The Agency Games

Hunger Games Friday: Haymitch Abernathy

Haymitch Abernathy is well-known by every citizen of Panem as the Drunk Mentor for District 12. Most remember his infamous head-dive off the stage during the reaping for the 74th-Hunger Games. To most he is a fool, a drunk, and a blubbering, staggering idiot. But is that all he is?

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If you love Haymitch, you will want to read my chapter on his character titled, “It’s All a Big Show” to learn the truth behind Haymitch’s clandestine motives and hidden agency in a society of “un-reality.” If anything, Haymitch’s character proves the strength and weakness of hidden agency while demanding the importance of intentionality.

Read more about Haymitch, and the rest of the amazing characters from The Hunger Games in my upcoming book The Agency Games!

If you are interested in receiving updates when the book is released, please leave a comment on the post: “The Agency Games — Sign Up!”

Haymitch Approves this Post!

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**BONUS: This is one of the GREATEST FAN-MADE videos of content from The Hunger Games. MainstayPro portrayed the Second Quarter Quell in which Haymitch is the winner and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. All images and content from the below video are property of MainstayPro, I am just sharing their magnificent work.

WARNING: Graphic images for young or sensitive viewers.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

Hunger Games Friday: Cinna – Friend or Foe?

Sweet Cinna, beloved by so many in both the Capitol and the Districts, is a character of mystery. After all, very little is known about his past. Various scholars and fans have hypothesized that Cinna originates from one of the various districts instead of the Capitol. Some have even gone so far as to say that perhaps he is Mr. Everdeen after severe plastic surgery. While that may be a bit far-fetched, these various attempts to understand Cinna’s backstory betray readers’ immense interest in his character.

Scholars too are fascinated by Cinna, some proclaiming him to be Katniss’s closest confidant while others claim that Cinna manipulates Katniss for the rebellion similar to how other stylists manipulates tributes for the Games.

After all, he constantly pushes the Mockingjay aspect of her wardrobe, without her previous consent; he creates the rebel image through her image.

And yet . . .

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He seems so supportive of Katniss, often protecting her and strengthening her through his design choices. Also, Katniss truly loves him and sees him as one of her only true friends. Is it enough?

In my book, The Agency Games, I will explore the relationship between Cinna and Katniss, investigating the strength of their individual and combined agencies, perhaps answering the question of Cinna’s loyalties for once and all.

What do you think about Cinna? Was he helping Katniss or was he simply using her as the face of the rebellion? Leave your comments below!

If you are interested in receiving updates when the book is released, please leave a comment on the post: “The Agency Games — Sign Up!”

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

Hunger Games Friday: The Curiously Short Life & Death of Primrose Everdeen

Primrose Everdeen (Prim) is the younger sister to Katniss Everdeen and the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Everdeen. She is twelve years old when the series begins and she is only fourteen when she dies in the infamous two-timed bombing of the Capitol.

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Because of her youth and her feminine appearance of a young, naive, helpful, little girl, many scholars skirt over her importance to The Hunger Games trilogy. However, most fans of the trilogy would instantly state that Prim is crucial to the entire series.

In a poll, 62% of participants voted that Primrose Everdeen was crucial to the story line.

After all, if Prim had never been reaped, Katniss would never have volunteered. If Katniss had not gone into the Games with Peeta and defied the Capitol, the revolution would never have ignited. If the revolution had never begun, the Games would continue on with President Snow in charge of Panem. In one of my last chapters, I discuss how every action that Katniss takes is in protection of her sister Prim, primarily because Prim represents hope. It is this hope, intimately connected with agency, that draws readers into the world of Panem.

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Read more about Prim and Katniss, and the rest of the amazing characters from The Hunger Games in my upcoming book The Agency Games!

If you are interested in receiving updates when the book is released, please leave a comment on the post: “The Agency Games — Sign Up!”

