Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This is why I generally keep really busy, otherwise I tend to have a little too much fun with photoshop (actually, I did this with PowerPoint). I'm making some buttons for those of us who study ancient DNA at an upcoming conference, and thought it was kinda fun :) And morbid, I know, but I guess that's what happens when a person spends the vast majority of the day with the deceased.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Okay, I did have something to write about though. Today was my first time meeting with the lady I'm going to be tutoring for learning how to read and write in English. I feel very strongly about being involved in my community, and have been trying to get involved in this program since before Christmas, so I was super excited. And, after tonight, I'm even more so.
The lady I'll be working with seems awesome. I don't want to put down many details to protect her privacy, but she's from Ghana, and flat out told me that educating women there is just not something that happens. I know this happens around the world, but it's quite another matter to meet someone who has experienced it. She speaks several languages already, and it really conversant in English, but can't really read or write. Her husband, a graduate student here at UC Davis, is really pushing her to learn. It's going to great getting to know her better, and help her along the path to literacy.
All of this has gotten me thinking about what the world would be like without being able to read. Honestly, I don't know how illiterate people could even function. Drivers tests, street signs, signs in the hospital, bills, reading is everywhere! It would make me nuts trying to get by without this basic ability. Yet, there are so many people that do. 1 in 5 people in California can't read in English. 1 in 6 in my county. That's unbelievable. (Apparently this statistic is not counting immigrants, too, which is even more crazy!) Where did the educations system break down for these folks? What do we all need to better? So many things to think about, and for those who want to make the time, this is a great area to really make a difference in someone's life, right in your own community.
Just think about not being able to read a book. *shivers*
Monday, March 22, 2010
And now, I'm going to go do some happy dancing. Probably with a pipette. It may be a little dangerous :)
(The best part was hubby's response: "Well, now I won't have to hear you complaining about being a bad writer any more. Yesterday, you had to stop complaining about my driving, and today writing. Tomorrow, you'll never complain about anything!"
Um. Okay. *grin* I don't complain a whole lot, I swear! Though yesterday's outing with my brother [home from the Air Force Academy, resulting in my blog silence] did leave me a little white-knuckled...)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.
Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.
Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.
This was an interesting book, filled with a fun world, that certainly kept the pages turning. Unfortunately, I figured out the twist at the end about halfway through, which made the last half a bit of a slog, but that's okay. I should know better than to think about that kind of thing too much :) My main quibble with this book was that the MC was extremely hard to identify with--with jut cause--and that made it a difficult book to read. I almost wish that Alan, Nick's brother, had been the narrator, which would have been much more interesting, imho. Anyhow, there's a sequel to Lexicon, which I'll see about checking out. I did particularly like the side characters here, so it might be interesting. Not my favorite book, over all, but well written, and would be something I'd recommend to male readers more.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I was staring at my computer screen the other day, trying to come up with how to end a scene, and then it hit me. I was really not enjoying myself. And when I thought about it more, I realized it was the manuscript that was making me not enjoy it. Something after the accident made it less than appealing now. So, I put it down, hunted through my idea files, and came up with something much more lighthearted and better suited to where I need to be mentally. (Dang car crash--honestly, who would have thought something like that could mess me up so much? And don't get me started on the paperwork...)
So, this is okay. I have something to work on, and I can go back to my other manuscripts later. And that's okay!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
It’s Julia’s job to save her roommates, but she doesn’t expect that she will need them to save her. The three girls Julia lives with are facing everything from family deaths to stalker ex-boyfriends, driving each of them closer to ending their lives. If Julia can’t stop them, she’ll lose her position as a Sary. The Sary are the souls of a children who died before taking their first breath, and without this breath of life they are only allowed to have a body and stay on earth if they devote eternity to serving humans. After the man she loved died, her work as a Sary is all Julia has left.
Julia’s life becomes more complicated when Edison arrives on campus and seems to know way too much about her. Julia can’t help being attracted to him, but that only brings back memories of her inability to save the last man she gave her heart to.
The memories Edison unearths make it next to impossible for Julia to support each of her roommates, and undermine her grip on reality. Her only chance at keeping her sanity, and her job with the Sary, if to find a way to reconcile herself to her past, and that’s going to take the help of her roommates—if Julia can keep them from committing suicide.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Now, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and me to be totally depressed for the rest of the day. Not really ;)
I hope everyone has a great weekend. We're headed to see Alice in Wonderland!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.
I've been trying to come up with a unique way to talk about this book, other than just squeal, but, yeah, I'm not feeling the creativity today. That being said, I loved this book, and stayed up seriously late reading it. Even though I have to teach today, it was worth it! I've read some mixed reviews of this story, and yeah it does have a few Twilight kind of issues (so if you didn't like that book...), but I found myself completely sucked in and enjoying every minute of it. The only bad thing? The next one doesn't come out til this fall--boo!
Other cool thing? This was written in Winters, while the author went to UCD. Winters is all of 10 minutes from Davis, and I'm at UCD, too! Does anyone else think it's kinda creepy that two people are writing "angel" books within 15 miles of each other? It kinda makes me go "do-doo-do-dooo." But, yeah, too bad she's not still in the area to do a fun reading or something. Anyhow, I got this one from the library, but I've already decided that I must add it to my permanent collection, so I'll be heading to the bookstore later (and probably re-reading tonight).
Monday, March 1, 2010
IT HAS BEEN A YEAR OF CHANGE since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a
laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.
The Order - the mysterious group her mother was once part of - is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.There are few things more bittersweet to me than the end of a series I've loved. I really hated to reach the end of this book! Granted, it was quite a hefty tome (800+ pages), so my arms were thanking me for finally setting it down. Still, I was near tears, though the ending was rather satisfying I thought. Granted, the death of one of my favorite characters (I'm not saying who!) was a real blow, and if Bray ever decides to write another book for this series, I do hope she brings this character back. At any rate, other than the length, and wanting to scream at Gemma a few times to stop being so blind, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend the series!
I've been looking for a favorite line, but really, there are just too many. Go read the book!