Friday, July 27, 2012

Its the Olympics everyone!


Happy Olympics everyone!

Honestly, I'm not sure why I put happy there, but oh wells.

Anyways, so today is the summer Olympics and I am super pumped for the opening event. Only, I'm not sure what time it is so I may or may not have missed it already. I'm also excited for some of the events and some of them I didn't even know they had!

For example, (sorry about them all starting with capital letters, I was reading them off a list) Archery, Badmition, Equestrian, Fencing, Gymnastics, Judo, Table tenis, Taekwondo, and synchronized swimming. Apparently though they only show some of them on TV and I don't know how many of these they air.

So, my question for you all, what sports for you looking forward too the most? And are you excited? I always get kinda annoyed Olympic year because everyone gets obsessed with it and its all you ever see. Especially the week before.

I have heard some interesting things about this year's events. Apparently a refugee from some country is going to be competing even though he won't actually be representing any country. I also heard that apparently London got the new record for delivering the most condoms to the Olympic Village, which I think is pretty crazy.

Oh and this is a random fact I heard about the Olympics, apparently the athlete who weighed the least weighed only 65 lbs! I have no idea when she competed or what she was in, but I thought that was pretty crazy because even I weigh more then she did and I'm not that heavy.

Anyways, so I hope everyone enjoys the games and I wish the best of luck to all the countries in it!

Sincerely,
Sareh

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Interesting Facts- The Faerie and Fairies Part 1

So for the next couple of weeks I guess, I'm going to tell you guys about my favorite mythological creatures and give you a run down how they fit into my stories.


First off if you notice the title, I have Faerie and Fairies as two seperate words and this is for a reason. In my books, Fearie and Fairies are two different species. And they both can be broken down into even more categories! For starters, we're going to discuss the main types of Faerie and next week, we'll look at the Fairies.


And for tonight's explanation, I've taken a part of it out of the glossary I've written for my book series (The Angelic Death series, of which The Cursing, The Prophecy, and a lot of other planned books are a part of). My glossary can't be found on the internet or any place, but its merely a tool for me to remember and keep all of my information straight.


The Faerie
In the most simplistic form, the Fearie are embodiments of nature. In a more complicated form, there is many ways to break them down. 
The first way is by form. There's the most common type, Avian, which are the Fey who sport wings of some kinds. The second most common is the Anilyn who are Fey with animal aspects (for example, an Anilyn might have cat ears and a tail). And finally, you have the Equaria who are Fey who live primarily in the water. They might resemble merpeople on some levels. 
The second way is by nature. This is the way their government is structured around. The most powerful are the Landvaettir (starlight beings) (as they're suppose to be a balance between the Ljiosalfar and Svartalfar), then there's either the Ljiosalfar (sunlight beings) or Svartalfar (moonlight beings). After those three types you have the seasonal Fey, Spring, Autumn, Summer, and Winter.
Landvaettir, Ljiosalfar, & Svartalfar
The Landvaettir (starlight beings in my novels) are spirits of the land in Icelandic and Norse myth. They protect the land and are seen as either spirits of the dead or nature spirits. In my novels, they're nature spirits. In some ways, their descriptions match nymphs of greek and roman myth as they seem to mostly protect a certain area (like a rock, mountain or some natural place). On boats, dragon shaped prows weren't allowed in harbors because they would scare away the Landvaettir (most Fey in my stories are in fact scared of dragons except for the royality who can interact with them). 
Next we have the two groups of the Norse Alfa (meaning "elves"). Some scholars says that these two groups came from the idea of angels. The Ljosalfar (sometimes spelled Liosalfar) which are light elves in Norse myth. These elves are often what modern day elves are based off of. Tolkien drew heaviley off of them for his elves. They apparently are "fairer then the sun to look at", brgingers of light, and have skin whiter then snow. They lived in the realm of Alfhime (which I've turned into the setting of The Cursing, but instead of the Ljosalfar, the Angeni live there [and that's a post for later]). 


Then we have the Svartalfar (aka, black elves, swart elves, night elves, etc) who live underground and are "blacker then night". The Svartalfar can also be called the Dökkálfar although the Dökkálfar are considered closer to elves and the Svartalfar are actually a type of dwarf. But since I've seen it either way, I've taken the liberty of using Svartalfar to describe my version of the dark elves. 


