Required Reading – The Rants: Grendel by John Gardner

I didn’t exactly love every book I read for ‘school’ purposes, no, but it was rare I was left with the ‘I want to set this book on fire’ reaction.

Required Reading, book rants, Grendel, John Gardner, Serena Saint-Marceaux, classic books

The book for my Required Reading Rave came to me immediately when we Ferrets were discussing this series. As it happened, a few minutes later when I was trying to think of required reading books I utterly loathed . . . this one came to mind almost as quickly.

 

A Classic I Loathe:
Grendel, by John Gardner

Grendel, classics, required reading, John Gardner, book rant

Grendel, by John Gardner

. . .oh, the irony. I actually wasn’t going to choose this book for this post, much as I hate the dratted thing, but . . . well, among other things, Michelle encouraged me to do so. After the third time since our Ferret Meeting in January that she has heard parts of my rant about this bloody godsforsaken book

Okay, deep breaths. It’s okay – I’m calm. Continue reading

The Ferret Libraries – Serena’s Collection

 

Prepare to be welcomed on a tour of my dragon hoard of books! (I always did like the term ‘bookwyrm’ more than ‘bookworm’.)

Having seen Ferret Lissa’s collection both in person (before) and in her post recently. . . I’m actually still not entirely sure who owns more books. Definitely safe to say either Lissa or I, of the Ferret cadre, though!

(Note: upon finishing this post, I am still not sure if I have more books or if Lissa does. Either way, though, mine are far less . . . ‘contained’. Also I have spent almost a full day on this project, which amazes me.)

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Welcome to the Ferret Libraries!

There’s not much we Ferrets love more than books!

In our last series, we talked about some classics – and I’m sure we’ve still more to say on that topic. . . – but while this next series is still all about books, it is in a very different way.

In the coming weeks, each Ferret will introduce you to her personal library via her own words and pictures.

Each of us may share what fascinating books make up our collections, how we organise them (or don’t), the way we’ve stored them, how we’ve acquired them, how many we may not quite have managed to read yet. . .

You may even see how much of our space has been simply blatantly taken over by our books. (Which leads us on the never-ending quest for More Book Space!)

“If you have enough book space, I don’t want to talk to you.”
~Terry Pratchett

I kid – we’re happy to talk to anyone about books! But I’m not sure any of the Ferrets have enough book space. . .

Really, what we have to say about our libraries is probably as varied as, well, the libraries themselves! Come back next week and Rebekah will start us off. We hope you enjoy!

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a half-read book over there just calling my name!

 
What about your own personal library? Is it big or small? Organised or simply . . . organised chaos? 😉 Have you read most (or even all!) of your collection, or do you have a ‘to be read’ stack tall enough to be a structural hazard? We’d love to hear about it!

And most importantly . . . do you have enough book space?

Required Reading — The Raves: Beowulf

When we Ferrets sat down and discussed this series I knew instantly what I wanted to talk about for my post. And can you get much more classic than the oldest (surviving) epic poem in the English language?

required reading the raves, required reading, fictional ferrets, rabid rainbow ferret society, classic books, book recommendation, Beowulf, Serena Saint-Marceaux

I’ve read many classics over the years, and surprisingly few of them were under the dreaded label of ‘Required Reading’ though that may be in part due to my unorthodox school life. (That may also be why I often didn’t know I was reading a classic or something that might be ‘required reading’ material.) It may also be because I dove into them early.

Beowulf remains a stand-out among them in my memory for a number of reasons, though it wasn’t the first classic I read. Continue reading

A Peek at the Ferret Dictionary

We Ferrets have been recovering from NaNoWriMo – and preparing for/launching into the holiday season now upon us, as it is always a little bit of a surprise after the madness of NaNo fades back into the ‘real world’. . .

So have a bit of silliness from the Ferret Archivist. It’s been several years since I last shared anything from the Ferret Archives, and here are some more words spotlighted from the Ferret Dictionary.

15th century manuscript with original binding

Photo by Erwan Plougonven, used under CC BY-SA 4.0. (Resized. Otherwise unchanged.)

