Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Costume Party

Sorry about the lack of photos from the marathon. Once I got there I kicked myself for not bringing it. It didn't occur to me that people would dress up and run. Next year I promise. Honest!

Last Saturday night our church held a Halloween party. Mainly for the kids, but there are more than a few adults around who like to dress up too. Oldest Son went as Keanu Reeves from the Matrix, Daughter was a 'goth Arwen' and Son #2 went as a mad scientist complete with plastic test tubes full of mysterious potions. Which I later discovered was blue kool aid & hot sauce.

Someone dressed as a Venetian Rat Catcher (don't ask me what that is, ok? She was wearing one of those 'il nasone' masques from Venice. Similar to the ones found here. The ones with the hook noses) came up to me later and asked, "Do you realize the mad scientist is drinking hot sauce out of his test tube?!" I just smiled. Yes my son is weird. LOVES spicy food. Thai, Korean, Latin American. All in their native spiciiness. None of this 'easy on the spice' wussiness for him. Bring it on. Kid loves it.

Anyhow. At the last minute the kids asked me what I was dressing up as. I yanked an old costume out of my closet & took off. Way back in the day, when the older two kids were little I made themed costumes for the three of them to wear. One year Husband was a packet of M&Ms plain candies & Daughter was a blue M&M. Another year he went as a clown and she went as a dalmatian. Pirates. You get the idea. I saved those two adult costumes. The kids' costumes I gave to my sister for her children.

I went to the party as the packet of M&Ms. Most other adults rented or bought costumes. I was one of only a couple of adults in homemade duds. My buddy went as professor McGonagal (spelling?) from Harry Potter. So I won a prize (chocolate! YUMMY) for best homemade adult costume. I was surprised & embarrassed, though. The letters were dirty & it was wrinkled & well.. I enjoyed my chocolate.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Marathon News

The Husband is home safe & mostly sound. Physically anyway. LOL ;) A few blisters, but intact. It took him 6 hours & 20 minutes. The weather was sunny but windy with strong gusts (up to 40 mph, I think), especially out on Haines Point. According to the chip on his shoe he ran 12 minute miles for the first 13 and then 15 minutes a mile for the last half. He said he walked a while, but began trotting again once he realized he would beat the bridge cut off time. Because of traffic, the 14th street bridge would reopen at 1:45 no matter how many runners were left on the course. He made it across before then though & he was happy 'cuz that was his primary goal (other than finishing in the first place).

The kids and I waited in the stands near the Netherlands carillon & the Iwo Jima memorial. I think we picked the barf spot, though. No less than four people threw up over the fence across the road. The most popular women's costume? Wings. Man's costume? Superman. Funniest costume? An older man dressed as a bee complete with wings and antennae. Or the elderly Asian man completely dressed in pink, kinda like the pink Power Ranger, only with lotsa whiskers. Quite a large number of men & women & one preteen boy running to honor lost loved ones or unit members KIA in Iraq or Afghanistan. One guy ran with a huge POW/MIA flag.

Two wheelchairs being pushed by runners. One dad ran with his three sons in a triplet stroller & wearing a giant backpack. One guy with his entire left leg a prosthesis ran the 10k (6 miles). Lotsa wheelies (chair racers): several older, a couple of women. The wheelies need to figure out a good place to put a sign with their name on it, so the fans can cheer better. Runners often put their names on the front of their shirts so bystanders can cheer for them by name. I like to cheer for the wheelies especially, and names would make it easier.

There was quite a lot of diversity out there (more so in the 10k). The youngest marathoners were 14- one boy & one girl. The oldest was over 80 & finished just behind Husband. The 10k had more range in weights and body types. Quite a few middle school (grades 6-8, ages 12-14) and younger kids on their own or running for the school track team ran the 10k. Older folks, folks who walked the 10k. Super thin, quite heavy. People who looked agonized every step they took. People who looked like they were out for a casual Sunday stroll. One guy skipped rope the whole 10k. Another juggled. Quite a few women cried the entire last quarter mile (right in front of us).

Husband says we're all doing the short course (the 10k) next October. Including the kids. HAHAHAHA. He's funny.

Costume Party news tomorrow.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wish Us Luck

Tomorrow's the big day. Husband is running in the 31st annual Marine Corps Marathon.

If you're inclined please send us any good wishes, extra energy, etc. He'll be on the course between 8:40 am and 2 pm. 26 miles is a long way to run. Will update on the Halloween party we attended at church (where I won for best adult homemade costume!!). I was more than a little surprised, to be honest. Be back tomorrow evening to update everyone on what happened.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lazy Friday

Husband is off today & Monday- second four day weekend in a row! YAY! He got all of the kids off to the bus & crawled back into bed with me. My very own hero. Getting up on his day off. He knows I hate getting up at the crack of dawn. So we got to sleep in late. Or take an early nap, depending on which one of us you're talking about.

We took the Metro into DC to pick up his race packet. Sunday morning is the Marine Corps Marathon & he's running. He says his goal is to get over the bridge before it reopens at 1:45 pm. It'll still be six miles after that.

The goody bag was pretty full already, but the vendors gave out a whole buncha other stuff too. Water bottles. T shirts. Socks. Ipod/mp3 armband holders. Sport Jelly Bellies. Fortified sport drinks. Power bars. Smuckers jelly. Pens. Medicine. Listerine (so your spouse will kiss you after you've crossed the Finish Line). We aren't going up for the pasta dinner tomorrow. The kids and I have a Halloween party at church & Husband plans to go to bed early.

I got sooo motion sick on Metro on the way home.*green & sweaty the whole way* Goodness, it was horrible. I have inner ear problems on one side, and that doesn't help anything but I perked up a little when Husband said he didn't feel too great either. Misery loves company. I had plenty of time to get better on the car ride back home. Rain had been spitting on and off all day but was now pouring down. Thus traffic was lovely. We both had plenty of time to recover.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

5 Truths Meme

I was tagged by Jenster. A whole buncha others have done it too. Five tidbits about myself. Only gonna tag Tara and ag since I can't remember who's done this and who hasn't.

