Blog Hop: Interruptions?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: If you are at a really good point in a book and the phone rings or the door bell rings, do you stop reading or let the phone or door bell go unanswered?


I am not positive this has ever come up.  I’m an introvert with largely introvert friends, so–no one ever rings my doorbell unexpectedly, and even phone calls are rare (texts are a different story, but they also come with a different expectation about urgency of responding).  However!  I think the real question here is how easy it is to interrupt my reading, and the answer is–extremely!

I’m used to reading in snatches.  Ten minutes here, fifteen there, two minutes in line at the grocery store.  So really, that means I’m used to putting books down.  My brain stores where I was in the story quite effectively, and I can pick books up again and resume (I even have an instinct for where to look at the page to resume–if I fight it and try to consciously look for the spot where I stopped, I end up hunting around on the page only to finally realize it was very close to where my eyes initially landed.  Truth!)

That doesn’t mean I’m always happy to set a book down, especially if things are getting intense, or something is about to be revealed.  But generally I’ll do it if something comes up that means I need to stop reading for now.

Except for the last two hundred pages of almost any Juliet Marillier book.  Those things are intense!!!

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Book Review: Night of Masks by Andre Norton

Andre Norton and I have a complicated relationship.  It’s sort of like an acquaintance who was really fun a few times, and now you keep trying to become better friends even though they’ve never been quite so fun again.  I love Norton’s Gryphon Trilogy, and for reasons that should suggest a really great author (beautiful writing style, intriguing characters with compelling relationships, complex world).  And…it never quite works out with her other books.  I actually liked Night of Masks reasonably well–but it’s no Gryphon Trilogy.  It may have given me some insights though.

I’d practically sworn off of Norton, but I couldn’t resist this premise: a young man with a facial deformity has the chance at a new life by pretending to be a boy’s imaginary hero.  So cool!  Plus a sci fi setting, a mysterious conspiracy, and uncertainty about who to trust…it all sounds golden.  And it really was decent.  Just not as golden as I hoped.

I think I figured out where the gulf may lie for me between liking (and sometimes disliking) and loving Norton’s books.  Based on Night of Masks, she doesn’t appear to have any sense of humor.  I don’t think there was a funny line in the entire book–and that makes it a little hard for me to love. Continue reading

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Fiction Friday: A Round-Robin Bank Robbery

I recently spent an awesome weekend on a writing retreat with several good friends.  We did several writing exercises (one of which may become the beginning of my NaNo novel this year–we’ll see!) including a very cool round-robin story.  That’s a story where each person at the table contributes–sometimes just a sentence or two, though we did passages.

We each wrote about a bank robbery from a different, assigned perspective, shared what we had, brainstormed briefly, then took turns finishing the story, again with sections from each of our original perspectives.  We were really happy with how it turned out–so I got permission to share it with all of you.

Our writers, in order by perspective (this order in, then reverse order out from the middle section): Jackie Loyd; Jenny Lee; Kelly Haworth (@khaworthwrites); Ruth Gates; Karen Blakely; and me, writing my two sections in a row in the middle.


A Round-Robin Bank Robbery

Ernest watched the clearly botched robbery unfold from his chair against the wall.  A chair because he was 80 next month and had bad knees, so they hadn’t made him sit on the floor.  Mistake number one—the first of many.

The lead robber, wearing a ridiculous pig mask, struggled with the heavy door to the vault behind the counter.  Ernest knew the teller had tripped the silent alarm two minutes ago.  The robbers should have gone for the cash at the counters.  Quick, easy.  Largely untraceable because it had been brought in by customers and wasn’t in those neat stacks with sequential serial numbers.

He scoffed out loud when one robber tripped and fell to the floor in his rush to get from one counter to the other.  The gun in his hand went off.  The bullet struck the marble floor, chipping it, sound ringing out and echoing off the walls.

The people around Ernest screamed.  He rolled his eyes.  He’d done 40 jobs back in his heyday, and never once had he accidentally fired his gun. Continue reading

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Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales little history: I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie in theatres three times, and Captain Jack Sparrow became one of my all-time favorite characters.  The only midnight showing I’ve ever been to was Pirates 2: Dead Man’s Chest. Life has changed a little in the last fourteen (!) years since Captain Jack first sailed in, but I was still pretty excited to see Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales this past weekend.  You never can tell by the time you get to installment five of a series, but I intended to take it for what it was, and it was a fun time!

The movie circles back to plot threads left by Pirates 3: At World’s End, picking up with Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann.  Henry is determined to rescue his father from Davy Jones’ curse, and thinks the answer is to find Poseidon’s Trident.  He intersects with a series of characters after the same goal: Carina Smith, an astronomer and scientist branded as a witch; Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) who wants it to rule the sea; and of course, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his ragtag crew, who need the Trident to fend off Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his crew of the dead.

There’s a lot going on in here, and things move fast with few pauses between new crises, upheavals or full-scale battles.  There are still ample funny moment, though they do tend to have some degree of franticness to them.

Jack Sparrow is still a lot of fun and I expect always will be; I especially enjoyed a (fairly brief) flashback to how he first became a pirate captain.  It better showcased that weird and engaging mystery of never quite knowing how in control Jack is.  Present-day Jack seems to have lost his grip on things a bit, though never on his ability to ride through an insane situation and come out standing. Continue reading

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Blog Hop: Luncheon for Two

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: If you could have lunch with any living authors and/or book bloggers, who would you choose and why?

Meeting with authors is always an intriguing question, and slightly complicated when I try to be realistic about who I would really enjoy meeting over lunch, and who I would be terribly intimidated by.  I’d love to have lunch with Geraldine McCaughrean, who seems especially friendly and who I could talk with about Peter Pan and Kensington Gardens.  I’d love to meet Tamora Pierce, but I’m not sure if I wouldn’t be a bit terrified to actually have lunch–and I know I’d be terrified of Robin McKinley, who is amazing but also distinctly intimidating. Gail Carson Levine, on the other hand, seems very approachable and I’d love to chat with her–but I probably wouldn’t work up the nerve to ask what she really thought of the movie version of Ella Enchanted.

Technically Michael Crawford is an author by way of an autobiography, but I never wanted to meet him, just to hear him sing live (accomplished!)  I think I’d have a wonderful time with Gretchen Rubin, my happiness guru who I so often identify with.  I’d be pretty intimidated to meet with Brene Brown–but if ever there was an author I could just outright say, “sorry, I’m feeling really vulnerable right now” and expect her to understand–well, that’s the one.

As for book bloggers…of course I’d love to meet all you lovely people who read my blog and write your own, who welcome me into your online homes to promote my books and who leave such nice comments here.  I think we’d have a delightful lunch, and none of you seem too frightening! 😉

Who would you like to have lunch with, among favorite authors and bloggers?


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