Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Josh’s Acceptance Speech at SPJ Dinner

Josh’s Acceptance Speech at SPJ Dinner:
“There is a war on journalism and I am a POW. I am not the first. And I will probably not be the last. But I’d like to thank the Northern California chapter of SPJ for recognizing how crucial this matter is and for honoring the resistance of Mark, Lance and myself by naming us Journalists of the Year.”
Josh Wolf’s acceptance speech at Northern California Society for Professional Journalists dinner on November 9, 2006
SPJ blog post with a picture at: prenpressclub.org

Also from his blog: There is an awesome benefit planned for December 7, at 7:30 PM at the Balzo Gallery, 2183 Mission in San Francisco, between 17th and 18th Street. Speakers include Mark Leno, California Assemblyman, Chris Daley and Ross Mirkirimi, San Francisco Supervisors, David Greene, Executive Director of the First Amendment Project and one of Josh’s lawyers, Sarah Olson, Independent Journalist and Jane Kim, newly elected to the San Francisco school board. A short film about Josh made by friends and filmakers, Kevin Epps and Njeri Sims will be shown. I wish I could be there.

MySpace to ‘block sex offenders’

MySpace to ‘block sex offenders’:
Social networking website MySpace says it will release tools to identify and block US sex offenders from its site.
Anyone else think it’s weird to specify “US” sex offenders? Like, what? Canadian child molesters are OK?

Oh, who am I kidding. There are no child molesters in Canada. As we all know, Canada is the beautiful land of happy people and lots of space to be free and have universal healthcare and lots of pot and gay sex.

Jailed media worldwide hits record: U.S. watchdog

Jailed media worldwide hits record: U.S. watchdog
(Reuters)
:
Lucie Morillon (L) of Reporters Without Borders, businessman and author Ethan Gutmann (2nd L) and Abi Wright (3rd L) of the Committee to Protect Journalists watch a video showing jailed journalist Ching Cheong during a news conference in New York July 20, 2006, calling for his release from a Chinese jail. The number of journalists jailed worldwide for their work rose for the second year with Internet bloggers and online reporters now one third of those incarcerated, a U.S.-based media watchdog said on Thursday. (Chip East/Reuters)Reuters – The number of journalists jailed
worldwide for their work rose for the second year with Internet
bloggers and online reporters now one third of those
incarcerated, a U.S.-based media watchdog said on Thursday.

This article mentions Josh Wolf, a videoblogger and friend of mine who has been jailed longer than Judith Miller, for refusing to give the federal government yet another arsenal of tools in the war on free speech.

Review: Lirael

Review of Lirael, by Garth Nix:


“Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr” (Garth Nix)

Summary:
This is a young adult novel, the second in the Abhorsen series. Last year, I enjoyed Sabriel quite a lot– enough that I read a book in an entirely different series by Nix by accident.

Lirael is a daughter of the Claer, the seers of the Old Kingdom. She, however, unlike all the other Claer in training, does not have the gift of foresight. What she does have is intelligence and spirit. In fact, whenever she manages not to mope about her lack of station, she has a lot of confidence.

The Good:
It’s always nice to visit old friends, like favorite characters in a series. It’s even nicer when the author of those characters has given them time to grow, and doesn’t fall into the trap of presenting you with their offspring, but their offspring as overly intelligent child prodigies.

Nix writes pre-teen and teenaged characters well, with no child prodigies to speak of.

The Bad:
If anything the heroes of Lirael, being in their late teens and early twenties, might be a little immature for their ages. Although it’s certainly refreshing to have a more realistic look at the later teen years, what I remember most about that time was being in a constant state of hormonal confusion every time I turned around. Nix strays neatly away from all discussions of sexuality and development, largely by addressing them frankly but without passion. It’s too bad, because the relationship formed in this book is ripe for sexual confusion– it seems to be lacking without it.

The Ugly:
Anyone who has read both Sabriel and Lirael can’t help but find the ending of Lirael to be something of a disappointment. It’s not that the ending is a let-down, so much as it’s unfinished. While Sabriel took us on a complete adventure, a heroic journey with a beginning, middle, and ending, Lirael stops before the meat of the story, before embarking on the actual conflict. Although this can be forgiven in a bridging book, as the second in a series usually is, Sabriel was such a standalone novel, that Lirael isn’t really a bridge. It’s more like an introduction.

Grade: B for critical-reading adults, A- for teens and pre-teens.

Welcome!

Hi, this is mortaine. I have a gazillion blogs and online journals, including several mediablogs (video and podcasting). This one, however, is the general blog. You see, I’ve recently realized that I really need to focus my blogging efforts. So that’s what I’m doing here.

This blog will not be ad-free, but I make a commitment that you’ll never see a pop-up ad or banner while I’m in charge.

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