Archive for October, 2008

NaNoWriMo Starts on Saturday!

Hey readers,

November starts on Saturday and brings with it the countdown to Thanksgiving and the start of Christmas music season.  I am psyched.  But November is also a special month because it is National Novel Writing Month, or if you will – NaNoWriMo! 

For those of you who do not know what NaNoWriMo is, it is a challenge to people to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November.  If you succeed, you can upload your novel (scrambled-fashion) to the NaNoWriMo website and then you get your name on a page of winners!  Sounds exciting, right?  Well, no not really, but the real prize is that hey, you wrote a freaking novel!  Your novel doesn’t have to be well written or even any good at all.  It is enough that you sat down and got your creative juices running!  Yay for writing!  In some cases though, the novels ARE well written and good enough, so much in fact that they end up getting published!

If you are interested in participating, go and register here, NaNoWriMo.  If you want, leave a comment letting us know what you plan to write about!  I’m already busy writing a book (well, trying to at least), so for NaNoWriMo I’ll continue to write my book.  However, I will keep track of everything I’ve written during November so that I’ll get at least 50,000 words in for the month.  My book is about seventh grade (can you tell I love juvenile/YA fic?) and is currently being inspired by songs from the great singer/songwrite, Ben Folds.


Yeah, this guy is like blow me away awesome.

<3, lindsayF

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Must Remember This For When I Build My Own House

I have in my head at this very moment, the exact design for the house I will build when I finally win the lottery that I never buy tickets for.  But, after seeing what Holly Black has done in her home, I realize I need to revise my plans a little bit to include my very own Hidden Library.  My previous floor plans included a library, but now it will have to be hidden behind a bookcase.

Please go to this website to see Holly Black’s Hidden Library.  It is so much cooler when you think that she is the author of the Spiderwick books and lots of other awesome YA urban fairy tales.  Maybe since I have met her once, briefly at a conference she would give me a tour of her whole house….ya think?

Jen

Authors Who Are Awesome: John Green

There are certain things I love about living near “The City.”  And when I say “The City” I mean Naperville, IL.  Because Naperville is home to one of the best book stores in the entire country…Anderson’s Bookshop.

Last Friday I went there with my friend Abby to see one of her favorite authors, Mr. John Green.  I went along because even though I hadn’t read any of his books yet, he is young and hot and I’m always up for a road trip.

There were probably around 130 people crammed into the store to hear him speak and he bravely stood on a chair the whole time so that those of us in the nosebleed section up near the cash registers could see him.  Needless to say he was charming, well spoken, hilarious, complex, intelligent, and emotionally deep.  We waited around so he could sign Abby’s book and he was so friendly when we got up there even though he had literally signed 80 books before hers (probably more because some people were clutching all three of his titles).  He talked with Abby and then thanked me for coming even though I was just a straggler who hadn’t even bought one of his books.

I don’t remember everything he talked about when he was up there on that chair (I know it was all great) but I do remember he talked about the “in your pants” game.  I think it is from his book An Abundance of Katherines, but I am not sure, I am reading that one next.  But anyways, the way you play the game is you add “in your pants” to the end of any book title.  Mr. Green pointed out that two of his books work very well:  Looking for Alaska in your pants and An Abundance of Katherines in your pants.  I have been looking at my bookshelves and found some others:

Shel Silverstein’s The MIssing Piece in your pants

Andrew Clement’s Things Hoped For in your pants

Mary Higgins Clark’s Remember Me in your pants

Lesley Blume’s Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters in your pants

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in your pants

Oh my, it never gets old!  (Have I mentioned I have the maturity level of a fourth grade boy?)

Anyway, John Green is awesome.  Period.  He won the highest award in YA lit (the Printz) with his first book!!!!  And his second book got a Printz Honor (so close).  He has a new book out now called Paper Towns that is getting GREAT buzz.  Go to his website here and make sure to check out his YouTube channel because he is hilarious!  Also go to Abby’s blog to see a pic of her with Mr. John Green himself.

