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Monday, November 25, 2013

Hiatus

Dear Readers,

I launched Sweets for Scribblers and Book Bandits almost exactly two years ago, on November 14th, 2011.

I began this blog to write a new chapter of my life.

I began this blog to write about this amazing thing called "writing."

I began this blog to rave about my favorite books.

I began this blog to publicize library events.

I began this blog to share what I learned about writing during college.

And in three weeks, I will graduate with my Bachelor's Degree in English, Emphasis Creative Writing, from Regent University. Now I need to evaluate my career goals and make the transition from student to adult. I need time to think and to write my own stories. To live my own stories.

The time has now come: I must take an indefinite blogging hiatus.

I have learned so very much from this blog--and from you, my dear Scribblers and Book Bandits, in your emails and comments. Thank you for reading and writing with me.

I have loved sharing my words with you every Friday, then every Monday.

And I still do.

So maybe I will again? Surely, at some point in the future. But for now (for however long "now" lasts), this is goodbye.

So long! Keep scribbling and reading.


P.S. Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 18, 2013

YA Book-to-Movie News Roundup

Interno di un sala da cinema


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ender's Game premiered Nov. 1, 2013.

The Book Thief premiered Nov. 8, 2013.

Catching Fire premieres Nov 22, 2013.

Divergent premieres Mar. 21, 2014.

The Maze Runner premieres Sept. 19, 2014.

I, for one, love to watch as Hollywood discovers YA Fiction. 

The Lakeport Cinema is doing a special double-feature for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire on Thursday, Nov. 21 for $12. What a fun event for a family outing!

The Mockingjay movie (third in Hunger Games Trilogy) will be split into two parts (thanks to screenrant.com for the news). Boo! The book isn't long or detailed enough to merit the split, but Hollywood WILL MAKE THEIR MONEY, Y' HEAR?

The Divergent movie trailer looks good! Much better than the teaser trailer did. I read Divergent in one sitting when I should have been doing homework, which speaks to its thrills and pacing. This book also packs a thematic punch, which I love, but it has some plotting and worldbuilding problems. But! Check the new trailer:



Thanks to GreenBeanTeenQueen for the news.

The Giver, a classic in Children's Literature, is also being filmed and is scheduled to premiere on August 15th 2014 (thanks to ropeofsilicon.com for the news). The book is a wonderfully lyrical, disturbing Dystopia by Lois Lowry (a prolific author of several critically acclaimed children's and young adults' novels).  Many famous actresses and actors populate this cast, including Meryl Streep. Exxxxcited! Certain readers, however, are rumbling about Hollywood's choice to cast a 24 year old actor for Jonas, the 12 year old main character of the book. Personally, it doesn't worry me too much--Hollywood can remake Jonas into a teenager without impacting the story line too much. I hope.

Though filming for The Maze Runner is over, the director protracted the release date until September 19, 2014 (thanks to Hypable for the news). Again, boo. But maybe that's a good thing--we wouldn't want an undercooked film, after all. I enjoyed the trilogy, which is why it made my 2013 Summer Reading Recommendations. If you want to read my book review + craft post on the trilogy, you can click here. By the way, have you seen these Maze Runner trading cards?

*11/21/13 Update: I forgot to mention that the film adaption of Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now premiered on Oct. 4th 2013.

Photo Attribution:
I, Sailko [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/), CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, November 11, 2013

8 Things for Christian (and Other) Parents to Love About Twilight

I'm not a parent...but I was a teenager during that first humongous Twilight boom and I really enjoyed the books. I've just reread the first book to see if all the criticisms about it are true. Coming back to it as an older person, more experienced reader, and aspiring writer, I can understand the criticism; but there's been plenty of that. It's time to give Twilight a little well-deserved lovin'.

*By the way, this post contains some spoilers. But if you're reading these words, you've probably either already read and love/hate the book, or you are curious about its content. So read on!

Bella and Edward As Teen Role Models (Don't laugh, yet.)

 

1) Bella and Edward wait to have sex until after they get married. I mean, seriously, do you want your sixteen year old having sex with her boyfriend? How about her second or third boyfriend? No? Then Bella and Edward can be an example in this regard.

2) Edward is a respectful, old-fashioned kind of guy. He respects Bella's dad Charlie, and he's actually the one in the relationship who insists on marriage before sex.

3) Bella is a responsible young adult. She finishes school essays several days before their due dates. She reads literature. She shops and cooks for her father. She was ready and willing to buy her own car with her own money. Are you liking this, parents? She's actually not a bad role model, in a lot of ways.

Spiritual Matters

 

4) This book touches on a few spiritual matters. During chapter 14, "Mind Over Matter," Bella asks how vampires might have originated. Edward replies,

"Well, where did you come from? Evolution? Creation?
Couldn't we have evolved the same way as other species,
predator and prey? Or if you don't believe that all this
world could have just happened on its own, which is hard
for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the
same force that created the delicate angelfish with the
shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both
our kinds together?"
 
