Monday, February 28, 2011

I Think This Is All of Them...

No, I don't think I'll be undertaking any new writing projects.  Quite frankly, I have enough ideas that I don't want to focus on a new one.  However, I have some books that have been on my "currently reading" shelf for long enough that need finishing.

As follows:

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb, library book.  I forgot my book--any of them--at home one day from school.  I picked it up and started reading about two weeks ago.  I'm over halfway.  Fantasy.

Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet.  It had been on my unread shelf for years and started reading it.  Right now, I can't seem to find it.  I'm not quite halfway.  Christian Fantasy.

The Sword and the Miracle by Melvyn Bragg.  I started reading it when I first got it and didn't get very far, page 27, to be exact.  I haven't touched it in years.  Christian Historical Fiction

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.  I started reading it in either 9th or 10th grade.  I'm over halfway, but haven't touched it in years.  I got to the part about the Greek girl.  Classic

Chocolatherapy and Due to Rising Energy Costs, the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Turned off by Karen Scalf Linamen.  Haven't touched them in years either.  Self-help. 

The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease.  Started it in ninth grade, hasn't been touched in years.  Historical Fiction.

The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer.  Started it in either 11th or 12th grade, hasn't been touched in over a year. Historical Fiction.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  Started it sometime over last summer, hasn't been touched in months.  Classic.

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick.  Started it sometime in 12th grade, hasn't been touched in months.  Historical Fiction.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King.  Quit gasping!  Look, I only got 17 pages into the book and I don't have the rest of the series, so I don't want to get too far deep into it.  I started it sometime in 12th grade, hasn't been touched in months.  Dark Fantasy.

The Secret Country by Pamela Dean.  It's my Old Faithful.  Every now and then I got and read a few chapters of it.  Unlike the novel above, I have the rest of the series, so finishing it is no big deal.  I'm over halfway.  I started it in 12th grade, hasn't been touched in weeks.  Fantasy.

His Holiday Bride by Jillian Hart.  It's a Love Inspired, hasn't been touched in months.  Christian Romance.

Brionne and Bowdrie's Law by Louis L'Amour.  Bowdrie's Law is a collection of short stories--doesn't matter too too much.  Brionne--I started because I couldn't find Bowdrie's Law.  I started it on the Senior Trip.  Neither have been touched in months.  Law hasn't been touched in years.  Western.

Dragon's Dream by Mary Gilgannon.  Read the first book some years ago, started the second one on a whim, and here we are, hasn't been touched in weeks.  Historical Romance.

The River Knows by Amanda Quick.  I started it one or two days before New Year 2011, hasn't been touched since then....Not sure of the genre.

Dracula by Bram Stoker. Hasn't been touched in over a year, except maybe for me to look at the interesting cover.  Classic.

The Wizard's Ward by Deborah Hale.  It's a LUNA book, which is a division of Harlequin.  First in a series.  I just bought it this year.  Hasn't been touched in two-three weeks.  Fantasy with a pinch of Romance.

Unafraid by Francine Rivers.  It's the last book in Lineage of Grace, about Mary.  I started it back in like tenth grade, hasn't been touched in over a year.  Biblical Fiction...don't know if that's an accurate term...

Yesterday and Forever by Victoria Alexander.  QUIT LAUGHING!  Yes, Victoria Alexander is one of my brand names and I'm still reading a book by her.  Hasn't been touched in months.  Historical Romance.

Shelter of Hope by Lyn Cote.  Another Love Inspired.  Little by little, I'm weeding those out.  Hasn't been touched in months.  Christian Romance.

Bridal Veil by Cathy Marie Hake.  That's a Heartsong.  Hasn't been touched in weeks--started this year.   Christian Historical Romance.

The Innocent Man by John Grisham.  My brother got it for me for graduation.  I'm not very far and I already have an idea of how it'll end.  Since it's a true account, there's no dialogue, or barely any...  :-/  Nonfiction... :-P

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.  Short stories about my favorite mythical hero, ROBIN HOOD!  Hasn't been touched in months.  Classic.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine.  It is an interesting book, but anyway...  Hasn't been touched in weeks.  Children's Fantasy

Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand.  Hasn't been touched in months.  Mystery--never been good with those.

The Lord of the Rings Omnibus Edition by J. R. R. Tolkien.  LET ME EXPLAIN!!  I started the book in 6th grade for the Terra Nova Test.  Every now and then I go and read a chapter, but anyway...hasn't been touched in months.  Fantasy/Classic

Eternity's Edge by Bryan Davis.  Hasn't been touched in years.  Christian Fantasy YA.

