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Showing posts from June, 2011

Neil Gaiman at MPR's Wits

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"Our worries, fears, and dreams make fantastic stories. Take them with you as you grow up."
-Neil Gaiman at Wits

Ten years ago I was working at K-Mart. I remember meeting this guy that was wearing a Star Wars shirt that I wanted. Despite that, we hit it off pretty quick and I remember smiling as I walked away from the encounter. It was his first week of working and we became fast friends. That guy became my boyfriend six months later and is now my husband. We haven't celebrated how we met before, but this year it was different. It has been ten years and we have been married for five of them. That is what I call a Blue Light Special.
To celebrate, we decided to drive to the Twin Cities to attend the MPR Wits event that featured Neil Gaiman, who is one of our favorite authors. We have had a hard time catching Neil Gaiman in person. I was fortunate enough to ask him a question on NPR about his book Anansi Boys while he was recording The Graveyard Book at the NPR studios in…

Fandom finds a new home at Pottermore

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"I wanted ..more than [eBooks]. I wanted to pull it back to reading, the literary experience, the story experience." -JK Rowling
The mystery of Pottermore was revealed this morning with a video from JK Rowling herself. The best article that I have read about the upcoming digital experience of the series comes from Wired UK.
I could go on about all the different features that we are to expect, but there are plenty of websites that have done that already that I will list below. I will just talk about some of the things that I am most excited to see.
The release of e-books and new content in the booksA few years ago JK Rowling spoke about releasing a Harry Potter encyclopedia. Right now it looks like we will be getting more information on the website and not in paper form. However, it sounds like we will also be getting more stories! I am hoping someday something will be released in paper form, but this is a good way to get people to visit the website. The highlight of all of thi…

The City Experience of Tokyo (and a few Japan travel tips)

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As I mentioned in the Kyoto post of our trip, Tokyo is much more modern and urban. We didn't visit any shrines or temples as you can see from the list of things below.
1. Ghibli Museum This museum is one of the top reasons why we wanted to journey to Japan. We became fans of Studio Ghibli's starting with the movie The Cat Returns in 2005. We moved onto watching all of Miyazaki's work after that (he produced that particular film) and other works by the studio. The films opened up so much insight to my husband and myself about storytelling and it was one of the top things that we wanted to do in our life.
To get to the museum, we took an early exit off t he subway so we could take a walk through the park. There was just something about being surrounded by nature that is shown in the movies that helped us prepare for the experience. We weren't able to take a pictures inside of the museum and it is something you should really experience in person. They have several exhibit roo…

On YA Saves

Almost a week ago, I went onto Twitter to find plenty of reactions to this article from the Wall Street Journal called "Darkness Too Visible". It talks about how there is too much "dark stuff" out there for teenagers to read. The article didn't have any of the teenage perspective and focuses on if these issues in YA novels are "harmful" or "helpful" to teens. The article even has a poll about it (and the results are interesting to see at 81% helpful vs 18 harmful out of 1500 takers).
"Darkness Too Visible" spurred a movement on Twitter by Maureen Johnson which ended up become the third highest trending topic within twenty minutes in the US. Johnson ended up writing an article in the Guardian and her counter argument on the behalf of authors is this:
"There isn't a YA writer alive who is out writing books to corrupt youth. No one writing about self-harm is teaching how to self-harm. No one writing about rape is providing ins…

Walking the Paths in Kyoto

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We arrived in Tokyo and took the train to Kyoto where we would spend our first four days. We wanted to experience the "old" Japan before moving over to the more modern city of Tokyo.

We stayed in the WestinMiyako Kyoto in the Eastern Hills, which was an amazing location. The hotel had a bird watching trail that we took one morning where we found a shrine at the top. Along the trail, we walked by the biggest bees I had ever seen, various colorful flowers, and plaques telling us about the bushes and trees. It seemed that I always found something to help in research without looking, as well as give us such a simple taste of this culture that said so very much.

This blog post would be so very long if I wrote about the entirety of our trip so I decided to point out the top five things that we enjoyed in Kyoto and Tokyo. Enjoy!
1. The Philosopher's Path
The whole city smelled very fragrant like the blooming flowers as we walked our way north to The Philosopher's Path from our h…

The Write Age

Today I was reminded of a blog post that I wrote about two years ago that talks about the blog post Why New Novelists Are Kinda Old, or, Hey, Publishing is Slow. I was reminded of it because of the tweets below from author Justine Larbalestier:
JustineLavawormAthletes & writers age differently. They are old at 30; we are spring chickens. We're not even middle aged till our 60s.
JustineLavawormAs a writer you can be in your 40s and still described as a young, up and coming writer. Impossible for an athlete.
JustineLavawormWriters who are less than 30, & , are mere infants! Gymnasts in their 20s are old, old, old.

Mount Fuji: A Moment that Inspires

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"Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white."
Mark Jenkins

I don't know when the first idea for us to travel to Japan arose. Over nine years, we have traveled all over the place and it is incredible to think that we are fortunate enough to do so as often as we do. Most have been for conventions and Disney, but we have added a few "must gos" to the list. Japan is one of those.
We are both huge fans of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki (who we saw in Comic Con in 2009). When we discovered that they had a museum dedicated…