Thursday, June 30, 2011

Adult Truths

Here's the deal. I'm slacking off today in the blogging department (not that anything I write is exactly high literature ) so that I might spend the day wandering around the house, talking to myself in an attempt to write a conversation between Dana and the person who (with luck) will get our boy back on track without the whole thing turning into some horrific cliched Hallmark moment where they hold hands and skip around a meadow making daisy chains while singing Kumbaya. As you can see, walking this very narrow line will require my full and complete attention and so in lieu of just skipping a blog post altogether, I have decided to share with you instead an email I received from my sister. I did not write it, nor did my sister. I don't know who wrote it. It's one of those email forwards that's probably been in my inbox before. I just thought it was funny.

My regular blogging schedule ( I even have one of those?) will resume tomorrow with my June 2010 Book Review.

Adult Truths

1. Sometimes I look at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike but there comes a moment at work when you know taht you just aren't going to do anything productive the rest of the day.
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue-Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.
13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks if I want to save any changes to my ten-paged technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses start with Miller Lite than with Kay.
17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty and you can wear them forever.
22. Even under ideal conditions, people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone and pinning the tail on the donkey. But I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button with their eyes closed from three feet away in about 1.7 seconds.
23. The first testicular guard, the "cup", was used in hockey in 1874. The first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize their brain is also important.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fenced In, Part Two

So guess where I'm writing this. Go ahead— guess. No, you'll never guess (well, unless you read "Fenced In, Part One. Then you might guess). I'll just tell you.

I'm writing this on my laptop while lying in the hammock in my backyard. Not the most comfortable of setups, I'll grant you, but awesome nonetheless. Thank you, wireless network, for making this possible.

But that's not the part making me wildly giddy. No, that would be the fact that while I am living the good life here in my hammock, my dogs are not watching me from inside the house. Nope, they're outside. Big, staying true to his uncanny ability to find the most inconvenient spot to camp, is lying underneath the hammock. The Gator Girl, staying true to herself, is running in circles. How is this possible, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

The fence is done.

(Insert Happy Dance Here.)

The guys wrapped the job yesterday after several delays, none of which involved Fence Guy's wife going into labor. Big was his charming, welcoming self throughout the experience but surprised me by only giving one of the trio a heart attack (and a possible need for clean shorts). This came on the last day when the guy who must have drawn the short straw came to the outdoor outlet (which just so happens to be right outside our door) to recharge a whoiswhatsit (I'm a writer, not a tool person) and was greeted by a 130 pound German Shepherd, using his very best big boy bark, who popped out of nowhere and attempted to launch himself through the screen door that separated the poor guy from the obnoxious (that's right, Mimi. I said obnoxious. I know you'll never believe it though) German Shepherd (Mimi maintains Big is incapable of wrongdoing and was only looking out for me.) . Fortunately, I had had the presence of mind to lock the screen door and the screen door managed to hold (it doesn't always). The guy jumped about twenty feet in the air and then beat a hasty retreat.

And he was never heard from again.

No, just kidding. He's fine.

Monday was marked by a three hour long nonstop barking marathon as the Dynamic Duo ran from window to window to window to bark. They will stop barking when given the appropriate command but after a while, I realized that I'd never get anything else done because of the incessant barking so I just put on my headphones, cranked up the volume and let them have at it. Though to be truthful, I still didn't accomplish much other than blowing out my eardrums.

Who needs eardrums anyway, right?

The fence will make it all worth while.

All hail the fence!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back To The Storyboard

Remember that secondary male lead I told you about? The one I would've thrown down an elevator shaft if such a thing existed in my fantasy world (such an oversight, I know)? Well, I'm going to talk about him again and since I'm getting tired of calling him 'secondary male lead guy', I'm going to start calling him by his name.

Which is Dana.

I don't know why I didn't tell you his name before. I live in fear of spoilers so maybe that's why but whatever. His name is Dana (no last name) and he's a pain in my ass.

It's my own fault, I know. I'm the one who shook his very foundation and destroyed his entire world at the end of the first book. I'm the one who said, "Hey, look! Here's a road to redemption" and dropped him on it with a pat on the head and a wish for him to enjoy the view.

So can I really be all that irritated when he's decided that now maybe he'll extract a little payback for my treachery?

Turns out I can.

