amandaink: (Default)
Your least favourite female character and why.

umbridge


Umbridge is my least favorite and the answer why should be obvious. Granted, she was supposed to be a despicable person and JKR did her job quite well on that front. I seethe whenever I read OotP. Seething, white-hot rage.

AVPM!Umbridge on the other hand...

amandaink: (Default)
Which (if any) of the films have made you angry because they've ignored important parts of the book?

OH DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THIS ONE.

No, actually this is the perfect time and place to get me started so let’s do this.

The first two films managed to more or less capture the books insofar as a movie adaptation can capture a book. Of course, there were a few minor things like Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday party but to be honest, I don’t give a damn about Nearly Headless Nick or his deathday so I’m willing to be forgiving for cutting such small things in the interest of saving time. HOWEVER, the one thing that did annoy me about CoS was Hermione crying because Malfoy called her a Mudblood. Not only did Hermione not know what a Mudblood was, she didn’t really care. Ron was the one to explain it in the book, but once you take a close look at the movies you see some Flanderization of the characters, namely in Ron who exists precisely for comedy relief. Hermione might be the genius of the group but she was raised in the muggle world—it makes a lot more sense for Ron to be the one to explain what “Mudblood” means given that it’s something specific to wizarding culture rather than something to be learned about in a book.

In the case of the third movie, they did a decent job of preserving the story but there were a few sacrifices made. For example, it never explains who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are, or why the map is significant in this respect. I also did not get the point of Sirius sending the broomstick at the end of the movie rather than at Christmas. I guess they wanted to avoid the whole subplot with Harry and Ron being mad at Hermione but shoehorning it in at the end there felt lazy (and Harry’s weird face freeze frame, oh Lord) and I felt like they were trying to avoid having to write in tension amongst the main trio since the only “fight” we see is some brief bickering between Ron and Hermione about Scabbers. It irritates me a bit once I look back on it since the characters are rather simplified from their book counterparts, and the complexity of the friendship suffers as well. It seems that the writers wanted to avoid interpersonal conflict whenever possible, perhaps since they didn’t think it would translate as well to film, perhaps for time constraint reasons, perhaps because they like plot-driven stories more than character-driven stories, perhaps because they didn’t think it’s as important as I do. I don’t know. Moving on.

The fourth movie is where this really became a problem for me. First of all--where are the house elves? The house elves were important, damn it. The entire twist with Winky was BRILLIANT. FREAKING. BRILLIANT. Not to mention Dobby because quite important in the last novel and was just one of the many things they had to randomly shoehorn in. (Like Bill Weasley—he gets his introduction in this book and gets an incredibly belated introduction, werewolf scars and all, in movie seven. Neither hide nor hair is seen of Charlie.) They simplified this movie. My best friend who had never read the books saw the movie and guessed the ending. Really now? Barty Crouch Jr. is disguised as Moody, okay. He has this little twitch that was added in there, I guess as their idea of foreshadowing since they couldn’t have it come completely out of left field now that they were dropping all the plot and everything. The best part, though, is Dumbledore’s comment that the dementors will find that they’re missing a prisoner or however that line went.

OKAY—so we have a guy who escaped from Azkaban—no, wait, didn’t we have that in the last book and it was such a huge deal because Azkaban was impossible to escape from? Isn’t that part of what made Sirius Black so dangerous supposedly—being the only one to escape this heavily guarded island fortress? But here’s it’s just given a passing, “Oh, well, you can exit stage left now.”

