Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Review of Threshold

There are a number of great reviews on Amazon and GoodReads of "The Threshold Child," and I am always excited to see what people think (good or bad). One of my friends told me about a blogger that does book reviews, so I sent her a copy of my book and asked if she would write a review for it. If you would like to read it, here is the link:

http://www.dorolerium.com/?p=4079

If you have a blog or website that does book reviews (or if you know someone who does), please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to send a free copy of the book in exchange for a review (and more exposure to readers)!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Milestone: 1000 Downloads

As of yesterday, 1000 copies of my book have been downloaded (and there are even more today)! I never could have dreamed that it would be doing so well in such a short amount of time. There are several great reviews that have been posted on Amazon and GoodReads, and I've been getting a lot of really good feedback. Not just compliments, but ways I can improve (which I really appreciate). I am so excited to have reached this milestone, and I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me to get here.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Heart List: John Denver & The Muppets


This is my very favorite Christmas album. It is the music that always kicked off the Christmas season when I was a kid. My Mom would play it first as we decorated the tree, and we would all sing along as loud as we could. Now that I have a family of my own, I have been continuing that tradition. I love the Christmas season, and I am so happy to share it with those that mean the most to me.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Threshold Trivia: L'avan Magic

New feature! Fans like trivia, right? And you guys are my fans, right? Well, at least, you humor me...which is almost the same thing. So, here is my new idea for keeping my blog interesting. I will occasionally post trivia about my book, "The Threshold Child," for anyone who cares to read it. There are a lot of aspects about that world that I know as the author, but they didn't necessarily make it to the book (or they weren't spelled out clearly). Now you can know those things, too! Oh, the excitement! Also, feel free to ask questions. If it isn't a spoiler, I would be happy to answer.


The L'avan are a race of magic-users, and each person has eyes that indicate what kind of magic they can use. All of the eye colors have a metallic sheen, but here is the breakdown of each kind:

* Gold: Energy--life force can be taken or given, physical energy can be increased, etc.
* Dark Orange: Force--kind of like telekinesis.
* Red: Manipulation (Illusion)--they can only create the appearance of change.
* Dark Red: Manipulation (Physical)--they can change physical properties, alter the flow of air or water, etc.
* Light Yellow: Harmony--healing, melding things together (like making two stones into one), etc.
* Purple: Focus--this can intensify other powers.
* Dark Blue: Density--when increased the wielder can become invulnerable, when decreased they can pass through solid objects.
* Light Blue: Gravity--like the others, this can be increased or decreased.
* Dark Green: Insight (Physical)--they can sense the world around them, even if they can't physically see it.
* Light Green: Insight (Spiritual)--they can sense the emotions and intentions of others.

Most L'avan have two eye colors (the main color is the stronger ability, and then there is a supporting color/ability), but occasionally a L'avan will only have one color. No one has ever had more than two colors. 

What kind of magic would you want to have?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sequel to "Threshold Child"

There have been several people asking if there will be a sequel to "The Threshold Child." I am happy to announce that the answer is: yes! I am hoping to see it released by the fall of 2013. A lot of that will depend on how much writing I can get done in between chasing after my little one.

I will keep you updated as I go, though. There will be special announcements and maybe even excerpts posted periodically, both here on my blog and on the Facebook page for "Threshold Child." Thanks again for your support and interest in my writing!

Heart List: Hamachi Nigiri


I have mentioned before that I love sushi, and hamachi nigiri (yellowtail) is my favorite (of what I've tried, at least). It is simple, elegant, and very delicious. My sister says she likes that it doesn't taste too "fishy," so that's a plus if you aren't into really strong flavors. I could probably eat a whole plate of just hamachi. Just looking at this picture is making me hungry. :) So, if you're ready to try something slightly more adventurous than sushi that contains mainly tempura shrimp or crab salad, I would highly recommend hamachi nigiri.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Evil Overlord: Part 2

Things I will Remember if I Ever Become Evil Overlord

Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.

I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.


* If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.

I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way--even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless--my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.


* If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out the hero among his army.

My five-year-old child advisor will be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.

* When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.

* No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.


* I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.


