Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Serenity #91: Praying for New Orleans and Gulf Coast

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Book Blurb: by george

by George: A Novel
by Wesley Stace
(c) 2007
Back Bay Books
400p (trade paperback)

Two years ago, singer-songwriter Wesley Stace blew onto the literary scene with his bold and free-wheeling Dickensian comedy Misfortune. Now, he is back with another wonderfully entertaining and inventive novel. By George is the twisting story of four generations of the curious Fisher family, as told by two boys named George Fisher: one, a schoolboy in the 1970s; the other, a ventriloquist's dummy in the second World War. It's a story of love, loss and family ties, and of two boys separated by years but driven by the same desires: to find a voice, and to be loved.

Read an excerpt

I am especially excited about this book. I had never heard of Wesley Statce before encountering this title on the list that Hachette offered me for review. Once I learned that he was compared to Charles Dickens I was eager to get my hands on either by George or his previous, Misfortune. I was intrigued enough that I went looking for more info. And then I discovered that by George, besides being a well-woven story, was an exploration of the acquisition of voice--both personal and artistic.

Now anyone whose read my blog for long will know that is one of my core issues. Not only does my discipline as a writer give me a natural interest in the artistic voice but I've been in a dedicated search for a sense of empowerment for my personal voice because the fundamenatlist sect I wss raised in not only dictated what was and wasn't correct to think about it essentially shamed me into silience on the grounds of my femaleness being intrinsically untrustworthy. So I am quite interested in how Stace develops this particular theme.

As announced in this post, this is the fifth of twelve Book Blurbs I plan to do for the review copies I received from Hachette books this month. There will also be more substantial book reviews for each of them as either Ed or I read them.

Read more...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Consumed By Obama Drama



I have nothing for a Fiction Foray post this week as I've spent the entire week watching the Democratic Convention coverage nearly every waking hour. So I thought I would share what it is that has me so consumed. Above, courtesy of MSNBC, is the full 40 some minutes of Obama's speech from Thursday night. This is on a par with the Martin Luther King Jr. 'I Have a Dream' speech given 45 years ago to the day. Our grandchildren will be talking about this speech fifty years from now the way we still talk about MLK's speech.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Weekly Geeks #14: Picturing Books

Weekly Geeks is back after a two week hiatus. This week's assignment is to post pictures of books.

See the bottom of this post for an important announcement.

These are the pics I took immediately after the January room makeover. I posted them in my TT the last week of January.


This is the view I have from my 'office' at the head of the bed. That's the top of the TV on the bottom edge of the picture. The shelves are deep enough to contain two rows of books. The front row on the bottom shelf are all library books. That row is empty this week as I've not been able to make the walk to the library for nearly two months because of the heat waves and the smoke from the California fires.

There is a row of Ed's programming books on the top shelf not shown above.
The blue books are the set of World Book Encyclopedias that I bought for $1 apiece at the library in early 2005. I blogged about it here. Below them is half of the Great Book set acquired the same way just two weeks later as described here.

More library books on that bottom shelf. Above them is half of the Great Books set. Above them is a shelf with nf trade and paperbacks. That stack in front of them then was my stack of to-be-reviewed at the time. That space in front of the nf is now completely full as two-thirds of its space is taken up by the review books I received from Hachette Book Groups.

This is my office. There are more books on the shelves by the window and more on the shelves under the computer.

I'm ashamed to say, I've not kept it nearly as tidy as these pics show it. Yet pleased to report that it has been six months and it has never been at risk of degenerating into anything resembling the before pics. The quilt has not been spread since March and is serving as part of my backrest as I type with my laptop on a board over a box between my legs.

Some of this week's WG participants:

1. MizB (bookshelves)
2. Alessandra
3. Icedream
4. Kerry (Saving my Sanity)
5. Joanne (Book Zombie)
6. Jackie (Literary Escapism)
7. Kim (page after page)
8. Molly (Restless Reader)
9. Rebecca (Just One More Page)
10. bookworm
11. Marisa
12. Mysteries in Paradise
13. Nari
14. Melanie
15. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)
16. Suey
17. Renay
18. Stephanie's Written Word
19. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)
20. SmallWorld Reads

I will be hosting another Hachette Groups giveaway some time in the next week.

