Thursday, February 25, 2010

I’ve been preoccupied lately.

My nephew has an ear infection which gave him an eye infection, so Boy and his Mommy have been home for the past two days and he has had trouble sleeping (pout). Normally, Boy is not allowed to watch television with the exception of 1 movie or a few shows on Sundays while he plays. However, a sad sleepless baby (with a sleepless Mommy) gets to “bend” the rules. This “bending” of the rules has led to Boy repeatedly running up to the computer, pointing, and exclaiming “Ki-eh! Ki-eh!”

For your viewing pleasure, I present-

Also, Sister has given me my graduation present!

The top necklace was a Christmas present from Father a few years ago.

The bottom necklace is my graduation present from Sister.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why can't I just put down the book?

Really, what is wrong with me?

I started a series last week by an author I thoroughly enjoy. Only, it did not meet my expectations. I know I’m picky and judgmental about my books, which is why I generally rely on recommendations made by my family and friends. Well, dear friend, who will remain nameless, you have failed me. Miserably.* Now I am stuck in a series that is full of historical inaccuracies** and really really annoying leading ladies. The author’s other series are historically accurate and well written (and set in a different time period). This series, however, is not. There are jumps in logic, a surprising number of typos (which I am blaming on the publishers), and the character development for said leading ladies is horrible.

Has the author written so many books she has stopped caring? Does her publisher figure she already has a fan base and can get away with this?

I cannot stop reading. I have done this, and do this, all the time. Once I start a series, it is very hard for me to put it down. I do like the male leads, the idea is good, and I want to know what happens next, but I probably won’t be looking for Book Three. I will stop myself. Really. Ok, maybe I am lying. The series could get better. Maybe. Probably not.

Why didn’t I just put down Book One? Well, I began reading the series because a dear nameless friend of mine let me borrow a bunch of books she was going to sell to the used bookstore. This stack of books contained Book Two. I, obsessive about reading a series in order, quickly went to my library’s database and placed a hold on Book One. When I realized Book One was bad I kept reading. I figured that Book Two must be better and wanted to be able to understand all of it (after all my friend and I have similar tastes). Now, I am about halfway through Book Two and it is not better.

I could live with the historical inaccuracies (after all it is fiction), a few of the typos, and some of the jumps in logic, but the character development is ruining it for me. I could even deal with the annoyingness (I am not sure that is a word) of the female characters, if they were actually developed.

--For example, I am constantly annoyed and frustrated by Faythe, the leading lady in Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series. But, and this is a big but, I know why she thinks and acts the way she does. I can understand her selfishness, because her life has supported it. Also, in each book she grows a little more, she evolves because of the events affecting her, as she would (hopefully) in real life. Also, when Rachel Vincent states something about one of the characters I know it is true because I have seen it or will see it in the character’s actions.

In this series, however, I, the reader, am constantly being told about the female characters, but never shown these traits they supposedly possess. I am told they are strong and smart, but only see their weakness and stupidity. The male characters, however, seem to grow and change. Their characters are actually developed. I can see their point of view and their reasoning. When the male characters change, I know why. I see them struggle. I see them evolving, and consequently, they are the only characters I can connect with. It is as if I am reading a half good and half bad book.

Earlier today (okay, while writing this) I decided to look at online reviews and see what others thought. It looks like most agree with me. These books are really bad. The reviews also commented that they liked the author's other books, so I am not alone.

In all fairness these books are not the worst I have read. I could still, objectively, give them a 2 out of 5 rating. An ‘I didn’t like it’ opposed to an 'I hated it', but I will not be recommending them to anyone.

Originally, I wasn’t going to post the series’ name and author, as it was originally simply a little rant. But the rant grew and now I have decided I should tell you the author and series, for your own reading protection.

Series- The Masters of Time
Author- Brenda Joyce
Brief Description- Time traveling highlanders, known as Masters, fight against evil and protect innocents.

*If your reading this, I believe we are now even for the several hours of your life I owed you for making you watch horrible movies with me.
**I am not talking about things like ‘Location A never existed’ or ‘Character B’s real life counterpart was not like that’ (which the author actually explains in the back of the book) but things like ‘that was not invented yet’ or ‘someone from that time period would not have understood that’.

PS - If you have read the series and disagree let me know, and let me know why.

