Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kids Sure Can Surprise You

I don’t normally talk about my kids much, in part because my oldest is a private sort of person and also because it’s not fair to tell their stories for them. However, this time I can’t resist. I’ve just had my own assumption handed to me by my youngest in the best way possible.

P.S. My oldest isn’t offering a shoddy showing either having just been named a contender for the National Merit Scholarship Award :) .

Anyway, a little bit of back story is necessary.

Some years ago, my oldest earned a role in a high school performance of Fiddler on the Roof, his first up here in Reno. I’m the type who’s willing, though not particularly able, and so volunteered to help with costuming. (more…)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Iron Man 2 by Alexander Irvine

Iron Man 2 Description: “I am Iron Man.” With those words, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark revealed his secret identity. Now a famous high-tech superhero, he uses his powers to protect mankind. Yet things are not going well for Tony Stark. The U.S. military demands control of the most powerful weapon on earth…the Iron Man suit. His beautiful new assistant has a strange, mysterious agenda while his best friend, Rhodey, has betrayed him. And Tony is hunted by a vengeful Russian criminal armed with a lethal technology that may be stronger than Tony’s suit. But even as he fights his demons, the hero faces his greatest threat…one that no armor can defend against…

My Review

Iron Man 2 may be the first novelization of a screenplay that I have read, and as an introduction, I think it was quite a good one. I’m an old time comic book reader, and I’ve gone to every comic-based movie that I can, including the first Iron Man, so when had some review copies of Iron Man 2, I signed up. I wasn’t sure what to expect though, because I hadn’t read a comic-book to screenplay to novel before, as I said, and I was concerned that the feel of a comic book would be lost in a novel, or that it would not appeal.

Face it. Most comic books, especially the old Marvel Comics which originally brought Iron Man to life, have a larger than life aura that defeats efforts to constrain them to the expectations of life. It’s big, beautiful, brutal, life on the edge and without any sign of social conformity. Very few comic book heroes are people I’d enjoy having in my life. They tend to be arrogant, obsessed, driven, and so totally focused that the details which make life livable are just cast aside as unimportant. What that means is that if you’re not the super powered or gadgeted hero, you become something less than an appendage and more like an inconvenience. And none of that changes the fact that within a comic book, these stories are compelling, inspiring, and just work.


My Livescribe Pulse Pen

Several people have been asking me about my pulse pen and what I thought about it. Only thing is that I hadn’t had the chance to take it out on a road trip yet. Well, now I have and here are the results. This is what the pen captured. You can see my lousy handwriting in its full glory…and I was even sort of trying to write well, okay, trying when I remembered :p. Then I ran it through the OCR software. It certainly isn’t perfect, but the reason for the picture is so you can see what it had to work with. My older son wrote a sentence to test it in his cursive and it translated perfectly. Maybe I should improve my handwriting? Oh, and the pen also recorded the audio for the whole presentation in a usable sound file despite sitting in the left-hand, second to last row of a curved lecture hall.

Anyway, on to the show! (more…)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Interesting Links for 4-9-2010

What I’m Reading

Iron Man 2 by Alexander Irvine was an enjoyable romp with some amazing insights. I had a lot of fun reading what is most likely my first novel adaption of a movie adaption of a comic.

Another sweet story from Strange Horizons, but nothing like the last. This is much more traditional fantasy. The Duke of Vertumn’s Fingerling by Elizabeth Carroll:


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I’m coming to this book quite late in its popularity, so there isn’t much that hasn’t already been said. However, as a mother, I love the fact that my son, who largely keeps to Forgotten Realms novels, chose A Game of Thrones to branch out…and that I can share the experience.

Why it took me so long to read this novel is easy. It didn’t exist in my teens when I read veraciously, and I am intimidated by big books. I have so little time to read that giving it over to something huge takes great effort, or outside intervention.

My luck came to play when I was assigned this novel as part of Holly Lisle’s How to Revise a Novel course. I’m on lesson four. It’s due by lesson twelve. I started early in the hopes of finishing in time.

Now you want to hear the funny part? It took me about the same number of days to devour A Game of Thrones as to enjoy The Windup Girl despite the second being half the length.


Friday, April 02, 2010

Interesting Links for 4-2-2010

What I’m Reading

I just finished Silky, a novel by Lazette Gifford who happens to be a friend as well as a talented writer. My sister, years before I knew Zette, had already read and enjoyed the first edition. Now I know why. Silky is available through Holly Lisle’s Shop:

My current read is Iron Man 2 by Alexander Irvine, which I received as part of the LibraryThing reader program. I’m finding it quite interesting because it maintains a comic book/men’s adventure feel.


Fun super hero generator that can be used as a story prompt: