Thursday, March 20, 2008

Random Subject: Podcasts

Okay, so this isn’t really book related necessarily…but it can be!

I recently discovered the joy of podcasts. Okay, so it was really this summer, but I thought I had posted this ages ago. Obviously it never made it. Anyway…

If you don’t know what podcasts are, they are like mini radio or audio clips that can be downloaded to your computer and MP3 players (like an iPod) for you to listen to at youre leisure. That probably isn’t the best definition, since these programs can vary so widely in their content (ANYONE can make these!), so if you’re still confused you should probably go Google a definition.

My brother introduced me to the world of podcasts. For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know how much of a Disney fan I am. Brandon (my brother) introduced me to a podcast called Inside the Magic. This show is a purely Disney-related podcast, and it’s really great. Well, once I got started I couldn’t stop. You’d be amazed at what you can find out there. There was even a Podcast Audio Tour available to people when we went to view the Post Parade viewing of the Tournament of Roses Parade floats in January. Very cool!

A lot of these are available from iTunes for free. You don’t even need to have an iPod to download or listen to podcasts. I do have one, which makes it even more fun since I can listen to shows when I’m walking uphill to class and back, but that’s beside the point.

So you know how I mentioned earlier that this could be book-related? Here’s how. Once you start looking for podcasts, you’ll see them pop up everyway, including in the book industry. For those of you who don’t know about it, one of our very own kidlitosphere bloggers has been producing book reviews via a podcast called Just One More Book! The other one I can think of off the top of my head (and it’s great, so you should go download it) is a podcast series produced by Random House interviewing Tamora Pierce (one of my all-time favorite authors), Christopher Paolini, and Phillip Pullman. You can find a link to it above, or just search for it in iTunes. HarperCollines has also gotten on the podcast bandwagon lately, with an author podcast for both their children's and teen books.

I’m sure there is way more out there, you just have to find them. If you know of one, or stumble across something good, send me an email and let me know. I’d love to help spread the word, and chances are good that I’ll eventually become addicted to the show too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Random: Am I the only one who hasn't heard of this?

So I'm doing research for a magazine article in one of my classes about the ghosts that supposedly haunt Hampton Court Palace in England. I'm thinking mostly about Catherine Howard (Henry VIII's fifth wife) who has been spotted running down a room known as the Haunted Gallery shrieking for her life to be spared (she was beheaded shortly thereafter).

But this I didn't know. Maybe I just hadn't heard about this because I'm not a ghost enthusiast, but apparently there was a ghostly spotting in October 2003. You can read more about the incident here, but this is the video that is "proof" of the incident. Kinda spooky, even if it isn't real....

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Update: Brandon Mull

Okay, so now I finally have time to catch you all up on my meeting with Brandon Mull (if you need a refresher about why I’m posting this, you can read the first post here).

We decided to meet over dinner (Me, Brandon Mull, and his sister Summer) so that he could be close to the store where the book signing happened that night. The meeting was set for 5:00, I got home from class at 3:40. So what did I do with all that time?

I fussed about my appearance. Anyone from my family or my roommates can tell you I’m not one to worry about looks, but I fussed and primped for over an hour. I think my roommates were quite entertained by the whole show, actually. I was so nervous I was about to hyperventilate. After all, this was only my second time meeting an author, and it would be for almost a whole hour.

As usual, it turned out I was worried about nothing. Both of them are really nice, so that’s always a plus. Besides, once I get started talking about books, I really can’t stop. :-) We talked a lot about the blogging world (since that’s why he wanted to meet with me), and I couldn’t resist discussing his books. I have a one track mind, I guess.

So overall, here’s my thoughts about the whole experience:
First of all, the steakhouse in my town has really good strawberry lemonade. :-)

Secondly, Brandon Mull is a very down-to-earth guy. He seems almost surprised (but happy, of course) that his books are doing so good. And by the way, if you read the Fablehaven series, don’t forget that the new one comes out in April (and if you don’t read them, go start. Now!). He assures me they get better and better as the series goes on, and the fourth should be out sometime next year.

One good thing about the whole experience is that I have finally managed to lose my residual guilt over reading YA books. When we were talking about blogging, he asked me what types of books I enjoyed reading most, and I admitted that I “never grew out of Young Adult lit.” His answer was “neither did I.” Isn’t that the best ever!

Well, that’s about all I can think about right now to tell. I think I covered most of it. If you have questions about what I missed let me know.

And Brandon, if you read this, thank you so much for the experience!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Many Many Updates

Whew! It’s been a busy weekend. I had another hour 6 Genetics test this weekend, in addition to all my other homework… *sigh*

But there is good news! I had enough time to update all the lists that keep track of what I do on this blog. This was done in anticipation of whole slew of new posts I hope to be posting soon. So now you can see the updated review list, book lists list (awkward name, I know), poetry list, and the progress I’ve made on both the 888 Challenge and the A to Z Challenge.

I know I promised you a post about my meeting with Brandon Mull on Wednesday, and it is coming, I promise. Right after I slog through the rest of my homework pile… I’m still writing the post up, but as soon as I have it written I will post it.

And speaking of Brandon Mull, you should check out Teens Read Too’s March contest from Shadow Mountain. They are picking fifty (50) winners this month, and one of the prizes is the first two books in the Fablehaven series. Very cool!

Until my homework dragon is defeated… Happy Reading!