But I am (marginally) determined and shall (probably) not be defeated by this. So what if I develop a game plan and this jackwagon then finds a way to circumvent said game plan. I'll just come up with another one. It's what I do.

My newest plan involves the creation of another scene for Dana. I'm not looking forward to this because it involves me tearing apart an already carefully constructed story/time line (hence the title of the blog) and will lead me to spending a lot of time standing on the daybed in the office (sorry, pups, but you're going to have to make due with the floor) staring at my Big Ass Bulletin Board while I try to work out where this damn scene is going to go. Oh, and then I'm going to have to write the damn scene.

But I think this will work. I think that maybe Dana has been so damn ornery because maybe, just maybe, he's been holding out for more screen time.

Well, Mr. No Last Name, I think we're ready for your close up.

Just one last thing before I disappear back into the breach, dear friends:

Thank you, again, to everyone who took the time out to visit and comment on my blog yesterday. It's really quite kind of you. I feel a little like Sally Field, standing at a podium, clutching an Oscar and saying, "You like me! You really like me!" even if it should perhaps be more "You tolerate me! You really tolerate me!" or even "You're humoring me! You're really humoring me!" But whatever it is, I appreciate it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lovin' The Language

Well, I am a sucker for a good blogfest and Jolene Perry over at Been Writing? is hosting one I just couldn't pass up. Technically, it's not until tomorrow but as tomorrow's only a couple hours away and looks to be rather hectic here at La Maison de Madness (Maison de la folie, I guess, if you're not going for alliteration the way I was), I thought I'd go ahead and post it now.

The rules of this event are simple and yet, I still won't manage to follow them. Participants are asked to pick any five lines from a WIP or, if one is feeling shy, one can post five lines from a book they love. Well, I am going to post lines from my sword and sorcery fantasy WIP Second Nature. However, it'll be more like five short passages rather than five lines. I tried, I really tried, to follow the rules but this is as close as I could get.

Each (very short, I swear) excerpt centers around the WIP's main character, Cate. She's a tough talking, wildly sarcastic yet deeply depressed woman pulled into a parallel universe that just happens to be in the midst of a conflict not her own. In excerpt #2, she's speaking to Faolan, a talking pegasus (yes, you read that right) instrumental to the side of good. In the fourth excerpt, she's talking to James, the beleaguered and reluctant leader of the people's rebellion.

Here we go:

1. He asked the question like they were friends or something. Like he'd known her all her life. He had, in fact, known her all her life but he wasn't her friend. If anything, he'd been her mother's friend. Laura had called him Richard. Cate generally called him nothing but, if asked, would have confessed to lately calling him Dick. She was nothing if not spectacularly immature when the opportunity presented itself.

2. "People did this?" she asked as she looked over the destruction. "Men did this? I mean, it wasn't something else?"
"Something else?" Faolan asked.
"I don't know," Cate said. "Fire breathing dragon or something?"
"Dragons are myth," Faolan replied.
"Says the pegasus," Cate said.

3. Nothing mattered. Because she was going to die here. Some people would say she was being pessimistic but she preferred to think of it as realistic. They thought she was the queen. They thought she was a traitor and the only people who knew otherwise were currently missing in action. So unless a traitor's death in these parts was death by chocolate, she really didn't have much to look forward to.

4. "We've got trouble," she said.
"Trouble?" James echoed.
"Right here in River City."
"Nothing. Look, something's coming," Cate said. "I don't know what the something is exactly but my spidey sense is tingling in a big ole 'danger is heading right for us' kind of way."
"Your what is doing what?"

5. "Yeah, see, here's the thing," Cate said. "I've been there, done that and got the tee shirt. I used it to keep my internal organs from becoming external organs so if it's all the same to you, I think maybe I'll sit this one out."

And there you have it. My five passages lines. I hope you enjoyed them. Thanks to Jolene for creating and hosting a very cool blogfest! And Thank You for stopping by...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Favorite Book Blogfest

This blogfest is the brainchild of Teralyn Rose Pilgrim over at A Writer's Journey. Participants are asked to pick their top five favorite books and write one sentence about what the book is about and one sentence about why they like it. Easy, right?


Of course, the hard part for me is the choosing of the books. Top five favorite books? That doesn't even cover the Harry Potter series, for crying out loud (FYI, only 19 hours to go until J.K. Rowling's big announcement).

