelling loyal, loial? Or is it just me?) 

I loved the way Perrin handled the nobles and how they tried to get info out of him. He flat out told some of them that if he knew the answers they wanted, he certainly would't tell them. Love him!

Herid Fel
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And I love Herid Fel. I love that he's bookish and manages to be mysterious in a bumbling sort of way. He's one of my favorite minor characters!

I also thought the bit with Alanna was interesting even if I'd still like to smack her upside the head. She talked about how she tried to compel Rand and couldn't. She's assuming that it's because he can channel, and no one's bonded a man who can channel before. It's an interesting theory--and perhaps a natural conclusion--and we'll see more on this subject later, but I've never thought that was the reason. Most gaidin agree to the bonding. Part of that agreement is obedience. It's kind of like marriage that way. Hehe. That agreement to obedience lends itself toward compulsion. Enter Rand. He was forced. If we stick with the rape metaphor everyone in Randland uses, it can be said that the rapist can force their victim, but can't make them completely surrender or enjoy the experience. I think the same thing applies here. Because she bonded Rand without his consent, she'll never have power over him. Anyway, just an interesting tidbit.

How did everyone else like this section?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Follow Friday: Up-selling Random Books! :D

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!


Bookselling Time: Go to your biggest bookcases. Go to the second shelf from the top and pick out the sixth book from the left. Hand sell that book to us - even if you haven’t read it or if you hated it. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Death Bridges and Japanese Photography: A Creative Exercise

Creative exercise: Look at this great picture I found on pinterest.com--I pinned it on my SciFi/Fantasy Board--and share what you see. It made me think of Fantasia from The Neverending Story. What is this land? Who is the man? Where is he headed? Who or what is at the tree? What does it all mean? The more surreal or detail-oriented, the better.

Kiyo Murakami 1976, Japanese Fine Art Photographer, courtesy of Pinterest.com
Here's what I came up with:

This old man is walking the Bridge of Death that crosses the timeline of his life. Every leaf and puddle and cloud below represents an experience or obstacle he overcame in the ether of his life. When he reaches the tree, he will encounter the one thing he was never able to overcome in life, and face it with all the wisdom and experience of of the eternities, while the clouds roil overhead, waiting to see if he will triumph.

What's your take on this picture?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday--Winter Reading Lists

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top 10 Books on my Winter TBR List 

In general:

3 Tips to Get Through the Holidays Without Sacrificing Word Count















Here in Utah, the first big snow of the season has hit. We've had previous snow, but it's been small storms that have melted away within a few days. This is a three-day-long dump that's leaving the sidewalks slippery, the visibility terrible, and the roads downright scary.

Winter anyplace that has extreme weather can put a strain on your writing time. Longer commutes, holiday events, and the inevitable rise in day-to-day problems can put a major cramp in your author style. So, here are some tips for keeping up on your writing work and word count.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 8



Welcome to week 8 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along! This week we read chapters 39-45. Keep in mind that everything in this section is fair game for spoilers, as well as everything that's come before, so read at your own risk!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top 10 2014 Releases I'm Dying to Read (all covers courtesy of goodreads.com)

Honestly, future releases are hard for me. I don't keep up with them. With many of these, I am looking forward to them, but often I haven't actually read the series yet. I just know that I soon will, so I'm glad to see another book for that series coming out. Pathetic? Yeah, a little. But still... Even considering that, I could only come up with eight.

Books Whose Series I Haven't Read Yet, but Hope to This Year:

Success Factors: NaNo Edition

As most of you know, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I'm happy to say that I achieved victory.


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Victory. Awesome victory. Um, you know, sort of. And only by a hair.

I'll explain, I promise, but my point today is that success isn't just about achieving your ultimate goals, although that's the most satisfying part. It's also about overcoming obstacles.


Like this.
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So, the last post I wrote about my progress was on November 27th, in which I reported that I had had 3,500 words to go to hit the required 50,000. I didn't think hitting it would be a problem at that point. Then, the following day, computer crash.

That's right. Computer crash.


