Wednesday, February 21, 2018

False Birthdays in Real Life and Fiction

George Harrison's birthday is coming up in a few days--but exactly when is it? For most of George's life, he thought he was born on February 25th, but family documents later shown he was born on February 24th--at ten minutes to midnight. However, if you look at official online biographies for George, they all list February 25th. I guess the best thing for a devout Beatles fan to do is hold a two-day celebration for George.

While there are real-life instances where someone claims to have been born in a different year, I'm hard-pressed to think of an example where someone changes the date. The best example from fiction I can think of is from my own work. The mother of one of the Season Avatars deliberately registered her daughter with a false birthday to  hide her magic potential from her father. (More details are available in Scattered Seasons.) I suppose other fictional reasons for hiding one's true birthday would be to change when one is or isn't ready for school or the draft. It could also be part of a larger plan to disguise one's identity.

Have you ever come across someone who found out later in life that they'd been celebrating the wrong birthday? If you had the chance, would you want to move your birthday, and if so, why? Feel free to share in the comments.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Beyond Barnes and Noble

Last week, Barnes and Noble conducted its own version of a Saint Valentine's Day massacre by laying off many of its most experienced employees--including receiving managers, the people who keep the shelves stocked. While this move is meant to save them money, my gut feeling is that it's a desperation move that isn't going to save them. Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader gives the chain nineteen months before they go under. I'm not that optimistic; I think they'll declare bankruptcy in less than a year.

Before I got married, I used to hang out at my local Barnes and Noble when I wanted to get out of my apartment for a while. It was nice to browse, buy some books, and get a drink and a treat at the cafe while I wrote. These days, I seldom make it to the bookstore, and I don't spend as much there as I used to. Many of the books I buy are ebooks, and when I do order a paper book, I tend to get it from Amazon or at a convention. So while I'll be sad to see Barnes and Noble go, losing it won't have a big effect on my daily life. It'll be much more difficult for all the people employed by Barnes and Noble, and for authors who see a drop in sales through no fault of their own.

That said, when Barnes and Noble goes, there may be more opportunities for local bookstores, especially if they can host readings and other activities. Personally, I think Amazon will continue to be my default book store due to convenience and selection.

What kind of bookstores do you have in your area? Would you be affected if Barnes and Noble goes bankrupt? Feel free to share in the comments.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Favorite Literary Couples

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm doing better, though it'll probably be a couple more days before I'm feeling 100%.

In honor of the day, I thought I'd mention some of my favorite literary couples. In general, I like reading about relationships where there's more focus on witty banter than body parts and the love develops over time. For banter, I like Benedick and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing (particularly since I've seen the movie version a few times) and Alexia Tarabotti and Lord Maccon in Soulless. (In my opinion, their banter is best in this book.) I also liked The Time Traveler's Wife, since we see Henry and Clare's relationship develop over time (though it does feel a little odd that she developed a crush on him as a child).

What are your favorite literary couples? And would anyone be interested if I wrote a four-part series about the couples in the Season Avatars series? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Cupid and Psyche and Romeo and Juliet....

I was originally planning to post this on Wednesday for Valentine's Day, but I got the flu over the weekend. Although I'm doing better now, I wasn't up for blogging much on Sunday, so I decided to switch the schedule around a little. Hopefully I'll be ready to post something longer on Wednesday.

Anyway, if you're looking for something to read for Valentine's Day, why not consider my short story "Letters to Psyche"? Here's the blurb:

When the Greek god Cupid visits Verona, he foresees no problems uniting the Montague and Capulet families. But when Elisabeth Capulet and Giovanni Montague's love ends in tragedy, Elisabeth places a powerful curse not on just the families, but Cupid himself. Unable to visit his wife Psyche, he sends her letters detailing his efforts to undo the curse. Can the two of them save another generation of lovers, or will Cupid and Psyche be forever parted?

Available today (and always) for $0.99.

Site Meter