Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rereading ASOIAF: How Book 1, Chapter 1 Sets the Stage

     "We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.
     "The wildlings are dead."
     "Do the dead frighten you?" Ser Waymar Royce asked with just the hint of a smile.
These are the opening lines of George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The first chapter of this book is one of the best that has ever been written. GRRM captures your attention with the opening lines, and holds it until . . . well, I don't know when. He hasn't finished writing the books.

The biggest reason the first chapter of AGOT is so successful is the amount of information it reveals without telling the reader "HEY! THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT!"

Let me explain.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Game of Thrones, Season 6: Will R+L=J Be Proven?

Filming locations for Season 6 have been revealed all summer, and a few weeks ago, directors announced the filming locations in Spain. Why should you care? R+L=J is why!

Though many filming locations have fans all in a tizzy to allocate plots with new places, there is one locale in particular that should excite fans of both the books and the HBO show: Castillo de Zafra in Guadalajara.

Castillo de What?

Castillo de Zafra fits the description for the Tower of Joy in A Song of Ice and Fire. For those of you that don't remember (or who didn't care to click on the conveniently provided link above), the Tower of Joy is where Rhaegar Targaryan took Lyanna Stark after he "abducted" her. 

The Tower of Joy is also where Ned Stark made Lyanna a deathbed promise, a promise which many fans believe involved taking Lyanna and Rhaegar's son and raising him as Ned's own.

Maybe the directors of Game of Thrones are planning on using Castillo de Zafra as the Tower of Joy, and maybe they aren't. Either way, we will have to wait until spring 2016 to see if R+L=J is true.

What do you think? Are you ready to see if Jon is a Targaryean?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Is Daario Naharis Really Euron Greyjoy?

From the probably true to the critically ridiculous, GoT fan theories abound. Below is a video analysis by Youtuber Alt Shift X of the theory that Euron Greyjoy is actually Daario Naharis.

What do you think? Is it possible that Dany's lover could actually be the Crow's Eye?

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Tragically Insane Lysa Arryn

Everyone can agree that Lysa Arryn, both in the ASOIAF books and the televised series Game of Thrones, is . . . well, bat-shit crazy.

Lysa, from the HBO series Game of Thrones

But why is Lysa Arryn insane?

Lisey's Story Audiobook Winner!

Congratulations to Marion Marchetto for winning a free copy of Lisey's Story by Stephen King, courtesy of BookieBlog!

Keep a look out for other great book giveaways!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Dragon Has Three Heads

Frequently throughout ASOIAF, we see that "the dragon has three heads;" the three-headed dragon is the sigil of House Targaryen, and Daenerys hatched three dragon's eggs. It is obvious that Daenerys is one of the three dragons, but who are the other two?

"Queen Daenerys" by slothmaker, Deviantart

I am thinking the other two heads of the dragon are Jon Snow and Meera Reed, and here is why.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beware the Perfumed Seneschal

"Hear me, Daenerys Targaryen. The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun’s son and the mummer’s dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal."
This warning from Quaithe to Daenerys in A Dance with Dragons has been on my mind a lot lately. When I first read these lines, I automatically assumed Varys was the perfumed seneschal, and even though I have read alternate opinions on the Westeros forum (here and here) and Reddit, my opinion is still the same.

What do you think? Is Quaithe warning Daenerys to beware Varys, Reznak mo Reznak, Garth Tyrell, the trading cog Seleasori Qhoran, or, wildcard of all wildcards, Illyrio Mopatis?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Weekend Break

Going to a craft show this weekend. See you all on Monday! And don't forget to enter the Lisey's Story giveaway, which ends next week!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What Is Filtering, And Why Should You Avoid It?

What are your thoughts on filtering? Do you notice it in the books you read, or do you employ filtering in your own writing?

Watch the 2-minute video by Ellen Brock below, and leave me a comment telling me what you think. Or, better yet, drop by Ellen's website and tell HER what you think :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Interesting Articles, Part 3

Some more great articles!

