Top Ten Tues: Freebie

Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

December 11: Freebie (Make up your own topic, or use a previous TTT topic you might have missed.)

Top Ten Clothes inspired on Book Covers I Would Wear

  1. Sense & Sensibility; Jane Austen. Really most of these Penguin Clothbound would make a great dress.

2. The Secret Garden; Frances Burnett. An embroidered floral shawl would be perfect.

3. Speak; Louisa Hall. This would make a neat, bright scarf to make an outfit sparkle.


4. Ciao, Suerte; Anne McGreery. These colors would make for a lovely dress, or maybe split up for a cool pants/shirt combo.


5. The Bees; Laline Paull. This would make a lovely black and blue floral skirt, paired with a golden shirt.

6. After the Parade; Lori Ostlund. This makes me think of a sequined dress.

7. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights; Salman Rushdie. This image would make an interesting t-shirt.

8. The Hundred Year Flood; Matthew Salosses. I could see this as a scalloped dress in shades of blue, with a bird pin.

9. Strange the Dreamer; Laini Taylor. I just want this moth on something.

10. All That Followed: Gabriel Urza. This lovely lilac would make a pretty dress with a graphic landscape print along the bottom hem.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: 12/8

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway is delayed–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) tells him she can fix his gremlin problem–and sends him to buy an expensive sound system, then wait for her before he enters his apartment. Seth goes in alone, and hears something behind him.

Previous snippet:

This was it. This was how he died.

The heat from the claws digging into his back vanished, and as he knelt there, eyes clamped shut tightly, he heard the faint rustle of something—several somethings moving behind him.

Four, five… he couldn’t tell. Much more than two, which had been terrifying enough.

The door thudded against the wall as someone shoved it open, and a familiar voice shouted something in a language full of liquid syllables.

“Harry,” Seth said, as his frazzled brain provided him with a prosaic piece of information amid the screaming terror of the last few minutes.

“Just stay put, Seth. Keep your eyes closed until I say otherwise,” Harry slid in between the lilting words of that other language.

A rough-edged voice, with an inhumanely deep tone, answered, the burble of sounds still as pretty as a stream, answered, moving away from Seth as it did so.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

Harry’s voice responded, and then an almost-silence followed. The soft scratch of claws on the floors, a quiet rubbing sound, an exhaled breath.Seth’s mind latched onto each noise, imagination churning out scenarios for each one.

“Okay, you can stand up now,” Harry said.

He didn’t move, petrified to the spot, a statue curiosity for his landlord.

Hands dug under his arms, lifted, pinched in when he didn’t cooperate. The pain brought him back to himself, mostly, and he stood, eyes still closed.

“You can open your eyes,” she added, moving around, a metallic rattling noise following her footsteps. Curiosity pried open his lids, finally, to see Harry creating a circle around the sound system boxes—screws, computer chips,and twists of wire raining from her hands.

She stepped back to study her efforts, grabbed another handful of pieces from her pockets, and filled in gaps with an intense focus, then nodded.

*    *    *

Gremlins have camouflage magic, and a way of making people who catch just a glimpse forget them. This is good for humanity, because they’re powerfully ugly, and react violently to being discovered. But when Seth hits his head and lands on the floor right next to a gremlin, he sees it… and it notices that he’s done so. Things are about to go downhill for Seth.

NaNoWriMo 2018 is over

That was a busy month! I did a bunch of National Novel Writing Month events–write-ins galore! With a group of like-minded (and possibly insane) people, I attempted to write 50,000 words in one month.

And I succeeded! (As did several of my fellow writers, happily enough. I celebrate each and every win. But, it’s important to celebrate the people who tried, too. Every word they have at the end of the November is one they didn’t have in October.

Did you participate? How’d you do?

Write on, WriMos!

Top Ten Tues: Winter Reads

Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

December 4: Cozy/Wintry Reads (Make this prompt suit your current season if needs be.)

Here’s my Top Ten Wintry Reads (New and Re-reads)

New Reads

  1. The Winter of the Witch; Katherine Arden.  I’m going to have to wait a month for this, but it’s perfect for this list.

2. If on A Winter’s Night a Traveler; Italo Calvino. It’s right there in the title. 😉

3. The Pushcart Prize XLII; Bill Henderson.  Short stories are perfect to fit into a busy holiday season.

4. Ice Wolves; Amie Kaufman. Ice and magic! Perfect.

5. An Elderly Lady is up to No Good; Helene Tursten. Cozy always makes me think of mysteries. And what’s more cozy that a bit of murder? 😉

Re-Reads

6. Devil in Winter; Lisa Kleypas. A cold setting is best while inside, cuddled up with a lapcat and a warm drink.

7. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened; Jenny Lawson. The holidays can be stressful, so a laugh is great.

