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by Emily Ann Ward

Shifting Light: a fantasy/romance novella from the Protectors Series

I read this article today about “Trinity Syndrome”. This happens when a female character is set up as badass, interesting, multi-faceted, in the first act… then has nothing to do for the rest of the movie.

Examples were Trinity from The Matrix, Valka from How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The comments section was pretty interesting, and the top comment pointed out that “given YA novels with strong female roles, many being compellingly brought to the screen, the atmosphere is changing and being reflected at the box-office. I think we will see continued progress.”

One of the comments responded with this: “Which YA novel strong female role you talking about? The one with the girl who spends the 3 books trying to get married or the one with the girl who spends the 3 books deciding who’d be a better catch, Gale or Peeta?”

Oh, man, I had such a good response! Then I realized it was an 8 month old comment. So, I decided to blog about this instead. And here’s what I have to say.

First of all, Katniss spends about 1% of the Hunger Games series choosing between Gale and Peeta. She is much more concerned with her sister, staying alive, putting on a show for the audience, staying alive, surviving PTSD, becoming the figurehead of a revolution, staying alive, tactics, night terrors — oh, and did I mention staying alive? Katniss is a survivor, not a girl trapped in a love triangle.

Second of all, maybe the original commenter was talking about…

  • The girl who was an Allied spy and risked her life for her best friend (Verity from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein)?
  • Or the girl who traveled back in time to stop the end of the world (Em from All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill)?
  • Or maybe the new Shadowhunter who has to stop a dark lord from creating a new demonic race of part-angels (Clary from City of Bones by Cassandra Clare)?
  • Or the overweight girl dealing with abuse (Eleanor from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell)?
  • Or what about the girl who was diagnosed with cancer when she was young (Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green)?
  • Or the girl who is trying to decide whether to stay alive or not (Mia from If I Stay by Gale Foreman)?
  • Or the one who struggles with her skill at killing people (Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore)?

I could go on. I’d be glad to!

Come on, guys. Well-written books about awesome females are dominating the YA world right now. Just go to Goodreads, have a gander, and take your pick. It’s really the best place to go if you want a well-developed, multi-faceted character. You do, of course, also have your fair share of shallow characters stuck in a plot that gives them no agency. But in Young Adult, if you’re looking for a good book with a top notch leading girl, the odds are ever in your favor.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go read Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, which is about Ruby, a girl who can see into people’s minds and sometimes even erase all their memories of her.

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I recently realized I was an extrovert and an ENFP.

Now, before those I know personally laugh and say, “Emily, you’re crazy, you’re not an extrovert” let me explain myself.

Most websites and profiles out there grossly simplify Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator. Choose if you’re Introverted or Extroverted, Intuitive or Sensing, Feeling or Thinking, Judging or Perceiving, and you’ve got your personality!

There’s a deeper way of looking at MBTI through cognitive functions. These functions can be internal or external, and they are stacked in a hierarchy based on how much you use each function in daily life. In this hierarchy, you have alternating functions. One internal, one external, etc. This is a summary, and I’ve included a ton of links at the bottom. But basically, I’ll walk you through how I found my personality type.

Feeling:
Internal feeling is characterized by independence, a deep inner world, a search for personal meaning, and strong values that aren’t easily swayed by outside opinions. External feeling is based on shared emotions, inter-dependence with the group, and taking care of others.
Verdict for me: Internal. I don’t show my emotions, aside from the surface ones like happiness or excitement or annoyance, to most people. I’m pretty independent, too.

Sensing:
External sensing has a high awareness of their environment and living in the present, trusting concrete data. Internal is much more based on past memories and nostalgia. They learn from past mistakes and see patterns in their life.
Verdict for me: Internal. I am constantly saying, “Oh, I never noticed that house before!” My husband thinks I’m the most unobservant person ever in a setting. I can also get pretty nostalgic and I like looking at the past and seeing what brought me to where I am today.

Intuition:
Internal intuition mull over their ideas internally, use private introspection, take in facts and information and process it before deciding it fits with their worldview, and has a specific vision of what it wants and expects. External intuition has many ideas, changing constantly, interacting with others about these ideas, it sees the big idea and thrives off of possibilities.
Verdict for me: External all the way. Just see this letter from my 11-year-old self.