"Greek villagers' secret weapon: Growing their own food!" -- Grow the Change Today

"Sierra Leone's On Track to Ban Female Genital Mutilation" -- Huffington Post

"Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards!" -- Tor

"Doctors Hope Thawing Relations Bring Cuban Diabetes Drug 'Herberprot' to U.S." -- NBC News

"16 Cool Words You Didn't Know" -- Thinking Humanity

"SF That Will Change Your Life" -- Tor

"Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Starts Job as Air Ambulance Helicopter Pilot" -- NBC News

"8 Authors Who Committed Suicide" -- +Guy Portman

"This Is Your Brain on Jane Austen: The Neuroscience of Reading Great Literature" -- Open Culture

"Mini ice age likely from 2030 to 2040, European scientists say" -- Washington Times

"11 Of The Best Fantasy Books You've Probably Never Heard Of" -- Buzzfeed

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How Charlaine Harris Can Break All the Rules in the Right Ways, and I Am Totally Fine with It

I devoured the first six books of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, which really surprised me. I am not a vampire book snob (I liked Twilight), but I had reservations about getting into the books, mostly because my first encounter with this storyline was with the HBO adaptation True Blood. From my then one and only five minute viewing of the show in 2008, the show seemed to be full of gratuitous sex and the characters' accents seemed too feigned (I am from central/northern Louisiana, where the story takes place, so the accents were ridiculous to me).

Seven years later, which was about three weeks ago, I picked up Dead Until Dark, the first book in the series, and I have been hooked. In fact, I may be on my way to my local bookstore to find the next few books. What really amazes me about my obsession with this series is how many writing "rules" the author breaks and how totally okay I am with her breaking them.

Friday, July 10, 2015

LISEY'S STORY Audiobook Giveaway!

It is that time again! 

BookieBlog is giving away the audiobook version of Lisey's Story* by Stephen King!

Click HERE to enter**

*This is a $50 retail value.
**Please be sure to review the Giveaway Policy before entering. Entries that do not meet the policy restrictions will be disqualified.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Characterization: What I Expect Vs. What I Get

After my big announcement that I was going to work on writing in preparation for applying to KU, I hit a lazy slump. I didn't read or write or, obviously, blog a whole lot during June. I did, however, enjoy the crap out of my break. I went on vacation, visited family, and started a small business. Good times, over all.

I got around to reading again during Father's Day weekend. That Sunday, I finished The Diviners by Libba Bray. Though I enjoyed the book, there were some major things I could not get behind . . .

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Reading List: 2014

A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin 1-10-14
Equal Rites – Terry Pratchett 1-23-14
Bloodroot – Amy Greene 1-31-14
The Help – Kathryn Stockett 2-06-14
The Wind Done Gone – Alice Randall 03-04-14
The Color Purple – Alice Walker 03-07-14
Are You My Mother – Alison Bechdel 03-31-14
Psychopathology of Everyday Life: The Forgetting of Proper Names – Sigmund Freud 04-08-14
Psychopathology of Everyday Life: The Forgetting of Foreign Words – Sigmund Freud 04-09-14
A Song of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords – George R. R. Martin 4-29-14
Fire-us Trilogy, Book 1: The Kindling – Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher 5-1-14
Fire-us Trilogy, Book 2: The Keepers of the Flame – Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher 5-2-14
Fire-us Trilogy, Book 3: The Kiln – Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher 5-6-14
Punkzilla – Adam Rapp 5-9-14
Spinners – Donna Jo Napoli and Richard Tchen 5-13-14
Bluefish – Pat Schmatz 5-14-14
The Old Country – Mordicai Gerstein 5-19-14
Mexican WhiteBoy – Matt de la Peña 5-23-14
The Wild Girls – Pat Murphy 5-25-14
The Farming of Bones – Edwidge Danticat 6-8-14
A Song of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows – George R. R. Martin 6-23-14
Voices – Ursula K. Le Guin 7-2-14
The Program – Suzanne Young 7-14-14
Cinder – Marissa Meyer 7-22-14
Scarlet – Marissa Meyer 7-31-14
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman 9-14-14
I am Legend – Richard Matheson 10-28-14
Foxmask – Juliet Marillier 12-9-14

The New Provisions – Adam-Troy Castro 8-06-14
The Cask of Amontillado – Edgar Allan Poe 9-14-14
Buried Talents – Richard Matheson 10-28-14
The Near Departed – Richard Matheson 10-28-14
Prey – Richard Matheson 10-28-14
Witch War – Richard Matheson 10-28-14
Dress of White Silk – Richard Matheson 10-31-14
Mad House – Richard Matheson 10-31-14
The Funeral – Richard Matheson 11-01-14
From Shadowed Places – Richard Matheson 11-01-14
Person to Person – Richard Matheson 11-01-14

