Category Archives: personal

Summer in the City

It’s only March and I’m already thinking about summer. I think that’s because the weather has been so nice for the past week. 60 degrees in March is so strange. It makes me worried about the heat this summer. However, I have three or four ideas for this summer that involve research, books, and generally being indoors, so that’s pretty nice, assuming I get accepted to any of them! I’ll have weekends for beaches and other summer things. I can’t wait to see what the North Shore looks like in the summer.

I’ve been keeping crazy busy. Part of that is my commute. I have about 1.5 hours door to door now. It isn’t bad, but it also isn’t the 5 minutes I used to have! I’ve been getting a lot of reading done and I started listening to audiobooks too, just to switch it up a little. If I read, I can listen to music; if I listen to an audiobook, I can do the crossword in the Metro.

Easter is coming up, and I’m looking forward to helping the Easter Bunny hide eggs for my little cousins. We had a lot of fun last year, and I think it will be fun again this year.

 

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3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge

My bibliophile friend, Kayla, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Daily Geekette, has challenged me to the 3 Days, 3 Quotes challenge. Thank you, Kayla!

The rules of the challenge are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (one quote per day).
3. Nominate three new bloggers each day!

Nominating:

Librarian in Black

Ukrainian Picnic

Tales from the Library

 

First, I’m going for a long one:

“Mandalorians are surprisingly unconcerned with biological lineage. Their definition of offspring or parent is more by relationship than birth: adoption is extremely common, and it’s not unusual for soldiers to take war orphans as their sons or daughters if they impress them with their aggression and tenacity. They also seem tolerant of marital infidelity during long separations, as long as any child resulting from it is raised by them. Mandalorians define themselves by culture and behavior alone. It is an affinity with key expressions of this culture—loyalty, strong self-identity, emphasis on physical endurance and discipline—that causes some ethnic groups such as those of Concord Dawn in particular to gravitate toward Mandalorian communities, thereby reinforcing a common set of genes derived from a wide range of populations. The instinct to be a protective parent is especially dominant. They have accidentally bred a family-oriented warrior population, and continue to reinforce it by absorbing like-minded individuals and groups.”

Triple Zero, by Karen Traviss (Star Wars EU novel)

Triple Zero

Karen Traviss is one of my Top 10 authors. She writes mostly military fiction, both Star Wars and Gears of War, and she is a former defense correspondent. I love how she writes about Mandalorians in her Star Wars novels. They’re often portrayed as overly aggressive, one-dimensional, mercenaries. Traviss brings them to life. She creates deep characters, trapped within an unfair situation (the clone commandos are soldiers without a choice). She brings to life the Mandos who were selected to train these boys into hardened soldiers, and how these men and women became parents to an army.

Plus explosions.

As someone who is adopted, I deeply feel that family is more than who you’re biologically related to. Family is who stands with you, who pushes you to be better, who understands who you are. Traviss’ quote shows a fictional society that embraces a warrior culture that is also full of honor, respect, and loyalty; or, as the Mandos put it: Haat, Ijaa, Haa’it (“Truth, Honor, Vision”).

 

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On book covers and vampire fiction

My introduction to vampire fiction was Interview with the Vampire in 1994, when the movie came out. I was considerably too young to see the movie, according to my dad. I was eleven, so I can see his point. He saw it and decided that no, I could not go watch Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise with fangs until I was a little older (side note: a “little older” turned out to be maybe 13 when I saw it edited for TV). I decided to read the book. I’m a reader; I always have been.

This was the cover I had.

Interview

It was sleek, simple, and admittedly cheesy. I love it. I love the book. I loved the darkness of the cover that was part of the darkness of the book.

I read through the Vampire Chronicles like crazy. I read every single one. I read the New Tales of the Vampires. I had to buy a new copy of Vampire Lestat because my first copy was literally falling apart; it was held together by a rubber band. I must have read it every summer from the time I was twelve until I graduated high school at seventeen. Waiting for Merrick was torture. Blood and Gold gave a very shy, 18 year old me something to talk about with a new boy in college, who is now my husband. I wrote horrible poetry about Armand when I was going through an angsty poet phase.

I watched and re-watched both movies. I still hate Kirsten Dunst because she wasn’t Claudia enough for me. I love everything about the Queen of the Damned movie, but it annoyed me that so many minor characters were left out. I love the soundtrack. These books (and movies to a lesser extent) shaped my teen years. They shaped my writing. They shaped my world.

Now…

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What are you thinking? This is the “preview” UK cover. It looks like a cheesy young adult romance novel.

I understand wanting to cash in on the popularity of Twilight, and to a lesser extent, YA supernatural romance in general. I understand that many of the covers of the Vampire Chronicles have changed to the stark black, white, and red covers reminiscent of Twilight. This is marketing, I get it. They’re edgy and abstract, so I can forgive them, albeit reluctantly. The same thing happened to Silver Kiss, another vampire novel I loved when I was younger.

But this photo-cover diminishes what Lestat has been since 1976. Lestat is the sexy vampire. He is the epitome of rock star, arrogant, vampire that everyone has copied since. Now, he’s being pimped out.

“They” say to never judge a book by its cover. Yes, I will be reading Prince Lestat because I still love Lestat. But, I’m judging this book, Ms. Rice, and I’m judging you.

 

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Write Into The Day

At the Western MA Writing Project, we do a Write Into The Day. Today’s was “What is the greatest gift you have ever received?”

When I was 9, my dad and I took our normal family vacation. It was our first summer without my mom. I’m sure I was horribly cranky and whiney, as I tended to be throughout childhood. We had flown into Rome where we were going to spend a week before going onto Florence and Naples. I remember being so tired and sweaty after landing. We took the subway into the neighborhood of our hotel. I was lugging my suitcase up the dark stairs, the bright sunlight in the doorways leading to the street. The staircase felt like it would never end.  I finally reached the top and suddenly, there it was, basking in the July sun: The Coliseum. I remember just staring at it in awe. I’d seen Paris the year before, but this was different. This was ancient. This was … colossal. My dad tells the story with me saying “It’s there, it’s really there,” over and over again. I think this moment is the moment I began to believe that it would really all be OK. I’m sure I was cranky and whiney on the trip, as I was on other trips (I have a very distinct memory of tears and yelling at the market in Nice a few years later, but it lead to some great food and an amazing view) and in regular life (honestly, I still am), but the moment of stepping into the sunlight in front of the Coliseum, my dad at my side, everything started to be OK once more.

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Memories

My cousin, Monica, posted some pictures on Facebook from her visit to the states a few years ago.

Mia cugina, Monica, foto dal suo viaggio in comune agli stati alcuni anni fa.

 

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I think this one is my favorite/Penso che questo è la mia preferita:

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Thank you, Monica! Grazie, Monica!

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Goodbye 29

Tomorrow, I turn 30.

In my 20s, I worked many jobs, got married, adopted cats, threw a rave, lived in Philly, Boston, and Springfield, graduated college, got a Masters degree, got a real job, made friends, lost friends, been to weddings, and been to a funeral.

My 20s have been intense.

My 30s have a lot of potential.

I go into them with a little trepidation, but with some serious self-esteem and a lot of personal flair.

 

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Labor Day

I had such a nice weekend in CT visiting family. I saw cousins that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I also met the two newest members (my cousin’s 1 year old, and my other cousin’s 2 month old).

Handsome little man (who is far heavier than he looks):

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And a pretty little girl (who thought that a napkin was a toy):

2013-09-02 21.06.15

So that was a lot of fun. My other little cousin (who I haven’t seen in a year), is now 2 years old and didn’t remember me, but he realized I’m family and gave me a hug when he left.

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