Did you really read it?

Krystie Lee Yandoli lists 22 books at Buzzfeed that “you pretend you’ve read but actually haven’t.” The story notes a Guardian survey that suggests that most people lie and say they’ve read these classic books to seem smarter.

Madam Bovary

 war and peace

Actually, I’ve read 19 of the 22 books they list, easily beating my husband’s 13. I apparently have led a sad and sheltered life where all I do is curl up in a corner with a book and try and imagine that the real world doesn’t exist.

 The list is interesting, the text mostly silly.

 How about you, how many have you really read?

 Books you might have read

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BuzzFeed offers another list of 22 books based on an interesting premise — ‘if you liked this book as a child, you would like this adult book.’

 22 Books You Should Read Now, Based On Your Childhood Favorites

 Arianna Rebolini offers some interesting pairings. For example,

RomanaCakeIf you loved Ramona Quimby, Age 8, you should read Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake: We all loved Ramona Quimby because she was relatable, a little strange, and always hilarious. Same goes for Sloane Crosley, whose sharp, endearing, and laugh-out-loud personal essays tell stories of angry bosses, misadventures at the Museum of Natural History, baking mishaps, and more.

 

YolenButlerIf you loved The Devil’s Arithmetic, you should read Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred: Both novels use time travel to illuminate horrific moments of history,  The Devil’s Arithmetic sending its protagonist to the Holocaust and Kindred sending Dana to the slave quarters of antebellum South. Dana travels back and forth, though, jumping between her happy life in California and life-threatening experiences as a slave until she figures out what she’s being sent back to do.

 

If you loved…

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These pictures are what dreams are made of…

 Elena-Shumilova-sleigh

by Elena Shumilova

Elena-Shumilova-lakeby Elena Shumilova

 Wonderful photographs by Elena Shumilova plunge the viewer into a beautiful world that revolves around two boys and their adorable dog, cat, duckling and rabbit friends.

 A world in a farm

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10 of the Sexiest Poems for Literary Lovers

 Happy birthday to 20th-century poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay!, From Flavorwire: A master sonneteer, Millay is also known as an iconoclast and libertine. Her works exploring the nature of romantic and erotic desire (especially between women) inspired us to search for other sexy poems for literary lovers.

adrienne-rich-Adrienne Rich

 The tender, rapturous longing and eroticism of Adrienne Rich’s “The Floating Poem, Unnumbered” in Twenty-one Love Poems (written between 1974 and 1976) brought lesbian sexuality to the forefront of poetic discourse:

 Whatever happens with us, your body

will haunt mine — tender, delicate

your lovemaking…

 WARNING: Link is probably NSFW

 Sexy poems

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Vonnegut’s Rules for writing the Short Story

 3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

 Advice To Writers

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Oh those clueless spammers

From my inbox (subject lines only, I’m too damn busy to go chasing these down although they might be fascinating…)

– “Hold on to her love” (guys, I’m a GIRL. Unless you think I’m a card-carrying lesbian this one is way misplaced. Do your freaking homework.)

– “Get an advanced degree in Homeland Security” – this one’s particularly funny after I just read an article about a TSA agent who didn’t know if District of Columbia drivers’ licenses were “valid US photo ID”. Advanced degrees – in basic GEOGRAPHY and CIVICS! – might indeed be called for, here. But um I don’t need one. Thank you ever so much.

– “No More Tears” – wasn’t this last used for a baby shampoo?

– “Free E-book!” – er, thank you, but you’re offering me this particular treasure from six different and equally unlikely email addresses. It is further and further away from the realm of any possibility that I will click on this with every time you slam it AGAIN into my inbox under a different email. Besides, have you seen my reading pile? If I need a free ebook, I’ll ask for one…

– “You won’t believe this!” – you’re probably right. I don’t.

– “Do you believe in angels?” – well, it’s like this, probably not in the way you want me to…

 (Yes I was just cleaning out my inbox after a prolonged period away from home. Why do you ask…?)

