Bitterblue

Today I finished Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore –the third novel in the YA GracelingFire series. Since the plot revolves around a country coming to terms with the damage of their previous leader's totalitarian rein, it's a more serious, slower moving story than the first two.  Overall I enjoyed it though and felt like I'd been reunited with old friends when Katsa, Po, Raffin, Bann, and Giddon were in the story.

PS – I like the way Kristin Cashore treats issues like gay relationships, birth control, and sex in such a wholesome, sweet, regular way. None of these issues is a huge part of the story– in fact the sex is all off-scene– but instead each is just one small part of the many quiet regular pieces of life.

Bunheads

Has anyone else been watching Bunheads on ABC Family? It's written by the same woman who wrote Gilmore Girls and it's pretty much like a reboot of that show but in California instead of Connecticut.

Now Lorelei and Emily Gilmore are mother-in-law and daughter-in-law instead of mother and daughter and Emily Gilmore is a ballet teacher- hippy- Buddhist and Lorelei never had a kid at 16 and they have different names. Very surreal but kind of entertaining.

Week 1 of My Summer Writing Schedule

I met my goal of writing 3 chapters of my Dr. Peakywich story this week and earned a field trip Friday. This week's field trips were practical types of exploration. I drove to the dump in the morning, then after lunch took Metro to Takoma Park and checked out their co-op. It's nice but not that much nicer than the Silver Spring co-op that I can bike to.

Fighter

Since I’m going to Denmark and Sweden in July, I’ve been watching mostly Danish and Swedish movies for my Foreign Film Night. Last week I watched Fighter on Netflix DVD. It’s an enjoyable, low-key kind of Danish version of The Karate Kid. Danish teenager, Aicha, wants to study Kung-Fu but her Turkish immigrant parents don’t think Kung-Fu is appropriate for their Muslim daughter.

Why Are Women the Heaviest Users of Today’s Technology?

Slate has an interesting interview with Intel researcher Genevieve Bell. In Bell's study of technology adoption and gender, she found that women "are the heaviest users of today’s most widespread and vital technologies: the Internet, mobile phones (voice and text), Skype, e-readers, other e-devices, GPS, and all social networking sites except LinkedIn."

Bell points out that women tend to be responsible for the bulk of the social work in their families and have the least amount of free time.  Technology helps them do their social jobs better — like keeping track of birthdays and making it easier to keep in touch with relatives who are far away.

It also allows women to enjoy entertainment around the their few minutes of free time in their busy schedule.  According to Bell, this is why historically women are bigger book buyers than men, because books are a form of entertainment that a person can fit in during the few minutes she has between caring for others.  Bell found that now women are more likely to buy eBooks and download TV shows for the same reasons.

Bell offers a take on technology that rarely gets talked about in the traditional media.  Check out the whole interview here.

Mini Review for – Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success, by K.M. Weiland

My writing friend,Laura, recommended this helpful book about outlining. It’s basically an easy-to-read but thorough tutorial on how to plan out a novel without having to write out an entire draft just to figure out your story. 

There are chapters on the misconceptions about outlining, different types of outlines, and how outlining can help you plot better.  There's also a couple chapters on outlining and character building and outlining and setting.  Now I’m excited to start planning a new story so I can try out these techniques.