Randomosity on Fridays: Trailer Version

Look at me, blogging twice in one week! I'm on a roll. Let's have our Fabulous Friday Five!

1. Krispy is a lucky, lucky dog. She says, and I quote directly from text message, "I went to a free Lady GaGa mini-concert for Jimmy Kimmel & she was flippin awesome!!!" I am not jealous or envious at all. (Damn you, Krispy! Some day I will have my non-specific vengeance!)

2. I finally saw Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. It was pretty epic and I liked it so much better than the book, which I found to be bizarrely-paced and kind of a hack job in places. Things that failed to make sense or just seemed weird in the book had more tension and emotion in the movie. Also, McGonagall was a total badass.

3. I also saw the Breaking Dawn: Part 1 trailer before HP&tDH:P2 (how's that for an impressive acronym?). I'm not going to go into the traumatic badly-written fanfic WTFery of Breaking Dawn the book. Instead I will show you my impression of the trailer:

Click for larger version.
4. There was also a trailer for the next Sherlock Holmes movie. I still haven't seen the first one and I've only read a few of the short stories, but my grad professor explained to us how the modus operandi is that Watson shoots up Holmes with cocaine, Holmes plays the violin for six hours, and then screams "EUREKA!" and runs out the door because he's solved the case. Somehow I doubt this is what happens in either movie. Though I do believe that the homosocial as well as homoerotic overtones run strong. I didn't even know the word "homosocial" until I went to college. Thank you, college education.

5. Last but not least, there was another trailer that was so epically epic in its epic epicness that I kind of really want to see it and therefore pray that it gets at least passable reviews from critics. It was the testosterone-laden trailer for The Immortals, which looks like the foursome lovechild of 300, Gladiator, Troy, and Clash of the Titans.

Also click for larger version.

That's it for this Friday!  I swear I don't usually doodle shirtless guys so often. I guess it's just one of those weeks. 

Have you seen any movies lately? Or watched any interesting/epic/homosocial trailers?

P.S. I (Krispy) will draw the Fairy Godmother Dilemma winner this weekend. Sorry for the delay! It's been a spontaneously eventful week! (And yes, I'm still on a Lady GaGa high. She performed five songs! 5! One of them twice because the 1st time wasn't perfect & they wanted to re-record the performance! Exclamation points ad nauseum!


Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Hello there, long time no see! This is Alz with another review for you. Krispy won this book as an ARC and a long time ago I stole it from her to read. I kind of wish I hadn't.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Pros: I think there were one or two minor characters who were okay.
Cons: Everything else.

Intellectual Rating: 0.5 out of 10 stars (only because Crescendo is my golden standard for utter literary failure)
Emotional Grade: F

Book Blurb: (from Goodreads) Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Alz's Take: Imagine a dark supernatural YA romance where werewolf Guardians have their own unique society living in our world, guarding a sacred mountain under the orders of their Keepers. Imagine edgy romance twanging with tension, sizzling with sexual innuendo, and molten with lust as fierce warrior Calla, the heroine alpha female of a new soon-to-be-pack, is torn between her predestined alpha werewolf mate, dominant forceful Ren Laroche, and the song of destiny that sings between her and the new boy, nerdy-but-hot noble-but-na├»ve protective-and-perfect Shay Doran. Imagine a book that immerses you in a supernatural world built from the ground up beside our own world. Imagine an edgy, thrilling book that deals realistically and sophisticatedly with themes such as homosexuality, pedophilia, rape, love and sacrifice.

Now imagine a book that fails to achieve any of those things.

That book is Nightshade.

Nightshade tries very hard to be immersive, erotic (yes, this book is the closest thing I've read so far to YA erotica, though there is no actual getting beyond second base), edgy and hip and cool.

