Well, I’m definitely not thankful for the fact I had to go and catch like the worst cold ever, which had my parents high tailing it back home. Pretty much losing my voice, but my fingers can still type away. Altogether, though, it was one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve ever had. Everyone pitching in, and cooking, and so many dirty dishes, it was total chaos. The good kind. We got to learn that I can be wrong, because apparently we should have taken the turkey out sooner to thaw, but soaking it in water for a while got it all de-iced. Also got to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart for more peanut oil, but in the end it was worth the delicious deep fried turkey, even if we didn’t get to eat till 2pm. Or as we like to call it lupper… or linner, we couldn’t decide. And I guess I have to admit my kitchen isn’t cursed, because my dad was able to make his mac and cheese as yummy as ever. My husband ate half the dish, but that’s cool, I was all over the dressing. I’ve run the dish washer 3 times since then, and still have at least 3 more loads of dishes to go. It didn’t help we kept dirtying more with dessert and leftovers. Altogether it was a rather spectacular day. Maybe not some grand story, but a great memory. Hope you all made some great memories as well. :D
Today I want to say I am thankful for my family. I’m so glad that my parents came up to celebrate with me and my husband. It’s always wonderful to have loved ones around, to be reminded of how lucky you have it, and to stuff your faces full of delicious food while you do so. Since I’m writing this days beforehand, I’m hoping I’m gonna be thankful for the good weather we’re having, especially since we have to be outside to deep fry the turkey. If it unfortunately decides to rain, then I’ll be thankful for our good humor in laughing it off as another story to tell, and trying to figure out how to cook the turkey in the oven instead. Though, no matter what we still have sides to eat. Which is why I’m so thankful my dad was willing to make his mac and cheese here for us, because neither of us have managed to get it right, I’m torn between the hope that it turns out good and the belief that if he fails then it wasn’t us, it was our kitchen to blame for the horrible attempts at making the dish. No matter what though, as I write this now, I know that Thanksgiving Day is going to be a great one, because whatever goes right or wrong we’ll be in it together, and I’ll be thankful for the tale to tell later on. There’s always something to share.
But also, I’m thankful for all of you who read my blog, and make writing about such things so much fun. Thanks for taking the time to give my words a reason to be written, and I hope all of you have an amazing Thanksgiving. Don’t ever forget all that you have to be thankful for.
So in Painting Gone Wrong I showed how messed up my painting was, and how trying to fix over it just made it worse and worse. So I finally gessoed over it, if you want to know what I did exactly check out this youtube video. He was the only one I could find that didn’t put it on overly thick with a weird texture. I was actually surprised by how much of the original texture of the canvas still came through so you have those ridges that hold on to the paint. Although I didn’t get it all painted straight across like you’re meant too, and you can see some of the imperfections if you get really close to the canvas, but hopefully no one plans to get that close to my canvas.
If you go back to the previous post you’ll notice that this is obviously going in a different direction. Decided that since that style was so vastly different than my normal sort I should probably try such on a smaller scale first. But then I was feeling red and wanted to well paint a canvas red, and so that’s what started this. The sunset-ish part is just a blending of red, yellow, and white. The basic colors, and I just blended till I liked what I saw, though I ended up having to make it bigger than that because once the leaves were added it just seemed like a lot of it was hidden and there was too much empty space around. So go big. I also added a little more splashes of yellow on the bottom as well. Not much more but it went mainly where I planned to add more scattered leaves. Though you can’t really see it much in the picture below, it did help lighten those areas to really help make it all pop a little more. Worth the effort either way. And the tree was there so I knew how I was going to get the leaves, plus, some of the limbs ultimately shined through.
And this is the finished product. For the the tree leaves I used a rounded tip brush gave it a fluffiness I liked. A pretty blend of pink and white, it’s kind of supposed to look like a cherry blossom tree. Sort of. The scattered, I guess they would be more petals than leaves, I did with a smaller square tip brush doing random upward strokes. Felt like it implied chaos and movement of petals being blown around. Either way, I loved how it turned out in the end. Not at all how this canvas originally began, but it ended on something I’m happy with and that’s all that matters.
