Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wolf Wing by Tanith Lee

"Wolf Wing" is the fourth and final book in the "Claidi Journals" by Tanith Lee. I've really enjoyed getting to know Claidi, both for her personality and because it's been fun to watch her life in journal format instead of the normal narrative you find in most books. Fortunately Tanith Lee is a prolific authoress, and while I'll miss this particular series, I look forward to exploring some of her other works!

In "Wolf Wing" Claidi and Argul finally are able to get married and start their new life together! They have faced so many obstacles to their relationship, that I think all readers will take a sigh of relief to see them finally together. Of course, this being Claidi's life, nothing is ever quite that simple. Yes, she and Argul are finally together, but that doesn't mean that their life is suddenly easily.

While Claidi and Argul are adjusting to their new married life they find out some shocking news. Ustareth, Argul's mother, is not dead like everyone has long believed. This news rocks their world, but they set off on a journey to reunite with Ustareth, and they aren't the only one's. Several others have also been summoned by Ustareth, including Argul's half brother Venn.

As they travel, Claidi and Argul find themselves separated. Ustareth made sure that they would have to travel part of the way apart, in order that she might test them. They don't realize this at first of course, Claidi just knows she's alone and fighting to find her way to Ustareth.

Many things are answered in this book. We learn more about the mysterious Ustareth, and why she left first Venn, and then Argul and his father. We also learn a lot more about Claidi, both her heritage, and why some of the things happen to and around her.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the Mend...I think...

Sorry I haven't been around - I've been really sick the last few days - but I think I'm finally on the mend! I hope... maybe? I wasn't having a great week anyway (migraines) and then it was compounded by my asthma getting much worse. Good news is my lungs have been clear all day today and I slept through the night last night (well, ok, so I was up for 5 mins, that doesn't count) for the first time in several days! Woohoo!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Aria's Quest - Digging Deeper

Welcome to my story - Aria's Quest! If you missed the beginning I just started loading the back story onto my Deviant Art account ( and you can head over there to check it out :)

Section 4
Searching for Molly
Part 4
Digging Deeper

"Ok, back to the questions Molly avoided, what do you remember?" Aria asked.

"Well, the first thing I noticed was that she seemed to stop giving very many specifics. Instead of telling us which play she went to, she'd just say 'a play.' Instead of giving names she'd just give us a vague 'A friend and I.' Things like that."

"Sounds like she was hiding something."

"That's what I thought too, so I tried to get her to be more specific. What play? What friend? She wouldn't ever answer me directly. 'Oh, I don't remember the name of the play.' 'Oh, just some friends.' Then she'd find an excuse to get off the phone. "

"I see what you mean, that's not much to work with."

"Nope. I thought that maybe I could try to figure out what she'd been doing, but when I got here I quickly realized that it had been so long since she'd given specific names that I didn't have a clue where to begin."

"So what did you do?" Aria asked, curious to see what ground had already been covered.

"Well, to begin with I filed a missing persons report. The cop I talked too didn't seem to sympathetic, kept asking me if it was possible my sister just didn't want to talk to us anymore." Joey got really quite for a minute, "That thought scared me. I couldn't even begin to imagine that Molly wouldn't want us in her life any more. I wouldn't listen to him. Lately though I've started to think more about how distant she had gotten over the phone, and sometimes I wonder if that cop was right."

"I suppose it's possible," Aria said doubtfully, "but it sounds like the two of you had always been really close. Do you really think Molly would cut you out of her life unless something was really wrong or she was being forced?"

"I hope not, but that alternative is pretty scary too."

Aria patted Joey's hand with her tiny little hand, her touch was light as a feather and he might not have even noticed it if he hadn't been looking at her. "Hang in there, we'll figure this out!"


"Your welcome. So what did you do after you tried talking to the cops?"

"Well, I went to her school, and they wouldn't give me any information. Said I wasn't authorized or something like that. I tried going to the last address we had for her, but apparently she'd moved from there awhile before she went missing, and nobody there knew here new address. I even tried going everywhere I could think of with her picture, spent months doing that whenever I wasn't working, but nobody could give me any information." Joey grew silent, his frustration obvious on his face.

Aria was quite for awhile as well. It didn't sound good, but there had to be something, somewhere, that would give them a clue! The only thing she could think of was, "Can you write down Molly's full name and the last address you had for her? I'm going to talk to Robyn and see if he has any friends who can help."