The way it tries to do this is by throwing you into this magical werewolf/warlock society where apparently stuff happens because of other stuff and it's very omgwtfbbq important because people say so. My main motivation for finishing this godawful waste of paper and ink was trying to figure out what the hell was happening. It took me months to finish the book because every 3 pages something annoying or beyond implausible would happen and I'd stop.  I finished it and I still don't know what's going on, except that there's some kind of conspiracy, Calla is lamer than a flock of wingless one-footed ducks, and Shay is every 13-year-old girl's wish-fulfillment fantasy boyfriend, right down to liking Buffy the Vampire Slayer (specifically: Season 8).

I've got to hand it to the author, though, you know how they say to start off a book with action? There is ACTION in that first chapter. Calla's in wolf-form fighting a freaking bear that already mauled beautiful illegally-trespassing-hiker Shay. Yes, folks, that was and is still the most memorable and interesting (and laughable) scene Nightshade: the hot love interest is mauled by a bear before the book even begins. He's literally lying on the forest floor bleeding on page 2 or 3.

Re-using this doodle from an old post.

The book fails to get better from there. Instead we are treated to in-depth descriptions of Calla's overwhelming LUST for Shay, because he's so beautiful and hot and she feels so LUSTFUL toward him, her LUSTFULNESS knows no bounds every time she sees or thinks of him, she is afire with LUST. Seriously, the girl needs to take an iced bottle of chill pills every hour on the hour throughout the entire book. And when she's not LUSTING over Shay, she's LUSTING over Ren. Her werewolf betrothed is always putting his hands all over Calla (and once or twice getting into slightly graphic territory considering this is YA), and later Shay's none too shy with the hanky-panky either.

I don't buy the romance because there is none. Just LUST. And not very convincing LUST. (Just a note: It doesn't actually say "LUST" everywhere in Nightshade, in capslock or otherwise, but that is the sentiment that smolders so much throughout the book I'm surprised it didn't burst into flames in my hands.)

I don't buy the world-building either. I wouldn't even buy it if it came with a free puppy, king-sized box of gourmet dark chocolates, and a foot locker crammed with gold and diamonds. On sale. On clearance sale.

The story tries to be immersive by throwing things at you without explanation. While I prefer the immersive form of world-building as opposed to paragraphs of explanation, it has to be done well enough that you understand through context or are tantalized and intrigued enough to want to know more. In Nightshade, something would happen or people would appear and the characters would dramatically yell, "HOLY CRAP IT'S THE PERSON" or "ZOMG IT'S A BOOK" and I'd be left feeling left out.  Who are these people and why does this matter? 

Aside from that, there is no world-building. The world just is and has been, but you can't just slap down a Six Flags magic mountain in the middle of the United States guarded by werewolves and their master/Keeper witches/warlocks attending an elite school that also happens to enroll (normal human) students of the rich and powerful—with no explanation other than, "Yeah, the witches and warlocks have ancient powerful lineage and magic and contemporary political influence, that's why."

Not this kind of convention.

Thanks to this failed attempt at immersive writing, the plot is neither gripping nor coherent—but despite not understanding or caring about what was going on, I was still able to accurately predict 70% of what was going to happen thanks to Typical Romantic Narrative Conventions, Typical Angsty Heroine Conventions, and Typical Werewolf Conventions. That's pretty sad. It means there's nothing new, noteworthy, or creative about Nightshade.

Calla's our narrator. She's filled with LUST for Shay, and every weird or inconsistent aspect of her character is explained away by the fact that she's not human. That's not even me interpreting things—I'm paraphrasing what Calla tells Shay. She's supposed to remain "pure" before her union with the alpha male (Ren of the Bane pack) that will unite her pack with his to create a new pack, which means no sex and almost no touching if possible and no kissing even (not that Ren obeys this, to Calla's combined annoyance and lust), and yet she flings herself at Shay. She knows she's not supposed to but she just can't help herself, which I find irritating since considers herself such a responsible badass (paraphrasing again—she considers herself a warrior).

