Category Archives: finding myself

Does it need to be New Year’s to have a new goal?

*blows the dust off this blog*

It’s been a long while since I’ve been here. Goodreads took of the cross posting ability, so my book reviews have been staying there and not carrying over. I just figured out today, like literally ten minutes ago, how to make it publish here with the click of a button…Yay me! Finally!

This baby coming back to life!!! I’ve been down and out for a while thanks to allergies and immunity problems and real life things like work.
In that time, I’ve written three books, though I think most people only know about one of them–the fifth book to the Human Touch series–the other two are undisclosed rom-coms not ready to see the light of day yet. Of course some of it still needs to be transcribed from my journal nonsense since writing at work requires pen and paper. I’ve mapped out three other stories, one related to Human Touch, one rom-com involving Chris Evans’ Porn-Cop-Mustache (don’t ask), and one space-superhero-epic tale…I’ve also been looking into self-publishing my rom-coms and Love, Darrows, the LGBTQ retelling of Cupid where he has a boyfriend instead of that Psyche chick.

SO my new goal:

(As you can see, my love for Cap hasn’t waned. At least not until the beautiful soul known as Chris Evans stops being Cap. Then I’ll try.)

It’s not a squad goal, though I’d love to involve my squads–both IRL and online.

The goal is to get back into reading and reviewing here. To keep writing. To post some stories here. To keep this baby from accumulating dust again. And to quit getting these phantom followers on this blog and finding some real blog readers to interact with. Am I going to be on Twitter more? Probably not. It’s a storm of brimstone and fire there lately. Am I staying on Instagram? Hell yes. Because I love photo’ing (life, books, Pop! figures, dogs, cats…you name it) as much as I love writing. Will I be other places? IDK yet. I need to get this baby back in order and go from there. Baby steps in social media before taking a leap into self-publishing and social media. All while still trying to get an agent and that publishing deal for a book and working at getting promoted at real-life-work. We’ll see how this thing goes.

So, I’m saying it here first!

I’M BACK!!!

Yes, still love Han Solo, too…SOLO the movie…I should do a post about it!

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all images found on giphy.com and belong to their owners.

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Filed under amreading, amwriting, aspirations, Chris Evans, finding myself, human touch, i resolute, LGBTQ, love darrows, NYC romcoms, publish it, random blathering, wish list

The Best of 2016 and what’s coming 2017…

2016

What a year. Carrie Fisher will be so missed. Our Princess/General Leia. (And might I recommend a viewing of The ‘Burbs?) All the music greats we had: George Michael, Prince, David Bowie. My grandmother’s passing…

Let’s skip all the bad, because we can’t be bringing in the new with all that baggage and bad karma.

The good of the year. Well, there was Captain America Civil War, aka The Avengers 3. Westworld was great. Stranger Things.

A lot of people out there fighting for what’s right and good in the world.

Personally, I wrote. A lot. Have writer’s block, for months. Completed a few stories, though most are in first draft form still. I had full requests and partials for Love, Darrows–Thankful for agents agreeing that Cupid can have a boyfriend. Rethinking the genre of that one, though. Completed NaNoWriMo with my series, Human Touch‘s book 4, Me & Johnny. Got a job working for a great company and working with some fun and diverse people.

Completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 100 books for this year, read and reviewed.

{the Year in Review on Goodreads: see it here.}

My favorites of 2016

Asking me to choose just one isn’t going to work. As I sit typing, I can think of the majority of books I read this year and find ones I loved so much. And most on my favorites list weren’t necessarily published in 2016. Which I am fine with since I believe all stories are timeless. Even the contemporaries.

Favorite YA

Has to go to the Cinder series by Marissa Meyer. Not only was it a great twist on the classic fairy tales, Carswell Thorn and Cress. They just won it for me. I still daydream about them, though I will not write a fanfic.

Favorite Graphic Novel

This goes to the Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee “Bread makes you fat?” O’Malley. (Because it seems in every book, Mr. O’Malley has this bread obsession. LoL) I still pull out one of the books and read a bit of it, go over the pictures. Laugh. Definitely a win for years to come.

Favorite Comic

This is sort of cheating since Marvel’s Agent Carter could also be a graphic novel. But it is one of my most favorites because of the included Cher Chez le Femme. My forever ship. Steggy. Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter together…something the MCU really never wanted to give us. No matter how much Steve loved his best girl.

Favorite LGBTQ

I don’t think I read enough of these this year. But of the ones I did, Gear Shark took it. It was one of those “coming to terms with the fact I, a guy, am in love with a guy stories,” but what this one had that most I’ve read never touched was the hatred and violence that can go along with being gay (or lesbian or trans, and more power to you all for having to deal with such an asinine hatred from people). That’s really where I had to keep reading. What were they going to do?

Favorite Book Award Winner

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian. This story stuck in my head. Not just because I knew the area and places mentioned, but because it gave an inside peek into a culture that really most of literature just doesn’t touch. It was so good. So sweet. So heartfelt. Just pure honesty on a page. Even being fictional.

Favorite Literary Fiction

Jane Two is going to be one of those stories that sit in the heart for a very long time. It was a story about love. A first love. A love of your life. A love that stays with you and never dies, though it may very well remain an unrequited love. It was truly a beautiful tale and I am so glad I never gave up on finding it. One of my highest recommends of the year.

2017

Leaving 2016 behind like dust blowing in the wind as a car speeds down a country road…

It felt like 2017 would never get here, as rough and bullying as 2016 was. The low was hit, and we can only rise from here, right? Leaving out the politics of it all [here in the US] when I say that 2017 will be a great year. For entertainment, books, the good in life.

We have a new Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming. Avengers: Infinity War parts 1 & 2 will begin filming. Another Star Wars film coming…

My writing goals for 2017?

A lot of pages. I need to get final drafts done, manuscripts out to agents. I would love to take a class or two to help with my writing to see what I’m missing or what I can fix. I have stories yelling to be told right now. Three to be exact. All starring my muse in one way or another. I’ve got to get out on social media more with my writing. Still considering a self-pub if I can get the massive amount of money I need for an editor.

SO no word totals. Just putting words on a page, handwritten, digitally, make stories into something more than thoughts in my head.

Keep doing book reviews. Keep reading. And there are some promising books coming.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth has been on my TBR list for a while. (Only a few more weeks to that one!) Plus a new Four story from Divergent!!!! (I CAN’T WAIT!!!)

I had the fortune of reading two soon to be releases this past month or so. (Thanks to their publishers and Net Galley.) I highly recommend finding these in the new year:

This was a beautiful story. Refreshing. My first “Christian” read. Touching. Definitely makes me teary when I think about this wonderful book. Don’t let the Christian thing push you away. It was a part of the tale, but it wasn’t preachy nor did it consume the whole story.

On the opposite end of that, in a way…

I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at a romcom before. It was amusing and funny and well done. Perfect romcom to start off the year!!! I can’t wait for the other ones, too.

And then from Paula Hawkins, who wrote Girl on the Train…which was so good I couldn’t put it down!!!…Into The Water. A whole new twisty tale. This one is right up there with Divergent’s post epilogue on my TBR list.

Those are just a very few on my lists. The closer books. Who knows what favorites will emerge as we move throughout the year?

Reading themes start tomorrow. I’ve skipped the past two months as I’ve been too busy between writing/reading and working to do them. Resolution 35: Get back to the themes. (total fake resolution number.)

Have a great New Year!!!

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All gifs found on giphy.com

book covers found through google searches. those images belong to their owners.

The Captain America image was my own screenCap (pun totally intended) from The Avengers, my own paid copy of that film.

Goodreads COngrats image was a screencap from my phone.

NaNoWriMo gave me that banner when I completed the challenge.

Thank you for reading!

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Filed under amwriting, aspirations, blocked, book review, books that speak, Chris Evans, editing hell, finding myself, goodreads, i resolute, on the book shelf, posted from another site, publish it, query, random blathering, reading themes, romcoms are my peeps, self publish, self-doubt, the fangirling has made it here, thinking out loud, to be read list, wish list, write, writer's block, writer's procrastination

Reading Theme: September 2016

Long time, no post…

These past few months have been insane with a cross-country move. Between cleaning, packing, cleaning, unpacking, traveling, directing movers on both ends of the spectrum, and organizing, it’s been little to no fun.

And don’t get me started on writer’s block headaches. Reading books/fanfics/stories is suffering as much as writing right now. Total doldrums.

I need to find my way out of this funk. Fast. Get myself back into a schedule. I figure the best way to do that is to assign September a reading theme. But what do I choose?

