30 January, 2011

Book Review: Faerie Wars



Title: Faerie Wars
Author: Herbie Brennan
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Page Count: 368
Rating: 4 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3.8 out of 5. It's interesting, although I think they could have made it a little less blue and kind of girly, because I think this book would appeal to teens from both genders.

Back Cover:

There was nothing on the paperback about the contents; I picked it up because I am always on the lookout for a good faerie book that doesn't involve excessive romance and because Eoin Colfer (the author of my all-time favorite series Artemis Fowl) said that "Faerie Wars is an outstanding blend of fantasy, mythology, and science." Well. I trust his judgement. Also, VOYA, SLJ, Booklist, The Guardian, The NYTBR, and Kirkus all thought it was great.

My expectations: Obviously, I had pretty high expectations.


They weren't quite met, but I have to say I really enjoyed this book anyway.

About the book: Faerie Wars is an interesting mix. It said on the cover (somewhere among those rave reviews) that it was funny, but I found the humor fell flat for me; that isn't to say I didn't find it unamusing. I found it more quirky and interesting than funny. It was kind of like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in some ways, with the characters and the plot going in all different directions and strange things happening at every turn.


The writing style was unlike any other I've come across. Herbie Brennan has, according to Wikipedia, written over 100 books, fiction and nonfiction, so it's not like it was a debut novel or anything like that--I couldn't really tell. I like his style, either way.


  • Plot:
There are a lot of narratives, in this book and in the other books in the series. I got confused a few times, but remembered who they were pretty soon after I noticed they were talking to so-and-so. Brennan is good at cliffhangers as well--it was infuriating at times, but they certainly were effective in keeping me turning the pages to the next scene. Overall, the plot was strong and moved fast.


  • Characters:
I kept getting confused as to how old Henry (the MC) was. Sometimes I thought he was more like 11, and other times there were references that indicated someone more like 14. I think he's actually the latter, although some of his thoughts/reactions didn't quite fit that idea. I never really got attached to Henry.

I liked Pyrgus more. He was more interesting, frankly. I liked his spunk and, at the same time, his compassion. He had a strong character, and many of the things he did were well-meaning, even if they didn't always work out in the end.

Holly was independent and determined. Sister of Pyrgus, she was headstrong and refused to let anyone push her around just because she was a girl. She was smart, too--she controls the Emperor's spy network--and probably my favorite out of the trio.


  • Setting/Elements:

I love Fantasy, and the world in this book is amazing. Fairies, portals, demons, magic, and excellent villains made the surroundings in which the story takes place highly enjoyable to read about.

Other: References, (which is why I think Henry was older than he originally seemed), some language, and violence.

Do I recommend this book? Yes!

-----The Golden Eagle

28 January, 2011

What To Do When You Have Serious Writer's Block

1. Get extremely frustrated.

2. Groan and moan and wail because your novel is just not working.

3. Scowl for hours because no new ideas arrive.

4. Fire the Muse.

5. Turn into so much unresponsive goo.

6. Reform out of goo and attempt to drown yourself in outrageously loud music.

7. Sit in bed and sulk.

8. Try to avoid using something or someone as a punching bag. Unless it's an actual punching bag.

9. Beg the Muse to return.

10. When the Muse does not, devour some sweet food and groan and moan about that when you have an achy stomach.

11. Contact aliens and get abducted to some strange planet.

12. Discover that you still have your novel on the brain.

13. Demand the aliens return you so you can get back to working on your novel.

14. Regain hope.


***DISCLAIMER: The author of this post accepts no liability for accidents/injuries/etc. that may be a result of these instructions.***


-----The Golden Eagle

27 January, 2011

Awards

In the past couple of weeks I've collected a few awards, and here they are!


The Stylish Blogger Award from Liz Pezzuto at 8-Bit Words and Summer Ross at My Inner Fairy! Many thanks to both of them for awarding me this cool award!

I was also awarded by Simon Kewin at Spellmaking with the Write Hard award:


Thank you so much for this award, Simon!

Now, for the ones I am going to pass this to:

N. R. Williams--she's been working hard with her blog tour for the past few weeks.
Michael Di Gesu--he just submitted a novel to Amazon Breakthough Novel Award.
Heather--she also submitted to ABNA.