Hmm, a warrior. And given her status as daughter of alpha wolves and a soon-to-be-alpha herself, that essentially makes her a princess. Where have I heard—

Ohhhh yeah!
Now if only Calla had been one-tenth as awesome as Xena, this book wouldn't have been such a failure.

Calla also doesn't question things because…I'm not really sure why she doesn't question them. Possibly she is brain-damaged or it's because she's a werewolf (same thing in this book). She doesn't question hierarchy or the shaky stories that the Keepers tell her, and at one point around page 200 Shay even asks her why she's never questioned them, and all she says is that it's forbidden.

You'd think that she'd start to question her own world, and society, and the role of Keepers and Guardians as she slowly explores her forbidden feelings for Shay and aids him when he asks for her help in learning this forbidden knowledge—

Nope. One minute she's snarling and crying because it's forbidden on pain of death and then literally on the next page she's like, Okay, we'll chillax at the public library where you can translate and I'll do research on background information and also explain anything that you don't understand about my secret world with its secret societies. By the end of the book, she's violated at least four laws that put her under a death sentence but eh, she does it without a second thought because the plot demands it.

Add to that the repeated mantra that she's a warrior and an alpha and must guard and protect and lead her pack and she's so fierce and awesome, and yet she hardly ever does anything. She spends most of the book lusting or angsting. She's been born and bred for leadership and all she does is willfully endanger herself and her pack but it's okay because they're loyal to her and will protect her secrets, which is good because she's such a great responsible leader. Huh?

Ugh, I don't even want to talk anymore about Shay, so I'll just list his most important attributes:
1. His name is Shay, short for Seamus Doran

2. Mauled by a bear before the book even began

3. Has an incredibly beautiful face and a sculpted muscular body

Like many trashy romance heroes, Shay morphs into
a bodybuilder the moment his shirt is removed. The
sharply creased vee of his hipbones rising out of his jeans
isn't artistic license--they're described in the book.

4. So literate and well-read he can spout Latin phrases and cite the philosophical theories of Thomas Hobbes at the drop of a hat

5. Fascinated by Calla, always touching her face or her arm and murmuring how he doesn't want her to be hurt, how love can't be controlled, etc.

6. He has no flaws

7. He has no personality

Ren doesn't even get a list of attributes. He's just there to be the arrogant dominant controlling alpha and the other tip of the love triangle.

All right, all right. I know you want to hear about the homosexuality, pedophilia, rape, love and sacrifice stuff. Well, the first three anyway, since the latter two are part and parcel of a YA romance. I confess that the Big Three aren't in fact a big part of the book—which is problematic since they're very clearly only there for shock value and as lazy writing (e.g. to make a villain evil and creepy, it's easier to just make him a pedophile or rapist than to actually develop his character or motivations).

Basically there are two minor supporting characters that are gay. This is brought up as an issue, only it's not an issue at all because everyone is kind and accepting and loves and supports them totally! Nice nod to tolerance and acceptance—and I'm not being totally sarcastic here, I think it's great that issues of alternate sexuality are brought up in YA. But it also needs to be done with purpose and realism.

Instead of leaving it as a poorly-done token acknowledgement of homosexuality, the author went for shock value. Not only are these werewolf boys gay, but their future master is gay too, and has his eye on one of them! Oh noes! And for some bizarre reason that is never explained to my satisfaction (except that the wolves are afraid of their masters because they can summon wraiths, which are scary), all the wolves owe absolute obedience to the Keepers—which means if the Keepers want to have sex with them, they have no choice but to obey and nobody can object, not even the alphas.  And the Keepers are, one and all, abusers on a perpetual power-high, in one way or another.

So there's the basic rape issue.  Now for the pedophilia.

One of the older male Keepers (not the gay one mentioned above—nope, this is his father) is a total creeper and has been eyeing this little girl werewolf (she's like 12 or 13, I forget, but I think it said he's been eyeing her for at least a couple of years prior to this). In order to save her, one of the teenage werewolf girls from the same pack has been sleeping with him instead even though she loathes and fears him. When he wants it, she has to put out. But as long as she can keep him focused on her, he won't go after the little girl. Probably.

