Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A White Christmas for North Texas!



I hope everyone had a very nice Christmas and at the very least got to talk to someone they love, eat some favorite food, or in my case, experience the first snow of the season! It very rarely snows here in Texas on Christmas Day, so it was a real treat to watch the huge flakes floating down from the sky as we ate some excellent home-made chicken fried steak at Drew's grandmother's house.

There are still a number of friends and family I still need to see, and I'll be "making the rounds" probably through half of January because as many of you know, my day job work schedule picks up when you go on vacation, making me a busy girl.

But now that Christmas is technically over, I am looking forward to my favorite holiday, (second only to Halloween), and that is New Year's Eve. I use it as a day to celebrate and reflect on accomplishments of the past year, including what goals I may have met. I also think on mistakes I may have made, and what I have learned from the experiences. And I set goals for the next year. So expect a post soon on that.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your break if you get one! And oh! If you got a new Kindle or Nook e-reader, please take a look at my offerings in the sidebar to the right or in the "My Books" tab at the top of this blog. I write what's called "speculative fiction," which is a blanket term for Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Horror stories. Everything I have out right now ranges from about $2.99 to $5.99, so it's a good bargain.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Experiencing 'The Hobbit'

Today I went to see The Hobbit. I was more than a little excited because one of the people who watched it with me (in addition to my sweet husband and cool dad) was my brother Clark. Now, for those of you not familiar with this brother/sister tradition, Clark and I went to see The Fellowship of the Ring together when it first came out more than 10 years ago. We also saw The Two Towers and Return of the King together at the midnight showings. So naturally, we had to see The Hobbit together for old time's sake.

(Note: Misty, if you're reading this, I wish you could have also been there. We missed you!)


Here we are again, bro & sis, a decade after seeing Fellowship together.


I remember right after watching The Fellowship of the Ring those 11 or so years ago, the high-school versions of Clark and myself had to walk home from the mall because my Buick wouldn't start. All the way home in the cold and rain, we played make-believe like we were kids in order to entertain ourselves. He was Gandalf, and I was Frodo.

"Gandalf!" I'd say with chattering teeth as my feet went numb from the miles of walking. (Literally miles--we didn't have cell phones then to call anyone to come get us because not everyone carried them at that time.) "Are we ever going to make it back to The Shire? My toes ache!"

"Stop your belly-aching, you fool," he'd reply in a perfect Ian McKellen voice. "Just follow me and keep up. Don't dawdle now!"

Thus began the spark of creativity we'd use to make our parodies...

I eventually acquired the soundtrack to Fellowship, and one night, he and I were listening to it, and he started reciting lines from the movie. I got the idea to grab the tape recorder because his impressions were good. He continued doing all the voices, but in a sort of Saturday Night Live spoof version of the scenes, to all the tracks on the CD, and I recorded him, trying and failing to hold back my laughter. I still have the cassette tapes, though what shape they're in I'm not sure... Those parodies were funny as heck!!

Anyway, so fast-forwarding back to 2012. Today, we have gone from being high school students living with our dad, to being "grown-ups" with kids (in his case) and a husband and dog (in my case) and having our own separate homes and jobs and lives. My how time flies. But experiencing the movie was still just as fun...

So what did I think of the movie, you're probably wondering?

Well, I found myself wanting to play make-believe at the end of the film just as much as ever. It was an amazing adaptation, more than I could have dreamed. The world was so perfectly created, a visual feast. I enjoyed seeing familiar characters as well as new, and the same went for the music: some familiar melodies mixed in with lovely new themes. Bilbo was charming (I really want to live in his house and have some of his cheese and wine). I loved the Dwarves--if there are any people I'd love to party with, it's those guys! It was great seeing Gandalf again, almost like he was an old friend. The story is basically Fantasy at its finest. No predictability. No hokey romance to help it sell. Just a pure, honest adventure and beautifully done.

The Hobbit was one of the first real novels I ever remember reading as a child. It's probably the first that I ever got "sucked into" like a magical, mental vortex. Clark told me tonight that he remembers listening to me read the book to him when we were kids, though I can't recall doing that. I might have done it though. Funny the different things our individual memories hang onto.

