Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Glimmerglass a Review

Peanut is forever asking me if she can read one of my books. And unfortunately my answer is usually no. Because for the most part I read Romance novels and they're inappropriate for Peanut-age girls.

However, not too long ago I picked up this teen-read by author Jenna Black. Jenna writes an adult series that I enjoy reading so I picked it up figuring I would enjoy the writing and pass it on to Peanut.

But that's not going to happen this time. Though this book is sold in the Teen section and the main characters are all teenagers I feel this book is inappropriate for my 10 year old Peanut. I think it's inappropriate for my 16 year old niece too, but please allow me to give you the reasons behind my decision.

16 year old Dana Hathaway has had it with her alcoholic mother so she decides to run away to Avalon, the only city in the world that exists in both the human and the Fae world, where the father she has never met lives. Once there everything goes wrong. She doesn't know who she can trust and someone wants to kill her.

Sounds interesting, huh? Well it was. The book is very interesting, even to this mom who generally avoids teen books.

Violence: On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the max, I would give this book a 2 in the violence area. There is a scene where the teenagers all produce either knives or guns to fight off the bad guys. And Dana is attacked by a water witch. It's probably better than watching the news when it comes to the violent content.

Alcohol and Drugs: Dana's mother is an alcoholic. Once in Avalon, Dana's new friends take her to an underground keg party where she is offered a beer. At another time one of her friends fixes a hot posset (milk, oatmeal, honey, nutmeg and whiskey) and Dana decides she likes it. Did I mention that she's 16 and alcoholism runs in her family? When Dana finally meets her dad he gives her champagne. One reference is made to drugs when a boy kisses Dana and she almost forgets herself. She accuses him of using a "roofie spell".

Language: is probably PG-13, sh*t, b*stard, crazy-*ss, *sshole, whore, wanker, hell

Sex: This is the part that will keep Peanut from reading the book. I get that the teen pregnancy rate is at an all time high but life imitates art and if art is constantly throwing sex at our teens and telling them its no big deal then our teens will think sex is no big deal. Several references to sex are made like "getting lucky" or "horny". A wagon is used as a get away car because "The wagon...[is] much more comfortable than the backseat of a car." Dana's friend stops Dana from going to brother's apartment alone and brother isn't overly happy about it. Her friend also tells her that her brother has charmed other, more experienced girls out of their knickers. The kisses are often described in detail with moaning

Positive Elements: Dana does find away to forgive her friends for their betrayal.

For me, I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Shadowspell that comes out Jan 4, 2011. For my daughter, I might let her read it. When she's 18.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Key

This is a little story I wrote from a writing prompt that only gave me the first line. I could have done more with the story but the goal was to remain under 1000 words. I think it turned out ok.

Alice tried to remember who had given her the key. It was a little key compared to most so she was sure it wasn’t for a house or car. There were no inscriptions, no artsy detail, nothing to clue her in on its origin. Alice decided to save the key for further inspection later. She put her hand in the small box her grandfather had built for years before to hold all her precious memories. She pulled out a blue marble. The marble she remembered.

The summer she turned thirteen was a special year in her memory. That was the year that her family went to Yellowstone National Park for a family vacation. The first and only trip they took as a family And that was the summer she met Alan McCormick. Alan moved into the house across from her grandpa Mike. Grandpa Mike lived on Elm, three streets over and Alice was allowed to ride her bike to Grandpa Mike’s but no further. Alice always thought that was a stupid rule.

Alan was the same age as she was but he was a good six inches taller. He had shaggy brown hair and was the cutest boy that Alice had ever seen in her whole life. His dad didn’t live with them and his mom worked days so Alan would spend most of his day hanging out in Grandpa Mike’s garage helping him tinker around with Grandpa Mike’s hot rod.

On one particularly hot day Alice was visiting her Grandpa Mike when Alan showed up. “Why don’t you kids go down to the store and pick me a quart of oil,” he said wiping his greasy hands on a red towel.

“I’m not allowed Grandpa,” Alice said quietly.

“Well, if I tell you to go then I think it’s alright. If your mother has issue with it she can take it up with me. And while you’re at it you can stop in that ice cream place and get you a scoop too. My treat.” Alice beamed. She loved their plain vanilla ice cream.