Dancing at the Edge of the World: The Space Crone – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Dancing at the Edge of the World: Is Gender Necessary? Redux – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Dancing at the Edge of the World: “Moral and Ethical Implications of Family Planning” – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Dancing at the Edge of the World: It was a Dark and Stormy Night – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Dancing at the Edge of the World: Working on “The Lathe” – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Dancing at the Edge of the World: World-Making – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Dancing at the Edge of the World: Hunger – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Dancing at the Edge of the World: The Princess – Ursula K. Le Guin 6/24-30/14
Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Maester Hobbes Goes to King’s Landing – Greg Littmann  11/21-30/14
Game of Thrones and Philosophy: It Is a Great Crime to Lie to a King – Don Fallis  11/21-30/14
Game of Thrones and Philosophy:  Playing the Game of Thrones: Some Lessons from Machiavelli – Marcus Schulzke 11/21-30/14
Game of Thrones and Philosophy: The War in Westeros and Just War Theory – Richard H. Corrigan  11/21-30/14
Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Winter Is Coming!: The Bleak Quest for Happiness in Westeros – Eric J. Silverman 11/21-30/14

Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw 1-19-14

Reading List: 2015

Hush – Donna Jo Napoli 1/17/15
The Black Swan – Mercedes Lackey 1/19/15
Reserved for the Cat – Mercedes Lackey 02/06/15
A Dance with Dragons – George R. R. Martin 2/25/15
The Gates of Sleep – Mercedes Lackey 3/09/15
Plague of Angels – John Patrick Kennedy 3/29/15
Near Enemy – Adam Sternbergh 04/11/15
Cell – Stephen King 05/23/15
The Girl in the Road – Monica Byrne 05/31/15
The Diviners – Libba Bray 06/21/15
Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris 06/29/15
Living Dead in Dallas – Charlaine Harris 06/30/14
Club Dead – Charlaine Harris 07/01/15
Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris 07/01/15
Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris 07/07/15
Definitely Dead – Charlaine Harris 07/10/15
The Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johansen 08/16/15
Ruins – Dan Wells 09/06/15
Storm Rising – Mercedes Lackey 09/20/15
All Together Dead – Charlaine Harris 10/05/15
From Dead to Worse – Charlaine Harris 10/09/15
Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris 10/11/15
Graveyard Shift – Angela Roquet 10/13/15
Dead in the Family – Charlaine Harris 10/16/15
Witch Song – Amber Argyle 10/18/15
Dead Reckoning – Charlaine Harris 10/20/15
Deadlocked – Charlaine Harris 10/23/15
Dead Ever After – Charlaine Harris 10/25/15
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 11/05/15
Wolfskin – Juliet Marillier 12/17/15

Short Stories
"Flight of the Crow Boys" – Micah Dean Hicks 04/08/15
"Harrision Bergeron" – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 05/07/15
"Meathouse Man" – George R.R. Martin 05/10/15
"Spar" – Kij Johnson 05/11/15
"Ponies" – Kij Johnson 05/11/15
"All Summer in a Day" – Ray Bradbury 05/12/15
"Dia Chjermen's Tale: The Delmoni Atrocity" – Kij Johnson 05/23/15
"The Memory Lights" – K. M. Weiland 08/05/15
"The Way Life Was Forever" – Carey Corp 09/15/15
"In the Lost Lands" – George R. R. Martin 12/07/15

Graphic Novels
The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye – Robert Kirkman/Tony Moore 1/3-11/15
The Walking Dead, Volume 2: Miles Behind Us – Robert Kirkman/Charlie Adlard 1/3-11/15
The Walking Dead, Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars – Robert Kirkman/Charlie Adlard 1/3-11/15
The Walking Dead, Volume 4: The Heart's Desire – Robert Kirkman/Charlie Adlard 1/3-11/15
The Walking Dead, Volume 5: The Best Defense – Robert Kirkman/Charlie Adlard 1/3-11/15
The Walking Dead, Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life – Robert Kirkman/Charlie Adlard 1/3-11/15
Bitch Planet – Kelly Sue DeConnick/Valentine De Landro 12/21/15