These issues are artificially jammed into the story because oh hey, this guy should more obviously be a villain, so let's make him a pedophile rapist too! That way there can be more angst and some characters can have dramatic excuses for being bitchy! Whee! And let's have these werewolf boys be gay too, as a message of love and tolerance—but love and tolerance is boring, so let's throw more rape on the horizon! Yay!

The Alz does not approve.

I at least expect the issues of pedophilia and rape (and especially implied child rape) to be handled with a modicum of respect and seriousness. Using them as bells and whistles to add peripheral excitement to a story is tasteless and offensive. I had held to the faint hope that these topics would get a little more light shed on them.

Fat chance.  The story (not that there's much of it) would remain unchanged if these elements were excised, because they're unimportant background issues.  Which should make you scratch your head: Rape and pedophilia are unimportant.  What?

I mean, the Guardian/Keeper relationships and society are just plain stupid and screwed up for the sake of being screwed up. I didn't buy that the werewolves' unwavering loyalty and no-questions-asked attitude was due to tradition, fear of the scary never-really-explained wraiths that the Keepers could summon, and the fact that the Keepers provide them with food and shelter. As Shay eventually points out, they're pretty much slaves and they don't seem to like it but are still okay with it because they have no other choice because…wait, why can't all the wolves just band together and launch a blitzkrieg against their masters? The wolves outnumber them and seem way more powerful and physically faster and stronger, even if the Guardians can summon these scary-because-we're-told-they're-scary wraiths!

Ah, but if they did that then Nightshade would have made some sense for once. And that's not this book's style.

Alz's Conclusion: Nightshade is a failboat that should sink under the waves never to be seen again, but sadly the fact that it contains werewolves and copious groping and sexual themes was enough to make it a trilogy. Nor does this first book function as a standalone—the ending is a cliffhanger. And since I still have no idea what the plot was about except that it was a steaming pile of failure to be cool and sexy, the characters couldn't win a spelling bee against a cardboard box, and the world-building wasn't world-building as much as world-shambles, I will not be reading the sequel.


Randomosity on Fridays: Seriously Cute Blogger Award

Time for another round of Randomosity this fine Friday! I know, I know, it's always pretty random around here. I promise I'll try to tone it down some, but summer has me in a whimsical state of mind.

In any case, we were awarded with the Seriously Cute Blogger award by newer blogger bud The Golden Eagle over at The Eagle's Aerial Perspective. Love her mix of sciencey and writerly posts! Thanks Golden!

As with all awards, info must be shared and you all know how I love a good meme. For this one, I'm supposed to list 5 books/movies/TV programs I've watched in the past 12 months.

Here goes:

1. TV Program: Doctor Who - Sister and I started with Eccleston and have just finished David Tennant's run, and we're loving the show. We are, however, so very sad that there's no more David Tennant. His Doctor is so adorable and brilliant! (Yeah, I think I'm turning geekier with age...)

2. Book: White Cat by Holly Black - Um, loved it. I was kinda hoping the major mystery/conspiracy would be a little more complicated, but I love, love the world-building and Cassel! Definitely getting Red Glove asap!

3. Movie: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (but you all knew that)

4. Book: Divergent by Veronica Roth - Some of you may recall Alz's review of the promo pages. She still hasn't read the book yet, but I did. In a nutshell, it's good. The pages the promo covered kept me interested enough to keep going, but it really picks up after that. I still have some issues with the world-building (stuff that Alz brought up in her review), but the plotting, pacing, and characters made it very much worth the read.

