Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fave Reads from 2013

Okay, I saw this over at  http://inklinedwriters.blogspot.com/2013/12/13-books-of-2013.html so in honor of the new year, here is a list of my top 13 favorite books I read this year. Some of them have been published for a long time, some are brand new. The first six are in order of being my favorite, but I really couldn't decide which series I liked best so I just set them as every other. Then after that 7-10 were all a mash up of which I liked best, and then there's my next three at the bottom.

#1. Clockwork Angel- Cassandra Clare(I will forever be in love with William Herondale)
#2. Divergent- Veronica Roth (I am in love with Four)
#3. Clockwork Prince- Cassandra Clare (I'm still in love with Will- but it turns out I also love Jem)
#4. Insurgent- Veronica Roth (Now I love Tobias)
#5. Clockwork Princess- Cassandra Clare (Yup. Still love Will. And Jem....)
#6. Allegiant- Veronica Roth (Amidst my tears and fits of depression and book withdrawal, I'm still in love with the boy with a number for the name)
#7. Matched- Ally Condie (Now I'm loving a boy named Xander....but also a boy named Ky)
#8. Running Lean- Diane L. Sharples (Not only did she send me her autograph, she made it easy for me and gave me one boy. I love him)
#9. Viral Nation- Shaunta Grimes (So there's this guy named Jude....)
#10. Legend- Marie Lu (Well, the guy I liked died right away. So I guess now it's Day)
#11. The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet- Stephanie Morrill (I like Palmer. No it's Chase. No back to Palmer...Chase)
#12. The Iron Marshall- Louis L'amoure (I like the guy...but I can't remember his name...Tom...Shanigy!)
#13. Utah Blaine- Louis L'amoure (I liked Utah. He's like the only guy in the book)
There ya have it. Anyone want to join me in fangirling?
If not- Get reading!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Matched- Book Review

Hi guys. I don't have a big new years resolution, favorite thing about last year post ready. I was planning on it but I've spent the last two days in a hospital with my grandma, so I don't have it ready.
I did finish Matched by Ally Condie though, so I'll give you a quick review of it.

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

(from goodreads)

I'm going to give this book five stars actually > ***** (stars ^_^)
I really liked it. I know people like to bash the whole love triangle cliché, but this one was very well done, and I'm still kind of at a loss for who I want to win this one in the end. Both boys are very loveable. The books has a nice flair of mystery surrounding its characters, and I've always been a sucker for the mysterious love interest. Especially if he likes poetry. It's just a given.
Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. The story world was honestly probably my favorite part. I loved analyzing all the weird quirks of the Society and getting that weird dystopia feeling that comes when you realize *this could happen*. Golly it gives me goosebumps! This book was really good at leaving you in the dark and then at the right moment all the sudden you realize what's going on...AND IT TERRIFIES YOU.
I would definitely suggest this book to go on your must read list for next year if you haven't already (see, I managed to get some kind of new years squeezed in here after all)

I hope everyone enjoys their new year. I'll be spending tomorrow at the nursing home trying to sing around a cold. Wish me luck. Right now I've got a pretty good excuse to stay in the house, so I've got a stack of books (I got new books for Christmas! The captive maiden by my friend Melanie Dickerson, and Captives by my other friend Jill Williamson) and five tablets full of notes for new story ideas, along with a cup of hot apple cider.....Oh wait...I guess I drank it all while I was sitting here typing. Oh well. I'm ready to start work on some reading and writing time.
Nope, still not done. GUESS WHAT?!?
Sierra from over at A Simple Taste for Reading  (http://simpletasteforreading.wordpress.com/) agreed to read my story Out of Darkness. She liked it and she has suggested I self publish it to Amazon Kindle. I'm strongly considering that, but right now I'm just so excited that she thinks it's good enough to be read by the human world. So, in the near future of this new year (I did it again) I may be dedicating a post to my baby being published. 

Over and out guys! (That's trucker lingo for I'm done talking- according to my daddy)  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tomorrow is Christmas...IT'S PRACTICALLY HERE!

                  That is my favorite line ever from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Ever.
                                                (cause Max never actually speaks)
But seriously though, TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS!! Last Sunday we went to my grandma's house and my aunts, uncles, and cousins came. We had a lot of fun. The kids did a gift swap, so it was fun to see what everyone thought the other would like. I am the proud owner of some awesome ear cuffs, the cutest stocking hat/headband thing ever (I love it and call it a thing...wow), and an iTunes gift car. Boom.

Today we are getting ready for our Christmas bash with my dad's side of the family tomorrow. Mom's handling the meat (smoked turkey) and me and my sister are plotting all kinds of yummy deliciousness to make us the most popular cousins this year ;).

             Yeah. Uh huh. You want to come over tomorrow now don't you? Don't you?

