Friday, August 30, 2013

Confessions Blogfest

Today is the Confessions Blogfest!  This one is brought to you by the Dynamic Duo, aka Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

What's required for this blogfest?  Luckily, the rules are quite simple.  As Jackie explains:

We want to know what not-so-dark secrets you have. If you want to share the dark ones, by all means, but this is the world wide web, so... yeah, that saying "What happens in Blogosphere, stays in Blogosphere" ... That probably won't happen, so use your own discretion.

The sky is the limit when it comes to confessions.
  • On Friday, August 30th, post your confessions.
  • Make sure to post the Confessions badge on your blog.
  • You don’t have to be a blog follower but we'd appreciate it.
  • You can also follow us on Twitter @danibertrand & @jackiefel and don’t forget to Tweet your blog confession using #confessions.
  • You can list as many or as little as you'd like to share.
  • And most importantly, sign up in the Linky Thingy below and hop around to other blogs on August 30th!

I have many personal secrets that I would never be brave enough to share with the blogosphere.  However, there are plenty of mildly embarrassing/intriguing things I am willing to share with all of you.

Confession#1: I take favorite scenes from books and replay them over and over again in my mind.  I even assign them a soundtrack that I feel captures the moment of the scene for me.  It's like I'm directing a movie in my head.

Confession #2:  When a book or movie has a sad ending, I make up my own alternative happy ending.  I like sad endings, and I know they have to happen sometimes, so don't get me wrong on that.  Still, when I'm feeling down, I like to whip out those happier endings and think about them.  Maybe this stems from my love of time travel stories.  I like seeing the infinite possibilities contained within each moment.

Confession #3:  The song "Dumbledore's Farewell" from the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince makes me cry each time I hear it.  That scene in the film is sad enough, but that music really tears into me.  Also, since that song also plays at the end of Snape's memory montage in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, I cry every time I see that.  Again, the scene is sad enough, but that music brings on the waterworks like nothing else can.  I'm on the verge of tears now just thinking about it!

Anyway, those are my confessions.  Are there any confessions you would like to share?

Celebrate the Small Things-August 30, 2013

It's Friday, so that means it's once again time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

We've had a crazy end-of-summer heat wave where I live.  My son Jude was supposed to start preschool this week, but he's in the afternoon preschool class, and due to the extreme August heat, school has been getting out early each day.  As a result, his classes were cancelled for this week.  The good news is that next Tuesday, when he's now supposed to have his first day of school, the weather is looking to be much more reasonable.  Let's hope that forecast holds true!

Yay for a three day weekend!  We have plans to see family this weekend, so hopefully it'll be a busy and fun one for our whole family!

I've also been experimenting with cooking different things this week.  I won't bore you with the details, but I'll share this good piece of news with you.  None of my culinary adventures went awry!  Everything I tried to make (and some of the experiments had no known recipe to back them up) turned out good.  Which is always happy for me.  After all, who wants their dinner to end up tasting like feet (or something else equally unpleasant)?

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Express Yourself: Childhood Movies and Books

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question this week is: What is your favorite childhood movie and/or book?

As a kid, I watched movies with my dad all the time, and he exposed me to the movies he grew up with. That's why one of my favorite childhood movies was The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).  Another favorite movie of mine as a child was Jurassic Park, which I saw in the theater when I was 7.  I was so impressed by it I couldn't look away from the screen!

A favorite childhood book of mine was a YA novel called Monster Makers Inc. by Laurence Yep.  I'd never heard of it before I got it used from a library book sale.  Yet it appealed to me because it was sci-fi with plenty of adventure. It also had all kinds of genetically engineered creatures, including a miniature Godzilla.   Who could resist a mini Godzilla?  Seriously?

Anyway, those are some of my childhood favorites.  How about yours?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things-August 23, 2013

It's Friday, so that means it's time to once again Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

Today was a busy day.  My son Jude starts preschool next week, and we had a meeting with his teacher today so she could get to know us.  Jude seemed really excited about the idea of starting school.

I also managed to fix a broken closet door for about the twentieth time.  It's an old sliding door that keeps coming off the tracks.  Once when I was putting it back in place, I dropped it on my toe and had a sore foot for a week.  Today I managed to fix it without injury.  I'm hoping it stays in place for awhile.

Right now I'm relaxing with a hot cup of tea and watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  That is also something worth celebrating, so I thought I'd mention it here.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

FSF: Torn Fabric

It's time for some more Five Sentence Fiction!  The word for this week is FABRIC.

For those of you who have missed previous chapters of my ongoing story, you can find it all on this PAGE.