At the Redman Shoppe, where Alice and Alan stopped for ice cream, Alice’s least favorite person, Lisa Brown stepped up beside Alice. “That your new boyfriend?” she asked in the most annoying voice possible after Alan left to wash his hands.

“Go away, Lisa.”

“Obviously he’s not or you would’ve said so.” Lisa smirked.

“You know what, Lisa. Yes he is. Now, go away!”

“I think you’re lying.”


“Hi, I’m Lisa!” She said over Alice’s shoulder. “You’re Alice’s new boyfriend, right?” Alan walked around and sat down across from Alice.

“Yep,” he flashed Lisa a bright smile and turned back to Alice and ignoring Lisa. “Oh, I almost forgot, I got you something.” Alan dug into his pocket and produced the bright blue marble. “it’s almost the same shade of blue as your eyes.”

Lisa made a loud sound and stomped away.

“Thank you, you didn’t have to do that.”

Alan grabbed Alice’s wrist, turned her hand palm side up and dropped the marble, “I really did think of you when I saw it and I want you to have it.”

Alice closed her fingers over the marble tightly, that day Alan held Alice’s hand as they walked back to Grandpa Mike’s.

Alice smiled as she set the marble aside. Next she pulled a pressed four leaf clover that Alan had given her the day before she took her driver’s test. A spark plug from when Alan showed her how to change them in her old Camaro and the dried corsage from senior prom found their way out of the box too.

“What you doin?” a voice asked from behind her.

“Just digging in my box,” she replied.

“Find anything interesting?”

“Everything in my box is interesting. Even this key I don’t seem to remember from before.”

“Let me see,” Alan reached out for the key and studied it for a moment. “I know what this key is to,” he finally said. “Come with me.”

Alan and Alice walked over to his house waving at Grandpa Mike who was in his garage. “Hey Mom!” Alan called out as they walked past the kitchen. Together they walked into Alan’s room and over to his bookshelf where a small wooden box sat. “This is what the key goes to,” Alan told her and handed her the box.

Alice turned the box over in her hand. “Where did you get this?” Alice asked.

“Just open the box,” he whispered.

Alice stuck the key in the hole and turned it. The lid popped open and inside, nestled in a bed of black silk lay a simple diamond ring. Alice looked up into Alan’s gleaming eyes. “You have the key to my heart. Will you marry me?”

Exactly ten years from the day they met Alice Michaels and Alan McCormick were wed in a small service in Grandpa Mike’s back yard. After the ceremony Alice put the key back into her memory box with all her other precious memories.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The past few weeks have been somewhat trying for me. My oven doesn't work. We were without gas for three and a half days (read: no hot water), the ac wasn't working, the children were cranky, and everything else that could go wrong, did.

There were times I broke down and sobbed. Not because of one particular thing but because it all added up to a lot of stress.

I like to think of stress as a glass and water. You can hold a glass without any trouble. You can turn it over and toss it in the air. You can spin in on your finger tips. But stress is like water being poured into the glass. Now you can't spin the glass. You can't toss it into the air. But still, it's just a glass of water. But then more water gets poured into the glass until it's full. You can hold that glass for a minute without any problems. But after two minutes your arm starts to ache a little. After five minutes you're looking around for a place to set it down or longing to switch hands. But you can't. No, you have to hold the glass of water in the one hand with no where to put it and keep it from spilling. After an hour your arm starts to twitch and what was just a little glass of water suddenly feels like the weight of the world. Gosh that's a really long explanation, but it's simple in my head.

Book characters don't deal with no heat or air conditioning and hot water. They deal with murder and mayhem and mysteries of life and death. But they're all challenges and these challenges and how we deal with them add up to our character.

So I thought to myself, if I'm going to be the heroine in my own story (as is Catherine Morland's quest in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen) what kind of character am I? I don't want to be the whiny character that can't do anything for themselves. I want to be that strong character that goes out and solves the problems all by herself, well, maybe with the help of a few friends along the way. Now, I'll be honest, I did whine a little bit. I've already admitted to crying as well. But I kept my head on my shoulders. I tried not to pass blame on to anyone else as my problems were no ones fault except my own. And now that I'm through the worst of it I look back and think, it wasn't so bad.

