Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gone Travelling

"Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic."

This Week's Topic:
When you need creative inspiration, where do you go?

I would love to say I take a walk through a forest when I need creative inspiration, but no, I don’t.  Unsurprisingly, I hate going out (oh writers!).  Sometimes the words just don’t want to come out, and I don’t go chasing after them outside.  There actually is a “forest” by my house but I rather not go out.  (Seriously, I should make it a goal to leave my house during the summer – ugh, I just really hate the heat.)

Instead, I travel around my house.  If I get tired of my room, I move to the living room.  It has a lot of windows so I can people-watch for ideas.  If inspiration doesn’t hit, I’ll move to the kitchen (which has a window too, yippee!). 

If moving around my house don’t help, I can always fall back on music.  I use music only for ideas not for writing.  If I listen to music while I write, I have to karaoke.  I try to not sing, I do, I swear, but then I start belting it out.  When I need inspiration, music does help though.  The creative juices start flowing and I start seeing light bulbs everywhere.

When I need inspiration for my main series, I listen to Alesana*.  They’re one of my favorite bands.  Their first album, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax, is based on Greek and Roman mythology, their second, Where Myth Fades to Legend, is based on fairy tales, and their third, The Emptiness, is a concept album, very a la Edgar Allan Poe.  Their lyrics are poetic and crazy so I always get lots of ideas.

If music doesn’t help, I know it’s time to stop trying.  I’ll watch tv or go on youtube (I love watching Vampire Diaries videos).  Once I’ve stopped trying to get ideas, they start forming.

What about everyone else?  Where do you go?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Marbury Lens Review

(This is the first review I've ever written.  It's probably a disaster.  I don't know how to gather by thoughts and arrange them nicely.)

Summary from

Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not.
Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds."

On Sunday night, I finished reading The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith.  For forty minutes after that, all I said was, “What the fudgesicle?!” 
Let me say it again.  Wait, let me say it a few more times.
What the fudgesicle?!  What the fudgesicle?!  What the fudgesicle?!  What the fudgesicle?!  What the fudgesicle?!  What the fudgesicle?!
I love this book for many reasons.

I loved Jack and Connor.  I love reading books through a guys’ perspective.  It’s always so refreshing.  Jack is so awkward, he seemed so real with all his insecurities.  And I love Connor!  Yes, he’s always making sex jokes but I like that he doesn’t let things get to him too much. I love them together the most.  They truly are the best of friends, and have each others' backs no matter what.

It disturbed me.  Reading about Jack’s kidnapping, and what Freddie did to him, it freaked me out a little bit.  I usually just read supernatural/Paranormal/paranormal romance, and stuff like that hasn’t happened in those books – or it has, but it’s just mentioned. 

The affect that it had on Jack was scary.
“Freddie Horvath did something to my brain.”
“F*** you, Jack”
Those lines are written over and over.  In the same paragraph he would talk about himself in the third person, then switch to first.  As if he were detached from himself, or losing his mind.  He became an unreliable narrator.
It’s brilliant!
And totally twisted!

Marbury.  Holy Batman!  Purple lens that take you to another world?  That is flippin’ awesome.  Yes, Jack is fighting to keep Ben, Griffin, and himself alive, but you have to admit, it’s so cool.  It’s a place for him to escape, a place for him to fight what happened to him.

I give this book 5/5 gold stars.  If you read this book, just a warning, you won't forget it.  It gets into your brain, it messes with you.