Monday, December 29, 2008

Recent reads

So, I've gone insane and decided to spend to help stimulate the economy with what little pin money I have and read as much as I could.

Sadly, this time, the bunch of books I've read did not really suit my taste. Great writing. Interesting plots and some rather authentic, but I just didn't really click with any of it.

Flower of the Storm by Laura Kinsale
I keep hearing great stuff about her so I looked it up. The blurb looked incredibly interesting and I got it.
Very authentic, great writing techniques. Interesting plot.
Completely not my style.
It was kind of hard finishing it. The heroine irritated me to no end. The hero was great some times and an ass at other times. I am heroine-centric. So, sorry, this didn't work for me. A few times I kept asking myself if I was being shown things or being told and I couldn't quite be sure of one or the other. This happened during a love scene. Which had me pausing in the middle of reading it (at least twice, I think) to ponder it.
The style was to reminiscent of school days and I had trouble being drawn in.
I was kind of saddened by this. I really wanted to like it.

Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale
Another Laura Kinsale. I bought it the same time I bought the previous book. I liked the heroine even less in this one despite her quirkiness and uniqueness. The hero had his good moments and had a lot of moments where I was rather "bleh" about.
Again, same problems as previous book.
I really really wanted to like this book. It sounded so interesting and so different. But I kind of got bored with the dramatics and such. Is it bad of me? Probably. I am not one for drama these days.
It was well written and thoroughly believable at times.
I just couldn't get fully into it. There's a whole amnesia bit at the end where I thought it was completely unnecessary and I felt gave me complete moments of disbelief.
Otherwise, a well written book that was just not for me. Again, I don't think I'm going to be reading that controversial one. I'm not emotionally invested enough. I am sad about this.

What a Gentleman Wants by Caroline Linden
I thought this would be a rather lighthearted book.
It wasn't.
I liked the hero well enough. I liked the heroine okay. I liked the secondary characters too. Somehow, though, it didn't seem to all fit together so well.
I don't know why. The writing is okay.
The plot, well, the very end had that minor twist where I just didn't really care for and felt kind of thrown in there.
Something felt missing at times and other times, my mind just started wandering.
It's probably just me. It seemed like a good book.
Interesting plot. A bit different.
Maybe I'm on historical overload.
I know what I am on overload from. Widows. I've read so many widows in stories I'm actually getting a little tired of just seeing it in the back blurb. It actually pisses me off even more when they don't write in the back that she's a widow and "slowly" reveal it halfway in the book. Not here in this particular one, but in a few others. What's wrong with coming out and saying she's a widow? Why is it such a mystery? Or the hero doesn't find out until later on and it's supposed to be so important? I don't get it and frankly, I'm tired of this plot.

A Rake's Guide to Seduction by Carline Linden
Same as above. I thought it would be a funny happy book.
I'm still not quite sure if it was or was not meant to be as such.
A part of it just felt contrived.
Some, I don't even think necessary.
The worst part, at the end, I felt like I was reading an altered/abbreviated version of the previous book.
I feel bad, but I ended up skimming a lot more than I should.
Again, this is all me and I'm just not clicking.
Really love the hero and heroine, but somehow, the story just did not come together for me.
I don't think I'm going to get the third, which makes me sad.

How to Abduct a Highland Lord by Karen Hawkins
This author has always been a bit of a hit or miss of me in most cases. In this case, it was a miss. Of course, one should be suspicious of authors calling themselves goddesses, or gods gift to readers, or something like that. Not really a jab at this particular author, but she does call herself a goddess. I could have read it wrong, but I don't think so.
I swear I feel like I'm on a "want to like it, but really don't" streak and it's incredibly painful.
I wanted to chuck something at the hero every other page.
I wanted to hug the heroine and tell her to cry...or at least chuck something at the hero every other page.
According to the author, this is supposed to be a really funny book. She's big on humor and such.
At times I would read a page and rather than laugh, I'd think "oh, I think this is supposed to be funny." Other times, I did laugh. But mostly at the secondary characters.
So, given I know this was a possibility with this author, I'm probably going to look into the other books and give it a shot. I should have jus ttried the library before purchasing first.


Yeah, I never return books unless it was damaged during shipping.
Which happened.
Just last week.
Books came in.
Half were ruined.
Completely ruined.
Books I wanted to read.
This was not a good start.
On the bright side, you can look forward to these books at the next SoCal Bloggers event.
Unless someone wants it now.
I can send it out. :)
Still, I am a happy girl.
I have tons of books waiting for me AND everyone remembered how much I've been a book obsessed psycho,
I got a few Borders gift cards.
Whoopee! I am going on a shopping spree very very soon.
In the meantime, I hope all of you had a wonderful X-Mas/Winter holiday.
Filled with rest, fun, and family.
And especially good memories. :)
P.S. Kinda been out of the blog loop. Family came to visit. Tons of craziness. Minor dating. And work blehs. New Year is coming up and I'm deciding if I should have a resolution. Like, stop putting life savings into books and don't run away to Scotland for sheep.
So, what's everyone planning for New Years?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It is

X-Mas eve and what am I doing?
Sitting in my room with my dog reading romance novels
(which shows what an enormous dork I am).
These books are not clicking with me,
not all at.
I'm slightly upset.
Want good books.
Give me good books!
Is that so much to ask for? A good set of quality reading?
Only one thing left to do:
Read more books,
and watch a movie or two.
Maybe Futurama.
Or my gift to myself of The Dark Knight.
A happy holidays to all my friends,
and to all a wonderful night.
Eh, I'm so lame sometimes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

book cover

My most anticipated book for 2009. I want it now. Need it. Need it like a flower needs water. July won't come fast enough. What a pretty pretty cover. So very pretty. I shall hug it to my tiny bosoms as I did Hostage to Pleasure. Oh yes, I never posted that photo. Well...we'll just have to wait until next year. Booookkksssss....

Monday, December 22, 2008

I've kind of been in hiding again

I've kind of been in hiding again. RL sucks.

Work is blah. I don't understand why people prefer long winded half lies to the realities of things. Instead, they tell me I need to be realistic. Yeah, makes so much sense. *rolls eyes*

The ceiling was being redone a few weeks back and everything was a mess (I have pictures somewhere). I ended up staying with my Grandparents for a few days along with the two puppies. Then, there was the carpet cleaning. I'm still trying to sort through the boxes to see where my books are.

Moving out is being delayed. Money. What can I say? Need it to survive. Economy is really bad and I'm still worried about my job. Booh.

I started dating again. It's sweet, but I cannot help this ominous feeling that my life is going to be over. So, I've been fighting the urge to pack my belongs, withdrawal my puny life savings and run off to Scotland. Why Scotland? I have no clue. It must be all the sheep talk. Hehehe.

In the meantime, I really need to stop reading so much. Apparently, having the local librarians recognize me on sight was not enough. Now, the local Borders employees know who I am, too. Not good.

Recent reads:

Kiss of the Highlander by KarenMarie Moning
It's a good book. Sadly, I didn't realize it was already 5 books in, but oh well.
Now I've back ordered the rest and need to read those too. I must say, I'm enjoying this quite a lot. I don't know if it was the author's intention, but I find it rather hilarious.
That's always a plus.
Don't know why, but I really want to read happy stuff lately.
It deters me from trying to run away from life.
Gwen's smart and funny. I like.

The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning.
The one right after the previous. Again, did not know I was in mid series.
Also very interesting. A tad darker than the Kiss of a Highlander, but I enjoyed it just as much.
Although, I'm kind of worrying that maybe the rumors that too much romance novels destroy love lives with impossible expectations could be true in my case.
Or I just don't want to settle down and marry and want to run away.
Borders has it for $4.99 right now. :D

Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose
Okay, I saw a great review on Nath's blog and I was curious enough to get it on a whim. It's hilarious and adorable. Somewhat realistic, but somehow maintain this light-hearted feel. The sex scenes are not the hot stuff and rather short, but somehow, the writer made it very sweet.
I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Tempted by the Night by Elizabeth Boyle
Invisible smex. Yes, KB, thank you. With that description, I just had to see what was going on.