1. I've managed to work myself into a catch 22. I want to return to school and finish the degree I started twenty years ago, but I'm paralyzed with fear. Just the thought of setting foot on a college campus to do something for myself is incredibly, powerfully frightening to me. Yet- I feel stuck in a rut and I actually want to finish school. But I'm too damn scared. So I sit here in my rut & redecorate. Want to finish school-too scared- feel stuck-want to finish school- feel scared.. Rinse and repeat. Add multiple excuses for variety.

2. I hate answering the house phone. The answering machine & caller ID are two of the best recent inventions. I love being able to screen my calls. I've gone days without answering the phone. It's lovely.

3. I'm a wanna be tech junkie. If I had the money, I'd buy that $600 video-internet-game- Blackberry phone I saw on Amazon yesterday. Really. I've got six games on my cheap little phone. Plus three jazz ringtones. I've gotten addicted to cell phone Tetris.

4. I'm thinking of getting rid of my romance TBR. There I've actually admitted to it. I don't want to read all of those romances, but I can't quite part with them either. I guess I'm kind of a hoarder.

5. I set up my birdfeeders on my front porch so I can surf and watch the birds fight over the seed & the suet as I sit here at the 'puter and surf & talk to the world. I've tons of feathered friends- starlings, jays, woodpeckers, sparrows, cardinals. A local cat sits among my plants and eyeballs the flying snacks. I don't think he's caught anything yet, but it's not for lack of trying. There is also a grown squirrel, Nutkin, who started out as a baby last year but since I provide him a free buffet he's stayed. Now he's got a full, bushy tail & isn't afraid of anything. Including the cat.


Are you a nester? Usually a word used to describe late pregnancy home related activities, Husband says nesting ought to be used for for 'everyday' women (ie: those of us lucky enough not to be pregnant) as well. Apparently, I 'nest' regularly as a symptom just before I menstruate. He looked at me the other day, just before the storage room adventure and Said," You must be due soon. You've been having cravings, you're testy (he's soo diplomatic:)) and you're nesting." I frowned at him, momentarily stunned, and counted on the calendar. Sure enough, any day now..

I don't know why I was surprised that he's aware of where I am in my cycle. After all, there must be plenty of observant, caring husbands out there. Not to mention the fact that he works in women's health and is the only male on his floor. I guess I've just assumed I was walking around in my own private little fog. I was WRONG! LOL

What else? Oh yes, he wishes me to publicly admit, via the blog, that I, a born and bred Yankee, actually told him I missed sweet iced tea while we were in New England. We also decided that if we ever manage to move up there permanently he ought to open a cafe/grill/small eatery and call the 'Turncoat' or 'Johnny Reb's Southern Home Cooking' or some such silliness. Capitalizing on his Southern heritage, as it were. And the fact that he'd be betraying his heritage by moving north of the Mason Dixon line. I'm not sure he could survive without Krisy Kremes though. God- my FIL would absolutely kill me if I took his precious only son 'UP NORTH'. Poor man.

So what was today's nesting activity? Just in case you're curious. I made several weeks worth of hot breakfasts & froze individual portions in the small freezer. Fresh biscuits, sausage patties, scrambled eggs, pancakes and bacon. Plop each serving into a quart size Ziploc, ie: one biscuit, sausage & eggs, etc. Put all the little baggies into a large plastic container, in this case a dishpan & a large plastic rectangle, and place containers into freezer. Rules- one baggie per person per school/work day morning. That way they last longer. From start to the end of cleanup it took me roughly three hours to make what should be between three and four dozen individual breakfasts for the family. See, I don't cook before 9 am. Hate the sight of food at all, unless it's coffee or cold cereal and juice. I want the others to eat well though. So this is my compromise.

Husband calls during the cooking. "What are you doing?"

"Ah.. I'm cooking breakfasts. You know, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, biscuits."

Incredulous, "You're cooking eggs? You really are broody aren't you? Have you started yet?" This last kinda curious & hopeful. I get other symptoms (LOL) once my time starts. Oh, the reason he was so shocked that I cooked eggs? I never eat eggs, well not since we lived in TX, and hate to cook them 'cuz they smell.

"YES, I'm cooking eggs. Can you come from work early?!"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Miles, Mystery & Mayhem; L.M. Bujold

I finally managed to finish this one. I'm slow I know. In more ways than one. This is the second omnibus, composed of three previous works: Cetaganda, Ethan of Athos and Labyrinth. I discuss the first omnibus here.The first and last directly tell a Miles story, the middle one details a Dendarii stationer's spy mission against a black market genetics dealer who has also shown up in previous Miles adventures.

This particular group of books is more themed than the previous ones. Cetaganda deals with genetic manipulation and problems arising from concentration of power into a small group of individuals. Miles and his cousin Ivan have been sent to a week long diplomatic funeral on Eta Ceta IV. Cetagandan society has evolved into a highly compartmentalized tiered society. Ivan and Miles are there merely to polish their diplomatic skills in what ought to be a simple week's events. Unfortunately, they become embroiled in a complex scheme involving ancient secret keys, women who float around in opaque bubbles and Ivan's hormone fueled adventures. At the center of it all- who started this and why? And why involve Barrayar?

Ethan of Athos is more of an espionage/thriller type tale, taking place on a space station. A small agrarian planet buried in the back of beyond in the universe needs fresh ova cultures to help their men have children (via uterine replicators- an extension of test tube conception). There are no women here. Women are forbidden even as tourists. Women are the vessel of all that is evil/corrupt/weak etc. You get the picture. So Athos sends a scientist out into the universe (filled with these evil, horrible women) to buy new ova cultures and find out why they were gypped. He gets to a station & is then assaulted. The remainder is a study of life on a station. Commentary on genetic manipulation, single sex societies and the growth of ties between persons whose interests diverge and yet they need each other.

