No Nano

NaNoWriMo is an awesome challenge and great way to push yourself to get something started, or get something finished… or just get focused. It’s an amazing community and it’s a great way to kick yourself in the pants.
As someone who’s done NaNo several times, I am a big proponent of participation. I needed it for focus because… whoa, my brain gets especially flustered around this time of year.

But this time, I had to make the hard choice to not participate. As a self-competitive person, and a completionist, stepping back and removing myself from that particular trackable goal was tough. But my first priority goal this month is an edit and editing does not for a NaNo word count make.

I probably will still hit the 50k mark (Even my worst month since I started actively tracking my word counts in 2013 was over 50k… barely). But those words will be pulled from all over the place within my to-do list and so, I can’t in good conscience count them toward a NaNo “novel.”

That’s why I’m over her…

October Wrap-Up

Words Written: 113,815-words in 26 days
(AVG 4,378-words/day)
5 projects + Admin (6%)

This month feels like it was three years long. Maybe that’s because I got in as many words as I did? Maybe it’s because I spent it watching horror movies (some of which take a few days off my life every time I watch them)? Maybe it’s because the year is winding down and the weather’s finally getting cold and my bones are aching? Maybe it’s because I need my dosage upped and the time nonsense associated with my TLE has started to mess with me. Who knows.

The word count is as high as it is because I threw 70,000 of those words into a fast draft (it had OH SO MANY NOTES) in 9 days that is completely horrendous. I’ll be setting it aside while I work on other things next month so that I can come back to it in December and see how many of those words I’m actually going to keep, and then get a real draft around the 90k mark. (note: I’m not going to be able to do that draft in 9 days, history has proven thi…

Why Iron Heinrich is my Favorite

When people ask me what my favorite fairytale is, I usually tell them my second favorite. Mostly because it’s easier to simply say “Sleeping Beauty” than to explain the Iron Heinrich part of The Frog Prince.

In the version that includes Heinrich (so many leave him out), Heinrich is so distraught over his prince’s enchantment that he binds his chest with three iron bands to keep his heart from breaking. When the prince returns, his heart swells so much it is the bands that break.

The thing that has always fascinated me about the fairytale that leaves him out is that it made little to no sense to me as a child. Why would the prince want a princess who was so selfish and violent? Then again, why would the princess kiss a frog? I get that moral of the story is that promises need to be kept and that the rewards therein can be great, but what do you really owe an amphibian?

After my first time reading Iron Heinrich, some things fell into place for me. When it comes right down to it, I felt …

Release: Roar of Sky

Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

The books that came before:

Breath of Earth
Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

Call of Fire
Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

For more information, visit their site.

Some Thoughts on The Last Jedi

By the end of our second viewing of The Last Jedi, I realized why it had taken so long for me to get back in the padded chair before the big screen. Despite everything that was amazing and wonderful about the film… it leaves me overwhelmingly sad. The beginning is sad, the middle is sad, even the moment of renewed hope is sad....

That general gloom makes the jokes harder to hear, leaves a bitter taste after they’re gone.
There are so many things I wanted from the movie plot wise that didn't happen and I waited this long to write up my thoughts on it so that I could shove most of those aside and work with what we were given, instead of the rewrites I would needlessly suggest (though at least one made it into the text below.

But I can like things that make me sad, so it’s still toward the top in my rankings.

And now, an itemized list of the things I like and dislike in no particular order*….
(Except the best, that's definitely first)

Vice Admiral Holdo
I always joke that I’d joi…

4 Reasons I'll Stop Reading

Let's start with why I'm writing this: I'm editing at present, and I'm going through the book with these things in mind.

Once upon a time, I completed every book I started. It wasn’t a good policy. The result was bogged down reading time (because finishing them was not desirable, so I’d keep putting it off) and a general distaste for reading in general at times.

In the last few years, I’ve allowed myself to mark things down as DNF. Sometimes, I think I’ll go back to them… and sometimes I do. Most of the time, I set them aside for research purposes. That’s the point at which I’m most likely to go back and read through them.

Reading for pleasure is different than reading for research.

Ridiculous plots are one thing – they’re actually pretty awesome. In 99% of fiction, I can overlook plot problems with science and even irrational character reactions (people are often irrational) what I can’t overlook is bad or lazy writing.

Most of the time, I stop reading for th…

Spice Tea

We’re in that fun season where sniffles and sneezes, and rib cracking coughs are starting to make the rounds. That means it’s time to share another, updated version of the spice tea recipe that keeps me alive when the yearly plague rolls through. As always, it’s pretty much the same as previous versions I’ve posted. Though, this time I have added a pair of variations that I’ve enjoyed recently. If you make it often enough, like I do, you’ll eventually get to a point when you don’t need to measure out the water (it hits right beneath the handles on my stock pot). And you may want to adjust the spice ratio too. I pull my cloves and cinnamon out with a tablespoon, but I let them heap too, so I don’t know exacting amounts. When you’re feeling like it’s not quite enough, adding whiskey* is a good plan too. Ingredients 6 Quarts Water ( 24 Cups/1.5 Gallons)1 Cup Sugar1 Tbsp Whole Cloves1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon12 Bags Black Tea (I use Lipton because you can get it in bulk at Costco)1 ½ Cups Lem…

On Pranks, Trust, & A Culture Where It’s “Funny” To Hurt People

Prank videos float around the internet the same way germs bounce around elementary school classrooms. You can ignore them most of the time, but you can never really avoid them.

I loathe pranks.

There are pranks people call harmless. Pranks where no one is physically hurt. The ones where you can “laugh” about them afterward.

There are videos where people convince younger boys to do something that inevitably winds up with a nutshot. There are the pranks that have a potential to be psychologically damaging. The ones that could, conceivably, kill someone if copied by someone who chooses to play out the same prank in an unsuitable location. 

People who get upset about pranks are deemed “overly sensitive.” When others speak up about pranks they’re called overly PC. We’re told that we need to get over it. That it’s all in the name of fun….

When I was six, an older cousin decided it would be hilarious to get me to cover my eyes for a “surprise” and then pants me. It’s twenty-five years later and …

Why Doctor Strange Is My Least Favorite MCU Film To Date

Note: I do not count the Hulk films even if they do, technically fit within continuity.
Something I've noticed in the time since this film was released: I feel pretty alone in this sentiment among the people I’ve talked to about this.

Let’s start with me telling you what I liked about it:

Visually, it’s gorgeous.

That’s it.

The film is beautiful in color scheme and in it’s fun Escher-y matter manipulation. Watching it in 3D is a fun trip.

But that’s literally it.

I hate Steven Strange.
There was no point in the time before his car accident that I wanted to see a redemption arc. When his car went off the road a teensy tiny part of me, really hoped that it was a Drew-Barrymore-In-Scream situation, and some other strange would appear to misguidedly avenge him or something. The guy is a grade-A prick from the beginning and I don’t really care if people like him get to be better people.

If there was a redemption moment for his character… I didn’t see it.

You take an amazing surgeon who’s…

Release: The Phoenix Empress

Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

The book that came before:
Even gods can be slain
The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.
Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.
This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.
A crack in the wall heralds the end…two goddesses arm themselves…

Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |…