Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox
In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren

In the past two weeks I've...

Glass HousesDragon's KeepBlue BloodsLeviathanArtemis Fowl
Glass Houses (Audiobook) ~ Rachel Caine
Dragon's Keep (Audiobook) ~ Janet Lee Carey
Blue Bloods (Audiobook) ~ Melissa De La Cruz
Leviathan (Audiobook) ~ Scott Westerfeld
Artemis Fowl 1, 2, 3 & 5 (Audiobooks) ~ Eoin Colfer
From My Library

And Bought
WarriorSteal the DragonGlass HousesStardustPersonal Demons
Warrior ~ Marie Brennan
Steal the Dragon ~ Patricia Briggs
Glass Houses ~ Rachel Caine
Stardust ~ Neil Gaiman
From Goodwill
Personal Demons ~ Lisa Desrochers
From Borders

Saturday, September 11, 2010

26 Days Later - A Blogging Recap

26 days of daily posts. 2 guest posts. 1 tired blogger.

In case you hadn't noticed, my posts kinda deteriorated there at the end. Even now, my brain's not quite in the right mode for quality work. I definitely don't think I have it in me for daily posts. At least, not without having planned everything out beforehand.

Even if the posts didn't take much time to compose, the planning and anticipation of writing them definitely cut into my other blogging 'duties'. For example, I have at least 1200 unread blogs from the past few weeks, 2 unread ARCs which expire in just over a week, and one ARC which gets 'officially' released this next Tuesday! I'm planning a mini-marathon this weekend to catch up as much as I can.

Now that it's all said and done, I'm ready for a vacation. I don't plan on disappearing entirely—got an In-My-Mailbox coming together and book reviews planned for next week—but I probably won't be posting much not having to do with books. Then again, you might all prefer that. Who knows? Well, you do, of course.

Still, if there's a post or two you've missed, you can check them out by clicking the corresponding image above. Or, if you'd prefer, you can find them named on my Previous Ventures sidebar down and to the left. And, as always, if you have questions, complaints, or insights, please don't hesitate to comment below

This is Vicki, over and out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Z is for Zadi

This post will be picture-heavy. If you have problems viewing/loading these, I apologize beforehand.

This is my cat, Zadi.

Zadi is a tad overweight.
But that just means there's more of him to love.

Zadi is often curious about new things
like camera cords.

He also likes stealing my desk chair.
But I can usually please him with a pillow beside the desk.

Or, if all else fails, he likes curling up in my other chair.
And yes, he's that cute all the time.

Zadi and I will have been together for 8 years this October. Why "Zadi"? Well, I didn't want to name him after food (Pumpkin, Reeses, etc.) and I wanted something original (not Tiger or Garfield). So I ended up using Scheherazade, which was the marching show I was performing the year I got him. Cher, Cheri and Hera are all obviously female, so I had to go with the final part of the name...thus Zadi.

Zadi is very vocal. He meows pretty much all the time, whether he wants petted, food, water, or general attention. He's quick to purr, though, and he loves having his chin rubbed. He loves lying on his back, and sometimes allows you to rub his tummy. But if he thinks you're going to pick him up, he's quick to turn over and bolt.

Possibly because of his weight, Zadi does not like being picked up. He digs his claws into you, tenses all his muscles, and tries to bolt whenever he gets a chance. This makes clipping his nails extra fun. Every once in a while, when he's in an especially good mood or there's no one else around, I can coax him into letting me hold him for a bit. Again, he usually does best on his back, his feet sprawled every which way, and me rubbing his belly.

As far as working goes, he doesn't seem to appreciate me being at the computer. As I wrote above, Zadi loves stealing my desk chair when I'm gone. Sometimes it seems like he's attracted to the warmth, other times he jumps up just before I plan on sitting there—like he's warming it up for me. Though he's probably not happy about it, I can get him to move easily enough (usually by threatening to sit on him or pick him up).

He doesn't often jump up on the desk (usually because of lack of space) but when he does brave the leap, he tends to enjoy lying on top of my mouse. With his size, he can easily encompass it. And then he enjoys pawing at my hand and hitting keys. Once again, threatening to pick him up (or actually accomplishing it) tends to get him back on the ground. ...Where his yowling recommences.

All in all, I wouldn't trade my kitty for the world. Sure, he's a little noisy, and doesn't like cuddling on any terms but his own, but he's soft, fluffy, and very loving.

Well? How 'bout your pets? Got any great stories?

A Z Movie I've Seen:

A Song About A Z Topic:

The Z Font:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Y is for YA


Young Adult (YA) literature isn't a new genre, but in the past 20-or-so years it's undergone a radical expansion that looks to continue for some time to come.

Growing up in the 1990s, I read some great Middle-Grade lit: K.A. Applegate's Animorphs, AVI's various historical novels, Brian Jaques' Redwall books... But around 7th or 8th grade, I began to want something more. Longer in length, more complex in plot and character, but still whimsical. I was able to find some books that fit my criteria, but they were few and far between.

Not finding anything of particular interest in the children's section, I started experimenting with Adult fantasy... But, while I don't regret reading them, I definitely wouldn't recommend them to anyone else that age. Sure, they were more 'stimulating'  length and vocabulary-wise, but they lacked relevancy. I needed characters my own age...thinking like I did...facing the same problems...

And following the Harry Potter phenomenon, I finally got my wish! Not only did books increase in length, but the amount of books starring teenagers doubled, tripled, quadrupled! Our libraries and bookstores had to create new YA sections...then move them to separate rooms/areas!

YA books have essentially 2 requirements: Main characters between the ages of 10 and 21, and subject matter consistent with the age and experience of the main character(s). Like Adult Fiction and Children's Fiction, it also spans the genres, offering Fantasy, SciFi, Historical, Contemporary, Horror, Romance, etc. Some common elements in YA books include: School, peer pressure, popularity, coming-of-age, budding romance, facing society, and self-discovery.

Because YA literature often deals with a character's coming-of-age and the terrors of entering society, it's not surprising that it appeals to older readers as well. Whether it's nostalgia for a lost youth, or a love of well-written insightful literature, it's not surprising to find adults grabbing these YA books off the shelves.

So, are you in on the YA train?

Some Y Movies I've Seen:

A Young Y Series:

The Y Font: