sarashina: (Raven and Oz)
So I am sitting around watching the Oscar pre-show after a fairly low-key weekend. I mainly took time off from writing (though I still wrote a couple scenes) because for the latest time in this story, I think, I'm at a pretty natural stopping place. Or, rather, once I finish this chapter I probably won't really stop until I reach the end, so this is my only chance!

Holy crap, you guys, I can't believe that I'm going to be querying a novel again by late May/early June. I go back and forth on how confident I am every day. Sometimes it's like "I really hope I make it happen this time!" and other times it's like "YEAH, GO AHEAD AND TRY, YOU'LL BE AN INSPIRATION TO HACKS EVERYWHERE." It's more often the former than the latter, at least. Either way, I'm really excited to get started on the editing. I've got a lot of tweaking to do!

Speaking of publishing, I've been devouring books left and right lately! I've been bringing in books to work for when I can grab a quiet moment - I think I'll bring Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet tomorrow so I can finally finish it. I think I'm going to start bookblogging on my tumblr so I can have a record of all my reading in 2011. I still have plenty to get through on my bookshelf, so I can use those to somehow distract myself from all the awesome sequels I'm waiting on later this year. And aren't we getting a new DWJ book at some point? UGH. ALL THESE GREAT UNPUBLISHED BOOKS NEED TO COME TO MEEEE.

Also, randomly, all this Red Carpet footage makes me want to go shopping. Judging by the state of my closet, that is the worst idea ever. Maybe I'll see if anything ready for Salvation Army first.

Yosh, I will now turn my full attention to the broadcast. Got any Oscar predictions, guys?


Feb. 20th, 2011 03:45 pm
sarashina: (Raven and Oz)
So I figured I should actually make posts that are not related to writing! (I am probably going to finish another chapter within the next few days. God have mercy on our sooooouls.)

Instead, I thought I'd do a few mini book reviews/recs, since I'm getting some books read again! I'm going to keep 'em fairly spoiler-free, but if you're the type who likes to know as little as possible about the book before going in, I would give this post a miss.

The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon )

White Cat )

Next up (in no particular order):
Half World
The Magicians
The Hunger Games
The Monstrumologist
The Maze Runner
Prophecy of the Sisters (represented by my dream agent - MY HOMEWORK)
sarashina: (Default)
It's that time again, folks! Time for me to spend the annual Christmas Barnes and Noble gift card from Grandma. And you know what that means. RECS! So if you've read an awesome book lately, do tell, because I want to read it, too!

Just to give you an idea, here are some things I am totally weak for:
- A good mystery
- A creepy setting with a lot of character
- Any and all creepiness in general, really
- Creative fantasy elements/mythology
- Adorkable protagonists who I want to hug all the time
- Strong friendships and/or a good group dynamic
- Snark and banter
- Unique, surprising romances

If a book contains any/all of these elements, I will be allll over it.

And on the other hand, here are some turn-offs:
- Writers who are too in love with their own genius to tell a proper story
- Love triangles
- When the writer tells me, at great length, how DARK and BROODING and TORTURED and REBELLIOUS his protagonist is, when said protagonist is actually just a huge douche
- Female love interests who are given no development beyond "Manic Pixie Dream Girl"

Thank you in advance! ♥
sarashina: (Default)
So I did not get to see Suzanne Collins yesterday, sob. ;; The buses and trains were running on a reduced schedule, and by the time I got there, the autograph line was capped. I'm sure I'll catch her again eventually, but I really wanted to have her sign something for my friend's birthday!

Unfortunately it was too hot to stay much longer at the National Book Festival. I poked through the sauna of a book sales tent recently, and I added a few more to my list. I also went into a presentation randomly to sit down, and the woman talking was Claudette Colvin, who did the same thing as Rosa Parks except several months beforehand, but the Civil Rights Movement didn't make her into an icon because she was 15 and pregnant. She was apparently part of a children/teens' book about important people forgotten by history, which is really cool.

I definitely want to try again - and get there earlier - next year, but I'm glad I went. And now I'm going to spend today watching things, tidying up, doing laundry, and hopefully doing a lot of Hungry Ground outlining.

So speaking of watching things, between Netflix streaming and fall premieres, I've been watching a ton of Western TV lately! I feel like I'm going to be more than set for Yuletide this year. :D Have some spoiler-free impressions:

Veronica Mars: Netflixed the first two seasons. LOVE LOVE LOVE the first season so very much, and even though the plot of the second season wasn't as awesome, the character moments alone were enough to make up for it. ILU Cliff.

Pushing Daisies: Such a jarring switch to make after VMars - there's so much color and perkiness it sort of made my head explode. But it was super-cute. And Lee Pace/Ned is about the closest thing to moe moe I've ever seen in an American male character.

