Thursday, September 29, 2011

Maggie Stiefvater coming to Fairview!

Yes! Maggie is coming to the land I call Fairview!  And one of the appearances is close to my home! Doing a happy dance.

Firelight - Review

I finished this book this morningI describe it below but Firelight is about a girl, Jacinda, who is a Draki - a Dragon.   These dragons have the power to switch to human form.  Anyway, Jacinda is a very unusual dragon because she's a fire-breather.  There hasn't been  a fire-breather in her "pride" in several hundred years.  So there are those that want her to mate with the Alpha Male's son, Cassian, so they can have lots more little baby firebreathers.  They also want to 'clip her wings' because Jacinda is a little rebellious.

Jacinda's Mom and Twin sister, Tamra, escape into hiding with Jacinda,into the human world.  There, Jacinda meets gorgeous human boy Will.

Pluses
One thing for sure, the author really knows how to write a smoldering hot kissing scene.  And there are lots of them!  And the plot was not predictable... well okay, you know where it is going overall, but the little twists were very interesting and unexpected.  The universe that the author created was unique - it isn't another vampire or zombie or werewolf book.

Quibbles
The Jacinda character did seem a little whiny to me, but if I had to go into hiding, I think maybe I'd be a lot crankier than she is.
And the whole trilogy thing - I don't like it when there isn't an ending.  And this one leaves you hanging.   Luckily, the second book in the series is already out, but you know that one is going to leave you unsatisfied as well, since it is the dreaded middle book.

Still, I give it five stars  = I liked it and recommend it.

 

Buffalo

This is from our trip to Yellowstone National Park about three years ago.  Against my protests, somebody (you know who you are!) rolled down the car window.  So I guess the only thing I thought to do was take a picture!  Yes, we risked life and limb to bring you this shot.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Books I'm Reading

 These are the books I'm reading. 

Firelight is about a girl, Jacinda who is a dragon, or draki.  Not only is she a dragon, she's a fire-breather - the last of her kind.  The draki can manifest themselves in human form.  So anyway, the rest of the draki are eager for Jacinda to create more fire-breathers.  They've already picked out her mate, Cassian.  Too bad Jacinda's in love with gorgeous human boy, Will.

Forgive My Fins is the story of Lily, a mermaid princess who has been living on land with her aunt during high school.  She can shift to human form because her mom was human.  She has a huge crush on Brody, but her neighbor, motorcycle-riding bad boy Quince keeps popping up.

Wolfsbane is the second in a series by Andrea Cremer.  Calla is the pre-ordained head of the wolfpack (along with Ren the Alpha Male).  Yes, these folks are werewolves.  And  

like the other two books above, these folks shift to human form as well.  Calla has feelings for Ren but loves the human boy Shay.

Are you seeing a theme here?  Do I subconsciously want to be other-worldly?  Or maybe the moral of the story/stories are that you need to be something other than human to have a hot guy or two fall in love with you?  Or maybe that all other creatures on earth would rather be human than what they are?

Hmm.  Something to ponder.  

Forgive my Fins is probably the youngest read of the three.  It seems more MG than YA.  Firelight is middle ground.  Wolfsbane is the most mature but note this is a book 2, so read the first book, Nightshade, before you pick this one up.  Nightshade definitely was good because I picked up book 2, didn't I?   

I probably shouldn't have started these particular three books at once.  I'm just getting myself confused.  Anyway, I'll tell you if I liked them once I finish any of these.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lake Tahoe - Good Doggies



























Another random photo from Lake Tahoe.  We happened upon a dog obedience class.  All the dogs posed on the fountain for us.  So cute - especially the three small little white ones!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lake Tahoe




































A photo of the private beach lifeguard station.  I just like the colors.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lake Tahoe - Tallac Historical Estates & Orbs

Because of the 'Second Campaigner Challenge' thingy, I interrupted my travel monologue of Lake Tahoe.  So, I'm picking up where I left off.  After hiking down and back up from Vikingsholm Castle, we went to Tallac Historical Estates.  Three family estates/retreats preserved from like the 1920's or there abouts? (think Great Gatsby era). 