                                           Have a merry Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

JiNgLe BeLLs, jInGlE bEllS, I've Got Some New Ideas!

Hi guys! Guess what? MY COMPUTER IS BACK!! That means you guys get pictures!!!
                                                                  Here you go-
*sigh* Isn't my Garbear just the cutest thing?
(Garrett Hedlund everyone)
Okay, now back on topic. I'VE GOT ALL OF MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING DONE! Unfortunately I can't tell you what any of the totally awesome, sneaky, fantastic things I got people are, because oddly enough some of my friends and family actually read this blog, and where would the surprise be in that?
I can tell you that one present is probably in some UPS truck right now, and two other presents are hanging up in my shower soaking wet and trying to dry off. Hehe...or should I say ho ho? I don't know.
Getting Christmas presents purchased is very stressful because everyone in my family has a tendency to put one or two things on their list and then give that list to like ten people and expect them to figure out who gets to buy the thing. So there's a lot of guess work.
(My Christmas list was rather long, {just so my family didn't feel lost of course} and even had links to where they could buy the stuff)
But I'm happy with all the stuff I managed to get a hold of this year, and I think they will be too.
We've got three Christmas shindigs to go to this year- typical of most years.
On my dad's side of the family we will have dinner with his dad and some family members at a café in town on Sunday after church. Then on Christmas day my dad's mom and some other family members are coming and we are cooking a ton of food (like homemade girlscout samoas ^_^) and exchanging presents.
And then this Sunday- AKA Tomorrow- we are going to my moms side of the family and also exchanging presents. So it should be fun.
Something we are really trying to emphasize this year is that Christmas isn't about all this crazy shopping, gifts, and dinners held in the four corners of the earth.
It's about this-
When God decided to step down from his crazy awesome place of power and majesty and get wrapped up in a limited, helpless baby and come die on the cross to save all of us from our nasty sins.
I think I might be bringing a guitar to our Christmas dinner and we're gonna play some hymns, or maybe read something. I'm not sure what we're going to do yet exactly, but we're just trying not to lose sight of what all the hulabaloo is really all about.
Last Wednesday the youth group went out and Christmas caroled and we gave away some homemade cookies me and my sister and mom had worked on that day. The people really enjoyed listening, and since it wasn't below freezing outside, it was a good evening had by all. Afterward my amazing youth group teacher had soups and brownies waiting for us at her house. After we'd eaten the choir practiced our Christmas songs for Sunday, and we went home. It was a simple time. But it was so much fun just getting to be with people we all cared about.
Aside from all the Christmas cheer and chaos, I've actually got some new story ideas.
Do you want to hear about them anyway?
Of course you do!
#1. Masked.
This is just an idea for a story world so far. I have no plot and no characters. But I love masquerade masks and all that so I thought what if there was some kind of world where they didn't want to judge anyone. They valued themselves on their honesty when associating with others and taking people for who they are, not what they appear to be. So they all wear masks. It would be kind of fun because of course they would probably end up judging based on "Oh my gosh, did you see the mask she wore last night? With those blue feathers?? scandalous!"
#2. Guardians.
I want to write some kind of story with winged people. Not angels, cause I'm not comfortable with that. Seems like every story I've read about angels has downplayed the awesome reality God has made them and just turned them in to sarcastic magic users.
But I was thinking maybe another dimension (think Narnia) linked to ours, where these winged (guardians) people live. And maybe their world is experiencing a problem ours is already dealing with (not sure which one yet) and so they send a guardian to get someone from earth to tell them how we came up with a solution. I have some ideas for some characters in this idea already, and they sound so cool already. Maybe when I allow myself to actually write part of this I'll give you guys a character interview. Deal?
This is one I got from the song Monster by Imagine Dragons. I had to write a 250 word story piece for a facebook writing contest that was inspired by that song. And it sounds so creepy now. I love it. 0.O
Tell you what, I have the snippet I wrote for it. Next post I'll post it for you okay?
Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy the fun!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Its a Full House

*notice* My computer is in town currently being worked on, so I don't have any access to pictures,
So the next few blog posts I do will probably be pretty ugly lookin. Sorry :(

Anyway, my house has been chuck full of people this week. My family has been watching a brother and sister from our church while their parents are out of town seeing their older brother graduate boot camp. Living in a house with only girls, it has been interesting having a four year old boy around...to say the least. It has been fun though. I've gotten some adorable film sessions of him trying to pronounce the rules for bedtime. 

"No talkin, no yaffin, no nuthin!"
Or one night my mom was gone taking school kids to the one act play, and he said "when your mom gets back, she's gonna give me a big fuzzy kiss." 
(If anyone knows what a fuzzy kiss is, I would love to know)

I was able to finish up my college semester before they got here on Tuesday, so at least I wasn't trying to write personal philosophy essays.

