Monday, April 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books to be Made into Movies

This is a weekly meme hosted at Broke and the Bookish. This week's question is:

What are the top ten books you'd like to see made into a movie?

A few weeks ago I posted about what books I didn't want to see as movies. But there are so many that I would love that it was even more difficult to answer today's question. I've picked a few off the top of my head. Most of these don't have any movie prospects that I know of yet, but some do and I'm so excited!!!


These girls would take on the big screen in a big way. Could you imagine Katsa and Fire? Tris leaping for the trains? Kira getting sciency one minute, then racing through the streets, dodging riots, staging escapes the next? I was so excited to hear that Divergent is being made into a movie. I would love to see all of these in the cinema!

Graceling Series - Kristin Cashore

Divergent -
Veronica Roth

The Partials -
Dan Wells


Now, don't get me wrong, the stories and the action are amazing in all these too. But I think more than anything, I would just love to see the fantastic worlds that these books are set in. To see Cinder's New Beijing,  ... Lirael's cliffside dwelling with the Clayr, the Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre ... Uglyville and New Pretty Town and The Smoke. I would get so distracted by the setting I'd probably have to watch the movie twice! Not that I'm complaining =) I've heard talk of Cinder being optioned for movie, but no concrete news. The Uglies Movie, however, seems like it's going to happen.

Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Abhorsen Series - Garth Nix

The Uglies Series - Scott Westerfeld


These I would love to see on film for the beautiful storytelling and the just so perfect romance. I like my romances with less steam and more substance and the relationships in each of these novels are slow and sweet and awkward and beautiful and real and I just adore them. I'm so excited that Unearthly is being developed as a TV show on the CW -- I hope everything goes through!

Unearthly - Cynthia Hand

The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale

Chime - Franny Billingsley

What books would you love to see as movies?

Twitter Illiterate

So the other day I finally succumbed and joined Twitter. Problem? I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing!!!

There are lots of fancy wigdets and gadgets and feeds to add to my blog, but I can't even get the cute Twitter Follow Me button to show up in my sidebar! Boo....

I also realized (after several days of lurking) that half the time
I have no idea what anyone is saying on there! Everyone is speaking in some tricksy language! Eek. It's time to get Twitter-literate.

While I get things up and running, feel free to follow me!

See I can get it to work here! Why not the sidebar??? Anywho, I'm probably going to be a lurker for awhile while I learn Twitter-Speak, but pretty soon I'll join in the fun! In the meantime, I'll leave you with some links:

Twitter Resources for Authors:
NB: How to Use Twitter || A Writer's Guide to Twitter || How to Effectively Use Twitter || Tips to Build Following ||

What are your Twitter tips? How do you use Twitter to help your writer platform? What are the main mistakes Twitter-newbies (like myself) make?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Novel Editing Part II: Line-by-Line

This post is Part II of my novel editing saga. I posted earlier about Part I: Edit-by-ChainsawBut once you've eliminated the big stuff (Unnecessary side-plots, characters and backstory), what comes next?

The Pruning Shears

We've all heard of it. The dreaded  line-by-line edit. "Want to cut down the word count on your novel?" they say (in big scary circus voices) ... "Well then you'll need to do a line-by-line edit! MUHAHAHAHAH"

The problem is, they're right! Or at least in my case they were. While cutting the big things out of my manuscript saved me 5K words, doing a line-by-line edit saved me 15K!! IT WAS EPIC! I LOVED IT!

And it only took about 10-15 hours of work. Really not that bad in the grand scheme of things.

Set a Goal: Chapter quota
Some people set goals for themselves by page. I prefer to do this by chapter. I took the number of words I wanted to cut from the manuscript (10,000), divided by the number of chapters (20) and determined that I needed to cut 500 words from each chapter. This gave me some flexibility as to where I wanted to make my cuts. Note: I did not deviate from my goal. If by the end of the chapter, I hadn't made my quota, I forced myself to do another pass.

What to Cut: Helpful Questions
Now it's difficult to say what you're going to need to do when doing a line-by-line edit, because each author has their own writing style, their own quirks and strengths and weaknesses. But what I found helpful was to constantly ask myself the following questions while editing:

Over-stating: Did I just say that?
Sometimes you write a sentence and then think, ok, that was good, but maybe I can explain it better. So you write another sentence and another and another. And then you don't go back and cut the previous attempts.
Cut them!