I thought there was going to be more climbing up and down, but thankfully, these were on the lakeshore so no climbing.  yeah!

There's usually a tour but we went on a day with no tour.  There was a lovely garden and these little birdhouses were so whimsical.









I took this picture of the inside of one of the estates through a window (since there was no tour that day).  So forgive the glare in the upper right hand corner.

But the reason why I put up this photo is because of the "orb" on the left side, left of the folding chair in the back.  See it?

Now my sister is forever watching "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Hunters International" and in the past, insisted that these orbs are ghosts or spirits or whatever.

She changed her mind recently and now says they are just dust motes.  I don't know.  What do you think?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Second Campaigner Challenge

The below is the second campaigner challenge.  I had fun trying to fit the words in.  Here are the rules:
Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:

• include the word "imago" in the title

• include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.

For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!

So if you like the below, please vote for it over at this link?  I'm #57

http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=108291&type=basic


You can read all the other wonderful entries the creative people have posted while you're there.  I guess this one's a popularity contest so vote soon, and vote often! lol

Lacuna Ferratta Imago Dei

I put the fist-sized rock on the counter. “I understand you’re an expert in antiquities?”
 
The shopkeeper nodded, placing the stone on a mirrored tray and examining its strange markings with a magnifying glass.

Lacuna Ferratta,” he gasped.

“Is that like Hakuna Matata?” Alex snarked. I jabbed him in the ribs.

“Ancient stone tablet. It is map to ‘Imago Dei’, Image of God.”

Alex yawned. I gave him a dirty look.

“If you feel deposed to oscitate, you should wait outside.”

“Huh? English, Duchess.”

“If this is boring, you can--”

“No, you didn’t let me get any sleep last night,” he winked knowingly at the shopkeeper. I blushed, despite the untruth inferred.

“Imago Dei has power to change man to beast.”

“Shape shifting?” Alex came alert.

“This and the mate are missing pieces of map. That is why they are ‘lacunae’, the gaps.  Ferratta was holy man. He hid the stones.”

“Why?” A miasma of dread surrounded me.

“The Imago, it is evil.”

“Fine, we’ll get a jackhammer and pulverize it,” Alex said.

“I think not.” The shopkeeper suddenly spoke perfect English. A silver pistol appeared in his hand. “Call it synchronicity. The other lacuna resurfaced in Alexandria yesterday.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Santiago de Compostela (or things happen in threes)

One of the folks in my writers group started it.  She came in with this story of a family making a pilgrimage of about 500 miles to Santiago de Compostela.  Saint James the Apostle is said to be buried here.  For centuries, pilgrims have been making this journey on foot from Saint Jean Pied de Port in France to the northwest region of Spain.  Pilgrims walk all day, and take rest in hostels set up along the way.  They make friends, they contemplate, but mainly, they walk.

Her work is educational in nature so I learned alot about the trail and the various stops along the way.  She told me she's going to go on the pilgrimage (again) to make sure all her facts are correct.  That is dedication!

Then the other day, I happen to be watching Rick Steve's Europe and he dedicated a entire episode to the pilgrimage route.  I guess the running of the bulls of Pamplona is along the route if you go in July. 

Finally, I was trolling for movies one weekend and I came across a movie called "The Way" written by Emilio Estevez and starring Martin Sheen.  And it just happened to be about (drum roll) the pilgrimage Camino del Compostela.

Is the universe trying to tell me something?  Like maybe I need to go on this pilgrimage?  Or maybe I just need to see this movie?  Hmm, I just think it is funny how something so random comes up three times in the space of a few weeks. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Awards - paying it forward

As I mentioned, I'm probably on the tail end of the award-receiving end of things because I can't seem to find any blogs in my campaigner groups that don't already have these things.  I'm supposed to pay it forward to 15 other bloggers but I can only find five so far that don't have at least one of these.  And this may have changed since last night.  So please forgive if this is a duplicate.  I know this is kind of chain-letter-ish so apologies if this is a nuisance.  I looked for blogs that have less than 200 followers and didn't already have the Liebster or Versatile Blogger award.

