Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This Year Recap

This has been a pretty eventful year for me. Here I sit thinking about the past year and some of the really low times and the really high times. Honestly, they pretty much equal out. Another typical Marie year! Let's recap, shall we?

My family moved in with my husband's mother in February. I've been fairly miserable about this living condition ever since, especially since it was only supposed to be temporary until June. Here we are in December and the only ray of light I have isn't coming until March. Argh.

I moved my blog from Webs.com to here. I was hesitant at first but now I wish I'd made the move sooner. Blogger gets much more traffic, is much more user friendly and I love the layout options. Very happy to be here doing my random blog!
I've blogged about many topics this year including movies, books, art and writing. And of course my bitchy blogs about life in general. We can't forget those little jewels. 
I made some new friends this year but I also cut ties with a couple people. For good. Some relationships just aren't healthy for you. I don't need anyone in my life who weighs me down, makes me feel like I make bad decisions about my family or just straight up pisses me off daily. Once upon a time I held on to friendships just to have a friend to confide in. Someone to talk to. But now I'd rather have less friends that actually matter to me and give a crap about me personally. The friends I have now are wonderful people who don't judge me and support my decisions, even if they don't agree with them. And that's what I need in my life.
My marriage was having serious problems at the start of this year. It was really looking like splitsville but we've worked out a lot of issues and are back on track, better than we've been in years actually.
And then we decided to have another kid. Because, why not? You can't wait until you can afford to have kids because then you'll never procreate at all. And we aren't getting any younger here. We were shooting for that boy but alas, girl number four is due in a couple weeks. And I am super excited!
Let's see, what else? Oh, my youngest started kindergarten this year. Another tearful day for mommy. (Yes, I cry when my babies start school but I try to leave the class so I won't embarrass them)
I wrote a new erotic novel this year. It will be coming out tomorrow and I will be spamming the hell out of Facebook, Twitter, and my website about it.
Dying my hair is something I've been doing since I was a teenager. I like shades of red and sometimes blonde. Last year I even had the Rogue look with brown hair and thick white highlights in the front. But this year I decided to go back natural. So I haven't colored it in quite some time. And it decided to pay me back by throwing some gray in there. Joy, joy. Oh well.
I also did something I haven't done in almost ten years: cut it short. Yep, to my chin. I don't usually do short hair because my hair type is so bushy but it actually looks decent and it's less hassle so I'm happy with it.
And that is pretty much my year in a nutshell. Still writing and reading. Still doing arts and crafts weekly. Still cursing like a sailor and not caring if it offends. Still wishing I could adopt more cats though I can barely afford the ones I have. Still wanting to go back to school eventually. Still living from paycheck to paycheck and blowing most of our money on outings with our kids. Which my practical side calls stupid but my mommy side says, "They're only young once; enjoy it." 
Touche, mommy side. I plan on spending next year enjoying it as much as I can.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Clutter Queens and Neat Freaks

I've been told on many occasions that I am a neat freak. Even when I was a child. 
I do hold to the whole "a place for everything and everything in it's place idea" and I am trying to instill it in my kids. Mostly because they approach me about six times a day asking where this object is that they put down in some random spot. I also tend to "lose" things as well so I think putting things back where they go isn't so much a neat freak thing but a way to keep my sanity. You have no idea how many times a day I wander around the house trying to find my cell.

I also can't stand clutter in unnecessary places like kitchen counters, tables where you eat, behind doors in bedrooms (to the point where you can't open it all the way), and in living rooms where you entertain. Now my dresser is clutter central and I have to go through once a month and clean all the crap off of it to find paperwork and whatnot but that's okay because company doesn't go in my bedroom to see it! 

I can't stand if food has sat out on a counter for more than a couple hours. I don't like trash or clothes lying on the floor, jackets thrown all over furniture, or cups left in random places overnight. But to my point: Do all of these things make me a neat freak?

The more I think about the way society is today as far as cleanliness and the way things were sixty years ago, no, I really don't think I am. Neat freak is a pretty extreme phrase like germaphobic and I'm not extreme. I'm just not a slob. Why does it have to be one or the other?
I think of the days when a clean kept house was normal. Really, it wasn't that long ago. Scrubbing floors on your hands and knees and dusting often were just the everyday. What's happened to society that such things are not frowned upon but considered a waste of one's precious time?

My theory? Laziness. Why vacuum when you have a tiny robot that will pick up your floor for you while you watch TV? People as a whole have become quite lazy. I saw on the Today show one morning the ladies showing off a machine that you slap on your window and it will clean it for you. Really people? Did you sprain your iddle widdle wrist spraying some Windex and wiping with a paper towel in a circular motion? 

"I just don't have the time; I work." To that, I call bullshit. I may be a stay at home mom now but I used to work, come home, cook dinner, get kids fed and showered, clean the house and still have time to watch some TV before I hit the sack. The house may have not been shiny and sparkling but it was clutter free and the floors were swept daily. 

No, people are just lazy and don't care. And just because I do, doesn't mean that I'm a neat freak. It means I can find things I'm looking for and my kids can play on the floor without cat hair tumbleweeds blowing through the room. If you like a gross house, fine, good for you. But don't label me just because you're lazy, folks.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's November Already?

Just a quick update on what's going on in the world of Marie these days.

New e-book, Irish Squeeze, is set to release on January 1st, 2014 through Whiskey Creek Press TORRID. Very excited about this one! I've been spamming the crap out of my Facebook page about it so anyone who has liked my page should already know. (For those of you who haven't visited my page, what are you waiting for?!) I'm really pleased about how this one turned out and I poured a bit more of my soul into my main character than I ever have in the past. So, this one is pretty personal for me but it's also a humorous, fun read with some yummy, steamy moments. 


Also coming in January is my fourth child, Caitlyn. Yes, this will be girl number four. Apparently boys just aren't going to happen but I love my girls and wouldn't trade them for the world. This has been the most trying pregnancy so far and I'm hoping she won't come early and decide to be a Christmas baby. Umm, no little one, hold off!


Extra Life 2013 went really well. Participants worldwide raised over 4 million dollars this year! As far as my friends at Power-Ups Not Included, the six participants raised a combined $2,355. Nice! All this money will go to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals of their choosing. I'm so proud of Team PUNI for really sticking to their guns and gaming for 25 hours straight. You guys are awesome!



Though my gestational diabetes is not going to let me have a happy Thanksgiving meal this year, (No pumpkin pie? NOOOOOOO!) I'd still like to watch the Macy's Day parade with the kids and make hot chocolate for them that night. If it's actually cold that day, you never know in Eastern NC.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Assassin-Kitty Customs

Hello everyone! Hope your Halloween was scary good fun!

