Thoughts

Bookmark Monday (II): DragonCon Freebies

With nearly a year gone by since my last Bookmark Monday post (way to stick new habits, self), I thought I would share the freebies I brought back from DragonCon.  Bookmarks are a great way to spread the word about yourself at a con, especially one for sci-fi & fantasy readers!

Bookmarks & Con Badge
Pretty Souvenirs!

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Thoughts

Bookmark Monday (I): Nature Memories

I write so much about what I’m currently reading that I thought I’d try something a little different with this post & show off some bookmarks from my collection.  I found the idea over on Guiltless Reading, who has some cool posts showing off different book marks & where to purchase them.  I can’t really remember who made mine but I can tell you a cool fact or two about them!  Yay, sharing!

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Books

Off the Shelf: House of Clay

House of ClayHouse of Clay by Naomi Nowak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 instead of 3. I picked this compact little graphic novel up because the artwork was surreal & captivating. Unfortunately, that really is the only thing to recommend here. House of Clay follows Josephine, a girl from a formerly wealthy family, who goes to work in a garment factory. She’s determined to go to nursing school despite the fact that she can’t handle the sight of blood. While working at the factory, she meets Edith, a former prostitute who’s missing a tongue & has a mysterious past. She also eventually crosses paths with an older woman who offers to tell her future & hints that there may by a different life waiting for her.

As I was reading, I could easily imagine the story as fodder for Mary Caponegro’s or George Saunders’ fantastical imaginings. It’s a coming-of-age tale layered in fairy tale & Romanticism with a healthy dose of postmodern sensibility–a perfect playground for current fabulists & experimental writers. The problem here though is that Nowak isn’t able to get her art to deepen the story details she provides or mesh with the atmosphere she’s suggesting. There are still plenty of questions as to Josephine’s motivation, why she seemingly falls in love with someone she’s barely spoken to, or what exactly her history with her parents is.

I’m reminded here of Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout. Both are clearly beloved projects by their creators, but they both still seem very personal and doesn’t give other readers a good way into the crux of the story. As I mentioned, the art is very beautiful–dreamlike, playful, luxurious & feminine with good harmony of design & space. Feel free to pick it up to browse through if you’re curious, but don’t expect much past your enjoyment of the visuals.

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Thoughts

Archiving CAN Be Fun

So a few months ago, I wrote about my digital portfolio & how I had to rethink how I had organized it after some of the older links went dead.  One of the changes I was considering was scanning my actual clippings into PDFs.  Since it was a rainy day here today & because it’s been on my to-do list for months, I finally got all of the pages together & took them to my local library to scan.  And do you know what, getting them all digitized was actually fun.

I mentioned in the other post that just thinking about scanning 80-some reviews was tiring.  But altogether, the whole process took 30 minutes.  But the fun part was going back through and remembering the books I had loved and communicating that to other readers.  I also felt a comforting sense of satisfaction in the amount of work that the physical clippings actually represented.  I did all this, I thought to myself, and most times it was great.  I don’t have to start over with each writing gig; I have plenty of momentum behind me.

The next step is looking over what I have and seeing what I want to add or change to my digital clippings account.  Then, I’m planning on writing an informal artist’s statement for myself to help me focus on what writing gigs I want to take on.  I also thinking of taking something I’ve already written and editing it in Chicago style, as well as the two I already know, MLA and AP, as a sort of mental exercise.  Future plans aside, looking back at what I’ve done has rekindled my ambitions.

Thoughts

Digital Changes & Maintaining a Portfolio

Well, dear Reader, I had to learn a hard lesson this weekend.  I was using some of my HTML lessons to spruce up my ‘Current Work’ tab.  The long bullet list of the 75 book reviews I’ve had published was getting changed into a nice, orderly little table like so:

It's hard work to be this pretty.
It’s hard work to be this pretty.

I wrote code for a few long hours until I gave myself a headache.  But I didn’t post the changes right away because I wanted to give it another look the next day.  I was convinced I had made some errors & wanted to give it one more look before it went live.  But, when I sat down at my computer the next day to start checking my work, I soon discovered that most of the links to the paper that I write for were utterly dead.  And not due to any mistake of mine.

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