1) My demonspirits.blogspot.com:  She's writing a novel about triplets, three sisters who are identical except for their haircolor.  She's posted the first section.  Check it out.  (Oh and there is warning that there is some adult content

2) dawnmalone.blogspot.com.  She's a writer and got a review of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" which I'm also reading so I liked her review.  Check it out.  She's also got a "sweet blog award"


3) jillwalker.blogspot.com: a writer and reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy.  She did a list of 10 random things like me and I especially like her #3.  Check it out.

4) hogwartssabbatical.blogspot.com:  This is Chemist Ken.  I really enjoy his blog.  I love castles too.  His account of watching a movie with his wife is hilarious!!

5) kateswenson.blogspot.com.  I enjoyed her campaigner challenge entry "Between A Rock and a hard place. 

Anyway, I know this is only a third of the blogs I need to pass it on to.  If you are reading this an you have a blog, and haven't received the above awards already, consider yourself awarded.

If I find some more worthy blogs I'll add them as an addendum.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bloodlines Richelle Mead

I just finished reading Bloodlines.  I think I may have mentioned my love of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series just a few times...  What I admired was the world that the author built, the rules of that universe and how creative it was.

Bloodlines is set in that same universe but with a different lead character.  Sydney Sage is an Alchemist which is a special group of people who are dedicated to protecting humans from the knowledge that vampires exist.  They're kind of a secret service for the vampires, cleaning up after them, keeping them hidden, but with the understanding that vampires are abominations. 

Sydney is asked to pose as an older sister and roommate to vampire Jill.  Jill is sister to the queen of the vampire court and there was an attempt on her life.  So Jill is sent to a place where no one would suspect a vampire would go - Palm Springs with her bodyguard- a half-vampire named Eddie, Adrian (who was in the VA series) and another Alchemist Keith.


I think that is supposed to be Adrian and Sydney on the cover.

While I enjoyed reading this book, there were some weaknesses. 
I figured out the plot after the second chapter.  And the book felt kind of like a episode, not a novel.  Which is probably because I know this is a "series" as well. 

That is what is kind of frustrates me about books in series in general.  And that is why I stopped reading the Maximum Ride books and the Morganville Vampire series.  The stories start to get stale when you start wondering when the next appearance of the 'roundabout kick' is going to appear or when the next bout of amnesia is going to kick in and erase everybody's memories. 

Not that the author of VA did that, but still, I wanted more of the relationship/character building and less of the mystery solving in this first book.

Nonetheless, it was a treat to revisit the cross-over characters from VA in this new book.  And all the new characters are great, you immediately get them and what they're about.  And who am I to criticize anyway, I can only aspire to be as good a writer (and as prolific - she writes two other adult series at the same time) AND she writes a great blog. 

I'm giving it a 4 star rating in my rating system - which is "liked it, but not sure you will"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lake Tahoe Vikingsholm Castle

On day three of our vacation we went to see Vikingsholm Castle which is an old mansion on the shores of Emerald Bay.  This photo is of the little teahouse on the island in front of the castle.  This is taken from the road above.  Once again, we had to walk down to the shoreline which was not a problem.  But getting back up took three times as long.  It wasn't as bad as the previous day's hike because the path zig-zagged so the gradient/slope wasn't as bad. 

The castle looks really impressive from above, but when you get to it, it was much smaller than I'd imagined.  My architecture buddy was taking a gazillion photos so I kind of undercompensated by not taking any of the house.  They're kind of boring to look at anyway.  Let's just say the owner was very wealthy.

Here's that same island from the shoreline, to show you I did go all the way to the bottom and then made it all the way back up again!

The wealthy lady who lived here had her own fleet of boats and chauffers to take her around.  No hiking for her. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thank you La Peeples

When my cousin was walking but still in diapers, she used to go around saying "You La Peeple? You La Peeple?"  I think she was asking if I loved people.    I ask her about it now and she looks at me like I'm crazy.