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

Hunger Games Friday: NEW Prequel Coming Out in 2020

Oh, what’s that noise? Sorry, that’s just me squealing like a little girl at Christmas time when she opens the box and finds a puppy!

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I was so excited to hear the news. Have you heard it?

Suzanne Collins is releasing a new installment of the Hunger Games series in 2020!

According to Collins herself, “With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period ten years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days—as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet—provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”

As she says, the plot of the book will take place during the ten years after war, during the Dark Days. In other words, this novel will take place during the 10th year of the Hunger Games. If my calculations are correct, that is around the same time that Mags from District 4 was chosen as tribute and she won her games. Perhaps, if we are lucky we will get to see a glimpse of Mags as a young woman!

I am ecstatic to see what Collins has come up with, especially as she explores the state of humanity. In my upcoming book (most likely to also debut in 2020), I explore human agency through Collins characters. I wonder what her novel will mean for my analysis. If nothing else, I know that I will be highly entertained and impressed by Collins’ writing, but hopefully, I might also be able to pick up the discussion of agency and see how Collins continues to represent it through her characters.

How many other Hunger Games fans out there will be lining up or pre-ordering Collins’ prequel?

You can bet to find me there!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

The Agency Games

Who is Peeta Mellark?

For today’s Hunger Games Friday, we are going to be discussing one of Panem’s favorite celebrities. That’s right, Peeta Mellark!

Loved in both the districts and the Capitol, Peeta knows just how to present himself to his best advantage, often changing his “identity” based on how others view him. Throughout the trilogy he cycles through different personas such as the boy with the bread, tribute, Victor, lover, hijacked Mutt, and maybe at the end, he becomes Peeta again. With such a variety of identifiers, some readers are left asking the question–

Who is Peeta Mellark, really?

 

 

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The Boy with the Bread?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The tribute?

 

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The Victor?

 

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Lover?
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Hijacked Mutt?

The way in which Peeta allows him identity to seemingly evolve throughout the narrative has interesting effects on the discussion of agency which is normally based on a strong sense of solid identity.

With so many different roles, it may be hard to discern who Peeta Mellark truly is. In Chapter 5 of my book “The Agency Games” I will demonstrate the exact core of Peeta’s identity and how that directly effects and strengthens his ability to know and exercise agency.

Of the above identifiers, which do you think best describes Peeta Mellark? 

The Agency Games

The Power of Gale Hawthorne

Today’s Hunger Games Friday topic:

Gale Hawthorne – a Seam-born resident of the poorest district and also a famous and brutal soldier for District 13 during the Mockingjay Rebellion.

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Gale Hawthorne, from Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy, is one of those characters that readers cannot help but to love. In the beginning, Gale presents himself as the clear love interest for Katniss Everdeen. He is strong, dark, tall, and handsome. Plus, he has a fire burning deep inside of him that readers may equate to passion. However, as time passes, Gale’s character evolves based on his access to social power.

Unlike personal power that grants one the ability to control oneself and their intimate surroundings, social power is power over others. It is social power that Gale seeks.

Gale’s physical and mental capabilities are often unmatched. He is brave enough to hunt in the woods, strong enough to endure work in the mines, and  smart enough to design and create snares and traps. Gale is personally powerful in many ways and yet, in others he is extremely powerless. He cannot stop Katniss from volunteering, he cannot provide for his family without his brother taking out tesserae, he cannot even start a revolution until Katniss clears the way.

In a past Instagram survey with 23 participants, 15 said that Gale was Powerless as opposed to Powerful by the end of the trilogy.

In a newer survey, the poll came back 50/50 with some voters expressing extreme love for Gale.

Throughout The Hunger Games, Gale struggles between enacting power and having power exercised over him. While he starts as a strong protagonist, he eventually fades away at the end of the trilogy, working in District 2.

In chapter 5 of my upcoming book, The Agency Games, I discuss Gale’s dismissal of personal power and his quest after social power. In the end, I determine which is more efficient when it comes to personal agency. Do we need social power in order to enact our own desires and actions?