Thinking:
Internal thinking looks inside when thinking about ideas and logic, seeking to answer “why?”, analyzing, accumulating information, asking questions and fitting things into an inner framework. External thinking looks to outside actions, taking ideas and information, and forming plans, trusting external information more than their own inner logic, and making a plan to accomplish a goal.
Verdict for me: External. When I have a problem, I go online and read what everyone else has said about it. I don’t have to know the way something works to work with it and use it as a tool.

So, I know that I am:
Fi
Ne
Si
Te

Two personality types have these functions: ENFP and INFP. I automatically assumed I was an INFP because I thought I was an introvert. But as I looked deeper into these, it didn’t jive. Thinking is supposed to be my weakest function? But I like teaching and making lesson plans. When something goes wrong, I think, “Okay, what do I need to do to fix this? What steps can I take to move forward?”

Then I saw that letter from my 11-year-old self, and I wondered if my Ne could be stronger than my Fi. Then that would bump Te up in the queue! That made more sense to me because I feel I do more thinking and planning than I do reminiscing and wanting the familiar.

Also, I started to reconsider my introversion. I have for some time now. I know it’s a spectrum, not two sides of a coin, and I honestly feel just slightly more extroverted than introverted. Here are some real life examples:

  • I enjoy going to events with big crowds: concerts, zoos, amusement parks. Going to these places is not tiring to me, but exhilarating. Afterwards, if I am tired, it’s usually a physical tiredness, not a mental one.
  • After a day of working by myself, I’m itching to get out and do something. I crave human interaction.
    I can get sluggish and irritable if I’m alone for too long. Which isn’t to say I can’t do things by myself. I do things by myself all the time, and the fact that I’m alone isn’t going to stop me from doing something I want to do. But if I have the choice to do something with a friend or by myself, I will always choose the option to do it with a friend.
  • I rarely feel anxious meeting new people if I’m with at least one person I know. Sometimes, if it’s a setting I know and I’m comfortable with (a classroom where I’m in charge, for example), I’m not anxious at all, even if I’m alone.
  • I want to talk out both my problems and my ideas. When I have an issue, I seek out advice from others and I like talking it out with someone. When I have an idea, I “think out loud”, usually with my husband.
  • Outside of social engagements, I also get inspiration and stimulation from other external sources. I listen to a plethora of music. I get a lot of ideas for my stories from other sources or a combination of other sources (a plot bunny from the Nanowrimo forums inspired Finding Fiona, a class about minorities in America inspired Promising Light, a dream inspired Connection, etc.). I’m energized thinking about possibilities, about where I’m going, about the future.

Of course, there are things that pointed to my introversion, but I think that’s more shyness and a mild (very mild!) social anxiety than true introversion. Things like having a thousand things to say but being incapable of saying them in a big group. Not getting a word in because everyone else in the group is louder. Getting tongue tied on the phone. Wanting to avoid conflict at all costs, so not disagreeing with people even though I think they’re wrong. Hesitating to show my emotions to people because of how I might be perceived.

I do have a lower threshold for people than most extroverts. When I was growing up and going to school, I lived with a big family, so I was constantly around people, and I needed to withdraw often or I would get moody. But now that I live a more solitary life (living with just my husband, working with only a few people), I see how I find energy from external interaction and sources. I think this lifestyle is the perfect balance for a mild extrovert like me. (Although sometimes I wish my sister Nancy lived here to give me constant entertainment.)

So, there you go. I’m an ENFP who often mistypes as an introvert. I’m a person who will (almost) always choose a person over a book. A person who doesn’t notice things right in front of her because she’s too busy dreaming about her vacation to Hawaii. A person who is still trying to figure herself out.

Now, I feel like a disclaimer is necessary: MBTI is not hard science. I read somewhere online it is more like a language: a common system we can use to understand each other and ourselves. I’m not interested in this because it’s backed up by neuroscientists, but because I see these patterns in myself and it’s a fascinating way to analyze myself and see why I do the things I do.

