Saturday, April 19, 2014

A to Z Blogging: How About a Little QUEEN?

Have you I told you? I love Queen. Like pretty much every song. And since the beginning too, I think. When did they begin anyway? I got the 45 record (look it up if you don't know what that is) We Will Rock You for I think it was my 13th birthday and I was in heaven with that. And in 9th grade I was totally obsessed with Another One Bites the Dust. Oh my word. I loved that song.

Here's my little 45 record collection. Queen is in there somewhere.

But my all time favorite was and still is Bohemian Rhapsody. There is no way, NO WAY, you can listen to this song and not break out singing right along with them. Am I right?

 I always wonder that had I been a teenager in YouTube days would my obsessions have been different? I had no idea what these guys looked like. I'd never seen them perform live or anything. We didn't have MTV yet, or it was just new (besides it was on cable and I didn't have a TV let alone cable!) and I didn't go to concerts or anything. I was just totally in love with the music and the singing itself. Nice.

 Anyway, just because I love it so much too, I must also include Another One Bites the Dust:


What's your favorite Queen song?

 For more A to Z posts, check the link!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A to Z Blogging and British Isles Friday: Palaces

In order to combine posts today I needed to come up with an England sort of thing that starts with P. And so that's how I've ended up with palaces!

If you ever go to England (or anywhere in Great Britain.. or even anywhere in Europe) be prepared to see a lot of palaces and castles. Which, by the way, I'm not sure what the difference is except that castles make me think of old ruined buildings and palaces make me think of newer currently used buildings. Am I right? What do you think the difference is?

But regardless, here's hoping you are fascinated with seeing these buildings because it's truly a key part of any British Isles Experience!

Anyway, here's a few pictures of the different castles and palaces we've been able to visit.

Windsor Castle

Bamburg Castle

Blenheim Palace

Edinburgh Castle

Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh

Ollerton Manor

Warwick Castle

York Castle ruins
British Parliament Building
(housed in a former palace)

Tower of London
White Tower

Stirling Castle, Scotland
Buckingham Palace

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A to Z Blogging: Overkill?

So, what do you think about all this blog posting I've been doing this month? Is it just a little bit of.. OVERKILL?

I'm thinking it is... sort of. Because I'm still wanting to do my regularly scheduled programming at the same time. And I can't seem to think how to incorporate the two. And yet, I'm enjoying the thinking that the A to Z thing has created for me. It's like little mini writing prompts for me, you know?

That being said, I'm a little burned out! But, once I've started something, I hate to quit, so I'm planning on A to Z-ing it to the bitter end. I hope you are all okay with this and don't get sick of too much too fast too many here!

And while I'm on the subject of OVERKILLING stuff... what else have I overkilled? Josh? Markus? Too much of them? Yes? Or too much swooning and crushing and kissing? Too much England lately maybe? (I've just got started with that one!) Or too much YA? Too much fantasy? Too much moaning about food? Or maybe too much moaning about wedding planning? Yeah that.

What am I doing too much of?

Or not enough of?

You'll let me know, right?

Okay, I'll stop now! See you soon... probably WAY too soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review Discussion: House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

Book: House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple
Genre: YA Supernatural
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Review, and Local Authors
From (and FTC Disclosure):  Received for free from the publisher through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.

Short Synopsis: Jo is a witch, and is from a long line of witches... a line of only women. (The men in their lives come and go.) When her grandma gets sick, it prompts Jo to break a lot of witch rules, including letting her friends in on the secret. There's a powerful force coming to hunt her and her grandma that she doesn't quite understand. Behind the force is a guy and guys don't have magic. Solving this mystery and saving her family and home is the driving force behind this fast paced story.

My Response: I'm not much into the witch talk. All that potion mixing and spell casting isn't my thing I guess. But, though there is a lot of that in this story, it goes beyond that to the relationships between the these women. And also the friends that she ends up including in the circle. It makes a pretty powerful statement for the strength of sisterhood. So that was awesome. The dark magic is pretty scary and creepy too and there is  a lot of gross and evil stuff going on here! If you are into that! The magic in general was all pretty cool.

