Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two For Tuesday: Persepolis

I've been following the protests in Iran over the recent election with particular interest since I recently read Marjane' Satrapi's memoirs of her childhood and young adulthood in Iran under the Islamic Revolution. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, a highly-acclaimed graphic novel, covers her life from age 10 when the Shah was overthrown until age 14 when she was sent to Vienna. She followed it with Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return.

Here are two sentences from Persepolis about the mood of the country during the war with Iraq:

The walls were suddenly covered with belligerant slogans. The one that struck me by its gory imagery was: "To die a martyr is to inject blood into the veins of society."

Later on, when one of her friends dies, she realizes how empty the slogan is.

I thought this sentence from a recent blog by Steve Clemons at The Washington Note summed up the current situation perfectly. The words are those of a "well-connected Iranian" he met in London.

A gaping hole has been ripped open in Iranian society, exposing the contradictions of the regime and everyone now sees that the democracy that they believed that they had in Iranian form is a "charade."

Perhaps we should send Katherine Harris to Tehran to explain to the mullahs how to steal an election without making it blatantly obvious you're stealing an election. ;)

Another quote I liked is from High Definition Democracy: "The revolution won't be televised, it will be Twittered." This is an interesting analysis of the effect of the internet and social networking sites on democracy.

My heart goes out to the people of Iran in these scary and turbulent times. Iran is an ancient land with a proud history. I hope this will be a turning point for the good of the people, but I'm sure the theocracy will not yield up power easily.

Now for two (or a few more) sentences I wrote. This bit of description is from my historical romance, Rogue's Hostage, set during the French and Indian War. It's in the point-of-view of my hero who was with a raiding party that took the heroine captive the day before.

He took a deep breath of cool, clean air and forced himself to look away. The early morning light slanted across the clearing, catching the sparkle of dewdrops on the grass. There was a special beauty to the dawn. The world seemed born anew, as if nature were trying to wipe clean the violence wrought by man in her peaceful domain. But he could not forget the events of the previous day.

I'm also blogging today at A Slice of Orange on mid-year's resolutions and staying focused.


Check out the wondrous Women of Mystery blog for more Two Sentence Tuesday posts.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Guest Blogging at Midnight Moon Cafe!

Thursday I'm guest blogging at Midnight Moon Cafe about world building for Lyndi's upcoming release Alliance: Stellar Romance: A Collection of Erotic Romance, coming soon from Amber Heat. My post focuses on the religions of the different worlds in the stories.

If you have time, drop by and say 'Hi'.

Linda / Lyndi

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book Review Club: The Graveyard Book

I read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman a few months ago on my Kindle and I was completely captivated by this unusual story.

Publisher's blurb: Nobody Owens is a boy raised in an abandoned cemetery by the otherworldly inhabitants, but the tale of his growing up is so fabulously spun that even the most grounded non-believer will think twice on their next visit to the graveyard.

Like a lot of books for kids, there's a dark side to this one, but at heart it's a charming and heartwarming story. It starts with the murder of the main character's parents and sister. Unaware of what is going on, the boy, a toddler, climbs out of his crib, goes downstairs where the killer left the front door open, walks out and up the hill to an old graveyard. He's small enough to climb between the railings. The ghosts quickly realize that murder has been committed and they hide the little one from the killer. Silas, the graveyard's resident vampire, uses his gifts to convince the killer to leave. But now what to do with the boy?

A ghostly couple, the Owenses, offer to adopt him and name him Nobody Owens, Bod for short, and Silas agrees to be his guardian. It's Silas's job to provide earthly things like food for the boy since Silas is the only one who can leave the graveyard. Bod is given the "freedom of the graveyard" and he is educated by several of the ghosts, all of whom have been dead for a very long time. The earliest inhabitant died in Roman times and the last ones were interred in the Victorian age, so Bod learns to write perfect copperplate and is educated in things like "elements and humors" as well as ghostly talents like fading. The latter comes in handy later.

My favorite chapter was the one where they dance the "macabray" - this graveyard's version of the Danse Macabre, only it's a happy festival where the dead march down the hill and dance with the living. I think the book is deserving of the award, and I enjoyed it immensely.

The Graveyard Book is the current recipient of the prestigious Newbery Award for juvenile fiction.

Update, 6-3-09: I just noticed on Neil Gaiman's blog that The Graveyard Book recently won two Audie Awards, one in the Children's 8-12 category, and one for Audiobook of the Year. Congratulations, Mr. Gaiman!


The Book Review Club is the brain child of Tween/Teen Author Barrie Summy. Click icon for more book review blogs @Barrie Summy