PSS- Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming has reached 200 followers! She is now giving away a $20 Amazon gift card and a query critique by Elana Johnson accompanied by a copy of Elana Johnson's ebook From the Query to the Call! I highly recommend stopping by her blog!

Love to ALL!

Friday, February 12, 2010


I’m completing my application for Teach For America and have now become quite nervous. A girl I went to middle school with is apparently working with them and sent me an email with a link about the recruitment process and some additional info. Basically, it said what they look for in people. I think I have many of the qualities listed, but the article also mentioned how many apply and how many are actually recruited. I don’t like rejection, but with every path I wish to take – graduate school, Teach For America, ANY JOB- rejection is plentiful.

On the Job front, I’m sending in more applications and resumes. So far I’ve been told I’m either under qualified or overqualified for every job. Another job simply told me that I had enough qualifications, but that there were just several others who applied with more qualifications. I have enough to pay this month’s car payment and credit card, but I’m worrying about next month. Once again, I am so thankful that I have a wonderful mother who is letting me live in her house and eat her food free of charge!

A very important matter to address is a contest over at Shannon’s blog Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe. Shannon is giving away a signed copy of Buying, Training, and Caring for Your Dinosaur by Laura Joy Rennert.

Also, having a contest is Falen Formulates Fiction. She has reached and passed 50 followers (HURRAY!) and is now giving away a gift card!

Last night I was reading blogs and posting comment when somehow my clock magically changed from 12pm to 4 am. Blogs are apparently my new addiction. Reading one blog leads to reading someone who follows them or that they follow. That leads to me going through several blogs before I finish reading the blogs on my Google reader. Of course something will also spark my interest on a blog that will lead me to researching some obscure fact, before returning to the blogs I was initially reading. Oh well, Insomnia suits me for a day or two.

Love to ALL!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Best Part of My Day

Since graduating college and moving back to my hometown the best part of my day has changed considerably.

Every night my mother, sister, and I watch one of our shows together. Then, at 8:00pm the best part of my day begins. I rise from my comfy chair and walk over to my nephew. At this point he is either tugging on his mother, sitting with his Nona*, or playing on the floor with his dogs and toys. I tell him it’s time for bed and he either reaches his hands for me to pick him up with that tired look in his eyes, or he begins fussing. After all, who would want to leave a room full of their favorite people? We head back to the room he shares with his momma, where I change his diaper and dress him for bed. Then, we go around the room and turn off all the lights but one small light in the corner. We grab a pacifier and walk over to the rocker by his crib. The moment we sit down he calms and curls up in my arms. I begin singing** to him as we rock back and forth. By the third chorus of ‘Redemption Song’ he is fast asleep. His little hand still clutches my hair; his breathing is slow and even. This is one of those rare moments when I don’t think, when all the troubles of my day disappear. I am still singing to him, but I am not really aware of the words rolling off my tongue. I know that eventually I need to put him in his crib and go back to the world, but I don’t want to. I wish moments like this could last forever.

*Nona is his name for my mother, his grandmother.
** I am not a good singer, and never will be. Between my mother, sister, and myself he will be tone deaf.

Monday, February 8, 2010

WHO DAT?! M.I.A. and Awards

Who Dat?! We Dat! Geaux Saints! (Just had to say it)

M.I.A. No, not the singer.
I apologize for the lack of posts. I’ve been away from the computer for the past couple of days. I even spent a whole day without turning on my computer (gasp). I have several posts I will be posting this week and I will not let myself fall off the planet again. Promise! My next blog posts I’m actually going to plan! Maybe even an outline or an idea of what to write before I start typing. I have several ideas for blog posts and now I may just use them. I think this will be better than my method of sitting, writing, submitting, and then rereading with disgust(I get pickier as time passes).

Now…… on to the Awards *cheers from the crowd* (What? You don’t hear them?). I am so excited to have received 3 Awards! Two of the awards come from the amazing Courtney, an aspiring author with immense talent. She has bestowed upon me The Over the Top Award and the Honest Scrap Award! Also, I have received my second Picasso Award from Kayleigh at Kayleigh’s Kaleidoscope! Kayleigh is also an aspiring author with a wonderful blog, who constantly puts me to shame with her accomplishments.

Deciding who to pass these awards on to next has been very difficult for me. I know many have already recently received it, but they may just receive another from me! Also, many of the bloggers I follow don’t even know who I am, but they will be receiving these awards from me regardless!

