Monday, August 29, 2011

Of Tonsillitis and Book Reviews

Lemme tell ya, tonsillitis and reading a fantastic series of books just plain goes together. I know. I did it over this past week.

Before I get to the meat of my posting, one question; isn’t tonsillitis a kids malady?

But I digress.

Prick your ears my children on this bit of sweetness, the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne.

It begins with Hounded, continues with Hexed, and I just finished the third in the series, Hammered.

Everyone who aspires to sit beside published authors has acquired the irritating habit of ‘editing’ as they read books. I see wall-to-wall alliterations, bad grammar, overuse of pronouns, and think how the hell did this person get an agent let alone get published wonder if reading every new book will hit me this way.

I began Hounded and my editorial eye kicked in immediately. But nothing happened, no critiques exploded to kill my concentration. *whoa*

For me there are three kinds of books.

One, a book I immediately sling to one side and expand my mind by mowing the lawn instead.

Two, a book I like, dig in and devour. But muddled prose and unnecessary characters fill the pages and I begin skipping paragraphs then pages to get to the end. Usually I re-read them thoroughly.

Three, the last kind, the novel that I savor, roll over my senses, and absorb every word w/o skipping a word.

Not many books have had that effect on me. The King Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss is one. Now, the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne is the second.

How good? I bought the series for my Kindle but now I must have them in book form. They are too good not to feel the paper under my fingers as I read.

And my tonsillitis is succumbing to pills I swallow twice daily. Of which I forgot to take because I was writing this. ACK.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hail, Wind, and Time

A harvest of dashed hopes.
That's what a pair of hailstorms across Nodaway County Thursday and Monday means for farmers, many of whom will lose all or virtually all of this year's corn and soybean crop-Maryville Daily Forum.
Many in this community lost their crops last week to a double-hit of 70 mph wind and hail that fell for 20 minutes. The storms stripped the corn, beans, and pastures.

Bins lay twisted. Trucks upside down.

East Coast Friends. My thoughts are with you as Irene bears down.

Take care.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ellie Garratt's Star Trek Blogfest

Star Trek Blogfest
I saw the original Star Trek in the sixties, first run (Yes. I *AM* older than dirt) When Star Wars opened in theaters, the movie’s popularity revived the Trek industry and gave hope to fans.
I didn’t connect with the newer versions, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. They just didn’t trip my trigger. At least not until 2009.

My faves:

The City on the Edge of Forever-Apr 1967
Kirk falls in love, suffers loss, and cusses. Can’t beat that.

For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky-Nov 1968
Overly dramatic maybe, but that phrase gave me chills and branded the scene of the old man speaking the lines in my mind.

Star Trek, The Motion Picture-1979
A reviewer called this movie the greatest film of all time. He was a Trek enthusiast and no doubt had to eat his words and slink by his press co-workers forever. But this was the big toe testing the water for the ST franchise. I loved it for the realism.

Star Wars was a movie.
Star Trek was *real*. The transporter scene nailed it for me.

 Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan-1982
Science Fiction at its finest. “Two dimensional thinking”, Kobayashi Maru, “I don’t believe in a no-win scenario”, “Hours instead of days”. The humor inserted throughout the script is as if they are old friends having a private laugh. And yes, I bawl every time at the end.

Star Trek, JJ Abrams-2009
I didn’t expect to love this version of Trek but it was a done deal by the end. Excellent script with actors who emulate the gestures and tones of the originals. Witness Zachary Quinto slightly hunched walk that looks exactly like Leonard Nimoy. The best quote? “I’ve got your gun.” I anticipate that scene like a kid waiting for dessert.

Favorite characters? Captain Kirk as played by both William Shatner and Chris Pine.

Scotty as played by both Simon Pegg and James Doohan.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

*smack* Don't Forget!

Ellie Garratt's Star Trek Blogfest
is this Monday, August 22.

Sign in, pick your five favorite characters or episodes/films and why.
Then cruise the other members of the crew.

Got your faves yet?
I do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oh Well

Those two words cover every mishap that comes along, the small misfortunes of life.

My first use of those words came on a family camping trip.

As I stumbled from the tent that first morning, I saw a blessed person had stirred the fire and put hot water on for coffee. But in dipping the water from our bucket by the fire, they had picked up a few pieces of bark.

I hesitated. The black chunks were at the bottom of the pan. But the water was boiling and I wanted coffee. So I poured a cup of the brewed bark and stirred in a spoon of instant.

Eh, not bad.

Then I settled into a camp chair. I didn’t have long to wait.

My brother shambled from his tent, mumbled something vaguely human, and walked (more or less) to the fire with his cup.

He reached for the pan. Stopped. Froze.

Then shrugged and poured a cup.

After twenty-three years, the memory still makes me laugh.