Libyrinth by Pearl North.  I'll probably wind up giving this up.  I only bought it because Maria V. Snyder had a blurb on the cover.  It's interesting and all, but hasn't been touched in months, maybe over a year.  YA Fantasy.

The Hand That Bears the Sword by George Bryan Polivka.  Hasn't been touched in over a year.  Christian Fantasy.

Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede.  I just started it a few weeks ago.  I only red the first ten pages.  Since I'll probably read from the puppy ear and not restart, it made the list.  Wrede is an awesome author though.  Children's Fantasy

On top of all that, I began rereading The Iron Lance (Historical Fiction) by Stephen R. Lawhead and Dragon Prince (Fantasy) by Melanie Rawn.  The Iron Lance hasn't been touched in weeks.  Dragon Prince...well...I know I started re-reading it this year...I think.  :-/

I don't have a book problem.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Pedestal

 I am one of those people that tends to put persons I look up to on a pedestal. Like anyone who was ever interested in any particular subject, I decided I wanted to know more about Hans Christian Andersen. After all, he's considered the father of the modern fairy tale. I love fairy tales. Also, "HCA was the world's first great fantasy storyteller." (The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, 1997)

In my research I found out HCA had fallen in love with a man. This love was unrequited and nothing came of it, but still...

the pedestal shattered.

I reread what Erik Haugaard had said. Or maybe I read it for the first time. And he is so completely right. Especially being a writer and reader, I tend to put some of my favorite writers on a pedestal. And writers are known for their problems. :-/

But I still put some of my favorite authors on pedestals. Today, we were talking in Ragamuffin about how easily we can point out the faults in others. We're guilty of whatever fault we just pointed out.

"For years now, I've written about how much Abba loves ragamuffins. Sometimes, these days I wrestle to believe what I wrote." -Brennan Manning, Patched Together
I want to wonder, "How in the world does he struggle?" However, "At least I'm not the only one," is closer to my mindset. These people with their shortcomings and hang-ups are human, not gods. They will fail. They will screw up. But you love them anyway. You admire them for whatever, their endurance, their faith--or lack thereof, or their messages...anything.

"....He had innumberable weaknesses, which I shall not recount, for most of them all men possess; but he had great courage that poets must have; and that made it possible for him to be totally aware of his own faults and virtues."
-Erik Christian Haugaard, Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories

"It has been said that intimacy breeds contempt; and I am sure it does for those who search for idols. But I think one can love a person for his faults as well as his virtues. Man is made from clay and clay is fragile. But maybe it is its frailty that makes us look with double wonder at an ancient Greek vase: it is so delicate, so brittle, and yet it has survived..."
-Erik Christian Haugaard, Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why Country Music Is Great

I had my TV on mute.  But I saw Josh Turner on GAC and I HAD to see what he was singing.  I'll give you a hint:  It was his first (I think) single.

Singers don't sound good when singing live and just recorded.  Now, when it's on the radio, CD, or the music video is on GAC, then it sounds good.  (Yeah, videos play on CMT, but I'm a GAC-er all the way!)  He sounded like he was singing through his nose, but it didn't matter.  It was Josh Turner.  And it was "Long Black Train."

Country music, supposedly, has the most loyal fanbase of any other genre.  All of the country singers that lasted a while say it.

Justin Bieber says he has the best fans ever.  If he's still singing twenty years from now, then I'll agree with him.  But he ain't a country singer, y'all.  Does he really have that chance?  Seriously?

I don't think so.  Look at the years of those below, from their first album to their latest.  Some of them aren't retired yet.  But you know they all take breaks from time to time.

Current Reigning King George Strait (1981-2009)
Brooks & Dunn (1991-2007 {their last-last greatest hits before their break up came out in 2009  They'll be missed as a team, but they're supposed to be coming out with solo albums.})
Alan Jackson (1990-2010)
Current Reigning Queen Reba (1977-2010)
Martina McBride (1992-2009).  She just signed on with a new record company.

All those years I got from Wikipedia, just so you know, but those numbers are at least in the ballpark.

Heck, I don't think most Christian singers get that longevity, but I don't know.  My favorite Christian singer, Rich Mullins, died back in 1997.  He had had a ten year run.

Oh, found one:  Sandi Patty (1978-2010).  Never listened to her.  But my buddy from Gport mentioned her.  And some Gospel singers, none of which I know except the Gaither group, and that's because of GAC.  Actually, Gospel is a forefather of country music.

Jay DeMarcus, currently a member of Rascal Flatts, was once part of the group East to West, a Christian duo.  This doesn't work out.  He becomes a country singer in a band and lasts ten years and counting.  How awesome.

But country music's got its flaws.  There are a lot of drinking songs, songs about sex and cheating.

