Monday, December 31, 2012

My Year in Books

I've read 150 books/stories this year.  The stats are as follows:

Length
Long/Medium:  140
Short: 10

Format
Kindle/eBook:  68
Print:  82

Most Read Genre:  Historical Romance, specifically Regency-era.

Other Genres:  Contemporary romance, paranormal romance, fantasy, children's/YA, children's/Ya fantasy, 1 literary, cozy mysteries, and some nonfiction

Longest Book:  Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks (720 pages), Fantasy, excellent conclusion to NIGHT ANGEL

Favortie Books of the Year (In relative order of which I read them)
Candide by Voltaire
Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour
A Matter of Magic (Mairelon the Magician The Magician's Ward) by Patricia C. Wrede 
The Black Duke's Prize by Suzanne Enoch
A Garden Folly by Candice Hern
Her Scandalous Affair by Candice Hern
My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond
My Royal Pain Quest by Laura Lond
Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
4 of the Cynsters (Devil's Bride, A Rake's Vow, A Secret Love, & All About Love) by Stephanie Laurens
The Fallen Blade novels:  Broken Blade, Bared Blade, Crossed Blades by Kelly McCullough
Savage Cinderella by PJ Sharon
Taming an Impossible Rogue by Suzanne Enoch
The Blacksmith's Son by Michael G. Manning
Bah, Humbug by Heather Horrocks

Repeat Favorite Authors:
Stephen R. Lawhead (The Spirit Well)
Victoria Alexander (What Happens at Christmas)
Lloyd Alexander (The Kestrel & The Beggar Queen)

And let's not forget all the Moliere plays and I did read finish Pride and Prejudice.  Oh yeah, and I managed As You Like It.

Pretty decent, I think.

Happy New Year's Eve.  May the books be with you.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Seamonkey Romance...Explained

When I mentioned My Sea-monkey Romance, my besties both said, "I was wondering about that."  So apparently, they do read my blog.  (Hi, guys!)  I talked about it with Lacey, since she's a writer and can understand writer- and Regency-speak.

It's weird talking about this story.  First of all, I didn't talk about it much before or during the writing or the researching.  All they knew was that it was a Regency romance.

I am a Regency-romance junkie.  This is relatively new, but it's there.  I thought, well, I read a bunch of Regencies, this ought to be a piece of cake.

WRONG!

I sat on the idea for several months.  Just a basic plot line sentence.  No setting, no character types.  Just a basic plot line sentence.

Hero finds Heroine's diary, reads it, falls in love.  That's it.  I sat on it for months.

I decided to use it for a Regency romance.  I wanted to write one and needed a plot.  Well, here was one.

And then things got sticky.  What kind of man reads a girl's diary?

A man (who perhaps drank too much) with a best friend saying, "What kind of chit leaves a diary in Hyde Park?  What kind of chit keeps a diary at all?  You intercepted a pair of spies' correspondence, it's all an act, blah blah blah."

I don't know how I feel about this story, honestly.  It's not, "Oh, look at my baby, it's so adorable."

It's, "Yeah, that's mine.  I don't know what happened."  Maybe I should say, "It's adopted."

Thus the nickname, "My Seamonkey Romance."

And "Seamonkey" is really supposed to be "Sea-Monkey" or "Sea Monkey."

So, the real title:  Just This Waltz

And it's about:  Verity and her sister have come to London for their Season.  On a stroll during the fashionable hour at Hyde Park, she sets her diary down, only to forget it there.  When she returns, it's gone.

Charles waited around for the book's owner to come back, but no one came, and it's going to rain.  But he doesn't want to leave it there...  So he takes it home.  His best friend notices it.  After a few too many drinks, he picks it up.  There's no name.  Oh wait, it's a diary!  He reads just enough to figure out who the diarist is.

But then he meets said diarist at a ball.  Curiosity piqued, he reads a little more as he's getting to know Verity.  He really should give it back.  But then, horrible secrets about her aunt's past comes to light, and they can ruin Verity and her sister's reputations and thus, the Season.

Obviously, there's going to be some waltzing.

Charles is a weird, forgetful male.
Verity is strange.

It's crazy, I know.  But I wrote it.  And you now understand why I'm reluctant to talk about it.

Also, I got a new Sea Monkey romance idea that I'll be using the code name for.  I haven't started it yet.  Probably won't until I daydream a little more of the story up, but I've already talked about it with Lacey.  It's not nearly as weird as Just This Waltz.

So there.  That's My Seamonkey Romance.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Writer's Block: Jadi Style

Technically, it's not a block.  It's more like, "I want to write this way, but the story's going that way, but I want to do it THIS way, but then I'd have to rewrite..."  And no writing gets done.

Two things happen here.

1)  I rewrite from the beginning.  Complete restart.  My first story, that got me writing?  STILL working on it.

OR

2)  I suck it up and continue to write, in the way the story is already going.  If I sit down long enough and pound keys, words will come.

This, at the moment, is about my first story.  One day, I will leave it on the shelf.  But it is not this day.  Meanwhile, so I can say I wrote, I'm blogging and trying to figure out a First Draft for another story.  I'm not restarting it.  That's going to have to be a suck it up.  First Story is the only one that gets re-starts and re-writes.  Which, since the main character, plot, and world building have all changed, calling it First Story is something of a misnomer.  I just used the same character names/personalities.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Book: To Win Her Heart
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Rating: 4/5 stars/kisses/roses

This book reminded me why I don't read a lot of Christian romance. Preachy clean, not very humorous, and NOT Regency England. (If I didn't know it did, I wouldn't think Christian Regency romance existed.)

However, Hero was a blacksmith. The book was free for Kindle. Eh, I'll give it a shot.

Goodreads synopsis:  Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

Heroine:  Um, deluded, thinking education and refinement solves all brutish problems & pacifist.  As much as I pride myself on my intelligence, talking doesn't always work.  Otherwise, she's really nice.  Tender-hearted.  Learns quickly.  Smart.  Spunky.  Typical Miss living in a man's world.  Oh, and she's poison to flowers.  She makes a fine press, but she's not allowed around them when they're alive.

Hero:  Blacksmith.  Accidentally killed someone.  Spent time in prison for it.  Came back to Jesus like a prodigal.  Oh, and he has a lisp.  He has a great vocabulary so he can avoid s sounds.  Pretty likable even if he doesn't talk that much.

The Blow-Up*:  I cut my romance teeth on Victoria Alexander.  Her blow-ups are huge.  It always disappoints me when a romance book doesn't have a good one, if it has one at all.  In theory, you would think the blow-up would be when his secret past as a prizefighter comes to light.  While that does create a mini blow-up, it's not the blow-up.  I won't say what the blow-up is.

Overall:  Kinda cheesy, but romance is supposed to be.  Kinda preachy (okay, really preachy), but it's indicative of Christian fiction.  Hero met Heroine, they connect, and go through some stuff and then they go on to live happily ever after.

I've reviewed 2, maybe 3 books this year.  Why in the world did I take the time to review this?  

I liked it, would even recommend it.  It kept my attention and it didn't take me long to get through it.  Overall, I was pretty pleased with it.

