Tag Archives: literature

Armchair BEA Day 3: Expanding Blogging Horizons & Novellas/Short Stories

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Hey guys! Welcome to day three of Armchair BEA! BEA (Book Expo America) is a huge event featuring books, authors, agents, publishers and is basically a Bacchanalia for booklovers. Alas, it is in NYC and I’m on the West Coast so I will not be in attendance. But fear not! Because the lovely people at Armchair BEA have a great week planned for those of us who won’t be at the convention, and I’m participating!

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Expanding Blogging Horizons

I’m at a bit of a loss with this topic, but I’ll give it a try! I’ve only been blogging for about eight months, and for me starting my blog was expanding my horizons. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I hail from the deviantART lit community. I’m a writer, and that community really helped me hone my skills. But everyone kept telling me that a writer needs a blog. It’s a must. I resisted.

Then, totally by accident, I saw a link on deviantART to a giveaway hop. Free books? I thought. Cool. So I clicked the link and my life changed.

Here was an entire world of bloggers reviewing, fangirling, giving away and just plain celebrating books. I’ve always loved reading, and Holly Black’s Tithe series showed me that there is SO MUCH more to YA than what people might think. I’d gotten so into deviantART that my reading of physical books had fallen off a bit. So I started lurking, following blogs, entering giveaways, updating my Goodreads with reviews, and rethinking my aversion to having a blog.

After about a year of studying other blogs, I launched Rose Shadow Ink. Since then, I’ve tried to learn the ropes, and basically gain the industry knowledge that authors can benefit from. But I don’t have a blog because I feel like I have to. I have a blog because I love books, and I love interacting with book lovers. And I love sharing that love.

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Novellas/Short Stories

I used to be a novel snob. I still prefer them. Honestly I even shy aways from standalones sometimes – when an author creates a world I love living in, characters I love spending time with, I want to live there forever. Spin-off series are a huge win with me. And since novellas have become so popular, we as readers have been treated to even more immersion in our favorite fictional worlds. As a proud print snob, I find them slightly annoying because I’m forced to read on a computer or my smartphone (the horror!) in order to further my understanding of the story, but as it seems publishers have finally started releasing them in print too, I’m a happy girl.

But despite all this, I still have an appreciation for short stories. I don’t fall in love with the characters or world the way I do with series, but I do fall in love with the sentences themselves, with the themes explored. An excellent example of this is my favorite short story, There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury. The chilling images it created in my mind have never left me. I strongly suggest you read it if you haven’t. You can listen to it read out loud by Leonard Nimoy below:

or read it here:

There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury

I’d also like to share my second-favorite short story. I dearly hope she publishes it one day, because it deserves it, but for now it’s free to read on deviantART. I know you’re probably hopping to all of the participating blogs right now and don’t have time, but maybe bookmark these two and come back later? You won’t regret it.

My Sara by scarletbird

If anyone survives the world’s ending, I only want them to hear the truth. I know, if there is any history after this is over, she will not be remembered fondly. I cannot blame them. They didn’t know her as I did. 

(read the rest)

Hmm. I really seem to like my short stories with a healthy dose of sci-fi and destruction. I hope you enjoy them as well.

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Thanks so much for reading and please feel free to comment!

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Armchair BEA Day 1: Introductions & Literature

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Hey guys! Welcome to the first day of Armchair BEA! BEA (Book Expo America) is a huge event featuring books, authors, agents, publishers and is basically a Bacchanalia for booklovers. Alas, it is in NYC and I’m on the West Coast so I will not be in attendance. But fear not! Because the lovely people at Armchair BEA have a great week planned for those of us who won’t be at the convention, and I’m participating!

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Day 1 is introductions, so here goes:

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m Rain, (my real name is Julia, but Rain is my middle name and pen name so I go by it online) and I’m a YA fantasy author (seeking publication) and poet (publishing in the fall). I’m 27 but I don’t believe it, in my head I’m still a teenager, I’m happily married and have four adorable feline children. I live in Northern California. I’ve been blogging for about 8 months now. I discovered book blogging quite by accident and have been hooked ever since. I spent about a year lurking before I took the plunge and started my own blog. It just looked like so much fun! And I love to spread the word about great books.

Q: Describe your blog in just one sentence and link your social media accounts:

Reviews, promotion and fangirling of mostly YA books, plus discussions, events and updates on my own journey to publication, from a quirky Norcal book nerd.

Find me elsewhere on the web:

Twitter * Facebook

Q:  What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 

Last Year:

Read my review.

This Year:

Read my review.

Q:  Share your favorite book or reading related quote. 

“How can it be?” she wondered. “I suppose I could understand it if men had simply forgotten unicorns. But not to see them at all, to look at them and see something else — what do they look to one another, then? What do trees look like to them, or houses, or real horses, or their own children?”

― Peter S. BeagleThe Last Unicorn

It’s my favorite book of all time and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Q: What book would you love to see turned into a movie?

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Literature

Today’s discussion post is on the subject of literature. When I think of literature, I generally imagine the classics: Wuthering Heights, Dracula, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Last Unicorn (if it isn’t yet considered a classic it should be), and consequently some of my favorite books.

