TJ Fox On Redbubble: Photo/Art Prints And Fun Products

One of my most recent and ongoing projects has been setting up a Redbubble store. The goal was to have a place to offer prints of many of the photos I post here, but there are so many other cool things you can get from them as well.

This is ongoing because I still have a ton of photos to get modified and uploaded, but I’ve gotten a small start. You can now find prints and more in the TJ Fox Redbubble Store. I plan to get some art and design style pieces mixed in along with the photos as well (only a couple at the moment), but those are going to take just a bit longer.

So yes, you can get photo prints in all the typical shapes, sizes and formats: art prints, framed prints, canvas, cards, etc. But you can also get other fun stuff as well.

And these are just a tiny sampling. There are SO many more items.

Oh and masks! Did you see the fun masks?!

Funky Flowers On Green Mask
Funky Flowers On Green Mask

Even though I ended up with all the trials and mistakes on the masks I made for everyone else and I already have a good size stash, I know I’m going to still have to get a couple of these. I love the fact that I can wear my personality and my art in such a way.

I think that was part of my issue with Fine Art America when I tried them. While they offered a lot of fun stuff, there weren’t a lot of things I’d actually want myself. I’m not finding that an issue on Redbubble, which is probably unfortunate.

There are even puzzles!! And yes, I’m evil enough to make that repeating pattern from the mask above into a puzzle.

End of an Iris Puzzle
End of an Iris Puzzle

And if there is ever something I’ve posted here on my blog that you’d like to see in the store and isn’t, please feel free to send me a note and I’ll do what I can to get it out there for you. I do currently have a long list of images I intend to upload, but I’ll bump any requests to the top of my to do list.

I’d also be willing to discuss any custom art or art for a specific product if you like the idea of something but aren’t finding a design or image you love.

Please take a few minutes to go browse all the other awesomeness that’s in the shop. Feel free to brag about that awesomeness to others and share the link until someone yells at you for spamming (or not, don’t want you to get into trouble).

All the love that is spread is greatly appreciated!

NEOWISE And The Big Dipper

I honestly have no clue how well this image will show. If possible, click on it to make it bigger (or whatever to get it to fit in your screen as you need to see it all at once).

I created this image from a photo I took while I was doing comet watch. The night BG went out with me, she asked if it was possible to get the big dipper and the comet in the same shot because she wanted it for the background on her phone. While it was easy enough to frame them together, getting everything else right to get her what she was looking for really wasn’t easy at all.

Along with most of the typical difficulties I had in trying to get a clean shot of the comet, fuzziness and streaky stars and correct exposure with the urban light pollution,  I had to try and get ALL of the elements she wanted working together at the same time.

She really wanted to be able to clearly see both the comet and the big dipper, but she also wanted enough other stars to be seen, but not so many that you lost the big dipper.

It seemed like no matter how I processed it in photoshop, there was always at least one aspect that didn’t work. Too many stars. Not enough stars. A loss of the comet tail. A brightness fade from a corner of the shot because of ambient lighting on the horizon. I would get one aspect the way I really liked it and another one would be way off. I got her a version that worked okay, but she didn’t absolutely love. Still, it was close enough so I called it good.

Then I spent umpteen hours playing with learning how to photo stack, working on edits for MC’s senior pictures and learning how to fix a couple of issues (glare on glasses lenses is an absolute bear if it is bad enough or in the wrong spot). In the process, I figured a few things out that I thought might make a difference on BG’s photo.

So I dug in and played.

Multiple layers, hours and various techniques later, I have pretty much exactly what she asked for. It isn’t perfect by a long shot and is pretty much only really good for what BG wanted to use it as, but I’m exceptionally pleased with it.

The image is very much still a photo. All I really did was play with the kinds of techniques you might see in a darkroom for film/print processing. Mostly.

Now if I could just figure out how to make the stars and comet just a bit bigger and noticeable, It’d be near perfect for what I really wanted out of this one. As it is, I still managed to get damn close.