And the week of September 22 I will be hosting a giveaway of Joshua Henkin's Matrimony. A single copy inscribed personally to the winner by the author!

Read more...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #101

I don't suppose this list needs all that much explanation. :)

Thursday Thirteenclick on pic to find this and more metal ornaments for garden decor


Thirteen Joy Sayings

  1. Jump for joy
  2. Pride and joy
  3. Bundle of joy
  4. Oh, joy!
  5. Joy to the world
  6. Joy of________
  7. Tears of joy
  8. Joystick
  9. Joy ride
  10. Joy in the morning
  11. Joy buzzer
  12. No greater joy
  13. Love, joy, peace


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!




The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Read more...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book Blurb: The Choice

The Choice
by Nicholas Sparks
(c) 2007 (trade release 2008)
Grand Central Publishing
272p

#1 New York Times bestseller Nicholas Sparks turns his unrivaled talents to a new tale about love found and lost, and the choices we hope we'll never have to make.


Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life - boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

My interest in this Sparks story is the same as for his Dear John, the subject of the last blurb I put up. I just love the feeling tone of Sparks' stories. They are usually emotional wringers but don't leave you feeling manipulated like some hanky-honkers. They are emotional because the characters are pitted against challenges that test the mettle of their souls and force them to see what the most important things really are and how trivial what they once deemed important is. And the most important things are always about relationships and the love given and received within them; the sanctuary from life's chaos they provide.




As announced in this post, this is the fourth of twelve Book Blurbs I plan to do for the review copies I received from Hachette books this month. There will also be more substantial book reviews for each of them as either Ed or I read them.

Read more...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Poetry Train #60



Haiku
by Joy Renee

Awaken!
To a glorious day.
Jump for joy.

And while you're at it sing and dance. Here's 2 Unlimited to show you how:



Sometimes, even when you don't feel like it, you just gotta do it. And then you just might find the feeling. It's magic that way.

This one's for you sis.

Read more...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Serenity #90

Joy Wants Eternity



A sound to dream by

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Museum of Dr. Moses by Joyce Carol Oates

Having mentioned several times lately that Joyce Carol Oates has been one of the major influence on my own writing, I thought it was about time to post another review of one of her works.

The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense
by Joyce Carol Oates
(c) 2007
An Otto Penzler Book Harcourt, Inc.
229p

These chilling tales examine the intersection of innocence and evil both within the human heart and in the interactions between them. They range in length from just 3 pages (Stripping) to nearly 60 (The Man Who Fought Roland LaStarza).and in style from the breathless single sentence in omniscient POV of the 5 page Hi! Howya Doin! to the somewhat clinical reportage through a single POV of the 40 odd page title story, The Museum of Dr. Moses.

No two match in style and yet I recognize Joyce Carol Oates touch in every one. It is in the willingness to look horror straight on without either flinching or being mesmerized. A willingness not always imparted to the characters. A willingness the reader acquires heartbeat by heartbeat as sentence by sentence they are lured into the heart of the story whereupon it is too late to refuse to look. You could stop reading, but you have already seen and one way or another must process the disturbing dreamscape of the human heart presented therein.

The stories:

Hi! Howya Doin!
--an annoying jogger encounters another with an intolerance for annoyance

Suicide Watch
--a father questions his son, an inmate of a psyche ward, on the whereabouts of his two year old grandson. An especially disturbing story in light of recent headlines.

The Man Who fought Roland LaStarza
--a daughter's nostalgic memories of her childhood are shredded by the disturbing revelations of her dying father

Valentine, July heat Wave
--a possessive husband prepares a macabre gift for his estranged wife

Bad Habits
--the children of a notorious serial killer attempt to make sense out of the senseless

Feral
--a beloved only son, a sweet tempered loving child, nearly drowns and undergoes a chilling transformation

The Hunter
--chronicles of a serial killer

The Twins: A Mystery
--the twin sons of a calculating scientist whose article of faith is survival of the fittest are pitted against each other

Stripping
--a gruesome shower scene

The Museum of Dr. Moses
--a daughter attempts to rescue her mother from the lair of her controlling husband

Read more...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Forays In Fiction: Mapping Crystal's Story

This shows my attempt to use the spreadsheet concept to map out the elements already existing and those anticipated in the latest WIP I got into a muddle with, Home Is Where the Horror Is, aka Crystal's story. The rows are scenes as in the example I saw on Joely's blog but I created columns according to the needs of my WIP as I saw it. There are more items/threads I want to map so I'll be adding more columns. But even with the bare minimum of who, what (happened) and where I learned a lot about what was and wasn't working and got some glimmers of how to proceed.

