Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Happy Festivus everybody! And for those of you who don't celebrate that, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Holidays, umm I'm probably forgetting some but whatever. I think you all get the drift.

Seriously, I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think I've ever been this excited for vacation. Except perhaps April vacation of last year after we lost our February vacation. (Stupid ice storm).

Despite my excitement, I'm almost unsure of what to do with myself. The first 2 seasons of Torchwood that I ordered came in today and despite the fact that I've seen them already, I'm debating watching the bonus features that came with them. I'm also considering reading, though which book I'm unsure. I still need to finish Boneshaker, but I also got a book from the library today, have another holiday book I want to reread just so I can review it before the holiday season is over plus I kind of promised Nick Mag that the next book I'd read would be Eldest, which I started a couple of years ago but never finished.

I also of course have the options of watching any of the movies I checked out from the library or writing in one of my stories. I have a few new ideas for short stories as well as longer stories, plus I've kind of neglected my NaNoWriMo novel the past month. Not to mention the other books I was working on before November came around.

Seriously there's just too many things to do and not enough time. What I really need is summer vacation. Right now.

I can't wait until Christmas day though. The excitement of opening gifts in the morning, and then of course my family is having a Yankee Swap that night, which will be nice. Then on Saturday I'm wicked excited because I'm seeing that new movie Avatar in IMAX with Ben, Nick, my dad, my sister and her 2 friends.

Anyways, I should probably go actually do something and stop thinking about it. Have a good Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Lovely Bones

Having just finished another book, I thought I'd do another book review. I was actually in the middle of reading a different book when I went to Walmart yesterday with my family and bought The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I had heard a lot about the book in the past and had been meaning to read it for awhile, so now seemed as good a time as any.

The Lovely Bones is a story about a girl who was raped and murdered. The story is told from the view of the girl- Susie Salmon- from her heaven. The story follows the lives of her sister, brother, parents, friends and her murderer in the years that follow her murder.

Its almost hard to describe how I felt reading this story. Unlike most of the stories I've read in the past, this book was real. A little too real at points. Alice Sebold doesn't hold back in this novel at all. All the pain, the broken relationships, the friendships made and lost after Susie's death are all things I can imagine happening in real life.

This book made me think in a lot of ways. It made me think of all the people who have been raped or murdered and how they must've felt in their last moments. It made me think about the families and friends they left behind and how hard coping with such a loss must have been, especially since most times the killer isn't caught. It also made me think about the effect one person can have on so many lives.

This book is a very poignant story but by the end there seems to be a lot more hope than at the beginning. The only warning I would have to anyone who wants to read this book is that the beginning is really sad, though things do become more uplifting as the story moves along.

This book is out as a movie right now, though I think it is still playing only in select theaters. I would like to see it, if only to see how it compares to the book itself.

Rating: 7/10 stars

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cirque du Soleil

This past Wednesday night, my dad and I went to see Cirque du Soleil: Alegria in Worcester. I had won 2 tickets to opening night through 104.5 WXLO radio station. Now, for the record, I absolutely love the circus. I've wanted to go since I was little and I have already stated multiple times that when I die, I don't want a funeral, I want a circus (although a fair/carnival will suffice as well). This was my first time actually going to the circus, unless you count the small one that came to Gardner a few years ago, which was pretty cool considering it was held at the national guard armory.

The show was amazing. Seriously, all the acts were incredible and the music was great too. I bought the cd for the show and have been listening to it almost nonstop since then (including as I type this). Seeing the circus made me decide that I want to join the circus some day. Yes, I realize, I have no circus worthy talents. That can be remedied, eventually. There's a trapeze school thing in NY. I'll go there, lol.

As this, (despite my desperate wishes), is unlikely to happen, I may have to suffice with writing a story in which the main characters are in the circus. I already have one in mind, and I stole the main male character from another one of my stories. The other story he is in has him as a 4 year old, the younger brother of the main character. I decided that when said character grows up he will leave his family and join the circus. Since I seem to have very little control over how my characters act in my stories (and no, this is not as weird as it sounds. Characters have a way of taking on their own lives, quite frequently in fact), the character, Sanders, decided that he is also kind of a punk when he gets older. Strange facial piercings and all. It should be an interesting story to write, however I should probably first finish the many other things I am working on, mainly the story about his older brother Altair, my NaNoWriMo novel and the short story I am working on now.