*The Blow-Up is the part in a romance book or movie where you don't think the hero and heroine will wind up together.  It's also referred to as a Big Misunderstanding or The Big Fight, etc.  It's at the end right before the Big Reconciliation.

The Blacksmith Thing:  I have my own character who's vocation is smithing in my fantasy WiP.  I have a soft spot for smiths.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We're Different

I'm something between a sexist and a feminist.  I believe in equality and education for females.  I also believe in traditional gender roles.

Men, please be macho.  No wearing skinny jeans.  No wearing pink.  It's not manly, I don't care what anyone says.  When you find your feminine side, marry her.  She should be a person, who can train you properly.  Two flesh joined in one and all that.

Women, please be sweet and sensitive.  I don't think you should give up your 9-5 (I can't wait for mine) and stay barefoot and pregnant, but I don't think you should forget you're a woman.  You are the prettier, superior sex.  "God made man first, and then He had a better idea."  We were supposed to be Man's helper.  Help the poor idiots.

It takes both a man and woman to create a child.  Yes, I am aware of sperm banks, but a man's still needed for that, if only in the beginning.  Have they created artificial sperm yet?

"Girls have the same number of bones as boys, the same number of muscles, of vital organs. They sleep, breathe, eat, digest, grow, according to the same plan. So far there seems no reason why there should be any distinction of male and female. But as we come to study what is called special physiology we discover physical differences and reasons for their existence.
There are certain differences of form that are discernible at a glance. Men are usually larger than women. They have heavier bones and bigger muscles. They have broad shoulders and narrow hips, and have hair upon the face. Women have smooth faces, more rounded outlines, narrower shoulders and broader hips. In man the broadest part of the body is at the shoulders, in woman at the hips. This is significant of a great fact which will be manifest to you when you understand the functions of each sex. Although each has the same general plan of individual life, there are special functions which determine the trend of their lives. The man's broad shoulders are indicative that he is to bear the heavy burdens of life—struggles for material support—and woman's broad hips indicate that she is to bear the heavier burden of the race." 
Mary Wood-Allen, What a Young Woman Ought to Know (p. 79). Kindle Edition. (Public Domain Book)

The statements above are about 100 years old, maybe a little more.  Men and women are different.  But we need those differences.  We need each other.  We need manly men and girly girls.  We balance each other out.  Balance.  Remember that word?  What happens when you're unbalanced?  

You fall.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On a Brighter Note...

“If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.”
-Frank Zappa

I took my last final today.  I probably flunked it, but I don't care.  I know I passed the other one.  All I need is the one credit to graduate.

Now that I am done with college, at least for now, I am going to be totally honest.

I love learning.  I hate school.  I liked college, because it was new and shiny, but when the glitter wore off, it was just like high school all over again.  Except I wasn't the smartest in the class.  I didn't make any friends.  I didn't make any connections.  I just went to class everyday.

Not my smartest moves, but when I jumped off the deep end, I jumped pretty far.

So, now I'm left with the dreaded job hunt.  Still, an Associate's looks better than a High School diploma

College was starting to interfere with my education, I've said before.  Perhaps not here, but on other social medias.

Earlier this year, I read Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour.  He stressed the importance of his reading, but this man also traveled, worked all sorts of jobs, and even did a stint in the military.  He hiked across the desert.  Worked on boats.

And it was all part of his education.  I wish we still lived in that world.  But his world and the world I'm stuck in are two completely different worlds.

Few things sicken me more.  Education was good, but it wasn't everything.  And now, there's a more pressing need for experience.  Of which I have none.

Oh wait, this was supposed to be full of good news.

I've read 124 books this year!  That's good news right?  That's 24 more than last year, and 64 more than the year before. At least, I think it was 60 or so back in 2010.  Or was it 80?  Anyway, it's steadily grown.

I Hate This Part

Overall, I'd say the past 12-13 months were good for writing.

"Callis" (last late October-early November)
"The Traveling Companion" (last November to January, I think, maybe December)
 "My Fair Donor" (February, which later came out in May)
My Seamonkey Romance (October-November of this year).

Also, I got a draft of my First Story that stuck.  The file's creation date for Chapter 1 is September 20, 2012.  The file, I think, is a little older than that, but that's when it got moved to my jump drive.  So, September is when the draft actually stuck.

Here's how it played out.  I write short, which is not good for writing fantasy (or any other genre when you want to write novels).  On the one hand, I can tell a story in a few thousand words.  On the other, there's very little between short stories and novels.  Or there was when I first started writing in '05.

However, I'm stuck.

I've written about 60k for it.  30k for chapters 1-12, and the ending.  There's still some chapters in there that need writing between chapter 12 and the ending.  I have another 30k for backstory.  (Hey, it's fantasy; plenty span a few years.  Also, I'm still treating this story like a first draft.)  Some will go into the novel proper, the rest will go into a file so I can keep the story straight.

Okay, I won't lie, it's all getting stuck on there and I'll cut after I've written 80k for this story.  Maybe 90k.  Just so I can prove to myself I can do it.  Not in order perhaps, but I can write a full length novel amount of words in one draft.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Rant

“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”
― Voltaire, Candide

I'm a weird reader.

I've never read Nicholas Sparks, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, most other YA best-sellers, A Song of Ice and Fire (but I do at least own those and I will read them some day), Narnia.  I've only read The Fellowship of the Ring and I still have a bookmark in The Two Towers.  Never mind Tolkien's other works (again, I have them, but I don't know when I'll read them).  Oh yeah, I've never read James Patterson either.  But I did see Alex Cross and it's freaking amazing.  I watched The Hunger Games too.  Sorry, dystopias are not my thing.  Neither is YA.

I'm attempting Pride and Prejudice for the second time.   The first time, I got to Chapter 10, decided I wasn't interested and got rid of the book.  I got it again on Kindle--thank you Public Domain.  I'm over halfway through, but I guess I can be Team Darcy after I'm done.  Perhaps I'll try her other books.

My favorite author's Stephen R. Lawhead.  He has a pretty solid fanbase in the Reader World, but I think most non-readers wouldn't know who he was--unless they have a fan of his in their lives.  Even then?  Perhaps not.  And he gets reviews across the board.  People love him, hate him, or are merely indifferent.  Personally, I love his books.  They always make me feel like a better person.

The Spirit Well, his newest, only took me two days.  That's a record for me with his books.  My previous record was three days.  His books will give me a good hangover, but I don't get angsty about the next book.  Probably because I have so many other books to read.  After I've had my squee-fest, I'm ready to read something else.  Honestly, as I've said before about Bright Empires, I'm just really excited.  Like, oh my gosh, how is this going to end, and oh my gosh, I love the plotline (insert more fangirl squealing).

My favorite romance author is Victoria Alexander.  Same thing.  She's not like Nora Roberts whom everybody's heard of.  At least you can buy her books at WalMart.  Like Lawhead, she molded my tastes, set a standard for decency.

Keeping with the Alexanders, I think Lloyd Alexander is probably the best-known out of my favorite authors.  Yes, he's a children author.  (Oh yeah, I've never read Roald Dahl either, but I did get two of his books the other day.)