Bottom Line: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Let's Talk About: It makes some people uncomfortable reading about witchcraft. I guess maybe because this practice is all too real in the world today? Anyway, I wondered how you felt about it? Does it bother you at all, or do you just shrug and go, eh, it's fiction.

Other Reviews:

House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple was an intriguing tale filed with old school witchcraft set into a very contemporary setting. From Bewitched Bookworms

Ultimately, The House of Ivy & Sorrow is a classic Good Against Evil story, but it's done well, and I enjoyed every minute with these characters. From Annette's Book Spot

This was a refreshing YA paranormal read with great characters, cute romance, and a fun plot. From Dark Faerie Tales

A to Z Blogging: Nano-ing Again

While November is Nanowrimo, I guess April is Camp Nanowrimo... which is different in that you can set your own word count goal. And I'm gathering that everything is also much more low key.

But since I've been in the midst of revising (ah that's such an official term! I want to say something like... fixing!) the stuff I wrote in November, I thought, why not? And joined up with Camp Nano. I'm thinking that this was the initial purpose for Camp Nano anyway, for all the November Nano-ers to set aside a month for fixing.

So I've been fixing... revising... my story. And it's really hard to actually call that writing. I mean, how do you determine a word count when all you are doing is fixing and changing words around? But the other day, one of the Camp Nano dudes during the live stream said he calculated every 1 hour of revising as 1000 words. I liked that! So now to determine how many hours I've worked on my story this month....

I have no idea.

But it's a good handful. And it's fun. Yes, it really is fun. It's great to take all those messy words and turn them into something.... not quite as messy. And to figure out where more detail needs to be, or where less detail needs to be. And then share them and let others tell you. And then hopefully they'll say, "hey, that's... not too bad really." Or maybe they'll say, "Um.. yeah... so it's pretty bad. This is how you fix it!"

But I get discouraged when I go to the conferences and/or workshops and they say.... "your first novel is crap you know. You won't have anything good until your, I don't know, 16th novel or so!" Which makes me want to stop working on this my first novel and start some others so I can get the 16th one! Why waste time on this my first one, right? That's what I hear when  they say stuff like that!

Because, speaking of time, the other bit that's discouraging is the part when they say, "Yeah, so this will take awhile. Yeah, probably like 20 years or something before anything will happen."

That's all well and good if you start this process in your 20s or even 30s. But what if I'm nearly 50? Yeah... what then? I might be DEAD by 70!!!

But still... I'm revising away, because truly, I have no expectations other than learning and enjoying the process and just the ability to say, I've done this thing.

(For more A to Z posts, here's the main website link.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A to Z Blogging: Monsters!

So, as you know, I love thinking about villains and what makes them cool or interesting or scary. And, as you know, I love those villains with a vulnerable side. The villains that you can feel sympathy for. The villains where you see the glimmer of good.

But there are those villains for which none of the above apply. And it's those villains we might call monsters. Yes? Agreed?

I've decided that one of the worst villains that I've ever come across is the governor from The Walking Dead. I've just finished up season three and wow... he is one scary dude. And even though we do see a bit of humanness with him regarding his daughter (sort of, if you can call it that), there is not enough to have any sort of sympathy for him at all.

Yes, I think this guy is one of the scariest, creepiest worst monsters I've watched OR read.

Agree or disagree? What other villains would you consider through and true monsters?

For more A to Z posts, click on over the main site.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A to Z Blogging: Let's Laugh

I saw this video awhile back and was laughing by the end of it whether I wanted to or not. I have no idea if it's "real" but either way, you can't deny that laughing is contagious. I love that! We really need to laugh more, you know?

Happy laughing! 

For more A to Z Blogging posts, check out the main page here!


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