Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
(Apryl creeps off to kick the forgotten fairy tale that is half written and hidden under the metaphorical sofa of procrastination)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
What is your favorite work of horror fiction?
What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy?
Who is your favorite monster?
What horror movie gives you the most chills?
What character from any horror film would you most like to play?
Freddy or Jason?
What is your favorite Halloween treat?
Ghosts or goblins?
Friendly-faced jack o’lantern or scary one?
What is your scariest encounter with the paranormal?
Do you believe in ghosts?
Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho?
Favorite Halloween costume?
Best thing about Halloween?
Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)?
Are you superstitious? If so, name at least one superstition of yours.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
scary movies (and crappy ones too)
psycho axe murdering fiends
grime and gore
all the fun stuff!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
This week is Banned Books Week, a time to celebrate the freedom to read. There shouldn't be a need to have a Banned Books Week but unfortunately there are thousands of books that have been burned, banned and continue to get challenged by individuals, groups and governments that find them offensive.
The books we read expand our minds, and make us the people we are. Books have always been an important part of my life, I can still remember my dad reading me stories when I was small, some of the books have been challenged. Every Christmas and Birthday I would be more excited about the books I received than the toys and clothes I got. One Christmas my dad gave me a copy of A light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein, I sat in a nest of torn wrapping paper and read my brand new book of poetry from cover to cover.
Literary exploration is so important, I read a book a night to my son, stories and poetry, including some of the very same books that my father gave me, books that have been Challenged, and Banned. I fear for the future, if these books that shaped me became banned and children and young adults the world over could not read them.
Books that have been Banned or Challenged at some point are not all masterful works of literature, but that is the magic of books and the stories they tell of history and unknown worlds to explore. I have read quite a few books on the Banned list, and not all of them I loved but they did make me think and I was glad to have read them.
The following list of some of the Banned Books I have read:
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I have read the series more times than I can count, and hope to read Farm Boy to H when I can get a copy of it)
- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also by Roald Dahl
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- The Call of the Wild, Jack London
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein(II read this every week to my son)
- Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein (pure magic)
- The Giving Tree, yet again by Shel Silverstein (it still makes me cry)
- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding (yes its disturbing but it was one of the few required reading books that I absorbed)
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (I read but didn't really appreciate and to this day I still don't like Steinbeck's writing but it is important to have the book available to read)
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger ( I was forced to read it in school because it was a Banned and Challenged book, and despite it's being a Literary Classic I never loved Holden)
- Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
- Forever by Judy Blume
a few links:
the ILA: Books Challenged and Banned in 2008 2009 a pdf
The American Library Association has a list of Banned and Challenged books
the School Collection list of Challenged Children's Books
Amazon list of recently Banned and Challenged Books
Amazon list of 100 Banned and Challenged Books
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Dave Bruno's 100 things challenge
Time Magazine recently ran an article about Dave Bruno's how to live with just 100 things challenge.
*starts writing a list * laptop, coffee, chocolate, supernatural, pen,coffee, journal, chocolate... hmmm what?
Burble at the back of the book:
Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome. For Mort however, it is about to become one of the tools of his trade. From henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. He has received an offer he can't refuse. As Death's apprentice he'll have free board, use of the company horse and being dead isn't compulsory. It's the dream job until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life...
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Burble at the back of the book:
Tom and Hester have been thrown together. Truly-thrown out of a city on wheels that's left them stranded and starving in the middle of nowhere while it hares off after its prey. Hester is desperate for revenge, and Tom is only desperate to get back on board his beloved London. This is a stunning literary debut from Philip Reeve. A novel that defies easy categorisation, it is a gripping adventure story set in an inspired fantasy world, where moving cities trawl the globe. Peopled with convincing and utterly likeable characters, this story is a magical and unique read.
these are the books for September through there are several others books being passed around at this time, including the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris and several other novels that escape me at the time of writing this blog post. I shall endeavour to collate a list of secondary novels and series that everyone else is happily reading through, and please comment on what you are reading now and what you're thoughts are on it.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
harp: play that funky music harp boy.. what?