. . . and those are just the people I'd like to mention specifically. Feel free to take the award if you want it, for I know a lot of you are working hard on your novels and blog posts. :)

*****

Also, I know I just posted about President Obama, but there's going to be a Worldview Video on YouTube where the he'll answer questions posed by people all across the USA at 2:30 PM EST. (It started! Now he's talking about Jobs and Economy, and Education.)

*****

I'll be around to some of your blogs later today--thank you for all your comments on yesterday's post! I really appreciate the fact so many of you come around and comment.

You bloggers are the best!

-----The Golden Eagle

25 January, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (25)

(Hey! The date actually matches the number of times I've done Teaser Tuesday.)

Okay, enough with the trivia. Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB HERE at Should Be Reading.

Here are the rules for participating:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is from The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint.

(I absolutely LOVE this cover. It's black, gold, and red, and the dragon is excellent.)

She nodded. "Okay. Play it that way. But let me know if you change your mind."
   Why did everyone think he was so much more than what he was?
-p. 69

If you have a teaser today, feel free to share it in the comments!


-----The Golden Eagle

23 January, 2011

Book Review: Hunger



Title: Hunger
Author: Jakie Morse Kessler
Publisher: Graphia
Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary/YA
Page Count: 174 (paperback)
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Cover Rating: 4.7 out of 5. I really like this cover--the scales, the font, and the swirly black/blue.

Back Cover:
"Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world."
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she's been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
   Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home--her constant battle with hunger and the struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life and to face the horrifying effects of her awesome new power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power--and the courage to fight her own inner demons?
My expectations: High. I loved the idea, and I'd read a lot of positive review about the book.


It was better than I expected.

About the book: This is a very interesting take on eating disorders. Imagine--a teenage girl becoming one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Death, War, Famine, and Pestilence) while at the same time battling her own inner voices that tell her she's fat and ugly and will never be successful.


I really like Kessler's writing style. It's to the point, and Hunger being a short book, there really wasn't anything that got more attention that it should. I sped through the book--which kind of disappointed me because I wanted more of it! And despite the fact that it deals with such a heavy subject, this book was actually rather funny at times.


  • Plot:

It's a strong plot, with little twists that keep things moving (it's only 174 pages long, remember!) and I love the ending--it's excellent.


  • Characters:
Lisa is mess at the beginning. She's anorexic--which you don't find often in books--and desperate to find people who understand what she's going through. She's dealing with strained relationships between people she used to be really close to, such as her best friend, her father, and her boyfriend, who all believe that she needs help--only she doesn't think so, and concludes that they're jealous about her skin-and-bones body. But I had to like her determination and spunk, and I grew fond her as time went on.

I hadn't really pictured Death as Kurt Cobain, but that's the way he appears to Lisa in the book; he's surprisingly funny for someone who has the job of taking lives, and I had to laugh at the exchanges.


War was just as you'd picture War: angry, powerful, and easy to provoke. Only female, too. Pestilence was interesting--I found what he had to say intriguing, although he doesn't make much of an appearance next to the other Horsemen.


  • Setting/Elements:

I love the idea in Hunger. It's not your average Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy, and I enjoyed the freshness of it all.

Other: Some language, references, and some violence.

Do I recommend this book? Yes! If you're looking for something unique, interesting, and funny, and don't mind a novel with a darker side.

-----The Golden Eagle

21 January, 2011

You Asked--And Here Are My Answers!

Last week--for my 400th post--I sent out a call for questions, and here are what people asked:

Summer Ross asked: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Depends on what you mean by love. If you mean attraction, then sure. How else would humans get on in this world if they weren't attracted to each other? But if you mean a deep, soulful connection in which two people share an instant bond . . . no.

Which do you believe came first the chicken or the egg?

The egg. My theory is that if an animal that looked vaguely like a chicken produced something that looked even more like a chicken, the egg would be the source of the chicken because it was closer down the evolutionary lines.

Brian asked: Your profile says you are also a musician, so what music do you play?

I play the violin and piano, and it's mostly classical. Beethoven. Bach. Accolay. Vivaldi. Clementi. Those people. :)

~Nicole Duclerior~ asked: Are you known to carry around a notebook for jotting down story or character ideas as they come to you?

No. Notebooks, I find, are too hard to get organized. I have to flip through pages and search for things. (I like electronics--CTRL+F is so easy) But I do have a small box where I keep a stack of notes with things that  struck me at some point and that might inspire/help later on in my writing.

What's your favorite way to capture such inspiration if you don't have a notebook handy?