Check it out for yourself:

Myers Briggs
16 Types
Funky MBTI Function (this blog is SO fun for fiction writers!)

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What was I up to in 2000?

By
January 22nd, 2015

Fifteen years ago, sometime around the Y2K freak-out mode, I got a bright pink diary from Limited Too.

Apparently I was supposed to put a picture of myself there.

Apparently I was supposed to put a picture of myself there.

If you don’t know what Limited Too is, you weren’t a girl born in the late eighties or early nineties (or didn’t have a daughter or sister who was). It was recently renamed Justice. But back when it was Limited Too, it was the shop at the mall for hip preteens.

At least, my twelve-year-old self thought so. On the Fashion page, I wrote “Limited Too, Claires” down for hot shops and for not shops? “GAP, Acromobie and Fitch.” (I was a horrendous speller.)

On the page that is “all about me…” my address is in Littleton, Colorado, I really want to live in Hawaii or Calif, my email is from chickmail.com, and Robin Williams puts a smile on my face. My weakness is “guys”, but I didn’t write down any strengths. I was three inches shorter than I am now (but I was still taller than Mom) and fifteen pounds lighter.

it's all about me

it’s all about me (click for a bigger pic if you want to see the details)

I inserted only two pictures of myself in this diary, though they encouraged you to put a picture of your room, pictures of your friends, pictures of your crushes. I didn’t have time for that. Two, Diary, you get two. I put in a picture of me at JFK’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery holding my cousin Laura. Do I look eleven to you in this picture? I feel like I’m a giant.

Eleven-year-old me at Arlington National Cemetery

Eleven-year-old me at Arlington National Cemetery

The first ten pages or so of this diary are literally all about me and the times I live in. Designers of diaries know you’re going to be nostalgic later and read and laugh about your favorite songs or cringe when you write about your dream dates. They are simultaneously pandering to the self-obsessed kids who get these diaries and amusing our future selves.

The crowning glory of this diary, though, is where you can insert a secret letter to yourself to be opened on a future date. The instructions:

Write a letter to the person you know best – yourself – explaining who you want to be. List all of your dreams, your hopes, and your wishes for yourself. Keep it closed for a long time… Open it when you’re ready and see if your wishes came true!

I wrote DO NOT OPEN UNTIL January 5th 2015. AND I PERSEVERED, YOU GUYS. In fact, I didn’t open it until January 21st 2015, so there!

DO NOT OPEN

I opened the letter and for some reason, it’s dated January 5th, 2006. Like I said, “The year I turn eighteen, I’ll read it…” Then I tucked it into the envelope and thought, “No. That’s too close. Shoot for the stars, Emily. You can wait fifteen years!”

The masterpiece is here:

Dear Emily

Here’s the translation with the glorious typos, misspelled words, randomly capitalized letters, and sentences that make no sense.

Dear Emily,

I want to be an Acctress. I want to be a Singer. I want to be a Woman of God. I want to be a photographer. I want to make the best of Life. I want to be the best Ice Skater of all time. I want to be known for me, for who I am, for all I’ll be. If I die before I can read this. May I Cherish in Heaven forever. I want to go to College. I want to be myself in every I can.

Love,
Emily

The first thing I did after I read this was laugh. Then I felt an immense sense of relief, thinking, “Oh, I was always like this. Even when I was twelve, I couldn’t make up my mind.”

I didn’t even notice that last sentence was missing “way” until I was writing this out. I guess I’m still in tune with my preteen self, filtering for her mistakes and filling in the gaps.

After I’ve recapped my life, the rest of the diary is spread out with daily entries on one page and a lined page on the other. Throughout the pages, I use glittery pens that came with the diary and that I most likely lost a few weeks later.

Everything is pink.

I write a few sentences almost every day for the first six weeks.