I think something's wrong with people who don't like Lloyd Alexander.  That's my Twilight.  If you don't like Lloyd Alexander, we can't be friends.  That, and Candide.  You can even dislike Stephen R. Lawhead, although, I'll still think your taste is deficient.

Not to say every LA book gets 5-stars from me.  I've given a few 3 stars.  But they're so much fun.  And he was interested in everything.  Welsh fantasy (thank you, SRL, for my obsession with all things Welsh-Celtic), Greek fantasy, French-esque fantasy, you-name-it.  Cats.  Westmark.  Gosh, I loved Westmark.

I think my favorite story was from The Foundling, and Other Tales from Prydain, "The Smith, the Weaver, and the Harper."

"And the Lord of Death fled in terror of life."

That is a powerful statement.

I've already said YA's not my thing.  I've read YA.  I even like some YA's, such as The DUFF by Kody Keplinger and the Inside series by Maria V. Snyder, but over all...  I'm more of a children's and middle grade reader.  And then of course, adult.  I don't know if it's because I'm still kinda fresh out of high school (although it's been two years) and not enough time has passed for me to want to re-visit those years, or if it's just not to my weird tastes, but I don't care for it.  I still look there.  I still pick up a book from time to time, but give me a Lloyd Alexander children's or an adult romance over that any day.

I'm in the minority in that.  Lots of people like YA.  I'm not very big into paranormal either.

LIE.  I've liked the few paranormals I've read, but they're not the first thing I reach for when I need a reading fix.  I go to a Regency romance.  I just don't go to it right away.

Other by Karen Kincy.  Freaking awesome.
Even Vampires Get the Blues by Katie MacAlister.  See above.
Immortal Coil by C. I. Black.  Dragons?  YES!

Wait, that's it?  Anyway...

My fantasy reads are a little more impressive.  I'm sure fantasy readers have heard of The Name of the Wind and The Wise's Man's Fear (long, but good).  The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks (amazing).  Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn (classic).

This year, my favorite fantasies were Broken Blade and Bared Blade by Kelly McCollough. The third book came out a few days ago.  I'm waiting to get my hands on it (probably Christmas).  Books like that remind me why I read fantasy, and they're not door-stopper long.  Aral Kingslayer is my fantasy book crush.  The fact he kind of reminds me of a romance hero isn't a coincidence.

I'm not one of those readers where books are never long enough.  I love short books.  I like long books too, but length is daunting.

I like books.  I like endings.  I like book hangovers.  I like when books end, so that means I can go to another book.

Several years ago, when I was in public high school, I was asked if I had a boyfriend.  I thought it was a stupid question.  It's small-town Wiggins.  Wouldn't they know if I was dating someone?

"You could be dating someone from another school."

"No," I said.

Someone I hated said I dated books.

Uhm, that's an interesting observation, but I always have more than one book going at a time, and I manage a lot of books in a year.  I'm never faithful to books, unless it's a romance, and that's because I don't have a bookmark in them long enough to cheat on them.  I use them to cheat on other books.

One year, I'm just going to read romance books, just to see if I'd be unfaithful to them if that was all I read.  I have cheated on romance books before, but it's a seldom occurence.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

That's not weird, right?

Sometimes, I click on all the links on my sidebar.  You know, the ones for "My Fair Donor."  I go to all the websites to read reviews.

So far, the Barnes & Noble page is the only one that has a goodly amount of ratings/reviews, and they range from 2 stars to 5 stars.

And there was a new review.  And it was a good one.

I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I know I probably shouldn't have made that my debut self-published story, but I did and there's no calling it back.

The die is cast.

And I read reviews.  I don't know what I would do if one of those 2-star ratings actually had a review.  Would I kick myself for putting out a mediocre story?  Would I be offended in writer's indignation?

I don't know.   I suppose I should be grateful it's only a rating and not a review.

That being said, I've looked at my own ratings for books, and I almost never review.  Plenty of books get across the board rating and reviews.  A single book with get dozens and hundreds of reactions.

So, it's not personal.  The story didn't ring with them, I didn't do something right...

But when it's a good review...  Well, I like to look, just to see what people think.

I also like a reaction.  Love my work.  Hate it.  But don't be indifferent.

That's my new thing.  I don't know which of my characters will say it to their love interest, but someone will tell someone.

"I want your love.  I'll accept your hate.  But I will not tolerate your indifference."

And the reply, "As if anyone could ever be indifferent to you."

I think it's clever and sweet.  Just a snippet of dialogue, but it's there.  While it could work with Naren and Kamra, or my Seamonkey Romance (don't ask, I'll explain later), or a new story I'll write someday, I want that in one of my books.

I just got to make sure it's not in another book someone else wrote.

Monday, November 12, 2012

DinoResearch


I added a Dinos & Dragons pinboard on Pinterest, and I wanted to add my own research paper and powerpoint to the board.  I went to Scribd and uploaded both onto my profile.

Here they are!!!

DinoPaper

DinoPresentation

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to Be A (Decent) American

*be aware, I write from a Judeo-Christian worldview*

1.  Thou shalt be respectful.  It's okay to be opinionated, and we have the 1st Amendment for a reason.  That doesn't give you the right to be rude and disrespectful.


2.  Thou shalt pay attention in thine history class.  Benjamin Franklin was never a President, although he was a Founding Father.  He was also the one with the kite.  Columbus was Italian, but sailed for Spain.  He landed in the West Indies.  You should know what the West Indies are.


3.  Thou shalt not just complain, but thou shalt also do.  Yes, if you vote, you can complain BUT complaining's not enough.  If you really want things to change, petition.  Protest.  Be respectful and know your stuff, but don't just talk.


4.  Thou shalt work hard.  THAT is the American Dream.  People came to this country with nothing and worked hard and made a better life.  We're not even 300 years old.  We can still do this.


5.  Thou shalt be independent.  And by this, I mean independent of the Government.  The Lord may giveth and taketh away, and blesseth be the name of the Lord, but the government is not God.  This goes with #4.


6.  Thou shalt teach thine children right.  Don't leave it to the school systems.  You teach your kids right from wrong.


7.  Thou shalt understand that a healthy society has many components.  Home life, education, community, religion, security...  When one lacks, pick up the pace.


8.  Thou shalt read.  Most importantly, the Bible and Robert Fulghum.  Whether you're a Christian or not, the Bible has some good ideas.  Robert Fulghum isn't a Christian, but he's freaking amazing.  I have a lot of respect for him.  If the Bible can't be required reading, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten should be.  You shouldn't be allowed to leave government-mandated schooling until you've read him.


9.  Thou shalt remember to be human.  You are not a mindless drone.  You are not simply a cog in the wheel.  You are you.  Make mistakes, and forgive yourself for them.


10.  Thou shalt never be comfortable.  Humanity has always tried to be something or find something greater to be or believe in.  Dream.  Aspire.  Pray.  Grow.

Just Write

For someone who's not participating in NaNoWriMo, I've been doing a lot of writing.  I'd even be on schedule if I was.

It's a total load of crap, but I'm finding crap is better than nothing.  Lately, when writing, I've stopped trying to make it sound good.  I'm just making it.  You know the advice, "Just write the damned book"?