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Quote of the Day

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”  ~ Albert Einstein

 ~~~~~

Alma Alexander

Check out my books

Email me

Comments welcome. What do you think?

—–

Retreating into the rainforest

My experience with the Rainforest Writers Retreat on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington began last Wednesday when Colleen Anderson drove down from Vancouver, Canada, and picked me up in Bellingham.

We went the scenic route – down Whidbey Island, the Port Townsend ferry to the peninsula, down the edge of the Hood Canal until we could veer off inland via Aberdeen into the wilds towards Quinault and the Rainforest Resort on the lake.

We had supper in the resort restaurant, yakked with people we knew and met people we didn’t, and at some point that night I actually sat down and began writing.

For a lot of people with day jobs where writing time is stolen from their days an hour at a time, this is unutterable luxury – this place, where they could sit down, crack open a laptop and just WRITE to their hearts content.

Since writing IS my day job, for me it was something different. I was in a community of people from my own tribe, people who were dedicated and passionate about their writing, people who did not (as I let myself be, sometimes, at home) allow themselves to be distracted by extraneous things.

Everyone was here to write. In an atmosphere of such an intense focus — helped by the fact that Internet is spotty here and cellphone signal practically non-existent — it was easy to dive into it all and gratefully feel the sea of words close over my head. I can breathe this rarefied air, the rainbow mist of words, all these multiple voices whispering into the air, rising like smoke into the light fixtures, clinging to windows like pale invisible winged things with big eyes and Cheshire-cat smiles on their faces.

There was a whiteboard in the main cabin where you could post their day’s wordage. By Thursday morning, I was in the four figures.
Alma Alexander, new author photoAlma Alexander’s new author photo

Thursday was the first full day of the retreat, and I wrote. In between I visited the world’s largest spruce tree, which lives just off this resort, a 1,000-year-old behemoth, saw an eagle fishing on the lake, had a friend take some new author pics of me in my fur-lined cape, took some amazing shots of the most unutterably gorgeous sunset. Then we had a group dinner, and it turned out that we had all collectively produced 80,000+ words ON THAT FIRST DAY.

Sunset Sunset on Lake Quinault

Well, there was no stopping me after that.

Friday I wrote some more in my novel, and then University Books from Seattle set up a sale table with a huge selection of books, including those of the attendees.  We mingled and talked books at the evening event over drinks, and it is sometimes just WRONG to feel so purely content, isn’t it? To be at home in a world of one’s own choosing?

 After this get-together, I got mugged by a short story. It was something I’d started before but never got very far with, but the squib of it was on the laptop that I had brought. I worked on that for the rest of the night and just after breakfast the next day, and found myself with a completed story. Raw, but it has good bones.

 Saturday was colder and cloudier, and there were even flurries of snow in the morning as I crossed the parking lot for breakfast. I went back to the novel and worked at it steadily for the rest of the day (punctuated by socializing, lunch, writing discussions, all that). My word count was now in the five figures, one of only five or six people at the retreat to get there. I was nowhere near the winning word count, but then I had never expected to be, and even what I had astonished me. I may not even KEEP all the words, but I WROTE them, and thought them, and dreamed them, and they are part of the edifice that I am building whether they show in the final product or not.

I wrote a couple of pages on Sunday morning, too. This place rolls like that. By noon Colleen and I were on our way back home.

Would I go again? Hell, yeah. I had a great time. I wrote up a storm, socialized with friends old and new, laughed a lot, ate well, walked in the woods, and was generally silly-grin happy about everything for the duration. Is this book going to have Rainforest Retreat in its acknowledgments…? You bet.

Rainforest Writers Retreat website

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25 big novels that are worth it

What we love about big novels is that you have to get really comfortable with them, Jason Diamond writes at Flavorwire.

 A big page count usually equals a big chunk of time, meaning you need to be a serious reader without a fear of commitment. We offer you this list of epic page turners that you may have missed, skipped, or just couldn’t finish the first time, because we believe that bigger can certainly be better, and these books are proof of that.

 They start with a book(s) that tops out at 4,215 pages

 Proust

In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust

There are big novels, and then there is In Search of Lost Time. Proust’s massive work is a literary undertaking that feels more like a quest, but those who have made it say there is nothing quite like closing the final volume after the very last page.

 At 992 pages, this book is less than a quarter the size but…

don-quixote

Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes

 Debuting in the 1600s, this Spanish masterpiece is still one of those books you absolutely must read before you can say that you’ve read all of the greatest novels. It’s big, sure, but it would also be one of the top two or three we’d pick off this list if we were stranded on a desert island.

Big novels

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Which book species are you?

Book loversActually, I’m most of them.

 Book species, Full Graphic

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Quote of the Day

 The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”  ~ Albert Einstein

