Our Libby

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She will be missed.

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Super cool authors!

I love following authors on Facebook, Goodreads, etc. It really lets you glimpse who they are. Some have contests, some are just more outspoken, some keep you updated on their recent novel writing. Either way it’s always interesting.

Now why did I say all of this? To tell you guys how cool one of my favorite authors is. Lisa Wiedmeier has been doing book trivia for the past few weeks. Not to mention challenges to catch the first few chapters of Awakening. She loves her fans and is very interactive with them. It is quite exciting to chat with someone you admire.

If you haven’t read her books I encourage you to do so. She is very talented when it comes to designing worlds and setting up a good twist. You never see these things coming and you always feel as if you are placed in the warm sun with her characters.

Life’s Painful Moments

So, this week has been very difficult for myself and my family. Our thirteen year old dog, which had been diagnosed with cancer two months ago, had to be put to sleep. I’ve never been attached to any animal like I was to this dog. So this experience was quite new and difficult.

With this chapter of our lives coming to an end I was reminded of a book I read some years ago that seemed appropriate.

A Mango Shaped Space
By Wendy Mass

Mia is a young girl who is fairly normal, except that she hears colors. Each word and number has a defined color and shape. She has tried to keep it secret until school becomes problematic.
Mia has synesthesia. Her senses are crossed. Something most people have when they are born to aid in learning, only hers never faded.
She finds comfort in her pet cat whose mango tinged purrs puff softly. Mango, the cat, is the one creature she can be sure doesn’t think she’s crazy.
And when Mango passes her world is rocked. Suddenly she sees the world just like everyone else does. Plain. No more colors.

I really liked this story those years ago and believe it is just the right thing when one loses a pet. Animals color our lives so brightly. Sometimes we just have to grieve through the rain. I hope your day is filled with rainbows.

My scoring system

So I’ve realized two things about myself on this blog. The first being that nearly every post will begin with, “so…”. The second is that I’ve never really given you the lowdown on my scoring system.

  I like a one to ten rating system. Not that five stars isn’t cool, I just feel like a one to ten gives a bit more of an honest review.

  For me a one is like kindergarten schmuck. Something with horrid writing, editing, story. It has to be really bad. And I’m pretty lenient with my scoring. But I will always try to give everyone their say and understand why something is the way it is.

  The ten is easy, this has to be like biblical. I am difficult to please and hard pressed to rate anything a ten. True inspirations, amazing stories those are likely to have a ten. I don’t mean that to belittle any outstanding works of fiction. And I believe at some point I probably will give a fiction piece a ten.

To me a ten rating is something irrevocably moving or speaks incredible truths. The ‘I have a dream’ speech would be a ten. So, it doesn’t even have to be a novel.

  I just thought it would be a bit more enlightening to understand how I rate things. If I give anything less than a five I more than likely would not recommend it. A ten is an absolute take the time, must read.

Movies!

So I’m super excited about a few upcoming movies and not so jazzed about others. March seems to be the time to hit the theatres.

But really quick before we address what’s coming soon let me hit one thing.
  Frozen. Is. The. Best. Ever. Ok so it’s a kid’s movie. But being the big kid that I am I loved it! The story is about two sisters who are best friends. Then something bad happens accidentally and forced the two apart. Many life changing things happen in the years that follow and they are made to move forward in life.
  I expected a few songs and was slightly wary of any musical number. But the songs were amazing and witty. The characters are quite funny and loveable. And the imagery. Oh the imagery. One word- beautiful! The animation is so well detailed and so expressive.
  I was kind of half in, half out of wanting to see this movie. I’m a hair dresser so I hear everything and NO ONE had anything negative to say about this one. So I went, and I’m glad I did. Take the time, it is totally worth the ticket cost. If you can see it in 3D I would.