According to Norse myth, the Svartalfar lived in Svartálfaheimr and were the best smiths and made many magical and fabulous weapons and armor. They were associated with fertility. Both the Ljosalfar and the Svartalfar are said to come from the maggots that ate the flesh of the giant Ymir. 
Seasonal Fey
Because the Fey are all about balance Spring and Autumn Fey are considered the most powerful seasonal Fey because they are in the middle of Summer and Winter. Which means that they have the best of both worlds. 


There's not a lot of actual facts out there about Seasonal fey although I've seen them used in many different novels (The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr and the Winged Series by Aprilynne Pike are  examples), so really these Fey are up to the authors to decide what's true and what's not about these mysterious beings. 

So guys, would any of you like to see how I've fit them into my books? I can do another post (make it part 2 and make the Fairies part 3) about their world and structure of it. I'll also share my maps. I wouldn't mind sharing all the facts about them if you guys don't mind. I just don't know if you would prefer straight facts or if any of you wouldn't mind me basically rambling about my books and their worlds. Personally, I love seeing those kinds of things...

Resources
Dokkalfar and Ljosalfar
Landvaettir
Svartalfar

Sincerely,
Sareh

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Writing Prompt- Mini stories!

So yesterday's prompt (I didn't get a chance to get onto the computer) is try writing several mini stories about 200 to 500 words long. Each story should be different but center around the same thing. Like someone robbing a bank or what happens at a party for example.

Then you could try putting these stories together.

Sincerely,
Sareh

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Reviews- The Fetch, Mara Dyer, The Scorpio Races, & Mastiff

FETCH: The apparition, double, or wraith of a living person.


In the attic, in an old sea chest, secreted away, are a mysterious journal and a set of runes: 24 stones that will change Sky's life forever.


When Sky and his cousin Kristin find their Norwegian grandfather's runes, Sky feels like the wait is over, like he can now release the breath he wasn't even aware he'd been holding. But when he lays out the stones in a runecast they find in Sigurd's journal, he is catapulted into a world filled with more possibilities and more danger than he ever imagined.


This first entry in the Runestone Saga is an utterly unique blend of horror, supernatural possibility, and historical truth that will leave readers wrung out from tension and clamoring for more.


So when I first saw this book in the library, I was a little hesitant. I wasn't sure if this would be horror or not so I waited and the next time I went in, I picked up this book. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. It has a unique setting and plot, one I don't think I've seen before, and so I was interested. I've also been interested lately in runes and norse mythology. 


Anyways, the characters were interesting. I thought that Sky was a good, well rounded character. Both him and this cousin were. They acted like normal children for the most part- until the part where they went to a different country without his parent's knowledge. Then it was a bit sketchy at time. 

The story was interesting enough with bits of mystery and creepiness to it to keep my entertained. The ending was interesting although I didn't really like it. It was a good ending, with twists and lots of creepiness to it, but I'm just not into that kind of things I think. 

Overall I enjoyed the book but I didn't like how Sky and his cousin decide to hop off to another country without his parents permission when they didn't even know what would happen when they got there. 

On Goodreads: The Fetch
Website: Chris Humphreys




Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.


So I'd been hearing about how fantastic this book was ever since it came out. So I'd been wanted to see what all the hubbub was about when I saw it in my library. 


I normally don't read fiction set in the 21 century. I also normally don't read paranormal (although I've been getting more into it). So I was happy to find that this is indeed a good book. 


For the most part the characters are good. Mara herself is particularly interesting but there's the other characters that bugged me. Like the super hot chick who I can't remember why she hated Mara, or one of Mara's random new friends. I think his name was Jamie but I didn't understand his purpose. Especially since he just seemed to randomly disappear half way through the book. I didn't like him. He was weird and annoying, plus he seemed like a little kid. And I wasn't thrilled with the love interest, Noah. Sure I liked him and I thought he was a good character, but there was something about him that I didn't like. 


The plot was really interesting. At first it was interesting seeing how this horrible accident happened and Mara can't remember a thing. But then creepy things start happening and you're not really sure what was going on. Towards the end, I started to get really confused about what exactly their "powers" were. 


Overall I really liked this book and it had a fantastic ending. There's some things that bug me- mostly character related, but I liked it and I recommend it. 


On Goodreads: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Website: Michelle Hodkin


It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.


At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.


Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.


I really enjoyed this book. At first I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but the concept was interesting and I enjoy Maggie Stiefvater's blog so I thought to give it a go. 


