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Cha Cha Cha Changes

Well, hello! Welcome to my blog. Many moons ago (a couple years’ worth), I started this site as a place to chronicle my experiences while trying to become a writer. But in my quest for writerly-improvement, I ran across many different pieces of advice about exactly what a “writer” blog should be. “Just be yourself!” “Nobody cares about what you think, only what you can give them.” “Find a niche and be the best at that.” “Target other writers with writing advice.” “Don’t target writers. They don’t read, silly! Only target readers!” All of this conflicting advice was enough...

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All Things Must End – Was It Good For You?

Another year is coming to a close. It happens every year, but still manages to catch me by surprise each time. Since the end of the year is a great time to look back and reflect, I thought I’d reflect on another type of ending. Books! In particular, I want to give my opinion on the endings for a couple of series that seemed to cause an uproar — The Hunger Games and Divergent. Beware, there will be SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven’t read either series and want to remain spoiler free, you might want to stop here.  *****WARNING: You are now entering the spoiler zone.***** The obligatory warning has been given. If you are still reading (hooray!) that means you have either read the series and know what happens, or that you don’t mind the spoilers. Either way, welcome! First, let me just say that I respect everyone’s opinion, even if it differs from my own. I welcome an open and civil discussion. No biting, no spitting, and no kicking below the belt. 🙂 Overall, I liked both The Hunger Games and the Divergent trilogies. I have to say that I liked the former series much more than I liked the later. The Hunger Games ended in a much stronger way than Divergent did, but I’ll get to that later. Hunger Games In The Hunger Games, people...

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Sword and Laser Book Club

A little over a year ago, I stumbled across an online community that quickly became one of my favorites. Sword and Laser is a science fiction and fantasy book club led by Veronica Belmont, Supreme Sword (fantasy), and Tom Merritt, Supreme Laser (science fiction). Veronica and Tom post audio and video podcasts, discussing the monthly book pick and other literary topics. They even interview a variety of authors in the field (e.g. Pat Rothfuss and John Scalzi). An online discussion forum for the group can be found on Goodreads.  If you like reading science fiction and fantasy, I highly recommend this  group.  Since joining, I’ve found new favorites (Wool), read books I might not have found otherwise (Bridge of Birds), and read some classics (The Demolished Man). My world has been expanded! Links Sword and Laser (S&L) Website S&L Goodreads Forum List of Previous Books Dec 2012 – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien My rating: 5 out of 5 stars Jan 2012 – Old Man’s War by John Scalzi My rating: 4 out of 5 stars Feb 2013 – Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was by Barry Hughart My rating: 4 out of 5 stars Mar 2013 – Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh I was unable to read this book with the group. It is still in my “to-read” list. Apr 2013 –...

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TV Characters I Love

The other day I was looking through my DVD collection, trying to find something to watch while I was cleaning up my house.  I started to reminisce about the great TV shows that were on back in the day, and some of the characters that I miss seeing on a weekly basis.  So, I thought it would be fun to list some of the characters that I love, past and present.  I’m only going to list one person per show, so some of them might not be the obvious choice.  The characters listed below are not necessarily my favorite on their show, but they all have a special place in my heart. Current Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead) played by Norman Reedus.  Hands down, Daryl is my favorite character on The Walking Dead.  He is person numero uno on my fantasy zombie fighting squad (oh, that would be a really good post — My Zombie Team.  I’ll have to remember to do that.).  Why do I like Daryl so much?  Because he is a survivalist — he knows his stuff!  Plus, he is mega-sexy, so that doesn’t hurt.  Of course, he has his baggage (don’t we all), but the guy has heart.  Plus, he will tell you exactly what he thinks. Castiel (Supernatural) played by Misha Collins.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Winchester brothers (Dean slightly more...

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Book Review: Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

5 out of 5 stars Wool, by Hugh Howey, held me captive from beginning to end — in a good way.  One thing I love about reading is being able to feel what the characters are going through.  Not all authors are as good at making this happen as is the author of this book.  I laughed, I cried, and I became extremely invested in the characters, even the bad ones. I am not a claustrophobic person, I never have been, but I couldn’t help but feel like the walls were closing in around me as I read about the bleak living conditions that existed in this story.  The outside world is a toxic wasteland which cannot support human life.  As a result, the characters in the book are living and trying to survive inside a massive underground silo; a structure that is around 150 stories deep and contains everything necessary to sustain life for generations. One detail that struck me was that there is no easy way to travel from the top of the silo to the deepest levels.  Levels are accessed only through the slow, laborious method of taking the stairs.  I roll my eyes every time the elevator is out of order at work, and I’m forced to climb the stairs to my office.  I can’t imagine having to trudge multiple floors every day of my...

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