Overstating Part II: Will the readers 'get it' without me telling them?
There's often a lot of room to cut words from action scenes. You don't need to tell the reader that the MC looked. If you describe what was there, they'll know she looked. She doesn't always need to walk on the path or the floor. Its assumed that if she's walking she's not going to be doing so on the air or in a bush!
See also: Janice Hardy - Get over over-stating || Janice Hardy - Repeating Yourself ||

Tighten-Up: Can I make this sentence a teeny bit shorter?
Unnecessary words often sneak into sentences without you even noticing them. A shorter sentence isn't always a better sentence, but it often can be! Especially if you're trying to cut words and clean up the text!

Purple Prose: Honestly, how purple can you get?
Purple Prose : Query Tracker
Description is great. Description is beautiful. But if you have twenty-thousand long-winded, flowery descriptions of the sweeping landscape, her turbulent emotions, his dreamy, brooding face face, his piercing eyes, his strong, lean hands, the way his hair etc ... well that's just a little boring isn't it? Besides your readers aren't going to notice that one sentence when it's buried in a mountain of other overwritten passages. So whenever you hit a passage of flowery description and you think "Ooh, now doesn't that sound particularly nice?" Stop. Red Flag. Ask yourself these questions:
  • How many adjectives do I really need? Wouldn't 1-3 be better than 9-10?
  • Did I just use an SAT word when I could have used a simpler one?
  • Did I just break up an action scene?
  • Is this imagery important to the story/plot? 
    • If it's important, does it stand out, or is it buried between other descriptions?
  • How many times have I used a metaphor or simile to describe something lately?
  • Let's be honest, did I just include this sentence to show off my incredible prose-writing skills?
Essentially, in the words of Arthur Quiller-Couch - Murder your darlings.

See also: Big Mistake #3 - Overwriting || Two Signs of Over-writing || Keeping the Purple Out of Your Prose || Purple Prose || 6 Signs of Description Misuse || How to Put Your Manuscript on a Diet

Next week, I'll be posting part III of my novel-editing journey: getting out the scalpel!

What about you? What do you struggle with when editing? What are your tips and tricks for doing line-by-line edits?

Note: As you might be able to tell I love links  : )   So, as always, please feel free to link to your blogs or other resources in the comments!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Favorite Book Characters

It's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the 
The Broke and the Bookish. This week's list is 

Top 10 All Time Favorite Characters

There are so many characters that I love, so I decided to limit myself to the Top 10 Female Characters. Even so, it was extremely hard to choose! In the end I just cheated and chose twelve. 

Kindred Spirits:

Anne Shirley
- Anne of Green Gables
Anne is definitely my favorite protagonist of all time. I read these books every year, and every time they make me laugh and cry.

Jo March
- Little Women
Jo is just so stubborn and perfect. And I love her in the 2nd and 3rd books in the series, when she's in charge of the home for orphans.

Kit Tyler
- Witch of Blackbird Pond
When I was younger, I probably read this at least three times a year. Kit starts off a proud, entitled girl, and changes so much over the course of the book.

Auden West
- Along for the Ride
This is a new favorite of mine. I just started reading Sarah Dessen and I love her writing/characters! Being the bookish/schoolish type, I can totally identify with Auden.

Endearing Spunk:

Hermione Granger
- Harry Potter
Of course no Top 10 character list would be complete without Hermione. Ms. Granger rocks my books!

Liesel Meminger
- The Book Thief
Ahh. Liesel! I can't even talk about you without choking up. I love this little girl.

Kate de Vries
- Airborn
Kate deVries, though not the main character in this book, is just so determined and steampunky and perfect. Love her!

Anidori "Isi"
- Goose Girl
This was the first Shannon Hale book I read, and I absolutely loved the character of Anidori/Ani/Isi. She went through so much, but never gave up hope.


- Fire
I loved Fire - her strength, her power, all the difficult decisions she had to make. A great strong, complex female protagonist.

- Abhorsen Trilogy
Lirael was a fascinating character. Not trusting herself, feeling outcast and out of place, then developing into such a powerful character. Love her!

Beatrice Prior
- Divergent
Of course I had to put in one of my newest favorite characters. I loved Tris in Divergent, and I can't wait to see how she handles things in Insurgent.

- The Horse and his Boy
I had to include Aravis because this was the girl I pretended I was probably 80% of the time when I was growing up. She rode horses, went on quests, wore genie pants. Loved her!

What are your top 10 favorite book characters?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Week: Character Green

Have you ever written/read a book
with an environmentally-minded character?
In honor of Earth Day, I decided to do a post on a character persona that is one of my own personal faves:

The Greenie

Vocation to Lifestyle - 50 Shades of Green:

There are are so many different kinds of environmentally oriented folk, which means that there are an equally abundant amount of opportunities to highlight green character traits in your novel! From the deep green super-advocate, to the quirky eco-eccentric to the weekend environmentalist, there's a lot of possibilities to work with. You can find inspiration just about anywhere, including lot of great examples in literature, movies, tv shows, and real life!

Environmental Novels || TV's Greenest Characters 
YA Book List - Environmental Twist || Teen Environmental Reads

The Eco-Warrior
When we think of a greenie, the green superhero might be the persona that comes to mind. Like Captain Planet, eco-warriors are on a mission to save the world from certain doom. But not all green superheroes need invoke other-worldly powers to avert an environmental apocalypse. The eco-warrior could be an everyday character with a cause. There's the environmental lawyer, the marine biologist, the rainforest ecologist, the vegan chef, the reporter investigating the compounding factors behind a natural disaster.
In YA, it might be the president of the environmental club, the editor of the high-school newspaper, the kid personally investigating their asthmatic sibling's illness/death.
Personally, I think the eco-warrior character is a really tricky one to write. It's very easy to over-do things and start sounding preachy. And I'm not a fan of preachy novels because I think they can sometimes have the opposite-of-intended effect. That said, when well done, I think these can be really great!

Some Examples of Eco-Warriors: Pelican Brief, Erin Brockovich, Lisa Simpson

Green Quirks

Ok, so the Lorax is more of an Eco-Warrior
but he's also so cute and quirky!
Sometimes what you want is a little green flavor, but you don't want it to take over your entire story. I could talk about all the normal things that people do to go green, but we already know all those: Eating vegetarian/vegan, eating local/organic, driving less, recycling, buying used instead of new, hanging clothes to dry instead of using a dryer, retrofitting houses with solar panels, water saving features etc...

Those are great, but instead, why not try a few green quirks to add depth and a little fun to your characters?

Quirky greenies aren't your run-of-the-mill yuppie environmentalists who do boring things like recycle and retrofit their house with solar panels. Maybe quirky greens don't have the extra cash, or maybe they just want to take things one step greener.
Here are some ideas w/ links! (Some of them I'm totally going to try in real-life! ... and some already describe me, haha)

Energy Fiend: Refuses to use [insert electric appliance] // Moves into single room of house in winter // Retrofits chest freezer into eco-refrigerator // Reroutes excess heat from fridge into hot water heater // Insulates fridge with shag carpet // Must unplug everything in house before leaving // Removes backseat from car to lessen weight // Refuses to use hot water // Bakes only in a solar oven // Refuses to visit anyone outside walking/biking radius // Eats food sourced only within a 100 mile radius // Goes Vegan! // Replaces meat with insects //

Water Guard: Collects bathroom sink water in bucket to flush toilet // Only eats food with a low water footprint // Turns off others' sprinkler systems in summer // Only drinks from one water glass a day (to avoid washing) //  Goes on a no-shower stint // Dry shampoos // Reuses vegetable/noodle cooking water to make soups // Brushes teeth and/or washes clothes while showering // Joins the Pee Outside movement //
Bryant Terry:
Real Life Green Superchef!

Zero Waster: Makes art out of trash // Makes useful stuff out of trash // Keeps all bags, bottles, plastic containers for future reuse  // Dumpster diver! // Insists on eating leftover food off of other's plates so it doesn't go to waste // Keeps reusable containers/cutlery in purse at all times (in case at function w/disposable plates) //

Eccentric Ecologist: Wakes up in middle of night to study nocturnal creatures // Goes on midnight beachwalks in winter just to catch the lowest tide // Keeps notebook at all times to record sightings of a certain type of beetle in the city // Updates a map of all honeybee hives in the city // Rogue Seed-Baller ... Like Miss Rumphius //

Have you ever read or written a story with a 'green' MC? Or a character with green quirks? What do you think are the key challenges when writing a character on a moral mission? What are your eco-quirks?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Novel Editing Part I : The First Cut is the Deepest

Smile for me Pretty
Ok, I am doing a little writer happy dance right now. No not that happy dance. I don't have an agent or a book deal or anything. But this week, my writer happy dance is all about this:

Chop-a-thon 2012 Update

Goal: Cut WIP by 10,000 words 

Goal Achieved.  
Under 90K people!!

