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'Tis Nyte! by Elizabeth Watasin

Gothic Steampunk Gaslamp Fantasy. Bringing you uncanny heroines in shilling shockers and adventuress tales.

Currently reading

Transformations of Circe: The History of an Enchantress
Judith Yarnall
A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler
Jason Roberts
The Compleat Vampyre: The Vampyre Shaman, Werewolves, Witchery & the Dark Mythology of the Undead
Nigel Aldcroft Jackson
Victorian Science in Context
Bernard Lightman
In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera
Sharon E. Cathcart

Writer's resource: The Pitch, The Proposal, and a great comic book script template:

A billion years ago, someone asked me to pitch something for a new character/property/original comic idea (I can't remember), and I said sure! So I just sent that person 1 or 2 lines. Then that person said: great! Now write us the pitch! (he meant the 'proposal').


Uhhh. :-p


I remember that I had to ask a friend what that entailed, writing the *detailed* pitch (the Proposal), and to please send me an example, because sometimes even when you get this much:
Write a 2-3 line synopsis of the Concept

Characters: who's in it

Settings: where is it

Stories: 3 story synopses (1-3 paragraphs), and if asked for 12 total, 2-3 lines for the rest.


It can be hard to visualise it. My friend sent me a sample proposal for a video game, and I used that for the 2nd stage of pitching the "whatever it was that set me on the road to this thing". I mention this because whether you are doing it for a book, game, TV series, comic book/graphic novel, etc---that's either for an idea you own or is for a licensed product---the presentation is pretty much the same.


So I wanted to share who Explains how to do this well, which is Mark Waid. It really is a simple process but it requires a lot of work to seem simple. IN the end you want to communicate clearly, succinctly, and make it easy for the person reading your thing (who has read 1000's of these things), to get your idea, right away. And whether that person *likes* it is another story.


Here's Mark Waid's 'how to do the proposal' in two parts:




After All That, THEN:


You have 12 stories that are GO, green-lighted! Now to write them.


If you have Scrivener, this comic book script template by Sean E Willams is wunderbar:



An amazing template, because it makes the process of creating Easier, and that's half the battle.


onward, Storytellers!


all the best, ~e

(Re-blog): A Brilliant Non-Magical Take on Werewolves - (and human nature)

Reblogged from So, I Read This Book Today . . .:
The Werewolf Whisperer (The Werewolf Whisperer Series Book 1) - Camilla Ochlan, Bonita Gutierrez

( Now this is what I'm talkin' about: "The Werewolf Whisperer is, in a word, brilliant. There is no trope to this book. Instead, the story is unusual, amazingly well thought out, mature, and definitely non-magical." Although I love well-done tropes. Or maybe I mean archetypes. REad on~~~)





The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. - Ferdinand Foch

Any deviation is looked upon as a perversion, is feared, and is usually a target of hatred and prejudice. - Joey Skaggs

Fear is the most debilitating emotion in the world, and it can keep you from ever truly knowing yourself and others - its adverse effects can no longer be overlooked or underestimated. Fear breeds hatred, and hatred has the power to destroy everything in its path. - Kevyn Aucoin

Lucy Lowell’s life changed in an instant – an instant in which her partner with the LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force, Officer Gabe Torres, was shot in the back. A moment when Gabe – changed. When fangs and claws grew, bones twisted, and a monster stood before her. Her life changed. And then life changed. For the whole world.

Now, the problems of walking the dog, training and, of course, housebreaking, gain a whole new meaning… as in, teaching the family teenager not to chew on the furniture or use the floor for a toilet. Nope, these aren’t your sexy, muscled up Alpha heroes so adored by us lovers of Urban Fantasy. Uh uh – this is “Jimmy, get off the couch!” “Sally! Spit out my Louboutin!” “Bad Tommy! No piddling on the carpet!” Since the appearance of the Kyon Virus, California really has “gone to the dogs” – and these dogs can definitely go feral. An estimated 1-in-20 Californians are struck down when the Virus appears. No one seems to know what it is, where it comes from, or even though it is supposedly limited to California, just how far it has truly spread.

