Thursday, October 11, 2007

Evil Harry Potter...

EVIL HARRY POTTER...

My girlfriend is a big Harry Potter fan, which is fine by me. I have never read any of the books, but I fully support anyone else's Potter-habit. In fact, we were at the library yesterday, and she picked up the latest installment and is undoubtedly deep into it by now. That is, of course, as long as there is not a new episode of "House Hunters" on.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares her enthusiasm when it comes to Harry Potter. This morning, while surfing for new stuff to write about, I came across THIS PRESS RELEASE from the ALA. Apparently, Harry Potter tops the list of "Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century". The most cited reason for the push to ban the series? It encourages the practice of witchcraft among children. For cryin' out loud!

Included on the list of most challenged books? "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck and even "Captain Underpants" by Dav Pilkey. I LOVE CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS! I couldn't tell you the number of times his antics and adventures kept me entertained while I visited the bathroom. Sheesh!

Anyhow, the list comes on the heels of 'Banned Book Week' which, in keeping with my usual luck of being a day late and a dollar short, was September 29 - October 6. Oh well. It is certainly an event I will keep in mind for next year. Until then, I think I will focus my efforts on writing something that will make this list in the future... CENSORS BE DAMNED!

NaNoWriMo UPDATE

Even while hacking away at the keyboard, writing away for Helium.com and this blog, I have been quietly making plans for the novel I intend to write during National Novel Writing Month. I have decided to use the story I began writing last summer (I wrote one chapter), and will be fleshing it out a little more. My ultimate goal is to have a decent outline of events that will occur throughout the story, although I also plan on putting some of the elements in your hands right here as I make the journey through NaNoWriMo. Kind of a "choose your own adventure" experiment, if you will. Here's an excerpt:

"The hottest spot in Grand Junction, Colorado was the corner of Fifth & Ute avenues. At least that's what Jason Matthews was thinking as he stood at that very spot. He had been standing under one of the bus depot's loading structures, but had to move when a bus loaded with travellers out of Denver pulled in. He could have gone back into the terminal, but the sorry excuse for a bus station had become a hub of activity. There were people filing in from the Denver bus, and even more people getting ready to board the same bus he would be catching. So, for the moment, he stood at the corner, smoking a cigarette and admiring the park across the intersection.

"Homeless park." He thought. That is what his daughter said her friends called it. He could see why. A small group of bums congregated under the largest tree in the park. Most sat in the shade, though several had taken to catnaps beneath the tree's bows. "Almost spooky." He mumbled under his breath. The bums sprawled out in the shade could have very easily been dead, and noone would have noticed.

"Can you spare one of those?" As if on cue, a middle-aged man brushed Jason's shoulder from behind. His bloodshot eyes were fixated on the cigarette in his mouth. "Sorry, bud. Last one." He lied. His hand gesture and facial expression, however, appeared to convince the bum, who continued on his way down Fifth Street. Jason turned towards the brick building in time to see the people lining up at his bus. He finished his smoke, flicked it into the street and walked towards the line."

Ready to help finish the story?

TODAY'S WRITING LINKS

I decided I would skip out on the blogging links today and focus on what this blog is mostly about - writing! The reality of it is that the world of freelance writing, be it fiction or non-, has been covered time and again throughout the Internet. I remember some of the more popular sites when they were just beginning way back in the mid- to late nineties. Nonetheless, some writers continue to come up with some good stuff about their craft. Here are a few good links.

Fiona Veitch Smith of The Crafty Writer just recently completed part 2 of an 8 week course in non-fiction writing. START HERE to see what she has to offer.

CLUB 100 FOR WRITERS offers an interesting take on overcoming writer's block. If you are finding yourself staring at a blank page, I suggest you give it a go.

Camy Tang of WRITER...INTERRUPTED gives some thoughtful insight into SHOWING EMOTION THROUGH DIALOGUE. I have always thought dialogue was the best way to show emotion. I have seen too many writers attempt to use narrative for emotion, which often leads to flowery, overly forced writing.

"FEED ME, SEYMOUR!"

If you like what I have going on here, I would urge you to subscribe to my RSS feed. It can be found HERE or by clicking the FeedBurner link on the left!

4 comments:

Camy Tang said...

Thanks for the link to my article!
Camy

The Writing Geek said...

My pleasure! I enjoyed the article.

Fiona said...

Hi Geeko! Thanks for linking to my series. Thanks too for your article on banned books. I can't believe Of Mice and Men was contested! It's one of my favourite books of all time. And the film was amazing; Gary Sinise, John Malkovich ... I see you're a fan of JM too. I'm doing a session on bloggin next week with my on-site students. I'll get them to drop in here. So if you get a host of links from Sunderland or Newcastle universities, you'll know why. Cheers!

The Writing Geek said...

Your welcome! Looking forward to reading more of your series...