Archive for November, 2012

Media Monday: Wreck-it Ralph

Nov
26
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday
Wreck-it Ralph Poster

Image belongs to Disney

Title: Wreck-it Ralph
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Rich Moore
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Genre: Kids
Summary: [from IMDB]

A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.

My Review

Now, I’ll admit I’m a sucker for kids movies, if they’re well done. But this one I’d rank among my top ten, easily!

Ralph is a bad guy who is tired of being bad. He goes to bad guy support group and everything (seriously, so many clever things like that in this movie!) So, in order to get the rest of the citizens of his game to like him, he game jumps in an attempt to become a hero. Unfortunately everything goes wrong, and it’s not long before Ralph is convinced he’s to blame.

One of the reasons Wreck-it Ralph works so well is the many layers of story. Each character is well-rounded and has their own back story that really influences who they are. Even some of the side characters whose back-stories are never told are complexly imagined – I wouldn’t be surprised if we see spin-offs or even sequels featuring some of the minor characters.

A nicely layered story also leads to layered messages. All of the characters are flawed somehow which is definitely important. But also, not one of them has the “answer.” All of them have lessons to learn on prejudice, bullying and helpfulness. These lessons are tied together so smoothly that someone not looking might not even notice how good for you this movie is!

Sadly, I don’t remember anything significant enough to comment on about the music (shame on me!) but this is definitely one I’d like to see again and again so maybe next time!





Fall Book Exchange: Thank you!

Nov
25
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

Ruby's reads book exchanges
A quick “Thank you” to Ricki, who was my Santa for the Ruby’s Reads Book Exchange this fall. She didn’t give me a blog address, so I can’t link her, but she seems really cool! I received Rebel Angels by Libba Bray, and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, both of which I’m really excited about! Thank you so much Ricki!

I would also like to thank our hosts Ruby and Amanda for doing a great job organizing the chaos!





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 20

Nov
25
1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description and banner borrowed from On a Book Bender]

The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)

Behind the Desk
(My life behind the scenes)

This week was pretty emotionally taxing. We spent the week visiting my Grandparents for Thanksgiving and Grandpa’s not doing so good. It was difficult to say the least, to think that the next time we go over there will probably be for the funeral.

 

 

Around the Corner
(Blog posts I found awesome since the last post)

GoodReaders’ Digest
(Books I’ve read in the past week and books I plan to read next. Also includes stats for the Unbreaking the Shelves Challenge)

Read:
  • False Memory by Dan Krokos
  • Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
  • Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
  • Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Currently Reading:

  • Diviners by Libba Bray
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (audiobook)

Unbreaking the Shelves stats:

Get my “Embarrassed I haven’t read yet” shelf under 45.

  • Beginning total: 65
  • As of 11/25: still 58

Keep my to-read-now list as close to 250 as possible. Expert level: bring it down to 235.

  • Beginning total: 253
  • As of 11/18: 260

Added:

  • NONE! Again! WOOOOO!

Read 15 books off of my Series Completion list

Series Completion
9/15

EXPERT LEVEL: Read a total of 57 books from the TBR list (overshooting my original GR year goal by 25)

Total Books
31/57




Time to be Thankful!

Nov
21
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts

It’s that time of year again! I know I, for one, am counting down the hours to watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade (no joke, that’s the thing I missed most about being out of the country for Thanksgiving 2 years in a row), stuffing myself with more food than I should eat, and spending enough time with my extended family to remind me why I like living 3 hours away from them! But before that, I’d like to take some time to do what the holiday is supposed to be for: be thankful! There are so many bookish people I am thankful for, and I feel like I don’t take enough opportunities to thank them. These are in no particular order, and I’m sure I’ll forget someone in the process – please don’t be offended, because I am thankful for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!