Alright, next!
March 7th :300 Rise of an Empire
– I, like many others, enjoyed the first 300 movie. The animation and story were really cool. I was a teen at the time so it was all the rage. But I’m not real sure on this installment.
It seems like it took a very long time to take on the second movie. And, when a huge blockbuster like 300 comes on the scene people flock to it. You would figure for the next film it would have been advertised more. I have seen so few ads for this movie that it is almost forgettable. But hopefully I’m wrong. We’ll wait and see.

March 21st: Divergent
-*squeal* I can’t wait! You fans know these books are awesome! I was worried with the first few teaser trailers because we all know how Hollywood likes to misinterpret novels (*cough-twilight-cough*). But after seeing the final trailer I’m stoked! Can’t wait!

March 28th: A Haunted House 2
– Ok I’m lame and I’m only endorsing this film because of one reason – Fluffy! Gabriel Iglesias is in this movie. He is freaking hilarious and I only hope he shows up a lot. I don’t usually see movies like this, just because I’m not a huge parody/scary movie fan. But this may change my mind.

Anyway, I hope you all go check out these upcoming flicks. (And for those of you who don’t know who Gabriel Iglesias is, you are bad and you should feel bad. That is all.)

Shatter Me

By Tahereh Mafi

   Juliette has never felt a loving touch, never a kind embrace, never a tender kiss. People run from her, fear her, even throw rocks at her. She’s a pariah to everyone. She’s dangerous. She’s broken.

   We begin with her in an asylum. After too many incidents she’s been abandoned by her parents. Parents who didn’t even blink as she was taken. It was an accident. Another accident. She didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

   Things happen when Juliette touches people. Painful things. Dead things. It was an accident.

   But when someone takes her out of the asylum- into the sick world – she is even more of a prisoner. The people are dying and the earth itself is toxic. Her savior is vile. A power hungry youth with evil plots.

   Juliette is already broken. She needs someone to rebuild her. Someone to hold her. Just to touch….

   I loved this story. I guess it’s the twisted chick inside me that loves the hospitalization. Something about being shattered. That deep brokenness in a pure form. Needing for the sake of absolute need.

   I have little to no complaints about this story. Only that, though I get that she is unhinged, they keep having to explain why anyone cares for her. The first couple of explanations are nice but after that only slightly redundant.

   I really enjoyed the way the author portrays her mind. She is broken so after a while of isolation with one’s own thoughts her processing seems to skip. Kind of like a record on a turntable. But it’s not annoying in the least. She manages to get her point across in such a simple way.

So a nine out of ten for me. Take the time.

The truth about writing…

After reading Chinese Cinderella I feel that I understand what writing is really about.

To me writing has mostly been about telling a story, any story I could think of. And if I didn’t finish it I felt defeated. Like I had lost my muse. Our like I was a failure.

However, I have since learned that writing is so much more. For some it is an escape, a way to journey out of reality into a favored land. For others it is a story bursting forth in truth or passion.

For writing to work you have to put your faith into it. You must introduce to your reader part of your soul. Make them understand why you or your character feel this way.

My work from NaNoWriMo fell between the cracks for that reason. I didn’t feel it was a story with telling. My brain was in it instead of my heart. I’ve learned that if I want to produce a great story I have to do it the right way.

So, my work from November is scrapped. But now I can move on to even better work.

Curtsies & Conspiracies

By Gail Carriger

In their second year aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality Sophronia and her friends are in for a continued adventure. It would seem that for them there will always be something afoot.

We begin with all of the ladies being submitted for testing on their abilities. But when one of them receives the highest scores of the finishing school’s history she is scored by her peers. What does one intelligencer do when she is put at a disadvantage? How does one work without the aid of others? And can she still trust them to not fink on her?

Sophronia must figure out what this crystalline valve is for and who wants it. And when boys are involved it makes matters increasingly difficult. Especially when one is Lord Mersey.

I rather enjoyed this second installment in the Espionage series. It kept me wondering and is decently entertaining. My only wish is for more detail in the lessons. But I wouldn’t dare critique the author, she’s a blatant genius! I love her style and her storytelling. I would give this an eight out of ten. And if you did read the first in this series do pick up the second. It is worth the time.