Saturday, January 28, 2012

Song of the month: Regina Spektor - "Us"

The song that has been resounding in my head for most of this month has been "Us" by Regina Spektor. Hope you enjoy!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

things I've learned from fairy tales

illustration from a 1927 story anthology

(anything is possible
on this road)

I'm not afraid
is what you have to say
and say again
because there will be ogres and harpies
on this journey

houses can walk
doorknobs can talk
trees can swallow you whole
and hair makes
the best ladder

you have to remember
the werewolf is only a wolf
once a month
so don't judge, but don't go outside
when the full moon is high

watch out for beanstalks
don't annoy the witch
don't look at the bear in the dark
not everyone who looks nice
really is so

(not all princesses need a kiss
sometimes all they need
is a good laugh)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two new Hunger Games photos and a song

I am very excited about two new photos that have been released from the Hunger Games movie, which is due to premiere in March.
image from Entertainment Weekly

 This first picture is of Katniss and Peeta, preparing for their chariot ride together. Cinna's hand can be seen, holding out the synthetic fire that will cover their costumes. Katniss and Peeta both look quite unsure, since they don't know if the trick costumes Cinna and Portia designed will work. It is this chariot ride that builds Katniss' image as "The Girl Who Was on Fire."

Image from the LA Times (fortieth on the ticker)

 In this second picture, Effie, Haymitch, Katniss, and a leg that probably belongs to Peeta are waiting on a couch. They are all looking up, so they are most likely looking at a screen, waiting for Katniss and Peeta's training scores to appear.  Effie's costume is offbeat, yet refined. I wonder what's in those glasses... it doesn't look as if Katniss and Peeta have touched theirs. Haymitch looks as if he's just finished downing his and wants more.

Also, Taylor Swift performed a song which is due to appear on the Hunger Games soundtrack. I'm not a fan of Swift, but I really enjoyed the song, entitled "Safe and Sound." Here it is.

Chime by Franny Billingsley


"I've confessed to everything, and I'd like to be hanged.
Now, if you please.
....If Eldric were to tell the story, he'd likely begin with himself, on the day he arrived in the Swampsea. That's where proper stories begin, don't they, when the handsome stranger arrives and everything goes wrong?
But this isn't a proper story, and I'm telling you, I ought to be hanged."
-opening of Chime by Franny Billingsley

Seventeen-year-old Briony Larkin is a witch. Her stepmother told her so, when she was very young. That is just one of her secrets. Her twin sister Rose is mentally handicapped and it was Briony's fault. She also can talk to and understand the Old Ones, the magical, sometimes malicious creatures that live in the Swampsea bog. When she was younger, she wrote stories for them, and for her sister. Now, no more. After their house was flooded, and their stepmother died, Briony burned all her stories, knowing if her stories were found, she could be hanged as a witch. As a result of holding onto all these secrets, Briony has learned to hate herself.

Now, her father has taken over their house, and Briony resents his way of pretending that their family is normal. When Eldric, or as Briony thinks of him, a boy-man, returns home to Swampsea, everything starts to change. He begins to thaw Briony's frozen mask of self-hatred, and when that happens, secrets that Briony never dreamed of are released.

Chime is a paranormal book with a twisting plotline and a heroine who is both witty and self-destructive. The characters are well-developed, and the setting is rich and eerie. I enjoyed Franny Billingsley's The Folk Keeper and Well Wished, and this book improves on both these novels, while remaining original.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Brave" trailer

Pixar is making a new film, and it stars its first female protagonist ever. She's Scottish, and apparently has quite a way with the bow. It comes out in June, and here's the trailer:



New year
a book on its first reading
its cover is stiff
and so is its spine

as it stretches and rolls
out of bed on the first day
a cat who stayed up
too late last night

yowling with the howling dogs
at the gibbous moon
and jumping down from the roof (plop)
and landing on all four legs.

its spine will never break
but it will bend (stretching)