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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Not Writing Related... But Doctor Who's worth it, right?

So.......

Hi....... *waves*

I know it's been a while since I've blogged (Yes. I realize "a while" is a bit of an understatement here.), but I am not here today to talk about writing.

It's a Doctor Who day. :o)

I've wanted to write this all down for a while now because people keep asking (and it's really hard to explain in 140 characters on twitter), so here it is!

Janelle's Guide to Watching Doctor Who & Torchwood In Order
(With Some Extra Stuff Thrown In):


Doctor Who
Torchwood
For those of you are not yet Whovians, here is a brief background on Doctor Who and Torchwood:

Doctor Who follows the adventures (well, maybe misadventures is a bit more apropos) of The Doctor (No. You don't know his name. No. You probably never will. Deal with it. :oP) and his friends (better known as his "companions") in his TARDIS.


What the hell is a TARDIS, you ask?
This is a TARDIS: 
She would make a lovely
TARDIS, don't you think?


The Doctor's TARDIS, disguised
as a 1950s era police box.



Oops! Sorry! Wrong picture!
This is a TARDIS: -->


More specifically, this is The Doctor's TARDIS. Well, sort of.
A TARDIS, short for Time and Relative Dimension in Space, is a ship that can travel anywhere throughout space and time, usually without ripping a hole in the fabric of the universe. Usually.
And it's bigger on the inside.
How cool is that?

Torchwood is a spin-off series of Doctor Who, following Captain Jack Harkness and his team. You'll find out soon enough what that means...

...And what, exactly, The Doctor is.

:o)

Okay... So I'm starting with the new show here. Series One (in case you don't know, in the UK, they say "series" instead of "season", so I'm gonna be all British and use it) of the Doctor Who revamp started in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor (Thank you, Russel T. Davies and Julie Gardner).

Just so you know, as of this post, most episodes of both shows are available to stream on Netflix.

Keep in mind that while Doctor Who is slated in the UK as a family show, there are some episodes that may be a bit scary for some young children. I recommend watching the episodes I notate before letting your young kids watch them. Also, Torchwood is most definitely -not- a family show--it is overall much darker, and very sexual. My 9-year-old daughter loves Doctor Who (and has seen every episode. Repeatedly.) but does not watch Torchwood.

I've tried to keep this #Spoiler free for the most part, but I wouldn't click any of the links until you've seen the episodes before them. Also, be careful if you look things up on the Internet because if you so much as type the name of a certain character, you may get results like "The Death of [Certain Character You Love]." If you have any questions that you want a relatively non-spoilery answer for, feel free to leave a comment or tweet me.

Without further ado, here goes! Enjoy! :o)


DW--Series One:

The Ninth Doctor & Rose Tyler
Watch Series One all the way through. Because I'm a freak who has to see everything in order, I'd recommend watching it from the beginning, but keep in mind, the show can be slow in the first few episodes. It picks up. I swear!! And there is stuff in later episodes you won't fully appreciate if you don't start from the beginning.






Watch for "Bad Wolf" recurring
throughout Series One.
- Rose
- The End of the World
- The Unquiet Dead
(pay attention to Gwyneth in this one...)
- Aliens of London / World War Three
(and the Coroner in this one...)
- Dalek
- The Long Game
- Father's Day (I loved this episode)
- The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances (another favorite, and... Captain Jack!!! <3)
- Boom Town
- Bad Wolf / The Parting of Ways (loved these too)

When you get to the end of Series One, watch this little snippet from the 2005 Children in Need benefit.

Then move on to Series Two and watch it all the way through (look for references to Torchwood throughout):

- The Christmas Invasion (Christmas Special) (first episode with my Doctor... who is "rude. and not ginger." hehehe)

The Tenth Doctor & Rose
- New Earth (First episode of Series 2)
- Tooth and Claw (might be a little scary)
- School Reunion (with Sarah Jane Smith! :o) regular companion to the Third & Fourth Doctor)
- The Girl in the Fireplace (great episode! I love Sophia Myles, & she was amazing!)
- Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel
- The Idiot's Lantern
- The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit (loved these, might be a little scary)
- Love and Monsters (ummm... yeah... not the best Doctor-lite episode... but Moaning Myrtle's in it...)
- Fear Her (makes up for the previous episode)
- Army of Ghosts / Doomsday (Yes. I totally teared up at the end...)