*In case you can’t click the first image…

NEOWISE & The Big Dipper
NEOWISE & The Big Dipper

New Neighbor

This is one not so brilliant, but phenomenally determined bird. They started building this nest above our garage earlier in the spring. Sadly, the location is horrible and catches the wind all the time. The nest got blown off at least 4 different times, but they were back within a day and building again.

It apparently stayed in place long enough the last time for them to be able to spend a lot of time in it. I’m certain that means we have eggs sitting in that nest now. So far, they’ve been exceptionally lucky that it hasn’t gotten blown of that narrow ledge again.

I’m sure a big part of that is that there is one sitting in there almost all the time, but if anyone comes anywhere near the nest or that corner of the house, it flies off, so I’m still a little surprised. I’m just hoping we don’t go out one day and see a bunch of shattered eggs on the driveway.

Mother Of All Invention

Since everything is so far from normal right now, my usual plan for Easter for my kids isn’t happening. For one, it really snuck up on me and I didn’t have time to get some of our traditional things. When Hubby did go for our grocery run, the candy section was absolutely wiped out. He managed to get a single bag of basic jelly beans because it is the one thing BG asked for (though we all much prefer the Starburst jelly beans, we aren’t complaining).

Not that the candy even matters to the kids. MC has even said over and over this last year that he just really doesn’t want any (for any event). It is more about having or doing something for them. They opted to still do their traditional scavenger hunt, which doesn’t require anything but time, so we will do that as it has always been their absolute favorite thing about the day.

When we talked about alternative options, I was trying to brainstorm something for them that they would enjoy. Dying eggs crossed my mind, but my kids have never been that into doing that and I didn’t want to use a bunch of eggs. Then I mentioned sugar cookies. They both jumped on the idea of doing egg shaped sugar cookies that they could decorate. Perfect!

Except… I didn’t have a cookie cutter. I tried to find something that I could still use and make it work, but didn’t have anything. I considered doing a card stock template and just cutting around it. I’d done it before and it worked, but it was a little bit of a pain. Then I remembered I had a bunch of copper plate in my stash of jewelry making supplies. I’ll make my own cookie cutter!!

Yeaaahhhh… easier said than done.

I don’t know why I was absolutely convinced that I’d used copper in a solder project in the past, but apparently I remembered incorrectly because my solder does NOT work with copper.

What should have been a relatively quick project took me forever to figure out that I couldn’t solder this before then needing to spend some time trying to figure out an alternative. I finally figured it out and it works, but because I attempted to fire and solder this, there is some fire scale that I didn’t want to spend any more time than I did buffing and polishing out.

So, it isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but I now have an egg shaped cookie cutter and I’ll be working with the kids on making sugar cookies later today.

It was a fun learning experience, though. I might try to make some other simple shapes in the future because it really wasn’t all that hard once I figured it out.

Anniversary Celebration – An Unexpected Turn – Last Day!

I started the Kindle ebook give away for An Unexpected Turn on the anniversary of the day I clicked publish. It ends on the day I celebrate another anniversary. 19 years and Hubby and I are still going strong.

It has been an interesting week to try and honor and celebrate both of these milestones, but I’m grateful for the chance to get to do so, even if it is low key. Today, I can say that I published a book and a year later it is still drawing interest and hitting new milestones I never even considered when I hit that publish button. Today, we are all healthy and I get to celebrate another year with an amazing human that helps to make life so much more fun and bright. I’m incredibly grateful for both of those things.

So, if you were considering it and haven’t yet, now is your last chance! As always, please feel free to share it with anyone you may think is interested.

To those of you that have already picked this up! Thank you.

 

 

Free Book Reminder – Through 3/31!

Just a little reminder that my book,  An Unexpected Turn, is free through the 31st in celebration of it’s one year anniversary! Even if this isn’t your type of book, please pass it along to someone you know that might be interested. As always, any reviews you feel like leaving are very, very much appreciated!

