Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Fun

Friday, Friday, FRIDAY!!

The beginning of the weekend is here and so am I, Yvie, to usher in some fun to get us through one more day.

Now, if only we can get through this weather


one of our drain spouts

But let's get to it!


replace liquor pictures with cats






Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Weird: Honey Island Swamp Monster

In 1963 Louisiana native Harlan Ford saw a creature in the swamp he had never seen before.

Ford was a retired air traffic controller who had taken up wildlife photography when he claimed to see a creature now dubbed the Honey Island Swamp Monster.

The creature was purported to be bi-pedal, with gray hair or fur, yellow or red eyes and about seven feet tall. It also supposedly stank, much like skunk-ape (which, I realize, is a post I'll need to do in the future)

Sightings have been rare, but footprints have ben found.  These differ from the usual bigfoot/sasquatch footprints in that they only have three toes and are webbed.



In 1974 Ford and a friend claimed to find footprints in the area of his first sighting and supposedly found the body of a boar with a torn out throat.

After Ford's death in 1980, a super 8 film was found among his belongings that showed the creature in the wild.


So, the Honey Island Swamp Monster. thoughts? Theories?

Monday, February 24, 2014

In Which I Had A Birthday

Yes my birthday was a few weeks ago, but as a family it's been stretched out for the whole month. Technically it's still going on, since we have one more dinner and a few more presents.

Sometimes twin and I get each other presents and sometimes we don't. It all just depends on how we're feeling each year. And the money sitch, of course.

This year money is tight. But we still decided to get each other presents. But we're way behind on them. But I've gotten presents from everyone else in the fam which is awesome.

Two of my favorite presents this year is this awesome Le Creuset French oven from my parents

And this awesome immersion blender from my Bro. I gots a lot of cooking to do to break these babies in.

But aren't they peeerty?

I love getting cooking stuff for presents. Because I like food and I like to cook so it's like more than one present, because you get the thing, and it comes with an opportunity to do some fun cooking and an opportunity to hopefully eat something nummo.

What about you? Do you like to cook?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Fun

Woo! Hi, Ape-friends!

Yvie here, so you know what that  means. It's time for another edition of Friday Fun to launch you into the weekend!
get outta here, weekdays!

Before we get into that, though, I will say that my teeth cleaning went well and so did my lump removal, which turned out to be nothing, so yay! I've got a clean bill of health.

Let's get this fun started!


world's smallest aquarium







Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Weird: Mississppi Howl

Is this my first Wednesday Weird of 2014? I think it is!

Well then, time to start the year off with something fun! And something local (for me).

On February 13th, at about 4 in the morning, residents of St. Paul neighborhoods were awoken to a weird sound.

A kind of eerie howling. Some people said it sounded a lot like whale song, or possibly a bad horn player, but louder than any horn can blow.

At first people thought it was from a construction site, but officers checked it out and realized that it may have been coming from the Mississippi.

Both the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service have jurisdiction over the river and both said they weren't initially sure what the sound was and that they're still investigating.

It's most likely ice shifting on the river. Some people in Duluth, which is situated on Lake Superior, have said they've heard the same sound from the lake which makes it seem likely. But also, there are cases of this type of sound being heard elsewhere around the world in the last few years, and some of these places don't sink to freezing temperatures.

Compilation video, so some of the clips are better than others. Check out the one around the 8 min mark at the FL Baseball game, though. That's one of my favs

So, what are your thoughts?

Monday, February 17, 2014

In Which I Hodge-Podge

Bit of a mix post today. Mostly because I'm just so frickin' busy.

I spent the last two weeks doing revisions on ATR for the agent (tee hee). I tried to pump them out as fast as possible, for multiple reasons, but I also didn't want to do them so fast that the quality suffered, you know? But I think I did a good job. I definitely felt accomplished when I sent them back to Mollie.

And now I have two weeks to finish up my MFA assignments for my first packet, which is due on the 4th. I've already written my 40 pages, which is great, but I haven't revised them at all yet. Which is not great. I was also hoping I'd have another 40 or more pages done, so I'd be prepared for the next packet, but no such luck. I'm hoping that the next few weeks will be a little less hectic so I can start putting out some daily pages for it. I haven't yet reached the "I love this story" phase yet, which makes writing pages not as fun as I know it could be. But hopefully that will happen soon.

I also need to write a 5 page paper for my packet. I've read the book and I know my topic and some of the thoughts I want to tackle etc., but I still need to do it, and even though I wrote a paper to get accepted into the MFA, I'm still out of practice with paper writing, so I'm a biiiiiit worried. Not too much, but I'll feel a lot better once it's done.

And I have to write a process letter, which shouldn't be that difficult.

And, of course, at some point I need to get back to my reading list. I was burned out on reading a bit, so I took a break to read some NF, but once that's done, I need to get back into the saddle and start plowing through that MFA list.