Anyway, I definitely "La Peeple" today.  Or all week actually.  Swamped at work so I'm very late in thanking people for these thingies.

Jocelyn Rish gave me a "Versatile Blogger" award.  I've been told that when you do a blog, you need to focus on one topic.  But I kind of ran out of things to say after a while.  Plus, I'm no expert on anything so I figured I'd just take some pictures like Petrea at Pasadena Daily Photo, or review books, and restaurants, and movies and talk about what I want to write.  Anyway, Jocelyn's blog is http://www.jocelynrish.com/blog.  Check it out


Wendy Terrien gave me the Liebster Blog award.  This is for blogs with less than 200 followers.  200 followers?  Ha! I'm overjoyed with my 26 followers which is a three hundred percent increase over what I had in July and a year's worth of postings.  Thank you Wendy!  Here is her blog and her post about this.
http://wbterrien.com/2011/09/15/awards/

Finally Blissfully Brenna gave me two awards! The Versatile Blogger and the "One Lovely Blog award".  Guess this is for a "recently discovered blog".    http://iwriteandread.blogspot.com/
Now I guess I'm supposed to tell you seven or ten random things about me but I already did (see below).  And then I'm supposed to pass these awards along to the next set of deserving people.  I'll definitely be doing  that (probably this weekend), but most of the blogs I'm following already have these awards so I'm going to have to do some serious research first. 

You La Peeple?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ten Random Things About Me

Many of the campaigners are doing this "ten random things about me" deal.  I figured I do it too.

1. Fairview is the second most common place name in the US.  The first is Springfield, but it makes me think of "The Simpsons" so that was out.  I'm writing three books concurrently, all set in Fairview.  The local paper in my imaginary town is called 'The View From Fairview.'



2.  I went to the same college prep school as Barack Obama.  They used to call him Barry.  He's president of the US.  I'm not.  I went to the same college prep school as Kelly Preston.  She's married to John Travolta.  I'm not.









3.  I used to borrow (okay sneak) comic books from my BFF Caroline's older brother's dresser drawer.  My favorite was the Mon-El from Legion of Super Heroes (Similar to Marvel's X-Men?).  I thought he was Superman's cousin but I'm reading now that he was Superman's older brother?  Whatever.  I liked his outfit/costume and his overly long black hair.




4. I'm a Fanilow.  Yup, earned my share of grief over the years about this. 










5. Love the electronic penny slot machines.  Mainly for all the fun games that start once you get those three aliens/cashmen/gnomes/moles/dragons in a row.  I once played for 6 hours on $5.00






6. I love Yiruma music.  Who? Korean new age pianist.













7. Love those iced green tea lattes from Starbucks.









8. I can't drive and talk at the same time, so I tend not to want to give rides to anybody.  Trust me, it is for your own safety!


9. I can speak and read just enough Japanese to get lost in the subway system in Japan. 










10. I love malasadas from Leonard's bakery in Hawaii, even though I haven't had one in over ten years.  Fried portugese doughnut-like things.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lake Tahoe - Truckee

Did I mention I'm in the billboard biz?  This old billboard is charming.















Monday, September 12, 2011

Lake Tahoe - Firestove Beach

The narrow perpendicular thing across the water is the Firestove and why it is called "Firestove Beach".  It is on the east side of Lake Tahoe.  I had to hike all the way down to the shoreline to get this photo.  The way down wasn't the problem.  It was coming back up. It was a steep, steep pathway and I was totally out of breath when I got back up to the roadway.  The below photo gives you an idea (taken from the road above).  The photo is worth it, though... I think.  I think maybe most people get there by boat.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where I was on 9/11/01

I usually turn on the television while I get ready to go to work.  For some reason that day, I didn't.

I think I probably woke up late.  Once I was in the car, I turned on the radio to my favorite morning DJ's (at the time) Mark and Brian.  They were my favorites ever since they had Barry Manilow as a guest and made him sing over the PA system in a grocery store.  And Mark is a huge Barry Manilow fan.

But anyway, they weren't talking about sex, or poop, or other bodily functions that morning.  Instead, they kept apologizing for not being newscasters and switching over to the feed from their sister station which was a news format. 