(We interrupt this blogfest to report that there is a trio of shirtless men digging holes in my yard. I'm going to assume they work for the Fence Guy.)

So five books. Five books. I really don't know how to do this except to break it into an multi-day event divided by genre. Today's genre, I have decided, is YA. Mostly because I want to talk about Ellen Emerson White some more.

1. White House Autumn- Ellen Emerson White

What it's about: Life isn't easy when your mother is the President of the United States but 17 year old Meg Powers is making the best of it when an assassin's bullet threatens to ruin everything.

Why I like it: This book (the second in a series of four) is so smart, so funny, so moving with fantastic characters and brilliant command of language(Plus, Meg is a fan of the Boston Red Sox and Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- J.K. Rowling

What it's about: Fifteen year old Harry Potter tries to balance out school, girls and battling the forces of darkness.

Why I like it: I love that Harry, at times, acts like a real jerk and that Dumbledore admits his fallibility because flawed characters are always the most interesting.

3. Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson

What it's about: Melinda called the cops at an end-of-summer party and is now starting off the school year a social outcast but no one knows the reason behind the call, a secret so devastating Melinda doesn't even want to admit to herself.

Why I like it: This book is frakking awesome and if you haven't read it, you're really missing out.

4. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins

What it's about: Twenty four kids enter and one kid leaves.

Why I like it: A more gripping, intense and intelligent novel you will not find.

5. Where She Went- Gayle Forman

What it's about: Adam spends one last night revisiting the past and contemplating the future with Mia, the love of his life, a girl who walked out on him three years earlier.

Why I like it: Gayle Forman manipulates the hell of language, creating a raw, emotional and über powerful story I couldn't read fast enough.

Thanks for Teralyn Rose Pilgrim for creating and hosting such a fun blogfest!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Solstice On The Solstice

In honor of the summer solstice, I am going post an excerpt of my NaNoWriMo project from last year. It's a YA urban fantasy novel tentatively titled Solstice because the summer solstice plays a part. Just don't ask me what that part is because I have no idea. I just know when I get back to working on this story that the summer solstice will be very important. Somehow.

Anyway, Solstice is the story of sixteen year old demon hunter, Gwendolyn Chase. By day, she's an average high school student with a penchant for the occasional schoolyard skirmish. By night, she's a bad ass demon hunter patrolling the streets of Boston for all things otherworldish. Everything changes when her mother, oblivious to her daughter's extracurricular activities, sends Gwendolyn to a program for troubled teens. There Gwendolyn will find herself battling not only actual demons but also some inner ones as well.

But that comes later. The scene I'm going to post for you is the scene where Gwendolyn finds out her mother's sending her away. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Summer Solstice, everyone.

They come for me in the darkest hour of the night, right before the dawn. There are four of them. Four hulking faceless figures who slide in and take up space where they do not belong and are not welcome. I didn’t hear them when they entered the house. I first hear the squeak of that one step and think it is my mother coming to check on me and, in a way, I am right. It is my mother who opens my bedroom door for them and allows them to take positions along the wall. When they are set, my mother comes and sits on the edge of my bed.

“Gwennie,” she says softly as she shakes my shoulder. “Sweetheart, it’s time to wake up.”

She doesn’t realize I am already awake and wondering what is happening. She leans forward then and turns on the lamp sitting on my nightstand. I act sleepy and surprised to see her and then I act scared when I see the four men standing in my bedroom.

I am not afraid of them. But I do not know why they are here.

“What’s going on?” I ask my mother as I sit up.

She looks tired but then again, she always looks tired. Working three dead end jobs will do that to a person. She’s still wearing her uniform from the all night diner and still smells strongly of stale coffee and fried foods.

“You know I love you, right?” my mother says.

I look from her to the four men. “What’s going on?” I ask again. “Who are they and why are they here?”

“I just want to help you, Gwennie,” she says.

“What are you talking about?” I ask. “Help me with what? Mom, what is going on?”

“I’m talking about help,” she says. “For you, for me. Gwennie, things aren’t— they’re not going well and I want to help you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about the fights, Gwennie,” my mother says. “And your grades—“

“My grades are fine.”

“You’re barely scraping by. You’re barely passing.”

“So you’re skating over the part where I actually am passing.”

“Fine then,” my mother says. “The fights.”