Jen

I Sometimes Read Adult Books Too…

I don’t know what has gotten into me lately, but I have been reading more and more adult books.  I honestly have read more adult books in the past month than I have in the past couple of years.  And even stranger, I have been reading adult nonfiction which is totally unheard of.  A couple of the books I read were really really fantastic and definitely warrant a blog post.  I was going to do a video blog, but umm, I think I would probably start crying 10 seconds into it (you will find out why soon enough).

The first book is kind of a funny story.  One day many weeks ago I was flipping through the channels on a Sunday and came across somebody I thought I recognized…..goodness me, it was Mr. Brendan Leonard!  He appeared to be traveling around in an RV with his family or something.  What I saw was actually a documentary that his brother and dad created when they went on a trip across the country with Brendan’s grandparents.  I sat there and watched a couple hours of it and it was great.  I laughed, I cried, and felt like I was a member of their family.

Well, The Ride of Our Lives is Mike Leonard’s (Brendan’s dad) account of the trip as well as a history of his parent’s lives and his own.  The book is a fast read that really captures what it feels like to belong to the Leonard family.  It is hilarious, sad, and touching all at the same time.  There is also a DVD in the back of the book that has scenes from the show that I saw.  Let me just say that the stars of the show (and the book) are Brendan’s grandparents.  His grandpa never stops making friends with strangers everyplace they go and his grandma swears like a sailor and drinks like one too.  If you need a break from all the kid lit, definitely pick up this book.

Now, the next book is very, very special to me.  It contains some of my favorite things in the whole world: cats, libraries, and small towns in Iowa.  The book is Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron.  Just typing the title makes me want to burst into tears again.  If you haven’t heard the story of Dewey, you must have been living under a rock (well maybe not really, but I am a librarian from Iowa, so I assume everyone has heard of Dewey).  Dewey is a cat who was thrown into the Spencer Library book drop on the coldest night of the year.  When Vicki, the library director found him, he was just a tiny kitten who was frozen to the bone.  Vicki decided that Dewey belonged at the library and he spent the next 19 years charming the socks off everyone who came in the building.

The book tells lots of funny stories about all the mischief that Dewey got up to while he lived at the library, but it also tells the story of Vicki’s life and the relationship she had with the special little guy.  This book was awesome in so many different ways.  It is great to read a book written by a person who truly loves cats.  Well, maybe not all cats, but definitely this cat.  It was very comforting to read about somebody else who talks to their pet and thinks that he answers back (I’m so glad I’m not the only one).

One of my favorite parts of the book was when Vicki talked about all of the “pilgrims” that came to Spencer to visit Dewey.  People from all over the country, and even all over the world came to bring gifts to the library cat.  Then literally in the next paragraph she talks about the guy who came up to the desk and said, “I don’t want to alarm you, but I just saw a cat in the building.”  I don’t know why, but that part just made me laugh out loud hysterically.

Now, I will say that I cried through about 1/3 of this book.  The last 60 pages or so were especially rough.  Unless you have a heart of stone, you will definitely need a giant box of tissues sitting next to you while you read this.

Apparently this book is on the New York Times Bestseller list, which is totally awesome!!!  I hope that people read this book and it gives them a new perspective on libraries and Iowa.  I would recommend this book to anyone, but remember what I said about the tissues, because we all know what happens in the end.

Here is a link to the Spencer Library’s page about Dewey.

Here is a book trailer I found on YouTube that I think is for the British edition of the book (the cover is different and the accent kind of tipped me off).

Jen

New Longer HBP Trailer!!!

So the International trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince just came out online today.  I have watched it a couple times and here are my thoughts:

1.  Michael Gambon does not make me hate him.  I think I am going to like him in this movie.

2.  Draco looks very dashing, like he should have looked the whole time.

3.  At first I thought Ron and Hermione were kissing halfway through and I started freaking out!  No, no no, that cannot happen until movie 7!!!  What are they think–oh wait a minute…..whoops, I think that was Lavender.  I’m okay now.