Joey looked a little skeptical, "But the address was a dead end!"

"For you maybe, you never know what a little magic might accomplish!"

Shaking his head a little, Joey wrote down the information, "Go for it, what can it hurt?"

"Thanks. I'll let you know as soon as I know anything!"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What to Say?

It's been awhile since I've written anything about my Granny, and that's largely because it's hard to know what to say when my heart is this full. There were some special moments on my last visit to her that I will always treasure, but they are way to private to share, and I'm not sure I'd be able to type it out without crying anyway...

It is time for an update though. Granny is not doing well. As far as I've heard they are no longer talking about doing any more treatment, they are simply talking about making her as comfortable as possible for whatever time she has left. She's a lot weaker than when I last saw her...the family has to feed her now and she can't do much for herself at all.

Everyone's pulling together to take her home. The state will pay for a portion of her care, but the family is going to have to take shifts to be there with her at night. I'm really impressed that my Uncles are willing to do this. I never thought they were the type. Please don't take that as I don't like my Uncles, they are great guys, I just never pictured the hunter/construction guys as the type that would be willing to be caregivers! It blows me away and thoroughly impresses me.

My parents are going to do what they can to help, spending at least one weekend if not more up there. It's harder for them because we live 4 hours away, and so it means a lot more gas wise and everything, where as my Uncles live up there. But my parents are definitely doing everything they can. Dad's been up there almost constantly actually, but he's going to have to work at some point...

How am I doing?'s a day by day thing for me. Sometimes I'm fine, other times I'm at the verge of tears, but most of the time I'm doing ok right now. My heart aches for Granny. I know she's very unhappy being this sick. I don't want to lose her, but I also know that sometimes letting go is the best. So I just pray. I pray for her and I pray for all of us and I know we'll get through this one day at time, however long it takes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Writing ADD #5

I had another week that was a combination of being super busy and being really sick. I didn't get any new writing done other than book reviews - but I did get a couple book reviews and I got some other pieces typed up and one finished!

~ Typed & Edited "Classic Ruthie"
~ Typed "My Dance with Words"

No new writing - but it was good to get the stuff I hand wrote on the trip typed up!

~ Book Review - 453

Not much writing done - but a tone of other things done!

~ Book Review - 230

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday:
I don't really remember where Thursday went, I think I was just too busy to slow down and write. Friday I was on track, getting things done, and I thought I was going to write, and then a close friend called to say his Dad was in the hospital. His Dad is going to be ok (we think), but that took out that day too. Saturday I was dealing with a massive migraine and couldn't sit at my computer for more than 10 mins, let alone write....

~ Book Review - 263

Not really sure HOW I got a book review written while I had a migraine - but at least I got something done :)

Week's Total:
~ Book Reviews 3
~ "Classic Ruthie" Typed, edited, and posted.
~ "My Dance with Words" Typed.
~ Total Words - 946

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles by Rupert Kingfisher

"Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles" is a delightful children's books about a girl named Madeleine, her disgusting Uncle Lard, and of course the incomparable Madame Pamplemousse! Oh, and of course, how can we forget, incredible food!

Madeleine is actually quite the cook in her own right, but it's not something that many people know. Her parents send her off each summer to work for her "dear Uncle Lard" and are blind to how truly disgusting a man he is. The one time Madeleine cooks for Uncle Lard he become so instantly jealous of how good a cook she is that he instantly regulates her to dish washing duty forever in the hopes that no one else discovers her talent.

Of course Madeleine does occasionally get to do things other than wash dishes, such as run the errands that no one else wants to do. One day she gets sent out to purchase some pate, and accidentally stumbles across Madame Pamplemousses shop. The pate she brings back is like nothing that has ever been served in Uncle Lard's shop, and he is determined to discover the secret of Madame's cooking. He even ends up sending Madeleine to work for Madame Pamplemousse! Madeleine learns a lot during her time there, and you might be surprised when you discover what Madame's secret ingredients really are.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

by Jane Austin and Seth Grahme-Smith

Fans of Jane Austin's classic, "Pride and Prejudice" maybe cringing to the the title "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" on my blog, but read on if you liked the original, and are at all interested in zombies! Grahme-Smith took the original material and wove in zombie references. In some places he simply added to the text, and some times he altered the original text, but there are still large chunks of the original material. The only problem with that is that it leaves you with a little bit of a feeling of whip-lash as you transition between Austin's excellent literature and Grahme-Smith's slightly less stellar writing. This can be summed up by the introduction to the author's on the back which reads:

"Jane Austin is the author of 'Sense and Sensibility', 'Persuasion', 'Mansfield Park', and other masterpieces of English literature. Seth Grahme-Smith once took a class in English literature."