* I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.


* Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.

* The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.


* If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

* To keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited internet access.


* I will see to it that plucky young lads/lasses in strange clothes and with the accent of an outlander shall REGULARLY climb some monument in the main square of my capital and denounce me, claim to know the secret of my power, rally the masses to rebellion, etc. That way, the citizens will be jaded in case the real thing ever comes along.

* I will not attempt to kill the hero by placing a venomous creature in his room. It will just wind up accidentally killing one of my clumsy henchmen instead.


* I will not make alliances with those more powerful than myself. Such a person would only double-cross me in my moment of glory. I will make alliances with those less powerful than myself. I will then double-cross them in their moment of glory.

* If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)


* If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I, too, will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Gratitude: Part 7

#28
I am grateful that the holiday promotion for my book went so well! I'm excited that so many people have downloaded "The Threshold Child" and I hope that they all post reviews on Amazon or GoodReads! Getting your name out there is the hardest part of self-publishing, and I feel like we're off to a great start. Thank you again to everyone who supported this endeavor!

#29
I am thankful for my family (my parents and siblings). I have had good times and hard times with every single one of them, and I wouldn't change any of it. They have always stood by me, and I am so grateful for their love and support.

#30
I feel so blessed that I have had the opportunity to do this. It is truly humbling to see how much I have to be grateful for, and it has been wonderful to ponder on all of the many blessings in my life. I hope I never lose that sense of gratitude, and that I always appreciate every single thing in my life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Results of the Holiday Promotion

The holiday promotion for "The Threshold Child" went very well! I was surprised and thrilled to see such results! Here are the numbers for the weekend:

755 copies downloaded from Amazon
34 copies downloaded from Amazon UK (United Kingdom)
37 copies downloaded from Amazon DE (Germany)
1 copy downloaded from Amazon JP (Japan)

Total: 817 copies

Also, "The Threshold Child" make Amazon's list of Top 100 Free Best-sellers over the weekend! The rank numbers changed from time to time, but here are the top ranks it achieved:

#3 in Children's Science Fiction & Fantasy
#47 in Fantasy
#697 in ALL free Kindle books

Very exciting! I really hope that this will help to build up a fan base for the book, and that we can see some long-lasting results from this promotion. Thanks to everyone who showed their support!

For those of you who are interested in buying a copy of "The Threshold Child" the link can be found on the right side of this blog.

Gratitude: Part 6

#22
I am thankful for clean, running water. I was thinking about how difficult it would be to live without, and I am so glad to live in modern America! I know that many people do just fine without it, but I thoroughly enjoy having it around.

#23
I am grateful for modern medicine. My husband has multiple sclerosis, and it is such a comfort to me to know that new advances are being made every day (not just for MS, but for all afflictions). Currently, there is no cure for MS, but there are medicines that will help him to lead a normal life for many years to come. I am grateful that we can look forward to many healthy years together thanks to the hard work of doctors and scientists.

#24
I am blessed to have good health. Sure, I get the occasional cold, but all in all I have very good health. I don't even have allergies! I am so thankful that I have a strong body, so I am able to work and play and enjoy the world around me.

#25
I am thankful for the trials I have had in life. I certainly don't enjoy going through them, but they have made me who I am today. I wouldn't change anything in my life, because all of it has led to where I am right now (and I wouldn't change lives with anyone). Every hardship has the potential to make us stronger, kinder, wiser, and better in every way. I haven't always taken advantage of the lessons of life, but I hope that I do in the future.

#26
I am grateful for my Grandpa. I lived with him for a couple of years, and we have been very close ever since. He is funny and hard-working and practical and selfless. I have never met anyone who has more physical trials in life (he's had everything from polio to having his hand run over by a train), but he never complains. I have been so lucky to get to know him as an adult, and I will always cherish the relationship we have.