Order of the Phoenix was my least favorite movie precisely because of how much was cut. You could have called it Harry Potter: Abridged. Since there is just SO MUCH I would have to talk about to cover everything that made me grate my teeth I’m just going to hone in on one very important thing—Snape’s Worst Memory. I was so looking forward to seeing young Snape and young Lily and the young Marauders and just watching that brilliant scene play out—it’s my favorite scene from that book. I’ve often gone back just to read that one particular chapter. And they turned it into some thirty second insignificant clip. Why exactly was this scene Snape’s worst memory? Well you won’t know if you only watch the movies. There’s so much more I can address—Harry and Cho Chang and why he ended their doomed-to-fail budding romance (you’re an asshole for that one, movie!Harry), the introduction of the wonderful Luna Lovegood (why the hell does Hermione know who she is?), Fred and Harry being banned from Quidditch, the scene in St. Mungo’s, MORE ELVES (and why does Hermione know what the Room of Requirement is?) Sirius giving Harry the mirror which becomes very important in book seven, the brilliant scene with the Quibbler and Rita Skeeter, Molly’s boggart(s)…I could go on. They kept the one thing I wish they would have left out which was Grawp.

I’m going to be unique in my complaints for movie six and whine that they added in something—namely, that scene with the burrow. What the fuck. It wasn’t in the books. It served no purpose. It was never addressed again afterward. The only positive thing it brought to the table was to give Helena Bonham-Carter more screen time. They could have dedicated the time to much better scenes which were actually in the book. In particular, they could have done a better job with the Sectumsempra scene. Why does Snape just watch Harry run past him after he attacked a student? A student from Snape’s own house much less? What were the writers thinking with that one? Instead of having Snape righteously flip his shit, we’re treated to a weird scene in which Ginny and Harry go to hide the potions textbook in the Room of Requirement, make out, and then flout consequences. Given that I’m pretty sure Snape gets out of bed in the morning to punish Harry, he would not pass up an opportunity to get Harry expelled for attacking another student. He’s tried to get him expelled for much less. You really flubbed that one, writers.

Also: the entire battle at the end of that movie. They killed Dumbledore and were like, ‘lol bye ya’ll.’ I am very disappoint.

As for the last two movies, I’m quite okay with how they turned out. DH was my least favorite of the books and I don’t have much to nitpick beside the fact that people were WATCHING the battle between Voldemort and Harry and the whole Lupin/Tonks/Teddy thing. Why was Teddy thrown in there during the Resurrection Stone scene and literally never talked about before or again? Weirdest shoehorn of them all.
amandaink: (Default)
Your favourite of the 7 movies.

harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-1.jpg Harry Potter 7 part 1 

 
DH Part 1 is my favorite, easy. Maybe both of the last movies but I'm still processing Part 2. I'll get back to you once I re-watch it on DVD.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the most action-oriented of the series which translated the best to film. During the previous movies, much as I liked them, I never felt like they caught that balance between action and the more low-key school and character interaction scenes, which was one the aspects that made the books so three-dimensional. DH really shined since the story was more linear and there wasn't the big questions of what could and couldn't be cut for time. I guess what I'm getting at is that it was more straightforward than the others.

The one thing that I especially want to bring to attention was the way the tale of the three brothers was illustrated. So gorgeous. I was almost disappointed to go back to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
amandaink: (Default)

Now that summer is going away and I'm starting to get back all of my energy and inspiration and general enthusiasm, I went searching for one of my most favorite, most banal, most fangirl-y things: 30 Day LJ Challenges. And I've stumbled across a Harry Potter one which I cannot let myself pass up in good conscience.

Here's the meme in all its glory. )



Your favourite of the 7 books.


After some deliberation after reading DH, I decided that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ranked the top of my list by the barest margin. I've said this in other places so I'll be brief: it's a wonderful transistional novel from the lighter and softer magical adventures of the first three books to the more mature content of the later novels--notably, we get our first death in this one, which was quite a shock to nine-year-old me. It's the novel in which the wizarding world expands beyond what little Harry has seen and the political elements of the series are finally given exercise. Most importantly, it puts the lessons in magic that Harry has learned to their first practical uses, namely the Triwizard tournament and the graveyard duel with Voldemort.