One Year Book Anniversary: An Unexpected Turn – Free Offering

One year ago, I clicked the publish button on my book, An Unexpected Turn. To celebrate, I’m offering up the Kindle version for free from 3/27 through 3/31.

Considering I never even planned to write a book in the first place, seeing that I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of it’s release, is kind of mind blowing. If you enjoy emotional stories about found families, feel free to grab this while it lasts. If that’s not your thing, then please pass it along to someone that might enjoy it as a way to help me celebrate this shocking milestone.

 

Blurb:

“When I take a good look at my reflection, I’m surprised that the face looking back at me in the mirror doesn’t look different than the one I’ve seen staring back at me for the last 27 years. I see the same brown hair and brown eyes, the same heart-shaped face, the same upturned nose. I feel like I should look different. That my face should show the upheaval and the weight of the last day, that it should somehow show how much has happened, how the course of my life has changed, but everything is still the same.”

Life is rarely ever predictable. It is rarely even kind. But… sometimes… just sometimes, those unexpected turns that throw you into the chaos and upheaval of loss lead you to the exact place you need to be.

This is a story about love, but it isn’t a romance. It is about holding on when it would be easier to let go, about fighting for those that can’t fight for themselves. It is about finding and creating family through the unpredictable, beautiful mess that is life.

Daffodils And A Bear Hunt

I finally have some daffodils blooming. At the moment, I have three different ones, but I think I have a couple more that are trying to pop as well. This one looks to be the most traditional looking one so far. The other two are very different. I’ll try to get some photos later today of those if the sun would ever decide to come out.

There are all kinds of stories going around about various different neighborhoods, groups, or individuals doing things to help entertain their neighbors right now. One of the things that I’d seen was directed more towards little kids. They were calling it a bear hunt. Residents would put some sort of bear (stuffed or other) in a window where it could be seen from the outside. When the kids would go for a walk, they could hunt for the bears in the windows.

My neighborhood decided to do one as we have a lot of grade school age kids that live around here. I’m a huge bear fan and Hubby has gotten me a few really fun ones over the years, so I decided to share the one that would be most easily seen. My giant one. He kind of takes up the whole window (not that is is a huge window).

Bear Hunt - Bear In The Window
Bear Hunt – Bear In The Window

It was just a really simple thing to do and the little kids can have a fun activity that doesn’t require any interaction with other people. I thought it was cute and fun. Now I have a bear hanging out in my window waving at anyone that walks by.

I will say, it is a bit disturbing to see it up there at night. I guess older teenagers and adults can play along and find a way to give it a creepy feel as it looks a little deranged staring out at you in the dark.

 

Playing In The Studio

I’m playing with sterling PMC for the first time in years. I had forgotten how much I loved it. It is amazing that a small lump of clay can be fired into a finished sterling silver piece. It doesn’t look like much yet, but it is going to end up being a book charm for my charm bracelet.

I REALLY need to spend more time in my studio creating things rather than just sitting around thinking about it.

Decent To Better

So, I’m still playing and trying to learn more of the ins and outs of the new software, though I don’t have nearly enough time each day to play as much as I’d like. The above image is the altered version of the photo below. I wanted to see how much better I could make a not great photo.

I don’t think this was the best choice as part of the reason this wasn’t great was the focus was off in addition to a lot of other factors. Still, I’m surprised I was able to get it to look as good as I did. It will be interesting to try this with a photo that had other issues to see if I can turn a meh image into a really good one.

Unedited Pathway Image
Unedited Pathway Image

 

While I’m loving that I have a lot more options, I’ve always been kind of a purist when it came to photography. I liked the challenge of getting an amazing photo with only my camera, with no additional help other than a simple crop or shift to black and white along the way. Yes, being able to manipulate a photo with software still takes a certain skill, but it kind of felt like cheating a bit.

