Friday Five

English: Hogwarts Castle in the Wizarding Worl...

Five random things I need to mention:

  1. Bellica‘s distribution is going to be wider than I thought. Not only am I doing a Kindle ebook for 9.99, but I am also going to be using CreateSpace to make a paperback to sell on Amazon. More news on that as it develops.
  2. I am traveling this week to Orlando so I can learn Spanish in four days (true!). I will also be going to the Wizarding World. I’m so excited about this I could pee.
  3. I will have my computer while traveling but I’m not sure how much internet time I’ll have, so I may not post three times this week. I will post when I get back, however. With pictures of the Wizarding World.
  4. School has started and is already eating my brain. I am taking two directed studies on top of my two regular classes, and this may not seem like a full load but trust me IT IS.
  5. I lied. There were only four.

Friday Five: things that happened in the past two weeks

List not comprehensive.

  1. I got totally swamped with work.
  2. I burned a Thanksgiving turkey beyond all recognition. Once I got through the blackened shell, however, there was delicious meat.
  3. I got back into school, 5 weeks into the semester. Had to cram half a semester’s knowledge into my brain on Tuesday and Wednesday for my midterm Thursday. Did pretty well.
  4. I did not write a single blog post, anywhere. For which I apologize; it was an unforeseen hiatus.
  5. I read two books in four days.

I also learned that Buffy Summers is a terrible friend. And that Joss Whedon is a big ole’ sexist racist, but that I already knew.

Friday Five: Five Banned (or challenged!) Books, in no particular order

Banned Books #4
Image by ellen.w via Flickr

I am only listing books I have actually read in this list. For a bigger list of banned or challenged books, I recommend checking out the ALA’s website. It’s probably impossible to get a comprehensive list, but they do a good job nonetheless.

  1. 1984, by George Orwell. A novel about a dystopian future, so naturally I love it. I read this when I was 15 — by choice, because I wanted to read it. The counselor at Band Camp thought that was really effed up. Not her choice of words, but I’m able to read between the lines. She said “Please tell me you’re reading that because you’re required to read it for school.” I said, “No, I’m reading it because I want to.” She shook her head and made a comment about how messed up that was.
    Because 15 is too young to read about dystopian futures. Obviously.
    Anyway. I digress.
  2. The Golden Compass, by Phillip Pullman. The entire His Dark Materials trilogy has been challenged, actually, but I’ve only read 2/3 of it. Have yet to pick up the final book. It’s a dark book, definitely. Not as light as the movie makes you think it is. However, it gives you hope: the main character is a young girl who survives some really harsh stuff, against all odds, and continues on with courage.
    I read this around the time it came out in the States.
  3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. What can I say? I have a thing for dystopian futures (probably because I’m pretty convinced we’re headed for one). I read this one when I was 16 or 17, at Fat Camp. (I went to a lot of camps.) I remembered thinking I wouldn’t mind being engineered from conception to be perfect. Many parts of it I found absolutely hilarious, and some parts I found pretty creepy. It’s a good read. I suggest it.
    (Coincidentally, my purchase of this book also coincides with the first incidence of a boy flirting with me. Ever. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do, so I made my purchase quickly and fled the Waldenbooks and the cute boy behind the counter.)
    Also, it’s strangely appropriate to be reading a novel of a dystopian future at a camp where they don’t let you handle your own money and your packages from home are checked for food.
  4. Harry Potter (series), by JK Rowling. Yeah, that was obvious.
  5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. Don’t watch the film. Read the book. The adaptation to cinema is really bad.

Also, here is a list of 5 banned books turned film, complete with trailers for said films. (I have yet to see The Handmaid’s Tale, which is the only one of those books I’ve read, but I do want to.)

So I guess that makes it Friday Ten? Whatever. Happy reading! See you tomorrow for SFFSat, and Monday for another random rant.


Friday Five: five random items sitting in this writer’s room

I’m making a departure from the norm for this Friday Five — instead of listing books I think you should read, I’m just going to list 5 random things that are in my room.

Why? Because it’s Friday Five and I can list whatever the hells I want.

  1. An unopened package of Rockets, sitting on my shrine to Aphrodite. (Yeah, they’re called Rockets in Canada because our Smarties are candy-covered chocolate. Geez, U.S.A., get it right. Actually, wait, no, you’re right enough already — get it left! Oh, political humour…never old.)
  2. A lampshade with my favorite quote from Romeo and Juliet written on it in gold paint. (“Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die/Take him and cut him out in little stars/And he will make the face of the heavens so fine/That all the world will be in love with night/And pay no worship to the garish sun.”) There are also little stars on the lampshade.
  3. Two bottles of water next to a huge bottle of Naproxen. (Chronic pain. It’s not fun.)
  4. A poster for Michael Jackson’s film This Is It.
  5. Two masks — one gifted to me years ago, green, and for decoration only. One I made in stagecraft class, modeled after M’Lady the Morrigan, which I will very occasionally wear in ritual, to invite Her to possess me.

I would love to see a personality profile made of me based on this one blog post.

Friday Five, August 26th: Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously).

