August & September’s Book Club

Howdy.

It’s Wednesday and I’m recovering from an exhausting week filled with fun and family. It sure is nice to get back to routine, but I’m missing endless Pokemon Go-ing in parks. No little kids = no hanging out in parks. Sad but true. Without the little kid I just look creepy hanging out by myself.

To clarify I don’t play Pokemon but most of my family do. Yup, even the Oma & Opa in law.  If I had the time and energy I might just start playing so I can go to parks. Hm.

Okay now, I have some things we need to work on together. I need some more votes for future books so it’s not “Jen’s Personal Book Club.” Here’s a snapshot of the books that are waiting for votes from Facebook. If you want to add more, tell me in comments below. You can see by the blue shading where the votes are.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.52.12 PM

 

And then August/September’s book club! The current book is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne.

IMG_4121

The story is based on a the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. My oldest likened it to JKR sitting behind two authors (John Tiffany & Jack Thorne) “backseat writing” a fan fiction play. As I’ve yet to read it, I’m unable to comment on this🙂.

Description from Barnes & Noble:

“John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

I’m on page 140 of The Strain, which is next months book. I really like it. But I can’t renew it again at the library so I’ll return it and check it back out next month. I started the Harry Potter book with much trepidation. I’ll admit I’m not jonesing to read it, as I’ve already mourned the loss of that book world and going back in, only to leave it again in six hours might be painful. Oh and reading scripts (plays) is not my cup of tea. We will see.

Happy Reading to you!

 

 

 

Books on the Porch

Good morning from the back porch! No that’s not slang. Get over yourself.

Ha.

Over on Facebook we’ve voted in the next two books for our book club. First one up, is Jack Thorne’s (JK Rowling’s story) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, deadline September 30th, and then The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro for October, deadline the 31st. Read up and come join us!

We’ve got family over and it’s been pretty toasty so I’ve been spending my mornings writing on our back porch, a forest and trails stretching out in front of me.

IMG_3850

Deadlines don’t care if I’ve got other things to do or not. The view is breathtaking, the sound of black squirrels chortling is entertaining, the dog next-door barking incessantly is not. He’s got issues. Distraction is good for me, right? Makes my writing skills stronger. I’m going with that angle.

But.

When all of the animals go silent and you only hear cars driving by once in awhile and construction going on a few blocks away, it’s pretty close to heaven. Those times in between I relish.

Like now.

Anyway, hope you all’s summers are going swimmingly. I’m sure dreading the end of this peaceful time.

See you all soon!

Time for Book Club of the 1st!

Good evening all!

I am so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. Phew. Please forgive me for not catching any errors. I am having a difficult time staying awake for simply editing this post. Oh my.

Super busy weekend working with my pals over at the PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writers Association) putting on their summer conference. And yes, I caught folks playing Pokemon Go, but not in the pitch sessions. Not quite as entertaining playing in the lobby of the hotel, but still made me smile.

Meanwhile…

I finally finished STORM FRONT, Jim Butcher’s first published book, and the first in the Dresden Files series. Bravo! Great book. I’m a pretty critical reader, so I don’t say this lightly. This to me, is what boils down to a paranormal action adventure beach read. Super easy to digest. I’d give it an A.

IMG_4016

My much loved copy of Storm Front.

This book has been everywhere with me over the past two months, including but not limited to therapy, school functions, Montana, Idaho, California, and of course, lost in bag x between it all. It belongs to my oldest kid, Bunnywabit, and won’t he be upset with me when he sees how badly the book fared. Note: I’m not normally this hard on books. Its been a busy two months.

Okay, lets get to it! I’ll put my questions up here, then do a comment with each question below, and my comments of course, so there is a place to answer. Please feel free to answer as many or as few as you want😉.

Let’s start with the description from Mr. Butcher’s website:

“Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.”

This book was published in April of 2000 I believe. From his About Jim page, where it talks about how he got published, it looks like it was written in the mid 90’s. He’d already finished the third book in the series before this one was picked up.

After this point folks, if you haven’t read it stop reading here. There are spoilers below.

I was having a huge amount of problems coming up with questions on this one. I feel I’m usually pretty good at digging deep into a story and sussing out things others don’t see. This time, its such a light book that it was tough.

However.

I found myself drawing a parallel between Butcher’s wizarding world and JK Rowling’s. Both heroes were named Harry. That’s a little funny. They were both conceived about the same time. Also funny. But Butcher’s was in an adult world and Rowling’s was in a kid’s world. Which is where my question start:

  1. In Butcher’s world, adult wizards are kick ass. Oh. My. Gosh. Loved it. In Rowling’s the adults really weren’t, at least to the naked eye, because it was basically focussing on the kids. Do you think that Storm Front is a totally different scenario and that the wizards are just way better at their craft than in Rowling’s world? Or do you you think that the adults in Rowling’s world were pretty awesome and we never saw it?
  2. Am I crazy to see the parallels? And then, moving on to other questions…
  3. Was the magic believable? Was there any point where you were you thought it was too outlandish?
  4. I’m going to give a nod back to some questions I asked earlier, see link below. How old do you think Harry is?
  5. Was there enough of a romance for you? To little? Too much?
  6. Did you like the pacing?
  7. Were there too many given’s in this world, like: was it too easy that Harry worked with the police department? Was it too easy that things died that easy? Did he conveniently forget things or just not do things that would harm/do him good?
  8. Was it believable that Morgan forgave him and didn’t kill him, even after he’d pretty brutally beat him up?
  9. What did you think about the villain(s)? Any complaints?
  10. Did anyone have problems reading this? I mean, seriously? It had to be the smoothest read I’ve undertaken in ages. A beach read for the paranormal action adventure type.
  11. Again, a note to the blog down below: How did you feel about the description of his surrounding? As in, his office, his home, the final house they battled in? Could you picture them?
  12. Are you going to read more of the books in the series?