Memory, and if that fails, scribbling it onto the back of my hand.

(So okay, maybe I've never been forced to go to such desperate lengths. But I would be willing to try it.)

Malcolm asked: How do you fit all these posts into the rest of your life?

Thanks to being homeschooled, it's fairly easy to find at least some time to blog every day.

Do you blog and comment on a schedule, randomly or whenever you need a break from everything else?

I try to stick to a schedule (or at least something that passes for one) but sometimes I'll blog just because I feel like it, usually when my writing isn't going so well or I need a break from other things I'm doing.

Robyn asked: Coffee or tea?

Tea, since it smells a lot better to me than coffee (I've never had coffee).

Dark chocolate or white chocolate?

I don't like chocolate.

And the most important question, I know you write science fiction. Have you always written it? Or have you written other stuff as well? Do tell!

I started writing SF because I finished reading a novel where I absolutely LOVED the world the author had built. I didn't really like the characters, and I didn't really like the plot (despite the fact I wrote an essay on the book) but the world really cinched it for me--and then I thought "Hey! Maybe I could try writing something like that!"

As for other genres, I've written Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Mystery, Adventure, YA, MG, and Historical Fiction.

Mist of the blossom rain asked: Do you ever go back and look at your earlier posts?

If I'm in the mood for cringing, laughing, and shaking my head at myself. I can't believe some of my earlier posts. :P

Amanda the Aspiring asked: Why the Eagle's Aerie/what prompted this name?

I wanted something that said ME, and I wanted it to be unique, so no one would confuse it with another name. I considered "The Dragon Scroll" (I love dragons) and "An Eagle's Clifftop View" (close, but not quite) and eventually settled on "The Eagle's Aerial Perspective". (I also considered many possible pseudonyms, like The Golden Dragon, The Sea Eagle, names like that.)

What's your favorite book of all time?

My favorite book of all time? THAT IS AN EVIL QUESTION. But if pressed . . . my favorite book of all time is the dictionary. It's very helpful. And I can find out so much by just opening to a single page.

Edith F. asked:

What is your favorite font for working on stories with?

Right now that would be Eurostile. Here is an example of the oh-so-awesome Eurostile:

After being close to unconscious for over a month, Crew C3 watched him closely to make sure nothing drastic occurred.

   His eyes opened, and he stared at the white ceiling for a long time, getting his bearings. He shifted and flexed his hands, paying attention to every movement. 

(And before you ask . . . yes, that is actually part of my WIP.)

Single-space or double-space when you're drafting?

Single-space. I despise double-space.

Old Kitty asked: Who is/are your favourite author or authors? (top 5!)

Only 5?! *sigh*

Frank Beddor
Eoin Colfer
Khaled Hosseini
Catherine Jinks
Trenton Lee Stewart

(I could bring up so many more, but that’s what I could think of at the moment.)

Jules asked: 2 favorites, song and quote?

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever"--Mahatma Ghandi.

OR:

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read"--Groucho Marx.

I don't listen to that many songs, really. Most of the music I listen to is instrumental. But how about "Windy"?

Liz Pezzuto asked: What's the one book (that is, already written by another author) that you wished you had written?

Oh, good question! I suppose Harry Potter would be the obvious answer here, but I wouldn't really want to be known for writing that book, much as I love it.

I really wish I had written The Kite Runner. (The writing is amazing, the plot has the ever-shocking twist, and the characters are wonderful. It made me sniffle a bit at the end, too.)

N. R. Williams, Sharon K. Mayhew, and Carol Kilgore all wanted to know what my first name is.

I suppose I neglected to tell you that I'm under surveillance by the FBI and an undercover agent to boot, so I can't divulge that information.

(AKA I'd rather keep my identity private. Not that I think you're all out to get me, but you never know online . . . and even though a first name doesn't tell you much compared to a last name, I'm going to continue to make sure I’m known as just The Golden Eagle.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh asked: I remember reading that you are not over 18. Really?

Really, dude.

Mason Canyon asked: What part of the U.S. do you live in?

I live above the 30-degree latitude and below the 50-degree latitude.

Jai Joshi asked: If you were a tree then what tree would you be?

Mangrove.

Laughingwolf asked: What is your fave recipe [you like preparing]?

I don't do much cooking, actually. But I love making bread, and there are these rolls with rice flour/honey topping that my mom came up with, and they are excellent.