5. Movie: Rango - Remember that animated movie with Johnny Depp voicing a lizard in a Hawaiian shirt that ends up in some sort of Western? Yeah, I had 0 interest in seeing it too. Then I heard it was good, so the sister and I rented and watched it. The marketing for this movie did it no justice. Not only was it clever and fun and yes, a Western, it was also beautifully rendered - with creative character designs, cute little design elements, and gorgeous desert backdrops. It's a little meta, a little tongue-in-cheek, a Western, and a classic hero's journey / finding yourself kind of story.

So that's that. Thanks again, Golden!

What have you seen or read lately? My local library is open again, so I'm ready for another round of book borrowing! Also, since Borders is closing (so, so sad!), I'm probably going to pick up a few titles too. So give me your best suggestions!

P.S. There's still time to comment on the Fairy Godmother post for a chance to win a subscription to Danyelle's serial novel The Fairy Godmother Dilemma! Will announce the winner next week!

I believe today, her blog tour stops at Elana Johnson's blog if you want to learn more about the project.


Sort-of Wordless Wednesday: Pottermania

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

Luna & Xenophilius Lovegood, a Gryffindor, a Ravenclaw
As you know, last week was all about a certain boy wizard. Since July 9th, I've been Harry Potter-minded - what with the movie coming out and fun stuff happening and clothes and props that needed finding for dressing up. So here are the fruits of my labor in this Sort Of Wordless Wednesday picspam.

(There will be a number of pics. You've been warned.)

July 9: nucleus gallery Harry Potter Tribute Exhibition

Lots of lovely fanart: Check the pieces out in high quality at the nucleus gallery website.

There was a giant line, and lots of people dressed up. I went with my sister and Sophia, and we met up with Soph's friends Karyn and Sam. It was fun, but not quite worth the 3 hours it took us to get inside, especially since my sis and I had been at Disneyland in the hours before we went to the gallery. Needless to say, I didn't need to be in another line.

We were afraid of giant!Voldy.
C was too busy showing off her Dark Marks.

There was also a free "photo booth," which was actually a giant Lucius Malfoy in Death Eater garb in front of a camera. So we grabbed the offered props and took a pic with him.

July 14/15: Midnight Showing of HP7 Part 2

We went to the Arclight, which does reserved seating. So we didn't have to stand in line for 5 hours in order to get good seats. Our group consisted of me, my sister, my sister's friend, my cousin, Sophia, and the lovely Ani from Anime's Musings, who I met for the first time that night.

A Slytherin, Bellatrix, Sirius, a Gryffindor, a Slyterin Quidditch Player
Azkaban, home of the crazies aka the Black family. One minute we're smiling, the next we're dueling.

Wall of Harry Potter posters inside.

Lastly, my updated Sirius Black "Have You Seen This Wizard" shot, complete with newly made Azkaban sign (more accurate too).

Anyone else celebrate Harry Potter in a big way? And for the record, I did not actually shed tears, but I'm not much of a movie-cryer.

P.S. Did you check out the Fairy Godmother Guest Post on Friday? You could WIN an ebook subscription to Danyelle's The Fairy Godmother Dilemma if you comment on that post. I'm choosing winners this weekend, so don't miss out!


GUEST POST: Putting the Fairy Back in Fairy Tales

Welcome to Day 5 of Danyelle Leafty’s Fairy Godmother Blog Tour.

I'm pleased to be a part of this new publication venture. Danyelle is making use of tech and paving a path into the woods of interactive reading/writing. You should definitely check this out. Danyelle explains the ins-and-outs on her blog: Let the Fairy Godmother Dilemma Commence!

The Fairy Godmother Dilemma is a novel that Danyelle is publishing in serial form on her website. Here’s the blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Breena doesn’t want to leave the faerie queen’s court, and she doesn’t want a fairy godmother. But if she has to choose between the two, she’d leave the Faerie Realm over getting bossed about by a faerie with a pointed stick any day. Unfortunately, her attempt to evade her fairy godmother gives her growing pains in the form of fur, whiskers, and a tail.