That's how I heard the second plane hitting the towers live.  And the accompanying "Oh My God!" repeated over and over.

Still, since my bosses were such hard-a**es,  I figured they would probably ignore everything and still want me at work.  I believe we had that Keannu Reeves movie "Hard Ball" opening that Friday.  Funny how I framed my life around movie opening dates back then...

I had a hard time getting to work.  I think people were pulling over on the streets and doing crazy U-turns and such.  I finally made it to work and the studio lot was on lock down.  I had a hard time making it through the gate, even though I'd been in the same reserved lot for over seven years at that point. 

Anyway, I got in and the lot was empty.  My hard-nosed bosses didn't even make it in.  I stood around for a while, seeing if anybody was going to show up.  But then I thought the better of it, and realized how idiotic my dedication to a Keannu Reeves movie was when such a monumental tragedy was occuring so I went home and joined the nation in mourning.

What were you doing on this day?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lake Tahoe Day 2 - Donner State Park

Here is where we stayed.  Really cute.  They allow pets.  Get a parlor suite.  They have full kitchens, jacuzzi tubs, HD TVs and DVD players (2 - a set in the bedroom, a set in the living room). And pillow top mattresses.  Nice!  And the pricing is good.  Even when all the other places had vacancies, this place was booked solid. 

Walking distance to the mall, movie theater, and grocery store.  And private beach.  Yup, you get access to a private beach. 



There were those in my group that have a fascination with all things morbid and gross.  You would think with an abundance of beautiful scenery and water sports, we'd do that the first day.  But no, we had to drive up to Truckee, CA (north shore of the Lake) to visit the Donner State Park.  Yes, the infamous Donner party who got caught up in snow storm trying to cross the sierra nevada October 31st - Nov. 2. (they took a supposed 'short-cut').  The Donner party that ended up becoming cannibals in order to survive.  Yeah, that Donner Party...


There wasn't much to see.  There was construction going on.  This is a monument to the ill-fated party.  The top of the statue is how high the snow drifts were (22 feet!)

There was also a short film that ran.  The moral of the story according to a survivor? "Never take no cut-offs and hurry along as fast as you can".

According to Virginia Reed, they got so hungry, they ate their pet dog.  Lived off of 'Little Cash' for a week (ate the fur, the bones, everything.).  They ate the hide of the oxen that died.  The Reed family survived without having to eat their neighbors.  But others 'et each other.

For some of the people I was traveling with, this was the highlight of the trip.  Go figure...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Reno

The closest big airport to Lake Tahoe is Reno.  It is about an hour's drive from Reno to the south side of Lake Tahoe (our destination). Reno has a bad reputation for being where the seniors go to gamble.  It's a smaller and older version of Vegas.

We got there kind of early in the a.m. Did the river walk, and toured a few casinos before heading towards Tahoe.






And since I'm in the billboard business, I always love a good cheesy billboard. 

I won $15 in 5 minutes playing the penny slots.  Oh how I love the penny slot machines!

Coulda had breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Cal-Neva casino. 

Too bad I didn't have the time to stick around all day...

Some More Blogs to Visit

Jocelyn Rish
Writes short stories, novels, and screenplays!  Her website is titled Jocelyn Rish: Exploring the Magic of stories.  And unlike me, she actually writes!  Check out her blog post on the same 200 word campaigner challenge that I've entered.  Hers is quite a twist ending.  (all I can say without giving it away).  Also her photos of the dogs having a party is quite cute!
http://www.jocelynrish.com

Doreen McGettigan
Has a book coming out in November.  It is called BRISTOL boYZ STOMP. It is the true story of the murder of her younger brother in 1999, a victim of road rage.  I'm sure I'm not doing the book justice here.  Check out the description here: http://doreenmcgettigan.com/books/

Sounds She's got two more books coming out after that, and she is also a fellow "campaigner" check out her entry for the 'door swung shut' contest and the rest of her blog.  Interesting stuff:
http://doreenmcgettigan.com/