Okay. So now is the perfect time to start Torchwood. The events there pick up where Doomsday leaves off, and they refer to the events at Canary Wharf (Doomsday) in the show. From now on, I am listing episodes in the order aired, whether it is DW or TW. For the most part it doesn't matter how you watch them, BUT if you watch Torchwood, there is crossover at the end of these two series that I'll note as they come up.

Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Captain Jack Harkness, Toshiko Sato, and Owen Harper
I love this cast.
TW - Everything Changes (First episode of Series 1) (Recognize Gwen & Tosh?)
TW - Day One
TW - Ghost Machine
TW - Cyberwoman (make sure you watch Doomsday first!)
TW - Small Worlds
TW - Countrycide
TW - Greeks Bearing Gifts
TW - They Keep Killing Suzie
TW - Random Shoes
TW - Out of Time
TW - Combat

The Runaway Bride
DW - The Runaway Bride (Christmas Special)







TW - Captain Jack Harkness
TW - End of Days

The Tenth Doctor & Martha Jones
DW - Smith and Jones (First episode of Series 3)
DW - The Shakespeare Code (love this one! Especially all of the Harry Potter references...)
DW - Gridlock
DW - Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks
DW - The Lazarus Experiement
DW - 42 (first episode my daughter watched... When it was over, she turned to me and asked, "Is it always this epic?")
DW - Human Nature / The Family of Blood (-very- good episodes, might be a little scary)
Don't blink.
DW - Blink (OMG. Amazing episode! Doctor-lite, but -very- good! One of my favorites! This episode still scares the crap out of me, so I'd watch it before letting little ones watch it...)






So... This is where they crossover. However you watched them up to this point, watch (or re-watch) TW End of Days -before- the next episode!

DW - Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords (Epic. Love these episodes!)


So. Now you've finished Series Three of Doctor Who and Series One of Torchwood. Are you hooked? How about a little sumptin'-sumptin' before you move on? You know you want it! ;o)

Here's a fun little clip from the 2007 Children in Need that takes place between the end of Last of the Time Lords and the Christmas Special.

Moving on... :o)

Guest star Kylie Minogue was awesome
as Astrid in Voyage of the Damned!
DW - Voyage of the Damned (Christmas Special)

TW - Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (First episode of Series 2)
TW - Sleeper
TW - To the Last Man
TW - Meat
TW - Adam
TW - Reset (with Martha Jones!)
TW - Dead Man Walking
TW - A Day in the Death
TW - Something Borrowed
TW - From Out of the Rain
TW - Adrift
TW - Fragments
TW - Exit Wounds (I needed tissue with this one. I totally cried. Broke. My. Heart. Right, BranliDenise, and Candice?)


The Tenth Doctor & Donna Noble
DW - Partners in Crime (First episode of Series 4)
DW - The Fires of Pompeii
DW - Planet of the Ood (Love this episode)
DW - The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky
DW - The Doctor's Daughter (Love this one... btw... Guess who David Tennant is dating?)
DW - The Unicorn and the Wasp
Shhhh! #Spoilers
(I <3 River Song)
DW - Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead (These episodes freak me the hell out! I totally recommend watching these before letting young kids see them.)
DW - Midnight (Amazing episode. Beautifully acted, and the psychology in the writing is absolutely brilliant.)
DW - Turn Left



Okay, more crossover! These episodes follow TW - Exit Wounds (*wipes a tear*), so make sure you've seen it first because there are TW #Spoilers in DW...

DW - The Stolen Earth / Journey's End (love love love these episodes. But I might be biased here because of all the guest stars...)
Sarah Jane Smith, Mickey Smith, Jackie Tyler, Rose Tyler, The Tenth Doctor,
Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, Donna Noble

This is where things start changing... After Series Four, there were four specials, not another regular series, spaced throughout the year. Also, there's no more crossover (as of yet) between the two shows, so it doesn't really matter which one you watch when...

(Oh. And here's another Children in Need special for ya! Enjoy!)

Which one is The Doctor?
DW - The Next Doctor (Christmas Special) (listed on Netflix as episode 15 of Series 4)

DW - Planet of the Dead (Special #2) (As of this post, this episode is not streaming on Netflix. You can order the dvd or try to find it on YouTube, but the quality on YouTube is really bad)




TW - Children of Earth: Day One (First episode of Series 3) (This series is amazing! Very, very dark, but -really- good!)
TW - Children of Earth: Day Two
TW - Children of Earth: Day Three
TW - Children of Earth: Day Four (Made me cry.)
TW - Children of Earth: Day Five (Made me cry. Again.)