What do you think about Gale’s character?

Love him? Hate him? Let me know your thoughts! Is he powerful or powerless? Why?

Read more about Gale, and the rest of the amazing characters from The Hunger Games in my upcoming book The Agency Games! If you are interested in receiving updates when the book is released, please leave a comment on the post: “The Agency Games — Sign Up!”

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

Hunger Games Friday: Movie Adaptation

For today’s Hunger Games Friday, let’s talk Hunger Games: Movie Compared to the Book

The first movie adaptation of the popular Hunger Games series premiered on March 23, 2012. Within three days the movie had hit record-breaking sales of over $155 million in North America alone and only continued to grow in popularity. While I will assume that most of you are already familiar with the book series and the movies, here is a brief set-up or reminder for those unaware.

The nation of Panem is what remains of North America after war, famine, floods, and other catastrophes. Nearly 80 years before our story begins, there was a war between two parties. The winners, known as The Capitol, punish the losers of the rebellion, the twelve districts through the spectacle the “Hunger Games”. Every year, each of the twelve districts must offer up one boy and one girl tribute between the ages of 12 and 18 to enter into a televised arena and fight to the death. When this novel/movie opens up, it is the 74th Hunger Games and Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute to save her sister.

Now, let’s dive into our movie analysis!

Awesome New Additionsmovies and books are inevitably different from one another, it cannot be helped. Sometimes directors add in scenes that make no sense or divert from the book’s essence. However, when it’s well done, additional scenes can truly help emphasize moments that were unavailable to the readers in the book.

  • For instance, the novel is narrated by Katniss Everdeen which means we only see the action from her perspective. However, in the movie we are granted additional view points:
  • Opening Scene between Caesar Flickerman and Seneca Crane: While the book opens up with Katniss waking up in District 12, the movie begins with a conversation between Seneca and Caesar. The two are on the Capitol’s favorite talk-show and they’re quite obviously excited for the reaping day. This is highly contrasted when Prim’s screams usher in the next scene starkly displaying the difference between those in the Capitol and those in the district.
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That beard though…
  • Insights into the Capitol: Other additional scenes help to display this contrast and really give the viewers more insight into the Capitol than the books can. For instance, we see more of the Capitol citizens’s inhumanity. In one scene, there is a betting board, and in another scene two parents gift their male child a sword with which he chases his sister and then stabs his mother. These scenes focus on how natural these forms of entertainment have become to the Capitol citizens, and because we see these scenes through Haymtich’s eyes, we can see how despicable their ignorance truly is.

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  • Haymitch Abernathy: Speaking of our favorite knife-wielding alcoholic . . . Although we may all come to know and love Haymitch eventually in the books,we are given the opportunity to understand him far earlier in the movies. As soon as we arrive into the Capitol we see Haymitch’s disgust at the Capitol citizens, his pain at having to watch another two tributes die, and his desire to save at least one. Props to the director for giving us more Haymitch!

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  • Conversations between Seneca Crane and President Snow: “Why do we have a winner? . . . Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. . . A spark is fine . . . Contain it.” Now yes, this scene was probably put in to foreshadow the future events, to play more with the image of fire, and give us earlier access to President Snow’s character. However, the themes within this scene are *extremely* important in my discussion of agency and power which I discuss in chapter three and seven of my book.

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  • Insights into the Districts: We have a few different moments in which we see those in District 12 watching Katniss on the screen or District 11 reacting to the screen in rebellion. These scenes greatly enhance our understanding of how Katniss’s actions are affecting others long before she understands it herself.

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Annoying Changes: I loved the movie, but I had my own irritations.

  • No Madge: Seriously, how hard would it have been to add in a five second clip for devoted fans to meet Madge? Just a little cameo for our sakes??? Plus, as much as Greasy Sae liked Katniss, people in the Hob did not give things away for free. It was a fair bartering system and free, string-less gifts did not exist.