Labyrinth also involves genetic manipulation, the side effects of said manipulation and ethical boundaries. Miles has been sent to recover a top secret scientist off of a planet. The scientist refuses to leave unless Miles rescues the scientist's 'experiment', which has gone haywire and must be destroyed. Then follows Miles' and the other Dendarii's efforts to accomplish these goals.

I have to admit I didn't analyze the moral and ethical issues discussed on a superficial level by these novels. I read them strictly for story & character content. Unlike the Asaro novels (which often contain large amounts of physics), Bujold's novels don't inspire a great desire to delve deeply into the issues the novels bring up. I am now burning the Miles candle at both ends. I just borrowed the most recent Miles book, which features his wife, from the library.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Beavers & Bees

Otherwise known as- another uber busy day. Oh, and why don't ants have a 'busy' related saying?! They've been shortchanged I tell ya. It all started off with a desire to start sewing, old fashioned of me I know, Daughter's furry lavender cape. Problem- where is the fabric? In the storage room. O. M. G.

The room is a disaster. Crap piled in there willy nilly. You know the drill- throw it in and slam the door closed. "I'll organize it next time." Only next time rarely arrives. Well, today was next time.

I love to organize. Only thing is you have to drag everything out first. Husband likes to keep empty appliance boxes. Just in case I guess. I don't really understand this, to be honest. We're not leaving for at least three to four more years, so unless it needed to be returned why keep the box? I put aside Husband's winter clothes box. Three hours & much cursing later I found Daughter's fabric.

Why cursing, you ask? There are three bikes hanging from the ceiling. None of which I can take down myself (I'm too short, even with a step stool). So I had to redo it all pushing the bikes aside every time I had to rearrange something. Great for the muscles though. All of the ones I thought had wasted away? They're still here. Sore now.

Ok. Took a break & ate a huge burrito from Chipoltle. Found it in the freezer. I think it was Husband's stash. OOPS. LOL Started a boatload of laundry. Repotted four plants. Divided one overgrown spiderplant into three separate pots. Transferred two dozen pansies into my favorite clay planters outside. Tormented Son #2, the charming eye rolling one, into watering my newest babies. Then made him pick up all of the trash that blew into the yard. And homework. And practice piano. Poor tortured soul that he is, he only had 15 minutes to rollerblade with his buddy. Boo hoo.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Quick as a bunny

It must’ve been the quickest 1800 miles in Bookwormom Central history. Eleven states. Three colleges. Several relatives- one of whom I’d not seen since he was eight He’s quite the cutie , too. One graveyard in the pouring rain. One tire that had to be replaced due to torn tread. What else? No cell service while we were in Maine. All sandwiched between 11 pm Wednesday night and 9:30 pm Sunday night. I’m a little tired. How about you?

The following is a list of observations we made while on the road:

1. 2 extremely obese men, think Sumo wrestler weight, fighting at the gas station Wed. Night as we were heading out of town. Don’t know what they were fighting over- Son #1’s theory is that one of them had just eaten the last Twinkie.

2. How do we always end up in Jersey at 2 am?

3. The huge cemetery beside the Jersey Parkway is creepy looking at 3 am, even when zooming by at 75 mph

4. Wish we could’ve seen the beautiful Hudson Valley, but between 3-5 am NY is bloody pitch dark. LOL We probably drove right by Tara’s house.

5. It was overcast and foggy the entire morning- a perfect foil for the gorgeous foliage. Which was still awe inspiring despite being past peak.

6. The VT gas station attendant who was amazed by our Dept. of Defense gate & inspection stickers. For once I wished Husband was a spy or spec. ops again or something. Just to see the young man’s eyes bug out even more.

7. You know you’re not in Suburbia anymore when the signs beside the road warn drivers “Moose Crossing”

8. VT has snow the day after we were there. *boo hoo hoo*

9. The hotel was so full that we couldn’t check in early. We’d been on the road 10 hours and desperately wanted showers & a nap before Son #1’s interview. Alas it was not to be.

10. The elderly man zooming along the sidewalks on a Segway. Tree branches and small dogs no obstacle.

11.Son #1 & Husband met a grocery store clerk who wanted to go to college at William & Mary (Husband's & my alma mater). It is indeed a very small world.

12. Sgt. Russell Durgin spray painted on a overpass on NH route 9. May he rest in peace & may the good Lord hold his family in the palm of His hand.

13. The water in Chocorua Lake was warmer than the air. The lake assn. Has beautiful benches & tables beside the lake. Free for public use.

14. If you’re ever in the Conway, NH area, check out the guy who does custom carving - he has a huge bear & an indian face (totem style) made from whole sections of trees. Quite impressive.

15. Torrential rain in ME Friday. Hard enough that bubbles and waves blew across the puddle outside the motel door.

16. We were passed by a giant double column of motorcycle riders.. we estimate at least 60 bikes. The weather was bright and sunny, and we figured they enjoyed the sunshine as much as we did.

17. There is a Giant indian statue beside I 295 near Yarmouth ME. Note: site chosen for photo, not accuracy of commentary.

18. The seawall in Biddeford is carefully piled, unmortared boulders. Very easy to climb atop & sit down upon, although cold on the derriere.

19. In a restaurant both Husband & the man at the next table had the same order number- thus followed many cheap date jokes.

20. In PA massage parlors are free to advertise on highway billboards. “Truckers Welcome” at all. Diseases free too I’d imagine.

21. Husband fell in love with the granite edged sidewalks.

22. Lukoil (the Russian energy giant) has bought up all of the Getty gas stations in this general region (PA north to ME).

