Friday, November 22

Links of the Week

Books & Writing:

--Sometimes The 'Tough Teen' Is Quietly Writing Stories. This piece was sad, but true.

--A Look At the Book Business From Inside. I thought this was interesting. He can't really complain about anything though, because he was a big wig pretty much from the start (at least from the start of this article).

--12 Mistakes About Grammar. I thought this was interesting--and true!

History:

--Five Pharaonic Statue Heads Found in Egypt. I'd be more alarmed/curious if they found these heads outside of Egypt. (Sorry, still tired this morning).

--Ancient City Discovered by Treasure Hunters. This is very cool!

Politics & Social Commentary:

--This Beautiful Short Film Shows Exactly What it is to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. Lovely.

Random:

--The City Turned Itself Into Gotham and Everything You Need To Know About Batkid. A lot of you have probably already seen this, but I thought I'd post it anyway. What a wonderful experience for everyone involved.

--Naked Dance-- Sweden's Got Talent. Hahahahahahahahahaha! I bet their mothers are so proud.

--Portraits of Unrelated Doppelgangers. Some of these work and some don't. Either way, very cool.

--30 Hilarious Street Posters. These are wonderful.

--These People Recreated Their Childhood Photos. Perfect. I just got inspiration for a wonderful gift. My cousins and I have some pretty amusing pictures from our past...

--Mom Photographed Toddler & Puppy. OMG THAT'S SO ADORABLE!

--While Their Kids Sleep, These Parents Pull Off Amazing Stunts. Damn right. Kids should have a childhood and they should have the freedom to imagine and dream. How can they do that if you don't help them explore new possibilities? Parents who deny their kids Santa or the Tooth Fairy because they "don't want to lie" to their children are dumb, IMO. I'm not talking about religious reasons, I'm talking about parents who simply don't want to encourage their children to believe in stuff like that. My response: What, you don't want your kids to have an imagination? Fun? A CHILDHOOD? You aren't worrying about lying to your children--you just want to take the credit for yourself. Part of being a parent is showing children the difference between a good lie (Santa) and a bad one. Its your job to prepare them for the outside world. If they have never been lied to, good or bad, how will they know the difference? End rant.

--17 Hilarious Pinterest Projects Gone Wrong. Omg, these are wonderful.

--The Happiest Penguin Ever. I feel like this most days. Everyone else is staring at me while I dance around in my own little world.

Wednesday, November 20

I Like Turtles


This is how I feel right about now. If someone asks me a question, my immediate response (in my head, thankfully) is something about my story (or Christmas, but that's beside the point). And since my story is a slow-moving turtle named Herbert...

I like turtles.

Monday, November 18

My Weekend: Christmas Cards & Holiday Decorations

Well, I did what I said I wasn't going to do until next Saturday: I decorated the house.

Now, before you all get your pitchforks, I didn't decorate everything. I did save the greenery until next weekend. That includes the garland and the Christmas tree itself. Arguably the two most important decorations (aside from presents, but I'm not that far gone yet).

Anyway, it all came about because I decided I should get a head start on Christmas cards this year. With how bad my arms are and how busy we're going to be starting today, I thought it was a good plan. Unfortunately, the cards I bought at the end of last Christmas were packed away with the holiday wrapping paper and ribbons (a good place, in my opinion, but not exactly accessible). My husband, being the helpful man he is, pulled out all of the Christmas bins for me. And really, what's the point of putting them back only to take them out again a week later?

That's how it happened. The bins sat in my spare room, taunting me with their glitz and glam. There really wasn't anything I could do to stop it. Before I knew what I was happening, I'd started to put small figurines around the house. Next came the stockings and my Willow Tree angels, and then my Christmas apron. It all went downhill from there. Between Saturday and Sunday, everything was out and the bins put away. I even managed to take all of the Christmas tree ornaments out of their boxes and prepare them for decorating on Saturday. Yep, I'm one of those people.

