Friday, December 31, 2010

Poem: I Am Not

 I Am Not
I am not my disease,
But my disease is in me.

I am not my disease,
It does not laugh, or cry,
Or tell cheesy jokes.

I am not my disease,
It does not make decisions,
It does not dream.

I am not my disease,
And yet…

I am not my disease,
But it does affect me.

I am not my disease,
But it makes me laugh, and cry
And I joke about it.

I am not my disease,
But it affects my decisions,
And how I live my dreams.

I am not my disease,
But my disease is in me.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Family Night: 12-16

The last few weeks have been really crazy - and I'm trying to catch up! So - rewind to the 16th. We had a family night after my grandparents got in for my brother's wedding - and here are my pictures!

It was supposed to be game night but we ended up just talking the whole night. It was a lot of fun! Oh, and I know the picture at the end of Gordon's soup is a little weird - but I was amused by how many crackers he put in. :) And this is my blog - so you can deal with it :P

Monday, December 27, 2010

Starting Photo 365

I've always thought the various "365" challenges were pretty fun. The basic concept is you take something, photos, art, and the like, and you do it every day for a year! Of course you have to share about it too - so I'll be sharing on here! My 365 challenge is taking a photo  day. I don't have any particular plan for what I'm going to be taking pictures of, just that I'm going to take photos! Knowing me some of them will probably end up a little kooky - but that's me!

The plan is to post a blog once a month with a slide show of that month's pictures. I'm also posting them as things go alone on my facebook account. Feel free to send me a friend's request! Here are the first 4 pictures just to give you a taste.

Day 1- Great Tea

Day 2 - Chocolate with Cornflakes

Day 3 - 8 Eggs

Day 4 - Paper Towel Coffee Filter

There has been a lot of stuff going on in the last two weeks, and I'm going to try to catch up! I might get the first post up later today, but no promises. I have other things to do as well! Expect some slideshows :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Insanity of Weddings

I haven't been posting much, and I haven't been writing much, and there's a good reason for that! My baby brother is getting married this weekend. I'm really excited! I've been working on a really complicated piece of jewelry to wear to the wedding and that's taken most of my time. I don't have to actually DO much for the wedding other than show off my jewelry skills :P

Its also my 3rd wedding anniversary today, and of course that's adding to the fun! Yes, my brother is getting married 3 years and 3 days after I did. Fun huh? So on Monday we went over to my inlaws for dinner and stayed for about four hours. I was beading the whole time we talked :P She made us Cornish Game Hens - who actually cooks those? My mother-in-law apparently.

Today my hubby and I went out to lunch to celebrate our anniversary and it was a total bust! We were talking and chatting and that part was fine, but I ordered a salad thinking I'm being unhealthy enough with all the wedding stuff, and it was a SPICY salad with fruit. Spicy and fruit. Scary combo. I was not expecting the spicy and wasn't really able to eat much. It was sad.

I'm spending the rest of the night working on jewelry stuff. Tomorrow I'll be spending some time with my best friend who just gone in from Missouri and in the evening were having a family dinner and game night. Friday night is the rehearsal dinner and set up for the wedding. Then Saturday is the big day! And by big day, I mean super long! It's going to be a lot of fun though. The wedding itself isn't too long, although Tanya is Russian and there is going to be translation between English and Russian because some of the people attending only speak Russian. Should be interesting. Then we're having a looong reception! I'm bringing beads to work on. Yes. I'm crazy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Did I Tell You?

Did I tell you? I'm now on youtube! My brother just started his youtube channel and I'll be appearing on there on a regular basis. If you'd like to get to know me and my family, you can check out our Thanksgiving this year and my birthday below!

And guess what? I'll have a crafty vlog coming soon!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Up in the Ramptop Mountains of Discworld three witches have come together to form a coven. Granny Weatherwax, as the most highly regarded witch in all of the Ramptops, is the unofficial leader. She doesn't approve much of these newfangled ideas youngsters have now a days, but of course, she doesn't approve of much period. Nanny Ogg skipped over the tradition of a witch living a lonely life in a remote cottage, and instead is the matriarch of a large clan that seems to have spread to every corner of Lancre. Magrat is the youngest of the three, and the one with the most newfangled ideas. She sees a place for great ceremony and ornamentation whereas the others just want to get things done. Despite their differences, however, each witch has power.

These "Wyrd Sisters" might have continued living their witchy days in relative peace (as peaceful as life gets when people are always hounding you for this cure or that) if it wasn't for some political intrigue they managed to get themselves caught up in. A duke has killed the King of Lancre, and some of the loyal guards whisk away the royal babe to prevent him from meeting the same fate. When the last loyal soldier is dead (and those not loyal have been frightened out of their wits), the witches find themselves in possession of a baby boy.

Now as a general rule witches do not meddle in the great affairs of the world, but even Granny Weatherwax can't deny the need to protect this baby boy. So, in their own bumbling way, the witches find a way to safeguard him and his crown. They leave him the last place anyone would look, with a troop of traveling players, and hide the crown in amongst all the prop crowns.

This might have been enough, but the very land of Lancre eventually begins to cry out against the evil Duke, and the witches find themselves sorely tempted to meddle just a little bit more...

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Own Them All!

I know, seems silly, but I'm very excited about now owning the entire Harry Potter series! I ordered the last three books I didn't have (books 4, 5, &6) with some birthday money and received them last week! So now I'm slowly rereading the series mixed in with everything else I'm reading! I've reread books 1 & 2 already, and right now I'm reading .... I can't remember the title. And too lazy to go pick it up :P It's one of the "Kingdom of Landover" book by Terry Brooks. It's fun :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Tucked away in a far, small, corner of Oz lies the land of Oogaboo. It's a very small valley, with few people, but they do have a Queen. In fact, Queen Ann gets it into her head that she is going to go conquer Ozma of Oz. It's a rather silly idea, but once she has it in her head there is no stopping her!

Our old friend the Shaggy Man is also traveling through Oz. His brother is in trouble, most likely held captive by the Nome King, and Shaggy is searching for him to see if he can free him. Ozma has given him the love magnet that usually rests over the gates leading into the Emerald City. With this he can change the minds of almost anyone so that they suddenly want to be his friend, instead of enemy. Wouldn't that be nice to have in real life?

Shaggy is accompanied on his journey by a girl named Betsy, who was shipwrecked. They, of course, gather other companions along their trip as well. People as strange and interesting as they are! Betsy, in her childhood innocence might remind you some of Dorothy, but she is a different girl and a character in her own right.

Before this book is over there will be battle, a trip to the other side of the world, and even dragons!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Merlin: The Dragon’s Call

I first heard about this book from a friend of mine who also does book reviews. I thought it might be interesting because I also enjoy the tv show that the book is based on. Next thing I knew she was offering a giveaway - and I actually won!

The book (and tv show) is about Merlin and Author as young men. Merlin is the main character, but Author plays a big part in the story as well. Merlin arrives in Camelot eager to take it all in, and just a little bit overwhelmed by it all. One of the very first things he sees is an execution. King Uther ruled that all magic is evil twenty years ago, and now all caught practicing magic are immediately put to death. It's a somber warning for Merlin, who was born with an incredible ability to use magic.