The characters seemed all very realistic to me. I enjoyed that this was an unique idea and that I couldn't find very many cliche parts to it. There were some funny parts and some sad parts. Sean seemed like a good guy and I liked him. I loved him and his horse, Corr, I think his name was and I hated the bad guys. 


The world was very realistic, complete with its own legends and traditions that are very similar to ancient celtic or Irish traditions. The part with the Americans is interesting although I was never really sure where exactly this island is. I just know that its set somewhere in the real world. I'm also not sure what time period its in because there's really no mention of anything real modern. I suspect its sometime in the 20th century because it had a car in it, but beyond that, I wasn't sure. In a way it bugged me, but in a way it didn't because I like the modern, yet not really modern feel to it. 


The plot was slow in some parts but packed with emotion and interesting things. The ending was exciting and fun, and the absolute ending is my favorite. The story has this nice feel to it that isn't super intense like some books, but one that keeps you reading. I enjoyed the fantasy part to it -the water horses- and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed seeing them because this is the first book I've seen with them in it. While most people do vampires and fallen angels, Maggie Stiefvater beats them all with her water horses. 


Overall, I really enjoyed it. I didn't read this in a couple hours like I read Mara Dyer, but I read it pretty quickly. 


On Goodreads: The Scorpio Races
Website: Maggie Stiefvater


The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well.


Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.


Truely this book and the two books above this deserve fully length reviews because I really did love them. First off, Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors and I love all of her books. I think she's an amazing writer and I love even in her fantasy settings, all of her female leads are strong women that I want to look up too if they were real. 

This is the third and final book in the Beka Cooper series and I'm sad to see the end of Beka's story. Yes I know all great stories must end but I really liked this series. This is her first series in 1st person, dairy form no less and I think Tamora Perice did a stellar job on it. 

I really liked this book and I enjoyed seeing more of old Tortall besides the city. The characters were all fantastic, although I wasn't thrilled about Beka's love interest, Farmer. There's something about him that I don't really like. I think he's a great guy, but throughout all the books, I always thought that Beka would end up with Rosto. In a way I understand why she wouldn't, but...I don't know. Rosto barely even makes enough appearances to be a good love interest so I guess this makes sense. 

Anyways, as for the plot, it was very good and I'm impressed as always at Mrs. Pierce's ability to create these large complicated plots, keep them interesting, and remember to follow through with them. I'll have to admit that I could tell who the bad guy would turn out to be half way through the book even though my cousin swears she didn't see it coming. Maybe its cause I knew deep down as a writer myself and an avid reader the truth, or maybe I'm just good at picking up on the clues, but I knew ahead of time who it would be. Throughout the book I kept hoping that it wouldn't be who I thought it was, but my guy feeling was right. Therefore, I'm sad not only at why the bad guy turned bad or what happened to him in the end, but I'm sad that such a good character would turn. 

As for the rest of the end, I thought it was a fairly good ending and I'm happy to see a good ending for Beka. Admittedly, I'm sad what happened to some of the characters, but I guess it had to happen. Overall I really loved this story and I'm looking forward to more Tamora Pierce's novels. 

On Goodreads: Mastiff
Website: Tamora Pierce

Sincerely,
Sareh

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In the News- Crashing vehicles and two large animals...


So because I have six things to report tonight, I'm going to give a short summary and then link you.

Reporters in Canada barely escape landslide.
Reporting for Canada's Global News, several journalists barely escaped disaster. The journalists and another boat moved safetly away but the other boat just barely outran the mass of debris barrowling towards them. Sadly, while these reporters were lucky, four people were lost in the landslide although one man's body was found. The three other ones are still missing. To watch the video and read all of it, click here.

21-pound lobster is making news.
Although its not the largest lobster, one creature was caught off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass with claws that are nearly a foot long. One restaurant manger reports that she could hold each claw in one hand and it was as long as her arms and as big as her torso. According to Elaine Jones, the education director for the state's Department of MArine Resources says that the claws are big enough to snap a man's arm. And since its illegal to keep lobsters over 5-inches, the 40-inch lobster was returned to the ocean. The lobster is going to be sold for charity and will hopefully be released back into the wild. Maybe next time he'll learn not to stray to far from home. As for us, you can view the video and read the whole thing by clicking here.

