Friday, October 07, 2016

October's Reading Challenge: Skinny Books

Don't judge a book by its cover, but how about by its size? My Goodreads reading challenge says I'm eleven books behind schedule, and this bothers me.

I perused my TBR pile and cobbled together a nice mix of skinny books that should be quick reads to get me back on track. So, my October challenge is to finish reading my current ebook: 1.) Double Clutch: A Brenna Blixen Novel by Liz Reinhardt, then start on these thin mints:

A 4.75" Short Stack

2.) The Giver by Lois Lowry - Middle Grade (179 pages)
3.)  Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead - Middle Grade (180 pages)
4.) The 48-Hour Hook Up by Sarah Ballance - Contemporary Romance (188 pages)
5.) Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl - Childrens (81 pages)
6.) The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams - Childrens (44 pages)
7.) Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - Middle Grade (163 pages)
8.) Trouble in Paradise by Carolyn Brown - Romance (182 pages)
9.) Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - Middle Grade (184 pages)
10.) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - Young Adult (198 pages)
11.) My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather - Classic (85 pages)

Eleven books to read for the remainder of October! Can I do it?

It's a pile of good stuff to read, so...definitely worth the try ;)


"I've found that worry and irritation vanish into thin air
the moment I open my mind
to the many blessings I possess." ~ Dale Carnegie

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Nerd Night: BrickCon 2016

Swamp Creature with Kelp'cicle
Mini Fig Necklace

Went to BrickCon 2016 in Seattle's Exhibition Center today, and talk about packed! This hermit and her little hermitses wore down pretty quickly. There was a lot of cool stuff to see and a lot of people to contend with. Cool thing? Everyone there had something in common; they love Legos!

BrickCon 2016
Seattle Exhibition Center

Talent was in every corner...the replica of Multnomah Falls in Oregon was phenomenal, as was the Game of Thrones "Ice Wall." So many bricks and time and structural know-how--not to mention creativity--all of it fabulous. There were also boxes of Legos to buy, bricks in bulk, jewelry (see above) and t-shirts. There was a lot of other stuff, too. Into bricks and blocks? Worth a vista at $12 a ticket.

Yes, Please!

Each Letter Represents a Word
Mini Fig Alphabet

Cool Water

Apartment Building
My Favorite!

High on bricks and Mini Figs, we decided to stop in Bricks & Wheels in Factoria to check things out. What a cool store! The guys there buy old Legos and sell new and used bricks, including bulk and out of date Mini Figs. We wanted the Genie Girl so bad...but since I'd been throwing $20s around on plastic, I put my brakes on. It'll have to wait. But I know where I'll be visiting come Christmas.


"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." ~ Milton Berle

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fabulous Five: Evidence of Autumn

Last week, September 22, was the official start of fall with crisp mornings, sparkling dew drops, and breath hanging in the air. No rain yet, so the mutts are still eager for their walks. My vintage iPhone 4S may be clunky and slow, but it takes great pictures. Even with Tilly and Tango pulling impatiently on their leashes, a poop bag swinging to and fro, and my shaking while trying to take a one-handed close up...I manage all right. It's definitely an art, getting everything lined up for the perfect shot. "Places, people!"

Fern Fronds

New Salal Leaves...

...Mixed with Old Salal Leaves
A Treasure Map

An Orb Spider Wrapping Up Breakfast...

...for Chow Time

Yesterday, I printed my character photos and pinned them to my story wall. I vacuumed my stairs. I wrote up character sheets to get to know the people in my head. I actually dusted. Now, with picture-taking and walks and coffee out of the way and with procrastination aside, I can get back to book #3. Everything's in its more excuses. I have focus.

Today, I write.

"Procrastination is your body telling you you need to back off a bit
and think more about what you are doing." ~ James Altucher

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Fives: Game Night

Friday Night, Game Night!

I grab at any chance I can to make a list, and a giant pile of games is a good place to start. For this family, the best games are the ones that are lively and unique. Sometimes space is a factor and other times it's how much time is left on the clock. So here it goes. Five lists of five...

