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Word Counts and Wimps July 20, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Life, Musings.
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Once upon a time, back in college, I got into sword fighting.  I learned to use live steel and to do a lot of practice work with foam padded weaponry.  I ran a kingdom of about 70 folks and loved it for years.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve given up on being there every week, running events and trashing my poor knees, but I still have a love for the sport of it.  I made foam practice weapons for my sons and we chase each other around the yard.  It’s exercise, but fun exercise.  Sooo…this brings me to the wimps.  The men where I work have heard tell of the swords and sword fighting.  There has been boasting and carrying on.  Today I brought the swords in for the work BBQ.  The only fighting that was seen was the swords being used to try to swat wasps out of the air.  When challenged they all had something to eat, somewhere to be, or it was ‘time to clean up.’  I’m amused and annoyed all at once, but it reminds me of folks in some of the books I’ve read lately.  Lot of talk and not much action covered several folks in Bone Crossed and in Prey, and I’m not sure how I feel about it just yet.  It’s a valid character type, as demonstrated by my reluctant coworkers, but is it bravery or stupidity that moves one from standing back and watching to action?

In other news the writing projects are puttering along.  CoWritten Instinct has gained pages lately.  My rewrite of Misery may be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  Whispers is nearly re-edited for the third time.  And my new WIP which has no name is 4300 in.  Many other ideas are bubbling on the back burner and all have their folder and a notes page for stuff to be stuck onto as needed.  It’s a good way to go, I think.  Just wish I had more time to spend at it, but I’ll survive.

Book reviews for Prey, Bone Crossed, Street Magic and Amazon Ink coming soon.



Wednesday Book Review: The Ribbajack July 15, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Book Review, Children Books, Fantasy, Young Adult.
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Genre:  Short Story/Mild Fantasy/Spooky

Age: Adolescent/Young Adult

Content: mild violence, mild romance, mild scares

Overall:  Buy or borrow

I really enjoyed The Ribbajack, both because Brian Jacques is one of my favorite authors and because the short stories are engaging and easy to read. Most of them have some sort of classic moral or didactic purpose to them which shows they’re classic cautionary tales with an interesting twist on them. They range from “the Ribbajack”, which is a cautionary tale about the danger of revenge, to “The Mystery of Huma D’Este” where a bully gets his comeuppance and “Rosie’s Pet” where a girl only learns to behave once she becomes a werewolf. The stories touch on themes children will face from bullying, abuse, and disobeying parents. The language is very regional British, which may give trouble to some readers, but the book would be a delight to read out loud. I think the tales would also be great fresh stories for any storytellers to use.

From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-Jacques offers six original ghost stories to follow up on Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales (Putnam, 1991). The title story is more grotesque than scary, and the ghost in “A Smile and a Wave” is inexplicably evil, existing only to scare the main character into wearing her detested coat. The most satisfying selections are “Miggy Mags and the Malabar Sailor,” in which a mongoose champions a young girl against her abusive uncle, and “Rosie’s Pet,” a preadolescent werewolf love story. The heavy northern English dialect used in the tellings would work well in an audio book, but may deter some readers. While this is an acceptable addition to general collections, true fans of the scary and strange will find more satisfaction in the short-story collections by Australian writer Paul Jennings, such as Unreal! (Formac, 1992).
Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Bellevue Regional Library, WA
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