Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday at Dragonfly's Laughter

I'm getting into this late in the game, but at least I'm getting into it at all!

From now through Wednesday evening you can get 50% off of anything at my shop Dragonfly's Laughter if you enter the coupon code "cybermonday" during checkout.

Don't miss out! It's all handmade things, some of which were already pretty inexpensive. Prices were ranged from $5 to $18, but are now only from $2.50 to $9.00!!!

Below are just some of the things you'll find in my shop.



In my shop:

* Scarves
* Jewelry
* Needlework
* Bead buddies
* Heating pads

Official PayPal Seal

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Ain't what it used to be" books, part 2

"The magicians of old were so much more powerful." "We've lost so much knowledge." "What happened to the Golden Era?" "Things just aren't what they used to be."

I made these quotes up, but they would fit into numerous novels. I was talking with my family this evening and we talked about how it's a common theme in literature -- that there used to be a Golden Era, or at least a time when things were pretty darn good, but that things aren't quite as good anymore.

So instead of doing homework (as we should have been) my brother and I sit down to come up with a list of books that fall into the "Ain't what it used to be" category, and here they are, in no particular order.

And please, feel free to add your own books in the comments!

Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate
Aliens are taking over the earth. Not that anyone knows about it...except for seven (I think it's seven?) teens. Actually, lots of people do know about it. But they're slaves, unable to do anything. It's only the seven teens who stand between the Yerks and complete domination of the earth. (I used to be obsessed with these books...hence the eloquent explanation.)

The Telling by Ursula K. le Guin
A lot of folklore and culture has been lost. Or rather, erased.

Earthsea series by Ursula K. le Guin
Knowledge has been lost over the years. Not that you know that unless you go back and read the books that are chronologically before Earthsea.

Bartimaeus books by Jonathan Stroud
The magicians of old used to be much more powerful.

Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
Knowledge has been lost, one way or another. One example is the olitheometer, however it's spelled.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
The humans are coming! The humans are coming! Run for your lives!! ...places where dragons can live have been fewer and farer between, and now the last quiet place that dragons have found to live is being encroached on by humans. Things aren't like they used to be for the dragons.

Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Spirituality has been neglected, and things are falling apart. Even though things are pulled back together again, it's not gonna last too much longer.

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
The fairies used to be more powerful magically, and they used to live above ground.

Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer
My brother has read this, and said it belongs on this list.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradley
I don't know anything about this book. Mom just told me that it belongs on the list.

Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Old Kingdom has fallen into anarchy.

Dune series by Frank Herbert
Lots of knowledge is lost over the ages. Unless my memory quite deceives me.

Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper ??????
We think that the light isn't quite as powerful as it used to be, but we'd have to reread it to be sure.

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan ????????????????
We aren't sure if it really belongs on here. It seems like it does, but we can't say why. Feel free to give your opinion either way! :)

NOTE: I have spread this out over two posts, because Blogger will only let me do 200 characters in the "labels". Agh. So you may view part 1 here, if you so wish.

"Ain't what it used to be" books, part 1

"The magicians of old were so much more powerful." "We've lost so much knowledge." "What happened to the Golden Era?" "Things just aren't what they used to be."

I made these quotes up, but they would fit into numerous novels. I was talking with my family this evening and we talked about how it's a common theme in literature -- that there used to be a Golden Era, or at least a time when things were pretty darn good, but that things aren't quite as good anymore.

So instead of doing homework (as we should have been) my brother and I sit down to come up with a list of books that fall into the "Ain't what it used to be" category, and here they are, in no particular order.

And please, feel free to add your own books in the comments!

Green Rider series by Kristen Britain
Knowledge of old magic was forgotten, and they need that knowledge back!

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Apparently wizards of the past were more powerful, on the whole.

Star Wars
Jedi were killed off. Enough said.

City of Ember by Jeanne DePrau
Exactly explaining would give the plot away...

Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini
The Dragonriders were killed off a hundred years ago, and an evil king has taken over. Things are definitely not as good as they used to be.

Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
Pern was colonized in the distant past, but over many generations much technology and knowledge was lost.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The elves aren't as powerful as they used to be.

Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
A lot of powerful spells have been lost or forgotten, or they simply don't know how to make the charms work anymore.

Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce
The Immortals used to be locked up in the realms of the gods where they didn't bother humans. But now the spell has been broken, and the Immortals are causing trouble. Unfortunately, the spell to lock them up again seems to have been lost... (There's much more to the story than this, trust me.) (Yes, I love it, which is why I'm devoting so much more time to it than the others...)

Bone by Jeff Smith
Anarchy, and other fun stuff.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Due to genetic engineering and some big time medical mistakes, the world isn't so great anymore.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Things are going downhill. Fast. Global warming, government falling apart...fun fun fun. Not.

Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan
Magicians used to be so much more powerful. But how is that possible?

NOTE: I have spread this out over two posts, because Blogger will only let me do 200 characters in the "labels". Agh. So you may view part 2 here, if you so wish.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What I'm reading

Out of Sheer Rage
by Geoff Dyer
Memoir

I'm reading this for school. It's one of those that I probably wouldn't have picked up if left to my own devices, but am definitely enjoying. To give you an idea of what the book is like, here's a quote concerning Dyer's girlfriend:
"We already had our shared motto, almost shared, more accurately, because whereas Laura's version was 'Together Forever' mine was 'Together Whenever'. Laura liked the idea of us sticking together 'through thick and thin' whereas I opted for the more pessimistic 'through thin and thinner'" (10.)
It is quite entertaining.


The Zen of Listening
by Rebecca Z. Shafir
Non-fiction

Another one for school. I mostly like it, but it does get on my nerves at times, especially when Shafir says that we have things harder in this day and age than any previous generations did.


Shogun
by James Clavell
Historical fiction

I haven't touched this book in several months, but I'm not willing to take it off of my "currently reading" list yet! I'll get back to it...eventually...maybe during winter break...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Poetry

"It is like watching a fire and seeing the first lick of flame along a log: you think it is about to catch but then it vanishes. You watch and wait for the flame to come back. It doesn't -- and then, after you have stopped looking, the flame flickers back again and the log catches" (109-10.)

This is Geoff Dyer's description of the birth of a poem in Out of Sheer Rage.

Out of Sheer Rage is a book about not writing a book. Yep, that sounds pretty weird. And this book is pretty weird. But it's also funny, with lovely gems throughout it. Like this description of poetry.

The narrator (Dyer? I'm not sure...) is reading D.H. Lawrence's letters in preparation for the book that doesn't get written, and in those letters finds the roots of poems that he is familiar with. For example, in one letter he finds a story about how Lawrence came upon an adder unexpectedly -- Lawrence wrote of this experience, "She often comes into my mind, and I think I see her asleep int he sun, like a Princess of the fairy world. It is queer, the intimidation of other worlds, which one catches" (109.) The narrator recognized in this story the roots of Lawrence's famous poem, "Snake".

(I actually just did an online search, and you can read "Snakes" here. It's quite an interesting poem.)

As a poet I find this discussion of poetry quite interesting. So I'd like to end with one last quote...

"Who can say when a poem begins to stir, to germinate, in the soil of the writer's mind? There are certain experiences waiting to happen: like the snake at Lawrence's water trough, the poem is already there, waiting for him The poem is waiting for circumstances to activate it, to occasion its being written" (111.)

I've thought before that there is a poem in everything, and either people just do not see the poem or that they do not equal to the task of setting it down on paper. What do you think?

EDITED on 11/9/10: I found out from my professor just a few hours after writing this that Out of Sheer Rage is a memoir, and that the narrator is in fact Dyer. Yes, this is a school book for my English class. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Note to self

Note to self: Book/movie titles should be italicized, whereas story/poem titles should be in quotation marks.

As an English major I ought to get this straightened out! I did it wrong on my last essay and my professor set me straight. I don't want to make the mistake again.

:)

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