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Actually, it wasn't as bad as it sounds. My computer is very old and ghetto. It wasn't a hard drive crash at all. Rather, it was a hardware problem. The place where the power cord goes into the computer was toast. The cord wouldn't stay in so to power the computer, I had to hold the cord in myself. Plus, the battery was long since toast as well. I could have just purchased a new battery but as the cord connection was also faulty, I decided it would be a much better investment to just get a new computer.

Which I did. I just got a cheap one from Walmart to tide me over. And it was on it's way. But not scheduled to arrive until 12/9. 

Then, on the 28th, when I went to plug the faulty computer in, I couldn't get it to start up. No matter how I wiggled, re-positioned, or cajoled the cord, I couldn't get the cord to supply ANY power to the computer. So, my files were all there, in tact. I just couldn't get to them. 

I determined to commandeer my sister's desk top computer for a few hours to finish my word count, but I knew it'd be a hectic three days.

To my great surprise and delight, my new computer arrived the next day! on 11/29. 


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So, I was able to finish my word count, ending with 51, 289 words for the month. So, what's my whole "sort of" about? Well, the original Scrivener file that contains the first 47,000 words is still on my other computer. I'm going to take it to PC laptops and have them pull out my hard drive and put it on a caddy so I can access the files, but haven't done it yet. Because of that, I don't actually have the first 47,000 words, which means I wasn't able to put them into NaNoWriMo.org to verify.

But, that's okay. Even if the site doesn't see it as absolute success, I know I finished, and that's good enough for me. Heaven knows there were enough obstacles, but I did it. It just goes to show, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. :D


Fitting, don't you think?
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How did everyone else's NaNoWriMo experience pan out?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 7



Welcome to week 7 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along. This week we read chapters 31-38. Dab of Darkness is hosting this week. Remember that everything in this section or that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. 


Morgase Trakand
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1) Morgase is summoned to the Lord Captain Commander hours before attempting to flee. What did you think of her summoner, the 'short way' past the scaffold, and her signing the treaty? 

Obviously the Whitecloaks (some of them) are master manipulators. Morgase is someone who has trained herself to keep her calm in almost any situation, and this rattled her to the core, though she handled it admirably. This tactic is pretty brutal, but it did force her to action, which makes it effective. Poor woman. Now she has this horrible treaty to deal with on top of everything else. Suffice it to say Morgase's life probably won't go back to what it was any time soon. :D



2)
Sea Folk Woman
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Egwene attempted to board a Seafolk vessel, and got a dunking for her efforts. What did you make of the Seafolks taunt, 'Tell the other, disguises do not fool us. You do not frighten us. You are all refused the gift of passage.'? Did you like Egwene's reaction?

I can't remember specifically what this was about. It sounds, though, like they've had some dealings with Aes Sedai (maybe one of Elaida's embassy) who haven't been completely honorable with them. I thought Egwene's reaction was funny--if a bit over the top. Not the most gracious rejection, but then they did throw her in the water. She showed spunk. I loved the boatman who couldn't close his mouth. I actually used this part for a "Teaser Tuesday" post (HERE) and got some good comments.


3)
Aiel
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Only you know the worth of your honor.' Egwene finally confessed to the Wise Ones and met her toh. Do you feel the method of meeting toh was satisfactory? Do you think it was too harsh, or too light?

I think it was pretty fitting. Obviously harsher than most of us are used to, but given what we know of the Aiel, it might have possibly have been worse. I was glad to see Egwene come clean before leaving her Aiel life. I loved that she said, "She thought a part of her heart always would be Aiel." (pg. 650) If Egwene is going to be Amyrlin, I can't think of any better character training she could have had than with the Aiel.

4)
Source
Egwene did a tricky and apparently dangerous thing traveling through Tel'aran'rhiod. Was Egwene reckless? Showing off? Just eager to have it over with? Do you think there will be any ill affects from that trip? 

I think she did what she had to do in this situation, and it was relatively harmless, but that doesn't mean she should keep doing it. The place we've heard something about this before was from Hopper to Perin, regarding Slayer. Hopper said Slayer was there in the flesh and that it was dangerous. I think of it kind of like a drug or other negative habit. Once probably doesn't do much harm, but the more you do it, the more dangerous it gets. Also, if someone as homicidal as Slayer is there in the flesh, you should probably avoid doing it just to keep from running into him. Know what I mean?