Yeah, I'm trying that method.  This is my ten thousandth draft of this story.  You'd think I'd care about things like word choice and pacing.

Nope.  I'm still treating it like a first draft.

There's this other story I'm working on.  I'd been sitting on the idea for several months.  Last month, I think, I finally wrote down a first draft. It's a short story.  Hand wrote.  In purple ink.  Full story.

When trying to rewrite, I couldn't make an alternate beginning stick.  So, I went back to my original idea.  I'm back in the composition book, with my purple pen.

I'm just writing the dang book (books?) and it feels pretty dang good.

Vote

RETAIN YOUR RIGHT TO COMPLAIN!

VOTE!

God bless America.  And Canada.  And Mexico.  And the United Kingdom.  And China.  And Russia.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What's the Difference?

I just finished a low fantasy/paranormal romance.  Unsure of how to shelve it on Goodreads, I checked to see what everyone else had it shelved as.  When in Rome, do as the Romans.

How I understand it so far:

"Contemporary," "Historical," "Low Fantasy," and "High Fantasy" are all genre labels that will at least tell you the period and whether or not it's in our world.  Think about it, almost every fiction book you've ever read could be categorized in one of these ways, except perhaps sci-fi, if it's futuristic.  But not all sci-fi is.  Same for horror.

"Mystery," "Romance," or "Literary" refer to select types of plotlines you can expect, or in the last genre, no plot at all.

"Sci-Fi" and "Horror," the other Spec cousins, refer to world-building and plot elements, respectively.

Like any self-respecting college student who's ever done a research paper, I went to Wikipedia to see what it said about different genres.

(all the following information is copy-pasted straight from Wikipedia, give or take a paragraph or two left out)


Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.


My remark:  I think we knew and understood that one.  Still, I like putting it here anyway.

~~
Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of the romance novel. A type of speculative fiction, paranormal romance focuses on romance and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, or horror. Paranormal romance may range from traditional category romances, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, with a paranormal setting to stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy based plot with a romantic subplot included. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other entities of a fantastic or otherworldly nature.


Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy.

Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction. Its most recent revival has been spurred by turn of the 21st century technology, e.g. the internet and electronic publishing. Paranormal romances are one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.

The love child of speculative and romance.

~

Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.


My remark:  If this is the case, I've been shelving a few of my high fantasies wrong.  We typically think of urban fantasy as contemporary/low fantasy, but apparently it can apply to high fantasies too.

~

Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from the genre of science fiction by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific themes, though there is a great deal of overlap between the two, both of which are subgenres of speculative fiction.


Beginning perhaps with the Epic of Gilgamesh and the earliest written documents known to humankind, mythic and other elements that would eventually come to define fantasy and its various subgenres have been a part of some of the grandest and most celebrated works of literature. From The Odyssey to Beowulf, from the Mahabharata to The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, from the Ramayana to the Journey to the West, and from the Arthurian legend and medieval romance to the epic poetry of the Divine Comedy, fantastical adventures featuring brave heroes and heroines, deadly monsters, and secret arcane realms have inspired many audiences. In this sense, the history of fantasy and the history of literature are inextricably intertwined.


And yet, despite the fact that it is so intertwined with the history of literature, readers are still picked on.  How unfair!

~
Low fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy fiction involving "nonrational happenings that are without causality or rationality because they occur in the rational world where such things are not supposed to occur." Low fantasy stories are set in the real world. Low fantasy is contrasted with high fantasy, which takes place in a completely fictional fantasy world setting (partly or entirely, as high fantasy may start from or connect to the real world in places).

Apparently, this term is not interchangeable with urban fantasy, however, I think most readers would do it anyway.  I almost never see/hear the term "low fantasy."  Contemporary fantasy?  Yes.  Historical fantasy?  Yes, yes.

That always stumped me.  When the Pevensies go from the Real World to Narnia, would you consider it high or low fantasy?

~

High fantasy or epic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that is set in invented or parallel worlds. High fantasy was brought to fruition through the work of authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.  High fantasy has become one of the two genres most commonly associated with the general term fantasy, the other being sword and sorcery, which is typified by the works of Robert E. Howard.

High fantasy is defined as fantasy fiction set in an alternative, entirely fictional ("secondary") world, rather than the real, or "primary" world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent but its rules differ in some way(s) from those of the primary world. By contrast, low fantasy is characterized by being set in the primary, or "real" world, or a rational and familiar fictional world, with the inclusion of magical elements.

Narnia question:  answered!  My Encylcopedia of Fantasy says "heroic fantasy" is a euphemism for "sword and sorcery," like they call "horror" "dark fantasy" sometimes.

~


Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a genre of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, scare or startle viewers/readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. The genre has ancient origins which were reformulated in the eighteenth century as Gothic horror, with publication of the Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole.

Supernatural horror has its roots in folklore and religious traditions, focusing on death, the afterlife, evil, the demonic and the principle of evil embodied in the Devil. These were manifested in stories of witches, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and demonic pacts such as that of Faust.

In that, horror is similar to fantasy in its roots, that the roots are in folklore and religious traditions.  Supernatural horror and fantasy almost seem closer related than sci-fi and fantasy are.

~
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least non-supernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, parallel universes, aliens, and paranormal abilities. Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas".

Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible worlds or futures. It is similar to, but differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation).

As a means of understanding the world through speculation and storytelling, science fiction has antecedents back to mythology, though precursors to science fiction as literature can be seen in Lucian's True History in the 2nd century, some of the Arabian Nights tales, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter in the 10th century and Ibn al-Nafis' Theologus Autodidactus in the 13th century.

A product of the budding Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels was one of the first true science fantasy works, together with Voltaire's Micromégas (1752) and Johannes Kepler's Somnium (1620–1630).[21] Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan consider the latter work the first science fiction story. It depicts a journey to the Moon and how the Earth's motion is seen from there. Another example is Ludvig Holberg's novel Nicolai Klimii iter subterraneum, 1741. (Translated to Danish by Hans Hagerup in 1742 as Niels Klims underjordiske Rejse.) (Eng. Niels Klim's Underground Travels.) Brian Aldiss has argued that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) was the first work of science fiction.

The roots are in mythology.  What's the difference between folklore and mythology?  Generally, we think of fantasy as having its roots in folklore, fairy tales, and mythology.

Actually, I didn't think sci-fi was that old.  I always thought H. G. Wells and Jules Verne wrote their books and they were later tagged as sci-fi.  And I also always thought Frankenstein was horror.

Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Horror are more like cousins, however, than actual sisters.  I've read it in places, and I kind of agree.

I know this isn't exactly important.  Who cares what it's called, so long as we know what we're talking about?  But I like labels.  I like understanding the differences, especially when I'm not well enough read in most of these genres to sound intelligent when I talk about them.

I also like making snarky remarks about them.

And now, I know how to shelve my books on Goodreads.

No, No, No

As I've posted on Facebook and Twitter:  I am not participating in NaNoWriMo.  I don't deserve to call myself a writer.