23. I hadn’t seen Gulf gas & convenience stations since I was a girl & I’d assumed Gulf was out of business. Wrong. They seem to be alive and well in New England.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Otherwise known as- we here at Bookwormom Central have gone leaf peeping and college hunting in New England. Regular posting oughta resume Monday the 23rd, maybe Sunday night. We'll see. Tentative itinerary? Southern New Hampshire to see a teeny tiny college smaller than Son#1's high school. Then onward to Maine to see at least one, possibly two other teeny tiny colleges. Along the way? Possible hiking & detour to pay my respects at my grandparents' graves. Also hoping to purchase a gallon of grade B dark maple syrup. Maybe maple candy. A treat for the the children left behind, plus a gift for Son#1's Best Buddy- stuck at home due to recent serious surgery & heart disease.

Books enjoying the ride? Miles Murder and Mayhem by Lois McMaster Bujold, second omnibus in the Vorkosigan series. And what else??? Dunno yet. I still need to read a boo for Angie's challenge.

Have a wonderful weekend, all! See you Monday~

July, Aug. & Sept. Summary

A quarterly summary of what I've read, listed in order by the date I read them. Also available on archive buttons on the left, alphabetical by author's last name.

1.Black Ice, Anne Stuart

2.One Good Knight, Mercedes Lackey

3.Faerie Wars, Herbie Brennan

4.Peep; Scott Westerfeld

5.Inkheart; Cornelia Funke

6-8.3 Books

9 & 10.2 More

11.Irresistable Forces, Catherine Asaro

12.Fool in Love, Eloisa James

13.Thoedora; Sara Blayne

14.Bewitched; Heather Cullman

15. Quantum Rose; Catherine ASaro

16.Catch the Lightning; Catherine Asaro

17. Tithe; Holly Black

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Young Miles; L.M. Bujold

Young Miles is an omnibus of two previously published Miles Vorkosigan books plus one Miles short story: The Warrior's Apprentice, The Mountains of Mourning and The Vor Game. The omnibuses put Miles' books together internal chronolgical order- which is nice. No more hunting all over the internet for chronolgical lists.

The story begins with Miles at 17, trying valiantly but failing the physical entrance test for the premier military school on Barrayar. Subsequently Miles escapes his grandmother on Beta and the rest of his adventure begins. Space opera at its best.

At 17 Miles suffers from all of the expected flaws of the young. Especially young people whose parents have money and connections. Namely: the conviction that they will live forever, that credit and your good name are enough, blithe inattention to nuances and ethics, dragging others into his schemes pell mell & damn the torpedoes. Miles seems to suffer from ADD terribly. Genetically unable to pay attention for more than five minutes, Miles is restless and suffers the consequences. Not to mention the chip on his shoulder about his height.

As is to be expected, Miles grows signifigantly in maturity over the course of Young Miles. He learns to read people better. Well, he learns that he needs to read people. He learns that his actions and attitudes have far reaching ripples. Learns that power and responsiblity are heavy at times and never to be taken lightly. Miles firmly believes that sometimes doing the right thing trumps following orders. A difficult stance to maintain in a militaristic culture. Somehow, though, Miles inspires those around him to strive. An admirable and rare trait. Miles is a fully rounded , human character, not a stereotype. I appreciate that most of all, I think.

It was difficult to finish this one. The first section, especially, was hard. I find seventeen year olds who pull a prank on the 'rents, their gov't & a whole bunch of others with credit cards and a ton of chutzpah tough to swallow. I liked the middle section best, despite the fact that it is the shortest. In The Mountains of Mourning Miles learns the true extent of his feudal obligations to the people of his land, how the ripples of decision making reach far and wide. Much growth, here in this little nugget.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Reader Network

Is back up. Bev says she has fiddled with it and hopes she has fixed the glitches. Suisan has posted at Bev's & on the board. I need to reset my password though. My avatar was gone too. Those are minor issues though. Go check it out.

I also added two new links to my sidebar- Suisan and Good Reads (Devonna). Gotta love a pol who's into dressage. And any woman who quotes Baudelaire and D. Erasmus (you know him- the buy books first & everything else second guy)? shoulda been on the sidebar ages ago.

Guilty/Innocent Meme

Found this at Jenster's and at Cindy's. Kinda cute. Different questions.

1. Dated outside your race?
Guilty- I've dated a Native American & a Latino. Delicious

2. Singing in the shower?
Innocent. I'm tone deaf

3. Spit in someone's drink? Innocent. Disgusting. Never offend your waiter

4. Played with Barbies? Guilty. Had the pool & the car & the house & ...

5. Made someone cry? Guilty. I tend to be overly blunt when I get really, really angry. Sue me.

6. Opened your Christmas presents early? Innocent. I used to snoop around the closets & under the bed & in the attic & in the basement beforehand though. LOL

7. Lied to a friend? Guilty. "Those pants really look great." or "No pizza & ice cream aren't cheating on your diet."

8. Watched and cried while watching a soap opera? Innocent. I watched soaps but never cried. Too cheesy!

9. Played a computer game for more than 5 hours? Innocent

10. Ran through the sprinklers naked? Guilty, age 12 and under. Innocent as an adult.

11. Ate food that fell on the floor? Guilty- cookies & candy & chips. Unless the dog got there first.

12. Went outside naked? As an adult? Innocent

13. Been on stage? Innocent

14. Been on stage naked or close to it? Innocent

15. Been in a parade? Innocent

16. Been in a school play? Guilty- 3rd grade

17. Drank beer? Guilty. Don't much enjoy it though.

18. Gotten detention? Guilty- once for smoking once for...can't remember the other one. It was in 7th grade though.

19. Been on a plane? Guilty. LOVE to fly.

20. Been on a cruise? Innocent

21. Broken into a house? Guilty. My own. Also, our car. I lose the keys often.

22. Gotten a tattoo? Innocent

23. Gotten piercings? Innocent

24. Gotten into a fist fight? Innocent

25. Gotten into a shouting match? Guilty. Why argue quietly?

26. Swallowed sea/pool water? Guilty. It's unavoidable.

27. Spun yourself in circles to get dizzy on purpose? Guilty

28. Laughed so hard it hurt? Guilty

29. Tripped on your own feet? Guilty. Most memorable time was falling onto my hands and knees in the middle of the sidewalk while eight months pregnant with Son #2.