Of course, as humans will, for every calm and positive person willing to accept the Afflicted into their lives and their worlds, for every family willing to work with and continue to love their newest furry family member, there are the cruel, the vicious, the hateful and the murderous. And then there is Lucy Lowell and her partner, Xochitl Magaña. Lucy, better known by the public as “The Werewolf Whisperer,” the woman who can calm your Hound, control your Feral, or help you retain your sanity by putting down your beloved child who has become a Werebeast. Life isn’t easy for Lucy and Xochitl – but it is about to get a lot uglier, and more dangerous, than they would have ever believed. For there is a lot more going on than appears on the surface – and all the kings horses and all the kings men may never be able to put the world back together again.

The Werewolf Whisperer is, in a word, brilliant. There is no trope to this book. Instead, the story is unusual, amazingly well thought out, mature, and definitely non-magical. While the whole book is excellent, the authors interest in and research regarding military, scientific and medical issues really grabbed me, keeping me deeply interested in not only the story of Lucy, Xoc and the other major and minor characters in the story – but also in how beautifully the technical issues of the book were handled. Of course, psychology plays a huge role in a world where your child, your wife, your husband, or even your grandmother suddenly devolves into a wolf – a wolf who may have the personality of the biggest, dumbest, happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever you ever saw --- or of a rabid wolverine with a nasty hangnail.

Hate plays a huge part in the story. Humans hate anything, or anyone, they perceive as different from themselves. And Kyon provides just the excuse that the violent, the religious fanatics, the sad and savage and cruel and complete and totally whacked need to justify horrific actions.

"So you handled him the way human beings always handle things that are bigger than they are. You banded together. Like hunters trying to bring down a mastodon. Like bullfighters trying to weaken a giant bull to prepare it for the kill. Pokes, taunts, teases. Keep him turning around. He can't guess where the next blow was coming from. Prick him with barbs that stay under his skin. Weaken him with pain. Madden him. Because big as he is, you can make him do things. You can make him yell. You can make him run. You can make him cry. See? He's weaker than you after all." – Orson Scott Card

Of course, poking and prodding at the ‘dogs’ just won’t satisfy the hate when guns and torture work so very well. And being able to train and communicate with the ‘newly furry’ places Lucy square in the crosshairs of the religious fanatics, sure that the Kyon sufferers are actually demons sent by Satan, hated by their god, whoever they choose to call ‘him’, and fair game for the savagery of the “Righteous”. This is a story well versed in the ‘humans behaving badly’ concept of humanity as an entity.

While this can certainly be placed easily within the UF genre, I refuse to limit the book in this manner. I would instead call it a marriage of medical mystery, legal and military thriller, suspense, horror, and, oh yes, urban fantasy. After all, the main characters in the book do turn into ‘wolves’. Just not wolves as we have ever seen them before. And believe me – this a good, very good, wonderful thing.

Note: I have no idea how I came across The Werewolf Whisperer, but I can’t find an email from a publisher in my inbox, so I take it that it wasn’t offered to me by a publisher as many of the books I review are. I read the book through Kindle Unlimited, so I read it for free (Score!!!). I can’t recommend it highly enough. In many ways, the tone of the book reminds me of the works of Natasha Mostert in its surreal yet highly realistic, in its own way, delivery and storyline. Get it. Read it. I found it more than worth the reading time, and I look forward to the next book in the series! (Oh, and for those who mentioned that the Hispanic character is too “white” for their tastes – both of the authors, Camilla Ochlan and Bonita Gutierrez have very light skin and eyes. I would imagine that being “too white” is just as difficult in Hispanic culture as it is in Native American or African American circles – so in my mind, the skin colour issue simply adds another layer to a complex character…)

