• Book Fight Update

    It’s going to be very, very hard to beat out Murderbot. In the second installment, Artificial Condition, we get a bit more characterization and a whole new cast of characters. I need to remember to re-read the series before starting book three, since it took me a bit to catch up. The stories end abruptly, but the next volume picks up where the last left off.

    I enjoyed Three Mages and a Margarita, but the anxiety riddled murderous robot wins this round.

    That brings me to five completed brackets. I need to get a move on if I’m going to finish this year.

    book fight 7-9-22 full

    To get a blank bracket PDF and see the full list of books included in mine, see this blog post.

  • Book Fight Update

    For some reason I had it in my head that The Love Hypothesis was up against Get A Life, Chloe Brown so I read both of those and only realized my mistake when I went to update my brackets. So I’m a bit out of order here, but that’s okay. Spoiler Alert is on hold at my library, so I read Carved in Cherry.

    Both of these stories are good, but The Love Hypothesis won this match. It was exactly what I needed right now with everything going to hell in a hand bucket in the world right now. Easy, low angst, high steam, funny, relatable and all around swoon worthy.

    Hopefully Spoiler Alert will be available soon and I’ll get that bracket done.

    I also finished The Brightest Fell and People We Meet on Vacation. This was an unfair fight. I’ve been a Seanan McGuire fan for ages and this is the first book by Emily Henry I’ve read.  It just didn’t stand a chance being paired with such a juggarnaught.

    This brings me to four completed brackets.

    book fight 3-6-22 full

    To get a blank bracket PDF and see the full list of books included in mine, see this blog post.

  • Book elimination tournament!

    A friend of mine did this and I thought, what a great way to get new book recommendations and get through some of my TBR list, so I stole the idea and ran with it. Matchups were made using random.org. I’m reviewing the 5* reads on my Goodreads account, and will update here when I finish a pair. I also made a blank bracket if you’d like to do this which you can download here:

    And here is a list of the book matchups:

    Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
    Three Mages and a Margherita by Annette Marie

    Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
    Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cros

    Fool by Christopher Moore
    The Witch’s Wolves by Ellie Mae MacGregor

    Love & Curse Making by Kelly St Clare
    Woman of Blood & Bone (Rogue Ethereal #1) by Annie Anderson

    A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
    Pushing Up Posies (Grim Dating #1) by Eve Langlais

    A House for Keeping by Matteson Wynn
    Paladin’s Grace by T Kingfisher

    Wolf Girl (Wolf Girl, #1) by Leia Stone
    Radio Silence (Off the Grid, #1) by Alyssa Cole

    Spoiler Alert by Olvia Dade
    Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

    Priest by Sierra Simone
    A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic) by Elise Kova

    Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
    Carved in Cherry by Elizabeth Kirke

    Bite Somebody by Sara Dobie Bauer
    Black Hat, White Witch by Hailey Edwards

    Gray Card (The Department of Homeworld Security #1) by Cassandra Chandler
    Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion, #1) by Jessie Mihalik

    A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T Kingfisher
    The Nine Muses by Aisha Urooj

    People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
    The Brightest Fell (October Daye, #11) by Seanan McGuire

    Girls Weekend by CM Nascosta
    Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1) by R.L. Mathewson

    The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers
    Bond (Stargazer Alien Mail Order Brides, #1) by Tasha Black

    Just because a book doesn’t win it’s matchup doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. It just means I didn’t like it as much as the book it was paired against.

  • SAMR – Godzilla vs Kong

    How stupid is this action movie?

    There are several groan-worthy moments, and you’ll need to check your science, logic, time, and spatial awareness at the door. It’s not as bad in this regard as the first in this trilogy where Ford must have teleportation powers to be at the center of every major event whether it’s in Japan or on a train in the US midwest or a boat in the Pacific, but there’s definitely some Santa’s sleigh level travel going on in this one.

    Would I let the little’un and the big’un watch it?

    Yep. There are a couple of mild curse words (shit is the only one I can recall right now). The fight sequences are solidly action, with very little blood. Both Godzilla and Kong are damaged, but aside from some gross moments that are more silly than anything else (like Godzilla eating one of Ghidora’s heads at the end of King of Monsters) the only thing that might bother some younger kiddos is the large amount of faceless/nameless characters who are cannon fodder. A couple of main characters do die, but the camera cuts after the set up, so the actual death isn’t on screen.