 ~~~~~

Alma Alexander

Check out my books

Email me

Comments welcome. What do you think?

—–

Encounters with The Trickster

Let me tell you about my encounter with Coyote…

So begins my guest blog today at the Mythical Monday spot at Melissa Hayden’s website My World…in words and pages:

The Tricksterthe-kunadalin .com

When I set out to write the Worldweavers books, I wanted to write a story which was an American YA fantasy, something of an across-the-pond answer to the Harry Potter phenomenon which ruled the YA universe with an iron fist at that time. I wanted to get away from the usual Eurocentric fantasy and mythology, I wanted to ground the stories that I would write firmly in the New World… and the way that opened up for me to do this was by exploring themes in the Native American mythos. Avatars of the gods and spirits from that mythological sphere became characters in my stories.

Grandmother Spider became something of a mentor for my young protagonist – and since every light has to have a shadow associated with it, the Trickster God, Coyote, ambled onto the stage with a hat-tilt and a wicked grin ….

Worldweavers1Cover of the Sky Warrior Books edition

 Read the whole post at Melissa’s blog

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I have never used a real writer in my fiction, however I have used a real person. Nikola Tesla was a remarkable inventor, one of the technological founders of our modern world. He is a major figure in my Worldweavers young adult series.

The best fiction featuring real writers

From Colm Tóibín to Italo Calvino, novelist Rachel Cantor describes in the Guardian her favorite encounters with real authors who appear in other people’s books. For example:

Walt Whitman in Gob’s Grief by Chris Adrian

Gob survives the Civil War, unlike his brother Tomo, who ran off to join the army at the age of 11 and died during his first battle. Walt Whitman, meanwhile, dreams his brother has been lost in the war, only to find him at a hospital just slightly wounded. When brother George is moved elsewhere, Walt lingers, making himself useful to doctors and nurses, first at this hospital, and then another, and another. He chats with wounded soldiers, reads to them, distributes oranges, writes letters, or just sits, watching “with excited worry”. It is Whitman Gob turns to when he needs a man full of emotion to power a machine he has built to bring the Civil War dead back to life.

Jeremy Irons as Franz KafkaArtist impression … Jeremy Irons as Franz Kafka in Steven Soderbergh’s 1991 film Kafka. Photograph: Moviestore Collection/Rex

 Real writers in fiction

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8 Female Characters In Literature Who Deserve Their Own Damn Books

Books give readers the unparalleled opportunity to assume the perspective of someone other than themselves, Amanda Scherker says at Hufff Post Books.

But in assuming the perspective of one character, the reader is often denied the chance to explore the internal joys and woes of other characters in the story. We’d argue that literature is bursting with female characters who deserve stories of their own.

 Here are eight female characters who definitely deserve their own books.

The Son Also Rises

Brett from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

 As one of Hemingway’s most memorable characters, the glamorous Lady Brett Ashley wields power over the adoring men who perpetually surround her. While her seductive and chaotic energy catalyzes much of the novel’s action, her internal world remains enigmatic to the reader. At one point, the narrator notes that Brett “can’t go anywhere alone.” Still, her wistful gaiety makes us wonder who Brett really is when she’s left in the solitude of her hotel room. Perhaps our best clue into her life and regrets rests in her memorable line, in which she says, “Oh, Jake… we could have had such a damned good time together.”