But back to the movie: the good thing about a movie like this is it truly does transport me to another world and makes me feel like an excited kid again. It ignites my creativity in a way that makes me itch to write. It makes me want to go play in a forest and pretend I'm a Hobbit or a Dwarf or an Elf and have an adventure of my own. It brings back good memories with my brother, whom I don't get to see very much these days because our lives have taken us in separate directions.

The downside of a movie like this is that it has to end... I have to return to mundane, disappointing, frustrating "real life." And as much as it inspires my creativity, it also throws me into despair because I start to wonder what is the point of writing anything when it'd be impossible to even come close to creating a masterpiece like that?

**SIGH**

Oh, who cares about the downside.

I'm ready to go see it again.

*****

Add C.J. Sullivan's books to your library. -->Shop here!<--

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Never Too Late to Take a Compliment!

I've been in the process of gathering some of my stories that have been published by small or digital presses over the years to display on this spiffy blog here. I just found one of them, a short story called "The Chevalier Sisters: A Tale of Voodoo." I wrote it under C.J. Sully instead of Sullivan. It's a historical horror tale set in New Orleans. Anyway, after locating it on Amazon, I was happy to discover there is now a Kindle version for only $2.99 (the original paperback is about $15).





So I scrolled down and saw that there were two reviews of the anthology, and I browsed through them to see what these readers thought of the collection and also to see if my story might be mentioned. Umm...yes, it was, and Holy Compliments, Batman! Look at what Shroud Magazine's Book Reviews said about it:


"The pinnacle of the collection has to be C. J. Sully's "The Chevalier Sisters: A Tale of Voodoo" which weaves a southern gothic narrative about Thena Chevalier, and her constant struggle in life with her physical disabilities, the emotionally heavy loss of her mother, and the antagonistic torments of her sister, Dusa. With a revelatory ending reminiscent of Poe, Sully's story is sure to capture the attention of any horror fans."


Though the review was written a year and a half ago, it was still quite an honor to randomly come across it on a quiet Tuesday evening while I sipped on some hot chocolate.

Horror fans, you can purchase your copy of the anthology -->here<-- if you like.

G'night, and remember, it's never too late to take a compliment!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

About E-books and E-readers (for those of you who are curious but too afraid to ask)

It's come to my attention that there are still many of you folks out there who don't know how e-books! The word "kindle" means nothing to you, and just the idea of reading a novel on a screen instead of paper makes your skin crawl because it's so unusual. Not to worry, though. I'm devoting this blog post to the basics of e-books/e-readers to help answer some of your questions that you might be too afraid to ask.


1) What is an e-reader?

An e-reader is an electronic device primarily used to read digital books. (Think "E" for "electronic.") Kindle and Nook are the two most popular e-readers today. Here's a commercial for a Kindle:






There's not really much difference between a digital book and a paper book, other than the fact that it's not paper. You still get the same story and cover art, etc. loaded onto your e-reader.


2) How much does an e-reader cost?

E-readers vary in price, and they are getting more affordable every year. A regular Kindle that primarily holds only books costs about $70 right now. But just like there are various types of computers and TV's, there are also a variety of e-readers, some of which have more functions. Some e-readers like the Nook HD are a lot more fancy. They can do more than show books, so they're more expensive. Here's a commercial for the Nook:






3) Where can you get e-readers?

You can buy Kindles from Amazon.com and Nooks from Barnes & Noble (online and in phyiscal stores). Other less popular e-readers like Sony e-readers (which is what I have) can be bought online, as well as in some electronics stores.



4) Can you read e-books without an e-reader device?

Yes, you can! If you have a computer (or a smart phone or an ipad) you can download free programs from Amazon (here) and Barnes and Noble (here). You don't have to spend a penny on the programs ("apps" they call them), and once you have them, you can start buying e-books and reading them on your computer, phone, etc. I have the Kindle app downloaded to my laptop, and I read books that I buy from Amazon on there.



5) I'm scared of the reading experience not being the same on an e-reader as it is with a paper book. How can it be the same?

It won't be the exact same, and that's OK. You won't have pages to turn or a physical book to put on the shelf. But I've asked people who have recently given e-books a try, and they all agree that whether you read a book on paper or on a screen, you still have the same experience of suspense, fear, love, sadness, joy that reading gives. Good stories are good no matter what. If you read them in e-book format, you will remember the stories just the same afterwards and hold them in your memory just as if you'd read them on paper.



6) What are some other benefits to reading e-books as opposed to paper books?

*It saves massive amounts of trees, thus helping out the environment in a big way.

*E-readers also have a function for people to increase the font size, so for those of you who have trouble with your vision, this is a real bonus.

*E-books never get old and dusty, so for those of you allergic to old books (like myself, unfortunately), you never have to worry about having those annoying sneeze attacks.

*E-books are often much cheaper than paper books. (Example: my book Wings of the Divided is only $3.95, which is less than half the price for a regular paperback novel.)

*You have the option to read a sample online of most e-books before you buy them.

*You don't have to leave the house to buy an e-book, and once you buy it online, you can start reading it within minutes!

*(This just added from one of my readers!) You might also point out that most e-readers have built in dictionaries and all you have to do is highlight a word to define it. Also copy and paste which comes in handy when you want to email a paragraph or two of the book you are reading to your friend. And most keep track of where you are at if you are reading your books on multiple devices. Portability is probably the coolest thing about E-Readers. You have access to your entire library wherever you are!

*The new above comment also made me think of another thing: e-readers are fantastic for reading gigantic books like The Stand by Stephen King. I started reading the hardback, but it was enormous AND dusty, so I just got a copy of it for my e-reader, and it's sooo much easier to read.


Remember, just because you choose to read e-books does not mean you have to read only e-books. I read books in all formats. I have that little Sony e-reader that I told you about, and I read some books on that. I buy new paper books, as well as used paper books. And I also have a library card, which I use to borrow both paper and e-books from the local library.


Just imagine this: at one point, telephones were brand new, TV's were brand new, microwaves were brand new, and so-on. Some people resisted these inventions because they liked cooking on a stove, for instance, or preferred to listen to shows on the radio...but they also, deep down, didn't understand the technology and were a little afraid of the new devices. Please don't be afraid of this new book technology. Sometimes change can be a good thing!


If you have any more questions about e-readers or e-books, please don't hesitate to ask. Questions and comments are always welcome!

*****

Add C.J. Sullivan's books to your library. -->Shop here!<--

Friday, December 7, 2012

Clutter Find



Whoa there! Take a look at this little gem! Hah!

That tiny tot you see is the very author of this blog. I'm striking a pose along with my dad and mom, back when they were still married. I guess they thought it'd be fun to play dress-up and get a photo taken back somewhere in the neighborhood of 1983-84. I'm glad they did. This is one of the first pictures I have memories of looking at as a child. Rediscovering it today at the bottom of a box of clutter was a blast from the past.

It kind of throws me for a loop to think that I'm looking at versions of my parents who were the same age then as I am now. I wonder if, like myself, they realized how much they'd grown in their 20's and were amazed at how many of life's lessons they'd learned. I also wonder if they, like myself, were excited and apprehensive about the next decade ahead--if they thought about whether it would prove to be such a rough but educational decade, or if it'd sail a bit more smoothly.

I don't think 30 is old at all (I'm one year shy of it, just fyi). I don't mind the aging process like some people do. I don't run away from it, don't freak out if I find a new line on my face, etc. I almost look forward to growing older. The person I am today is so much wiser than the person I was at 20. I can only imagine what I'm going to learn in the next 10, 20, 30 years of my life. Is it strange that I actually look forward to being that wise, silver-haired old lady, who is maybe a little nutty, but who still provides great nuggets of wisdom and witticisms to all the young-ins that come visit and eat her baked goods?

Sheesh, it's amazing where looking at a photo can take you...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Texas Autumn Foliage

I love the way leaves turn such beautiful colors when we actually experience the season of autumn in Texas. (Many years, it just goes straight from summer to winter with little or no in-between.) Here are a few pictures I've taken from the city and the country, in attempt to capture part of the fiery array of fall foliage we've been lucky enough to have this year.





































