Monday, July 22, 2013

BBC Book List Challenge

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books on this list. How many have you read? The average Goodreads member has read 24 out of 100 books on this list — how many have you read?

I've read 30. I am going to challenge myself to read more from this list. If reading makes me a better writer, then I suppose these are just the books to help me on that path.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) - J.K. Rowling
2. The Da Vinci Code - Robert Langdon
3. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
4. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
5. Animal Farm - George Orwell
6. The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings #1-3) - J.R.R. Tolkien
7. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
10. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1) - Douglas Adams
11. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
12. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
13. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
14. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
15. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
16. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
18. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
19. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
20. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
21. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
22. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
23. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
24. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass - Lewis Carroll
25. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
26. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
27. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
28. Bridget Jones' Diary (Bridget Jones #1) - Helen Fielding
29. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
30. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
31. Holy Bible: The New King James Version - Anonymous
32. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
33. Atonement - Ian McEwan
34. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
35. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
36. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
37. Dracula - Bram Stoker
38. The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
39. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
40. The Show of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
41. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
42. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
45. The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia #1-7) - C.S. Lewis
46. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
47. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
48. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
49. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
50. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
51. His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) - Philip Pullman
52. Winnie-the-Pooh - A.A. Milne
53. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) - L.M. Montgomery
54. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
55. Persuasion - Jane Austen
56. A Prayer of Owen Meany - John Irving
57. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
59. The Complete Works - William Shakespear
60. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
61. Tess of the d'Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy
62. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
63. Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres
64. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
65. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
66. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
67. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
68. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
69. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
70. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
71. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
72. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
73. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #3) - Arthur Conan Doyle
74. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
75. Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
76. Emma - Jane Austen
77. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
78. Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
79. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
80. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
81. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
82. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
83. Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War - Sebastian Faulks
84. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life - George Eliot
85. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
86. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
87. Possession - A.S. Byatt
88. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
89. Dune (Dune Chronicles #1) - Frank Herbert
90. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
91. Watership Down - Richard Adams
92. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
93. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
94. Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson
95. Ulysses - James Joyce
96. Swallows and Amazons (Swallows and Amazons #1) - Arthur Ransome
97. Germinal (Les Rougon-Macquart #13) - Emile Zola
98. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
99. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
100. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just a rant, feel free to ignore me....

I am really not political and am not one to rant (except maybe to my husband). But I read some news last week that bothered me. In Florida, the un-dead governor (if you haven't seen Rick Scott or his mother - go take a look. They have dead eyes and appear to be zombies) has passed a bill that bans illegal online gambling. That's an oxymoron to start - if it's illegal it's already banned. The problem comes with the wording of this bill. I have read it an cannot believe it hasn't created a massive storm of controversy but that's Florida for you. Basically it states that if you do any online transactions with a credit card that is illegal. So in Florida, online banking, bill paying, ordering tickets to a concert - all are illegal. Go ahead Florida - just you try to enforce that one.

One thing it got rid of was ClubWPT - an online non gambling internet site where poker players could have chances to play in the WPT. It's a sweepstakes page basically because of the online poker fiasco a few years ago. I am not a gambler but how dare anyone tell anyone else how they can spend their money? If I choose to blow all my money gambling (and all poker players will tell you that poker is not gambling) then damn it, I am going to do that. The government should not be a parent telling us what is good and bad for us. I am capable of making that decision and ignoring the bad.

Of course, that takes me into the drug war - where recreational drugs are bad but prescription drugs are good. How is this better for us? Why does a drug company who is out to make every cent they can off the sick get to make the decision what I can and can't put in my body? Prohibition doesn't work. If it's out there, it'll be abused. But treat these problems like problems, not criminal offenses.

I am mostly proud of our government, but the hatred, control, bigotry, and just plain evilness that is appearing makes me want to kick everyone in government out and start all over with people who do NOT want to be in office.

There - I've had my rant and said my peace. You may see things differently than I do, but that's your opinion.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Story idea - science fiction (very rough draft)

In the future Miami is mostly underwater. The high rises are still usable but all the buildings under 2 stories are submerged. People live and work in the city but are only able to get around by boat or helicopter. Supplies are limited - people have created gardens on rooftops and balconies. Food and water are scarce due to the lack of outside contact.

Conflict - a hurricane is being tracked and will possibly make landfall at Miami. It's a category 5+. Hurricane status was never updated so the rating 5+ means that a storm making landfall on this scale pretty much wipes the slate clean. Since Miami is already a floating city, this scale of hurricane will blow down the buildings above the water line.

People who have the means are evacuating, leaving everything they have behind. Those without means are radioing for help, but no one has responded. They track the hurricane of their computers and video screens but not one mentions the people who are trapped in the city.

Finally a small ship arrives to try to rescue some of the remaining population but will only be able to save a fraction of the trapped people. The eldest choose to stay but the rest are trying to decide how to choose those who will go. A lottery is considered but there isn't time to implement. Those with children will be the first to get on the boat. If there is room after the families are on board, they will allow those closest to also board.

The main character - Molly is a marine biologist. She studies the ocean life and how the rising ocean waters have affected their habitats. She is stranded in Miami when the hurricane warnings come out. She was part of a scientific group but was cut off from them and missed the evacuation. She meets an engineer who thinks they might survive below the water level if they can seal themselves in the building. There is a chance that they might never get out if the water level rises to high or the building they take refuge in is destroyed.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Challenge Accepted

While reading my Google+ page, someone posted about Fandom Music Video Awards at Dragon*Con on a Firefly board. So I read the rules and the entry requirements and thought that I can do this. So, this weekend, I dusted off my knowledge of Adobe and got to work re-editing my video of The Avengers: We Stand Together (posted last year on YouTube). I honestly didn't think I would have it done by this weekend. But I got it done. Amazing!

The original edit on YouTube was pieced together with trailers and whatever I could find on the internet. This new incarnation is of shots I wanted to use but didn't have. It's strange how things morph over time and how things that came easily the first time get harder. Matching music to the footage was harder than I remember, but maybe that's because I was fighting myself and the flow wasn't as strong this time. Over the next few days, I will view the video a few times to make sure the feel I want is there and then I will upload it somewhere and enter it into the contest.

Yes, the Avengers is not Firefly. But, it's for any fandom, so I am covered. I can enter in a total of three videos is 12 possible catagories, so I am thinking of working on a Firefly video. Just have to find the right music and inspiration to start that.

The music for my Avengers video is Nickleback - When We Stand Together. I know that Nickelback has a love/hate relationship with listeners, but the message in the song is what is important to me and it fits so well with the Avengers. I have had many comments on the YouTube video that it is inspirational and a great joining of music and genre and my video is just fun. And how can anyone hate any type of music anyway? It's music.

I know I posted a link to the video before, but here it is again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LgZAkziwj4

When I get the new video uploaded, I will post a link. Now I am off to find a inspiration for a Firefly themed video.