14 September 2011

WIP and teenage fiction.


My aran toggle wrap is doing quite nicely, even if slowly.  Sorry, it's not very interesting to look at, it's not very interesting to work on either, hence the dawdling.
I've done the shaping around the neck, and now I'm just repeating the whole thing, but in reverse.  ho hum.

The pattern is not very logical.  With the right side shaping you work directly onto the work, but the left side you are supposed to make separate and stitch on.  I just worked it straight onto the work, so it's seamless.  Once I've completed this monster I'll do a proper summary of all my mods.

Yarn Along

So technically I am not currently reading this, but it was so awesome I wanted to share anyway.  Also, the book actually mentions crocheting, the context of which I found hilarious:
Apparently serial-killing is a feasible alternative to crocheting!
Anyway... I just finished the latest Skullduggery Pleasant book.

Before you dismiss it as a children's book, I will tell you some of the reasons why I like it.

Reason No 1.  The author is awesome.

Last year, I went to an author book signing for the Dark Days tour. It was an odd experience. You had to register your attendance.  The lady on the phone said to me that the event was targeted towards 7-12 year olds.  I was 26 at the time.  'Can I still come please?'.  Getting to the event, we all got a little goodie bag.  The best item in it was a Dark Days t-shirt.  It was literally a size 4.  For a child *sigh*

The event totally was for children, there were a bunch of games, but when  Derek Landy came out to do his author spiel and answered questions, I was super impressed by how articulate and engaging he was.  Ok, I probably shouldnt have been surprised, words are his trade after all, but he was so interesting even though he writes supposed children's books.

At the time, there were talks about the series being made into a movie.  This has since fallen through.  Some of the kids asked questions about it.  In response, Landy compared getting a movie made with the film Battle RoyaleBattle Royale is a nutso movie about children forced to kill each other and is certainly not suitable for young audiences.   Yet Landy, conversationally, spoke about the cut-throat world of hollywood with reference to Battle Royale.

One point for Landy.

Then, there was the acutal book signing.  When it was my turn, Landy signed his name and drew a little skull.

'And this is Skullduggery' he said. 

I replied, 'Is that how he will look in the movie?'

[Landy chuckles] 'If we can get the special effects right!'  (OMG I made Derek Landy laugh.  One point for me also.)

Another point for Landy. 

On his blog, Landy calls himself 'the golden god', and his fans his 'Minions'.

Another point for Landy.

Reason No 2 - Skullduggery Pleasant

The title character is a skeleton detective sorcerer with impeccable dress sense who drives a Bentley.  He's also sarcastic, a total smart ass, and extremely narcissistic in a totally loveable way.  I will illustrate with one of my favourite quotes from the new book:

Skullduggery:  That would have been my first clue.
Reason No 3 - it is better than HP

I am going to lose some friends here.... the HP fandom is enormous.  People get pretty obsessed about it.  I personally lost interest in HP after the fourth book.  I found JK's stories to be stagnant and gratuitous.  The title character himself is annoyingSO whiney.  'Boo hoo poor me my parents died'.  Uggh!  Get over it!  I also found the books unoriginal and derivative.  (Go and read some Terry Pratchett and then come and talk to me about a good story).

In many ways, SP is very similar to HP.  Young protagonist drawn into a secret magical world the mortals (aka muggles) don't know about.  But the characters are so much more bad ass.  And clever.  And funny.  And memorable. And the bad stuff that happens is actually terrible bad stuff and you can understand why the characters are motivated to do what they're doing.  The stories move along at a cracking pace, and I always stay up far too late to get through that extra chapter...

I personally have a bit of a penchant for teenage fiction, so I found the SP world totally engaging.  Adult books can be soo boring and serious.

Today I'm linking my post to Yarn along and Tami's Amis.  Check 'em out for more yarn and literary delights!


  1. I love teen/young adult fiction (not sure if you've read the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, but I love it) - I really must check out SP now that I have read your post, you've sold me ;)

  2. I *love* YA fiction! (I'm 22 - that totally counts as young adult, right? ~_^) Skullduggery Pleasant is *awesome* and I loved that quote about crochet ... but I still love Harry Potter the most. You are totally right with all your points on the bad aspects of HP, but I just adore the basic premise behind the books that I am willing to overlook a whole lot of poor pacing, bad character development, and GIANT plot holes.

    Your wrap is looking good - I love the colour! ^_^ Good luck with it!

  3. Well I have no idea about this book- but you sold me. You sold me right around the time you mentioned *MY* favourite author- Terry Pratchett :) <3 him!
    I came over for the yarn along though, so kudos for keeping on the boring knit LOL
    I love aran- but only the cabling parts ;)

  4. You look like you have a handful of a project, i like the colour of it :)

    That book sounds pretty interesting, I like reading paranormal dark fantasy at the best of time...my current author is Laurell K Hamilton :)

  5. Hmmm, looks like I'll have to give your author a try. I'm 30something, and I read YA books. I like to tell myself that I'm reading them so that I'll know what is appropriate for my kids to read later. So what if they are only 6 and 4 and can't read yet. =)