General · reading

Hearing a Commercial When Reading

So I was watching TV and the GEICO commercial came on. The one where the green gecko strolls down the Brooklyn Bridge and someone says in a really bad Brooklyn accent, “Forget about it.”

This commercial:

Than, during the other ads, I read Tricks of the Trade by Laura Anne Gilman. I got to a point where one the characters say,”Forget about it.”

And you know what? In my head, I heard it exactly the way they said in the ad. Exactly!!

Okay, yeah, they both take place in NY, but that’s about all the commercial and the book have in common. It was so strange. I had reread the page a couple times before I could get the ad out of my head.

It’s happened with movie trailers and the book the movie is from, but that kind of makes sense. Never with a nearly random commercial and book.

Has something like that happened to you? Or am I just odd?

General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Scholar

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

A perfect two lines for my teasers this time!

Yet . . . by capitalizing our names and the names of others, we are declaring that we are special, that we have a greater identity or are of greater import to the world than do those objects or creatures who the share the same common name, such as trees, or rocks, or pebbles, or ants, or cattle. At times, people name animals, especially those that are loved or that have served faithfully, and those names accord them somehow a higher place than animals that bear no names.

– Scholar by L. E. Modesitt

Short Story · Writing

Succinctly Yours: Black Friday

Succinctly Yours is a weekly meme by grandma. Of this meme she says:

How low can you go?

Use the photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters OR 140 words. It doesn’t have to be exactly 140, just not more. This one is 140 characters.

Loud people, all the pushing and shoving. She wished she didn’t need to buy gel right now. She wanted to avoid the insanity of Black Friday.


How do you choose a book to buy (and hopefully read)?

Madison Woods asked this question and this is too long for a comment. So I turned it into a blog post.

She also posted a poll with the following options:

1) I go to the bookstore and browse when I want a book.

I love browsing and I do this. I also go to libraries and browse the shelves there, too. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

I rarely find new writers by browsing library and bookstore shelves. I suspect that’s because I head straight to the science fiction shelves. My local library’s science fiction section is smaller than almost every other section, but it’s still bigger than second nearest library.

The bookstore’s science fiction section is large enough, but trouble is, they usually only have authors I’ve heard of and books I know are out. Not books I’ve necessarily read, but books I am usually aware of.

Plus, the books (in both the library and bookstore) lean heavily toward fantasy instead of science fiction. Which, yeah, I love, but it’s not the best way to find new science fiction books to love.

I have better luck in romance. The romance section is always bigger and there are always books I’ve never seen before, authors I’ve never heard of. I’ve better luck in the YA section, too. It’s bigger, too. and I find plenty of books I’ve heard of, but also titles I’ve never seen before.

Maybe it’s just because those other sections are so much bigger. Maybe if the science fiction section in bookstores (and libraries) it would be easier to find new books this way.

2) I look through publisher catalogues to see what’s being published and choose from those.

I do this, too, but mostly for erotica publishers. They are mostly published as ebooks first anyway . . . So, yeah. I look at publishers like Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, Samhain, Torquere and Amber Quill. Libraries and bookstores have books from them, but that’s rare.

I also look at some more mainstream publisher catalogs, like Tor and Baen. I got into the habit of checking Baen’s catalog because I used to go to their online library all the time. And Tor has a really great website, so it’s a natural step.

3) I buy editor’s picks or reviewer’s favorites (which editors or reviewers are your favorites?).

Oh, I get NYT book reviews in my email and I even read them sometimes. Lately, I’ve been reading reviews that show up in magazines like The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are some specific review sites I visit every so often, like Rainbow Reviews and Dear Author.

But I like blogger reviews. 😉 The bulk of the reviews I read show up in my Google reader, written by the bloggers I follow. This is how I discover a lot of new titles and authors.

If the book sounds interesting, I will read an excerpt of the book and maybe after that I’ll get the book itself.

4) I buy books being promoted on Twitter.

Sometimes. Not very often. Haven’t really thought about it, but I think the links I do click on are from people I like/trust and don’t spam me.

More often, what happens is, people talk about a book. They mention a title in random conversations or during the specific twitter chats like litchat and I’ll think, that sounds interesting.

5) I buy books promoted on FaceBook.

Not really. But that’s because I don’t spend much time on FB.

6) I buy books from writer-friends.


7) I buy books because I’ve enjoyed the author’s blog.

Rarely. I find author blogs/sites because I enjoyed the book and looked up the site after the fact. Or I discover a title somehow and want more information.

8) Suggestions from friends.

This would be true, but most of my real life friends don’t read. Or they don’t read the kinds of things I enjoy. Which basically means I stay away from whatever they are reading. (A lesson learned from attempting to read books she enjoyed.)

9) Other

Other ways I find books is Amazon. They give me titles other customers looked at and/or bought like the one I am looking at. Or they suggest titles based on my browsing history. It’s a little limited, because the titles can be very niche specific. Lots of times they list nothing but other titles by the same author. But it’s still useful.

Also, the meme teaser Tuesday. Sometimes I read really interesting quotes and than I go looking for reviews. Sometimes a book shows up over and over and over again and than I have to find out why so many are reading it.

Also, LibraryThing and Goodreads both regularly give away ARCs and sometimes the titles look really really interesting. I have discovered some new authors that way, too.

fantasy · flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Seeds of Destruction

Another drabble for Friday flash! It was inspired by this photo from wiki commons.

Home didn’t look like home anymore.

The soldiers had destroyed the walls. The roofs. Only the odd stone beam still stood. Her father’s work, that. Only they stood.

She paused in front of one, rubbed a finger on the stone. Red dust coated her fingertip. She sucked it clean.

Grit ground on her teeth. The taste of cham also came with it, like clay and mint. It drew war like flowers drew bees.

Cham was her people’s wealth and the seed of their destruction.

One day she would destroy it so thoroughly everyone would believe cham a myth. Like dragons.


RIP: Anne McCaffrey

  I read online Anne McCaffrey might have passed away and my reaction was: please don’t let her be dead.

Than I read on GalleyCat she was dead.

I loved her books. Still do. In fact, I have a couple in hard cover. That’s pretty amazing, considering how few physical books I actually own. A dozen, maybe, all told. Most of the physical books I own are paperback. Maybe three or four are hard cover.

I’ve held onto them for a long, long time and despite preferring ebooks, I am not likely to get rid of them anytime soon.

So yeah. She was – and remains! – one of my favorite authors.

My first Anne McCaffrey book was Dragonsong. I was 14 and I hadn’t read anything quite like it. I loved the dragons, the fire lizards, the harpers, everything.

I read it as fantasy and discovered later the author described them (them being all the Pern novels) as science fiction. I am pretty sure that was the first time I discovered the writer could mean a book to be one thing and the fans another.

Lyon’s Pride was probably the first book I read about characters with telepathy.

Her Brain and Brawn books were pretty amazing and I still reread them every so often. I mean, the idea of an otherwise crippled person flying through space? I loved it.

And I still haven’t read anything else quite like her Crystal Singer stories.

I spent a good chunk of my teenage years reading Anne McCaffrey’s books. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t read a lot of science fiction before her, but she was a lot of firsts for me.

From what I’ve seen online, a lot of people start reading SF in grade school. So maybe 14 is a bit to really start reading a lot of fantasy/science fiction, but aside from the odd children’s book, I didn’t really read much SF until high school.

I am pretty sure Anne McCaffrey is one the reasons I love to read SF.

She’s written so many books. I haven’t read them all, but I’ve read most and it’s hard to pick out just one. Dragonsong is still probably the one I reread most often.

I am very sorry she won’t be writing anymore. RiP, Anne McCaffrey.