Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

"The Sea of Monsters" is book two in the series "Percy Jackson and the Olympians." If you missed the review on the first book that I did, go here to read it!

In book 2 we rejoin Percy at his new school towards the end of the school year. He's had a pretty easy school year for once, no monsters attacking, but of course he can't make it through the entire year free from torment. A "friendly" game of dodge ball turns into a deadly attack, and to Percy's surprise, he finds his friend Tyson protecting him way more than he should be capable of. It turns out Tyson is more than he appears to be!

Soon Percy discovers that Camp Half-Blood is in trouble, as is his friend Grover. The solution to both problems lies in the legendary Sea of Monsters. It, like the gods, moved location with the change of power, and is now located in the Bermuda Triangle. So, of course, he goes off on a new quest to save Grover, and Tyson goes along.

Percy grows up a lot in this book. He learns more about his "family" and about who he is as a person. Does he save the day? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Aria's Quest - The Gem

To catch the beginning of the story go here:

Section 1
The Beginning
Part 3
The Gem

With a tired sigh, Aria tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear. Her arms ached with the weight of the baby, but she didn’t allow that to slow her pacing. Lilith had been colicky a lot lately, and a steady walk and quiet hum was the only thing that seemed to keep her from screaming at the top of her lungs. As tired as Aria was, the last thing she wanted was those shrill screams to resume and wake all the napping young ones.

Aria looked up with surprise when her mother quietly slipped into the room. She had thought her mother was hard at work in her studio, and hadn’t expected to see her until much later in the day. Quietly, her mother said, “Give me Lilith dear. You have visitors.”

“Visitors Mother?” Aria asked in surprise.

“Yes dear. Now smooth your hair and hurry along. Dahlia and I will be fine for the rest of the day.”

“Yes Mother.” Aria said, hurrying out of the room while fixing her hair to look as presentable as she could without a mirror. She knew any visitors would be waiting in the front room, and a little thrill of excitement ran through her as she approached the entryway, she’d never had visitors important enough for the front room before! Usually anyone who visited her would just come on back and talk to her while she took care of the kids.

Aria’s heart leaped into her throat when she entered the front room and saw the three visitors standing solemnly waiting for her. At last her turn had come! She did her best to hide her excitement as she gave a low bow and gave them the traditional greeting, “Peace, health, and joy my friends. How may I serve you?”

The man in the middle stepped forward. “Peace, health, and joy to you our friend. Today it is we who come to serve you. Please, kneel before us, not out of fear, but in the joy of receiving.” Aria knelt, head bowed, her heart thumping like a rabbit being chased by a hawk. Slipping a thin chain over her head the man continued, “With this gem we charge you.”

Stepping forward and laying one hand on her head another man spoke, “With this gem you start your journey into adulthood.”

The last of the trio, a woman, also stepped forward and place her hand on Aria’s head. “Now you leave behind your childish ways.”

Adding his hands on top to complete the ceremony the first man spoke one again. “Go forth, seek who you will and render them aid as you can.”

Speaking in unison the trio finished. “Change the world for good, and you shall be welcome back to your people. Change the world for harm and you shall be an outcast, forever to wander alone, never to know the joy of fellowship.”

The trio stepped back, and Aria slowly raised her head. “I solemnly promise to go out, to seek the one who needs me, and to change this world for good.”

The trio bowed gently, and quietly left the room, leaving Aria on her knees, trembling. As she heard the door close she lifted the gem from her chest, and stared into its dark green depths.

Her quest had begun!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sometimes My Life...

I found this button when I went to research this month's featured Etsy Blogger so I could write about her in my other blog. I instantly fell in love because it feels so true sometimes! Or not a soap opera then maybe a comic tragedy? Because it can certainly feel super-tragic at times, but I always try to keep laughing!

The latest update is that I'm apparently really anemic. We found this out because I finally got to go see a neurologist about my migraines earlier this week. He ordered a comprehensive blood work up which, among other things, meant we found out I'm anemic.

