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Monday, November 25, 2013

Unfortunately, it's people like that, that tend to get overlooked.

I found out that my (Great) Aunt Beth passed away yesterday. I've lived 15-20 minutes away from her for the last few years and never took the time to go visit her, even when she asked, mainly because I have a shy streak, and I was afraid of feeling awkward or not knowing what to say. I shouldn't have, because she never made me feel that way.

Now that opportunity is gone.

Try not to make the same mistake I did. I'm not down on myself. I just wanted to say something to help others remember what's actually important.

I wasn't very close to my Aunt Beth, but she was the kind of person you always felt good to be around and talk to. I get good feelings when I remember her, which, I think, is what we all hope to leave behind when we die. Even in her 80's, she was "with it." Positive, independent, loving, kind, not a complainer, not one to hold grudges.

Unfortunately, it's people like that, that tend to get overlooked.

Because they don't need our sympathies. Because we know whatever we do, they won't hold ill feelings. Because they don't complain about their problems. Because they're self-reliant. Because we know they can handle whatever disaster comes their way with a smile, even if, sometimes, it's only a half-hearted smile.

But that doesn't mean they deserve our attention and love any less.

So instead of giving me sympathy, go write someone a thank-you note, go call a friend, just sit with a family member--whether they're on top of their world or hanging on by their fingertips.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

First Reactions to Catching Fire

To no one's surprise, I saw Catching Fire opening day. I think The Hunger Games movies are some of the best book-to-film adaptations I've ever seen, if not the best. The people behind the films actually kind of get the books. The acting is exceptional. It was so good between President Snow and Plutarch, that the scenes where they are sitting around talking are some of my favorites, even though there is no action or movement, nothing but talking.

First, I'll get some of my dislikes out of the way:

Sam Claflin as Finnick.

To his credit, he can act. I just don't think he can act Finnick. President Snow has built Finnick's celebrity status around his sex appeal, so Finnick is supposed to be very seductive with a long line of lovers.

Finnick is my favorite character is in the series, so, I was a bit sad, but it could have been worse. Haymitch is my second favorite character, which leads me to my second disappointment.

They cut Haymitch's backstory! Learning about Haymitch's own experience in the last quarter quell added depth to his character. I wasn't surprised they cut it, but I still missed it.

On to what I liked--wait, there are only two things I didn't like in a film adaptation? That's the shortest list ever!


They got my favorite line of the whole series in: when Peeta says Katniss is pregnant.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Throwing the ULTIMATE Harry Potter Party!

On Halloween, my friend Kaden and I threw an epic Harry Potter Party! It was totally awesome! I got pictures of everything. Feel free to use our ideas for your own Harry Potter party, for Birthdays, Halloween, or whatever. This stuff will work for kids or adults.

I'd like to thank my friend Adrian Vanderhoof, who is a photographer, for taking a lot of the pictures.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Writing as a Lifestyle

When you decide to take writing seriously, you're making a lifestyle choice as much as you are making a career choice. As a writer, you may have to change up your living conditions. If you haven't made any sells yet, that might mean stretching your $20 or leaving your work only to come home and work some more. It might mean staying up late to get a chapter in or waking up early to fit in an hour of editing before your day job. Frankly, you'll probably have to cut back on time with friends and family and hobbies, because to be a great writer, you have to not only write, but read, and study, and it helps to network and have an online presence as well.

I've been living a writing lifestyle for over a year and a half now. This post will cober some things I've learned that have helped me be most productive. It seemed fitting for National Novel Writing Month.

Embracing the Writing Life

Finding (Making) Time

The most important thing about being a writer is to write! This is your priority. This means you need to put in the time and effort. Talking or daydreaming about it, or staring at the keyboard isn't enough. If you're a parent or work at another job, like I mentioned above, this might mean fitting time in at night or in the early morning, or during nap time. 

If you have a more flexible schedule, try finding out what time of the day you write best, and schedule your life around it. I've heard that most writers work best right before or after sleeping, because that's usually when the creative side of the brain is active. It's true for me. So I wake up extra early and get in some writing before I go to work. If I have trouble getting back into my story in the afternoon, I take a power nap, and magically, writing becomes easier.  I was a little skeptical of this idea before, but now I know how it really can play a role in my productivity.

Getting the Most out of Your Writing Session

You've made the time, now, make the most out of your time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Only Half Alive

Several weeks ago, I did a cover critique of my friend Konstanz Silverbow's book Only Half Alive, talking about how the cover worked to appeal to its target audience. Today, I'm participating in the Only Half Alive blog tour, giving my followers a little more information about the book.

Only Half Alive – Author: Konstanz Silverbow – Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

The world's darkest creature will be their brightest hope!

While darkness haunts her, she craves the light. Christina is a demon, but she doesn't want to be. She is willing to sacrifice everything to change it. Only one person stands in her way, and he will stop at nothing to keep her the way she is.

The greatest battle of light vs dark threatens every living creature, a battle that could destroy all. And the demon in love will only have one chance to save everyone.

Read reviews or purchase Only Half Alive

Amazon (U.S.)
Amazon (U.K.)
Etsy (Signed and Personalized)


I pull the silver handles, and there is the silhouette of the man I have come to rob. The lamp in this room has been strategically placed so that I cannot see his face, but only his figure. Very clever, if his opponent were anyone else.

The sound of clinking ice shatters the silence as he places his glass of red liquid on the side table. He crosses his legs and puts both hands on his knee. “At last you have come.” His voice is higher than I expected. He isn’t nearly as old as he pretends to be.

I have nothing to say to him. My job is to retrieve the box and leave. But this guy has other ideas.