New Year’s Literary Resolutions

The New Year approaches and many people are attempting to choose their New Year’s resolutions.  To help with this important choice, I have compiled a list of advice about resolutions from several British Literary Greats.  Choose to implement this advice with sense and sensibility, or dismiss them as merely sound and fury, signifying nothing at your own peril.

 

British Literary Greats’ Guide to New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Do not: make resolutions based on anything said by weird sisters, or any trio of strange females.

2. Do not: make resolutions based on what you heard from the ghost of a family member.

3. Do: make resolutions based on what you heard from ghosts of time periods.

4. Do not: make resolutions about avoiding the opposite sex. It never works out.

5. Do: make resolutions based on telepathic communications from exes.

6. Do: make your resolutions without reference to any person wholly unconnected with you, particularly if they are cantankerous old women who have not been accustomed to language such as yours.

7. Do not: make resolutions based on one dance request.

8. Do: make resolutions based on letters from scorned lovers.

9. Do not: resolve to keep trophies from Dark Lords, even when they are vanquished.

10. Do not: make resolutions based on Turkish Delight.

 

15 points for every author you can name.  25 points for every title and author.  50 points for any new literary advice.

 

Enjoy your holidays and may the new year bring you good things, whether your resolution helps or hinders you.

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Fairy Tale Christmas Comforts

The Christmas tide is very near and things may seem very stressful.  That means it is once again time to keep things in perspective by noticing all the ways in which your holiday festivities will probably NOT resemble a fairy tale:

 

1. Even if you don’t get around to sending everyone their Christmas cards, you won’t have to worry about your children being cursed in retaliation.

2. The delivery people for your balls, toys, and treasures will not ask to share your bed as a reward.

3. If, instead of buying, you are spinning raw materials into gifting gold, you can rest assured that even big mistakes or delays will not result in you losing your head. (Or your baby.)

4. Any unwelcome visitors who trick their way into your house will likely settle for Christmas dinner, or perhaps even Christmas cookies, so your flesh is pretty safe.

5. The gingerbread men will not insult anyone.

6. No matter how sick you get of Christmas carols, even the awful ones will not have the power to lure your loved ones away from you.

7. At least you weren’t asked to build a jeweled palace overnight for anyone’s gift.

8. Even if you don’t have someone’s gift ready on time, you will not have to make up for it by giving up “the first thing you see” or “the first one who greets you” upon your arrival home.

9. Even if your family doesn’t allow you to sleep on Christmas Eve, at least you don’t have to face the big day with no sleep AND exhausted feet.

10. Reveling in your new possessions will not land you in hell or cause you to lose control of your limbs, even if those new things are red shoes.

11. No matter how mechanized the new toys are, none of them will carry your children off into the sky (even if you would like them to).

12. Don’t worry if a gift exchange seems uneven-even the presents that seem like small beans can show just how much magic there is in your relationship.

13. Even if you received a living thing, you won’t lose it if you don’t pick out the right name right away.

14. Even if a gift starts to fall apart, just remember: it has no control on anyone in your household’s looks, love, or ability to handle cutlery.

 

Happy 200th anniversary of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales and Merry Christmas!  Just remember, it could be worse-it could be a fairy tale.

There are 14 reasons today because the Grimms’ anniversary demanded 10 all their own, and there were a few non-Grimm fairy tale references I could not resist adding.  25 Points for every fairy tale reference.  55 for every new one added.

Literary Classics Gift-Giving Guide

For those who prefer to get their advice from sources more reputable than Disney, I have here a few gifting tips from the literary classics.  Names of works or authors are accepted.  24 points per reference and 50 points to any new references you add.

 

Literary Classics  Gift-Giving Guide

 

1. Make sure to get gifts in the desired color-it keeps things rosy.

2. Don’t give gifts that are too big-it might become an invasion of their space.

3. Consider giving gifts you made yourself-anything that could become an intimate password response just makes home feel more yours.

4. Musical instruments are marvelous romantic gifts, if you can afford the right quality.

5. Things that light up are good gift ideas-it’s always good to have one more light in dark places, in case all other lights go out.

6. If your gift is taking someone else’s place for something distasteful, like chores, remember that it helps to have a good motto to get you through it-preferably about the satisfaction of giving.

7. If getting something engraved, be sure to include both your name and the recipient’s.  It might just help your name reach the ears of someone it’d be very interesting to meet.

8. Getting something in the recipient’s style is far more important than getting something more fancy or expensive.

9. Stories are even better gifts if you can make the recipient the star of the tale.

10. It’s generally agreed by the classic authors that medieval weapons are a great gift idea-more modern arms, not so much.

 

Hopefully these signposts will help you further along in your great holiday gifting quest.  Good luck!

Voice of the Falconer

Voice of the Falconer (sequel to Master of Verona)

By: David Blixt

(http://www.davidblixt.com/)

Sordelet Inc. (April 23, 2012)

An historical adventure fiction review

 

Young Cesco is the hidden heir to Verona’s master, Cangrande della Scala, the foster child of Pietro Alaghieri and the rest of Dante’s family, and a mercurial eleven-year-old.  Voice of the Falconer brings Cesco to Verona with his entourage of protectors.  Through an onslaught of plots, surprises, and lessons, Cesco must make spectacular debuts, uncover secrets about his identity, and above all: survive.  Meanwhile, Pietro’s return finds him confronting both old friends and familiar demons.  With battles, intrigues, and references galore, this sequel retains all the momentum and excitement of its predecessor.

 

In Voice of the Falconer Blixt sets up all the players of “Romeo and Juliet,” enriching their characters and continuing to make them his own.  Entwining them with other Shakespearian tales like “Merchant of Venice” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” Blixt’s cleverness will delight fans and draw the Bard new ones.  Far from staying in Shakespeare’s shadow, these references spark seamlessly alongside history, prophecy, research, and philosophy.  Never less than an adventure, each aspect of Blixt’s novels carries multiple sides: passion, poetry, humor, mystery…Voice of the Falconer twists its cast through intriguing events without ever sacrificing depth of character.  This sequel’s ability to reintroduce readers to old friends after an eight year gap is impressive, but that pales to the achievement of showing such astute shifts in relationships and individuals through the novel.  Even laboring under the knowledge of many character’s deaths, Blixt’s portrayals give these people a marvelous wholeness and reality.

 

I’ve waited five years to read this sequel.  This book is worthy of that wait.  Its only problem is that I already care so deeply for many of these characters that remembering “Romeo and Juliet” grows painful.  Luckily, there is always one more quest for my heroes to follow, one more mystery needing to be solved, one more gorgeous sentence that I have to read twice.  Above all, there is so much of the plot left that I cannot foresee and that I absolutely need to know!

 

Blixt’s historical Italy was never a place for the faint of heart and this second book brings no relief, throwing readers through a gauntlet of anticipation, suspense, and wonder.  It’s a rough environment that not everyone will enjoy-definitely not a cozy, relaxing read.  For readers who thrive on challenging, intricate works, this is a gift for you.