The Ferret Dictionary is a collection of words to refer to concepts or objects that simply don’t have a proper word – or did not before the Ferrets came along to fix things! Their most common source is typos (ones that are entertaining enough to make us think they need an explanation) and often more than one of us will come up with the same meaning for one as soon as we decide a particular word is deserving of it.

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Wrapping Up NaNoWriMo 2016 with the Ferrets!

It’s time for triumph! Right?

NaNoWriMo 2016 Winner's Banner - space-themed

Each of the Ferrets below launched herself into NaNo – with or without a plan, to be quite honest with you, and not all of those plans survived engagement with NaNoWriMo proper – and forged ahead, making progress on her chosen project (or projects).

We attended write-ins, we made ourselves laugh or cry – and that’s just at the process of writing, before we even get to the content – we developed some truly impressive NaNo-fingers and NaNo-brains leading to nifty new and creative typos. . .

Life forgot that there’s supposed to be an allowance for NaNo and threw obstacles in our paths, but we made it through anyway!

Let’s say goodbye to NaNoWriMo for this year with a last word from each of us about this year’s session and our works for it.

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NaNoWriMo Week Three! – Ferret Updates

We’re three weeks in and the Ferrets are fighting to catch up and fighting through the universe’s distractions and to be honest with you while I’m not the only Ferret who is dead tired this (Monday) evening, I am definitely a little frazzled.

Week three is traditionally the doldrums, when momentum slows and things began to tangle even if you had an outline, when the excited launch of week one fades and the word-high of week two gives way to the realisation that NaNoWriMo can be kind of tough, you guys, wait I only have how much time left?

It’s hit all of us Ferrets in different ways, but I don’t think any of us were quite ready to realise we were three weeks into NaNo already, whatever the state of our projects!

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NaNoWriMo Week Two! – Ferret Updates

Here we are again already? NaNo’s charging through quick!

This time I am not writing this at a write-in, around Box of Doom challenges, with most of the other Ferrets sitting around me typing furiously. (Instead, I’m curled sleepily in a pile of blankets trying to muster the awakeness to get some writing done before midnight, while most of the other Ferrets run a sprint – I’ll have to join in on the next one!)

Our next write-in is tomorrow (Tuesday), and while I can’t speak for everyone in the region, it seems like the Ferrets are all hoping it will let us catch up a little closer to where we should be wordcount-wise. It’s been a busy week since the last update, and several of us have had disruptive incidents – the universe always seems to forget to make allowances for the fact that NaNoWriMo happens in November.

Here’s to hopefully catching up, and hopefully a more even keel week three!
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NaNoWriMo Week One! – Ferret Updates

We’re a full week into NaNoWriMo now! I can hardly believe it. . .

So. Week one: we’re doing this NaNo thing! There are . . . words. All of the words! All of the words . . . are currently being used in our novels. We have rambled the leftovers here.

All of us have attended at least one local write-in, of which there have already been several. (In fact, Monday night as I type this up I am sitting in a line with Eris and Michelle, and Rebekah is busily at work behind me – we’re set up at a write-in right now!) There have been upheavals and upsets, busy days and borked outlines. . .

But we have all rallied and charged onwards, and week one is the time for the brightest optimism and freshest look at our stories! (Even if they aren’t entirely sure what they want to be yet.)

Total Goal: 50,000
Goal for End of Day Seven: 11,666

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Welcome to NaNoWriMo!

It’s NaNoWriMo time again!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Banner - space-themed

This wonderful event is what first brought the Ferrets together and we all have a fondness for the madness and magic of NaNoWriMo. (If you’ve never tried it before, but you’ve wondered about writing or felt you needed a kickstart at it, you might give it a try – could be just the thing to help you out! At least two of us signed up at the last minute our first year – Michelle and I, Serena – and still both enjoyed and won NaNoWriMo.)

We’ve talked about NaNo before, so I won’t cover old ground (too much) – besides, I have preparations for NaNo-ing with which I should be busying myself!

Among us we Ferrets have two MLs (Municipal Liaisons; they are magic and coordinate events – and everything – for our region), a handwriter, a dual-project/double-goal writer, and a rebel poet. We’ve quite a range, and we’ll be checking in weekly here with updates on each of our projects! You can also follow each of our progress, save that of our lone poet, at our profiles on the NaNoWriMo site itself. Continue reading