Monday, December 31, 2012

My 2012 Book List

My total reads for 2012
image credit
Looking back on 2012, I can say one thing: Thank goodness for Goodreads!

I'd never be able to keep track of what I read otherwise. I'd have to dig, dig, dig for some other interesting Monday post when all my friends are posting long lists of accomplished reading.

If your list is shorter than mine, maybe you should try Goodreads. I find a lot of great suggestions on there.

I'm definitely over the fifteen books average of most readers. (Pew Research Center statistics) I sneak in about a book a week.

This is because, as Stephen King recommends, I read whenever I can. Sipping a few sentences at the orthodontist, or inhaling an entire book on a long afternoon, reading in every spare moment is partly possible for me because of my assortment of electronic devices. (Just the other day I downloaded seven books, but I won't get to those until next year.) Hardcover books are still my overwhelming favorite, especially the ones with a shimmery cover. Paperbacks? Not so much. I only have a few of those on this list (not counting ARCs).

A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy, ebook
Dune Frank Herbert, paperback
Brave New World Aldous Huxley, paperback
Fallen Angels Walter Dean Myers, paperback
The Witch of Blackbird Pond Elizabeth George Speare, ebook

I Married You for Happiness Lilly Tuck, ebook
It Happened on the Way to War Rye Barcott, hardcover
The Year of the Gadfly Jennifer Miller, hardcover
Butterfly's Child Angela Davis-Gardner, paperback
Water for Elephants Sara Gruen, paperback

Black Hole Sun David Macinnis Gill, hardcover
Silver Talia Vance, paperback
Skinny Donna Cooner, hardcover
The Patron Saint of Butterflies Cecelia Galante, ebook
Fracture Megan Miranda, hardcover
Enclave Ann Aguirre, ebook
Under the Never Sky Veronica Rossi, hardcover
So Close toYou Rachel Carter, hardcover
Feed MT Anderson, ebook
Gilt Katharine Longshore, hardcover
Insignia SJ Kincaid, hardcover
Code Name Verity Elizabeth Wein, hardcover
The Girl with Borrowed Wings Rinsai Rossetti, ebook
Throne of Glass Sarah J Maas, hardcover
Bitterblue Kristen Cashore, hardcover
Revolver Marcus Sedgewick, hardcover
Finnikin of the Rock Melina Marchetta, hardcover
For Darkness Shows the Stars Diana Petefreund, ebook
The Raven Boys Maggie Stievfater, hardcover
Shadow and Bone Leigh Bardugo, hardcover
Seraphina Rachel Hartman, hardcover
The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness, ebook
The Drowned Cities Paolo Bacigalupi, hardcover
The Gathering Storm Robin Bridges, hardcover
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs, ebook
The Scorpio Races Maggie Stiefvater, ebook

City of a Thousand Dolls Miriam Forster
Taken Erin Bowman
Crewel Gennifer Albin
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You Joyce Carol Oates
Masque of the Red Death Bethany Griffin
After the Snow Sophie D Crockett
Crown of Embers Rae Carson

My favorite YA this year?
The two books which left me thinking: "I wish I could write like that!"

Code Name Verity. I'll give you one tip: Make sure you keep a (full) tissue box handy. Otherwise, I refuse to give you any spoilers here. You must read it yourself. MUST.

I also really liked The Raven Boys, but I don't think it's for everyone. Beaucoup character development and plenty of pages, TRB is the first in a four book series. I think Maggie Stiefvater is having a good time writing these boys. And I'm so jealous.

Summer of the Wolves Lisa Kline, hardcover
Saraswati's Way Monika Schroeder, hardcover
The Journal of Curious Letters James Dashner, ebook

The Encyclopedia of Me Karen Rivers

Beta Reads (complete manuscripts)
Mina Takes the Sky Katharine Owens
The Truth About Letting Go Leigh T Moore
Fire Carrier Martina Boone
21 Days Leigh T Moore

How to Write Fantasy and Science Fiction Orson Scott Card, paperback
Plot Ansen Dibell, ebook
The Elements of Fiction Writing Beginnings, Middles, and Ends Nancy Kress, ebook
Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue Gloria Kempton, ebook
Characters and Viewpoint Orson Scott Card, paperback
Second Sight Cheryl B. Klein, paperback

Some year, with some luck and a lot more hard work, maybe my books will be on somebody's list.

Here's hoping for a great 2013!

Monday, December 24, 2012

I'm still here...

Şirince, Turkey
 ...telling the tale of two villages and the apocalypse that never happened.

In Bugarach, France, Dec 21, 2012 hit hard. The mayor begged doomsday UFO seekers to leave his village in peace. Police then barricaded the roads, and camera crews were the only unusual sight at the top of that particular peak of the Pyrenees.