SUV crashes down elevator shaft,
A lucky parking attendant fell four floors and some how survived. Apparently he managed to drive into an empty car elevator shaft and after falling, it took 45 minutes to rescue Steven Morales who was trapped inside the Lexus SUV. After diving down 40 feet, the SUV landed unside down with its roof and hood crushed, the windows gone, and the doors dented. The second parking attendant is okay and the cause of the accident is still unknown. Read and watch the video, here.

If you're escaping a crime, stealing a plane isn't as easy as it looks in the movies...
Brian Joseph Hedglin, 40, an airplane captian, tried to escape authories but when he tried to escape in a 50-seat jetliner, he clipped the wing of another airplane and crashed through the fence. Afterwards, he apparently shot himself. He was charged with killing his 39-year-old girlfriend, Christina Lopez Cornejo. they were apparently also both members of the Colorado National Guard. Her body was found Friday at home. You can read the whole story by clicking here.


State Farm goes a bit crazy with their cars.
Four guys from State Farm built a half 1968 Camaro and another car, and then put the two together in what's a discontenting looking car. While it looks photoshop, the car is real and although it doesn't drive well, it still works. And since I don't understand all of what they're saying, you can view the whole article here and see more pictures.

6-foot lizard on the loose...
Apparently an aggressive 6-foot monitor lizard, named Dino, is on the loose in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 25-pound Nile lizard escaped again from his owner's yard with his mesh leash still attached. And its enough to make the sheiff not go after the creature. Instead he's warned citizens about the creature who could pose a threat to humans if caught in his path. You can read the whole thing here.

Sincerely,
Sareh

Monday, July 16, 2012

Writing Prompt- Dreams.

I'm not sure if I've done this yet...but either way, this is always a fantastic way to get stories. I've gotten three out of dreams before.

In case you don't have dreams a lot or whatever your case may be, here's some dreams I've had that you may draw inspiration from.

Dream #1
(Written in first person as this is taken out of my rarely updated dream journal.) I and this guy were getting these shots in then dystopian government. I was sitting on a hospital table and this doctor was giving me the shot in a small white room. I escape through the vent where I met up with this guy and we escaped together. We went down these tall, huge stairs to this red carpeted fancy place. I ran around the corner and hid in a clothing store where some of my classmates were shopping.

Then we escaped down this long escalator and across the bridge spanning the river. After going through there I saw these kids floating down the river in a small boat house. The government was coming after me as I saved the kids and we escaped to this abandoned farm house. There we met up with my aunt and my cousin where we stayed for a year before the government found us. After we killed the agent, we escaped.

Dream #2
I needed to find these four elements and it was me and this guy. We ran around the city trying to find these things. I found several and this uncle was after me. Then we went to this hill in the middle of the city where there was these stones in a circle. After that I was looking for something powerful inside this abandoned house. Next me and this guy went to find directions but the guy wrote it down on a piece of paper. My friend got annoyed because apparently he had the same job and said he could do it better.

Dream #3
I dreamed I survived a nuclear explosion, there was this charred hand and I swam over to this place where they gave me medicine through an IV. Then there was this horse and another creature who were on a mission in this fairy tale land but they had to defeat this rabbit creature first.

Okay so those are all the dreams I'll share for now. But as a side note, I always have these really long dreams with complicated plot lines. They're really entertaining. Most of them are dystopian like dreams or they're something that's a bit odd.

So if you'd like anymore interesting, story-like dreams, feel free to ask me.

Sincerely,
Sareh

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How to Write a Great Critique.

I'd like to start this off that this post was inspired by some events that have been happening a lot lately. I'm on Wattpad, if you may or may not know, and a lot of people on there don't give constructive criticism. Most comments on there are things like "omg i luv your story!!!" or "update soon plz".

