Friday, April 27, 2012
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.
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!
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.