Merlin doesn't heed the warning very well though. He's a hot blooded young man with a keen sense of justice, and when he should be keeping a low profile and going about his work for Gaius, he finds himself in trouble time and time again. Usually from a run in with Author, who as a young man is brash, arrogant, and a bully. Merlin always finds a way to get out of trouble, but sometimes it's a rather close thing! By the end of the book he finds himself the unwitting savior of Author, and as a reward, Author's servant.

During all this Merlin is hearing a mysterious mental summons. It's obviously magical in origin, but how could that be? Eventually the call pulls him below the foundations of the city where he meets the only remaining dragon. What the dragon has to say is fantastic to say the least, and Merlin doesn't really know how to handle it.

I've enjoyed watching the series because I've always loved the Arthurian myth. I'm enjoying seeing it from the perspective of Merlin, and with both of them as young men. At times I have to shake my head at some of the things the authors choose to put in, but it's a good bit of fun. The book follows closely with what I remember of the first episode from the series adding insight into the different things people were thinking.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Award Time!

I just got this award from my roomie when I was up at Central! Make sure you go and check out her blog! Now I'm supposed to pass this on to people - but I'm bad about reading blogs. Then again, I have such a small readership on this blog, that I can easily say if you read this that YOU win the award!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Very Harry Potter Week

Note: There are a couple of spoilers about Harry Potter 7 – however they are at the very end of this post and there is plenty of warning so you have the option to read or not read.

I am not the most rabid of Harry Potter fans. I suspect this guy, and others like him, carry that title! I'm no where near that level, it's not even comparable. Of course, if I actually had money, I'd be a much more qualified to at least be an enthusiastic fan. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I don't own any t-shirts, only 4 of the books, and no movies. I am thinking of making myself some jewelry though… If I had more money, one of the things I would get (other than the rest of the books and the movies) is this shirt. And yes, I also like the Twilight books, but it's never made any sense to me that the vampires sparkle in the sun!

Moving on…

Like I said, I'm not a rabid fan, but my brother and I decided to spend this week been crazy fans. We spent the week re-watching all the movies! Of course, we had to borrow the movies from my dear evil twin, but we still watched them! That's a LOT of movie watching so we spread it out over three days. It's 15 hrs of movies. Granted, we possibly could have done it in one day if I had the health, or two days even, but it was nice and fun to watch them over three days. Two movies a day was perfect.
One thing that really amused us was how obvious it was that the movie producers got a budget after the first two movies! We spent most of the third movie pointing out fun things they put in and commenting, "Their enjoying having a budget!" Yes. We're weird.

The fourth day of our movie marathon was going to see the new movie! Now, we didn't see the opening show, because being up that late just isn't smart for me, but we did go and see it on Friday! I probably shouldn't have gone though. My cold got a lot worse on Thursday, and I thought I had it under control with meds when we went to the theater, but the amount of sneezing I did proved otherwise. I feel guilty for going out in public. If we hadn't pre-purchased the tickets I probably wouldn't have done it, and in retrospect, I still shouldn't have! Oh well. At least it was a relatively empty theater (yay for middle of the day movie showings!).

I really enjoyed the movie. I hear rumors that there is a scene where you can catch Hermoine whispering Harry's lines too him, but I didn't see it. Of course I could have been sneezing… Anyway, I think they did a really good job at portraying the book.

Now, and this isn't a spoiler, the book is really intense, so the movie is as well. I can see why they cut the book into two movies, but it means that you leave the first movie just feeling intense and left hanging. If you've read the book, then that's not too much of a problem, but it does feel a little odd.

The following does contain a partial spoiler – included for the information of any parents reading this post.




The movie is really intense. If you're questioning whether to let your child see this movie you'll want to be aware that there are fights and murders in the movie. There is also a partial nudity scene included. You can't really see anything, but it is obvious that the two involved are supposed to be naked.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm sick and going crazy. I have so much I want to do writing-wise and for my jewelry store but I'm really not up to either. Can't think straight and spending WAY to much time either asleep or blowing my nose. Hopefully i'll be back soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman

"Feast of Souls" is the first book in the "Magister Trilogy" by C.S. Friedman. On the front of the book it poses an important question, "What price would you pay for power?" and, in many ways, that's the central question of the book. In this world each person has what's known as their "soul fire." A witch is a person who has the ability to draw on their own soul fire to perform magic. The only problem is that there is a limit to the amount of soul fire each person has, and every act of magic takes away precious minutes from that person's life span.

The Magisters are set apart from the witches in that they are virtually immortal. No one outside their order knows how they've achieved this, and they keep it that way because the secret is a dark and terrible one. The Magisters have learned how to feed off of the soul fires of other people, thus protecting their own life spans, and allowing them to use magic without any personal cost.

Magisters are known for being ruthless, and they are all without exception male. No one knows why this is, it simply is. Until a young woman named Kamala challenges that which is known, and manages to become the first woman Magister. As such she faces many unique challenges, especially because she knows it's not wise to announce her existence to the rest of the Magisters before she's comfortable with her power.

Then Kamala finds herself in yet another unique and difficult position. Normally the Magisters never know who's soul it is that they feed of off, they merely know when it expires and they must fasten onto another. Kamala not only meets the man whose soul fire she is stealing, she falls in love with him.

While Kamala is going through her own drama, the land itself is facing great turmoil. Hundreds of years ago an ancient evil was banished. Imprisoned in the north where there were always those guarding to insure it never returned, but other than those special few, many no longer believed that this evil even existed. Until one day it breaks through to ravage the land.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

In "Fairest" Gail Carson Levine returns to the wonderful world she created in "Ella Enchanted." While the flavor of the story is very similar, this story does take place in a different kingdom, so there are many fascinating differences. Ayortha is a land of singers. Everything is expressed through song, and nothing of importance happens without song being involved.

Aza is a young woman who avoids all mirrors, because while the people of the land value song above all else, they also value beauty, and that is the last word that will ever be applied to Aza. Her one comfort is that she has the ability to sing magnificently. She lives with her family in the inn that they run, and she mostly tries to stay out of everyone else’s way. There is one guest, a Duchess, who takes a fancy to her though, and when the Duchess's companion falls ill, the Duchess decides to take Aza with her to the palace!

It's a special time at the palace, for the King is bringing back his beloved, a fair beauty from another land, and they are to be wed.

Unfortunately, right after the wedding a terrible accident occurs, and the King is involved in a tragic accident that leaves him comatose, and leaves his young bride to rule the Kingdom. Unfortunately Queen Ivi isn't all that she seems. She is steeped in treacherous magic, and will do anything to guard her secret. Also, she can't sing a note. Not a tragedy where she comes from, but horrific in the land of Ayortha. She soon discovers that Aza can not only sing, she can imitate anyone, and throw her voice to make it seem like that song is coming from wherever she wishes!

Queen Ivi makes Aza her lady in waiting, and poor Aza, who has already suffered much, enters one of the most miserable periods of her life. Ivi is manipulative and cares little for the feelings of those around her. Aza is forced to lie on behalf of the Queen and it tears her apart inside. She is also constantly comparing herself, and her own looks, to the beauty of Ivi.