music: yes we have had this prompt before but its a good one to go back to. Pop your headphones on and play a favourite or random track and let the music inspire your writing and write down whatever pops into your head.
chocolate: nothing says calorific like chocolate...so if you need inspiration and an excuse for eating more chocolate than is healthy.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. " -Robert A. Heinlein
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
more information for flash fiction can be found on the flash fiction wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_fiction
assignment: write a flash fiction story of 500-1000 words in length.
your theme or inspiration for the assignment is: elements (earth, air, fire, water, ether)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
To create a larger world than the confines of a 100 word drabble. A world that pairs the written word with the art of story telling.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
have fun creating your 100 word drabbles.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
"Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you're fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences. "
*I haven't tried Write or Die but I have looked at it with interest. I found the link via a twitter post and saved it for a quiet day. I may give it a shot on Tuesday when I can concentrate on writing while the house is empty. ~ Apryl
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Character’s name and age; other personal details
What does he/she most love?
What does he/she most hate?
What he/she eat for breakfast?
How did he/she last vote in the last election, if at all?
Where did he/she go to school?
Does he/she have any noticeable traits which affect everyday life; short-sightedness, a limp, colour-blindness, can’t tell left from right?
Does he/she drive? If so what? If not, why not?
How would this person be most likely to react to/ interact with:
the Dalai Lama
an estate agent
someone spitting in the street
A pornographic film
A friend getting so drunk they couldn’t walk
A screaming baby
Market researcher in the street
Where does this person buy clothes? Are clothes important to him/her?
What music is currently on this person’s CD/ipod ?
Is this person allergic to anything?
Do they have any medical history we need to know about?
What are his/her greatest talents, and greatest weaknesses?
Would you trust this person with a secret? Why/ why not?
Could this person ever be unfaithful in a long-term relationship?
What sort of books, magazines or newspapers does this person read?
What is his/her biggest fear?
What is his/her biggest secret?
Write down five words that describe this person.
Here is an excellent list of 100 character Development Questions
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Baen Free Library
top 100 sci fi books
top 100 fantasy books
fantasy book review top 100
library Thing- catalogue your books online
Goodreads- another online book catalogue and community (I have a account there but have only begun to catalogue my books )
Sara Douglass: Creating a Fantasy World
Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. The list was bumbling about facebook and blogland and is apparently a bastardization of a "most popular" books list with some high brow pretentious books thrown in. I shall look up a "classic" list and a sci-fi list as well.
1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read ENTIRELY
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
so get your thinking caps on and write up a world in 100 words. You can use both words in your drabble, or write two different drabbles, or just choose the word that inspires you to write the most.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Painted wings and giant’s rings glimmered gently in the firelight. A single wet tear glistened as it rolled down the emerald green scales on the dragon’s sharp cheekbones.As the last of the screams faded into the silence of the night, and the lava ran down the grooves of the cave floor into the sea, the dragon sat and gently wept.One burst of excitement in the wrong place was all that it had taken to turn their rock fortress into molten lava, killing his lifelong friend and condemning the dragon to a life of painful solitude for ever more.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
As per the previous post we have Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay available or
Elf Sorrow, by James Barclay
We hope to see you at book club tonight, to obtain your copy!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
"Drabble: A drabble is an extremely short work of fiction exactly one hundred words in length, although the term is often used to indicate a short story of fewer than 1000 words. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space."
the prompt for those of you wishing to work on writing skills as well as joining the book group, is to write a 100 word drabble using the prompt "Broken". Its not as easy as it looks but I do find that they are quite fun to work on, they get your brain working, thinking, and being creative. A small baby step before writing that novel, magazine article, or fairy tale. A few of my drabbles can be found here ( http://www.daemara.blogspot.com/ my rather dustily abandoned writing blog, just scroll down past the unfinished fairy tale) . You put your whole heart into writing, and by my sharing of my little drabbles I'm putting my heart on the line for this group and hope that you will be brave enough to put yours.
please post a copy of your drabble in the comments so we can all share.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Darkly Dreaming Dexter- Jeff Lindsay
Meet Dexter Morgan, the chief protagonist of Darkly Dreaming Dexter. He's a highly respected lab technician specialising in blood spatter for the Miami Dade Police Department. He's a handsome, though reluctant, ladies' man. He's polite, says all the right things, and rarely draws attention to himself. He's also a sociopathic serial killer whose "Dark Passenger" drives him to commit the occasional dismemberment. Mind you, Dexter's the good guy in this story. from amazon.com
If you had the power to kill with your bare hands, what would you do with it?
