Category Archives: Writing

A Few Song Favorites and Sketches

The kids are on spring break so I get a break from driving everywhere.  With this little down time, I’m able to do a ton of stuff: write, draw, write, spend time on FB writing groups, etc.  It’s nice.  I’m also reading a book that I’m almost done with and getting ready to review.

A few song favorites that I have on rotation:

“Wayfarer” by Clau M

“About Me and You” by Clau M

“Where Is My Place In This World” by Soundmopi

“A Boy and His Cat” by Kari Sigurosson

Practicing on some quick portrait sketches.  Wish I had more than just 5 Copic markers.  I’m really loving them but I just can’t fathom shelling out the money for them as a hobbyist.  As you can see, I can only really color one girl with the Copics.  I want to give the elf queen in the top left grayish white hair, the girl in the bottom left red hair, and the girl on the bottom right jet black hair.

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Goals Completed in 2016

Twenty-sixteen went by fast.  I now have a feeling technology makes life move faster.  Not literally, of course, but just the time spent on the Internet on social media, blogs, and smartphones takes up almost every minute of our lives.  I’m happy to say that I was still able to accomplish 2 of my 5 goals set earlier in the year.  The ones I accomplished were:

1. Read 40 books.  Favorite out of the 40 was The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  To see all 40 books I read, click here.

2. Wrote 50K words toward my novel.  I actually put down ‘finish my novel’ but I felt that 50K words was a lot so I’m going with that. 🙂

The other 3 were: organize the study (which I tried but didn’t finish), eat a lot less junk food/carbs and more fruits/veggies (I tired too but those carbs are hard to get rid of), and draw a lot.  I think I painted more than drew/sketch but I really wanted to just draw with a pencil/pen and maybe color pencils.  I was only able to turn out about 6 and they were just sketches while I was doing other things on the computer, except the bottom right, which was drawn in my Midori.

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There was one thing I did accomplish that wasn’t included on my goals list and that was to knit.  Out of nowhere, I had this urge to learn to knit so I went for it.  I was afraid I wouldn’t finish because it was really boring once I got the knitting started but I’m glad I kept with it because it’s a great feeling seeing this knitted scarf and knowing I made it.  You can see the beginning of it here.

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Tonight and tomorrow and maybe all week next week, I’ll be honing down the goals I want to accomplish for 2017.  I have a very general idea what I’d like to accomplish, but I’d like to be more specific and so I think that’s what I’ll spend some time doing.

Happy New Year!

Completed NaNoWriMo!

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I completed 50K words on November 30th!  This month’s goal was to do another 20K to finish the novel, but unfortunately, I just can’t find the time this month to do that.  In January, I will get it done.

The 5th Wave Book Review

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Sci-fi, apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, dystopian, paranormal, YA

the5thwaveimageI came upon this book because I saw the preview to the movie when I went to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens (great movie, btw, and watched it twice!) and did a search for the book to see if there was actually a book I could read first before I go see the movie later this month. I always like to read the book first before watching the movie because I like knowing the story from the original creator of the story. I learned that there was a book, published in 2013, so I bought it and finished it within three days.  I know, I’m a little late.

The story takes place in modern day and is about an alien invasion (think aliens similar to Ender’s Game Xenocide). The story begins with protagonists, Cassie Sullivan. She’s a high school student who is pretty much like your typical modern day high school teenager. She reminds me a lot of my 13-year-old in the way she thinks and dreams about boys, how she notices a certain cute boy who doesn’t notice her. I guess I can relate to that too because I clearly remember a boy I liked when I was in high school who didn’t know I existed. But, I liked the book not because I could relate to it in that way but because there was action and decisions and crazy things happening and good writing. I liked the world building and the character development although, I must say, I found some of the characters a bit weak in their character. For instance when the author switched from Cassie’s POV to Ben’s POV, I couldn’t clearly distinguish who it was at first because they sounded similar. Cassie tells us most, if not all, the back-story about the first wave through the fourth wave and brings us to the 5th wave so we’re not left wondering how they ended up in the 5th wave.

I enjoyed the author’s voice or writing style. It’s to the point and he often takes us ahead of the game so we are aware of what’s to come but the characters are not. I happen to really like this type of writing. I get irritated when the author withholds too much and I only know as much as the characters do or less.  The writing kind of reminds me of The Stand by Stephen King. Especially during the back story when the “plague” hit.

This book is categorized as a young adult (YA) but the language and sexual references didn’t give me the feel that this was a YA. The author may have tried to stay on the safer side but personally, if I have to think twice about letting my 13-year-old read it, then it’s not YA. Of course it’s nothing like the rated R contents in The Game of Thrones Series, but it’s not quite PG-13 like Hunger Games, Divergent, or Maze Runner either.

Overall, this was a great read. It was perfectly paced. New characters were thrown in later on so the reader could get a feel for the main protagonist. There was great tension buildup and great action scenes. The dialogue, sarcasm, and humor were awesome.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good post-apocalyptic sci-fi with military action and a touch of extraterrestrial.

I don’t know why but these two songs come to mind when I think of this book:

“Night Call” by Dead V

“Angel Warrior” by Dwayne Ford

My Best Epic Music of 2015: Absolution

Earlier this year I stumbled upon this music from Ryan Taubert and found it difficult to stop listening to it.  I’ve been trying to write a fantasy novel about a type of fairy going extinct and this song playing in the background helped moved the story along.  This song also got me hooked on Assassin’s Creed clips on Youtube.  I’m not a gamer so I had no clue what this video game was about but I did some looking around and found that the stories to the game(s) are intriguing.  Here is the song set to clips from Assassin’s Creed made by a fan.  It’s a bit gory so if you can’t stomach it, don’t watch it.  I like it for the art and graphics and music.

November Random

A week late but here they are:

MAC1120140004_800Husband replaced his first MacBook with the MacBook Air.  He’s had his first one since 2006 and it’s still running great.  The kids have it now.

UKMAIL1120140006_800Mail from my penpal in the U.K.  We’ve been penpals since I was a sophomore in high school.  The weird thing is, he now sends me his diaries.  They are pages and pages, months and months, of his night life.  He’s asked me to share my diaries.  I’ve thought about it but honestly I don’t have a diary and if I did, it would be boring.  I’m a mom.  I do what mom’s do.  Maybe when my kids are grown adults, I might have my own interesting diaries.

SWEETPORK1120140026_800Spices I use in making sweet pork.  I’ve tweaked my sweet pork recipe many times and they are pretty good but none have made my palate dance.  I’m getting closer I think.  So far, the spices above are hitting it but the amount of sweet sauce, brown sugar, and soy sauce, are still being worked on.  As for the pork, traditional Hmong sweet pork uses pork belly.  It’s too fatty for me so I prefer something with more meat but still has some fat like pork shoulder.

CASTLEWOODCANYON1120140022_800The family took our Christmas photo at Castlewood Canyon State Park.  It’s a pretty nice park in rural east.  Those are the Rockies in the distance.  Btw, I think Castlewood sounds like a perfect sir name for a fantasy character.  Maybe something like James Castlewood.  I can just read it already:

“And, how is Lord Castlewood?”

“The injuries only winded him, sire.  Nothing more.”