These comments are not helpful and they do not improve people's writing. There is always something you can improve on. So therefore, I've decided to do a post on how to write a great critique.
  1. What is the author wanting? This is the most important step in a way. If the author is asking you to look at something specific for them (characterization, plot, grammar, etc), make sure to keep an eye out for that. You can look for other too, but make sure to look for that in particular. 
  2. What doesn't the author want? If the author says that they don't want you to leave a one word comment, then don't. It may be hard, but trust me, its possible. 
    1. But what if you want to give them helpful feedback but all they want is praise? Well I have to options a) ignore them and give them your honest opinion anyways. Maybe they'll actually look at it and take something good away from it. b) Praise them but make sure to include at least a couple things that they could improve on. (note: I am not one of those authors who believes in sugar coating or anything like that. I believe that no matter what you think, you can always improve.)
  3. Give examples: If you find something wrong, show them what they're doing something wrong repeatedly, show them what they're doing wrong. Don't just say that they keep using the period wrong, if you have to, specifically write out a sentence and show them what you mean. Be specific.
  4. Explain your thoughts: Don't just tell them you love their story or you hate it. Explain what they're doing right or wrong. Explain why you think about a certain something. If you think a character is a mary sue, explain why you think that. 
  5. Give Suggestions: If you think something isn't working, try giving a suggestion of what they could do to make it better. 
  6. Look for both positive and negative. Always include both in a critique. Make sure your critique is balanced. You don't want to include mostly negative things, but you don't want all praise. If you're having trouble finding a balance, make sure to point out at least one flaw or something good about the story. 
  7. Comment on everything: This means don't focus on one area. Writing a book means more then just the characters. Comment on characters, the plot, grammar, spelling, setting, dialogue, descriptions, the flow of the story, etc. 
  8. Don't be afraid to type something out. A lot of writing sites are starting to have copy and paste locks. So if you need to quote a part of the story in order to show them how to fix something or use something specific, don't be afraid to type it out. If you're going to do this make sure to include quotation marks. 
  9. Stream of Consciousness: This is something that I've started doing recently when I critique something. Especially the beta books I'm reading. I'll comment on something as I read, I'll write whatever comes to mind as I read. Some people like to write a critique after they're done reading, but I find that if I do that, then I may forget some important things I wanted to point out as I was reading. 
  10. Be Honest: If you're never pointing out what they did wrong, how are they suppose to ever get better? Part of me as always felt that if you can't handle honest feedback, how will you handle it when you're published and someone gives you a bad review?
  11. Be kind, consider the author: the other point I'd like to make is put yourself in the author's shoes. Some people may not know how to handle brutal honesty and may lash back. If you have something to say that you think may come off as harsh, try to word it nicely or just tell the author that you don't mean to offend them. 
  12. Read over the piece again. I find it helpful that once I've written a critique to read over the story again just to make sure I didn't miss anything. 
  13. Check your own grammar and spelling: I shouldn't really have to include this, but I feel I should. I can't tell you how annoying is it to see someone correct me on my grammar or spelling mistakes when their own critique is riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. It makes you seem like a hypocrite and I don't want any of you to come off that way. 
  14. Overall... I always like putting an "overall" part in my critiques. This is the part where I get to ramble as much as I want about something. Here I try to summarize all my points or I try to focus on the overall part of the story. Here you can try to see how the particular part (I usually do chapter by chapter critiques) fits in with the story overall, or you can comment on the overall story up to this point. You can give your overall impression. 
Advice my friends give...
  • Heather:  I do this: For every five negatives, use a positive. -shrug- And I comment on characters, plot and point out any grammar mistakes I see. That's what I do when I feel like leaving a detailed critique. Also, for the negative, give an example on how they can fix it. 
  •  Anah:  Make sure you quote if you find a flaw. Don't just tell them there's a flaw. -_-
  • Edit. (This was a rant one of my friends, Courtney, wrote and she gave me permission to post it on here.)  A critique is NOT only negatives. It's meant to help, not to be mean. You have to dig down deep and find at least one good thing about the work you've just read. Don't be like: "I'm sorry, but this needs a lot of work. There wasn't really anything good that I could see." You NEVER say that to someone. Never. That's rude on so many levels. At least say: "With a lot of hard work and dedication, this writing has a lot of potential." Something like that. Or say, "I don't want to come across as harsh, but there is a lot of work to be done (explain) but I believe if you put this idea and some of the ideas that I've given you to improve, your manuscript will be far better and draw much more readers. I know the things I've suggested is a lot, but I feel that if you take them into consideration and use them to edit, your writing will be much stronger."

    You want to be honest in a critique, but at the same time don't be mean. I've seen so many mean reviews over the past few months. Ones with cussing in them, ones calling something stupid, or and insult to something everywhere. I read some that are down right rude.

    Are any of us paid editors? Are any of us published(not self) authors? Are any of us perfect?

    How many of you when you started had flawless writing? How many of you could handle some of the "critiques" some of us are giving? I sure as hell couldn't. I had severe depression when I started writing and on inkpop people were so nice. They helped me improve my writing ten fold. Giving me little helpful tips or encouragement, not these mean comments for the sake of just being rude. Critiques aren't meant to puts someone down, they're meant to lift someone up and help their writing grown.

