Tag Archives: Ooh Shiny

You are a starfish

I like you.

I’m fascinated by rockpools. They’re probably my favourite thing about the ocean (and I love many things about it so that puts them at the top of a long list). There’s a strange attraction to spending hours scrambling over rocks and wading through tiny pools, harassing anenomes, and trying to crush as few tiny periwinkles as possible that can keep me absorbed for hours. My dad was my patient and willing accomplice in my explorations as a child, and now I get to play his role with my own spawn.

And sometimes among the blue and pink and ivory tentacles, the crimson spines and the hallucinogenic lightshows of shells, you get to find the stars.

paper computers and tiiiiiiiiny chameleons

Yep, I focus on the cool things today. It’s a bit of link-soup:


First, laptops made of paper. Yes please.


And the world’s smallest chameleons found in Madagascar. Yay, Madagascar, we knew you were good for more than just the setting for a dumb movie!



Also, a cool post about writing dirty books for teenagers, by Mike Mullin, author of Ashfall.


I also read this tor.com post with interest, about bad books you love. Well, this one was specifically about a Heinlein book, but anyway. It got me thinking – firstly about what makes a book fail? The thing most people were going on about there in the comments was plot, and how it fell apart, or had none.


Aaaand…I don’t know if this is a valid criticism. I’ve read and loved books that are probably considered plotless. My thing is character – It’s what I remember and hang on to – these amazing people who are not real, but almost. They’re real in my head, and that’s the most important thing for me as a reader – a character I can believe in. Believe in. I don’t even have to like them very much. *cough*bateman*cough


I noticed a couple of commentators talking about how characters are just games pieces for plot, and that’s all they should be, and I shuddered. That would be my worst reader experience ever – it’s the kind of book that makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it. I’m pretty sure said commentators are not my ideal reader and would hurl my book across the room with force.


We write the books we love to read (probably, unless you’re gifted with the ability to churn out books you can’t stand in a genre you hate, and still not gas yourself). And sometimes the books we love are considered bad. (I’ve talked about this before with my love of The Tombs of Atuan. )


What’s interesting to me is what those worst books are – the ones we hate, but still slip into our writing? While I won’t say TToA is the worst* book I love, I know it’s definitely influenced me.


What about you?


*Only because I refuse to believe it’s a bad book. Hah.

Flying ponies and Shiny New Books.

Tanith and I made flying ponies for the passage wall. The plan is to make new ones whenever we have nothing else to do. If I took anything from this it’s that I need to be more like a four-year-old and use ALL THE COLOURS.



Today is a huge day for the Apocalypsies with three YA releases to kick off the year.


Marissa Meyer’s Cinder:

“Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.”

Cracked by K. M. Walton:

“Sometimes there’s no easy way out.

Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother’s sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.

Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn’t stop Bull’s grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.

When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there’s no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better…”


and Veronica Rossi’s Under The Never Sky (LOVE that title!)

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love – one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure.”


Have a wonderful release day, guys!