Saturday, November 24, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Vengeful Bounty

Today I'm posting as part of Six Sentence Sunday, and the book this snippet comes from is my sci-fi action/adventure tale Vengeful Bounty. By the way, this weekend marks the novel's one-year anniversary! 





I published this ebook with Untreed Reads and opted to use the pseudonym Jillian Kidd. (I've toyed around with some different pen names before finally settling on my real name's initials: C.J. Sullivan.) VB was really fun to write. It's one of the few things I've written from a first-person POV. In this story, Mina Maxwell, redheaded bounty hunter extraordinaire, narrates her journey to gain "Global Status" so she can hunt the bad guys all over the world. During her tale, she kicks some serious butt, battles with some inner-demons, and dares to let herself love again after being heartbroken by a fellow bounty hunter. 

In this six sentences from the book, she and her bounty hunting baby brother, Colt, have just arrived at a club, where they're going to nab one of the bounties on the wanted list. Enjoy!

***

"I checked my cleavage for the mini laser gun I’d secured—still in place. I wish I had been able to carry an old-fashioned bullet-firing pistol as well, but the outfit wouldn't allow it. I liked to keep one as a backup in case the laser gun runs out of energy—the batteries in those things were cheap crap. You had to keep them on the charger all night for them to be worth anything the next day.

Colt stepped out and checked his appearance for flaws in the rear-view mirror and intensely arched his eyebrows and narrowed his eyes like he was some sort of supermodel getting ready for the catwalk. Brothers, aren’t they a joy?"



***


To read some reviews of Vengeful Bounty on Amazon click -->here<--.

To read a longer excerpt at the Untreed Reads Store, click -->here<--.

Happy birthday, Mina!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Woven"


At my dear ol' dad's request, here is the link to a piece of flash fiction I wrote a couple of years ago that got published by the online literary magazine The Molotov Cocktail. It's a super short story symbolizing the nature of greed, and it's titled "Woven." Click -->here<-- if you'd like to read it.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks again for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Car Intruders at Fossil Rim

Last year, my husband and I took a drive through Fossil Rim, which is basically an area filled with wild-life that you can look at and feed. You're not supposed to touch them, but sometimes they make it a little difficult not to... One deer in particular was quite the amorous soul. My Honda still sports scratches from his antlers, but that's okay. It gives my car character!


Here's Mr. Lover Boy closing in on my husband.




Drew couldn't get away!
You can't see me in the back seat, but I was rolling.




I finally tried to distract the deer.
Look at him scraping the side of my car to leave a lasting mark!
What a sweetie!




Mr. Zebra got jealous and had to see what was up.
This was not taken with a fish-eye lens by the way.




*Sniff, sniff, nibble nibble* Hondas taste good!



Say "Cheese"!



Click -->here<-- to check out Fossil Rim for yourselves!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Solar Eclipse

There will be a solar eclipse today, but unless you live in Australia, you probably won't be able to see it. Here's a simulation of what's going to happen:






In ancient history, eclipses were like these magical, feared occurrences, usually brought on by God or the gods, and they served as a sign for startling change. They were bad omens, thought by many to be a sun-devouring demon or dragon.

This eclipse makes me think of the 2006 movie Apocalypto. It's an amazing film--if you don't have a weak stomach, that is. (It appeals to my adventurous, tomboy side...that and I think Rudy Youngblood is a gorgeous guy. *Ahem*)





Monday, November 12, 2012

Unplug



If you're like me, you like to work hard. If you're a writer (or any kind of artist), you like to devote a ton of time and energy to your craft to the point that it almost borders on obsession. Also, if you're like me, you may work a day job, too, so that leaves you with very little YOU time.

Often I reach a point where I feel totally drained. I've given all of my energy to my day job or my writing. I spend countless hours on the Internet trying to respond to emails and Tweets and Facebook posts in a polite, timely manner. And I reach the point of getting burned out.

I have found that the best thing to do when you reach this burnout stage is to Unplug. If you have a day off from your day job, you don't have to spend every waking minute on your hobby. It's GOOD to get away from it all, to unplug your laptop, to (gasp!) turn off your cell phone! Just leave it behind for a little while--it'll be there when you get back; I promise.