This is huge for me. You know those writers that post those cute little word counters to track their progress toward their goal? Yeah, I'm not one of those writers. I'm one of those writers that's like Holy-Night-I-Just-Wrote-A-200K-Manuscript-And-Its-Not-Even-Finished! For me paring my writing down is the big accomplishment. Need proof? Just look at the length of this blog post.

How Long Should Your Manuscript Be? 
There are lots of lovely webpages that discuss how long your novel should be.
       || Janice Hardy || The Swivet || BookEnds || Wordcount Dracula ||

Basically, the target YA is right around 50K-80K. For YA Fantasy, it can go a tad higher, but under 90K is highly recommended, especially for a debut author. My manuscript was a little too long, so the editing began! Several rounds later, I've learned a few things, so I thought I'd share!

How to Cut 15,000 Words From Your WIP
In Three slightly painful "Easy" steps
Before this latest round of edits, my word count sat right at 99K. I really wanted to get it under 90K. Under 85K if at all possible. Wait a sec, I said, that's over 10,000 words I have to cut!

I Can't Do It! I Can't Cut That Many Words!

False. You can do this, and here's how.

Chainsaw? Check. Pruning Shears? Check. Scalpel? Check.

Disclaimer: I am no editing expert, but I do like heavy machinery and sharp pointy things, so get out your toolbox, and let the cutting begin! Also, there are a ton of folks out there with awesome novel editing tips. Some of the most comprehensive include: Janice Hardy(she has a great big-picture strategy here), Holly Lisle, Rachelle Gardener, NaNoWriMo and of course Absolute Write folks!

Let's Get Dangerous
The Chainsaw:
You don't really need that scene do you?

No, no you don't and here's why: it's (a) subplot, (b) backstory, (c) developing a minor character. Before getting into the nit-picky line-by-line edits, it's important to look at the big stuff first. Why waste time polishing up a sentence if you're going to cut the scene?

Side-plots: Be honest, are your characters running around on minor tasks just to keep things interesting while they wait for the real plot to happen?
See also: Over-plotting || Overactive or Inactive Subplots

Backstory: Authors need backstory. Readers don't. Or not as much as you'd think. Too much can make the story drag. Skim through your chapters with a highlighter. How much is backstory? How much of that backstory is 100% essential?
More info: Baby's Got Backstory || Create Suspense ||  B is for Backstory || What's the Story on Backstory? || Cutting Back on Backstory ||

Side Characters: Do you really need all those characters? Do you have a character that serves primarily as a plot device? Could you merge that character with one of your key characters?
More info: Cutting Characters you Love || Murder Your Characters || Combining Characters || Good Reasons for Combining Characters || Overactive or Inactive Side Characters || Sorry Your Services are No Longer Needed

Don't be afraid to get dangerous: Ctrl-X is your BFF. Cut and paste all those questionable scenes into a separate "Outtakes" document. Save it. Read the passages over independently, and highlight the moments that are critical to the central plot or your MC's development. Figure out a way to work those bits back into the manuscript. Ditch everything else.
More info: Ruthless Revision ||

However ...  
Yes you can cut too much from your story. Yes you may need to haul some of those things from your outtakes files back in. But the point is you want to make big cuts first. No use polishing what isn't going to be in the story in the first place!

Just because you're doing large scale, chainsaw type cuts, doesn't mean this is where most of the word count will drop. I ended up dropping 5K using this type of edit, but 15K from line-by-line polishing, which I will discuss in subsequent posts.

Stay tuned for posts on Part II and Part III of my novel editing, word count cutting saga ;)

If you need to cut down the word count, especially read Part II!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Feature & Follow: Character Fight!

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.
Also be sure to check out the two featured bloggers: Amy's Book World and Word Spelunking!

This Week's Question:

Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win?

This was such a hard question for me because there could be so many great combos for so many reasons. I'd love to see Bella from Twilight and Rhine from Wither in the ring together, mostly because it would be hilarious to see two people who obviously can't fight try and duke it out. Hils. It would be like me and Strawberry Shortcake getting in the arena: such a Berry Good Time! Or maybe really more like Daria and Disney's Princess Aurora. Either way, guaranteed no punches would be thrown and and the match would only end when everyone had vacated the building out of boredom.


