Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Fun

Yvie's here! To write the final post of the year! (the rhyme was unintentional)

So I guess the best thing we can do is send 2011 off with a bang of funnies!

funny pictures - GROUP HUG!

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

funny pictures - I have needs too, you know!

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

some things only women can do

funny pictures - dis makez noez sense ...

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

funny pictures - Oh hai hooman

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

funny pictures - call an ambulance!  and pizza delivery!

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

See you next year!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Which I Got Books

How was your holiday? Was it fun? Did you spend time with your fam? I hope it was rockin.

Mine was good, but too short, as always. It’s great getting time off from work, but it sucks when you then have to go back to work. Luckily this week and next week is a short week for me because of New Year’s. Yay!

I got a lot of books for Christmas. Which is awesome. It was especially timely because I had pretty much read everything on my TBR pile and was forced to scrounge around a bit to find something to read before Christmas.

Now, though, the TBR pile has been refreshed with 8 new books. And I LOVE it when you have brand new books and you want to read them all RIGHT NOW. Then you have to make a tough decision. Which great book should you read first?

But, that’s the type of problem I like to have.

Also, besides the gifts from the fam, I was also gifted with a brand new shiny idea. And I already LUUUURVE it. Seriously. Cannot wait to write it. But it’s get to sit and ferment for awhile while I’m working on edits for both Glimpse AND Break Free. I also haven’t given up on All That Remains either.

So, yay for good gifts from the fam and the muse!

What about you? Did you get any books you’re excited to read?

Friday, December 23, 2011

In Which I Announce Winners

Not much to say today, since it's the Friday before Christmas and the blogosphere has really been dead this week.

So I'll make this quick:

The winners of copies of Catherine Stine's Fireseed One are:


TL Conway!

Congrats! I'll send your information over to Catherine and she will be sending out the books.

Have a happy Holiday all!

Harriet Birthday Suit says remember to dress warm!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In Which We Launch Fireseed One!!

You know, there are things you may not know about me. Wait, scratch that. Probably you at least suspect this about me if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, or are friends with me on FB.

I like food.

I like food like a lot.

Not only do I eat a lot of nummy food a lot of the time, but I also spend a good portion of my time cooking and baking and creating nummy food. If you've checked me out on pinterest, you would see that 5 of my 15 pinterest boards revolve around foodstuffs. That's almost as many as my writing boards.

So what would I do if there were, say, limited foodstuffs, due to climate change?

Well first, I'd freak out. But then, when I heard that maybe...maybe there were some cults, running around the hotzones of what used to be America... well. That would sound just fine. Just fine.

You'd better believe I'd join a food cult. Hell, I'd probably lead that mother effing food cult. TRY AND STOP ME.

BUT. But. If you like food as much as me, well. There's plenty of room in my food cult. As long as you bring me something good to eat.

Today we launch the book Fireseed One by Catherine Stine! It's a YA futuristic thriller, complete with illustrations. Actual pictures, guys.

Check out her blog here and you may find other bloggers celebrating with additional giveaways!

Buy Fireseed One on iBook for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch here

Buy Fireseed One for Kindle here

For Nook users Catherine is offering a special launch party discount! The Fireseed eBook is officially $2.99, but during this party, you can buy it for only $1.50, directly from Catherine! Email her at and she'll send you a link to Paypal, and then the eBook.

Here's a synopsis of the book:

What if the only person who could help you save the world was your very worst enemy?

The year is 2089. Temperate climate has replaced Arctic ice, and much of what is now the United States is a lethal Hotzone, cut off by an insurmountable border from its northern, luckier neighbors, Ocean and Land Dominion. It is rumored that roving Hotzone nomads will kill for a water pellet or a slice of insect loaf, and that the ZWC, a dangerous Hotzone activist group, has infiltrated the border to the northern Dominions.

