The Royal We

Narration is one of the most powerful tools in writing. Used properly, the narrator (or narrators) of a story serves as a conduit between the author and the reader, doling out important information and sometimes even speaking directly to the reader. Narration can be omniscient or subjective; subtle or blatant; relatable or not. Skilful narration can truly make a reader see the world through someone else’s eyes. There are as many forms of narration as there are books.

I'd like to see the world through his eyes.

I’d like to see the world through his eyes.

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It has been a rare, snowy weekend here in London. Most years, snow is rare, even in the dead of winter. Last year, I don’t think we got more than a few snowflakes that failed to stick. But Friday and Sunday were both delightfully snowy, leaving quite a few inches on the ground.

Clapham Common, just before sunset.

Clapham Common, just before sunset.

Both children and adults were out in droves, making snow angels, snow men (and more adult-themed snow-sculptures, ahem), and generally having a blast.

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Review: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races,
by Maggie Stiefvater

I discovered Maggie Stiefvater much later than everyone else. I would always see her first book Shiver while browsing at the library, but I’ve never been a huge fan of werewolves so I never checked it out. Boy, was I wrong. After reading this book, I believe that Stiefvater is one of the most talented YA writers out there at the moment, and I fully intend to add all of her books to my TBR pile.

The Scorpio Races takes place on a windblown island off the coast of Britain. Each year, throughout the month of October, vicious flesh-eating water-horses known as capaill uisce are drawn to the shores of the island. Those brave enough to catch and tame the horses compete in a race at the beginning of November, risking their lives for prize money and glory. Some live. Some die.

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Dinner Party: My Five Fictional Guests

So,  I’ve decided to host a dinner party, but none of my friends seem to be free! Dear me, what shall I do? I suppose I’ll have to invite five of my favorite characters from literature, instead. (This actually happens a lot….)

Who shall I invite? Only people from books shall do…

1. Jay Gatsby, from The Great Gatsby


Just don’t let him drive that thing
after he’s had a few to drink.

This guy has it all. Good looks, money, fast cars, mansions, a library full of (unread) books, swimming pools, lots and lots of money…you get the picture. Gatsby is also a man of hope and longing, forever pursuing the one woman he truly loved.  Honestly, his conversation might be a bit dull, but I’d mostly invite him to my dinner party because he’d make sure the champagne kept flowing. He’d probably encourage us all to go skinny-dipping in the moonlight and later, there might be dancing on the tabletops. Don’t worry, we’ll confiscate his phone before he can drunk-dial Daisy. Life of the party, this guy.

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Auld Lang Syne

I know it’s a bit late to be writing a New Year themed post, but I’m nothing if not an iconoclast.

This year, I had the distinct pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, and taking part in the Hogmanay festival with my husband, my sister-in-law, and one of our good friends.

Edinburgh Castle, seen at sunset on the last day of the year.

Edinburgh Castle, seen at sunset on the last day of the year.

At the stroke of midnight, with fireworks filling the midnight sky with light, the familiar strains of Auld Lang Syne filled our ears, sung from a thousand nearby throats. We sang along, filling the lines we didn’t know by heart with ad-libbed gobbledegook.

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Hello blogo-verse! It’s nice to see you. What’s that you say? I don’t call…I don’t write…I know, I know. But, you see, that’s all about to change! I promise.

Today, the lovely and talented Emmie Mears nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award, which was very nice, but had the possibly intentional side effect of making me feel very, very guilty about my absolute lack of blogging since…too long. So, in honor of being honored, I will make an attempt at being a better bloggerina! Promise!


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Sacrifice: Part II–Whedon-verse

Here’s Part II of my exploration of sacrifice in pop-culture. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to read Part I.


Whedon-verse: Buffy, Angel and Firefly

Joss Whedon seems almost as gung-ho about sacrifice as J.K. Rowling. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel, and Firefly, most of the characters–if not all–at some point sacrifice their happiness, their loves, and ever their lives in the pursuit of the three big S’s– Slaying, Saving The World and Surviving. Most of the time, these sacrifices are selfless and truly heroic, but Whedon goes out of his way to occasionally subvert the trope as well.

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Sacrifice: Part I

Happy Monday, everyone! I don’t know about everyone else, but we’re having some gorgeous Spring weather here in London, and I couldn’t be happier!

I finally got to the theater to see The Hunger Games. I read Suzanne Collins’ epic trilogy in the space of a single week last year, and was blown away by her lush descriptions, heart-racing pace, and heart-breaking characters. While I had a few issues with the movie adaptation, overall I felt the director remained faithful to the book in all the right ways.

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Seven Times a Lady

…and that’s a whole lotta lady.

In the interest of honesty, I will freely admit that I wasn’t going to post today. I have had three very frustrating days of attempted ideation that have resulted in zero new material. Zilch. Nada. My notebook looks a bit like something filched from a madman–crossed out lines and character names interspersed with scrawled timelines stuck between strange words and phrases like “neo-futuristic wasteland” and “grape jelly” and “dungeon time-shift.”

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Back when I was a semi-avid rock-climber (which mostly involved sitting around and watching more talented climbers climb) I noticed that climbers would refer to beta when discussing climbing routes. As the story goes, the term originated from one famous climber, Jack Mileski, in reference to an old videotape format replaced by VHS.

“Do you want the beta, Max?”

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