Now we’re on track

I’ve been meticulously scanning over my past blog entries, some of which are irritably short and more like from a military logbook than a personal journal of thought.  I’ve also noticed that I’ve stopped mentioning any of my current writing projects or reads thanks to the very psychotic Goodreads.  This needs to be rectified immediately.  Now.  Here.  After all, I’m way overdue for an up-close and personal entry.  Let’s get up-to-date!

Brief update (we don’t want to give them more attention than they deserve, now do we?): More changes to the site have been implemented.  The Examiner seems to never get enough of changes.  My review quota is now 330 book reviews and 212 movie reviews in total.

According to Goodreads, I read approximately 30 books in 2011, all of varying length.  I finally finished the Twilight series, the Harry Potter series…I read many classics and young adult books…I also took adult fiction seriously for the first time.  Island by Jane Rogers was an ear-bleeding challenge that was worth it in the end.  I fell in love (or close to it) with Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel series after reading the author’s dream casting of her main characters (especially Michael Fassbender as the enigmatic Lars), which in turn led me to reading volume #3 (A Game of Lies) right after volume #1 (A Trace of Smoke).  Now all I have to do is read volume #2 (A Night of Long Knives) and I’ll be prepared for volume #4 (A City of Broken Glass), which comes out this July.  However, now I’m set on reading some recommended books, one of which is Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle (thank you Bookshop Talk and Romola Garai!).  I have big plans for my reading list, because several new series are on it.  The order in which I will read them is, thanks again to Goodreads, the only unpredictable thing left.  Signing up for a delightful site called NetGalley is one of the few benefits of my book reviews for the Examiner.  For once, I just may be able to review e-book ARCs before the books are released to the public.  Hopefully.


My last blog entry outlined some of my troubles that have recurred in 2012 already.  Now I’m going to add to the list.  It seems that despite previous warnings, the Fresno Police Department and its Gestapo members will not desist in their constant harrassment of me and my mom.  They won’t leave us in peace.  Why, last Sunday (Jan. 29) at 11:30 p.m., we were bothered yet again by another swaggering and rude Nazi in uniform who tried to interrogate us out of turn and threaten us.  The same “procedure” repeated a few days later at night (Feb. 2 at 10:30 p.m.) and during broad daylight.  Yes, broad daylight.  This all makes me wonder if living in Europe during World War II was as terrifying and dangerous as living in Fresno now.  After all, during those times the world was in a state of war, but now we’re supposedly in a state of PEACE.  Yeah right.

Back to the drawing board from my reality check-list: what am I watching these days?  Well, I got to watch series 4 of the British TV show Merlin at the same time as the British, and since October 2011, I’ve been faithfully following season 1 of Once Upon a Time, an American TV show that is creative, original, and very appreciative of fairy tales.  I like them.  All too much.  Conclusion: I’m attached to Merlin, Once Upon a Time…and Colin Morgan.  Ahem.

Anyway…the horror of being in my shoes and the glaring lack of change for the better in my life is only adding more loads to my heavy bundle of pessimism.  Or couldn’t you tell?  Congratulations, loyal reader.  Together, we’re now on top of the events in my life so far in 2012.

Natalie Gorna

March 23rd

The Examiner is making changes again on the entire site, especially all Examiners’ articles and reviews.  Now they’ve stuck some horrible ad right in the middle of each article/review, interrupting its content.  Ugh.  Speaking of which, my tally for last week was 191 book reviews and 73 movie reviews in total, and this week will be…194 book reviews and 76 movie reviews in total.  🙂  Grooveshark is also updating its site, which is good and bad at the same time.

I finished reading the sixth Harry Potter book, as well as Alex Flinn’s Cloaked and…Breaking Dawn!  Yes, I finished reading the Twilight series once and for all.  But that was last week…this week, I’m starting new reads (of course).  But you’ll have to look to my Goodreads page to find out what those are…or is it too obvious? 😉

On the movie front (and I rarely mention this)…I watched the first season of a new series that I will certainly add to my list of favorites.  It’s the British TV series Merlin, and it’s an innovative take on the King Arthur legends.  And yes, it’s a live-action series.  🙂  I’m now waiting patiently to watch the second season on DVD, which could be sooner or later…I’d rather it was sooner.  The third season already aired on TV, but it’s not on DVD yet.

Well, back to the writing and reviewing board…always.

Natalie Gorna

December 18th

I finally reviewed Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball and its sequel, Princess of Glass, on the Examiner.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), the total review of both books had to be divided into five parts.  The first two parts create my review of Princess of the Midnight Ball, and the last three parts are my review of Princess of Glass.  I can’t help that I write long reviews…I have a lot to say about novels that I like. 🙂 

My “reading list” hasn’t changed, except that I’m beginning to read volume#5 in the Harry Potter series.  This volume is maybe the longest in the series—almost 900 pages!  That ties with Meyer’s Breaking Dawn for length.  By the way, I still have not worked up my resolve to read that novel and finish the Twilight series.  Perhaps I’m just not eager to see literary self-destruction in a work of fiction.  The turns this series has taken…Meyer knows how to twist a love triangle.  That’s why my favorite vampire novels remain Kate Cary’s two Bloodline novels and Bekka Black’s iDrakula.  I am currently reading Stoker’s Dracula, and I can now appreciate fully the clever changes Kate Cary and Bekka Black made in their own versions of this story.  My eyes have been opened wider in regards to the similarities between characters and the plots. 

Aside from that, I’m still reading as many novels as I listed in my last blog entry.  I’ve worked hard this week, as I always do with my writing and tutoring jobs…but this week and next week, I’ll have to work even harder.

Natalie Gorna