Until, that is, something happens that forces Ivi to have Aza killed, or so she thinks.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny

"Damnation Alley" is a fast paced, but interesting, read by Roger Zelazny. It takes place in a world that has under gone nuclear war, and the result is a devastated landscape. As far as the people in Los Angeles know, they and the group of people on the East Coast are the only ones left alive in the world. It's possible that there are other places that still have life, but no one can contact them.

Now a deadly plaque has broken out in Boston, and the only hope to keep that population alive is to somehow get the stock pile of cure to them from Los Angeles. In order to do that someone is going to have to traverse Damnation Alley, a monster and hazard filled area that lies between the two. Few people would be insane enough to try, but Hell Tanner is one of them. Of course the fact that it gets him out of prison is a good motivator...

I couldn't help but think of my brother John as I read this book, it's very much his style of story! Lots of high adrenaline action, blood and guts, and even romance! You'll laugh along the way, and you'll cling to the edge of your seat. It's well worth the read.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Heaven Cent by Piers Anthony

"Heaven Cent" continues the Xanth series in yet another fun filled, pun filled, book! Prince Dolph, son of King Dor and Queen Irene, and brother to Princess Ivy, is a shape-shifter. He can change into anything you can imagine, which is quite useful, and often hilarious! Dolph is determined to find the missing Good Magician Humfrey, but of course since he's still young his parents have a few objections to that.


Dolph and his parents come to a compromise. He can go on his quest as long as he takes an adult along. Dolph doesn't particularly like this idea (adults tend to squash fun ideas) so he determines to suggest a bunch of truly horrible adults so that when he suggests the one he wants, they'll agree out of relief! Unfortunately (or fortunately) his first suggestion is actual one they agree with! So Dolph finds himself semi-reluctantly the traveling companion of Marrow, an enchanted skeleton from the Hypno-guards.


Marrow turns out to be the best companion Dolph could have hoped for. They both have the ability to change forms. Marrow can rearrange the order his bones are in, and Dolph's power is more liquid. It makes them kindred spirits in a way, and both of their talents come in handy more than once!


Of course, this wouldn't be Xanth if they didn't face a number of unique trials along the way. Women keep trying to ensnare the Prince (what better match can a woman find?), Dolph is frustrated by the "adult conspiracy" (just how DO adults signal the storks to bring babies?), and the group even finds themselves guarding a dragon's nest for him!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg" by Gail Carson Levine

"Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg" is the first of two books by Gail Carson Levine that are sanctioned by Disney. Well, at least I only know of two books and I didn't see anything on-line about a third, it's always a possibility! I actually read the second book, "Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Wand," first and you can see my review of it here.


In "Fairy Dust" you will see some characters that are very likely familiar, and many more that are brand new. It takes place in the beloved Never land, that place where children never grow old, and one of the fairies we get to watch is Tinkerbell herself! She's not the main character in this story though, no, that distinction goes to a fairy named Prilla.


Prilla is a brand new fairy. Fairies are born when children laugh their first laugh, and after baby Sarah laughs, Prilla finds herself in Neverland. Now traditionally when a new fairy arrives they immediately discover what their talent is. All fairies have a talent. Some with animals, some with baking bread, some with healing, and the list goes on and on. The only problem is that Prilla doesn't know her talent, and despite everyone's best efforts, can't seem to discover it!


Then tragedy strikes Neverland. The first hurricane in memory strikes the Island, hurting Mother Dove and damaging her egg. Mother's Dove magic, imbued in the Egg, is what makes Neverland what it is. As soon as the egg shatters people begin to grow older, and the land begins to change.


Fortunately there is hope. There is a dragon locked up in Neverland who's fire-breath should be able to restore the egg. In order to get him to cooperate they are going to need to bribe him, so three fairies are chosen to go get the items, and then try and get the dragon to restore the egg. Prilla is one of those fairies and all along the way she keeps wondering "maybe my talent is this..." Don't worry though my friends! By the end of the book you'll discover what her talent is!


This would be a great book to read chapter by chapter to your children at bed time. I enjoyed it as an adult, and it's full of beautiful imagery that your children will love.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Women's Retreat

My Mom and I went on a Women's Retreat with her Church this weekend. It was full of ups and downs for me. I think I'm still processing! 

I should back up by explaining that Mom's Church is the Church I grew up in. I went there for years and years, and was really involved for most of that time. Life changes though.

There were a couple of reasons I stopped going there. It wasn't that I had anything against God, Church, or that Church in particular really... Well, at least, not as far as the people or the beliefs went. I struggled with attending once they built the new Sanctuary. I don't know what it was, but something in there tended to set off my asthma. So I spent several years attending church services from the lobby. Yah, not exactly my favorite. I stuck with it though cuz I never really had a good reason to go somewhere else. Health problems and work go in the way of attending at times too. Then I got married and started going to a small Church with my hubby, so it's been several years since I've been there.

I was excited about going to the retreat and getting away from my day to day life, but I was a little nervous about seeing people I hadn't seen in years. You see, I've changed a lot since "back in the day." I've been sick and between just general lack of energy because of that and the meds, I've gained a lot of weight! 

So guess what? I was right, there were a lot of people who didn't recognize me. Even one or two who completely didn't remember me at all :(

On the plus side there were some people that were really nice to talk to, and it was good to spend the time with my Mom! I also walked away from the retreat with lots to think about. Some really good suggestions from friends new and old, and with old connections reformed. I'm very thankful for that.

I learned that I'm really going to have to work at being comfortable in a crowd again. I used to be Miss Personality, and this weekend I was Miss Hide Outside because I got claustrophobic. 

I also learned that taking lots of turns on the freeway with a migraine is bad. Puking on the side of the road is also not fun. Don't worry, Mom was driving.

And lastly, I was reminded that I'm not alone is this fight, unless I hide from everyone else.

Friday, October 29, 2010

M is for Magic

"M Is for Magic" is a compilation of stories by Neil Gaiman. He tells us in the introduction that he got the idea for his title from Ray Bradbury's books "R is for Rocket" and "S Is for Space," and that Mr. Bradbury was more than happy to let him use the pattern for naming his book. I thought that was a neat tribute to an author that Gaiman told us he read as a kid.

There are 11 stories in this book and, as usual, they are full of imagination! The first story, "The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds," had me laughing the whole way through! Gaiman cleverly weaves famous nursery rhyme characters into a detective mystery that reads like a Dick Tracy story. You'll have a lot of fun finding out just who it was that offed Humpty Dumpty!

"Troll Bridge" brought me back to memories of my youth. My cousin and I would go up and visit our Granny and she had a little crick with a small bridge over it out back. We played many games out there, but one of the one's I remember the clearest was playing the classic story of the troll and the bridge. Maybe because I always seemed to end up being the troll.

Another story that really stuck out at me was "Sunbird." I've always been fascinated by the Pheonix, but it's not a creature I've encountered in too many tales. I thought this approach was quite unique, and one that quite frankly made me hungry!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz

"Masquerade" is the second "Blue Bloods" novel by Melissa de la Cruz. My husband happened to come over to talk with me while I was curled up on the couch reading this one, and he commented on the creepy eyes behind the mask that are on the cover. So I told him a little bit about the story line. His comment, "sounds like a soap opera to me!" You know, I think my husbands right, it is a bit of a soap opera, but that's what makes it so much fun! A vampire soap opera set in the posh world of upper-class New York. All the drama you could wish for and plenty of fun too.