September 2015’s theme (also about the time I started these posts) was anything RomCom. I could always go for some romance. *happy sigh* A little love. Some laughs. Ever so sweet with enough tension to make you root for the MC’s to get together. And a little happy dance when they finally do. Warms my heart and soul to read those stories.

But, the RomCom theme is now on a Been There, Done That sort of status. I don’t mind doing it again because I loved it so much, but I need to broaden my reading horizons.

I thought about turning this into a “School’s Starting Up” sort of theme, tackling the classic of literature. Story trauma in Lit class keeps me from doing it full throttle, though. So I turn to the class reading lists of high schools today: The Princess Bride, Peter Pan, Will Grayson Will Grayson, The Giver, The Alchemist and others like those. (I’ve seen both the Hunger Games and Divergent series on lists, but I’ve already read those.)

If only I could find my missing box of books, I’d have more to add to this list…

*heavy sigh*

Anyway, I figure it’s a great place to start.

September 2016’s theme: Back to School Reading

Seems boring enough, but I’ve had some of these books on my TBR lists for years. This should be the motivation I need to get them read. I plan to, anyway. Who knows, maybe a romcom will sneak its way into the reading list for this month. Only time will tell.

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thanks for reading! all gifs used here were found on giphy.com. the image is my own.

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Filed under aspirations, author woes, blocked, finding myself, frustrations out the wahzoo, random blathering, read, reading themes

The new Captain America Civil War Trailer came out today…

…and to celebrate, I am going to share part two of my “Keep those hands from being idle” project.

To set the mood:

 In case you don’t know, I do have a collection of odd hats. The majority of them ear flap hats. I have Regular Show (Mordecai and Rigby), Adventure Time (Finn & Jake…well, I gave Jake to someone…Fionna, & Cake), a Finding Nemo clown fish, a unicorn, several monkeys (sock, rainbow, normal)…sufficed to say, I have a TON of hats. More than a normal adult should. The one hat I’ve spent almost five years searching for but could never find was a Captain America hat. And I got tired of searching.

Last November, I taught myself to crochet. Well enough that I was able to make a baby Chewbacca. (He’s so cute.) I figured if I could do a Chewy, I could make a hat. After a TON of googling, I found different patterns for hats and one for a Cap Cap on Etsy…but I didn’t like the ear flaps on that one, plus I didn’t want the face mask part…and it didn’t have the braids, which is my favorite part about ear flap hats. So I combined two patterns, added my own twists, and made myself the holy grail of hats.

Captain America!

It wasn’t easy, but once I figured out what I had to do and how to do it, three days from start to finish with only two take aparts when I wasn’t happy with it. (OCD Perfectionist) And I LOVE my original Captain America hat!

The wings aren’t sewn down, because I like the fact they can flutter in the wind. Much like my other hats all have ears that do the same thing.

I did fall asleep in my hat the other day so one of the wings sticks out sorta weird now.
But that’s okay.
Every angel on earth had to have suffered a broken wing at some point…
and I think Cap’s is coming…I’m just supporting Chris Evans’ Cap as best and for as long as I can.

GO #TEAMCAP!!!

Part i of my crafty kick can be found here: {Captain America Shield arm warmers}
Part iii of my crafty kick coming soon…

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The Marvel Trailer is linked from their official YouTube channel {here}.

The images are mine.

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Filed under Chris Evans, finding myself, happy happy joy joy, having fun, keeping entertained, random blathering, the fangirling has made it here, wish list

Book sales are down. And how I think it can be fixed.

Not just hard copies, either. Digital copies, too. All but with Amazon.

A lot of the publishers I’ve been reading about lately seem to have some advice. A lot of the agents lately really want you to take it. And it seems this is getting CRAMMED down our throats.

Show not Tell.

Since Darrows, when one of my CPs said I don’t show enough, I’ve read a TON of books. I’ve read old books, new books, and even books about writing books. And this is what I’ve noticed.

A lot of the older books, as far back as The Shining to Gilbert Grape to Silver Linings Playbook. There isn’t this micromanagement of characters and ideas a lot of people will tell you that you have to have. What I found seemed that some fine details were there, but it was done in such a way that it let the story shine. It didn’t drag into this person down with all these little things in between the story. (And the older stuff before PC came into play…was different.) The stories were allowed to go along with the main character and if said character wanted to describe out more details, then so be it. It was a nice on and off…

And it seems they all want you on all the time now.