First- The Over the Top Award
Thank you so much Courtney for this wonderful Award! I think it is supper cute!

Rules: Answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.
Your Cell Phone? Dying
Your Hair? Braid
Your Mother? Sweet
Your Father? Complaining
Your Favourite Food? Spaghetti
Your Dream Last Night? lol
Your Favourite Drink? Tea
Your Dream/Goal? Happy
What Room Are You In? Bedroom
Your Hobby? Reading
Your Fear? Inside
Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Working
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something That You Aren't? Sure
Muffins? Pumpkin
Wish List Item? Cash
Where Did You Grow Up? South
Last Thing You Did? Book
What Are You Wearing? Jeans
Your TV? Off
Your Pets? Amazing
Friends? Dear
Your Life? Still
Your Mood? Ok
Missing Someone? Unfortunately
Vehicle? Berry
Something You Aren't Wearing? Hat
Your Favourite Store? Dollar
Your Favourite Colour? Red
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today
Last Time You Cried? Today
Your Best Friend? Away
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Out
Facebook? Stalk
Favourite Place To Eat? Sushi

I’ve decided to pass this award on to:

Second- The Honest Scrap Award

Once again from the amazing Courtney! For this award I must give 10 “honest” facts about myself.
1. I have a tattoo of a bear on my hip. It is for my dog Ursa, and it represents the place she will always have in my heart and mind.
2. I love snakes. I think they are beautiful and often misunderstood. I also believe a fear of snakes is natural and is generally a good thing (if you don’t know what it is, or the individual snake, stay away).
3. I am jealous of everyone with a strong faith.
4. I’m a geek freak. I love to learn and spend hours researching obscure topics for no useful reason. – see Picasso #6
5. I have a huge collection of shoes that I rarely wear.
6. I believe in Ghosts (or something like ghosts).
7. I like to think that there is a possibility that everything we imagine can be real, both the good and bad.
8. I believe in Karma, but that we cannot seek Karmic retribution.
9. I love crime dramas, anything that explores crime and motive.
10. I have no very little personal space. My personal bubble does not exist. I understand that others do have a personal ‘bubble’ and respect it (unless of course you are my older brother). Somehow, all of closest friends have been non touchy/huggy people.

I’ve decided to pass this award on to:

And last, but not least, the Picasso Award from the wonderful Kayleigh.

Thank you so much for this Award!

1. I cry during most Disney movies and have skipped scenes from most of them as well. For example, I’ve never seen all of the Lion King (I skip the part where his daddy dies) and refuse to finish The Fox and the Hound.

2. On a similar note, the villains’ songs (in Disney and other kids’ movies) are always my favorite.

3. I have traveled through part of Europe once and Italy twice. I traveled around Europe with my family the summer between my 6th and 7th grades. Sadly, I don’t remember a lot about this trip. I remember the friend I met and some of the locations we went, but most of my memories from this trip are like snap shots. My first trip to Italy was the summer after I graduated from high school. I went with my father and we traveled to Venice, Rome, and Florence. I fell in love with Venice instantly. Then, the summer after my freshman year of college, I went with a group from the Italian language department of my University and studied language and culture in Italy at the Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri in Florence. I lived with an Italian family and had the most amazing experience.

4. I have a pure black cat named Meshach (yes, as in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). He was actually named after another cat that was at our local SPCA when I volunteered for them. While his name is Meshach, he is generally referred to as Baby Kitty or BK.

5. I don’t think I could ever live somewhere far from water. I prefer the beach, but a large lake or river will do.

6. It really bothers me when authors make historical mistakes. For example, in a novel I’m currently reading a Highlander in the 1400s couldn’t understand the term hypnotize, but understood the word mesmerize (he was talking to someone from our time). The word mesmerize came into being to describe what happened to those who where “healed” by Franz Mesmer in the 1700s. Mesmer was a German physician and astrologist who “healed” people through animal magnetism. His method was referred to as mesmerism and eventually the word mesmerize arose. Mesmerism actually led to hypnosis (mid 1800s) (thank you PY 470 Cognitive Psych– this is actually the thing I remember most from that class). I know this is small in the grand scheme of things, but it bothers me.

7. Often, I enjoy cleaning. There can be something calming about doing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, or just tidying up- as long as you have music or an audiobook.

I will be passing this award on to:

Tomorrow I’ll go around to everyone’s blogs and leave comments for them.
Love to ALL!