30. Cried yourself to sleep? Innocent. If I'm that upset I can't sleep.

31. Cried in public? Guilty. I'm a very ugly crier. Hideous red nose. Very embarrassing.

32. Thrown up in public? Innocent

33. Lied to your parents? ER..INNOCENT. No one lies to their parents.

34. Skipped class? Guilty. Especially in college.

35. Cried so hard you threw up? Innocent. Sounds really gross BTW.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Children's Literature Awards 2006

Following is a list of 2006 children's literature awards given this year. There are many other groups out there who review & awards children's literature who have not yet named there 2006 winners. Horn Book Magazine has a comprhensive list, as does the ALA. Start your Christmas shopping now!

Audiobook Hall of Fame Award
Awarded to recognize a lasting contribution to the audiobook industry.

2006 The Harry Potter series, narrated by Jim Dale

Mildred Batchelder Award
Awarded annually by the American Library Association (ALA) to the publisher of the most outstanding book originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country and subsequently translated into English for publication in the U.S.

An Innocent Soldier by Josef Holub, translated by Michael Hoffmann

Honor Books~
Nicholas, written by René Goscinny, illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé, and translated by Anthea Bell; and When I Was a Soldier, written by Valérie Zenatti and translated by Adriana Hunter.

Pura Belpré Award
Awarded every two years to Latino writers and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience.

2006 Author Award~ The Tequila Worm Viola Canales

Honor Books~
César: ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We Can!, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and illustrated by David Diaz ; Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colón and Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards
Awarded annually for excellence in literature for children and young adults.

Fiction and Poetry~
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Honor Books~
Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary by Julie Larios, illustrated by Julie Paschkis; and Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy

If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty, illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Honor Books~
A Mother's Journey by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Alan Marks; and Wildfire by Taylor Morrison

Caldecott Medal
Awarded annually to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book.

Chris Raschka for The Hello, Goodbye Window, written by Norton Juster

Honor Books~
Rosa illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Nikki Giovanni; Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth; Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride by Marjorie Priceman; and Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems illustrated by Beckie Prange, written by Joyce Sidman

Edgar Awards
The Edgar Allan Poe Awards honor the best mystery writing of the year.

2006 Young Adult
Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein

Will Eisner Comic Industry Award
Awarded annually to honor the best publications in the comics industry.

2006 Best Publication for a Younger Audience
Owly: Flying Lessons by Andy Runton

Coretta Scott King Award
Awarded annually to African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults that demonstrate sensitivity to "the true worth and value of all beings."

2006 Coretta Scott King Author Award~
Julius Lester for Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue

Honor Awards~
Tonya Bolden for Maritcha: A Remarkable Nineteenth-Century American Girl, to Nikki Grimes for Dark Sons, and to Marilyn Nelson for A Wreath for Emmett Till, illustrated by Philippe Lardy

MacArthur Fellowship Award
Honoring "extraordinary originality and dedication in...creative pursuits."

David Macaulay, author of Mosque, The Way Things Work, and many other children's books on architecture and engineering.

Newbery Medal
Awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Criss Cross, Lynne Rae Perkins

Honor Books~
Whittington by Alan Armstrong, illustrated by S.D. Schindler; Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti; Princess Academy by Shannon Hale; and Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott

Andre Norton Award
First awarded in 2006 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to recognize an outstanding young adult science fiction or fantasy novel.

Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black

Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction
Awarded annually to a work of historical fiction set in the Americas.

The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich

Michael L. Printz Award
A book that best exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Honor Books~
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan; I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak; John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth by Elizabeth Partridge; and A Wreath for Emmett Till written by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Philippe Lardy

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award
Awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished informational book.

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker

Honor Book~
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

E.B. White Read Aloud Book Award
Awarded annually by the Association of Booksellers for Children to “reflect the universal read aloud standards that were created by the work of the author E.B White in his classic books for children.”

2006~ Older Readers~
Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles

2006 Young Adults’ Choices
Annually awarded by International Reading Association and selected by young readers across the country.

1. Alosha by Christopher Pike
2. Are We Alone?: Scientists Search for Life in Space by Gloria Skurzynski
3. Back Stage Pass by Gaby Triana
4. The Beckoners by Carrie Mac
5. The Boy Who Couldn’t Die by William Sleator
6. The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon
7. Can’t Get There From Here by Todd Strasser
8. Contents Under Pressure by Lara M. Zeises
9. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
10. Cruise Control by Terry Trueman
11. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
12. The Dragon’s Son by Margaret Weis
13. Emako Blue by Brenda Woods
14. Fighting the Current by Heather Waldorf
15. Going for the Record by Julie A. Swanson
16. Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning
17. How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller by Julia DeVillers
18. Jude by Kate Morgenroth
19. Leap Day by Wendy Mass
20. Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
21. Nothing to Lose by Alex Flinn
22. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
23. Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot
24. Remember D-Day: The Plan, the Invasion, Survivor Stories by Ronald J. Drez
25. The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
26. So B. It by Sarah Weeks
27. Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler
28. Who Am I Without Him?: Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives by Sharon G. Flake
29. Worlds Afire by Paul B. Janeczko
30. The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Friday, October 13, 2006

Literature Prizes 2006

Man Booker Prize:

Winner:The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai

Also nominated: Kate Grenville's The Secret River, M J Hyland's Carry Me Down, Hisham Matar's In the Country of Men and Edward St Aubyn's Mother's Milk.

