Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creepy Craigslist: Trying to be Nice

Oh, Craigslist...

To fully enjoy the ad, click on the image to enlarge.

"Please send a no less than 2 photos..."

Send a? Is this some new slang verb form of which I am unaware? Probably. I am getting on in years. I guess that I will just never be that hip.

Yes, I do like Teen Witch. Shut up.

"This is so we know what you look like in advance and don't turn you away at the door."

Oh, thank you for explaining why you need at least two photos of your models, with at least one being a close-up of their face. It's a bit nicer for you to simply write that if you don't reply to an applicant, it's b/c you think they're unattractive, rather than forcing them to endure "You so ugly" jokes when they appear on your doorstep.

"Pay negotiable."

That sounds like a winning employment prospect. Sign me up!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I am a member of Librarything (here's a link if you want to check out my current, paltry library), and whilst reviewing Pet Sematary (a Stephen King novel which I thoroughly enjoyed), I came across this gem:

"...possible to combine with sunbathing." High praise, indeed. I can only wish to one day inspire such delightful words, myself.

Review: Improbability

I recently received an ARC of Sam Leith's The Coincidence Engine, which became available for sale on February 7, 2012.

I don't know if you realize what an avid fan I am of Christopher Moore (who's coming out with a new book soon; yay!) and other humorous, crazed-plot writers - but I am. I was eager to read this book, based on its' description, because I was hoping to have found a new, hilarious, wacky voice.

The book begins by discussing a plane that apparently assembled itself during a hurricane, seemingly from random nearby items, and then crash-landed and disappeared. A secret government agency is looking into the appear- & disappearance of this aircraft that should never have existed. Add in a clueless British dude named Alex, some goons of low intelligence capable of murder, and some members of a top-secret government organization so obscure its' own members aren't even sure of what they're investigating, all on a road trip across the landscape of America -- it sounds fun & zany, right?

Well... not exactly.

This book was not as humorous as I was hoping. Yet I would not say that it was not a good novel. I went in with certain expectations that were not met, yet I still, overall, enjoyed many aspects of it.

I would have preferred the humorous book I was expecting, but that is because I was in the mood for an exceptionally silly, fun romp of a book.

This book was more philosophical. It had a lot of mathematical discussion, and also brought in some physics, some ethical conundrums, etc. It was far, far more serious than I was expecting, yet well written so that I, as someone who mainly avoided math & physics classes when at all humanly possible, could still comprehend it. My brain was not straining to comprehend the subject matter to a degree that took my focus away from the story, either.

Overall, I would say that this story is worth reading, provided that you know what you're getting before delving into its' pages.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Creepy Craigslist: Awesome Jobs

I'll admit it: I love Craigslist. Between the missed "connections" (after all, what's more meaningful than two seconds of eye contact at the red light at 12 mile and Harper?), the items available "for sale," and the actual, occasional, legitimate offering, what's not to love?

Thus, I think it entirely appropriate that I turn my Craigslist trolling to good advantage by beginning "Creepy Craigslist" - no idea how often I will update, but it's bound to be more often than lately, right?


Anyway, this one seems like a great idea. Models always make $100/hour when they're not taking their clothes off, right?

Click here to view full size

Book Review: On Humming & Rooms

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Humming Room, by Ellen Potter.

This book was an interesting and quick read. Quick both because it was entertaining, as well as because it is a short book (only 192 pages).

The length is nice for those intermediate readers who are just beginning to enjoy chapter books. The writing is also very clear. The descriptions are excellent, without getting too lengthy and without using exceedingly sophisticated vocabulary.

I found this book refreshing. It pays homage to The Secret Garden, (which is noted on the front cover), making it a great jumping point for children to become interested in the classics, particularly the writing of Frances Hodgson Burnett.

More than that, however, it was simply a book that I enjoyed reading. The characters are great - they seem real. Protagonist Roo Fanshaw is not a pretty princess; she is a kid with problems who is okay with being different, and partially lovable because of her faults.

Yet in the 192 page span of The Humming Room, Potter creates characters that are rounded. Roo grows, becoming well-adjusted, becoming more content with herself, without this process feeling too unrealistic (or just hokey). As a reader, I found myself liking Roo throughout the entire book, whether she was behaving herself or not.

