Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Confessions



I confess...that I can't believe it took me 15 years of skiing to finally go night skiing, because it's pretty much AMAZING.

I confess...I think that Breckenridge (the ski resort in Colorado) is overrated.

I confess...I finally started doing yoga again - on my own for now, but I'm sure I'll go back to classes soon - and I can't remember why I stopped because I heart it. A lot.

Pin It

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book Review: 900 Miles by S. Johnathan Davis

I attended a panel at Walker Stalker Con that featured several horror genre authors. S. Johnathan Davis was one of them, and after hearing him describe his novel 900 Miles my friend and I were more than intrigued enough to pick up a copy.

source

The lasting impression that 900 Miles leaves is that the main plot line - the lead character, John, getting back to his wife - was a great idea that this book didn't do the best job of realizing. The biggest issue was that there was very little character or relationship development - especially in regards to John's marriage. It's very admirable that he wanted to get back to his pregnant wife, but what glimpses the reader gets into that relationship are minimal and almost seem thrown into the story to add length rather than depth.

Additionally, while the time frame of 900 Miles becomes a bit confusing about halfway through the novel, many of the situations that John and his traveling companion Kyle find themselves in show a society that has spun out of control far too quickly. And - spoiler alert, here - when they reach the supposed refuge of a place called "Avalon", the Elite class who rules there is already completely corrupt and the working class is already tired of it - not to mention the fact that they've had several gladiator-style fights in their "arena", though it can't have been more than two weeks (and is probably closer to one) since the zombie apocalypse began.

Of course, why did John make the detour to Avalon at all? The gladiator fights and the haves against have nots were both unnecessary to the main plot line of him finding his wife. While they added action to the story, due to the aforementioned timeline it seemed out of place. There was plenty of action happening already, and as it was the ending seemed rushed - so I don't think Avalon was necessary from a word count point of view. Davis also did a pretty good job of setting 900 Miles up for a sequel, and in that case I think that the Avalon part of John's tale would have worked much better in a second novel.

Lastly, I know that this book was self/small press published; because of that, I tried very, very hard to look past the many spelling and grammatical errors. Typos I outright ignored. But it was extremely difficult to not pull out a red pen, especially when I came across one comma splice after another after another. (Not to mention the switching of words like "passed" for "past" and "granite" for "granted".)

With some additional character and relationship building and some changes to either the timeline or the Avalon portion of the story - not to mention a proper editing job - 900 Miles really shows promise. For that I'll give it 2.5/5 stars with hopes that I see a new edition of it some day :)


Pin It

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry [lazy] Christmas!


I was really behind on Christmas this year. I didn't put my tree up until a week ago, and I didn't bother with ornaments at all.

Shoot, I was still wrapping presents yesterday. The pets tried to help...always a fun time. (Bit of sarcasm, there.)



I did try to look Christmas-y today, but I have to say that my hat was the best part of it...because it fit my mood :p (Though the sun shining the way it is in this picture is kind of cool)


I had a good time with my family, though, and even got to watch some Star Wars with my niece Savannah :) And then I came home and made a new yummy drink. I may call it "White Christmas" because it's kind of a Christmas version of a White Russian...basically just mix Kahlua, Vodka, and Egg Nog to taste :)


So despite the "bah humbug" I suppose it was a pretty good holiday ;) Merry Christmas everyone!

Pin It

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Confessions



I confess...it's possible I'm enjoying this break from Facebook a little too much. I wanted to give myself at least a week, but that time frame was over a couple of days ago...and yet with each day that passes, I want less and less to reactivate my account.

I confess...I've been reading my first Stephen King novel (yes, EVER) and I've been generally enjoying it...but holy crap this thing is over 850 pages long, and it's needed to be over for several hundred of those...yet I still have over 100 pages to go. ::sigh::

I confess...despite being in bed by about 10:30 almost every work night for the past week or so, I'm still having trouble dragging my butt out of bed at 7 AM. This from a girl who never used to hit the snooze button once. Not even in college. Bahhh.


Pin It

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Birthdays and Facebook breaks FTW!