DW - The Waters of Mars (Special #3) (Streaming on Netflix)

DW - The End of Time: Parts 1 & 2 (Christmas Special / Special #4) (Usually streaming on Netflix. I love these episodes. And yes, I -totally- cried. Total. Blubbering. Idiot.)



Okay. So now that you've stopped crying (Come on! You know you did!), watch this special and this special.


Like I said earlier, things change here. Russel T. Davies (the creator of the revamp) left the show in the care of Steven Moffat (you know him--he wrote Blink and some other amazing episodes). And given what happens in The End of Time, you know there will be some cast changes... That said, when you start Series Five, expect the show to look and feel completely different! I still love it, but it took me a few episodes to get used to... Also, there are many overarching storylines, so it might not make sense if you watch it out of order...

The Eleventh Doctor & Amy Pond
DW - The Eleventh Hour (First episode of Series 5)
DW - The Beast Below
DW - Victory of the Daleks
DW - The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone (Yes. Weeping angels. Even more than before. Just as scary, if not scarier! And we get a blast from the past! :o) Well, our past... Her future.)
DW - The Vampires of Venice
DW - Amy's Choice
DW - The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood
DW - Vincent and the Doctor (Another one of my absolute favorite episodes. Cried in this one too...)
DW - The Lodger (Love this one, too)
DW - The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang

DW - A Christmas Carol (Christmas Special) (Another one of my favorites! And yup! Totally cried...) 
Look! It's Dumbledore!
Then make sure you watch the 2011 Children in Need Specials--Part One and Part Two. :o)


River Song, Rory Williams,
The Tenth Doctor, & Amy Pond
DW - The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon (First two episodes of Series 6, Part 1) (These might be a little creepy for young children, but I love them.) (Oh. And here's a prequel.)
DW - The Curse of the Black Spot (Another prequel.)
DW - The Doctor's Wife (Absolutely -love- this episode! Another one of my favorites. Written by Neil Gaiman!) (Intro by Gaiman...)
DW - The Rebel Flesh / The Almost People / A Good Man Goes to War (My daughter is a little freaked out by the first two, but I don't think they're scary... And here's the prequel for A Good Man Goes to War)

BBC produced the Miracle Day series of TW in conjunction with Starz, so similar to Series 5 of DW, it has a new feel to the show. And new cast members... It was mostly filmed in the United States, but some parts do take place in the UK. Overall, I did like it, but I also have many issues with it. It's pretty dark, but not as dark overall as Children of Earth. There is also a CG web show called Torchwood: Web of Lies, which I've yet to watch, that's a companion to Miracle Day.

TW - Miracle Day: The New World (First episode of Series 4)
TW - Miracle Day: Rendition
TW - Miracle Day: Dead of Night
TW - Miracle Day: Escape to LA
TW - Miracle Day: The Categories of Life
TW - Miracle Day: The Middle Men
TW - Miracle Day: Immortal Sins (You might just need a box of tissues handy for a certain scene in this episode.)
TW - Miracle Day: End of the Road

DW - Let's Kill Hitler (First episode of Series 6, Part 2) (I think this might just be my all-time favorite episode. Oh. And here's another prequel--Warning! Do -not- watch this prequel if you have not seen A Good Man Goes to War! #Spoilers)

TW - Miracle Day: The Gathering

DW - Night Terrors (might be a bit creepy for young ones...)

TW - Miracle Day: The Blood Line (This is the last episode of TW so far. No word yet on whether or not we'll get another season...)

DW - The Girl Who Waited (Cried again... I <3 Rory.)
DW - The God Complex (My daughter cried--very rare, indeed!)
DW - Closing Time (Craig!! :o) Stormaggedon!! ;o) Loved certain aspects of this episode!)
DW - The Wedding of River Song (I love this episode. And here's a prequel/trailer for you.)





So that was the last episode of DW so far, but it will be back Christmas 2011 with The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe! (And here's a link to the 2011 Children in Need.)




Phew!

That was not easy! But it was fun. :o)

(Huh. You know? I didn't mention the Sarah Jane Adventures... It's another spin-off show, featuring Sarah Jane Smith. You first see her character in the Series 2 episode School Reunion (well, first time in the revamp, obviously). She was given her own show after the warm reception to her return. It's a children's show and supposedly very good. I haven't seen it, but if you are interested in watching and want to know where they cross over, let me know, and I'll help you out!)



