Links: Making Kids Read, and Why Was I an English Major?

CNN.com also had a great article on how to get your kids to love reading. They even bring up graphic novels and manga as a way to get kids interested in the written word, which I think is fantastic since comics are usually scoffed and scorned. They also point out, “don’t tell them a book is too hard or too easy.” I’m very glad to see this written down – I feel like all too often I’m in the bookstore, and I hear a parent tell their kid to put a book back because it’s a “baby book” or they aren’t “old enough” yet. Bleh. The biggest downside to the article is there’s a prominent picture of James Patterson’s face, and I have to say it just freaks me out.

I also found a pretty interesting blog post written by a guy who suddenly realized he was an English major, and thus had no life skills. It was super hilarious, but maybe it’s just because I commiserate with the guy. His desire to do something let him to just write on the internet – which, aside from going to grad school, is basically what I’ve done with my degree. It’s funny if you like laughing at yourself for getting an ARTS degree, or if you like laughing AT those chumps following dreams and junk.

 

(Disclaimer: I am so happy I got an English degree, and even if I could go back I wouldn’t have done anything different. I am so much happier for it. It’s just, you know, I realize what I have.)

New Manga Reviews: Yotsuba&! and Not Love But Delicious Foods

 

Yotsuba&!

I didn’t get too much done last week thanks to holiday-instilled laziness, but I got a couple of  reviews done this week when I came back. First I wrote a review for Yotsuba&! volume 9 from Yen Press. This review was a bit of a cheat; since I’ve already purchased and read the first 8 books, I went into this manga knowing full well I was going to love it. It’s hilarious in a way that’s hard to describe in words, and Kiyohiko Azuma’s expressions are just great.

 

 

Not Love But Delicious Foods

I also reviewed a pretty unique manga, Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy by Fumi Yoshinaga, also from Yen Press. The title doesn’t lie, this manga is all about food and how much the main character loves to eat it and share it. A good read, though it suffered from boring spots.

 

***

Also, I’m going to Lesley on Friday. Less than a week. I am SO nervous I don’t even have time to be excited about it.

New Reviews! Bunny Drop, Sugarholic, Che Guevara

Bunny Drop Josei Manga
Bunny Drop

I managed to get two reviews up on Suite 101 this week. The first was a review of the first two volumes of Yen Press’s Bunny Drop, a josei manga about 30-year-old bachelor who finds out at his grandfather’s funeral that the old man had a love child. No one wants the girl, so he steps up and takes her in. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s a really sweet, honest tale about being a parent. The other review went up just last night, a look at Che Guevara: A Manga Biography from Penguin Books. Like the Dalai Lama bio (which I reviewed!) it’s an interesting look at a historical figure that I feel most people don’t really know about. It read a little too much like a history lesson for me, but it was still great.

On Mania my review for Sugarholic volume 2 went online earlier this week. The story was okay, but I wasn’t a fan of the art. Her characters’ expressions were just weird. I finished my review of Hero Tales vol. 4, but that won’t go up until Wednesday.

I have a huge pile of books from Campfire, Yen Press and VIZ that I still need to read and review. I’ll probably do Black Butler (first 3 volumes) next week, and Cross Game.

New Review, Vampire Knight Article, NaNo?

 

Harry Houdini Campfire Graphic Novel Biography
Harry Houdini

I’ve only had one review posted since my last post, on Campfire‘s biography of Harry Houdini. The illustrations were done by the same person who did Moby Dick, but I didn’t like his drawings as much in this graphic novel. I also wrote a review for Mania, which should be posted tomorrow; I’ll give a link then.

 

I also wrote an article based on a VIZ Media press release, on Vampire Knight Guilty streaming on VIZ Anime. I haven’t been writing up these articles as much lately, but I like repeating the news that you can watch this stuff for free, or at least legally, without stealing it whenever I can. I want to write a couple articles on where you can read manga scans online. I already did one, but there have been some more programs and apps that have been rising up.