This past Friday I celebrated my 30th birthday...in Disney World, no less! And that's why I haven't posted much in the past week...and why I missed Monday Confessions ;)


I had a yummy lunch at Biergarten, the German-themed restaurant in EPCOT's World Showcase...including a liter of beer, of course!

(Look, it's nearly as big as my giant head...)

Some good friends came to hang out throughout the day. I hadn't been all that excited about turning (::gulp::) 31, but my fun day helped me forget how old I am now...at least for a little while :)



And on Saturday, some combination of being tired and, I don't know, 31? Made me decide to allow myself a break from Facebook for a little while. The weird thing is, it's been three days and I really don't miss it at all...I may have to reactivate this coming weekend because of blogging and conventioning and all that, but it's definitely been a much-needed hiatus. I'm not one to 'hang out' on Facebook, watching my News Feed or whatever, but that doesn't mean I don't spend too much time on it anyway. So I'm Facebook free and happy...at least for a few more days! Pin It

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Review: Longbourn by Jo Baker

Okay, I have to be honest: I'm beginning to feel as if I'm the last person in the world who should be writing book reviews. And yet here I am, still reading and reviewing.

So, why do I feel this way? Because it's just so damn rare that I really love a book. And I don't hate them all that often, either. I've even basically stopped posting my reviews on Amazon (which I used to do religiously) because my opinions end up being so vague. Like, should I just not bother writing reviews for any book that I would give a 2.5, 3, or 3.5 star rating? I don't know. And yet here I am again with an average-ish review of Longbourn by Jo Baker.

source

I've read several of the Pride & Prejudice 'sequels'. Yes, it's all fanfiction in a way. Some of it was good and some of it was very, very bad. Longbourn, as P&P type stories go, is neither. Essentially, this story could have been decent on its own; it didn't really need to be set in the P&P 'universe'. But it was, and for a P&P lover that did help bump it up a notch. It is definitely an original take on things, which also led to my enjoying it a bit more than I maybe would have otherwise.

While at times a bit slow, I did generally enjoy reading Longbourn. Unfortunately, it had several issues with which I couldn't come to terms. The first involves the main character's love interests - I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil the entire main plot line, but suffice it to say that Sarah's love interests and behavior regarding them are pretty questionable for the time period in which the novel was set.

Next - and I noted that several reviews on Amazon mentioned this same thing - there is a portion of the novel that deals with English soldiers fighting in Spain that, while well written, feels out of place and drawn out. And finally, as I already [briefly] mentioned, the fact that Longbourn was set within the Pride & Prejudice storyline was pretty much unnecessary. It would have made more sense if we'd seen more of that side of the story (albeit from the servants' point of view, of course), but as it was written it just seems like more of a selling point for the novel than an imperative part of the whole story portrayed in this book.

With a few changes, Longbourn definitely could have stood on its own two feet; as I said, it was a generally enjoyable read. If you're a huge P&P fan, I suppose I would say to give it a go and see what you think. 3/5 stars.


Pin It

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Confessions



I confess...I'm really tired of being on antibiotics. You know how they warn of all these side effects that most people never seem to experience? Well, I'm not most people :-/

I confess...I had to order some new pants (I needed talls, couldn't find them in store, and my current pants are two sizes too big). I did so on Cyber Monday, and they *still* haven't shipped. What's up with that, Old Navy?

I confess...I'm reading a Steven King novel (11/22/63)). And it's the first Steven King novel I've ever read. :D (Yes, really.)

Pin It

Friday, December 6, 2013

How about some CHRISTMAS right in your FACE courtesy of the Hallmark Channel? ;)

Okay, soooo maybe this year I'm a bit of a Grinch about Christmas. I go through phases with this holiday, actually - I would say that most years I love it, but every once in a while I just don't feel it. And this is one of those 'just not feelin' it' years. Like, I may not even put up a Christmas tree, but I suppose that's neither here nor there...because what this entry is really about, is the insane amount of fun I had watching - and making fun of - the Hallmark Channel movie Let it Snow.

