You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

I’m toying with the idea of getting back to work on The Illusionists’ Field Guide at some point in January — at least on a part-time basis.

In prep for that, I’ve started listening to the playlist I put together for it. It’s quite different than any of the playlists for Hemlock were. Very heavy on The Smiths and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

I’m not going to post the whole list but here’s a smattering:

Here Comes Cowboys, The Psychedelic Furs

I Think I’m in Love, Beck

Panic, The Smiths

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Books

Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding

Free of revisions (until I get feedback from my lovely betas), I was finally able to crack open Three Days to Dead. It was definitely worth the wait. Meding’s unique take on gargoyles and bridge trolls was, I admit, my favourite aspect of the book. I love it when urban fantasy takes an old idea and manages to make it seem completely new. I haven’t seen much in the way of gargoyles since our beloved 90’s cartoon and all I can say is, “More, please.”

I also thought sticking Evy in Chalice’s body was a genius way to soften and throw off balance a character which might have been almost too tough had she gone through the book in her original body.

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

I’m a bit on the fence about A Complicated Kindness. I can see why critics flocked to it and why it so quickly became a book everyone was talking about. I’m not sure, however, why it seems to be ranked higher in poplar esteem than The Flying Troutmans (which I read a few weeks later and fell deeply in love with).

Part of what I loved about The Flying Troutmans was how wonderfully Toews writing style lent itself to interactions and conversations. Perhaps that’s why I prefer it to A Complicated Kindness which is very much about isolation and living inside of one’s head.

In the end, though, I’m still in love with Toew’s style and voice and feel a little spark of joy that she’s Canadian.

Movies

Sherlock Holmes

Insert a weary sigh here. There’s nothing more disappointing to me than a movie which has all the elements of greatness but, somehow, manages to put people to sleep. Robert Downey Jr was, as expected, a fun package of untidiness Rachel McAdams was gorgeous and engaging in a role that was both larger and more important than the previews let on. . Jude Law was, as always, perfectly capable.

But it didn’t work. The city seemed dull, the gags played out fast, and the action scenes seemed repetitive (except for one slaughterhouse scene which was actually the 5 minutes I sat up a little straighter). The occult plot did nothing to help.

Peter Travers summed it up pretty well in Rolling Stone: “Downey is irresistible. The movie, not so much.”

I adore Sarah Harmer. She’s one of those rare artists whose CDs I simply have to own. She’s also AMAZING live.

Sadly, she doesn’t seem to be all that well known outside of her native land (*cough* Canada).

So I thought I’d share some clips I found on YT.

Around this Corner:

Uniform Grey

Almost (the actual music video)

“The Sound of Silence” is one of those rare songs I really wish I could experience for the first time all over again. I can’t actually recall a time in which I didn’t know it. Simon & Garfunkel were ever-present voices in my house–something I complained about when I was a child (I always wanted to listen to The Big Chill Soundtrack — on repeat) and embraced when I was a teen.

My parents were not, however, as extreme as this friend’s were (as revealed to me over lunch):

“My mother, she would round us up.”

“Like cattle?”

My friend nods.”Yup, she’d herd us into the living room.”

“She took her Simon & Garfunkel seriously.” I’m suddenly grateful that my parents were low-key in their S&G worship. I probably would have rebelled at being rounded up.

“We’d sit in the living room and she’d turn out all the lights and we’d listen to ‘The Sound of Silence’.” She smiles. ” We didn’t speak until we had properly had time to absorb the song. The boys didn’t get it.”

I wasn’t sure I was getting it, either. “She knew that whole line about ‘Hello Darkness, my old friend’ isn’t literal, right? And the bit about the silence?”

I am, in part, who I am, because of Robert Munsch.

Please cast Uma Thurman in more romantic comedies. I just watched Prime and, while the movie wasn’t perfect, Thurman was luminous in it.

Also, please take note of some of the risks Prime took. Though I had issues with the movie, it was refreshing to see a romantic comedy take some chances–chances by Hollywood standards, at least.

Stopped off at Chapters and picked up  The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews. I then drove home, defroster on full blast while listening to the Tragically Hip Live Between Us CD.

Normally, “Nautical Disaster” is the song I’m inclined to put on repeat but tonight it was “Courage” all the way.

Remember how cute Gord was in the video? Remember when Gord had hair?

I’m giving away an “I love book” gift pack over at Old People Writing for Teens. Head over there now to read contest rules and enter for your chance to win.

Over at Old People Writing for Teens, Holen (aka AW member Saltier) is giving away a three book prize back.

One luck winner will receive copies of:

The Shifter by Janice Hardy
City of Bones by Cassandra Claire
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Just leave a comment letting her know what YA science fiction and fantasy YOU like for your chance to win. Go forth and (maybe) win!

A few weeks ago, someone on AW started a thread titled “Never heard of it…read it…loved it” asking about random book purchases where you had no prior knowledge of a title and/or author before spotting and buying a book.

Though not a book, Confessions of a Superhero immediately sprung to mind. I stumbled across it while flipping through DVDs at HMV. I had never heard of it (though it had nice blurbs on the back), but I immediately fell in love with the cover and concept.

I’m not a huge documentary fan, but the idea of a documentary centered around people ho dress up like superheros for tips was kind of enchanting. The documentary turned out to be one of the best video purchases I have ever made. It’s funny, heartbreaking, and oddly uplifting.