Source: http://soireadthisbooktoday.com

(Re-blog) When one thing gets better, the others get worse

Reblogged from Yvana:
Kiss of the Highlander - Karen Marie Moning


( Laughed at this bit: "She wants to meet a guy who will sweep her off her feet and take her virginity. Yes, she is a virgin. She is a virgin of the virgins because not only that she hasn't been with a guy, she was never really interested in anything male that crossed her path."  Read on~~)





You just can't win with this Series, I guess. When the romance is good, the story is just so presumptuous and unbelievable that you simply want to give up on it. But then you go to another book where the story is quite refreshing and the characters are the ones who make you grind your teeth while the steam is coming out of your ears...


This is the kind of a book in which we have a heroin who is so blatantly annoying and FAKE that I wanted to gouge my eyes out from just reading about it.


Let me introduce you to the heroin. She is Gwen Cassidy and guess what she is? A physicist. Oh, yeah. A real one. Which means she is the smartest person alive. Or just the smartest female in oh, what was that field again? Mmmm, science, right? *sigh* *eyes roll*

That's how we need to perceive this person. She didn't do anything great, didn't write anything important, didn't finish school but just because she studied physics for a bit, she is the most intellectual female you'll ever meet. And she knows it. Must be a tough burden... 


Gwen has arrived to Scotland on a vacation. She is so smart that she hasn't noticed that she booked a tour with an elderly group. Yeah, smarts indeed. She wants to meet a guy who will sweep her off her feet and take her virginity. Yes, she is a virgin. She is a virgin of the virgins because not only that she hasn't been with a guy, she was never really interested in anything male that crossed her path. What a plot twist in this kind of genre, right? I'm amazed as well. Anyway, she's 25 and she is a virgin because none of the guys she dated were right for her and none of them deserved her "gift" of virginity.



"The sight of a white tee stretched across his muscular chest might persuade her to catapult her cherry at him."




That him is a Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar, a man who was enchanted and put to deep sleep in the caverns where Gwen was sightseeing. He was sleeping there for 500 years until she fell on top of him and so rudely woke him up. I mean, really, desperate-to-get-rid-of-her-cherry-woman? 


So she wakes him up from deep slumber and he acts like any medieval man would, ties her up and forcibly takes her with him. Because the guy needs help getting around, of course. I'm sure he has no ulterior guy motives. No, it couldn't be. 


But yes, indeed it is. She is his soul mate. He felt it. Must be fate. So he drags her along and on their way they even manage to go back to his time. And back again. 


Yes. Science. That's why.




I gave this book three stars only because of the great writing style miss Moning has and because Drustan didn't behave in all ways like medieval highlanders in the historical romances usually do. 


He was actually quite passive and confused. In some moments he was really funny and entertaining. I have nothing against him but that woman...


Gwen is a not-officially and not-really a physicist who doesn't utter one smart and interesting sentence but expects everyone to respect her.... because science, that's why.



I don't even know why I'm reading the next book but I am. There must be something wrong with me. Some Moning-bug or Moning-virus that infected my body and against my better judgement is making me continue on with these cliched, ridiculous stories... *facepalm*



I've ran into a perfect summary / dramatization of this book on goodreads, also laughed my ass off while reading it:



Update: or, The world keeps going whilst you're working #amwriting

. . . but the work I do makes no money, so that is an unfortunate word. :-p


I thought I was only a few days behind in reading posts at BookLikes. INSTEAD, it's been 2 weeks. That's way too many posts. :(  I really enjoy reading what everyone is reading (because I've no time to read---well, reading fiction, and that's probably a horrible thing to admit to), and I want to catch up, but I think that task may be too big this time around.