InLuvWithWords
has a blog called "Out On A Limb, A Shy Writer Goes Social" Cute title.  Like me, reviews books that are YA, and MG.  Sounds like she has a daughter that is this age and her daughter also has a blog.  Anyway, she is also part of the "campaign" although I'm not sure she did the 200 word writing challenge.  She's got a professional website also, but I'm thinking I'm getting a bit overwhelmed just looking at everyone's blog so I'm going to stop with just her blog.  Check it out at:  http://outonalimbshywritergoessocial.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lake Tahoe

Just back from a wonderful time in Tahoe. Pictures and such shortly. Boy, I sure didn't miss the heat.

The weather was fine! Not too hot, not too cold.  This shot is taken from Tallac Estates on the western side of the lake.  I think we drove all the way around the lake at least once each day.

We were busy! hiking, touring, swimming, gambling, eating.  If anything, next year I will try to stay longer so we have more leisure time.

Yes, definitely would like to get back there, same time next year!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Explanation of First Campaigner Challenge below

Sorry for posting with no explanation - you see, I had to link it to Rachel Harrie's website to enter. Anyway, here are the rules that I had to write and conform to:

Start with "The door swung open".
200 words or less (mine is EXACTLY 200 words) according to Microsoft word.
End with "The door swung shut". (optional).

Let me know how you like it?

First Campaigner Challenge

The door swung open with a slow creak, despite the lack of a rational explanation for the movement. There was only the irrational. A cold trickle of sweat ran down my back as I caught a little flash of something out of the corner of my eye. I shivered despite the August heat.

"Alex?" I called out to the empty room, the powder blue paint with the chocolate trim the only reminder that this was once his bedroom; the place we'd done "it" when his parents were out of town, the place he'd pledged his love, the place he'd come to die, still promising we'd be together forever.

But they were bulldozing the house next week and I was eager for one last look at the four walls that held my dearest memories. Alex, my love Alex, appeared to me then, his green eyes were as I remembered, twinkling just the same. He bowed to me, holding the door open for me, motioning me through. I laughed at his formality, the sound echoing eerily through the shell of the house as I stepped over the threshold and through the rotted floorboards, feeling my bones shatter as the door swung shut.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I hate the cable company

 Yesterday I had to go to the cable company.  They have one (yes, count 'em) one, visitor parking spot.  So I drove around and around, three times looking for a spot to park.  Couldn't find one.  So I left to do errands and came back.  I found a spot the second time as it was lunchtime.  Got myself registered, turned in my old cable box, picked up the DVR, went home, installed it, called to get access to service etc.

Fine.  It is all good, go to bed. 

Today, I cannot get reception for certain stations.  Like 29 and 30 and some other oddball ones.  All basic cable.  And it doesn't affect just the new DVR, it affects the other cable box too.  The one that had nothing wrong with it.

So, I call them again, for the 5th day in a row.  The live person was very poorly trained.  At least the other folks knew how to reset the boxes.  This person didn't even know how to reset the boxes.  She kept asking me to run upstairs, downstairs and see if it was rebooting.  It wasn't.  Then she said it was a problem with the new box.  I told her it couldn't be because both boxes were affected (insert curse of your choice).  So now I have to have a technician come out and the first available appointment is next weekend. 

If it doesn't fix soon, I'm going to go with satellite or phone company.  Dang unnamed cable company.  I want my food network!

More Blogs To Visit

More nice people stopping by so I figured I'd give you the lowdown on their blogs.  Very interesting - you should visit them:

Sharon Henning
Sharon writes about daily life, books, politics with a Christian outlook of the world.  She has an interesting background of having lived on every continent in the world (due to parents being in the military) has a degree from the Conservatory of Music in Chicago and has learned various folk instruments due to teaching music in public schools.  Her recent review of "The Vengeance Squad" has me wanting to get that book!  Please visit her at http://sharonhenning.blogspot.com/

