Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh the Holidays!!! Crazy life and the Hobbit Movie Trailer. ^_^

Hello friends. :)

Well, it's official!  School is out, and I have passed all of my classes! ;D  And I had a job interview this morning which went rather well.  Hopefully I also get that job.

In the meantime, I've been CRAZY busy.  Which is a really good thing.  I've been able to pick up work on the commissions that had to be set aside during finals time, and I've been making more jewelry too.  I've also been able to finish reading some of the books that I've received to read and review and haven't had a chance to finish. So now that I've gotten back into reading, expect reviews on some pretty neat books!

I feel kind of bad for not being able to post a lot on the P&P though... Don't worry folks, I have some more meaningful posts coming up.  I promise!  This little blog needs some TLC and it will get it. ^_^

Right now, I'm still freaking out over the trailer that I saw this morning for the Hobbit.  Yes, LOTR fans, the official movie trailer is out, and it totally rocks!!! *dreamy sigh*  Do we really have to wait a WHOLE YEAR to watch the actual movie?  That's going to be... painful.

I'll post more meaningful stuff later!!!  Expect a review on Jill Williamson's newest book, "Replication", and a review on Wayne Thomas Batson's "Sword in the stars".  Also, I'll be posting news soon on the new constellation contest Mr. Batson is hosting for his newest book in The Dark Sea Annals, "The Errant King". All coming up soon!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Updates and sparkly JEWELRY!!!! :D (Updated)

(Updates:  The pendant and chain "The Birth of New Life" and the silver and blue earrings "Icicles" have been spoken for.  Thank you!  ^_^)

Hello friends!

What do you know!  I made it on before the end of the month this time. lol!

Well, I told you I would post more to let you know what's been going on in my life.  It's been kind of hectic, but in a winding down, School's-almost-over, pleasant sort of way.

Unfortunately I was forced to quit my part time job about a month ago because of a clashing schedule and not enough pay to make it truly worth it.  It was a rather sad day, because I really, really liked that job... I was a writing consultant at my college.  But, with that said, since I pulled the plug on it, my grades have picked up a little bit in my other classes.  Now I'm looking for something to keep the bills paid over the holidays and next semester... putting in my application as often as possible, and picking up art commissions in between to help with gas and insurance. (I'll be posting pictures of the commissions soon.  The latest is coming along very nicely... almost finished. ^_^)  It's not a lot, but I'm SO grateful that people like my art enough to have me do artwork for them. :)  I never dreamed I would get the chance before.


On the note of picking up the odd job here and there, I've started making jewelry.... again... <_<  That is to say, I've made it before when I was younger, but back then it was only made for me, and it wasn't as good-looking or as complicated as it is now. :)  Now, I make the jewelry under the "company" name "Personalities" (which was my mothers idea. ;)  In fact, my mom and my sisters and I craft under that title now. ^_^) I started making the Jewelry for a craft fair here in central IL, and I got a lot of large compliments over it.  So... I decided to offer it here on the P&P.  I told you yesterday that I would put prices up with the pictures, if you are interested in buying any of the pieces.  If you decide to buy a piece, thank you very much!  The money will help keep me in a car over the holidays. ^_^  And I apologize in advance for the slightly blurry pictures. :P  I was having trouble with the camera.

(note: Consider all pieces completely hand crafted from scratch unless otherwise noted.  Pieces marked NA are not for sale.  Please note, though, that some of the pieces can be replicated upon request, as I wrote down the patterns as I was creating them.  All jewelry currently available was made entirely from scratch. Shipping and handling is not included in the prices listed below.  Please consider about $3.00 for shipping and handling as you make your selection to cover packaging and shipping.  I am currently accepting checks until the Paypal account for "Personalities" is set up.  Packages will be shipped after payment is received.  Thank you!)

(Pair of Earrings)
Title: Ring Around the Sun
Price: currently NA (pending)

(pendant and chain)
Title: The birth of New Life
Price: $16  SOLD
(note: The chain is not hand crafted)

(Hand crafted chain)
Title: Frills and Lace
(more can be made upon request)
Price: $12

(pair of earrings)
Title: Christmas Cheer
(more can be made upon request)
Price: $10

Title: Spring's Revelry
Price: $20

2 bracelets (1 child - 1 adult)
Title: Summer's Ice
(more can be made upon request)
Child's bracelet price: $5
Adult's bracelet price: $6

Title: Burning the Yule Log
Price: Currently NA (pending)

(pair of earrings)
Title: Icicles
(more can be made upon request)
Price: $10  SOLD

(pendant and chain)
Title: The music of Christmas
Price: NA
(note: The chain is not hand crafted)

Title: Christmas Lace
Price: NA

Title: Unity Ever Green
Price: $10

And that's it for now.  I hope you like the pictures!!!  There will be more to come soon.  And, if you are interested in buying any of the pieces, just let me know in a comment.  First come first serve.  I'll be setting up a paypall account soon so that things can be taken care of quicker and with less hassle.