Picture it - I've been sick all week and I'm beginning to go stir crazy because honestly, there is nothing on TV lately - unless I want to watch bad holiday-themed movies. I suppose that eventually I had to give in, and yes, that's what happened last night. I was flipping through the channel guide, saw that there was a movie on the Hallmark Channel that starred Candace Cameron from Full House...and spent the next two hours watching - and incessantly mocking - it.

I'm gonna go ahead and spoiler alert you now, despite the fact that this movie is so predictable it's almost disgusting.


(Quick side note: I don't mean to, err, 'rank' on Candace Cameron, as an actress or a person - nor do I mean to poke fun of the other actors in this movie as actors or people. What I *am* doing is picking apart a seriously ridiculous movie, so please don't assume I'm hating on the people in it and thus hate on me in return.)

Okay, so they jump right into this movie by showcasing main character Stephanie and her father. She wants to take over the family business (which is a huge resort corporation - Hilton family, much?) and her dad is kinda being a jerk about it. He insists on sending her to a lodge that he bought, which is located in the middle of nowhere, Maine - over Christmas! Egads!

(Actually, that is pretty shitty, I'll give them that.)

Then the movie moves on to Snow Valley...Maine?

Haha, hope. After some awful shaky cam footage of skiing and some shots of the mountains, I'm thinking, oh cool, this movie takes place in Colorado or something. (Because before that, if there was any hint that the resort was in Maine, I'd missed it.) I mean really...if you're going to film in Vancouver, why wouldn't you just set your stupid movie somewhere out west? Any self-respecting New Englander knows that Maine mountains don't look like the ones in this movie. To wit:

Mountains in Maine

Mountains in Vancouver.
Mountains in Maine

MOUNTAINS IN VANCOUVER

Finally we get to see Snow Valley Lodge (which, by the way, made me think of Sun Valley Lodge the entire time I was watching this movie), but sadly the most memorable thing about this place is the ridiculous number of rolling pins in the kitchen.

No, I'm serious, I couldn't take my eyes off those rolling pins. There were like, eight of them, hanging on the Snow Valley Lodge kitchen wall. And did we ever see Grandma using one? Stay tuned to find out...

Oh, yeah, speaking of that - even though the current proprietors of Snow Valley Lodge were actually the parents of Stephanie's love interest, Brady...I couldn't stop thinking of them as Grandma and Grandpa, and will therefore refer to them as such. Hopefully that won't confuse you, should you ever deign to watch this ridiculous piece of holiday smut. I mean, this heartwarming Christmas tale.

Anyway, there's no question about it - obviously Stephanie is the main character, so once we know that Brady is the son of Grandpa and Grandma Sun Snow Valley, their meet-cute is inevitable...as is the fact that they will dislike each other from the get-go.

I will say that Stephanie is a girl after my own heart in that she just doesn't care about Christmas all that much. I mean, she scoffs at Grandma's Icelandic pastries! Good for her, because by the way, Grandma, those pastries can't be FROM Iceland if you baked them in Maine this morning. And honestly, I'd be curling my lip up at the constant Christmas music playing in the background, courtesy of someone's Casio keyboard. Oh and Stephanie, you wanted a salad? Grandma will bring it to you, but she'll add cranberries without asking - "to make it Christmas-y". LOL WUT. She will also bring you cookies that you didn't ask for - but I mean, they're from SWITZERLAND, so how can you say no?

Poor Stephanie, though. All she wants is to see what she has to see by snowmobile, yet they force her to go out on cross-country skis...despite the fact that she's never skied before! And she doesn't own proper ski/snow clothing! It's okay, though, because they can dig up something for her - and that something happens to be a matching trendy ski outfit, of course! Because that's what all the little family-owned Maine resorts have sitting around for unprepared guests, right?

The answer to that is 'yes', but mostly just because Let it Snow needed a way for Stephanie and Brady to have some alone time...and what better way to accomplish that than him teaching her how to cross-country ski? Which of course involves him touching her, and when that happens you can literally hear the magic of Christmas!