This weekend I also managed to get all of my Christmas cards finished. All sixty-eight of them. *dies* I have extras in case I forgot someone, but I'm really hoping that's not the case. My arms are killing me, but they're all done! I like seeing the neat stacks of envelopes ready to be mailed out the first week of December. =)

I also did some commonplace chores: I made a batch of hard boiled eggs, did some laundry, labelled all of the bins in my spare room closet, contemplated writing (no actual writing was done, but meh), and tidied the house. After the stressful events of last week (my arms were killing me so I didn't sleep much, and then Powell split open a nail on Tuesday, which meant an expensive trip to the vet), I needed something fun to do. I didn't get much done because of everything going on, so it was nice to have a productive weekend. An added bonus: my husband made oatmeal toffee cookies on Sunday. Yum, yum, yum! Now it's my turn to make cookies (I was too busy this weekend). I'm thinking sugar cookies and my mum's chocolate chip cookies!

What did you do this weekend? When do you decorate? As a Canadian, the natural progression is Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, so a lot of my friends and family decorate right about now. It gets messed up with American Thanksgiving in there, though.

Friday, November 15

Links of the Week

Books & Writing:

--14 Ways to Tick Off a Writer. Loved these!

--13 Examples of Bad Sex in Literature. Hahahahahahahahahaha!

--Being a Writer: Expectations vs. Reality. So true.

--Common Problems With Beginnings.

Entertainment:

--That Moment When You Realize... Hahaha, I love this!

History:

--Pregnant in Auschwitz. This was a good article. I really enjoy hearing these sort of positive stories during such a terrible point in history.

Politics & Social Commentary:

--What Should Have Been a Heartwarming Kiss on a Skating Rink Has Never Been More Chilling. This is a wonderful, poignant video. Worth watching.

Random:

--Mother Hearts Daughter's Heart Beat One Last Time. This is a very sad article so be aware. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. It is also beautiful, though, and worth watching in the right mood.

--24 Photos You Need to Really Look at to Understand. These are great =)

--Waitress Who Paid for Customers' Lunch Gets Surprise of Her Life. I adore Ellen.

--20 Weird Photos of Couples That Defy All Logic. This is so creepy.

--The 25 Most Awkward Dad Pictures Ever. LOL!

Science:

--The First Flying Car is Finally Here. How cool is that? Love it!

--Swedes Develop Invisible Bike Helmet.  WTF? This is insane!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 13

My Turtle: Part Two

Turtle. Dog.
Same thing.
That's how I feel about my story sometimes. What beast is this? Surely it's not my story! My Herbert would never be so cruel to me! And then I realize that it is, in fact, my story, even if it does look like a giant pile of dung half the time.

In other news, I did manage to finish a chapter I've been working on for a while. Now I'm tackling another chapter (imagine that). The work never seems to stop, but I keep crawling towards the finish line.

How's November treating you? If you're taking part in NaNo, how's it going?

Monday, November 11

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Although it's also Veteran's Day here in the USA, the two are very different (from what I've witnessed). Unlike Memorial Day (and to some degree, Veteran's Day), today is not a day of celebration. There are no BBQ's or department store sales. There are no cheerful parades, or smiling faces. Today is a national memorial day, where we remember those who fought and died for our freedom.

As a Scout, I took part in dozens of memorial services for our armed forces. They were somber occasions, filled with tears and deep mourning. Every TV is tuned to the national service, and at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the entire country goes silent. Everyone stops to remember and to give thanks.

Today I proudly wear my poppy to honor those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives so that I may live.



Friday, November 8

Links of the Week

Okay, there are a lot of links this week, so let's get right to it!

Book News & Writing

--Most Famous Book Set in Every State. I'm happy to say I've read most of these!

--5 Habits of Motivated Novelists. This is geared more towards those taking part in NaNo this month =)

--Writing a First Draft. I really liked this article. People participating in NaNo will likely also appreciate the suggestions.

