Monday, July 20, 2015

Shipping Fictional Characters: When A Ship Is Not A Ship

Usually, I'm the person who is behind in all the latest expressions.  For example, a few months ago, a friend of mine visited from out-of-town and used the phrase "throwing shade".  My husband immediately jumped on board and they started bantering back and forth, while I sat there clueless.  I had no idea what they had meant.  

Just yesterday, this very same friend referred to herself and me as goobers, and, again, I had no idea what she meant!  

Well, a few weeks ago, I finally knew a word that my husband did not.  Fyi, I have an Instagram account where I post an insane number of book pictures.  There is an entire book community on Instagram that lives and breathes books.  Many of these book accounts are down right artistic <3  Anyways, one of the many book events that occurs on Instagram are called "book challenges".  In short, each day is a different book and theme.  
Some of my book pictures.

Day 4 of the #winterbookchallenge called for "favorite ship".  When I mentioned this to my husband--who, by the way, is also an avid book lover--he thought I meant watercraft.  At first, I thought he was just having a go at me, because he always seems to know every meme, phrase, trend, you name it.  When I corrected him and told him what 'ship' meant in this situation, he laughed and admitted that he had never heard of that phrase.

It was a fun conversation.  :)


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Adventure in Lassen Volcanic National Park: Lassen Peak Trail

Happy 4th of July!

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I traveled to Lassen Volcanic National Park with the intention of hiking Lassen Peak Trail (10,457 feet above sea level) as a way to test if I could handle higher elevations.  Prior to Lassen, the highest trail I had climbed was Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, which is 8,844 feet above sea level.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Bookstore Dilemma

I have a wish-list of books that I want to add to my collection.  If you were to ask me at this moment what three books I want, I could easily name them.  But, whenever I walk into a bookstore, that wish-list goes out the window, and I find myself struggling to remember even one.  And it is very annoying when you discover that the only book that you can remember is not available.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Why You Should Let Your Novel Rest

Letting your novel rest sounds easy, doesn't it?  But for me, it has been an exercise in self-restraint, especially because I long to see my book published.  Letting my novel rest is only going to push back that goal.  This being said, it's been over one month since I stepped away from my story and sent it out to beta readers.

At first, I was elated because I had finally--after three years of writing, rewriting, editing, and getting feedback for the first dozen chapters--reached the point where I felt that my novel was "complete" and ready to move on to the next phase.  The instant I hit the "send" button on that email to my beta readers, I felt, for the first time, truly accomplished.  It was an amazing feeling and I recommend every writer celebrate that moment, because the thrill of excitement at having finished my first novel (a meaty 115K words) is something I will never forget.

The Breakdown

Two Weeks In:  

Avoiding my novel for the first two weeks was easy peasy, because I could now turn my attention to other projects without feeling like I was taking time away from writing.

Third Week:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Do You Prepare Your Coffee?

This comic is an actual conversation between my husband and I.  Apparently, when I drink too much coffee, I have a tendency to bounce around the apartment!  My husband is a huge coffee drinker as well, but, unlike me, he has gotten to the point where he sometimes needs a cup of coffee to fall asleep.  I aim to never reach this level.  Sorry hub.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Language of Music

When I was growing up, getting ahold of music from artists not popular or well-known in the United States was difficult.  My mother was never very strict with the kind of music I listened to, so she was never the limiting factor.  Because of her leniency in my musical taste, people have commented to me that had my mother understood English, she would have never allowed me to listen to that kind of music, mainly industrial and metal.

100% Pure and Wholesome.  Honest!

I don't deny that there was probably some truth to these comments, but my mom was not blind, and she was very much aware of the image of the bands I listened to, especially since I had the habit of sharing my music with her.  Nothing excited me more than being able to hunt down an album I had been trying to get my hands on and then show it to her.  There were definitely some bands she did not approve of (Marilyn Manson, no?), but the ones I cared for the most she had no objection to.  She was amazing.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Never Ignore A Cat

My cat, Kanoqui the Conqueror.  I call him this because I am pretty sure he believes he is the ruler of all.  By virtue of being a cat, he automatically wins in life.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bad Weather + Plane = Hold Onto Your Cookies!