In "Masquerade" Schuyler is attempting to hunt down her long lost grandfather in the hopes that he will be able to help her with the mystery of the Silver Bloods. The Silver Bloods are vampires who feed off of other Vampires (the Blue Bloods), and this is the most heinous crime a vampire can commit. The council claims that all the Silver Bloods are gone, but after the recent events Schuyler believes differently.

Schuyler and Oscar (her human best friend) have traveled to Vienna to track down her Grandfather, and the "chase" takes a lot of twists and turns! She does eventually locate him, but he claims there is nothing he can do to help! Schuyler is crushed, but there's nothing else she can do but return home.

Back at home in New York Mimi Force (Schuyler's enemy and coincidentally her cousin) has been up to some of her usual tricks. She's decided to throw and after party for teen vampires only that will be held immediately after the annual Four Hundred Ball. To make things as full of social intrigue as possible, the party will be announced by text message the night of the party, and it will be a Masquerade party so that it's hard to tell who is there and who didn't get invited!

Unfortunately for Mimi, plans don't always work her way, and by the end of the ball she's angrier with Schuyler than she's ever been before. She is determined to take Schuyler out of the picture, and with the help of the new and mysterious Kingsley she just might succeed...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum

In the last Oz book, "The Emerald City of Oz," Ozma was forced to cut the magical land of Oz off from the rest of the world. This, unfortunately, meant that the official historian of Oz could no longer get any stories about Oz! This made many children very sad, until one clever little child thought to ask why Dorothy couldn't send our favorite historian information via wireless telegraph? Well it was a brilliant idea, and with a little help from Ozma, it was soon worked out so that the children could continue to learn about the wonderful land of Oz!

"The Patchwork Girl of Oz" starts out with us meeting a boy named Ojo the Unlucky, and his Unc Nunkie. Ojo is unlucky because he's lost his parents, and he lives in a lonely part of the forest with only his Unc Nunkie, who hardly ever talks at all. One day their supply of food runs out, and they are forced to go off in search of new food.

Their search leads them to the house of the Crooked Magician, a man who is truly crooked in body, and maybe just a wee bit mentally as well. It was the Crooked Magician who made the Powder of Life that animated Jack Pumpkinhead and the Saw Horse. Making the Powder of Life was an extremely long process, 6 years long to be exact, and he was just now about to finish a second  batch. This time he was making it for the purpose of allowing his wife to animate a servant to help her around the house.

The magician's wife had sewn herself a servant out of a patchwork quilt that she had around the house. The girl was built quite well, with a riot of color that was rather unseemly for a Munchkin household, but that was good, because it would help her remember her place. She also added some brains from the jars her husband kept on the shelf, but only  enough for the Patchwork Girl to do as she wished. What she didn't know was that Ojo decided the Patchwork Girl deserved better brains than that and added quite a bit to the mix!

When the Patchwork Girl was brought to life a terrible accident happened knocking the Liquid of Petrification off the shelf and turning the magician's wife and Unc Nunkie into statues! Everyone was horrified by this, especially because the Powder of Life was spilled at the same time, so there was none left to save the new statues with! The only solutions were to wait the 6 years needed to make more, or to gather the mysterious ingredients needed for the spell to undo them. Not wanting to wait that long, Ojo sets off to find the ingredients, and the Patchwork Girl accompanies him. They have a wild adventure meeting lots of new residents of Oz!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tales of the Elytheria - The Healing Field

Note: This story is just one story about a nomadic culture called "The Elytheria." I'm working on (among other things) a series of stories about them. These stories are not necessarily connected by anything other than than the culture, and I'm enjoying the freedom of that format! This is the first story I wrote, but at the moment I have two more in the works, and several hovering on the edges of my mind. Enjoy.

The Healing Field

She felt the power caress her skin like fine silk, heightening all her senses, and bringing with it a touch of euphoria. Bracing herself she pictured her goal as in her mind, focusing on getting each detail right, knowing that anything less than perfection would be letting her patient down. She couldn’t do that. Especially since it wasn’t just a simple patient, this was her lover.

But no. She mustn’t think of that, if she focused on anything other than the wound, than things could go awry.  That was one reason that most clans tried to keep two healers with them as they traveled. The battle had taken Jeri’s life though, and left her the only one who could deal with the aftermath.

It had been difficult, separating out the wounded and giving her attention first to those who needed her the most. Lianna and Richard had helped her. After all, it doesn’t take a healer to see that someone is bleeding out, and with three people working, they could more easily separate out who was dying and who could wait a few extra minutes.

If Lianna hadn’t had the gift of comfort though, their presence might not have been enough, and she might have rushed to Telger’s side immediately anyway. It’s hard to allow your lover to suffer, even knowing they’d be ok, while you treated other’s first.

Resolutely she shoved all those thoughts away. While Telger’s injuries were less severe than any others she’d treated so far, they still required a delicate hand, and she was getting tired. So, focusing with all her might, she placed her hand on his ribs, and began the work of stitching his ribs and flesh back together.

When she was done Miranda felt drained. The euphoria was gone and it left her feeling like an old woman. Looking up at Richard she asked, “How many more?”

“Two more,” he answered, with sympathy. “The rest will heal on their own. Lianna is bandaging the small injuries and double checking we didn’t miss anything. Here,” he said as he handed her a cup of Kaffa.

Miranda considered the steaming cup in his hands for a minute, blinking, before she took it. “Thanks, this will help.  I could really use a bite of food though if the next two can wait long enough.”

Richard grinned, “Here.”

Opening her eyes in hungry greed and wonder she asked as she took the offered bowl of stew, “How did you know?”

“I’ve been around long enough.”

Miranda considered Richard for a moment as she began to chew, “Someday you’ll have to tell me your story, something tells me this is not your first battle, or your first healing field.”  She watched carefully as his eyes clouded over, and he shrugged as casually as he could. Putting her hand on his arm she said, “But not tonight, and maybe not for some time, there are more important things today.” He nodded, returning to his normally taciturn self, and she knew it was going to be an interesting challenge getting his story out of him, but she had always known that. Now she just had a little bit more to work from.

As soon as she finished, Miranda went back to work and finished healing the last of the badly wounded. Then, unable to rest until she did so, she checked over the rest of the wounded, making sure once again that no one had been missed. Finally she let go of her power completely, and it felt like silk being slowly withdrawn from her skin. As soon as she had finished she fell into a deep sleep that carried her through the night without even a single dream.

The next morning she rose, stiff, but knowing that was the price to pay for her work of the night before. Walking out of her tent she climbed a nearby hill so she could look out over the battle field from yesterday.

They had been working their way through the Solsti Mountains when the attack came. Their attackers were too well armed to be simple bandits out for profit. Most of those were smart enough to avoid the Eletheria anyway. No, these looked like more of a small army. Which meant they’d been waiting for either the Eletheria themselves, or another target, and either of these options was bad.