I've really been beating myself up about this.  I dropped all of my classes.  It's not like I won't have the time.  I have an idea (kinda).

However, I have 30k for Prince Smith.  And I need 50k more.  Can that count for anything?  It's old as 2005 and I've re-written it several times.  For the past two years (I think) I didn't finish a draft of it.

One of my personal rules is to try to both read and write everyday.  Because I only had 1 class most days, and now only have 1 class for an hour Mon-Thurs, and currently have no job, this was and still is very easy.  However, some days I don't feel like reading and some days I don't feel like writing.  So I try one or the other everyday.

Either I put gas in the tank or I go somewhere.  Which is a bad analogy, because I don't have a car either.

Yeah, that's my life, and it sucks.

Happy NaNoWriMo.  And good luck to those of you who are participating.

May the muse be with you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crazy Never Felt So Good

All my graduation stuff is in order.  I got a little congratulations bag and everything.  I only need 1 class to graduate.  We knew this.

So, I dropped all but two of my classes.

Put your eyes back in your head and take your jaw off the floor.

Yep, this late in the semester, I just quit everything but two classes.  1 class I wasn't going to pass anyway.  And the other two I just hated.

The stupidest thing I've ever done is being 1 credit short of being able to graduate last spring semester.  THIS is probably the most irresponsibly crazy thing I've ever done.  Except, perhaps, standing in the bed of a truck, while the driver's driving with his feet with half his body hanging out the truck while it's going...never mind how fast we were going.  You don't need to know about that.

Dropping all of my classes, this late in the semester, yeah, that's pretty irresponsible and crazy for me.

But, like the other crazy, irresponsible thing I've done, it felt good.

Going off the deep end was probably the best thing I could have ever done.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Night's Once Upon a Time

I've been following the series since it's pilot.  (Well, I missed the premiere, but I Hulu'd Episode 1 the very next day.)  Since then, I've been a pretty faithful viewer.

The creators of Once Upon a Time know their stuff.  I almost wish I watched Lost, since it's the same people.

Last night's episode left me a little...I don't know.  I liked it.  I love the show and what it's become.  However...  The episode felt crowded.  There was too much going on at one time.

Things I Like About Once Upon a Time:

1 - It's fairy tales, duh!
2 - Rumpelstiltskin.  I want to say, oh he's a supervillain, but he's not so easy to peg down.  Rumpel rules the show.
3 - The rest of the cast.  Even the real villain, Regina, is pretty sympathetic.
4 - Emma's facial expressions.  I'm serious.


Things I Want to See in Once Upon a Time:

1 - Who Henry's father is (which we're supposed to find out)
2 - What happened to August?  I know he turned back into Pinocchio, but where is he now?
3 - I know Mary Margaret/Snow and Emma are supposed to be in "their land" for a while, but the Charming-Snow soap opera is getting old.  Resolve, please.  Move on.  There's always Rumpel and Belle to torture.  What about Ruby and Granny?  Please.  The dwarves and their fairy dust.
4 - For them to put in some Andersen fairy tales.  
  • "The Little Mermaid"--they already bought the rights from Disney to copy their usage of fairy tales and they may as well fix the mess Disney made of that one.  (The dwarves aren't named in the original fairy tale.  They had to buy the rights to use those names.  Same with Gaston and Phillip.)
  • "The Real Princess" or "The Princess and the Pea"--depending on your translation.
  • "Thumbelina" --just for fun.
  • "The Ugly Duckling" --Emma's last name is Swan.  Hint hint.  Actually, come to think of it, the whole story could be the ugly duckling story.  Emma's taken away from her family, raised by not-her-people, grows into her metaphorical feathers, etc.
  • "The Snow Queen" --dare I hope?  Although, since there's two adaptations coming out, Once may put it's own spin on it.
Anyway.  As much as I would like to say, I'm not big on TV and I don't follow many shows, that's not entirely true.  Still, it's the only thing I'm following faithfully at the moment.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Existential Crisis


Don't you just love existential crises?

So, I Googled, "I like looking stuff up, what job should I get?"

And it's true, I really do like looking stuff up and other than this writing thing, I have no idea what kind of job I want.

Ahem, day job.

I am a writer.  It's the rest of my life that concerns me.  Which, is ironic, because I didn't think there was more to life than writing and the occasional outing with one of my friends.

Being a young adult is messy and complicated and what I wouldn't give to be a little kid again.

Anyway, getting back on topic...  I Googled what I should do.  Obviously, this isn't Googled very often.

The full list

Some of my favorite ones were:

10 things not to say in a job interview (Useful)

175 Secrets Men Keep From Women (Um, Google, what does this have to do with anything?)

18 Social Media Slips that Will Get You Fired (Useful--and HILARIOUS)

How to Become a Badass (Google?  Good girl me?  Become a bad ah, ah--you know what?)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Odd Attraction To Moliere

 
Molière
Moliere
What I remember from World Lit II: Literature during the Enlightenment was meant to entertain and instruct.
Generally, I don't like the classics.  However, I did learn that I like Enlightenment era works in World Lit II.  We read Tartuffe by Moliere, and Candide by Voltaire.  Yes, they're a little anticlimatic with their endings, but I liked them.  A lot.

Since then, I've found some more plays by Moliere.  The School for Wives was okay.  The Misanthrope...well, I liked one portion of it, but overall, it's a pretty screwed up story.  The Learned Women is kind of sexist, and the learned women are so annoying... No, I liked it too.

I just finised The Pretentious Young Ladies today.  It's a lot like "The Swineherd" by Hans Andersen.  Young ladies get above themselves and need to be taught a lesson.  Simple as that.

I don't know why I like Moliere's plays.  Or maybe I don't.  But why would I read them, and look for the ones I haven't read, if I didn't like them?

Because they are funny.  They make sense when I can make sense of them.  The storylines are interesting, but mostly ridiculous.  I guess because as annoying at the antagonists are, and you really doubt whether or not it'll have a happy ending.  And when it's over, you're glad it's over.  They're short.  I know, because I read two (or three?) in the space of a single day.  In two days' time, I'd read three of his plays and re-read Tartuffe.  Four plays in two days.

Next up, I think I'll read Don Juan by Moliere.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Expectations of a Terminal Spinster

Straight up, I made this on Print Artist so
I can pin this post and put it on Pinterest

I used to think romance books didn't give me unrealistic expectations about love and romance.  Country love songs did.  Some of you will get that.

What Romance books taught me to expect:

1.  Love in strange places

2.  Guys fall in love with pretty girls on sight.

3.  Plainer girls have to be given a chance (or pitied?).

4.  With the exception of marriages of convenience romances, you marry someone because you want to be with him, not because you necessarily need him.

5.  It's only right to want to be happy.




I've mentioned in passing before that my sister's come home pregnant twice (I love my sister and my godkids, I promise).  Since then, she's almost always been in a relationship, or was trying to get into one.

It also always seemed like she would want to get more educated or get a job, but then a man would come along and say, "I'll take care of you."

For my mother and my sister, this is music to their ears.

As someone who values my intelligence, and craves a little independence more than anything, I just think that, this is the twenty-first century.  No woman should need a man to take care of her.  Maybe a century or two ago, but not in 2012.