    What I liked:
    • The big reveal. I may have squee’d a little.
    • The fight sequences between Godzilla and Kong. I especially liked that their moves were consistent with past movies and they fought like animals rather than men in suits.
    • The boss fight was believably tough. Even if you know how it’ll all turn out, it’s possible not everyone is getting out alive.
    • Jia (played by Kaylee Hottle). She made me believe.
    What I didn’t like:
    • I’m gonna get slammed for this, but Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown). I wasn’t super fond of her character in King, but she’s even flatter in this one. She’s there solely to up the stakes, and it’s obvious and unnecessary.
    • Likewise Julian Dennison (Josh Valentine). His character was completely unnecessary.
    • The glossing over of quite a few plot points. There were a lot of moments where you just had to accept things existed and/or worked the way they did because… reasons.
    Overall impression:

    Super fun, mindless entertainment. It feels a bit on the long side, but there’s plenty of action once it gets going. The ending is satisfying, the rivalry works, the CGI is impressive and the overall atmosphere of the movie is nice. Suspend your disbelief hard and it’s a fun way to spend almost two hours.

    3.5 Stupid Action Movie Stars

    Too stupid even for me.


    It was fun.

    I’d watch it again.

    I own it.

  • I’m curious…

    Which of my work-in-progress stories are you most looking forward to?
  • Name an alien pet – it’s poll time!

    Zoranna and the three pups

    I received so many awesome submissions in my call to help me name Zoranna’s alien pets, I’m really glad I’m not the one having to choose! Thank you all so much.

    Please choose your three favorite names in the poll below. Winning names will be used in DROSCAL: KA’ATARI WARRIORS book 3 and the person(s) who submitted those names will get a shout out at the front of the book.

    I’ve randomized the list of names and the submitters will be kept anonymous. This isn’t a popularity contest, but if you want to point friends and family here to vote, there aren’t any restrictions on who can submit their choices.

    I’m not worried about the names being gender conforming so don’t let that influence you. I provided the genders of the pups to my newsletter just to help with brainstorming.

    Poll closes at 5pm EST (UTC -5) on Wednesday Nov. 4th.

    The poll is closed!

    The winning names will be announced shortly.

  • The End of the Beginning

    {Just a small bit of writing I did quite a while ago that I thought I’d share.}

    The end came very near the beginning. No one seemed to notice when it began, so the end still seemed rather far off. Perhaps that’s why everyone seemed to think it ended so quickly. By the time one realized it had begun, it was over. There aren’t many things that can slip by your consciousness like a stealthy beginning. And one rarely fails to notice an end. Of course, the beginning and the end are both rather arbitrary and it’s really the middle that plays the lead. No one talks about the middle though, preferring to simply let it happen naturally. The beginning and the end often overshadow the middle, but people tend to crave those sorts of bookends.

    So the beginning was rather nebulous, but begin it did. And shortly thereafter we came to the end.

  • I love lists.

    I make a lot of lists. Beyond the usual grocery and to do, I have goal lists and house task specific lists and challenge lists and for several years I’ve had a 101 things in 1001 days list. I haven’t updated it since 2015, but my list is still there on the Day Zero website. That list randomly came to mind the other day, so I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and see what I wanted to do back then.

    Naturally, there were a lot of book and reading related entries.

    • write at least 100 words a day for 7 days
    • successfully complete my novel
    • complete a short story and submit it to eastoftheweb.com
    • organize books
    • read 5 books in the TBR pile
    • read all the magazines in the pile before renewing/subscribing to any more
    • subscribe to all the magazines on my wishlist
    • write every day in my paper journal for at least 100 days
    • go one month without acquiring any new books
    • read 5 books in the TBR pile (Seize the Night Sherilynn Kenyon; The Truth About Love Stephanie Laurens; To Tame a Wolf Susan Krinard; Marriage Most Scandalous Johanna Lindsey; Dark Side of the Moon Sherrilyn Kenyon)
    • get sufficient bookcases to house all of our books
    • read (or at least attempt) the Dark Tower novel

    Some I finished easily (read 5 TBR books) and others took a bit (getting sufficient bookcases) but most of them I was able to complete before the end of the challenge. I didn’t submit a story to eastoftheweb (and honestly I’m shocked the website is still around), and I failed miserably at going a month without any new books. The rest have all been done.

    I suspect my love of lists comes from the same place as my hoarding of planners and notebooks. At least most of my lists are digital and don’t live in piles around my desk.

  • None of this is okay.

    I have gone back and forth on whether to post so many times my brain thinks it’s watching a tennis match. In the end, I feel like I should say something about *waves like wacky inflatable arm guy* everything.

    I’m not qualified to talk about this in so many ways. It’s not my experience, and I’m certainly not educated enough on systemic racism, ingrained bias, black/POC American history (I just learned about Fred Hampton for shit’s sake), or the way politics work to be able to speak intelligently. I’ve done some personal work, but not nearly enough.

    I just want to be clear.  I see you. I support you. I will strive to always be better and do better. I will listen and respect when you tell me what you need. I will use my privilege as often and as well as I can.

    If you see something troubling or offensive in my stories, please tell me. I am learning, and committed, but I can’t promise I won’t make mistakes. I can promise I will thank you for telling me, and correct it.

    I am here if you need me.

    Stay safe.