Authors:

  • Kristin Cashore (The Seven Realms series) – Her books have had a major effect on me, both for her writing style, and their topics. If I had to pick one writer that I wanted to be when I grow up, it would be her. Plus, she is such an inspirational person for me, living with similar RSI’s (though hers are much more prohibitive than mine).
  • Beth Revis (Across the Universe) – Beth Revis is one of my favorite blogging authors. She writes funny and accessible posts about writing, and some pretty good novels too!
  • Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) – Another of my favorite blogging authors. I love her books, I love her blog posts, I love her fancy hair colors. I think if I ever got to meet her, well, I don’t even know, but I’d be REALLY happy!
  • Maureen Johnson (SO MANY THINGS, but most recently Name of the Star) – Maureen writes THE funniest tweets and posts ever. I admire her so much for her “I’m me, love it or leave it” attitude. Oh, and the great books, that too.
  • All authors EVER – I know, this is a cop-out. But seriously, without authors, books wouldn’t exist and without books, I think I might actually have to curl up in a corner and wait to die. I COULD NOT LIVE!

Bloggers:

  •  Amanda (On a Book Bender) – I want to be Amanda when I grow up. She has such class, and always writes really insightful discussions and reviews. At the same time, she knows when to cut loose – I’ve never laughed harder at a blog post than when reading one of her GLA posts with Kelly!
  • Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) – I don’t know Jamie on a personal level like I do some of my favorite bloggers, but I love her posts! She doesn’t read much of the same stuff as I do, but her discussion posts always get me thinking!
  • Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) – I know, I plug Kristilyn a lot. But seriously, I could not love her more! She lets me come up with crazy ideas AND THEN AGREES TO DO THEM WITH ME! She has three snazzy blogs (more than I could ever imagine keeping up with!) and puts out amazing content on all three. I can’t imagine a blogging life without her around anymore, so I really hope she keeps it up for a long time.
  • Smash (Smash Attack Reads) – Smash is another blogger who likes way different books than me, but I love following for the non-review posts. She has sass, writes incredibly smart discussions, and I love her sense of humor!
  • The whole community in general – I would never have kept going without the supportive community you have all built. Every time I’ve considered quitting, someone has done or said something that brought me back from that ledge, and I am insanely grateful for that. The blogging community has become so much a part of my life that I cannot imagine being without it – and that’s all due to you!

And of course, I am grateful to anyone who has ever commented on anything I wrote. I live for comments, and every one makes my day.

Now, go have a piece of turkey and celebrate! You deserve it!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? (Also, because I’m curious, if you don’t live in the US, do you have a holiday to be thankful on?)





NanowriMondays 3

Nov
19
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

Nanowrimo Banner
It’s that time of year again! Time for the more crazy among us to attempt to drive ourselves batshit insane! I mean… Time to write 50,000 words in 30 days! For the month of November I’ll be replacing my usual Media Monday posts with NanowriMondays (borrowed last year from Casey @ The Bookish Type, who sadly is no longer blogging). They’ll cover my progress, the frustrations and excitement, and some basics of the story I’m writing.

I have bad news guys. I am failing at Nanowrimo. Like big time. I know I was almost caught up last week, but since then life got in the way. I have about a week to finish all of my applications, which means lots of writing for that – personal statements, revising papers for writing samples etc.  I can’t afford to put my entire life on hold just to win at Nanowrimo, especially when I’ve done it once before. So, from today, I will officially no longer be participating. The plan is to continue my writing after all my applications are in.

Thanks to everybody for your support! I wouldn’t have even made it as far as I did without your help!

 

Nanowrimo progress
17,872/50,000




Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 19

Nov
18
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description and banner borrowed from On a Book Bender]

The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)

  • Monday for  NanowriMondays I discussed how I write and discovered I write conversations best.
  • Tuesday I reviewed Storm by Brigid Kemmerer – Great elemental storyline but very definitely a YA PNR.
  • Thursday I reviewed Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – love me some dragons!
  • Friday I discussed my difficulty writing reviews.

Behind the Desk
(My life behind the scenes)

How is it almost Thanksgiving already? HOW???

Right now I’m hanging out at one of my college friends’ house for the weekend. We haven’t seen each other since August, so it was definitely time. Yesterday we went to a HUGE Christmas craft show and I spent way more than I should have (but seriously, SUCH pretty jewelry). Oh and there were kittens and they let me HOLD ONE!