Further east, the Mayan calender was a publicity bust for the Ottoman village of Şirince, Turkey. Inns of the area booked to capacity, wait-listed people even. The 600 residents prepped all sorts of goodies, to no avail. Everyone banked on the new age claim that a sort of positive energy exists in the rocks there, creating a haven from the apocalpyse. (A ley line, perhaps?) Surely, if Noah escaped the flood, somebody can escape the (insert whatever you thought was coming)!

Not buying it?

There is one other possible reason to book a room in Şirince. Nearby, the house of the Virgin Mary might be the most direct route to heaven.

The Vatican doesn't confirm or deny that the Assumption happened there, but since Saint Anne Catherine Emmerich had a vision about it, pilgrims have sought out the small shrine. Many leave a written prayer on the wall outside.

I wonder what Mary would think about all this Mayan business?

Wishing Wall
The bad news: Village winemakers will have to drink their "Wine of the Apocalypse" another day.
The good news: Santa still knows where to find me. (You know he's from Turkey too, right?)

Happy Holidays!

Şirince village readies for ‘Doomsday’ events
Şirince misses crowds on Dec 21 ‘doomsday’

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Basketball Legend of Turkish Airlines

FIBA 2010
More basketball?

Well... My brain is inundated with it - practices, scrimages, games, NBA2K13, personal training, and even a non-fiction book or two.  Here though, everything should have something to do with Turkey. Yes?

So. Kobe Bryant. Big NBA star. Plays for the LA Lakers.

What could he possibly get out of an association with Turkey?
(Answer: A very nice deal $$$.)

The connection probably never crossed Bryant's mind either, but I suspect the 2010 FIBA World Championships had something to do with him taking a closer look at the opportunity. The tournament was held in Turkey, with Turkish Airlines as an official sponsor.

Afterwards, the top Turkish team, Beşiktaş wanted Bryant- and reportedly had a 50% chance of getting him during an NBA lockout. That didn't work out in the end, but it wasn't THE END of his connections to Turkey either. Bryant inked a two year contract to endorse Turkish Airlines. On TV, in print, digital.

Here's his first clever commercial:

(Also starring soccer star Lionel Messi, who is worth a whole 'nother post.)

The FIBA-flagged THY plane:

Update: TIME Sports picked up the story on 12/21.

Monday, December 10, 2012

What Lies Within

An M or an upside down W?
Once upon a time, I fell in love with my villain...

I wrote pages and pages from his perspective, and my whole story landed on it's head. Or not.

Had he become the protagonist? Per an uber agent's suggestion, he became a she. (Just to mix it up a little more!)

She wasn't the protagonist, and yet something about the way I wrote her made her likeable, even with her flaws. She was the hero of her own story (like every good villain). I wanted my readers to understand how she ticks- to see what lies within her hard shell.

I realized then that she was no longer a simple villain.

Something I uncovered when interviewing the bad girl: the authority figure is only a representation of the popular will to deny a particular truth. She was only acting within the accepted framework of her society.

Was she a sympathetic villain? Was she the anti-hero because she searched for something too?

Her quest was tied to my protagonist, but for her, the end justified the means. And in the end, she too came away with something (which leans her toward anti-hero, I think). What that is, you'll just have to wait and see.

Here's an excellent clip on the anti-hero from TED ed.


Monday, December 3, 2012

UNESCO Celebrates Itri

Ney via Wikipedia
UNESCO's Celebration of Anniversaries 2012 highlights special people, events and places in many member countries.

France marks 150 years of Claude Debussy
Jordan marks 200 years since the rediscovery of Petra
Spain marks 1,000 years since the founding of Granada
Here in the US, we celebrate 150 years of Edith Wharton

My favorite this year is from Georgia:

300 years of the epic poem: The Knight in the Panther’s Skin (1712) - the printed edition. (The unprinted version has been around since the twelfth century, in case you're curious.)

Sometimes multiple celebrations are in order.

This year Turkey remembers three prominent citizens: Yusuf Nabi, poet and philosopher (1641-1712), Kemal Ahmet Aru, architect and urban planner (1912-2005), and Buhurizade Mustafa Itri, musician (1640-1712).

"Buhurizade Itri (c. 1640-1712) musician, composer, calligrapher and poet, whose real name was Mustafa was a major exponent of Turkish classical music. He was a very prolific composer with more than a thousand works. However, only about 40 of these survived to this day. He lived through the times of five Ottoman Sultans. He became well known during the time of Mehmed IV. As with most composers of his day, Buhurizade Itri was also a famous poet and a calligrapher. He used poetic forms based on the classical Ottoman school of poetry (Dīvān), as well as those based on syllabic meters identified with folk music and poetry. Unfortunately most of his poetry has not survived to this day." via UNESCO

Itri's Neva Kâr is perhaps the most well known. The main instruments are the reed flute, called a ney, and the Saz string instument. The piece is about eleven minutes long, and evokes whirling dervishes because Itri was a Sufi and a poet.



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