Up in Ocean Dominion, all eighteen year-old Varik Teitur wants to do is party on Snowangel Island with his friend Audun and flirt with college girls he dreams of joining next year in his quest to become a doctor. Instead, he inherits a vast sea farm, following the death of his father, famous marine biologist Professor Teitur. Five weeks later, ZWC member Marisa Baron breaks into the farm’s secret seed vault and a fellow activist poisons the farm’s agar crops, the world’s food source. In order to save the last agar seedlings Varik is forced to journey to the Hotzone in search of Fireseed, a plant his father supposedly developed with magical hybridization properties.
Varik takes Marisa along. Aside from being a terrorist, she’s the beautiful, estranged daughter of Melvyn Baron, the biggest real estate mogul in Land Dominion, and the professor’s old rival. Oddly, she knows lots about Fireseed, and what Hotzone land Professor Teitur bought to test the crop, before becoming embittered and trashing the project. No one except Varik knows whether Fireseed ever existed off the drawing board. Might the refugees in Vegas-by-the-Sea have answers, or the bizarre Fireseed cult in the Chihuahua desert? Varik, the reluctant hero, must risk burning in the Hotzone, as his mother did, to save the ailing agar, and the world.
Sounds awesome, right?
You want a copy right? Yeah you do.
SO!!! Let's give away some free copies!!
That's right! You can win One of Two copies of Fireseed One today on my blog!
How do you enter? Easy! Fill out the form below!
You must be a follower of my blog.
That's pretty much it. BUT!!! You will get extra entries if you help promote Fireseed One's launch today.
Blog. Tweet. FB. Whatever you choose. If you do one (or all) of those things, you will increase your chances to win a book.
Deadline is end of day Thursday (Dec 22nd) so spread the word and fill out this form!  I will announce the winners on Friday Dec 23rd and Catherine will send your book out asap.
Sounds great, right?
Hells yeah it does. It sounds just fine.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Deja Vu Blogfest

Today is the Deja Vu Blogfest! Where we dig up a favorite or important post that we feel needs a second look.

I've chosen what I felt was one of my funnier posts. It was written, I think, in the first two weeks of my blog being born, so it got some hits, but not that many.

So I blew the dust off for one more run.


That's a Bitch Move, Jo March

I was eating lunch the other day and had nothing to watch on my DVR (in case you didn't know, my job lets me work at home, which is just as awesome as you think it is and also full of more sweatpants than you'd guess). Typically I have a swath of TV shows that I tape purely for watching during my lunch break, but Castle is on hiatus as with everything else. Therefore I had to channel surf and I found Little Women. It was half an hour in but I hadn't seen it in a long time so I started watching.

Barring the fact that I forgot Christian Bale was in it

I love you even with your dickery

I love you D'Artagnan. I mean Gabriel

Along with Gabriel Burns, Susan Sarandon AND Claire Danes, I'd also forgotten how awesome it is. I taped it after my lunch break so I could finish watching it in the evening (which is why I only got 300 words written that night on my WIP. Yes, it was definitely Little Women and not Zombie shooting. Not. At. All)

On a side note Brother apparently says he's never seen Little Women before, evidenced by the fact when he came in he said "What is this crap? It looks stupid." Even though BETH HAD JUST DIED and IT WAS NOT STUPID!

On a side note off the first side note, whenever I think of Little Women I'm reminded of the Friends episode where Monica finds Stephen King's IT in her refrigerator. She discovers that Joey put it in the fridge because it had frightened him, which is apparently his usual solution for books that upset him. So Monica suggests that he reads Little Women instead. He goes through almost the whole book thinking Jo is a man and Laurie is a girl. At the end of the episode Joey is all upset that Beth died and Monica's solution is for him to put Little Women in the fridge.

Back to the first side note - I do think Brother has seen Little Women, he just probably doesn't remember.

Back to the main point of the post. I was thinking about how Jo was writing, more or less, genre fiction and Friedrich is all "oh it's good but I know you can do better" and blah blah blah and I'm all like "Maybe Jo wants to write about zombies and steampunk and maybe you should just shut your mouth Friedrich" but not really because it's Gabriel Byrne and I lurve him.

So then Beth dies and it's sad (AND NOT STUPID) and Jo takes one night (HAH!) to write a new wonderful novel called *Gasp* Little Women (and I freak out because of the paradox of her writing the book that the movie is based on that I'm watching where she's writing a book and...well you get it. Mind Freak!)

And even with all of that other crap going through my head, the one thing I really come away thinking is that Jo is a piece of crap because apparently she can write both fiction AND non fiction.

