Quote of the Day: Suzanne Collins

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  • Having no work, grief buries me.

— Katniss Everdeen, Mockingjay, Chapter 25

Everlark: The Body Flip

By now loyal blog readers know that self adores fan fiction. And that she only ships Everlark.

One of her favorite ff writers is _______ (Apologies. Everyone has to hide. If you write fan fiction. Just because)

______’s newest story is one where the Victors are freed from the Capitol in a daring raid led by Gale. So far, this is all strictly Mockingjay canon.

Katniss can hardly wait to see Peeta.  At which point, Haymitch gives her “the talk” :

“They’re back?” Katniss says.

“Well, yeah,” Haymitch says. He rubs a hand over his face. “Well, you’ll see.”

Peeta and Johanna come back from the Capitol. They’re a little . . . different.

SPOILERS  SPOILERS  SPOILERS

Peeta is not hijacked. There’s something a little odd, though, about Johanna.

Eventually, Katniss figures it out: Peeta is now in Johanna’s body, and Johanna is in Peeta’s!

Which is hard for Katniss, until she realizes that Gale is never jealous when she’s with Johanna (who is really Peeta. Inside). And that’s a very good thing!

LOL

ROFL

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

The Guardian’s Review of Mockingjay 2

Self is writing this, her third post of Saturday, even though she swore she’d go out and walk the streets of Manhattan! On this unusually temperate December day!

She wants to see “Joy,” David O. Russell’s new movie starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Self loves J-Law.

Anything with J-Law in it, self will watch.

But she just can’t stand The Guardian review because it is all J-Law. There is not one mention of J-Hutch. And Peeta, his character, self’s thought all along, is the real reason The Hunger Games is such an enthralling story.

Sure, Katniss Everdeen is really kick-ass. Kick-ass like no other. Her hunting? Her bow and arrow? Not to mention her Mockingjay outfits? Epic.

But the Katniss Everdeen story wouldn’t be anything without the character of Peeta. The guy makes us believe she has a heart. He’s in love with her from afar, it’s the greatest stroke of luck (for her, not really for him) that he gets reaped along with her, he gets to play a fake romance with her that really screws up his brain, gets hijacked, then keeps trying to kill her.

In short, Peeta is a mess.

The films gave very short shrift to his character. Which was a mistake. Because when the end came, when Katniss gets to have him, there is just no ooomf.

Self doesn’t know if Lionsgate had no faith in Josh Hutcherson as an actor. Or if they just wanted to cash in on the J-Law phenomenon. But the films would have worked better if they’d given Peeta his due. Seriously.

That said, she really loves the way Mockingjay 2 ended: not because of the meadow scene (In this scene, J-Law looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal! Not a criticism, just saying), but because of the scenes with Peeta and Katniss together in her house: Peeta reading aloud Annie’s letter in the kitchen (And J-Hutch just looks so good here), the two watching it rain. Katniss joining Peeta at night in the guest room. Because: normal is good! Normal is where Katniss needs to be! The daily routines — and not her Messianic mission — save her.

Suzanne Collins wrote this ending because she knew she needed to show Katniss whole. The selflessness of the warrior woman needed to give way to her personal satisfaction.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

A Bookshelf Survey (Tagged by j4mieleigh)

Thanks, j4mieleigh, for tagging self in the Bookshelf Survey!

Here are some of self’s answers:

Find a book on your shelves for each of your initials:

M would be for Mockingjay (Book 3 in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins)

V would be for Victor Klemperer, whose meticulous diary of his days living out World War II in Dresden, Germany are searing and humane and unforgettable.

Count your age along your bookshelves. What do you land on?

Self ran out of bookshelf space. Honest-to-God.

No, actually, most of her books are in Redwood City, California. She only has a dozen books with her right now.

Find a book that takes place in your city or state.

Self has to be tiresome again. She has no “city or state.” Unless you consider Facebook a place. She’s there every day.

Find a book set somewhere you would love to travel to.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare is mostly set in Wales. Apart from one brief stop on the ferry from Dublin to London, self has never been to Wales. Perhaps next year?

Find a book cover in your favorite color:

Self’s favorite color is BLUE.

Here’s the cover to a book she’s almost finished reading:

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Detail, Book Cover: ERAGON, by Christopher Paolini

Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Break It Down, by Lydia Davis. That collection rocked her world.

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

The Horse Whisperer? She just wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. Because the events in it are pretty terrible. Worse, they are true.

Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest sense of accomplishment?

Eldest, by Christopher Paolini. It is 700 pages.

And, to be honest, The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Because it is Horror. And because self lives alone. And hears things in the night. All the time.

Do you have a special place at home for reading?

The bed. Hands down.

When do you usually read?