 They deserve their own books

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The giraffe manor in Nairobi

Giraffe Manor is a unique property and hotel in the Lang’ata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya, famous for its resident herd of endangered Rothschild giraffes that live in the extensive grounds of the manor house. Every day shortly before 9am, the mammoth beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats. This is the only place in the world where one can share breakfast with the world’s tallest animal.

Breakfast with giraffes

Sharing breakfast

Breakfast with the giraffes

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Quote of the Day

 “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~ Mark Twain

 ~~~~~

Alma Alexander

 Check out my books

 Email me

 Comments welcome. What do you think?

—–

The author regrets…

After discussing at length J.K. Rowling’s regrets about the Hermione/Ron relationship in Harry Potter, Elizabeth Minkel wrote in The Millions about five other authors who said they really wished they’d done things differently.

Charles Dickens’ greedy villainous employer Fagin in Oliver Twist, for example, is most famously marked by his Jewishness, via every derogatory stereotype in the history of man.  Dickens later saw the light and began stripping out references to Fagin’s religion from the text, as well as the caricature-like aspects. Too little too late, perhaps.

FaginImage via Wikimedia Commons

Authors regrets

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Telling women to shut up goes back to antiquity

I want to start very near the beginning of the tradition of Western literature,” Mary Beard says in the London Review of Books, “and its first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up’; telling her that her “voice was not to be heard in public. I’m thinking of a moment immortalised at the start of the Odyssey…

 “My aim here,”, she adds later, “is to take a long view…on the culturally awkward relationship between the voice of women and the public sphere of speech-making, debate and comment: politics in its widest sense, from office committees to the floor of the House. I’m hoping that the long view will help us get beyond the simple diagnosis of ‘misogyny’ that we tend a bit lazily to fall back on.”

Mary Beardtelegraph.co.uk/ — Beard, a fellow of Newnham College in Cambridge, goes on:

 “To be sure, ‘misogyny’ is one way of describing of what’s going on. (If you go on a television discussion programme and then receive a load of tweets comparing your genitalia to a variety of unpleasantly rotting vegetables, it’s hard to find a more apt word.) But if we want to understand – and do something about – the fact that women, even when they are not silenced, still have to pay a very high price for being heard, we have to recognise that it is a bit more complicated and that there’s a long back-story.”

 Telling women to shut up

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A woman who won’t consider shutting up

For the past six years daredevil Lucinda Grange has travelled the world scaling famous buildings and structures and taking pictures from the top, Alan White writes at BuzzFeed.

 She has put her adventures together in a book which she plans to deliver by hand to customers all over the world. “It will combine my love of travel with a chance to meet people who have connected with my images – and maybe have an adventure or two along the way.”

Lucinda1Lucinda surveys the Manhattan skyline from the Chrysler Building. Alex Shaw / Barcroft USA

Lucina in ParisLucinda sits atop the Carpe Diem building in Paris — Lucinda Grange / Barcroft USA

 She climbs tall buildings…

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Farewell Bridget Jones – hello literary bad girls

 Meet the new literary anti-heroines, who are more interested in drink, drugs and sex than finding the perfect man.

 Helen Walsh and Zoe Pilger

Helen Walsh and Zoe Pilger. Photograph: Murdo Macleod; Katherine Rose/Guardian

 Ann-Marie spends her time careening through London while trying to get as wasted as possible and discover the meaning of life; Laura and Tyler careen around Manchester, knocking back pills and booze with abandon. Jenn spends a long hot summer dreaming of seducing her teenage step-daughter’s boyfriend.

 With their descriptions of nights out gone wrong and no-holds-barred sexual encounters, a clutch of newly released novels are full of women behaving badly. From Zoe Pilger’s raucous debut, Eat My Heart Out to Caitlin Moran’s semi-autobiographical How to Build a Girl, which aims to capture that “moment when you try to discover exactly who it is you’re trying to be“.

 Literary bad girls

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There’s this house for sale In London…

Victorian house Right Move

In a swanky neighborhood of southeast London, there is a large Victorian Gothic mansion that’s for sale. It’s listed at $5.35 million and it has as many amenities as you’d expect. There are 8 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a breakfast room, a sitting room/games room, play room, study, dressing room and wine cellar.

