Saturday, November 15, 2014

Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver  is told by five different perspectives- the wife, four daughters: Rachel, Leah, Adah, Ruth May. Nathan Price, an evangelical Baptist takes his family to the Belgian Congo in 1959 to offer "salvation." They come to Kilanga village in Congo and as series of event unfold, each of them except Nathan, transform and each adapt different point of view. Through misunderstanding, betrayal, and death, the family go on separate way while the political conflict is going on in Congo. Each of the character represents the choices that can be make on religion, guilt, and political. I recommend this to anyone who really enjoy learning about different culture and history of Africa. The reading is challenging but it is a fantastic written book! 

Top Ten Anime/Manga

1. Fairy Tail by Mashima Hiro (also check out Fairy Tail Zero) 
2. Tokyo Ghoul by Ishida Sui 
3. Sword Art Online 2 by Kawahara Reki 
4. Love So Life by Kouichi Kaede
5. Tokyo Ravens by Azano Kouhei 
6. Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea by Maeda Riso 
7. Fate/ Stay Night by Nishiwaki Datto 
8. Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan by  Yamazaki Asuka 
9. Shingeki no Kyojin by  Isayama Hajime 
10. Pandora Hearts by Mochizuki Jun 

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

The Eye of Minds- James Dashner                                        

In a world where technology is our prime entertainment, we can jump into our favorite game without batting an eye. In The Eye of Minds, however, Michael, Sarah, and Bryson find that their favorite pastime- the virtnet- is inhabited by the cyber-terrorist  Kaine- a mysterious figure with unknown devious intentions. People are dying on the virtnet, and the VNS (virtnet security) have tasked the three teens with finding out why. I recommend this book for anyone looking for an entertaining but not too challenging read. The action kicks off in the first chapter and keeps going until the very last page, which is why I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. This book can also be an eye opener to how all of the technology we surround ourselves with isn't as safe as we once thought- and that someone, somewhere, can use it against us.
The World is Virtual.
The Danger is Real.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Exquisite Corpse Poetry

Our Inklings Writing Club created some collaborative poetry (each person adds a line after only seeing the previous line) at our November meeting as we say goodbye and good luck to Alythya & Trumyn!

I saw, as the bright sky turned a misty green, cascading with
birds drifting peacefully while
eating cheese.
Makes me smell weird,
like old gym socks.
I took out the socks to the trash, but they bit me.
Bleeding, but without any bandages,
I used the nearest thing to clean it, a stinky
old cloth on the side of the road,
drifting in the wind.
The leaves were carried far and wide,
the message they bore would terrify anyone who read it.
But who would read?

Dean looked puzzled.
Dean cried because of this.
The tears rolled down his cheeks, leaving behind hot salty trails.
Though they burned him,
into a pit of fiery ashes
that stretched to the sky.
I threw the awful shirt and wished it a burning, painful death.
Then I realized...
I didn't have a shirt and purple unicorns were watching.
It was embarrassing.
His cheeks burned red as he hid his face.
Then he knew...
My secret identity was revealed.

Jimmy rode on a dog!
But I fell off many times
and broke my funny bone which made me laugh.
Laughing insanely, thinking about yesterday when
a bolt of lightning
spiked the darkness.
It pricked his finger
which hurt. He uses many bandages
but the blood spilled on the pavement, knocking him out.
He awoke in a room wearing the weirdest, strangest clothing.
Fits me poorly.
The shoes were WAY too big! I looked like a clown.
But I am a clown.

Braces suck.
That's why I took mine off,
But when I took mine off, my feet stank.
They sank into goo of gooey toothpaste,
which gave the most horrendous scent of
rancid fruit, but tasted like ripe orange.
It was yummy.
Delish. Relish! rhymes. Pig and wig. Pup and sup.
I can say anything I want to, but doesn't make sense.
Absurd green penguins
flop around joyfully
drop on the deck.
That 20 ft. deck of cards that's lying on main street
was tumbling and fell.
That was the end of the card tower.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaNoWriMo Young People's Program

Pep Talk from Veronica Roth

Veronica RothMy Dear NaNo-ers,
I don’t particularly like comparing novel writing to climbing a mountain, because it’s been done, but let’s face it: it works. Look at this fairly standard map of plot structure...
Manuscript Mountain
I mean, it looks like a freaking mountain.
If you’re anything like me, you reach that “rising action” stage about halfway through your manuscript, lift your head to the heavens to see how much of the book is left, and consider camping out where you are for a while or even rolling back down to the bottom. This may happen to you on November 15 or somewhere thereabouts. I am here to tell you two things:
  1. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.
  2. Do not camp out, and do not climb back down.
There is a lot of writing advice floating around the Internet, and there are also a lot of “don’t bother with writing advice, just put your butt in a chair and work!” manifestos. (Which was my motto for the past year and a half, actually.) Some of this advice includes:
  • “Getting to know your character” exercises (questionnaires, quizzes, free-writing, etc.)
  • “Mapping out your plot” exercises (break down your plot into the plot structure diagram above, map out each scene and make sure each one shifts the story from a positive place to a negative one, or a negative place to a positive one, etc.)
  • “Prose and voice” exercises (read your manuscript out loud, never use adverbs, alternate short and long sentences, etc.)
There are also many discussions about whether you are a “pantser” (writing by the seat of your pants) or a “plotter” (mapping out your stories beforehand), someone who writes from beginning to end, or someone who jumps around in time, and so on.
Some of you might know exactly which one of those things you are—you have a process, you know which pieces of advice work for you, you have a routine—and some of you may feel hopelessly lost. My advice to both camps of people, from my (still admittedly few) climbs up manuscript mountain, is the same:
Let go of your process.
Let go of stressing out about your process.
Let go of finding your process.
Let go of all of it.
When you reach the place on Manuscript Mountain that makes you consider admitting defeat, and the tools you have used to get as far as you have are no longer working for you, consider using someone else’s tools. Pantser? Try plotting. Plotter? Try literally burning your outline (safely! In a trash can or something!). Perfectionist? Try writing the worst scene you can possibly muster. Strict beginning-to-end-er? Write whatever scene is burning a hole in your brain and fill in the gap later. Whatever you do, don’t hold so tightly to whatever writer identity you have formed for yourself that you can’t innovate, change, and grow.
It is not important that you stay the same writer you are now, or that you have a definite routine or pattern. I started my first book in the middle, with no outline, and finished my third book with a detailed one, written from beginning to end. I thought I knew what kind of writer I was, but ultimately I found those definitions limiting rather than freeing. If I can let them go, I can become whatever writer each story requires me to be.
What is important, far more than the definitions we cling to, is that we finish the stories we are burning to tell.
So, fill your writer toolbox with as many tools as you can, even if they seem silly or like they will never work for you. You don’t have to make detailed outlines, or fill out character questionnaires, or do free-writing, or keep a journal, or draw maps if you don’t want to. But it helps to have new tools to pick up if the old ones stop working for you.
And consider getting desperate. Desperate to write, desperate to get that story on the page, desperate to let the characters speak, and desperate to finish. Get so desperate that you will try anything to make it work. You have a deadline. It is November 30. You can do it. But you might have to throw all your preconceptions about yourself and your writing out the window.
No manuscript is perfect the first time through. You don’t need to worry about perfection right now. But you are participating in this magical month of generally antisocial behavior and potential caffeine overdose because you believe that pushing through a manuscript in a month will help you in some way, and that means you need the wild, thirsty freedom of a writer who will get to the end.
Don’t be a plotter or a pantser, a strict butt-in-chair person or an exercise-doer, a beginning-to-end-er or a time jumper—don’t be anything other than whatever you need to be to keep climbing.
And then, for the love of all things writing and book-related, revise the crap out of Manuscript Mountain.

Veronica Roth is the author of the Divergent series.
Posted by: Chris Angotti on 11/07/2014 at