Also, I really liked the Quidditch World Cup.


amandaink: (Default)
I just finished an enthralling re-read of one of the most divisive classics in the English language. The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most hated and most frequently banned books due to its foul language, its misanthropic narrator, its depressing storyline, and its otherwise “inappropriate” subject matter. It’s also one of the most widely assigned books on high school curriculums.

Now, I love The Catcher in the Rye. If I got my shit together long enough to create a List of Top Five Books of All Time, it would probably be on there. Hell, it’d be on my Top Three even. The reason I’m here rambling at you is because every time I see someone say in a book discussion, “I hate Catcher because of [insert your own myriad of criticisms here]” I feel motivated—no, obligated--to justify my love for this novel with a long-winded and emotional and scatterbrained response about Why This Book Is Awesome.

And so this post is just extrapolating on my love for this book so I can have it coherent and in writing. It’s in no way meant to change your negative opinions but it might help you gain some insight into why this book is as well-loved as it is. Let me say quickly that this entry does consist of a short discussion of possible sexual abuse (nothing graphic). So if this is a trigger for you, click back or proceed with caution. Also, all of my quotes are from the 1991 Little, Brown mass market paperback edition.

If a body catch a body comin' through the rye. )
amandaink: (dftba)
I'm re-reading The Great Gatsby because John told me to. I read it in junior year and was rather lukewarm toward it because I found Gatsby incredibly pathetic. I still find him pathetic but I'm actually enjoying it a lot more this time around.



And I've already seen HP 7 and I want to post my thoughts on it but I'm being lazy with writing them down. They'll be here soon if you're interested. If you want to discuss it, I'm here for you.
amandaink: (Pinkie Pie)
I know I haven't been posting about things I'm doing outside of writing lately. In fact, I know I haven't been posting at all lately. Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, I've spent a good portion of my week baking. Did I mention my love of making sweets in an earlier entry? Sometimes I think I'll try making an actual meal but, no, fuck that. If it doesn't require sugar and flour I want no part in it.

This week has been cupcake week.

For the 4th of July I made red velvet cupcakes which, unlike normal chocolate or vanilla, require weird ingredients like buttermilk and vinegar. I've never spent so much on baking ingredients alone but it was for a holiday and I'd dedicated myself to them and told all my friends and blah blah blah. Anyway. I ended up not eating any since I find cream cheese frosting nasty but everyone else seemed to like them. I delivered them to my friends the morning of July 4th wearing a red, white, and blue outfit with matching nails. I've never felt so patriotic in my life.

Today was mini chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting day. I made three batches since I'm taking them up to the place I volunteer at tomorrow. Hopefully they'll be well received.

Also, I need a baking tag. Any suggestions?
amandaink: (Default)
God I hate the summer. How counterproductive given that I live in Florida, right?

I lose all my inspiration during the summer. I want to write things but even when I manage to grab hold of an interesting idea I can't even bring myself to open a document. I'd rather sleep for fourteen hours or surf the internet or be a playtoy for my cats. Or whatever.

I've been fighting my lack of productivy by dragging myself to the library and writing a few sentences at a time regardless of how terribly my writing sucks right now. I'm grateful that I can still be happy with reading books and manga though, even though doing so sometimes makes me feel even more lethargic than not.

I can't wait for fall. I love fall and winter. The last three months of the year are what I live for. When September rolls around you can probably expect long detailed posts about why I love fall. And then posts about why winter is, in fact, the most wonderful time of the year. They'll probably get their own tags. No lie, I will gush about October, November, and December like I'm in love.

I'm sorry I probably won't be updating too much until then. I promise to post a little bit and comment but my lack of motivation extends even to Livejournal.

Make summer go away.
amandaink: (Default)
So I'm reading Blue Moon, the eighth book in the Anita Blake series.