5)
Egwene wearing stole of Amyrlin
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Egwene is made Amyrlin, and one of her first questions is what would have happened if not everyone had consented. Exile is the answer. Care to speculate on when was the last time some Amyrlin candidate was exiled and what were the consequences? 

Hm. Hard to say. The White Tower likes to say that certain things haven't happened for "thousands of years" but you get the feeling that perhaps some scandalous things have happened and been buried. Neither Siuan nor Moiraine has ever talked of such a thing, so it probably hasn't happened in their lifetimes. (We probably would have heard it from one of their POVs, or Moiraine would have told Rand or something.) Beyond that, really hard to say.

Source
6.Nynaeve and Elayne are raised to the shawl and reunited with Egwene, and promptly spill their guts about nearly everything - such as the ter-angreal bowl and Moghedien. Do you foresee tension between the ladies as each knows what's best? 

Probably. Already, we're seeing awkwardness as Nynaeve and Elayne bow to Egwene and she begs them not to. For now, they're being BFFs for the most part--obviously this is a plus for Elayne and Nynaeve who were raised to the shawl and want to make a trip to Ebou Dar for the bowl--but if at any point they're at odds or either Elayne or Nynaeve does something public that Egwene is forced to punish them for, that could change. We did see briefly that Siuan and Moiraine's relationship became a bit strained before Moiraine died and Siuan was deposed. Part of that was that they weren't in the same place and Moiraine wasn't keeping Siuan in the loop. Still, a hierarchy of authority is generally not a good thing between friends.

7) Not all is roses & tea in Salidar. We have two Sitter Factions - Lelaine and Romanda, with Delana playing both for one goal - sever or kill Logain. What complications do you see coming out of this little knotted mess? 

Plenty. Before, Egwene just had Forsaken and Shadowspawn to worry about. Not that it's a small worry, but at least it's pretty straight forward. Now she's entered the world of Aes Sedai politics. I thought it was funny that she was trying to recall everything Moiraine had taught her about the Game of Houses. Yeah, ya think? Even if she could get rid of the two women--send them off on embassies or something--there will always be factions of Aes Sedai vying for power and influence with her, as Amyrlin. I really don't envy her. I did enjoy seeing Nynaeve and Elayne and Siuan already going around manipulating Lelaine, Romanda, and Sheriam. 

As for Logain, the second he was healed he became a pickle. There is no Red Ajah in Salidar, as yet, and that might be helpful when it comes to deciding what to do about him. Still, whatever it is won't be an easy decision.

8)
Mat Cauthon
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Ah, Mat, ever the source of amusement! Mat leads the Band to Salidar, where he meets with the Amyrlin. Were you amused? Also, on the ride to Salidar, Aviendha accompanies him, along with Olver. Do you think Olver will ever come to accept the Aiel? 


Oh yes, very amused. I always look forward to reunion meetings. These characters (with the exception of Elayne) grew up together, and I always love to see what happens when they're all in the same room together again. The fact that this one was hilarious was just icing on the cake. I loved seeing Mat totally shocked about something. He always thinks he knows so much, it was nice to see him off kilter fora moment. When I first answered this question, I wrote something I remembered from this part that's way funny. Then I read it, and it happens beginning of next chapter rather than end of this one, so I took it out. Not that it's some huge spoiler or anything, just something Nynaeve does to Mat that might make whatever you're drinking come out of your nose. So look for that. 

In terms of Olver, I think he's taking his cues from Mat. If Mat was cool with the Aiel, Olver would probably accept them sooner or later. Mat accepts far more than he pretends to, but vocally he's definitely a complainer. As long as he complains about the Aiel, Olver will always have a reason (more than what he already has) to hate them. 

Extras: It was interesting to get to know Aswana. I think he's probably the most dangerous Whitecloak we've come across as yet. 

Jordan does an excellent job with the Romanda/Lelaine dynamic. They're both such busy bodies, they don't realize they're getting in their own way just by being competitive with one another. It will be interesting to see where that goes.

Delana's still in quite a pickle with Halima. We see her being kept from appointments in several different factions, and being made to play every side so Halima (Aran'gar) can know what's going on. I don't envy her position. 

Anyone excited to see what will happen when Elayne and Aviendha finally get a chance to talk? :D

How did everyone else like this section?