NaNoWriMo starts in a couple weeks. I think I know what story I’ll be doing, but I should still write up a quick outline so I don’t hit a wall halfway through the month. Hopefully I can still keep up with NaNo even while writing reviews, getting ready for Lesley, and still working on my other projects, like Becky and Speaksong.

A bit of poetry on freckles…

Showers are a great place for thinking of things, and this time I actually remembered to write it down.

Summer freckles
like spray from a brush leaving chocolate spots
on a barely toasted canvas.

There’s a bit more, but I don’t feel like writing it.

New Reviews – Garden Sky, Alice in Wonderland, Pink Innocent & Megatokyo

Egads, I’ve fallen behind with this. It’s been a crazy, awful week, so I just kept forgetting to post new reviews. Even with two weeks, there hasn’t been too much added up.

Alice in Wonderland Campfire Graphic Novel
Alice

For Suite101, I posted a review for Garden Sky from Digital Manga and Alice in Wonderland from Campfire. To my surprise, Garden Sky was awarded my first ever Editor’s Choice award! Doesn’t do a whole lot for the PVs, but is wondrous for the ego.

Two reviews were posted on Mania: Pink Innocent Vol. 2 and Megatokyo Vol. 6. I think both turned out well. Now I need to finish a review for a manhwa for Mania, but hopefully that will be sent out for tomorrow.

Megatokyo Vol. 6
Megatokyo

I work a few less work hours next week, so I hope to get more than a couple reviews done. On top of that, I definitely have to get edits for Speaksong underway and finish imputing some edits to Becky. I’ll have to send my work into Lesley in a couple months, and I’m just so, so nervous that what I send in will somehow not be good enough.

Graduate School! :: More Articles, Again

I found out yesterday that I’ve been accepted into Lesley University’s Creative Writing for Young People MFA program! I am on the wait list for the fall semester, but I will be definitely be starting in January. This might even be better, since I still need to save up some money for school.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I last posted, so in the mean time I’ve gotten quite a number of articles written. I really should remember to post more often during the week… Anyways, for those who care to look, here they are:

As you might have noticed, I’m not just receiving review copies from VIZ Media now–I received The Night Owls from Zuda Comics, an imprint at DC. I was actually surprised, since I thought I was just going to get volumes from their CMX Manga line, but this might be a little better, even.

I’ve put review highlights under Publications. I’ll probably make a list of other specific articles in that section, too. In the mean time, there’s still a link to my Suite101 profile page.

Suite 101 Articles

I’ve started to get into a better pattern of writing my creative stuff. I also think I’ve about finished editing Becky–for now. I almost just want it published so I won’t be worrying over it any more.

I got quite a few more Suite 101 articles written over the past week:

I got a few more article ideas from going to Anime Boston, so hopefully I get to writing those out today.

Need Motivation :: More Articles

I really do hope I get a job soon. You’d think I’d get more writing done this way, but the lack of structure just makes me apathetic. I feel more motivated to create if I’ve had to work on something else all day. Also, I’ll probably spend more typing-time working on creative stuff, since I’ll be making money and won’t feel guilty not doing freelance work, heh.

Hopefully I’ll be going to graduate school soon, too. Being around other’s writing, or writing on a deadline, always helps my writing just be better.

Again, more Suite101 articles!

I should have a review for the manga Ristorante Paradiso up by tonight. I’ll write it up after I do some errands.

Keeping On Writing

In an attempt to find more freelance work I applied to Break Studios. It seems to be similar to Demand Studios, where I pick from a list of articles, except maybe I’d get to write more entertainment articles? Well, hopefully I get picked up by them.

As always, I’ve been writing more for Suite 101. I’ve been trying to write one article a day for a contest, but that doesn’t seem to be succeeding.

Live-Action Bleach Movie in the Works, and The Purpose of Anime Fansubs in the Digital Age. Not too much, but it’s still something.