Me and the kitty

Isn’t it CUTE? SO FLUFFY!!! (Of course, it wouldn’t look at the camera so how would you know? lol)

Still working on those graduate applications. I swear it feels like I will NEVER be done with them…

 

Around the Corner
(Blog posts I found awesome since the last post)

  • Patti (Parajunkee’s View) complained about obscure music mentioned in books. I never really pay attention to be honest, but her thoughts are interesting.
  • Kristilyn (A Winter Writer) reminded us that to get better at something we must do it (aka practice).
  • Beth Revis (author of Across the Universe) gave us some insight into her writing process – specifically how she comes up with ideas.
  • Danny (Bewitched Bookworms) discussed review requests, and what makes her accept some and reject others.

GoodReaders’ Digest
(Books I’ve read in the past week and books I plan to read next. Also includes stats for the Unbreaking the Shelves Challenge)

Read:
  • Hammered by Kevin Hearne (audiobook)
  • Until I die by Amy Plum
  • Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Currently Reading:

  • False Memory by Dan Krokos
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (audiobook)

Unbreaking the Shelves stats:

Get my “Embarrassed I haven’t read yet” shelf under 45.

  • Beginning total: 65
  • As of 11/18: still 58

Keep my to-read-now list as close to 250 as possible. Expert level: bring it down to 235.

  • Beginning total: 253
  • As of 11/18: 263

Added:

  • NONE! WOOOOO!

Read 15 books off of my Series Completion list

Series Completion
7/15

EXPERT LEVEL: Read a total of 57 books from the TBR list (overshooting my original GR year goal by 25)

Total Books
27/57




Writing reviews, Corner style

Nov
16
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

Discussion day

Here on Creativity’s Corner, I like to do thing my own special ways. (I mean, don’t we all?) I may not have the biggest blog on the block but I love what I do have, because it is so me. I love interacting with all of you, because you’re all such special people and you make me see the world in new ways. But there’s one thing that I don’t particularly like about blogging, and it’s time for me to confess.

I don’t like writing reviews. My mother always told me if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all, right? So why do I feel the right to publish any negative opinions? Besides that, I hate making waves. I love discussions, but I don’t want to step on any toes! Add to that the fact that it really takes a lot to make me not like a book and I feel like I’m almost not qualified – everyone says they want a balance of reviews, both positive and negative, but I find it excessively difficult to write a negative review, because I just don’t want to.

Here’s how my review writing generally goes:

  • Finish book and form my opinion (usually one of three: “OMG SO GOOD!”, “meh”, or “well I won’t be reading that again, but it was probably my fault I didn’t like it”)
  • Sit down to write review – set up page, list characters for reminding myself, fiddle w/images etc.
  • Not sure how to start but I’d better… OOOH SHINY! NEW BOOK!
  • Finish second book. I feel guilty for not reviewing first book. So, I give myself a stern talking to before sitting down to write BOTH reviews.
  • I got interrupted. I need portable entertainment for some reason, so I pick out another book, but promise myself that I will write the reviews BEFORE finishing yet another book.
  • Oops. That book was exciting and now I’ve finished it without writing a single review.
  • And repeat ad nauseum until I have so many reviews piled up that I can’t stand to even look at my review notebook because it isJUDGING ME!

It’s an embarrassing and painful process. I’ve tried many methods to get myself out of the vicious cycle. Some of them work for a little while, but they all fail eventually. At this point, I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that I am a procrastinator through and through!

Do you ever have trouble writing reviews? What tricks do you use to make sure you don’t get backed up on reviews?





Book Review: Seraphina

Nov
15
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Seraphina Cover

Title: Seraphina (Seraphina #1)

Author: Rachel Hartman

Summary: [from GoodReads]

 Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

My Review

Honestly, between dragons, epic fantasy and court intrigues, if I hadn’t like this book I would have been a little worried there was something wrong with me! But it most definitely lived up to and even exceeded my expectations!

I’ve lamented many times that there are so few dragons in fantasy right now, but the truth is they’re pretty difficult to write. They serve pretty well as a distant villain, since there’s all these stories of sacrificing maidens. But at the same time, dragons are famously sentient. Ms. Hartman does a good job of incorporating both sides of dragon nature. By making Seraphina only half dragon, she also makes the dragons much more relatable. It’s one of those ideas that is incredibly unique and yet so obvious I wonder why no one has ever tried it before.