Today I want to get back to talking about another deviantART favorite that I follow: assassin-kitty. This person doesn't draw pictures though, she creates customizes ponies, hair accessories, jewelry and more.
As a huge lover of My Little Ponies, old and new, I always get excited when she puts up pics of a new customized pony on deviantART. She creates merponies, faerie ponies, pegasuses, corset ponies and more. It's always fun to see what new, unique feature she's sculpted on a pony body, or what elaborate art she's painted as a cutie mark. 

She also has an Etsy store where she sells her customized ponies so if you have something in mind, make a request and she'll create a perfect work of art for you! Click on the link to check it out. This year, her Lady Rainicorn pony won 1st place in the UK Ponycon G4 custom competition!
Recently she sculpted a couple tiny dragons that were just too adorable. Seriously thinking about getting a customized dragon since I know I'd never be able to decide what kind of pony I would want. They definitely have the awww factor going for them. 

As far as previous pony creations, here are links to some of my favorites:
Ember
Cyber December Loss
Spellbound
Ivy
Miyako
Belia

Monday, October 14, 2013

Team PUNI!

I've talked about the Randomadness podcast before so you've heard about Tim and his gaming website. Remember? PowerUpsNotIncluded is a cool site where some friends blog about gaming, post pics and video and do podcasts about various subjects. 

Well, this is the third year that PUNI members will participate in a 24 hr gaming marathon to raise money for a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital of each player's choosing. This is an event that we take very seriously and we have been spamming our Facebook feeds about it for weeks. But we need your help.

We need donations for this to work. Last year Team PUNI raised $1,345 for children's hospitals. This year's goal is $2000. Help us reach that goal by donating. It's for the kids, people. This is all going down on November 2nd so hurry before time runs out! Tim is planning on doing some videos of gaming time during the marathon. Watch as tensions flare and players descend into madness from lack of sleep and the words GAME OVER flashing on multiple screens. MWAHAHAHAHA!

If you are unable to donate to the cause, that's fine, we understand. But please help spread the word so the team can reach that goal and help save some lives. There will also be some giveaways going on for those who donate. I do believe a Playstation 3 is a prize for one lucky contributor if that $2000 mark is reached. 
For more info, please check out Team PUNI's page on the Extra Life website. Don't forget to visit the PUNI website for more updates and gaming fun!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Current Reading

Been trying to catch up on my reading lately but with my ADD in overdrive, it's no longer a book a day like it once was. I did finally read Kresley Cole's newest from her Immortals After Dark series, MACRIEVE. 

As per most books in the series, it ties in with the overall plot but can be read as a completely separate book for newcomers to her fantasy world. This one follows a Lykae with a seriously depressing past who at this point, just wants to call it quits and die already. Until he meets his destined mate. 

Problem is, it's a human girl who is the daughter of not only his sworn enemy, but the enemy of every creature of the Lore, even the pretty evil ones. So pretty much, every mystical creature wants this poor chick dead just because of her father. And she had no idea what he was doing or that this other world of Lorean creatures even existed. Sucks to be little Chloe. Oh, and did I mention that she isn't exactly human after all? No, she's coming of age and therefore her Lorean side is rising to the surface. Which would be fine except that Chloe's becoming a creature that her mate, MacRieve, detests with all of his being.

Can he see past who and what she is and accept her as his true mate? This one was very well written and a real tear-jerker for me. Then again, it could be the hormones right now. This pregnancy has turned me into an emotional time bomb. 


Another masterpiece I read this past week was THE MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ, the graphic novel put out by Marvel. This is the sequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ which I bought and read months ago and enjoyed immensely. I will confess, I have never actually read the children's books but from what I read and hear, the graphic novels follow them very closely. 

I say graphic novel because it's a thick book but it's pretty much a really long comic and it's for readers of any age. In fact, I plan on sharing it with my kids because I know they will enjoy the silly humor in it. The Tin Man, Glenda and Scarecrow from the original story are back for this one but the main characters are a little boy and a pumpkin headed friend that he made himself. 

I'm not going to get into the story itself but it was a fun read and the pleasurable experience was made even better by the awesome illustrations. Skottie Young is the artist and man, I do love his style.

I recommend this for children of all ages, including the big kids my age whose childhood never truly ended.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Anime Music Videos: What's All The Hype?

I realized last month that's it's been a year since I made an AMV. I didn't lose the desire to make them, just the patience to sit and fiddle with Windows Movie Maker's buggy ass. Incredibly, I have a lot of patience for pouring over the same video and sound files over and over again until it's how I want it. My AMVs don't turn out exactly how I want because of crappy programing but I won't get into that.



Anywho, so what's the big fuss about AMVs and why the obsession with making them? Well, as a huge fan of anime and music, how could I not want to combine two perfect things? I've been watching them for years, in awe of the skills of those who put out videos that really get to me. Whether it's action, comedy, horror or drama, I've been moved by some great pieces of video and minutes of audio.


So back in 2011 I thought to myself, "Hell, I can do that. Why not?" 
Boy did I suck at first. This was my first real go at serious video editing. Timing with the audio is critical and I have learned a lot over the years. I'm still a silly amateur but what's important is that I really enjoy making them, regardless of how much I might bitch and gripe during the process.



NekoCon is coming fast and the deadline for the AMV contest is next month. Wow, that is very little time to put out a high quality AMV for someone with as crazy a schedule as mine. Because it's so time consuming, I really have to make time for this hobby and late nights are becoming a regular thing. Oh, I won't win any awards or anything. I just like to enter the contests to give my AMVs exposure. It's a form of art really, it's an idea you wanted to get across. True, you are usually using someone else's source material but plenty of "artists" do that exact same thing and no one complains. You're taking it and making it your own. Like doing a song cover.


So, this is one of my many hobbies that I enjoy and put more time into than I probably should. If it's not your thing, that's fine. To each their own. Just don't hate on what makes me happy.

I want to post a link to an AMV that to this day really makes my heart clench up. If you've never seen CLANNAD After Story, you may not get it but I think it's pretty powerful by itself. It brought me to tears before I'd ever seen the series. It's been passed around Youtube so I honestly don't know who had the original channel but the director is Perfect-Blue. This was an award winner in 2011 and anyone can see why. It's called "Dare To Love Again."


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kitty!

That's right folks; it's that time. It's time for, you guessed it, cute cat pics!
Da da duuuuuuum!

 I didn't have anything particularly interesting to blog about this week so I thought I'd show off the baby. This is Princess Buttercup. Yes, she's named after the chick in The Princess Bride, a movie that the children and I love.


