Showing posts from May, 2010

Anansi Boys

Back in 2007, I read Anansi Boys for a NPR book club. It is now one of the only books that I don't own by Neil Gaiman. Why? I am waiting to meet him so I can have him sign it and I can tell him how great it was, and to remind him that I was lucky enough to ask him a question on that very NPR radio show.
One of the topics that came up during the book club discussion was race. Throughout the book, you could get a sense of the race of the characters, but then we weren't sure if it wasn't told to us. In a lot of books we read, the default race is white. However, when you read Anansi Boys, the default race is black.
As I read the book, I had to remind myself when picturing the characters that they weren't white. It is hard for me to admit this, but it is true. Why does my mind automatically assume when I meet a new character that they are white unless otherwise indicated by their name, description, or origin? It made me realize that maybe I need to expand what I read, or is i…

Leaving Behind

I am done doing the first read through of KIN and now onto the phase of doing some type of outline. I am not a fan of outlines, but I thought maybe this would be the time to see if one works.

Sitting, and sometimes just staring, at this manuscript has really caused me to smile. I feel that if I work hard enough, this story will turn into something. It wasn't until today that I realized the different outside influences that eventually caused me write it. Here is the first example: a speech by Ursula K. Le Guin. Somehow, I came across this speech after reading her Earthsea series. It really spoke to me and think it is very much worth sharing.

Some Assumptions About Fantasy
by Ursula K. Le Guin

(The following is a speech given to a group of booksellers, librarians, and other publishing professionals at an annual industry convention)

It seems very strange to me to fly 4,000 miles to speak for ten minutes at breakfast. To me, breakfast is when you don't speak. At most you grunt. Nothing…

nook update 1.3

I did a review on my nook a few months ago. I received mine on the second day that they were shipped in mid-December. From the beginning, I fell in love with it and knew that there would be some things that Barnes and Noble would have to work on. For example, I couldn't register where I live and didn't realize it until a friend bought one and I found out he could! With the knowledge of updates, I expected that the little bugs would go away.
The newest update, 1.3, was released recently. It added a few buttons such as easy access to turning Wi-Fi on and off (that can kill the battery time), games (chess and sudoku), audio (books and music) and a web (beta). It also has faster page turning and I can even notice more speed in switching between menus. I downloaded a free book this morning and the speed of the whole process (turning on the wifi, going to the store, etc) went nice and smooth.
I loved the nook before, but can you imagine how I feel now? Especially since I am going to O…

A Pair of Rollerskates

I grew up two miles from an air force base. I spent quite a bit of time there as a child since we had access to their large gym and bowling alley. I spent one of my birthdays at both locations, and one year even had a tour of the "Big Building", a five story windowless building that has one of the most powerful radars in the United States. (Needless to say, I was also surrounded by nuclear weapons that were housed in silos all over the prairie.)

In the gym, I had a lot of memories and one of my fondest was rollerskating. It was there that I put on my first pair. A family left theirs behind and my family attempted to put on the skates to try them out. I was still quite small, so my feet could fit into one of the pairs. It was still a little big, but it didn't stop me from zooming around my parents and older brother. I fell in love with the skates, and wanted to keep them, but we left them behind to never see them again.

When I grew older, somehow I ended up with a white pai…

Writer's Critique Group: Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN Edition

"A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper."
— Ursula K. Le Guin

I realized recently that I needed a writer's critique group. In college, my writing wasn't something that I could really share in classes. The writing I felt most passionate about was in the fantasy genre. Since I have been involved with CoreCon for the past two years, I realized that I should be able to find enough people to form a local group that focused on the fantasy genre, as well as science fiction, horror, and paranormal. Having a focused group such as this would help since we would be more familiar with those genres f…