Anytime and all the time, if possible.

Can you read while listening to music/ watching TV?

Umm. No.

What do you use for bookmarks?

Right now, book postcards that were handed out at the most recent Cork International Short Story Festival. The artwork for them is mostly incredible.

Are your book spines creased or unbroken?

No. (To elaborate: None of her book spines are creased or unbroken. Her favorite books have stuff written on the margins. Even, coffee stains)

What is the last book you bought?

Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Self hereby tags Dee Dee Chainey (curator of the Twitter hashtag Folklore Thursday) and Laura Dodge Meyer whose blog is The Second Fifty.

Stay tuned!

 

Because Whole Treatises Could Be Written on Fan Fiction Hunger Games AU!

Self has just seen “Exodus.” Yeeees. Hard to believe, but she actually followed up watching “Birdman” (Thursday, at the height of the storm) with watching “Exodus.”

Although let’s not kick around Christian Bale. He’s about the best we have to play such roles. Bale is a real journeyman actor. Whatever role he agrees to play, he goes for it Read the rest of this entry »

December Means: Musing About Oscar Nominations

Boyhood will be nominated for Best Picture. Duh.

  • Ethan Hawke should be nominated for Best Actor.
  • Self wants Mockingjay, Part 1 to be nominated for something. But fat chance J-Law will get another nomination. Although self would be very much in favor of such a nomination. But J-Law is already too rich. So the Academy will think it’s done its duty by her and turn its attention to some other up-and-coming. BTW, J-Law, self will not fault you if you happen to fall again while traversing the Oscars Red Carpet. It’s OK! Self still thinks you’re adorable. And she knows — knows — you’re not tripping up on purpose. Because, you know what? Self trips up all the time! Once she even fell down a whole flight of stairs. Another time she landed on her backside when entering a friends’s sunken living room. Simply because she hadn’t expected the living room to be — you know — sunken. Who does that? Why play such tricks on people? The home, BTW, was in Union City.
  • Self liked The Theory of Everything — Eddie Redmayne will be nominated for Best Actor.
  • Just saw Wild today. Laura Dern, it’s all about Laura Dern. Nominate her for Best Supporting Actress, puh-leaze! (Self so dislikes the opening scene when — Should she put in a Spoiler Alert? Nah. — Reese Witherspoon, who plays Cheryl Strayed, pulls off her toenails, then loses one boot down a chasm. Self did take note of the fact that Witherspoon’s gams are excellent! But what was with all the heavy breathing — like the audio for a porn movie. Not that self has any experience watching porn movies. She’s just saying. Also, judging from the movie, the Pacific Coast Trail is lined with male pervs. Ladies, before you get inspired to follow in Strayed’s footsteps, take a martial arts class. And don’t forget to pack the Mace. And, still also, how proactive of Strayed to take 20 condoms along on her hike. Truly forward-thinking! She is one smart lady.)
  • This time last year it was all Lupita Nyong’o. Now, there is absolutely zero mention of Lupita Nyong’o. Maybe next year? What will she wear next on the Red Carpet? Dying, absolutely dying to know.

And this is about as far as self wants to stick her neck out. So, goodnight.

 

 

The Daily Beast “Mockingjay, Part 1” Quote

There are times when all self wants to do is stay in pajamas all day and read Hunger Games fan fiction. And that is the honest truth.

Wait, that IS what you did all day today, self! You stayed in your sweats — one step up from pajamas, at least — and read a new fan fiction you’d just discovered, written by c_r_Roberts.

But you also saw Mockingjay, Part 1 for the second time, which means you did get yourself out of the house, even if it was just for two hours.

The Man wisely opted to see some other movie, the one starring grungy Jake Gyllenhaal as an ambulance chaser.

Self has decided that critics who dislike this installment of the Hunger Games movies are Team Gale. Because those like self who are Team Peeta just loooove Mockingjay, Part 1.

And, as if to back up her point, here’s a quote from The Daily Beast, which self likes to read on a somewhat regular basis:

Team Peeta or Team Gale: Why the Hunger Games’ Love Triangle Ruins Mockingjay, Part 1

A lot of people die in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. Unfortunately, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne are not among them.

In a nutshell:

When the books were being adapted into movies, that romantic element turned the casting of Peeta and Gale into its own Hollywood Hunger Games, with every young actor in Tinseltown clamoring to be the next Robert Pattinson and every fan of the franchise ready to set tracker jackers on any casting that wasn’t up to snuff.

Self has read articles where Team Gale professes to be absolutely crushed by Mockingjay, Part 1, when it becomes clear who Katniss really loves. They feel betrayed. Furiously betrayed.

Actually, this second viewing of Mockingjay, Part 1 started to bring Gale forward more in self’s mind. To the point where she could actually hear herself saying, “Maybe so-and-so has a point, there is something rather appealing about that Gale.”

