Monthly Archives: May 2012

Tagged (Cyberbullying)

Tagged is an Australian short film that deals with the effects and implications of cyberbullying. I mentioned it a bazillion years ago (Facebook and Cyberbullying), but only just got around to watching it, and I’m glad I did.

Tagged is brilliantly filmed, and deals with the issues surrounding cyberbullying in a fantastic, and highly realistic way. This is a must watch, particularly for anyone involved in schooling (teachers, staff, students, parents = anyone!). Digital ethics education is becoming increasingly important, and it is only through using and promoting films like this that we can ensure that everyone is aware of the implications of using the Internet for harm.

Go on, watch it! I think it’s fantastic.

Also, Tagged has managed to win Internation Media Awards for its portrayal of key social issues.

One last point before I go:

At the end of the day, cyber bullying and sexting don’t just affect the victim; it can have a significant effect on whole communities.

This is a serious issue for twenty-first century life and learning, don’t let it go unnoticed

 

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: Book that makes you laugh out loud

The easy answer to this challenge, is: most of my favourite YA novels. (At least the fantasy ones, the realistic YA I tend to read is generally pretty far from funny! :P)

Particularly, this applies to my Harry Potter books, and my Tortall novels. Both J.K. Rowling and Tamora Pierce know how to write a funny, fantasy-adventure story. And that is why I keep going back, reading them again and again.

And then I thought about it all a bit more… I never really like things to be all that easy. So, the roundabout (kinda cheating answer) is:

FAN-FICTION!

S.P.E.W. Does Not Approve by makani

I have read a lot of (almost exclusively Harry Potter) fan-fiction in my days… Ever since I was first introduced to it way back in 2004. Well, I say ‘read’. What I mean is that I’ve devoured it. In fact, I used to read so much fan-fiction that my dad actually firewalled fanfiction.net on our home network… What did I do? I downloaded stories while at school, copied them into Word documents, and read them on my laptop. I even got some stories professionally printed. I wrote fansfiction (we won’t go there!). Basically, for quite a few years, a lot of my reading was done online.

Why was I so insane about it? Basically, fan-fiction can be terrible, horrendous, bad on a level that is stomach-churning. But it can also be brilliantly written, thought-out and developed. I have read some fan-fiction stories that I could honestly say were just as good as the published works that inspired them. Some very, very talented authors have their beginnings in fan-fiction, I’m sure.

Also, though, fan-fiction can be damned funny! And this was the main reason I decided to go with fan-fiction to answer this question. Sure, Rowling and Pierce and many other published authors have made me laugh, some have even made me laugh out loud (I’m hard to please!), but the stories that have truly made me laugh out loud, made me guffaw and all the rest, have been fan-fiction.

To illustrate my point, follow on for some fanart!

aplaceformorethoughts

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Books of the Future!

It’s a uni work day today… 😛

Taken from: Incidental Comics

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Dark Side of Harry Potter

Wow. Just wow. I’ve never really thought about the series this way. Sure, I’ve always known that it was so much more than just ‘children’s books’, but to have everything articulated in this way is just fantastic. Brutal, but fantastic.

 

here-is-the-place:

When people say these books are children’s books, as if to demean them, I balk. These books dealt with themes that adults do not fully understand or wish to. It dealt with racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, prejudice, and general ignorance. These books taught us that it doesn’t matter how you were raised, but that you get to choose to be kind, loyal, brave, and true. They taught us to be strong under the pressures of this world and to hold fast to what we know to be right. These books taught me so much, they changed me as a person. So just because they’re set against a fantastical backdrop with young protagonists does not mean that their value is any less real.

Seriously. Read the rest!

aplaceformorethoughts

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: Book that makes you cry

First, a question: I can only choose one?

I’m one of those readers who cannot help but form attachments to the characters in my books. See here. Where there is a challenge, I am with the character as they strive to beat it. Where there is love, I am rooting for that character to succeed. And where there is pain, loss or heartache, I can generally be found to be crying alongside them. Sometimes, when re-reading a book, I can be found to be crying in advance, because the characters are happy, and I know the loss to come.

So the answer is this…

(Almost) All of Them

This is a photo of my old bookshelf, before I moved rooms and got a new one. And I can honestly say that I have cried in almost every one of these books (and many more!). The main ones that will always succeed in bringing at least a tear to my eyes, are these:

  • Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier – it took four times for me to be able to read past a certain scene without balling my eyes out. And it still draws tears to my eyes.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling – there are three particular scenes that I remember shocked me to tears the first time I read it, and subsequent times…
  • Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey – there is so much pain and heartache in this series… Phedre, as I’ve said previously, is a favourite character, and when she cries, I cry.
  • Into Temptation by Penny Vincenzi – possibly the most heart-wrenching of the books in the series, and the one that made me cry. A lot.
  • The High Lord by Trudi Canavan – a redeemed character redeems himself further by sacrificing everything to protect what they love.
  • Blade of Fortriu by Juliet Marillier – there is a character death in this book that is so horrific, beautiful and heartwrenching that the mere thought of it makes me want to cry…

And there are more. But if I talk about them, I’ll cry for sure!

 

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: Book you wish you could live in

I thought long and hard about this one. There are so many stories that I have loved over the years, so many worlds and times that part of me would love to live in. And then I realised that a lot of bad things happen in those worlds. My favourite characters are almost always faced with trials, horrors and pain… I find it hard enough toread about these, let alone actually live in them for myself! So I chose the lesser of many dark, painful worlds, that kind of works out okay in the end.

(P.S. I’m assuming I get to live wherever, right? Because if I end up in the poor sector, I’m going back home!)

The Spoils of Time series by Penny Vincenzi

The three books that make up the Spoils of Time series are set predominately in London, but also in France and America, and they span the period from the end of the 19th century, to around the 1960s. But the setting of the novel itself is not why I would want to live there, though it does help. Beginning with No Angel, the series focuses on the Lytton family, and particularly its matriarch, Lady Celia. When the series begins, Celia is about 19 years old, pregnant, and marrying Oliver Lytton against the firm wishes of her mother who believes the match is beneath her. Celia is a fantastic character, filled with passion, determination and courage – but, like all of my favourite characters, she makes her fair share of mistakes.

Much of the series takes place around Lytton’s, the family publishing house run by Oliver, and in which Celia is determined to work, despite the fact that upper-class women in the early 20th century were not expected to work. The novels touch on life during two World Wars, and the depression and we see the family (ever extending) as they go through intense struggles, happiness, and test the strength of their relationships.

This is a fantastic series! The characters are strong and relatable and utterly three-dimensional. As well as Celia and Oliver, there are so many characters whom I enjoy reading about: Barty Miller, Venetia Lytton, Izzy Brooke, Jay Lytton, Kit Lytton, Elspeth Lytton… The list goes on and on. I also really enjoy the historical aspect of the series, so much 20th century history is covered in this series, and done well! And then there’s the fact that it’s set in a publishing house. I would jump at the chance to be in a London publishing house during the early to mid-20th century! Sounds fantastic!

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Interlude…

Found this somewhere on the interwebs… It’s so true. So very, very true!

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