Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hunger Games Song

If you guys haven't heard this newly-released song premiered for the upcoming Hunger Games movie then you need to. It's haunting and beautiful. I can't wait to see what scene it corresponds with. It's a partnership between Taylor Swift whom I love and The Civil Wars. I first came across The Civil Wars with their song Barton Hollow and listened to their song Poison and Wine while rewriting a scene in my WIP. They're absolutely fantastic and coupled with Taylor Swift are able to create a unique sound and a song that's full of emotion--aching and honest.

While I would have loved to see more sneak peaks from the movie I do like the simplicity and color scheme used in the video. It's simple so that you can focus on the song, as that's the main star here:

So what do you think? Do you like the song? Are you the kind of person to go out and get your favorite book turned movie soundtracks?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Greetings from Chile

Hola mi amigos! Greetings from Santiago, Chile! I am sooo stoked to FINALLY be on vacation, and a much needed one at that. While I’ve traveled quite a bit internationally this marks my first venture to South America. I’m also visiting my brother who lives here so it’s especially sweet.

I’m actually writing this the day before I leave but it will post (hopefully) when I am enjoying the beach and the fact it’s summer south of the equator and not the middle of winter! Hopefully I won't blind anyone on the beach with my lily white skin that's only seen the florescent office lights as of late! LOL.

I thought for today’s post I would share a poem from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. I’ll be visiting his house later in the week and that will surely bring a second post about the romantic poet. To give you some context, I'll be visiting the house he built in Santiago for his lover (code: mistress) and rumored inspiration for much of his poetry. To tide you over until I can report on the home and my travels please enjoy this beautiful poem from one of my all-time fav poets. This one comes from Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. I hate to admit that one of my favorites in this collection is actually the song of despair (how depressing do I sound!) but since I'm visiting the house that love build :-) I thought I'd share one of a happier tone. Enjoy!

I Remember You as You Were

I remember you as you were in the last autumn.
You were the grey beret and the still heart.
In your eyes the flames of the twilight fought on.
And the leaves fell in the water of your soul.

Clasping my arms like a climbing plant
the leaves garnered your voice, that was slow and at peace.
Bonfire of awe in which my thirst was burning.
Sweet blue hyacinth twisted over my soul.

I feel your eyes traveling, and the autumn is far off:
Grey beret, voice of a bird, heart like a house
Towards which my deep longings migrated
And my kisses fell, happy as embers.

Sky from a ship. Field from the hills:
Your memory is made of light, of smoke, of a still pond!
Beyond your eyes, farther on, the evenings were blazing.
Dry autumn leaves revolved in your soul.

Have you visited any famous writerly places? If so, where and which writers?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day!

I love a great speech or, rather, great writing and wordsmithing in general. During college, I took a class in “Persuasion: Analyzing Rhetorical Texts” and in it we examined quite a few presidential speeches. I don’t believe the layperson thinks “great public speaker” when you mention Lyndon B. Johnson but man oh man they’d be wrong. LBJ was a master of words and a phenomenal civil rights leader and advocate.

I know President’s Day is technically Washington’s birthday but I’m going to celebrate another president on this day (though props to you too, George!).

So as you enjoy the Federal Holiday I wanted to leave you with this tidbit of fabulous rhetoric and writing:

I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of Democracy. I urge every member of both parties, Americans of all religions and of all colors, from every section of this country, to join me in that cause.
At times, history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom.... But rarely in any time does an issue lay bare the secret heart of America itself.

LBJ goes on to urge Americans to support civil rights. He stresses the words of our constitution that all men are created equal and that those words truly mean, all people. So as you go about your day today, remember how far we’ve come and also how far we have to go. Pause and recognize the power of words because words can bring actions and actions mean change.

Who are some of your favorite public speakers?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sarah's Key: A Review

Here's the description: Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Okay, let me begin by saying I LOVE this book! Love, love, love!!! For starters I've never read a book quite like it. It's part historical fiction in that the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup did happen. It was eye opening and educational and, of course, heart wrenching so have tissues available. The book is also alternating perspectives but not in the typical sense. Author Tatiana de Rosnay alternatives from Julia's first person perspective to Sarah's third person perspective. On top of that, one event (Julia's perspective) is taking place in present tense. Sarah's story, however, is all in the past though written as it unfolds before her. This is no easy feat especially when you consider the book felt comprehensive and tight. It wasn't disjointed but, rather, allowed us to feel the rising tension more completely.

I believed Julia's character so fully. She encompassed that American abroad. What amazed me, however, was how de Rosnay had Julia evolve so completely and yet the evolution was so gradual you barely recognize it until you're towards the end of the book and you reflect back on the journey you've taken with this character.

As for Sarah, she had a fascinating tale. It's one that is vividly portrayed and made to feel so entirely believable that it's hard to image she's really a fictional character.

This book is going down as one of my all time favorites. I can't help it. It has just about everything you could hope for in a novel. My only critique is that de Rosnay let the end taper on too long. As readers we had hit the climax and the resolution. It seemed as if she didn't want to let it go, as if every minor loose end had to be tied up. Subplots, however, should have been tied up long ago. I believe if de Rosnay wanted to end the book with the same final pages, she could have gotten to them far quicker than she did. That said, you'll still keep reading because...well...it's been that amazing of a ride. And a ride it is.

So as my friend Liz said to me, I now say to you: "You must read this book!" And when you do, or if you have, you'll have to tell me how you liked it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Every time the Hunger Games is mentioned, I get excited. The newly-released movie trailer is certainly no exception so I had to share. I also let you all in on an AWESOME idea a friend of mine just shared.

First the new trailer:

Now, onto the cool, fun idea. I was recently out at dinner with a handful of friends (guys and girls) all in their 20s to early 30s. When we got to talking about upcoming movies it was revealed that every last one of us had read the Hunger Games! I find this particularly amazing considering it's YA fiction and also because of YA adult consumers, they tend to be more predominantly female than male. You can imagine my surprise--and excitement--to hear everyone so fantastically obsessed with this AMAZING series (guys included). What arose by the end of the dinner was a plan to jointly go watch the film...

...but someone has now just one-upped the night. The idea? A Reaping Party to get excited about the film and celebrate our love of literature. That's right, a "Reaping Party," people! You're to dress up as one of your favorite Hunger Games characters and your names are all put in a bowl and over the course of the evening if your name is drawn then there's a challenge and subsequent prize if you succeed. How kick a*s is that?

What fan events, costumes, or fan fiction have you ever participated in?

Monday, February 6, 2012

YA books come to TV

There's a new Hunger Games-esque pilot coming to a TV near you--and it's based on a forthcoming YA book series. You know me. I LOVED the Hunger Games so anything that even suggests the comparison will at least peak my interest enough for a look. It's called The Selection and here's what it's about:

Title: The Selection
Logline: Based on the forthcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, The Selection is an epic romance set 300 years in the future which centers on a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads.
Executive Producers-Writers: Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain; Warner Bros. Television

And then there's the Sex and the City prequel based on the YA series The Carrie Diaries. Here's the description:

Ready for the high school version of Sex and the City?
The CW has ordered a pilot of The Carrie Diaries, based on SATC author Candace Bushnell’s novel following young Carrie Bradshaw. The story tells of Bradshaw coming of age in the 1980s, “asking her first questions about love, sex, friendship and family, while exploring the worlds of high school and Manhattan.” Amy Harris, who worked on HBO’s original SATC, wrote the Carrie Diaries pilot.

Sex and the City back on TV (non-sindicated that is) definitely makes me smile. The early years of how Carrie and the gang ended up in NYC and met one another. Count me in.

What new TV shows or books are you looking forward to?