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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 04:34pm on 17/07/2013 under , ,
Sure, my book was technically released in print two months ago, but I didn't know you could do a giveaway on Goodreads until now! Enter to win a free copy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Don't Ask by Laura Hughes

Don't Ask

by Laura Hughes

Giveaway ends August 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 09:53am on 17/04/2013 under , ,
I've got a book out today!

Cover of Dont Ask showing a girl with a rainbow flag and a boy in fatigues

Reasons you might like this book:

- You like gay and lesbian young adult coming-of-age and/or romance!

- You like action, military honor, training sequences, joyriding, fighting!

- You like makeovers, shopping, and The Big Dance!

At Prizm Books

At Torquere Press

I'm promised it will be on Amazon and Barnes & Noble within the next few days, and I absolutely do not blame you if you wait for those outlets for your Kindles and your Nooks and whatnot. Whispersync!

Here's some more stuff:

A brief excerpt!

My making-of post on the Prizm blog!
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 10:56am on 19/02/2013 under ,
Forget the previous entry about DVDs. Clear it from your mind.

Instead, here is a post about books! These are DIFFERENT books from the books listed previously. These are ones I've held onto for a reason, even if that reason is not that I ever, ever read them. Many are SORTA HARD TO FIND! Others make great LEND-OUTS! Comment or email me if you want any of these.

THE CUCKOO'S EGG: Once our most prized thrift store find, this charmingly 1970s account of catching a hacker on the u.c. berkeley arpanet is now on kindle!

FRENCH DICTIONARY/FRENCH GRAMMAR BOOK: It's amazing how long I've kept this considering I never read or speak French and Google translate exists. The grammar book is sorta nice to have anyway, lists verb conjugations and grammar rules.

GOOD OMENS: Ditto, it's on kindle but I kept it to lend out. Anyone need a paperback? (Also, I think this was originally Paul's!)

HARRIET THE SPY: Is on kindle. Anyone want a super old paperback??

HOW TO WRITE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY by Orson Scott Card: Huge inspiration to me when I was younger, and includes some great general writing advice mixed in, but I just never write science fiction and fantasy.

IS HEATHCLIFF A MURDERER? by John Sutherland - Puzzles in classic literature, i.e. essays about lingering questions in books by Jane Austen, George Eliot, Trollope and more. Really good but I've only read a fraction of the books it's about. Hard to find.

LUCK IN THE SHADOWS: This is the only pulp fantasy book I like on account of the gay elves, but it's on kindle so I'll almost certainly reread it there if I ever want to. I kept the physical copy for lending out, but I think I've lent it to everyone now. Please message if you would like to borrow it--forever!

JANE EYRE illustrated by DAME DARCY: The illustrations are cool, but I am certain to reread this on kindle, I know because I have already done so!

MAURICE by E.M. Forster: Fun explicitly gay romance written in 1910s, not on Kindle, but I probably won't read it again unless and until it is.

THE MOST OF S.J. PERELMAN: I never read this anymore but it was a great inspiration when I was writing Lance and Eskimo articles. It's also impossible to find.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: For some reason I thought it was important to keep a physical copy of this, but I have it on kindle.

THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION: Ditto on hard to find, sort of a published Sherlock Holmes and Freud fan fiction thing, fun but I probably won't read it again.

STELLA DALLAS: 90s trade paperback. I probably won't read this again, but it's sorta hard to find.

THREE MUSKETEERS: There are versions of this on Gutenberg etc, but the Modern Library hardback has a better translation, I think. I probably won't re-read it (I don't re-read books nearly as much as I think I do), so you're welcome to it!
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 10:43am on 18/01/2013 under
I am happy to announce (to anyone who hasn't already heard me squee) that my first novel is going to be published by Prizm Books on April 17! I can't wait.
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If the Just A Minute! regulars decided to record a radio play of the Sarah Caudwell mysteries, this would be the cast.