So, what's your character like? Do you find yourself wishing you could change something about your character? It's ok if you do, that's called character growth and is needed in any good novel (or I guess we could even say movie, tv series, etc). I like to think as a character I'm growing. And someday I will be the heroine of my story!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Memory Box

When I was in high school my upon my request, my daddy made me a wooden box. This box is about eighteen inches long, ten inches wide and twelve inches high. A good size box. He stained it and attached a plain silver handle. The box is simple and to me it is the most beautiful thing he has ever made.

For nearly 15 years I've keep odd and end little things in the box to remind me of yester-year. Today, I decided to prepare the box for the next generation. It will still be a few years before I actually hand it over but I wanted to go through it today anyway.

Inside I found cards I had recieved as a small child from my grandmother who passed from this life in 1998 and my favorite aunt whom I don't see as often as I should. The cards from my grandmother were especially hard to read without crying.

There was the medal I won at a regional drama competition as well as the remark pages we were given, the tassel from my graduation cap, and several pictures and mementos from my senior year inside my box.

I found cards from Nickel for various holidays, a couple of invitations to our wedding that was in 1999 and Mother's Day cards from my daughter. Poems that I like.

A little brown piggy bank that if I remember correctly was my great-grandmother's. My mother's senior year picture was still in an old frame along with a picture of my dad long before he knew that name.

After Nick's grandmother passed away I saved a few of her momentos like a book young Nickel wrote when he was maybe 6 and a picture of Nickel with long curly hair (if you know my husband you'll understand why this picture is important!).  And a host of other memories from along the way.

Staring at these memories I want to laugh and I want to cry. Laugh at the fun I've had along the way and cry for the people that completed their jouney ahead of me, including the children two of my dearest friends have lost.

I'm not ready to turn over the box to Peanut, but already I've stored special art project she's made. Soccer pictures from the three seasons she played, the program from the ballet recital we were in, some blog posts that I printed out as a reminder of the funny things she said or the things I wanted her to know about me and my life. My hope is that she will cherish these memories in the Memory Box as much as I have cherished her.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Writing Exercise

I have a writing program that gives me various writing prompts. Then I'm to write for 15 minutes. That might sound easy but isn't when you're not use to doing something like that.

This particular exercise was fun because I've gone back to school off and on several times working towards a random degree. Please note that this piece has not been edited. There are more than likely misspelled words, bad grammer, and puncutation errors. It ends where it ends. You don't exactly write a novel in 15 minutes so I did the best I could to write a whole scene.

Please feel to make comments about good or bad. After all, it was just an exercise.

Character: Bill Teets

Goal: To get a degree

Obstacle: A former girlfriend

Bill Teets walked into the science room. He was just 4 hours from finishing his degree. The only class he lacked, Chemestry. It was a lower level class but he had managed to avoid it the whole time. Until last spring when he applied for graduation and was denied. Seems some colleges, ok, most colleges wouldn't let you graduate without these four little credit hours.

Bill was not looking forward to Chemistry. He had failed it in HighSchool when Mrs McGowan taught it. The periodic table was just a bunch of letters and numbers to him.

Bill chose a seat about half back in the third row. His eyes functioned better in the front but he didn't want to seem eager. He was anything but. Kids piled into the class and took their seats and gossiped with one another.

Bill closed his eyes for a moment. Maybe this class wouldn't be so bad. "Are we already boring you, Mr Teet?" a saucy voice asked.

Hearing his name Bill quickly opened his eyes to see where it was coming from. He groaned to himself when he saw the body that went with the voice. It was none other that Veronica Hut. The girl that broke his heart ten years prior at the senior prom.

"No." Bill replied.

Veronica turned around and picked up a dry erase marker and began to write on the white board.

This is going to be a long semester, Bill thought to himself. After class Veronica asked Bill to stay a moment while the other students left.

"How have you been?" she asked as he walked up to her desk, slinging a backpack over one shoulder.

"I've been good, V. Yourself?"

She smiled and looked him up and down. "I've been good. So tell me Bill, what brings you to my class."