Looking out she saw many things. The field was soaked with blood, but there were no bodies. If there was
one thing you could count on the Eletheria to be it was efficient. There was a fresh pile of dirt outside of the camp that told her that they had buried their dead attackers where their spirits would be trapped by the earth. A large burned circle in the center of camp told her that she had also missed the ceremonial burning of their own dead to release their spirits. She had expected that though, she just ached as she wondered who hadn’t made it. Who had been beyond the hope of healing from her touch.

Miranda also saw a series of tents pitched inside the circle of wagons. That was abnormal when there were no rains, but she knew that they had been put up to take care of the wounded. Those tents transformed the battle field into a healing field. What was originally a site of disaster; also had hope. Hope because, while many had died, many had also been saved who would have been lost without her touch. It filled her with a sense of satisfaction knowing she had been able to do good for her people.

She was also a little amazed and shocked by the fact that she had actually been able to do all that she’d done the night before. There was no way she should have been able to heal that much in one night, let alone going without a break until nearly the end. When Jeri died a little part of her had died, thinking of the people that she wouldn’t be able to save. She had set that aside though, focusing only on the work, and the people who Richard and Lianna had directed her too.

Drawing the silken sense of her healing abilities around her again, Miranda reached out to the field in front of her, searching for darkness that would tell her she was needed, and where. A smile crossed her face as she only felt small patches of grey. There were people in pain, but none in danger. It truly was a healing field in front of her.

The only question was how she’d done it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jumping Off of a Cliff

Jumping Off of a Cliff

Standing, teetering on the edge,
Gazing at the steep drop before me.

Deep breath in, preparing myself,
Pushing all questions and thoughts away.

I close my eyes, and with a rush of joy,
I commit myself to the plunge.

Without love, life is meaningless,
But love requires a leap of faith.

I know my lovers arms are waiting,
And I cast myself into the depths of love. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl

"The Poe Shadow" is a story that starts with the strange facts concerning Edward Allan Poe's death, and creates a plausible fiction to explain what happened. I had heard some really good reviews on this book, and since I like a good mystery, I was excited to read it! Unfortunately, while it was an interesting read, I didn't think it was as good as the reviews had said. In many ways the style is similar to an older mystery novel, but it didn't capture my interest in the way that an Ellery Queen or Sherlock Holmes would.

In this story we meet Quentin Clark, a young lawyer with his life in front of him. He has a good secure job working in a firm with a close friend of his. He has a woman who is his best friend and will probably some day will be his wife. He even has an inheritance from his father that allows him to live in comfort above and beyond what his work might allow.

Clark puts all of this at great jeopardy though when he becomes caught up in the strange circumstances surrounding Poe's death. He had been acquainted with Poe, and the two of them had exchanged several letters. Clark was planning on helping him defend his new venture from libel, so when Poe dies, he simply decides that now it's his job to protect the poet from the mud that's being thrown at his dead body by the press.

In attempting to unravel the strange circumstances around Poe's death Clark decides to track down the man he believes was the inspiration for one of Poe's characters, a man named Dupin. Dupin, in Poe's stories, was a man who helped the police solve mysteries strange and peculiar with a brilliance that stunned all around him. Unfortunately for Clark there seem to be two men that fit the description. He believes that one is the correct man, but the other decides to set himself up as the "real Dupin" and it becomes a contest of wills to see who will uncover the truth first.

Clark throws away many things in his life with seeming little care as he pursues the mystery around Poe's death. While he does eventually seem to realize what he's done, it still frustrated me. I also didn't really like the character that he thought was the real Dupin, a man named Dupont. He was aloof, in a manner reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, but whereas Holmes eventually lets you as to what he's thinking, for the vast majority of this book Dupont simply ridicules Clark for the things he's missing. That left me frustrated as I could never really figure out what Dupont was thinking. If he had let us in on his thoughts before the very end of the book I wouldn't have been as frustrated.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Writing ADD #25

Well I'm back on track with writing...I think :P Newest news in my writing adventure - is that I'm doing freelance work! That's actually where most of my writing came from this week :P

Weekly Totals:
Freelance Work: 6
Book Review: 1
Total Words: 2059

I've gotten my first payment too :D

Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint

"Muse and Reverie" is another anthology of short stories by one of my favorite authors - Charles de Lint. It's one of his newest books, published just last year, and it's set in the town we all know and love, Newford. I was kind of sad reading the forward though, he tells us that he's taking a break from writing about Newford, and I love his stories set there! But he's not taking a break from writing, he's going to move on to explore new things, so I can still be excited about that. Also, he tells us in the forward that he has a folder of stories about Newford left that can fill another anthology, so even if he never goes back to writing about Newford we might still get some more stories!

"Muse and Reverie" contains 13 stories. All of them have originally appeared in other places, and that meant that one of them was familiar to me. I didn't mind though, because "Somewhere in my Mind Their Is a Painting Box" is part of a series of short stories that I love! So I was more than happy to reread it.

All of the stories were great, but there were a couple that stuck out at me in particular. I really enjoyed "Refinerytown" because it toyed with the idea that our imagination can bring fairy tale creatures into being, but that doesn't mean they will do what we expect once they are "real!" It's an idea that de Lint has used before, but while the last one I read was haunting, this one had me laughing!

"That Was Radio Clash," is a sweet and yet complicated story about a man who gives others the chance to go back and change their big mistakes. What made the story so interesting was the complex weave of alternating realities, and how magic tied them all together. I like the idea of second chances because we all mess up at one point or another in our lives, and magical second chances are even better!

"The Newford Spook Squad," amused me because he borrowed from other writers! In this story the police force in Newford has decided to create a "spook squad" to investigate some of the odder occurrences in their town, and guess who helps them? None other than Hellboy himself! Having seen the Hellboy movies I was entertained by the marriage between his story and the Newford story. This story first appeared in an anthology called "Hellboy: Odder Jobs."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poem: I Watch

I Watch

I watch as two trains hurl towards each other.
Knowing neither is going to stop,
Knowing what must happen next.

I watch as trains collide and pieces go flying,
As anger rages and tears flow freely,
As bitterness and hurt are exposed.

I watch as two people who love each other – destroy each other.

I watch as accusations fly but also…
As apologies are given in shame,
As two struggle to understand.

I watch myself standing in the middle of the train tracks,
First anticipating the inevitable collision,
Then amidst the flaming aftermath.

I watch as I concentrate on all the separate pieces,
Then slowly try to rescue what I can, 
And restore some sense of cohesion.

I watch, knowing that I cannot do everything,
But knowing that I can help,
And determined to do what I can. 

I watch as pieces slowly come back together,
As compromises are reached,
And progress slowly made.

I watch knowing tonight is just the beginning,
That construction needs to be done,
And train tracks redirected.

I watch until I can let go with a measure of peace.

I watch knowing the trains, my friends, can never be the same,
Grieving for the pain and anger I’ve seen,
But hopeful and praying for the future.