#27
I am thankful for my in-laws. Not everyone can say that with honesty, but I can. They welcomed me into their family with open arms, and they continue to be such a loving support to me and my husband. I couldn't have asked for a better family, and it has been such a blessing in my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude: Part 5

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I have always loved this holiday, but recently I have felt the need to make a bigger deal of it since the majority of Americans seem more focused on shopping. I grew up in a single-parent home with quite a few siblings. Looking back on my childhood, I honestly don't know how we got by--but we always did. (And the amazing thing is that I never realized how little we had until I was an adult.) Thanksgiving was a time of plenty, and we were reminded to think about all that we had, instead of what we didn't have.

Today, I would like to recognize my mother for all that she has done for me. She taught me the importance of being thankful, and she was a shining example of making the most of whatever life gives you. She taught me to see all of the blessings in my life, no matter how small or simple. She taught me that it doesn't matter what kind of car you drive or what brand of clothes you wear, as long as you have the love of your family and friends.

So, thank you, Mom! Thank you for teaching me what really matters in life. Thank you for always being there for me. And thank you for making me the person I am today! I love you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude: Part 4

#14
I am grateful for the talents the Lord has given me, and for a mother that encouraged me to develop them. Many of my talents are not what one would traditionally call by that name, but I am grateful for them all the same. I firmly believe that everyone has something unique to offer to the world, and that we collectively make up every good trait that is possible in humanity. I am constantly learning new things about myself, and I hope that I can use my talents and strengths to make the world a better place.

#15
I am thankful for my home. It isn't large or grand, but it keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is filled with memories (even though we've been here less than a year) and love. I don't expect we'll be here more than a few years, but I look forward to that time.

#16
I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to travel. It is something that I grew up wanting to do, and I have loved all of the places I have been. I love seeing different cultures and historical sites. I love trying new food and meeting new people. Before I got married I went on a big trip every year. As soon as I got home, I would start planning the new one. That's one of the things I enjoy the most--the planning and anticipation. Now I have the fun of planning trips with my husband! Travel is always more fun when you have someone to share it with, and I am so glad that I can share it with the man I love!

#17
I am so blessed to have an education. I love to learn new things, and I have been fortunate in that I have many different options in schools and classes. Technically, I am done with my schooling, but I sincerely hope that I never stop learning.

#18
I am grateful for mountains. I grew up in the shadow of mountains, and hiking and camping were a natural part of every summer. I want my children to know that same happiness that I have known, and marvel (as I do) in the beauties of the earth.

#19
I am thankful for the autumn. It is my favorite season! I love the cooling air, the vibrant colors, the approach of the holidays. I love wearing sweaters, and drinking hot chocolate, and wrapping up with a blanket and a good book. September is my favorite month, and I am grateful that I have had many years of enjoying it (along with the rest of the fall).

#20
I am grateful for snow! I live in a place where it snows every year, and I love it! One of the down sides of social networks is that I see so much complaining every winter. Why do people live someplace where it snows every year, and then complain about it? Move to a different state! I, on the other hand, love the snow and I get excited every time I see it. Snowball fights, building snowmen, sledding, making snow angels, building forts...the fun never ends! I can't wait for my little boy to get older so we can bundle up and go outside to play in it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Special

Listen up, my faithful few! The weekend after Thanksgiving (Nov. 23-25) there will be a special holiday sale of "The Threshold Child." Those three days only, the eBook will be available for FREE! Please help me pass the word, and let's see how many copies are downloaded that weekend. (The link is posted below, and it can also be found on the right-hand side of this blog.)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Threshold-Child-ebook/dp/B009F2BA6C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352826641&sr=8-1&keywords=threshold+child

Gratitude: Part 3

I believe that part of being happy is appreciating the simple things in life. So the next six things will all be those little things that make me smile.

#8
I am grateful for the internet. It's not hard for me to live without it (which some people can't believe, but it's true), but it certainly makes things easier. It means I don't have to go to my Mom's house to use hers. :) It is amazing to me that the whole world can be connected through the internet. I'm excited to see what the future brings!

#9
I am thankful for blankets. I tend to prefer to keep the house temperature a bit lower and then bundle up. It comes from the years I spent living with my Grandpa. But it seems much more cozy to wrap up in a blanket anyway! Love 'em!