Self always loved book-Peeta, and to tell the truth she was not enthused with J-Hutch in the first Hunger Games movie. But that beach scene in Catching Fire? Never mind how ridiculous — even tacky! — it is that Peeta shows a picture of Gale to Katniss on a beach the night before they are to engage in what is supposedly a fateful fight-to-the-death. J-Hutch and J-Law sold that scene and turned self into an avid fan of the Katniss/Peeta pairing, ever since.

So she really loves Mockingjay, Part 1.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Buzzfeed Interview w/ Peter Craig, Main Scriptwriter for MOCKINGJAY, PART 1

Dear blog readers know how much self liked Mockingjay, Part 1.

It was a very, very good movie. And a large part of the credit for that has to go to the screenplay writer, Peter Craig.

Self is so tired of almost every Read the rest of this entry »

And Now Let’s Hear From Christopher Orr of THE ATLANTIC

Self swears, so many times she has almost taken out a subscription to The Atlantic. Never mind that they showed appalling lack of judgment by publishing her fellow fellows from Stanford Creative Writing but never her. Never mind that they have so drastically reduced the number of pages devoted to fiction (They used to have a short story every issue. That was a long time ago. Now they’re down to one all-fiction issue a year).

The Atlantic was where she read her first T. C. Boyle. The story was about a man who turns the hose on his front yard and leaves it on. As he watches his yard get inundated by water, he sits on a lawn chair and ruminates.

This was possibly self’s first experience with fiction that makes no sense and yet makes all kinds of sense.

Today, still trying to process all sorts of FEELZ from the gut-wrenching experience of watching J-Hutch as Hijacked Peeta yesterday at her local Century 20. Self was browsing through Rotten Tomatoes (Mockingjay, Part 1 Rating: 66% fresh) when she encountered this review from Christopher Orr, The Atlantic’s movie critic. Here’s an excerpt:

The Hunger Games novels, by Suzanne Collins, went steadily downhill from the first to the third. As a writer, she simply didn’t have the chops to carry her story along as it became larger and more politically fraught. But the movies, at least so far, have followed a more impressive trajectory. The second installment was already weightier than the first, and in this outing the moral gravity has been ratcheted up once more. The movie’s themes of rebellion and civil war are inherently cinematic ones, and the filmmakers involved — returning director Francis Lawrence and new screenwriters Danny Strong and Peter Craig — lend the story a grim urgency largely lacking from the novel. Most crucial of all, of course, is Jennifer Lawrence, who plays heroine Katniss Everdeen.

You can read the entire review here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Last Monday of December 2013, Still Reading HOW I FOUND LIVINGSTONE IN CENTRAL AFRICA

This morning, on account of that no-good cough, which has persisted in self’s lungs since a week ago (but which also gives self a very, very good excuse not to cook, there’s always a silver lining etc etc), self was able to read a few more pages of How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa, the epic account by Henry M. Stanley of his long quest searching Africa for the vanished explorer.  It is indeed a very, very riveting book.  Obivously, since Stanley’s bills were being paid for by the New York Herald, he took copious and careful notes, which he sent back to the newspaper for serialization.  For which we readers must be exceedingly grateful.

In addition to Stanley’s book, however, self is also re-reading (for maybe the 10th time) the second book of The Hunger Games Trilogy, Catching Fire.  Also, she has located on tumbler approximately 4,200 sites that ship “Delly Cartwright.”  Who is Delly Cartwright, one may well ask?  She is a minor character in Mockingjay, the third book of The Hunger Games Trilogy.  She appears in about five pages.  Anyhoo, it is both thrilling and daunting to see how many permutations of Delly Cartwright there are on Tumbler:  everywhere from animé versions to photos of the following young (blonde) actresses:  Anna Sophie Robb, Elle Fanning, Chloe Moretz, and so forth.

But, back to the Stanley book.  Here’s a quote, from pp. 148 – 149:

Listen, children of Unyamwezi!  The journey is for tomorrow!  The road is crooked and bad, bad!  The jungle is there, and many Wagogo lie hidden within it!  Wagogo spear the pagazis, and cut the throats of those who carry mutumba (bales) and ushanga (beads)!  The Wagogo have been to our camp, they have seen your bales; to-night they seek the jungle:  tomorrow watch well, O Wanyamwezi!  Keep close together, lag not behind!  Kirangozis walk slow, that the weak, the sick, and the young may keep up with the strong!  Take two rests on the journey!  These are the words of the Bana (master).

There is, you know, such a Biblical rhythm to this speech.  It goes on for quite a bit longer, but self must stop here so that she can focus on getting well.

Stay tuned.

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