Friday, May 21, 2010

Peeta/Gale Poll Results

The results are in, the votes have been tallied... and nothing really turned out the way I expected it to. But isn't that just how life is?

If you visit this link, you can read all about it.

Meanwhile, if you are considering cooking fresh beets, may I recommend this course of action?
-Wrap them in foil
-Bake at 375 for 45 minutes
-Unwrap, and peel skins under cold water.
-Replace beets in their foil sleepingbags, and cut them up.
-Douse them in red wine vinegar and white sugar.
-Re-wrap them, and cook for another five minutes.
-Eat them. Mmm.

I'm only suggesting this because I just cooked three beets three different ways, and this was BY FAR the best way. Seriously tasty. And good for you, too. Of course, the draw-back is that you're hands (and your kitchen) will look like you've been avidly murdering someone when you're done, but it's it's a small price to pay.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reasons You Should Write

To the Universe:
Cc: The World, The United States of America

To Whom it May Concern,

Here are some reasons you should write books:

1.) You must.
2.) You can't help yourself (see #1).
3.) You have stories bursting out of you.
4.) You'd feel like a wormy raisin if you didn't.
5.) You're damned good at it.
6.) You're cursed or blessed (see #1 and #2).

Here are some reasons you shouldn't write books:

1.) You're already famous and think you might as well.
2.) You think it sounds like fun.
3.) Your mom says you'd be a best-seller.
4.) You have a cool idea for one.
5.) You've done everything else, and want to expand your resume.
6.) You're an ex-supermodel (see Tyra Banks).

Thank you for your time, Dear Universe. Please do something about this.

Yours most sincerely,

Hanna C. Howard

(With a respectful nod to

Friday, May 7, 2010

Calling All Hunger Games Fans...

A little over a month ago, I set up a short poll exploring individual reader preferences to the two male protagonists in Suzanne Collins' (fabulous) dystopian series, The Hunger Games. I am fascinated by the way people react to what they read--ie., what they bring to books, what they take away, what they like and what they don't--and the Gale/Peeta dilemma has intrigued me from the start. Even more intriguing was the discovery that there is no clear favorite between these two characters among readers. So, in an effort to discover what kinds of people prefer which hero, I created this poll.

Unfortunately, on the first attempt, I did not get a wide enough range of responses to formulate any kind of theory.

But... I'm still curious.

So, I am going to attempt to revive the poll. I still have room for 98 responses, so if you've read the books and have an opinion, I'd love you to go to the link and offer it up to the poll. Ultimately, my goal is to show some statistics--and hopefully some conclusions--on this blog and on Because Collins' books are really catching fire (pun shamelessly intended), and the subject gets more interesting every day.

Any thoughts on the exploding phenomenon? I know I've seen a lot of non-readers become fanatical over the Games. And it's beautiful to see. Do you have any stories to share?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Star Wars Day

Okay, I can't get over this. Today is Star Wars Day. Why? Because it's May the 4th. May the Fourth...

May the Fourth be with you.

Seriously. And I can't stop laughing. Awesome.

So, happy Star Wars Day. And may the fourth be with you.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blogfest, May Day, and Foxes

To begin with, today is Lilah Pierce's Last Lines Blogfest. Check out this link to her post today, and you'll have access to the list of all who are participating. (A gold-mine of last lines--from novels and short stories alike.)

Following these rules...

Sign up below, pull out your favorite ending, and post it to your blog on May 1st. Entries do not have to be last lines only, it is understandable that a build-up may be necessary. I'd say that the previous 25 lines would be a reasonable length. It also does not matter if the last line is for a scene, chapter, or book, just as long as you wrote it. And lastly, don't forget to spread the word! The more people that participate, the more fun the blogfest is!

...I am posting my entry below. These are the last lines from EPHEMERAL, my Beauty & the Beast re-write:

“Yseult!” he cries, incredulous.

“If you can catch me,” I yell over my shoulder, “I’ll marry you whenever you want. But I don’t think you have a chance against me now that you’re human again!”

I am laughing riotously as I fly down the steps toward the open forest. I hear his footsteps behind me, and I remember the first time we raced. It was exhilarating then, just as it is now.

The autumn grass is beneath my feet; slightly brown, crunching as I run. The leaves are falling in the forest, red, orange, and plum. They spin lazily down around me, their pace countering my own light speed. I am smiling so broadly it hurts, but I cannot stop. Behind me, René is laughing like a boy playing chase.

We are young, we are children, but I will let him catch me.

I’ll let him catch me for love, and for change.

When I reach a little clearing in the trees, I turn around to face him, feeling the sunlight on my back like gold. He is running toward me with the light on his face, smiling, radiant with love.

He is running toward me, and a happy tear escapes my eye. I smile at him, my own ephemeral beauty, and skip forward to meet him.

The End.

In other news, it is May Day. Happy May Day! Today is the perfect day to read Corinna's Going A-Maying, by Robert Herrick--one of my favorite springtime poems. (Click here for the pleasure.) Today is also a good day to leave a basket of flowers on someone's doorstep, and then run for it. You might just make their (May) day!


A few moments ago there was a fox at the intersection of my street and the next. He was just sitting there, looking from right to left, as if debating which way to turn. In the end he decided to go left, and continued down Main street at a trot; undoubtedly on his way to some fantastic party. It's nice to see foxes in the city. I always give them a little nod, as if to say: Good. Keep Foxing.

To cap off this May Day morning, there is now a rainbow in the west, where a moment ago there were only angry clouds. Happy Saturday, all! I hope your day is full of beautiful Last Lines, unexpected foxes, and triumphant rainbows.