Hilary Tamar - Jenny Eclair or Julian Clary (your choice)
Julia Larwood - Josie Lawrence
Michael Cantrip - Paul Merton
Selena Jardine - Sue Perkins
Desmond Ragwort - Kit Hesketh-Harvey
Basil Ptarmigan - Nicholas Parsons

I just thought you should know.
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 04:26pm on 23/02/2012 under , , ,
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 07:53pm on 22/02/2012 under ,
I finally read the Hunger Games series like everybody said to!

Spoilers ahead, but only vaguely )
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 10:55pm on 17/03/2011 under , ,
You all know that I like the "Alice" series of girl-growing-up books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. (Slice of life minutia of not very angsty teens is my comfort genre.) So far she's written about 20 of them, and you can't get through 20 books without some bizarre recurring themes. Without further ado I present to you

The Alice Series Drinking Game

Drink whenever:

  • Alice learns about the vulva for the first time
  • Somebody's bridesmaid backs out at the last minute and the dress happens to fit Alice
  • Alice hilariously pranks her brother
  • Alice makes a pass at her brother
  • Moustaches are deemed sexy
  • Teachers don't understand that theirs isn't Alice's only subject
  • Teenagers openly discuss "the runs"
  • The Melody Inn carries a product that belittles and demeans a classical composer
  • Alice is embarrassed about playing Tarzan with Donald Sheavers at age eleven
  • Alice is escorted home by the police

I'd do a Baby-sitters Club drinking game, but it would take a long time to type everything up and you would be super trashed by chapter 2.
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My most recent pop psychology book is The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. The thesis, which I haven't really seen explored elsewhere, is that sometimes having more choices can make you feel less free--or at least less satisfied with the outcome of your choices. It's really more the "counterintuitive results of choice" than a paradox, but it is still interesting to think about.

A lot of the examples were shopping-related. I have noticed that when I want to buy something, I tend to actually be less satisfied if I spend a long time gathering "maybe" candidates from amazon and other websites, comparing them with options from local stores, reading reviews, becoming a mini-expert in the field, etc., than if I just bought the first one that occurred to me. The book gave some solid reasons why that might be:

- Considering many options, with different pluses and minuses, makes you more aware of trade-offs, and as the list of discarded options grows, so does the list of potential pluses you're giving up, while the list of pluses to the one you actually pick stays the same.

- Investing a lot of time in a decision may net you a slightly better result, or it may not; but it definitely means you're more disappointed if it doesn't work out. You can't say, "Oh, well, easy come, easy go."

- Investing a lot of time in a decision means you're putting pressure on yourself. Not only are you generally disappointed if it doesn't work out, but you blame yourself for making the wrong choice.

The same concepts apply to bigger choices, too, like what career to have or who to marry. While the book doesn't go so far as to champion a world with the economic and social boundaries that made those kinds of choices impossible, it does kind of skirt the line sometimes.

And that's about it. The book really reads like a 1,000 word essay expanded to 200 pages with mostly filler. There are some good experiment descriptions, but there's also a lot of self-helpy advice stuff. I would have preferred more on the science.

In case you're wondering, here are Schwartz's suggestions for overcoming choice paralysis:

- Arbitrarily limit the number of choices you're considering, for example by picking from among the available options in a single store instead of going to multiple stores. (Admittedly this one is easier for shopping than for big things like career changes. But a similar exercise for the bigger decisions is to make a "yes" or "no" decision on each option that comes up, rather than attempting to compare several. i.e. only consider the possible pluses and minuses of taking job B if you have already decided "no" on job A. This seems impossible to actually do, though.)

- Before considering any options, decide on certain requirements. Then, take the first thing that meets those requirements, refusing to care that there might be something better somewhere out there. (This one is nice because it applies equally well to buying jeans or getting married... although it is a little unromantic on both cases. I really want to believe that my jeans are the perfect jeans for me!)
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posted by [personal profile] lauraredcloud at 02:16pm on 14/09/2010 under ,
In the new-to-me Baby-sitters Club book I'm reading, narrator Claudia informs us she will introduce the baby-sitters by explaining what animal they would be. Kristy, for example, would be a dog, because she is loyal and hardworking. I was interrupted before I got to read what the rest of them would be, so I don't know yet, but here are my guesses )

What do you think?? I think I am probably not correct, especially since I said multiple people were bees.


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