So, after you watch Doctor Who & Torchwood, please come back and let me know what you think. And who your Doctor is. ;o) Mine is Ten, and my daughter's is Eleven.

Speaking of my daughter... I'll leave you with The Girl Who Waited (my daughter as Amelia Pond from The Eleventh Hour--her Halloween costume this year):

Heading out to take off with The Doctor...
He said five minutes, right?





















Thank you for reading, and like I said before, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me. I hope you enjoy the shows! :o)


By the way, PLEASE NO #SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS!!! 

PLEASE!!!

PS - Don't blink. O.O
PPS - Thank you, Denise!! :o)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Waiting is Not Always a Bad Thing.......

For those of you who have been following me on my journey, the first part is complete.

That is, I have completed my first draft.

That is, I have written a book.

*deep breath* *collapses*

Granted, said draft is no where near being ready to be sent out into the world, but it is finished.

I have taken the advice of other wise authors who are in varying stages of publication and have let the story sit, mesh, gel, morph, congeal in my head. I haven't touched it in a while.

And boy do I miss it! I miss my characters and my villains and the kissing (especially the kissing). I miss the magic and the world.

But I can see that I needed the space from it.

I'm so glad that I listened because now I am able to go back through my printed manuscript, cross out a paragraph (or several pages), and write, "Really, Janelle? Really?" (Tamy laughs whenever I do this around her. I can't imagine why.)

I've been able to really flesh out aspects of the world that are missing from the story and see things that just don't make sense.

At the same time, I am also able to go back and see a part that I really like and draw a heart next to it. Or a smiley face. There is a certain scene that I feel in my stomach whenever I read it. I know what Skye is going through in that moment. And I feel it. Every. Time. (Yes, Di. You know which scene I'm talking about.)

Now I'm ready to jump back in. I'm ready to polish this baby up and send it out in to the world. I'm ready to cut what needs to be cut, even if it's something I adore, for the good of the story.

And it's gonna be a lot of work!!! But I'm ready for it!

The question is are you??? ;o)


Do you let your writing sit before you revise??

Monday, July 19, 2010

If You Write, It Will Come

Hello, all!!!

I know it's been a while since my last post (man! it sounds like I'm in confession!), and I'd like to say that's because I've been writing up a storm and not procrastinating, but no such luck........

However, I have gotten back into the groove of things, and the last few weeks have been remarkably productive!! (We'll, I've been productive... the weeks themselves are just as productive as they've ever been.) I finished the chapter-that-took-me-months-to-write and am more than halfway through the next one! For those of you keeping track, that means that I have a little less than a chapter and a half of my first draft. *squee*

While things are chugging along just fine for me, there are still a few little things that I need to figure out. I know how this is going to end. I know certain events that need to happen. I know how certain characters are going to react to those certain events. But I don't know this: how am I going to get there? I know Steps 2 and 3, but Step 1 still eludes me!

So why am I so hung up on figuring out Step 1?

I know of some writers who have everything outlined and planned out ahead of time, and that's awesome, but that's not me. I used to call it "pantsing" but that reminded me of 5th grade, so I was glad when Jeffe sent me an article by Jo Beverly called "Once More into the Mist"*. In it, Beverly describes her writing process as "going into the mist", meaning she has a general idea of where she's going, but is not quite sure how she's going to get there.

That is so me! I know something's going to happen**, but when it actually works itself in, it often takes me by surprise! And watching it unfold is often like reading it in a book (that I haven't written).

Which leads me to the point of this blog: I've been stressing about Step 1 so much, I forgot one important Janelle Writer Rule: If You Write, It Will Come.

I realized this rule a few minutes ago when I saw the blank page. My fingers were poised over the keyboard, but I wanted to know Step 1. So badly. I really, really want to know!! But I wanted to know so badly that I couldn't write!!

Then it hit me--it will work itself out. When I get there, Step 1 will be waiting for me. Just like it always is. When it starts happening, I will think, Oh. That's why Forr---(oops! You can't know that!). It will finally make sense! And all will be right with the world. Well, sort of. ;o)

So I just need to write and trust in myself as a writer. If I write, it will come.

Now to actually go write so Tamy, Jessica, and Adri will stop whipping me into shape!! (Which I totally appreciate, by the way!!)

What about you? What do you do when you don't know what to do? ;o)



*I wish I had a link to the article for you because it is absolutely amazing, but I only have a scanned pdf of it. If you would like to read it, let me know, and I'll e-mail it to you.

**This, of course, does not include the things and characters that come out of nowhere, refuse to listen to me the All-Knowing Writer (yeah, right), and surprise the hell out of me! You know, the stuff I talked about in this blog or this blog.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Are you jealous? You should be!!! :o)

So today was amazingly incredibly stupendously made of awesome! (And thank you to @AudryT for telling me about it and encouraging me to go!)

Why, you ask?

This is why...

















Why, yes. You are absolutely correct. This is a picture of Margie Stohl and Kami Garcia!!!




And where did I get this picture, you ask?

I took it. 'Cause I was sitting right there. In front of Margie and Kami. *falls on floor* *dies*

I can hear the jealousy now. ;o)

So anyway... Margie and Kami were at the Borders in Glendale today for the new YA Book Club they (the fine people at Borders Glendale) are now hosting. They (Margie and Kami) answered questions and discussed Beautiful Creatures. We also discussed libraries, books, food, family, books, teenagers, fencing, books, squirrels, bacon-wrapped donuts (well, that was later with Kami's really cool husband! Although, Kami did talk about a certain bacon wallet), and (did I mention?) books.

And... LOOK WHAT WE SAW!!!



















Yes. That is an ARC of Beautiful Darkness Margie is holding in her hot little hands. Now move back from your computer before you get drool on the keys! Margie brought that (and some really cool foreign release versions of Beautiful Creatures) to show us.

And then she read the ENTIRE book (Beautiful Darkness) to us! (Okay, that last part was a lie... They weren't there that long! We didn't get to see or hear anything... :o( We didn't even get to touch it... Or hear about the top secret nuclear defense codes... Hehe! (If you had been there, you would understand that, but you weren't, and I was!!! *blinks* Oops! Sorry! That was mean. I'm not trying to rub it in. I know your tears are competing with your drool to see who can ruin your keyboard first...))

So as an aspiring (published) author, I now have two, count that - TWO, more writers to emulate. Two more favorite authors! (and I haven't even finished Beautiful Creatures!)

How can they be among my favorite authors if I haven't finished their book yet, you ask? Well, mostly because I have read enough of the story to be hooked, and I just know I'm gonna love it. But also because they are accessible. And aside from writing an amazingly incredible book, I want to be the kind of author they are: accessible to people who love the world that exists in their/my head. (Accessible author alert!! If you are on Twitter, follow them: @mstohl and @kamigarcia Website: http://www.beautifulcreaturesthebook.com/)

I also learned something that I can apply to my own writing: Rules were made to broken.
  1. BC is really long. I mean really long (which, as a reader ('cause we all know I am), is exactly my kind of book. And Tamy's). I have been struggling to keep my word count down because I've heard over and over that (especially for first time authors) the word count needs to be X. And my word count is probably going to be somewhere around X and a half... (BC is about 2X)
  2. BC was sold as a series. I've also heard over and over that debut authors should never write a series. Unfortunately (or not), I didn't hear this until after I was more than halfway through my ms. And there is not a snowball's chance in hell this book will work without any more following it. Granted, the story itself is self-contained, but if I were reading my book as a reader and I found out that there was not going to be a sequel, I would come to my house and throw rocks at my windows. (BC was sold in a two book deal, and they are working on Book 3 with another one to follow!)
  3. Not that this really applies to my current wip, but BC opens with a prologue followed by a dream sequence followed by a mention of the weather. A strict no-no on all counts! But guess what? It totally works! (I've read that much of it...)
Anyway, I just wanted to share my amazing experience with you guys! I hope you guys get the chance to meet Margie and Kami because they are really incredible, down-to-earth people!

I can't wait for the next YA Book Club! They are hoping to get Heidi R. Kling in July. That would be awesome because I want wait to read Sea and I would love to meet Heidi!

So... Thank you Borders Glendale!

And thank you Margie Stohl and Kami Garcia!!!

*sighs* Today was made of awesome... Now off to write!

Some final pics for you guys...



















Margie sitting in front of a signed stack of Beautiful Creatures. Go to Borders in Glendale to pick one up!



















So this is the copy of Beautiful Creatures that I am reading. My bff got it from the library and is sharing the love! It was already signed my Kami, but Margie added her awesomeness to it (along with a stamp for the Gatlin County Library! Now where am I supposed to return it?? Hehe).

