Friday, January 28, 2011

To Kindle or not to Kindle...the great debate

For the last couple of years one question has been weighing on my mind.  Should I buy a Kindle?

Then I thought, but I love my books. Not just the stories but the actual books themselves. I have a bookcase just for the favorites. I also love going into book stores. Being surrounded by all those books gives me warm fuzzy' s.  I wander the aisles with a couple of books in hand, buy a white chocolate mocha, then scope out the books I want  to buy next.   

I am a sucker for advertising, now team that up with my love for electronics and it was just a matter of time before I would cave. Lucky for me Christmas was just around the corner and Santa (aka Mom and Dad) just happen to give me a brand new wifi+3g Kindle. I was one of the cool kids now. But would I love it as much as my paper book? Could I get use to a device that did not have a touch screen? The answer is, yes. A great big huge yes.

Now don't get me wrong, I still love paper books and I will still continue to buy them, but the Kindle is so easy to use. All you have to do is pick up your reader and the book will be downloaded in less than a minute.

I am currently rereading "The Hunger Games" and a book on how to write better dialogue. Yes I reread my favorites all the time and I am always on the quest to improve my craft. They are both paper versions. Then a friend brought in a book for me to borrow from her (another paper one). The next thing I know when I am trying leave work, or actually it was more like the sprint out the door on Friday afternoon to start my weekend, I am trying to juggle my purse, water bottle and 3 books. The first thing I thought was, man, I wish these were all on my Kindle. I could carry 3500 books in one hand and now, if enable by the publisher, you can lend a digital copy to a friend on the Kindle platform.

I use to print and use every Borders coupon they emailed me. Now I find myself deleting them without even seeing if it's a 40% off one.  What does all this mean? Have I sold out? Am I contributing to the fall of the brick and mortar bookstore?  The thought of that makes me a little sad. I don't want to go the rest of my life without those bookstore warm fuzzy' s.  I realized I actually miss going to the store.

Now you're probably thinking, enough already which is it, the ereader or the paper book. The answer is both. There will always be a place for both. They both have benefits and now I do not think I could live without either one.

Then there is Audible. Don't even get me started on how much I love that. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Make Your Own Place

I love my iPhone. It is my most cherished possession, my life line and single greatest invention of my time. (excluding advancement in modern medicine and the DVR) When I received my iPhone it reminded me of the scene in "Lord of the Rings"when Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) gave Frodo the light of Earendil. She said to Frodo, "May it be a light for you in dark places when all other lights go out." It introduced me to a whole new world. I had music,books, movies and internet on the go. So thanks to this delightful piece of technology there will always be a special place in my heart for it's creator Steve Jobs.

It was in an interview, from 1985, I read today in Newsweek that I found inspiring and want to share with you. It was conducted just after Steve Jobs was asked to leave Apple, a company he co-founded then later returned to in 1996. The CEO at the time announced publicly that there was no longer a role for Steve at Apple.
Steve's response was this, I respect the direction that Apple is going in. But for me personally, you know, I want to make things. And if there's no place for me to make things there, then I'll do what I did twice before. I'll make my own place.

And that ladies and gentleman is what stirred the coals in my fire. I thought I want to make things. I want to share my creation with the world.

Now I'm not saying I had a life changing revelation or anything but it did remind me that if I want to make an impact in the literary world I am going to have put myself on the map. When an agent tells me there is no place for me with thier agency I will move onto the next. I'm going to have to put in the time and the work, no one else can do that for me. I'll make my own place.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Book review, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Book review number 1            spoiler free

I Am Number Four     by Pittacus Lore

Young adult, science fiction, modern day earth

Ten years ago while under attack by the merciless Mogadorians nine children barely escape their home planet of Lorien.  Along with their adult guardians, they seek refuge on earth. Moments before they are ripped from their family never to see them alive again, the Lorien elders protect them in their quest for survival by placing a charm on them. This charm allows the children only to be killed in a numbered order starting with number one and it only works if they are apart. So upon landing on Earth they scatter to all corners to keep the charm intact and to make it harder for the Mogadorians to track them.  This also gives them time to grow up and learn how to use their super powers called “Legacy’s” in hopes they may one day return home and rebuild their planet. The story starts present day and number three has just been eliminated. John Smith is number four.