Sarah's Book Shelves
Sarah's blog is mostly reviews covering the paranormal, suspense, mystery, young adult, and romance genres.  A nice site to visit to save yourself from buying a book that isn't any good.  Although, her most recent post is about helping out the town of Upper Jay NY, which was ravaged by Hurricane Irene.  The library there lost all it's children's books because they were on the lower shelves (easier for kids to reach).  A noble cause.  Please visit:
http://sarasbookshelves.blogspot.com/

Crazy Fox
Is a newly published author of the book "Confessions Of A Crazy Fox" which is an autobiographical memoir (is there such a thing as a non-autobiographical memoir?) of Texas in the '50's to the present.  Her latest post is hilarious and yet kind of scary at the same time about a follower of hers who decided not to follow her anymore.  Anyway, check out her site:
http://confessionsofacrazyfox.blogspot.com/

Existential Ennui
Louis XIV (the sun king) writes a blog about books, book collecting and comics!  All things I am into.  Although, probably not with as much depth or as seriously as he is.  He seems to like the spy thriller kind of novel.  Espionage, suspense, that kind of thing.  Anyway his series on Gavin Lyall is fascinating.  Especially his amateur (?) detective work in trying to figure out who the person to whom one of his Gavin Lyall books is dedicated is? (does that make sense as a sentence? Hello, grammar police.)  Nice photos too.
Anyway, check out:
http://existentialennui.blogspot.com/

Amy Neftzger
Amy has a masters degree in industrial/organizational psychology and is a published author in fiction as well as non-fiction/business.  Her writing style (according to some website she tried out) is like Vladimir Nabokov and Kurt Vonnegut.  Her post entitled "Imaginary Numbers" where she defines some words she made up is hilarious.  I hope to win a giggleplex sometime as that is my retirement plan!  Please visit:
http://neftzger.blogspot.com/

WB Terrien
Wendy writes children and adult fiction as well as essays and articles.  Looks like she just started blogging in April but plenty of nice, well written posts.  Also, her blog is very professional looking.  Could learn a thing or two from her.  Please visit:
http://wbterrien.com/blog/

Tia Bach
Writes a blog along with her mother, Angela.  They've written a book together "Depression Cookies" which is also the title of their blog.  It is the story of 13-year-old Krista and coming of age; told through the POV of her mother Abby and through Krista's eyes.  Please go to their website to read more about it and find out how to purchase:
http://depressioncookies.blogspot.com/p/ordering.html

Whew!  I'd tell you about Todney's blog but I can't see that he has one.  Thanks for following me, all the same! 

Anyway, the platform campaigner's thing is supposed to start tomorrow, so I'll probably be posting some stuff related to that soon. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fairview Joins The 20th Century

Fairview is finally getting a DVR and joining the 20th Century. Yeah, and as in all things, she thinks it is a conspiracy theory.  The cable company did a massive outage in the area and when the cable came back on line, one of her cable boxes worked, one didn't.  Fairview called for two days in a row.  First day, she was told all she had to do was re-boot the box.  She did that.  Didn't work.  Second day, she was told to "press two" on her phone to re-authorize the box.  She did that, didn't work.

So finally, on the third day, she was allowed access to an actual live person in technical support who told her to do all the same things.  She did as she was told as it was easier than arguing with said live human being.  When none of the things she did the two days prior worked, she was told to bring in her cable box and switch it out for a new one.  And then "Oh, by the way, we noticed you don't have a DVR?  How about you get a DVR instead.  Then you will be able to pay us even more money than you already do.  Oh and how about you switch your phone and internet to us as well?"

Seeing as how Fairview is the only person she knows who doesn't have a DVR, she reluctantly agreed to the DVR.  Now she has to drive to the cable company to return her "suddenly" disabled box and the pleasure of picking up and installing a  DVR herself so she can pay cable company more money to join the 20th century.

Next up, Fairview will learn to Twitter so she can join the 21st century...

Heart On A Chain

Yeah, the second book I read tonight because I was procrastinating doing the writing thing...

"Heart On A Chain" tells the story of Kate who is the pariah at her high school.  Bullied because she only owns clothes that are second-hand, only gets one meal a day - the state sponsored lunch program.  No friends, beat up by mean girls. Horrific life at home.