Yesterday, I visited my good friend T.L. Conway's writing group. I'm a people person, so I always like meeting other local writers. It was honestly a big reason for why I wanted to do the MFA.

So I visited their writing group and we worked on queries and it was a lot of fun!

Tonight I have my own writing group. My goal was to start bringing my WIP for critiques, but since I haven't revised them yet, I decided to hold off until the next meeting. I just didn't want to rush it and feel even more stressed.

Lastly, I've got some news on the blogging front. I was invited to be a contributing blogger for YA Confidential! 

True story, I was always a bit jealous of peeps who were part of group blogs, so I was so flattered to be asked and I jumped at the opportunity. I haven't written a blog post for it yet, because of the aforementioned "business" of my current life, but I hope I do soon. But in the mean time, my operative profile has been posted and I've participated in a roundtable and the From the Vault questions and it's been a lot of fun, so maybe check it out!

So, what's up with you? Are you busy busy busy? Or are things a bit more sedate? Fill me in!

Monday, February 10, 2014

In Which I Pick Books

I read a crap ton of books in 2013. 103 or so, to be exact. I didn't know I had it in me. My goal was 62 and I thought that was going to be a stretch.

Guess I was wrong.

But in my usual spirit of things, it's time to pick the top 5 books I read in 2013. It's going to be harder than usual BECAUSE there are so many great books on my list, but nonetheless, it must be done.

Here they are, in no particular order:

WHITE CAT By Holly Black

This is one of those books that I wish I'd written. That's how much I loved this book and the whole trilogy. I've always been a fan of mob families and these books have that is spades, combined with magic.

STUPID FAST By Geoff Herbach

I read this book on my kindle, so I had no idea what it was about other than a kid who played football. Turned out it's sooo much more than that. Geoff Herbach said that he didn't even realize it was a sports book until he saw the cover

LOVE THIS BOOK. I seriously think everyone should read it. The voice is awesome, and there's sports and mental illness and discovering your past and all this awesome stuff that just makes a great YA book. I don't know anyone who doesn't like this book. Added bonus, Geoff Herbach is hilarious and amazing in real life.

OKAY FOR NOW By Gary Schmidt

This is one of those books that I would have never read on my own. It was on my MFA reading list and I dragged my feet a bit about it. I read the dust flap like 4 times, each time thinking "this is not going to be for me". But it turns out I was dead wrong. I was immediately hooked. So hooked that I started blabbing about it to twin almost immediately and made her read it, too, before I returned it to the library. She also loved it. Gary Schmidt does not treat his characters easy, and there is a lot of darkness, but also a lot of heart in this book. Don't let the cover or the dust jacket description fool you.

SPLIT By Swati Avasthi

I really wanted to like this book. I'd heard good things about it. Luckily my expectations were beyond met. Another book I made Twin read before I returned it to the library. I also plan to buy my own copy sometime in the future. It's nice to see a book on domestic abuse where things aren't wrapped up tidily and where there are permanent repercussions, sometimes, for kids who grow up surrounded by violence. Also, I love a good brother story.


I'd heard mixed things about this one. Mostly regarding the ending. I was told that pretty much the whole book was a prologue. I don't know if knowing that going in altered my opinion at all, but I loved this book. I loved the world, the characters the writing. Reading this book made me wish I could draw better so I could draw some badass fanart of the characters. I also love books where major magical things happen and the rest of society takes notice. It's refreshingly realistic for a book rooted firmly in the fantasy.

So, that's it! There were probably another 5 more that made the short list, and a few that I felt really bad that I couldn't include, but these were the books that I thought about all year after I finished them so I think they earned their place on my list.

How about you? Have you read any of these books? And what were some of your top reads you read this year?


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

First Wednesday of the month, so you know what that means:


I totally knew what I was going to blog about this week. And then, of course, when the time came to write this post, I couldn't remember my plan at all.

Story of my life.

Things have been good for me lately. My first MFA residency was awesome (so awesome. Can't wait for the next one in July) and then, of course, signing with an awesome agent.

The agent signing was exciting and amazing. But it was also tough. I think a lot of people from the outside think having so many offers is fantastic and the place that everyone wants to be. And I'm sure there are people who do want a ton of offers, so they can pick who they want to go with.

But also, getting a lot of offers is really hard. ESPECIALLY when all the agents who offer are ahmazing agents in their own right. And what if you click with more than one of them?

And you don't really want to say anything about it because so many of your writer friends WANT to be in that position of having an offer of rep, and here you are with more thant enough. And also because you don't want to feel ungrateful about that amazing position you're in. And also, you worked really hard to get there, so why are you moaning? You know, feels and all that junk.

But all that aside, it's hard. It's hard to make such a huge, life-changing decision. Change is hard. Querying is easy, because you put your work out there, cross your fingers, and repeat until you reach your goals.

