Amazon Pre-Order is Amazing

I preordered Mockingjay months ago and received a lovely notification Sunday morning that it had been shipped, which means, since it is released tomorrow I will probably get it tomorrow or Wednesday. Squeeeeeee!!!!

You have no idea, or you actually might, how excited I have been for the finale of this series. I’ve reread the first two books twice in 4 days now, just to be ready for what happens next! Who will die? Who will Katniss choose? What really happened to District 13 all those years ago? So many unanswered questions!

A Twitter friend of mine went to the book release tonight and met Suzanne Collins. While extremely jealous, I’m secretly plotting to fly there and steal her copy tonight, finishing it on the flight home so I can send it back in the mail. Homegirl Michal, I really need to fly to NY soon, and not just to steal your books.

Next time you see me, I’ll be very sleep deprived having braved the night and early morning hours to read Mockingjay.
-JS

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Updated To-Read List

I updated my To Read List and also wanted to throw out a few books I’ve read in the past 6 months that I really recommend. The first is The Hunger Games and the rest of the trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The third book, Mockingjay, comes out August 24th. Though I know of a certain online media guru that got ahold of an advanced copy! No fair! (See fansite Mockingjay.net for enthusiastic updates). This is very interesting teen sci-fi series. It has emotion and character development unlike a lot of other teen series out there and you simply cannot put it down once you begin the first chapter. Every person I’ve let borrow my copies have sent me angry texts at 2AM asking why I let them borrow because they have to work at 6AM and can’t stop reading. That’s always a good sign. :)

The other series I read was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The writing wasn’t actually that fantastic (though it is a translation), and the beginning was kind of slow, but once Larsson develops the characters a bit you will be intrigued to see when he takes them. The second and third books,  The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest get increasingly better with every chapter. I feel the first book was more of a prequel to the next two: it sits completely apart from the rest of the trilogy and serves more to introduce the characters and their relationships. I was sweating as I read the last third of the last book because I knew how it would end but couldn’t see how Larsson was going to tie up all the loose ends! I’m very sad he isn’t alive to write more Swedish wonders, but I hear there are actual incomplete drafts of a fourth and fifth book. Due to a bunch of legal issues they probably won’t be published for a while, if ever.

The Swedish movie adapted from the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was also excellent. I am curious to see how the American version will do in comparison. They haven’t casted who will play heroine Lisbeth Salander yet, but there is so much expectation surrounding that role that it could blow the whole production if it’s not a good fit.

Happy Reading!

-JS

Evil Witches and Spirit Birds: My Fantastical Subconscious

I have a history of having extremely vivid, fantastical dreams and I’d like to share a couple of the ones I wrote down. Now, I know this is not an opinion, but the idea of writing a novel has been weighing on my mind lately. And it’s not like I have time to do that anywhere in the extremely near future, but I’m curious to see feedback on these ideas. Actually, I’m lying: I don’t really care about feedback. I just want them out there, even if it means someone might steal them. Weird, I know. But having them out here gives me more incentive to actually do something with them. Writing also just stimulates the brain for more ideas so maybe I can make more connections just by writing these out again.

I’ve had a few glasses of wine. Obviously. Here we go.

I had this first dream when I just got out of a shitty relationship, I won’t mention with whom, and I’d been having major issues with self-esteem because of it. There seems to be a lot of symbols in this one referring to it, and I found it extremely interesting that this came out of my subconscious at that time. This is an AIM conversation I was having with one of my friends the night after I dreamt it so I’ll leave it in that form, omitting my screen name.

integrijusture: Me and some friends were out in the middle of nowhere.

integrijusture: Causing trouble lol

integrijusture: And we ran into the forest

integrijusture: Some guy lived in a huge tree who had some magic masks so we put them on and they made it so we could fly

integrijusture: So we were flying around the forest and we came into some magic fairy occupied territory in this open area in the forest

integrijusture: And there was a painfully beautiful witch who was getting married and she was evil though her future husband didnt know it. He was being tricked into marrying her with a love potion she had made

integrijusture: But her future husband started flirting with one of my friends and myself, actually it was more like just asking where we came from and inviting us to stay and join the party. Just being friendly

integrijusture: But the witch didnt like it because she thought we were spies trying to get information from him about her and she was also jealous because we were young and full of possibility and she was nearing the end of her existence, and she was planning on slowly sucking the life from her husband in order to stay young

integrijusture: So she started making speeches after the ceremony

integrijusture: And making fun of us in them so no one would like us and she could get rid of us without anyone caring. She didnt want her husband to fall in love with anyone else because then her spells wouldnt work on him anymore

integrijusture: But her guests were getting suspicious so she played it off like she was joking and brought us all drinks

integrijusture: But she poisoned ours

integrijusture: And then she told her army to kill us because we were traitors and she potion in the drinks weakened traitors. The drinks were a litmus for this, though she was lying.