December 29. I wonder if my ears will get infected. I hope not! [note from 2015: they did.]
January 1. Happy New Years! Zena Girl of the 21st Century is awesome!
January 6. I saw Mark today! I forgot how cute he was!
January 26. Amanda got her period! Only, she didn’t tell me. Mom told me! Whassup w/ that?
January 27. We played w/ Girl Scouts-Brownies. I hate my booth! I can’t believe I gave the craft booth up for it!
February 5. Acting Class: We are doing a Girls against boys play. Girls are so much better!
February 8. Dad babysat today. He was okay.

I’d like to shake the hand of the genius who put this thing together. I only wish I’d actually followed through with it and written past February 9th, when I wrote the following entry in horrific handwriting.

MOVING?

Moving? I kinda wanna go and kinda not. I might see Ashley and Erin from camp! But I’ll leave Amanda and Mark! And Girl Scouts! The Church is huge! We’ll have two cars and I’ll get payed for babysitting. But will, I will be moving. From this house, 3 hours away from Littleton! Do I have to move AGAN?? This is Crazy! Really Crazy!

And that’s it. It’s like when I moved, I completely forgot about this little gem. I probably got a new diary and filled out half of it. Or I got an online journal because around this time was the dawn of my life on the Internet.

When I turned the page, looking for more entries, and there were none, I honestly felt more relief. Even when I was twelve, I couldn’t finish something.

So, have things changed? I can spell words now, and I know when not to capitalize things. I don’t want to be an actress or a singer or the best ice skater of all time anymore. I’m thinking teacher or editor or publisher or author or graphic designer or web designer.

I kinda wanna go and kinda not. I want to make the best of life and I want to be myself in every way I can.

Love,

Emily

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I found this picture from a tumblr I follow called Writing Prompts.

Retell the story of a Disney movie with one change: the princess is now a hipster.

Viria13 originally posted these two pictures on DeviantArt with a few more of our favorite princesses.

I think I’m going to do this and post it here on my blog for fun. I just have to decide which princess to do because there are so many possibilities.

Pocahontas could be a girl teaching a football player about cultural insensitivity by fighting to change her school’s “Red Skins” mascot. Ariel idolizes France and is willing to do anything to get into the prestigious art school of her dreams. Anastasia (not Disney, but close enough) is finally leaving her group home to hunt down her real family and finds out she’s the missing daughter of a billionaire. Belle falls for the guy from the wrong side of the tracks — oh wait, that’s been done before.

Seriously, though. I’m inspired. But I need to finish my other series first. I wrote about it a LONG time ago, and now that the Protectors series is done, I’m finishing the trilogy! I wonder if I can finish it before 2015?

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Promising Power is live!

By
November 9th, 2014

Wow, I haven’t been around lately! I have a lot of awesome news for you all.

First of all, the Protectors series is COMPLETE! The last book, Promising Power, came out November 4th. I slacked on my social media blasting, but here it is:

Promising Power

When Grace escaped the castle and killed one of the most powerful Protectors, she knew a war was coming. She had no idea others wouldn’t want her to be a part of it. Her parents are trying to protect her, the elders refuse to trust her with her family so close, and some even blame her for the prince’s actions. Even as her powers evolve and as Sierra manifests her magic for the first time, the two of them are cast out of the fight.

Grace knows the answers about their new magic lies in the ancient texts, but they were hidden by the elders. A desperate effort to find them is foiled by another looking for the texts–Kilar. As he turns ally after ally against the Avialies in his quest to gain magic for himself, Grace and her friends are forced to find him to thwart his plans. If Kilar finds what he’s looking for, he could be too powerful to stop. Grace, Dar, and Sierra face their biggest foe yet–and they may lose too much in the battle to persevere.

Available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. Coming soon to B&N, Kobo, and iBooks!

Last night, we had a release party at the Book Bin in Salem. It was so great! The whole series was for sale, and we had snacks, drinks, as well as fancy decorations that I had way too much fun making. Pretty much all my favorite people were there, too — except for my sister Nancy, who I’m very disappointed didn’t pop out of a cake to surprise me! Still, it was a night to remember.

Release Party

It was awesome! I hope to do another one soon.

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Today, we have the AWESOME author Megan O’Russell and her book The Tethering. 

The Tethering by Megan O'Russell

All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.

Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover.

When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?