In other news, Wayne Thomas Batson is hosting another contest to promote his latest book, "The Errant King".  More word on that in a later post... Perhaps I'll get it up later this afternoon.  For now, it's back to classes and finals! :P   See you all later!!! ^_^

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: Corus the Champion (and rambling updates)

Hello Bloggy Friends!!! :D

It has honestly been way too long.  I never meant to disappear for all of November, but that's exactly what happened, isn't it?  Now I have so much I want to talk about!  I went to a weapon's seminar thing that a friend of mine put on for our writer's group... he's what one might call an "expert" hobby-ist when it comes to medieval weapons.  We worked on sword maneuvers and had mock sparing matches so that all of the fantasy writers in our group could get a taste of what their characters had to endure.  Then we were able to pick a "weapon" (made with pvc pipe, Styrofoam, and duck-tape) from his stash of practice pieces, and he taught us all about our choice.  My choice was the Glaive, which is similar to a spear crossed with an axe.  It's a pole arm and can be used much like a quarter staff, or like a spear... and I've discovered that I like the feel of that weapon in my own hands even better than the grip of a sword.  Don't get me wrong!  Swords are awesome, and it was so cool to finally be able to wield one (even if it was fake), but the Glaive just feels right somehow.  When I square up, it's like I already know what to do, and my moves feel smoother -- less jerky and hesitant than I am with a sword. :)

I've also been making a lot of neat jewelry lately.  I took pictures yesterday, and as soon as I can figure out how to work my sister's camera to get the pictures from her SD card to my computer, I'll post them on the P&P.  I plan to start offering the pieces that I'm making for sale, in case anyone is interested.  Just in time for the Christmas season too... *wink, wink*  I'm excited about it because I keep having people stop to ask me where I got my pendant or my earrings, and it's fun to tell people that I made them myself. ^_^  So, if you like what you see when I start posting pictures, let me know.  I'll offer prices with the pictures.  And perhaps it will make you feel better to know that with every piece of jewelry you buy, you help keep a poor College Student  in a car over the holidays. lol! :D

But more on all that later.  Right now I have a review to write. ^_^

Corus the Champion: Synopsis

With Nemesia's defeat, the Barlows have helped turn the tide in the Hidden Lands. An even greater evil stirs
in the north with a fierce new army bent on destruction.  As the twins, Gabe and Garret, discover their own  special powers, a thin thread of hope emerges: long ago, a fabled king was rescued from death on our world and hidden on Karac Tor.  Who is he?

Each brother has their part to play.  Hadyn must travel north to warn the land rulers, which leaves Ewan with a bitter choice.  Will he sacrifice what is most precious to discover whether Corus lives?  Even more important, if Corus is alive, can he wake the Sleeping King of legend... before it's too late?

My thoughts:

So far, I'm really enjoying this book.  I say "so far" because I haven't quite finished yet.  In fact, I'm not quite at the middle of it yet either, which is rather unusual for me, if I do say so myself.  Usually I finish a book within maybe a week... perhaps two... of when I receive it, but this semester has been so crazy, I just haven't had much extra time in between classes, studying, working on commissions, and trying to find another job.


I've been looking into this series since I first heard of the first book, "The book of Names".  The cover intrigued me to no end, and once I found out what it was about... boys traveling to another, parallel world... and learned about the connection these books include between pure fantasy and the stories of King Arthur, I knew that I would be reading them someday.

Unfortunately for me, "Corus the Champion" is the second book in the series... not the first.  So of course, seeing as I haven't read the first book yet, I'm having a little trouble picking up on the back story.  Not to say that this book isn't good on it's own.  In fact, far from it!  I could tell from the very first chapter that I would like reading this one.  D. Barkley Briggs has quite the way with words.  I love how he weaves in details and descriptions without being over flowery.  When I read the words, I truly am transported into Mr. Brigg's world.  And somehow, it feels very real to me... even with all of the elements of fantasy.

Somehow the writing... or perhaps it is the type of world... reminds me of Jeffery Overstreet's Auralia series.  It's hard to explain why this is, because I find their styles to be quite different.  And yet... I can't help but feel as if the two worlds were almost connected.  Strange, I know... and probably very off course, as these are two separate authors we are talking about.  But still.

What do I think of the characters?  Well... at this moment I think I'm slightly in "reader's love" with the strange and mysterious Prince of Vineland.  And I'm rather intrigued by Ewan's ability with music.  The margins in my copy of the book are currently being filled with notes about the things that I like, or a particular use of style that is intriguing, or the writer's twist on a phrase... or a description.  I don't usually mark up my books like this, but like I mentioned before, I keep finding myself inspired while I'm reading this.

On that note, I really, REALLY, wish I had read the first book first.  I think the stories might stand well on their own, but I still feel like I'm missing something.  I would like to know how the Barlows got to the Hidden Land, and learn more about this "Nemesia" that's mentioned in the book's blurb.  Perhaps that's only my thoughts, though.

So far, I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  When I actually get to the end of it, I would like to do an annalysis of the story as a whole.  As of this moment though, I am thoroughly enjoying just taking my time with it.  I keep having to stop, you see, and write a few notes down for  SOTD.   ;D

If you would like to know more about the book, though, you are more than welcomed to check out the other posts about it.  A list of CSFF participants is posted below.  Happy reading! :)

Gillian Adams
Noah Arsenault
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Carol Bruce Collett
Theresa Dunlap
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Sarah Sawyer
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nichole White
Rachel Wyant