Nobel Prize in Literature: Orhan Pamuk

Quill awards:

Debut author: Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, Julie Powell

Audio Book: Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog,
John Grogan

Children's Illustrated book: If You Give a Pig a Party, Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

Children's Novel, intermediate level: The Penultimate Peril, Lemony Snicket

Teen Novel: Eldest, Christopher Paolini

General Fiction: A Dirty Job: A Novel, Christopher Moore

Graphic Novel: Naruto, Volume 7, Masashi Kishimoto

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense: Twelve Sharp, Janet Evanovich

Poetry: Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem: Maya Angelou

Romance: Blue Smoke Nora Roberts

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror: A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Diana Gabaldon

Religion/Spirituality: Mama Made the Difference, T. D. Jakes

Biography/Memoir: Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog, John Grogan

Business: The Girl's Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch): Valuable Lessons, Smart Suggestions, and True Stories for Succeeding as the Chick-in-Charge, Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio

Cooking: Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats: A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners, Rachael Ray

Health/Self Improvement: It's Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider, Jim Henson

History/Current Events/Politics: An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore

Humor: Don't Make a Black Woman Take off Her Earrings:
Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life;
Tyler Perry

Sports: Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game!:
A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football;
Holly Robinson Peete

National Book Awards Finalists: Winner announced Nov. 15
Edited Dec. 4th- Winners in BOLD

Mark Z. Danielewski, Only Revolutions
Ken Kalfus, A Disorder Peculiar to the Country
Richard Powers, The Echo Maker
Dana Spiotta, Eat the Document
Jess Walter, The Zero


Taylor Branch, At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68
Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone
Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl/u>
Peter Hessler, Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present
Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11


Louise Glück, Averno
H.L. Hix, Chromatic
Ben Lerner, Angle of Yaw
Nathaniel Mackey, Splay Anthem
James McMichael, Capacity

Children's Literature:

M.T. Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party
Martine Leavitt, Keturah and Lord Death
Patricia McCormick, Sold
Nancy Werlin, The Rules of Survival
Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday 13 #20- Gardening

Fall gardeniing chores & assorted fun activities. Leave a link in the comments & I'll link to you. Click link above to see other Thursday 13 participants.

1. Weed

2. Plant new spring bulbs- unless like me, you're late, in which case you're undecided & will have to wait until Nov. to plant your spring bulbs

3. Feed bulbs

4. Top dress entire garden with compost or composted manure

5. Plant pansies & set out mums- unless you've the hardy mums , in which case all you need to do is sit back & enjoy

6. Bemoan the fact that you can't find Icicle Pansies this year (probably 'cuz you're late as per usual). Icicle pansies will take a frost as long as they get sun & water. Here in my section of zone 6 that means they'll often last all winter.

7. Hunt all over for unique & unusual gourds, pumpkins, corn cobs & similar autumn related decorating items.

8. Lust after your neighbor's gorgeous morning glories, still heavily blooming.

9. Only until you remember your moonflowers (same flower family) are still going strong & are covered with buds.

10. Enjoy frog hunting from the comfort of your porch- we've at least four tiny green froggies living among my plants & flowers

11. Marvel at the ugliness of Christmas decor at the garden center. Think bright red & neon purple glittery tinsel like 8' trees. OMG.

12. Wish desperately you could justify/afford the 75% off rattan & iron outdoor furniture. However, since you live in an aprtment, there's no way.

13. Buy hyacinth bulbs for sequential forcing over the winter. There's nothing like the smell of fresh flowers to keep you going in the dead of winter.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Changes Coming

Currently playing with new templates etc. Please bear with me!


As a parent and as a wife I find myself a professional worrywart. Things both large, "Are we carrying enough life insurance? Will DC be hit by terrorists while we're in town?" and small, "Did Son #1 have money for lunch? Has Daughter passed her math test? Is Husband safely at work yet?" flow through my mind on a regular basis.

Yesterday I took all of my kids plus the boy down the street to a small college fair up the road a pace. Boy up the street wants to enlist in the Navy. Considering his family situation, I hope he does. Even factoring in the current military & political situation, his best chance at a productive future is to get out of here & the military is his best opportunity.

Anyhow, Son #1 & boy up the street stop by a little table manned by Montana State University. This institution seems right up Son #1's alley- very outdoorsy, beautiful, programs he's interested in, they take 'average Joe' kinda kids, small town atmosphere, study abroad options. Cheaper than private colleges. He was so excited he was jumping up & down when we returned home. Seriously- I've rarely seen him so pumped up. He's already looked up their application online.

Now don't get me wrong. I want him to go away to school, preferably to a place where he can challenge himself & have a good time & where he can be a young adult on his own. Montana is a tad further away than I expected though. Most of the colleges he's concentrating on are up in New England. A full day's drive, if not overnight, from here. BUT- I have alot of family up there. People he could turn to if he had a problem, wanted a homecooked meal, etc. No such safety net in Montana.

Husband has already smiled at me & told me I'm being a 'momma hen' as he puts it. I realize he a) hasn't applied or been accpted yet and b) hasn't made any final decisions. I am the family worrywart though. I think I'll be taking Zantac indefinitely.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cordelia's Honor; L.M. Bujold

This is an omnibus edition comprised of Shards of Honor and Barrayar both originally published in 1986 and 1991 respectively. I borrowed this from the library, as the Vorkosigan saga has quite a large cast and my book budget is tight. I first read Ms. Bujold's short story telling of Miles' marriage & the love life of one Sgt. Taura in Irresistable Forces. I decided to find her other material- initially concentrating on the Vorkosigan family & not on her new Chalion series .

The series is set up around Miles Vorkosigan & his adventures, very similar to mystery series in the sense that they weren't written in internal chronolgical order (meaning starting at the beginning of Miles' life & moving forward). I was advised to begin with this volume as it details Miles' parents' courtship & also relates signifigant background material (such as how Miles became physically deformed).

Cordelia Naismith, a Betan native, is on a planetary exploration mission when her scientific crew is ambushed and killed. The only survivor, she is taken prisoner by one Aral Vorkosigan, of the planet Barrayar. Now, the planet Beta seems to be to be similar to Europe socially. Liberal, well eduacted, high standard of living, slightly condescending to anyone not from Beta. Barrayar, OTOH, is emerging from a long period of galactic isolation & as a result it culturally, politically & socially backward when compared with other planets. Barrayar is given to violent political strife & its people are very agressive & seem to have a chip on their shoulder because they are often looked down upon.