Cut for matters concerning rape. You don't have to be familiar with Anita Blake to understand my outrage. )

ON A HAPPIER NOTE. I already have a nice spark of an idea for NaNoWriMo. Yes, I'm excited already. I reread my story from last year and, honestly, it's not as bad as I expected. Of course, it's still pretty cringe-worthy but there were parts I genuinely enjoyed. Specifically, the dialogue. I always hate my dialogue when I write it but end up liking it once I reread it a few months later.

If I choose to stick with the idea I have now then come November I'll be writing a fun, creepy story involving lesbians, cupcakes, and the supernatural. A winning combination if I've ever heard one. ♥
amandaink: (Default)
I love the beach. I'm in Melbourne, out in the Atlantic and I spent about an hour with my family walking along where the waves hit the shore and watching pelicans dive.

We're in a seafood restaurant at the moment and I can see the water from my seat by the window. So yes, a wonderful day so far. Just wanted to update a bit about my life.
amandaink: (Default)
Guys.

Guys.

One of my novellas is being published.

[excited .gif of your choice goes here]

The publisher is Etopia Press. The story is just under 12,000 words after edits. I suppose I should have rushed to livejournal the very moment I got the acceptance (or signed the contract or went through the first round of edits or the second round) but I have that weird fear that if I talk too much about something, it will automatically cease. I'm pretty sure I've talked about it here before. If not, I'm sorry you have to be exposed to my strangeness.

BUT ANYWAY. I'll keep you posted as more information comes my way.

Book Time

May. 31st, 2011 10:23 pm
amandaink: (Default)

1) I got Beauty Queens by Libba Bray on it's release day and I finished it by the following afternoon. Verdict? Amazing. It's a feminist Lord of the Flies that takes on a plethora of serious subject matter all while maintaining Libba Bray's custom humor.

1a) While we're on the subject of Libba Bray: I'm going to go see her this summer! She is coming down to Miama with Meg Cabot and Maggie Stiefvater and so for that reason alone I've convinced my family to take a vacation downstate with me. (No way am I driving down to Miama by myself. Fuck that noise.) What should I wear? Which books should I bring? And how do I make myself not seem like a neurotic creeper who's just going to stand there like a moron and say, "Ohmigod, you're Libba Bray"?

(I've actually never met an author I admire IRL. Can you tell?)

2) Librarything is sending me an ARC of the newest book by another of my favorite authors. 



The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson! Just let me illustrate my excitment by saying that Maureen Johnson is one of three YA authors I count amongst my favorites. (Obviously Libba Bray is the second. INTERNETS FOR WHOEVER CAN GUESS THE THIRD.) (I also stalk her twitter loyally.) Anyway, The Name of the Star was one of the big releases I was looking forward to this year. It's official release date isn't until September. And I am getting it this month. For free.

So how excited am I? Pretty damn excited, let me tell you.

amandaink: (Default)
I'm going to keep this simple with no rambling pre-amble. Bold means a completed goal.

♥ 15 Classics
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
3. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
4. Candide by Voltaire
5. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
6. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde
7. A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde
8. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
9. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
10. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
11. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
12.
13.
14.
15.

♥ 15 Social Science
★ 5 Feminism
1. Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler
2. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
3. The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti
4.
5.
★ 5 Food
1. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
2. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
3.
4.
5.
★ 5 Other
1. Black Cats and Four Leaf Clovers: The Origins of Old Wives’ Tales and Superstitions in Our Every Day Lives by Harry Oliver
2. Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement by Peter Singer
3. Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Eduring Legend by Mark Collins Jenkins
4.
5.

♥ 10 Horror Novels
1. Burnt Offerings by Laurel K. Hamilton
2. John Dies At the End by David Wong
3. It by Stephen King
4. Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
5. Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
6. Blue Moon by Laurel K. Hamilton
7. Sunshine by Robin McKinely
8. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
9. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
10. Night Shift by Stephen King

♥ 5 LGBT Books
1. Plastic Jesus by Poppy Z. Brite
2. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
3. Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
4. Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
5. Love Drugged by James Klise

♥ 5 Young Adult
1. Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
2. Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
4. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
5. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

♥ 3 Psychology
1. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kayson
2.
3.