Into her pathetic life walks Henry, gorgeous super smart, perfect in every way.  They had a history together - they were in grade school together and Henry gave Kate a valentine in 6th grade and her first kiss..

I don't think I need to fill in the rest of the details.  And I think that is part of the problem - it was kind of predictable. And the characters, well, they were kind of stereotypes.

If you think Kate's life could get any more pathetic, then you thought wrong.  The author just keeps piling on the next and the next bad thing to happen to Kate.  Still, she's skilled enough to make you cry.  Even as you know the author is manipulating you to do so

And Henry; he's so perfect in every way. No flaws whatsoever but that kind of makes Prince Charming kind of uninteresting.  And his family? Well I think I got a cavity as I read about them.

So if you buy into the concept of a "good cry" being cathartic, then this book is for you!  I was in this kind of mood so it is getting a 4 star rating from me.

* * * *  4 stars

Sophie & Carter

I got this on Kindle.  Not really a full-length novel, more of a short story.  Sophie and Carter live next door to each other and are both seniors in high school and best friends forever.  They've both witnessed the other's horrible lives.  Carter's Mom and he have both been abused by Carter's Dad.  Carter sports a scar from the back of his neck down to the elbow of his arm from where his Dad came after him with a knife and then disappeared. Carter's mom is mentally disabled from all the years of abuse.  Carter takes care of his mom, refusing to put her in an institution.

Sophie takes care of her three younger siblings, her mom is a prostitute and doesn't come home for weeks or months at a time. No Dad around.

Sophie and Carter only have each other for support.  And they meet at the porch swing at Sophie's each night for a few minutes before going back to their real lives.

Sweet story. Short, though, and some of it was kind of not believable.  Like each of them getting away with living on their own for so long without being reported to child services, or that money wasn't more of an issue for Carter.  Or that Sophie hadn't been thrown out of their home already?
Still, if you can overlook these small nit-picks and not chant "I'm not buying it" (like some folks in my critique group) it is a worthwhile read because the author gets the emotional beats just right.

PS it was cheap, that is why I bought it.

My rating:  * * *  (3 stars)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blogs I've visited

I have some really nice folks joining my blog (thanks to the campaign thing I've joined) and so I figured I'd scout and tell you a little about each.  They are all writers of Young Adult (YA), readers of YA, or both and bloggers to boot because that is what I am
(besides the dining reviews, book reviews, movie reviews and the random photos of cats).
 
K.T. Hanna has a blog called "The Scribble Muse".  She writes Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Speculative (I'm not sure what that is?) and Horror. And her posts that I read dealt with the things that are common to most of us writers: productivity, procrastination, trying to write three books at once (hello!), gathering rosebuds while ye may (paraphrasing).  She makes valid points.  Visit her blog: www.kthanna.com.  She says she's an amateur photographer as well.

Sheri L. Swift writes a blog called 'Finding Joy In The Journey'.  She's got a book (self?)-published entitled "Legend of the Mer", which she wrote in Junior High!  She is an inspirational writer and leads the Prayer Ministry for her church, the Blue Ridge Fellowship.  She's a mother of five and mother-in-law to five and grandmother of eight!  and a cancer survivor!  Visit her at
http://www.sherilswift.blogspot.com/

F.E. Sewell has a blog of the same name.  He/She is also a graphic designer.  So F.E. has a unique perspective on things.  Like different colors represent different emotions and stages of life in his/her eyes.
There's a lot of pictures and drawings in this blog. The post about Zombies is cute.   Oh and his/her header is really cool.  No istock illustration here.  Visit www.fesewell.blogspot.com

Jessica Therrien writes a blog called 'Imagination to Publication'.  First off, the blog is beautiful (at least to me).  She's 25, and will be published in 2012!! Her paranormal book is called 'The Descendants', and is being compared to The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, and The Mortal Instruments series (all my favorites).  Visit her blog to read more about this:  www.Jessica-Therrien.blogspot.com 

Okay, I'm feeling like a  total under-achiever /low life so I'm stopping here before I get more depressed.