I thought this was a beautiful way to suggest the question of origins to a teenager. This idea appears in few books, much less in Teen lit where it should be since teens are still feeling all this out for themselves. (Check out this video, around the 5 minute mark, for a minute long overview of Stephanie Meyer's religious views, and how they impacted her book.)

5) The books don't glorify the blood-sucking, evil sides of vampires. I haven't read Dracula, so I know very little about the classical metaphors, etc. But I do know that these are "vegetarian vampires," meaning they've found a way to control their thirst without drinking the blood of humans. Edward worries about his soul. These don't sound like the dangerous, evil vampires that Christians worry might influence the minds of their children. And anyway, most kids know the difference between fantasy and reality. Twilight won't demonize the minds of your children. I understand that this is a personal opinion, though. If you aren't comfortable with it, I won't try to convince you any farther.

Good Reading Experiences



6) Moms and daughters can read and enjoy these books together. It's been done. Seriously.

7) It'll get your teen girl reading! What's not to like? One positive reading experience can easily lead to another. Would you rather your daughter be watching TV or reading Twilight? By the way, Twilight is a pretty big book for a reluctant reader to pick up (my copy has 498 pages and rivals a few of my Bibles in thickness). If they're reading it, I say give 'em a gold star.

8) The classical references throughout the series spur teens on to read and listen to the classical sources. How do I know? Because I read Wuthering Heights after Twilight piqued my curiosity about it. I didn't like "the classics" back then, but Twilight helped me along. And if it makes your teen curious about vampires? Tell her to read Dracula. That's kind of a classic, you know?




Before I leave you to consider these things, let me tell you that the books are NOT the same things as the movies. I really...dislike the movies. But I like the books. And before you decide you don't like the books, give them a fair trial, please.

Monday, November 4, 2013

2 New Book-To-Movie-Trailers

Another new Catching Fire Trailer, this one with some exciting glimpses:



Also, another book trailer for The Book Thief movie (yippie!):



Thanks to GreenBeanTeenQueen for the news!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Library Events and News (Including a Book Sale!)

Hey Scribblers and Book Bandits!

Three things for Lake County library geeks:

  • Tomorrow is the Fall book sale at the Lakeport Library, from 10-3pm. Paperbacks sell for $.50, hardcovers for $1.00. I've gotten all kinds of great books there--Catching Fire, Mansfield Park, several Harry Potters, Jane Eyre and others. Check it out, if you like books!

  • Also, Jan Cook, one of the librarians, gave me permission to post her helpful library events calendar for November. I'll be posting these every month. Thank Jan when you see her at the book sale!

  • And finally,  the library is putting together a newsletter. You can sign up for it here. Look for the "subscribe to our email list" logo on the right side of the page.
Enjoy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Three Goodies: New Narnia, TTT & Self-Publishing Done Right


I have three announcements!

First, the next Narnia movie is in the works: The Silver Chair!

Second, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced the Teens' Top Ten Winners- Woot!

For a list of the books and other information about Teens' Top Ten, check out YALSA's website page, or this post in which I explain why I love the TTT competition.

And, finally, earlier today the blogging sensation Nathan Bransford released his first self-pubbed book, a writing guide. Happily, Bransford presents writers an example of "the right way" to self-publish for a large audience. He hired two editors, a cover designer, the whole shebang to prepare his book for the public. I haven't read it yet, but I certainly will.

Monday, October 21, 2013

NaNoWriMo Perspectives and Helps

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1981-076-05A, NSV-Mütterheim
Just picture it: you are your newborn
(novel).
Hello, Scribblers and Book Bandits,

If you are considering doing NaNoWriMo this year, welcome to a smorgasbord of perspectives on the matter! Every year, as October comes to an end, I post about this month-long literary celebration. Here are a few old posts and a few new ones for Wrimos to digest.

Last year, I posted a pre-NaNo roundup of great resources. They are still helpful, so feel free to check them out. The post by Mary Kole gives the positives and negatives of the exercise.  Nathan Bransford offers helpful resources in his post, such as his "NaNoWriMo Bootcamp." The experienced story consultant Lisa Cron talks about how to avoid the pitfalls inherent in a month-long noveling stint. Martha Alderson tells us how we can pre-plot our novels in preparation for the event.

This list of genre descriptions from Agentquery.com can help you discover and decide the genre of  novel-to-be.

Lisa Cron writes on the subject of NaNo once again, this time advising writers about how to prep your characters.

And, finally, young adult author and illustrator Ingrid Sundberg gives her own five tips about how to prepare.

So far, most of these posts have been supportive, if realistic, perspectives. But not everyone feels that way about NaNo, which is something important to consider. Maggie Stiefvater, who has tried NaNo in the past, 1.) rants about it (hilariously) in her annual "Dear John" letter, and 2.) explains why she dislikes it and why no one needs it.

As with everything else, we have to decide for ourselves whether NaNo can be a helpful part of our writing process. I'm in the midst of trying out the insane-outline approach to noveling, so I will not be taking part, at least in the traditional sense. What have you decided?

Photo Attribution:
Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1981-076-05A / Höss / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons