Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Not What You Think



It's worse.

I'm way too busy for a person who likes to be...not busy. Non busy? Un-busy? Whatever. The fact remains that my schedule looks like I've taken a bunch of other people's lives, chopped them up into irregular pieces, tossed them at a calender, and then hoped for the best.

Actually, that sounds like something I could handle. Right now I'm toeing the line between not knowing what day it is and wanting to murder some tourons (tourists+morons=tourons.)

So far I've managed to come out victorious in my battle against giving into said temptations that would land me in the poky. I do this by rewarding myself with Yoohoos and dill pickle chips. I might have to step it up to ICEEs though for the rest of this weekend. Memorial Day brings all kinds of folks out of the American wood works.

I might get more sleep in the slammer...

I've had a little time to write; cue my WIP ADHD and you have no progress on the WIP I should be working on. *looks fretfully at Word document*

But that's okay. Summer has only just started even though it feels like I've been out for a month. Oh wait. I have almost been out for a month. Weird. Anyway, I've been in a sort of time stasis because of my brother's high school graduation, my jobs (I have three now, woohoo!), and the fact that summer classes start on the 30th of this month.

At least my sister is turning 16 in a few weeks. That way I won't have to be her chauffeur the rest of my "break." Somewhere amidst those various activities, I'm going to have to schedule in some time to write. My typing fingers are getting anxious.

I feel like this post doesn't really have a point except to confirm the fact that I'm still alive and kicking. Don't worry, I haven't actually kicked anyone in a while. Mostly I just swing one leg back and forth as I'm leaning against the counter at work (and trying not to snap that last thread holding my sanity in check whenever someone asks me, "Do the restaurant beepers work in here?" or "I'd like to see that purse." *points to the purse on the top shelf so I have to go find the step ladder in the furthest corner of the stockroom and then after having me take all the stuffing out of the purse decides she doesn't like it because the inside isn't 'pink enough'*)

And I'm not bitter at all. Really. *eye twitch* I just have allergies.

To tourons.

So...how's it going in the blog world y'all?
 
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Friday, May 20, 2011

They Will Not Rue This Day (Hopefully)

Alright folks. It's come to my attention that I should bring it to y'alls attentions that I'm no longer just a writer. No, I'm far worse than that: I'm now an editor.

Dum, dum, dum. To be precise, I'm an an editor on my university paper, The Vanguard. To be even more precise and even slightly neurotic, I'm the new editor for the Life Section of the paper! Feel free to squeal with me. I've already forced awkward, bony hugs on my family and even my sister's friend who happened to be present when I attacked them after finding out the news.

It was a huge shock to their systems, let me tell you. I'm not one who often shows outward emotions or expresses excitement with shrieking hugs for everyone within a 20 foot radius. No. I'm more the strong, silent type. Although I have been known to do a mean happy dance in public (to my sister's shame) so perhaps it was only a matter of time or stimulus.

Whatever the case, I am so excited that I just had to announce it to the blog world. And now I can sleep in peace. G'night folks! Have a great weekend and don't forget about the auctions going on over at the Help Write Now and ALL4ALABAMA blogs! The tornado-affected areas are still in need of our assistance. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another Chance for a Portrait, and to Help a Whole Town!





Hello again! It feels like I just did this only yesterday...but here I go again.

If you haven't already participated or even heard about the auctions going on in the blogosphere to help the victims of the recent rash of storms in the South and other parts of the country, here's your chance to get in on the action and bid on a charcoal portrait by yours truly! My fellow Bama writers are doing a magnificent job of getting people from all over involved and I'm honored to be included in the auction.

So there you have it folks. That's my update of the day. Now go bid on something fantastic and get your karma meter realigned! Good deeds do wonders for the complexion too. (I can keep these sayings coming all day but I think y'all get the message. I have such smarties for Internet neighbors.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Just Wanna Go Home

Ruby Slippers

Hello peeps. I know, it's been a while. It's nice to type at y'all again too. Anyway, on to the first and only order of business for this post. Recently I had the fortune to be hired as a lab assistant at my university's education department and by far the best perk of the job--other than having the job in the first place--is the iPad. Yes. I just said iPad. Each lab assistant is issued an iPad or iPad2 and I'm no exception.

After taking the APTT last Saturday (another order of business for an entirely different blog post), I was given my iPad and told to play with it all summer so I could become "acquainted" with it. I didn't fight that idea, as you can imagine. So, with iPad in hand I hurriedly drove my little self home so I could commence the acquainting.

The first day was glorious. I even missed an important and very much scheduled Skype date with my writing buddies (shout-out to Tiger and Kills!) because I was so infatuated with the giant iPhone device.

Sadly, my joy was short-lived. The morning following that first day of jubilant screen-touching and iBook downloading started off rather different than I'd intended.