--JK Rowling: 'I was as poor as it's possible to be.' As if I needed another reason to worship the ground this woman walks on.

--The Frankenstein Notebooks. My husband showed this to me the other day. Isn't it neat?

--9 Ways to Write Smarter, Not Harder. I really liked this!

--Are You Making Time to Write or Wasting It? *whistles and backs out of the room*

--23 Famous Authors' Last Words. Who knows if these are real, but they're certainly entertaining.

--How to Write a Book Synopsis. Helpful.

--Five Lessons I've Learned From Working in Publishing. Another good article.

--Peter Jackson Unleashes New Song For The Hobbit. I actually really like it. It's not as good as Into the West or May it Be, but it's very nice =)

History

--Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State. I found this interesting. I know people named Jennifer, Jessica, Ashley, and Emily who were born in those years. I also know a lot of Hannah's, Brittany's, and Ava's born in their popular years.

--The Least Popular American Baby Names (From 1880 to 1932). Ahhh, I loved these!

--55 Things Only '90s Teenage Girls Can Understand. It's sad that I'm putting this under "history" but it is, if you think about it (which I'm guessing most of you won't want to, LOL).

--Mystery of King Tutankhamun's Dead Solved After More Than 3000 Years. Hmmm, interesting. I'd be curious to see what other anthropologists and archaeologists have to say about this.

Politics & Social Commentary

--Photographer Puts Two Strangers Together For Intimate Photographs. I'm a bit meh about this the longer I think about it. The pictures themselves show how awkward they feel, in my opinion, but I do find it interesting that they felt closer to the other person afterwards. Then again, wouldn't anyone feel closer to someone they spent five minutes with rather than passing them on the street? Basic human nature.

--Those People. This article gives a very interesting look at what it's like to be those people.

--Movie Shows Photoshop "Body Retouching" Taken to the Extreme. This is shocking. Quite frankly, I thought she looked better without all of that makeup and fake hair.

--A Catalog That Believes Reality Can Sell Clothes Better Than Photoshop. Amen! When I was planning my wedding (and all of the events associated with the big day), I really wanted to see what some of the dresses were going to look like on real people. I had to pick out bridesmaid dresses for people with completely different body types, heights, and skin tones! Heck, I was terrified my wedding dress wasn't going to look right on me, but it all worked out.

Random

--The 23 Most Wonderfully Scottish Things That Have Ever Happened. LOL!

--The Proposal Seen All Over The Web. Okay, it's a bit long, but seriously, it's worth it. This guy gets top points. I didn't think I would cry, but by the end I was blubbering like a baby.

--The 33 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places in the World. Breathtaking.

--QUIZ: Modern Art or Children's Drawings? I loathe modern art with a passion, so I didn't do very well here. All of my favorites were done by children (go figure).

--Creative Mom Turns Her Baby's Naptime Into Dream Adventures. Very cute! This baby is quite accepting, LOL. Also, I think this mom might have too much time on her hands.

--16 Reasons to Root Against the Evil Canadians at the Winter Olympics. This made me laugh so hard. I do agree with numbers 11 and 16, but the rest are just hilarious. I'm a bit anxious to see how being a Canadian in the USA during the winter Olympics is going to go. (Bring it, 'Murica).

--10 Amazing Things Kids Have Said About Past Lives.  I'm not looking to get into a philosophical discussion on here. I think these are pretty neat. I don't believe a few of them, but that's okay =)

--These Kids Finally Say What They Really Think About Mom. Very touching =) What's sad to me is that these children and their parents clearly don't talk enough about their emotions and feelings. It shouldn't come as a shock to hear your child thinks you're awesome. Just my two cents.

--39 of the Most Powerful Images Ever. Warning, some of them are disturbing and sad. I still think it's worth taking a look at, however, I just wanted to let everyone know.

--Realistic Disney Characters. Love these! My least favorite is the last one.

--Watch a Teenager Bring His Class to Tears. These are good tears.