Turning into a cat is the least of her worries, though, because the potion wasn’t meant to bring out her inner feline, it was meant to put her to sleep. Forever. If Breena wants to make it to her Happily Ever After, she’ll have to accept that sometimes having a fairy godmother makes all the difference in the world.

Today, I'm undoubtedly a zombie from the epic times had at the Harry Potter midnight showing (yeah, I'm writing this beforehand). So I had the foresight to invite a very special guest to post at A Nudge.

Everyone, please welcome NERISSA, fairy godmother, class of the Silver Star!

Greetings. I am Nerissa, fairy godmother, class of the Silver Star.

Something has been bothering me of late. It’s these stories you mortals have that masquerade as “fairy tales.” But regardless of what Misters Grimm, Madame d’Aulnoy, and Master Perrault may say, there were fairies in fairy tales. Or, at least, there used to be.

And most of the fairies weren’t the tall, splendiferous beings that oozed sophisticated evil, and neither were they cackling hags that enjoyed cursing clueless damsels. Because, let’s face it, the majority of Damsels in Distress—DIDs—aren’t the brightest chipmunks in the forest. Their talents lie in other directions, like being kind, bringing kingdoms to their knees just by fluttering their eyelashes, and managing to drudge all day and still look beautiful. Bless their hearts.

And that’s what your mortal fairy tales often say. And while that’s correct, in a highly abbreviated way, the tales leave out the fairies—the ones who bear the brunt of the work load.

Take Snow White, for instance. Beautiful girl with all the sense of a rabbit and a penchant for apples—poisoned or otherwise. Oh, sure, the dwarves helped hide her from the wicked queen. For a time. And yes, the prince came dashing in, and didn’t mind kissing a girl that appeared to be dead. But who do you think convinced the woodsman to let Snow White flee? (Hint: with a family of his own, he wasn’t likely to be influenced by a mere speck of a girl. In times like these, it *pays* to carry around a wand that comes to a very sharp point.) And who do you think led her to the dwarves and convinced them to let her stay even though she was hopeless at making anything but apple tarts. And who do you think got word to the prince about a very pretty, very eligible young maiden in the woods?

And then there’s the Little Mermaid. She would wish for legs and a life on land when she had a perfectly pleasant existence in the sea. So she fell in love with a prince. Her story just goes to prove that you should always be sure of your beloved’s level of affection before making permanent agreements with witches. A lot of people consider her story a tragedy, but that’s because most look at it with mortal eyes. A life with a prince who couldn’t even recognize you despite the fact that you saved his life or understand the depths of your love whenever you looked at him or, well, she couldn’t talk, but you get the idea. What kind of existence is that?

It wasn’t a fairy that talked her out of gutting the boy so she could return home. She did that all under her own power, which is why she was awarded a soul. She lost her prince, but gained a soul. Not a bad trade. Of course, the fairy godmother in charge of the Little Mermaid did her best to help the prince realize what he had in front of him, but some mortals have heads thicker than granite. And she did try to help by requesting the Little Mermaid’s sisters appeal to the sea witch, but how was she to know that the witch had been craving hearts at the moment? No one, not even a fairy godmother, can be perfect all the time.

And then there’s the story of Hansel and Gretel. Really, if they hadn’t had a fairy godmother fretting over them, they never would have made it out of the forest. She tried to convince them to move a few towns over, but would they listen? No. So she gave them the idea of using stones as markers, but Hansel had a short attention span and figured that bread would work just as well. Better, because it stood out against the landscape better. And do you really believe two small children could overcome a witch all on their own? If you do, I’ve got news for you.

Although I do have to say that the stories nearly got Cinderella correct. Except her fairy godmother didn’t just give her a night of dining and dancing with a strict curfew. She pitched in with the housework every so often, and arranged for the prince to find the slipper. She didn’t, however, account for the prince’s lack of attention to detail. Honestly, you’d think the boy would notice that the step-sisters didn’t look a thing like Cinderella. And if you want to blame his mistake on moonlight and music, then you’d think he’d notice if the girl he was riding off into the sunset with had a shoe full of blood. Especially considering that glass is fairly transparent. But what can you do. (Well, besides convincing the birds to tell him what was going on. That fairy godmother was lucky the prince was fluent in bluebird is all I can say.)