You can preorder this book TODAY through the Kickstarter project!  But let’s hear from the author herself if you want to know more about The Tethering.

Megan! Thank you so much for joining me on my blog!

What’s the first sentence of The Tethering?

Jacob Evans sat in the front row, looking back whenever he could at the new girl two rows behind him.

Fill in the blanks: The Tethering is like [book/movie/TV show] meets [a different book/movie/TV show].

Example: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Claire is like Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman meets Harry Potter.

This is the hardest question I’ve had to answer, and I’m honestly not sure what to say. There is magic, and love, and lots of epicness. There are wizards called the Dragons, but not actual fire breathing dragons. There is death, but the emphasis is on life. And there’s a flying fox. So I would say The Sorcerer’s Apprentice movie meets Romeo and Juliet? Is that in okay thing to say?

What are you most excited for readers to read in The Tethering?

I am most excited for readers to see where the journey between Jacob and Emilia goes. But my husband just wants everyone to get to the last third of the book when a character named Domina appears.

Can you tell us about the title? Or is it a secret?

It is a secret but one that is revealed fully during book one of The Tethering Series.

How did you balance the romance between Emilia and Jacob and the fantasy world they live in? Did you ever want to focus more on one or the other? 

I think the romantic aspect is really what creates the drive from one scene to the next. The magic is there, present and important, but the decisions that Jacob makes are never really about magic. It all boils down to Emilia. The magic is always there, but there were times I had remind myself that these characters could do magic and I had to give them permission to do so.

On that note, are there any fantasy books you’ve read that have great romances that you can recommend to us?

Don’t judge me, but I love the Roran love story in Eragon (book one of the Inheritance Cycle). Roran is what you want your love to be, and Katrina actually deserves his love, which I love. I hate wimpy girls that boys just fawn over for no reason.

What about books you wish had more romances?

I am a huge fan of the Madeline L’Engle books. I love all the things she created, but when I was a teenager, I wished the romance could have moved a little more to the forefront.

Enough about romance! What’s your favorite thing about your magical world? 

I love, and this is going to sound strange, I’m sure, the rules that I’ve created. There is a very definite way that magic works, and finding a way for my characters to use those rules to win or lose has been one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of creating The Tethering series.

Anything you wish we had in our world?

I wish we had the ability to do the extraordinary things that the wizards in The Tethering can do, but maybe we’re all a little safer without magic.

What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?

That choices have consequences, even if you weren’t the one to make the choice. And that some things are worth fighting for. No matter what the cost, some things, some people are worth risking it all.

Preorder today, visit Megan’s website, or Silence in the Library Publishing

See more about the Kickstarter project:

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Today is my stop on the blog tour for ELECTED by Rori Shay! This is one book you don’t want to miss and is out TODAY! The kickstarter to this book is available at http://tinyurl.com/ElectedNovel.  You will be able to get a copy of ELECTED in hardcover and/or paperback with a free ebook, a lot of special limited-edition items and other free books. Don’t wait, get your copy today! Then tell us how you liked it!

ELECTED Front Cover

ELECTED by Rori Shay

Silence in the Library Publishing

YA Sci-fi

April 22, 2014

Amazon

Author Interview with Rori Shay

Fill in the blanks: Elected is like [book/movie/TV show] meets [a different book/movie/TV show].​

​Elected is like Divergent meets The West Wing

You get to go to Disneyworld with one of your characters. Who do you choose and why?​

Vienne for sure! She’s like a Disney princess anyway! At least until book number 2!​

What scene in Elected are you most excited for readers to read?​

I love the first time Griffin and Aloy meet, but I’m most excited for people to read the intimate scene between Griffin and Aloy. I am holding my breath to see what people think!​

How has your writing changed since you first started writing?​

I write much better now that I’ve practiced the craft more. I write for all five senses, meaning, I want readers to be able to feel, smell, hear the scenes I’m writing. So I try to write descriptively so you feel like you’re there with the characters in the book.​

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?​

Keep going no matter how many rejections you get. Just don’t give up.​

What’s the worst?​

I think when people just tell you what they don’t like without telling you what they did like about a piece of writing. It’s hard to change without having that glimmer of positivity. ​

What are you working on now?​

A picture book and the third book of the Elected trilogy!​

What do you want readers to come away with after reading Elected? ​

I want them to have an appreciation for protecting the environment and the natural resources, animals, and people in it.​

Blurb

It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond the borders.

