Archive | July, 2010

Three Vooks for iPad Reviewed

28 Jul

1. Promises, by Jude Deveraux

Video + Book = Vook. But does it equal an advance in storytelling. I’ll be straight with you — no one wants to see interactive forms of fiction succeed more than I do. So if there’s something good to say about technology applied to storytelling, I’m going to find it. Did I find anything good at the Vook store?

Let’s start with my first Vook. I purchased Promises several months ago to read on my iPod Touch. It’s an interesting idea, but the application was buggy and the platform too small to do it justice.  This week I updated the app and loaded it on my new iPad.  Much, much better! The video gave me a look at setting and time period that went far beyond what I imagined. That said, the whole experience is choppy. The navigation is clunky and confusing and getting between chapters and video took so long that it made me lose that story immersion. Below is a picture of what a page with text and video looks like. This instructions indicate you should click t0, “See what Jamie found. ” But the story tells you what Jamie found, so you don’t need to see the video. There are sections with video that do further story and character without repeating what has been said, but most of it is a repetition. It reminds me of fiction that shows you the same scene from the POV of different characters. I never was a big fan of  that technique.

2. Call of the Wild, by Jack London

I revisited the Vook store last week to find something eye-popping to use when I do educational e-book demonstrations. I loved this book as a kid and thought it was a title most people would be familiar with. When I cracked open this Vook, surely the contrast between the old paper version and the video version would be jaw dropping. Well…

It wasn’t, but it was better done. I love the video, the way the sepia toned images impart a sense of an earlier time, the way they use different narrators and the contrast of those unique voices, the gorgeous frozen landscapes, and the dog’s-eye view of running a sled trail. Here again the narrator is telling the same story as the text, snippits, but the clips are compelling and I did look forward to the clip at the start of each chapter. There are links throughout the story that lead to Wikipedia articles with more information on a subject or to  dictionary definitions of some terms. Navigation between chapters is better, but it moves in the opposite direction from navigation between pages which was confusing.

I had intended to download just the one extra story, but somehow I wound up with a copy of this next Vook, a free sample, on my iPad. A happy accident, because even though I might not have chosen this willingly, it was the jaw-dropper I was looking for.

3. Buddha Guide, by Deepak Chopra

If you get this book for no other reason than to enjoy the artwork, it is worth the money spent. The main text contains history, basic information on the Buddhist faith,  and links to more information. What really shines in this Vook is the video story, narrated by Chopra, a stunning blend of art and music that illustrate the story of Buddha.

Buddha is available in iPhone, iPad, and an online version. I downloaded the free demo but I enjoyed it enough that I’ll get the full version when I can get a fast Internet connection. Vook files are big, but the price tag on this one isn’t and you can grab a demo and see for yourself at

Bottom line: Vooks are in their infancy, a new storytelling form that I hope will be around for awhile. I see each new effort improving on what was done before and I look forward to watching Vooks grow up.


The Mesmerist

27 Jul

Crabapple Blossom by LadyDragonflyHerWorld on Flickr photo sharing

The Mesmerist

His magic is his mind
Like a beautiful garden
A fragrant intoxicant
A sensual arrangement
Of colorful fantasy
Of textured thoughts
A place to immerse yourself
To forget there is anything beyond him

When I am with him
I believe I can be
Before him life was empty
Barren as the crabapple out back
A parade of blossomless springs
Fruitless summers

And I know
I know
Gardens like him have thorns
Yet I go to him gloveless
Opening my hand
Palm up
Offering myself
Eager as an addict for a needle

~Allison Black
The Mesmerist’s Tale
Copyright Nara Malone 2010

This week’s Carry On Tuesday prompt is is a quote from the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran

Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.
My response is through the eyes of a character in my current WIP, The Mesmerist’s Tale.
Click here to see what other participants wrote.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Rain Making

21 Jul

Lady in the Lake

I’m combining two prompts this week (didn’t finish this in time to post it yesterday and I needed something more to make this work, like the 3 words from Three Word Wednesday!) so I made it a little longer than usual. We’re closing in on drought conditions here, and I thought I might try to tease a little rain from the clouds.

Three Word Wednesday words are: bait, jump, victim

This Week’s Carry On Tuesday Prompt is from the first line of the 2008 novel
The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt

Lightning first, then the thunder. And in between the two……..

The Lake

Liquid Light glides over her skin.
She shivers, undulates with pleasure.
She welcomes this lovers touch,
makes it part of herself,
opening, drinking him in
drawing him down into her moist depths,
flowing around him,
lifting and tugging him deeper
on a tide of pleasure.

Attracted by her breathy sighs and gurgles,
Wind joins in,
turning the duet into a threesome,
adding a new rhythm to their mating.
Soft rippling kisses stir desire.
Sighs rise to moans,
swaying to rocking,
thrusting to pounding,
throbbing to craving.

Wind with his clever fingers
roaming everywhere at once,
slipping in here and pinching there,
probing delicate depths.
Light’s tongues just as devilish,
licked, nipped, nibbled.
And in between the two…
Lake moaned,
slippery and hot,
baiting them with playful slaps.

Lake struggled to escape their sweet torture,
bucking and wriggling in her earthen bed,
pluming upward in clouds of steam.
She blocked Light, turned the sky a prosaic purple,
held Wind captive under humid, cumulus banks.
She gathered herself in voluptuous waves,
tossing frothy white caps,
rumbling warnings as the pair stalked her.
They weren’t deterred by her pretense.
She knew they wouldn’t be.

Wind ripped through the bonds,
and whipped her writhing body,
until her watery sobs rose,
a harmonic backup to his howls.
Not to be out done, Light drove deep,
impaling her on jagged bolts.
Bound tight between two magnetic forces,
captive between opposing poles,
Lake was helpless to do more
than ride sizzling currents.
Like greedy bandits they ravaged and plundered.
Lake played her victim role,
injecting sobs and shrieks between moans and sighs,
Until she forgot the game, wrapped herself tight around them,
shuddered, jumped, and dissolved with a shiver.

Rain sheeted down,
backlit by blue bolts streaking across the sky,
tossed and bounced on Wind’s rocketing thrusts.
Below, the earth trembled under pounding waves.
The trio swirled and twisted,
wringing every drop from their rapture.

Spent, the they collapsed in her silt bed.
Lake curled there  as day dawned,
content, a smooth rippleless mirror,
basking in Light’s pleased golden glow.
Wind shifted gently over them,
a soft blanket,
holding them close,
wrapping them in the earthy scent
raised by the night’s storm.

~~Nara Malone

Visit Carry On Tuesday

and Three Word Wednesday to see what other participants have written.