8. The Stupidest Angel; Christopher Moore. A Christmas miracle gone wrong.

9. Hogfather; Terry Pratchett. A special sort of holiday story by one of my favorite authors.

Top Ten Tues: Backlist

Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

November 6: Backlist Books I Want to Read

Though I’m often tempted by shiny new releases, there’s always a few older books I want to read.

  1. Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; Sherman Alexie. (1993) Short story collection.

2. Kin; Holly Black. (2008) Dark fairy tale.

3. War for the Oaks; Emma Bull. 1987. Music and fairyland.

4. Devil You Know; Mike Carey. (2007) Freelance exorcist. Two words that spell trouble.

5. The Gods of Gotham; Lyndsay Faye. (2012) 1800s NYC police.

6. Tower of Ravens; Kate Forsyth. (2004) Flying horses! Can’t go wrong with flying horses.

7. Moab is my Washpot; Stephen Fry. (1997) An excellent comedian.

8. The Thief Lord; Cornelia Funke. (2000). Magic and orphans.

9. Cold Fire; Tamora Pierce. (2002) More magic!

10. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand; Helen Simonson. (2010) A small village and a quiet hero.

Top Ten Tues: Halloween

Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

October 30: Halloween/Creepy Freebie

Here’s some books with a Halloween feel, if you need a spooky read!

  1. House with a Clock in its Walls; John Bellairs. Read it before you see the movie!

2. Written in Red; Anne Bishop. Blood prophets, and supernatural Others.

3. World War Z; Max Brooks. Interview after the fact, on the price of winning.

4. Once Burned; Jeanine Frost. For those that hot vampires gets you in the spirit.

5. Coraline; Neil Gaiman. Creepy, but not too creepy.

6. Midnight Crossroads; Charlaine Harris. Ghosts and vampires.

7. The Necromancer; Jonathan L Howard. A bit of fun with raising the dead.

8. We Have Always Lived in the Castle; Shirley Jackson. A quiet kind of scary.

9. Mystery of Grace; Charles de Lint. Day of the Dead, ghosts of the past.


10. Frankenstein; Mary Shelley. Thought-provoking and tragic.

Surprisingly Human: Review of All Systems Red

I stumbled upon All Systems Red by Martha Wells in a bookstore, recognized the author, and decided to check it out from the library based entirely on the tagline “The Murderbot Diaries.”

I mean, murderbots? I must read about them.

What is a murderbot, you might ask? Well, it’s a SecUnit, a security guard made of organic and machine parts, and a requirement for groups investigating other planets. There’s a fair degree of bureaucracy and graft involved, with systems made in the absolute cheapest way possible, so failures abound.

Murderbot is pretty bored with its work, but doesn’t have any choice so it drifts through its days, doing the bare minimum. And then the failures–those not unusual due to cheap construction issues–start piling up into quite a coincidence. If murderbot wants to keep the humans under its protection alive, it’s going to have to really try.

I loved this book. It’s funny, in the dark sort of way you’d expect from the description. Though short (144 pages), it’s packed full of action–crises and dealing with them, all heading towards a final event, so it doesn’t feel rushed or jumbled. And did I say it was funny? If the first line makes you chuckle or smile a bit, this is the book for you.

And there are three more books out already!

Has anyone read this book? What were your thoughts?

Weekend Writing Warriors:10/20

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a new WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination, despite a shadow following him home. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway car he’s on is delayed more than an hour–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) pushes him into her office and tells him she can fix his gremlin problem–and sends him to buy an expensive sound system, then wait for her before he enters his apartment. Seth goes in alone.

Previous snippet:

The noises had stopped, but he could hear, faintly, the whoosh of something breathing, right behind him. Small, sharp points pressed into his back, digging into his shoulders into two arcs—claws, he realized, as they just broke the skin.

A warning.

He could still hear the breathing, and the beginnings of a growl, and behind him, something else, bigger, moving closer.

He clenched his eyes shut. They wanted him to look at them. Why? He didn’t know, but his gut told him he shouldn’t open his eyes.

Through the spike of panic clogging his throat, he forced out, “I’m sorry,”and truly meant it this time.

The louder gremlin giggled, high-pitched and raspy.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

This was it. This was how he died.

The heat from the claws digging into his back vanished, and as he knelt there, eyes clamped shut tightly, he heard the faint rustle of something—several somethings moving behind him.

Four, five… he couldn’t tell. Much more than two, which had been terrifying enough.

The door thudded against the wall as someone shoved it open, and a familiar voice shouted something in a language full of liquid syllables.

“Harry,” Seth said, as his frazzled brain provided him with a prosaic piece   of information amid the screaming terror of the last few minutes.

“Just stay put, Seth. Keep your eyes closed until I say otherwise,” Harry slid in between the lilting words of that other language.

A rough-edged voice, with an inhumanely deep tone, answered, the burble of sounds still as pretty as a stream, answered, moving away from Seth as it did so.

