Home Photography Writing About


Drabble Dienstag - What She Wants

I want to use my drabbles as a way to stretch myself when it comes to writing; try things I don't normally do. This time I'm attempting present tense. I found it rather hard because I just wanted to keep repeating the same verb. I was thinking too hard and should do more present tense just to force it to become habit, the way past is for me. Let me know what you think, or give me a prompt in the comments. Thanks!

There’s nothing to be done about it. She wants it now. What she wants, she usually doesn’t get. But this time it will happen. She stands in front of a shop window, gazing at pretty shoes. It’s not the shoes she wants, but something more substantial, something that really means something. It’s all her constant need for attention. This need to be the fulcrum of the see-saw, the pivot point of the wheel. She walks away from the shop. Out in the world are the things she needs, and she is going to get them, no matter what it takes.


New Challenges

Classic books are one of my guilty pleasures. So in 2012 I'm going to join November's Autumn and read 7 classics. I may do more than that, considering I normally read one between every few modern books. But I like the idea of forcing myself to try new ones and blog about it.

My list:
These have all been on the list for a while now:
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

 This one sounds very interesting, which usually classic books don't, lol:
Middlemarch by George Eliot

And one reread because I think I was too young and didn't understand it:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - Book Review

Ginny in 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson has the adventure that I probably need. She receives a package of letters from her dead aunt encouraging her to follow instructions blindly. She travels across Europe on her own and grows into a different person.

I've been to most of the places she went, and it was like a trip down memory lane. I was surprised at her bravery but also the lack of being told that she was a brave person. Maureen showed me the bravery instead of knocking me on the head with it like some sort of Latin lecture I'd be too stupid to understand.

I was frustrated and confused by it being written in third person. Every time I read a letter and it went back to the narrative, I had to remind myself that Ginny was not the narrator. It was unsettling and threw me out of the story a few times.

This book is old enough that I think I can talk about it without spoiling suprises, but if you haven't read it, please stop here.

I absolutely could not believe that the final letter was lost. There had to be a way for her to find it. Or the thief was going to mail it to her somehow. She was a good tourist and had written her address in the backpack in case it got lost and she would return home to find the letter waiting for her. It couldn't be lost! But, alas, it was.

I'm usually ok when a character dies, but the fact that she didn't get to read the last letter was the most morbid, disgusting death of a character I have ever felt. It might just have to do with the fact that I personally hate losing things, but it could also be that I really felt the death of her aunt at that moment.

I wish someone would compel me to travel on my own and find myself. I need a good dose of being completely alone and helpless.


Torbrek...and the Dragon Variation by Lexi Revellian - Book Review

Torbrek...and the Dragon Variation by Lexi Revellian is such a refreshing story. The characters are very natural, the idea of dragons living among people is normal, and the dialogue is superb.

It's a story about a girl, raised to fight like a man, and accepted into the rebel army as one. She is chosen by a dragon to be his master. Come to find out she's the enemy's granddaughter, and the plot just thickens.

The world was strong enough that I didn't falter when the main character, Tor, happened upon a dragon and had a conversation with him. It was all so natural. The villain, Skardroft, Tor's grandfather and tyrant, is eloquent. He has planted trees in his city to make it more beautiful. I found that a very redeeming quality. His relationship with Tor is strange but makes sense. They are mortal enemies, and relatives, but they seem able to keep it separated and neither hate nor love each other.

When everyone finds out she is a girl, it's not that big of a deal. I suppose it never was that insane considering some people already figured it out, but I wanted more tension.

Other than that the grip of the story was perfect. Things aren't always perfect. The only people who can save the rebels don't agree at first to help them. One of the love stories doesn't turn out as hoped. Overall, the story has such a realistic aspect among all the fantasy that it really was a pleasure to get lost in.


String Bridge by Jessica Bell - Book Review

Jessica Bell's literary novel String Bridge is about everyday life and the things we need to give up to live it. The main character, Melody, is a wife and mother who isn't sure she wants to be doing that, she wants to be a musician.

Being as it’s literary fiction there doesn’t seem to be much going on, but the pace is fast. And by not much going on I mean that it’s normal everyday stuff like decisions on what to say to your husband when he does something annoying and whether or not to accept a job promotion. I certainly don’t mean that the book is boring, because boring it isn’t. I want to know Melody. I hope that she becomes my best friend. I’m intrigued by her story and can’t put it down without thinking about it until I pick it up again.

The first hint of a turning point in Melody's character is when she looks at her guitar again, and it is rich and flavorful, like a cool glass of water with a lime in it. I was just beginning to get sick of her whining (even though I could see her point). The pace is absolutely perfect because I'm frustrated when I should be.

Jessica's writing embeds a kernel of pure joy in me at moments. I feel radiant. And at other moments I feel completely depressed and frustrated. The way she writes pulls the emotion from the page and makes it real.

I'm not so sure about the ending. I'm a melodramatic person and wanted it to end sooner with a little less happiness. It was a nice, solid ending. But I'm just a dark person who likes to see people suffer.

Check out String Bridge and Jessica Bell for yourself:

String Bridge Website
String Bridge Book Trailer


Divergent by Veronica Roth - Book Review

Divergent by Veronica Roth is the story of a choice, of identity. It's dystopian fiction about Tris, a sixteen-year-old who has to make a choice of who she will be the rest of her life. She only has five choices. But by the end of the book she realizes that maybe being more than one thing is possible, and probable.