I am not a feminist.  At least, not to any real extent.  But I like the rights I've been given in 2012 America.  My family and I are resigned to the fact that I'll never marry (not saying I don't want to, just saying I probably won't), but if I did, it wouldn't because I needed a man in my life (as tempting as the idea of being taken care of is), but because I actually wanted to be with said man.

Was I wrong to expect that?  It seems my family around me doesn't see things that way.

If you need someone, and he knows you need him, how would he ever know you loved him for him and not just what he could do for you?  Again, this was fine a century or two ago.  But why not take advantage of what we can do now that it's socially acceptable?  Even expected?

I was born in the twenty-first century. I can vote.  I can work.  I can own my own property.  I can make my own social status.

I hope the only two men I should ever need in my life are my Daddy and Jesus.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

15 Years Today...

If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you know I'm a Rich Mullins fan.

On September 10, 1997, Rich Mullins sat alone in an old abandoned church and played nine of the ten songs that were released as The Jesus Record.

Nine days later, 15 years ago today, he was killed in a car accident.

"Rich Mullins, a popular Christian musician, died this past Saturday morning in a car accident in Illinois. According to the AP, he was thrown from a sports utility vehicle after the car lost control and flipped over. He was then struck by a tractor-trailer as the trucker swerved to avoid the overturned vehicle. Mullins, 41, and Mitch McVicker, 24, who as of Sunday was in critical condition, were on their way to a benefit concert in his hometown of Wichita Kansas when the accident occurred near Peoria Illinois."


I didn't get into his music until a year after he died, after I moved to Mississippi.  I wondered how I would have handled it had I been into his music before he died.  Still.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Importance of a Diary

Yesterday was my 20th birthday.  I book-shopped, clothing-shopped, went see The Avengers (again! and yes, it is still playing at my local theatres), and ate Chili's.  No, I didn't get sang to.  Thank God.

I also filled up my diary that I've been writing in sporadically, although more often now, since April of 2010.  It's all filled up and I got a new diary waiting to be written in.

Funny, how time goes on.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Day One: The Great Library Move

Today was the first day of classes at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  Amanda and I went to the Jefferson Davis (JD) campus.

Did I mention I was finishing my Associate's (and going into Culinary Tech)?  Well, I am, so I find myself back at MGCCC, only at a different campus.  I don't know how long it'll last, but there you go.  I'm also staying weeks at my GPort buddy Amanda's house.

I explored the library today.  I've been reading a lot lately, despite the little amount of writing I've been doing.  So, of course I had to see what Stephen King, creative writing, and fairy tales and folklore that they had.  And Benjamin Disraeli.

They also have Robert Fulghum.  Of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten fame.  I have a copy of that book, along with Uh Oh.

While I was looking at the catalog today, I noticed Perk--PERK!--has a copy of It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It.  I'll either be stopping by Perk, or requesting to have it sent to JD.  But with the work for the new library down there, it may be a while before I get to go or request said book.

But today I checked out Maybe (Maybe Not) by Fulghum and Before You Leap by Kermit.  You know, Kermit the Frog.

There's something comforting about being surrounded by books.  While I was the only one exploring the stacks, the library had much more people than Perk ever did, except perhaps during Library Orientations.  I don't know how I feel about that.  I'm quite used to having half the stacks at Perk to myself.  I paced back there.  I wrote back there.  I'd curl up against a wall by the literary theory books on the floor and read.  I can't do that there.  With Perk's new library building (which I'm checking out at my earliest convenience), I may not have been able to do that there anymore either.

Eventually, I'll have enough books to build my own impressive library.  And then I'll sit between two shelves, and read.  Or write.  Or pace between the shelves where no one will see.  Did you know pacing makes a lot of people nervous?

Libraries are quiet places.  So are many bookstores.  You don't interrupt the reverence or the silence.  You just look at the wonderful things people have written.  You look at the horrible things people have written.  You wonder how long it would take you to read all those books.  It's so sad we don't live long enough to read half of what we want to.

I now have a legitimate excuse for reading multiple books at a time.

Anyway, life goes on.  Same college, different campus.  Yes, I'm disappointed about not going to the W.  I won't pretend I'm not.  Still, it's good to stay around my friends.

This just in:  The NEW LIBRARY AT PERK IS OPEN!!!  Thank you, Lacey.

Here I come.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Conversation I Wanted To Avoid

The current plan is for me to spend another semester at Perk and get that last credit--which isn't even a full class.  Probably no W.  Probably not transfering to a local university.  At least, not this semester.

So, while Lacey (who's gonna get her Associate's too) and I were sitting the counselor's office, the counselor asked what I was majoring in.

I told her I was getting my Associate's and then getting out.  Then when she got The Look on her face, I went on, "I know that's not what you like to hear."

"Why would you do that?" she asked, more like demanded.

I told her I wanted to be a writer, but I would never major in it, and I was going to get out and get a real job and then just write on the side, like I've been doing with school and writing since I was thirteen.

She said that I should major in Creative Writing because it would make me more marketable to publishers.  That I could perhaps teach it and then have more time to write.  There was more to the lecture, and I mean it was a lecture, but really while there are "a billion reasons" why I should, as she said, there's one little thing that can keep me from doing it.

Money.  And student loans are the devil, apparently.

Let's see.  Finish Associate's, look for a job now, the sooner I get one the better, live a relatively happy life.

OR

Get more education, put myself or my parents into debt, get out unemployed or be miserable in a field I hate.  I can do that without a degree.

I don't know what my ideal day job would be.  I don't want to be rich (well, yes I do, but I'm not ambitious), I just need to make enough to support myself and my book habit and the cats I intend to take in when I'm a crazy cat lady.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Note

At first I felt like a hypocrite, because I wrote a vampire story, even though I don't care for vampire books.  I like living, breathing human men.


But, for those of you who didn't read "My Fair Donor," Julius doesn't get his girl until he becomes human again.  Calling it a vamp romance is a bit of a misnomer.


It's an ex-vamp romance!


I stayed true to myself.


No, I am not a hypocrite.  I wrote the vampire story I would like to read.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Week at Grandma's

I spent the past week with my grandma, my mom's mom.  Saturday to Saturday.  I had no access to a computer (except for one day, and I didn't use it much), and a little access to the Internet from my Blackberry.  Still, getting on from my BB isn't nearly as good as getting on from a computer.

I wrote over 10k words, which considering how I was doing before I went, that's pretty good for me.  I re-read two books.  Read a little bit in one of the books I'd brought.  I brought my Kindle along too, but it broke.  That's what I get for putting it in my duffel bag with real books.  That's 310 points for print books.

So, in addition to spending some time with Maw Ann and helping her around the house, I got some words packed away, both putting them out and taking them in.

There was nothing else really to do at Maw's.  Before you scold, she did work for several hours each day and I could only do so much housework while she was gone.  She didn't have cable.  She didn't have a computer to play on.  I had my Blackberry, two of my baby name books, my notebook, my diary, and my prayer journal.  Oh, and my Bible. 

What else was I supposed to do?

