Thursday, July 7, 2011

Few random things and a question for you

A random collection of things in this post today, folks.

First, what’s the deal with the word verifications I see some people put on blog comments? I have no idea what this is. Can someone please explain the goal? I hate feeling like I don't know what's going on. Let's not even talk about how Twitter is working out for me...

Second, did anyone else see this article in TIME magazine? It appears the State of Indiana has deemed cursive an archaic lesson (my term, not theirs) and are instead suggesting teachers teach (that feels redundant) typing skills to grade school students. Does this make anyone else wince and reach for a pad of paper and pencil? And how many writers do you think are now crafting a story about a day not so far in the future where paper and writing instruments are forbidden in a technological universe? No one else? Great, my idea! No one steal it!

Third, I had a happy happy surprise in the mail on Tuesday. Here is a pic of my proof copy of my 2009 NaNo. The working (horrible) title is Journey to Andryea, but coming up with titles has never been my strong suit. Check out this post over at Jen’s Bookshelf for her take on titles. It sucks. (clarification: coming up with titles sucks, NOT Jen's post. Her post is quite lovely and you should check it out. I'll wait...)

Finally, my real question for all of you… I’m still working on my story idea for this year’s NaNo and it involves transporting the MC to another time/place. Perhaps I have CS Lewis and his wardrobe on my mind, but do you have other suggestions for stories where the MC was taken from this world to another via “ordinary object” means? Magic telephone booth? Stepping into a book? Board games (Jumanji, anyone?)… I would like a list of books to read or movies to watch where this technique is used, but the more I try to think of examples, the more my brain shuts down.


  1. The point of word verification is to catch spam. I don't use it personally and I haven't had any problems yet. I think the inconvenience to your readers for outweighs any work it might save you removing a spam comment once in a while. But at least it's not as bad as when bloggers need to authorize your comments before they appear. That annoys me to no end.

    I'm not bothered by the idea that cursive may be phased out anymore than I'm bothered that no one writes on vellum anymore. Cursive is inefficient. The times move on.

    Hmmm... books where characters are transported... The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay comes to mind. I didn't much enjoy them. The writing was awful. (You can tell they were his first books.) But there are a lot of interesting ideas there and good use of mythological motifs. Also the Thomas Covenant series by Stephen R. Donaldson. My husband is a big fan of those.

    You know, it's either a coincidence or fate that I was just reading a couple of posts by sci fi author Mike Flynn about titles. You can find them here...

  2. 'Howl's Moving Castle' is the only one that I can think of right now. I read it when I was little, but I think it had to do with a castle that had a door that acted as a portal.

    Word verifications are typically used to deter human and electronic spammers from using your blog to advertise their services/products

  3. Hmm.... wondering if we're talking about the same thing? I've seen the "word verification" on blogs before you can post comments. But I've seen people post comments that include the word verification. Are these people using the word they had to type in to verify their post and making up a definition?

    @ Sarah--EXCELLENT point about vellum and other, older means of writing. I never looked at it that way but seeing as I'm afraid of change, that doesn't surprise me. :) Thank you for the book recs, though!

    @ Lindsay-- Oh, a door as a portal is JUST what I'm looking for, too. Thanks for the rec!

  4. "Does this make anyone else wince and reach for a pad of paper and pencil?"

    Eh, I wouldn't have minded skipping cursive lessons. :)

    A Few Books:

    Magic Kingdom, For Sale, Sold -- Terry Brooks
    The Magicians - Lev Grossman
    Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Labyrinth might be close enough to be useful. Dante?

    I agree with Sarah on "I think the inconvenience to your readers for outweighs..."

  5. yeah, it used to be in vogue to make up definitions to word verificatiosna nd incude them in your comment. It's not as common anymore since most people ditched the WV system unless they have a lot of spam.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your proof! It's so pretty!
    And all the obvious books/movies i could think of off the top of my head, you already mentioned. I'll think on it some more and let you know if i come up with anymore.

  6. Garth Nix's Seventh Tower series uses a magic ring/stone to access a spirit world, and Elizabeth Winthrop's Castle in the Attic series has a magic token that transports into the medieval world.

  7. I am going to second Lindsay's suggestion about Howl's Moving Castle. There is also a sequel called The House of Many Ways. Um...Wizard of Oz? OH! There is the Pliocene Exile series by Julian May where a French scientist discovered a way to travel back 6 million years. He built a portal, but it's only one way. It's very sci-fi and based on Celtic legends.

  8. Word verification, I think someone has already answered, its for spam.

    Your new Nano sounds fab, time travel is another great escape, I like the door idea too! Good luckm should be fun writing it! ;-)

  9. Just seeing the cover of your book makes me all excited inside! :-)


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