No, I'm not kidding. The moment Stephanie and Brady share a sort of sweet 'moment', you hear that little jingly bell sound that usually signifies magic. Puke, much?



Brady is one heck of a good teacher, too - within minutes Stephanie is cross country skiing like a pro. I actually called out, "Way to go, DJ from Full House!" and then realized, oh wait, that's not right...just about the time she falls over again, because of course Hallmark wants the viewers to get a good chuckle out of her misfortune.

From there on in, this movie does nothing but SHOVE THE CHRISTMAS IN YOUR MOUTH. You want some chestnuts roasting on an open...grill? You've got 'em. Do you think I'm kidding? Are you possibly wondering, "Does everything have to do with Christmas?" The answer is LOL YES.

Quick break to point out that around this time, they use the same shot of Stephanie moving her feet (in their completely-inappropriate-for-winter heeled boots) around to keep warm - twice. Within a couple-minute-long time span. And then...magical chimes again! And apparently this time they call up Grandma...

...but I digress. We are actually treated to an explanation of Sun Snow Valley's 'marketing' (???) secret - they are booked from "the first day of advent until the twelfth day of Christmas", and it's all because of their special Christmas celebration(s)! My immediate reaction? "Waaaiiiiittt just a minute. They use the actual advent calendar? Like...what?!"

But then I got distracted by Brady and his flannel. Like, really distracted. The next several thoughts included such gems as, "He's so rustic in his flannel." - "He's all flannel." - "She [Stephanie] has a heart made of stone...and his, of flannel."

Anyway, so throughout this movie we are constantly introduced to ridiculous Christmas rituals...none of which they force Stephanie to participate in. Yet when they ask her to take a minute to hang a damn ornament on their damn tree, her response is to wave her phone in the air and claim that she has to work. Thankfully, though, she gives in - with next to no convincing arguments needed on Grandma's part. I mean, seriously, it's like a minute of her time. The tree is maybe twenty feet away from wherever she is. Geeeez.


So yay, special Christmas tree decorating ceremony thing! And then...AWWW ALL THE KIDS AT SUN SNOW VALLEY WRAP GIFTS AND BRING THEM TO THE CHILDREN AT THE LOCAL HOSPITAL! CHRISTMAS! CHEER!

And when that's over, you witness Stephanie participate in some bizarre ritual that's apparently going to make her dream about her one true love...and when she wakes up in the morning, guess what? She dreamed about someone...who could it be...why, BRADY, of course! (Who the eff else could it be when there are no other eligible bachelors in this movie?!)

Then, just because they haven't had enough Christmas activities and we still have a couple days to go before the holiday (no seriously though, at this point I was shocked to find out that it STILL wasn't Christmas), we learn about their Christmas dinner, a.k.a. "The Feast of the Seven Fishes" (I still don't really get that one, because at this point I've been on Christmas overload for more than an hour and there's not been one *specific* mention of Jesus or religion), and just in case we've forgotten SANTAAAA - the kids write letters to him!

(I find it important to note that around this time, I had to go use the little girl's room - and when I asked Steve to pause the movie, his response was, "YOU CAN'T PAUSE CHRISTMAS!" I laughed a bit, and despite the fact that you can't pause Christmas, he did. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...)

Stephanie is about to go on a date with Brady - she in a sexy black dress and he in his flannel - but wait, why is she coming down the stairs? I mean, I get the grand entrance thing, but all this time I was under the impression that her room was on the main floor of the 'lodge'...and then, in addition to this silliness, Brady doesn't say anything about what their date will consist of and drags her off to go ice fishing in totally inappropriate clothing.

Yeah, big surprise that she's going ice fishing by the way. Like that wasn't predicted when earlier in the movie she swore she would never do so. So she and Brady hole up in the little ice fishing shack, at which point he tells her to take off her coat, or she'll get too hot - when clearly what he really means is "Take your clothes - I mean, coat - off, you'll get too hot." Yeahhhh. You can seriously hear it in his tone. Yet she still takes her coat off. And she fishes. And of course she catches a fish. And the next thing we know, they've eaten. In the shack. Which means they somehow also cooked their fish in the shack. I have no idea how this was physically possible as that shack is like five feet by five feet, but surprisingly this didn't bother me as much as a lot of other things about this movie did.


