I sing the wind…

*taps mic*

*glances round*

Hello? Is this thing on?

Oh, good! It’s been far too long, hasn’t it? I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone…um…*checks calendar*…four and a half months without a single post. But school’s out for summer (cue Alice Cooper), and I am ready for the break. And what better way to kick off summer than with a book review?

I’ve read a ton in the last nine months. Some I enjoyed, some not so much, but today I want to talk about Windsinger by A.F.E. Smith. It’s the third book in her Darkhaven series, and it’s been sitting on my phone just begging to be read for an entirely unforgivable length of time. I don’t even know what happened; it arrived last year, but for the first time ever, reading held no joy for me, so in my phone it sat.

What’s it about? Glad you asked!

Ayla Nightshade prepares to meet with the Kardise ambassador to sign a treaty between Mirrorvale and Sol Kardis. However, negotiations are halted as the ambassador is discovered dead in his chambers, poisoned by the same bottle of taransey he and Ayla had shared the night before.

Ayla has been framed for murder and the peace between two kingdoms is at stake. Tomas Caraway and his Helmsmen must rush to prove her innocence before war destroys all they have fought for.

Along the way they discover the plans for a Parovian airship, the Windsinger, which reveal a chamber designed for a special cargo: a living one.

Together Ayla and Tomas set out to uncover their real enemies – a search that will lead them closer to home than they ever anticipated.

If you’ve read the first two books, you won’t want to miss this one, as it brings back a load of interesting characters and throws a whole new set of challenges at them. After slogging through a semester of Milton, this was a refreshing adventure that I couldn’t put down. It was brilliantly well-written, and I loved seeing how Ayla and Tomas’s relationship had grown, how Ayla herself had grown. The love they have for each other is evident, and a joy to see.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is about that love:

‘Anyone can hate,’ Caraway said. ‘It’s love that requires courage.’

But it’s not just about Tomas’s love for Ayla and their children, it’s about love for Mirrorvale as well, and really, it applies to us as well. There is so much hate in the world, and most of it’s senseless, much as in this book. If we can all remember that love is more powerful, and try to show it more in our daily lives, perhaps the world will become the better place we’d all long to see. This book is a wonderful reminder that love can accomplish anything.

In short, if you haven’t read this book, or the others, you definitely should. Pick up a copy at HarperCollins, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or anywhere that fine books are sold, and let me know what you think! After all, nothing cures a book hangover like a great discussion. 🙂

Have you read the Darkhaven novels? What did you think?

(c) 2018. All rights reserved.

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One more last inspiring quote

As the year draws to a close, I have one final inspiring quotation to share. This one comes from Gin from Perfume and Cigarettes:

just-keep-writing-never-stop-virginia

This says it all, right here. Just keep writing. Never stop.

And so, as another new year dawns, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Just keep writing. Never stop.

What about you?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Just when you thought I was out of inspirational quotes…

Today’s quote is one of my absolute favorites to come from this project, and it’s courtesy of Katie M. Dean:

never-be-afraid-because-you-will-change-at-least-one-life-with-your-writing-and-its-okay-if-that-life-is-yours-katie-m-dean

Seriously. There is so much I love about this quote that I don’t even know where to begin. It was like getting hit by lightning, a slap in the face of pure duh.

Like, why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?

This is quite possible one of the best quotes I have ever read. About anything. And I have a whole spiral-bound notebook full of quotations that I’ve been keeping for the better part of two decades – this one trumps them all.

Love. This.

What is your absolutely positively all-time favorite quote?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train

You can’t sleep through life if you wants to live it. -Alice Walker

Well, here it is – the end of the first weekend in November. How the heck did that happen?!

It’s been a good month since my last post, and all I can think is, “Well, so much for blogging every day this year.”

Sure, I could whip out a bunch of posts and backdate them all, but I don’t have the time. Or the mental energy.

School is kicking my butt. And while I’m happy to be back in a classroom and happy to be reading and learning so many wonderful things, I am exhausted, and rather frustrated with myself for not doing this years ago. I should have done it right away, instead of waiting.

