Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!! What a creative way to start off, eh? Well, what do you expect after staying up with two young kids till after midnight? My brain is pretty much fried today.

But, I couldn't let the first day of 2009 go by without posting something. I mean, so far, all I have is a lame post telling everyone to ignore the blog. Pathetic.

So, in keeping with my usual (as in the stuff I was posting on the blog on my website,, I'll finish up my review of Scott Westerfeld's series. Extras was, in my opinion, at least as good as the rest. I'm not sure I like the turn it took because it seemed a bit disjointed from the rest of the series. But it was very well written and kept me turning pages and not wanting to put it down. This is the kind of sci-fi I love.

I've started a new book by Westerfeld called Peeps. Very different from the Uglies series. This one is definitely for older teens--he does not stick to his clean m.o. as he does in Uglies, It's a vampire novel, but nothing like the traditional ones. Sorry, Stephenie, but so far Scott's got you beat in the vampire realm--its much more realistic and well-researched than Twilight. It definitely appeals to the science geek in me!

I have to say that I've learned one thing about this author--he reads Richard Dawkins. In Extras he refers to "memes" which is a terms created by Richard Dawkins, and in Peeps he dicussed parasites much in the way Dawkins discusses evolutionary effects in The Extended Phenotype. Makes me sad--I love Westerfeld's writing, but I of course do not adhere to anything spouted by Dawkins. I do not want to use my blog to start irrational arguments about the Creation-evolution debate, but a few seconds on my website will show you where I stand on that. End of discussion. I just had to point out that this book does, in fact, have themes that should be considered before reading it. It does give some really cool info on parasites, though--one of my favorite topics of study in college. Yes, geeky, I know, but there's a whole 'nother world out there, and Westerfeld capitalized on it in a very creative way with Peeps.

OK, I can't quite let this go altogether. One of the things that is drilled into the heads of Christian writers is "don't be preachy." It's not an easy thing to do. Most of us write out of a passion for something, be it the gospel, Creationism, a need to support other believers, etc. We have to learn to let our passion show through without standing on a soapbox and that can be difficult. In fiction, the story is the top priority. It was a lesson that took some time for me to learn. I had to cut so much out of my book to stick to the story and not get sidetracked by messages. I believe I've accomlished the right balance now. "Less is more" is definitely an adage to follow when it comes to writing Christian fiction--or any fiction that has an underlying message.

I guess I should get back to my day--it is a holiday after all, and my family awaits.


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