I'd wanted to work in the word 'read' a fifth time in the above, but then the joke might come off more like I'm inane. ;)


Elle Black's POISON GARDEN is at 48K+ words, and perhaps that needs 10K more, tops, and *this* is the kind of stuff I'm been reading: Victorian hallucinogens and their societal context, first hand accounts on entheogen use (note, because I lack the experience---so far), the history of lsd/mescaline/peyote, the effects/plant physiology/harvest methods/preparations for henbane, belladonna, Hellebore, and a bunch of other poisonous plants to figure out which were hallucinogenic; Victorian vegetarianism, what the heck do botanists do, botanic illustrating, Victorian laboratories, how the heck plants propagate, and so on.


I don't know why I do this to myself. Ever been a Victorian sailor on a death-filled Arctic ship, Elizabeth? No! Let's write ICE DEMON. Do you understand what marble sculpting is all about as done by a 2000 year old sculptress? Not at all! Let's write MEDUSA. WANT to write about sinister glass conservatories full of poisonous exotica? YES, bring it on! Oh gods, BOTANICALS, what are these living plant things, I kill vegetation with my attentions! Let's throw in some hallucinogens!


I have come to the rather dreadful conclusion that if I'd written formulaic contemporary romance to begin with, I would be making a decent success of writing. I enjoy things that are too different, yet are so amazing to me. And these things are not so extraneous. They're what the world is beyond the accepted. So I don't know what I'm going to do; I have to come back to the mundane soon.

"Supernatural London from a Blind POV: The wonders of Elizabeth Watasin's MEDUSA"

Thanks Anne E Johnson for the feature on MEDUSA!

"Today's guest author was determined to see her fictional world through her character's eyes, or, more accurately, through her character's other four senses. Elizabeth Watasin's Medusa features the romantic adventures of a blind woman in an alternative Victorian London. Intrigued? Read on!"


It was nice to write about this, I have a great fondness for Elvie and her story. :)

(reblog) Mini Reviews// Doon & Stolen Songbird

Reblogged from Book Wonderland:

(I like this bit: "Just once I'd like a book where the female is part of the noble family and her love interest grovels at her feet. A story where she's mean at first yet her lover is okay with that and blah blah blah." )




I'm grouping Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon together with Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen because they both had something similar in the books that greatly irritated me. 


Starting with Doon


 (I actually really like the cover of this) 


This story follows Veronica and Mackenna, two best friends, who travel to Scotland for summer vacation. There they stay in Mackenna's aunt's little cottage and discover the world of Doon. There they get wrapped up with Doon's princes all the while being accused of being witches with a majority of Doon's citizens disliking them. Things in ensue that basically puts Doon's fate in their hands. 


I don't want to give away too much of the story because of spoilers. 


This book was okay. It definitely got a lot better towards the end, though I felt the ending sequence could have been paced a bit more. That whole scene that happens as the end was just meh and too fast paced. 


I didn't really like the "main" characters either. I say main because even though the story is told in the dual perspective between Veronica and Mackenna, Veronica's p.o.v is predominant. Veronica was very annoying. It was basically all about her and everything she was doing and I was so over it. She also kept saying how much she loved Jamie and just no.


I disliked Jamie (Veronica's love interest) even more. He was just so rude and mean and yet Veronica still "loved" him. He was so wish washy too. One moment he likes Veronica, the next he's ignoring her. 


I did like Mackenna for the most part though. She didn't necessarily have an instalove relationship, even though she kind of did. She wasn't annoying like her best friend though. And was not about to give up everything for some boy she hardly knows. 


The instalove was ridiculous. I tried justifying it because that's what I do, but I couldn't. Her and Jamie barely knew each other, yet the minute Veronica finally lays her eyes on Jamie, she was in love with him. The amount of eye rolling I did in this was ridiculous.


The romance and the characters reminded me a lot of Black City but not as annoying.




Moving on to Stolen Songbird. 


(this cover is gorgeous as well.)


Despite one small thing, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I never read anything with trolls before and the world and the magic in this was amazing. 