However, there's a country song for every situation.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dr. Seuss StoryTime

I went with a friend of my mom's read to some special needs kids today.  I wanted to get out.  So, when she asked me if I was interested in helping her, I agreed.  It was fun, and I wore a red-and-white stovepipe hat and got to help kids make a little booklet.  They read The Foot Book.

Okay, two things are wrong here:

1 - I've sworn to never have children, and tend to avoid situations where children are involved.

Well, I can't stand--but I love--my little brother and nephews.  They are why I don't want children.  If that's how the cousins and uncle act, I can't imagine how my child would act.  However, not all children are so rotten.  And the kids I got to spend time today with were absolutely precious.

2 - I HATE tagging along.  Really truly.  Ask my best friend from GPort.  However, I wanted to get out the house and I figured #1 wouldn't be so bad.  It would only be for a little while.

But I had a great time.

Also, I found a movie, Snow Queen.  You 'member, 'member?  Hans Christian Andersen?  My favorite fairy tale of all time?  "The Snow Queen"?  Any of this ringing a bell?  Well, anyway, I'm gonna watch it later.

So, in my otherwise sucky life, I had a good day today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Best Lines

You know I love me some country music.  And some of those songs became my favorite for one small part.**  They aren't in any particular order, I promise.  Except the first two, because those are my absolute favorites.  As far as country music goes anyway.

"A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'"
-The Band Perry, "If I Die Young" (This is the longest one, I promise.  This one little snippet made me like the whole song.)

"Love can walk through fire without blinkin'"
-Alan Jackson, "Livin' on Love"

"I don't know the answers to my prayers
But I keep kneeling down like somebody's there"
-Danny Gokey, "I Still Believe"

"She's a child

She's a lady"
-Lady Antebellum, "Something About A Woman" (Sounds a little odd, but it really is a sweet song.)

"We fit just like a favorite pair of jeans"
-Lady Antebellum, "Love's Lookin' Good On You"

"But I can't decide the road you choose
That's up to you
I'm only Jesus"
-Tim McGraw, "I'm Only Jesus"

**One or two of these songs may be a remake from another songs, but whoever I put down, is who I heard sing it first.  :P

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh Yes, I'm Immature, All Right

According to English Composition II, there are immature readers and mature readers.  Escapist fiction (immature) and interpretative (mature)

Escapist Fiction/Immature:
The objective is to entertain.
The emphasis is on action.
The characters are simple.
They have happy endings.

Interpretative Fiction/Mature
The objective is to entertain and give insight into the human experience.
The characters are more defined.
They have indeterminate ending.

This ticks me off to no end.  Because I want to read a story that has a happy ending I'm considered immature?  Well, if liking fairy tales is immature, then liking (insert whatever interpretive novel here) means you're morbid and pessimistic.

Don't give me the "it's realistic" crap.  The Bible's true and there's a lot of stuff in there that's not realistic that blows the mind away.

Real and realistic don't mean the same thing.  Who'da thunk it?

I fail to see how being escapist is immature.  I don't mind saying I'm an escapist reader.  That's why I read, to escape.  I love the written word and I love a good story.

I love a good story with a plot.  Stephen R. Lawhead would most likely be considered escapist, because his books usually have happy endings, his characters are developed and undergo change, and the stories are action-packed.  AND THEY HAVE PLOTS!  But you know what, when I'm done with one of his books, I feel like a better person for having read it.  When I read Ernest Hemingway, I have to wonder what the point of the story was and wonder why in the world is he considered a Great One.  And I don't care what my textbook says, those stories don't have a plot.  They are vignettes to me.  Just a scene out of some imaginary character's life.

No plot = no story

Okay, I think I'm done.  Goodnight, and God bless.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's/Nomance/Singles Awareness Day!

No, I didn't get a Valentine overnight.  Not even in my dreams.  Actually, I had a creepy dream last night.  THERE WERE NO GUYS IN IT!  Just the gal pals.  How weird is that?

But if you follow my blog, you may follow these too, but I'm going to post the links anyway:

Sappy Singles Awareness Day!  <-I've decided to not be politically correct and post what I'm celebrating today.  Also, some poems from last year that I wrote:

There's no shame in being single
It gives people the freedom to mingle
You can do whatever you please
With cute strangers, shoot the breeze.

You can ogle the handsome men
Without explaining to your boyfriend
You can spend money on yourself
And add more stuff to your bookshelf.

Valentine's Day To Me

Here's what I have to say,
About the dreaded Valentine's Day:
It's so lonely and boring,
When I'd rather be soaring,
Oh! How I hate this day!
It comes every year
But no one calls me his dear
With much fanfare and appeal
Cause no one cares how I feel
But you'll see me not shed a tear.