The Home button didn't work. I couldn't go Home. (I am now going to channel Dorothy for as long as I can stomach it.)

Initially I was slow to comprehend what was happening, so I pressed the Home button again with an air of innocence that soon disappeared when the screen remained as it was. I frowned and scratched my head. I pushed it again. Same non-reaction.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the screen I was stuck on, but I can only watch so many YouTube videos before I get a little cross-eyed.

I'd only had the iPad one day and it was already broken. Great. This is the girl that has had the iPhone numero uno for over four years and never had to have it replaced. It's still in near-mint condition. My luck was bound to change at some point though, right?

So, fairly soon after I discovered the lack of Home button response, I spiraled through the five stages of grief.

Denial: "This isn't happening. I'm dreaming again. Pretty soon I'll start fighting monkeys and singing opera in a cow costume."

Anger: "Of course this would happen to me! Of all the people to give a messed up iPad, it had to be the person least likely to angry about it or smash it to smithereens!"

Bargaining: "Come on little Home button! You can work! I know you can! Who's the good little Home button! I'm just gonna press you now and I know you're gonna work, huh? That's right!"

Depression: "It won't work. I give up on life. Technology hates me. I should just quit school and join the circus. I'd be a great attraction: the girl who sucks at life. Yeah."

Acceptance: "There has to be a reason for this, other than I broke it. Oh wait...look here on the internet! Other people have the same problem! I'm not alone! I didn't break it! It's only temperamental!"

So there you have it folks. Drama at it's best. But for real, the Home button issue is a problem that a lot of iPad users are encountering, at least according to the blogosphere and even Apple has addressed the issue in their own technical way. Supposedly it's only a software issue, but I'm not really up on the legalese of the matter so I can only hope it's fixed sooner rather than later. I'd like to be able to go from screen to screen without rebooting my iPad every time I need to go to a different thing.

Unfortunately those blueprints for the time machine didn't pan out...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Okay, So Blogging Has Resumed

Alright, now that the whole Blogger "fiasco" is over, I can post things again. Power! Muahahaha!

As it is, I have some news to announce. I donated my services as a portrait artist to the wonderful auction going on over at Help Write Now, and the highest bidder was Mandy of The Well-Read Wife!

I hope to begin working on either a portrait or a book trailer for Mandy, and I'm so thrilled that she participated in the relief effort for those affected by the tornadoes down South.

Okay, well that's all for today. I survived finals week so maybe later I'll do a Post-Final Post. Haha. That title is funny...it's a word anagram. I amuse myself with what I think of.
Anyway, I also have this really cool story about a dream I had last night and also the APTT. Those are forthcoming as well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's Official, I Now Know How to Work the Library

Library PengoImage via WikipediaLaugh all you want fellow writers and readers, but up until today (at 12:31 p.m. to be exact) I had yet to set foot in my campus library.

(Shocked silence followed by the dying screams of readers everywhere.)

No really, it's true and I have a very good reason.

I didn't need to. Okay, well, that may not be a good reason, but it's all I have. Be that as it may, I am no longer a campus library virgin. That doesn't read right...anyway, I am fully capable of finding books and operating the library search engine to find said books' locations. I also know how to work the elevators so I can get to the third and fourth floors. All you do is push a button. Who knew?

I've also made a wonderful new friend. I don't recall his name, but he was very helpful when I spotted him at the reference desk and proceeded to shock him with the revelation that I didn't know how to work the library. His subsequent reprimands (he was old so I didn't mind him making fun of and scolding me) were followed closely by a tutorial in all things "library."

So here I am. Writing this blog post from the comfort of my not-so-comfortable carrel in the LB section of the 4th floor. I have a few books next to me and I'm debating whether or not to check them out since I've found them to be immensely helpful with my paper and my future career as a teacher. Helpful is always a good thing, unless someone is trying to help you die or help you fail a test, and then they're just being meany-heads and deserve to be taken out back and slapped a few times by the Hulk.

The only bad thing about the library is the lack of refreshments. They don't letcha eat "smelly food" or have "spillable drinks." I find that insulting, not to mention restrictive. What if I promised not to spill my potentially spillable drink? No. The answer is no. Believe me, I asked my helpful little old guy, who coincidentally thinks my name sounds literary. I took it as a compliment, not as an insinuation that I sound fictional. Although if I had to be fictional, I quite like the way my life is turning out except I would get God to rewrite me a bit taller. I always wanted to be at least 5'8". I might have a chance at playing in the WNBA that way.

All this talk-writing about food has made me hungrier. And this would be the day that I didn't pack my non-smelly granola bar. That means I have to leave the wonderful sanctuary of the campus library. I'm sad now. It's open until midnight tonight because of finals. That's one good thing about finals week I suppose. I can't think of anything else.