On the day before Cecile is to leave to live with her mom in the big city, she is kidnapped and sold to the wife of Tristan, the troll prince. Cecile had grown up thinking that the trolls living in the mountain were a myth. What a shock is was to learn the stories she grew up hearing were actually true. And on top of that, a rebellion is brewing and she somehow ends up in the middle of it.


Cecile is the type of character I like reading about. Instead of moping about the crappy situation she was forced in, she gets up every day and does what she can. She learns about the trolls, about magic, about her place in the rebellion.


But over time she falls in love with her husband.


Now the reason why I grouped these two books together. I honestly could not stand either love interest. Now Tristan wasn't as bad as Jamie, but he was still annoying. Literally they're first night together, he locks Cecile in a closet. I couldn't believe it. I was done with him then and that was just the beginning of the book. He got better as the book progressed but was still very arrogant. And every time they fought, if Cecile was mad at him, Tristan always flipped the conversation onto Cecile and got angry at her and made her feel bad about something completely irrelevant. It was okay for him to be mean to her but not okay for the other way around. That annoyed me.



Just once I'd like a book where the female is part of the noble family and her love interest grovels at her feet. A story where she's mean at first yet her lover is okay with that and blah blah blah. 


I will be continuing Doon and will sit and wait patiently for Stolen Songbird's sequel because the ending was a horrible cliffhanger and I need to know what happens. 


Just once I would like something different in YA. I do recommend these books for the most part if you enjoy fantasy as much as I do and aren't as nit picky as me. 

Reblogged from Bookloving writer:
"“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.” "

 ~ Carl Sagan

( it works! ) Embedded Booktracks: click, listen, & read!

(edited), uh, I guess it didn't work? Regardless, I'll leave the post up. It did work on the Preview. *perplexed*

 links for ref:





A perfect and precise retelling.

The ending is accurate.




“If I am mistress here,” Beauty asked without looking at him, “why am I mistress of a library of books I cannot read?”

“Why, Beauty,” he said lightly, tilting her chin so that she had nowhere to look but at him, “you are mistress of the house, and I am master of everything in it.” He dropped her chin and left his paw in her lap. It lay there like a dead thing. “Tell me,” he said, “do not you think me very ugly?”

Beauty said nothing.

“Come, you are mistress of your own voice; speak,” said the Beast.

Beauty opened her mouth.

“But remember I am master of all the words spoken in this house,” he said, taking her hands and pressing them tightly. “Remember that.”

“I think nothing of the kind,” she said.

“You may go to bed,” he told her, smiling. “I will eat your dinner for you.”

tee hee!

The Dark of Twilight (Twilight Shifters Book 1) - Kate Danley Moon Rise (Twilight Shifters Book 2) - Kate Danley

From USA Today bestselling author Kate Danley. Pre-order her latest paranormal book release, MOON RISE, a Twilight Shifters book, here! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TYWLBTY


The first book is The Dark of Twilight!




(re-blog!) Skin Lane

Reblogged from The More I Read. . .:
Skin Lane - Neil Bartlett

The stories we are told as children do, undoubtedly, mark us for life. They are often stories of dark and terrible things, and we are usually told them just before the lights are turned out and we are left alone; but we love them. We love them when we first hear them, and even when we are grown, and think we have forgotten them entirely, they never lose their power over us.” (4)


"Still look on the bright side, not knowing anything doesn't that mean anything can happen" (343)


~Skin Lane


Skin Lane is one of the most stunningly haunting books I've ever read. Choose your time well to begin this book. The first time I read it I began it just before friends dropped by for dinner so there were several hours before I could return to Mr. F and his haunting dreams and the fur trade. But after everyone had left, and it was quiet, I sat down and didn't stir until I'd finished the last page, the last sentence, the last word. I closed the book, and sat there thinking, thinking, thinking for a moment. Then I opened it up and began reading it again.


