Today I finished Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore –the third novel in the YA Graceling–Fire 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.
This video explains climate change and why we have to do something now if we don't want to be screwed — in just 15 minutes.
Watch it and pass it on!
(Here's the transcript, slides, and video if you prefer to read the info or want to spend more time looking at the slides.)
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.
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.
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.