Milo James Fowler asked: From one homeschool-survivor to another: How do you socialize in the real world?

(Another homeschooler! Awesome.)


Dance, basically. I've been doing it for over 8 years now.

The Words Crafter asked: I know you love science shows like Discovery Channel (me, too) and NOVA. Is there a tv show that you watch that has no redeeming value other than you simply enjoy it? Or a movie? Or a book?


The movie of The Princess Diaries has no redeeming value, right? I love watching that move . . .

Brave Chickens asked: Which Harry Potter ability would you love to have?


Besides being magical? :D

Hermione or Luna? Which character do you like more?


I love Luna even more in the movies (at least from what I've seen) than I do in the book, but Hermione's amazing in her own way . . . ack. Neither, I guess!

Shaynie asked: You are a girl ;), and you seem to enjoy a lot of stuff that many girls do not enjoy, such as science and math (stereotypical, I know, but that is just how it seems to be!). So, my question is, do you also like to do girly stuff? Like clothes, shopping, makeup, jewelry, etc.?


I love dancing--and, in particular, ballet. What gets girlier than pink satin shoes and ribbons and skirts and tutus? (Yes, I have worn tutus.)


I also love knitting, weaving, and latch hook, and beading can be fun.

Joanna asked: I was going to ask if you are a girl or a boy but most bloggers seem to have you pegged as a girl, so are you a girl?


Yup!

How do you find time to blog and comment?


I do it in rotation, mostly--I'll post one day, visit a few blogs, then not post the next and try to get through all the backlog on the Dashboard. (I don't use Google Reader, since I always found it difficult.)


*****


Well, there you have it, everyone! *whew* Thanks for asking, everyone! It was fun coming up with answers.


Anything else? :)


-----The Golden Eagle

20 January, 2011

Interview With Galen from The Treasures of Carmelidrium by N. R. Williams

Today I have an interview with Galen, a character from The Treasures of Carmelidrium by N. R. Williams!

Here we go:

Interview with Galen, Scout of Gil-Lael.

Thank you, Golden Eagle, for allowing me to enter the eagles world of your blog with my book tour for “The Treasures of Carmelidrium.” There are golden eagles in my story but that's a different topic altogether.

For those who don't know: yesterday our interviewer was captured and made into Renwyk's slave. He's the villain. It was a scary moment. I quickly got out of the computer so he wouldn't discover me recording the whole thing. If you want to read about it go to Colene Murphy at The Journey: http://cejourney.blogspot.com/


I don't anticipate any problems today.

Q. Galen, can you explain what it is to be a “Scout of Gil-Lael?”
Galen: One must submit to many test to pass from a common soldier and become a scout. You must be able to travel over the land without leaving a trace. You must be able to track the enemy. You must be able to survive on the land and travel without sleep if needed. It is the highest honor a soldier can achieve other than commanding officer.

Q. What is the difference between an officer and a scout?
Galen: An officer doesn't need the same skills as a scout and must be able to read.

Q. Is reading a problem for most people in Gil-Lael?
Galen: Not everyone has the money to learn to read. However, I have heard that Prince Healden intends to change that when he inherits the throne.
(Healden is pronounced with a silent “a” like Hel-don).

Q. Can you read?
Galen: Oui, I was fortunate to have a caring teacher who visited the orphanage where I grew up.

Q. You are an orphan. What happened?
Galen: Both my parents died when I was young.

Q. I've heard rumors about you. Some believe you are half elf. Is that true?
Galen: I know not. But I do have green eyes like the elves. I am not as short as an elf, nor do I have pointed ears. But I seem to have a remarkable talent to be as quiet as a frozen deer watching her pray and preparing to flee.

Q. What are your goals in life?
Galen: I had not thought of it in those terms. I will continue to serve the royal family and do all I can for my home of Gil-Lael.

An older man, who I assume was Galen's commanding officer stepped up, and demanded that Galen to leave with him. Our interview was cut short.

Nancy: I'll be stopping by all day to answer your questions. Thanks for coming by on my tour. Remember, I'm giving away 3 e-books those who leave a comment with their e-mail.
N. R. Williams (Nancy)

*****

Here's the blurb for The Treasures of Carmelidrium:
When a hooded man steps in front of her car, Missie is thrust through a portal into a medieval world where she encounters monsters and mythical creatures. Here her flute has magical powers to heal and destroy and to empower "The Treasures of Carmelidrium." She is romanced by a prince and hunted by the villain. Will she find her way home? Does she want to?

The fantastic cover:


About the Author:


N. R. Williams lives in Colorado, U.S.A. with her husband. She is delighted to have two three year old grandchildren, cousins. She’s a long time member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and has been privileged to attend conferences and workshops. Since her formative years, she’s been inventing fantastical stories and since she could spell she’s been writing them down. While she majored in art in college, she didn’t make a living at it. Now, she uses her skills of observation to create fantastical worlds, interesting characters and stories that touch the heart.

*****

Thank you so much for the chance to learn more about Galen and your book, Nancy!


-----The Golden Eagle

18 January, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (24) and What's Your Writing Process? Blogfest

I thought it would be easier for the rest of you if I just put everything into one post, so here goes Teaser Tuesday and the What's Your Writing Process? Blogfest.

*****

Teaser Tuesday is a fun, book-based weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules for participating:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is from The Curse of the Wendigo, the sequel to the Michael L. Printz Award-winning The Monstrumologist.



   The gray land was deceptively still. It kept its secrets.
   Something was following us.
-p. 115

*****

The What's Your Process? Blogfest is hosted by Shallee McArthur at Life, the Universe, and Writing. Here's some information:

On Tuesday, January 18th, blog about ANY part of your writing process-- how you create characters, how you plot your novel, how you organize your rewrites, your whole writing process from start to finish, anything. Even if you're a complete pantser, tell us your pantsing process. Do you write chronologically? Jump around? Edit as you go, or just dump it all on the page? Let us know!

I have decided to talk about how I write a first draft.

Doing anything out of order makes me frustrated. If I don't write the first draft chronologically, then I get confused and jumbled up and ideas spring all over the place and the story feels to me like it's going to fall apart unless I do something about the whole mess. Chapters that don't connect smoothly drive me up the wall.

One of the main reasons I don't like writing out of order is because I hate going back and filling things in, when I've already written a scene that's based on that information. Sure, it's frustrating sometimes when I want to slam myself down in one of the major plot points and type furiously from there, but I always find that getting out the first draft in order pays off in the long run.

What about you? Do you write in order, out of order, or both?

*****

If you have at teaser to share, feel free to share it in the comments! If you're part of the blogfest, go ahead and mention it so that I know to get around to your entry. :)

(And don't forget: you can ask me questions of all kinds HERE, or on any post since then, which I will answer on Friday.)


-----The Golden Eagle

17 January, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Martin Luther King, Jr. was the man who behind much of the African-American civil rights movement. He is the person who led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and delivered the well-known "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

(Image found on Google Images.)

Sadly, he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968.

The US federal holiday was first observed in 1986, meant to coincide with King's birthday on January 15th. But despite being signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1983 it was only observed--by all 50 states--in 2000.

So, for those of you in the USA (and, according to Wikipedia, Hiroshima, Japan and Toronto, Canada) have a great holiday--and remember the man that it is meant to honor.


-----The Golden Eagle
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16 January, 2011

Book Review: The Maze Runner



Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Dystopian/Contemporary/Adventure/YA
Page Count: 374 (paperback)
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Cover Rating: 4 out of 5. It's good--I like the green and the font is nice and big--but aside from the spikes I find it kind of boring.

Back flap:
Everything is going to change . . .
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is empty.
   But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
   Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed tight. Everything thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.
   The Gladers were expecting Thomas's arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up--the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable.
   And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers--if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

My expectations: I'd heard a lot about this book, and almost everything was positive, so I expected a fast-paced, exciting read at the least.


That's what I got.

About the book: The Maze Runner is an interesting book. The idea that a large group of boys would be stuck in a maze that appears to be unsolvable is a perfect recipe for intriguing results. For some reason, this book creeped me out a bit, when even some Horror books don't. There was something disturbing about the Glade and the Maze.


I like James Dashner's writing style. It's to the point and there isn't excessive description. I thought that the emotions were highlighted somewhat more than what's usual, with swings from one emotion to the other and back again from Thomas's POV, but it wasn't a bad thing.


  • Plot: 
I guessed the ending. Well, I didn't guess everything, but since I knew there was a book called The Scorch Trials--please, if you're going to release a sequel, don't give things away from the previous novel!--and since Thomas kept making promises and saying he'd do things . . . it all kind of led up to the ending. But aside from that, it was a fairly fast plot that kept me reading much too late. (Hehe.)