I’m torn, but I love the idea that I can end up with photos that are so much better than what I’ve done so far or that I can potentially take a photo that would have been amazing “if only… ” and still get that amazing through software instead.

Just A Hint

Here is a tiny peek at what I’m working on. It will be finished later today. So far, it is turning out really well. The next step is the part where it could all go wrong which is making me a nervous wreck. If I don’t screw it up, this may just be one of the cooler cakes I’ve ever made. If I do? It could be the ugliest. No pressure.

It’s That Time Again!

I’m in full on cake mode, working on BG’s birthday cake. She still has no clue what I’m doing yet. This is going to be so fun if I can manage to pull it off.

The cake got baked yesterday along with getting the icing mixed up. I have to make my fondant and start putting it all together today. I am limited to working on this while BG is at school so she won’t see it until it is completely done. That means I have to get off my butt and get busy!

Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me that this doesn’t turn out to be one of those projects where my creative ambition outstrips my actual ability. Pictures of the finished cake will be posted tomorrow after BG gets home to see it for the first time.

Epicness And F-Bombs

It isn’t always clear on here, but I tend to be a huge potty mouth. Granted, I’m also a courteous and polite potty mouth and I don’t cuss around people I don’t know or aren’t certain they are okay with cussing and is why I tend to keep it mostly clean on here. I also don’t cuss at people unless they are idiot drivers and even then, they aren’t the ones to hear it.

I do cuss around my kids and they know my rules around it. I’d be fine with them cussing as long as it followed those rules, but they think it is funny to NOT cuss. At least around Hubby and I. We know they do it. They know we know, but they still won’t cuss in front of us. It has become something of a game for them. And yes, we all have a twisted sense of humor that not everyone can appreciate.

Yesterday, MC gets home from school and tells me he nearly got into a head on collision with a bus in the neighborhood. It was in an area where there is kind of a blind curve, at least when you have several large pickup trucks parked in the street. MC was on his side of the road and didn’t see the bus (who was driving WAY too fast for a residential area) and lucked the hell out in that they came up on each other when MC was right in front of a small cul-de-sac and was able to swerve. Otherwise, it would have been one hell of an ugly wreck.

He was obviously a little shaken up, but okay. We talked about it a bit and went on with our afternoon. While I was at dance, Hubby sends me a picture of how close he came, reminding me that we have a dash cam in the car that MC drives. It was kind of freaky to see how bad it could have been in that shot.

When I get home, Hubby is all excited (weirdly) and all “You’ve got to see this!” He shows me the video and I can see exactly what happened, which is even more disturbing, but also kind of shocking at how smooth MC handled the whole thing. I’m still not understanding Hubby’s attitude. Then he’s “now you have to HEAR it.” Apparently our dash cam also records sound. We did not know this.

He turns the sound back on and replays the video, but it is silent. I’m giving him the eye and he just tells me to listen. I see the bus come along, deep into MC’s lane to avoid the trucks and what look like several workmen that were near the trucks. I see MC swerve into the cul-de-sac to avoid the bus and keep going. All still silent. I’m seriously impressed at how cool MC is through the whole event.

Again, I give another side eye to hubby. Then, about two houses after MC passed the bus, you start hearing sound.

He is about a block away from home and he just lets go in these epic bursts. What puts the icing on it is that he has somehow developed this deep, country drawl in his voice that I’ve NEVER heard from him before (he is now blaming his girl, saying that he must have picked it up from her after talking to her so much). It is so much and so different, I almost don’t even recognize it is MC talking.

The first burst is a little mild, then it gets quiet again. I think we are done. Nope. Another couple of houses and we get another burst that is a little longer and a little more colorful before it gets quiet again. Again, I think he is done as it is quiet until he pulls into the driveway.

That is when he lets it ALL come out. All the best, most colorful words are flying from my kid’s mouth. It is this over the top, epic curse fest rant at the bus, the trucks and the guys around the trucks. Hubby, BG, MC and I are all laughing so hard we can hardly breathe. I think we listened to it half a dozen times before we had enough.