Oh! And I also got some really cool swag!!

Ending thought... I can't wait to be in the author's seat at one of these... *sighs again and really runs off to write this time* *stops and considers finishing Beautiful Creatures* GAH!! What to do?!?!?


So, question for you... Have you ever had a squealy, amazing, fan-girly experience? With whom?

:o) Thanks for dropping by! See you next time you pull into the station!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

So Sarah Wylie (@Sarah_Why on Twitter) has this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G giveaway on her blog to celebrate the face that her book All These Lives is going to be PUBLISHED!! Congrats!! You can visit  Sarah's blog to win a bunch of really cool prizes, including lunch with either Janet Reid or Suzie Townsend!!! I SO wish I lived closer to NY so I could win that!!!

Anyway, check out her blog, and enter her contest!!

Have a great day!!

Janelle

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Win Maggie Stiefvater's Ballad!!! Autographed!! :o)

Remember how I told you guys about Maggie Stiefvater the other day?? You know... the one who wrote about the swoon-worthy werewolves?? Yup! That one!

Well... Waste Paper Prose is giving away an autographed copy of one of her other books, Ballad!!! *squeals*

I loved her writing so much, I can't wait to read these books (Lament & Ballad)!!!

So visit Waste Paper Prose here and enter their contest!!!

Thanks!!

Janelle

Author Appreciation Week - Part Five!!!

Before I start, I would like to thank Heidi R. Kling for conceiving and organizing Author Appreciation Week! Heidi, Thank you! I can't wait until SEA is released on June 10, 2010 (just in time for my birthday)!!! Unless you want to give me an ARC... ;o)


My last author is someone I recently discovered through the recommendation of a friend. I think her exact words were, "Once you read these books, nothing else will compare. Ever."

Well, goodness gracious!! How do you pass up a recommendation like that?? So I downloaded Hunger Games.

Oh. My. GOD!!!

THANK YOU, Suzanne Collins!!!

Thank you for Katniss. She is such an amazing character! Smart, strong, independent, fiercely protective, and the ultimate survivor. If I had to live in a dystopian future, I would want to be Katniss. I'm supposed to be a writer, yet I am out of words when it comes to Katniss. There is so much to say. She is so complex in so many ways.

Thank you for Peeta. I love Peeta. He is just as fiercely protective of Katniss as she is of Prim. And he loves her. And he gave her bread. And he wants to defy The Capitol. And he makes me swoon while lives are on the line!

Thank you for Gale. I love Gale. I think he is a better match for Katniss (from what I've seen thus far). He knows Katniss, knows how she works and how she thinks. They have been through many of the same hardships (obviously except for the Games) and have overcome long-term hardships together. And he is honest with her.

Thank you for Cinna. What can I say? He created the Girl on Fire. He turned Katniss into the Mockingjay. He just, well, I love him too.

Thank you for Rue. *sighs*

And those are just some of the characters...

Then there's the story...

Despite the dark topic, I found myself laughing throughout the story, often just as I was wiping tears away. These books are so beautifully crafted.

And the whole Katniss/Peeta/Gale thing just gets me. See, in Twilight (excuse the comparison here), it is so obvious that Bella belongs with Edward. While I love Jacob (more than Edward in some ways), there was never any doubt in my mind who Bella should end up with. The story would have seemed incongruous had she ended up with Jacob, so the whole Team Edward/Team Jacob thing is ridiculous to me. And in Mortal Instruments, from the day Jace finds Clary at the poetry reading, there was no doubt in my mind that they belong together. Whether they would actually be able to be together was the question. But, as much as I love Simon, I could never see him with Clary...

But Katniss. I can see her choosing either one of them. Or neither of them. All three of those choices make perfect sense to me. I personally think that she is more suited to Gale, and I think his love for her is more "true" seeing as how they actually knew each other before the Games, but I cannot disregard all that she went through with Peeta.

I am anxiously awaiting the release of Mockingjay in August!!!

So again, thank you, Suzanne Collins!!

By the way, after reading The Hunger Games Series, I realized that my dystopian short story, "A Few Dollars", was begging to be turned into book. And it will, as soon as I am done with this one!!


Thank you all for joining me this week!! It has been fun to document the five authors who have had the most influence on my writing!

Speaking of which... I'd better get back to it before Tamy has a heart attack waiting for the resolution to the cliffhanger I left her with!!! ;o)