Here’s the first part of of the questions that came to mind, along with some thoughtful comments, STORM FRONT Discussion, Part 1. I’m using a template that won’t allow me to sticky things to the top of the page – so I apologize for not having that one up top for perusal.

What are your thoughts?

Now I’m going to go before I fall over on the keyboard. Night all.

***Edited to add: I should have offered a contest that if you can find an error I’ll send you a shopping bag or something😉. Thanks to my anonymous helpers! Please feel free to share if you find something. I’m still not quite recovered.

Pokemon and Pitching

My mind has been full of the PNWA’s summer conference as of late. Today is load in and the heat is on! Pretty exciting.

I don’t want to gloss over my temper tantrum, but instead offer an apology. Normally, I don’t share my thoughts, as there is so much crap out there already. I’m sad for the world. The rest I’m still working out.

On a funny note, I told my PNWA co-lead that I finally finished reading STORM FRONT. She was like, “No, you are kidding me. That book is sooooo old.” So yeah. I’m a little behind the times, so sue me. Wait no, don’t. Anyway! I’m excited to share my thoughts on it with you guys. That one I’ll post on 7/31, so as not to spoil it for those of you racing to the finish line to join us in our discussion. To draw you in, if you haven’t begun yet, its basically a paranormal action adventure beach read. If someone had the time, they could easily knock it out in 2 days. So good.

Now some of you have probably been playing Pokemon Go – okay, who am I kidding, I think almost everyone is playing. Its been pretty awesome seeing everyone outside going for walks everywhere I go. They aren’t the most social folk, so when we do our customary “Howdy neighbor,” as they pass by (while I’m out walking with the The Husband who is playing) the fear in their eyes amuses me.

Kind of reminds me of writers and the conference coming up.That deer in the headlights look is pretty much the norm being so many writers are introverts. I’m wondering how many people I’ll see there trying to catch Pokemon or searching for Pokestops. It will be entertaining for sure.

Every year when I’m gearing up to go to the PNWA conference I find myself obsessing over something different. Almost every year its my pitch (what you try to sell your book with) and my clothes. Even once it was my mascara. ‘Cause you know, eyelashes sell books. Ha ha. This year its bras, nail polish and hair product. Which makes no logical sense if you think about it. But I gave in to my bra obsession and plan on doing the same with hair product and nail polish in the near future. The rest I’m not so worried about. Just wait, I’ll go into full on panic mode on Saturday when its time. Or maybe, just maybe I’ll take up Pokemon Go and stand in line playing instead of worrying about how my pitch will be received.

Sounds like a good alternative.

I’ll let you know how that goes😉.

Teeny Tiny Tantrum

Okay, I’ve had enough.

I don’t know if you are in a cave hiding on your moss sofa and have missed all of this bullshit going on – but I’m guessing if you are reading this that I don’t need to give y’all details. Can’t even watch a new movie and read the reviews without getting blasted with some bullshit or another.

It’s hard out there as it is, being a human. Love is hard. Growing up is hard. Raising kids is hard. Having family is hard. Supporting your family is hard. Why is everyone going off the deep end and forgetting that we are all, every freaking one of us, fighting the same battle?

Did aliens come and invade when I wasn’t looking and take everyone’s compassion and common sense? Fuck our wasted, poisoned bodies. They just took the only things we had going for us. Oh wait. Did we ever have common sense?

I’m betting that the majority of you are hated for one reason or another.

Pick your poison.

You’re hated in this society of you are a woman.

Hated for the color of your skin.

Hated if you’re part of the LGBTQ community.

Hated if you are in an interracial relationship.

Hated if you are a policeman.

Hated if you are overweight.

Hated if you are handicapped.

Hated if you follow a different religion than others.

Hated if you are poor.

Hated if you are my next-door neighbor.

Did I miss anyone? Obviously, but don’t most of us fall into a category that someone out there hates?

Dear God what has this world come to? Why did I have kids again?

What utter and complete nonsense.

We are NOT new – this human race. We *should* have become more evolved beings by now. *Should* have a safe place for everyone to live. But we don’t.

I just want to scream.

#blacklivesmatter #policelivesmatter #lgbtqlivesmatter

Incase you haven’t figured it out yet: #allmarginalizedfolkmatter

And we HAVE to stand up for them. Because if we don’t, who will?

#Loveforlesliejones

That is all.

***Edited to add: This is not one of those posts saying that all lives matter. This is directly related to the hate crimes/horrible online flaming going on simply because someone has brown skin – or another topic near and dear to my heart – they belong to the LGBTQ community. If the angry folks could just understand that there is more to life than segregating us, that we are all fighting the same battles, maybe it would help in some way. I don’t know. I just don’t know where folks morals went. And everyone was all up in arms about who was sleeping with who – but killing or harming innocent folks is okay?