As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.

 

pastedGraphic.pdf

Author Bio

Rori Shay is an author living in the Washington, DC area with her husband, daughters, black lab, and cat – just not quite in the same exciting circumstances as ELECTED’s main character, Aloy. She enjoys running, gardening, reading, doing yoga, and volunteering with the Dwelling Place non-profit.  Rori is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Find her on Social Media:

WebsiteFacebookTwitter & Goodreads

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

~Kindle

~Items seen in ELECTED such as a marriage binding (temporary tattoo)

~Hemlock soap

~Necklace as seen in ELECTED

~Signed paperback copy of ELECTED

~Optional FaceTime or Skype session with the author for 1/2 an hour (can be used one-on-one or at the winner’s book club, etc.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Noah Movie Review

By
April 19th, 2014

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah was a movie I was unsure about when I first saw the trailer. Why is everyone white? What’s Emma Watson doing in biblical times? But then I got kind of excited about it: an epic movie about the Bible, not a cheesy one meant to pull at your heartstrings? (I’m looking at you, Son of God.) Sign me up.

credit: http://fwcbirdseyeview.com/

Then the reviews started pouring in. It was received well among critics, but my Facebook friends list had other ideas. It was unbiblical, the director had no business taking the liberties that he did, no Christian should see it, etc. Bloggers and reviewers posted scathing reviews, calling it “sinister” and “anti-Christian” and criticizing the atheist’s director.

My parents liked it. I wasn’t too surprised at that, being that they tend to go against the flow of what most evangelical Christians think about things. I trusted their judgment, so I wanted to see it. I even posted a clip from Jon Stewart criticizing people who didn’t like that it was biblical with the disclaimer that I hadn’t see it (and the clip is pretty funny and on point, as Stewart always is).

Well, I finally saw it myself on Tuesday. It was not what I was expecting. At all. I thought there’d be a few things off from the story. There are quite a few parts of the story, though, that can’t be found in the Bible. As far as I know, they’re not in rabbinical writings, either. I know this is what annoyed many believers — they wanted a book to screen adaptation without any interference.

I kept thinking, “This is weird”, but I found myself liking certain parts of it. I liked that the fallen angels were incorporated into the story. I liked the romance between Noah’s son and the girl Noah and his wife adopted. I liked the barren landscape the family trekked across. I liked the conflict with Ham, who felt alone, and with Ila’s barrenness. The battle scenes kept me on the edge of my seat; the corruption of men and women had me understanding’s God choice; and all the characters had drive and motivation.

Once they were on the boat, though, the story really slowed down. It was full of false conflict — will Noah kill everyone? We know the answer to that, but they still tried to make things dramatic. It came off as melodramatic and theatrical instead. I was much more interested in the storyline with Ham and Tubal-Cain. I left the theater thinking the movie could have been thirty minutes shorter.

There was one main thing, theologically, I had issues with. For example, the idea that the Creator gave Noah the choice to decide whether humans were worth saving. Really? Why would the Creator put the fate of beings he made in his own image into the hands of one man? It’s a hard pill to swallow. The fate of man is in the Creator’s hands, not the hands of some humanHe wanted humans to survive so we could start anew. He had a plan for Noah’s line: to birth Abraham, to make a covenant with him, and to choose Israel as his chosen people.

There were also theological differences that I didn’t have a problem with at all. No, nobody ever said God. (I think Jon Stewart must have been referencing to a scene in the trailers, because I don’t remember that line in the movie. And I was watching for it.) But aside from Aronofsky’s strange choice to say Noah would decide the fate of the last humans, it’s pretty clear who is in charge. The Creator. Men think they’re in charge, but that’s our way, isn’t it? Thinking we rule our own fates.