I look away then. I can’t argue about the fights. She doesn’t have any idea who it is I’m fighting most of the time. All she sees are the occasional cuts and bruises, the ones I don’t manage to hide. All she hears about are the occasional skirmishes I have at school. I can’t stand bullies. Maybe violence doesn’t solve problems but it does, on occasion, seem to help.

“So what are they here for?” I ask, folding my arms across my chest.

I hate having this conversation in front of these four strangers. This stuff is private. It’s between my mother and me. They shouldn’t be allowed to hear it.

My mother looks down at the floor. “They’re here to take you—“

Take me? I steal another glance at them. They’re roughly the size of refrigerators but I don’t care how big those guys are. They won’t be able to take me anywhere. Not if I don’t want to go.

“Somewhere they can help you,” my mother finishes.

“I don’t need help,” I say.

“I do.”

I have been in a lot of fights in my life and I’ve taken a lot of punches but those two words hurt me more than the rest of them combined. I am actually breathless for a handful of moments and look at my mother in genuine surprise. Does she know— does she realize— how much that hurt?

I’ve tried so hard. Just not hard enough, I guess.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fenced In, Part One

Yesterday ( today Friday? The Sleep Camel may not need sleep but she does need a calendar. All that not sleeping has confused her as far as when one day ends and the next begins) was the day that my fence, my beautiful, beautiful fence was supposed to be installed. Or start to be installed. I'm not exactly sure how long this particular job will take but I did request yesterday and today off from The Store so I could be around when it happened. You know, so I could stand at the window and giggle and rub my hands together with delight as I saw the dropped faces of all my neighbors who would realize they'd have to find another yard in which to let their dogs do their business.

But then I got a call from Fence Guy. He was calling to let me know there was going to be a slight delay. A job he had before mine didn't go as smoothly as planned and required more digging and more time. Plus, he said, he didn't know if he had told me this before but his wife is nine months pregnant and due to give birth at any time. So if that happened before he started my fence job, that would be another delay. He had mentioned that to me before and so I had been fully prepared for Fence Guy's wife to go into labor on the 15th since my fence was scheduled to go in on the 16th.

At any rate, my fence got bumped to some time next week and I haven't heard anything since. No definite dates, no birth announcements (though, Fence Guy, if it's a boy, I think you should name him Timothy Thomas), no nothing. But then, this morning, I opened the door to take the Gator Girl outside and was met by this sight:

It's going to happen! It's really going to happen!

Best. Sight. Ever.

Okay, maybe not ever. But still, I'm pretty damn excited by it. Just imagine how damn excited I'm going to be when Fence Guy shows up with his tractor and starts digging up my lovely lawn (this has been a sticking point with The Man) in order to install the fence. I won't be able to contain myself. It's true that I don't know when this pile of fencing will become a real, actual fence. The pile will definitely be there until Monday at the earliest because Fence Guy does not generally fence on weekends.

So I thought about that this morning and I thought about all the rain we're supposed to be getting over this weekend and actually had the thought, "is it okay for this stuff to get wet?"

Really, I'm smart in other ways.

It's possible the Sleep Camel does actually need actual sleep.

But maybe later. Have a great weekend, everybody. I'm off to look at my fence some more.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Which The Bruins Win The Stanley Cup And Whatever Else I Was Planning To Talk About Before That Happened

I like hockey. I like it a lot but I'm not a crazy wild hockey fan. It's not like me and the Red Sox or me and the Patriots. I watch the occasional game but I don't watch every single game. I don't request days off from work in order to watch games. I don't have wild crazy crushes on any of the Bruins players (well, maybe Tim Thomas just for his sheer awesomeness, if nothing else) like I do with Jacoby Ellsbury and Wes Welker. But I follow them and their progress through the season because I root for Boston sports and tonight, as I've done this entire series, I cheered hard for the Black and Gold.

And not to take credit for the Bruins' win tonight or anything but every time I changed channels from NBC to So You Think You Can Dance and back again, the Bruins had scored again. It was a little annoying, truth be told, because three out of the four goals scored tonight I missed seeing. I did get to see the last goal, though, the empty net goal and did a little happy dance. And then, as time ran out on the clock and Vancouver's season, I did a much bigger and louder happy dance. The Man was a little less thrilled with this because he'd gone to bed by this time but wild late night sports related exuberance is really just one of the drawbacks perks of having getting to live with me.