I found this adaption of the classic to be highly entertaining. There were a few of the additions that I didn't really like, but there were some changes that I liked better than the original! This was because it altered the motives behind the characters actions in particular situations, and those were situations that had always frustrated me originally.

At the end of the book you'll find a small list of questions for readers discussion. These are just as entertaining as the rest of the book! My favorite is question number 7, "Does Mrs. Bennet have a single redeeming quality?" Good question! I have an additional question for them, "In book where violence is much more prevalent than it was in the original, how come no one ever chopped of Mrs. Bennet's head?"

I hear that they've also come out with a "Pride and Prejudice and Pirates" now. I'm not sure if or when I'll read that adaption, but it does sound interesting! I'm sure it'll be just as corny as this adaption gets at times though, if not worse!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

"Cry Wolf" is the first book in the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs. It's a companion series to the Mercy Thompson books, set in the same world with some of the same characters, but taking things in a new direction! If you've read and fallen in love with the Mercy books, you'll love this series as well!

In "Cry Wolf" we meet Anna, and we get a chance to get to know Charles. Charles, as you may remember, is the Marrok's (the werewolf leader's) son and chief enforcer. In the Mercy books we've heard of him, but never really gotten to know him. Now, he's one of the main characters!

Charles goes into the Chicago pack and is forced to take out the leader, as well as several others, because they are completely out of control. They've been torturing members of the pack. Especially Anna. In the process the wolf in Charles and the wolf in Anna choose each other as mates. Normally the human's choose mates and hope their wolves agree, but this time it's happened backwards. This creates all sorts of interesting situations, especially because of how Anna was tortured, and because she is an Omega.

While trying to sort out their new relationship, Charles and Anna are sent out to track down a rogue werewolf. It turns out that not only is there a rogue on the loose, it's being controlled by a witch, a witch that has ties to a member of the Marrok's pack. It's going to take all the skill of Charles, Anna, and Bran to take down this witch!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Aria's Quest - Learning More

Welcome to my story Aria's Quest! It's a serial fiction that I try to post every week. I'll be posting the back story soon to Deviant Art for anyone who wants to catch up :)

Section 4
Searching for Molly
Part 3
Learning More

Aria thought for a little bit, trying to figure out where to guide Joey next, and finally asked, "You said the other day that Molly had been here for a little while before she disappeared right?"

"Yah," Joey responded. "About 6 months. I think I told you that we used to hear from her all the time right?" Aria nodded. "Well at first we'd get calls and she'd tell us all about her classes, some really cool assignments she had, the people she was meeting, what she was eating, I mean we'd talk about everything! Everything was new and exciting for her, and she was determined to tell me all about it since I was going to be 'boring and stay at home' as she put it."

"So what changed?"

"I don't know. After awhile she stopped calling as often. At first I just thought she was busy with her new life ya know? I mean she had a lot of classes, and she was making new friends, so why would she need to share everything with me anymore? It hurt a little, but I figured it was all a part of letting my baby sis grow up.

Then I noticed she wasn't really answering my questions any more. When she did call the conversations only seemed to last as long as she was comfortable talking. If I pressed about something she didn't want to answer, she'd find a reason to leave. So I stopped asking questions and just listened to what she wanted to say for the most part, even if it didn't sound like her."

"What kind of questions was she avoiding? Maybe there's a clue there."

Joey shook his head, "I wish there was, but I've spent hours thinking about it and come up with nothing."

"Well, maybe a fresh pair of ears would help?" Aria suggested.

"I guess you're right, I think I'm just discouraged after all this time. I've been here for over a year, and I haven't found any clues." Joey sighed.

"Well, I didn't promise this would be easy, but you did say you wanted to try, and we both know I look at the world differently. Plus I have connections you never could have had. Did I ever tell you I live with a couple of dwarves? Did you know there's a huge magical community here in town? I may not know that many people yet, but my friend Robyn seems to know everyone! Chances are one of them will be able to pull up some sort of clue you couldn't have found on your own. Besides, if we fail (and I really hope we don't!) you'll know that you tried every avenue you could."