So I'll sit at home but not pout,
Until I have to put the bad dog out
Or maybe be lazy and keep her in
And just re-read The Wedding Bargain.
And I can picture a hero, not a lout.

This hero, Maximillian Wells
Is a rare gem among males
He passes Pandora's test
And wins the heart in her chest
Alas, he belongs in fairy tales!

This book ruined my love life
I may never become a wife
Just waiting for a similar love
It's the stuff dreams are made of
Only with God, I'll bear my strife.

Yeah, that second one was real popular last year.  ;)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Writing and Reading

This is going to sound like the exact opposite from my post on the 8th.

Writing is lonely business.  I'm good at being lonely.  They're billions of writers out there, but when you get the real writing done, you're alone in your bedroom/pffice/writing cottage, probably with some music playing.  I noticed I write really well with Rich Mullins playing in the background.  He's my favoritest (yes, I'm aware that's not a word) singer, even though he's been dead for eleven years almost.  He's the one who said, "It's okay to be lonely as long as you're free."  It's a line from "Elijah" anyway.

And then there's my situation.  The friends I do have, I seldom spend time with.  A handful of text messages through the week, and that's it.  And then I see Lacey MWFs between the 8 and 9 o'clock classes, again, not much.

I spend a lot of time at home, with my parents and my little brother.  A LOT of time with my little brother.  Watch movies, read, tinker with Black Sight, work on Long Ridge...

And then on Sundays, I'm at the Methodist church for Ragamuffin.  I didn't go today, though.

Oh yes, I'm alone a lot.  And Writing is not always there.  Reading is though.

I guess that's the best part about books.  They can't ignore you.  You don't have to talk to them, but they have a lot to say to you.  And they will tell you all about themselves.  They're there when you want them.  They're convenient and you don't have to tend to them when you don't feel like it.  Yeah, books are the friends you like, but you love them too.

Take Nectar from a Stone for example.  I like it.  It's my favorite novel not by Stephen R. Lawhead.  But it's not perfect.  The writing's not that great in some places, and even the story's not, but it's still an awesome book.  I love it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dad's Handiwork

My dad made me a new bookshelf/entertainment center.  Due to this, I have eliminated 2 shelves out of my room, and a table.

Unless you know what you're looking for, you may not be able to identify any books.  However, I can tell you what's where.  And yes, there are all my fiction books that I've actually read, save my Stephen R. Lawhead, because they're special, and then some books I have borrowed out aren't there, naturally.

I know what's there, but for those of you trying to distinguish what's up there, you can see the top part of Breaking Dawn.  There's no mistaking the chess piece, thus you can assume the books to the left of it are the rest of the series.  Sorry, it's hidden by the old license plate.  My Victoria Alexanders got a shelf to themselves, the Inheritance Cycle, and you maybe able to see the Prydain Chronicles.  They're right by Inheritance.

My dad is awesome.  He made a special spot for the TV and the DVD player, but it's the books' shelf, they're just staying there. 

At first I didn't care to much for the shelf, because I had no idea of how I was going to organize them.  Still, with them all broken up like that, it makes it look like there's more than what there really is.  Ha ha!

CORRECTION:  The very top shelf is Bibles, biblical references, and regular references, so technically the whole thing isn't fiction books...just so you know.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Research, by far, is one of the most fun parts of writing.

One of my characters got one of my other characters an engagement ring.  Said ring is engraved.  I didn't know what the engraving should say, so I turned to Google for ideas.  Anything in brackets [] are my thoughts on the saying.

Eternally Yours


All My Love

Happily Ever After

Worth the Wait  [Good for someone who had worn a promise ring]

Till Death

I Love You/Thee

Love, Honor, Cherish

My True Love

I Do [I do/cherish you/for the rest of my life/you don't have to think twice/I will...]

Let's grow old together

Give me a thousand kisses (hers)
And then a thousand more (his)

You're my knucklehead and I love you [This is something I'd tell a lot of people...]

A perfect fit

Honey, I called dibs

If you're going through hell, just keep going   [Don't slow down/If you're scared/Don't show it.]

A deal's a deal  [What was the deal?]

I would run away with you  [Again?  Anybody else picture elopement?]

Oh the places we'll go!  [Dr. Seuss anyone?]

Don't even think about it... 

You are SO mine [Here we go, here's what the ring should say]

To the moon and back

You're still the One! [You're still the one I run to/The one that I belong to/You're still the one I want for life]

United as one

Better than ice cream

My love, my life, my friend

My soulmate

I choose you [The Prince and Cinderella?]
Happy now? Good.  [Shot gun wedding?]