Of course, I've tried many times to put on paper why I love this book so much, but any review I have attempted since the first time I read it last year was so spoiler-y that it would have ruined the book for anyone who might decide to give it a try. It's not a book you want spoiled for you. Believe me. To really appreciate Skin Lane it's better to read it knowing just the bare bones of the story and allow Mr. Bartlett to lead you one step at a time into Mr. F's world of the late 1960s, the fur trade, his life.


Skin Lane is a book that defies categorization, having elements of a fairy tale mingled with gritty realism. There are these ... startling contrasts setting the tone for most of the novel and utilized powerfully throughout Skin Lane. There's Mr. F's physical description of being a rather large man with broad shoulders and a 'sturdy' build but with hands always framed by a pair of clean cuffs, rather large but not 'rough' or 'masculine'. In fact his hands are almost feminine: white, well manicured and with long, tapering fingers and perfumed. There's a sexual tension stretched so tautly that your skin tingles yet Mr. F is a virgin; there's the barbarism of the fur trade intermingled with the strange beauty and sensuousness of the finished products; there's the steadily building tension of impending horror that transforms into something else entirely; there's the monotony of Mr. F's routines juxtaposed with some of the most expertly written dramatic passages I've ever read. And there's the question of who is Beauty and who is Beast rocketing around this retelling of that popular fairy tale. Phew! Sounds a bit intense, doesn't it? Parts of Skin Lane broke my heart, parts made me want to jump into the book and put a comforting arm around Mr. F, but that would have probably made him feel more discomfited rather than less.


Mr. F's story is told in a bare bones manner that brings all the contrasting elements into sharp relief and in doing so made Mr. F's story more personal, more powerfully moving than it would have been had Mr. Bartlett wrote in a more elaborate, complex style. This is my first book by Mr. Bartlett, but not my last. I've read Skin Lane several times, and Mr. Freeman's story (as he becomes known by the end of the book) is still as emotionally wrenching and heartbreaking as the first time I read it. After each time I've read it, I find myself searching for images of Skin Lane, St. James Garlickhythe, and The Hill, looking for some ghostly remnant of a man in his white cutter's coat standing atop eight stone steps in front of a black painted door. Mr. Bartlett said in an interview with The Independent that if he had to choose between shelving his books in the fiction section or the gay section of a local bookstore, he'd rather have his books in both. I agree. I do believe with all my heart that Skin Lane needs to be read, experienced, discussed. It belongs on everybody's book shelf.



Reblogged from Flicker Reads:
The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles

When I was reading Paul Bowles' exquisite The Sheltering Sky, I jotted down a phrase here in my notes to include in my review: the ambiguities of human behavior.
When we create art, we (meaning we members of the human species) are almost always guilty of placing the art in a digestible context. Perhaps guilt is the wrong word to use, because it indicates a transgression - perhaps this context is wholly necessary in that art must be able to be internalized in some fashion or it fails in communicating anything at all. With writing, this translates into the creation of a pleasing and familiar story arc with discernible beginning, middle, and end. Many readers find great comfort in this familiarity - in fact, they demand it in their novels. Book series are an indication of this phenomenon. In book series, we are allowed to reenter a familiar set of literary preconditions and live among characters we've grown accustomed to. These same readers often despise books that upset the standard story arc. Books are not a place to be challenged, set off balance, or placed adrift in a morally ambiguous universe. Novels are enjoyed by these readers because they clarify moral situations, not muddy them! Readers of this sort will undoubtedly hate The Sheltering Sky and its ambiguities of human behavior. For the rest of the reading world, this novel offers a profound and moving experience. My son asked me this evening which book that I had read this past month had I enjoyed best? I told him this one, and in fact, I have plans to carry on with Bowles and read Let It Come Down beginning tonight.