"That's true." Joey gave her a half grin, "Just keep talking me through it ok?" He paused for a moment, "You know it'll be nice to have someone else to talk to about all this. I mean, I call home and give reports, but I don't like stressing them out, so these days especially I talk mostly about my life, because it hurts too much for all of us to talk about Molly. I think they've given up."

"We'll that's what I'm here for! You know I'll listen, and hopefully we'll find her too. Then you can call your grandparents with some good news!"

"Now that would be nice! I don't think they'd believe me if I told them about my new fairy friend though..."

Aria laughed, "That's why you won't say anything until we find something worth reporting! And I don't mind if you never mention me to your grandparents."

"Sounds like a plan to me." Joey said, finally giving Aria a full smile for the first time that day. "If we find her, you're going to love Molly! And she'll love you. We'll just keep the more magical aspects of finding Molly hidden from my Grandparents."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Classic Ruthie

Note: I wrote this the day it happened, so it wasn't actually this morning, but it was when I wrote it :P

Classic Ruthie

I'm known, to my family and friends, for managing to mess things up. I'm usually quite well intentioned, I'm just a little absent minded, and rather uncoordinated at times. I tend to find this rather frustrating, but everyone else tends to find it rather amusing!

Today was the perfect example.

My brother and I are on a mini-road trip to visit our Granny who is currently in a nursing home battling cancer. We spent the night out at her house to save money, both on lodging, and because we can cook for ourselves this way. Now our Mom raised us right, so that means cleaning up after ourselves and putting things back where we found them. That should be a good thing right? Well, maybe not when you put me into the mix!

Peter and I made a deal this morning. He'd cook breakfast and I'd clean. Since Moses rarely cooks I jumped at the chance to let someone else cook for me! Even though I really don't like cleaning, I still felt like I was coming out ahead in this deal.

So while Peter started chopping and frying potatoes, I started shuffling around, drinking coffee, gathering our stuff, and straightening up. After we ate (and those potatoes were good!) I finished loading the dishwasher and got it going. Since it was still early Peter and I settled down in the living room with more coffee. We turned on some country music, I pulled out my crocheting, and just spent some time chatting.

After awhile I decided to get up, rinse out my coffee mug, and get some water. Now to understand this next part you need to understand that I don't generally look at my feet while I walk, I choose to meet the world face to face. So when I stood in front of the sink and realized my socks were damp my first thought was, "Peter must have spilled some water when he rinsed something." Which was odd, but since I knew I hadn't slopped any water, it was the only thing that made sense.

Well, until a couple of seconds later when I realized my socks weren't just damp, they were getting soaked!

That's when I finally looked down and realized that I WAS the one who had caused all the water. I had flooded the kitchen with the dish washer! I stared dumbly at the foam frothing forth for a moment before I had the presence of mind to turn off the dish washer and call for Peter.

It didn't take us long to mop up the water, rinse out the rugs and towels and throw them in the dryer, and figure out just how I'd managed to get us into this mess. I had absent-mindedly grabbed the first bottle I saw under the sink, checked that it was soap, and promptly forgot to make sure it was for the dish washer and not for using in the sink! This, of course, led to our soapy overflow.

Oh well, at least the bubbles were pretty!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Writing ADD #4

Isn't it great how setting yourself goals is a pretty sure fire way to have things happen in life that derail you from pursuing them? Actually, all things considered, I did pretty good this last week! I took another trip up to visit my Granny. This time I left the computer at home, so no e-mails, no writing on the computer, but it was a good trip, and it was the right decision to leave the computer at home! The funny thing is I actually got some writing done anyway...

I don't know what my word total was for last week because I haven't had a chance to type up what I hand wrote on the trip. I did write two different things though, for a total of 7 pages hand written. I'm sure that still falls far short of my word goal for the week, but since I got sick after the trip, and I took the trip, I'm more than happy with that :) One of the things I wrote I plan on posting later this week, because its a story from the trip.

Update: I've since typed up the two pieces and they came to 1564 words. It sure seems like a lot more when your doing it by hand! No wonder I usually type when I write...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wolf Queen by Tanith Lee

"Wolf Queen" continues the story of the "Claidi Journals." In the last journal we left Claidi as she had finally escaped and set off to find her fiance, Argul. This journal opens with her finding Argul's tribe, landing a short distance away, and attempting to contact her love. Only there is a gigantic problem! She soon learns that Argul and his people have been tricked into thinking that she had betrayed him and his love, and they want nothing to do with her! Claidi is heartbroken, but she still sets out to search for Argul.