Well, until next time...pray that I can find my way out of here and back to my dorm before I starve!
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Auction for a Cause



I have already written a longer post on the tornado disaster, but this is just a post to let y'all know about the Help Write Now Auction going on at this moment to raise money for the victims in the areas devastated by the storms. The ladies who came up with the project are angels and I just want to send them a huge thank you!! They deserve monstrous high-fives and other such congratulatory things.

So, head on over to the Help Write Now blog, just click on the icon or the link in the paragraph above and follow the bidding! You can bid on some awesome stuff, like homemade jewelry or query/manuscript critiques from some awesome people. There is something for everyone and all the proceeds go towards helping the storm victims. I even donated my services as a portrait artist or book trailer producer, so bid on me when they put me up! Here's an example of my work.

Keep the families affected by the storm in your prayers! God Bless!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Strange Angels: A Series in Review

Cover of "Strange Angels (Strange Angels,...Cover of Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1)
I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. For the past few years (I think it's years…my memory isn't what it used to be), I've been following author Lilith Saintcrow's series Strange Angels. For the purposes of this series, she goes by the pseudonym Lili St. Crow in the young adult bracket. I like it. It's a great move considering she's already well-known with the adult paranormal audience for her Dante Valentine series. (Another series that I adore, but this review isn't about Dante.)

My first brush with Saintcrow's writing style was through Strange Angels. At first I was merely intrigued by the characters and their conflicts. Dru Anderson is vivid, complex, and interesting to read. The other supporting characters, Graves, Christophe, Ash, Shanks, Dibs, are just as well-rounded and exist to pull you further into the story of Dru's crazy life.

However, it came to a point where I was rereading the books that I had and waiting impatiently for the next installments. It's the closest I've ever come to Pottermania level fandom since, well, Deathly Hallows came out. And that was in 2007. I still can't believe that. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is: something about Saintcrow's young adult paranormal series has grabbed me in a vise grip.

It's like I've become stuck in the gaze of Christophe. I'm frozen, and after reading Defiance, which came out in April, I'm even more involved in the world Dru inhabits.

I don't think I'm doing the books justice. Hmm, how can I say it? It's one thing to read the books and love them, but it's quite another entirely to actually be able to use words to describe them accurately. For all I know, I'm completely mangling Saintcrow's work. Forgive me, madame.

Strange Angels is a tale of coming of age. It's a punch-in-the-gut type of book. And each of the consecutive books following it—Betrayals, Jealousy, Defiance, and soon to be published, Reckoning—are of the same vein. Our society is inundated with vampires and werewolves, I admit it, but Saintcrow takes a unique approach that I found refreshing. I'm trying not to be a spoiler, so forgive me if I sound overly vague.

Yes, there is romance, but thankthegods, Saintcrow doesn't bludgeon her younger readers with it. She introduces it naturally and keeps it flowing believably. And I cannot stress the believably part enough. The books deal with some dark stuff, it's true. Yet, it's never overdone or drug out endlessly for pages. The snappy pace of the novels is an additional emphasis on the flit and blur of the violence portrayed. It adds to the atmosphere—speed, darkness, fur, teeth, kicks, blood, pain, guns, flashes, light, death.

Images are vital in the books and blend with the witty dialogue into a miasma of well-ordered chaos.

Choices are a crucial theme, and something that all teenagers—who are the targeted audience—can relate to. Dru doesn't always make the best choices, but she makes the ones that she believes are right at the moment. Consequences do happen, but it's how she deals with them, with determination and grit, that makes a reader empathize with her. Certainly, she isn't perfect, but then again, neither am I or you for that matter.

Friendship. Courage. Resilience. Independence. Those are Dru's guiding lights. In Dru, you can see a character that is believable despite the knowledge that she couldn't possibly exist in real life. That is perhaps why I love the books so much. They're fun to read and trick me into falling in love with a fictional character (just try not to love Graves. I dare you.)

So there you have it. A series in review. I probably missed a few of the points I wanted to make because I got distracted off on a tangent, but hopefully I hit most of the main ones. I hope you give Strange Angels a try. You won't regret it. 

Sidenote: Yes, there is some PG-13 language and if this were a movie trailer, I would have included that in the warning at the beginning. As it is, I wasn't overly bothered by the cussing and whatnot, but then again, I'm a fairly tolerant individual and if anything bothered me I just skipped over it. So if you are upset by the f-bomb and JC's, I suggest you either don't read them or suck it up. I replace those "naughty words" with happy words or phrases like "Oh schnitzel!" or "Fricassee!" But it's up to you, dear reader. The language itself lends the dialogue a more modern, dark, and troubled air, as it is meant to. Dru isn't on a picnic with her besties trying to catch fireflies in mason jars. She's fighting for her life. I can forgive her for cussing when someone tries to kill or seriously maim her. I'd cuss too. 

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