Like the fact that they think it's 'too cold to snow'.

Or the fact that you hear carolers singing "Silent Night" in the background, and I swear they are slurring any religious lyrics while at the same time Stephanie and Brady are talking over said religious lyrics. Or maybe that was all just bad sound editing, because either their set was near a highway or their sound people didn't know how to get rid of that rushing sound in the background.

But wait! Lo! Brady and Stephanie are about to kiss - aaaand nope, they're interrupted by Grandpa, because OH NOES THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ARE OUT AT ONE OF THE CABINS MUST FIX IMMEDIATELY! Poor Brady, especially as Stephanie chooses this moment to - ahem - sneak off to bed.

The next morning, there's a tree bobbing in the front yard of the lodge (no idea what that was about, except that maybe the key grip was supposed to be holding it up and was failing miserably at his/her job or something) and - SURPRISE - Stephanie is helping Grandma COOK! And then, before I can even get over that ridiculousness, one of the little girls staying at Sun Snow Valley shows up and chastises Stephanie for not being at the carol singing activity the night before (sorry kid, Stephanie was too busy gettin' jiggy with Brady in the ice fishing shack). This child even outright asks Stephanie if she 'believes in Christmas'. No seriously - she actually asks, "Do you even believe in Christmas?" What does that MEAN?!

Stephanie assuages the little girl's concerns by agreeing to attend that night's Christmas tree lighting ceremony, where she stands next to Brady (of course), sings Christmas carols (of course), gazes in obnoxious awe at the tree once it's been lit (of course), and even exclaims about how there is so much MAGIC in Christmas...she even DREAMED about it...laaaaa....



So now that Stephanie and Brady have officially sealed whatever it is they have going on with a kiss (no tongue, mind you - this IS the Hallmark channel, after all)...well. If you thought Let it Snow was Christmasy before, now they're really gonna cram it down your throat with one big Christmasy montage featuring disco "Jinglebells", an actual one-horse open sleigh, a reindeer, and more.

I wish I was kidding, really I do.

And of course, after this montage - which literally takes place over the course of an afternoon, or has to based on their current timeline - Brady wants to now, like, share his family resort with Stephanie? And I assume he means for life? He's known her for like FIVE DAYS so lol yeah okay. But um really it doesn't matter because Stephanie's dad now owns Sun Snow Valley and he's going to bulldoze it to the ground and there's NOTHING *anyone* can do about it!

But wait! That doesn't mean they won't try! Cue Grandpa showing Stephanie Brady's book of plans for the lodge/resort, and Stephanie and Brady staying up all night to put together a report that will show her father what's what and convince him to improve upon what's already there rather than starting from scratch - all on a weird 1990s looking program on a disguised Macbook Pro, of course.

(At this point I literally had to tell myself that going back and counting the number of times they say the word 'Christmas' in this movie was completely unnecessary. But really, it was like every thirty seconds! "Oh, and in case you've forgotten, it's Christmas, Christmasssss, CHRISTMAS!")

...and it's also time for Stephanie's father to finally arrive and ruin everything! I mean don't worry though, because scandalous Grandma somehow knows to put Stephanie's letter to Santa in her dad's coat pocket? Erm...okay. You go Glen Coco! Also, soon after this she actually uses one of her many rolling pins! I was amazed because we'd seen them hanging on the wall so many times at this point that it made me wonder if, despite all her supposed cooking, they were anything more than just decoration.

Now switch to Stephanie explaining to her father how AWESOME Sun Snow Valley is at CHRISTMAS. And by Christmas, she means all of advent, which - in case you don't remember - starts the first of November and ends twelve days after Christmas day. Because fuck you Thanksgiving, you're part of Christmas now.