Graceling takes readers inside the world of Katsa, a warrior-girl in her late teens with one blue eye and one green eye. This gives her haunting beauty, but also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—swimming, storytelling, dancing. Katsa's Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight (and kill, if she wanted to) is unequaled in the seven kingdoms. Forced to act as a henchman for a manipulative king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power. --- taken from amazon.com
Watchmen- Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
"A work of ruthless psychological realism, it's a landmark in the graphic novel medium. It would be a masterpiece in any."
-TIME, TIME MAGAZINE's 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.
*I added Watchmen as several book group members have read it, and at least 3 members (one of which is me Apryl) are in the process of reading it.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Total number of books owned:
Last book bought:
Last book read:
Book that means the most to you:
Book you re-read time and time again?
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic, or Horror?
Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
Heinlein or Asimov?
Amazon or real book shop?
Borders or Waterstones?
Hitchhiker or Discworld?
Bookmark or Dogear?
Alphabetize by author, by title or random?
Keep, recycle or Sell?
Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Read with dust jacket or remove it?
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?"
Buy or Borrow?
What makes you buy a book, reviews, recommendation or browse?
Lewis or Tolkien?
Hard SF or Space Opera?
Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
Standalone or Series?
Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
New or used?
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Favorite genre books read last year?
Favorite genre books of all time?
Favorite genre series?
Favorite genre short stories?
Friday, March 6, 2009
The first book for Chimera Book Group is The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman. Available at your local library, bookshop or Amazon.
The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody "Bod" Owens a normal boy who escaped the grisly murder of his family and has gone to live in a graveyard. Bod is being raised and educated by some of the things that go bump in the night. Learning life lessons from those that lack it.
The cover art and illustrations by Chris Riddell are wonderfully macabre and inspiring. an the book itself is filled with spirits, ghosts, friendship, witches, menacing humor, and did I mention there is a murderer on the loose? Will Bod live long enough to grow into a man?
I think its the perfect choice for this budding book group and can lead us on to darker things. Come along to our next meeting (Tuesday at 7:30 at Chimera, Ripley) or pick up the book and read along with the blog, and join our Facebook page "Chimera Book Group".
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Over more coffee and tea we talked about the books we like, what made us purchase them, or borrow them from the library and read into the small hours of the night. I brought along a hastily grabbed pile of my books to discuss content and covers. What makes you fall in love with a book? is it that dragon glimmering on the cover or daring hero/heroine? the first sentence? the book jacket? what makes the characters come to life and speak to you?
The book group is centred on our love of the dark side of things, the things that lurk in the darkest corners of our nightmares, and the hunters that seek them, dark worlds and the fantastical filled with all manner of creatures good and evil. Books off the edge of the map where "Here there be Dragons".
Start time 19:30-21:30
What to bring: Your notepad and a pen.
So what's all this about then? We figured that Ripley needs an alternative book group that deals in the likes of Horror, Manga, Comic Book, GW Novels etc, none of your Romantic Rubbish (though we might make an exception for raunchy Vampires!) so here it is. We don't discriminate on age, though we would recommend your parents don't mind you being out this late, especially on a school night.
The format of the night will be an hour on the chosen book (supplied by our local library, agreed upon by the group) followed by creative writing practise for the second hour (if your a manga or comic book artist, feel free to join us, its all part of the story telling process). So if you've been itching to sort out that novel or short story, let us help focus your mind, or be a sounding off forum.
So what are you waiting for, we'll see you at the store on Tuesday 3rd March at 19:30.