Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: The Chaos of Stars, an orangutan, and Radioactive

This will be the first time I've participated in What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, and I'm delighted to join. Lovely ladies both.

What I've Been Reading: 

Well, most recently I just finished an ARC of The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White. (I'll be giving it away in August.) I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up other than my initial infatuation with the simple yet beautiful cover, but the first line grabbed me right away and off I zoomed to a world of mythical beings and ancient gods.

The Chaos of Stars is not like other mythological based YA lit I've read. It's not a retelling in any sense, but rather a continuation, and it makes sense to me that these characters and the events that unfold could happen if those myths were real and the gods still roamed the earth, hidden in plain sight.

The MC, Isadora, is the daughter of the Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris--but there's a catch: she's human. Because of that, Isadora has all kinds of typical teenage daughter issues with her parents, but on a scale that is quite beyond that of the "typical teenager."

To me, the book read as a testament to the trials inherent in any family and the ultimate love that parents have for their children despite their differences. Although I'm happy to report that my family doesn't have any of the murder or betrayal that Isadora's immortal family does.

At the moment I am reading Reboot by Amy Tintera and enjoying it. It's too early for me to tell what will happen but I have a sneaking suspicion there will be romance and some butt-kicking action. The blurb on the back of the cover reminds me of Divergent and the ARC I recently gave away and reviewedThe Brokenhearted.
Now that I'm a Reboot: I am faster. I am stronger. I heal quickly. I don't cry. I follow orders. Until now.  
Intriguing, no? I thought so. I have a cache of other books (YA or otherwise) just waiting to be read and reviewed or given away, and to be honest, it is quite overwhelming. I've taken to splitting them up and putting them on separate shelves so I don't get the figurative stink-eye from more than a few at time, depending on which direction I'm looking. Is it bad that I give my books personification? Because sometimes I think they really do have personalities.

What I'm Writing:

Not to bore y'all, but I haven't been writing anything fictional this summer. I've actually been doing more research (Yuck! Help! Research!) into the characterization of animals and their "uses" in fictional works as either vehicles for ideas or balances for the bad qualities of a main character. I am doing this research in hopes of writing a more detailed paper on the relationship of Forrest Gump to the orangutan Sue, in the novel.

When I wrote my thesis, I focused on this relationship for about ten pages but all of my committee members (who are doctors of English, so I have to believe them, don't I?) said that that section was their favorite and suggested I develop it further. In all honesty, I, too, thought I made good points and considered it my favorite area as well, but since I was trying my hardest to sell them on the awesomeness of my entire thesis, I brushed the idea under the rug. I wanted to pass, after all.

Now that it's summer and graduate school is looming ever closer, I have decided to take the idea off of the back burner. So there you have it. What I've been writing. Or in this case, pre-writing, since I'm mostly doing research.

And as I type this I have a document open to one of my old WIPs, re-reading it and cringing at some of my descriptions. Goodness, it could use some TLC.

What Else I've Been Up To: 

Working. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I work (worked, now) at the Education department of my university and I was basically a lab fixture for two years. This summer was my last semester in that lab assistant position for one of my favorite classes ever (EDM310, check it out, Dr. Strange is awesome). Now that it's over, I'm a little depressed. I'm going to miss that job.

Starting in August I will be working in the Writing Center as part of my GA position, but a part of my heart will always be in EDM310.

Let's see...what else. I've moved into a new apartment and this time I have a roommate. I love her though so I don't foresee any issues. We met in EDM310 as coworkers and she jokes that since because I and the a few others have graduated and she is still working there that she might pay me to read some of her assignments because she'll have so many to do. Ha!

What Inspires Me Right Now:

I've been on a YouTube kick for the past two weeks. If you haven't seen Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix's new video cover of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, then please watch it right now. I'll wait. I've even embedded it for your viewing ease.

Now, go watch all of the videos related to this one and you'll see what I've been inspired by lately. Oh this song makes my skin tingle and soul squirm. I can feel it inside me, oozing out of my pores to the soaring violin and beats.

Until next time...

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