Personal Entry: Following a Dream

I've dreamed for a long time about making money off of my writing skills. Now, of course, the ideal would be to get a work of fiction published, but I'm more than happy to do other writing as well. I've been thinking about doing trying to pick up some freelance work for a couple of years now, but never really had the time or the health. Well, I'm finally getting through my migraines, so I can write again! I have a lot of fiction writing I want to do, but I also really want to pursue bringing in a few dollars to the household. To that end I've signed up for and I plan on pursuing opportunities on other web-sites as well. I'm taking it one step at a time so that I don't overwhelm myself (or overwork) and I'm excited about the journey!

One of the most exciting things is that I've already had two tentative nibbles on the bids I put in yesterday, and I only bid on six jobs! Nothing concrete yet, but just getting any response is encouraging.

Next I need to focus on making sure I have good examples of my writing prepared for potential employers. Well, that's at least on the list of things I need to work on in the near future. Pretty high as well.

Now to keep from splitting myself in to many directions...

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Am Apache by Tanya Landman

"I am Apache" is the story of a young Apache girl who chooses to walk an unusual path. At only 14 years old she watches her little brother brutally murdered by Mexican raiders. It was the last straw for Siki. She had already been through the loss of both her father and mother, and now she was left alone. Well not entirely alone, she still has her tribe, but she has lost her family and that leaves her raw and angry.

Siki had never really been a normal Apache girl anyway. She wasn't very good at any of the women's chores, to her shame, but she tried. Until, that is, she decides to walk the path of the warrior. It is allowed for girls to walk the path of the warrior, although it is unusual, and she faces resentment from some for her choice. Others choose to help Siki though, and she slowly but surely proves her value as a warrior.

While Siki is busy learning the ways of the warrior, her tribe is in ever increasing danger from both the Mexicans and the White Man. Siki goes along in raids to revenge her people, learns that things aren't always as simple as they seem. She battles on valiantly though, fighting to protect her people, and preserve their honor.

I really enjoyed reading Siki's story. Watching her grow up, watching her learn, and following along with her journey. The choices she made sometimes surprised me, and by the end I found myself unable to put the book down, totally gripped in the story.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Life Get's Complicated Sometimes

So lately it seems like I'm stuck in a cycle of one bad occurrence after another, and even in-between those, I'm so busy recovering and fighting depressing that I still haven't gotten much done! Do you ever go through periods like that? The only good thing is I have some inspiration from everything I've got through recently. I've already written one poem! And there's another piece floating around my head. I don't know if it'll get written right now or   if it'll just get stored away for something later, but that's always good right?

Anyway, I'm doing better right now, at least I seem to be. I guess with my life I can never really promise that, but I've had a pretty good couple of weeks and I seem to be getting on track again. I can't promise that I'll truly be on track immediately, but I'm hoping to be able to blog regularly again, write, and work on my jewelry business again. I shall persevere!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Black Order by James Rollins

I had a conversation the other day with my Mom about books, sparked by seeing "The Da Vinci Code" in a check out line. One of the things I told her about was the "Sigma Force" novels which I described to her as similar to "The Da Vinci Code" except with out all the controversy surrounding them!

"Black Order" continues the "Sigma Force" series by James Rollins. This time we find ourselves caught up in a sweeping story that has its roots in Nazi Germany, and that extends to mountains of Nepal. There are three main story lines running through the story, and it took me quite awhile to figure out how they all connected. I appreciate that in a story, I like being stumped!

The "Black Order" is the name given to a series of horrendous experiments that the Nazi's had been conducting in an attempt to create the perfect soldier. Only the experiments didn't end when the Nazi's fell. Now the results of these experiments are leading to death and destruction, and it's up to the Sigma Force to unravel this mystery.

On a side note, I read this book as my brother was on his way home from two years in Nepal. Entirely coincidental, but a lot of fun. This story takes place up in the high mountains though, and he really didn't get up there much.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Writing ADD #24

Well, I had a another week of fighting through migraines, and again I didn't meet all my goals, but I still got lots of done so I'm happy about that! I also got a lot more blogging done than I did the week before, so over all, it's a win! I seem to be doing a little bit better physically so far this week, but who knows what that will mean for my writing :P Here's the review:

Week's Total:
Book Reviews: 4
Movie Reviews: 3
Dalia's Story: In progress
Total Words: 3219

~ Book Reviews
~ Dalia's Story
~ Finish "A Disturbing Group"
~ Write another "Striking Thoughts" piece.

As you can see, I only got my top two goals accomplished (and the others will be moved forward to this week), but I also wrote up a couple movie reviews that were unplanned. So I guess that balance things out a bit eh? I had a movie day with my brother and so I wrote up reviews on all three movies we watched. I haven't posted any of them yet but I should get at least one, maybe two, posted up this week. 

I didn't get as much done on Dalia's Story as I would have liked, but I'm glad I at least got something done. I think this was just one of those weeks where doing original writing was a bit harder than doing things like reviews. So the result? 7 reviews of different kinds and only a few hundred words on my story. Oh well. 

I won't bother to post this week's goals, because they are exactly the same as last weeks! Well, some of that's to be expected since they are things I try to get done every week, and the other's, well, if I didn't get them done this week they get to be moved forward! 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shine on Daizy Star by Cathy Cassidy

"Shine on Daizy Star" came across my reading list because I won it in a blog contest from one of my dear bloggy friends, Jessica, of Nayu's Reading Corner. It's a cute book with a bright color and great illustrations. I love the stars all over the cover of the book!

Daizy Star is age 10 3/4's and the book opens with her giving a pictorial introduction to the people in her life. We also learn that her Dad, who's always been pretty cool, has recently lost his mind! Or at least that's how it seems to Daizy and the rest of the family. He's taking a sabbatical from work and has decided to construct a boat that the family will then sail all over the world in. Nobody in the family really likes the idea, and Daizy is so upset by it she refuses to tell any one what's going on.

Have you ever told one little lie that grew and grew until it consumed your life? That's what happens to poor Daizy as she first tries to cover up her Dad's new obsession, and then finds herself trying to keep more and more lies straight, including the lie that she's learned to swim.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lirael by Garth Nix

"Lirael" is the sequel to "Sabriel" by Garth Nix. As we start this book Sabriel and Touchstone are married, and have been ruling in the Old Kingdom. Well, Touchstone rules, and Sabriel defends the kingdom from the dead and those who would seek to raise the dead. She is the Abhorsen, the one Necromancer pledged to stand against all others.

This book centers around two characters, Lirael and Sameth. Sameth, better known as Sam, is the younger child of Sabriel and Touchstone, and the one destined to follow in Sabriel's footsteps. In his last year at school over in Ancelestierre, he's at the top of his game, and on top of the world. Until, that is, his team is way laid and attacked near the wall by a bunch of undead. Trying to defend his friends, Sam enters into death to attack the Necromancer responsible for the attack, and finds himself over powered and nearly killed. This scares Sam so badly that he can't even look at the tools of the Abhorsen with out getting ill. Neither can he find the courage to tell his mother.

Lirael is a daughter of the Clayr, although she's never felt much like one, because she doesn't have the "sight" that the Clayr are known for. Each year that passes without her gaining the sight finds her sinking deeper into depression. That is, until one day when she comes to the attention of some of the older Clayr, who realize she needs a purpose to fill her days.