Barrayar has claimed this planet, but not announced this fact to other planets. Thus Cordelia's scientific mission is viewed as an 'invasion' despite the fact that no one knows the Barrayarans have claimed the place. On these grounds Aral takes Cordelia prisoner. They then come under attack from Aral's people. Now they must evade Aral's people, keep a desperately wounded man alive, overcome the attempted coup & get up to Aral's ship.

What follows is a convoluted space adventure complicated by politics, war, honor and extreme cultural differences. Cordelia views Aral's culture as backward, violent & warmongering, but this is tempered by her appreciation for his values & behavior. Aral appreciates Cordelia as his equal intellectually & the fact that her sense of honor is at least as great as his even if she often approaches decisions from the opposite viewpoint. I definitely had a sense that Cordelia & Aral liked each other perhaps lusted after each other, but weren't really together enough initially to develop a strong relationship.

Not until after they marry does Cordelia begin to appreciate how much responsability Aral has or how dangerous his life is. Ms. Bujold, in the second half, does an excellent job portraying Cordelia's troubles adjusting to the reality of being a political wife, learning to get along with Aral's father, the lack of privacy, her concerns that Aral is overworked & overstressed & underappreciated. Cordelia's feelings of cultural isolation & bewilderment are apropos too. Being a Yankee & living across the South for nearly twenty years now, I completely related to Cordelia feeling culturally lost. Because they were both adults entering into the relationship, there is a minimum of angst which I was thankful for. Cordelia married Aral with her eyes open, if not fully informed.

Now that I'm up on Miles' parents, his family & political background, the reasons for his disabilities, etc. I'm ready to continue glomming Ms. Bujold's Vorkosigan series. Via her website I read there is another Miles book coming late 2008 or perhaps 2009. The third Chalion book, The Hallowed Hunt is out as well.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Family update

Coming tomorrow, hopefully, thoughts on Lois McMaster Bujold's Cordelia's Honor. Also results on my attempts to glom Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series especially now that Rosario has offered advice & insight (see comments on previous entry). First thing in the morning I'm hunting the library for Fire Rose.

Son #2 has just turned 11. He had a quiet birthday this year. A friend spent the night & they stayed up past all reasonable hours playing XBox & Gamecube. Next morning I made sure to take them to the park & run them around. Just in case they weren't tired enough. HAHAHAHA Needless to say, he was exhausted that night. He just got the first grading period interims & as usual he's doing well academically.

Daughter feels like Sisyphus repeatedly rolling the rock uphill, only in her case every year. Poor baby. She struggles mightily with math & we're frantically trying to teach her not to freeze during exams. Poor darling. She can do it, she just needs confidence. On the brighter side, she's putting together a portfolio for the local national park. They've advertised for an artist to submit drawings for a coloring book. I've my fingers crossed for her. We've had great talks walking through the park & sitting together while she draws.

Son #1's GF/best buddy is currently in Children's Hospital in DC awaiting heart surgery. She's 17. She's on the transplant list. She's a great girl- funny, giggly, trying desperately to be a regular kid. Please say a prayer or two for her. She deserves a chance to be an adult & live a full & rich life. Son #1 himself is fine. Cruising through AP Chem pretty well. Getting ready to roadtrip with Husband to New England in ten days. They're college hunting. Or rather, Son is college hunting.

Husband & I are perking right along. Same as adults everywhere, it takes alot to shake up the routine.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Wizard of London; M. Lackey

Certain elements of this story reminded me of Katherine Kurtz & Deborah Turner Harris' Adept series, but Ms. Lackey puts her own stamp on things. Set in England during that wonderful exploratory age of steamers & trains, Wizard of London has an ensemble cast featuring two schoolgirls, several Indians, magic, fairies & mystical creatures. BTW, this is book four of the Elemental Masters series. Yet again I have started a series bass ackwards.

This version of life has three types of people: plain humans, humans with psychic talents (clairvoyance, telepathy, etc) & humans with elemental talents (water, fire, earth or air). The first category doesn't concern us at all in this story. The second two do. The little girls in question, Sarah & Nan, are psychically gifted. Sophie is a medium & Nan is to be a 'Warrior of Light' when she grows up.

Basically the set up is this- Sarah & Nan attend a school where their talents can be nurtured & trained & protected. Despite this they are attacked. Somehow the headmistress manages to protect them, although only with the help of friends long in her past. Mixed into this is a sorceress who will do anything to remain young & beautiful forever; her male protege, who is really dumb as a brick, IMO; two birds as the girls' familiars; fairies & ..ta da!! My favorite- Puck.

The similarities to Kurtz & Harris' work is superficial & relates mainly to terms used: elemental powers, warrior of light & a few general themes. WOL seems to stand on its own, apart from the others in the series. Well, I don't feel as though I've missed anything from the previous three like I did when I accidentally got Anne Bishop's Pillars series wrong. It's a fascinating glimpse into a little world I'd like to get to know better.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday 13 #19

Given the heartbreaking & traumatic events of the last ten days or so, I've decided to focus on things to be thankful for, in no particular order:

1. Family

2. Faith

3. Friends- especially cyber buddies

4. Health

5. Stable circumstances (jobs, finances, home, etc)

6. Hope- sometimes this is the hardest to hold on to

7. Forgiveness- I have trouble sometimes

8. My books

9. Pets past & present

10. Good conversations

11. Beautiful weather

12. Gardens

13. Arts- fine, dramatic, music- art uplifts the spirit & reminds us of our potential

Leave a link in the comments & I'll link to you. Click link above to see other participants.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Shadow of the Lion; M. Lackey et al

A collaboration by three major SFF authors (Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint & David Freer), Shadow is an alternate reality fantasy published by Baen in 2002. It is available free to read or download HERE.

