Friday, April 27, 2012

X Factor




Today's post is devoted to those favorite things of mine that I wanted to mention earlier this month but didn't because either other things popped into my head at the last minute or Joss Whedon trumps all. I'm calling it "X Factor" because (a) it's X Day and (b) because these things (All right, well one's a person) have completely captured my attention/imagination in a way that's usually only reserved for the Whedonverse.

Books

I first read the novels of Ellen Emerson White when I was in the seventh grade and both my mother and my English teacher were desperate to get me to read something— anything— that didn't feature a pair of beautiful blond twins. So, one day, when I was wandering around the library searching for said anything, I came across The President's Daughter. It's the story of Meg Powers (one of my all time favorite characters) , a sixteen year old girl whose mother runs for (and wins) the Presidency of the United States.

I don't remember why exactly I picked it up but I'm super glad I did because it was the start of a beautiful love affair— all right, maybe a little one sided love affair— that has lasted until this day. And just so you understand how long I've been in love with this book/series, it's been quite a while since I was in the seventh grade. Like, more than one decade. And then some.

Ellen Emerson White taught me so much about writing a story. She taught me so much about creating a character with layers. She taught me so much about character voice. My writing changed forever after reading these series of books. And if you like YA, you should most definitely read this series.

Here's the series list in order:
1. The President's Daughter (which is currently a paperback bargain at Amazon— $4!!)
2. White House Autumn
3. Long Live The Queen
4. Long May She Reign

I also love White's other novels The Road Home, Life Without Friends, and In Case of Emergency, Ring Super. These three titles are out of print and therefore, harder to come by but they're fantastic novels all.

Television

Sherlock is a British series that offers a contemporary spin on the Sherlock Holmes stories. I started watching it this year (just a couple months ago) and was addicted probably within the first ten minutes because it's that awesome. I was very disappointed to find out there were only three episodes though. Fortunately, the next series starts up in the States on May 6th. And BOY am I excited.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Watson) are terrific. The writing rocks and the mysteries are good ones. (Even if, between A Study In Pink and a certain episode of the British series Luther, I am now afraid of London cab drivers...) Here are some of my favorite lines from the first series:

Mycroft: You don't seem very afraid.
Watson: You don't seem very frightening.

Sherlock: Anderson, don't talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the entire street.

Sherlock: I'm not a psychopath, Anderson. I'm a high functioning sociopath. Do your research.

Sherlock: Look at you lot. You're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.

Watson: (shouting while pissed at Sherlock) I'm Sherlock Holmes and I always work alone because no-one can compete with my massive intellect!

Comics

And just for something different and for something that actually starts with X, I'd like to make mention of XKCD, a comic strip featuring stick figures and geek humor (I guess, lacking a better way to describe it). A lot of the strips, I don't understand because a lot of it is science centered and my level of science understands tops out at Mr. Wizard (or Bill Nye the Science Guy for those of you too young to know who Mr. Wizard is). Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way because there's a site called Explain XKCD that does just day: explains the comic to the rest of us. But my favorite comic from them is one featuring River Tam. I tried to post it here but it didn't work. I don't know why. But you can follow this link to see it. 

Sorry about that. Blogger ruined my big finish. Oh well. That's gonna do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by and I'll see y'all tomorrow.


23 comments:

  1. I love how you did X. This is great. I've really enjoyed becoming a follower of your blog!

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  2. Yeah, I think "stick figures and geek humor" pretty much covers it. Hi-frakkin-larious.

    And Sherlock is fantastic. Benedict Cumberbatch (which would have been a great name for one of my characters) plays the psycho-sociopathic Holmes so well. Really looking forward to the next series.

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  3. I LOVE Sherlock. That show is awesome! And XKCD. I never even thought of that one for X, and that shames me. SO good!

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  4. I haven't read the book... but everything else you mentioned I'm a fan of too. Good choices.

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  5. Really dig the BBC Sherlock Holmes. They are planning an American version - of course!

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  6. I've heard of "Sherlock" but I haven't seen it yet. Another one for my list of things to read and/or watch. :)

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  7. Great X post! I love Sherlock. I've only seen the first season so far. Season 2 comes out on PBS next month.

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  8. I've wondered about that Holmes series. I'll check out that author too. Happy X day.

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  9. Fun post for X. I've gotta start watching Sherlock!

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  10. I've been wanting to see Sherlock for a while. Love those lines!

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  11. I LOVE the modern Sherlock series. I wish they'd get busy and make a ton of those things. I've heard they are making a modern American version set in NY, but I doubt it will compete. The chemistry between those two actors in the British version is really incredible. And the scripts were so smart. Did I mention I LOVE it. :)

    And it isn't even written by Whedon!

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  12. I wish I could watch Sherlock Holmes here. I LOVED the last movie.

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  13. The next series of Sherlock is fantastic. My only advice is PAY ATTENTION... but I can't tell you why!!

    You can email me if you want cryptic, non-spoiler explanation for that advice :-)

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  14. Well... I hope that once you ditch the other blog I start getting these updates when you post to this one. Although, I didn't get the V or the W update from either place. I've tried unfollowing both of them so that I can just re-follow this one, but it won't let me. Yes, blogger will not let me stop following you.

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  15. Sherlock is great! I used the IQ quote at work recently--sadly, nobody got it. Enjoying the posts.

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  16. Now you've given me 3 new things to investigate! Thank you. And, yes, I am old enough to remember Mr. Wizard.
    :)
    HMG

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  17. Sherlock is on my list of shows that I need to get around to watching...

    Also, on your below post - you like Joss Whedon??

    kidding.

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  18. Blogger is definitely a Blooger.

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  19. Have to admit, I don't know any of this, BUT I did take your recommend and rented Dr. Horrible and he was hysterical.

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  20. FYI, know how I got my xkcd stuff to Blogger? I dragged 'em (then added a caption).

    Love the cell you pointed out, and will have to check out the other stuff, when time permits as it prolly won't, but I can hope, anyway.

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  21. Love the comic - too funny!

    Those novels sound really good too. Damn it! My "To Read" list is too long as it is!!

    As for Sherlock, I am dying to watch this show, but Netflix does not want to cooperate. :(

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  22. Love the comic - too funny!

    Those novels sound really good too. Damn it! My "To Read" list is too long as it is!!

    As for Sherlock, I am dying to watch this show, but Netflix does not want to cooperate. :(

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  23. I dig the new Sherlock series and the modern take on the characters. Cumberbatch and Freeman are both pretty dreamy in this, in their own ways, aren't they? :-)

    Some Dark Romantic

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