So next time you read a “fairy tale,” remember that the true fairy tales really did have fairies in them. They just happened to be in the background most of the time. Working. Because Happily Ever Afters don’t just happen on their own.

Thank you Danyelle and Nerissa for that enchanting post!

Intrigued? Check out Danyelle's website for the details on how you can subscribe to read. (There are different types of subscriptions too!)

OR you can leave a comment here (or at any of the tour stops) and WIN a FREE e-book subscription. I'll do a random drawing to see who wins, probably sometime next week, after I've recovered from all the Harry Potter madness.

For more chances to win & for more info/fun from the Fairy Godmother Dilemma, check out the rest of the Blog Tour Schedule!

GOOD LUCK and Happy Friday!

Danyelle Leafty writes MG and YA fantasy. In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She can be found discussing the art of turning one's characters into various animals, painting with words, and the best ways to avoid getting eaten by dragons on her blog. Her serial novel THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA can be found here. You can contact her here.


Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest

Are you ready to get your poetry on? I've got two poems for you today as part of A Nudge's post for Writing with Shelly's Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest!

People have been posting since Monday, so do check out some of the other links. Plus, there's like prizes or something if you participate in the blogfest. Here are the blogfest deets:

1. Follow Shelly's blog
2. Sign up by filling out the Linky at the bottom of this post
3. Write a Poem
(ANY kind of poem or you could even blog about 'why I hate poetry.' I'm cool with that.)
4. Post your poem the week of July 11th-14th (midnight PST)

What's with the poetry anyway? Well, back in the day, I used to fancy myself a poet. Then I realized I actually liked writing prose better (and was better at the whole prose thing).

But there is much to be said about poetry and much to be learned. Poetry is all about word choice and perfect phrasing. It teaches a lesson in restraint and cultivates an ear for the sound of language - for the rhythm, the rhyme, the flow of it.

So that's why I thought this blogfest was a fun and brilliant idea.

Here's an old favorite of mine - circa 2003. (Hopefully, the spacing shows up. It's a visual poem.)

Take Chase

Running, running
       Pushing leaping straining
Through platinum veiled night
Running, running, rushing

Through amber pooled forest paths
Running running singing
       Silver wisps and
                        Breaths of mist

Through shadows and fog

Eyes closed and
                             I run
                                           With wolves.

And here is a haiku from Alz, from a haiku collection apparently inspired by my Stories of Questionable Origin - circa 2009.

wish upon a star
wonder what you are -- oh shit
a fallen angel

Hope that tickled your poetic fancies. Let me know if you're blogfesting too. I'd love to read your succulent lines!

P.S. Don't forget to stop by on Friday when a Fairy Godmother will visit A Nudge as part of Danyelle Leafty's The Fairy Godmother Dilemma Blog Tour.

I've included the tour schedule to the left, but Danyelle is linking to each post on her blog.

Want to find out more about Danyelle's venture into Serial Novel-writing or her thoughts on why fairy tales are important?

Check out the first two stops on the blog tour!

As a bonus, Danyelle will be giving away e-book subscriptions to the Fairy Godmother Dilemma at each blog tour stop. So you have 10 chances to win.

P.P.S. Who else is RIDIC excited about the last Harry Potter movie?! Expect pictures next week!


Randomosity on Fridays

Ah, the glorious short week after a long weekend! It's Friday again, peeps. Aren't you glad?

Here's my Friday 5!

1. So I'm kind of sad I didn't go to the NKOTBSB concerts that happened this past week, especially since Kevin (the 5th member of the Backstreet Boys, who left after their comeback album) made an appearance at the Staples Center show & sang a couple tunes with them.