  • Characters:
I felt throughout like I was in the mind of someone in their  mid- to later- 20s, past a "young adult", and maybe parent-age. He seemed almost condescending at times toward the other boys, and I got the feeling had more experience than everyone else, and not just knowledge. I wouldn't say I liked him; but I respected him for what he did.

Teresa didn't do much in The Maze Runner besides act as an anomaly. I didn't get attached to her, I didn't hate her, I just felt like her character was kind of flat. Yes, she had answers and information, and that was intriguing, but her personality could have shone through a bit more.

Gally was an interesting antagonist. Stereotypical bully at first, but then it comes out that he might just have other motives that seeing Thomas as a threat to his social status. He was an angry and creepy person, and why he did things was unknown to Thomas and the others--a good thing for a bad guy/villain.


  • Setting/Elements:

I expected it to be a whole lot more like Lord of the Flies, with the kids there trying to tear each other apart and get to the top of the social ladder. However, things got nowhere near as nasty and violent as in the book by Golding. I suppose that's because things were fairly controlled inside the Glade, without much change--until Thomas arrived, of course.

Other: Violence, language, (made-up words that are clear substitutes for s%#* and so on; if that's worse or better than using the actual words depends on how you look at it) and "thematic elements" (I suppose that's what you'd call it).


They're making a movie of this book--I hope they don't botch it up.

Do I recommend this book? Yes.


*****


In other book news, I will have an interview here on January 20th with a character from The Treasures of Carmelidrium, the Fantasy novel recently released as an e-book, and written by N. R. Williams! Don't forget to come back to check it out. :)

(Also don't forget you can ask me questions in the post below, or HERE, which I will answer on January 21st!)

-----The Golden Eagle

14 January, 2011

400th Post And The Versatile Blogger Award

Yes, this is my 400th post!



*takes a moment to grin and dance about in happy circles then realize how ridiculous that looks and regain composure*

I thought about what to do to celebrate the occasion, but nothing spectacular really came to me . . . there are a lot of awesome blogfests happening already, and I'm afraid I have no brilliant ideas at the moment (why do all the good ideas come to me when I don't have paper around on which to write them down?).

So I have decided to ask YOU to ask me questions on anything (well, almost) you'd like to know about me.

Old trick in the book, but I always find it fun to know more about the bloggers in the 'sphere, so it seemed to me like something to try.

They can be all kinds of questions from writing-related to silly to philosophical to complicated to . . . well, you get the picture. You have 7 days to ask (and you can come back with more in case something strikes you) since I'll be answering everything one week from now.

(If you don't feel like asking, no worries. This is for your benefit, you awesome readers who have suffered through hundreds of my posts by now. :P)

*****

I would also like to accept the Versatile Blogger Award from Trisha at W O R D + S T U F F.


Thank you so much for awarding me, Trisha!

I've already listed 7 things about myself before, and awarded people . . . so I hope you'll forgive me if I skip that part of the Versatile Blogger Award.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


-----The Golden Eagle
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13 January, 2011

Snow, Pepsi Refresh Project, Spirited Away, Writing, And The Presidential Address

There has been a lot of snow lately. Not feet of the white stuff (at least not around here) but schools and other institutions like that were delayed/closed and the streets around here aren't so good.

Hope all of you are safe and warm, wherever you are, and that you aren't saddled with the task of shoveling.

*****

Go HERE to vote for an awesome idea via the Pepsi Refresh Project.

You have to have a Facebook account, though, or an account with Pepsi. (Rats. I don't have either. What happened to polls?)

But aside from the fact only some people can vote, it's an excellent idea, if you ask me--there are projects for $5,000, $25,000, $50,000 and $250,000, from building computer labs in nursing homes and planting 10 million flowers in Memphis, to rehabilitating victims of human trafficking and setting up youth centers.

Well? What are you waiting for? Vote!

*****

I watched Spirited Away on Saturday. (It was directed by the same person who did Howl's Moving Castle.)

Excellent, I have to say. I love the main character, despite the fact she starts out as whiny and kind of annoying, and I love the setting. The plot is interesting--not many books focus on saving the MC's parents, these days--and the other characters were 3-dimensional. (Of course, dragons are always a plus.)

*****

You those days where you think you won't be able to write a thing, and then--yes!--you actually get some good stuff onto the page? That's what happened to me this morning. It's a relief: I was afraid I'd get stuck when I'm so close.