♥ 3 Paranormal Studies
1. The Sallie House Haunting by Debra Lyn Pickman
2. The Men Who Stare At Goats by Jon Ronson
3. Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Eduring Legend by Mark Collins Jenkins

♥ 3 History
1. Auschwitz: A New History by Laurence Reese
2. The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them by Eugen Kogon
3. Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Eduring Legend by Mark Collins Jenkins

♥ 3 Sci-Fi
1.
2.
3.
amandaink: (Default)
I went to the Born This Way release party at my local Starbucks. There wasn't actually much of a party until 11:30 when my friend Darren showed up with his entire entourage of co-workers and promptly went to ask the barista if he would sell him an early copy for fifty dollars. Darren is a hardcore Gaga fan; his goal is to one day be one of her dancers.

Anyway, until Darren arrived my BFF (pronounced Biff) and I sat there for about three hours talking to anyone who passed through, which happened to be half the town's gay population. Our Starbucks is one hard dance track away from being a gay club. If I ever feel like I need company and I don't feel like calling anyone I can drive up to Starbucks on any given night and find a friend.

Once Darren was denied an early copy the barista was nice enough to let him hold one and Darren promptly screamed and accidentally fumbled it onto the floor.

And once midnight finally did arrive he, Biff, and I were the first ones in line. And once we had finished paying, Darren proceeded out to his truck where he put the CD in, blasted it so it could be heard across the parking lot, and then got into the truck's carriage and danced his ass off to Government Hooker. When he was halfway through Judas even the barista, a nice older man who was somewhere between perplexed and amused with Darren's hysterics while we were paying, came out to film him. He got applause from the entire cafe.

So yes. I now own a copy of Lady Gaga's newest album. I didn't use the official cover art on my computer though. This is what I used:


amandaink: (Default)
Late night self-loathing voice is always a very nice girl.

Dark Side of Brain: What are you even doing? You can't write. Look at this story--LOOK AT IT. My God, there isn't even a plot there are just characters doing things. Why are they doing these things? Why can't you make them interesting? IF YOUR PLOTTING WAS ANY LOOSER THE INK WOULD RUN RIGHT OFF THE PAGE.
Good Side of Brain: Sweetheart, it would be nice if you began fewer sentences with pronouns. Just a suggestion.
Dark Side: WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOURSELF IF PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ THIS? YOU ARE A SHINING EXAMPLE OF EVERY SINGLE CRITICISM YOU HAVE EVER MADE.
Good Side: And a few less adverbs please.
Dark Side: GO READ SOME OSCAR WILDE SO YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING THAT YOU'RE NOT AND NEVER EVER WILL BE.
Me: *stares blankly at screen*

Perserverance causes more brain-yelling but it's better than writing nothing at all.

When I neglect to write I start criticizing myself for being lazy and uninspired and I start thinking I'll never complete anything worthwhile.

Oh broken self-esteem, you are such a double-edged sword.
amandaink: (Default)
[A pre-entry note: Hello new [livejournal.com profile] ontdcreepy friends! I haven't been especially active the past few days and I'm sorry that I've neglected to comment or actually engage anyone in conversation. I promise that will change now that I'm actually up and posting and not being a social pariah. LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING TO KNOW YA'LL~ ♥ ♥ ♥]

My goal this May is to not neglect books in favor of reading manga. This happened in April and evidently consuming as much manga from my library as concievably possible does some weird things to my mind.

Me, reading chapter 160 of Bleach: HOLY SHIT, HE'S USING GENJUTSU.

...wait.

BUT I HAVE DISCOVERED A FEW THINGS THAT ACTUALLY TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE OF MY ROOM.

The first is job hunting. We're not going to talk about how that's going.