Fast and Fun
1.) Spot It!
3.) Square Off
4.) Forbidden Island or Forbidden Desert

1.) Catan Junior
2.) DiXit
3.) Carcassonne
4.) Blokus

Old School Favorites
2.) Clue
3.) Sequence
4.) Memory
5.) Pictionary

Games I Dread
2.) Monopoly
3.) Sorry!
4.) Trivial Pursuit
5.) Life

Alone Time
2.) Sudoku
3.) Solitaire
4.) Pajaggle!


"They'll either want to kill you, kiss you, or be you." ~ Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Updated Cover Alert

Dealing with Blue - New Cover for Print!

It came to my attention that I should not use lyrics in my work without getting written permission. I spent a couple hours searching the internet for who wrote the song I'd used, who owned the song, and what is in the public domain. Color me stupid, but I couldn't tell who I should ask, or how I would find the right contact information. What if I asked the wrong person, thinking they were the right one, and they thought they were the right one, but in fact, were wrong, and...and...

Anyway the whole thing made me nervous. So I simply rewrote the first two chapters, which worked out well for me. Dealing with Blue lost a couple pages, which made for a smoother introduction. So I'm happy to report, I have finished my first for a second time. It's been "new and improved" as an ebook (still available on Kindle Unlimited) but now it's "new and improved" in print, too!

It's all coming together, slow but sure.

"When things aren't adding up in your life, start subtracting." ~ Anon

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

From Legos to Roller Girl

This is going to sound crazy, but I like Legos. It's sort of a love/hate relationship, really. They're all over my house, little 1x1s in the carpet, dumped piles in the middle of the living room, and Lego tracks on every surface. I feel like I need a snow shovel to clean this stuff up! After another big box enters the house, and I find pieces erupting all over the place, I inevitably howl at the moon, "NOOooo! This is the last time I'm buying little plastic blocks!"

Yet, the mini-figures are ingenious and tap into my monkey brain. Different. Cute. Must. Collect. And I love standing in the toy aisle trying to figure out what I'm feeling through the wrapper...not in a creepy way, mind you. In a...wait. Is that a...? (crinkle-crinkle) No...a penguin, maybe? That's a camera...already have it. I'm pretty sure this is the Ice Queen! Squee!

Ice Queen
Mini Figure Series 16

The worst part is I'm pretty organized and can't stand to see the sets all messed up and co-mingling with other loose bricks. I told my kids, "Hey. Great idea, here. Let's print off the pick list in the back of the directions and re-package the sets...then you can put them together all over again! Fun, right?"

I tried it, and it went over like a lead balloon. Why are there missing pieces? Where do they go?

Believe it or not, this story is moving toward a graphic novel I just read...bear with me. The book is called Roller Girl by Victoria "Winnie the Pow" Jamieson and is a Newberry Honor book.

While out celebrating a birthday, and as per usual we ended up at the Lego store, we started building roller derby girls from the mini-fig station. Of course, once you start building, it's hard to stop and even harder to walk away. Needless to say, more Legos entered the building, my house. But they're so dang cute!

We created two teams...

The Blazies: Banana Splat, Winning Cup, Fruit Punch
The Cracken Skulls: Go-Go-Grizzly, Chompanzie, Bam-Bam

Game on! The only thing missing were the roller skates. No problem. The helpful Lego guy told me if I knew the part number, I could order individual brick pieces online at I quickly discovered for an organized list of all kinds of Lego-y plastic bits: wigs, bodies, name it. So I ordered the roller skates and the missing pieces from the set I was trying to package last summer, and...behold. Even I know I've entered dangerous territory.

So there it is. Legos and Roller Girl, a book we're still thinking about. It's a great graphic novel for kids!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fabulous Five: Spiders!

While in my garden, pulling weeds, trimming lavender, and wiping spider webs off my face, I happened across some eight-legged critters. I don't mind phobia here. But if they jump at me, like the over-confident zebra jumper (below), then I check out. I'm not sure about calling spiders cute...but the jumper had four pairs of eyes. I mean, how cute is that?

Cross Orbweaver Spider

Goldenrod Crab Spider

Common House Spider

Common House Spiderlings

Zebra Jumper Spider