Get out in nature, if you can. Take a walk. Or if that's impossible, go to a quiet room in your house where there's a window. Open the curtains and let the daylight in. Sit and let your mind drift away from all the things it feels chained to, and soon you might get an idea of just the thing you need to do to make you feel refreshed. Go with your instincts--unless they're saying to plug in and get back online. Don't do that. Rewind back to a time when we didn't have all this technological distraction. What did you do for fun back then? How did you feed your creativity? How did you nourish your soul?

That's what I'm doing today. I'm writing this post, and then I'm turning it all off. I'm going to clean house, maybe decorate a little, possibly go to the library. I'm going to paint my toenails and read a book and cuddle with my little weenie dog.

Don't worry, I'll be back, and probably sooner than I think. But bottom line is this: unplugging, even just for 30 minutes, is sometimes necessary. So when you feel stressed out, try having some YOU time, too!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Wings of the Divided






This Sunday I'm going to share six sentences from my novel Wings of the Divided. In this scene, little Fallen angel Kiazmo is musing on his deadly comrade Laphelle, about how powerful he is and why so many of the other angels (light and dark) fear him. Enjoy!









"While many of the angels of darkness had their weaknesses, be it sex or drugs or bloodlust or any other perverted addiction, Laphelle was slave to nothing. And he never lost a fight. The reason he was not a member of the Elite was not just because angels of First Rank were forbidden to rise to higher status. Rumor had it that Lucifer especially didn't trust him. There must have been something in the way Laphelle carried himself during the parades after winning battle after battle on all those distant worlds. Something in the way he refused the pleas of women begging to bed him during those victory celebrations, something in the way his eyes searched for more than just dark victory that made even the Devil himself uneasy."


Wings of the Divided is now available.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Costumes 2012!

I was a woodland fairy, or the season of Fall embodied. Take your pick! 

(Tutu and some accessories by Chummy Mummy)


And here's Drew with this last-minute concoction! 

(Mustache by yours truly)


Ready for a night of fun!!





Kaiser got into the Halloweenie spirit, too! What a scary shark!




...Even though he wasn't that jazzed about his costume...





Hope everyone enjoyed Halloween 2012!

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Personal Peek at My Novel Prewriting Process

Don't let any writer tell you any of the following things:


"If you want to write a good book, you have to compose a detailed outline before you start!"

"In order to create a worthwhile novel, you cannot plan it out; you have to let yourself create it as it goes."

"You HAVE to write THIS way."

"You HAVE to write THAT way."


In truth, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to the process of composing a novel. I've known lots of writers, published and unpublished, who prefer to compose an intricate outline that specifically maps out where they want their story to go. I've also known writers (also published and unpublished) who get a simple idea, and then they sit down and start typing, letting the story write itself. I find myself somewhere in the middle.

I don't create a full outline because sometimes, for me, I'll get midway through a story, and the original idea I had wants to go a different route. When that happens, my subconscious is trying to guide me, so I'll go with the flow at that point; however, I do write down lots of notes. I record thoughts that I have during brainstorming, or when I get a random idea during the way. I also collect inspiring pictures and story-related research. And I keep all this stuff in one big notebook or binder.

Let me share with you some pictures of a special example of my type of writing notebook. This binder serves as the home to a vast majority of notes I collected during the process of writing Wings of the Divided and its sequels back in college.




As you can see, the scribbled notes are not all on the same kind of paper. Sometimes, I'd be out somewhere far away from my writing desk, and I'd get a good idea, so I'd grab the closest piece of paper I could find in order to store my thoughts. I've heard of writers like J.K Rowling even writing down notes on napkins because they didn't have anything else to write on. Sometimes when inspiration hits, you just have to capture it somehow so you don't lose it.

For my characters, I will often go on a hunt for pictures of people that look like them--or at least how I see them in my mind.


(Inspiration for my character Melissa)

(Inspiration for my character Noam)


And sometimes I'll even get brave enough to draw sketches of my characters, diagrams of scenery, or details of an item.


(My character Noam--those are supposed to be sai he's holding, although they kind of look like Wolverine claws here.)