So now I'm in a post game, celebratory haze which means I will likely get very little writing done tonight. My last all nighter, Monday night, I think was reasonably successful. Not word count wise but content wise, I think. The problem that is the secondary male lead isn't completely fixed but right now I feel like I have an actual path to walk on instead of bushwacking my way through his arc. I worked all through the night, straight up until 2pm Tuesday, taking breaks at 7am when The Man could no longer put up with the dogs pacing around the bedroom (they're rather restless when I don't go to bed when they do) and again at noon when the dogs (again) demanded their lunchtime Kongs (nothing like dogs on a schedule). So by 8pm Tuesday, I was pretty much unconscious on the couch. I made it to my actual bed by 9pm and didn't regain consciousness until 10am this morning. If you know the Gator Girl, you know how rare it is that she sleeps past 7am. I was shocked and awed and grateful because, apparently, I'd been a bit tired.

But now I'm all energized. Before going to bed tonight, The Man asked if I was going to stay up all night again. I answered, "Probably not all night" and then went on to explain that I was like some kind of sleep camel. I'd gotten fourteen hours of sleep earlier and so now I wouldn't need to sleep for a couple of days. The Man doesn't seem to think it works that way. He's probably right but I guess we'll find out.

Joining me for tonight's maybe all nighter are Big and the Gator Girl. As I mentioned before, they're a little restless when I spend the night in my office rather than my bed. This translates to pacing. A lot of pacing. The Gator Girl, especially. Big mostly just paces to get to the opposite side of the room as his sister. But this goes on pretty much all night long (no wonder the Gator Girl slept in...she'd been up all night too!). The Man came downstairs with them on Tuesday morning and said, "They're yours. I can't take it anymore! All night long with the back and forth and back and forth all because you weren't there! I am so tired now, I'm going back to bed!" Which, of course, he could not do because he had to go to work. I suggested he take a nap under his desk. Don't know if he did.

So tonight, I decided the dogs will stay with me. The Man can sleep and if there's pacing to be done, they can do it downstairs along with me. Right now, they're both sleeping (and snoring) in my office, one on the floor at my feet (Big) and the other stretched across the daybed (Gator Girl).

It's rather adorable.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

All Night Long

Yesterday, I tweeted that I was giving up writing in order to become a professional tap dancer. Even with my lack of tap dancing skills— hell, even with my lack of dancing skills— I figured the odds for success were about the same.

Keep in mind that I'm not talking about publishing a best seller here. I'm just talking about finishing this damn WIP. As my excellent friend, Carl, pointed out (quoting Billy Crystal) "writers write" and everyone knows that I have been doing a scant amount of that lately. So tonight I am attempting to pull an all-nighter as I strive to achieve the possibly impossible: trying to get my WIP back on track.

I blame the secondary lead male character guy (and definitely not my inability to form intelligent sounding phrases). He's been such a damn jackwagon for so damn long that if elevator shafts existed in my finely crafted fantasy world, I'd seriously be writing a scene where he falls to his death down one. Or I would drop him into the Bog of Eternal Stench (Name That Reference!) or the Swamp of Sadness (Name That Reference Too!) or feed him to some shrieking eels or R.O.U.S.s (Name That Reference Three!).

Except that I really do kind of need him and I can't move forward with the rest of the story until I solve the problem that is this character. It's been very demoralizing. Hence the proposed career change. I don't actually know how to tap dance. Do you think that will pose many problems?

Let tell you something. When my muse comes back from her ill timed extended vacation, she had damn well better bring me back something more than a lousy tee shirt.

But enough ranting and raving.

No, wait. I'm not done.

I finished reading my first eBook tonight. Woo Hoo, right? And by the way (cue unrelated side rant), I've taken a significant amount of crap from people (not necessarily readers of this blog) for this whole eReader business. Why does my purchase of a Kindle seem to signify to so many people that I'm some kind of traitor to the paperback? That I'll never again pick up a traditional book? That I can't pick up a traditional book even? I'm broadening my reading horizons, people. That's all. I love to read and I refuse to limit myself in that regard. You want to know what I did after I bought my Kindle? Well, first I checked the dictionary it came with to see if it was cool enough to have listed the word 'jackwagon' (it wasn't) and then I went to Barnes & Noble and spent fifty dollars on traditional books. Then yesterday, I came home from a day of shopping with five more books. And don't tell The Man this but I just ordered four more from Amazon. On top of the two I ordered last week. And then—

Crap. I've been on quite the book buying spree lately. Yeah, let's definitely not tell The Man. Let's just let it be...a surprise.