BOOK 1: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
BOOK 2: Scarlet
BOOK 3: Cress
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
This book was so much more than I was expecting. An amazing end to an incredible series that I hate to see end, but that did end perfectly. It’s wonderful how Meyer continues to be able to weave in the fairy tale elements in a believable way, that still catches you for that moment and reminds you of the old tales, that bit of magic wrapped up in this science fiction world. All the characters are as alive as ever as we see the qualities we love in each of them, but also their growth through out that has been undergoing through out the series. We finally get to really know Winter of course, and she’s crazy, but endearing as we watch her struggle to be good and the consequences she must suffer for that choice. More so, this truly is a war. No glossing over it, no sweet clean go of it, it’s bloody and terrible, and you see how it pushes everyone to their best and worst. Also we get a lot of good answers, some to questions we didn’t even know we should be asking. Honestly, of these sorts of books, these are definitely the best I’ve ever come across. It’s a series you don’t want to miss out on.
If you would like to check out the book follow the link below. Purchasing through this link helps me keep the blog going, and helps you get a good book :D
So I was listening to Nora Jones’ Say Goodbye, in which she says “Well, it ain’t easy to stay in love/
If you can’t tell lies”, and I mention this mainly so I can tag her in this post and maybe attract some Nora Jones fans to my site. ;) Also it makes an interesting segue into my current rant. The other day I was reading on Yahoo about how lying is bad in a relationship. Obviously because then you can’t really trust them, but then they pointed out how little white lies might not be so bad when it’s in an effort not to hurt someone’s feelings. I understand this to a degree, and maybe if I was better at such then I might have more friends. I on the other hand am blunt to the point of being rude, I don’t mean to be, but I’m very straight forward, and I tend to make the erroneous assumption that when someone asks me a question they want me to be honest. Luckily there are a few that understand, and are able to brush aside my bluntness. However, this isn’t about me being overly blunt, this is about my desire for people to be such to me.
I commented on the article talking about how I liked my husband being truly honest with me, that I’m one of the few who when I ask if I look fat in this, that I want him to tell me yes you do, if that’s the case. Of course I got those wonderful responses that point out how I should already know I’m fat. Something I’m well aware of, in case you missed my post on it. While others said I was putting my husband in a terrible position. Which is something that I just don’t understand at all.
First let me clarify that when I say “Do I look fat in this?” I’m not actually asking if I’m fat. I know I got a squishy middle, the mirror just don’t lie about that, but the way a piece of clothing is cut can be either flattering for ones figure or show every imperfection you got. And unfortunately I like myself a little too much and it’s hard for me to decide if an outfit looks good on me or not. A second opinion helps, and my husband’s opinion is one I value above all others. After all I want him to find me attractive in whatever I wear, but also I don’t want to go out in something I think looks good just because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings.
More so, there are times when him not telling me the truth has ended in a waste of money. Like a dress that my whole family kept saying looked good on me, and I was feeling iffy about, but he didn’t want to disagree with them and told me how much he loved it. He was so believable I bought more like it before he finally came clean. That wasted my money on some clothes that I didn’t even particularly like, they were okay, but not something worth my own money.I’d understand the idea of me putting him in a bad position if when he said I looked bad I got pissed off or whatever, but I like knowing he’s honest, because when I find something that looks good on me I know for sure he likes it.
Little white lies in my opinion help no one. And this extends beyond clothes to all aspects of the relationship. At least anyone who deals with me doesn’t have to wonder what I think, and they don’t have to worry about treading lightly around me because I like to know what they think. Sometimes it affects me, like whether or not I’ll buy an outfit, and sometimes I could care less because I’m still going to do whatever any way, like wear ties with clothes that don’t match the tie to begin with (I also suck at matching clothes). But beyond the every day relationship, your spouse should be the one person you can truly be honest with. The person you can trust and share your thoughts and feelings about anything and everything. Maybe I’m just weird that way, but geez I hope I’m not the only one who thinks like this.
Spark by Anthea Sharp description:
What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley’s life might look easy, but she’s part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world. Aran Cole hacks code and sells his gaming cheats on the black market. It’s barely a living, and one he’s not proud of. But when he turns his skills to unlocking the secrets behind Feyland-the most exciting and immersive game on the market-he discovers power and magic beyond his wildest dreams. Spark’s mission is clear; pull Aran from the clutches of the fey folk and restore the balance between the worlds. But can she risk her life for someone who refuses to be rescued?
