Pottermore.com Opens…

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Written by: on Sunday, April 15th, 2012

I’ve read all the Harry Potter books and have seen all the movies. So naturally I was curious as to what Pottermore.com would be like. I missed out on the whole “sign up early and be one of the early beta testers”. I found out that the site opened earlier today (or technically yesterday) and signed up, waited a long time for the e-mail to arrive, and finally logged in.

Everything seems to be divided into chapters, which would explain why the site suggested reading the book along with the site. I didn’t dig out my book though.. I was most eager to know what house I’d be sorted into. J.K. Rowling emphasizes to answer truthfully.

I loved the wand I ended up with. Dragon core. Love it. Couldn’t have asked for anything else.

Then came to the sorting hat. I answered everything truthfully and somehow… I was sorted into Slytherin. Slytherin was the last house I could have ever expected. I was rooting for Gryffindor or Ravenclaw but suspected I’d be shuffled into the Hufflepuff house. To be sorted into Slytherin came way out of left field. I was so stunned. How did my answers translate to me being a bad guy? Okay, okay, after the initial reaction, I read the message to Slytherin’s house and my jaw literally dropped to the floor when I found out what famous wizard had been sorted into that house (I won’t spoil it in case others get sorted into that house). Reading the house message seemed to indicate that maybe Draco Malfoy was a bad egg and the whole house isn’t like that. Maybe Slytherin isn’t so bad at all afterall. After finding out who was sorted into Slytherin, I can live with the sorting hat’s decision.

Maybe I should dig up the books and re-read them again.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

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Written by: on Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Title: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Crichton
Cover art: Chip Kidd
ISBN: 0-345-37077-5
Back Cover:

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now, one of mankind’s most thrilling fantasies has come true. Creatures extinct for eons now roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery and all the world can visit them – for a price.

Until something goes wrong…

In JURASSIC PARK Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying techno-thriller yet.

So I thought…
I remember watching Jurassic Park in the movie theater when it first came out. I went with two good friends and it was a pretty cool experience, one that I remember a lot. In fact, I remember the book popping up all over the place and my first thought was always, “I loved the movie!” Recently the movie aired on one of the channels and for the first time ever, I thought, “How come I never read the book?” I tracked down a copy and decided to give it a read.

I enjoyed it. I’m not sure I enjoyed it because of the movie or if the book was a good read. I didn’t get bored except whenever Ian Malcolm went on one of his rants about how the park was destined to crumble. I was surprised that in the book, the brother was the older and the sister was the younger.

The only thing I was confused about was the end of the book on why it was so important for Grant and Sattler to hunt down a raptor nest. Why did it matter on how many eggs that hatched? Why put themselves in an extremely dangerous situation?

Wattpad?

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Written by: on Friday, March 9th, 2012

Anyone ever used Wattpad?

A couple friends recommended that I use it to post stories since I didn’t seem to really like the idea of going the self-publishing route. I looked around the site to see what it was like and even hit Google to see what other people thought of it. So far it seems that there’s really no list to climb (A friend shared her experiences about Authonomy and I am far from interested in the whole “rate mine and I’ll rate yours!” scenario.).

After hedging around the idea since I registered back on the 27th, I finally caved in and decided to post the first three chapters to my story. I think if this goes well, I might post the whole shebang and maybe I can get advice/feedback on how to improve the story. I see it so well in my head but I really want to know if it’s going to get lost in someone else’s head.

It can be found here: Caspar and the Lunar Magic

Favorite TV shows when I was a kid.

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Written by: on Friday, March 2nd, 2012

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Let’s see, I guess when I was real little, it had to be Tom & Jerry. There was also Danger Mouse, You can’t do that on television, Out of Control…

Then when I got a tad older, I do remember watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Peter Pan, Darkwing Duck.. Since I loved Aladdin, I also had to watch the animated series as well.

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The Stuff (1985)

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Written by: on Thursday, March 1st, 2012

One of the neat things about having a hoard of junk (It’s not like I can have a hoard of gold and jewels like other dragons) is that once in a while, you’ll find something nifty out of the blue if you should go digging around in it.

THE STUFF was one of those unusual 80’s films. It starts with two men who see something bubbling out of the ground and for some reason, one of them crouches down and tastes it. After he says it tastes good, he immediately suggests that they market it. Once it hits the store shelves, it’s insanely popular.

The movie follows several characters, especially a boy who has to deal with his family going strange. It gets to the point where all there is in the fridge is THE STUFF. It’s all they eat. It’s all they talk about. Fun little movie!

Mysterious story remains a mystery…

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Written by: on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I know that when you recall something from your childhood, chances are that it has morphed into something else by the time you’re an adult. I can only imagine this is because you recall it quite a few times over the years that something always gets changed every single time you remember it.

When I was in preschool, I remember the teacher would often pull out the projector and we’d hear some pretty boring stories. One story always stayed with me but no one else has ever heard of it.

I remember images of this man that lived on top of this very steep hill. I remember scenes of him always coming down or up this hill. Somewhere down the hill, a crack formed. This crack kept getting bigger and one day the man fell inside the crack. It turns out that there had been a giant sleeping inside this steep hill. A giant troll? I don’t know. I don’t even know how the story ends (I am tempted to say that he ran out and filled the crack so that the giant couldn’t be disturbed).

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Or is this just a result of a story that’s been skewed over the years until I’m left with this silly tidbit?