Just for a lark, I added the Hero's Journey as described in Volger's The Writer's Journey in one column just to see if I saw any correlation at all. And there are some startling ones. Like the way Father's object lesson in the swimming pool scene falls into the Ordeal slot on the Hero's Journey. Of course the stages of the Hero's Journey could comprise multiple scenes so that is more accident than anything.

You see the HJ stages doubled up because there are actually two stories interwoven into one. The NOW strand that begins with 15 year old Crystal waking in the strange motel room and the THEN strand that begins a year earlier before Crystal left home.
These are meant to alternate throughout even though I wrote and posted them last spring with several NOW scenes followed by several THEN scenes followed by several more NOW scenes. The three scenes with asterisks next to their numbers are yet to be written. These two missing scenes in the THEN strand were one of the things preventing me from proceeding in the story, because each introduces a new character and a major motivating factor re Crystal's leaving home.

Another thing holding me back, I believe, was the fact that this muddle was made in a single file with the scenes still in the order I'd written them even thought that wasn't the order I meant them to have. Not even a separate file really but more like a single note card in the WhizFolder File that contains Faye's story. I placed it there because Crystal is one of Faye's strays and I thought her story was going to be short as in under 5K and possibly be inserted as an interregnum into the novel that is primarily in Faye's POV. One of the tasks I accomplished today was to create separate topics in the Whiz file for each scene and anticipated scene and copy/paste the written scenes into their own topic windows. This allows me to move the scenes around and insert or delete them as needed without having to wade through several thousand words each time.

None of this is written in stone. I'm treating it playfully for now. But I'm pleased with the insights I garnered from the exercise.

Read more...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Book Blurb: Dear John

Dear John
by Nicholas Sparks
(c) 2006 (paperback release 2008)
Grand Central Publishing
335p (paperback)

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.
I am eager to read this as I've read several of Sparks' novels and loved them all. There is something numinous about his stories. They leave a glow behind in your memory of them. A glow suffused with the hope and love which the characters have opted for in the face of personal heartbreaks that challenge their very souls.



As announced in this post last week, this is the third of twelve Book Blurbs I plan to do for the review copies I received from Hachette books this month. There will also be more substantial book reviews for each of them as either Ed or I read them.

Read more...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #100

A couple weeks ago for Weekly Geeks #13 assignment, I posted photos sans names of the authors who have influenced my own writing. Today I'm going to repost the photos with the names. I couldn't decide which four of the sixteen to leave off so...sue me. :)



Thirteen (plus three) of the Writers Who Have Most Influenced My Own Writing




Ray Bradbury


Alice Hoffman


Stephen King

Shakespeare


Maya Angelo


Tony Morrison


Walt Whitman


Flannery O'Conner


David Lynch


Isabelle Allende


Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Joyce Carol Oates


Joseph Campbell


Janet Burroway
(Her textbook, Fiction Writing, has been my bible for over 15 years but I blush to say I've not read her fiction yet. I seem to remember checking the library catalog for them while reading it the first time and finding them unavailable. But I've not checked recently. In fact I've not checked my current library system ever. About time I rectify that.)


Bob Dylan


A. S. Byatt




Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!




The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book Blurb: Shoot the Moon

Shoot the Moon
by Billie Letts
(c) 2004
Grand Central Publishing
368p

From one of America's best-loved storytellers - the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller WHERE THE HEART IS - comes her latest national bestseller, a tale of a small Oklahoma town and the mystery that has haunted its residents for years.

In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma, was consumed by the murder of a young mother, Gaylene Harjo, and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child's pajama bottoms were discovered on the banks of Willow Creek, everyone feared that he, too, had been killed, although his body was never found.

Nearly thirty years later, Nicky Jack mysteriously returns to DeClare, shocking the town and stirring up long-buried memories. But what he discovers about the night he vanished is more astonishing than he or anyone could have imagine. Piece by piece, what emerges is a story of dashed hopes, desperate love, and a secret that still cries out for justice...and redemption.

