My random assortment of awesome pictures and words.
List 10 (or more) books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, but they should be ones that have affected you in some way.
1) The Road by Cormac McCarthy—I never knew that books could be so devastating.
2) Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien—If you know me at all, I don’t need to explain this choice.
3) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner—A narrator who lies to me? And he’s a thief? Yes, please. Brilliant storytelling (check out the entire series) and my favorite book character of all time. It’s not just because he’s a thief.
4) Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien—Wait, animals have feelings too? How am I falling in love with a rat? Also, see Redwall for more animal tales.
5) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy—My hatred, intense and everlasting, for a character in this novel was like a challenge to write one just as selfish. Challenge accepted.
6) The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle – This was when I realized that I wanted to be writer. Also, my favorite heroine of all time.
7) Unwind/Bruiser (two separate books) by Neal Shusterman—Change one thing, something impossible, and set it loose into the real world. How does that change your perspective about forgiveness, emotional abuse, legal conversations, or self-hatred? Prepare yourself to make social commentary personal with a side of excellent tension.
8) The She by Carol Plum-Ucci—Disorienting and driven by the unexplained, I liked having my beliefs about monsters challenged and then made as irrelevant as the main characters’ by the end. I still don’t know what to believe. Huzzah.
9) Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman—The word “ineffable,” and descriptions as unwanted as an angel seeming “gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.” Also, who lost the antichrist? I’m so glad they did.
10) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte—Madness and romance should always go together.
11) The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan—The darkness of superstition and judgment is far greater than that of disability or isolation. For the first time I realized that there are some things that can never be communicated, and there are sides that will never see eye to eye.
12) An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi—History has some pretty great tension when you think about it. Which I hadn’t before this novel.
13) The Squire’s Tale series by Gerald Morris—Hilarity and loveable characters, both of which make me jealous as a writer. Plus it’s Arthurian lore.
14) Howl’s Moving Castle—Because Dianna Wynn Jones.
(By Madeleine Dresden)
I was at a gas station and had a profound thought dawn on me. I looked at the guy at one of the other pumps and thought to myself, where could this guy be from. Honestly. Have you thought about that? You’re just sitting there filling up your tank and the dude next to you could be on some cross country journey to find his kidnapped wife. What if he thought you were looking pretty shifty. He could come at you and attack. Or maybe he is on a soul quest. What if he is having a mid-life crisis and needed some fresh air and a change of scenery? If I just leaned over and said something completely random like “quite the artist isn’t he?” as I gesture to the sky, he could see me as some sort of guru or wiseman. What if he writes a memoir of his journey and I am the epiphany he was looking for? I could be that in somebody’s eyes. That is my new goal.
A few things I learned today at DragonCon:
1. “If you’re going to be stupid, you have to be tough.”- wise words from a mom behind me to her crying son.
2. Most people who spend a lot of time in fandoms are not as attractive as their fictional counterparts.
3. Similarly, wearing nothing but shells over your breasts really only looks good if you are, in fact, a mermaid.
4. The only thing geekier than going to DragonCon is dressing up to go to DragonCon. Fun, too