integrijusture: So we started fighting them

integrijusture: And I was throwing spears and rocks and knives at them but I felt weak because I had been poisoned so I was close to being killed by the army. It made me desperate and I fought even harder and became reckless, though effective

integrijusture: And then this man dressed in all black calmly walked into the room

integrijusture: And he tried to take off my mask

integrijusture: But I fought him and flew away

integrijusture: And the army started singing and chanting because we were retreating back to the forest.

integrijusture: And I tried to fly away to go with my friends

integrijusture: But the man in black was following me

integrijusture: And when he came closer I couldnt fly and Id just fall to the ground

integrijusture: He was singing with the army too

integrijusture: And the louder he sang the weaker I felt. Suddenly my legs just started moving towards him

integrijusture: And I was walking into his arms

integrijusture: These terrible thoughts were coming into my mind from him that were making me feel ashamed and terrified and I could barely stand being near him. Finally I found some strength and I ripped my mask off and threw it at him and ran as fast as I could and one of my friends carried me because I couldnt walk by myself anymore.

integrijusture: So we flew back to the tree where the man lived and gave him his masks back, except for me because I had left mine and this disappointed him.

integrijusture: And then I woke up.

Crazy, huh? I remember the colors being particularly vivid in this one. The forest and clothes of the wedding guests were very bright and detailed. The witches wedding dress was turquoise with lace and purple accents and stitching. The masks were very colorful also. They were the masks your would see at a masquerade ball, or something similar. Makes me wonder what movies or book I had been into during that time.

My second dream was more recent. It happened less than a year ago, where the previous dream took place right after I graduated high school, so I remember the details better than simply from what I actually wrote down, unlike the witch dream. This one comes from a journal entry. I had this dream while almost everyone close to me was out of town, for weeks or months. I had just been in a serious car accident and was living in a small apartment by myself– it was a very difficult time for me. I felt very alone and helpless; I was also having financial problems and back and shoulder pain from the car accident, which I am now being sued for. Thanks a lot people. Anyway, I wrote this one down right after it happened in my journal, though I have a hard time reading my own handwriting so I’ll interpret best I can from what I wrote.

So I was able to turn into a bird, or any other animal for that matter, and there were others like me; we were a different race of people. There was a spirit people that could also take any shape the they were after us. They wanted to annihilate us from earth, so we went into hiding in this old house where we were trying to act like normal birds. I had to find out where the spirit people were so I sent a scout bird to spy for us. He ended up getting caught and giving away our location to avoid torture sadly. So we were hiding in the house like we had been for months when we suddenly heard a flapping sound outside. We looked and saw a storm of spirit birds coming at us, so we flew away to the city. Now, in the city there was a river the flowed through the middle of it and there was a large glass shopping mall that overlooked the riverfront. Part of the mall was on a dock just above the water level and there was a giant glass window looking out to the river from inside the mall. There was also an aquatic museum and zoo next door. We flew to the museum and hid in various exhibits, posing as different animals and mingling in with other birds. This confused the spirit birds because we were too spread out so they began flying all over the river in chaos. I then began talking to a seal and he told me I should hide in human form in the mall because we could blend in easier and find a way out. So we flew as a large group into the mall through skylights and became humans without notice, or so we thought. But the spirit birds saw and came in a swarm towards the mall over the river. But once they were over the river all of them came together to form what looked like a giant spear. The spear hovered over the water pointing downwards and suddenly plunged into the river creating an incredible wave that came up over the dock of the mall and pulled people and benches into the river with its retreat. The spear then came back up out of the water as a different form, a giant squid with spears on the ends of its tentacles that were encrusted with poisonous barbs. The spear-tentacles began thrusting up under the mall that was over the water, putting giant holes in the floors, causing everything to flood and sink, and creating mass panic and destruction among all the people in the mall. Everyone started running, so we ran with them to stay in disguise. But too many humans were being killed for our sake so I transformed back into a bird and called for some of the braver birds to distract the spirit squid so some of us could make it across the river. We frantically flew to the other side, and the spirit squid saw. It immediately burst into millions of spirit hawks that pursued us. These hawks were pure evil. They had menacing red eyes, claws make of sharp purple diamond, bright fiery breath, and piercing cries that made your ears bleed. So we flew down into the city, drove into a cab, changed into humans again and began driving around the twisted streets to get lost in traffic, but the spirit hawks still saw and flew at the cabs. They ripped the roofs off with their gruesome claws and tried to pluck us out by the heads, but we became birds again and took to the air. Desperate, we fought them one on one. They mutilated us. I fell to the roof of a building, waiting for a spirit hawk to finish me off, when the mall across the river exploded into an intense cloud of purple sparkling mist which enveloped the spirit hawks and suffocated them, leaving us broken and bloodied, but alive.

I think I could make a decent story out of one of these. When? Who knows. Sometime in the near future I hope. Though, when I say near I mean sometime before I’m thirty. =P

Thanks for reading.

-JS