Victorian interiorRight Move

 And then there’s the attic.

 Victorian attic

Right Move

The Victorian house

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Quote of the Day

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 ~~~~~

Alma Alexander

Check out my books

Email me

Comments welcome. What do you think?

—–

Can we stop Armageddon?

Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior” is a novel about butterflies, about a messed up migration of monarchs which could lead to oblivion. It was a kick in the gut to read that book, to think about that possibility, to think about the final beat of a butterfly’s wing, to see that moment frozen in time. It’s terrifying.

And it’s happening. When I read that the monarch butterfly migration to Mexico is slowing from a flood to a trickle, I began to realize how bitterly bitterly close to reality Kingsolver’s fiction is, could be. That was no light reading, that was an apocalyptic warning.

 Monarchs aren’t able to survive colds winters and migrate hundreds or thousands of miles to winter in warmer climates, most famously in a few a few acres in Mexico where they hibernate in fir trees. Very few acres. They used to stop in a 50-acre site. Last year, that had dwindled to less than 2 acres.

Migrating monarchsThey hibernate on the same trees each year

There are a number of reasons the population is crashing. One study has linked the monarch’s decline to Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide. (link below)

That connection is unproven, others say (link below), but loss of milkweed is a major factor and a massive replanting is needed to save the monarch.

 There’s a new book out about how humans are causing the sixth great extinction in the history of our planet. What are we going to do when we wake up one day and realize that the richness of our biosphere exists only in memory?

Extinction is forever.

 

 

Killing the monarch

Not GMOs, but milkweed

It’s our fault

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Whale of a tale of awe & wonder

 Bryant Austin’s life was transformed by a literal tap on the shoulder from a whale, Richard Whittaker and Anne Veh write in the Daily Good.

eye to eyeAustin is an experimental multimedia artist whose lifelong passion has been exploring the possibility of connecting humanity with the greatest minds in the water. His drive comes from a deep desire to understand over five million years of evolving culture and communication in the largest brain ever to exist on Earth.

 In a stunning interview, Austin shares stores of his extraordinary journey and mission to use photography to recreate the transcendent sensation one experiences floating an arm’s length away from the eye of an inquisitive whale. He explains how his experiences with whales have given him glimpses of the vastness of the cosmos, helping him to shift from his personal perspective of reality to a grander “earth perspective” of reality.

 Whale of a tale

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The diver and the blue whale

 The diver and the bue whaleA British diver swims near a blue whale, SCUBAZOO / BARCROFT MEDIA

An image taken on 28 March 28, 2011 is the first ever to show a human and a whole blue whale in the same shot together, The Telegraph reports.

 Many have battled hard to achieve the feat, but due to the size of the whales have only come up with shots showing divers and parts of the animals. Team members of Scubazoo – a British dive company based in Malaysia – spent 200 hours diving eight-hours-per-day for 25 days trawling the ocean around Sri Lanka in order to capture the scene.

 Roger Munns, from Cornwall, was photographed by Jason Isley, from Essex, making contact with the giant of the seas at around 10 metres depth. Roger said:

 ‘It was amazing. It was murky so we didn’t see the whale until the last minute, and it travelled so fast. The encounter only lasted about 45 seconds and then it was gone. But all those hours waiting were worth it.

The diver and the blue whale

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It was just a joke, Isabel Allende says of her ‘mystery’

 Allende, better known for magical realism, has angered the crime fiction community after admitting that “Ripper”, her first foray into mysteries, was written as “a joke” – and that she is “not a fan” of the genre, Alison Floodreports in The Guardian.

 Isabel AllendeReaders took issue with Allende’s “snotty elitism”, and advising the author to “stick to what she knows [if she] sees the genre as being beneath her”. Sookie Stackhouse’s bestselling creator Charlaine Harris took Allende to task on her blog for comments which “translate … [as] I’m so amazingly ‘literary’ that condescending to write a genre novel is incredibly funny … I considered buying it. But having devoted my professional life to genre literature, I don’t think I will,” wrote Harris.

Allende mystery a joke

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Quote of the Day

 “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” ~ Rita Mae Brown