I am excited about this one because I absolutely loved Where the Heart Is. That novel had all my favorite elements in a story: quirky or eccentric characters; surprise twists in the story always generated out of the character of the characters: the whole gamut of emotions from laughter to tears to outrage; characters who are irresistible, for whom my heart goes out to as completely as to one of my own family members; and communities with their own eccentricities and struggles against their darker instincts which are transcended by an enlarging of the heart. All of this I have high hopes of encountering in Shoot the Moon.

In an interview about the writing of Shoot the Moon, Letts said, "My greatest hope is that my stories might lead readers to greater acceptance, tolerance, and compassion for one another." This is one of my own hopes for my own stories so it is no wonder that I am drawn to Letts' stories.

Read more...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Poetry Train #59



Haiku
by Joy Renee

Glide over
Thin frozen skin of
Hidden depths.

Read more...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Serenity #89








We're having temps in triple digits this week accompanied by smoke from the fire some sixty miles south of us over the California border. So this Sunday Serenity is devoted to images calculated to ease the distress by triggering the power of the imagination.

The images are all linked to there source. All but the middle one of the stacked ice cubes are from art.com.

Read more...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Book Blurb: Trespassers Will Be Baptized


Trespassers Will Be Baptized: The Unordained Memoir of a Preacher's Daughter
By Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
(c) 2008
Center Street
288p

Growing up Southern and Baptist in Eastern Kentucky, Elizabeth Hancock's world revolved around Sunday School, foreign missions projects, revival meetings and of course, the Kentucky Wildcats, who "glorified God through their goal-shattering, soul-shattering play." Hancock chronicles her childhood misadventures with sardonic wit, detailing her and her sister Meg's mischievous - if harmless - abuses of power (stealing Guess jeans from the Africa donation box, or hawking backyard swimming pool baptisms during her neighborhood's annual yard sale) and lovingly recalling the wisdom imparted by her long-suffering parents as they ministered to their unruly flock. TRESPASSERS WILL BE BAPTIZED marks the arrival of a talented new voice in a coming of age story that is by turns comical and affecting.
The explanation for my interest in this book is in my profile and masthead blurb. I am eager to compare Hancock's experience of growing up as a Southern Baptist preacher's daughter with my own experience of growing up in an equally restrictive sect and sub-culture in which daily schedules, every activity and nearly every thought is conceived and constrained in the church's womb.

Just by previewing the book and the promo materials at Hachette Book Group and Hancock's own website, especially her blog, I can tell that she moved from this milieu into the wider world--Harvard and Georgetown studies, Miss Massachusetts 1998--with a great deal more grace than I did. I hope to discover how she survived that culture-shock without losing her sense of self. Of all the ten Hachette Books I will be reading and reviewing in the coming weeks, this one has the most personal meaning to me.

Read more...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Forays in Fiction: Teachers

Screenshot of my story spreadsheet


Anyone encountering any of my posts from the last week will know that I spent the last two weeks reading the entire archives of
Joely Sue Burkhart's blog. When she announced around the first of the month that she was going to have to change hosts and that her current host would not allow her to export her archives and thus they would be lost, I felt a huge sense of loss (not nearly as huge as hers I'm sure) because I'd been meaning to delve into them to satisfy my writer's curiosity about how she managed to go from a semi-idle dream of being a writer to being published in under five years.

As if that itself isn't impressive enough she did it with these obstacles in her path: full time day job; three small children; pets; technological snafus; household to run; weather disasters and health issues. Her sense of humor in relating some of the events that tried to waylay her was one of the draws to reading her blog (especially the antics of her kids ) but the biggest draw was the way she shared unstintingly every lesson she learned along the way--from techniques to tools; from method to attitude.

Besides wanting to follow the story of her path, I also wanted to revisit several posts that I'd bookmarked in one manner or another whether in browser, notes or mental file. Posts that had presented a technique or method in action or contained a link to a resource that I intended to follow up on. All of this was going to be lost. I was more than saddened. I was panicked.

I guess you could say that Joely, through her blog, had taken on the roll of teacher for me. That is one of the biggest blessings of the blogosphere--the way communities can spring up around mutual interests and seasoned members can mentor those on earlier stages of the learning path; the way members can be there for each other as support, guide, or kick in the buts. (No, that is not a typo. Yes, pun intended.)

