Thursday, August 23, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: 2003

Four years ago the Blog Father was born when John Scalzi started his Journal By the Way on AOL's brand new (then) blogging platform. To celebrate, John's challenge for this week is:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Find a picture from 2003 and post it. Any picture is fine; it just has to be from the now-oh-so-distant year of two thousand aught-three. Surely you have pictures from then? Yes?

Wow... 2003..... My immediate thought was, "Cool! We were still with the circus then and traveling all over the country. I should have something really interesting from then I could post. I grabbed the DVD that has those pictures on it, blew the dust off of it, and inserted it in the laptop. I was busy going thru my mind what wonderful thing I would show you about my life way back then. But, the first set of photos I brought up reminded me of the most important thing that happened that year..... Puppy pictures of Morgan! She was so tiny when we got her in July of 2003 at barely 6 weeks old. Get ready to say "Awwwwwwwww!" 



Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Favorite Character -- A Contest Entry

Today is the last day of deslily's contest. If you don't read her, you should! Anyway, she is having a contest over there with some great prizes. One of which is a t-shirt that was hand-painted by her brother. He is very talented! I have been meaning to get to this, but this post (along with any other and most other things like oh... housework) have been put on the back burner because I have spent every second that I wasn't busy doing something else with my nose buried in...... what else? The newest Harry Potter book. I am delighted to report that I finished it last night and I am please with the ending and with how all the little plot points got sorted out AND with the fact that the way the book ended there is a possibility that we might again be allowed to venture into this world of wizards and witches and quidditch! I would love to see J.K. Rowlings do another series about these wonderful characters at some future time, but I am sure right now she is just ready for a rest and maybe the opportunity to do a different book with a whole new cast of characters.

Awww.... but we were discussing the contest and the 'rules' of it and my entry that I have put off! Here is a portion of the post that gives you an idea of what she is looking for: 

I want the post to be about a character in a book that you really like. One that for whatever reason, you can't seem to forget. Or one that you related to. Or one that made you laugh. Just make it about a character you can't seem to forget. Tell about how you found this character, and most of all... why you like him/ her/ it... post it before August 3rd and leave a link so that others can read your post (note: she went ahead and extended the deadline till Aug 5 so we would have the weekend!)

O.k..... way to make it difficult! I have so many favorite books... and so many favorite authors... and so MANY favorite characters! I actually considered this for the last week, trying to decide. Finally I thought, "What book do I reach for when I want 'comfort' reading?" Well, that narrowed it down, but still there was quite a list. You know the type of book. The books that you reach for when you want to relive a familiar tale and reconnect with the friends you have made there. I finally settled on Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon, is called "Satanas" by enemy and friend alike. Awwww... Satanas. He at first comes off as a dandy, then as a sometimes cruel, self-centered person.... but there is more there! He doesn't allow people in on his plans, and that includes you- the reader! He is featured most prominently in a book by Georgette Heyer called These Old Shades, and also is a secondary character in The Devil's Cub.

What is it that draws me to this character? Frankly, I am not sure. My normal reading material is Science Fiction or Fantasy... with a few other things thrown in for variety. I often say I don't read by genre, but by author. If I like how an author writes I will read them.... even if they do write romances, which is exactly what Georgette Heyer does write. Her portrayal of Justin Alastair just draws you in. As I said, in the beginning he isn't even a very likable character, but he starts by fascinating you and then you start to see that although he doesn't show it, he does care about the people around him... he just doesn't want them to know it! Satanas is a law unto himself. He seems to be omnipotent, which is very annoying to those around him, but he just hides (behind a veneer of nonchalance and a hint of boredom) a very well-developed intellect, which he uses to manipulate events the way he wants them to progress! Ms. Heyer writes about the period of history known as the regency with flair and style and she creates characters that are witty, brave, and intelligent and they will stick around and talk to you long after you put her books down. I think my favorite part about her writing is the dialogue.... and the fact that her hero and  heroines are intelligent and articulate!

Oh, and if you try this book and enjoy it.... Next you need to check out a couple of other beloved characters of mine that she has created. There are Prudence Marriot and her brother Robin who romp thru The Masqueraders, and Sophie in The Grand Sophie, and of course, Venetia in the book by the same name, who ran a close second to Justin Alastair as a favorite character who I would like to know in person.

O.k.... Now that I have blown my "I am an educated person who reads mostly speculative fiction with broad reaching ideas" persona and let you know that I have read the occasional romance... I guess I am done here! :p  Now I am off to read about other peoples favorite characters and maybe, just maybe, I will find someone new that I will want to meet.... and that will require a trip to the bookstore. Oh the pain, and agony of being forced to visit a place filled with books for me to explore ROFL!