 ~~~~~

Alma Alexander

Check out my books

 Email me

 Comments welcome. What do you think?

—–

Those scary school visits

Library display in PascoKids are a tough audience and they scare me.

 Whenever I go for school visit to talk to kids about my books, I go in with some trepidation. But in the end, I always find the visits amazingly energizing.

 This past weekend I went to Radcon and as part of the SF/fantasy con, I visited Chiawana High School in Pasco, a school with 2500+ students, complete with its own theatre and a small  sports stadium. It also has a library to DIE for, which was all decked out for my visit with several of my books on display, and an AMAZING display poster. (Which I got to keep.)

 I had three sessions in a seminar room attached to the library – and each session had between  25 and 30 kids in it, of a wide age range. I’m not sure if there were any seniors, but the freshman and sophomore years were well represented.

 School librarianIn the first session I just sat there and yakked at the kids about life and writing and everything and then opened up the floor to questions. I gave a copy of one of my books to the student who asked the most interesting question. This turned out to be a nice young man whose name, when shared amongst the librarians, occasioned lots of vigorous head nodding. They knew him well.

 In the second session, I read the opening of “Random”, my new young adult book coming out this May. Afterwards the teacher told me,

 “You HAD them. They stopped squirming and chattering and they were sitting forward in their seats and listening hard. You HAD them!

 Which is good news, of course, because this is SO my target audience. If they enjoyed the book, it’s got the potential to catch their peers elsewhere. Thanks for the feedback, kids!

 The third session was just talk and questions again – except that twice I lost track of the interesting questions so the person who got the book in the end in each session was the person who had a birthday closest to my own. One kid changed his birthday in a hurry when he lost out on a book, but it was too late and obviously a ploy. I suspect I could have handed books out like candy here and they would have been devoured by this crowd. Once again, thanks, kids!

 Having these opportunities to reach out to and interact with young readers has been an amazing perk to attending Radcon for years, now. I enjoyed – and will continue to enjoy – every opportunity which comes my way to do this.

 I owe a great deal of thanks to the librarians who organized these events and herded the serried ranks of the audience into their seats in the seminar room.

 I had a good time, and I hope they all did, too. I like to think that i helped to wake up in these youngsters the passion for reading and possibly writing that I received at the hands of people like me when I was their age.

~~~~~
Quote of the Day

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ~ Carl Sagan
 
~~~~~

Alma Alexander

Check out my books

Email me

Comments welcome. What do you think?
—–

What’s your favorite last line?

Some last lines have the power to disrupt the course of an entire story, shaking up our expectations, the Huffington Post tells us. Others leave us hanging, and still others provide a cathartic sense of closure. A beautiful last sentence or paragraph anchors a story in a reader’s mind long after the book is finished.

That’s true, and what all authors strive to do but we never know exactly how well we’ve achieved that. Only our readers can tell us that, and they probably won’t. (But I did have a reader call me up in the middle of the night to blurt out in anguish: “You killed her. I can’t believe you killed her.”)

We just do the best we can with our last lines and hope the readers find them satisfying, at worst, captivating and memorable at best. A few of mine:

Midnight at Spanish GardensMy most recent book, “Midnight at Spanish Gardens”, follows the lives of five people who are given the extraordinary choice to live a totally different life, with the understanding that at some point they will have to choose which life, which world, they will live in for the rest of the lives.

