Felicia Day is Awesome

I just finished her book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).

And, wow. I flew through this book. I actually read it in 2 days. Not only does Felicia Day have a talent for writing, but she’s so damn <i>interesting</i>. Plus, I related to her a lot growing up geeky. It’s the kind of book that you start reading, and it seems like about 5 minutes have passed and you’re on page 50. (This literally happened.)

Plus, she’s so genuine and open and honest and REAL, you can’t help but love her.

She talks about playing World of Warcraft and says she fell in love. And she’s worried this sounds strange. Well, it’s exactly why I don’t play World of Warcraft. I know I would fall in love with it. Playing a role-playing game? On-line? With hundreds of other people? Sounds like Nirvana to me. But the kind of Nirvana that you lose your job and all your friends to because you spend all your time doing it. It’s just something I can’t afford at this time in my life.

I love what she says about growing up:

When we graduate from childhood into adulthood, we’re thrown into this confusing Cthulhu-like miasma of life, filled with social and career problems, all with branching choices and no correct answers.
Yes. Even though she’s talking about how Sometimes gaming feels like going back to that simple kid world.

This whole book was a powerful message about being a creator. About realizing you can do things. To go out and accomplish. Culminating in chapter 9, “Convention Fevah”. Which literally brought tears to my eyes.

You Can Attempt Anything

And the chapter on #GamerGate describes a dystopia so horrifying, created by misogynistic, hateful people that it seems like it could only be science fiction. If only it were.

But the best thing about Felicia Day is that she inspires you to be yourself, express yourself, and create something that is uniquely you. Thanks, Felicia. (And thanks for being brave enough to call out the haters.)

And this is the best thing ever:

I hope all my copious over sharing encourages someone to stop, drop, and do something that’s always scared them. Create something they always dreamed of. Connect with people they never thought they to know. Because there’s no better time in history to do it.

There’s way more. But I won’t spoil it for you.

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Laini Taylor

My love affair with Laini Taylor’s writing started with me stumbling across an audiobook about fairies written more to the pre-teen level. It was called Silksinger. After listening to it for a few minutes, I realized it was a sequel, and went back and found the first book, Blackbringer.

I was entranced.

I find it difficult to use words to describe how I feel about Taylor’s writing. She uses words like thread on a loom to weave together beautiful tapestries that you wrap yourself up in and never want to leave. Finishing one of her books is like losing a dear friend, and you grieve that it’s over. When I finished Blackbringer, I immediately listened to the sequel (which I still had checked out from the library). These are currently the only two books in Taylor’s Fairies of Dreamdark series, and I pray she comes back to it to at least round it out with a trilogy, if nothing else. They may be written at a middle school level, but so is The Hobbit, and it’s one of the greatest books of all time. My next step is to buy actual physical copies of these books so I can read them with my 10-year-old daughter.

Looking for more of Taylor’s books, I moved onto Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which everyone besides me seemed to have heard of. (This is for an older crowd, more at a YA level.) Another great book – and apparently, the movie rights have already been snatched up for it. Pick it up – your local library or bookstore probably has a few copies. The sequel (Days of Blood and Starlight) comes out next month.

Thirsty for something else by this author, I got her only other book: Lips Touch: Three Times. Yes, a young adult book with 3 supernatural short stories centering around kissing. I’m 41, look like I’m going on 50, and I felt like I had to sneak it out of the library so I wouldn’t look like some weirdo. But the writing was still fantastic. And each story has a visual prequel of sorts – a story drawn by her husband, Jim Di Bartolo. It’s a fascinating little book.

But, three books?!? That’s all I could find.

But then I came across a short story! An anthology, Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction, holds a story by Laini Taylor called Gentlemen Send Phantoms. I haven’t read this one yet – but it is currently checked out of the library, sitting on my dresser, and I can hear it calling out to me.

Finally – and I think this is the last thing – it appears that she has also written a graphic novel, illustrated by her husband. It seems to have horror feel to it, and it’s titled, The Drowned. Unfortunately, it’s going for $130 on Amazon – so it must be a collectible. One person has it on eBay for $200. Don’t know where I’ll find that, but I’m going to have to run that down next. Anyone know where I could borrow a copy of this? You can check out the beginning of this dark story online – but it’s only the first few pages. It looks good and creepy.

Amazing Discoveries in Young Adult Fiction

I’ve been amazed lately how good Young Adult (YA) fiction is. Everyone is familiar with Harry Potter, and with The Hunger Games. Sure, those are good, but they barely scratch the surface. I’ve been really overwhelmed with how good some these books are.

Currently I’m reading The Darkangel Trilogy (The Darkangel, A Gathering of Gargoyles, The Pearl of the Soul of the World) by Meredith Ann Pierce. I remember loving the first book, The Darkangel, about 25 years ago, back when I was an actual Young Adult. But I recently discovered it was the first part of a trilogy, and I thought I’d go back and read all 3 books, thinking it might be good October reading. I reread the first, and have already finished the second. These books have really held up. It seems that one of the few things 13-year-old me and 41-year-old me can agree on is good literature. Check these stories out if you want a good series of books on vampires.

Just before that, looking for something in Steampunk fiction to listen to in my car, I came across Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan Trilogy (Leviathan, Behemoth, Goliath). They tell the story a young Austrian prince, the death of whose parents initiated World War I, and a young girl who loves flying so much she masquerades as a boy to become an airman. I got so into the books, I couldn’t wait to get back into the car to start the next chapter. Great stuff. (Westerfeld is also the author of the Uglies series of books, but I haven’t tried those.)

And finally, we come to Laini Taylor, one of the best writers I’ve ever came across in my 41 years.

But I’m going to have to dedicate a post just to her. Come back tomorrow.

Don’t Read My Blog

Seriously. I’m sure there’s something here you won’t like and I’m not sure I can take that kind of rejection.

Plus, it’ll be too eclectic; blogging is supposed done in a niche and this is just going to be whatever my brain vomits up. You probably won’t be comfortable seeing that. (I know I won’t.)