I took a creative non fiction class in college. I was a senior and the next semester I would take my senior project class which involved Fiction writing and then a semester after that (because I needed 4.5 years to get enough credits to graduate so my last semester was filled with pure fun stuff including beginning fiction writing which I had skipped over originally when I went straight to intermediate fiction writing. Talk about an easy class. Beginning Fiction I mean) I would take an MFA fiction writing class even though I wasn't working on an MFA.

I'm totally losing myself in my own train of thoughts here. Anyway I took a single creative non fiction class. And I was HORRIBLE at it. Not only was I horrible at it, I didn't find it very fun. I didn't have anything worth writing about. And I didn't even want to write about me and my past - booooring - I wanted to write about made up crap.

The weird part is, I knew HOW to write good non fiction - I could recognize it when my classmates did it, and I could appreciate a good memoir. But for the life of me I just couldn't apply that to my own writing. I think a lot of the people in the class thought I was dumbish and couldn't believe my major emphasis was in creative writing (I know this is at least partially true because one of the girls in that class would also be in my senior project class which was fiction based and she flat out told me that my fiction was world's better than my non fiction.) My non-fiction work is the only writing that I've willfully destroyed.

I wonder if other writers have this trouble, or if it's just me? I'm not great at poetry, either, but I can pull some of it off. But not Jo March, ho no. Jo can write anything and everything and get it all published while simultaneously finding herself a man. Apparently she's like the Avatar of writers.

I would give much to be an airbender

So anyway, here's what all this rambling comes to: Little Women, I love you, but Jo March can suck it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In Which I Stop Reading

If you're reading the title of this post, no, I don't mean in general. I mean, stop reading a specific book.

No, I'm not going to say which book it is, though possibly you could figure it out with some clever googling. Also I never got around to putting it on my sidebar either, which ended up being a stroke of luck. I've met the author and she's super awesome and nice and smart and I've read another of her books and loved it, so it's not her or her writing, it's just this specific book.

I was reading the book, got 100 pages in, and just decided I didn't want to bother finishing the book. The book, which was urban fantasy, more or less, was filled with obscure historical and literary references I couldn't follow. It seemed like I needed to have an MFA in history AND literature to even follow the conversations the MCs were having with each other. It was like listening to inside jokes. You know it's supposed to be funny, but are missing some historical understanding - an "in" so to speak.

An example from the book:

"It was then I thought of Rudolph Rassendyll and shook free the shroud of emotions, of questions I could not ask. Shades of Prisoner Of Zenda!"

OK, I've never read Prisoner of Zenda, which is an adventure novel written in 1894, so I don't follow either of these references. Yes, this line fits with the MC and her experiences, but how can I understand the MC and her motivations if I can't even follow her references? And this is just one example in a book FULL of them.
Still, I'd wade through stuff like this if the plot was exciting or something, but I was 100 pages in and it was just barely hinting at excitement to come.

I think giving a novel 100 pages is plenty to decide if I want to keep going with it.

I never used to do this. There used to be a day, and it wasn't that long ago, where, if I started a book, I finished it no matter what.

Now, not so much. There are just so many great books out there that I want to read, I just can't really waste time on reading something I'm not enjoying. Also, because, if I'm not enjoying the book, I take a lot longer to read it, so it takes even MORE time away from reading something I might enjoy, or even love.

So what about you? Do you finish everything you start? Or do you ever stop? And how long do you give the book before you give up on it?

Monday, December 12, 2011

In Which I House-Keep

Hey all, time for some quick blogosphere housekeeping.

In case you haven't heard, Maria Zannini is hosting a DIY Christmas series over at her blog. It's filled with guest posts of crafts and cooking and some of the posts even have free giveaways. I'll be a guest post later next week.

So stop on by, there's a lot of awesome crafts and recipes going on over there.

Also, next week I'll be blogging on a T, TH, F schedule instead of M, W, F, due to some book launches etc.

Are you participating in WRiTE CLUB? If not, you should. Or at least head over there and vote every Monday. It's a lot of fun.

Finally, are you participating in the Deja Vu and No-Kiss blogfest?

The first is on 12/16, the second in 01/02.  I'll be participating in both and I hope you will too!

