Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bookish Questions

Hey all,

Darci Cole did this over on her blog, and I thought it was so fun, so I thought I'd take a stab at it!

Favorite book cover
The cover of  The Great Gatsby. That face seemingly floating in the sky is eerie.

What are you reading right now?
I'm trying a new author out and really enjoying her so far.
Daughter of Mythos by Melissa Drake

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

What five books have you always wanted to read but haven't gotten round to?
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, finally!

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?

What's the worst book you've ever read?
I truly try to forget them. I see no reason to change that now.

What book seemed really popular but you didn't like it?
50 Shades...I mean, seriously. Thankfully, I simply tried the free excerpt and didn't waste my money.

What's the one book you always recommend to just about anyone?
The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

What are your three favorite poems?
I'm not huge into poetry, but read one by friend and author, William Bernhardt, a while back and it still stays with me. It's called AIB, 13 and is about his daughter, but I think of my son and how too soon this will happen to me. I really loved it. I also loved Scratches in the same book. You can find his book of poetry which has these poem among many, here.

Where do you usually get your books?
Full Circle Books, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
Nope, I read anywhere and everywhere.

What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was too good to put down?
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson, 3 weeks ago.

Have you ever "faked" reading a book?

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
I pick up a book b/c I like the cover. I buy it if the blurb on back keeps my attention.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

What book changed your life?
Mistborn: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Why? Because I had been struggling with my faith and I identified with Sazed in this book. That was when I the first kernels of a dream began. A dream to write something that would make others think, that would resonate with others the way this book did with me.

What is your favorite passage from a book?
This passage resonated with me. It's the thoughts of the character, Sazed, as he struggles with faith.

"Why did they believe? Because they saw miracles. Things one man took as chance, a man of faith took as a sign. A loved one recovering from disease, a fortunate business deal, a chance meeting with a long lost friend. It wasn't the grand doctrines or the sweeping ideals that seemed to make believers out of men. It was the simple magic in the world around them.

What was it Spook said? Sazed thought, sitting in the shadowy kandra cavern.That faith was about trust. Trusting that somebody was watching. That somebody would make it all right in the end, even though things looked terrible at the moment.

To believe, it seemed, one had to want to believe. It was a conundrum, one Sazed had wrestled with. He wanted someone, something, to force him to have faith. He wanted to have to believe because of the proof shown to him.

Yet, the believers whose words now filled his mind would have said he already had proof. Had he not, in his moment of despair, received an answer? As he had been about to give up, TenSoon had spoken. Sazed had begged for a sign, and received it.

Was it chance? Was it providence?

In the end, apparently, it was up to him to decide. He slowly returned the letters and journals to his metalminds, leaving his specific memory of them empty—yet retaining the feelings they had prompted in him. Which would he be? Believer or skeptic? At that moment, neither seemed a patently foolish path.

I do want to believe, he thought. That's why I've spent so much time searching. I can't have it both ways. I simply have to decide.

Which would it be? He sat for a few moments, thinking, feeling, and—most important—remembering.

I sought help, Sazed thought. And something answered.

Sazed smiled, and everything seemed a little bit brighter. Breeze was right, he thought, standing and organizing his things as he prepared to go. I was not meant to be an atheist.” 

Who are your top five favorite authors?

Brandon Sanderson
Robert Jordan
Terry Goodkind
Violette Malan
Kate Forsyth

What book has no one heard about but should read?
If you haven't read, UNWIND by Neal Shusterman, just do. The scene where you experience the unwind will blow your mind.

What book are you an "evangelist" for?
The Mistborn Trilogy

What are your favorite books by a first time author?

SHIRI by D.S. Taylor
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo
ONE by LeighAnn Kopans

What is your favorite classic book?
The Chronicles of Narnia, or Pride and Prejudice

5 other notable mentions?
My guilty pleasure is paranormal romance. Authors within that genre that I love:
Laurell K. Hamilton
Christine Feehan
Gena Showalter
J.R. Ward
Sherrilyn Kenyon

Any of these books familiar? Any first time authors you'd recommend?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Kid Logic & the PTA

Yesterday I took the kiddo to his first piano lesson. Turns out it's his last for at least another year. Apparently, playing your own music instead of playing what your piano teacher wants you to play is bad. *shrug* Go figure.