John Smith and his teacher/guardian/father figure, Henri moves to Paradise, Ohio where he is finally coming into his Legacy’s. It is most important that John blend in and remain unnoticed while living in Paradise and attending high school. Well after attracting the attention of a beautiful girl, who’s ex just happens to be the schools top jock and biggest bully, and befriending a “not so popular” kid who believes that aliens  are trying to take over the plant, staying under the radar is not possible.

Now before I started this book I was intrigued with the name of the author so I instantly googled him. Apparently Pittacus Lore is an elder from the planet Lorien and is sharing their story. Huh?

I thought “Wow, what a great hook,” but my curiosity kept me searching.  I found out that Pittacus Lore is the pseudonym and combined effort of Jobie Hughes and James Frey.

I felt John and his friends are likable characters and I found myself cheering for them throughout the whole book. I really liked the interaction between John and Henri, it shows the mutual respect they have for one another in a friend and mentor type relationship. The characters moved smoothly through the setting and the story kept me engaged from beginning to end. Sad to say as much as I liked the characters I was not that attached to them. At one point I realized that if any of them died I would not be sad and the only character I was worried about was the dog. Not to say the characters are not worth caring about but my feelings for them did not go deep enough to really suck me in.

The teenage romance was very sweet.  (Almost too sweet. When I write I believe happy couples make boring couples and I had to remind myself this is not a love story so the amount of romance was reasonable) It was very tame and appropriate for younger readers.

 The plot was very engaging with some original ideas but lacked a little on delivery. It just didn’t draw me in as much as it should of. The ending had a satisfying conclusion but it was bogged down and a little drawn out. There was a lot of internal thought and not enough dialogue for my taste.

Overall I found this book very enjoyable and would recommend it to others.  It was a light read and easy to follow. It was a change of pace from the usual books I read and I am glad I read it. It is the first in a series.

 I Am Number Four will be released as a motion picture February 18, 2011. It stars Alex Pettyfer and Timothy Olyphant. Directed by D.J. Caruso and produced by Michael Bay and Stephen Spielberg. The trailer looks fantastic I am really excited. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why did I start a blog?

Why did I start my blog? After pondering this question for several minutes I decide to consult the all-knowing oracle, Google. I asked, “How many blogs are on the internet?” One site popped up and said over 126 million. I figured that it must be right because everything on the Internet is true. But that still did not help me figure out why I feel the need to start one for myself.  After thinking about it for a day I realized there are several reasons why I need to stake my claim in the vast world wide web.

The long answer

For starters, I want to create a place where I can share my writing, the tips I learn with other aspiring writers and a place where they can share what they learn with me.

Second,  I love Internet stalking my favorite authors and I hope some day fans want to stalk me. I mean…….When I find a new book I enjoy, the first thing I do is go to the author’s website or blog. I want to know who they are, the things they like to do and they always offer good writing advice. I enjoy reading about their writing process and  journey to publication. I want to hear their story. One of my favorite things to do is find articles on their blog that were wrote before they were published, back when they were still dreamers, where I am now, it gives me hope. With this blog my future fans can come back and see my beginning. 

 Third, I love talking about the books that I read. I’m new to writing reviews and it is more work than I thought it would be, but I guess that's how it is with all writing. I am going at it two ways, I write a review the day I finish the book. I want to write down my first impression. Then I wait two or three days and write it again after I have had time to think it over. That way I don’t focus on one element of the story and review it as a whole.

I want to talk about movies, actors, my adventures with my crazy husband, oops, I mean….. my crazy adventures with my loving husband. (funny how one misplaced word can change the entire meaning of a sentence) and life as I see it.

Now for the quick answer. This blog will be a document of my journey to publication and a collection of things I learn along the way.
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