With the way to the Dark Court of the Fey locked away in a video game, this made the story line a very interesting blend of fantasy and science fiction. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything else like this. However, I think it’s a little misleading that no where in the description does it mention this is a spin-off series from Sharp’s Feyland Trilogy. I had to read through other reviews to find that out, because from the beginning you know something has happened to the group of friends saying goodbye to each other, and through the book you get the gist of what happened, but I don’t think the story lines have diverged enough for this to truly be a spin-off, it feels more like a continuation of that series considering how the plots are still so connected to the same events. More so, there are other things that just seem like may have gotten explained in the other books that Sharp apparently felt there was no need to rehash here. Regardless if it did it gets frustrating trying to figure out if this mystery is something previously discussed, or if it’s something that we’re supposed to discover later on. Either way, things in the real world should’ve been better explained regardless. Like what is the deal with the chip on people’s arms, and why doesn’t Aran have one? And speaking of Aran, he started off as an decent character with understandable motives, but the all of a sudden he becomes childish and willfully ignorant at a time when you’d think someone would start to wise up on the repercussions of their actions. It really made the story take a nosedive for a bit, but Spark was a steady character that helped really keep the story going. Either way, this book was good enough that I want to go back and read the Feyland Trilogy, and get to know more about this world in the order apparently the reader is meant to do.
If you would like to check out the book follow the link below. Purchasing through this link helps me keep the blog going, and helps you get a good book :D
My name is Allen Woods, author of The Sword and Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston. I’m not extremely active on social media but here are my current contacts:
- Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?
After playing lots of other sports in high school, I found at about age 30 that I loved to play basketball more than anything else. I still play full court with the young guys and still love it. I tell people that if anyone asks at any point, “Want to play some ball?” I always answer “Let’s go.”
- How long have you been writing? How many books have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I found my calling as a writer in my late 20s and have been at it, almost steadily, for over 30 years. I worked in nonfiction initially, preparing a book proposal of couple of chapters, outline, etc. focusing on my home town in Iowa and the changes there during the early 1980s. I also researched a book and wrote sample chapters on a string of murders in a small New England town. More recently, I completed a full-length mystery before writing and publishing historical fiction in The Sword and Scabbard. One thing that attracted me to historical fiction was the idea that if the publishing process took several years, which it often does, that there was no need to update references to current events like there is in a novel set in the present.
- What genres do you like writing the most? And why? Is this genre the same as the one you prefer to read?
I love writing historical fiction because it’s a way to share information about real life during a period compared to the simplistic views we often have. The Sword and Scabbard and the planned series to follow also allows me to shine a spotlight on what I call “average people” that get no coverage in historical accounts, but are central to all the important events in American history.
I read a lot of historical fiction and nonfiction, but probably more crime novels. My book is actually a crime novel set in colonial Boston, with the characters drawn into the political events there.
I’ve been writing some blog entries and op-ed articles to help publicize my book, along with my regular work as a freelance textbook writer and editor to put bread on the table. Predominantly, I have been thinking about the next book for the characters from The Sword and Scabbard as they make their way through the Revolutionary period in Boston. My characters are going to be a part of a lot of fascinating events that will be seen from a unique perspective.
- How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I do a lot of thinking first, identifying important events and how my characters will be affected by them or how they will have an effect on the events. Once the possibilities are there in my head, I can sketch out the action and relationships. Then I dive in and write out the story as it reveals itself to me. It is true, as some other writers have said, that characters sometimes take actions that surprise me, but in the end, fit perfectly within the story and the character.
- What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
Dialogue has often come easily to me, especially for The Sword and Scabbard which is told in the first person. Dialogue is one of those rare moments when I can hear voices in my head and put them to good use.
Because of the intricate relationship between the characters in The Sword and actual historical events that are described factually, plotting and time frames need to be very exact. This can take a lot of time and research to make sure everything lines up.
- After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
Like most writers I know, marketing is not a strength of mine. I guess that every little bit helps, every blog, every review, every signing, but it’s hard to gauge what is the most effective use of time and money. It may be painful for some writers to hear, but I am definitely focused on book sales as income, and it’s hard to make any direct connections between one type of activity and sales. I am actually looking for marketing tips from others, if they have them. The problem seems to be that one strategy may be very successful for one book and one writer, but it’s very hard to generalize about strategies. Essentially, book publishing is in a state of chaos at the moment, so it’s hard to identify a general strategy that is effective.
- What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
Write! There’s a lot to learn from a wide variety of assignments and projects, and 99% of us don’t have the luxury of having writers’ block. You need to love the process and the product of your own writing, because there’s no guarantee of any other types of rewards; in fact the statistics show just the opposite.
If you would like to find his book on Amazon follow the link below.