The definition of Oh Well.

Mishaps will occur in the course of our career. Lost files, power outages, agents who promise but don’t deliver (grrr). I do what I can to fix the problems but at the end of the day, if I can’t make it allll better, then I use my magic, most perfect two words in the world:

Oh Well

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Peak of Summer

We take them in stride now, the hot days of summer, and the word ‘winter’ has no meaning.

Truly, the idea of snow and cold is an imaginary time, those days when ice storms blocked us in.

Now the cicadas sing, the tomatoes are plentiful, and we turn down offers of watermelon. The flowers sprawl in untidy clumps, the lawn grows without enthusiasm. Time for school buses and traffic from returning university students. The Cat Days of summer begin on the seventeenth.

Autumn sneaks up on us. Harvest Moon is next month. Across our fields of soybeans and corn, there is a faint touch of yellow signaling their end. Soon, harvest will be in full swing and the combines will eat the acres while grain trucks stir up clouds of dust. Days begin before sunrise and end long after twilight.

It is the cycle of our lives and I love it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When It Comes Together

My WIP became a living Moment of Irrevocable Commitment. The characters took my hand and are now leading the way.

This happened at 57K, that goosebumpidy feeling. Wow. My characters are more than words on a page. They became real.

Before returning to my world, I must give some Shoutouts.

Thank you, thank you. I hope you understand if I pay it forward at a later date. See, it’s the Voices. They gnaw at me.

UPDATE: Thank you to the big-hearted Alex Cavanaugh for extending this award to me as well. His blog is a must-see, must-do, a place for all interested in SF/F. Visiting his blog is part of my daily routine, along with coffee and turning on the computer (not necessarily in that order).

Your award made me get all teary eyed. Nuff said. Thank you.

They had the coolest blog post ever. To see it click here.

NPR sponsored a vote for the best ever SF/F books. I intended to post the site, whoop, and holler. But the Voices, they kinda took over.

Again, a big Thanks to my Followers, but something is yanking my shirttail, clawing at my mind. *Yes, yes, I know I left you two in bed together. Cool it and don’t do anything till I get back*

Is there a point where your characters take over? I mean, really, really take over? After the midpoint of your WIP?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Help w/Video Game Selection

What's your favorite video game? I need some suggestions.

I prefer quest-type or games such as Call of Duty, Special Ops, Dragon Age, and Assasin's Creed.

I am looking for captivating, forget-to-eat kind of game.

What is your favorite? Quick, an anniversary is coming up!

You Might Be a Writer If...
In the vein of Jeff Foxworthy and his ‘you might be a redneck’ comedy routine, I am starting, ‘You might be a writer’.

Feel free to contribute. Or swipe ‘em as the case may be.

Okay. Me first.

You might be a writer if…you decided to write a few minutes before sunrise and breakfast. Now the sun is up, hubby gone, and it is lunchtime.

You might be a writer if…the word ‘query’, in any context, gets your attention.

You might be a writer if…your family knows that a vacant stare means the voices are speaking to you.

Now it is your turn.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Awards and Deirdra

One word describes Deirdra:
And motivation, inspired, kind, gifted…oh, well you get the idea.
Thank you for the award. I am humbled and words fail me

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"...I've always held a sneaking admiration for this one. " - Scotty

Star Trek, as we know it, Blogfest - August 22

Ellie Garratt is looking for crewmembers, aficionados of Star Trek.

“Bend low gentlemen, it reads pretty low over there.” – Scotty.

Sign up, brace for impact, and let’s have some fun, August 22.

Scotty: Computer! Computer?
(he’s handed a mouse and speaks into it) Hello, computer?
Dr. Nichols: Just use the keyboard.
Scotty: Keyboard. How quaint.

Monday, August 1, 2011

And We’re Back

Vacations are a study in human nature. Try walking into a restaurant at 8 pm with a crowd of 24 hungry people and you’ll see what I mean.

In that case, the waitress flinched as we paraded through the door. But she sighed and went to work feeding my dysfunctional family and me. We left her a large tip and much praise. That helped I think.

Still I noticed her face whiten before she could control her emotions. A nice character trait for my MC to emulate.

Vacations (with my brothers, their families, and my own) are as easy-going or as difficult as we let them be. I learned some time ago that organization is a dirty word when surrounded by such a myriad of differing personalities. I go with the flow and repeat this mantra at regular intervals: I am on vacation, I am on vacation.

Southeast Missouri has some of the coolest geography.



caves, and old, old lava.

ElephantRocks State Park consists of monstrous pink granite boulders lined up in a parade. Their mossy hides complete the image by giving them a gray hue.

But lemme tell ya, standing beside tons of boulders in 100-degree heat is not particularly pleasant.

Conducive to sunstroke more like.
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