(My character Laphelle--I saw some of the characters almost in Anime style in my head.)




As I wrote these books, I allowed myself to get completely obsessed with angels. I wanted to be familiar with not only the Bible's interpretation of what angels were, but also who they were in lore from other countries. Ultimately, I put my own spin on what I wanted my angels to be like, but I did contribute bits of legend here and there, and just really enjoyed learning about the history. I bought a dictionary of angels, printed out historic bits of scripture about angels, and made copies of encyclopedic references to angels. (I also gathered articles about violins and other story-related topics.)










Before I wrap up this post, I'll mention one other thing I sometimes do before I write a chapter or a certain scene, and that is I make song lists for them. Quite a few authors I know of write with music going in the background. I find that certain songs, mostly classical/soundtrack tunes for me, can help me create a movie-like scene in my head. And then that helps me to channel the right emotion that a scene needs. So I'll often write down song names and their corresponding scenes in my book so I can remember to listen to those when I'm writing that scene. (I don't have to have music going; I've also written plenty in complete silence. It just depends on the scene.)

So that's pretty much it as far as preparation goes for me! Again, some novelists don't take any notes at all, while others map out everything that's going to happen in the story before they ever start typing. I say (like so many things in life), to each his own. As long as you have the skill, the determination, and the imagination, there really is no wrong way to go about it!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Austin Visit: A Few Pics to Show the Trip in a Nutshell

First off, can anyone tell me what kind of strange flower this is? Snapped it while walking.

Here's the little boutique hotel's lobby after dark.


I liked the random, Modern-style houses in the neighborhood.


Pastries, drinks, cheese plate, and ping pong. What more could you want on a Tuesday afternoon?


This place has some nice omelets.


If you need a costume for absolutely anything, come here.





Turns out, October's a great time for a walk along the river.


It always seems smaller in pictures, but the cap. building was HUGE!



Friday, September 28, 2012

Halloween Craft Time!

My mood has significantly improved! Looks like all I needed was a day away from the grindstone, a little visit with family, and some Halloween creative time! Check out this nifty little Halloween wreath I constructed this afternoon. Ghoulishly groovy, eh? I think so ;)



Monday, September 17, 2012

You know you live in the Metroplex when...

...it takes you an hour to drive to your favorite grocery store in town, buy a few items, and return home.

I debated on whether or not to even leave the house once 3 o'clock hit. Schools were letting out, and the end-of-workday flood gates were soon to be open. But I really, really, really wanted to stock up on coconut water. So off I went.

(Keep in mind, this is all on two roads, in town, not getting on any highways.)

On the road for two minutes...saw about five people in the span of ten seconds change lanes without a signal. Griped at drivers that they could cause a wreck, though they clearly could not hear. Loudly voiced a query to the cops, asking them where they were when you needed them. They also, obviously, could not hear.

Then passed through approximately 800 school zones, all of which had incredibly slow, obese kids walking on the cross-walk, so had to wait even longer. Then the train decided to go through town, right before I hit the tracks. Stopped and waited. Line of cars behind me increased to about 10 million. Then, train gone, more people cutting other people off, not using their signals, and more yelling from inside my Honda.

Got to the grocery store, took a breath of relief, stocked up on coconut water, and left.

Back on the road...school having been out for a good period of time and all the kiddos having gone, I couldn't figure out why we were all stopped at a red light for what seemed like the entirety of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Saw light turn green. Two cars went through. Light turned red again. Had barely moved an inch. More waiting and not understanding. Had to do meditative breaths and sing a happy tune to myself so as not to completely blow my top.

Realized there had been a wreck (probably caused by some dumbass not signaling before changing lanes), and although it was cleared, two police cars and a moon-sized fire truck were blocking all but one lane going through the intersection. Drove like a snail through that.

FINALLY got home, swearing I was not going to get near that friggin' road between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. EVER again.

Putting coconut water in fridge, thought about how nice it is to take a long, scenic drive through the country...where there are no other cars...and no school zones...and no wrecks...just peace, and nowhere to be, and no reason to rush...

I do like part of city life...but there is a peace-seeking country girl me who will always live underneath that teeth-gritting, fingernail-tapping, city woman...