There were several burning questions I could only have answered by locating them in her archives: What were the most important things she did or used that I haven't done or tried? How did she end up with Drollerie Press and how did she feel about working with a new publishing company specializing in e-publishing?

My interest in the first question relates mostly to issues of process rather than the rhetoric of fiction. I feel fairly confident in my grasp of the storytelling techniques of plot, character, dialog, scene, metaphor, theme and so forth. My difficulties lie in the realm of project management, including time management, self-discipline and the breaking down of huge projects into manageable tasks. I have no problems generating ideas for stories but my stories always take off running and then stall out around the halfway point, their threads so tangled and broken I can't see a way to finish them even though I saw the ending aka resolution before I started writing the
first scene. This is how I've garnered between ten and eighteen unfinished novels and uncounted unfinished short stories and only half a dozen finished short stories with nearly all of them set in the same story world.

Well now, after reading the equivalent of probably 2000 pages (April 2004-February 2008 including comments so far) I think I know some of what I set out to learn. I know that it wasn't a steady upwards climb. She had as many mood swings and variations in flow as I do but she stayed on the path. I'm still working out which one thing she did that I haven't done consistently was the most important. It has to be among this list:
  • commitment that could not be deterred by setbacks and failures--unlike me she didn't punish herself overlong for not meeting an expectation or goal
  • support of other writers which includes accountability as well as cheering
  • flexibility--I tend to get stopped in my tracks when a plan for a day or a plot doesn't work out
  • organization skills applied with moderation--I can be organized but I can also let the minutia of organizing become the end instead of the means by constantly redoing todo lists and reorganizing files and filing systems and I tend to treat the already laid down text of my stories the same way, endlessly reworking it;
  • which brings me to: she finishes stories.

I was reading Volger's The Writer's Journey the week I started reading her archives and was just finishing up with it when I read about her experience in reading it and then watched her apply the principles. What an invaluable education!

I am feeling so inspired now and raring to go. And now that I know that it is common to hit a slow slog around the 1/3 to 1/2 way point of a story maybe I won't panic so easily or give up so easily.

But there was one tool Joely introduced that I think speaks specifically to my issue with the tangled, snagged and broken threads of a story that has usually been the cause of them being dropped indefinitely around the midpoint. And that was a spreadsheet she used to lay out certain elements of the story scene by scene so she could see at a glance what certain patterns were.

I immediately saw how this might help me and I've created a template of a spreadsheet that speaks to the issues of most of my stalled out FOS story world stories. See image heading this post. Since many of the stories are actual chapters in the novels and there are several novels spanning several generations, I suspect
the story world itself as well as each novel will need their own spreadsheets.

My next task is to apply this spreadsheet technique to Crystal's story. It seems the best choice since I have been immersed in it since Easter and of all the FOS stories it is the least entangled in multiple other story lines. But this means abandoning my intent to write this story all the way to the end without stopping to edit and fix and fuss. I'm hoping this is an exercise in flexibility and not just an excuse for yet another failure of discipline.

[Apologies to Joely for cribbing some of this out of the email I sent her after I reached the end of 2007. This includes the bulleted list above. In her reply Joely puts the emphasis on finishing stories as being the most important so that is where I'm going to focus my intent.]

Read more...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yikes! It's Raining Books



Last week I received two boxes of books via UPS and today I received a single book in the mail for a total of eleven brand new books. The two boxes were from Hachette Book Group, the sponsor of the Jacquelyn Mitchard giveaway here at Joystory last month. The single book was from its author and unrelated to Hachette. More about the latter towards the end of this post.

The really, really excellent part is that I paid zero for all of these books. But that doesn't make them free. I'm meant to review them and promote them here at Joystory. And I'm sure the preference of Hachette and the authors is that I do so in a timely fashion--as in not too awfully far removed from the release dates which I think were all this summer. But eleven books read and reviewed is likely to take me as many weeks and that pushes right up against NaNoWriMo which I haven't started preparing for yet.

I've spent the last week carrying that box of books back and forth between bedroom, front porch and living room--my three work stations at various times of the day. At the moment it is 2:30AM and I'm working on the front porch as it is still too warm in the house. Last night I was able to move inside by midnight and set up in the living room until Ed and his folks got up between five and six and then I moved back to the bedroom and worked until three. We're having a heat wave here again this week and I am choosing deliberately to sleep during the heat of the day because I am useless for anything else anyway. I slept until seven this evening and set up my work station on the porch at nine as everyone else headed to bed.