Speaking of Christmas, guess what, during Stephanie's speech to her father I finally gave in and counted the number of times she said "Christmas". Said speech was approximately one minute long, and in it she used the word Christmas  EIGHT TIMES. That's right - EIGHT. I'm approximating how long her speech was, but really, that's about once every eight seconds. And I'm probably being generous, there. And to top it all off, she went on on about the meaning of Christmas after that without a single mention of Jesus, you know, Christ.

Obviously the movie can't be over yet, though - we're only about an hour and forty minutes in at this point (perhaps a little less). So of course Stephanie's jerky dad yells at her, tells her she's wrong, fires her, and then stomps out. But I mean, it's okay - they'll just put on "the best Christmas that Snow Valley has ever had"! (That's the spirit! That will fix everything!)

And again, in case you've not heard or seen something Christmas-y in a while, now they're singing the figgy pudding song! But it's their own version about fishy pudding! Because that's not gross or anything. And they're all old-fashioned about life, playing pick-up sticks (or whatever that game is called) and actually appearing to enjoy themselves! Oh, and here's Brady, wearing a dress shirt and slacks for once! No flannel for him on Christmas Eve!

Also, the kids get to open one present. Let's ignore for a moment how weird it would be to be a child opening presents in front of a bunch of strangers on Christmas Eve and focus on the fact that the first child to open a gift gets...A LEAPPAD ULTRA! PRODUCT! PLACEMENT! OMG IT'S GOT A RECHARGEABLE BATTERY!


Why is this worth all caps, do you ask? Well, only because throughout this showing of Let it Snow - during nearly every commercial break - a commercial for the new LeapPad Ultra aired. Not only that, but when the little girl opens the box to find said LeapPad Ultra, she actually EXCLAIMS about it BEING a LeapPad Ultra.

We are even treated to a scene where Stephanie's Grinch of a father goes out to a fancy but cold dinner and then arrives at his fancy but cold hotel, only to find Stephanie's letter to Santa in his pocket. And SURPRISE! It's not about Brady, but about her dad and how badly she wants a magical Christmasy Christmas with him! I mean, not that there's anything he can do about that now...dun dun dun...

Back at Sun Snow Valley, apparently at some point their rockin' Christmas Eve winds down, though, because next thing we know Stephanie is waking up and squealing about it being Christmas - and continuing to squeal when she realizes that 'Pere Noel' paid her a visit! What this means is that someone sneaked into her room in the middle of the night - while she was sleeping, I mean - and put candy in her slippers. I don't know about you guys, but that would creep me out if it happened at home and it was, say, my parents doing it, let alone at a resort where it was a stranger (or near stranger) doing it.

And then Stephanie goes downstairs and receives personalized gifts from Grandma and Grandpa! (Really these are just desperate attempts/last ditch efforts of this family to bribe Stephanie into not tearing down their family resort by tricking her into thinking this place is full of Christmas magic - I mean, clearly that's been the plan all along, no?)


No worries, though, because a random Santa Claus shows up! And no one thinks anything of it! (Now, I *suppose* sneaky Grandma may have some inkling as to what's going on, but otherwise it just seems that at Sun Snow Valley it's totally okay for a stranger to show up at Christmas dinner dressed as Santa Claus and pass mysterious gifts out to the children.)


But really, Stephanie doesn't recognize her own father's voice? Like, she's totally surprised to find out that it's him? And where did he get that costume, anyway?! Assuming he doesn't travel around on business with a Santa Claus costume in his little wheely travel suitcase, he somehow procured it either late Christmas Eve night or sometime on Christmas day when, you know, everything is closed (at least in terms of stores/shopping). Of course, I guess I've been hard enough on this movie already, so I can try to just let them have their happy en -

WAIT YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Stephanie and Brady are professing their love for each other (despite having met, what, a week ago? if that?)...UNDER THE MISTLETOE.

AND IT'S SNOWING.


AND NOW THEY'RE PLAYING THE SONG FROM WHENCE THIS TRAVESTY OF A MOVIE GOT ITS NAME. (That would be "Let it Snow", for those of you who haven't been paying attention.)

I AM 1,000% DONE WITH THIS MOVIE.