The Creator never spoke directly to Noah. Instead, Noah has dreams, premonitions, and he visits his grandfather, Methuselah, for guidance. I’m not sure why Aronofsky went with this instead, but I appreciated the choice. It’s rare today that God speaks directly to any of us. We can’t hear his voice as clearly as we can someone standing right next to us.

This choice felt like it an effort to bring the story onto our level. The Bible is full of stories where we say, “That never happens today.” Who knows why? It could be our lack of faith, but whatever the reason, we don’t often get black-and-white directions from the heavens. So, I liked that choice. I liked that Noah heard from God in subtle ways, but he was still confident in what he had to do. He believed without seeing the Creator.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29

And one last thing: my favorite part of the whole movie was the sequence of creation from Noah’s story in the ark. It’s too new of a movie to have too many clips online, but that was an awesome part. It showed all of creation coming into being from the voice of the Creator: the stars, the planets, the waters, the animals, and finally, mankind, created in his image. Whatever our flaws and corruption, we are created in his image, and this was not a point the movie left out. We have his love, our souls are eternal, and like him, we can create. Even if it’s a movie that a lot of people hate.

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Today I’m sharing an upcoming release. This is one book you don’t want to miss! The Kickstarter to this book will be available today here. You will be able to get a copy of ELECTED in hardcover and/or paperback with a free ebook, a lot of special limited-edition items and other free books. Don’t wait, get your copy today!

ELECTED Front CoverELECTED
by Rori Shay

Genre: YA Sci-fi
Publisher:Silence in the Library Publishing

Blurb:
It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond the borders.

As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.

headshot_Rori_ShayAbout the Author:
Rori Shay is an author living in the Washington, DC area with her husband, daughters, black lab, and cat – just not quite in the same exciting circumstances as ELECTED’s main character, Aloy. She enjoys running, gardening, reading, doing yoga, and volunteering with the Dwelling Place non-profit. Rori is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Author social media links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

~Kindle
~Items seen in ELECTED such as a marriage binding (temporary tattoo)
~Hemlock soap
~Necklace as seen in ELECTED
~Signed paperback copy of ELECTED
~Optional FaceTime or Skype session with the author for 1/2 an hour (can be used one-on-one or at the winner’s book club, etc.)

Elected Giveaway

SilenceInTheLibraryLogo[print]

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Scribd now has a subscription service for books. For $8.99 a month, readers gain access to more than 100,000 books. (Some places, I’ve seen 300k, but from Scribd’s website and app, it says 100,000+)

Smashwords has worked out a deal with Scribd for distribution of self-published books into Scribd’s catalog. Your books are opted in automatically, and authors receive 60% of list price after customers read 30% of your book. The first 10% is a free sample, and the next 20% can be any part of your book. (The “any part” is only important to nonfiction writers, because who would jump to the middle of a novel to read 20% of it?)

Smashwords authors also get a free subscription for a year, which is valued at about $100. You should have received the email already — once you activate your subscription, you can see the available books you can read yourself. Scribd also allows you to make an author page. You can see a screenshot of mine here:

Scribd Profile

Scribd Books

It has all the books you’ve authored, which makes this a great link to share on social media. The interface is smooth, and readers have the option to read your book in “Standard” or “Book” view.

Scribd Single Book

Scribd Single Book

They’ve also been quick to update their catalog. I unpublished a few free short stories on Smashwords because they can be found in a collection, and within days, they were taken down from the Scribd view.

Scribd is available online in your browser and you can also download apps for it. You can login with Facebook, or you can make a new account. So far, from a writers perspective, Scribd seems pretty promising. They have a great interface I like directing people to.

I don’t know how many reads will come from such a subscription service. Plenty of people will pay for a subscription, but only read one or two books a month. For Oyster Books, a similar service, as of February 28th 2014, I had no reads for either of my author names. I don’t think it’s going to be extremely lucrative, at least not unless your name is well known. But I’m still glad I have the opportunity to have my books in these catalogs.

I will be posting Part 2: For Readers, on Guild of Dreams April 15th. What do Scribd and Oyster Books have to offer readers? Is one better than the other? Visit us on 4/15 to see! I will eventually repost it here, too.

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