It's actually kind of funny, when you think about it, that there aren't even more characters like this in YA fiction, because honestly, how many of us would be able to hold our own in a fight? How many of us would even want to fight? And should capacity for physical violence really be the hallmark of a strong female character?

Book Recommendation: The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Pages: 576
Ages: 12+

Liesel Meminger lives in Nazi Germany, but she doesn't know that yet. Her mother is gone, her brother is gone. Her new mama is a laundress, and her new papa is a house-painter. Liesel Meminger is a Book Thief. 
She shares her thieving with Rudy. She shares her books with the people in the air-raid shelters and the man who lives in her basement. 
Death has only met her a few times. Once, on that day, on the train, with her brother. Once when they found the pilot after the air-raid, and again on the day that her world ended.

This is really an impossible book review to write. Hands down my favorite read in a very, very long time. 

I know, I know - I am probably one of the last people to read this book. My excuse? I was caught up in grad school when it first came out, and was not reading for fun. Let me tell you that I am so glad I finally sat down and read it. 

If you haven't read it yet, and have been on the fence, stop right now and read it. Yes the book is narrated by Death, but the perspective added depth and breadth and a detached-ness that made the novel all the more poignant. Yes it is set in Nazi Germany, but this book is nothing like any of those other books set it Nazi Germany.

I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone, and I very rarely say that about any book.

See my other Book Recommendations.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

"Waiting On Wednesday" is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spolights future releases we are eagerly anticipating.


Title: Unraveling 
Author: Elizabeth Norris 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Pages: 445 
Release Date: (April 24th, 2012) 

Amazon Summary: 

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life. But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve.

While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

 From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.

Why I'm Waiting: It sounds like a delicious blend of sci-fi and paranormal, and I just can't wait! Puzzles, secrets, dying, coming back to life, countdown clocks, end of her life, end of the world? It sounds like there's so much going on, and I can't wait to find out how it all comes together! Plus this is Elizabeth Norris' debut and I adore reading debut authors!!

What book are you eagerly waiting for?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Here's my teaser!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making
by Cathrynne M. Valente

"A sundial spun its shadow slowly around a cluster of yellow peonies. Not at all what you might expect from a place called Pandemonium, really, especially the bird baths and commemorative benches."

So far this is a very lovely and fanciful Middle Grade read. And I especially love that the MC's name is September!

Earth Week: To E-read or not to E-read

Earth day is coming up this Sunday, and all week it's Earth Week!

I'm a pretty big fan of living on earth. It's a nice place, and I like to try and take care of it. So I'm always excited when Earth Week rolls around (April 16-22). It's a time to set new goals, take a critical look at the true impact of my daily choices, and re-center and re-focus myself for the year to come. Yay for sustainability!

One of the things I've been curious about recently, though I've skimmed the debates before, is:

Which is Greener?
The Great E-Book vs. Paper Book Debate

Back in the olden-days when there were only paper books, reading green was, if not easier, at least a lot more straightforward. It meant looking for post-consumer-recycled paper, soy inks, and chlorine-free bleaches. Most importantly it meant borrowing books from the library rather than buying new.

Ahh, the good old days. Fast forward to the modern era. Now we have to ask ourselves: Are e-books greener than paper ones? Well I did some poking around on the web and this is what I found:

Short answer: Libraries and book-swaps are probably best, environmentally.
If you want to buy books (yay supporting authors!) e-readers could be the way to go.

Long answer: It depends! There are a lot of things to be considered when looking at the environmental impact of a product. Unfortunately, we don't keep very good track of things like water use, air/water/soil pollution, ecosystem impacts, etc etc ... And we especially don't keep good track of those things over the entire product lifecycle (resource extraction, product production, distribution/shipping, use and disposal)
So it's very difficult to tell how books vs. e-readers actually compare in terms of those measures. Boo.

One thing we have started to keep track of is the energy used to produce and transport a product. Often this gets translated into a "carbon footprint" - the amount of impact that the product has on climate change. So how do e-readers stack up against paper books? Some things to think about:

Trees vs. Plastics/Heavy Metals:
According to statistics collected by CleanTech, the paper publishing industry is the largest industrial user of freshwater worldwide, produces 153 million gallons of wastewater, and results in the harvest of 125 million trees annually. Yipes! However, it's important to keep in mind that trees are a renewable resource. The heavy metals and plastics in an e-reader are not, and mining for these resources has a very large environmental impact. Adding to this, many electronics and e-reader companies are not very forthcoming about their sourcing and production practices.  The good news is that e-readers can technically be recycled. However, e-waste recycling can be a  problematic industry  - both in terms of environmental impact and human health. Using a certified recycler is important. Thankfully many e-reader companies can point you in the right direction.
Verdict? Tricky to say, but paper books probably win in this respect.