They put Lirael to work in the Library, a job that she finds fascinating and distracting. She still mourns her lack of sight, but it helps that she now has access to all this learning! Lirael has a talent for charter magic, and she quickly is learning things and accessing areas far beyond what she is supposed to. She even makes herself a construct of a friend, well she tries at least, the result (The Disreputable Dog) is a little beyond what she had originally intended.

Once again a great evil is attacking the Old Kingdom. Sabriel and Touchstone have gone to Ancelestierre to try and stop the flood of immigrants that are unwittingly being sent to their deaths (and subsequent enslavement). When Sam hears that his friend is trying to come visit him, in dubious company, he sets out across the land to try and save Nick. Around the same time the Clayr finally have a vision with Lirael in it, and she's sent off to find Nick as well, although they don't know each other. Eventually she will meet up with Sam and it will be up to the two of them to save the kingdom!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Robin McKinley has very quickly won her way into a spot among my favorite authors. I love the fantasy/fairy tale stories that I've read by her so far, and I was fascinated by her branching out and writing a book about dragons in a modern society similar to ours (Dragonhaven). When I first picked up "Sunshine" I had no idea what to expect. For one, the name and the cover seemed extremely at odds. "Sunshine" would normally imply things that are full of light right? Well, the book cover is dark, done in dark reds and blacks, and has a gothic feel.

Then I noticed that there was a quote from Neil Gaiman on the back. "Sunshine is a gripping, funny, page turning, pretty much perfect work of magical literature that exists more or less at the unlikely crossroads of Chocolat, Interview with a Vampire, Misery, and the tale of Beauty and the Beast."

This intrigued me on many levels. First of all because Neil Gaiman is famous for his dark and haunting fiction, which is nothing like any of McKinley's books that I had read thus far. I was also fascinated by the different references he'd made. I've never read Chocolat, but I love the movie, I've read Interview with a Vampire, never heard of Misery, and of course I'm familiar with Beauty and the Beast. I couldn't figure out how the three I knew could possibly work together to fuse into a new and exciting tale!

Then I started reading.

"Sunshine" is the tale of a young woman in a modern world where magic and monsters that go bump in the night are very real. The world has been decimated by Magic Wars, but she's mostly managed to stay unaffected by that. She lives a busy but quiet life working as a baker in her families Cafe and Bakery. She has a passion for all things made with flour, and believe me, you'll be drooling through out the entire book!

One day Sunshine (that's her nick-name) heads out to her families old cabin by the lake. A place no one really went to any more, but that should of been safe. It wasn't. Instead she finds herself kidnapped by vampires, and chained to a wall as a meal for their "guest" vampire. One thing is very strange though. The vampire seems to have no desire to eat her!

Sunshine and her fellow captive form an unlikely alliance that extends far beyond their escape. Her entire world has been turned upside down, and there's nothing she can do about it, and she's not always sure she wants too. Her friends do what they can to help, but there's only so much can do when Sunshine can't possibly tell them about her new vampire friend.

I love vampire books, and I especially love vampire books that don't fit the usual models. This one definitely breaks the molds and was a great, page turning, read! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What I'm Watching: So You Think You Can Dance?

I started watching "So You Think You Can Dance" when it first came out back in 2005. That season I didn't get to watch every episode, but I was pretty close! I was working in a day care at the time and my coworker and I would come in to work the day after and talk about the performances, and our crush. We both had a massive crush on Artem, who unfortunately, did not win.

When it was time for Season 2 I was excited! I think I watch every episode that season. The things I remember best? Dmitry starting a trend of wowing the ladies by losing the buttons on his shirt, Mia Michael's routine "Calling You" (aka "The Park Bench") performed by Travis Wall and Heidi Groskreutz, and that I predicted the winner! Ok, so maybe I didn't predict it as much as I really wanted it... Benji Schwimmer, Season 2's winner, was a swing dancer, and thus my top choice to win. I think Season 2 is the only time I participated in the voting for the show, and every week I voted for Benji!

I was able to catch most of Season 3, but it doesn't stand out in my mind as much as the first two years did. I just think I never connected to any of the performers the way I had before. Season 4 had a lot of memorable performers, but the two that I remember the most are Twitch Boss and Courtney Galiano. Twitch, because he is just an incredible character, and Courtney because she was just so cute! 

Seasons 5 and 6 I missed. It's been awhile since I had good tv reception and it took a long time for Fox to decide to put the episodes on the internet like so many other shows these days. I missed it, but my hubby didn't mind not having my crazy, obsessive, dance show around.

Now we're up to Season 7 and I'm loving it! They are finally airing it on-line at both and and I eagerly await each episode. They've mixed things up this season by bringing back some of the allstars (including Twitch and Courtney) to perform with this seasons contestants. We've seen contestants perform with allstars, with each other, and by themselves. 

It's been a heavily male dominated season. We started out with 6 out of the 5 contestants being guys, and we've now lost all but one of the girls as we reach the top 4. Unfortunately, two of the contestants who've had to leave did so because of injuries. So we're down to four, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out! I can't decide who I want to win.

As for performances - there have been some incredible routines this season. They've really broken out of some of the molds they had established in the early seasons, and the show is still fresh and moving. I don't love every routine, but I am impressed by quite a few of them, and I even cried over one of them two weeks ago. But don't blame me, so did almost everyone on screen. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Baby Brother is Engaged!

You read that right - Peter is engaged! Her name is Tanya, and she's really sweet. They have a lot in common and the more I get to know her, the more excited I am that he's found her. It's wonderful to see my little brother so happy and animated (he tends to be very reserved).

Tanya is Russian and comes from a huge family. We're getting together with her family for dinner in a couple of weeks, and it should be interesting! Coming from a Cuban background I'm used to large families, but I don't deal with crowds as well as I used to because of my migraines. The mix of cultures should be really interesting too. Mom and Dad had dinner with her parents the other day and got a good taste of Russian food. So when they all come over Mom's going to make some good, traditional, Cuban food!

The wedding is going to be December 18th and I know they are trying not to let the wedding get to big, which might be a bit challenging. It will be 3 days after my 3rd anniversary. I think that's pretty funny. We keep joking that now all we need to do is have Gordon find a girl and get married in December as well!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Writing ADD #23

Well, I definitely didn't meet my goals from last week, but I'm trying to be positive about it. My goals were reasonable if I had a good week. I did not have a good week. Therefore I'm content with what I did accomplish and I'm moving the unaccomplished goals forward to this week!

Week's Total:
Book Reviews: 6
TV Review: 1
Movie Review: 1
Dalia's Story: In progress
Total Words: 3515

The one goal I did meet for last week was I managed to get 6 book reviews written! Woohoo! I still have a pile left, but hey, that's the way it tends to go around here. Especially when I've been living in migraine city and thus spending lots and lots of time reading.

TV Review and Movie Review: I haven't gotten either of these posted yet. I was a bad blogger last week. (I think I only posted one blog other than my Writing ADD post). I had planned on writing either of these last week, it just happened. So they kinda took place of what I was planning. Oopsie. Wait, is that really an oopsie? It's still writing after all!

Dalia's Story: I really need to get cracking and write more on this story or I'm going to miss the dead-line. BUT I didn't give myself a word goal for it last week so, since I did get some done on it, this is another goal achieved!