To what? Oh. The end. *grin*

*****

The President's address last night at Tucson, Arizona:





(My thoughts are with the victims and families of the tragic event.)


-----The Golden Eagle

11 January, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (23)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at the lovely blog Should Be Reading.

Here are the rules for joining in:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from The Maze Runner which I've heard many good things about, so I'm eager to finish it; but it's also due tomorrow at the library and I've hardly read any of its 375 pages, so that's even more impetus to get it done. Ack.



"What, don't like seein' my face first thing on the wake-up?"
"Not especially."
-p.98

If you have a teaser today, feel free to share it in the comments!


-----The Golden Eagle

10 January, 2011

How's The Writing Going?

Spill.

Have you been making a lot of progress? Has the start of the year gotten in the way of your writing? Are your characters cooperating, or giving you that all-consuming silence?

(Me, I made some progress this morning, and over the weekend . . . except I'm getting that urge to revise/edit, which means there's something structurally wrong with the story. Boo. Also, I don't know if the scenes I'm writing actually make sense in the long run. I'll just have to see.)


-----The Golden Eagle

09 January, 2011

In Which We Interrupt The Usual Posting Schedule To Rant About Politics

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...Image via Wikipedia


6 people were killed and 13 (there is a range of numbers) people injured in Arizona because a gunman tried to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday. She's still alive and in critical care, after a bullet went through her head.

In the attack, U.S. District Judge John Roll was killed, along with Gabe Zimmermann, one of Giffords's aides, and a 9-year-old girl named Christina Greene.

A 9-YEAR-OLD GIRL.

In addition, all the victims are in serious and critical care.

Why did this happen? Oh, because of politics of course.

Jesse Kelly the Tea Party candidate who lost the election against Giffords and a former Marine, posted a picture on his website of himself in military uniform and encouraged people to pick up M16 rifles and shoot them to prevent Giffords from winning the election.

His spokesperson said: "I just don't see the connection".

Oh. Really. You don't see the connection between a candidate encouraging people to shoot a gun at someone and then someone actually going out and shooting a gun at someone?

How can someone not see the connection there?

Sarah Palin, who may or may not run for US President in the 2012 elections, (I desperately hope she doesn't run--please tell me she isn't going to run) made up a map of the USA and put crosshairs on certain Districts in the country because she didn't like their politics.

(She also tried to get people to chant KILL HIM at some of her rallies--meaning Barack Obama, of course.)


This is crazy. American politics has always had a certain amount of nastiness, but people were killed on Saturday and believe me, that's taking the nastiness to a whole new level.

Isn't a whole lot easier, and smarter, and more rational, to just sit down and argue and debate the way a democracy is supposed to work? Last time I checked "democracy" did not include attempting to assassinate the people who were elected in free and fair elections.

It seems like no one wants to be reasonable anymore. Yes, I can see demonstrating and protesting and sending angry emails to your politicians but KILLING PEOPLE?

That makes no sense.

Have we gone over some kind of cliff?

I get that people are angry, and that they don't like healthcare and the debt and government policies and higher taxes and cap-and-trade and a whole lot of other things because people are always angry about something, but is this kind of reaction going to get what they want?

By vandalism? By shootings? By irrational, knee-jerk reactions?

I hope this is the first and the last sort of attack there is here in the USA, but I have a bad feeling there might be more awful news in the future.

What are your thoughts?


-----The Golden Eagle
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07 January, 2011

Signs You May Have The Writing Syndrome

1. You enjoy reading books beyond what is considered normal or socially acceptable.

2. You have conversations with imaginary people in imaginary situations and who, you imagine, talk back to you and among each other.

3. You scrutinize human behavior and wonder why people do the things they do.

4. You get the urge to write things down on anything in sight when a new idea pops into your head.

5. You often fluctuate between ecstatic--as the new idea arrives in your head--and as frustrated as heck as you try to figure out what to do with the new idea.

6. You can occasionally be found talking aloud when the nearest living being is a plant.

7. You sometimes drift out of conversations to ponder the reasons behind one of the imaginary people or that new idea.

8. You go online and look up the sites of authors because you want to read their FAQs about the writing process and getting published.

9. You start analyzing the books you read and wonder how you would have done it better.

10. In the most severe cases, you actually start pouring forth words in quantities greater than that of a shopping list and create something with what's known as a plot.