But once you reach your goals, then, suddenly, everything's different. The status-quo has changed.
I think sometimes it's much easier to strive towards your dreams than actually reach them, you know?

Hard stuff, guys. Hard stuff.

But also awesome.

How about you? Are big choices like that sometimes scary for you?

Also, just a blog update: No post on Friday this week, since it's my birthday and I'll be doing birthday stuff (woo!)

Monday, February 3, 2014

In Which You Can Win A Book!

Hi all!

Today I'm part of a blog tour for a pal of mine from the QT Forum.

T.L. Bodine has a new book out and about in the world. TAGESTRAUM!


Working as a child welfare agent, Adrian has seen a lot of disturbing things. Nathaniel Weaver isn’t the first kid in the city who’s ever gone missing, but his disappearance haunts Adrian in a way he cannot entirely explain. Maybe it’s because the child looks so eerily similar to himself. Maybe it’s the drawing that Nathaniel gave to him the last time they met: a cloaked nightmarish figure that Adrian recognizes from his own dreams.
When Adrian returns once more to the scene of the disappearance, he finds a doorway leading to another world: Tagestraum, a bizarre and often treacherous faerie realm powered by human dreams. The world itself threatens the safety and sanity of any human that crosses into it, and several of its denizens are eager to harvest errant humans for a little raw energy.
Adrian knows that he’s the only person who can find Nathaniel – but to do it, he must battle both dangerous inhabitants and his own worst nightmares, and each night that passes brings Adrian closer to losing himself completely.
Sounds cool, right? How about a quick excerpt?
The Nightmare Man came today. 
Adrian could still hear the echo of Nathaniel's words in his mind – the words the boy had said when he made the drawing.  The sketch now stared up at him from the coffee table: A tall, cloaked man with a gaping mouth rimmed in teeth like the maw of some deep-sea fish. 
The first time Nathaniel had shown him The Nightmare Man, months ago now, a cold chill had crept up Adrian’s back, a sense of déjà vu that he could not entirely place.  It bothered him.  Now, with Nathaniel missing and the picture staring up from its place on the coffee table, it bothered him a whole lot more.    
The phone clicked in his ear as the voice mail picked up.  Adrian waited for the beep, then said, “Hey, Detective Roark?  It's Adrian Montgomery again, from Social Services, about the Weaver case?  I’m not sure if my last call went through…you didn’t call me back.  I just wanted to –“
The phone beeped, and the call disconnected. 
Adrian dialed again.  It took longer to connect this time.  Finally, the line picked up, and a woman’s electronic monotone said, “We’re sorry.  The voice mailbox you are calling is full.  Please try your call again later.” 
For good measure, he tried it one more time.  When he got the same message, he rose from the couch and walked into the kitchen, depositing both his phone and the sketch into his pocket. 
 He opened his refrigerator; light bathed the room, and he stood in the glow for a long time, staring at the mostly-bare shelves.   After a minute, he closed the door and walked into his office, sitting down at the computer chair without bothering to turn on the light. 
He pulled up the online Missing Children Registry, searching for familiar names.  There were a few; Social Services and missing children tended to go together more often than he'd like.  Not like Nathaniel, though.  Kids were usually kidnapped by their estranged parents, or ran away from home.  They didn't just vanish from their backyards in broad daylight, with no witnesses, no suspects, no evidence. 
And they didn't tell their child welfare agent about The Nightmare Man.

T.L. Bodine grew up in a household where storytelling was a revered artform, and it engendered in her a lifelong love of language and narrative.  After traveling the country with her blue-collar family in a 31-foot motorhome, she headed to New Mexico State University to study English and pursued an MFA at Northern Arizona University before realizing she’d much rather write fiction than talk about it. 
Her first story, a microfiction piece called “Werehouse”, was posted to in 2007.  Since then she’s been published in several online and print magazines in addition to her three self-published works:  The Beast in the Bedchamber, Nezumi’s Children and Tagestraum.  Her wheelhouse is creepy, character-driven fiction that blurs the line between fantasy and horror, usually by placing ordinary people in extraordinary situations. 
When not writing novels, she’s a full-time freelancer of web content and a video game writer for Black Chicken Studios.  She’s also a horror respondent for Ravenous Monster webzine and has collaborated with the gaming company Ginger Goat on its most recent anthology, “Trust Me,” about dolls who sometimes tell lies. 
Aside from writing, T.L.’s passions include reading, gaming, cooking and animals.  Her home is currently shared by two dogs, two cats and an ever-varying number of rescued geriatric rats.  For more information, you can follow her blog at T.L. Bodine or catch her on Facebook at

So if you're looking for a new read, maybe check out TAGESTRAUM! I've read some of T.L.'s work before (including The Beast in the Bedchamber) and I've never been disappointed with her stories or skills.

And I know you're asking, is there a chance to win a copy? Well, OF COURSE there's a chance to win a copy!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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