What I’m Reading – February 2016

I go to the library once or twice a month these days.  Here’s what I borrowed, and my thoughts on each title.


Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini:  I’m on book 3 of this four-part saga, and I must say, I’m super impressed.  Each book is jam packed with so much awesomeness….

The series follows the adventures of a young boy named Eragon, whose encounter and subsequent bond with a rare dragon takes him out of his quiet, simple farming village and throws him right into a conflict of epic proportions.  He’s gone from innocent farm boy whose biggest worry is whether they’ll have meat for the winter to the last pure Dragon Rider and enemy of the despotic king Galbatorix.  Eragon grows and evolves with each passing chapter, and seeing the development of his character and those around him.

Critics have complained that he draws inspiration from every sci-fi and fantasy franchies a nineties kid could care to remember, but I think Paolini has made the elements his own.  It’s no Lord of the Rings fanfiction.  I see an incredibly thought out storyline in a setting that’s both comfortingly familiar and captivatingly unknown at the same time.  Paolini has developed rich cultures for each of the peoples residing in his world, from their religions and superstitions to politics.  (Where I’m at, Eragon has become caught up in a heated political debate among the Dwarvish nations.)  It’s world-building at its finest!

As the series has progressed, the content has gotten a little edgy (I don’t know why it’s considered a children’s series), but I feel these little quibbles are outweighed by its  redeeming qualities.  Paolini knows how to write a classy and gripping fantasy story that I think is best suited to older teens. Continue reading →


A Successor

Author’s note: This is a modified version of a post I first drafted sometime early last year.  It’s a bit choppy, but let’s see how it flows.

Sometimes an author passes on before a body of work is complete.  Fans of Game of Thrones fear that the elderly author, George R. R. Martin, may not finish the book series during his lifetime.  (Who will get to win the right to sit on that uncomfortable-looking chair in the end?)  Charles Dickens died before completing his final work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but left enough notes behind that is technically solvable – the most important clue lies in his correspondence with the book’s prospective illustrator….

Some authors keep getting ghostwritten, long after their deaths.  And some have the foresight to designate a successor to complete their series for them if they should pass away before it’s done, openly or not.  Prior to his unfortunate passing last March, Sir Terry Pratchett (I believe) named his daughter, Rhianna, as his successor to write the rest of the Discworld series.  In June 2015, however, Ms. Pratchett announced that she had no plans to continue Discworld after the remainder of her father’s completed works were released.  Adaptations, spin-offs, tie-ins, maybe.  But “Discworld is his legacy,” she says, “I shall make my own.”

How would you feel if someone named you as the successor to their great writing legacy?  Let’s discuss. 🙂


Wordy Wednesday: Writing When Busy

Julia the Writer Girl

I’m writing this post Tuesday night because tomorrow I have two classes, a writing workshop, a midterm exam, and I’m going to a certain Ch1Con keynote speaker‘s book signing an hour away. Sooo yeah. Time and I will be mutually exclusive on Wednesday.

ANYWAY, though, quick update on the past week: I got to see both Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Deadpool over the weekend, and they were both great. (I also reviewed Deadpoolhere.) For Galentine’s Day on Saturday, my roommates and I had friends over for waffles and a good time was had by all. Oh, and yesterday (Monday) I got the really amazing news that I GOT ACCEPTED EARLY ADMISSION TO THE COLUMBIA PUBLISHING COURSE UK.

Basically: I am going to be spending the month of September learning all about the British book publishing industry at Exeter College, Oxford University through Columbia University’s…

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How I SMASHED Writer’s Block

People with a writer’s block should all gather together and build a castle.

That ingenious quote comes from a friend who calls themselves Heather.

For the past two years, I’ve suffered enough from writer’s block to build several pretty fancy castles. 😛

Today, I’d like to talk about something that helped me to officially vanquish my seemingly endless writer’s block. Continue reading →

The One Where Allison Talks About Friends

In a lot of books and TV shows targeted at young people, the main character usually feels so empty and inadequate until they get a romantic partner.  And when they do finally get one, they usually make all kinds of mistakes and come away from the experience quite scarred.  That saddens and mildly irritates me.   There’s so much more to adolescent life than pretending to be grownups (and failing at it miserably).  After all, don’t wise men say that only fools rush in? Continue reading →


Look who just appeared out of nowhere in your WordPress Reader.  Hello, hello again!

*Crickets chirp*

It’s 2016, and I’m taking another stab at blogging.  Let’s see how far I get at this.

I have a couple of topics in mind to rant about, if I don’t lose the motivation to do so, and I have some things that are definitely going up in a few months.  I might as well make the blog look alive before then.

Well, here I am! 😛