Apathy & Rhetoric


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March in Review/April Preview

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Substitute “doing my homework” with “writing.”

So, I’m not really into review posts, or at least I don’t think I am, because I usually find them to be a boring recap of things I’ve already read, but this review post is different because I haven’t been posting hardly anything for you to read, and it is therefore new information and more of a preview of things I will (hopefully) write about in April. You know, if I find the time. This will also warn you of the plethora of book related posts that may be coming your way. Hopefully, you guys like those posts and aren’t disappointed in my lack of apathy and writing posts.

So what have I been doing? Lots of stuff:

Authors

This month I was fortunate enough to meet Patricia Briggs (My favorite Urban Fantasy author, and definitely in my top 5 favorite authors, probably even top three), Brandon Mull (ok, this was my second time meeting him, but it was still awesome), Chad Morris (who I haven’t read yet, but his books sound awesome), Dan Wells (who wore an awesome hat), and I even briefly met Robinson Wells (who I, sadly, didn’t have sign a book because I have not read him yet, and didn’t have enough money to buy his book this month). Depending how I feel, I may be driving an hour tomorrow night to meet Ally Condie, (who I already have one signed book, and haven’t gotten around to reading or buying her other books, so we will see). In any case, I have photos and stories, and recordings and/or transcripts of Q&As that I will hopefully get around to sharing.

Reading

I haven’t been in the mood to read lately, and then about a week ago I went book crazy. I think it was sparked by Night Broken, the new Patricia Briggs book. It was awesome. My point is that I plan to do reviews for the books I’ve read recently, and they are: Night Broken, Seraphina, The Winner’s Curse, Half Bad, and Ruins. I also reread the Alpha and Omega series this last week. And while I’m talking about reviews I should mention that I still plan on writing a review for last month’s book club book, Steelheart. Maybe I’ll do a book review blitz, 5-6 reviews in one day. I also read Sky Raiders this month, but I already reviewed it. Now I just need to decide what to read next…

Not Reading

I discovered this last week that my shelf of to-reads is full. Not to mention all the ebooks I need to read. To top it off, about an hour ago I was reviewing my list of favorite authors and discovered there are at least three books I thought I had read but now realize I have in fact NOT read. Apparently, I just assumed I had read them because I had been so excited for them to come out. I’m not sure how I managed to do this to myself.

Hiking & Hanging with Friends

I’ve been going on a lot of hikes with friends and family these last two months, which has been awesome. I may have some thoughts to share about that… I also went on a mini vacation with some friends that involved a zoo, an aquarium, a snow storm, and Dan Wells. I’m guessing Dan Wells is the only part of that you’ll find interesting.

Family

I had some family come up to visit, which was fun. I won’t be writing a post about it, but I wanted you to understand part of why I was so busy.  (Sometimes I like making excuses).

Writing

I actually haven’t been writing at all lately, which will probably be the subject of at least one post.

Watching YouTube and Scouring Facebook

So this isn’t really newsworthy, but I found some awesome videos and articles that gave me some ideas to talk about.

TV

I sampled Netflix for the first time. I think I could get addicted to it.

In sadder news, my favorite TV show, Psych, had its series finale. I am in mourning.

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So there you have it, a somewhat useless and rather vague recap of my month. If you managed to read to the end I applaud you. Hopefully, having this published will motivate me to actually write the posts I want to write.

Please share your thoughts and comments.

 

 

 


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Escape Reality Book Club’s Selection for March

Hosted by Apathy & Rhetoric and The Obsessive Bookseller #EscapeRealityBC

#EscapeRealityBC

Hosted by The Obsessive Bookseller and Apathy & Rhetoric (That’s me!)

Votes have been tallied and this month’s winner is Seraphina by Rachel Hartman!

seraphina

Reading starts today!  Join us for discussion at our Facebook page and on Twitter at #EscapeRealityBC all this month. Comment below if you’ll be joining us. 🙂

If you’re wondering what this book club is you can read about it here.


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Apathy & Perfectionism (aka: Writing & Rewriting)

Let’s get real. If everyone was a perfectionist the world would be a better place. Nothing more needs to be said because we all know it is totally true. The world would be cleaner, smarter, and way more efficient. I’m not saying people need to be OCD like Monk and want everything even and the same size. No, I’m talking about having things organized, and doing things correctly, and well, making things even and the same size would be nice too.

Sadly, the world is not this way.

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But wait. I can guess what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Charlotte, your site is called Apathy and Rhetoric. Isn’t apathy the opposite of perfectionism?”

Pretty much, yes, which brings me to the point where I’m almost to the point of this post.

Because we live in a world where perfectionism is impossible there are times when apathy must be applied to maintain sanity. For example, I own way too much stuff to ever be able to efficiently organize my bedroom.  Whenever I clean I get frustrated and overwhelmed by the futility of making my room perfect; therefore, I apply apathy and never clean my room. Problem solved. (This is called the All-or-Nothing Method. If you can’t make it perfect, don’t do it at all. Try it some time. It works wonders.* I don’t recommend trying it at work though. You might get fired.)

