Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reflections on the Anita Blake novels, books 1-6

The Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books are my two favorite series out there.  I love them both and the worlds Laurell K Hamilton created for them.  With that being said, I do tend to love the Merry series a bit more than the Anita series.  But I didn't understand WHY I loved one more than the other, so I decided to explore that a bit.  (It's an INFJ thing, I really can't help it.)

So I went back and read the first six books in the Anita Blake series and discovered some things:

  • I don't like Richard all that much.  And when I explored that is was because Richard could never accept himself fully, but expected Anita to accept him fully.  

  • You can always count on Jean-Claude to get the job done.  Whatever that job may be, if Anita asks it of Jean-Claude & it is within his power to do, it will get done.  

  • Vampires tend to kill less messily than lycanthropes.  This does not apply if either the vampire or the lycanthrope is mentally unstable.  Vampires sip their food while lycanthropes tear their's to pieces.  

  • Lycanthropes tend to be much more sexual than vampires.  They have a different kind of energy to them and lycanthropes tend to channel that more towards sex than vampires.

  • I really like when Edward and Anita are working together to take bad things out.  I really dislike when Edward and Anita are at odds.  They make a good professional team.

  • The second book was probably the hardest for me to read because of the murder scenes depicted.  But in terms of being pure evil, I'd say Dominga Salvador took the prize, not the killer zombie she raised.  Prize for most manipulative monster goes to Alejandro's master (whose name escapes me at the moment) who narrowly edges Raina out at being the most willing to use his underlings as fodder

  • As I've gotten older and have had more life-experience, I've realized that while Anita remains a favorite kick-ass heroine, she has some problematic personal issues.  Mainly being unreasonable at times.  But...nobody handles a gun like Anita ;-)

I will be continuing my re-read of the Anita Blake novels over the next few months.  A re-read of the Merry Gentry books will also happen, but I have no idea when at this point.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Running Interference

Something that Donald and I try really hard to make sure we're not doing is guilt-tripping or manipulating our kiddos.  I think it's safe to say that as parents we don't do either of these things very often (& this is something we're both very proud of.)

Others in our family don't consider how some of their actions could be considered manipulative.      Over Easter weekend I inadvertently walked in on Donald's mother telling our 9 year old daughter how she should go to a certain college and she could live with Grandma while she went to said college.  This was all said while Bess was sitting in Grandma's lap and Grandma was petting Bess' hair.

Rather than pointing out to my MIL that trying to coerce her granddaughter into agreeing to go to a college close to her was inappropriate, I kept my silence and thought about it.  And after some time I found a way to turn this into a learning experience. 

Talking about college had been quite a ways off in my know since the child is only 9 and all.  But since the topic had already been broached, I casually mentioned to Bess that if she applied to a few different colleges when she got older she'd have a better chance to get a scholarship.  Which can be explained to a 9 year old as free money to go toward that school.  Bess immediately brought up that Grandma wants her to go to the school close to where Grandma lives so Bess can live with her.  (Funny how that worked....)  In response to this I was able to point out that at that time it would be up to Bess to decide where she wanted to go to school.  And that if she didn't want to go to that particular school she didn't have to because it was her education.  I also explained that Bess could apply to as many or as few schools as she wanted to, and that we could talk about it more as she got older.  This seemed to give her more options and make her feel less that she needed to go to a particular school.  And she learned just a bit about scholarships.  So when Donald and I talked about it later that night, he was happy with the way I addressed the situation with Bess and I was happy that my 9 year old daughter no longer felt urged to go to a particular college.

All around I consider it a pretty good ending to something that didn't start out well ;-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I am Me

I read a wonderful blog entry from someone I consider a good friend & soul sister this morning.  Here's the link to that wonderful blog.  And as I read it I realized that it was okay I feel the apprehension and angst I feel every time my MIL comes to visit.  Because I really did try to be understanding and supportive of her feelings when I was at an earlier stage of my marriage.  And I received nothing positive from her in return.  I received more demands and no empathy from her, which is pretty standard for those with NPD.

Another thing I've realized is that I have emotional memories attached to the experiences I've had with my MIL that make it very difficult for me to relax when I'm in her presence.  The closest I've come to having anything like PTSD have been experiences associated with this woman.  And so, even though I go through all my breathing exercises, and coping methods when the MIL comes for a visit....I can never fully relax.  And it's okay that I don't like that.

And then I got to read another wonderful blog entry later today entitled You are not accidental that clued me in to this idea that maybe I NEED to understand that I can't really change my body's reaction to this particular person.  And I CAN accept that it may not change.  And I DON'T have to like it.  But even though I don't like this particular aspect of myself, I really and truly can say I love the complete package that I have become.  And since I'm still learning and growing, perhaps in time I'll be able to handle time with my MIL in a way I like.  But for now I just need to breathe and cope through it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What's your flavor?

Pretty much from the time I could string two words together I knew I loved books.  The term I lovingly use is bookworm and I have many friends who feel the same.  My preferences with books have changed through the years.  In my early teens I preferred fantasy and romance.  (This explains so much about my late teen years in retrospect.)  Once I reached my early twenties I loved reading psychological thrillers (Not horror.  Never horror.)  and supernatural romance.  

Now that I'm in my mid-thirties I can't stand reading your run of the mill romance.  If there's nothing supernatural in it I want nothing to do with it.  And much to my surprise I find I've been reading my preferred genre for the last few years without even knowing it.  My favorite series include:  The Merry Gentry series, Anita Blake (Vampire Hunter), The Hollows, Downside Ghosts, & the Wicked Lovely series.  Each and every one of these series is considered Urban Fantasy....and I had no idea until recently.  How funny is that?

So my fellow bookworms out there....what's your flavor or genre?