Monday, December 31, 2012

In Which The Year Ends

Well here we are! The last day of 2012.

The year went fast, as usual. Remember when you were a kid and summer vacation seemed to last forever? I kind of miss that sometimes.

How was your Christmas? Were there presents?

I get a lot of books. Because i ask for a lot of books. One of the most awesome feelings is getting a stack of books and wanting to read all of them right away because they're books you've been waiting for.

On my new stack of awesomeness:

The Lie That Binds - Lisa and Laura Roecker
A Million Suns - Beth Revis
The Passage - Justin Cronin
The Far West - Patricia C Wrede
Phoenix & Athyra - Steven Brust
The Drowned Cities - Paolo Bacigalupi

Did you get any new books for Christmas?

Monday, December 24, 2012

In Which It's The Holidays

No real post today, or this week, because of Christmas.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Fun

Woo Hoo! Ape-friends, can you believe it's Friday again? Can you??

AND the world didn't end. You know why? Because I had a post to write.
Christmas will continue as planned

Onto the fun!






Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Weird: Disneyland Ghost

Fun Fact about me 1: I love ghosts. Love them. I love reading true ghost stories or watching videos or anything.

Fun Fact about me 2: Ghost scare the shit out of me. So even though I love reading books and stories and watching videos, I also get super creeped out. But then fascinated. The further creeped out. It's a terrible cycle.

I do wonder, however, how scared I would actually be in real life if, say, I heard footsteps in the hall, or someone called my name when I'm home alone. The only times in my life where something strange or weird has happened, I've reacted with curiosity and not fear. But I have a feeling that curiosity would go straight out the window if my bedsheets were pulled off me while I was sleeping.

Anyhoo, today I'm going to share an awesome ghost video. Regardless of whether you're a believer or a skeptic, this video is pretty damn awesome.

Brief video explanation: This is a video shot by a security guard at Disneyland. He's (or she) is filming the security camera monitors that are set up to film the park near to the Haunted Mansion attraction.

Suspicious things about this video: It takes place outside the Haunted House at Disneyland. Coincidence?

Super interesting things about this video:

The ghost tracks across all four video monitors before it walks out onto the river and disappears.
Some peope think that maybe it's a reflection on the video monitors, which could be a logical explanation if the room was large enough for a person to stand far enough away to make the reflection the size that would fit on those roads (so like, what, a 60ft room?) Also, the screens are stacked, so the room would also have to have two stories. Or at least a platform for the person causing the reflection to stand on to reflect first on the top monitors, then the bottom. Also, at one point, the anomaly appears on two monitors at the same time.

So I think we can probably rule out reflection.

There's a possibility that it's CGI on the tapes, but then we have to ask ourselves, why? Who would go to all that trouble of getting the park security videos, putting some CGI on them, just to film them on some monitors for a ghost video to post on youtube? Seems like an awful lot of trouble.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  What are your thoughts?


Monday, December 17, 2012

In Which I Finish

Here we are, a week before Christmas (for those who celebrate) and I'm in the happy position of having finished the first draft of my current WIP All That Remains!!

It took me over a year to complete that baby. BUT, to be fair, it really only took less than 3 months of actual writing. The rest of the year it was just set aside while I was working on Break Free.

So yay! I'm super happy it's done. I'm going to let it sit for a week or three, work on some short stories and submissions. And then it'll be time to tackle the revisions (of which there will be many).

It's 110,000 words and I'm hoping to get that down some, but more importantly, I need to smooth that baby out, fix the plotting and the characterization and all that other fun stuff. Maybe I'm just crazy but I like revising and I'm looking forward to making this MS the best I can.

So how about you? How's your writing going?


Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Fun And DIY Christmas

WOO! It's Friday again! Good thing it comes around every week.

First thing's first! Today me AND my mom are over at Maria Zannini's blog today for a guest post on her DIY Christmas blog series.

Come check us out!

Don't make me beg

Now onto the fun!




once seen, it cannot be unseen




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Weird: Hoan Kiem Turtle

Today's Wednesday Weird starts with a bit of Vietnamese folklore.

In the fifteenth century Lê Lợi became the emperor of Vietnam. According to legend, Lê Lợi had a magic sword given to him by Kim Qui, the Golden Turtle God. One day, not long after the Chinese had accepted Vietnam's independence, Lê Lợi was out boating on a lake in Hanoi. Suddenly a large turtle surfaced, took the sword from Lê Lợi, and dove back into the depths. No one could ever locate the sword or the turtle. Lê Lợi then acknowledged the sword had gone back to the Golden turtle God and renamed the lake Hoan Kiem Lake, "The Lake of the Returned Sword"

It's a great story.

Except the turtle god actually exists.

The Hoan Kiem turtle is a giant turtle. Like, super giant. And it may be the only one in the word. It's actually considered a Lazarus species.

(A Lazarus species is an animal that has gone extinct, and then later is rediscovered. The most famous being the Coelecanth. If you're interested in Lazarus species, I would HIGHLY recommend the documentary Ghost Bird, which is about the possible rediscovery of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker a few years ago. It's a great movie, but also sad because it deals in modern day extinctions caused by humans)

Anyway, back to the turtle.