Books like The Sheltering Sky - books so keenly observant of human frailty - are truly rare. And in being unafraid to show ourselves our frailties, it offers us rare and beautiful truths. It surprises me in some respect that this novel is not more highly valued, though I do see it ranked among best books of the 20th century. Bowles reveals himself a master observer. The character he creates with Kit Moresby is one of the most outstanding and complex I've read in the past couple of years.

The MASSIVE Kick-Butt Female Characters Giveaway:


Because "well behaved women seldom make history".




An aside: After 3 yrs of hiatus, I've relaunched my newsletter. My MARCH Giveaway for being a subscriber is a gorgeous paperback copy of MEDUSA. But dig this, *subscribe* through the Kick Butt Female Characters HUGE Rafflecopter and you *also* can win e-books, over 100 offered by 15 Kick-Ass female authors. Win Risen, Sundark, Ice Demon and MOAR. GO, win ALL THE THINGS! And thank you! :)  https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/309ef1aa82/



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Skye Malone's New Release Spotlight of MEDUSA:

Is just too gorgeous for words! Visit the spotlight, because it's beautifully done.




The pretty! (hearts)


SKYE is the author of the Awakened Fate series and the Children and the Blood series. My thanks to her for the gracious spotlight. OH, her lovely website makes me want to do a revamp of mine. :-p

(reblog): To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reblogged from Paul Read or Dead:
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

( super excellent. )




"they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird"


Most have read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and when I started it, I actually believed I'd not read it but my memories came back as the kids infatuation with Boo Radley grew and I think it's got to be over 25 years when I did read it. So a reread it is and this makes the list of now 5 books that I've read twice with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and John Connolly's The Lovers.


To Kill a Mockingbird is of course told from the point of view of one Jean Louise Finch, a recollection in adulthood and told as though from a child's perspective, better known as scout and best described as an adorable little scamp who encounters the trials and tribulations of growing up in the depression era in the small southern town of Maycomb, Alabama.


Maycomb is depicted as a slow, sleepy place where the summer heat cripples the pace of life, the mind-set and social order of both the area and the era are explored fruitfully along with the clear cut community rules, all from a child's inclination.


I think when you sit back and look at this book, the story is simply told, deeply layered and covers a vast array of subject matter that I guess makes it perfect for most school curriculums over the years and around the world. So this is more a collection of my thoughts and what I enjoyed most about To Kill a Mockingbird.


First up the kid’s fascination with Arthur 'Boo' Radley, the gifts in the tree, the note passed that ended in Jem going back to reclaim his trousers and the first and last time Scout meets and understands the man who saves them.


'Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows.'


Jem and his relationship with Mrs Dubose, his punishment of reading to her every day after his big moment and a typical child's revenge for her comments about Atticus. Atticus of course remains polite and prudent throughout their conversations, life experience for Jem.


'I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.'


The kid’s relationship with Calpurnia, Atticus's reliance on her and the suitably annoying Aunt Alexandra, Calpurnia taking the kids to her church and their treatment there.

'Calpurnia’s tyranny, unfairness, and meddling in my business had faded to gentle grumblings of general disapproval. On my part, I went to much trouble, sometimes, not to provoke her.'


Dill Harris, how can you not like Dill, he runs away from home because he's, well, being ignored, or he's escaped being chained up in the basement. When he suddenly appears from under the bed and tells his story and what a story teller he is. This coupled with the significant moment of Jem flirting with adulthood and telling Atticus, in scout’s words breaking the final code of their childhood.


'Dill said he must drink a gallon a day, and the ensuing contest to determine relative distances and respective prowess only made me feel left out again, as I was untalented in this area.'


You've got the initial dipping the toes into school life, the actions of teachers that even now you can never agree with, I think when you grow up should you reach a time in your life when you suddenly find yourself agreeing with a teacher then congratulations you are an adult. If like me you still can't agree with them you'll always be a child at heart or maybe even a bit of a rebel. The children get into various frivolity’s, rough and tumbles exasperated by the proceedings around the court case.