*    *    *

Gremlins have camouflage magic, and a way of making people who catch just a glimpse forget them. This is good for humanity, because they’re powerfully ugly, and react violently to being discovered. But when Seth hits his head and lands on the floor right next to a gremlin, he sees it… and it notices that he’s done so. Things are about to go downhill for Seth.

Weekend Writing Warriors:10/14

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a new WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination, despite a shadow following him home. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway car he’s on is delayed more than an hour–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) pushes him into her office and tells him she can fix his gremlin problem–and sends him to buy an expensive sound system, then wait for her before he enters his apartment. Seth goes in alone.

Previous snippet:

Seized with an almost uncontrollable desire to turn around, Seth clenched his eyes shut, and didn’t realize he’d tightened his jaw, too, until his teeth began to ache from the pressure.

The sound came from behind him, again—no, two sounds. One echoed deeper, louder, more of a growl, and farther to the left.

His skin crawled, but he eased up on his jaw without opening his eyes. “Harry– she works in the basement of my building, I think you know her–she said there was a ritual, but I don’t know the words, and… something happened to keep her from telling them to me.”

The noises were definitely closer now.

“I don’t know the words, but I am sorry, and—”

Stars burst across his closed eyelids, and a spike of pain drove through his skull. Then his knees ached, and somehow he’d fallen to them, hard from how they complained, his palms stinging, too from hitting the floor.

He should have waited for Harry, even if it took hours.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

The noises had stopped, but he could hear, faintly, the whoosh of something breathing, right behind him. Small, sharp points pressed into his back, digging into his shoulders into two arcs—claws, he realized, as they just broke the skin.

A warning.

He could still hear the breathing, and the beginnings of a growl, and behind him, something else, bigger, moving closer.

He clenched his eyes shut. They wanted him to look at them. Why? He didn’t know, but his gut told him he shouldn’t open his eyes.

Through the spike of panic clogging his throat, he forced out, “I’m sorry,” and truly meant it this time.

The louder gremlin giggled, high-pitched and raspy.

*    *    *

Gremlins have camouflage magic, and a way of making people who catch just a glimpse forget them. This is good for humanity, because they’re powerfully ugly, and react violently to being discovered. But when Seth hits his head and lands on the floor right next to a gremlin, he sees it… and it notices that he’s done so. Things are about to go downhill for Seth.



Weekend Writing Warriors: 9/29

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a new WIP–“Discovering Gremlins.” Seth had a bad day at work–hit his head and saw a monster, which he dismissed as his imagination, despite a shadow following him home. The next day, he breaks his phone screen, his shower sprays water everywhere, the subway car he’s on is delayed more than an hour–after lunch Harry (she of I.T. fame) pushes him into her office and tells him she can fix his gremlin problem–and sends him to buy an expensive sound system, then wait for her before he enters his apartment. Seth goes in alone.

Previous snippet: 

“I brought you a gift, to apologize for my mistake,” he tapped the boxes, “so I’ll just leave it here for you, and—”

Something fizzed and crackled, and then, with a shower of sparks, the overhead lights in the living room and kitchen burst, a melody of glass sprinkling the linoleum. A few of the sparks settled on a stack of magazines on the living room table, and flames flickered to life.

Seth swore, smacking at the magazines with a towel on the nearby counter, sending sparks everywhere, scorching the table-top and his hand. He yelped, and lunged for the sink.

He wrenched both taps open, and the faucet emitted a rattling groan, but no water.

What could he use? He hauled open the fridge, yanked out a jug of juice, and poured it over the magazines. That got the fire out, finally, but left a sticky mess of orange juice swimming with ash and pieces of scorched paper.

Behind him, he heard a raspy chittering.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

Seized with an almost uncontrollable desire to turn around, Seth clenched his eyes shut, and didn’t realize he’d tightened his jaw, too, until his teeth began to ache from the pressure.

The sound came from behind him, again—no, two sounds. One echoed deeper, louder, more of a growl, and farther to the left.

His skin crawled, but he eased up on his jaw without opening his eyes. “Harry– she works in the basement of my building, I think you know her–she said there was a ritual, but I don’t know the words, and… something happened to keep her from telling them to me.”

The noises were definitely closer now.

“I don’t know the words, but I am sorry, and—”

Stars burst across his closed eyelids, and a spike of pain drove through his skull. Then his knees ached, and somehow he’d fallen to them, hard from how they complained, his palms stinging, too from hitting the floor.

He should have waited for Harry, even if it took hours.

*    *    *

Gremlins have camouflage magic, and a way of making people who catch just a glimpse forget them. This is good for humanity, because they’re powerfully ugly, and react violently to being discovered. But when Seth hits his head and lands on the floor right next to a gremlin, he sees it… and it notices that he’s done so. Things are about to go downhill for Seth.