Merry Christ-less Christmas-y Christmas, y'all!

Pin It

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Costume dreams...

As 2013 nears its end - and as I won't be going to another convention until February at the earliest - I couldn't help but start thinking about costumes for next year.

(Okay, that's a lie, I started thinking about costumes for Dragon Con 2014 within a week after returning from Dragon Con 2013.)

Some of these are actually already in the works - most of them will hopefully be finished well before whatever convention they're intended for. Of course, I say that, but probably don't really mean it, because like most cosplayers (ugh, still hate that word) I'm horrible about procrastinating ;)

First things first, I thought that I was going to retire Andrea from The Walking Dead after Dragon Con this year...mainly because she died in season 3 of the show :-/ But then Walker Stalker Con came around, and then I ended up finding a near perfect match for Andrea's vest...which means I'll be finishing up a season 3 Andrea costume, and hopefully soon!


Of course I always need another Cersei costume. With the help of my friend Frankie, I decided to forgo the weird necklines and difficult-to-perfect metal corset from season three and stick with an iconic Cersei look...red gown with lots of gold embroidery, of course! (And this also means I get to use my nearly perfect Cersei belt more often, yay!) I'm crossing my fingers that this one will be done for Throne Con in London at the end of February ;)


Last but not least in terms of costumes that will definitely make an appearance next year is...drumroll please...a Caprica Six outfit! (From Battlestar Galactica, I mean) But I'm sorry, that red dress of hers is hideous, and I also don't think it would look good on me, so I'm going with something that is maybe less recognizable but which I'll feel a hell of a lot more comfortable in...the white dress she wears in the opera house scenes (both on Kobol and in the Crossroads episodes, plus possibly even a few more times than that...I can't recall exactly, at the moment).


Now, I've got a few others in the works (you're not surprised, are you?) but these will be the three main/big additions, I think. A couple I'm not 100% sure about, so I'm going to leave those 'secret'...at least for right now ;) I will say, though, that my dream costume - despite the fact that a million other girls are probably going to be doing it - is Elsa from Disney's Frozen. ::sigh:: The problem is, I don't know if I want her super pretty blue dress or the less pretty but more outfit that has more coverage AND A CAPE. I just love capes. (Yeah, I know, I'm weird.) However, this one is a shot in the dark anyway. So we'll just have to see...



Regardless, obviously I've got a lot on my plate for next year...and shoot, I don't even have many conventions planned yet (outside of ASOIAF/GoT ones, that is...haha). But I'm sure they'll add up eventually! (The conventions, I mean. Clearly the costumes are adding up already.) Pin It

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Confessions



I confess...I came down with some sort of 'holiday crud' and I'm not too happy about it. Could have been the weather change from east coast to west coast to east coast again, combined with not enough sleep, but regardless...booo being sick, I don't have time for this!

I confess...I can't even begin to think about Christmas right now, despite the fact that everyone (and everything, really) is trying to make me do so.

I confess...that on that note, I can't believe it's December, that my 31st birthday is right around the corner, that this year is almost over, and that I'm really not looking forward to 2014. ::sigh:: Long story.

Pin It

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013!

Last year I did a whole series of "Six Sentence Sundays" during NaNoWriMo, and I'm suddenly sad that I didn't remember to do so this year. But hey, NaNo ended yesterday, and somehow, some way, I actually ended up making 50,000 words this month! It was down to the wire, that's for sure - I validated my novel/word count at about 9:30 last night, being just a few words over 50,000 and with just a couple of hours left before the NaNoWriMo was over. To be completely honest, a good portion of what I wrote the past few days was no more than catch-up writing, and not very good - but I keep telling myself that it's words on paper, that some of it might be usable, and I'm glad that I was able to 'win' NaNo for the second year in a row :)

P.S. I really do love the 8-bit look they've got going on this year :)

Sooo in celebration of 'winning' NaNo, I figured I'd make this first day of December a Six Sentence Sunday and of course choose a passage from the novel I was working on last month. I'm still not sure what it is, or if it will be anything halfway decent at all, but...well, it exists, I guess? ;)


I suppose it should have tipped me off, just how 'content' I was with my life, when the first and basically only thing that crossed my mind upon finding a member of the living dead on the road near my yoga retreat was I have to make sure Holden is okay. Holden being my dog, of course. That's right, my live-in boyfriend of three years didn't cross my mind at all - I just wanted my dog.