2. This weekend and next are going to be Harry Potter weekends. I'm thinking of going to nucleus gallery's Harry Potter Tribute Exhibition on Saturday, and next Thursday night is the midnight showing!

3. Who else was stuck at work or stuck in class or otherwise unable to watch the whole Potter Live thing? Yeah, I was so jealz of all the people on Twitter freaking out about it. Bright side? I don't think I could've handled it (I hear there were tears). So I still haven't watched it.

4. This is my jam right now. Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga

I'm not much for the video, but the song just makes me happy and makes me want to sing.

5. Special things going on at A Nudge next week, so please tune in! Firstly, I'm participating in Shelly's (from Writing with Shelly) Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest!

I'll be posting up a poem on Wednesday - something old, something new, I'm not sure yet. I used to totally think I was a poet in like middle school. Thankfully, I grew out of it, but I still do appreciate the wordsmithing that goes into poetry. So I'm eager to try my hand at it again (and also kind of dreading it). Do join!

Then on Friday, July 15, I'm expecting a very special guest from the wondrous mind of Danyelle Leafty. I'll be hosting one of the characters from Danyelle's new serial novel, The Fairy Godmother Dilemma.

This is great because I will be passed out Friday morning after staying up for Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Hah. So I'm (perhaps foolishly) entrusting A Nudge to one of Danyelle's lovely characters. It should be fine, right?

Be sure to check Danyelle's blog for the other stops on the Blog Tour!

To learn more about the project and about the whole serial novel thing, check out the site (linked above)!

You can also read the first chapter here.

That's it for me. Pretty random, right? What's your random? :)

See you Wednesday!


Wordless Wednesday: Someone Get Me Another Bookshelf!

This weekend, I took everything out of my ONE (not so large) bookshelf.

And put some back into the bookshelf - favorites & new ones & unread ones.

Notice how the shelf bows down in the middle...

This isn't even all of it. I have the Percy Jackson boxset sitting around nearby, a box for donation, a box for giving to kids in my family, and multiple boxes of books that didn't fit on the shelf before I cleaned it so I had to box them months ago - e.g. All of Harry Potter, classics, manga. Oh and there are a couple books out on loan.

How do I have so many books???

Q4U: Any bookshelf recommendations? What do you do with your overabundance of books?


Accent Challenge vlog, Part 2

TGIF, friends, and happy Canada Day to you Canadian readers! As promised, I have Part 2 of the Accent Meme vlog.

However, before we get into that, I'd like to encourage you to take a looksie at the darkly wonderful online kidlit mag, Underneath the Juniper Tree. Their July issue is out today, and I don't know, you may find one of my insidious sentences lurking in the issue. ;) (*hint* I won a challenge.)

On to the fun stuff!

To review, Sophia (Sophia the Writer) found an Accent Challenge Meme on Tumblr and thought it'd be a great for our next vlog. We got boba and filmed it. Much giggling ensued, and I found out I've been pronouncing New Orleans wrong.

Here's Part 1 if you missed it: Accent Challenge vlog, Part 1

Accent Challenge: Part 2

This part of the Meme was all random questions. So here's my question to you: Wizard or vampire? :)

For those of you in the States with me, it's Fourth of July weekend! Here's to celebrating Independence Day, fireworks, and a day off from work! For those of you who aren't celebrating a holiday, WOOHOO IT'S JULY!!!

Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll see you on Wednesday.

P.S. A note on the grandparents question: in Chinese, you call your grandparents different things depending on which side of the family they're on. It's even more complicated with uncles and aunts because what you call them depends on which side they're on AND whether they're older/younger than your parents. Then there's dialect to take into consideration - as in what I call my grandparents (Ah-ma and Ah-gong) are Taiwanese terms.

P.P.S. Oh and if you were wondering from last week's Randomosity, meeting with blog friends went well. I wined and dined them on Taiwanese shaved ice & boba, and they loved it!