Well, to be honest, I watched a lot of Madea/Tyler Perry plays.  You know, the ones that are on DVD.  Maw has a lot of them.  Well, maybe not so much as watch as pop in and listen to.  Madea gives great advice.  Also, I got into Andy Griffith.  Maw had The Best of Barney Fife, and then two other Best Of DVDs.  I am now a fan.

But mostly, I wrote.  I emailed myself my current WIP so I can refer to it, only to find out I can edit it in Word To Go.  Edit, including writing more right there on my BB.  So, I did.  It was not quite 3k words when I emailed it (I checked the original docs) and was 9, almost 10k, when I emailed it the last time to myself to replaced the original doc with what I worked on on my BB.  There was another nearly 5k in my notebook that I handwrote for some other writing projects.

Amazing how much you can get done when there's nothing like a computer or cable to distract you.  And you're worried about going over on your data plan...

Now that I'm home, I'm back to writing on my computer.  I'm back to doing a billion other things than writing.  Instead of just worrying about keeping Maw's house clean and checking her turtle traps.

It was a good week while it lasted.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Answers are always found in books.

For those of you who don't already know, I'm in between majors.  There's a lot of things I'm interested in, but most of it is stuff I can skip the class in and just buy books on the subject, because I don't necessarily want to work in those fields.

It was never a matter of what I could or couldn't do.  I'm a good student and as long as a lot of math isn't involved, I would do okay.

So, after a lot of heart-searching and prayer, I did was any rational girl would do.  I wrote down seven options.



If you can't read them, they say, "History," "Business," "Culinary Arts," Paralegal Studies," "Psychology," "Associate's" (as in, get my Associate's and then stop there), and "English."
Then I folded them up and put them in my fake book knickknack.



(The top book lifts up and I can put stuff inside.)


I shook it up.   Shook it some more.  Shook it some more.  Lifted it up, stuck my hand in, felt around for a slip of paper, pulled it out.

1st draw – Paralegal studies
2nd draw – History
3rd draw – Paralegal studies
4th draw – Psychology
5th draw – Business
6th draw – Paralegal studies
7th draw – Paralegal studies

Okay.  Fine.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On Being Single

I've never made my lack of a dating history a secret.  Well, maybe at first, but because it's my life, I had to talk about it eventually.

Other than the huge blow to my self-esteem that no guy's ever taken an interest in me, I'm really okay with being single.  Two of my favorite people, Rich Mullins and Hans Christian Andersen, never married.  Mullins gave up dating.  Andersen fell in love multiple times, but nobody ever returned that love.

What I don't like is that's there's this implication that being single is just a phase and not a lifestyle--unless you're a nun/monk.

25 About virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I do give an opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Therefore I consider this to be good because of the present distress: It is fine for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. -1 Corinthians 7:25-27

I want a relationship because I want to write romance books and I'm pretty sure I should go in with at least a little romantic experience of my own, and not just what I've read about in books.  I don't want happily ever after, I just want to know what's it like.  I'm no relationship expert, but I'm pretty sure that's the wrong reason.

So, I'm mostly okay with being single.  Mainly because the more I think about what I'd want in a man, the more I'm convinced I should be alone. ;)

The Other Divine Comedy

The World's Story:

Exposition:
God created everything.
Satan fell.
Man fell.

The Story:  Jesus came, died, came back to life, promised to come back again.
World slowly gets worse.
And worse.
And worse.
Revelation (End times, whatever you want to call it)

Epilogue:  We all go to heaven, Amen.

As an ex-English major, maybe an English major (?), I deem this play a comedy.

I always knew God had a sense of humor.  I just never thought it extended this far.

In February of 2010, I wrote the following passage in "The Best Story Ever Told," which was one of my VP's:

"The other day, we were reading Paradise Lost in English class, and I was thinking, Why did God put the tree in the Garden in the first place?  If He hadn't, none of this would have ever happened. 
Since I'm a writer, I came to the following conclusion:  Because is He hadn't, there would be no story!" 

(I wrote a poem that goes with this VP, it's on my Goodreads titled "The Director.")

Now in 2012, I'm hit with this again, except now I know what genre the play's in.  It's a comedy.  It's a series of events that are absurd and ridiculous, and things are gradually getting worse toward the turning point.  But the ending, what makes a comedy a comedy, is going to be a good one.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

OMG.

Those of you who don't read my other blog,

SMASHWORDS APPROVED ME FOR PREMIUM!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This has no business being so hard.

I still haven't made a decision.

I typed "best jobs for bookworms" in Google.  Found some interesting stuff, but nothing I necessarily want to do, except a librarian, but that's not exactly a safe field to go into.  People don't read here.  At least, not where I'm at.

There's a lot of stuff I'm interested in.  History, Enlightenment-era Literature, Psychology, Religion, Cooking, Art, Music, Philosopy...

...all things that I can just buy books about and skip the courses.  I need something that'll get a job.  That pays well.  That will support my writing and book habit.

Maybe I should just go back to being an English major and be a teacher.  *shudder*  I could teach kids that reading's good for them.  And require they read Candide.  *it's good to dream about making a difference, but I wonder if I can actually do that with the stupidity in the educational system*

I guess it's because I have choices.  My mom told me I could be anything I wanted, that pays the bills.  I believe her, to an extent.  I have the head for a lot of things, but not the heart for them.

Help.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Back Back Back

I deleted my Writing.com account several weeks ago.

I made another account today.

Why did I do this?  Because I needed something to do.  I miss the newsletters.  I probably won't get a paid-for account again, but I'm hoping to do some reviewing.

This is what happens when I'm bored.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My New Favorite Bible Verse

I have a prayer journal.  It has a verse (sometimes 2) at the top of each page.  It was given to me for Christmas in 2006.  My first entry was February 20, 2009.  I write in it sporadically.  Don't judge me.

Anyway, while I was writing in it today, the verse on the next page was:
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands." -1 Thessalonians 4:11 (NIV)

Finally, something I can actually do.

Fruits of the Spirit?  I suck at those.  Keep to all things good and pure?  I suck at that too.

THIS?

Quiet life?  I live on a farm.

Mind my own business?  I'm an introvert.

Work with my hands?  Well, I like working with my hands.  So, I can do that too.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Give Up.

I tried.  I really, really tried.

I don't care whose name is on the cover!  There'll be no getting through that book.  This is my second attempt at reading it (and I've never taken a second attempt at any book, I don't go beyond first impressions with books).

It's really sad, because I have all of the books in this series and I can't get past the first one.  The premise is really interesting.

I just can't.  I'm not connecting with this book at all, and I hate that.  I hate even worse that I'm reading two more books by this author (okay, I have bookmarked), and I'm actually interested in both of them (Insomnia and 11/22/63).

I hate when I do this.  But it must be done.

Edit:  For those of you wondering what I'm talking about, it's The Gunslinger.  Screw New Year's Resolutions.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

I got my first rating/review on Smashwords.  3 stars.

Darnit.  Darnit.  Darnit.

This was my biggest fear with self/e-publishing.


It's not a bad review.  It's not a bad rating.  But I wanted at least 4 stars.