The two goals I didn't meet were to finish the "A Disturbing Group" piece and write another "Striking Thoughts" piece. So guess what's on my list for this week?

~ Book Reviews
~ Dalia's Story
~ Finish "A Disturbing Group"
~ Write another "Striking Thoughts" piece.

Gee - this list looks rather familiar...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I'd heard of "The Phantom Tollbooth" before, but I really didn't know anything about the book. So when I saw another book (that I loved!) being compared to "The Phantom Tollbooth" I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. I'm glad I did.

Norton Juster creates a realm in which improbably things happen, and in many ways the style reminds me of L. Frank Baum's Oz books. Both authors draw on things that we see in the every day world, and turn them into fantastic lands and creatures. Despite their similarities, Juster definitely has his own style, and you'll enjoy the read!

"The Phantom Tollbooth" tells the story of a boy named Milo, who really had no purpose to his days. He would hurry through school, hurry to get home, get up to his room, and sit there with no direction. It wasn't that he had no toys, he just had no inspiration or desire to do anything. One day he hurries home from school (he doesn't know why he hurries, he just always does) and discovers a package in his room.

The package turns out to be a miniature toll booth. Milo thinks this is silly at first, but since he doesn't have anything else to do, he decides to drive through it in the miniature car he has. This sets him off on a journey that will completely change his out look on life!

Milo will meet many strange and fantastic people on his journey. Faintly Macabre, the not so wicked Which, Tock (who ticks), the people of the lands of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, and even the sisters Rhyme and Reason. It's a fantastic read no matter what age you are!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Writing ADD #22

I still had a bunch of migraines this week - but I got writing done anyway! yay! Not as much as I wanted, but writing was accomplished, so I'm super happy :) Here's the update:

Week's Total:
Book Reviews: 5
A Disturbing Group: In progress
Lost in a Migraine: Published
Total Words: 2622

Book Reviews: I still have a lot of book reviews to catch up on - but 5 is a start! I still have a full shelf on my little book case though >_> I need to take a picture of my book case one of these days so you guys know what I'm talking about.

"A Disturbing Group" is a from a picture prompt on the writer's web-site I recently joined. Right now BRS doesn't have a ton of activity, but I that's fine with me. Too much would overwhelm me :P When the stories done I'll post it on here as well.

"Lost in a Migraine" was inspired by - guess what??? my migraines! I had a horrible weekend because I was reacting to some chemicals, and I just had to write about it. I didn't know I was sitting down to write a poem, but that's what came out! Just click on the title to go check it out if you missed it.

Plans for this week:
~Finish "A Disturbing Group"
~Write a bunch of book reviews
~Work on Dalia's Story
~Write another "Striking thoughts" piece.

Now to see what actually happens! I'm off to work on Dalia's Story right now...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On the Stairs by Julie Larios

Illustrated by Mary Hofstrand Cornish

"On the Stairs" is a cute children's book that you'll have fun reading to your children! It's a poem about two little mice, the stairs in their house, and how they have given each stair its own name. Some of the names and connections are pretty imaginative, and some might fit in with the stairs in your house!

The drawings in this book are carefree and fun. There are no harsh colors, and they each reflect that pages section of the poem with fun style. They really bring the story to life - although the poetry is clear enough that the pictures aren't really needed to bring it to life! 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lost in a Migraine

Lost in a Migraine

Brilliant. Blinding.
Huddled in a tight ball.
Praying for it to end.
Gasping for breath.
Pounding in my temples.
Searing through my brain.
Vision distorted.
Lying down, yet dizzy.
Lost and afraid.
Weak and ashamed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Proposal - a Movie Review

I had a chance to watch "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds the other day. I've always loved Sandra Bullock movies, and I'm a sucker for chick flicks! My poor hubby. He always ends up rolling his eyes and me. I tend to watch them on my computer while I work so I'm not torturing him too badly.

I have a vague memory of seeing this movie advertised and at the time thinking it was really interesting looking. It had slipped into the back of my mind though because I don't have the money to go out and see movies very often, and so I tend to forget what movies I want to watch later until they pop up in front of my face and I'm reminded.

The premise behind this movie is that Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock's character) is Canadian, a bitchy book editor, and about to be deported. I didn't remember the Canadian connection and when I read the little snippet that said she was going to be deported my first thought was, "how on earth are they going to pull off Sandra being from a different country?" I may like her as an actress, but she's not one I can see succesfully pulling off a foreign accent. Then they said she was Canadian and it all made sense. Many Canadians
don't have much of what we'd consider an accent anyway, and it's not hard to believe that she'd cleaned up what little accent she may have had.

Margaret Tate is a bully of a boss. Everyone is terrified of her. They even send IM's around the office warning things like, "The Witch is on her broom" to warn everyone that she's walking around and they better watch out! Andrew Paxton, her executive assistant, gets the worst of it though. Andrew is a determined character. He's willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, even working for a monster of a woman, and letting her humiliate him. He works hard to please her though. He even started drinking the same type of coffee as she does just in case he ever spilled hers on the way to the office from the morning Starbucks run!

When Margaret discovers she's about to be deported because she never took the time to get her paperwork in order she has a brilliant idea - she'll just marry Andrew! Andrew ends up reluctantly agreeing, but they both panic when they realize all that they are going to have to go through to convince the government that they are truly "in love" and not simply defrauding the government.

Things get really interesting when they fly out to meet his family. The tables get turned and Andrew has the upper hand (mostly) for once. Margaret learns a lot about her assumptions, and about herself. The interactions with the family are hysterical too!

The one disclaimer I will give to this movie is that while most of it is fantastic, there is a scene with a lot of
nudity in it. It's not meant to be something steamy, it's a comedy bit, but you should be prepared for it.

Over all - I loved this movie!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Writing ADD #21

Wouldn't it be fun to have a dragon cane? It sure beats the standard thing I have that I think we picked up for $10 somewhere... Oh yes, and the reason I'm picturing a cane this morning? I pulled a muscle in my foot this weekend so I'm using a cane right now. Joy.

Let's take a look at what I did last week:
Week's Total:
Book Reviews: 2
Dalia's Story: In progress
Weather Mage: In progress
Total Words 2897

It's rather strange that I only did two book reviews, and my stacked up pile isn't very happy with me, but I don't mind since it means I got lots done else where!

I made some good progress of Dalia's Story. It's for a writing challenge so I REALLY need to stay focused on it! Fortunately the words are flowing each time I sit down to work on it, so I'm not too worried (yet) about getting it done in time. I'm just over 4,000 words in that story, and it has to be 10,000 to 20,000 for the challenge, so I still have a ways to go! One of these days I'll have to figure out how it ends too... I won't be sharing this story until contest time because it's one of the rules.

I did some of my writing this weekend at the market. It was cloudy in the mornings so I could see my hubby's netbook despite it's glossy finish (argh) and I wrote while it was slow. It got really windy for awhile there and for some reason that gave me the idea to right a story about a Weather Mage who's power's tend to backfire :) Don't really have any plans beyond that for the story right now, but I don't really care. I write because it's fun you know? 

Last week was pretty full of activities and this week looks a lot more open, so hopefully I'll get lots done, both writing, and on my business!