--13 Southern Sayings. Yep, and I live here. "Bless your heart" is VERY common. Everyone says it. Sadly, I've picked it up. *grumbles*

--Sleeping Stranger On Subway. I love this. It's also really sad that the guy mispronounced yarmulke. Seriously? Way to prove how sad our society has become.

Science

--This Awesome Dad 3D Printed a Prosthetic Hand For His Son. This is also courtesy of my husband. Isn't this so cool?

Thursday, November 7

My Turtle

Everyone, I would like you to meet my turtle, also known as He Who is Giant and Slow-Moving and Frightens Small Kittens, also known as Herbert (because I said so), more commonly known as my WIP, A Highlander's Ransom.



Herbert the Turtle was conceived yesterday during a conversation with my CP, Jena Lang. I posted it on Facebook, but for those who did not see it, here it is:
Jen: How's your writing coming along?
Me: My story is crawling. It might literally be slower than a turtle. Like, if you got a turtle to carry some bricks, that'd be my story.
Jen: LOL. My story is the brick being carried by your turtle.
Me: LOL!
So as you can see, Herbert and I are not having the best time of it. We are slowly trudging along, but I would rather pick him up and punt kick him into the middle of next week. Since that would hurt both myself and Herbert, I have decided to work with my rock-like turtle, even though he moves so slowly moss has grown on his shell.

From here on out, Herbert and I are at war against Time. It's me and my turtle against the world.

We're so screwed.


Tuesday, November 5

Writing Update

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

My writing productivity over the past week (or two) has been laughable. My schedule is already shot (I told you it was crazy and impossible) and I'm sick of it.

Enough is enough. Time to buckle down and get to work.

Friday, November 1

November Releases

Fate Forgotten by Amalia Dillin--November 5th
Mythological Fantasy

Since the gods returned Adam's memory six hundred years ago, Thor has been a scourge on his lives. But when Adam learns that Thor has been haunting his steps out of love for Eve, he is determined to banish the thunder god once and for all. Adam is no fool: Eve still loves the man she knew as Thorgrim, and if she ever learned he still lived, that he still loved her, Adam would lose any chance of winning Eve to his side, never mind liberating the world. But after everything Thor has done to protect Eve, everything he's sacrificed, the thunder god won't go without a fight. Not as long as Eve might love him again.

Which means that Adam has to find a new ally. The enemy of his enemy, complete with burning sword and righteous resentment of the gods. But in order to attract the Archangel Michael's attention, he needs Eve -- an unmarried Eve, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It shouldn't be too difficult to find her in the future. Not now that he knows how to look.

*My Take: Yay, the next book is almost here! I can't wait to find out what happens with Eve, Adam, and Thor! Plus, this cover is gorgeous! I loved the first one, and this is no different =)*

Foreplay by Sophie Jordan--November 5th
Contemporary New Adult

Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

*My Take: I'm cautiously optimistic about this book. It sounds like something I'd enjoy, but the book only got 3 stars in RT. I'll try it out still. Hopefully it's good! Plus, the title makes me snicker, LOL.*

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean-- November 26th
Regency Romance

A Rogue Ruined…

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of…absolution.

A Lady Returned…

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A Scandal Revealed…

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady–and her past–are more than they appear. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor…and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

*My Take: Omg, I'm so excited to read this book! I love this series so much. I've reread book one and I plan on rereading the second book so I'm all caught up before this comes out. The main difficulty will be not skipping to the epilogue to find out who Chase is!*

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry--November 26th
Contemporary Young Adult Romance

The girl with straight A's, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

*My Take: This is another book I am jumping up and down to buy. I adore the other books in this series, so I'm very excited to read this one. Seriously, if you haven't read her books, you're missing out!*

So there you have it! This month is full of favorite authors. I can't wait to read these books. The real trouble will be...do I put them on my Birthday/Christmas list, or buy them myself? Hmm...
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