Friday, August 27, 2010

Mockingjay Review - A Satisfying But Exhausting Read

Fear not, no spoilers! This book was excellent, but it was an emotionally hard read. Collins doesn't pull any punches about the gruesomeness, loss of life, and emotional toll of war. Being inside Katniss' head the whole time puts you in the head of someone constantly struggling with what is basically Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder, except that she never gets to recover before the next impossibly hard thing comes up. Kat certainly felt very real, exceptionally drawn. All the characters were, and the plot, as always, was great--it hit at all the right moments. It was a satisfying, but not exactly fun read. I guess I prefer my fantasy fiction with a little more of the wishfullfillment elements and less of the pain of reality--just enough, but not too much. Either way, it's unlikely that Kat's going to get out of my head for a week or two. Had a hard time getting to sleep last night, my mind was still so enveloped in the world of the novel.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Look What I Just Picked up at the Bookstore!

I've loved dystopias ever since reading 1984 as a sophmore in high school, so I couldn't have been more thrilled when the brilliant Suzanne Collins brought dystopias into the lens of young adult literature. Love, love, loved the first two books, can't wait to sit down tonight and devour the conclusion!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heather's Secrets to Avoiding Melancholia

Secret # 1. STAY BUSY. This is really the key to all following secrets, so let me break it down. My go-to activities: reading, painting, more reading, cleaning, organizing, basically any and all frenetic activities are welcome. Oh, and beer (I'm nothing if not classy). The most interesting of these of course is the painting. Voila, more in my graveyard statues series. Kind of macabre, I know, but that's not the point, I just find them gorgeously visually appealing. This one I painted tonight is of a pretty well known statue:

I figure I can use this week to do a couple paintings before classes start, while I'm in between everything and waiting and going crazy. My friend D sells jewelry at fairs and market days and things and keeps looking for people to share her stall, so I think I'll try to go with her and sell some of these. So I'm being productive, not just busy!

Secret #2: Reading for classes before classes start! I emailed my profs to ask for reading lists. I'm going to be knee deep in Renaissance lit and then Wordsworth for my other class, so I know it's going to be dense reading all semester, which I will surely get behind in. So I spent all day today reading Sir Sidney's Arcadia. Which is 800 pages long. I shit you not. It was written in 1593, but it's actually not as bad as I feared. It was my second day just reading all afternoon, and I'm a hundred pages in. Yeah. It's gonna take awhile.

Secret #3: More reading! Catching up on all the delightful YA books I've got from the library, and the others I've bought. I just read an Advanced Reading Copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer that I got off Ebay (shh!), and out of all the ARC's I've tracked down, this was the first to actually live up to the internet hype. I read it last night and it was surprisingly good. It was really smart, but still lusty, my two major criteria in my off-school-time reading material ;)

So, until school starts up again or I hear back about other projects, busy remains the watchword. Ooo, and maybe get some more done on the background of my Mucha tattoo!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

I realized today that I'm always the friend--when around others tempted to excess, be it food or alcohol or anything--who's like, hell yeah, have another beer! Have three more! More oreos! Another screwdriver, coming up! I think it's my antinomian streak (ok, looking that word up to double check it's the one I mean-yep, it is--first learned it back at the Bible College). It means being anti-law. Anti- doing the staid and steady thing, with all the responsibility and guilt when you transgress. Back in Bible College, of course, antinomialism was a bad thing : )

And it's not really how I live my life, in spite of the stereotype associated with my pink/purple hair and copious tattoo-age. I'm so safe in my real life rebellions. I live conservatively. I'm not particularly anti-establishment either. But what occassional excess really signifies to me is freedom. Yeah, I might choose not to go on benders every night (or okay, barely ever), but I like the possibility being there. It means that the rest of the time, I'm making a choice--not because it was written in stone that I shalt not drink. Having the choice to do so means also having the choice not to. It means not having to walk anesthetized through my life on the staid patterns of decisions I made years ago. It means the requirement that TODAY I be active in my own life, tasting and touching and deciding and partaking.

So chill out and drink up, my people! Enjoy life, don't hold back!