    How dare any of us make fun of a writer because their grammar isn't good, or spelling is horrid. I sure as hell am terrible at both. How dare any of us purposely say mean things calling it a critique. Oh wait, we put a disclaimer...because that helps lesson the hurt? No amount of "I don't mean to come across as rude or mean (yes you obviously do or you wouldn't say those things,)" will ever be the truth. If your critique is mean, then it's mean. Be CONSTRUCTIVE. Help the writer. Don't just list the bad things.

    Another thing, as I said before, none of us are published or agents or editors. The "majority" of us are teenagers, some adults, who just want to write. Who love to write. We should be kind to one another. We should be respectful. Don't make fun of someone because they might not be as good as you, or are Figs, or Wattpadders. We all started somewhere, we all grew at different paces. 
      
Thanks to my awesome friends for their advice! 


So do you have any of your own advice? What kinds of things do you look for when you critique? Do you hate one liners or comments where all people do is praise your story and then beg you to read theirs? 


Sincerely,
Sareh 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Reviews- Black, Goliath, & The Iron Knight


(From Goodreads) Enter an adrenaline-laced epic where dreams and reality collide.
Fleeing his assailants through deserted alleyways, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of a building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head...and his world goes black. From the blackness comes an amazing reality of another world-a world where evil is contained. A world where Thomas Hunter is in love with a beautiful woman. Then he remembers the dream of the chase as he reaches to touch the blood on his head. Where does the dream end and reality begin? Every time he falls asleep in one world, he awakes in the other-both facing catastrophic disaster. Thomas is being pushed beyond his limits...even beyond the limits of space and time. Black is an incredible story of evil and rescue, betrayal and love, pursuit and death, and a terrorist's threat unlike anything the human race has ever known. Some say the world hangs in the balance of every choice we make. Now the fate of two worlds hangs in the balance of one man's choice.
So I actually got all four books in the series as one giant volume form my teacher this year and although I was only able to finish this one, I enjoyed it. My Christian Lit class actually gets to read this book for it so I'll be ahead this year. Anyways, one of the things I like about my teacher's reading tastes is that he picks these fantastic, action packed christian books. 
This book probably deserves a longer review, but I'm going more mini reviews until I'm caught up with all my books. Anyways, I enjoyed this story. The characters were for the most part, realistic and interesting. It was also mind bending and it raises a lot of questions. 
One of my favorite things about this story is the Christian elements in the story. Thomas Hunter starts out not believing in God, but then he mysteriously ends up in an alternate universe where good and evil become physical objects and beings. Its a very interesting, well thought out world that is simplistic in a way, yet mind blowing at the same time. There were many times I found myself making connections between something in the story to something in the bible. It was cool to make those connections. 
One of the complains I have about this story is that when Thomas Hunter ends up in the world that is in our future (yet doesn't seem like it... I don't know, its confusing) the characters there are all more the most part, 2D characters. Sure they were, realistic enough, but at times I wasn't impressed with them. Not with the people in our world, I was impressed with them because they truly were realistic in terms of our world. 
The story was filled with action and had a bit of romance to it. I enjoyed it although at times I was massively confusing and my mind was boggled. 
On Goodreads: Black
Website: Ted Dekker
(From Goodreads) Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is as it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.
First off, Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite authors and as with the last two books, I was mightily impressed with this one. The world is richly developed and fantastic, the characters are realistic, and the story is filled with action, adventure, danger, and bits of romance. 
I enjoyed their trip to Russian to find the erratic Telsa who's a complete madman and is quite interesting. It makes me wonder somewhat what he was like in our universe. The other characters from history portrayed in this story were interesting as well. I enjoyed seeing Deryn and Alek's relationship develop even more and I loved how realistic it seemed to be. 
As a historical fiction in an alternate universe, I still enjoyed the history parts when they were there and I loved how the author could mix history with fantasy and still have something totally believable. 
I wasn't thrilled with the ending that Alek had although I understand it and but I also enjoyed the ending. For a book with pictures and everything, it was a wonderful conclusion. Deryn shall always be one of my favorite female characters from Scott Westerfeld's books. 
On Goodreads: Goliath
Website: Scott Westerfeld