#10
I love books! Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I haven't had a whole lot of extra time lately (having a baby does that, I suppose), but I recently started a new book and it was so refreshing to feel that excitement and wonder that comes from reading. I can't wait to see what happens next to that brave Pilot Major of the Erasmus! (Five points if you know what book I'm reading!)

#11
I am grateful for fresh produce. My husband and I participate in a co-op that provides us with fresh fruits and veggies every couple of weeks. I've really come to appreciate having that in our home, and it helps us to eat healthier. Yum!

#12
I love my pajamas. I know it sounds silly, but I do. I usually choose being comfortable over being fashionable, and I would wear my pajamas all the time if I could. Alas. 

#13
I am thankful that my husband still holds my hand. Everyone warns you about how stuff like that goes away with the "honeymoon stage," but it never has with us. (Maybe we're still in the honeymoon stage, even after all this time...) It seems natural for him to reach out and take my hand (or vice versa) whenever we're walking together or sitting together...pretty much any time we're close enough to do so. It's a sweet gesture that will never grow old.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gratitude: Part 2

#4
I am thankful to live in a land where I can take part in the election of leaders in government. There seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding election time, but it really is so amazing that the American public has a say in such a process. It is very empowering to know that I can make a difference.

#5
I am grateful that my husband has an honest and steady job. There are many people who are struggling in the current economy, but we have always been able to meet our financial obligations. Our debt is minimal, and we have the means to make plans for the future. It is truly a blessing to have that peace of mind.

#6
I am thankful for my wonderful friends! I have such a loving support system, and I know that I could call any of them if I needed help. I am especially grateful for my best friend, Bruce (it's a nickname I have for her, and it's funny to us). She recently moved away, and while I am excited for her to have amazing adventures, I miss having her close by. But even though we live several states apart, I know that she would still do everything in her power to help me out if I needed it.

#7
I am grateful for modern technology that makes keeping in contact very easy. Even though Bruce lives far away (as well as members of my family and other good friends), it is easy to talk with each other and remain involved in each other's lives. What an incredible time to be alive! :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gratitude: Part 1

It seems that a lot of my friends are doing posts every day of November to write about something for which they are grateful. I think this is a great idea! Someone once told me that you are only as happy as you are grateful, and I agree wholeheartedly! So that is what I will be doing this month as well. I have no illusions that I will remember to post every single day, but I will have 30 things listed by the end of this month. So, on days like today, I will post something for the days I missed as well.

#1
I am so grateful for my wonderful husband! He is kind and thoughtful and loving and supportive. He makes me laugh, holds me when I'm sad, shares my dreams, and is always eager to help out. All marriages take lots of time and effort to work, and he is willing to do whatever it takes. We have definitely had our rough times, but we always work through it and come out loving each other more than ever. I can't wait to see what the future will bring!

#2
I am also incredibly grateful for my little boy! Nothing could have prepared me for the hard work that is known as motherhood. As I have said before, I have never experienced anything so challenging and so rewarding. His sweet smile fills my heart with so much joy, and sometimes I still can't believe that he's mine! There isn't anything that I wouldn't do for his well-being, and I know my husband feels the same.

#3
I am grateful for my faith. I don't know that I've ever mentioned this before on this blog, but I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called the Mormons). I was raised in this religion, but there was a period of time when I wanted nothing to do any religion in general. That was a very dark time in my life, and I finally realized that some changes needed to be made. I did a lot of research to see what different religions believe, and I spent a lot of time praying for guidance. It was during this time that I read "The Book of Mormon" completely on my own. I prayed to know if it is true, and I received a powerful witness that it is. I also gained a testimony that the Lord has restored His gospel in its fullness here on the earth; that He loves me in spite of the mistakes I've made (and continue to make); that through the Atonement of Christ we all can be forgiven for our sins, overcome our weaknesses, and return to our Heavenly Father; and that God loves all his children, no matter their race, color, or creed. This knowledge has brought me great comfort in times of trial, and it has made each joyful moment so much more meaningful. I am who I am today because of my faith, and that fills me with gratitude.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, my faithful few! I have sort of a love/hate relationship with this holiday. I love dressing up (and treats, of course) but I hate being scared. My husband asks me if I will watch a scary movie with him in honor of the holiday, and I say NO. I don't even like things that are slightly scary. I don't like things that might make me think of scary things that are related to what's currently happening. I am probably the world's biggest wimp. :)

That being said, I really love being able to dress up in a costume all day! I don't get to go trick-or-treating anymore, but grown-ups that continue to dress in costume are praised for their efforts! I have always loved costumes, and so this is the perfect time of year for me to indulge in that. This year I made good use of my new sewing machine and I made costumes for my little family! It was my first sewing project, and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out! We went with an anime theme this year. My husband and I dressed as Alex Rowe and Sophia Forrester from "Last Exile," and we dressed our little boy as Totoro! It was cute beyond words (our little boy, that is).

Anyway, the point of all of this is to say that I'm excited for the evening's festivities, and I hope that all of you have a wonderful and spooky Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heart List: Sleep


Ah, sleep. I remember you. We had some good times! I'm sorry that I haven't been around much. My little child makes it hard for us to have time for each other. But don't worry! Some day we will be close again, and we'll feel that our time apart has only made us stronger. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Evil Overlord: Part 1

I came across this list years ago. I don't even remember where I got it. It was so funny to me that I decided to keep it. I was recently reorganizing some of my saved stuff, and I found it again. I had a good laugh, so I will share it with all of you. It's a pretty long list, so I'll split it up. Enjoy!

Things I will Remember if I Ever Become Evil Overlord


* I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

* My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

* When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

* One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

* My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

* I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi storm troopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

* No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

* If my supreme command center comes under attack, I will immediately flee to safety in my prepared escape pod and direct the defenses from there. I will not wait until the troops break into my inner sanctum to attempt this.



* I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labeled "Danger: Do Not Push!" The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labeled as such.

* I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

* My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

* I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.

* When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No," and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say, "No."

* All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

* All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

* All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

* My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

* I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

* Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

* If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead, I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.






Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Heart List: Good Grammar


This week I am especially appreciative of good grammar. I will fully admit that my own grammar is not the best, but at least I differentiate between "your" and "you're." I think that the way we choose to express ourselves says a lot, whether that be in writing or speaking. Why would we not want to put forth the effort to sound intelligent, educated and refined? Yet it's something that most people don't even attempt anymore. I blame emails and texting. But that's an entirely different rant. The best way to sum it up would be in the words of my little sister: "Good grammar is sexy!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Buy My Book!


My senior year of high school I started writing a book. I dabbled with it here and there over the next few years until it was finished, and then it was filed away. This last year I decided to dust it off and post it on Amazon for purchase. Why not? I wasn't doing anything else with it.

Although, I must admit that the idea of releasing my long-nurtured book into an uncaring world makes me nervous. I have worked hard on this project, and I really hope for a positive reception. I know that there will always be critics who don't approve, no matter the work. But my husband promised to shield me from the more severe reviews. :)

As of this morning, dear readers, my book is now available! Please read it and tell me what you think! Any questions or comments can be sent to my blog email address: kanno.callie@gmail.com

http://www.amazon.com/The-Threshold-Child-ebook/dp/B009F2BA6C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1348318894&sr=1-1&keywords=threshold+child

Friday, September 21, 2012

Heart List: The Artist


I was bored this weekend, so I thought I'd pass the time by renting a couple of movies. I had seen a preview of "The Artist" and it seemed fairly interesting. Why not? Oh, how my world was about to change! I enjoy a fun movie as much as the next person, but I am rarely in raptures over film. However, I can say without reserve that "The Artist" is truly a work of art. It was absolutely beautiful in so many different ways. I knew that it was about a silent film actor, but I didn't realize that the movie itself was a silent film. It's interesting what aspects of a movie are brought to the forefront when there's no dialogue. The visuals were stunning (even in black and white), the music was inspired, and the acting was magnificent. Truly. I would highly recommend it to everyone!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Heart List: London


A handful of years ago I did a semester in London, and it's been on my mind lately. I miss it so much! I could go on for hours about why everyone should love that city. Huge parks, tons of museums, a wide variety of great restaurants, many theaters, enough stores for even the most avid shopper, historical sites by the dozen...and that's just the beginning! There's always something to do, even if you don't want to spend any money. Plus, everyone has an awesome accent. ;) It's my dream to live there (or in a smaller town not far from there) on a permanent basis.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Heart List: Howl's Moving Castle