Ruth 1:16-17 [16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”]

Forever, Amen [As long as old men sit and talk about the weather/as long as old women sit and talk about old men!]

Not for pawning  [;)]
Put me back on!

PDM 1 of 2 Assimilated 24-11-00 (his)
MLR 2 of 2 Assimilated 24-11-00 (hers) (resistance was futile)

Thanks for waiting, Dork!   [Now, that doesn't doesn't seem like a good idea...]

This is my solemn vow

I kissed you first!

Forever my sweet star

You are so beautiful!! [You're everything I hoped for/You're everything I need...]

Why do you have your ring off?

(Woman's name)’s property 9-9-00 (his)
(Man)’s property 9-9-00 (hers)

Be good Kiddo

Keep it real

My Glorious Wife

May "we" always be (wedding date) 

Good morning beautiful [how was your night/mine was wonderful...]

Mine, all mine! [This one would be another good one for my book]

God and Us All my Love

By the Grace of God

Our love is fate

Wrapped around you forever

BABY, I'M AMAZED BY YOU!  [I don't know how you do what you do/I'm so in love with you/It just keeps getting better/I wanna spend the rest of my life/With you by my side...]

You'll always be my favorite

I love U to infinity and beyond [Toy Story anyone?  I always hated Toy Story]

Honestly and for true

Me too  [When those three little words come so easy to you/I hope you know what I mean when I say..."Me too"]

Like wine-we improve!  [Might be/A little dust on the bottle...] 

Resistance is Futile

I Love You Most [Tangled?]

Never Another You  [This wouldn't be the one my character bought his girl.  This would be the one the girl got him!]

So, if you're planning on getting a ring engraved, now you may not have to Google it.  All the best for you and your rings.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

For Real Though, Wake Me Up on the 15.

You remember my Brand Names?  Well, Maria V. Snyder's new book is coming out February 15.

Outside In is the sequel to Inside OutInside Out was awesome, and after a year, the second one is out. 

Inside Out (Inside Out, #1)
"Keep Your Head Down.

Don't Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution."

Outside In (Inside Out, #2)"Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion - between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again - while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In.

Also, there are some other books I've been dying to read that I can't seem to get my hands on. Some of which may be out of print. Others just aren't available at my local bookstores.  Like today, while reading another blog, I found another book I want to read.

Okay, what's the importance of this post?

I had hit a reading dry spell.  I hadn't felt like reading, and I wasn't.  I started Auralia's Color's by Jeffrey Overstreet.  I'm actually into it and the reading dry spell is partially broken.

I highly doubt Outside In will be waiting for me at the bookstore on the 15th, because Snyder's books NEVER arrive at the bookstore on time.  And if they do, it's only happened once or twice.  Still, next time I make it to the bookstore after that date...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Some Thoughts on Censorship

As writers, we're encouraged to not censor ourselves.  This is fine in writing.  However, in real life, "nice" people have to keep their mouths shut because they may offend someone else.  I never want to offend, but I do like being honest.

Today, I posted on Facebook: 

"You're my family, I love you, but please, please, quit sending me game requests. Next person who does it gets deleted."
My mother liked to throw a fit.  Still, I had two friends that liked the post...  If someone like my BFF likes it, then how bad could it possibly be?

I understand censorship for the most part.  I know that the ACM's (Or the CMA's?) gave Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins their award early because they didn't trust the two on stage together.  Blake Shelton's known for getting in trouble for what he says.  At first I didn't really think it was fair.  Surely he's not so unpredictable.

When they were allowed on the stage for the CMA's, and the CMT Awards, it wasn't so bad. 

Maybe they were a little paranoid.

Censorship's a funny thing.  Sometimes it's totally uncalled for.  Other times, well, it may be okay.  I don't find anything wrong with what I posted.  There are plenty of other people who post they don't want anybody to send them any requests.  Some even threaten to burn their crops and kill their animals.

If I knew how...   ::thought bubble::

I'm so glad my mother doesn't read my blog.

Wake Me Up on the 15th!

Now, all of you should know my dating history:  non-existent.

Valentine's Day is looming ever so closely.  I wish I could just skip the month of February all together. 

March is so much better.  Saint Patrick's Day is so much better.  Not many decorations, you get to wear green, and you get to pinch the people that aren't!  It's not commercialized like Christmas and Valentine's Day.

So, if I seem a little out of sorts this month, well, sorry.  It's February.  I hate going into WalMart, I hate the day itself, and quite frankly, I just want to stay home and hide under the covers like the person in the picture.

Well, on a happier note, it's going to make a year soon that I've had this blog.