The other thing I loved about this one was the vibrant writing style – I really did feel like I was watching a movie instead of reading. I loved that Seraphina was a musician, and the descriptions of her music really brought it to life for me. I was able to vividly imagine the city and all the different types of dragons and half-dragons. I especially loved the little trinkets the lesser dragons made (I don’t remember what they were called, sorry!).

And, of course, then there’s Lucien Kiggs. He is one of my favorite love interests that I’ve ever read. He is complex – compassionate but strictly responsible. He has a lot less prejudice than the rest of the characters (or at least it seems like he does). He’s happy to work with Seraphina until he finds out she lied to him, and he admires and respects her without seeming chauvinistically surprised about it.

I can unreservedly say that this book has only my highest recommendation – easily one of the top 10 books I’ve read this year!





Book Review: Storm

Nov
13
1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Book Review

Storm Cover

Title: Storm (Elemental #1)

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Summary: [from GoodReads]

 Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn’t want, ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming

My Review

This book (along with a few others – Obsidian comes to mind) seemed to be THE book of the summer this year. While I probably would have read it eventually anyway – who doesn’t like a good elemental story? – that certainly bumped it up my list a few notches.

There were a few things I really loved about this one. The premise is kind of Tamora Pierce meets YA paranormal and I kind of liked that. Elementals are a rather unused and under-explored type of magic user and I love them all the more for that.

I also really enjoyed Becca’s balance. She’s caring and sentimental but is also a little bit badass. She’s hurting from her past but eventually she finds the courage to face up to it and move on. She was almost too balanced to be realistic, but she’s so nice that you like her anyway.

Despite its many good points there were still a few things that bugged me. For one, the love triangle felt a little contrived. I was never really convinced that Becca really liked either of the boys. I got the feeling that while she enjoyed the attention, she was more just along for the ride, and I half expected her to dump both of them and go after someone completely different.

I have to say, I think I’ve read to many YA paranormal romances recently, because I saw the big surprising twist ending coming from a mile away. As much as I love trying to figure out what is going to happen as I read, I’m sometimes a little disappointed at how often I’m right.

Overall I would say this is a fun (if thick) read. I will definitely be looking out for the next book – I’m curious to see how a change in narrator will affect the tone of the story.





NanowriMondays 2: How do you write?

Nov
12
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

Nanowrimo Banner
It’s that time of year again! Time for the more crazy among us to attempt to drive ourselves batshit insane! I mean… Time to write 50,000 words in 30 days! For the month of November I’ll be replacing my usual Media Monday posts with NanowriMondays (borrowed last year from Casey @ The Bookish Type, who sadly is no longer blogging). They’ll cover my progress, the frustrations and excitement, and some basics of the story I’m writing.

Is it Monday again already? Man this month flies past! This past week was pretty slow for me – I did some writing but I rarely made it to the daily word count. I was frustrated and angry, but I just didn’t have the time, and when I did, I was too exhausted to do anything about it. Then Wednesday or Thursday night (I forget which) I was talking to Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) and we were both complaining about the amount of THINGS we needed to do this weekend. So, we decided to have the Weekend of Awesome, in an attempt to get most of these things done. Friday was Nano day, and I wrote a whopping 7,500+ words! That got me within 200 of being caught up, and I was so proud of myself! Since then I’ve slacked off a little, so I’m back to being behind, but I am hoping, since today is a holiday and the library isn’t open full hours, that I’ll be able to get quite a lot of that in. And if not, I’ll make Kristilyn do some word wars with me – I rarely win, but I get a TON of writing done :)

One of the things that really helped me on Friday was getting my characters into an argument. They’re kind of mad at each other anyway, left over from their first book together when they both told major whoppers to each other, so it wasn’t too hard. All it took was putting one of them in mortal peril and suddenly they were screaming at each other! I’m not sure why but I’ve always had an easier time writing conversation (or screaming spats lol) than the rest of the stuff. While I love description and all, I tend to let the editor creep back in and tell me all the things I’m doing wrong if my characters aren’t talking too loud to hear her. Of course, this is all well and good, but I can’t very well write an entire novel out of conversations either…

How about you? Do you prefer writing conversation, or the descriptions in between?

Nanowrimo progress
14,724/50,000




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