Cover of
Cover of Through Wolf’s Eyes (Wolf, Book 1)
  1. Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong. Book #1 of the Women of the Otherworld series. It may get classified as “fluff” or “paranormal romance” but I disagree. I classify it as “Urban Fantasy”. Yes, there’s romance, but jesus h. christ just because the main character is female and she gets some tail (literally, she’s a werewolf) does not make it chick lit or fluff or a romance book. For fuck’s sake.
    Right. Canadian werewolf Elena (so alternatively polite and ragey) has to make the choice between Pack life or pretending to be something she’s not. The rest of the series is worth a read too (though I’m not quite finished; I’ve read up to No Humans Involved and there’s a whole bunch after that, but I plan on catching up at some point).
  2. Glenraven, by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Holly Lisle. I’ve blogged about this book before and how much I love it, and apparently I have read something by Holly Lisle — I just keep forgetting because my brain has classified Glenraven as an MZB book. My bad. (Apologies to Holly Lisle.) Anyway, really good book. Adventure, strange new worlds, romance, magic, best friends…you can’t go wrong, really.
  3. Rhapsody: Child of Blood, by Elizabeth Haydon.  The first in what is supposed to be an 8-book series, though only 6 books are out at this point (no word on the 7th, either, which is depressing). Regardless, it’s worth it to read at least the first trilogy (Rhapsody, Prophecy, and Destiny), if not the bridge (Requiem for the Sun and Elegy for a Lost Star) and the first of the final trilogy (The Assassin King). It’s not that the bridge and sixth book aren’t good — they are, and that’s the problem. There are two more books coming out and they leave you hanging. But you can read the first trilogy by itself and be satisfied; I was until the other books came out.
  4. Stormqueen! by Marion Zimmer Bradley. A standalone novel in the Darkover series, set during the Ages of Chaos. Dorilys Aldaran is the stormqueen, able to call forth devastating lightning and storms from a small age. MZB was a very talented writer though I think her Darkover works get overlooked in favor of The Mists of Avalon. Both are excellent, but one gets more press. So here I am giving Darkover some press.
  5. Through Wolf’s Eyes, by Jane Lindskold. This entire series is very good. Firekeeper is a different sort of heroine and Lindskold’s knowledge of wolves is exemplary. The series is done and I recommend checking it out: 1) Through Wolf’s Eyes, 2) Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart, 3) The Dragon of Despair, 4) Wolf Captured, 5) Wolf Hunting, 6) Wolf’s Blood.


Friday Five, August 19th: Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously).

cover for La Chiripa

  1. Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea (Book #1 of a Witch of Two Suns), by Diana Marcellas. Easily one of my favourite fantasy novels. Brierley is a compelling character and the world is rich and vast. Highly recommended.
  2. La Chiripa, by Kaimana Wolff. This rich novel, set in Todos Santos, Guatemala, gives young people a voice in situations where they are usually ignored. You will sympathize with young Pira as she fights for everything she holds dear.
  3. A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. LeGuin. An undisputed classic from the First Lady of Fantasy.
  4. Happiness, by Will Ferguson. Winner of the 2002 Leacock Medal for Humour, this book will have you giggling so hard you won’t be able to help but be happy.
  5. Orfe, by Cynthia Voigt. A short read. Poignant retelling of the myth of Orpheus. Heart-wrenching and real.

Friday Five, August 12th: Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously).

Cover of "Good Omens"
Cover of Good Omens
  1. Bitters, by Kaimana Wolff. “Weeks after Victoria and Elan disappear on a romantic elopement, officers find a small plane at the bottom of Bitterroot Lake—with Victoria in it and no sign of Elan except remnants of the plane’s avionics in a burned-out campfire. Ray Walker, the youngest deputy sheriff in his town’s history, cannot let this case become his only failure–especially after Victoria’s sister pays a call. Meanwhile, the Green Fairy is escorting a new man-about-town to all the best places—and keeping him alive.”
  2. Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacquline Carey. I’ve blogged about the amazing Kushiel’s Legacy series on multiple occasions, but if you want to get into it I recommend starting with this book. It is the first, after all.
  3. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This book is a hilarious send-up of all those ridiculous apocalypse books that hit the markets from time to time. Involving an angel and demon who are millennias-old drinking buddies, a misplaced antichrist, and the completely accurate prophecies of a witch named Nutter, this is one novel you do not want to pass by.
  4. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. A bit depressing, but worth it.
  5. The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. A book with a heady sense of myth if there ever was one. Quite good, highly recommended.

Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously).

Cover for the poetry book "glasstown" by Katje van Loon
Yep, I designed that by myself.

So, I heard about something called The Friday Five, and apparently it’s something you do on your blog each week. There seem to be sites that generate questions for it, but I’ve been told you can also just list five things you want to share.

I’ve decided to do it. As this is the blog of a writer and an avid reader, my topic will be Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously). This will probably remain the topic for a while, but I will always post the topic as the title for the entry.

  1. The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau. YA literature is not just for young people and The City of Ember is highly enjoyable. (Though, if you plan on seeing the film as well I recommend watching the movie first, so it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of the book.)
  2. Green Grass, Running Water, by Thomas King. I’ve blogged about this great book before, but I think it bears reiterating that it’s well worth your time to pick up this novel and give it a read. It starts out a bit wonky, as King doesn’t adhere to traditional rules in novel writing, but persevere — it’s worth it.
  3. glasstown, by yours truly. This is my poetry book, and I think a lot of people should pick it up (by which I mean buy it) and read it. Just saying.
  4. The Undomestic Goddess, by Sophie Kinsella. This is a good story about a high-powered lawyer who finds out who she really is in the unlikeliest of places — the kitchen of a rich family. It’s not “chick lit”* because it’s not about how important it is to have a boyfriend — it’s about how important it is to be true to yourself. (The fact that there’s a hot guy involved? Bonus!)
  5. The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk. Another great book I’ve blogged about. Seriously, pick this up and read it. The film has reached its funding goal on Kickstarter, which means that soon pre-production will begin. I’m sending an email to Starhawk to ask for the chance to audition. So, who knows — you might see me on the silver screen in a few years. 😉 Regardless what happens, read this book. You won’t regret it.

*Coming soon: a rant about the sexism inherent in the very existence of the genre of “chick lit” and how it makes my blood boil.