4.  I love the split second scene that shows Snape walking, no wait stalking, by the tables with his entourage.

5.  I am a big fan of the scene at the end with Hermione and Harry.  Although I think it is slightly out of character for Harry in book 6, I still thought it was funny and for once Emma Watson appeared to NOT be on the verge of tears.

So watch the trailer and see what you think about it.

Jen

P.S.  It totally snowed here today.  Not real-stick-to-the-ground type snow, but snow nonetheless.

The Final Season, I FINALly watched you

So The Final Season came out last year…or maybe a few months ago…I’m not sure.  But what I am sure about is that Amber and I (Lindsay) were extras for the championship game shots.  Amber told me that her parents had either gone to the movie in the theaters or watched it at home, and DID NOT SEE US.  Well, Mr. and Mrs. Amber’s parents (I do know Amber’s last name, but I feel I should probably not disclose it on this blog), guess what?  I SAW US.

I signed on to my netflix account today and saw that The Final Season was one of the new movies you can instantly watch.  So I thought to myself, why not?  It’s not like I have anything to do, plus it’s raining outside so I’m not going to go anywhere.

The movie is almost 2 hours long.  Seriously, 2 hours.  And while I liked the movie overall, I was kind of like…why do we see no background on Kent and Polly?  They have dinner once and then all of a sudden they’re kissing in his kitchen?  I mean, I appreciate the fact that they’re dating now or something, but there was like absolutely no lead up into it.  Same thing with Mitch and Cindy.  I thought Cindy moved awfully fast for an Iowa farm girl who rides her horse to the graveyard to visit her grandmother.  And Mitch was awfully sway into being a good boy instead of a big city bad ass.  But whatever.  The baseball was amazing, and that was what the movie was really about.

Oh yeah, are you wondering about the whole thing where I said I saw Amber and me in the  movie?  Well, I tried like crazy to get the pictures off of netflix, but sadly print screen and copy onto paint does not work.  If you know how to capture a picture off of netflix, let me know.  But if you’re interested, you can go to 1:37 in the movie, wait for Sean Astin to go out to the mound, and when they’re out on the mound, you can totally see Amber and me.  I am wearing a pink shirt, and Amber is wearing a white one.  When Sean Astin goes back to the dugout, you can totally see me and Amber again, this time because I stand up and move towards the stairs and Amber stands up to let me pass her and then sits down again.  EVERYONE GO WATCH IT NOW.  You only really need to watch the 1:37 to like 1:39 (just to see Amber and me).

You can also see some guys wearing the Z102.9 shirt that they gave to all of us for being extras.  They also gave us free lunch.  I believe I had a hot dog and a bag of fritos or doritos.  I believe Amber had the same.  Oh, and when they were doing all those scenes where the people are in the crowd and talking, they totally shot that like all at the same time, and they were all sitting in the same section.  Amber and I were actually sitting in like the second row from the dugout then, and the cameras were almost on top of us.  Like, if one of the cameras accidentally fell forward, Amber and I would have been squished.

Oh man, I’m really sad now that I can’t show you pictures.  I looked on youtube to see if there were any clips of the last game, but I couldn’t find any.  I’m sure they’re out there, I just didn’t look in the right place.  Anyways, that’s all I had for now.  😦

<3, lindsayF

P.S.  The reporter guy from Des Moines?  Totally Paolo from the Princess Diaries.  I remember I kept thinking to myself, “I wonder if he’d do my hair???”  Oh man, I’m totally lame.

Listen to this, fabulous readers!

AHHHH, you should all listen to the first episode of ICTeenCast–the podcast by teens of the Iowa City Public Library (and me and Jill)!!!! We talk about Twizzlers, Metromint water, Harry Potter conferences, The Giver, Twilight, inter-library gaming, and all sorts! C’mon it’s awesome! so is the IC teen blog, so start commenting on it, eh eh?

Listen on the blog @ http://teens.icpl.org

amberj.