*****

Add C.J. Sullivan's books to your library. -->Shop here!<--

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More Rain, Gene, and Frank

Why is it that the rain makes some of us artistic types start flowing with those mind-wandering juices?

Another rainy day with steel-gray skies, sopping wet, squishy ground, and I find myself wanting to dance to some crooners.

A particular song comes to mind. It's maybe a little expected and cheezy for days like this, but "Singin' in the Rain" is one of my favorite movie moments of the 50's and pretty much all time. I am currently watching the uber-charming Mr. Gene Kelly (may his sweet, charming, handsome soul rest in peace). Here's the iconic video where he dances like a loon right after gazing in a love-struck haze into Carrie Fisher's Mom's eyes (that's Debbie Reynolds, of course).



Gene wasn't as much known for his singing as he was for his dancing and choreography. Someone who *was* known more for his singing, however, is the smooth-voiced Mr. Frank Sinatra. Another perfect song for a rainy day (or sunny, cloudy, snowy, or tornado day that makes you want to tickle your ears with some fab fifties crooning) is "All The Way," a song that was recorded by tonsbunches of pop singers from that era. "Who knows where the road will lead us...only a fool would say..."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"After A Night's Storm" (a poem)

Step down the crooked sidewalk
The morning after a night's storm
And breathe in the floral serenity
That has taken precious form.

The damp and fragrant, misty air
Awash of yesterday's pace
Stands still and full of future's promise
Like an ethereal suitcase.

Houses, all sleeping, rest sound and still
Under cumulus clouds, cool and dark
And the dimmed morning light from above
Colors gardens, damp green leaves, and brown bark.

The morning after a night of rain
Is among my favorites moments of life
Because it heals, reveals, and shows us the way
And brings growth from the prior day's strife.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Circa 1953



My mother is an identical twin. That's her to the left (or is it to the right??). This picture was taken before she and my aunt developed their separate likes and styles, which would serve as identifiers to tell them apart later in life.

No matter what they've done separately, however, they have always had an uncanny connection. For instance, when Auntie and my mother were in their 40's and lived in separate states, they still somehow managed to buy the same kind of key-chain for their keys that same year!

I can tell them apart by their voices, but only after some practice. Whenever they spend time together, they like to call me and see if I can identify who's talking. It's the tiny little quirks in each of their voice patterns that make them unique. Only someone who knows them very well could sense the difference. When they were infants, my grandmother had to put a spot of fingernail polish on their feet to tell them apart!

Twins must have separate souls, but they still share something very special that other siblings don't. I love both my mother and Auntie for being their own, unique selves, and also for being so much like halves to a whole.

I'm supposedly in line to have twins, myself, so if I choose to bear children, I may get my own precious set of identical babies. Good thing I have lots of fingernail polish on hand...



Monday, August 6, 2012

We're On Mars!

What a thing to wake up to this bright and sizzling summer morning! We have landed a new rover on Mars!

The rover called Curiosity is now going to explore the mysterious Red Planet for us as we expand our knowledge as human beings and continue to be fascinated by life and the universe around us.

Rived? Inspired? Freaked out by the awesomeness of it all? Well, you must feel like getting in the Mars Mood now, so let me suggest some top notch -->literature<-- to tickle that space-traveling fancy.

Hmm...I wonder if we'll find any life out there on our neighboring planet...?


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hey, World

Hey there, Bloggerverse.

I'm trying something new, something fresh, something real. Had a few earlier incarnations of this thing called "blog," but that was just toying around, just playing with the format, just "finding my way," so I knew what to do when the real me decided to shine through.

And that time is now! *trumpets sound*

Pretty soon, I'll have some fantabulous reading material for all of y'all, not only in the form of very eclectic, very ME blog posts, but also some published fiction to flirt with your fanciful imaginations. The angels are coming. Can't wait! ;)



If nobody else reads this blog, it won't be too much of a bummer because I've come into my own lately. I'm writing this shit for myself. Anyone who comes along for the ride is welcome and appreciated, but just know you're getting something genuine, something non-commerical, something soulful.

If you can dig it, stay and play.

Talk again soon... ;)