(From Goodreads) Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought. Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive. With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side. To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale. And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
So I had high expectations for this book. I really enjoyed the last three books in the series, and I was excited to finally see a story from Ash's pov. All in all, I've been an Ash fan and I was thrilled to finally be seeing more of him. The pitch sounds amazing, does it not? And the beginning was really swell. 
But as I progressed further and further into the story, the more disappointed I got. To let you know why, I'm one of those realistic people who thinks that couples should be able to have lives away from each other and that your life SHOULD NOT revolve around your boyfriend or girlfriend. No matter how awesome they are. 
So when I realized just how obsessed with Meghan Ash was, I was really disappointed in him. I knew from the start that this was what the book was about, how far Ash's devotion went, but when I finally got to see it...instead of a romantic quest to defeat the odds and destiny, I found a love sick obsessed boy.  At one point, it even reminded me of Twilight. 
Not to say that the story ins't good. It is good, but I was just really disappointed for some reason about this. It bothered me. But alas, I continued the story and I liked it. There were some really great passages and the writing is really good. The land of the Fey is wonderfully imagined and ordinal, I'll give her that. 
All in all, its a great story, but I was just really disappointed with Ash. Its a great story about not giving up despite the odds. 
On Goodreads: The Iron Knight
Website: Julie Kagawa
Sincerely,
Sareh

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In the News- Think You can Outrun a Zombie?

Men get Harder Parking Spots then Ladies...
Gallus Strobel, mayor of Triberg, Germany, has designated 12 spaces in the city's new parking garage for women that have easy access and well-lit exits. Men on the other hand get the more difficult parking spots, two spaces that require parking at an angle and small spaces between concrete supports. Apparently its only ment to start conversations and says that men are more readily to move to a more difficult parking spot then women are. You can read the whole thing, here.

What's Up with These Parents and Kids?

This article is actually several weeks old, but I haven't been able to post on it yet, so I'm doing it now since I couldn't find much interesting things in the news this week. So this is the best way I can summerize this article for you guys.

Apparently a 13-year-old and a 11-year-old were at McDonalds when they saw this little girl with long hair. After making friends with her, they cut off several inches from her hair. So then apparently the mom of this little girl sued the two older girls for it. One of the girls, Kaytlen Lopan (the 13-year-old) was sentenced to 276 hours of community service and 30 days in detention.

The other girl was ordered to cut her hair just as short as the little girl's. But then Lopan's mother thought that her daughter's sentence was too harsh and when she complained, the judge ordered that the mother cut off her daughter's ponytail there in the courtroom. The mother relunctantly agreed to cut her daughter's hair inorder to have the community service hours shortened by 150 hours. Apparently the mother says that "an eye for an eye" isn't how you teach kids what's right from wrong.

Now I have several problems with this article. Firstly, where in the world was this little girl's mother when these girls apporched this kid? Secondly why did they cut her hair? Thirdly, did the little girl agree to this haircut or did the older girls do it without the girl's permission? In my opinion, sueing is taking this way too far. If the mother hadn't sued, the two older girls wouldn't have to have their own haircut and they wouldn't be serving any kind of sentences.

But it bugs me because this is not what you do. To me, instead of sueing, the little girl's mother should have gotten the two older girls' parents together and had a chat with them. Instead of letting the governemnt punish them, shouldn't it be the parents who should punish the girls? Lastly, I think that an eye for an eye is okay because its basically showing the girl, "would you like it if someone did this to you?". And that's what happened. Back in time, long long ago, if you killed someone, you were killed. If you stole, you lost your hands.

Personally, I think think the whole thing is ridiculous. Parents and the government alike are get so upset over the littlest things these days. While I admit it was wrong of the girls to do that to the little girl, I think it was overmuch to sue them. The little girl's hair will grow back. Her life isn't over just because some older girls were mean to her. Heck, I was bullied when I was in 1st grade but we didn't sue! We just talked to the principal and the girls were punished.

Anyways, you can read the whole thing for yourself, here. 



Can You Beat a Zombie?

There's new trend spreading across the country, one that's been spreading for a while, but now you can be a zombie or get chased by zombies. "Run For Your Lives" is a face where runners pay to get chased by zombies who also pay to chase the runners.