Anyways, I think I am going to go work on one of those now since tonight I'm going with my friends to watch the Geminid meteor shower. Hopefully we get to see some stuff because its going to be absolutely freezing outside!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Life After NaNoWriMo

With November over, and NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month) passed, I find myself trying to find things to occupy my time. Its not that I don't have things to do, because I definitely do. I have books to read, TV shows taped to be watched, the entire Chronicles of Narnia on cd to listen to, the rest of my NaNoWriMo novel and various other projects to finish writing and other things I could be doing. Instead, I find myself reverting to my pre-NaNoWriMo lazy ways, spending my time on the internet thinking about doing these things instead of doing them. For example, me writing this right now. I'm procrastinating. I doubt anyone other than myself will even read this, and if they do, it will probably bore someone to death. What I need is like NaNoWriYe- National Novel Writing Year or something. I wrote 50,000 words during November because I had a goal I wanted to reach, and a deadline to reach it. More importantly, other people were doing this too and I had something tangible to work for. Everything seems so much easier to put off when I don't have a word count meter to fill up like I did on the NaNoWriMo website.

Okay, I'm ending this post with a goal. Within 15 minutes I will go and do something. I'm still torn between continuing to read the Steampunk novel Boneshaker that I am in the midst of now, or working on one of my own stories. I will do one of these two things in the next 15 minutes.

Seriously this time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Post and The Maze Runner

Ok, so I've had this blog for awhile, but I haven't really done much with that. Now that NaNoWriMo has ended (successfully for me! 50,000 words in one month!), I want to start doing some blogging. Let's see if I can follow through with this. I'd also like to get back to writing newsletters, for any of you out there who read them (and I'll try and get Josh and Brad back doing them too if I can.)

Something I've wanted to do for awhile is write book reviews. I like to read. I own a lot of books (over 400 at my last count) and I liked to read book reviews. I also am very forgetful. I don't remember what happened in books or movies generally. I remember if I liked said book or movie, but details escape me so hopefully reviewing the books I've read will allow me to reread my own reviews and remember why I liked a book I liked.

Anyways, I just finished a book yesterday actually so I thought that it would be a good starting place for a book review.

The name of the book I'm going to review today is "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner.


When Thomas wakes up, he finds that he can't remember anything save his first name. All memories of his past have been wiped away.

Thomas isn't alone.

A group of about 50 other boys, perhaps more, have also found themselves in this same situation before. All of them now, including Thomas, the newest addition to the group, live in the Glade. The glade is a giant area, encompassed by a giant maze that, despite years of investigation by boys called "runners" seems to have no escape.

Every month without fail, a new boy is sent up into the glade to live.

Every week without fail, supplies are sent up to the glade.

Everything changes the day after Thomas arrives, when the first girl is sent up to the glade. Although the girl starts off her role in the story in a coma, she has a large role to play eventually.

When I read the inside cover of this novel, I immediately picked it up. I'll admit it- I'm a sucker for dystopian fiction. Probably a good 60% of my favorite books fall into this category.

The maze runner, while it shares many things in common with other young adult dystopian literature (children forced to do some type of survival on their own, a group of mysterious "Creators", similar to many other "evil" adult forces in other dystopian series) still has a lot of new and unique twists that kept me reading this book straight through without feeling like I'd seen this or read this before.

Most of the story revolves around Thomas, trying to remember who he is, or why another boy Gally claimed to have seen him during "the changing", fighting to become a runner because he somehow feels pulled to the dangerous job (strange blubbery/spiked/motorized creatures roam the maze at night and even occasionally during the day, killing any children they come in contact with), and finally trying to survive and even escape from this maze the children have been trying to solve for two years.

This book has a cast of believable characters. There's Gally- the "villain" of the children, who hasn't been the same since a Griever (one of those monster like creatures) stung him and he underwent "the changing", Chuck- a loveable if not a little bit annoying character who becomes friends with Thomas, Alby- the leader of the children who's attitude changes throughout the story, Newt and Minho- the two children whom Thomas becomes the closest to during the novel and finally the mysterious girl who has a connection to Thomas that neither of them can understand nor remember.

This novel certainly has plenty of excitement in it, ranging from when Thomas, Alby and Minho find themselves trapped in the maze at night, to the ending of the book when things become do or die for the children when they realize the "Creators" are about to put them to the ultimate test.

This book is the first in a planned trilogy by James Dashner, with the second entitled "The Scorch Trials" due out sometime next October.

Rating: 8.5/10 stars