His reaction to the whole thing has now given us material that we will never let him live down. “Fucking lumberjacks” said in a deep country drawl will live on for all eternity here and will come back to haunt him over and over again.

It may make me a bad parent, but I was beaming proud of my kid in his amazingly creative use of the F-bomb. I’m also crazy impressed with how ridiculously calm he was during the actual encounter. If I’d been in the driver’s seat, the dash cam would have had a boat load more F-bombs and then some from the very first sight of that bus and there might have been a bit of a wet spot on the seat.

In all seriousness, I’m just thrilled to death that this is something we can laugh about and it all turned out okay.

*The photo is an old one and has nothing at all to do with this post. I just liked it and felt like posting it. We haven’t seen that much snow on the ground here for several years.

 

Best of 2019: Moments

Outside of photography and the books I read this last year, I thought I’d note a few of the bigger moments and highlights of my year, things that I did or experienced that I was really proud of or stuck with me as important moments.

There will always be tons of those when it comes to my kids. Yes, I’m hugely biased and think I have the best kids ever, even when they are being little shits. There are a couple that really stick out, though.

BG stepping WAY out of her mostly introverted comfort zone to be a dance assistant. Just the few months that she has been doing this, she has really gained a lot of self-confidence that I haven’t seen in her before. It has been amazing to watch. I’ve also seen her really grow and mature this last year with how she has handled friendships and dating and high school.

This has been MC’s year to really drop the proud mama moments on me. I’m over the moon proud of his accomplishments and getting not only accepted into his school of choice, but winning a top scholarship because of all the hard work he put into is school work. The biggest mush moment from him though is one I never posted about. I never could quite find the words to describe how he made me feel, but… for a project in one of his classes, he had to name the smartest and the wisest people he knew (separate people). His obvious choice, to me anyway, would be my Hubby because he looks up to him so much. He did name his dad as being the smartest, but he said that I was the wisest. When all the other students were naming famous people and other people of note, he picked me. When he told me all the reasons (which I have now forgotten because I’m still blown away by the fact he even considered me) I just almost bawled. I am not, and never have been, the person he really looks up to. I’m just mom. The fact that he feels that way about me, enough to include it in a school project and then tell me about it… talk about feeling like you’ve done something right as a parent! My 17 year old son thinks I’m wise. Just… wow.

There were a few creative projects that I’m still really proud of. While it wasn’t my best cake, by far, but BG’s birthday cake this year was still insanely challenging and turned out pretty well.

Pointe Costume Cake Side By Side
Pointe Costume Cake Side By Side

That costume really hit me in the creative nerve because just doing it in cake wasn’t enough, apparently. I had to paint it as well. Again, far from being perfect, it was something new for me and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

2019 Pointe Costume In Acrylic
2019 Pointe Costume In Acrylic

I was also really pleased with the first piece of jewelry I’ve attempted in a few years. It reminded me how much I love working with stones and silver.

Of course I think one of my proudest creative endeavors this year was publishing my book, An Unexpected Turn. Considering I never planned, expected or even dreamed of writing a book, I’m still a little astonished that I actually did it. It has been this insanely difficult, emotional roller coaster of an experience. I’m even more proud of the fact that it really seems to be received well by most readers. It is selling and getting mostly positive reviews. I still sometimes struggle to believe it has all actually happened.

An Unexpected Turn - Christmas Ad Image
An Unexpected Turn – Christmas Ad Image

Even though I definitely had some rather low moments throughout the year, 2019 was a pretty good year, especially on the creative and mom front. With MC graduating in the spring, BG starting to drive, and my creative muse chafing to get my hands busy, I know 2020 will probably bring a lot of the same.

On The Flip Side

I have only just now had a few moments to go through all the photos I took over the last several days. Nearly all of them are family related, but I did manage a minute or two to play with my new toy, a photography sphere. I’m going to have so much fun playing with this!

Today is going to be focused on getting the remaining messes picked up and put away from the last few amazing days followed by the post holiday crash. We really had a wonderful, drama free holiday, so I’m very much a happy camper. Even more so because I got to be evil mom to MC by making his one and only gift something he had to really work for to get open. Let’s just say that multiple layers of wrapping and boxes culminated in woven packing tape can only be broken into if you cheat and use scissors. Even that took more work than he expected. The look on his face when he got to that layer absolutely made my day and was so worth all the time it took to set that up.

Everyone is off of work and school until after the new year, so I probably won’t be back to regular posting until then, though I’ll try and sneak in a couple here and there. This time of year is always family time and filled with food and movie marathons and lazy time.

Hoping you all had as amazing holidays as I did and will keep enjoying this fun time of year!

 

Mom Version Of Drunk Dialing

We have a school day routine. I sleep while Hubby and the kids get ready for the day. Hubby lets me know when he’s leaving and MC sends me a text when it gets to school so I know he made it alive. The last piece is when Hubby calls after he gets to work, also to confirm he is alive and well and the idiot drivers he has to share the road with every day didn’t manage to kill him. For the most part, I’m still asleep through all of this.

This morning was epically weird. All the goings on pulled me into a weird state of sleep and I never dropped back into anything deep, so my brain apparently decided to mess with me. When Hubby calls, I tell him about my absolutely brainless mom moment (of which there have been a stunning amount lately, I really probably need to get my head checked) when I, for some insane reason, felt the need to call MC to check on him. Before his morning text. While he is driving to school. I’m half asleep while I do this and MC gives me the “Mom. I’m driving. I’ll text when I get there” frustrated response.

The whole thing has me flabbergasted. I haven’t a clue why I felt the need to make that call. Why it was imperative in that moment that I do so and that I recognize that I wasn’t entirely coherent in the process. I’m thinking that MC had to have thought that is what I sound like if I were to drunk dial him because it is certainly what it felt like. Hubby mentions that he is surprised MC even answered his phone while driving and that maybe in the future I need to message or call BG instead (since MC drives her to school with him). My son probably thinks his mom has lost her ever loving mind at this point.

In all honesty, I even have a hard time remembering much about the whole conversation with MC. I get off the phone with Hubby and promptly fall back asleep like I’ve taken some heavy duty meds. This is because I slept for crap the night before because I wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t fall asleep until probably well after 2 am and after I caved and got up to take something for the headache and sore muscles.

It wasn’t until I woke up much later and saw my normal daily “I’m here” text from MC and realized I’d slept right through it without responding that I examined the whole situation. I decided to go and look. Sure enough, there is no call to MC in my call history. I did not, in fact, sleep dial my son while he was driving to school and he did not answer and talk to his sleep calling mother. My brain did, in fact, mess with my head in an extreme way this morning. I did have the conversation with Hubby and he laughed his ass off when I called him again after I was fully awake and told him it was all a dream.

I really need to get my head checked. I apparently also really needed sleep.

Today’s Project: Outdoor Decorations

I’m breaking a bit with my normal tradition, which is to put up decorations the day after the US Thanksgiving. I decided I didn’t want to risk trying to do this in sub-zero temps when I have a nice, mid 50s day to work on them now. Nothing will get turned on until the normal day and the inside is going to happen as usual, but it will at least be up and ready before it gets too miserable. This also breaks it up a little so that I don’t have as much to do all at once, which is nice.

We aren’t the only ones with this idea as most of the people along my street are outside working, taking advantage of the small warm break we are getting. Now, I’m off to work my butt of.

Oh! I’m also going to get to see BG’s pointe costume for this year, which I’m insanely excited about because they are doing a piece from Swan Lake. I’ve seen glimpses of a stunning black and white piece, but I get to see it in person today, so I’m over the moon excited, even if it means I have to stop in the middle of my work to go watch them unveil it.

It’s going to be a good day.