So when do we choose to be perfectionists and when are we apathetic? Well, that is up to you, but there is one scenario where I think apathy always applies: writing. (And in case you missed it, this is the point of this post).

When you are writing I have one simple rule: Aim for completion, not perfection. If you are constantly going back and fixing errors, changing dialogue, deleting characters, making new characters, or redoing the entire plot of your book you will never finish. I repeat, you will never finish.  Now please don’t stop reading because you think I’m crazy and want you to write a horrible book. That is not what I’m saying. I’m saying I want you to write a horrible rough draft. I want you to get your story out of your head, all of your story, and not worry about fixing it until you’re done. Writing is not the time for perfection. Perfection should be sought during editing and rewriting. (I bet you didn’t even realize rewriting was a separate thing, did you? Well, it is.)

images (1)This is easier said than done. Here I am an hour into writing this post, and I’ve lost count of the number of edits I’ve done before even being close to finished.  Keep pushing. If you find yourself worrying too long about the perfect word pick a crappy one and move on. Remind yourself that you can fix it later because if you are any good at writing you will be rewriting your novel (or blog post) at least fifty-million times. This is what writers do.

However, I should make it clear that even the best of writers never achieve true perfection. Paul Valery said, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” I’m pretty sure this applies to all writing. Ask any author and they will probably tell you there are many things they would change in their novel if they could, even the novels that are best sellers.  So yes, apathy has its place in rewriting as well. In fact, apathy has its place in every aspect of life, but that conversation if for a different post.

If you find yourself wanting to practice the utilization of apathy I suggest starting a blog. My posts never seem perfect or finished to me, but I force myself to publish them anyway because otherwise I’d never publish anything and wouldn’t have a blog. It’s actually quite exhilarating to know that once the posts are published I can stop thinking about them and move on. Writing is much more fun this way.

And on that thought, I’ll end this post by sharing some quotes I wanted to fit into this post, but couldn’t find the “perfect” spot for.

“The first draft of anything is $*!%.”  -Ernest Hemingway

“You can fix anything but a blank page.”  -Nora Roberts

“The best writing is rewriting.” –E.B. White

Happy writing. 🙂

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*You may be called lazy when utilizing this method.


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Book Review: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

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Sky Raiders Review

Official Overview:

Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level.

After Cole sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath the haunted house, he dives in after them and ends up in The Outskirts. The Outskirts are made up of five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. It’s an in-between place. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from our world, or from other worlds.

And once you come to the Outskirts, it’s very hard to leave.

With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it’s up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home before his existence is forgotten.

4 stars

My Review:

When I started Sky Raiders I was worried it was going to be a little too fantastical for me, but the more I read the more I enjoyed it.  The world Mull creates is amazing.  The Five Kingdoms is a combination of originality and the dreams and imaginings we all had as children. Was it weird sometimes? Yes, but only when it was meant to be weird.

My biggest issue with the book was I felt the plot kept getting in the way. (I am aware this is a weird issue, and I may be the only person who suffers from it). This isn’t to say I thought the plot was bad, it was just I got introduced to this great culture of the Sky Raiders and wanted to spend the entire book exploring the world and lifestyle, but wasn’t able to because the plot took me forward to a different part of the Five Kingdoms.  It was like reading Harry Potter, but not being able to explore Hogwarts. My favorite parts of books are the characters and the world building, and while I was able to learn more about the characters, I felt I never got enough of the world, which in all honesty, is probably a sign that the world was amazing. A book that makes me want more is usually a good thing.

I’m definitely looking forward to continuing the series.

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Two Side Notes:

1. This book isn’t due to come out until Tuesday, but I’ve seen some stores putting it out early, so you may be able to get a hold of it today if you so choose.

2. Brandon Mull will be visiting the bookstore I work at on March 18! 😀 This will actually be the second time I get to meet him. He is an incredibly nice guy and takes the time to talk to each person who comes to get a book signed. I’m not sure how much time he’ll have to answer questions, but if there is anything you are dying to know about him or his writing process put it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

Brandon Mull


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Escape Reality Book Club: March’s Nominations

Hosted by Apathy & Rhetoric and The Obsessive Bookseller #EscapeRealityBC

#EscapeRealityBC

 Hosted by The Obsessive Bookseller and Apathy & Rhetoric (That’s me!).

Escape Reality Book Club is a monthly online book club. Everybody is welcome to join. If you want to know more about how it works click here.

Here are the nominations for March:

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka. Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free? The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him. But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

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The 100 by Kass Morgan

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth’s toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland… before it’s too late. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they’ve only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they’re haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust – and even love – again.

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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle’s mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died… and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth’s destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

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Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

You have until March 10 to vote. Choose wisely.