Sword of Flame by Maggie Furey

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Written by: on Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Title: Sword of Flame
Author: Maggie Furey
Cover art: Steve Assel
ISBN: 0-553-56527-3
Back Cover:

The magnificent epic that Maggie Furey began in Aurian and continued in Harp of Winds soars to new heights of enchantment as Aurian and Anvar face unforeseen perils in their quest for a lost artifact of power…. Sword of Flame. At last the lovely Lady Aurian has regained her powers, and golden spring unlocks the iron bonds of a sorcerous winter. But still the corrupt Archmage Miathan’s curse follows her. And as she and her beloved soulmate, Anvar, quest northward toward the ravaged city of Nexis, they are pursued to the very gates of death by betrayal, madness, and forbidden spellcraft. Only by invoking the highest magic can they hope to find the Sword of Flame, last of the four great weapons fashioned eons ago. Only by awakening its might can they save a world newly threatened by a dark Mage as powerful as Miathan, and even more vicious…

So I thought…
I didn’t get bored or struggle through this book. That’s a good thing. But dang, the cast sure grows in number. There’s a lot of jumping around from character to character and there’s still that struggle to remember who is who unless I like the character to begin with.

I probably should’ve gotten my hands on the forth book, Dhiammara, because the ending of this book was so abrupt and left wiiiide open that you need to move on to the next book as soon as possible. It was quite a cliffhanger.

Something M.Y.T.H. Inc. by Robert Asprin

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Written by: on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.

Author: Robert Asprin
ISBN: 0-441-01083-0
Cover Art by Walter Velez

Back Cover:
A POLITICAL MYTH-STEP
All is not well in the kingdom of Possiltum. The king’s court sorcerer is being eyed with suspicion. Not for dabbling in the black arts… not for consorting with a demon… not for having a dragon as a pet… not even for being mobbed up. But for the greatest crime of all: raising taxes.

More and more citizens want something done – and they’re willing to do it themselves. In the end, it won’t be their skill or their intelligence that wins the day, but the sheer number of those who have rallied themselves against their oppressor – this black-hearted wizard, this terrible tyrant known as… Skeeve the Great. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

So I thought…
Well, uh, it was okay, I suppose. First part is told from Guido’s perspective (and his talkin’ gets a bit annoyin’.). The rest is told from Skeeve’s. It fills in the gaps from the cliffhanger, and now the series have come to an end. There was a short story tucked into the back by him and Jody Lynn Nye about a scene that took place near the end of the book.

The ending seems a bit… anti-climactic. Skeeve makes a decision and no one seems to be shocked or surprised. Then “the end”.

The book begins with Robert’s explanation about how the Myth series got so popular that he was under contracts to write books. It does feel like he lost interest in Skeeve and Aahz along the way, especially with the history of how long the stories took to be written and published over the course of time.

Even though in his note he says that this book was the last Myth novel under contract, I saw that there was a handful of books that has Jody Lynn Nye’s name attached to them. I don’t think I’ll pursue them – at the moment.

Year of Dragon & ABNA

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Written by: on Monday, January 23rd, 2012

January 23, 2012 is when Year of Water Dragon starts! Supposed to be a good year for creativity.

Speaking of creativity, I saw on NaNoWriMo’s front page that they gave a shout-out to Amazon’s 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I dropped by for a look and decided to submit. It appears all you need is your pitch, excerpt, and manuscript.

I decided to submit my story from 2010. I already know I won’t make it beyond the ‘pitch’ round. For 10,000 possible entries in two categories and only 2,000 will go on to round two? Phew. Reading the rules, it appears I won’t have a clue until the first round ends on February 21st.

I did a lot of reading through the forums and it appears that last year was quite a disaster, something about a war that broke out between the Vine reviewers and the ABNA participants.  I was also curious when a few said that activity on the forums this year seems slower than previous years. Ah, well… It was quite a learning experience to see how ABNA fared over the previous years and what I’m getting myself into – even though I’m pretty much approaching this with the attitude of returning the entry form to a 100 million dollar sweepstakes. You never hear back from those things so why fuss? hehe.

I did struggle briefly wondering if I should go with General Fiction or Young Adult Fiction. I never did really think about my story being YA but after finding out that if the main character is under eighteen, it seems it should be filed under YA. I wasn’t sure but decided to go ahead with it as YA.

Myth-ion Improbable by Robert Asprin

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Written by: on Monday, January 23rd, 2012


Myth-ion Improbable
Author: Robert Asprin
ISBN: 0-441-00962-X
Cover Art by Walter Velez

Back Cover:
IMPROBABLE MYTH-ION FORCE

Skeeve: Apprentice Wizard.
Aahz: Skeeve’s mentor, a bad-tempered, scaly green Pervect.
Tanda: Beautiful ex-assassin, and dimension-hopper extraordinaire.
THEIR MYTH-ION
To journey into the Kowtow realm, and retrieve a golden cow that lives in a golden palace and gives gold-laced milk. But Kowtow is a land of vegetarian cowboys, hell-bent on protecting their livestock – and deeply afraid of something that comes out after dark…

So I thought…
The book begins with an apology to explain why he hasn’t written another book for this series in a long time. Apparently it had been so long that he couldn’t put his head back into Aahz and Skeeve’s world until a friend makes a suggestion for him to write an adventure from their younger days. Robert Asprin decides to write a story that takes place between the third and forth book of his series.

My first thought was, “Oh no. Not another book that rambles on and on and on and on and has nothing to do with the story.” I was bored with ‘Sweet Myth-tery of Life’ and I wasn’t in the mood to go through it again.

It starts off interesting. Skeeve at some point purchased a treasure map to give to Aahz. Aahz’s interest is piqued. Tanda enters the scene. Lots of world hopping. Then they land in the realm of Kowtow that’s populated with cows and a lot of copy&pasted towns where everyone looks and acts the same.

One thing that caught my attention was… (cut for spoilers) (more…)