If you can say you do more than three of the above, you have the Writing Syndrome.

There is no known cure.

Unfortunately, the only words available are:

Welcome to the club.


-----The Golden Eagle

06 January, 2011

On This Last Day of Christmas: Twelfth Day, Birds, Fish, Video, The Replacement, And Writing

Technically it is the last day of Christmas, you know.

Not as many people celebrate it anymore, particularly not here in the USA, (*sigh* cheer in this country doesn't last too long) but, according to Wikipedia,  it is still celebrated throughout the world. Some do it n the 5th, yesterday, because (also according to Wikipedia) in medieval times the next day started at sundown, which meant the Night came before the Day. Now the day begins at midnight.

So it all depends on where you start.

*****

I am trying to be friends with Zemanta right now, because it really is a helpful widget.

It's just I was trying to write a post, and it just threw everything out the window. I moved an image around, it combined the text with the image's HTML, and then when I pressed CTRL+Z a few times to get rid of the image and the changes I had made, it all disappeared.

Whoo-hoo.

I suppose I could have been a little less enthusiastic about the CTRL+Z part and just cut out the HTML with the image, but I was trying to get it out fast, because it's later in the afternoon than I'd like and I want to get around to reading blogs!

I suppose I've been taught another lesson about haste makes waste--or, in this case, an obvious lack of anything at all. I won't be doing that again.

*****

Did you hear about the fish and birds that have been dying? Over 3,000 red-wing blackbirds, common grackles, and European starlings died in Arkansas, and 100,000 fish died 125 miles away. There has also been a major fish die-out in the Chesapeake Bay: 2,000,000 or so there.

It's sad. Not because these are signs the world is going to end--and this is perfect fuel for the that wacky Mayan theory--but because those were birds and fish and creatures are dying much too fast already.

*****

Speaking of animals:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/american-eagle/video-full-episode/4349/

(I would have embedded the video, but the code hates me today.)

*****

I finished The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff on Monday, and since I don't want to write a separate post to review it, here a brief idea of what I thought it was like:

Plot: A little slow at the beginning, but it moved quickly enough to keep my interest I read it in a matter of hours. Characters: Loved Mackie Doyle, probably because I'm kind of solitary and an introvert myself. Setting: Creepy and a little disturbing, and I loved the way the human prejudice and general dislike of anything unknown was presented.

Overall: 4 out of 5. J'adore the cover.

*****

I had a good writing day today, and made up for yesterday's losses (I didn't write anything yesterday). I was also inspired by the music I was listening to--Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Usually it's not my favorite music, but it actually fits my book rather well.

Which leads me to ask: Are there any pieces of music that you've felt match your writing well?

*****

Well, there's my random and miscellaneous post for the week.

Hope you have a great Thursday!


-----The Golden Eagle

05 January, 2011

New Creation Blogfest

The New Creation Blogfest is hosted by Summer Ross at My Inner Fairy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUMMER!

Here is my sentence from a MG novel I currently call The Kings of Time Trilogy: Book 1 (please don't ask me how many books there are--whenever I start writing anything it gets longer . . . and longer . . . and longer):

I hopped into the boat and Axe slid in next to me.

And here is a sentence straight off the top of my head about a girl who lands in a marketing office due to a rip in spacetime (I always wanted to write a book on rips in spacetime--so much possibility!):

When my feet hit the carpet and I heard astonished gasps, I knew something had happened--and I knew immediately that it was going to be strange.

I'm afraid I will not be around to your blogs today, so I won't be coming up in the comment threads--Wednesdays are a mess for me. So I won't be visiting the other blogfesters, either, until tomorrow. (I still have to check out the Show Me Yours blogfest people . . .)

But anyways, if you're part of the New Creation, do comment and tell me so I can get around to your entry! :)


-----The Golden Eagle

04 January, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (22)

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts this awesome weekly meme.

The rules to participate:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from Grendel by John Gardner. Technically I'm reading it for school (homeschool, actually) but I'm enjoying the book and I finished other novels.

(I like this cover.)

When her strange eyes burned into me, it did not seem quite sure. I was intensely aware of where I sat, the volume of darkness I displaced, the shiny-smooth span of packed dirt between us, and the shocking separateness from me in my mama's eyes.
-p.17

If you have a teaser to share, feel free to comment with it below!


-----The Golden Eagle