 She's a Maine Coon and super hyper and inquisitive. Her throaty sounds are very different than my other cats but then again, this is the first Maine Coon I've ever owned.
 Buttercup (aka ButterNuts when she's being a little shithead) is still the kitten of the three cats we own so she gets in a lot of trouble but she's also very cute and social so easily forgiven for her misconduct.


I actually had more pics that were much more adorable of the kids dressing her up and cuddling with her but alas, I can't find them! Anyway, enjoy our little furball.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

This Is The End

Being a huge fan of James Franco and enjoying most of Seth Rogan's work, I knew I just had to see THIS IS THE END. We saw it for our anniversary this year and I laughed so hard. I always enjoy a good comedy and as silly and raunchy as this one was, I know I'll watch it again soon.



WARNING! SPOILERS from here on out. Not big spoilers or anything but just fun details.
Here are some things that I enjoyed about this movie that could turn some people off to it:


  • penis jokes
  • Jay Baruchel being adorable
  • cannabalism
  • Seth Rogan smoking weed
  • discussion about who is more likely to rape someone
  • a failed exorcism
  • Michael Cera not being adorable
  • an overly long discussion about ejaculation
  • demons hung like, well, ridiculously hung demons
  • Channing Tatum humping a leg
And of course, the Backstreet Boys showing up for a dance scene was great. Yeah, they're much older now but somehow, they've still got it. 
Check out this movie for good laughs and a rather crazy take on how to get to heaven.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Destiny Blue

I can't recall exactly how I found her on deviantART. I'm not even sure which of her awesome pieces caught my eye and drew me in. All I know is, I'm glad I started following her because I really enjoy her work.

DestinyBlue is an anime artist and her works are simple yet powerful. They usually feature females and concentrate on inner struggles and feelings. For example, HOPE FOR BRIGHTER DAYS shows a girl under an umbrella but the rain is only falling under the umbrella. Yet the water forming a puddle shows blue skies and white puffy clouds. I love this piece because it really speaks to me. Sometimes it can feel like doom and gloom is following you around personally but you just have to look to the future and be positive.

OPEN MY HEART TO YOU is another that caught my eye because it really visualizes how exposed and naked one can feel by opening up and letting someone in. Though most are thought provoking, many of her works are fun and cheerful. ANIME ARTIST MEME is humorous and I still smile when I see it.

I suggest you check her out on deviantART. I also follow her on FB so I know when she has something new coming out since I check FB more often than I do deviantART. Click the link below for more of her wonderful works.

DestinyBlue

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Warm Bodies

I finally watched the movie Warm Bodies this weekend. Like many flicks out now, it's about zombies but this one is actually from a zombie's point of view. A zombie who falls for a human. 

To give you the basics, the zombie apocalypse has happened, they're everywhere, humans are almost extinct, yada yada yada. Some key differences are that eventually zombies turn into these walking skeleton things called "bonies" that are seen as a force even more evil than regular zombies. From the zombie's POV; to humans they are all pretty much the same thing. Another difference is that the humans built this huge wall to keep zombies out and it's actually working.



The main character we follow is a zombie called R. While on a regular hunt for human flesh with his zombie buddies, they come across some kids who are out looking for medical supplies. The zombies attack them and get to feasting. But during the chaos, R sees a young girl named Julie and his vacant expression becomes even more so for a few minutes as we realize he's fallen in love. 

I won't give away any spoilers for those who haven't seen the movie or read the novel but I will say that I really enjoyed this new perspective on zombie flicks. It was funny and super sweet not to mention not too much of a gore fest for those who aren't looking for that in a romance movie. Check it out for some laughs and warm fuzzies.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fan Fiction: Not Just Smut

I'm a big fan of anime and manga and I used to write fan fictions about whatever I was watching or reading at the time that I really loved. Recently, I reread a story I wrote back in 2011 based on the Vampire Hunter D novels. Looking at it now, I'm really surprised at my style of writing.
Holy crap, was I super dark and dreary then! Actually, looking back through my poetry, short stories and novels, all of my writing from that time period is so super depressing. It's a wonder I didn't slit my wrists or something. It was all death and misery and suffering. Good lord!

But looking back on that one story, I also realize that there was fundamentally a great life lesson in there though I kind of messed up the telling of it. It was always one of my favorite fanfics, especially since it isn't oversexed like so many tend to be. Rereading it was good for me: I remembered that part of my life and that mindset and that will actually help me with some of my present characters who are struggling through their own inner turmoil. Dark, yes but helpful? Definitely.


If you would like to check it out, it's called The Scarlet Hunter and can be found on adultfanfiction.net. AFF is home to a few of my fanfics and I think I may just add a few more, for old time's sake. Yes, there is a lot of horribly written crap on these kind of websites but there is pretty good stuff as well and there are a few writers that I follow who are quite talented. So yeah, maybe it's time to get back into fanfics again. Writing these actually helps me grow a bit and come on, they are fun to read, right?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dead Ever After

That's right folks, it's the end of an era. 
DEAD EVER AFTER, the 13th and last book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries is out and the story has drawn to a close. It's had it's ups and downs and lots of wtf moments, but I, like many of you, fell in love with the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, and enjoyed following her narration throughout this series. 

For those of you not familiar with these books, I'll fill you in on what you've been missing. WARNING: there are some spoilers for previous books in the series. 
This is one of those genre spanning series: there is mystery, fantasy, humor and some romance in every book. We are introduced through first person narrative to Sookie Stackhouse, a beautiful blonde waitress native to a small town called Bon Temps in Louisiana. We are also introduced to her "disability" as she calls it: she's a telepath. She can hear the thoughts of others. Well, other humans anyway. Because vampires just came out of the proverbial closet to the world and when she meets one in the bar where she works, she realizes that their minds are blank to her. 
As shocked as the world is that vampires are real, Sookie soon finds out first hand that there are plenty of other things going bump in the night. Her good friend and boss is a shifter, a chick she works with is a Wiccan, she befriends a pack of werewolves, some evil witches try to kill her friend, and Sookie soon finds out that she is the grandchild of a faerie. That's a lot to deal with for someone is is already shunned because of her gift. 

Throughout the series, we watch Sookie grow from a naive girl to a mature woman. We see her first real relationship blossom and witness her heartbreak at it's close. Not to mention she goes from being horrified by finding a dead body to "Eh, should we hide it or call the cops?" As predictable as the murders were at first, the plot soon becomes more complex and interesting and we never know who could die next.

Of all the boyfriends and would-bes that come and go for her, I think the relationship with the were-tiger had me the most confused. He was great and sweet but the long distance thing wasn't working for them. And her excuse for leaving him was totally lame. I just didn't get it. And I wish she had actually had a thing with Alcide, the were-wolf. He was so hot and really into her but he did have a lot of baggage. 

