Monday, 29 August 2011

Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes . . . Oh My!

Last tuesday we all heard about the earthquake in Virginia that was felt VERY far away. I looked at a map that had a bunch of dots locating where it had been felt. It was felt as far east as Fredericton, New Brunswick, as far north as Sault St. Marie, Michigan and as far south as some place in Florida. I felt it here in London, Ontario. It was actually the second earthquake I've felt in 1 1/2 years. The first one I felt in June 2010 while studying in the basement for an exam. It felt really weird, as if I was about to topple over, except that I was sitting down. The computer was shaking, it felt like someone was pushing the couch and the plants were shaking too. Once that was over I texted a friend and said "My house just moved!" and he said "I'm sure it's your imagination" We went on arguing whether or not it had been an earthquake when that night the newspeople said it had indeed been an earthquake and I had proved him wrong. Then there was the one on tuesday. I was above ground for that one. As soon as I felt it I knew what it was. The computer was shaking, the desk was moving and I was freaking out then too. I thought it was a delivery truck at first (I was at work), but then decided that if it was a delivery truck the computer should not be moving.

Last sunday there was a tornado in Goderich, Ontario that ripped through the downtown area and basically destroyed the city. People are still receiving aid and there are lots of volunteers helping out. A very, very old church (I forget the actual age) that has stood in Goderich for over a hundred years must be torn down due to the damages.

Now there's Hurricane Irene. This thing is just ravaging the eastern coastline. It's now up near Labrador, Canada but it has certainly left a trail of damage. Pouring rains and whipping winds. Flash floods, mudslides, and everything in between. When the newspeople say stay indoors, they mean it! Although, I'm not sure why they would have weather people standing in the pouring rain telling people to get inside and that it's too dangerous to be outside while they're clearly standing outside in the weather . . . A little pointless.

This seems to be the week for disasters. My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by these events, and any other weather event that have ripped their way into our lives. For those in Goderich: keep faith. For those affected by Irene: keep safe. For those affected by the earthquake in Virginia: keep away from nuclear power plants.

Quote of the day: The truest help we can render an afflicted man is not to take his burden from him, but to call out his best energy, that he may be able to bear the burden. - Phillips Brooks

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Platform Building Campaign

There are so many cool writerly things in the blogosphere!!

I've decided to become a Campaigner for the first time! It's a wonderful place for writers/bloggers to get together and help each other build each other's platforms. It's a great way to meet new people, possibly some old friends, and get in touch with even more people in the blogosphere! Sign up ends August 31 so join now!!! . . . Please? It's being hosted by Rachel at Rach Writes.

Quote of the day: There are three kinds of people; those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those who don't know what's happening. - Proverb

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Text Books

Yesterday I finally bought the text books I will be using for university this year. There are sixteen in total, and that's only for four courses. Two of my courses don't even have their booklists up yet so I don't know if I need to get anything yet. My text books include Emma by Jane Austen, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Odyssey of Homer by Homer, and others. I'm super excited to read these!! Also, there is an off-campus student barbecue on saturday with free food, live music and an info session so hopefully some of my questions will get answered before orientation (frosh) week. I'm looking forward to university more now that it's getting closer. Two weeks left!!!

Quote of the day: There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live. - John Adams

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

From Amazon:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight. She's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the kings thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Pos friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Graceor about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

This is the debut novel of Kristin Cashore, one of my favourite authors. It has a very compelling story and a wonderful romance between the two main characters. The romance story easily beats out Twilight, in my opinion. Any romance that involves one of the people watching the other person sleep through a window, isn't a romance. And Graceling has none of that. The friendships are real and, most importantly, the characters are real. The beginning of the romance was a bit fast, although it started out as a friendship so it didn't just appear out of the blue. The plot is also very engaging. I found myself happy, sad and tense right along with the characters. There is a plot twist near the end of the book that always takes me by surprise, even though I've read it four times now. The epilogue is also very satisfying. All in all, it is a very good fantasy book and I highly suggest it to anyone who has a love of the genre, or anything historical.

Quote of the day: "I have no doubt that you are more than capable of bringing the Monsean queen and my son and the rest of my sons and a hundred Nanderan kittens through an onslaught of howling raiders if you chose to." - Kristin Cashore, Graceling

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

From Amazon:
Sherlock Holmes is not only the most famous character in crime fiction, but arguably the most famous character in all fiction. In sixty adventures that pit his extraordinary wits and courage against foreign spies, blackmailers, cultists, petty thieves, murderers, swindlers, policemen (both stupid and clever) and his arch-nemesis Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes, together with his faithful sidekick Doctor John H. Watson, proves himself to be not only the quintessential detective but also the most engaging and entertaining company any reader could ask for.

Despite my love of nineteenth-century fiction this was the first time I ever read Sherlock Holmes. I had always thought it would be interesting to read but never really acted upon that curiosity. The new Sherlock Holmes movie that came out in 2009 (not so new now I suppose) rekindled that curiosity once again and I was even more curious about Holmes. I finally finished the complete collection by Penguin (there are over 1000 pages in total) and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I've always loved mysteries, especially since reading Nancy Drew, and this only fuelled that love. Holmes is a very interesting figure living in Victorian England. He's a very no-nonsense-stick-to-the-facts kind of guy. He is very intelligent (although he claims his brother Mycroft is even more intelligent) and has many interesting ways of getting his facts. All but two of the fifty six short stories and four novels are from Watson's point of view and he does his part spectacularly. I was really drawn in and was immersed in Victorian England. It's no wonder why Sherlock Holmes is one of the most celebrated detectives of fiction. I certainly recommend Holmes' adventures for any mystery lovers.

Quote of the day: "We must fall back upon the old axiom that when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Feelings

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
This is how I feel right now with University being just under four weeks away. As you can see, I'm freaking out just a little bit. I'm scared to get lost, that I'll be late to any or all my classes, the classic "I won't make any friends" and that I'll get overwhelmed by the workload plus part-time job plus writing plus lack of social life.

BUT (and this is a HUGE but) I'm excited to move on, get away from highschool, learn some brand new things, expand my horizons and try out my new people skills!

Recap: Scared of just about EVERYTHING there is to be scared of and also excited to learn new things and meet new people.

Quote of the day: "Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last." - Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Red Circle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pottermore!

Today is the third day for registration at Pottermore! I heard the clue would appear on the site at 3:00 am my time, so I woke up at 3 am and waited. And waited. At 4:00 I checked. Nothing. I was a little cheesed off, I must admit. This morning at 6:08 am I checked the website and there was the clue! It was from the third book (clearly, third day) and I was freaking out as I flipped through the book. I was sent to this website where it was announcing the beginning of Pottermore and I was freaking out AGAIN because I couldn't find the magic quill! Then I DID find it! I had to make it levitate but putting the mouse underneath the feather. It was certainly much harder than it sounds! And so I signed up and received my registration e-mail after half an hour of more waiting. I am now AurorQueen77!! Now all I have to do is wait so more for my welcome e-mail allowing me to enter the website. SO PUMPED!

Is anyone else excited for Pottermore?

Quote of the day: "I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me." - Harry Potter