This book is now available for sale. I strongly recommend picking it up, whether you have an intermediate reader in the family, or you are simply looking for a children's book to read, yourself.

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Being a writer is not about owning the right gadget or program. It’s about sitting down and doing the work. Just like the invention of the vacuum did not mean 20th century housewives no longer had to clean, the invention of the iPad does not mean 21st century writers no longer have to write."

This quote is from an Indie Jane blog post written by Nancy Kelley. The original blog post has to do with writerly gadgets, which I, personally, don't relate to much (mainly because I am too poor to buy all of the latest gadgets). Yet this quote jumped out at me.

Regardless of your budget, if you consider yourself a writer, you probably at least have access to a computer, a printer, and the internet. And all of these technological advances are a great help - as well as a great distraction.

Check out this blog, which also features this comic strip & which covers the similar tangent of procrastination. Procrastinating while pondering the evils of procrastination? How awesome is that?!

Well, maybe the printer's not a distraction, unless there's a copier/scanner attached...

Just remember, if you're doing this at work -- you do not look as adorable...

& it's not as though Internet & computer games are the only distraction, either...
  • Most writers have either school or a job (and many have both),
  • many writers have children to take care of & raise (a blessing, but undoubtedly time-consuming),
  • and then there are the small necessary chores (cleaning the house, laundry, etc.);
  • not to mention, who doesn't get sick once in a while?
I know that I, personally, need an adequate amount of sleep to function like a halfway decent human being.

& even then, to be honest, it's not very pretty

With a myriad of other things to do with one's free time, and all of the obstacles whittling away at this so-called "free time;" why write?

I mean, really, doesn't it often feel that writing is a waste of time? Who doesn't feel like their writing is complete shite as they are writing their first draft? (Leaving F. Scott Fitzgerald and his ego out of this conversation, thank you very much.) Who doesn't feel drained? Uncreative?

Although he does look lovely in drag...

I suppose part of it is that a writer gets depressed, does research into his or her favorite writers, and generally realizes that he or she is not alone - almost no one feels like they know what they're doing when they're writing. Yet they keep writing, and some people get rather good.

For some reason, writers feel compelled to continue practicing & refining their craft - despite occupations, children, and illness.

And all writers know that there is no better feeling in the world than having placed the last mark of punctuation on a first draft.

That's why I keep trying, anyway. Thoughts? Please share them in the comments below!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You should read this

"Hell, every Christmas we celebrate the tale of the wealthy Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. We hate him in the first part of the story, and then we love him by the end. Not because he gave away all of his wealth and became poor (he didn't), but because he stopped acting like a shithead. Do you get the incredibly subtle and nuanced message of that story?"

Here's the link to the full article: 6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review: Fairy Re-tellings in a Predictable Future

I finally got around to reading my ARC of Marissa Meyer's Cinder. A lot of you have probably heard of or already read this novel. It is a re-telling of Cinderella, in a future setting, and has a distinctive cover that highlights the android element that makes up a large part of the story:

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I had some problems with it, but I wanted to continue reading it, and felt that overall, the writing was fairly accomplished.

So, let me begin by talking about my biggest problem with the book: predictability. I realize that, as a fairy tale re-telling, obviously, some of the plot should be obvious. But the twist at the end, when the main character essentially becomes a princess character, was something that was obvious at the beginning of the novel. What feels like it should be a "clue" is actually a very obvious foretelling.

Yet, despite the predictability, as I mentioned previously, I did want to continue reading.

Also, I liked the setting of the novel. One, it doesn't have that "fake historical" feeling that a lot of novels get by trying to re-tell the fairy tale in a middle ages setting into which the current setting is all too present. I also liked that the novel takes place in China - or rather, New China, in this futuristic setting.

I like that this novel was fairly interesting to read, despite the fact that much of the novel lays out a lot of groundwork for the series of which it is the first book (the Lunar Chronicles series), and is therefore fairly full of exposition.

Upon finishing this book, I am actually interested to continue the series -- which lately, has felt pretty rare to me when I pick up a series.