As far as the last book, I will say that I'm pretty satisfied with the ending. It was all wrapped up pretty well with no loose ends that I could see. Once again we delved into her mind as she suffered and triumphed and her POV is quite refreshing for me. But for the first time, we actually had a few chapters focus on the point of view of the men trying to frame her for murder. It kept me in suspense because we weren't sure who was really behind it all until the very end.

DEAD EVER AFTER was a great read for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are into any of the genre mentioned above, I think you'll enjoy it too. Hell, even my husband reads them and he isn't into "girlie romance crap". If you haven't read the series, start with DEAD UNTIL DARK and prepare yourself for some supernatural fun.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Illusive Blue

Last year was when I really started getting into the website deviantART. I thought, "Eh, I'll draw some doodles and post them just for kicks." So I posted some doodles and pics and started to explore other artists. I had no idea that there were so many professionals up there! I honestly thought that it was just a bunch of amateurs like me posting stuff for each other. 

I found some artists that I really like and began following them so every few days I pop up there to see what new art they've posted. Today I want to talk about one of my favorite artists, IllusiveBlue. She's been on deviantART about 3 years and in February one of her works became a Daily Deviation.

There are tons of great artists on deviantART but this one stood out for me because of her unique style. Gothic, creepy, and fun: her art speaks to me on a level that many other works don't. They involve females and wildlife of some kind or mythical creatures. The dresses are usually patchwork with lots of ribbons. And her trees; scary sweet! She also does a silhouette style that is truly awesome. But rather than go on in detail about her work, I'd rather you see it for yourself.

I like art to wow me or whisk me off somewhere magical and emotional and IllusiveBlue does so with ease. Check her out at IllusiveBlue and see what all the fuss is about. Be sure to admire a few of my personal favorites: Ride to Spooky Hall, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Pink Ribbons, Talking Ravens.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

McDonalds: No Longer Kid Friendly

Remember when you were a kid and going to McDonalds was a big treat? Getting a Happy Meal and a neat little toy. Running outside to climb on the Play Place equipment. Maybe even seeing Ronald McDonald.
Not anymore.

McDonalds has changed so much just in the past decade that I don't eat there anymore. Even my kids are no longer excited about McDonalds. I mention it and they are like, meh. Oh where to begin with all that went wrong? How about when they changed their menu the first time.
Happy Meals used to be a burger and fries. Or chicken nuggets and fries. Then it became a choice of fries or apple dippers. You could get a little packet of sliced apples with caramel dipping sauce. I thought this was an awesome idea! Getting my kids to eat fruit is always a hassle. Now they would order apples so they could dip them in the caramel. Kids ate the fruit, had something sweet with it; problem solved. 

Well, it was too good to be true. They changed the menu again about a year ago. You don't have a choice anymore. You get a tiny packet of fries and a tiny packet of apple slices with your Happy Meal. No more caramel. Because it's not "good for you". Umm, greasy burgers aren't good for you either but you sure as hell didn't take those off the menu! And something about these apple slices has changed. They have this gross, metallic aftertaste now. What the hell did they do to them? Like I said to my husband last night, "How do you f@ck up apple slices?"

Now we all know why this happened. Some sorry parents who don't have the "time" or "energy" to cook their kids a meal after working all day just take them to McDonalds. Every day. And then it's "Why are my kids so fat? It must be McDonald's fault!" Yes. McDonalds is totally to blame for sneaking into your house everyday and forcing their food down your children's throats. But of course, the fast food franchise has to suffer because of some dumb parents.


The toys in the Happy Meal suck now. They used to have pretty awesome themed toys that were well made and fun. Well, they still try to do TV show or movie themed toys sometimes but they straight up suck. They don't work properly or break within a matter of days. I know they are cheap and not made to last but I swear, they were not this crappy when I was younger. 

Remember when The Lion King came out and they had those toys in the Happy Meal? I still have a few. They were awesome. They did some Star Wars toys in 2011 for Clone Wars. We made sure to get lots of Happy Meals that month so the kids could get the different ones. Talk about disappointment. Bobble heads? Key chains? Yoda making a disc or some such levitate? Do you have any idea how quickly I accidentally broke the legs off the walking Chewy bobble head? Even worse was when Phantom Menace came out in 3D and they had to put out toys for that. Spinning tops. Really? How cheap is that? Grab a two cents top and slap a Star Wars sticker on it and there ya go. Wow.


So the food has gone to crap as well as the toys. Well, we can still take the kids for a burger and let them play at the Play Place. 
Nope.
In this area of NC, they are systematically tearing down McDonalds to rebuild them all to a certain spec. They all look exactly alike now. And the ones that had Play Places don't anymore. Oh no, now they have video games.
Wait a minute, I'm confused. They changed the menu because of fat kids but took away the play equipment that the kids used to run that greasy food off? Does anyone else see a problem here?
Here is a quote from the Kinston Free Press, and by the way, this is not the only location doing this:

"...new arcade style McDonalds..."
"...two interactive touch screens for children."
"...80-square-foot digital projection play area with about a dozen games where kids can kick a soccer ball, pop balloons or jump on lily pads. The games will be projected onto the floor for patrons of all ages."


Okay, I know that this is the digital age and everyone is racing to be all high tech and shit. I have nothing against arcades or video games. I LOVE video games. My kids enjoy the Wii as much as I do and it's great for a rainy day. The problem isn't that they have them so much as they replaced real play equipment with them. If it was a McDonalds that never had a Play Place to begin with, okay, that's fine. But you are telling a child that they have to eat the new, healthy menu because the old menu makes you fat and then sending them off to play a video game. 

You know who I blame for this load of horse crap: germaphobes. That's right. "The Play Place is unsanitary." "Those surfaces are covered in germs." "My child got sick from going down that slide."
You must be joking. Do these people have any idea how many germs kids pick up on a daily basis at school or home? How many surfaces did you touch just going into McDonalds and placing your order? The doorknob, the counter, the bathroom sink: these are all covered in germs. What's next, installing sliding doors everywhere so no one has to touch a doorknob ever again? These people are ridiculous. Some doctors did some studies about play equipment at restaurants and determined that there are this many of this kind of germ and this many of that. I'll bet that there are more germs in the average home on a daily basis. Even a germaphobes home. And I'm not even going to get into the fact that kids have to get sick once in a while to build up their immune system.

Basically, future generations will be forced to eat "healthy" processed food. They will have to sit and play "active" video games, alone, because going outside is too dangerous for their health and other children might get them sick. Then one day they will walk outside, touch a blade of grass and keel over from some simple sickness. 