All right. Do you know of any fun things going on in the blogosphere?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In Which I List My Favorites

Anne McCaffrey, over her career, won both a Hugo award AND a Nebula award. She has been inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and she did more for women in sci-fi (both characters, AND writers) than almost anyone else. For all of us women who write genre fiction, a large part of our success is owed to Anne McCaffrey. Without her and her stories, there may not have been room for the strong female heroines we love, or for us, their writers.

The overall plot of the Pern series has to do with the dragons and Thread. Thread is a living organism that falls from space every 250 years. The fall lasts for four hours at a time over different parts of the planet and lasts for 50 years. Thread devours anything organic (except rock, and metal) and the only thing that kills it is fire or water.
The dragons were created to fight Thread in the sky before it can land on the ground and destroy crops, animals and people. The dragons can breathe fire and also possess the ability to teleport, so they can destroy Thread in the air and pop in and out before Thread manages to touch and devour them or their riders.
That's Pern in a nutshell.

All right. Let's talk about my favorite Pern books. For my list, I'm only considering books written purely by Anne McCaffrey. Of course, that still leaves 18 books to choose from. Not an easy task, but one I dove into.

Here we go, my top 5 Dragonriders of Pern books, in no particular order.

DRAGONSINGER (published 1977)

Plot: Menolly travels to the Harper Hall, a music conservatory for harpers (minstrels/educators). Menolly finds life in the Harper Hall challenging. She must at first live with a group of paying female students who are catty and mean and also finds herself torn between master musicians who want her to specialize in their techniques. The situation is complicated by her nine fire lizards, small dragon-like creatures recently rediscovered in Pern.

The Harper Hall trilogy is the YA part of Pern Saga. It's an easy starting place for anyone who wants to give Pern a try. It's certainly where both myself and Twin started. Of the three books, Dragonsigner, the middle one, is my favorite. I love Menolly as a character. She's both self-effacing and humble but also strong and not afraid to punch a boy in the face. The best part about this book is the life at the Harper Hall. I love books that center around schools. I could read about Menolly going to her music classes any day of the week. The only thing I don't like about this book is that it's too short. I wish there was more.


Plot: The planet Pern seemed a paradise to its new colonists—seeking to return to an agrarian-based simpler way of life. Shortly after arriving on the planet, however, a new threat appeared – Thread, an organism that falls from the sky and devours anything organic. With time running out, the colonists set out to bio-engineer Pernese lifeforms that appear to instinctively react to the Thread – the dragonets that colonists have adopted as pets.

This book is firmly in the science-fiction category, with space travel and technology that is not present in most other pern books. It's also the first, chronologically, in the series (barring a short story or two). I love this book because it's the beginning of everything. We get to see the dragons genetically engineered. We get to see the tragic first threadfall when so many colonists were killed. I also love colonization stories, so that helps a lot with my love of this novel.


Plot: The White Dragon follows the coming of age story of Jaxom the young Lord of Ruatha, who had accidentally impressed the white dragon, Ruth. As Jaxom grows up, he has to deal with the difficulty of being both a Lord Holder and a dragonrider. While fighting Thread, Jaxom falls ill with a potentially deadly sickness. This leads him to recuperate in Cove Hold, where he discovers some of the mysteries that the Ancients, the ancestors of the Pernese, left behind.

Ruth, is, hands-down, my favorite dragon. He has more personality than a lot of the larger dragons, due to his runt-like nature. Jaxom is also a very likeable character and it's fun to watch both he and Ruth grow up to become leaders of Pern


Plot: Readis, the Paradise River Lord Holder's son, is saved by talking dolphins ("shipfish") as a young boy after falling into the sea and subsequently develops a strong fascination with the dolphins. T'lion, dragonrider of Bronze Gadareth, also develops an interest after being involved in an early dolphin encounter. The two befriend each other due to their shared interest and, in their own ways, defy family, Hold and Weyr to maintain their friendships with dolphins and convince others of the dolphins' intelligence and ability to speak.

This book is just a lot of fun, because the dolphins are adorable. They're funny and entertaining and their interactions with the dragons is worth a book alone. I always feel like this book is too short, though. Right when it ends is when I want to read more, even if it's just boring technical stuff. I'd read it, because I want to know how all of Pern deals with the reintroduction of dolphins into their society.


Plot: AIVIS, the AI machine left behind by the original colonists, is re-discovered and sets about on his original task, to discover a way to use the dragons to stop Thread once and for all. But not everyone trusts the talking machine and its new technology, and factions of people seek to destroy it, even if it means Threadfall and Pern's dependence on the dragons and their riders must continue forever.

This is, more or less, the final book in the overall plot of the pern series. The dragons were bred to fight thread in the sky, but they were only supposed to be a temporary solution. What I love about this book is all the characters learning about their history, especially the people and events that take place in Dragonsdawn. It's like a super crossover. But it's also sad for many different reasons, so I both love picking it up, and loathe it, because I know what happens at the end.


Plot: The story of Robinton's life as he grows from a boy, choosing whether to be a harper or a dragonrider, and his subsequent position of Masterharper of Pern and the most important man on the planet.

Yes, I cheated a bit. This is a sixth book. I couldn't put it above any of my other favorites, but it felt wrong to leave it off. Robinton is the heart of most the Pern books. He is kind and funny and plays a main character is almost all the ninth-pass books. I love this book because we get to focus on Robinton and his life, even though it's a life full of sadness and tinged with regret.

So that's it! Those are my top Pern books. If you're a fan, do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? And if you've never read the Pern series before, I really hope you one day decide to take the plunge. You won't regret it, I promise.

Monday, December 5, 2011

In Which I Remember Anne McCaffrey

I've been a long time fan of Anne McCaffrey. I can honestly say she's one of the main authors who steered me towards my love of fantasy. I probably would've gotten there without her, but certainly not as quickly. It would have been a different path, and one not as happy, or exciting.

I knew she was old. Even as a kid I knew one day she would die, and there would be no more Pern books written by her. And though, yes, Todd McCaffrey has taken on the mantle, he's just not as good of a writer as his mom.

If you asked me if I'd rather be a jedi, go to school at Hogwarts and become a witch, or impress a dragon on Pern and be a dragonrider, I would pick dragonrider every time. There's seriously no competition.

my favorite picture of Ruth and Jaxom

When I'd heard that she died, it was extra sad because I had, quite literally, just finished a re-read of most the Pern series, something I used to do every winter, but had taken a long break from. I read 12 books in less than two months. That's how much I love the Pern series. I could not put them down, even though I had read them all countless times before. Even though I knew what would happen. That, to me, is firm evidence of her skill as a writer.

Lessa, bringing the oldtimers 400 years into the future

Anne McCaffrey offered this nugget of wisdom to inspiring writers:

“First — keep reading. Writers are readers. Writers are also people who can’t not write. Second, follow Heinlein’s rules for getting published: 1. Write it. 2. Finish it. 3. Send it out. 4. Keep sending it out until someone sends you a check. There are variations on that, but that’s basically what works.”

Wednesday I'll have a quick list of my favorite Pern books and why. Though it will be hard to choose.
I've read many of her other series, as well, but Pern's the only one I come back to, over and over again.

I know there was one final book planned for the ninth pass story arc, tentatively titled "After the Pass is Over". I wait for it eagerly, because I never felt like their story was done, even though the main plot had closed. I didn't care about that. I wanted more of Jaxom and Ruth, and F'nor and F'lar and Lessa. I could read about Menolly writing songs at the Harper Hall for the rest of my life and never be bored of it. I laugh out loud at the adorableness of the Pern dolphins and their intentional puns. Every time I read a dragon impression story I want to be there.

But now, that's all done.

Dear Anne McCaffrey. You changed my life for the better. Though the Red Star has passed and thread has gone, Pern seems emptier without you in it.

Thank you for the books you leave behind. I will always dream of dragons in the sky.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Fun

Wow. It's been, like, FOREVER since me, the wonderful and glorious Yvie, was here to grace the blog world with my presence and my fun.

Thanks for that, Mom. Thanks a lot.

Well, lucky enough for you, nothing too crazy has been going on with me, so it's not like you missed anything. It would suck for you if you did, amiright?

Onto the fun!!

Funny Pictures - GIF: Awwww Yah, Dis Iz Owr Jam!

funny pictures - Wut?? Dew yu hab enny idear how long it tooks meh to git dis comferbel?

funny pictures - an I gotz like 1235132512395182 in student loans...

Funny Pictures - Image of Ceiling Cat Appears in Iceberg

funny pictures - SOON

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