The star rating system on Goodreads (according to them is):

1 star - didn't like it
2 stars - it was ok
3 stars - liked it
4 stars - really liked it
5 stars - it was amazing

For the record, never, ever take my ratings on books if you're my friend on Goodreads.

My rating system:

For half of my 5-stars:  No, it's not great literature, but I enjoyed it anyway.  It was fun, that sort of thing.  Good way to kill some hours.

For the other half:  This book was freaking amazing.

(The fact I don't review most of these doesn't help things)

4-stars:  Well written, not perfect but still pretty good.  I'd recommend almost all of my 4-star rating books before I'd recommend 1/3 of my 5-star books.  (What am I talking about recommending?  None of my friends read, and even then, we don't even read the same stuff.)

3:  Ugh, well, it was okay, not for me, but still good.

2:  Uhm...it had a plot.

1:  I hated it.

Assuming this person doesn't have my review opinion, I did okay.

We're going to the store today.  Maybe I should get a pint of Dutch chocolate ice cream.

Reading

I know a lot of readers cut back on their reading once they go to college, but so far, I haven't, and that's taking 20 hours last semester.  But, I also didn't work either, so that freed up a lot of my time too.  I barely study.  I was one of those students that got it (or most of it) the first time around and would then look over it again right before the test.  And pass.

If I had studied in school I probably would've been a straight-A student.  In college, I would probably be a 4.0.  Still, no going back.  And quite frankly, I'm happy being a 3.5 student.  I'm considered smart and I get my writing and reading done.

A girl's got to have her priorities straight.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Asking for Advice

I've been a Culinary major for a full semester/summer and already I'm rethinking it.  Good thing I never actually started culinary school.

I want to be a writer.  That's it.  I still want to have my own restaurant someday, but honestly, I should only chase one dream at a time and THAT would seriously cut into my writing time.

One can't serve two masters.  It's in the Bible, so it's true.

I pick writing.  I want a normal 9-5 where I have plenty of time to write.  Sadly, writing doesn't pay very well.  Heck, with the exception of the 99¢ thing on Amazon, which I had no control over, I would write for free.  I've been doing that since 05 anyway.  It was never about the money.  I'm not saying I don't dream about becoming a Bestselling Author, because I do, but it's not about that, and it never has been.

Money doesn't buy happiness.  It buys comfort.

Looking through other things the W offers, and I've been considering business or accounting or finance-type stuff that all the advice for college kids websites say are good fields to go into.

Marketing.  Good idea for a self-publisher.  Plus, I would be able to get a "real" job, maybe.

I read somewhere that I should build a lifestyle that supports my writing.  That would.  I think.

It would certainly make me appreciate writing more.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Advice to myself, and incidentally, other people

1)  Life's easier when you know who you are.  When you have a passion in life.  
Passion = happiness.  At least, it has for me.


2)  Our economy sucks.  The job market sucks.  No matter what field you go into, you're going to have to fight for a job, most likely.  You may as well take the gamble and follow your heart/nose/dreams/here's a good one, God's will. (Rich Mullins has a great song about this.)


3) Know your talents.  Cultivate them.


4) As for as the stuff you're not talented in, if you like doing it, do it.  You'll get good.  If not, hide your attempts.  ;)  As for the stuff you're not talented in, and you hate doing it, don't.  Not if you don't have to.  It's not worth stressing yourself over.


5) Dance.  Even when you feel like an idiot, dance.  Get moving.  Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.


6) These things make life easier:  Laughter, chocolate, best friends, books, Rich Mullins, Brennan Manning, and fairy tales.


7) Don't worry.  God's juggling the Universe.  He won't drop you.

Now all I got to do is follow my own advice.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sitting on My Hands

I uploaded "My Fair Donor" to Smashwords 5 days ago. (See sidebar)

I still haven't gotten any reviews, BUT there's been over 100 downloads.  I know from experience that I don't read stuff nearly as fast as I get them.  I shouldn't expect that from other people.

I followed these 2 (3? 4?) pages on Facebook that advertise free Kindle books.  I've downloaded a lot that way.  I've read...like, none of them.

Part of this is because I want to read a lot of print books while I'm home.  The more books I have on my Kindle (and Kindle app for my BB), the less print books I'll worry about bringing to the dorm.

I'm stock-piling, basically.

So, I'm not sweating it.  People will get to it when they get to it.  Between my Kindle books and my print books...well, let's not go over how many books I have that I haven't read.

So, I'm not going to stress (much) about having my little short story out there and no reviews.  I have a few downloads.  Reviews'll happen, and when it does, after I'm done jumping around the room (if it's good) or eaten a pint of ice cream (if it's bad, but ice cream's a good idea whether the review's good or bad), you'll be the first to know.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Itsy bitsy--nothing itsy bitsy about THAT spider

For the record, I don't have arachnophobia.  But I hate, absolutely hate large creepy crawlies that sneak up on me.  If I see it first, and at a distance, I'm okay.

If I'm walking in my room and one just pops out that's like this big:



and like two inches from my foot, we're going to have a problem.  I don't remember flying across the room, but I did.

If it hadn't been 11:30 at night, I would have gone get my older brother (one of two; he's who's staying with us right now) or my dad (who's home this week).  Something about a huge spider turns me into a weakling.

I killed it.

I love the crunch when you kill a huge bug.

And I flushed it.  I got the idea from Brad Stine.  I've been watching a large amount of his videos.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Fair Donor

...was released on Smashwords last night.

If you're interested, click here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Doorstoppers

I know I said I'd wait until I was done with all my Stephanie Plums before I started on my doorstoppers, but I decided against it.

I'm starting on the doorstoppers now.  I just finished Hot Six, and with no forseeable end to the Stephanie Plum books in sight, and no foreseeable choice between Morelli and Ranger (I've read some reviews for Explosive Eighteen), I've decided to cut back for now.

The Doorstopper list?

Books 1-4 of A Song of Ice and Fire, not all of them are really doorstoppers, but there's so many.
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Insomnia by Stephen King

I got a bunch of other hardbacks that are quite long, but these are my heavy hitters that I want to hurry up and get through.  I have some pretty long MMPBs to get through too, but I can always pack those.

Also, I counted my Unread books today.  First count was 190, the second was 182.  I'm gonna go with 182, because I think I know why there was an 8 book difference.

First up, I pulled Insomnia.  787 pages.

Idle Questions

1 - Do the people who play the Power Rangers like their jobs?


2 - Come to think of it, do any children's actors like their jobs?


3 - Do women in historical romances shave their legs since they're always "creamy white"? (Their legs, not the women, but I guess they are too...)


4 - Do the Avengers like running around in their costumes?  (Awesome movie, by the way, you must see it!)


5 - Does Chris Hemsworth wear a wig when he's Thor?
(Actually, I Googled that one, and it's a wig, apparently a super-wig.)


6 -  How do authors really feel when their books are turned into movies and they butcher the books?


7 - How many more Stephanie Plum books will there be? (I know the movies depend on how well the first one did.)


8.  Will Disney ever release Frozen or will it be put on ice again? Pun intended.


9.  Will Disney ruin "The Snow Queen"?


10.  Should I look up a nunnery?