Carbon Footprint: Product Comparison
According to a study by CleanTech, a paper book has a carbon footprint of 7.5 kg per book, while an e-reader has a footprint of 168 kg per reader. What does this mean? I'll need to buy and read 23 books on my e-reader before it'll balance out better than a paper book. Note: this has to be 23 books that I would have bought new, at a store, not borrowed or used. The good news is I think most people will far surpass this number of books bought over the life-time of their e-reader. Note: another study by Daniel Goleman calculates that 40-100 e-books may be needed to break-even, environmentally.
Verdict? E-readers win, so long as you buy at least 23 new books.

Caveat - It depends on where you get it:  Borrowed vs. New
Now this is where things start getting trickier. Buying books new has a high carbon footprint, but borrowing books from the library or a friend, especially if you walk or take public transit, makes the case for paper books much stronger. According to some estimates, a library book will circulate about 26 times before deteriorating. Interestingly this has some publishers demanding that libraries "pretend" that e-books get too worn out after 26 reads - effectively requiring the library to repurchase the e-book from the publisher. Ok back to the real topic: Long story short? Each library book check-out has a carbon footprint of about 0.29 kg. You'd need to buy 580 e-reader books to compete with that! Yowsa!
Verdict? Library books are awesome, environmentally! 

Other considerations

Light. An article in the New York Times makes the interesting point that the lights in e-readers are more efficient than lightbulbs. So if you're reading at night, an e-reader is best. Though note that they don't specify if the lightbulbs are incandescent or CFL.

Supporting the Author! Library books are fabulous, I can't deny. But if you have the funds to drop on a book here and there, that's great, 'cause it helps support the person who made that book possible: the author.

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I did get a Kindle last year. I knew I was going to be buying a lot of books, and decided it was the best way to go. I use the library a fair amount, but I also want to buy books, and support my fellow authors!

More Resources:  Utne Reader || Green Blog NY Times || Daniel Goleman || Sierra Club ||  Are E-readers really green? ||

So what do you think? Have you seen any other interesting facts or arguments to fuel the debate? What do you read? E-books or paper books?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

TGIF + Feature & Follow: Music to Books & Books to Movies

Feature & Follow Friday:
Book (not) to Movie? 

This is a great Feature & Follow Friday Question! Be sure to check out hosts
 Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, as well as the two featured bloggers: Book Briefs and Gizmo's Reviews!

What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaption of because you think the movie could never live up to the book?

There are so many books I would love to see turned into a movie. Of course I'd be a little worried about sending any of them off to Hollywood  for fear that they'd change silly things like
the Mockingjay pin in THG or really big things like totally changing Faramir's character in LOTR. Sigh. That said, I still would love some books to go movie. Others, not so much.

Movie Please!
Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Legend by Marie Lu, Tempest by Julie Cross, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Sabriel by Garth Nix, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Circle Nine, by Anne Heltzel. I could go on!!

Love the book, but No Movie, Thanks.

I almost want to say The Book Thief. I can't imagine that any attempt could possibly come close to the beauty that was this book. Maybe I'm too fresh off the book. It could be a film, maybe, but a movie? No. That said, I'm too late. A movie adaptation is already in the works! 
So my pick is: Bumped, by Megan McCafferty. I was really struck by this as a book, but I just don't think it is movie-able. Everything might be a little too blatantly, sugar-coatedly horrifying to watch. Like America exploded into some sort of preg-happy Toys-R-Us gone wrong. 

TGIF @ GReads: Song to Book
This weeks' question from GRead's TGIF is a great one too!

What song would you like to see turned into a book?

Honestly, it was so hard for me to pick just one. I would really love to see anything by Lykke Li, Miike Snow, Iron & Wine, MGMT or Florence and the Machine turned into a book. Those would all be dystopia/post-apocalyptic with a romantic element. Anything by William Fitzsimmons or Joshua Radin too, but that would be such a sad book, I'd need piles of kleenex! Tegan and Sara would be a great contemporary for a protag with sass.

Miike Snow - Silvia

Genre: Dystopia, w/ Forbidden Love

If I had to pick one, it'd be Miike Snow's Silvia. I think he actually remixed, but didn't write this song, though I could be wrong. Whenever I hear that song, I always think of someone walking along a deserted city street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the girl he loves even though she lives in a part of town he can never enter. 

Recent Reads Roundup : March-April

Well I've been on a reading frenzy it seems! That's likely to slow down as I've now gotten back into editing mode on my WIP and somewhere in there am working on my dissertation as well. But here's what I've read lately, with mini reviews below! 

Highlight of the month?
I know, I know, I'm probably the last person in the world to do it, but I finally read
The Book Thief, and just. Wow. If you have not read it, READ IT. Ahh I can't even talk about it, it's too good for words. 



Harper Scott is left devastated and confused when her sister June commits suicide a week before high school graduation. Desperate for answers and closure, Harper embarks on a roadtrip to bring June's ashes to the one place she always wanted to go - California. One of my favorite reads this year!
Recommended for fans of:  Sarah Dessen    

Callie was orphaned over a year ago. Desperate to keep her and her little brother alive, she signs up with Prime Destinations. Here the elderly can temporarily rent younger bodies - downloading their minds into the shells of teens. For Callie it just means good money, until she finds out her renter wants to assassinate a politician. A great, fast-paced read.
Recommended for fans of:  The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins ||  Divergent - Veronica Roth ||  Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

Juliette's been locked up for ever 264 days. She is not insane. She's a murderer. She is not insane. No one knows why her touch is fatal, but the Re-establishment wants to use her as a weapon. Adam understands. She wants Adam to touch her. Adam can touch her. Adam can't touch her. A stream-of-conscious style love story, full of strikethroughs and repeated sentences. Quite a unique style!
Romance Ratio: 90% romance, 10% rest-of-story
Recommended for: Twilight-fandom poets

Gwyneth Shepherd's cousin Charlotte was supposed to be the time-traveler. She's the one who's been prepared for all this. But it's not Charlotte, it's Gwen. Now she'll need all the help she can get to manage her stumbles into the past. Thankfully there are ample costumes available and a somewhat-arrogant-sidekick Gideon to help her through. Full of beautiful descriptions, but a touch on the slow side.
Recommended for: Lovers of historical fiction

Fifteen year-old Stephen's lives in a North America reeling in the aftermath of a deadly plague. Other people aren't to be trusted. When he's rescued by a group from the hidden and idyllic community of Settler's Landing it almost seems too good to be true. The story focuses more on high school love/bullies than the post-apocalyptic aspects, but also has some interesting themes of racial tension.

Ged is a powerful wizard in training, but one night, after an argument with a fellow wizard, his pride gets the better of him. He summons an evil shadow creature and nearly kills himself in the process. His road to recovery will take him many places. Like most of LeGuin's books, the focus is more on a character's journey rather than a typical fantasy plot.

Kira is one of the immune. Eleven years ago, a plague released by cyborgs has killed nearly everyone on the planet, and continues to kill every newborn child within three days. In their small community on Long Island, the survivors race to find a cure, but the only answers seem to lie with the enemy, the cyborg "Partials."
Recommended for: Lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction with a strong military feel.

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Liesel Meminger lives in Nazi Germany, but she doesn't know that yet. She is only nine years old. There are really no words to describe it. It is that good.
Recommended for:   EVERYONE.

A tale of romance between an ancient reincarnated soul, and a teenage newsoul who both share a love for music.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

RTW: Images that Inspire/Represent my WIP

This week's Road Trip Wednesday question over at YA Highway is a fun one! I've just been getting into making boards for my WIPs over on Pinterest, and it's really addicting!

What images inspire your WIP?

Inspiration for my WIP:
So, I decided to post some images that capture a bit of the world in which my current WIP: The Awakening of Minna Gray, is set. Some of these elements are very close to how I imagined them. Others would need a little tweaking. For example, they project things on the Wall to make it seem less "wall-ish"

The City of Alkara
The first half of the story is set in a walled-in city by the sea. Minna just moved there. It seems so perfect.


Of course, things aren't always what they seem.
First it's just the visions. But then someone gets taken.

The Outlands

At night, they flee by rowboat, bypassing the Wall to enter the Outlands. They were always told it was a barren waste. Some of it still is.




So, what images help inspire elements of your WIP?


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