I am not a huge fan of air travel.

Given a choice, I prefer to travel by car, though statistically flying is safer than driving.  And if you are still not fully convinced that flying on 'X' airline is safe, there is a handy site that allows you to browse airline safety ratings.  Or--if your partner is anything like mine--he will tell you the statistics days before you are scheduled to fly, even the bits you don't want to hear.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Joys of Sharing. Or not.

Hummers really are great birds.  For being so tiny--though some can be large--they have alot of attitude.

It's fun watching a single hummer lay claim to the feeder and chase off any other hummer that so much as even looks at the feeder.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Why Beta-readers Are Essential to Your Novel

After close to three years of writing and rewriting, and editing my first dark fantasy novel, I have finally reached the point where I can say, “I am done”.  Done with the story, that is.  Because then comes sending out your story to trusted beta-readers.  In my case, friends who are well-read in the fantasy genre, and whom I can count on to be brutally honest. 

From my research, I discovered that what you want in a beta-reader is someone who will be an actual reader, an audience.  What you do not want is someone who will tell you how you can 'fix' your book and then lay out how it should be changed.

“But,” I told myself, “isn’t this what I want?  Someone to suggest what can make my book better?”

At some point, yes, but not on the initial reading, because you want your beta-reader to read your story the way your potential audience would.  Your potential audience is not going to dissect the book as they read.  They are going to find a comfy place to sit, open the book, and—hopefully—disappear into the world you have created. 

Monday, April 13, 2015


I'm the type of person that can not function in the morning till I have had my coffee.  I also am the type of person who does NOT like being surprised until I have at least had two cups of coffee.  It takes that long for my brain to register that it's time to "wake-up".

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Methane Cuddles

Dairy, sweet dairy.  Let me count the ways I love thee, yet thoust love me not!  </3

Full disclosure:  I had a cupcake today, and it was GLORIOUS!  To quote Woodhouse from the Archer TV series, "Hello old friend".

Now excuse me while I go lie down and nurse my conflicted stomach.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Jammies = Productive

Not gonna lie.  I love jammies.  They fit perfectly around the waist and do not restrict movement in any way.

In jammies, I don't have to worry about:

*Zippers or buttons that won't close because ice cream.

*I don't have to cut off half of the fabric because I am short.  I just roll those suckers up and pin them with safety pins.

*Fleece and jammies are long-lost lovers that reunited and should never be separated.  Never.  I have a hard time seeing fleece jeans working.  But maybe I'm wrong on this one.

*I can sleep, wake-up, and go back to sleep without ever having to change out of the same pair of jammies.  Sleeping in jeans is not fun.  Everything pokes you when you sleep in jeans, thus forcing you to expend precious energy as you change into something more comfortable...jammies.

*Jammies increase productivity.  This is proven science.  Well, not really, but it should be.

*In winter, jammies are usually pretty good at retaining body heat.  Whereas jeans are secretly plotting to kill you of hypothermia, take over your corpse, and go on a zombie rampage.

Don't get me wrong, I love jeans.  But, I love jammies more <3

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Comics Are Books

I have been reading comics for as long as I can remember.  My mom was an enabler (love you mom).  She loved the written word in all its forms, and passed on that love.  To me, a comic IS a book.

Just because a comic relies on imagery to convey a character's emotions, or to flesh out the world they live in, does not make it any less valid.  Just as a book with poor description can leave you feeling disconnected from the characters and pondering what their surroundings looked like, so can a comic.

Really, comics are just books, but in a different format.

Maybe that's why when I run into people who I don't know well but are avid readers, I more often than not am taken aback when they dismiss comics as "not a book".

This has happened to me quite a number of times, especially when I meet people who are in book clubs.

Thanks to the successful movies/shows Marvel, DC, and AMC have released over the past years, people who otherwise would probably have never picked up a comic are beginning to do so.  And I am glad.  I'm glad because nothing makes me more happy than to hear people say that they were surprised to discover that comics can be just as intense as, well, as a book.