Says something, doesn't it?
Now, because I don't want you to think I'm too cold, I will admit that after the initial panic and about an hour into my three-hour drive home, I did start thinking about my mother. She was alone, after all, still living on the farm she'd once shared with my father.

Well...there ya go. I know that it cuts off a bit short at the end there, but that's what comes with only sharing six sentences, no more no less! Pin It

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions New & Old

Admittedly, my Thanksgiving weekend didn't quite go as planned this year - but in the end. it turned out to be pretty freaking awesome.

I began my holiday with a years-old tradition - going to a movie. Usually a 'young adult' movie; in this case, Catching Fire :) Add in something that my sister and I started last year - Painkillers at Cheddar's - and, well, yay Black Wednesday!


Now, as it happened, my sisters and a few other friends were in the area and didn't have plans for Thanksgiving dinner. After a couple of Painkillers (and several bourbon and cokes, if you want me to be completely honest), I decided that an 8 PM Black Wednesday trip to the grocery store and an offer to make some semblance of a meal on Thanksgiving was a great idea. And you know...it turned out to be just that.  Including my nieces and nephew, there were ten of us at my house for dinner last night...a dinner that was followed by a few of us hanging out and playing the Game of Thrones drinking game!

First, though...bread and salt for guest rite!

Best game pieces ever!

::sigh:: Cersei's at The Wall again!

The boys look on in wonder...or...something

Poor 'Jaime' got Jory'd *and* Hodor'd, but somehow still won the game. I guess after all that, he really deserved it. Cersei was quite close, though! Sandor and Robb kept getting sent backward, so they weren't too happy with the outcome...not that they ever had a chance (poor Sandor :( )


Lannisters Rule! (The Drinking Game, at least...)

Pop figure stacking...post-drinking-game, of course ;)
Somehow we ended up having way too much food, but hey, at least that meant yummy leftovers for me today ;) (After having to go to work and finish up some last minute end of the month stuff, and making an ill-advised stop at Old Navy to buy 50% off jeans) But thanks to great friends and crazy family, it was honestly one of the best Thanksgivings I've ever had...

Happy Thanksgiving from the Queen Regent and the King in the North!
More post-drinking-game silliness with some amazing friends <3


I hope that everyone else had as great of a holiday as I did :D So cliche, I know, but even with the things that didn't go as planned, I really do have a lot to be thankful for and I'm not sure I would have traded this weekend for anything. Pin It

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Confessions



I confess...there's nothing like jet lag on a Monday morning to make me even more happy that this is a short work week ;)

I confess...that I'll be shocked if I 'win' NaNoWriMo this year :-/ Sad but true. I've simply been too busy and had to travel too much this month ::sigh::

I confess...I'm ready to just stay home for a while. So much traveling the past few months has really worn me out! (And it's pretty rare that I'll admit anything like *that* ;) )

Pin It

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Writer's Block Wednesday: A RenFaire Pirate's Life for Me!

Once upon a time, four pirates went to the Carolina Renaissance Festival...


They watched fire eaters...


...ate turkey legs...


...met Renaissance Joker and Harley Quinn...


...caught some of a tournament...


...and clearly had a little too much fun ;)


Really, with how busy I've been this fall I was  beginning to wonder if I'd make it to RenFaire at all. But when my buddy (and fellow Ice & Fire Con organizer) Matt told me that their Pirate-themed weekend was coming up, I knew that I had to *make* time for it. We had a complete blast, of course, though the fact that I thought it would be an 11 AM to 6 PM (or so) day, and it turned into a 10 AM to 11:30ish PM day. But it was worth every minute and I'm so glad I got to go, especially now that RenFaire is over for the year. ::sad:: Pin It