I happen to like the on and off. It gave just enough info without over-killing the story with the plethora of details. I felt free to imagine what I wanted and what might be necessary. There isn’t much to imagine now and days with all this micromanagement going on.

Now, in reading the books about writing, there was one…and I couldn’t read too much into it because I disagreed with a lot of it. They were talking about how everyone now wants video this and video that. That everything you write should be like a movie described out into fine details. BLEH. If I want to watch a story, I’ll go visit any one of my digital copies or head over to on-demand…Netflix…whatever. I don’t want someone telling me all this stuff they see like I have to know it all. It’s too much to process. Too much information and it gets boring. (IMO…and that’s all this is, just my honest opinion.) Give me a good story. Let me have some creative right by imagining some parts or some people or some events like I used to do when I fell in love with reading.

Thursdays, I help out in a class with doing what the teacher calls “Book Chats”. I call them “Book Interviews”. I ask questions to the kids about their books they’ve chosen to read. I ask so many things, including why they chose the book. (and you get some VERY honest answers: “Because I have to read it to make my pages.” … “Because the cover looks awesome.” … “Because the back of the book description seemed interesting.” … “My mom is making me do it.”) Especially during the fiction chats, I get to ask things like what they imagined and what they wondered about. When we cover the newer books, I always get answers like: “There was nothing to imagine. The author told me everything I had to know.” 😦 That is so sad. Those books are also the ones they seem to not be as into or excited about as the older ones that cycle around. And those chats can last for hours if I let them.

While I can’t say for sure that’s the reason more people are turning away from books, it feels like that’s it. I’m sure time is a major factor, but there seems to be no room left for the reader’s imagination and wonder. That was something I always LOVED about my favorite books over time.

I don’t think “Show not Tell” will save the publishing industry like everyone thinks it will.I think there is something obvious that’s being skipped.

Remember BIG when the adult Josh has this idea for an interactive comic. Back then, it was going for a choose your own adventure sort of thing. This idea goes a little above and beyond…and I would LOVE to figure out how to do it, because I think it’s where some books need to go.

Imagine reading a book, let’s go with RomCom since I’m so into them these days. There is a song the characters are dancing to…on a device (something like a Kindle, the Fire tablet, even an iPad) you touch the song name and it takes you to the YouTube video or the iTunes or Amazon song where you can sample or listen. There is a movie they go to on a date…touch the movie’s name, it could take you to a preview (faux or real, the fake ones usually better)… Touch a name of a character or place and get images to appear…Make it interactive.

Now I know someone is thinking…that’s crazy talk or I must have ADHD. No one can concentrate on the story. Well, if the links aren’t within the text, there could be footnote numbers (What’s Your Number?/Twenty Times a Lady had those with humorous notes) and those numbers could take you to a section at the end of the book. Sort of like the special features on a Blu-Ray or DVD…Behind the scenes, deleted scenes, character extras, soundtrack/playlist the author was inspired by, images, drawings…whatever the author would love to share. Imagine finding the book trailers back there…some actor or voice actor doing a quick read of a few pages of the book…So many possibilities and options.

Something like that would BE SO AMAZING! I think making a book more interactive and less micro-managed with words is the way to go. With younger people especially who seem to respond better to more interactive computer games, music venues, etc. Even the book chats are more successful and popular than the other option of book reports…because they can interact and engage.

I’m sure this might cost a fortune to do and that’s why no one seems to be exploring the possibilities. But, more and more publishers are asking full print book price for digital copies…which makes me want the paper versions because then you get that wonderful New Book smell as part of the price…I’d be willing to spend same as print book price if there were extras like this included. Maybe even a little more depending on what the extras are.

Dare to daydream.

Until that happens, I’m going to keep writing, toning down my micromanagement…because I can micromanage my characters down to the eyelash order of a blink if I’m not watching myself. I admit, I am horrible at doing this. I will work on getting an agent…and I hope to be among the first of interactive stories out there. If only I was Stephen King or someone who could make it happen now.

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this post filed under writer/reader wish list

all gifs found on giphy.com

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Filed under author woes, finding myself, keeping entertained, romcoms are my peeps, thinking out loud, wish list