Boo Radley aside the alleged rape and trial are the gripping ingredients that make the story for me, starting with the resentment the family faced, how they deal with it individually and the scene outside the jail where the kids unwittingly prevent any hostility towards their father. The court battle itself, if you can call it a battle, the questioning of the Ewells and the closing speech from Atticus. The kids perfect ideals, tainted by something they couldn't understand, alien to justice and the devastation of losing, a verdict determined more by the times and unbeknownst to them decided before a word was even spoken. And finally the sadness, despair and inability to affect the outcome surrounding the death of Tom Robinson. Compelling, gripping and many other words of similar ilk, just something you'll never forget.


The teaching of Mrs Gates and the extraordinary conversation around Hitler after the events of the trial. Very ironic coming from a supposed learned person but I suppose opinions took time to vary concerning prejudice.


'Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced.'


Finally the attempt on the kid’s life by Bob Ewell, saved by the intervention of Boo Radley and Scout finally meets the man they obsessed over for a short period of their lives.


'One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.'


If this were a school project, I could quite easily slip into student mode and write about run-down settings, racism, social marginalization and the malevolent occurrences that arise from poverty and depravity. And the compelling story of humanity that opened up a new understanding of the races and the importance of empathy and compassion to others.

This type of fiction spurred a genre that I love and keep returning to, one of deeply flawed characters, small towns as far from idyllic as you can get and something dark and dirty. I do like Southern gothic, noir and the like from that area.


'Mr. Finch, there’s just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say hidy to ’em. Even then, they ain’t worth the bullet it takes to shoot ’em.'


My apologies for the massive review/summary and I think it shows that this book is a mountain in the world of literature and one I enjoyed immensely, I watched the film the following day while writing this and loved it. Every time I read this review I just had to add something more to it, this truly is a book that you just can't process enough of it in a review, there's always more to say it seems, something you've missed. School project material, you know. I highlighted what seems a million quotes in this, poignant, amusing, the lot and that says it all.


I read that Harper Lee based this book on her childhood, growing up in a small town in Alabama, Father a lawyer and herself a true tomboy, goes without saying. But my final thought goes to Atticus, much though I loved young scout and her narration, Atticus typifies the voice of calm reason and wisdom in a town set in its ways. A principled, upright member of the community, fighting against the opinion of a town but without doubt a patient and caring parent.


Found that Jane Eyre parody!

It was written by Sarah Rees Brennan, back in 2011! So yeah, "that chick who hangs with Melissa Marr" was a legit foggy recollection, after all. From her LiveJournal:


JANE EYRE: Just chillin', having a nice walk in the dark woods, across the lonely moors, at dusk. I'm sure nothing's going to happen, everything's just atmospheric for no reason!
MR ROCHESTER: You made me fall off my horse! I THINK YOU'RE AN EVIL FAIRY.
JANE EYRE: Um, do you need a hand? Any bones broken?
MR ROCHESTER: Step aside, evil fairy! It's just a sprai-aaaaaaaaaaurrrrggggggh. I'm totally fine.
JANE EYRE: You seem surly, and also sort of crazed.
JANE EYRE: And this is your lucky day, because that's what gets me hot beneath the petticoat.

MR ROCHESTER: So, evil fairy, what's your sign?
JANE EYRE: I'm not sure I understand.
MR ROCHESTER: Where y'at?
JANE EYRE: I reside in Thornfield Hall, sir.
MR ROCHESTER: Do you? Well, well, well. Everything's coming up Edward Crazypants Fairfax Rochester today!
JANE EYRE: I'm going to go now.
MR ROCHESTER: See you soon, hot stuff. Er--have you been hearing any mad laughter from my, I mean the, attic? It's probably dry rot. You know, dry rot mocking you.



READ the full parody, here:



Besides Jane, who I love yet am also exasperated with, I just adore the saintly Helen Burns. So of course I LOL'd when I read her bit. :D