But hindsight is 20/20, and that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

I ought to be nigh unbreakable by the time I finish this degree.

Despite my best intentions, I expect I will not be posting much the rest of the year, though I will post when I can. Midterms are behind me, thank goodness, but the end of the semester is rapidly approaching, and I have some big projects ahead of me. Between school and work and family, something’s gotta give, and that something is this.

Next semester promises to be even more hectic, as I’m adding a class to my already heavy load. If you’re the praying type, keep me in yours – I’ll need all the prayers I can get to keep me awake and engaged. Pulling all-nighters was so much easier when I was twenty!

But this, too, shall pass, and hopefully something wonderful awaits me on the other side.

What’s new with you? Are you excited for the impending winter holiday season? Do you have big plans for the coming year?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Yet more inspirational quotes

Today’s quote is from Momzen Mutterings, and is really rather fabulous:

momzen

I love this way of thinking about things. My brain hides things from me all the time – story ideas, doctor appointments, the shirt I laid out on the bed five minutes ago – so why should a gift or a talent be any different?

Like the old saying goes, use it or lose it. I didn’t use all that Spanish I learned once upon a time, and now I’ve lost it. It turns out that my brain hid that from me, too, because as soon as I started studying it again? It came back to me. It’s like pulling teeth sometimes trying to remember how to, say, conjugate a stem-changing verb, but eventually I remember.

What about you – have you lost something you didn’t use often? Did it come back to you?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Even more inspirational quotes

Today’s quote comes from Martha Graham, who was not a writer but a dancer, and it’s courtesy of the lovely Jeanne Pascale:

vitality

I’d never heard of Martha Graham when I read this quote, so I did a little Googling and found her Wikipedia entry, which had this to say:

Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991) was an American modern dancer and choreographer. Her influence on dance has been compared with the influence of Picasso on modern visual arts,[1][2] the influence of Stravinsky on music, and the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on architecture.[3]

She danced and choreographed for over seventy years. Graham was the first dancer to perform at the White House, travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, and receive the highest civilian award of the US: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In her lifetime she received honors ranging from the Key to the City of Paris to Japan’s Imperial Order of the Precious Crown. She said, in the 1994 documentary The Dancer Revealed, “I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable.” [4]

Her style, the Graham technique, fundamentally reshaped American dance and is still taught worldwide.[5]

A brilliant choreographer, Ms. Graham may have been referring to dance in her quotation above, but it certainly applies to writing as well. Indeed, it applies to any endeavor in life.

Do you have any favorite quotes, about writing or otherwise?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Vellum and Leather

Vellum and leather,
Parchment and feather,
These things are all of a kind,

For vellum and leather,
Parchment and feather,
Are all in my heart entwined.

Vellum and leather,
Parchment and feather,
Coalesce nicely in books;

And vellum and leather,
Parchment and feather,
Await me in every nook.

Yes, vellum and leather,
Parchment and feather,
Are surely all of a kind,

For vellum and leather,
Parchment and feather,
Are all in my heart entwined.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy fun, fun, fun, fun, fun

I spent some time yesterday organizing the zillion or so pictures I took in 2016 in preparation for compiling our annual family photo book. It was a complete pain in the butt because I don’t think I did anything with them at all last year, other than move pictures from my phone (which I used way more often than my Nikon last year) onto my computer into a file called “camera pix – need to sort.” It took me forever to get them all sorted, primarily because of this:

Because I am so easily amused, I spent probably a couple of hours trying to make a gif of said bouncy fun. But, my computer being the junkpile that it is, it didn’t want to cooperate. Photoshop kept freezing, and what I wanted to do was bigger than most of the online utilities I found would allow.

Stupid size limits, anyway.

I spent probably half of this morning fooling around with it some more and finally got what I wanted to do cut down to a reasonable size.

Now, to scamper off to dinner before I make some more. 😀 How are you spending your weekend?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.