Thursday, February 27, 2014

2Cellos for a Thursday

Life has been full and blogging has fallen through the cracks. I've been writing a lot of blog posts in my head – I don't suppose any of you have been getting them? :) I hope to post another "Guess Where I Am" post soon, plus say something about all the audiobooks I've been listening to, plus, commend Amtrak for their wonderful new "writers in residence" program… In lieu of a more thoughtful post, here's an extremely entertaining five-minute break with 2Cellos, performing AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." I've seen these two gentlemen in concert twice, and for the record, they are just as good live as they are in their videos. Though sadly they weren't wearing guyliner or 18th century dress when I saw them live.

Hope to see some of you Tuesday evening at the Harvard Book Store with Marie Rutkoski.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

March 4 Event, Marie Rutkoski and Me, Harvard Book Store, 7pm

There's a new book coming out on March 4 that I'm wildly excited about, because it is just so wonderfully excellently super-good… It's called The Winner's Curse and Marie Rutkoski wrote it. Those of you who read my blog carefully know that Marie is a dear friend of mine, so I wouldn't blame you if now you're thinking, Oh, sure, she's going to say it's wonderful, because her friend wrote it – or even, Oh, sure, she's going to think it's wonderful, because her friend wrote it. This sort of dilemma arises when one's friend writes an amazing book: How to convince others that the book itself is amazing and I'm not just speaking out of love for my friend? Well, how about I bring in Kirkus Reviews to help me. From their starred review of The Winner's Curse:

"Rich characterization, exquisite worldbuilding and rock-solid storytelling make this a fantasy of unusual intelligence and depth.... Precise details and elegant prose make this world fresh and vivid. The intricate and suspenseful plot, filled with politics, intrigue and even graphic violence, features neither heroes nor villains; every character displays a complex mixture of talents, flaws and motives. Kestrel is an especially compelling protagonist, both determined and hesitant, honest and manipulative, ferociously observant and painfully naïve.... Breathtaking, tragic and true."

In case you're wondering, all those parts in the middle that I didn't quote are also glowingly positive. There isn't a word of criticism in the entire review, which you can read in its entirety here. I LOVE THIS BOOK. If you're eager for more details about what the book is about, I also recommend reading that review – it's nicely detailed but also somewhat spoiler-sensitive. If you want some details but not too many, only read the first four or five lines. By the way, this book is classified as fantasy because it takes place in a made-up world, but it's one of those fantasies which contain no actual magic. I mention this for the fantasy-phobes among you, although I suppose there's a chance not many fantasy-phobes are reading my blog, unless of course they are masochists *cough*. Also, if you'd like to look at some beautiful, spoiler-free, moody images that create a sense of the book, check out The Winner's Curse Pinterest board that Marie has created.

Marie is coming to Cambridge on her release day and she and I are going to have a conversation together at the Harvard Book Store at 1256 Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge (02138). On March 4 at 7pm. We're tentatively calling it "Marie Rutkoski and Kristin Cashore: Secrets, Power, and Love in Imagined Worlds." Yay! Please come!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In Case You Need a Two-Minute Break

(Those of you who can't see the video (of Benedict Counterbatch, Murray-arty, and Count von Count), go to my Blog Actual.)

Thanks to the ever reliable codename: Apocalyptica the Flimflammer.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Writing Moments

Revising, as I've mentioned, is really intense right now, so I'm making sure I take breaks whenever I need them. Today at midday, I decided I needed a walk to clear my head. However, it's 41°F (5°C) outside today, a heat wave the likes of which I've apparently forgotten how to cope with; I put on my longjohns, my wool socks, my arm warmers, my scarf, my hat liner, and spent the first few minutes dying of heat and pulling off layers. It's amazing outside! The river has been iced over for weeks, but today there's a sheen of melted water on top. The geese are walking around on the ice in the usual manner, except that it's more slippery today, so each step includes a little unsteady slide which doesn't seem to cause them the panic that sort of thing causes me. I suppose if my center of gravity were six inches off the ground and I had webbed feet bigger than my head and could fly, I wouldn't panic either.

Because of the sheen of water, each goose had a bright and perfect reflection, which is unusual for a goose walking on ice. They were drinking from the sheen of water, and it wasn't like the way a cat drinks water with quick laps of the tongue; it was more like a woodpecker somehow, or a drill. It was making a lot of percussive noise. The geese were marvelous, they were just the break I needed from writing. Then I noticed myself trying to find the right words to describe them and made myself stop, because that's not a break from writing. Then I noticed myself writing a blog post about how I went for a walk and saw some geese and tried to find the right words to describe them but made myself stop because it wasn't a break from writing, and made myself stop that, too, because that wasn't a break from writing either. Then I noticed myself adding the line to the blog post about how I just made myself stop writing the blog post… At which point I gave up trying to control my mind on my walk. I'm sure it was an excellent break from something.