(End unrelated side rant.)

So where was I? Oh, right. I finished reading an eBook (and I really do like reading on a Kindle. So there, haters). It was a self published book whose title I am not going to reveal here because of the ranting that's to follow. I honestly don't know how I read the whole thing. Anyone else would've quit. Anyone else would've thrown up their hands and screamed, "Life's too short!" Because life is too short. I'm sure somewhere in there was a maybe halfway decent story but I couldn't find it. And do you want to know why?

Bad grammar, to start. Just really, really bad. There were so many errors on every single page. And I do mean every single page. I honestly had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't write on the Kindle screen because I wanted to take a red pen to the damn thing. The author used 'Your' where 'you're' should've been used. It's instead of its. Other misspellings (the author spelled 'throne' as 'thrown'). Typos. Run ons. Fragments and not the stylistic kind I kind of like. The stupid kind that make. reading. very. jarring. and. annoying. and. difficult. There was also a complete overuse of exclamation points (seriously, if you were wondering about the exclamation point shortage in literature, it's because this author used them all. And I do mean all) followed by a complete lack of commas and clear dialogue tags. Hell, forget clear dialogue tags. I would've been happy with any dialogue tags. There were some passages I had to read three or four times before I could figure out who the hell was saying what.

And that's just for starters. I could go on for days (and have— just ask The Man and The Heather and everyone else with whom I've conversed in the last few days) about all the problems with this book but it's not going to change the underlying message: EDIT YOUR DAMN MANUSCRIPTS. No book available for public viewing/purchase should have that many fundamental problems with it. This is the kind of book that makes so many people think it's impossible to find a self published book of worth. It just pisses me off. You know, in case that wasn't already abundantly clear.

All right. Now I'm done ranting. At least for tonight. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off for a pleasure cruise. At night. In eel infested waters. Just me and my secondary male lead. Wonder who will survive the your bets below!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's All Fun And Games...

Today is the All Fun and Games Blogfest hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh where the participants name their three favorite games to play. Board games, video games, mind game— anything goes!

But as I have a small problem with exclusion where blogfests are concerned, I'm doing this a bit differently. I'm going to share with you my three favorite board/card games, and video games and game shows and then, just for a little something more, I'm going to pick three random games.

So let's get started...

Here are my three favorite board/card games:

1. Scrabble: In particular, Theme Scrabble games where we select a theme before we play and every time we put down a word that relates to the theme, we receive a fifty point bonus. I'm partial to the Dirty Word Scrabble games even though I never win those (my brother is the undisputed champion of Dirty Word Scrabble, something of which I know he's immensely proud). We've also done Harry Potter Scrabble and Whedonverse Scrabble.

2. Uno: I love playing Uno so, so much. It was the card game of choice in the school where I used to teach and we played with a very ruthless set of house rules. It made for some very intense games in my classroom. Of course, as the teacher in a room full of delinquent students who hated authority, I was almost always the target of the Draw Fours and draw twos and skips but it only made it that much sweeter when I won.

3. Apples to Apples: I had a hard time filling the third spot because I also love Taboo and Scene It! but I had to give the coveted final space to Apples to Apples because it is such a fun, fun game. I've played this with students and I've played this with friends and we always have a gut-busting good time. If you've never played it, I highly recommend it. I also recommend playing this game drunk because then it seems to become downright hysterical. The Heather, this one's for you: When I think of virtuous, I think of the common loon... (yeah. You definitely had to be there for that one).

My Three Favorite Video Games

1. The Adventures of Zelda: In any format. I talked about my obsession with these games during the A to Z Challenge back in April. If you missed it, here's a brief recap: I love this game. It's one of my more pathetic life goals to some day defeat this game. I sadly haven't managed to do it yet. Even with the step by step cheat sheet I downloaded off the internet.

2. Super Mario Brothers: Again, in any format. The original, Super Mario 2 (the one no one seems to like), Mario 3 where you could become Raccoon Mario, the new Super Mario for the Wii (I keep getting stuck in the bubble). Even the lost levels. That's right. I said the lost levels. Did you know there were lost levels? Because there are...