"Just looking to graduate, this is my last class."

"I see, and exactly how well do you think you'll do in my class, Bill?" she asked.

"Well, I'm hoping to do alright. I've got a decent GPA and I'd like to keep it. But I never was any good at this sort of thing."

"Hmm" Veronica packed up her things into a briefcase. "I suppose I could help you." She looked back at him with fire in her eyes. He knew what she was proposing. He thought about it for a moment.

He made his decision. He grinned at her. "Mighty fine offer there Veronica," he paused.

"It's not one I give very often, in fact, you're the first."

"Well, I do feel honored to be given such attention."

Veronica walked around the desk so that she was standing next to him. She ran a hand up and down his his arm. "I could make this class very easy for you,"she whispered, "or very hard." she grabbed him and squeezed.

"Oh, I know you can."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fairy Tales

I looked up Fairy Tales in wikipedia tonight for some odd reason and read some synopsis. Some were just as I remembered them. Others I had no heard of. I don't know what I'm looking for exactly, just an example to use in my head I guess.

I've never actually read the compilation of Grimm fairy tales although some of you might be surprised at the list of fairy tales they have written. For example Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping  Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, and Snow White are all some of their works.

So what are your favorite fairy tales? Are you a fan of the Brothers Grimm? Do you prefer Hans Christian Andersen who wrote the Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, and the Little Mermaid to name a few?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

So Good, I Cried

*insert soft melody*

 I had a customer the other night that was looking for a particular title. Since she was in the book department I assumed she wanted the book. She was looking for the DVD though. No big, I can look both up. I've had no desire to this particular movie because it's sad. I don't do sad. My customer says "It was so good, I cried."

*insert abrupt end of music co-insiding with a record scratch*

 Er, "so good, I cried?" That sounds like an oxymoron to me. I don't like to cry so how can anyone ever say something is good and that they cried.

"Oh! She said, but it has a happily ever after." I'm a little leary of this movie/book. Ok, all girls need to cry sometimes, just to get it out," she says. "The next time you need to cry and just get it all out, rent this movie."

Er. I don't forsee that anytime soon, but sure. If the time comes that I need a reason to cry (rolling my eyes here) I'm going to rent this movie.

So what's your take on "So good, I cried"? Do you like those chick-flick movies that make you weep tears of sorrow and joy? Do you like a good cry? Does it not leave you with a pounding headache like it does me?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lover Mine

Here is a book I cannot wait to read! Lover Mine by J.R. Ward comes out Tuesday!!  J.R. Ward writes an amazing "trashy" vampire romance novels. This one is book eight of the series. They are oh so good. A little dark. A little passionate. And a whole lot of sexy. I'm just saying if I lived in that world, I'd want me one of the brothers... ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different, Only Not Really

A friend and I were discussing blogging the other day. He misses me and I miss him.

I'm doing something a little new in my life. I'm attempting to write a book. A book that will perhaps someday be published. This book is a trashy romance story. No vampires in the one I'm currently writing though.  I've never had a problem with coming up with an idea or even writing some.But here's the problem, I suck at finishing what I start. So I'm hoping that remedy that. The story I'm working on now, that I probably won't publish here anytime soon, is now sitting at around 23 pages. My first goal is to make it to 50 pages. And if the story is done there then it's done and on to the next one. If it's not done then I'll shoot for 75 pages. Should I actually make it to 300 pages I will be shouting and singing off key! I figure, like everything else in life, the more I practice the better I'll get. And if I can start and finish a story in 50 pages then maybe the next time I write a story I can stretch it out. That's what I'm hoping for anyway. I will try to post some of my work, maybe some writing exercises I get from one of the programs I'm using. That's always fun. I'm given a person, a situation, a conflict and fifteen minutes to write.

And along the way I'm going to promote a few books. You may have noticed the little Amazon box here with a new Stephenie Meyer short story here. I love Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and I'm excited to see she's coming out with something new. My customers at the book store will be excited too when I tell them about it! So go pre-order it. It comes out June 5, 2010 and that's a great price! And order the rest of the series if you haven't read it yet. It's a love story. I heart love stories.

Thanks for coming back to my blog. May the creative juices start to flow!