McDonalds, making all these changes to please a few morons is the stupidest thing I ever heard of. Giving choices in your menu is one thing but you don't anymore. So you know what that super fat kid who's parents just don't care is going to do now? He's going to order three Happy Meals, eat the burgers and fries, and go stand on this floor mat and lift his arm every few minutes to pop an imaginary balloon. Then he'll have a heart attack and his parents will sue you. And you'll be changing everything all over again.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lover At Last

If you enjoy romances and urban fantasies then you should read J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Eleven books strong, this series is about a race of vampires living in modern times and their ongoing war with their sworn enemies called lessers

When I heard about these books, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read another vampire romance series. Hasn't it all been done before? Perhaps, but I found myself drawn to the characters in this series nonetheless. Honestly, I read it for the male characters and their stories since most of the females are neither deep nor interesting. But J. R. Ward has created an entire world outside our own involving kings and queens, loyalty and brotherhood, love and betrayal and big guys with weapons stomping around in shit-kickers.

LOVER AT LAST, the newest addition to the series, centers around two vampires named Blaylock and Quinn. We've become acquainted with them through previous books in the series but finally we hear their story. They grew up friends on the rich side of vampire society though their families are complete opposites. Theirs is a complicated relationship and though we've seen the strain in the past, everything finally comes to a head in this most recent book. I won't give anything away for those not familiar with the books but I will say that it is seriously suspenseful and full of woe. 

Other vampires mentioned here and there are also involved in this story and even new characters are introduced. And though each story usually has some sort of conclusion for the main couple involved, the side stories clue you in to future dramas soon to unfold. Basically, it leaves you wanting more.

Though there are a lot of great original ideas and lots of bloody action, I think her style of writing is really what I enjoy the most about this particular series. Anyone can write a vampire story, as seen by Stephanie Meyers' crap, but it's all about presentation. It isn't just about getting inside someone's head, it's about making the reader really relate to that character. Ward's males are flawed in their own unique ways but we root for them and hope that they don't have to suffer any more than they already do. And her true-to-life dialogue is funny as hell. 

If you're familiar with the series, make sure you get a copy of LOVER AT LAST. They get better and better as she puts them out and this is one of my favorites now. If you haven't read this series, I suggest you grab the first one and get cracking because you're missing out. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Writing Again!

Although I have been "working " on a novel for well over four years now, I started writing another romance recently. I say another because I did have that short story published last year. 
(In case you have no idea to what I refer, it's called THE LIFE SHE DIDN'T TAKE. It's available on TorridBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookstrand. E-book only, of course.)

I feels good to be starting another story again. Something fresh and new to leap into and swim around in. I feel like I've read and reread my other stuff so often that I can't even really judge if it's crap or not anymore. The line between what I think it says to the reader and what it really says has grown hazy. Actually, I'm pretty sure it straight up sucks.

So time to move on, clear my head, and try something else. This new story will be one of the first that doesn't involve vampires, post-apocalyptic futures, winged people or cyborgs. I usually stick to fantasy and science fiction because that's what I enjoy writing. But it isn't what sells and it's not getting me any bites. So back to what I'm decent at: naughty romance.

Well, some could call it romance but it's labeled under PWP in my book. Porn with a plot. Erotica. Now before you get all up in arms and start picking out nice, heavy stones to throw, this really does have romance. The publishing company that I'm writing this for does naughty stories. Hell, they take straight up dirty stuff. But the main thing is, it has to have an element of romance in there. There must be love there.
And there will be.

Aside from the "fun, fun" scenes, I'm enjoying fleshing out new characters and creating some drama. Because every good romance has a bit of drama to liven things up story-wise. And though the story line has been done before (let's face it, there are no new ideas) I like to think of it as more of a tried-and-true plot as opposed to an overdone-and-worn-out one. 

I won't go into any great detail because it's far from finished and needs lots of editing, but I think it's going to be a fun read for men and women. Yes, I actually think men would get a kick out of it. And if any of you men do decide to sneak online to check it out one day, don't worry, your man-parts won't fall off. You won't grow boobs. You just might enjoy yourself. Hell, you might even find yourself laughing a bit.
And entertaining the reader is what it's all about.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Querying Process

I wanted to share my querying process with you guys just in case it helps someone else who is searching for an agent/publisher for their unpublished novel, short story, etc. I've done this before and after trial and error, I have it down to a process which works for me. Let me state now that this is my process and it may not work for everyone.
At this point, I have a general query letter written. Here's what to do with that letter.

1: Do a search on literary agencies that are interested in your genre.
Use a search engine or a one of the many helpful sites like agentquery.com to find the agency that is a good fit for you.

2: Scope out their website.
It's pretty important that you make sure you are not trying to sell a science fiction story idea to a company that only deals with romance novels. Most company websites will give you all kinds of information about how they work, who their clients are, what publishing companies they have worked with, who their agents are and guidelines on how to submit your work.
Some agencies don't have websites. Or web pages. I find this strange in this modern age but I won't hate on people who like to do it old school. Hell, I prefer real books over e-books.
If you do find a good website that looks promising, bookmark or favorite it. Write it down on a list. Just make sure you have it handy to come back to when you're ready to start sending your stuff off.

3. Scope out their agents.
Make sure you read up on the agents for each agency so you know you are sending it to the right person. Just because an agency says they take fantasy, doesn't mean you should send it to just any agent. Some might prefer urban fantasy, another epic fantasy, still another might only like dark fantasies. If you find one that you think would appreciate your work, maybe follow them on Twitter for a bit or if they have a blog, check it out. This is who you are writing your letter to, so make sure you know you can get their attention in a way they prefer. Get inside their heads so you can better help them get inside yours.

4. Make some lists.
I used Microsoft Excel once to make a list for my queries. I no longer have Microsoft Office on this computer (argh!) so it's back to pen and paper for me. Either way, it's good to have some kind of list you can go back to. 
Some websites offer to keep track of your queries for you. That's cool too. I prefer to do it myself, just in case their server crashes or something. Call me careful. Or paranoid. Whichever.
My categories usually go something like this: Agency, Agent, Date Queried, Response. That seems pretty self explanatory. This time I'm also taking that extra step to put a few details about the querying process for each agent. Which leads us to the next topic.

5. Research each agencies querying process.
Some take emails, some snail mail. We know this. But it's important to make sure you are sending them exactly what they ask for. Some literary agencies may ask for just a query letter. Some may ask for a letter and the first chapter of the novel, or the first ten pages, etc. 
If it's a short story, they may ask for the entire thing now. Others may ask for a synopsis to go along with your letter. Letter, manuscript, synopsis; make sure you understand which ones they are asking for the first time you contact them. I'm now keeping track of this info along with my querying list.

6. Check the website once more.
It never hurts to go through each page of the agencies website one last time before you send off your letter. You know, just in case you missed something. It would suck to realize later that you sent a letter to a company that only publishes e-books when you want an actual book published. Or that you sent off a letter and a chapter when you were only supposed to send a letter.