As Claidi searches for Argul she comes across even more complications for her life, because she meets a woman who claims to be her long lost mother! Is this dark woman really her mother? Is this mean girl really her sister? Can these people really fly? And if so, how do they do it?

These mysteries, and more, will keep you turning pages until the very end of this book!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Spending Time with Peter

I went up to visit my Granny again this week, and I went up with Peter this time! It was good to spend so much time with him! He's only been back in town for a week or two, and he tends to be a one on one person, so a road trip was the perfect way to reconnect. Not to mention I love how relaxed and laid back a road trip with Peter is. I have fun with Gordon too - for totally different reasons - but this time it was nice to have things so relaxed. There's been a lot going on lately, and I think I really needed that.

We listened to a wide range of music; country, swing, old school Christian, sometimes talking, and sometimes just listening and/or singing along!

It was good to spend more time with Granny - but I don't think I can really talk about that right now. Too many emotions, too private. I'm sure you understand :) The good news is that her radiation treatments are done with - and she has a wee bit of time to regain strength before she has to start chemo. The docs are saying that the chemo shouldn't be too rough - here's hoping and praying!

On the way up we met up Dad in a little tiny, rugged, cafe. That was fun! It was his birthday so it was nice to get to see him, and he was on his way home to spend some time with Mom. He'll be going back up next week sometime. Lunch was fun, even though I ordered breakfast, and MAN those were some of the best hash browns I've had in a long time!

Since Dad was back home, Peter and I stayed at Granny's house by ourselves, which just meant more time to hang out! I even got him to cook me breakfast :P There's a whole story there, I'll share it soon!

Oh yes, and we saw the last 2/3'rds of the movie Aliens. I enjoyed it - and its nice to have seen more than the last 5 minutes of the movie. Of course, some day, I'd still like to see the beginning.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ruminations on Headboards

Note: This is an opinion piece I first wrote a couple of weeks ago. I know it's a rather odd topic - but that's part of the fun of it! I hope you enjoy it :)

Ruminations on Headboards

I tend to have a rather odd way of looking at life. One example of this is I tend to spend time thinking about rather random things that most people don't spend much time thinking about. Today I found myself pondering headboards.

There are three main types of headboards that I can think of. I'm sure there are more if you add in bed frames in general (different types of post and such) but I'm thinking of the frames that actually have headboards of some sort. The three that come to mind are solid (usually wood or some facsimile thereof), bars, and shelves.

To me, decorative shelves are the worst kind of head board you can have. Beds are for sleeping, snuggling, reading, and maybe writing or working on a laptop. They are NOT for display! Put your knick knacks on the wall and your books on the bed side table.

Headboards with bars all the way across are only marginally better. At least you aren't putting silly figurines on them, but they still really don't work well for anything else. Sure you can try putting a pillow against those bars, but you'll still be able to feel the bars, and that's not very comfortable. Or worse, if the bars are far apart, you'll lose your pillow through the bars!

As far as I'm concerned a good headboard is one that you can prop a pillow or two against and read a book. Sure, some people can read curled up and lying down, but if you wear glasses like I do, then that's not really an option either. Solid headboards are the best for this, although these sometimes fail as well. A flimsy headboard, solid or no, can still be a problem.

Growing up I had a wimpy but solid headboard. It worked, as long as the bed was pushed firmly against the wall. Otherwise the frame would start to separate. Both of my grandmothers have headboards with shelves in their guest rooms, which has me privately rolling my eyes, but at least grateful for a warm bed when I visit! The bed I share with my hubby has bars across it and it drives nuts, especially when the hubby falls asleep on the couch, leaving me with few options if I want to read. Generally I end up in my desk chair with my feet propped up on his desk chair!

So one of my humble dreams, along with one day having a two bedroom apartment instead of just a one bedroom, is to someday own a bed frame with a good, solid, headboard.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"To Die in Italbar" by Roger Zelazny

"To Die in Italbar" (at least the copy I picked up from the library) actually contains two books by Roger Zelazny. "To Die in Italbar" and "A Dark Traveling." I'm not really sure why they were paired together because to me they seemed very different, but I enjoyed both of them! Just for different reasons.

"To Die in Italbar" tells the story of a man named Mr. H who is rather different. He goes through cycles where he is highly contagious to those around him, and cycles where he can heal the people around him. He doesn't really know why, and he doesn't really care.

