Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Bee in My Bonnet

While out last night, I discovered that one of my classmates sorts people into Hogwarts houses (mentally) when she meets people. So we all started to ask what houses we'd been sorted into and I got Slytherin! I was incensed and when I asked why all she said is that's who you are. Most people were Ravenclaws or Hufflepuffs, and only one person was a Gryffindor besides herself. Poor Emily and I were the only Slytherins. So of course this morning, here at work, I had to look up the qualities that might indeed make me a Slytherin.
Slytherins tend to be ambitious, cunning, and achievement-oriented. They also have highly developed senses of self-preservation.[1] This means that Slytherins tend to hesitate before acting, so as to weigh all possible outcomes of a decision (and how these outcomes would personally impact them), unlike Gryffindors, whose chivalrous natures would likely lead them to react immediately and instinctively.

According to Albus Dumbledore, the qualities which Salazar valued in the students he chose included cleverness, resourcefulness, determination, and "a certain disregard for the rules." Dumbledore noted that all of these were qualities possessed by Harry Potter, who was in Gryffindor.

So what do you think? Am I a Slytherin? There certainly are some rules I disregard, but others I have a very hard time not keeping. And I don't think I have that high a sense of self-preservation. Even with all that, I am a little relieved not to be in Hufflepuff. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Writing Skillz

I know I've been neglecting the blog, and you poor souls who read it, lately. Perhaps you can take small comfort in the fact that I've been neglecting my correspondence, and consequently my correspondents, even more. I've been channeling my spastic writing spurts into work on a novel/project for my writing class and graduate degree. That's right, I'm writing a historical fiction YA novel (yes, I can already feel you judging me across the internet and in the future) based loosely on events from my family history.

Now here's the point where I waffle about whether or not to tell you more because 1) my paranoid self tells me someone somewhere could stumble across this blog and take my brilliant idea and beat me to a publisher and 2) my disloyal-to-my-family self knows that one of my noble predecessors would be made most unhappy to know I'm writing this story with this slant. But family scandals, particularly when they're removed by several generations, are so very juicy and difficult to pass up. And, I justify to myself, I'm changing most everyone's names and making things up freely so as to add some distance between reality and my story and to provide a veneer of privacy/anonymity. So how about this, I'll leave you a few clues and then if you really want to know (I'll measure interest by comments) I'll tell you more.

Though I would love to know what versions of the story you all know and, even better, what tidbits of history you can provide that will enrich my novel. On a side note, I feel so presumptuous throwing around the world novel. As if using it automatically means I'm claiming to be writing a classic work of fiction here (which may be antithetical in some people's views when it's combined with the term YA). I promise I have no such illusions, but a novel it is, or tries to be.

Anyway, on to the clues (which are undoubtedly more fun in pictorial form).

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C
(1,000 points if you correctly identify this clue and you are not Ali or Meg, sorry friends)

That's right. It's a story about everything I hope to receive in my Easter basket: a train set, towels, and Colin Firth.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Book Recommendation

If you liked Hunger Games, the Roanoke Island story (as in the historical incident), Firefly, and/or Up than this book is for you. I know, I know those things aren't very much alike, but hey I have eclectic tastes and I bet you all do too. And if you read the book I think you'll know why I picked those things. Well maybe not Hunger Games, but this book was a real page turner just like that one and its set in the future and there are some really bad guys and I just like that book too (don't mind my conjunction). I would tell you more, but where would be the fun in that? Pretty much my entire writing class gave this a thumbs up and let me tell you that does not happen all that often. But here's the real question people, how am I going to get my hands on the sequel?

And while I'm at it, the week before we read A Northern Light which was very different but also something we all enjoyed. A historical fiction mystery set in the Adirondacks that include a line like unto "Emily Dickinson was a genius. A damn sneaky genius." If I'd even had any doubts up unto that point, I would have been won over then and there. I did not have any doubts, however.