7. Match your letter to the agent and send!
A lot of agencies frown on writers sending the same letter to every agent in town. Especially if sent to all at the same time. Double check your letter and make sure that it includes the name of the agent you are currently querying and not the name of the last guy who rejected you. That would be a big oops. I try to change my letter up a bit for every agency I send it to. I say I try to but it doesn't always happen. If two agents have similar tastes I might send them both a very similar letter.
Now that you know what they want and you have it all ready, send that joker out! You may want to make an extra draft of the email just in case they do not receive it. Keep track of the date you sent it and who you sent it to. And now folks, it's time to play the waiting game.


I'm not exactly a very patient person so waiting for a response sucks. It's almost worse than actually getting the rejection letter. I'm pretty used to getting them. I've been rejected from agencies, publishers, magazines and writing contests. It happens. Does it mean you give up? Hells no! You have to keep on because it may be right after that 120th rejection that you get the letter asking to read your manuscript. Oh joy! Does it mean you will get published? Maybe, maybe not but someone was interested and that is enough to push you to keep on.

The best rejection letters are the ones from agents who take the time to tell you why it wasn't a fit for them. Or perhaps they give you a tip about your letter and how you can improve it. Agents who take the time from their busy schedules to do that are awesome in my book! Maybe their advice can really help you with your writing process. Just think of each rejection as a learning experience and grow from it.
Yes, the waiting game sucks but now you can take the time to work on another project or, in my case, go back and edit old projects. Keep yourself busy and the time will fly. Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Immortals After Dark

A friend first recommended this series to me a year or two ago. I thought "Eh, it's romance. I'll get around to it." When I did get around to it I was surprised. Holy hell in a handbag, this woman can write!

If I read romance novels there has to be an element of fantasy in there or I get bored. No worries about that with these novels: we have action, drama, romance and humor. The characters are relatable whether they are witches, demons, vampires, phantoms, valkyries or werewolves. I love how she takes us into their minds and makes us really feel their tension and sorrow. Oh, and of course, lust. 
We sometimes take trips into the past for history lessons on the heroes (or villians) but these are urban fantasies taking place in our modern world right under our noses.Which makes for more drama because they have to hide their true identities from the humans. It also makes it easy to throw in fun pop culture references.

There are a few wars going on between different clans and/or species but that doesn't stop a budding romance between, oh, a lycan and a valkyrie. Or maybe a demon and a witch. Each couple finds themselves drawn to one another, whether they like it or not, and soon feelings develop. But it's never as simple as that, is it? It can be difficult to spend time with the guy you're falling for if your sisters want to kill him. It's hard to hold the woman of your dreams in your arms when she's a phantom. And beneath each romance is an underlying story of the coming of the greatest war of all where all races will be forced to battle each other to the death.

I can really see how her writing style has improved from book to book and how she gets more and more in depth with each character. Each novel can stand on it's own and features a different couple but other charcters involved are, that's right, couples from another book. So to really know everyone's story and what's really going on, you have to read them all. Trust me, it's worth it.

Once I read one I ran out and bought some more. I plan on purchasing the entire collection because I enjoyed them enough that I will read them over and over again. I seriously recommend the IMMORTALS AFTER DARK series by Kresley Cole to any chick who loves a good romance. 
Or hunky werewolves. 
Or dastardly vampires. 
Or kick-ass valkyries.  
Pick one.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Will Hunting Sh*t!


On a recent podcast (Randomadness, refer to the link to the right) Tim and I were talking about how difficult it is to teach yourself how to draw at our age. We soon went from talking about that to ragging on our mutual friend who draws for fun. He is GOOD. Hell, he's excellent at drawing. That night was the first time I'd ever seen any of his work and I've known him for over a year. I knew that he sketched sometimes but I had no idea how talented he was. I was wowed.

The thing is, he doesn't draw much anymore. Last year I was looking for someone to draw a logo for my nerd group and I was kind of hoping he would offer but he said he wasn't feeling it much lately. That was last year. He still isn't feeling it. Others have also approached him about drawing a few things for websites and whatnot. He's hesitant.

I hope it isn't modesty that's keeping him away from the pad and pencil. The guy has mad skills. I kind of railed on him about it on that podcast too. Granted, I had a couple of mixed drinks in me but I think I yelled something along the lines of "TAKE THAT GOOD WILL HUNTING SH*T AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR A@$!"
Obviously, I meant that if you can draw well, you should. And often.

Now of all people I understand what it's like to be in a creative slump. I often bitch and moan about my writing and what a sadistic brat my muse is. I know how it feels to be busy and then when you finally have a minute, you sit down and... nothing. Not one good idea.
Another friend of mine complained to me about not getting a chance to write anymore because work keeps him busy. True, but he does have days off. See, you have to make time for your creative outlets. And when you do get a great idea for a sketch or a story, jot it down, wherever you are, in detail. The more detail the better you'll be able to recall that great idea later.

Having trouble coming up with ideas? Look to someone else's work. Now obviously I don't mean go copy someone else's idea. But I know that when I'm having a dry spell, sometimes reading a book from the same genre helps me get ideas. "Wow, that guy has serious OCD. Wait, what if I made that one character have an eating disorder? That would make it more interesting!" Maybe watching a movie or jogging or something helps you get those ideas flowing. Whatever it is that works for you, find it and latch on to it.

But like I said, art is one of those things that you just have to do. If you are talented in that area, go for it. Don't dawdle. Don't let modesty, apprehension or just plain fear keep you from putting your own original idea on paper. Creating commendable artwork is something that not anyone can do. And for those that have seen my deviantART account, that is quite apparent. We can't all be Picassos and Rembrandts.
So those of us that are, don't put it aside for other, more practical things. Will Hunting could have solved the national debt problem in two minutes but that bum ran off after a girl! 
Draw as much as you can while you can because you never know, one day a simple doodle could change the way someone sees the world. You could influence a president's way of thinking. You could bring about world peace!
Maybe not but hey, don't give up.

So, to my friend who I was kind of a jerk to: sorry but I just want to see you live the dream. You are talented enough to really do something with your art. I would be thrilled to see something of yours in a magazine or on a billboard. Hell, even a calendar would be pretty cool. So whatever you have to do to get those creative juices flowing again, do it and do it now!
Forget Will Hunting. He was an idiot. But if you take time from your busy schedule to do what you love, you can have your cake and eat it to. How do you like them apples?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Preacher


I finally finished reading the PREACHER graphic novels. Oh, man!
It was a wild and crazy ride. Don't let the title fool you, this is not something the good Christians of any land would praise. It takes pretty much every kind of sick, twisted person that there is in this world and throws them all together in one long tale of heroism and revenge. 