I could not put this one down. The characters are very real. One of my favorite parts is when Tris says she 'might' love Tobias. It felt like the truth, not some sappy love story where she's instantly in love with the cute boy.

I also loved that the story ends. I understand it's a trilogy, but that doesn't mean it isn't also a stand alone book. I absolutely loath books that leave an open ending because they want you to read the next one. Veronica managed to close this part of the story and intrigue me with a little more so I'm ready for the next book.

I had a little trouble imagining things within the world. Placement of people, the way a building or location looked, watching a fight scene and understanding the movements. I had to stop and reread some of those parts and some I just skimmed over and couldn't really imagine well.

Other than that, this book is fantastic, and I can't wait for the next one. I kind of hate Veronica Roth for how awesome she is!


String Bridge Giveaway Winner

The giveaway winner for the signed String Bridge novel by Jessica Bell is - Cathy Powell!

We chose our next book for book club and I would love to have anyone join in virtually. Read the book and blog your thoughts and I will share them the night we get together!

We're reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. We're meeting December 13th.


Author Jessica Bell Interview for String Bridge - Signed Copy Giveaway!

This is Jessica Bell's blog tour for her new novel String Bridge. Yay! I've interviewed her so you can all get to know her better. This is also a giveaway for a signed copy of String Bridge so make sure you read until the end and fill out the form! The giveaway is open until Thursday when I will announce the winner.


Is there something specific you have to do before you begin writing each day? Like having a cup of tea or straightening the pencils on your desk?

I have to have everything tidy on my desk otherwise I feel like the mess will disorganize my thoughts. I also need to know I have as much time as I want. I can't write in a time slot.

Margaret Atwood is one of your favorite authors, which of her books is your favorite and why?

The Robber Bride comes to mind first because it is primarily character-driven. It's told in the POV of four different women, three who are connected by knowing the fourth. I read it a long time ago, but since the day I read it, nothing has really topped it. But I do still LOVE everything I've read of hers. Some of my other favorites are The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, Life Before Man and The Edible Woman.

Is most of your writing character-driven or plot-driven?

Definitely character-driven, but I do think I maintain a decent amount of plot to keep the pages turning.

Do you have any general advice you can give writers for getting to this point in their careers?

Take criticism and feedback on your writing with a grain of salt. Ultimately YOU have to decide what works. And listen to your heart. Learn the rules and then break them intelligently. I learnt that the hard way. In the early days, I was told by an editor at a professional and very well-established critique service that I had a perfect voice for women’s fiction even though my heart kept saying to strive for literary fiction. I listened. I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote until my story didn’t sound like it was written by me anymore. Despite hating what it turned out to be, I tried to get it published. Then Janice, from Lucky Press, came along and read between the lines. She understood me because she read other material I had posted online, etc. She understood that my real voice wasn’t shining through in this story. But she gave me a chance to rewrite it and it all worked out brilliantly. I can’t thank Janice enough. String Bridge would have been shelved for good if it wasn’t for her generosity and encouragement.

What is your favorite sound?


Now be sure to enter the giveaway and go to the other blogs on the tour. Next Monday I'll have a review of the book so be sure to come back and check that out as well.



Have you ever wondered if there's such a thing as fate?

Are we destined to follow a certain path?

I'm not necessarily talking about God. I'm talking about a predetermined path that we will travel on through our lives. It could even be that there are choices (so we still have free will) but those choices are mapped out to infinity so that the roads we take lead to an alternate future that is already known.
Sorry if I'm getting too crazy here. Let's apply it to stories.

Some characters have a fate. They are destined to fulfill a prophecy. (Harry Potter and Voldemort cannot survive while the other lives.)

The reason I'm thinking about all of this is because the other day I fell really hard on our stone stairs (I have the nastiest purple backside now). And just the night before I was noticing that I could probably lose a little of my butt with some exercise. I felt like it was fate that I was noticing how much padding I have and then using that padding the very next day.

I know it's a silly story, but it got me thinking.

Do you think we are fated?


Jane Austen's England - My Birthday Surprise

It's Drabble Dienstag, but I've run a bit dry. So I'll just tell you about my most wonderful trip to England. My husband planned a surprise trip for my 25th birthday. We went to Jane Austen's house in Chawton.
This is her writing desk.

That was probably the best part of the best trip we've been on. It was thoroughly relaxing to stay in little bed and breakfasts. One was a farmyard and had the prettiest group of ducks.
He also booked a horseback riding trip just so I could be on a horse again. Of course they were English saddles so he had some balancing issues, and we are both still sore a few days after, but the scenery was stunning. We went to a Bath spa that night to try to relieve the overworked muscles. The warm pool at this spa was on the rooftop and had a lovely view of the city and abbey.

We spent the last day in a little village called Lacock where parts Harry Potter 1 and 2 were filmed as well as some of Pride and Prejudice. The town is owned by The National Trust and kept old-fashioned with no electrical wires or tv satellites. It was very quaint.
The door at the end leads to the mirror of Erised. It was uncanny how much it felt like we had been there before just from watching the movies.

The weekend was absolutely perfect and all the more special because my husband planned it all for me. Now I have to top it for his birthday...what will I do!?!