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  • Cato and Glimmer are a thing?? : The first time I watched this, I didn’t catch it (I wasn’t as well-versed as I am now). Glimmer is the tribute from District 1 and while she was in the Career pack, Cato did not have a “thing” for her (although the movie portrays them very couple-y). In fact, Cato’s district partner was CLOVE and while Cato shows no romantic interest early on, he begs Clove to stay with him as she dies. Somewhere inside of Cato, he cared for another human being, he cared for Clove, not Glimmer! There was already a ‘love interest’ for Cato, so why change it to Glimmer? This is one of those changes that makes absolutely no positive difference.

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  • “Wolf” Muttations: I use the term wolf because that is what they were supposed to be, however in the movie, these mutts look more like some weird bear-dog hybrid. In the books, Collins clearly depicts these wolf muttations as being clear representatives of the dead tributes (their fur matched their hair color and they wore colors inlaid with this district numbers); however, in the movie that is completely overlooked. The importance of these wolf/tribute muttations is more thoroughly examined in chapter three of my book, which makes me even more sad that they ignored this opportunity in the movie. They already had to use CGI, so why not use it correctly?

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Scenes Worth Special Mention

  • Peeta and Ceaser interview scene about “showering in the Capitol” — their banter was wonderful
  • Initial Bloodbath at the Cornucopia – they did it so well without having to up the rating on the movie by shielding viewers from the main violence.
  • Katniss’s house being blown apart just as the father was blown apart in the mines – a fantastic representative of trauma in the home

So what did you think of the movie adaptation? Do you share my opinions? Do you disagree? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Agency Games

The Agency Games: Sent.

As you all know, I have been pretty absent lately in the blogging world. Part of that was due to getting married and celebrating on our honeymoon. (I cannot believe we have already been married for a whole month, the time flew by.) Another reason was because my final draft of The Agency Games was due to the publishers at the end of June.

Technically, we are now at the beginning of July, but thankfully the publishers were pretty flexible and understanding (thank you!). After a weekend of some intense editing days (you may have seen my last post or my instagram stories), I can happily announce that the final draft of The Agency Games has been submitted to the publishing house!

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In this final draft, I ended up cutting a lot out of my original drafts as I did my best to trim out the unnecessary “fat” and leave behind just the key and intriguing bits. However, after my various peer reviews, even after cutting away at parts, I still ended up with a word count of 87,910 words! That’s 17,910 words over my original required word count!

2019

Turning in this draft has been such a mix of emotions. The primary emotions were definitely relief and a strong sense of self-satisfaction, but underneath those emotions was still that fear that I could have done better (even though I went through it with a fine tooth comb multiple times). I wonder if, as writers, we will always have that desire to be better, do better? There’s a fine line between wanting to do better and never being satisfied with our work. In this case, I believe that this book is the best product I could put forth at this time and I am proud of my accomplishment.

According to the editor, my book will be entering into various stages over the next few months as it is checked for “completion,” awaits its turn for an available editor, is considered by the design team for title, cover, and book description, set up for advertisement, final proofs, and finally, sent out for print. The process itself with take several months to be sure. I will be keeping you all up date with where the book currently stands in the various processes. As we get closer to the release date, I will be looking for readers who are interested in reading, reviewing, and advertising my book on their blog.

Thank you again to everyone. You all have been so wonderful and supportive during this whole process and even during my time away from blogging. You guys are amazing! I’m glad to be back in this wonderful world of WordPress.

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The Agency Games

Writing Tip: “I Could Stop If I Wanted To…”

Recently, I blogged about the importance of recognizing when you need to STOP writing. Today, I’m going to talk about this same topic, but from a different perspective.