At the end, the last character who has made her choice, stands staring out at the night:

 

The world had ended. A certain world, at least, had ended.
A new world was about to begin.
As it did, after all, every day.

—–
The Secrets of Jin-sheiTai is not the most powerful character in “The Secrets of Jin-Shei” but she is the center, and in the end the lone survivor of a group of women bound together by a vow of sisterhood. The story ends:

Tai said nothing, but simply pointed to where the first bright evening star had kindled in the twilight.
And then they sat and watched in wonder, the old woman and the two children, as the stars shimmered into life, one by one, in the summer sky.

—–
Embers of HeavenIn “Embers of Heaven”, which amounts to a sequel to “The Secrets of Jin-Shei”, although 400 years later, the protagonist who has lived through hard times, sees a startling bright sky.

The sky was not aflame with the fires of destruction or devastation. She was facing east, and that which she was staring at was dawn, the rising of the sun, the promise of a brand new day. From the darkness beneath the earth’s rim, the orb of the young sun rose slowly over the edge of the night and poured its liquid light into the world, a bright and holy fire, woken by faith and valour from the sleeping embers of heaven.

—–

CybermageAt the end of Cybermage, the penultimate book in my young adult series, Worldweavers, my protagonist, Thea, is asked what her plans are. She thinks about…

The place where her mother spoke words of power to raise dough for bread, where her father sat in his old leather armchair on Sundays with a week’s worth of the ‘Daily Magic Times’ and the thick ‘Sunday Elixir’ in untidy piles of newsprint around his feet, where her brothers squabbled and elbowed for the last slice of peach pie, where Aunt Zoe could hear the sunlight and see the wind.

“Home,” she said. “I’m going home. And after that… whatever comes.”
—–

The Huffington Post article offers us the endings of several classical novels, from “The Great Gatsby” to “The Sun Also Rises”, to “In Cold Blood”, to “Gone with the Wind.”

UlyssesAnd it includes, of course, a very small small part of the 4,391-word ending of “Ulysses” by James Joyce:

“. . . and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

“We couldn’t NOT include one of the longest last sentences in literature,” the Huffington Post says .” The last chapter of Ulysses is Molly Bloom’s stream of consciousness, and it’s simply amazing.”

 

 

What is your favorite book ending?

Last lines

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A good blurb is hard to find, as every author knows

In 1874, Chatto & Windus asked Mark Twain for “a brief but quotable review” of “Nuggets and Dust: Panned Out in California” by Dod Grile, a pseudonym for Ambrose Bierce, Letters of Note reported. The publisher, however, underestimated the brutal honesty of Twain, who replied,

Dod Grile (Mr. Bierce) is a personal friend of mine, & I like him exceedingly–but he knows
my opinion of the Nuggets & Dust, & so I do not mind exposing it to you. It is the vilest book that exists in print–or very nearly so. If you keep a ‘reader,’ it is charity to believe he never really read that book, but framed his verdict upon hearsay.

Bierce has written some admirable things–fugitive pieces–but none of them are among
the Nuggets. There is humor in Dod Grile, but for every laugh that is in his book there are
five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive.

A good blurb

~~~~~
On the Road for 17,527 Miles

Jack Kerouac’s On The Road has been turned into Google driving directions.

On the Road
Gregor Weichbrodt, a German college student, took all of the geographic stops mentioned in On the Road, plugged them into Google Maps, and ended up with a 45-page manual of driving directions, divided into chapters paralleling those of Kerouac’s original book.

You can read the manual as a free ebook or you can purchase a print copy on Lulu and perhaps make it the basis for your own road trip. Wondering how long such a trip might take? Google Maps indicates that Kerouac’s journey covered some 17,527 miles and theoretically took some 272 hours.

On the Road

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Quote of the Day

Ambrose-Bierce-quotation                                                                Ambrose Bierce
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Alma Alexander

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