There are actually 3 other giant turtles in existence. 2 in captivity and one in another lake. But it was long suspected that the Hoan Kiem turtle was a different species than these other three and possibly the actual turtle that took the sword back 600 years ago.

The Hoan Kiem turtle was first thought extinct because in 1967 the only known Hoan Kiem turtle was killed when a fisherman who was supposed to net it and carry it for treatment instead killed it with a crowbar. That turtle weighed 440 lbs and was 6'3" in length. They preserved the body and it's on display at a temple on an island in the center of the lake.

But then, in 1998, an amateur cameraman caught on film a sighting of another turtle, proving the turtle still lives in the lake. Prior to its recent rediscovery, the turtle was considered only legendary. In 2000 the turtle was given a scientific name.

In 2011 the sacred turtle was captured for veterinary care (due to unusual activity making people suspect it was sick). It was determined to be a female and genetically separate from the 3 other turtles. The Hoan Kiem turtle is indeed it's own species. And, perhaps, even a god.


Monday, December 10, 2012

In Which I Hodge-Podge

So, I've got nothing for today. Yeah, I spent like hours yesterday (while I was doing chores and cooking and watching the snow fall (because we got a lot of snow here yesterday and that makes me HAPPY)) trying to think of what to write about today. But really, I got nothing big enough for a whole post.

Which means I guess it's time for another Hodge-Podge.

Remember Hannah? Of course you remember Hannah! She's awesome.
Anyhoo, Hannah is back in the blogosphere with a brand new blog. Check it out.

Guys, I am soooooo close to finishing the first draft of All That Remains. SO CLOSE. I'm going to try my damndest to finish it this week. I'm in a bit of a rush, because Twin has been reading a chapter a day, and I have all these big changes I want to make to the last 5-10 chapters before she gets to them, so the ending makes more sense and junk. I mean, it's not big deal if I don't, she'll read the MS more than once, but it would be nice to have more of it in place before she reads it. But I don't want to take the time to make the changes on, say, chapter 30, when I haven't written the last chapter. It seems kind of like cheating to me.
Right now, she's got like one more chapter to read before I have to start making some changes. So I
have to ZOOM.

Can you believe Christmas is like 2 weeks away? FREAK OUT. I need to start shopping ASAP (all I've got so far are 2 gifts for 2 of 4 dogs. Yeah. So behind)

we haven't even put up our Christmas Tree yet. Sigh

And that's about it!
How are things with you?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Weird: The Baigong Pipes

Time to talk about some more Out Of Place Objects

In 2002, in an area of Qinghai Province, China not known to ever contain people, let alone industry,  three mysterious triangular openings were discovered on the top of a Mount Baigong. They were discovered by U.S. scientists on a trek looking for dinosaur fossils.

Inside the openings are hundreds of ancient rusty iron pipes of unknown origin. Some of the pipes go deep into the mountain. Some of them go into a nearby salt water lake. There are more pipes in the lake, some protruding above the surface, others buried in the lake bed, and more still running east-west along the lake shore. Some of the larger pipes are 16 inches in diameter, are of uniform size and are placed in what seems like purposeful patterns. The smallest in size are no bigger than toothpicks.

A piece of one of the pipes

So that alone, is pretty weird. But what makes it even weirder is that archaeologists have dated the pipes to around the time when humans were still learning how to cook food in fire, let alone casting metal.

The pipes are made mostly of iron, but are also about 30% silicon dioxide.

Baigong pipe

Another weird point: the pipes are clear of debris, even though they're craptacularly old, which suggests they were actually used for something. Oh, also, the mountain? Pretty much completely inhospitable to human life.

The landscape around Mount Baigong

Locals living in the southeast area of the province have known about the pipes for centuries and credit them to extraterrestials and have stories of alien visitors.
AND not to mention, there's a 200 foot pyramid near the mountain's summit.

There are, of course, records and other discoveries similar to the Baigong pipes around the world, but those, of course, are for another post.

Thoughts? Theories? Let's hear them in the comments!

Monday, December 3, 2012

In Which NaNo Is Over

Holy crap - this is my official 500th post. Cray cray!

(to be fair, there's got to be close to half a dozen "oops" posts in the history of this blog. But still. 500!)

Anyhoo, so here were are. December 3rd. NaNo is a few days behind us. You can see my Winner badge over to the right.

This was my fourth year competing and my fourth year winning. Though this is the first year it took me until the last day to hit the 50k.

Thanksgiving almost murdered me this year. I only had 10K left after the holiday, but man...a good 4K of that was like pulling teeth.

The good news is, I'm almost done with the first draft of my MS All That Remains (and this bugger is going to clock in at over 100k!)  The bad news is, it's going to need a lot of work. I had to pants the ending and even though I had a perfectly serviceable outline for the rest of it and THOUGHT I knew what the themes and conflicts were, things morphed more than usual during the drafting. So everything needs to be really smoothed out and linked together and junk.

But that's okay. I like revising. I'm excited to get to work on it once it's done.

How did you NaNo 2012 treat you?
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