On Friday of this past week, I worked on final edits for They Agency Games from 9am to 4pm (and still didn’t finish. I put in another four hours yesterday and I plan to do another four hours today after publishing this blog post). Toward the end of Friday, my back and eyes straining from sitting at a computer for so long, all I thought was “Why am I doing this to myself?

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Then it occurred to me. Out of the blue, I had the sudden thought: I could stop. I didn’t have to keep going. If I wanted to, I could stop that minute and never go back to it. I could leave the book unfinished. The thought struck me so deeply that I had to pause my editing process to briefly write down these first two paragraphs so that I wouldn’t forget to blog about this later. Now let me explain why this was so important and actually a positive thought and not a negative thought.

Yes, I could have stopped, the fate of the world was not dependent on my writing. However, as much as my back hurt and my eyes burned, I did not want to stop. As soon as I thought that I could stop, my mind rejected it, because I was proud of what I had accomplished and what I was so close to accomplishing.

Sometimes, we need to stop writing and other times, we need to push through. Sometimes, this is what it means to be an author, a poet, a blogger. Sometimes, being creative and chasing after your dreams requires for your back to ache, your eyes to burn, and your brain to throb. Now, obviously, I’m not saying it should always be like that and yes, breaks are SO important. Eventually, even I reach my wall where I know I need to stop because I am no longer being productive.

Still, this moment, this thought that I could stop, was so important for my writing process because it reminded me how much I enjoy what I do, regardless of the stress that I sometimes feel. The fact that I thought I could stop, but didn’t want to stop, only strengthened my resolve to not only finish my current book, but to then jump into other projects as soon as I am able.

I apologize if today’s post was a bit more rambling than usual (I’ve definitely got editor’s brain today), but I hope that it was at least encouraging to some of you.

When you hit your wall, when you think, I could stop, just remember why you are writing, blogging, creating, etc. Remember how far you have come and how much further you are still able to go.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Wish me luck as I hope to finally finish The Agency Games today and have it sent to the editors by midnight! I plan to be more active on WordPress as soon as I can.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life, The Agency Games

The Agency Games: Update on the Third Reader (Blogmas: “It’s a Holiday Gift!)

Hello Everyone!

Today, I am taking a break from our regularly scheduled Blogmas posts to keep you updated on the publishing process for my book The Agency Games. For those of you who are new to my blog (Welcome!), The Agency Games is a nonfiction analysis of the popular Hunger Games series where I investigate human agency and how it affects primary characters such as Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Prim, Rue, Finnick, Mags, Joanna, Beetee, and more!

Anyhow, as many of you might remember, I am currently in the “Peer Review” stage of the publishing process. I have two readers who reviewed my book back in August. One of them loved it and the other was not impressed. So the publication house sent out my book to a third reader to be the tie breaker. However, back in November, when I was supposed to receive my feedback, my third reader backed out due to health reasons and so the clock was set back once again as I waited for the publication house to locate a new third reader.

I am happy to announce that as of this past weekend, the editors have located a new third reader and I should be receiving my feedback sometime toward the end of January in the new year!

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Additionally, the editors have gone ahead and scheduled me a final due date for the revised and improved final draft of my book for April of 2019! It has been a long road, but one that I am so grateful to have the opportunity to walk!

Thank you all for sticking alongside me, encouraging me and supporting me. I sometimes wonder if this book will forever be in limbo (something that will one day happen but not today) and then other days, like today, I can imagine holding that physical representation of all my hard work in my hands. This book has become more than just my “first” book. Some of you may remember that my grandfather is currently dying from cancer and it’s hard, and sometimes, he is not all there. But other days, he is. The other day he asked me when I was going to start publishing my books because he always knew that I would succeed. My entire life, he has pushed me to reach for the stars and I am so grateful for that. He inspired me to work hard and to persevere. In a way, finishing this book has now become a testament to his influence on my life.

Excitement does not begin to describe how I feel. I am one step forward to becoming an official “published” author and I know that I would not be where I am today without the support of my family and friends!