Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What I'm Reading: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

What I'm Working On: Writing everyday.

Waiting On: FIRE by Kristin Cashore
October 6th 2009 by Gollancz

Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...

I just finished Graceling, and absolutely loved it so of course I want to read more by this very talented author. Her character development is stellar and her imagination is one of the best I've seen in a long time.

I've got FIRE on my "buy right away" list, but October is so far away.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Enjoy your memorial day.

......and remember why we celebrate it.


Friday, May 22, 2009

The last days

Whew. The last day of school with kids.

I still have lots of work to do, but there is a certain quiet relief to know the kids are off for summer.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What I’m Reading: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Tithe by Holly Black, and Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

What I’m Working On: Writing every day. So far, so good.


What: Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

When: June 16, 2009. Harper Collins

Dismantlement = Freedom
Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz banded together in college to form a group they called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Following the first rule of their manifesto—"To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart"—these daring misfits spend the summer after graduation in a remote cabin in the Vermont woods committing acts of meaningful vandalism and plotting elaborate, often dangerous, pranks. But everything changes when one particularly twisted experiment ends in Suz's death and the others decide to cover it up.
Nearly a decade later, Henry and Tess are living just an hour's drive from the old cabin. Each is desperate to move on from the summer of the Dismantlers, but their guilt isn't ready to let them go. When a victim of their past pranks commits suicide—apparently triggered by a mysterious Dismantler-style postcard—it sets off a chain of eerie events that threatens to engulf Henry, Tess, and their inquisitive nine-year-old daughter, Emma.
Is there someone who wants to reveal their secrets? Is it possible that Suz did not really die—or has she somehow found a way back to seek revenge?
Full of white-knuckle tension with deeply human characters caught in circumstances beyond their control, Jennifer McMahon's gripping story and spine-tingling plot prove that she is a master at weaving the fear of the supernatural with the stark realities of life.


I like the clever idea behind this book. I want to know what happens when things go too far. I hope the characters grow and learn from their action. And, the words spine-tingling and supernatural have me hooked.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A short haitus

What I'm Reading: Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (iPod), Graceling by Kristin Cashore (traditional book), and Tithe by Holly Black (on my KINDLE)

What I'm Working On: Finishing up a scene (580 words tonight) that proves the WIP has altered its course somewhat -- and after MONTHS of fretting over the WIP, I finally feel more on track.

I didn't post a Waiting on Wednesday last week. Hopefully, I will this week. At least that's the next blog I plan to write.

I hate to be "away" but my step father-in-law died after a painful battle with lung cancer. All of us in casa de O'Neal were very close to him.

I'm sure you'll understand me taking a few days off.

But, surely I can get one little "Waiting on Wednesday" post prepared by Wednesday. And, then, hopefully after that I'll feel like blogging about my new KINDLE.

(Yes, I just got an Amazon Kindle. And, yes, I have quite mixed emotions about electronic books living up to all that "real" books are to me, but I will say that this little toy is addictive.)

But more on that later.....


Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday stuff

What I'm Reading: Graceling by Kristin Cashore (it's quite good, but my reading time is minimal these days) and The Gunslinger by Stephen King (listening on iPod -- more time for this)

What I'm Working On: Wing dimensions. Don't ask.

Word count today: 810

Monday's are kind of silly sometimes. Don't you think? I thought I'd post the silliest thing for my Monday.

I tweet on twitter. Or, at least I have an account. I set it up as an experiment -- partly for work, partly for my own curiosity.

I say nothing on it. NOT. A. THING.

And yet, I have 29 followers.

What exactly are they following?


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What I’m Reading: Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

What I’m Working On: A new time line – so to speak.

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate Series, Book 1)
By Gail Carriger
October 1st 2009 by Orbit

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced!
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible.
Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? And who is the real enemy . . . and do they have treacle tart?
“Soulless” is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking…

Clever, clever, clever concept. I love the alternative Victorian London. And I can’t wait to find out what a soulless heroine will do.

Monday, May 4, 2009

We'll That's a Monday for Ya

What I'm Reading: Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas and Graceling by Kristin Cashore

What I'm Working On: I can't get this new idea out of my head. I'm sure it's just another form of procrastination.

New idea: Each Monday, I'm going to post the most bizarre part of my Monday. Monday's, as we all know, tend to be, well, very Mondayish. Tell me the most Mondayish part of your Monday.

Today, while administering an AP exam -- the first one of AP season -- I caught two kids (seniors) scalping graduation tickets during the break.

Scalping Graduation Tickets. Yes, that's right, to their impending high school graduation.

Last week all the seniors at my fav high school received 8 graduation tickets. We're outgrowing our space so for the past several years, seniors have been limited to 8 guests at graduation. Usually those students who don't need all 8 tickets, return the ones they don't need so that those who need more can pick them up.

This is the first time they've ever been scalped. All 8. $25.

I think he could have gotten more.