I was kinda floored when I first got the letter with the news. I mean seriously, come on, something ELSE is wrong with me? Now that I've had some time to think about it I'm much calmer. Yeah, I'm anemic, but the good news is that this treatable and it explains a lot. Apparently when your iron gets this low it can cause all sorts of neurological problems - which means we may have found the cause for why my migraines have gotten so bad these last few months!

It also explains why I'm always so incredibly tired. I figured I had good reason considering the sleep apnea, asthma, and migraines, but apparently I had even more reason than I thought! Speaking of the sleep apnea - the latest update on dealing with the Darth Vadar mask is that I haven't been. I can't wear it when I have a migraine because the pressure it puts on my face increases the pain of the migraine. *sigh* Hopefully I'll be able to start using it again soon, I was starting to adjust to it, and apparently I need all the rest I can get!

The other thing the neurologist did was he added several new vitamins and an herb to my daily pill regiment. I was NOT happy about even more pills, but I want the pain to go away, so I've been sucking it up. I've been adding them in a day at a time so that if I reacted to one I'd know which one it was. My body does tend to react to weird things after all.

Yesterday I added in Feverfew. Apparently it's an herb often proscribed as a natural treatment for migraines. I was pretty skeptical at first because it smells awful, even though it's in pill form! Good news is I only had a very low level migraine this morning, and nothing all afternoon! I don't know for sure if it's the Feverfew or if I just had one of my "lucky days," but I'm hoping its the nasty smelling herb because I would really love to have found something to ease the pain!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

We're you ever fascinated by the different myths about the Greek and Roman gods? I know I always was as a kid. I could never keep everyone straight (just the major players) but I loved the stories! I still do. I could psychoanalyze for you why I find them so fascinating, but that's a long story for another post some day.

"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan is a book written for middle schoolers - but don't stop reading this review! It's more than worth the read as an adult! Why? Well, remember those Greek and Roman gods I was mentioning? Imagine that they were real, and that they never actually died out just because the Greeks and the Romans we're no longer around to tell stories about them. No, they changed with the times and followed the center of civilaztions power as it moved from one place to the other, until they finally came to America.

That's right, Zeus, Athen, Poseidon, they all play their part in the real world, and they even have kids! You remember, the gods were always a sucker for a cute mortal. The children born to these mortal parents are demi-gods, heroes. They are also in constant danger. Monsters (which of course are real as well) can smell the god-blood in these demi-god children and they like to hunt them down. Many of these children are doomed to live a very short life, but there is hope for their survival.

Hope comes in the form of Camp Half-Blood, a training camp for the demi-gods, and the children just have to get there! Some find their way on their own, some of them are lucky enough to have their god-parent inform their mortal parent about the camp, and the others are found by scouts. At Camp Half-Blood they learn to fight as well as learning more about their heritage.

"The Lightning Thief" is book one in the series "Percy Jackson and the Olympians." Percy thinks he's a normal boy, although he'd be the first to admit he gets in trouble on a regular basis. He soon finds out that his life is a lot more complicated than he thought, his best friend is actually a satyr, and it's going to be up to him to save the world!

It's an easy read, but it's a lot of fun! Go out and get it :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Little Country by Charles de Lint

If you've been reading my book reviews (or, even better, his books) than you know that Charles de Lint has his own little corner of the world that he sets quite a few of his books in. "The Little Country" is not one of those books. Instead it's set in the Cornwall region of England.

"The Little Country" is two stories woven together. In one, we follow the adventures of Janey Little. Janey is a musician living with her beloved Grandfather who's known to one and all as the Gaffer. Earlier in his life one of the Gaffers closest friends had been William Dunthorn, a man with a bit of the fey about him, who wrote some incredible books. Janey's always loved Dunthorn's books, and loved the connection she has to him through the Gaffer.