Honestly, it took me about 500 pages to get into this. Once I did I couldn't put it down. There is beautiful world building. Venice could only become more vivid by being there, I think.

At it's heart, this is a novel of political intrigue. The Holy Roman Empire never fell, the great library in Alexandria Egypt wasn't destroyed, & England & France & a few other places have formed one country called Aquitane. People from all of these places, plus Lithuania & various Italian city states have all converged on Venice. Each faction has an agenda & a plan to accomplish its goals.

Mainly this is the story of the following people & the governments they represent. Benito & Marco, two orphaned brothers on their own but who have powerful competing interests looking for them. Several of the boys' friends, primarily Katerina & Maria, who each have problems & responsabilities. Eric & Manfred, secret emissaries of the Emperor currently undercover in a military order. Francesca, a prostitute cum courtesan with a head for politics & the patrons necessary to keep her up to date. A demon controlled mad Grand Duke who likes to eat fried human skin. A mage who was nearly crazed in a magic attack. Plus assorted assasins, spies, mages & magical creatures.

Political machinations, secret plots, magic both good & bad, romance & fighting all populate this story. All set into the fabric of Venice so that the city itself becomes a player too. Scattered throughout are references to historical people. It is possible to amuse yourself endlessly by trying to remember & then compare actual history to this version. I did a little searching on the side & had great fun, but then I like history..If you enjoy sagas, this is the book for you.

This book begins the Heirs of Alexandria series. This Rough Magic, also co written by the same authors is available as well. I have it too, but I haven't started it yet. At 900+ pages, I'm a little daunted even though I enjoyed Shadow

The Lighter Side

And now for something completely different...

Your Theme Song is Back in Black by AC/DC

"Back in black, I hit the sack,
I've been too long, I'm glad to be back"

Things sometimes get really crazy for you, and sometimes you have to get away from all the chaos.
But each time you stage your comeback, it's even better than the last!

Thanks Sybil for the fun. Later today I'll talk about the tome which I've finally finished.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Please pray

for children everywhere- there was another school shooting this morning. In Amish country in Pennsylvania, a deranged lunatic has killed three students & himself & wounded seven others. What is this world coming to?!

Psalm 46 (abbreviated)

God is our hope and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved
and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea.
Though the waters thereof rage and swell,
and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same..
Be still then, and know that I am God.. ~

"Give courage and faith to those who are bereaved, that they may have strength to meet the days ahead in the comfort of a reasonable and holy hope, in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. Help us, we pray, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection to life everlasting. Amen" BCP p. 481

Sunday, October 01, 2006

On Romance

The following comments were made on SmartBitches in the comments section. Nora Roberts defines, very clearly IMO, what romance as a genre is & why I continue to return to romances even if I have to step out from under the umbrella once in a while. Or often, as has been the case lately.

I deleted some of her comments to emphasize what resonated most strongly with me full text of her thoughts should be in the comments section on the link above.

Romance is a genre, and genres have constants and frameworks. If I'm writing a Mystery, I'm going to have a puzzle or crime, clues, suspects, and a resolution which solves the mystery.

If I'm writing a Romance, I'm going to have a love story, sex or sexual tension, internal, external conflict or both, emotional commitment and a happy ending. Which doesn't mean a wedding or a brood of babies. It means the lovers are together, in love, and commited to each other..

The genre doesn't have to deny itself its main structure in order to be creative--it's the writers who're responsible for making the story fresh, compelling and creative. And who must do so by understanding and appreciating the reader's expectations for the genre.

As for the reader who wants to a story without that structure, there are plenty of choices outside of Romance that offer it.

Posted by Nora Roberts on 09/28 at 12:47 PM

Genre=a category of artistic, musical or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form or content. Webster's.

If you want a romantic novel, that's different. If you want a Romance novel, you want one of a particular style, form or content--as it's a genre--and that includes the constant of a HEA.

Writers and readers are free to go outside the genre if the desire to create or to read outside the genre form is a factor.

I read lots outside the genre, and I wager the majority who post here do, too. But if I'm reading or writing Romance, I understand the framework, and the constants of the genre that comprise it.

It's such a fluid genre, easily accepting elements from every other area of fiction--as long as the constants are maintained. From the bodice rippers of the 70's, to the H/S early traditional categories, to romantic suspense, comedy, meledrama, paranormal, fantasy, sf, contemp, historical, futuristic, erotic romance. It flows and it absorbs--inside the genre framework.

If you're not satisfied by what's out there under the Romance umbrella, on any of its varied spokes, it may be the fault of the writers. We're not finding enough fresh ways to address those constants or creating characters compelling enough that you're pulled into their story.

Or it may be that you need to step out from under the umbrella for awhile.

Posted by Nora Roberts on 09/28 at 01:49 PM

.. I think many books in the genre challenge or have challenged the reader. But that reader, when selecting, specifically, a Romance novel, knows the framework, knows she will get a HEA. She doesn’t know how the writer, and the characters, will take her there.

And the HEA is, absolutely, a definitive constant of the genre. Whether it's subtle or overt, complex or by that point simple depends entirely on the writer--and always most importantly--the story.

You don't have to accept the HEA. You simply have to accept that in Romance, the genre of Romance, you're going to get it.

In the early 80's Silhouette opened, hoping to revolutionize category Romance. They did. But they did so by twisting the category framework--maintaining that framework--but Americanizing it. The constants remained constant.

If in my the first book of my current trilogy where I killed off a sympathetic character, I'd chosen to kill off the hero, I would have betrayed the genre and the reader expectation thereof. If I had needed to do so, story-wise, then I would, without question, have made it as clear as I could, in as many ways as I could, that this book was NOT Romance.

If you don't have the HEA, the story slides off that umbrella of Romance into another area. And that's fine.

I guess I don't understand why any reader, dissatisfied with the framework, the form, the constants of the genre feels the genre itself should adjust for her needs, rather than she seek her satisfaction in another area of fiction.

Posted by Nora Roberts on 09/28 at 02:33 PM