When I asked him what he thought about piano lessons, he looked me right in the eye and stated, "It was fun, but would have been a lot funner if she'd have let me play the music I wanted to play. My music is way better than hers, mom. Can you just get me my own keyboard? I'll teach my own piano lessons to myself."

How do I even argue with that?

Today begins my obligation to the kiddo's school PTA. *sigh* I am not one of those moms who enjoys being up at my kids school, well, ever. I 'did' school already. It's boring and tedious. I made good grades, because when you're forced to be some place for most of the hours of the day, there's nothing else to do but accept the inevitable and make the best of it. The kiddo is showing signs of the same opinion. How do I know? Comments like, "Mom, why can't I stay home with you?" and "School is so boring." are really good indicators.

My goal: Pass the 'make the best of it' attitude on to him.

The day I graduated University will always be one of the greatest days of my life as it signaled FINALLY reaching the end of school. Now I can read what I want, write what I want, and do what I want. *Looks over at trophy orders that need to be filled* Sorta.

I enjoyed my liberation from school for all of 7 years, then the kiddo started school. *sigh* Am I the only one that feels like, as the parent, I'm the one back in school? I have to get up early in the morning to get him up for school. I have to make time for homework and sit down to help him with it. I can't just go on a spontaneous vacation somewhere, because God help us if he misses more than so many days of school.

The point? I've let myself be coerced into 'helping' at his school, again. So each week, I must go up and spend my time doing my motherly duty and I'm not looking forward to it. I'm abnormal, I know. Many of my fellow mommas seem to enjoy this stuff. Believe me, I know. I see them every time I have to step foot into that school.

Maybe it's how I was raised. My mom certainly didn't go up to my school to 'help'. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing very many moms at my school during the day to day running of it. Sure, they appeared for some things, but it didn't seem to be as much as I see now. Maybe it's the perspective.

Does your kid's logic often have you smiling and shaking your head? Are an 'involved' parent who is forced to spend time at your kid's school? Do you feel like you're being forced to 'go to school' again, like I do?

Friday, September 6, 2013

7th Anniversary, Vegas, and an End to Writer's Block

Last weekend, I celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary by surprising my hard to surprise hub with a trip to Vegas. *pats self on back* I hate secrets and this one nearly killed me trying to keep it. But I did it! The hub, never to be outdone, had these waiting in our room upon arrival!

Love him!

We took in a few shows. The first of which I ran 2 miles across the strip in 2.5" platform shoes b/c I might have planned poorly. (My feet are still recovering).

It was worth it though to see, Chris Angel, the fuzzy one on the right. That dude has serious skills. You think the Anti-Christ would appear as a magician? *shrug* Probably not a big enough platform for dreams of world domination, but it was straight up eerie how good he was.

We also gambled, albeit responsibly. Meaning we took money we didn't mind losing and proceeded to lose some of it. I love the craps tables, while the hub is into blackjack. Both of us really enjoyed ourselves and pretty much broke even on the win/loss ratio.

The kiddo is into Plants vs. Zombies, so when I saw a slot machine in this theme, I had to stick in a dollar for him. I won $10. Always knew that kid was lucky!

I also was lucky enough to get a few hours at the spa. Heaven. (My feet from previous mentioned 2 mile sprint might have been celebrating) The rejuvenation must have been what I needed because my first day back to writing after that lovely 5 day vacation, saw me get over a major writer's block I'd been experiencing the week before. Woot! Give it up for vacations.

Anyone else celebrating an anniversary? Go anywhere interesting over the Labor Day weekend? Any other good methods for killing writer's block besides spending a ton on a vacation to sin city?