Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 June Reading List

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik – Some more interaction between characters instead of all that telling would have been nice. I liked the first book better. I won’t be following this series. 3/5 stars

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan – I felt cheated by the reveal at the end. How am I supposed to empathize with a character I don’t even understand? 3/5 stars

Stories of Your Life: And Others by Ted Chiang – I liked most of the stories from the collections. Well written and very interesting. 4/5 stars

The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan – Not thrilled about of switch of perspective to Mae’s POV. 3/5 stars

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – Well, there was just about time for some serious reading. Nice, except for the ending. :( 3/5 stars (one star deducted for main character murder)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire – I’m a little embarrassed to admit I read this one. 2/5 stars

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Story: Chasing A Ray Of Sunshine

I can't explain where my fascination with robots comes from. Maybe I've read too much Asimov as a kid. All I can say is that in an alternate reality, a character of mine has an NS5 robot for butler. The poor thing has a fixation with washing windows, but he's getting pretty good at cooking, finally! But this is another story.

This particular story went through some changes. First it was supposed to be written from the couple's inside the hut perspective. Then it became a one dialog line idea, and only recently it turned into what it is now:4

Chasing A Ray Of Sunshine

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

AtelierKult Experience

After being a member of AtelierKult literary workshop for three years, today I found out that I won their last writing contest. Shared prize with another member to be more exact (so no, I won't get rich), but this is not what I want to talk about in this post.

So far I have seven stories posted in the workshop. I think I've entered all contests except for one since I've become a member, and only one story I've sent outside contests. That one, "The Souls of The Trees", got published in "Dancing on Mars and Other Fantasy Stories" AtelierKult anthology. Go figure! So maybe I should send stories outside contests more often.

But I usually prefer to send them as entry for the contests. Not for the money. Up until recently the rule was to have all participants review all the entries, and that provided good feedback both plot wise as well as grammar and style wise. Sure, you have to have thick skin to survive all the critics from AtelierKult, but once you figure out how things work and get to know the members a little, it's really worth the effort. I've had a draft of "Miss Vu's Morning Ride" ran through their forks and then it was published in "Steampunk: The Second Revolution".

I don't know if the current story is going to end up where it's destined to be, I still have to rewrite it, so we'll see. I'm sure I'm looking forward to the next contest, though. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Le Temps des... Musicals

Because it's almost summer, it's hot, and I'm writing a love story (really? me? something must be wrong with me :P), I've been listening mainly to musicals lately. French musicals. Notre Dame de Paris (original Paris cast & Mogador Theater cast), Autant en emporte le vent, Romeo et Juliette (De la haine a l'amour & Les enfants de Verone). Dunno why in French they're called "comedies musicales" when they're all tragedies, but whatever. And, yes, I know it's not a good idea because they leave you all depressed, first because there's no happy ending, and second because whenever you try to sing along your voice can never go as high as the singers' do. At least mine doesn't. Anyway my playlist looks something like this:

Notre Dame de Paris

Autant en emporte le vent

Romeo et Juliette

And to end a few ballads from The Fairchilds' Our Revolution album: Unbreakable, High, Turn Back Time.

Yep, you can start weeping now! :)