But not every character has mental issues or physical deformities. Our hero, Jesse Custer, has turned out pretty well considering his violent past. Until a being from Heaven merges with his soul and blesses him with a God-like power. Afterwards, when he uses "The Word" on people, they are compelled to do whatever he says. But unlike your everyday Joe who would shout "Cool!" and go wreak havoc on the world, Jesse, ever philosophical, wants answers.
What exactly is this being? Where did it come from? Why did it choose him? Where the heck is God?


The drinking, smoking preacher soon becomes a modern day gunslinger in his quest for the answers. And the drinking and smoking do continue so there are a lot of fun bar scenes. Along the way he meets up with an old flame, Tulip, who isn't so bad with a gun herself. They rekindle their sparks into a bonfire of passion once more. And they make friends with an Irish guy named Cassidy. Who also happens to be a vampire.
Sounds pretty interesting huh? Oh, it only gets better.

I won't ruin the ending for anyone but some people get dead and some justice gets served, he he.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end. The love story tangled up in there is just beautiful. And Jesse is truly the ideal man. He has the moral integrity of a knight or, as he would say, a cowboy. Which would usually make for boring reading but he is only human after all and he does make some serious mistakes. Plus he has no trouble killing those that he deems evil.

If you like FABLES, THE WALKING DEAD, WATCHMEN, etc, then you should definitely read PREACHER. You'll still be thinking about it days afterward. I know I am.


Monday, March 25, 2013

LEGO Red October

So here's the deal.
A couple of friends of mine decided they were going to create a scale model of the Red October submarine using Legos. The entire thing sounds weird, mostly because I didn't think of it first! I wish I had gotten in on this, I love Legos.

Anywho, the completed model should be almost thirteen feet long and have a crew of one hundred and sixty little figures. Complete with a Sean Connery looking guy! They are going to need thousands of Legos to complete this and once it is finished, they plan on auctioning it off. All proceeds will be donated to ST. JUDE'S CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL.
That's right, Lego fun for a good cause.

If you want to help this worthy endeavor, please donate Legos. They can be new or used, it doesn't matter. So search your couch cushions people! Scan the bottom of your kids toy box! For more information please visit http://legoredoctober.blogspot.com/.
There is also a Youtube page where they will be posting updates on the project: http://www.youtube.com/user/legoredoctober.

I donated Legos, you can too! Help the children! Help the reasearchers who may one day cure cancer! Let's make a Lego submarine!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fables

I've read a handful of graphic novels over the years but last year a friend of mine introduced me to some series that I have really come to love. Today I want to talk about the one that touches my inner child: FABLES.

This series is basically about what every day life would be like for fairy tale characters if they were forced to move to our modern world. They call themselves Fables and they live on Bullfinch Street in New York City in a section they call Fabletown. Unless they are talking animals or make-believe creatures that can't fit in with modern society. Then they are shipped off to The Farm in upstate New York.
Why are they here? Because they were forced from their worlds by The Adversary, a mysterious tyrant who's armies sweep through every fairy tale world and who's identity isn't revealed until later on.

Some of the main charcters are great. They have the Big Bad Wolf, aka Bigby who is now usually seen in human form. There's the ever serious Snow White and her mischevious sister, Rose Red. Other characters include King Cole, Jack Horner, the Three Blind Mice, the Frog Prince, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming, Aladdin, Mowgli, Pinnochio, etc. Other main characters are obviously there for you to despise, and despise I do!
I really love how they throw in obscure fairy tale characters sometimes. King Thrushbeard appears a few times and if you have no idea who that is, it's okay, none of my friends who read the series did either. But I knew the name immediately. He has his own short story told by the Grimm Brothers after all. And I adore me some Grimm tales.
There's also the interesting idea that many of the Fables believe: that your popularity with the humans directly affects your mortality. All Fables are immortal in the sense that they don't age and die, apparently. Or is it that they do age but super, super slow? Anyway, whenever someone is fatally injured and they miraculously survive, they believe it has to do with how popular their tale is with the "mundies", as they call us.

The stories themselves are marvelous. They are much like the old fairy tales before Disney and Studio Ghibli got a hold of them and PC'd the hell out of them. There is violence, mystery, romance, backstabbing, unlikely heroes, plot twists, gruesome murders, and more often than not, justice. Everything a good story should have, in my opinion.
I don't want to give too much away but eventually we do find out just who this mysterious Adversary is and that there are plans in motion to "take out" Fabletown. And there is an unexpected romance that I kind of saw a mile away but gushed over just the same.

I've only read the first fifteen volumes but I just can't wait to get my hands on what else is out so far. Then I will be impatiently waiting for new volumes to come out, like I do with many book or manga series that I follow. This will be my first time doing it with a graphic novel series though. The suspense, the suspense!
I highly recommend FABLES to anyone who enjoyed the Inheritance series, The Hunger Games trilogy, or anyone who just loves fairy tales from all over the world. The art is amazing, the dialogue engaging and the story itself, addictive.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fill In The Blanks

When I get a great story idea, I have a tendency to right it down in a rush before I forget it. I'm very forgetful and the best ideas always come to me at the worst times: right before I fall asleep, in the shower, when I'm driving. So I have to try to remember everything so I can get all the 'greatness' down quickly before it's gone. Because my memory is that wonderful.

I've written entire chapters this way. I throw down what happens with who and where. I slap in the dialogue as it comes to me. I might even chunk in a few clever pop culture references here and there. Then I move on. There is a great and terrible flaw with this method: the story sucks.

Anyone can just tell what happened to some characters. It's all about how you tell it. I'm in such a hurry to get it all down before it's gone that when you read it, you don't get a feel for the characters and situations like you need to. It's too rushed. I'm one of those authors that when it comes time to go back and edit the first draft, I have to add entire pages, even chapters. Not much cutting out extra crap for me, no sir. I need MORE.

So when I go back and reread the mess I've written, I have to ask myself some important questions:
1. What was this character thinking or feeling?
2. Is this relevant to the story itself and does it give insight to a character/situation?
3. Do I explain the situation clearly?
4. Why do we care?

These may seem like pretty obvious things to have in your writing, kind of 'duh' questions. The thing is, when a writer reads their story, they have an intimate knowledge of their characters, setting, and story line. It's all in their head so it's easy to assume that they explained themselves well enough. Not always so.

I have a tendency to tell what my characters are thinking. I like getting the reader in their heads. But I often forget to describe how they feel. Are they angry, sad, confused, delighted? Forgetting these details makes for crap writing because feelings and emotions affect every action and thought. Rage may be the entire reason the man slits his friend's throat. Joy may cause the woman to express her love for someone. Clearly expressing a characters emotions is vital to a story.