Baking Day Playlist Sample

Taking a break and thought I’d share. When I’m in the kitchen working on a project, I almost always have music going. I also set my playlist with most all of my music with the exception of Christmas songs on random play. I love how I can change from one musical style and decade to a completely different style and decade a song later. It is an interesting dichotomy. I thought I share a small sampling of what has been my background music today.

Misery – Maroon 5
Low Rider – Cheech & Chong
Blackbird – The Beatles
Dem Beats – Todrick Hall (feat. Ru Paul)
Closer – Nine Inch Nails
Walk This Way – Aerosmith
Peek-A-Boo – Siouxsie And The Banshees
Let’s Pretend We’re Married – Prince
Landslide – Stevie Nix
Dancing With A Stranger – Sam Smith
Funky Town – Lipps, Inc.
Hey Look Ma, I Made It – Panic! At The Disco
Miss Me Blind – Culture Club
Silent All These Years – Tori Amos
Say Something – James
Jive Talking – Bee Gees
Modern Love – David Bowie
Dream On – Depeche Mode
Budapest – George Ezra

This is only a small sampling, but it sure is a fun list. I’m never quite sure which direction I’m going when it is time for the songs to shift.

Back to work!

Sunshine Blogger Award

I’m kind of weird about these things and tend to just not do them if I’m nominated or tagged. I’m stepping out of that weirdness for a moment to participate in this one. If you are interested in all the reasons why I’m so weird about it, that is posted below the award piece. I will note, that the very, very few times I’ve done something like this, I rarely play by the rules. This won’t be an exception.

WHAT IS THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. (This is the rule I’m breaking)
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog.

I was first nominated for this by Nen & Jen. At the time, I declined to participate (see weird me). When Sascha also nominated me, I decided to just get over myself and do this one. Thank you for thinking of me!

 

Nen & Jen Questions:
  • What was the last book you strongly disliked?
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

My review is here and there are a few too many reasons to list.

 

 

 

  • How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?

My system is maybe a little complex, but I go into details here.

  • What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Thin crust ham or Canadian bacon and mushrooms with light sauce is usually one of my favorites, but so few of my family members also like it, I rarely get it.

  • Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters, or a boring plot with amazing characters?

I really am not a fan of either. I need both to really enjoy a book, though bad characters are a peeve.

  • How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?

I’m in between as I just finished a book. I also never read more than one at a time.

  • What was the last book review you posted?
Brave the Tempest
Brave the Tempest

Brave the Tempest

 

 

 

 

  • Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?

Adult

  • Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)

Honestly, there are probably quite a few, but nothing specific comes to mind.

  • What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?

Nothing comes to mind.

  • Do you listen to music while reading?

I used to, but I can’t anymore because if music is on, I’m either trying to sing along or I want to get up and dance and I can’t do those things and read at the same time.

  • Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?

I’m only on Twitter. There are only so many places I’m willing to dedicate my time that I’m not reading to. Adding another would cut into that time.

 

Sascha’s Questions:
  • Required reading in school. So many books we didn’t want to read. Was there one you actually enjoyed?

The one that seems to stick with me most was Lord of the Flies. Probably because we did a mock trial after reading the book. I actually enjoyed most of the books required, just not the work of analyzing and answering the questions. Honestly, there were a lot of books that I wanted to read that were only presented in the AP level classes and I wasn’t on that track thanks to a petty teacher that wouldn’t approve my advancement even though I had the grades. I’ve still not read those books.

  • Is there a scene from a book that has stuck with you? Why?

I don’t remember the author or the name of the book, but it was one of the first ebooks I read, so I wasn’t really paying attention to progress like I would have in a print book. No clue how close I was to the end. The book was tagged as a romance, but it ended with the main male love interest dying in a car crash. You literally finish the book at the moment he died and there were a mountain of strings left unfinished. It pissed me off to no end because that is NOT how a romance should ever end. I spent probably 5 minutes flipping between pages thinking that there was something wrong with the copy I got and that pages were missing, or that I’d hit something wrong and advanced too far. Nope. It really ended that way. It made me mad enough to not even consider picking up the next book.