Until Mr H. snaps that is. Well, he didn't really care at that point why he had these abilities, all he cared about was hurting those around him. He was bitter and angry, and it was time to start a plaque that would rock the galaxy. Now there are multiple people trying to track down Mr. H, all for different reasons.

"A Dark Traveling" seems to have been written for a slightly younger audience. It reads much quicker and with less thought, but it's still very entertaining! It's the story of a young man, mostly normal, unless you think his sister being a witch, his uncle being a werewolf, and the fact that he seems to have werewolf tendencies to be abnormal that is. James's family are like guardians. The help to monitor these "bands" that are basically parallel realities.

James's father has been attacked and sent to a "dark band," one of the realities that is usually avoided because of the danger they represent. Now it's up to James, his witchy sister, and their exchange student from a different band to find out what's going on and put it all right! Along the way they all learn more about what there abilities are, and some secrets about the family are revealed.

Both books put forth some really interesting ways of looking at reality and are well worth the read!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Aria's Quest - So Tell Me?

Section 4
Searching for Molly
Part 2
So Tell Me?

“Ok, where do we start?” Joey asked with his bravest look.

“Why don’t you tell me more about Molly.” Aria gently replied.

“Molly was always full of life. You’d really like her. She’s two years younger than me, and we were always really close. She had a vivid imagination, and when we’d play up the woods she’d come up with the craziest stories for us to act out! Sometimes we’d be stranded on a desert island, other times we’d fight goblins, and some times we’d search for buried treasure. Her descriptions were always so real that sometimes she almost had me believing we’d found some treasure!

No matter what we played, I was always the strong one, protecting her. Molly usually chose the more dramatic roles like princess, gypsy, fairy, or anything she thought might be sound exciting. Our play resembled real life in that way. She, the imaginative and exotic; and I the older brother, down to earth but fiercely protective.

Not that Molly really needed that much protecting. We lived a simple life like I said, out on the edge of a small town, and our parents were always good to us. So our home life was good, but sometimes Molly got picked on at school. She was too different, her imagination too big, for our little town. That’s when I’d protect her. Didn’t get any many fist fights for her, I guess after the first couple I proved I was willing to stand up for her, and most of the time they didn’t think it was worth the busted lip.” Joey trailed off after that, a little lost in his memories.

Aria let him think for a bit and then prompted him, “Why did Molly come to the city for school?”
“We had a teacher in High School, Mrs. Dutsch, and she always thought Molly had real potential. She encouraged her to explore art and drama more, and then helped her get a scholarship to a university with a good arts program. It was perfect for her!”

“Why didn’t you go to school?” Aria asked, not knowing much about human schooling, and very curious.

“Aww…I didn’t really need any of that higher education stuff. There was never anything special about me like there was about Molly. I had myself a good job working at the local mechanic shop, and that was more than enough for me.”

“What’s a mechanic shop?”

“It’s where people take their cars to get fixed.”

“Did you like it?”

“I loved it!”

“Then why don’t you do that here in the city? Why take care of the church?”

“This job gave me more freedom. More time to search for Molly.”

To be continued...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Writing ADD #3

Well this week was basically a bust writing wise. We discovered that I have a new food sensitivity and it was triggering my migraines. So I spent a good portion of the week on the couch or in bed. This meant not a lot of brain energy for writing! (or much else for that matter)

I did get 4 book reviews written and wrote about 1300 words. I didn't get any of my own personal writing done, but at least I did get a wee bit done!

This next week will probably be a bit of a bust as far as writing goes too. Trying to catch up on a million things, help my hubby apply for scholarships, my brother apply for university, and Peter (brother) and I are taking a trip up to visit my Granny again! Sound busy? I agree. Hoping I can get at least a wee bit of writing done though! My goal for this week is just to get SOME writing done in the midst of everything else!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maquire

"Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" is a new approach to the classic Cinderella story. Gregory Maquire takes many of the elements that we are familiar with, and weaves a whole new story. One that is fresh and will keep you hanging on to every word.

"Confessions" starts out with the memories and ramblings of an old women. She hears children in the streets telling the story of the Cindergirl, and she wonders how much of the story is memories of her families history, or if the children are telling a story that just happens to resemble her families history. This launches us into the tale of what really happened. Well, to this family at least.