Zombies get a free makeup job, free beer at the end if they're over 21, and bring their own outfits.
but organizers do their makeup, including pale skin, sunken eyes and fake blood—a mix of corn syrup, cornstarch and food coloring—splashed on their clothes. Adhesive plastic molds and red goo give some zombies gaping wounds. Zombies preparing for the race here lined up to stand in front of a hanging white sheet and have a makeup artist throw handfuls of blood on their backs and chests before they set out to populate a 70-acre course rigged with water pits, log barriers and monkey bars.
The zombies are split into two groups: Chasers who run after racers for their flags, and stumblers are suppose to preform slow movements (like crawling, shuffling, or dragging) to scare runners and take their flags.

Runners on the other hand get to run for their lives through fake blood pools, run under electric fences, and avoid having the zombies steal thier "health flags" (think flag football in a way). Runners who get all their flags stolen are "dead" and can't get awards at the end of the five-kilometer race. Only 20% of the runners make it through with at least one flag left. You can read the whole thing, here.

Sincerely,
Sareh

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interesting Facts- About those Chips...and the 4th.

Some Fun Facts about the 4th of July. 

  • Thr Fourth of July wasn't an actual national holiday until 1941.
  • The first offical 4th of July celebration was at the White House in 1801. 
  • Three Presidents died on the fourth- John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. But only John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day in 1826.
  • There was 2.5 million people in America when it delcared independence. Now there's over 313.9 million. 
  • In America, there is thirty-one places with "Liberty" in their name. Iowa has the most with four. 
    • Thirty-five places has "eagle" in their name.
    • Eleven places has "indpendence."
    • Nine has "freedom."
    • Five has "America."
    • One has "patriot".
Resources

Interesting Facts about Chip Bags
So on Monday I went to go get my driver's permit renewed and afterwards we got sandwiches and chips for lunch. Well when I got home, I opened the chip bag and saw to my dismay that the bag was barely even half full. So that prompted the question...why are chip bags always half full? 

To the average person, it would make more sense that for the amount of money we pay, one should get a full bag of chips, no?

But when I called in my question (yes, I actually called the Lays chip company), I got a different answer to my question. It isn't about money or anything like that. 
Its about weight. 

Yep, the amount of chips in a bag depends on the weight. If you have a one ounce bag, you'll get one ounce of chips in there. About 10 or 15 chips. The number of ounces in a bag determines the amount of chips in a bag. 

It also has to do with air space. You see, according to the wonderful and informative lady who answered me, the reason bags are never fully filled is that if you had more chips in there, the chips would get crushed and broken. So to preserve the size and prevent less breakage, bags are filled up half way so that there's more room for the chips. 

And that, my friends, is why chip bags are never fully filled. Weight and air space. 

Sincerely,
Sareh

Blog News- June 2012

So I meant to post this on Sunday, but I saved and closed it, only to forget to post it. But here it is now.

No...schedule?
So all last month I entertained the thought of getting rid of the schedule or at least, part of it. But then I realized that if I did so, I'd probably ending up posting a ton of either random stuff every day or writing prompts. So after some thought, I decided to keep it. But if any of you have any opinions on schedules or not, feel free to share.

Last month was busy. 
That's why I didn't post much. But I knew it was going to be a bad month. See I took the ACT, got my wisdom teeth out (more on that later, probably a Friday's post), got a job (I'm a cleaning lady in the evenings now), had my birthday (I'm a year older now!), my cousin got married, I attempted Nanowrimo (failed horribly), and there's probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. But anyways, the point is, after this weekend, I'll be able to (hopefully) post everyday (if not I plan to make some posts ahead of time and see if Blogger will post them).

I not know if I'll be able to post this weekend, mainly because my stepbrother is up and we're going to a cabin with his friends and the rest of my family, so I don't know if I'll get internet access. So we'll see what happens...

Some Links...
Some of these I may have already shared, but I can't remember...
6 Ear Things that Will Improve Your Writing
Write According to Your Mood
7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer
Top Ten Tips to Help You Write More
25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day


Stats
Posts
Shape Poems - 141 Pageviews
In the News- Doggies and Music! - 120 pv
The History and Usage of Codes. - 116 pv
How to Write in Elvish, the Simple Way.  - 66 pv
Writing Prompts- Survival Skills - 60 pv


Pages
Resources- 18
Writing Prompts- 15
Archive - 11
Author- 11


Search Keywords
Underwater Camera- 17
Shape Poems- 13
How to write in elvish- 9
Interesting scoliosis facts- 4
cursive poem- 3


Countries

Russia- 553
United States- 500
United Kingdom- 73
Canada- 48
Philippines- 32


Sincerely,
Sareh

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