Anyway, I think I've come up with a solution to my dilemma. For the Hachette books, instead of formal reviews written after reading each one, I'm going to put up one post for each over the next week or two in addition to my regular daily posting at least on the meme days (TT Poetry Train, WG) and my theme days (Sunday Serenity, Friday Forays in Fiction) on the two days each week free of meme or theme, the book post might stand alone. Instead of calling these posts Book Reviews I'm going to call them Book Blurbs. They will consist of the book's vital info, an image of its cover, links to its page on the Hachette site and a brief blurb which I may mooch off the Hachette site's promo material. And some comments regarding my first impressions after handling the book, reading the blurbs and promo materials and dipping into the first chapters.

Then over the following months as I read each one, I will post a more formal review. Ed has offered to help by reading and providing guest reviews for several that have caught his attention. He is a much faster reader than I am. And it isn't just because he has better eyes.

Below I'm going to list each of the ten Hachette books. Anyone who would like to see a certain one featured sooner rather than later--leave a comment and I'll bump it towards the head of the line. Anyone who has already reviewed one of these, may send the permalink to their review to my email (see sidebar) and I'll include that link in my blurb and/or review for that book. Use for subject: My review of (title). This will help immensely with my record keeping.

Now the list:

  1. Globality: Competing With Everyone from Everywhere for Everything by Harold L. Sirkin, James W. Hemerling, and Arindam K. Bhattacharya. Non-fiction: Business; Economics; International Trade; Competition
  2. Trespassers Will Be Baptized: The Unordained Memoir of a Preacher's Daughter by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock. Non-fiction: Memoir
  3. Soot the Moon by Billie Letts. Fiction.
  4. Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody. Fiction
  5. Hooked: A Thriller About Love and Other Addictions by Matt Richtel. Fiction.
  6. Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand. Fiction
  7. North River by Pete Hamill. Fiction.
  8. rush home road by Lori Lansens. Fiction.
  9. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. Fiction
  10. The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Fiction.
  11. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. Fiction.
  12. by George by Wesley Stace. Fiction.
Update 8/21: two more novels arrived from Hachette since I posted.

Now for the last one, the one that came in the mail today. I saved it as a reward for whoever is patient enough to read to the end of this post. You get a head's up on my next giveaway scheduled for the last week of August week of September 22 at the author's request. The book is Matrimony: a novel by Joshua Henkins. Its original release was last fall. The giveaway is in honor of the release of the paperback this month.

I intend to pick up Matrimony as soon as I finish Purple Hibiscus (which is already a week overdue at the library *sigh*)

I will prepare a more formal review of this book for the giveaway post. My mind is tying itself in knots already. Ed says to just relax, nobody is expecting a college level essay. That may be so for the ten listed above and it even may be so for Henkins book. But how can I be blase about the prospect of reviewing a novel at the request of its author who is also a professor of creative writing at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College? He may not be expecting a college essay but that doesn't mean I can 'just relax' and throw a few hundred words of blather together at the last minute.

But when have I ever done anything not last minute. I mean this was supposed to be Thursday's post and I started working on it at 10 PM and here it is 4:30 AM Friday as I prepared to click publish. *shaking head at self*

Read more...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #99

The Archetypes Storytelling Cards, is one of the the things Joely talked about last year using as a help in the planning stage for a story--to help set up plot, setting, character, theme, and metaphor. She learned about from Holly Lisle's Plot Clinic which I had read last summer myself and been intrigued by the concept but Holly's book did not contain images from the cards and Joely provided a link to their site where I got lost for hours the other day. I would provide a direct link to her post but her site is changing hosts any moment and her blog archives can't go with.

The deck contains 64 cards and was conceived as an alternative to using a tarot deck for the same purpose as many have a religious aversion to handling a tarot deck even for a non-divination purpose. I love the art on these cards. Aren't they simply gorgeous?

The link to the site is in the first line above. Click on each card featured below for a description and larger image. Here is the link to the deck at a glance.

Thursday
Thirteen

Thirteen of the Archetype Cards from the Storyteller Deck















Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!




The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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