3. Tetris: I kick ass at this game. That's really all I have to say about that.

My Three Favorite Game Shows:

1. Lingo: Found on the Game Show Network. Contestants try to guess five letter words. They're usually not very good at it. Plus, I giggle ever time Chuck Woolery says "reach on in and grab yourself a couple of balls." Yes. I am eleven.

2. Match Game: Reruns air on the Game Show Network. Have you watched them? They're hysterical.

3. The Price Is Right: This just bumps Press Your Luck because of fun childhood memories of my siblings and I playing our own version using my mother's spinning wheel as "the big wheel". No one ever got a dollar though. Probably because whichever one of us was Bob Barker got to decide what money amount the wheel ended on and I doubt we were ever nice enough to give anyone a dollar. Ah, memories...

My Three Favorite Miscellaneous Games

1. Drinking games: If you've read this blog (or my Facebook statuses) for any length of time, you're well aware of my fondness for creating drinking games. I usually don't play the drinking games but they're certainly fun to create. Look for my Dance Recital Drinking Game to hit the blog later in the week.

2. Hide and Seek: I play this with my dogs. I hide or sometimes The Man hides. Then whichever one of us doesn't hide, counts to ten and sends the dog to go seek. They love it. Plus, it's good for search and rescue training.

3. Tug of War: Also played with the dogs. With the Gator Girl, it's a never ending struggle you have to let her win because she is relentless. With Big, I usually take a dive because he loved thinking he's taken me down. Once he accidentally did take me down, knocked me flat on my back in our living room. The Man reports that it was the funniest thing he's ever seen. Ah, memories...

Okay, well, that does it for me. I can't wait to see what others have posted. However, it's going to have to wait until I get back from agility class this evening. There's another fun game for agility.

Everyone have fun and make sure no one loses an eye...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May 2011 Book Review

It's the first of the month so it's that time again when I reveal what books I managed to read last month and tell you a little of what I thought about them. As always, I strive to be spoiler-free here. If I do end up needing to reveal something, I always let you know first.
White Cat- Holly Black- The first book in her new Curse Worker series. At least I hope it’s a series because it’s frakking awesome. This book is a master class in how to write a YA urban fantasy novel that’s both part of a series and a stand along novel. Love, love, love her work. What to know what I like so much? The characters are realistic and interesting. The world is different from the one we know but at no point does Black make you feel like she’s just dumping information on you. Instead, you’re seamlessly emerged in the world. Awesome.
Red Glove- Holly Black- The second Curse Worker novel. Equally awesome. Must have more.
Sixkill- Robert B. Parker- The last Spenser novel written by Parker. So there's no way I'm going to say bad things about it. It could've been filled with nothing but blank pages and I still wouldn't say anything bad about it. Spenser books are a sacred thing to me and mine and this one's the last one. I don’t know if there’s going to be any more Spenser novels written by someone else coming our way in the future. As much as I love Spenser, I kind of hope not because it just wouldn’t be the same. And besides, the last line of this novel, I think, is perfect for a final Spenser novel.
Lover Mine- J.R. Ward- Another vampire romance novel. I don’t really have a lot to say about it. There wasn’t anything new to be found in these pages. The big reveal I had been hoping for just...wasn’t. Then there was this side story that irritated me because it had nothing to do with the rest of the book. I’m assuming she’s setting up the next novel or maybe the one after that but it was so out there it was more irritating that anything else.
Before I Fall- Lauren Oliver- Pleasantly surprised by this book. It didn’t grab me right away so it fell by the way side for a little while. I pushed through and it got very good. I really wanted to know how it was going to end. This novel has a very intriguing premise. A girl dies in a car accident but then relives the day of her death over and over again. I’m not giving away the ending but I found it to be very satisfying.
Wither- Lauren DeStefano- I tore through this book in less than twenty four hours (and includes sleeping and a shift at the store) because I just couldn’t stop reading. I was instantly hooked. I was very happy with the quality of the writing. The characters are, for the most part, fantastic and the story is, for the most part, really riveting. Not Hunger Games riveting but pretty damn close. I am really, really looking forward to reading the next installment.

Your turn: Reading anything interesting? Read any of these books and think I'm off my rocker? Let me know!