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Showing posts from October, 2018

Why Iron Heinrich is my Favorite

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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

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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

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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.
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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

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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

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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

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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 |…

Alien Covenant: What a Waste

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To save you some time if you don’t want to read on, we walked out of the theater and all I could think was: “What a waste.”

Strap in, kids. There is literally nothing I like about this movie.

What is with this navel gazing?
You know what would have been amazing? If they’d cut the entire first scene from the movie. Aside from being boring, it wasn't’ an effective method of reminding a viewer where the story was, or even giving an insight into David’s end motives. That time could have been better spent answering my next questions….


Why do I care about these characters? Who are they? Why am I currently playing relationship connect the dots?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m at least happy they aren’t a dozen scientists ignoring all safety standards and generally being idiots, but I also know nothing about any of them. All I know for certain is that the brunette with short hair and a tank top has the best chances of survival. I don’t know who these people are, or why they decided to sleep for 10 …

New Release: The Boneless Mercies

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New Release: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

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IWSG October 2018

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I’ve always had issues with eczema.

Genetic lottery did me wrong on that one. But 99% of the time, it has exactly ZERO effect on my life. I know how to deal with it, and with the exception of patches that interfere with tattoo schedules, I don’t really think about it. It’s just a thing that exists.

But last week, I spaced it, and used the wrong soap. And I’m currently paying the price.

Hands--and as people who write as much as we do know this--are a pretty integral part of life, so when I had that violent reaction, it screwed a lot of things up.

Dealing with the process of treating the issue on my hands is always a pain, more so when you’ve got deadlines and a massive pile of emails that need responding to.

The real problem, however, lies in the fact that my brain was programed from an early age to feel like productivity equates to worth. I get a whole different kind of itchy when I sit still for long. So, I’m still over here looking a little like I’ve got leprosy, and I’m still ty…

New Release: Girl Squads by Sam Maggs

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

Sam was on my favorite panel three days out of four at this year’s PHXCC* and I’ve been impatiently waiting for this book ever since.
For more information, visit their site.


*Yes, I know they changed the name to Phoenix Comic Fest, and that next year’s is Phoenix Fan Fusion. PHXCC is just a better acronym, okay?

September Wrap-Up

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Words Written: 80,753-words in 30 days
(AVG 2,692-words/day)
8 projects + Admin (9%)


I don’t remember the last time I’ve written every day of a month. Weekends are hard for me… because I don’t particularly enjoy ignoring my husband or the dogs. But hey, sometimes, drafting just needs to get done.
This has been my best September since 2013. More than that, it’s the best month of the year to-date. And I pushed past 400K for the year.
So, all around, a great month on the writing front.

- Books Edited: 1
I finished one edit and immediately started the next. Pretty sure that is my immediate future. I’ve got too much sitting around waiting to be dealt with, and need to get my butt in hear and get it done.

- Books Read: 2
Did I mention the whole editing thing? That’s taken up most of my time this month. Hopefully I’ll get a better balance sorted out in October?

- Books Purchased: 3
Along with Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, which is amazing so far, I got my preorder of Mike Martinez’ MJ12: Eng…