The Dresden Files: Why did I watch so many episodes of this? It's not like it's particularly bad, but... they pretty much took away all the charm and fantastic relationships of the book series, and all that's left is the cheese. And the angst, naturally. So it's sort of dull.

Slings and Arrows: I'm making my way through the second season. This is really, really good! It's a great portrait of the crazy world of theatre, and all the little Shakespearean touches to the actors' everyday lives makes for a total geek heaven. Especially since they're now doing Macbeth, the most unsettling play ever.

Glee: The premiere was typical Glee, meaning a mix of good and WTF. But Mike Chang has dialogue! And Charice was awesome! And I take Kurt's hilarious brutal honestly towards Finn to mean that the interminable crush plotline has finally ended. So there's enough to keep me watching.

Modern Family: adhfjsks ♥ ♥ ♥ Why did it take me so long to catch up on this show? It is so friggin adorable. I love Mitchell and Cam. I'm sure that surprises no one. But I love everyone else, too.

Community: YOU GUYS, IT'S BACK. ♥ And in top form, too. The final scene with Ken Jeong was absolutely brilliant. I'm psyched for this season.

The Vampire Diaries: Well, show, I see you've wasted absolutely no time getting back to the OMG DID THAT JUST HAPPEN moments! This is why I enjoy TVD - the pacing and twists keep you on your toes. But where the hell is Alaric? Granted, I haven't watched episode 3 yet, but I NEED HIM IN MY LIFE.

And that's it for now! Off to do the breakfast thing...
sarashina: (Default)
Going to tackle the unpopular opinions meme later - this sinus infection is keeping my energy super-low, but I'm feeling better today - but I require your book recs once again!

I have loved the books you guys have recced me in the past, and now I have a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card that's burning a hole in my pocket. The books in my cart only total to $34 right now, and I require your assistance to throw some awesome titles at me.

(And yes, I've already pre-ordered Dragon Soul. With my Borders gift card, actually! I have a lot of gift cards lately.)

Things I love:
- Fun books. Not to say there can't be conflict - conflict is wonderful, after all - but I want something I can just curl up and enjoy, not something that will get me depressed.
- Horror, the supernatural, good use of mythology, or any dose of creepiness at all. A nice, tense mystery will do it just as well, too.
- Creative fantasy elements.
- Adorable characters who I want to hug all the time. I tend to adore strong friendships and group dynamics, too.
- Snark and banter. ♥
- Unique, surprising romances.

I will be all over a book containing any or all of these elements!

Things that turn me off:
- Writers who are in love with their own "originality" or worldbuilding to the point that the story is inaccessible.
- Pretentiousness
- Love triangles
- When an author clearly wants me to think that his protagonist is amazing and witty and rebellious, but actually he is just bland/grating/all of the above.
- Romances between hapless guys and "quirky" women who aren't actually quirky at all but just spout supposedly meaningful dialogue at every opportunity. (See: Manic Pixie Dream Girl.)

Thanks in advance~ ♥
sarashina: (Default)
Did I mention that I got to meet [ profile] halcyonjazz and [ profile] moonsheen and a whole lot of other cool people last weekend? I didn't? Well, obviously I fail. It was awesome seeing you guys!

- I finished Prince of Persia for the Xbox 360 the other day, and even though I watched [ profile] halcyonjazz play it before, it didn't take away from the experience at all. ♥ Actually, it was awesome to watch how well the ending was set up, and playing it out was goosebump-inducing.

The only bad thing about this game is that it doesn't have a sequel that I can play right this second. The gameplay is amazing, the writing is amazing, the Prince and Elika are smoking hot together and a huge OTP, and basically it was everything I love in a story. Incredible setting! Story that's equal parts chilling and hilarious! Familiar character types paired with surprising and unique traits and dynamics! Seriously, why isn't everyone playing this.

- I'm also about 20+ hours into FF13, and even though I enjoy most of the characters, I have to say, I totally wouldn't mind if it were just the Lightning and Hope Have Crazy Adventures show. They're easily my two favorites (with Sazh very close behind), and their dynamic is just the most precious thing. THAT HUG. I am weak.

I enjoy the hell out of them separately, too. Lightning is much more lovable than I expected, while still being prickly and awkward, and though Hope was a bit angsty to start with, he just gets cuter and cuter. And I adored his hilarious STONY SILENCE when he was paired up with Snow for the first time. And the way he was just sort of silently freaking out when Fang was getting handsy with Vanille. ♥

It seems like the internet in general is pretty much split on this game, but I'm having a lot of fun with it! Perhaps because I have only played FFs 7, 10, and 12, and while I liked them all, I like 13's system better. *is shot*

- I am hearing rumors of a third Natsume Yuujinchou season, and after reading the latest arc, I have to say: DO WANT. I think some of my favorite stories have been in these later chapters; the focus has shifted more towards Tanuma/Taki/Natori/etc than a 'youkai of the week' type deal, which I really love.

As for the latest arc, I'm still not sure if Midorikawa's trying to make me ship Natori and Natsume or not, but whatever it is, I hope she keeps doing it, because it's adorable. Also, it amuses me very much that this arc was totally the "Natsume crossdresses and gossips with Hiiragi" arc. ♥

- Speaking of something that's not a rumor, Tanya Huff's Smoke series is going to be made about a TV show. A TV show about a book about a TV show? How meta.

That out of the way, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! If it's good and faithful to the books, it's going to rock. And even if it's bad, I still get the continued adventures of Tony and Henry, and I will put up with a lot for that. Except if the writers make Tony straight. (I do have to wonder if they'll deal with this by making Tony a celibate hero and leaving out his crush on Lee/history with Henry? Who knows. I will have to wait and see.)

- Currently reading: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey. This book has a lot of awesome things going for it! Snarky, self-sufficient heroine who has actual weight issues! Magical love interest who manages to be an adorable woobie instead of a manipulative jerkass! Multiethnic cast! Maori mythology! Creepy plot! Passes the Bechdel Test! And I like it very much. But with all these awesome elements, why don't I love it? Probably because I was expecting it to be creepier, actually, and I am a chills junkie. We'll see how it all comes together.

Other than that, not too much going on. Well, lots going on, really, but it mostly amounts to "so busy ugh." I did, however, finish the first chapter of The Hungry Ground, which is awesome.

Yosh! Time to take care of some things I keep forgetting about...
sarashina: (Default)
So let us do a recap of THIS WEEK IN ENTERTAINMENT. I have consumed more in the past few days than I have in weeks - thanks, Spring Break!

- Firstly and most importantly, I CAN HAS PRINCE OF PERSIA. Temporarily. Sarah's lab mate lent me his XBOX360 as a birthday present of sorts, and another labmate kindly lent me his copy of Prince of Persia. So I have been having great fun accidentally inventing new ways to hurl myself into chasms.

I still love the Prince and Elika. I loved them before, but I forgot how much! I am weak to their dynamic in general: it's adorable how Elika does get that he's attracted to her, but doesn't seem to realize that he's in awe of her. And oh, their banter! And the delicious foreshadowing! I request a sequel game in which they do nothing but alternate between snarking and making out.

- I also had the chance to play Final Fantasy 13 a little bit! I'm not very far in, but I like it. Most of the characters are endearing (Sazh! ♥), and I've had multiple Stupid Sexy Lightning moments so far. Also, I have endless funtimes with Hope, who I have taken to calling "Muffin." At first, Sarah's labmate was all, "HE DOES NOT NEED TO BE EMASCULATED MORE," but by the end of the night he was also calling him "Muffin."

- I also played a little Assassin's Creed 2. At some point I am just going to go running up to a building and try to climb it. I was also far too used to PoP at that point, so I would just hurl Ezio off roofs and go "WHAT THE HELL WHERE'S ELIKA." Oops.

- So I was just watching Fringe episodes for the sake of having something to watch, but as it goes into season two, it is actually legitimately growing on me! Of course, as soon as I thought that, they decided to go and kill off a character I liked in a terrible horrible way. Where am I supposed to get my deadpan snark and weirdly incongruous hats now. D:

One thing I think they did rather well was to make Massive Dynamic deliciously ambiguous instead of the stereotypical evil cooperation. Which is awesome because, well, I have a strange love for Nina Sharp and her robot arm. ♥ It is a JJ Abrams show, and therefore full of plot holes big enough to create a rip in the fabric of space time, but it's fun, and contains minimal fail.

- And just so you know I'm still literate, I'm currently reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It's like Gosford Park with a ghost story. ♥ Love it. Will do a writeup later.

Thanks so much for all the prompts, guys! I plan to sit down and mess with them soon.
sarashina: (Default)
The editing plows onward, and today I'm revisiting Jack's tumultuous relationship with pronouns. Why did I make Jack a shape-shifter with an unknown gender again? Oh, right. Because I love shooting myself in the foot. Other than that, I incorporated a lot of my mom's nitpicks through chapter eight, and hopefully the story reads better for them.

Aaaaanyway. Reviews/recs!

Two books and a manga: The Night Tourist, The Devil's Whisper, and Otoyomegatari )

And lastly, more fashion pictures! Since I didn't wear anything particularly special today, I will show off some winter gear instead.

Coats, hats, and scarves! )

Dinner, and then more editing!

October 2013



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