This is one of the rare examples of book-made-into-movie where I like the movie just as much as I like the book. I saw the movie first, and I thought it was a fun story. Then I read the book, and I fell in love! The story had a delightfully tongue-in-cheek quality to it, gently poking fun at classic fairy tales. The characters are complex and real, the plot is well-structured, the relationships are endearing, and it's quite well-written. It's an easy read, but it's still intelligent and engaging. I would highly recommend it to everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Heart List: Touch


I have recently discovered this new tv show, and I'm quite impressed! There seems to be a lot of new shows that kind of feel that they've been slapped together with the sole purpose of parading drama. This show is thoughtful, simple in its complexity, and...well, touching. I love seeing Kiefer Sutherland in a different role, and I think he does a wonderful job portraying a struggling father. The character of Jake (the son) never speaks and rarely changes his expression, but he is strangely emotive and relatable. The story follows a widower (Sutherland) and his son, who does not speak or interact with his father. Jake is obsessed with numbers and Martin (the father) finds that it's his way of communicating. Together they try to heal the pain of those around them. It is a beautifully done show, and I would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An Announcement

The time has come, my faithful few. I have not wasted my time away from you (aside from having a baby). I have finished editing and formatting "The Threshold Child," and now all it needs is some kick-butt cover art before it will be published. Don't worry, I will post the link as soon as it become available. Until then, here is a link to the blog of the artist I have commissioned to do the cover art. Hopefully, it will grab your interest!

http://alyssaharperart.blogspot.com/2012/08/cover-art.html

Heart List: Ballroom Dancing


There are few things I love to do more than ballroom dancing. Granted, I'm not very good at it, but I love it all the same. Gliding through the steps with music sweeping over you...it's a rare experience. I can't blame people for wanting to be professional dancers, because who wouldn't want to have that feeling for their whole career? I've been thinking about it a lot lately, but it's not something you can just go and do. At least, not around here. Alas! Maybe I'll just have to open my own fancy old-fashioned club where people can come and pretend like they live in a more glamourous era (like the one pictured here).

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Heart List: Rita's


Goodness! It has been hot lately! I've really been craving Rita's, but there aren't any where I currently live. Very sad. I was first introduced to Rita's while visiting my sister (and our nation's capital). It's a little place that truly sells happiness (along with Italian Ice and frozen custard)! The custard is rich and creamy, and the ice tastes like it's flavored by a little piece of heaven. I had passion fruit flavored ice with a layer of vanilla custard on top, and it was seriously the best thing I've tasted in a long time! If you're ever out on the east coast, be sure to look up the Rita's closest to you!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Featured Word: Egregious

Egregious
Adjective
Extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant

Heart List: Apricots


Ladies and gentlemen, the happiest time of year has arrived! Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. Still, I love it when the apricots on my grandpa's tree start to ripen. I grew up picking them off the tree and eating them right there. No washing necessary. ;) I remember the first time I ate an apricot that I purchased from the store. The horror! I'm afraid the excellent quality of my grandpa's apricots has ruined me forever to the sad replicas sold in grocery stores. There's something indescribable in the flavor of sun-ripened fruit. Yum! I just might live underneath my grandpa's tree for the next couple of weeks and live on nothing but those delicious little fruits!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Heart List: Campfires


I love a good campfire! I grew up going camping every summer, and the smell of a good fire takes me back to those carefree days. I loved watching my brothers see how big they could make the flames (which they still do to this day), roasting the perfect marshmallow, singing camping songs (usually songs sung by the Muppets in "Rocky Mountain Holiday" with John Denver), burning marshmallows to see how big we can get them before they fall off of our sticks, making tinfoil dinners, etc. More than all of that, I loved how we would sit around a campfire to talk and laugh for hours at a time. I never grow tired of staring at a fire's beautiful flames, and the loving company that surrounds a good fire makes it the best place to pass an evening.