Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Things

Stealing a page from Olivia’s book today.

   1./ The first frost.
   2./ Gray days.
   3./ Buckets of extra-buttery movie theater popcorn.
   4./ Heading home after a day of classes.
   5./ “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys  and “Forever Young" by Bob Dylan.
   6./ Picking up books at the library.
   7./ Rain. (Rainy days in October can be beautiful. Alternatively, they can be miserable—but the ones around here have mostly been beautiful.)
   8./ Friday night movies with friends.
   9./ Knitting. (Yep, still working on that scarf. Note to self: next time, use bigger needles.)
   10./ Fresh apple cider. 
   11./ Alphabear. (Thanks for the recommendation, Joni!)

Image result for alphabear

In other news: this semester has been tough, and I’ve got to admit that I’m glad it’s winding down. I have a couple of ideas/newsworthy stuff for future posts—hopefully those will be going up soon. And I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reading Slumps, Part 2

via Pinterest

Or, will Alex ever stop whining about her first world problems?*

 I’ve decided that they’re two types of stories—the ones that show you how you want to write, and the ones that show you how you don’t want to write. Not that anything I’ve read in the past couple of months has been outright terrible. Everything has been good, decent, or okay. And that’s the problem. I’m ready for something like The Monstrumologist or The Reapers Are the Angels. Something that makes me want to cry because I didn’t come up with the idea first.

Through all the good-to-okay books I’ve read since fall semester started, one thing that most of them had in common has stuck with me. None of them are unexpected. It’s not so much a question of plot or character development but some weird, impossible to define ingredient—that bit of whatever-it-is that makes a story seem new and unfamiliar, even if the plot’s actually been done ten billion times before. I don’t expect each book I read to have that, but when it’s missing, I notice.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a bunch of short stories on Some of them are better than others, but they’re all just the right length for reading in between classes.

Image result for that game we played during the war

That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn
Modern day fantasy of two prisoners of war who meet to finish the game they started years before. I ended up loving the concept a lot more than the story itself (mostly because of the length—I’d love to see this as a book). Still well-written and emotional.

Image result for the night cyclist

The Night Cyclist by Stephen Graham Jones
This one didn’t scare me. At all. Bicyclist vampires are still a cool idea, though.

Image result for men who wish to drown

Men Who Wish to Drown by Elizabeth Famma
 The best atmosphere out of these three, plus it’s about mermaids and whaling (two of my favorite things), so I can’t complain. The narrator’s voice is also wonderfully lemony:
 “As long as you have known me, I have been Grandfather Henry. But when I met my wife, Martha, I was still Resolved, a name that since our wedding day I have only signed to legal documents. No man was permitted to call me Resolved, because none could accuse me of any such virtue."                                                                                                                                A man after my own heart.
 What have you guys been reading lately?

*Not likely. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

5 Minute Reviews: The Magnificent Seven

 Let the record show that Vincent D’Onofrio as Jack Horne was almost my only reason for seeing this one, and he did not disappoint. Neither did anyone else--this movie was so much fun, guys. So. Much. Fun. I’m kind of surprised by how much I ended up loving it.

 First, though, let’s go over the mediocre stuff. The villain is named Bartholomew Bogue, so it’s a miracle anyone ever took him seriously, even if he is one step away from bathing in the blood of infants. The town he invades is called Rose Creek and looks a little...shinier than I’d expect an old West mining town to look. (Then again, I’m no expert on the old West.) And if the name Bartholomew Bogue didn’t tip you off, the story is not exactly morally complex.

 None of the mediocre stuff bothered me. The plot’s predictable, but watching it I never got the feeling that anyone thought they were reinventing the wheel. It’s the predictability that lets you relax and just enjoy the characters--like I said, my favorite is Jack Horne, but I also loved Faraday (who’s played by Chris Pratt), and they’re a couple side characters who I REALLY would have loved to see more of. In a nutshell: there’s not so good stuff mixed with very good stuff, and I think the very good stuff wins out in the end. I’ll be rewatching it once the DVD comes out.