  • Is there any movie that you’ve liked more than the book it was based on?

I don’t do a lot of both, but probably The Last of the Mohicans. I’m convinced it is because I watched the movie first.

  • What book would you recommend to….anyone?

Any book that is on my favorites list.

  • Do you have a bookish guilty pleasure?

None that I can think of.

  • Is there a hyped book that you hated?
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

I wouldn’t say exactly that I hated it, but I really wasn’t a fan.

I’d list the book I mention above with the scene, but I’ve managed to block out the name of it. Apparently I disliked it that much.

 

 

  • Stuck on a desert island…what 4 authors’ books would you bring?

I can only answer this because you gave me 4 authors and not just 4 books. If forced to pick only 4, I end up dying while I stood around trying to decide.

Anne Bishop, Faith Hunter (with all her pen names, just because it gives me genre choices), Michelle Sagara (West), and… dang… I thought that would be easier. Nope. Maybe G.A. Aiken/Shelly Laurenston (I get to keep them both since it is again pen names) to add the humor variety to the mix even though they are all still fantasy.

  • If you’re a writer (or secretly want to be a writer—I won’t tell 😉 ) who would you most like to write like?

I honestly can’t say. There are things I admire, like the ability to create stunningly vivid worlds or to lay down gut busting irreverent humor that I’d love to be able to do, but I never really felt like I wanted to write like anyone in particular. I’m not sure I could give you an author to compare with how I wrote.

  • What’s your favorite setting for reading?

The quiet of my house while everyone is at school or work, snuggled on my couch under a blanket. It is even better in the winter when the decorations are up and the fire is blazing.

  • Ebooks, audiobooks, hard copies. Do you favor just one?

I prefer the versatility and ease of ebooks.

  • Do you have a favorite book quote? If not, a favorite scene? If not, a favorite character? If not, a favorite anything book related? 😉

Again, the favorites thing…  How about I give you 2 (and only because I remember them)?

“…feline buttholitis of the face.”N. R. Walker’s Upside Down

“Titus! Come on up, dude. We have beer.” – Faith Hunter’s Dark Queen This is only because of who said it in the book and the situation it was said in. It was kind of epic.

Nominees:

This is me breaking the rules. I’m not nominating anyone, but if anyone wants to grab any of the questions, please feel free. Tag me if you do as I’d love to see your answers.

Reasons I’m weird:

I’m not completely sure why I’m so weird about awards and tags (because yes, this applies to those too), but there are a few reasons I can articulate.

Often I feel like I just don’t really have anything to say to fit whatever it is, usually because questions fall into lines like “What is your favorite [fill in blank]” and I just am not a favorites person, especially if I’m forced to only pick one or two of something. Another part of it is that, as much as I may write about stuff here, I avoid some things because it just feels weirdly private. Or it feels like I’d bore readers to tears because I’m really not that interesting.

Then there is the whole tagging of other people thing. Sometimes it feels kind of like the whole mess surrounding picking teams or being invited to join certain clubs and being the one on the outside or picked last. I understand, intellectually, that that isn’t the thing here, but it touches on some of those emotions and I don’t want to make others feel that way. It also tends to push against my introvert tendencies and participating in things like this means stepping out of my comfort zone.

I don’t think these kinds of awards or tags are bad. Not at all. I find it fun to read a lot of these. They just tend to make me feel uncomfortable when I get tagged or nominated, because I just don’t know what to do with it most of the time, even though I do appreciate when someone thinks of me when they are participating.

This Is A Joke, Right???

I was trying to do some research to come up with some good book club questions for my reader and this… ad? Joke? Thing? showed up. Yes, someone actually published that and it doesn’t look like a joke. People are just weird. Oh and that cover? Can you get any creepier and and freaky? Yes. I’m sure you can. No. I don’t want to see it.