I haven't got any practice in for the songs I'm supposed to play New Year's Eve. Little Man likes to help play so....
His sister goes to school during the day, so it's been mostly us and the munchkin. We call him Fonzy. (Don't ask why)

Aside from them, another lady from our church brought her son and daughter inlaw here to see horses and cows. Get this- the girl is from Sardinia (that's a island from Italy). Oh my gosh we had so much fun teaching them how to ride horses. They were trotting all over by the time we were done. I got to ride my horse again. He's doing nice. 

We also took them out to see our cows. They loved when my dad yelled 'come boss' and the whole herd came up to us. One of our cows (the friendly #227) ate out of their hand. That was epic. She got some close up face shots with the cow. They also liked seeing the chickens, and kittens, and playing basketball in our barn. 

Let me just say one thing before I stop rambling.
This was me reading in bed this morning:
*me* I think I like this soldier boy that came alone in chapter two. He seems like he might be fun later on when the story unfolds.
*soldier boy* haha no. I think I'll die in chapter three.

-_- welcome to the wonderful world of my life people -_-

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet- Book Review

Today I'm reviewing Stephanie Morrill's book, The Revise Life of Ellie Sweet. I know I'm a little late, since the second book in the series has just come out, but I've only read the first one so far, so that's what you're getting.

Here's the description for it. I'm awful at describing a book with any form of emotional stability, so this is from goodreads.

Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.

In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.

But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.

I won this book through Stephanie's blog Go Teen Writers (if you haven't heard of it, go check it out. It's amazing. http://www.goteenwriters.blogspot.com/?m=1) 
I hadn't read any of Stephanie's books before and to be honest I wasn't sure how well I was going to like a 
story with no battles, dragons, or tyrannical governments. For being my first experience with this kind 
of book though, it was definitely a good choice. I couldn't put it down. Literally. I took it with 
me in the tractor and read all day till I finished it. My younger sister read it before I did and had been
hounding me to read it, and she couldn't believe I got through it that fast. The humor in it is amazing, 
and the suspenseful drama totally makes up for the lack of giant flying lizards. The sequel, The Unlikely Deput 
Of Ellie Sweet is out now and neither of us can wait to get it. 
My rating for the book is gonna have to be a five. It's not what I normally read, but it totally hooked me. 
Go read it! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Its too cold for me to type!!

Hi guys!!
Can I apologize for disappearing on you? I promise I have a good reason. I was sucked into Narnia you see, and turns out I stayed there an awfully long time, and ended up marrying this really cute guy, and we had the cutest little kiddies, and so a few days passed here with no word from me. You do forgive me right? Thanks ;)

Anyway, I have no idea what to write about right now. There's been so much that has happened since I posted last, but I don't know which one I should make a blog post out of. And I'm sitting in the office away from our wonderful woodstove and my fingers are so cold and I want to hurry. So I'll just to a quick gab session alright?

We had a missionary come to our church on his way to Sudan with his family. That was an amazing story. I've toyed around with the idea of going on at least a short term missions trip, but I'm not sure if I will. I'll just have to wait and see what God does I suppose. But if I do I'll bring you back some awesome pictures ;) (My camera didn't work in Narnia, but I'm pretty sure it will in the Congo).

We've also been moving cows hither and yon. I've been riding my horse Flint still. And he hasn't bucked me off yet. **Stars for me** Just you wait, I'll publish this and my next post will have pictures of a hospital bed and broken bone x-rays because he planted me in the frozen dirt. I have that sort of luck.

I've been getting into the Christmas mood in several ways. My friend had to go and create a food board on Pinterest and my goodness, IT LOOKS SO GOOD. So I've decided I want to make homemade twix bars, carmelito girl scout cookies, egg nog truffles, and snickers bar cookies....My auto correct hates everything I just typed, but I really don't care. It tastes good. I want to make them and take them to Christmas dinner. I have warned all of my family members I will be cooking and to plan accordingly.
Me and my sisters are also picking out music to play at a nearby nursing home. I play guitar and my middle sister plays piano, and we all three sing, so it should be fun. Mom told us that we can go a little crazy and play the songs that don't really go over well in church....I'm sure the folks at the home are really going to appreciate the Thousand Foot Krutch and NEEDTOBREATHE. I'm also sure our not so rock-n-roller voices and my not so killer guitar skills (and the broken whammy bar on my electric guitar) will narrow down our choices so my mom doesn't regret her words too terribly.

Aside from that....Oh! I've started work on a new story. I really don't have a plot for it yet, but I do have several good characters and a basic idea. I'll post it over on the Stories page so you can see it, and hopefully I'll have some snippets to post later on. I've got over 8,000 words of snippets written already, hopefully I can find something worth posting.

Have a good evening everyone! I'll be on more regularly now.