Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Here are my pics of the week:
1. A view of Pereira from Plaza Victoria (about a five-ten minute walk from my apartment)
2. Juan Valdez Coffee Shop
3. The "Shovel" Corner. Early every morning men gather at this corner with shovels, waiting for work. They're day laborers and get paid about $10.00 a day. (If the person who hires them is honest).
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I've been waiting to hear from my agent, who has been reading revisions of my manuscript. In the meantime, I have been researching my next book.
I received an email during a busy day last week that she the ms has much improved and she will have notes soon. She wants to try to make a go of it this fall. Everything else evaporated at least for a few moments. It is much improved. Those words echoed in the caverns of my mind.
It will all be okay. Isn't it funny how much my self worth is tied into my writing? Each manuscript contains pieces ripped from my soul and carefully sewn together thrown onto the reader for mercy. While I have come to appreciate criticism, at times I find myself doubting whether I have anything worthwhile at all.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Sarah Dessen, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER -- (YA/Chick lit)
Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl
Robert J. Sawer, WWW:WAKE -- Sci. Fi
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The wildly thought-provoking first installment of Sawyer's WWW trilogy, serialized in Analog in 2008 and 2009, explores the origins and emergence of consciousness. Blind teen Caitlin Decter gets an experimental signal-processing implant that inexplicably opens up her vision to the wondrous infrastructure of the World Wide Web. Inside the Web is a newborn webmind, a globe-spanning self-contained consciousness that is just becoming aware of the outside world. Secondary plot threads about a highly intelligent hybrid primate and Chinese bloggers battling a repressive government extend the motif of expanding awareness. The thematic diversity—and profundity—makes this one of Sawyer's strongest works to date.
Patrick D. Smith, A LAND REMEMBERED -- Historical Fiction
A Land Remembered focuses on the fictional
Orson Wright, THE VENGEANCE OF ARGIR -- Fantasy
It seems it's won awards etc. but I'm having a bugger of a time finding anything about what this book is about. If anybody finds out, I'll post!!
Susan Choi, A PERSON OF INTEREST -- Adult mystery/contemporary
Professor Lee, an Asian-born mathematician nearing retirement age, would seem the last person likely to attract the attention of FBI agents. Yet after a popular young colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee's detached response and maladroit behavior lead the FBI, the national news media, and even his own neighbors to regard him with damning suspicion.
Amid campus-wide grief over the murder, Lee receives a cryptic letter from a figure out of his past. The letter unearths a lifetime of shortcomings – toward his dead wife, his estranged only daughter, and a long-denied son. Caught between his guilty recollections and the scrutiny of the murder investigation, determined to face his tormentor and exonerate himself, Lee sets off on a journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past – and that might even win him redemption.Haruhi Suzumiya, THE MELANCHOLY -- "Light novel" (I found the definition of this offensive and will rant on a later post)
Apparently, though, it's now an Anime series and I haven't quite figured out if it's in book form, though it seems like it's a set of stories about a detective within one novel. As you can see, I'm not doing too well on my own investigations. Hmmm. This is what I get from the DVD reviews:
The Melancholy of
PEOPLE BOUGHT THESE BOOKS BECAUSE OF THE COVERS:
And finally, if you're interested in what goes behind a book cover (and what can go wrong), check out these articles and blogs about the latest book cover controvery over Justine Larbalestier's cover for her novel LIAR, LIAR.
Okay, the week of book covers, controversies, and all that goes with them is up (for now.) I'm off to swim with Amelia and play! Have a great weekend.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
We're not supposed to, but we all do it. And publishing houses invest loads of money in creating the "just right" cover that will capture the target audience's interest, then pass the cover through marketing, publicity and a whole slew of people who determine if it's the right look. So, I'm going to post six random novel covers. None of which I've read. And I'd like to know, for each cover, if A. You'd read it. (based on the cover alone) Why or why not? B. What you think the novel's genre is. and C. If you have any dreadful/awesome novel cover suggestions to post on the blog.
This week, I'll re-post and give a short synopsis of each book!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Getting used to the day-today life in a foreign country can be exhausting, and after twelve years I still hold fast to some of my very gringa ways. (You'd think by now I'd know ...) Anyway, I'm pretty much the only one I know who actually waits for the traffic light to change to cross the street. I play the human version of Frogger on a daily basis and have gotten quite good. (I say I'm good because of the fact that I'm still alive and have only been clipped once by a taxi. Yes. I was crossing on green and assumed I had right-of-way. Silly me.)
There's something fantastic about a country that has "interpretive" traffic signs and lights. I think the whole idea of the game Red Light/Green Light is lost on children here. In fact, thinking about it, I've never seen the game played. How could they play it when red, yellow, and green all mean go?
The only thing that stops traffic in Colombia are the cars themselves that, at a moment's notice, will stop in the middle of a busy freeway to a.) pick up a customer (if you're a taxi or bus) b.) drop somebody off c.) say "hi!" to a friend seen in the next traffic lane or on the side of the road d.) buy beer, coffee, chips or other things at the little corner store e.) go in reverse because of a missed turnoff and f.) or show a little affection for the passenger. (Ahh the Latin Passion). All of the aforementioned actions cause massive traffic jams as the cars veer into the next lane to avoid the stopped car/bus/taxi or horse cart.
Nobody complains .. well not much. I suppose they figure what the moron in the car in front of them does today, they'll do tomorrow. And as for groping one another on the freeway, I stick with Einstein's theory of freeway groping (almost as well-known as the theory of relativity): Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.