Normally the Cinderella tale is told from the perspective of the Cindergirl, but in "Confessions," we hear the story from the perspective of her sisters, especially the sister Iris. The tale is set against the backdrop of 17th century Holland, and the rise and fall of the tulips enterprises.

I've never really identified with the step-sisters in the Cinderella story before. Typically they are portrayed as cruel and selfish after all. In this story you see them from a different light. The step-mother is still rather wicked, but the girls are all friends, and simply struggling to make the best of a bad situation.

If you want a fresh look at the old story, this book will be a fun read for you! It does deal with some scandalous topics at times (that's Maguire's writing for you), but that is not the main focus of the story. You'll fall in love with Iris and find yourself thinking of the themes and topics in the story long after you put it down!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aria's Quest - Talking to Joey

I've posted this segment of the story previously, but since it's been awhile since I posted regularly I wanted to start at the beginning of the section of the story so that things will be as cohesive as possible. :) Enjoy!

Section 4
Searching for Molly
Part 1
Talking to Joey

Aria had made up her mind to try and help Joey find Molly, but actually bringing the topic up was hard. So, at first, she just listened as he talked about some of his roommate’s crazy antics from the night before. Finally, Joey noticed how quite she was being, and asked, “So what’s going on with you today? You’re not really talking much. Did something happen last night? Did I say something?”

“No, nothing happened last night.” Aria sighed and the quickly continued when she saw that he was worried he’d done something, “And it’s not really anything you did, or rather it is, but it’s not anything bad!”

Now the look on Joey’s face was confusion, “You’re not making much sense. I said or did something that has you upset but it’s not bad?”

“Well, yeah. This is going to be hard to explain, so just be patient with me ok?”

“Ok.” Joey leaned on his broom and gave her his full attention.

Aria took a deep breath and started in on her story, “I never told you why I came to the city. It was more than just wanting to get away from my family, or wanting to see the sites, I’m on a quest. It’s something that every woodland fairy goes through as a rite of passage to becoming recognized as an adult in the community.”

“What type of quest?”

“Well that changes a little for each fairy. Our main goal is we have to find a human in the city, and find a way to improve their life.” Aria paused there, not sure what to say next, how to bring up Molly. Joey was quiet at first too. Finally he asked the obvious question.

“So does that mean you plan on ‘improving’ my life some way?” Joey looked a little bemused.

“Sort of. I want to help you find Molly.”

Joey grew really serious when he heard that. “Do you really think you can?”

“I don’t know for sure.” Aria replied honestly. “But I do know that I have connections that you don’t have, and I want to try! I can’t promise anything though, well, other than that I’ll give it my best effort.”

Joey went back to sweeping with a look of concentration on his face. Aria just watched, knowing he needed time to process, and hoping that she hadn’t alienated him. Finally, when he’d finished cleaning the room he turned back to Aria and said, “Ok, where do we start?”

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Aria's Quest Returns!

I had planned to post this yesterday afternoon or evening, but the day ended up full of things I wasn't expecting, and thus it didn't get done. Before I start up the regular posts of the story, here's the back story of what's already been published!

I started writing my story, Aria's Quest, in February of last year. I wanted to write a modern fairy tale, and I wanted to work on piece of serial fiction to publish weekly on my blog. It's been a long hard road, and I recently had to take a break from it, but it's also been a lot of fun! I decided that I need to write up a short synopsis of what's happened in the story so far for anyone who's just joining in on the story.

Aria is a 17 year old Woodland Fairy from a large family. She's a bit precocious, and has a thirst for knowledge. Among the woodland fairies it's required that you complete a quest to be recognized as an adult in the community. This quest is assigned by a counsel and they are the ones who decide when a fairy is prepared to embark on their quest.

The quest consists of the fairy traveling into the city, finding a human to work with, and finding a way to improve that human's life. It's not required that the human be aware of the fairy's influence in their life, and many fairies chose to remain invisible as they go about their quest. This approach never appealed to Aria though, and she spent the first portion of her quest simply searching for a "true believer."

A "true believer" is a human who believes, truly, in things such as magic and fairies. It's not required that a human be a true believer for them to be able to see a fairy, but it certainly makes it easier! Aria wanted to actually work with the person she's helping, so she searched high and low until she found just the right guy!

Along the way, while she searched, Aria made some friends. She first met another fairy named Robyn, and he helped her find a place to stay, with his foster parents Darryl and Gina. Darryl and Gina are a dwarven couple that manages to "pass" as human and live in a local apartment. They make Aria feel right at home and provide a lot of support for her on her search.