One day Janey discovers a previously unknown book by Dunthorn hidden in the Gaffers attic. Inside the book it says that it was printed in an edition of one, and there's a letter from Dunthorn to the Gaffer asking him to safe guard the book. Janey quickly learns from the Gaffer that there is magic in the book, and that every time it's taken from hiding strange things begin to happen, including a bunch of strangers trying to get their hands on it.

In the second story we meet Jodi, a young woman who's insatiably curious, and who's always been fascinated by the concept of little people. Well, she soon gets her fascination sated beyond what she ever would have imagined because a witch turns her into a little person!

The rest of Jodi's story is full of her desperate attempts to regain her normal size, and the attempts of her friends to help her. They have to be careful of the witch, and the many creatures she throws their way! Jodi stays brave through it all though. I'll let you find out for yourself whether or not she makes it back to her "normal" self or not.

Now these two stories might seem to have little to do with each other, but they are connected! How? Well, go get the book and find out!

Interested in the other books by Charles de Lint that I've reviewed? Click here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind

"Soul of the Fire," by Terry Goodkind, is book five in his series "The Sword of Truth." I started reading this series about a year ago, and instantly fell in love with the complex plots, detail, and the sheer magnitude of the story line. The first four books are, "Wizards First Rule," "Stone of Tears," "Blood of the Fold," and "Temple of the Winds."

This series follows the adventures of Richard, Kahlan, Zed, and many others as they seek to combat evil. This saga covers a lot of ground, so it's hard for me to figure out where to begin in discussing the series! So I'll simply leave you by saying that there is romance, magic, death, darkness, light, and truth woven into this story. You'll be swept up when you read these books!

I do want to add a little disclaimer. Goodkind is not the kind to spare details, so when he gets dark, he gets dark, be prepared to handle that if you read this series.

"Temple of the Winds" ends with Kahlan and Richard finally getting to have their wedding. So, appropriately, "Soul of the Fire" picks up the next day! Now anyone with a feeling heart would wish this nice couple at least a few days to enjoy their wedded bliss right? Well, that was not to be, their married life starts off just as tumultuous as their pre-married life. It seems that Kahlan unwittingly set the "chimes" lose on the world when she saved Richard's life in the last book, and as a result all magic was being drained from the world. Some, those who fear magic anyway, would think this a good thing. However, that's a narrow view with a world that's very balance depends on magic. As Zedd explains to them quite vividely.

Trying to stop the chimes is a major theme in this book. However, it also continues the story of Jagangs attempt to take over, and so our hereos are torn between working to stop him, and stop the chimes. They have a lot on their plate! If you've read the earlier books in the series you'll know that's not uncommon though.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Aria's Quest - The Counsel's Decision

Sorry this is late getting out this week! I'll try to be "on-time" next week :) Hopefully I'll be feeling better too! If you missed the first part of the series go here. And if you like the art work make sure you check out :)

Section 1
The Beginning
Part 2
The Counsel's Decision

Eiowinn sighed softly, shifting in her chair a little to try to relieve some of the pressure on her aching bones. Lately she’d begun to really dread these counsel meetings with their seemingly endless discussions! Ok, to be honest, she’d never really enjoyed the meetings, but the older she got the more annoying they seemed to be. Well this one had gone on long enough; it was time for her to hurry things along a bit.

When Eiowinn raised her hand the chamber quickly fell into a hush. She was the oldest and most respected of the counsel members, and everyone knew that it was best to listen when she chose to contribute to the discussions. So mouths closed and those anxious to jump in with their point had to contain themselves.

“Friends, I don’t know why this discussion has grown so heated. I spoke with the girl, Aria, myself earlier today. She is ready and eager to go on her quest. Indeed, in many ways she has already begun to quest, she thirsts for knowledge, and asks questions at every chance she can. Yes, she is young, but we have sent fairies even younger on their quests before. Age has never been as important a consideration as preparedness.

“As to your other point, yes Dahlia is older and many think we should simply follow the birth order and present her with the gem. Dahlia, while competent in everything she does, does not yet have the drive and fire that is necessary to complete the mission. She is too content to cook, clean, and care for children. All good things, but it is a very narrow focus. By sending out her sister before her we will cause her to question. Dahlia will try to figure out why she was passed over, and strive to convince the counsel she is worthy to go out when Aria returns. I believe this will give her the fire she needs and open her eyes. Yes, we run the risk of creating bitterness in her heart, but if we watch her closely, and subtly provide counsel, I believe that can be avoided.

“So now, my friends, I ask that we stop this endless debate and put the disbursement of this first gem to a vote right now. We still have two more gems to discuss, and the day grows long already.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So Here's What's Going On...

Well, to my ever-increasing frustration, I haven't been able to blog as regularly as I want. Actually, I haven't been able to do anything as much as I want to lately. Why? Well, I'm continuing to have daily migraines.

Some days I can sit up and get things done, but I've spent way too many days in the last few weeks curled up on the futon not able to do anything.

It's been pretty frustrating.

I'd almost rather have my asthma attacks than this! I mean, I can actually get a lot done when I'm not breathing. I can talk on-line, I can make jewelry, I can write. As long as I move really slowly I can get things done. When I'm trapped on my back in pain - I can't.

I've been working on dealing with the doctors trying to figure this all out. They thought it was one thing, and then another. Finally they sent me to the neurologist this morning.

Well, the good news is that there likely isn't anything wrong with me that's going to kill me! Yay! Ok, so yeah, I pretty much already figured that. I've had migraines for years and years, they've just gotten much, much worse.

The bad news is that he said it's going to take awhile to work through all of this. Part of it is that I'm already on a bunch of meds because of my severe asthma problems. Part of it is that I'm on welfare insurance and they don't pay for a lot of different medications. So we're starting out by having me take a bunch more supplements in case its being triggered by a vitamin deficiency. We're also going to try increasing the heart medication that I'm already on because it can be used to treat migraines.

Other than that...well...i'm supposed to keep a headache diary and go back and see him in a month. He wants to give the vitamins a chance to work before he trys the next medication, which is apparently a major seisure medication.

So - I'm slogging through the best I can. But if I sometimes disappear for a day or two, that's why. Sorry.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Roller Coaster Ride

Happy Valentines Day my friends! I thought long and hard about whether or not I should write a Valentines Day post. I know there are a million and a half different posts on the subject today, so I was a little leery about it at first, and then I realized that I do have a story to share. So I've decided to share my story, my roller coaster ride, what Valentines Day means to me.

Growing up I was always a tom-boy. I spent my childhood covered in dirt, up in trees, and skipping stones. Because of this I was much more comfortable dealing with boys on the basketball court than I was considering them as potential dates. And, since they were used to
seeing me on the basketball court, the boys thought of me more as "one of them" then they did as a girl. I can't tell you how many times guys would say something along the lines of, "Your sort of a girl, I like this girl, what do you think I should do?"

Slowly but surely the girls I was friends with started asking me for advice with the boys. They figured I was in the boys heads, and so they'd ask me a million and a half questions!
I became a sort of mediator in my friends relationships. I'd translate what the boys were thinking for the girls, and I'd tell the boys when they were being stupid. Plus, since in Middle School I was bigger than most of the boys, I on occasion would scare them a bit if they upset
my girl friends.

By High School the pattern was firmly set. I was "one of the boys" to the guys, and a source of information to the girls. The only problem with this is that I no longer wanted that to be who I was. For years I'd denied having crushes on any of the boys, now I didn't know how to admit that I liked a guy, and despite all the advice I'd given others, I had no idea how to act like I wanted to be in a relationship. I knew how to act tough, but not how to be vulnerable, which actually takes more strength.

Eventually I found myself in a half-relationship. It would take a long time to really explain. The short version is that we thought we were in love, and maybe we were, but we never officially dated. The reasons were many. It was a strange relationship that last for too many years.

When I was younger I didn't think much about Valentines Day. It was just another day to me. Eventually I grew to resent it. Especially while I was in my almost relationship. I had this guy who thought I was special, but it wasn't like I had a date or received anything special from him on Valentines Day.

Then, one day, our relationship was over, and I was completely alone for Valentines Day. I didn't even have his theoretical love to comfort myself with any more. He was the only boy who'd ever cared for me like that. Now that he was gone, and I knew that was the right thing, I wondered if I was lovable.

Several years went by and each Valentines Day was painful for me. It was a vivid reminder that I was alone. Some years I tried to put a brave face, other years I didn't bother.

There was one year during that time that's memory I cherish. A year that stands out among the rest as a high point. A year that actually wasn't that painful in the end.

I'm a swing dancer, or at least I was then. Some of us who were single decided to brave the Valentines Dance that year. We went as a group so we could try and forget that we didn't have our special someones. It was still hard. We all had on our brave faces, but it still hurt to see how many loving couples surrounded us.

Towards the end of the evening my brave mask was starting to slip, and one of the guys who was with us noticed. He was a close friend, we never considered dating, but we always had a special bond. So when he saw that my pain and uncertainty was rising to the surface he waited for a slow song, one that would be torture for me to sit out, and came over and asked me dance with the cutest grin on his face.

For that one song he held me close, treated me like a princess, and for once I felt like I was loveable. It was magic. Nothing had changed in our friendship, but it was still the best Valentines present I had ever received. For those few minutes I knew that someone cherished me. Even if it was only as a good friend.

Amazingly enough that one year kept me going for the next several. I had that memory to cling to. I knew that no matter how I felt sometimes, at least one guy thought I was special, even if it wasn't special the way I wanted to be considered. The next few Valentines Days weren't quite as low as they had been.

Now, I actually like Valentines Day. Talk about a turn around! Of course, this year is my second Valentines Day as a wife, and I treasure my dear husband. He's not some super-romantic guy who's going to shower me with presents, but that's ok. I know that he loves me, and that's all that I need.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint

Have I mentioned before that Charles de Lint is one of my favorite authors? I'm sure I have. I seem to be on a de Lint run right now, but I don't think I would have noticed how much I'm reading his work if I wasn't doing these book reviews! Ah well, their good books, and maybe I'll get someone else addicted right?

In "Forests of the Heart" we meet Bettina, a young woman who's part Indian, part Mexican, and who was raised to have a close connection to the magic of this world. We also meet Ellie, a young woman who has a powerful connection to magic, but is unaware of it. Their life paths cross as they both are faced with the Gentry (some vengeful Irish spirits) and what they are about to unleash on the world.

There are many other wonderful characters in this book and you'll find yourself caught up in the twists and turns of this fast paced story!

Check out my other reviews on books by de Lint :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aria's Quest

I mentioned when I talked about my goals for this year that I wanted to start writing a serial fiction, and feature it on this blog. Well, after many false starts and delays, here's the first chapter! I hope to update it once a week, so check back next Monday or Tuesday for the next piece of the story. Of course, feel free to read my posts the rest of the week too :P

The art work was done by my lovely friend Cara - check out her shop at

Section 1

The Beginning

Part 1

Running Late

Aria swooped around a tree at top speed. She couldn’t believe she’d lost track of time yet again! Her Mom was going to be so mad…if she found out that is. There was a chance that Dahlia had covered for her, but it wasn’t too likely. Dahlia had always looked down on her with distain, calling her flighty and wild. In her defense, Aria really did work hard; she just also could get caught up in other things that she found important, things that Dahlia had never understood.

Dahlia was one of those fairies that that lived for tradition and family. She was the one cooking behind the scenes when the fairies feasted, and she longed for the day that she would marry and raise her own children. Aria and Dahlia were only a couple years apart, the only unmarried girls in the family who were the right age to take care of the young ones, and with 8 younger siblings, their Mother often needed their help!

Usually Dahlia took the morning shift so Aria could go join the dance team for practice and study. While Aria was officially out of school, she had a thirst for knowledge, so she treasured that time she got to spend amongst the dusty scrolls and books. Usually she was able to keep track of the shadows shifting so she made it back in time to help with lunch, but occasionally she’d get lost in a new find or a conversation with another fairy. Today she’d been talking with Eiowinn, one of the oldest fairies in the tribe. Getting a chance to ask Eiowinn questions was like finding a treasure trove to Aria, and so she’d lost track of time once again despite her good intentions.

Aria skidded as she landed outside their front door. She rushed down the main hallway, her wings folding away with hardly a thought, and looking around hoping not to see her Mother. Ducking into the playroom she found the young one’s sitting down and eating lunch, and Dahlia glaring at her while she fed the baby. “I’m sorry Dahlia I was talking to Eiowinn and…”

“I don’t know how often you expect me to cover for you, but I’m getting tired of it! You’re lucky I was already planning on feeding the young one’s some stew, if lunch had been any more complicated I don’t know how I would have done it without asking for help.” Dahlia grumped.

“I’m sorry; I’ll try not to let it happen again Dahlia. Just, it was Eiowinn, she knows so much!”

“How are you ever going to manage on your quest if you can’t meet your daily responsibilities?”

“How are YOU going to take care of the young one’s without me when they give me my gem to head out on my quest?” Aria replied, getting frustrated.

Dahlia snorted. “Aria, your only 17 years old, what makes you think you’ll receive your gem soon? For that matter, what makes you think you’ll go before me? I’m 19 and I haven’t gone! Darien didn’t go until he was 22.”

“Yeah, but Aeryk went on his quest when he was 18, so it could happen soon. And Daffyd received his gem before Jenna, so they don’t always go in age order!”

“Dream on Aria.”

Aria just ignored her and went to work cleaning up and helping the younger one’s as they finished with their meals. Dahlia always got her so frustrated! But she knew she was going to get her gem soon, she just felt it deep inside, Dahlia would see!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ogre, Ogre by Piers Anthony

I picked this book up at the library one day when I was browsing the shelf with Piers Anthony on it. I didn't look at it closely enough to realize that it was part of a series, although how I missed that when I KNOW I read the back of the book, I'll never know. Anyway, "Ogre, Ogre" is one of the books in the "Magic of Xanth" series. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book with out the back story, I'd recommend NOT following in my footsteps and starting out with the first book instead. Believe me, I've already ordered it from my local library!

I love reading Piers Anthony because he has a talent for looking at things from the most bizarre angels! He excels at that once again in "Ogre, Ogre." In this book we meet Smash, who seems to be the typical Ogre at first, if albeit a little bit more familiar with polite society than most Ogres. He goes to the Good Magician Humfrey for an Answer (although he doesn't really know what the question is) and soon finds himself on a journey through Xanth with an ever increasing number of maidens to protect! Its an hilarious journey and each of the companions grows and changes along the way.

Interested in reading my other reviews on other books by Piers Anthony? Go here :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman

Whenever I see a movie that's based on a book my first instinct is to go out and get the book! If it's a good movie at least. I can be slow getting around to it, but usually the books are better than the movies, so I try to get to it eventually!

"The Golden Compass" is book 1 in the series "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman, and yes, it was made into a movie just over a year ago. If you've seen the movie, you've got a pretty good idea of what the book is about! There are some differences though. Mainly, the book goes into a lot more detail in some places than the movie does. The story is more fleshed out.

For those of you who haven't seen the movie - "The Golden Compass" is the story of a girl named Lyra who finds herself caught up in a grand adventure! She never was your typical girl, raised by scholars instead of a family, and because of this she was allowed to run a little wild. Children have started disappearing, much to her concern, and she starts to try to figure it out. Next thing she knows she's caught up in a twisted plot by the grown ups, and setting out on a dangerous journey to save the other children.

One thing that sets this series apart from other fantasy series is the concepts of daemons. Daemons are thought to be the "soul" of the person as personified by an animal companion. They add a fun element to the story that I really enjoyed, but that I also understand has been the subject of an uproar by the Christian community. While I would agree that maybe the choice of the word "daemon" is a bit unfortunate, I don't really see this as being that much different from any of the other fantasy books out there and I really enjoyed reading it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Evil Twin is AWESOME!

Yes, that's right, I said Evil Twin! She's not really my twin, in fact we're not even related, but since when have I ever let a little thing like that get in my way? Pffft. Actually, in the interests of full disclosure here I should mention that I am also her evil twin. "Huh?" your thinking, "how does that work?" Quite simply my friend, neither of us is well enough behaved to be the good twin...

Anyway, I love this girl dearly, and we truly are often mistaken for sisters! Last Friday there was a girls night that I had to miss because I had a migraine, so what did my dear evil twin do? She saved me a piece of pie and brought it over tonight! Doesn't it look yummy? It's Strawberry Rhubarb :D

On a different note...I've been trying to take more pictures of late. I tend to only get pictures of my jewelry or major events, and I'm tired of that. I admire the people who take tons and tons of photos of their life, and so I'm challenging myself to take more! I had this bright idea that I'd try to take a photo a day. Um. Yeah right. There are days where, with my health problems, that's just not going to happen. Not to mention this is one habit that's really going to take time for me to build! So instead I'm simply trying to take them as often as I can. I kinda sucked in January, and this is my first photo this month, but hey, it's a start!

I'll be uploading my photos to Flickr and occasionally sharing them with you. If you want to check out my few January Pics - go here. And if you want to keep up with my February photos those are going to be here. Hopefully I'll be more consistent this month than I was last month! Oh yes, and I by no means claim to be a photographer, don't expect stellar photos here people!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony

I recently read "Being a Green Mother" by Piers Anthony. This is the fifth and final book in the series "Incarnations of Immortality." Since I read the rest of the books last year, before I started this blog and doing book reviews, I decided I'm going to try to briefly tell you a little bit about the entire series!

Piers Anthony sets this series on earth, but it's a earth very different from the one that you and are familiar with! Here magic and science both hold their own power, and different people live their lives based more on one or the other. Time, War, Death, Earth, and Fate are all not only real forces, they are offices held by people! Each book in the series focuses on a different one of these Incarnations, starting with them obtaining their office, and following them as they take their part in the fight between Good and Evil.

The five books are, in order: "On a Pale Horse" - where we meet Death (and he has a concsious!), "Bearing and Hourglass" - where we learn that the office of Time is much more confusing than you or I would have imagined, "With a Tangled Skein" - the life of the incarnation of Fate is rather a twisted path, "Wielding a Red Sword" - where we learn that even War has a heart, and lastly, "Being a Green Mother" - where we see the great responsibility that Gaea has in managing the earth.

I love this series because it takes concepts that may be familiar to many of us, especially those who've been around the fantasy world for any time, and then twists them! The stories are convoluted, but compelling. Oh yes, and did I mention Piers Anthony has a fantastic sense of humor?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

January - Looking back.

It's been a busy month! I started out this month full of goals and dreams, and I even managed to get them written down formally! When I blogged about Goal For It, one of the things I decided was that I'd start writing monthly updates on how I'm doing in meeting my goals. A lot of my goals were more related to my business, so if you want to read more about that, head over there :)

I didn't do as well at meeting my goals for this blog as I would have liked. I only posted 17 times! I also haven't been able to do a lot of the research I wanted to do for this blog. Ah well - I can always try to do better next month right?

I can report, however, that the Goal For It site has been really helpful. It's great to have a place where I can go and check how I'm doing on my goals! It also helps me keep things in perspective. Looking at my list of goals on there I can see that while I may not have done quite as much as I wanted to with this blog, I did make significant progress on other goals. So that helps keep things in balance :)

So - now that we're a month into the New Year - how are you doing on your goals?