Chapter 43: Torn Fabric

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono
The fabric of the world began to warp and tear, at the mercy of an unknown force, and the sky caught fire with tendrils of red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and violet.  They licked the starry heavens with ferocity, leaving all left behind on the planet to stare in awe and terror.

“What is it?” Ylana wondered aloud from her seat in the cockpit of their little ship.

Nara, who was undoubtedly exhausted by her harrowing ordeal, had wasted no time in whisking them into orbit when she heard of the impending doom.  She had the ship’s sensors running, measuring all she could in the hope of providing an answer to that pressing question, but all she could say in that moment was, “I don’t know.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Express Yourself: Comfort Books and Movies

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

This week's question is: What is your favorite comfort book/movie?

It's difficult to choose between so many worthy candidates.  When it comes to books, Stephen King's On Writing is always there for encouragement.  I also love reading Don't Panic: Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Neil Gaiman. It's written by one of my favorite authors, and it's about another favorite author of mine.  It also embraces the crazy nature of the creative process.

When it comes to movies, I have to go with science fiction and fantasy.  That being said, a Harry Potter or Star Trek marathon will always boost my mood.

What books or movies comfort you when you're down?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things-August 16, 2013

It's Friday, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I won't lie.  This week I'm content simply to celebrate the fact that it's Friday! That means we're that much closer to spending time together as a family over the weekend, and that's always a good thing.  Provided no one is grumpy, of course!

I had fun with my kids this week as they invented multiple uses for the number of empty coffee cans that I've been hoarding.  I saw them used as hats, and as amplifying devices for their already sufficiently loud voices.  The two of them ended up lining them up on the floor and turning them into a large drum set. Why do we even bother buying them new toys when they find such ingenious ways to turn junk into treasure?

What would you like to celebrate this week?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Express Yourself: Living in a Fantasy

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: Which book or movie do you wish you lived in?

I have two answers for this question, because both seem appealing to me and I can't force myself to make up my mind.  I would either like to live in the world of Harry Potter, or I would like to live in the future envisioned by Star Trek.  I'd love to be able to do magic and see all types of strange creatures.  I'd also love to travel through space and explore the galaxy.

Hmmm.  If only I could combine the two and have the epic battles and intrigue of Harry Potter take place on a spaceship.  That sounds like either a truly terrible movie or my perfect life!

Friday, August 9, 2013

FSF-Learning Curve

It's once again time for some Five Sentence Fiction!  This week, the prompt is LEARNING.

If you have missed the previous installments of my ongoing narrative, you can find the whole story on this PAGE.

Chapter 42: Learning Curve

Ylana had admittedly been an inexperienced young girl with a painfully limited education when she first set out on this adventure.  Her first education had admittedly been one of subjugation: she was taught how to be what others needed her to be, and that required her to purge herself of anything she might need or want.

Image courtesy of phanlop88
How she’d even had the courage to set foot aboard Nara’s tiny ship she might never know, but she did know that a spark had remained within her from childhood, something bright that could never be quite extinguished by those who continuously told her that she didn’t need to know anything other than how to deal with practical matters.

Ylana was still riding a long and strange learning curve and, as it was, she didn’t quite know how to handle the powerful emotions that spilled forth when she saw her friend’s eyelids slowly flutter open, but they were still preferable to the sense of panic she’d had to endure before.

“I’d say welcome back to the world,” Ylana said slowly, “but you may not be so happy about waking up when I tell you about our latest problem.”

Celebrate the Small Things-August 9, 2013

I'm finishing out my Friday by taking the time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

This week we successfully signed up my son Jude for preschool.  How can he possibly be going to preschool already?  My kids are growing up at an alarming rate!  Jude is excited about starting school soon.  He keeps putting on the backpack we bought him and walking around the house with it.

My husband came down with a nasty cold this week, but I managed to dodge it so far.  No illness for me!  Although, now that I've said that, I'll probably come down with something terrible! :)

What would you like to celebrate this week?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Insecure Writer's Support Group-August 2013

It's time once again to vent our insecurities to the world as we attend another monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Our awesome founder is Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and today he is joined by his fabulous co-hosts: M. Pax, Karen Walker, and Melissa Maygrove.

The IWSG is two years old today!  I wasn't here from the beginning, but I've still been around awhile.  I've had the privilege of watching this group grow and blossom into a source of support and inspiration for writers of all shapes, sizes, dispositions, etc.  We may come from different backgrounds, but our love of the written word binds us.  To me, that is a truly beautiful thing.

I may have my insecurities about writing.  I always wonder if I've chosen the right words, or if I'm telling a compelling story, or if the actions of my characters makes them totally unsympathetic, or even unreal.  Yet, my writing comes from a point of insecurity.  I've never fit in easily, and words have been, for as long as I can remember, the way I feel most comfortable in expressing myself.  So even when I am riddled with self-doubt, I can never allow that doubt to overcome me.  My will, my need, to write, is stronger than my fear of it not being good enough.  Being a part of this group allows me to share my fears and lighten my load, but no matter what happens, I will be a writer.  No matter what else I may be in my life, I will forever be a writer.

Why do you write?  Can you foresee a time when you may no longer write?

Express Yourself: Fictional Characters Like Me

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

This week's question is: What book/character characters do you relate to the most?

I can see a bit of myself in a lot of fictional characters.  I'll share a couple of them with you.

One is Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series.  I've always been a bit odd, and I tend to say strange things in the midst of otherwise serious conversations. She's a strong character who isn't afraid to be herself, even if that true self doesn't quite fit in with the world around her.  Yet in the end she finds real friends who care for her the way she is, and that's a good lesson for anyone.

Another character I can relate to is Daria from the show of the same name. Daria Morgendorfer is a writer, she doesn't care about being fashionable and fitting in, she hangs with her artist friend Jane (everyone should have an artist friend!), and she looks at the world with a touch of cynicism (or maybe more than a touch).  These are all qualities that I can very much see in myself, though I don't think I can pull off the monotone.

Since I chose Daria, I thought I would share this comedy sketch.  Fake movie trailers can be great fun, but now I wish they really would make this movie!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Express Yourself: August

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by the awesome Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and the amazing Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

I'm a little late in posting this for this week, but better late than never, right? (Well, I can think of some cases where this isn't true, but as far as blogging goes, I think the saying applies.)

The question for this week is: What are you looking forward to in August?

We'll be enrolling our 4 year old son Jude in preschool.  I know he's excited about the prospect of starting school.  As a mom, I'm just stunned that he's growing up so fast!

I'm also looking forward to making the most of the remaining summer weather before it starts turning to fall.  Hopefully we can grill outside a few more times before the weather turns!

What August activities are you looking forward to?

Friday, August 2, 2013

FSF: Bliss

It's time once again for Five Sentence Fiction!  The word for this week is BLISS.

Those of you who haven't read previous chapters from my ongoing story can find it all on this PAGE.

Chapter 41: Bliss

Nara’s life to date had been rather disjointed, broken into two halves that seemed to have little to do with one another, the split having occurred at the moment her home world was so mercilessly destroyed.  The happy memories were mostly confined to the first half, of course, when she was surrounded by friends and family who had decorated her life from the beginning with laughs, praise, and the kind of support one needs to feel secure.

Image courtesy of photoraidz
Having lived many centuries, she’d seen the tides change on worlds inhabited by the shorter-lived species, and this reconfirmed for her once again the fragility of life.  So, when she fell under the wrath of the charmer, wrapped momentarily in a blaze of rage to only have it muted out by a blanket of pure white nothingness, this state of utter unawareness became for her a kind of blissful getaway that the tragedies of her life had made seem all but impossible.

Nara felt willing to embrace the nothingness, but eventually, something new invaded her sphere of awareness, coloring the white around her with swatches of muted pinks, greens, and blues; Ylana’s voice, pleading for her to wake up, became for her a new kind of bliss as it filled the void of family and friendship that had been left painfully empty so long ago.

I Was Blitzed! and Celebrate the Small Things-August 2, 2013

This has been a busy week.  It's also been a gratifying week.  I wanted to take the time to acknowledge something truly awesome that happened to me this week.

I was blitzed!  (Hmm, that kinda sounds like a euphemism for getting drunk, doesn't it?)

Thanks to D.L. Hammons and the blog blitzing minions (you're all wonderful!) for taking the time to visit me on Monday (and for a few of you, on Tuesday)!  You made my day with your wonderful comments!  The Blog Blitz is a great way to support the bloggers that make our blogging community great!  I'm honored to be one of the chosen few who get to feel the blogging love!

I also wanted to take a moment to send warm thoughts to Jeff Hargett, who was also selected for the blog blitz this week.  He wrote a beautiful tribute to his wife, who he recently lost.  These types of losses can shake your whole world beyond recognition.  It's good to know, at least, that bloggers can come together and support one another in a time of need.

It's also Friday, so that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

Obviously, being the target of a blog blitz is a pretty awesome thing to celebrate!

I would also like to celebrate the fact that I made it through the week without losing my shoes.  That may sound insignificant, but I live with two children that love to hide things. They also love walking around in my shoes, pretending that they're big.  So the fact that I didn't have my shoes lost for me once this week is a small miracle!

What would you like to celebrate?