The second question just asks if this scene or chapter has an action or event that affects the story line or if it is merely there to help a reader relate to a specific character or setting. I've read books where entire chapters are dedicated to describing how a town looks or the layout of a bedroom. I've read books with pages and pages of details about a certain character down to every article of clothing and flaw on thier skin. Definitely not how I roll but you get the idea. You need to be clear about what you're trying to say and why so you won't start talking in circles, or writing in circles, whichever.

This rolls right into the next question about explaining things clearly. Remember to step out of your head and look at the story from the reader's POV. Does your wording make sense? Are you jumping around from person to person or scene to scene too quickly for the reader to be able to keep up? Maybe, like me, excessive scenery detail isn't your thing but how about we make sure that someone doesn't fall into a dumpster that wasn't there five minutes ago, okay?

And the last question which is the most important. Why do we care? I can't get into a story, no matter how interesting the situation, if I don't like any of the characters at all. I love putting some characters in my stories that are very unrelatable because sometimes you just need someone that you love to hate. It makes for fun times. But you've got to be able to relate to somebody on some level at one point. If the characters are all little clones that have no depth, who cares what happens to them?
This is the question that ties all of the others together. If I don't know what the hell is going on half the time, why would I care to continue reading? If I have no idea what the characters are thinking or feeling and therefore no insight as to why they do what they do and say what they say, what do I care if one moves away suddenly? If they don't have human qualities like depression or worry about bills or issues with their siblings, why would it bother me if you killed one off?
Because let's face it folks, it's all about drawing the reader in and keeping them there. I'd much rather have a reader say "This is trash!" because something offended them or their favorite character did something horrible than have them put the book aside because it bored them to death and they just didn't get the characters. 

If only I could take my time when I write everything out the first time. But life just isn't that simple and creativity comes and goes as it pleases. Not to mention my muse is a sadistic little thing who loves to watch me suffer before flitting away to hide for weeks and months on end. The little...

So, this is my painstakingly long process that probably needs improving but I thought I'd share just in case it helps another fellow novice writer out there. So there you go, some nuggets of wisdom from the chick who has only published a short erotica. He he.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Mirror of Aberrantine

The Mirror of Aberrantine is an e-book that a friend of mine wrote and had published last year. It's one of those epic fantasies that will sweep you away from reality and into a world of magic, mystery and peril. Hmm, that sounds a bit cliché and yet that's how I felt when I read it. Swept away. 

Our story takes place in the Kingdom of Elordus where an ongoing war between their kingdom and the magical Aurorans has raged for decades.
There are three main characters that we follow on their journeys: Arcadius, Virilian and Lovinia.
Arcadius is an exiled Watchman; a soldier who uses magic with his mind.
Virilian is a young teenager from a town called Far Reaches. He once lived with his grandfather but after his death, Arcadius finds him and discovers that he is an empath like himself. A more powerful empath than any Arcadius has ever encountered but untrained, with no control over his powers.
Lovinia, the daughter of a miner's prefect, was once a girl who spent her days tending her mother's garden. But when her father finds a mysterious mirror that drives him mad enough to kill his wife, Lovinia is forced to kill him in self defense and flee. She must find someone who can destroy the mirror at any cost.

We soon discover that the mirror is an ancient artifact that can control the minds of those around it for it's own purposes. Can it be destroyed before the powerful Aurorans get their hands on it? What will become of Virilian and what makes him so powerful?

This book is actually the first in a trilogy called The Swords of Elordus. I am so ready to read the rest of the story! The characters are flawed and easy to relate to. The world itself is a rough yet beautiful place with exotic locales and dangerous bandits. And the story draws you in immediately with action and mystery and makes it nigh impossible to stop reading at each chapter break. Yes, I said nigh impossible. Don't hate.

I recommend this to those who love a good fantasy where the good guys have to make hard decisions that seem right at the time but may haunt them for years. This isn't a happy hobbit story folks. Bad things happen to good people and the heroes and heroines might end up being the cause of said things. But a light shines at the end of our tunnel and our heroes are ever reaching for it with hope in their hearts. Will they reach it?

Find THE MIRROR OF ABERRANTINE on Amazon.com

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Little Pony Doodling

Okay, I'll admit it. I thought I would hate it at first but I watched it and I really like the new My Little Ponies series: Friendship is Magic. So much so that I taught myself how to draw the ponies. Now when I'm bored and need a smile, I get the kids and we draw some ponies. Sometimes I post them on FB or deviantART since they are a quick and easy draw so I just post them to see if they get any views. There are a lot of MLP fans out there.

Since I'm still teaching myself how to draw and I haven't really developed my own style yet, I'm just kind of copying what I see. I like copying cartoons and anime the most. I remember when I was in fifth grade, I copied a drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog off of a game casing. I practiced drawing Sonic all the time and I soon became pretty decent at drawing him standing, running, sitting, and of course, talking smack. It wasn't bad for a ten year old. (If I do say so myself!)

Unfortunately, these days, drawing is more of a rushed thing. If I start something, I only have so much time to finish it before it gets put away and left for weeks or months. And then I lose interest and rarely ever finish it. I have so much going on with the kids and my other projects that drawing is kind of on the back burner. My ADD doesn't help.
So since I spend very little time on each sketch, they never turn out as well as I'd like. Maybe one day I'll take a class or something. Until then, it's just doodling. And what's wrong with that when the result is adorable ponies?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Randomadness


Hello everyone!
I wanted to take this time to promote my friend's, Timothy Ruyevcan, podcast, RANDOMADNESS. The web address is http://www.powerupsnotincluded.com/randomadness/ .
He does live podcasts once a week and sometimes I make a guest appearance. You'll recognize me, I'm the loud mouthed chick who they like to refer to as ta-tas.

The subjects are just as the title suggests: very random. But we are rather nerdy gamers so usually discussions involve movies, games, anime and pop culture. And, of course, that one mysterious thing that all men love to discuss - females!

It does contain foul language and adult themes but we just shoot the crap and enjoy each other's company. So check out the website and listen to a few recordings to see if you find our discussions as amusing as we do. We love to laugh and if you do too, I hope you'll become a regular listener!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hello World!

This blog was once on webs.com but I've decided to move here. No offense, Webs, I have no real complaints. I just like Blogspot better. 
My blog consists of random book reviews, bitching about life in general, writing updates and maybe cute cat pics. You with me so far?

So for those of you who have followed my old blog, thanks for reading, my faithful friends! Now as a token of your undying devotion, give me your firstborn...
If you're new to my blog, be prepared for all sorts of random. I'm really into movies, books, anime, writing, art, games and well, most things nerdy. Let's have some fun!
Yay!