Tag Archives: reading

Hellenic Immortal Blog Tour Interview with Gene Doucette

Have you heard of Adam? He’s immortal… but that isn’t the only interesting thing about him. He is somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 years old, but looks 32. He charms the ladies and is often drunk, but what better ways to pass the time? Of course, you cannot discount his encounters with supernatural beings and his entanglements with ancient Greek mythology… Well, let’s hear a little from Adam and his creator, Gene Doucette, about the sequel to Immortal: Hellenic Immortal.

Adam: We’re talking today with Gene Doucette, the author of Immortal and the upcoming Hellenic Immortal, due out on May third. Tell me what these books are about, Gene.

Gene: Um.

Adam: What?

Gene: They’re about you, dude. Why are you doing that?

Adam: I’m supposed to be interviewing you. That’s what you told me.

Gene: Could you do it without the cardboard toilet paper tube?

Adam: I don’t have a microphone.

Gene: It’s a print interview.

Adam: Fine. Talk about Hellenic Immortal. Or what you had for breakfast or something. Whatever.

Gene: When I wrote Immortal I more or less avoided entirely a significant portion of history: the classical Greek period. Now obviously you spent time there, but so much more happened during that era it didn’t make sense to talk about it as Just Another Time like it would have had I stuck it into Immortal. It almost deserved its own book.

Adam: Plus there was that whole thing about it not being relevant to the events in Immortal.

Gene: Right. Although I hope we don’t have to wait for something from the distant past to resurface and threaten your life before we can talk about it again, because I was kind of interested in Byzantium and the silk road and all of that, but none of that’s likely to come back to life and try and kill you.

Adam: That’s what we thought about the Eleusinians.

Gene: True enough.

Adam: Do you think people who liked the first book will like the second?

Gene: Well yeah, of course.

Adam: I know it’s a stupid question, just go with it.

Gene: Okay, okay. I think the second book has a different kind of pace to it. It’s slightly more mature, because as a writer I was slightly more mature when I wrote it. We also spend more time discussing philosophy and religion, which is not inherently pulse-pounding.

Adam: So it’s boring.

Gene: Oh my god do you not want people to read it??

Adam: It’s not boring.

Gene: No it’s not boring. It’s intellectually more challenging. Especially the Silenus passages. Plus there are plenty of folks who are trying to kill you, which is diverting.

Adam: Diverting, you say.

Gene: More interesting than you talking about drinking for two hundred pages.

Adam: Hey, I thought that was a pretty good first draft.

Gene: I think we’re done, yes?

Adam: Close enough.

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DBT – Books I Never Thought Would Help Me

Within the next few days I will be posting information about some books I have read recently about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and its use in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression. I have a read several books and if you suffer from any of these problems, this may just be a post you don’t want to miss.

 

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Can We Talk Shakespeare?

I can. My son is reading Hamlet for English and can’t make any sense of it. He haltingly read a brief passage aloud and slammed the book shut with frustration. I took it from him, and in my most regal voices with fake English accents, read the passage he just had. And with a little prodding, he “got it”.

He planned to resort to a modern translation, which would work if tests, essays, and homework could rely on the translated copy. But they won’t. And thus, he must read the Bard’s words.

Sometimes all it takes is reading aloud with some inflection and the appropriate dialectical sounds to clarify meaning. I’ve always loved reading aloud, especially accents – my kids were particularly fond of my “Hagrid” – so it seems that I will be reading Hamlet with him, aloud. We will discuss it… and he will hopefully gain some understanding and respect for Shakespeare and I will get to relive the glorious days when my children enjoyed being read to….

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Time Out for Some Classics and Self Help

Did I mention that I was reading with my kids? They’re teens, so it’s less and less often that our reading lists cross paths, but I decided to read what they were reading in school with them last month.

Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None was brilliant. Imagine having the ability to have ten people on an island and ALL of them end up murdered. Who is the murderer? You’ll have to read it yourself. This is mystery writing at its best.

My other son read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. His summary? It’s about a guy with a really crappy life. Very good assessment. But also incredibly written. The writing simply pulled me in and wouldn’t let go. This is how it’s done, folks. It’s a classic, and there’s a reason. Just start it and try to tell me that you can put it down and not find out how Ethan became the man he is…

I also took the time to check out a nonfiction book: Just One Thing by Rick Hanson, PhD. Based on the principles of simplicity derived from ancient wisdom (Buddha, anyone?), Dr. Hanson offers small way to enrich your life. Rather than being either a dry, research journal or a pep rally of inane advise, Just One Thing combines meditative techniques and neuro research to rewire your brain towards positive thinking. Anybody can handle these small changes, and everyone will benefit from them.

I’m currently trying to find time to read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. This is a long one, but it reminds me of Harry Potter a bit, so I’m thinking I’ll stick with it.

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