Aria finds a gem of a true believer in a young man named Joey. Joey was originally a country boy, and he came to the city to find his sister, who has gone missing. As he looks for her he works at a local church as a janitor, and that's where Aria originally finds him.

When Aria finds out about Joey's missing sister, Molly, she knows that she needs to help Joey find her. It scares her a little bit, because it's something that is so vitally important to Joey, but she knows deep inside that it's what's right. So she sits Joey and down and explains what she wants to do to help him, and Joey starts by telling her a little bit more about Molly.

I'll start publishing regular portions of the story tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Writing ADD #2

Has it been a week already? I do believe it has... crazy. I didn't quite meet my writing goals this week, but I got a lot of things worked on, so I'm happy :)

~ Book Review - 313
~ Typed up opinion piece from Sunday.

Monday was a long day of spending another visit with my Granny, and then the long drive home. I did write up a book review in the morning though while I was waiting for Gordon to wake up, and I got my opinion piece typed up in the evening after we got home.

No writing - severe migraine all day long.

~ Book Review - 391
~ Edited & Completed Opinion Piece
~ Edited & completed Aria's Quest section 4, part 2
~ Aria's Quest, sect4, part 3 - 584
~ Added to the Jemnath Databases (finished ch 1, started 2)
~ Day's Total - 975

No writing. Had a busy day with doctors appointments and family time, so what little down time I had really needed to be down time!

~ Book Review - 352
~ Granny Camp - 250
~ "The Diner Girl" - Edited and Completed (for now at least)
~ Character Sketch - 600
~ Day's Total - 1202

I wanted to catch up a little on my writing goals on Friday, but I was only able to write a little over the normal goal. Just wasn't feel that good. On the plus side, I completed one project, wrote a review, and worked on two other projects! So that makes me very happy.

~ Book Review - 327
~ Character Sketch - 984
~ Day's Total - 1311

I was hoping to write a little more than I did Saturday (trying to catch up so I can reach my weeks goal!) but I made a lot of progress on my character sketch and that made me happy. I also got a lot of non-writing things accomplished, and we had my brothers welcome home party which ended in some of us going over to Bethie's for a movie night. So I'm happy.

~ Book Review - 464
~ Character Sketch - 243
~ Day's Total - 707
I was really tired on Sunday from all the activity the day before, so I didn't get much done, but I did finish my character sketch! Just need to edit it now :D

~ Book Reviews: 5
~ Opinion Piece - Completed
~ Aria's quest, edited and completed section 4 part 2, wrote part 3
~ Granny Camp - In progress
~ The Diner Girl - Completed
~ Character Sketch - In progress (almost done!)
~ Week's Total: 4508

The Character Sketch has been my main focus because the character is for the D&D game I'm going to be playing with some of my friends. Now that it's done I'd really like to start working on my book again, but I need to re familiarize myself with it, which I've been doing by creating the databases that I always wanted to do. I might abandon my "5000 words" goal for the week so I can focus on the databases...

Aria's Quest goes up later today!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum

"The Road to Oz" is the 5th book in the beloved Oz series by L. Frank Baum. In this book Dorothy and Toto meet a new friend, the Shaggy Man, and she travels with him a short ways to give him directions. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) they find themselves in a maze of magical roads and obviously very far from Kansas!

Not knowing what else to do; Dorothy and her companions start out along a random road to see where it leads. Before long they discover that the road leads to Oz, and that Princess Ozma is having a birthday! Dorothy and her friends decide to follow the road until they reach Oz, because Dorothy would love to see her friend again, and they know that Ozma would be able to help them reach home again.

As they travel to Oz Dorothy, Toto, and the Shaggy Man pick up some more companions and travel through yet more strange lands. Baum's capacity for coming up with new concepts is astounding! We meet fox people, donkey people, and a man who makes music whenever he breaths. Dorothy also becomes friends with the daughter of the rainbow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

December was Crazy...

Yes, December was crazy...but I still managed to post more on here than I did my jewelry blog! Not quite sure HOW that happened. Ah well. Here's a look back at the month :)



Book Reviews

TV Review

Ah - now I see how I had so many posts - I did a lot more personal posts than normal! I don't think anyone minded though :P

On a positive note, I've been writing regulalry again and Aria's Quest will return starting Monday! Woohoo! I'll also be posting other short pieces I've written from time to time. I'm looking forward to it.