The second is trying to improve my cooking skills. My talents are legendary amongst my circle of friends. I am the one forbidden to so much as slice sandwiches during party preparations. I am the infamous melter of bowls, the burner of popcorn, the no-Amanda-you-have-to-take-the-spaghetti-o's-OUT-of-the-can-before-they-go-in-the-microwave. I've given myself grease burns making eggs. When I was thirteen I got my hair caught in an electric eggbeater while making a cake.

Are you getting the idea?

But despite my few bad experiences, I do love food and I love watching food get made. (HERE'S TO YOU, FOOD NETWORK.) I have a recipe book I bought and I've been trying a few things out. So far I have made (without any harm to people and/or kitchens):

♥ Biscuits
♥ Toffee chopped chocolate angel food cake
♥ Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Reportedly, they have been a success.

I hope it's not too early to pat myself on the back. I'm planning to make blueberry muffins for Mother's Day and I don't want my not-setting-things-on-fire streak to be shortlived.

WE SHALL SEE. Until then, I'm going to lay on my bed and wait for productivity to come to me instead of the other way around.
amandaink: (Default)
Today I am going to share with you my foolproof method for finding your destination.

Step 1) Pick a direction.

Step 2) Drive until shit looks familiar.

Step 3) Arrive at destination.

Step 4) If you become lost, repeat steps 1 & 2.

Like I said, foolproof.
amandaink: (Default)
A few months ago as I was working on Novel, I decided that I wanted to get to know a certain secondary character a little better. This character actually doesn't appear until Novel Two but, you know, whatever. So I decided that I would write a short story to explore his background a bit so that I could a) get some more perspective on him when he does eventually show up and b) have something to distract me when Novel becomes frustrating.

I, optimistically, estimated that this story would be 5,000 words at most.

It's about to break 10,000. I'm still quite far from the end but, in an exciting turn of events, I do have it all wonderfully mapped. It's just a matter of getting it onto paper.

But damn it self, this thing might reach novella territory. And you know more about the character's love interest than you know about the character himself.

You, self, are doing it all sorts of wrong.
amandaink: (Default)
You know how you know that you might be crazy or just entirely too paranoid?

When it's ten o' clock at night and you're at your best friend's house, all alone save for two dogs. And then you hear a voice outside the door. It's a female voice. And so you race outside of the bedroom, heart going off like a jack hammer, and you look around the room and ask, "Is someone here?" And the only response you get is the two dogs jumping up to say, You're back? How about you stop looking half-crazed and pet us?

We're going to call this Adventures In Housesitting.

Other adventures include Friday when you're at lunch and you get a call from your best friend's mom saying that the alarm company just called to say that there's been a breach so you get your ass up and race across town to find that the house is empty, the alarm is glitching, and one of the two dogs you're taking care of decides that this is the time to jump ship through the escape route you left while you're checking the closets for burglars. You find him in the neighbor's yard and drag all three hundred pounds of him back into the house.

So this has been my week. In some book news--everyone loves book news--I read The Dark and Hollow Places on my Kindle thereby proving my own theory that getting new books for half the price and not in annoying debilitating hardback made the Kindle price worth it.

I also got Bleach. The first fourteen volumes. If the librarian thought it was strange that I was carrying manga up to my chin, she didn't comment. I know I'm late to the party but I'm really enjoying it so far. I also got two Naruto volumes and I put others on hold since I'm finally getting back to reading the manga cohesively rather than just watching sporadic episodes and reading whatever scanlations and spoilers I come across. I forgot how much I love it.

But I find the only problem is that now I can only hear Little Kuriboh's voice(s).

amandaink: (Default)
A follow up on my last post:

I've created a community for writers who wish to talk shop. This includes anything from sharing current projects and goals, asking questions, probing into the habits and processes of other writers, and just about anything else writing-related. The only thing that we bar is the posting of stories themselves since there is already a wide variety of communities for that purpose.

If you are interested, it can be found here: [livejournal.com profile] thewriterlounge.

Profile

amandaink: (Default)
amandaink

December 2011

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