Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dear Microsoft Word,

You amuse me. Truly, you would think I know how to spell my own name. This applies to character names as well. It’s not really that difficult, and I would like to tell you now that you are wrong. Please do not misunderstand me when I say you are not the final authoritative voice in my writing career.
What’s more, you irritate me, Word. For the last time, would zou stop changing the language settings to German when I clearlz tzpe English_ Sure, my last name is German, but that is no reason to switch the settings everz time I tzpe Klein.
While I do not apologize for my frustrations, I would like to thank you for correcting my spelling mistakes. Of course, I turned off Auto Correct because I meant Ecuador not equator.
I greatly appreciate Track Changes. It is great tool for writers, like myself, who does not want to keep all eight printed drafts of a story. Of course, I will still continue to print out my stories because I can catch more mistakes, and paper is easier on my eyes. Yes, Word make my eyes water after several hours. Thanks (but no thanks) for the reading glasses, by the way!
In essence, the dependence upon technology in our age has gone too far, for how can I, or anybody, learn how to spell properly, or how to use a comma properly, if you believe that all long sentences are incorrect, even though they just happen to be compound and complete? What’s more, how can I learn to trust my own judgment and learn from my mistakes if I always rely upon you?


Azelyn (not Ashley)

P.S. Despite our long relationship, I am considering purchasing a typewriter. Not that I think I will make any fewer mistakes (I may need to learn how to type properly), but at least I could learn.

Disclaimer: This is not a formal complaint against Microsoft or any associated
products. It is just meant to be a humorous approach to why people should not
entirely depend upon technology.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: "The Scorpio Races" by Maggie Stiefvater

I found the cover very attractive,
and I think this paperback edition
fits the feel of the story.
Book: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Awards: Michael L. Printz Award (2012)
My rating: 5/5 stars
One word description: Enchanting

I was first recommended this book by a professor and later was required to read it for my young adult literature class. The Scorpio Races is probably one of my favorite books I have read in 2014.

An adaptation of the legends of water horses, in this book referred to as the capaill uisce, this fantasy is told from the perspectives of Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick. The entire book is told from first person, but both Puck and Sean have different, distinguishable voices, and the sections are divided by a clear caption of the character narrator.

“This time of year, I live and breathe the beach. My cheeks feel raw with the wind throwing sand against them. My thighs sting from the friction of the saddle. My arms ache from holding up two thousand pounds of horse. I have forgotten what it is like to be warm and what a full night’s sleep feels like and what my name sounds like spoken instead of shouted across yards of sand. I am so, so alive.” –Sean Kendrick

The writing style is masterful, creating a vivid, mysterious, and foreign setting. This fictional place has a feel of its own, and is so well-developed that it seems like an actual place. The characters are equally well-developed and seem human. None of them are perfect, although they may have good and relatable attributes.

The book may have a slower paces, but it has the capability to draw reader in, such as myself, with its wonderfully rounded characters and beautiful yet terrifying capaill uisce. I have always enjoyed horses, and had one of my own for a short time. However, like Puck, I find that I would probably not be capable with handling a capall uisce.

Because of some of the language in the book and the ceremony during the rider's parade, I would not recommend this book for anybody under 13. The book also contains several dark and violent elements, but they are handled well.
I can easily see why this book is an winner of the Printz Award, so I gave it five out of five stars. The book is original, imaginative, and enchanting in its mysterious way. I would recommend this book to young adults who enjoy fantasy and/or horses. Readers do not have to enjoy horses, but it helps. I definitely intend to read this book again.

Have you read The Scorpio Races? If so, what did you think of it?
Which book should I review next? (Remember: no classics) Comment below!