I also think of poetry. Poetry used to be a big deal, but nowadays is generally considered not enough of a commercial success. Despite the fact that poetry is still widely read, as well as written. Check out the literature community on deviantART if you don’t believe me.

Some of my favorite classic poets are Edgar Allan Poe, William Blake, and especially W.B. Yeats.

But there are also some amazing modern poets out there. Before I took up blogging, I spent a lot of time immersed in the Literature Community of deviantART.com, where I discovered a multiple of fabulous poetry. The upside of poetry being considered not commercially successful is that you can find lots of it for free online. So for today’s post I’m going to treat you to some of the best I’ve found.

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Delirium Sings A Song For Me by AzizrianDaoxRak

Yesterday I was a little girl
with blueberry stains on my fingers.

But today—I am
simply mad,
a Baba Yaga in the woods,
standing tall on knobbly chicken legs,
making stews of children’s hearts.
Beware the magic-weavers in the dark….(read more)

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once. by Avallynh

the world was wider, once: strewn bright
and willing to a fingertip’s beckoning, riddled
with roads that spilled in breathless wanders
to otherlands of reverie. i remember…(read more)

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the day we died by greenleo94

It started when space imploded
you pulled me back, landed me on the moon,
so we could sit in the vacuum silence
and watch suns spiral down to hell…(read more)

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Coppersmith by Vigilo

I caught a sun gold.

Trembling old in my cupped palm, quiet copper,
as my rage on our queen, for so crippling me…(read more) 

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A woman is missing by OritPetra

A woman is missing. 
My sweater is knit too loose and the wind blows through.
The leaves are done changing and are waiting to fall. 
I think of them collaged against my morning-damp windshield; 
they will mostly be red. My wipers will push them off; 
I will forget about them. But inbetween these thoughts
my brain hums. A woman is missing and I cannot forget…(read more)

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Of tress by QuiEstInLiteris

Deep ghost-groves of freckled aspen
burn white beneath the winter sun,
whisper hoary adulation,
canticles for the Holy One.
And in the trees, the spirits dance
betwixt the motes of starry snow
illuminated by the lance
of lightning flash and candle glow…(read more)

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6.7461 by WH1T3-No153

17 miles from the 
town I grew up in, 
there was a river, and a 
bridge
a hundred heart-jumps above it:

too-many-thousand 
footsteps long, 
with a walkway to the side that 
didn’t feel wide enough…(read more)

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Orpheus by williamszm

Darkness encompassed me; high-vaulting fire
Leapt and burnt the vision from my gaze
But though I could not see, I strummed my lyre
Until the music swept away the haze…(read more)

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perpetual december by Vlavisfaults

would you give me your december? 
i am holding out my frail plywood wrists 
and begging you for something 
too heavy for either of us to hold…(read more)

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I hope you enjoyed the feature and will delve further into these poets’ galleries!

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Thanks so much for reading and please feel free to comment!

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Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my first blog hop! Also my first-ever giveaway! And for a great cause. This is Banned Books Week. There is a disturbing trend of parents, school board members and others challenging books in order to get them removed and banned from libraries and schools. Far too many books are banned or challenged every year and during this week we celebrate the freedom to read them! I’ve never been a fan of censorship. It’s harmful and ineffective.

Some of the best books I’ve ever read have been banned: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, Speak, Harry Potter. People need books that challenge them, and that speak to the real (even if it’s in a fantasy setting – it still mirrors our own reality) world around us, even the ugly parts. Teens especially need to read about the parts of life that parents are likely shielding them from, but that they’re still exposed to elsewhere. Fiction provides a safe space to address difficult issues and try to find truth and clarity. To write about something is not to endorse it. Speak doesn’t endorse child rape, even if it deals with the subject. The Hunger Games doesn’t promote sending children to fight to the death on live television. Harry Potter isn’t pro-Dark Wizard. 😉

It’s sad but fascinating to go through the lists of banned books and read the reasons why they’ve been banned or challenged. For example, The Hunger Games has been accused of promoting Satanism. What? There’s no religion period in those books! If you want to lose twenty minutes, check out the list here.

Some of the books on the list just baffle me: Bridge To TerabithiaThe GiverA Wrinkle In Time.

Others make me sad, because they are amazing books. Some of the others that I haven’t mentioned yet are: Lord of the Flies, 1984The OutsidersA Separate PeaceThe Great GatsbySlaughterhouse-Five

So what wondrous banned book am I offering up as a prize?

To check out the description and read my review click here. I absolutely love this book and hope that you will too. I do think it has something in it for everyone. This giveaway is US only unless the winner pays for shipping. Sorry!

To enter the giveaway, you must follow my blog. WordPress, Bloglovin’ or Networked Blogs is fine. Leave your email or username in the rafflecopter box. Please don’t follow me just to unfollow me when the giveaway is over. 🙂 If you really just want the book (for which I cannot fault you) you can buy it here for about $5. Good luck everyone! And feel free to leave me your thoughts about book banning and such in the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click here to see the full linky list and visit the other blogs on the hop!