It's actually another fun book overall, except for one scene with the dog. That made me a bit sad. Otherwise, I do recommend this to others for a bit of crazy impossible fun. Not too much angst, but just enough to drive the story forward.
I do love how the hero doesn't know the 'true' heroine's looks or name until towards the end. Kind of like the fantasy of caring for someone without caring about their looks. Although, they kinda just went at it rather than get to know each other first. heh.

Scandal by Amanda Quick
I've actually only read the author's Jayne Ann Krentz and they were always the more serious suspense, but I saw on Mrs. Giggles that it was keeper. So, again, buying books on a whim is sometimes a good thing.
This was actually a rather light-hearted book too! I really enjoyed the heroine. Of course, being from Asian decent, I did scoff and giggle at a few things in the novel concerning the hero's Asian influence. I do love reading how my view of Asian culture seems to differ from the norm sometimes.
You know who writes rather close to my view? Emma Holly. And she doesn't even use the Asian culture in the usual sense.

Riding Temptation by Jaci Burton
So I rarely win anything and this was no exception, but all the praising got me to go to the bookstore. I was thinking of buying Riding Wild, but I only had one coupon.
It was good. I rather enjoyed this although I am really tempted to count the number of times a certain word.

These two books, again, on a whim. Not bad. Enjoyed it well enough and will probably read the third, but I had trouble connecting with the characters. Some moments of scoff and disbelief, but all in good fun.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

UF randomness

From last week (CJ, I basically copied and paste from your text cuz it's much better than anything I can writer) " [t]here is a really interesting discussion/brewhaha on Urban Fantasy and paranormal romance touched off by this article by Lilith Saintcrow on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist and continued elsewhere, such as Book Smugglers and Babbling about Books."

This is going to be mostly rambling so feel free to skip. It's also filled with generalization and randomness:

Okay, what is it about literary people that enjoys splitting hairs, creating hierarchies, and trying to create these categorial boundaries? These ideas of more legit or acceptable types of books. Rules and edicts.

Why should anyone be ashamed or feel less qualified by writing or reading a certain genre? I just find it incredibly disheartening that it occurs even more harshly among specific groups.

Social pressure to fit into this ideology of some sexualized sexless martyr that's aggressive yet passive. Get a grip. Being the exact opposite is only painting oneself into a corner.

Dude, I read. Do you? I read romance. I read newspaper/articles. I literary and scientific journals (the latter for work). Philosophy. History. Social commentaries. Theories. And yes, let me repeat. I read Romance.

Maybe I'm missing the whole point. I have no problems with UF. Heck, you're looking at a long time comic book, sci fi/fantasy reader who used to dress up to convention (no, there are no photo proof ;p). What I do have a problem with is the fact people downplay the importance of something (or some one) in order to elevate another.

Lilith Saintcrow's post itself was merely a personal view about a very specific aspect. She is entitled to her opinion and so are those commentors.

My opinion is that there will be more and more genres as well as subgenres as more writers develop their craft. If you cannot be united in the fact we all love reading and writing, then we will always be divided and looked down upon. Romance readers/writers are often seen as a lesser group, a minority if you will. While we're stepping on each other to elevate a little of one subgenre above another, it's only a detriment to us all as we're all seen as readers of 'those books.' No one wins. No one is seen as more legit. Just bickering and division.

Romance isn't trash. Trash is just something and individual doesn't know what to do with. Recycle your trash. Read a romance. Read one of each subgenre. :D

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Italian Gourmet-Baby-Food Baron’s Ironically Pregnant Virgin Mistress

A little late, but:
If you haven't heard already, then you really must be living in a cave somewhere deep in the crevis of the ocean floor.
Those whom I proudly claim aquantence and friendship with (whether they want to or not) have created another wonderful series... He needed children for an advertising campaign. . .
All Cesar Machismo wants is to ensure the bambinos of the world experience the flavor explosion of his company’s newest baby-food, Thai Shrimp in Peanut Dressing. But when he goes to an orphanage looking for a new spokes-baby, he finds twins with eyes the color of pureed Cornish game hens. Mama Mia! He must take them home!
What he got was a ready-made family!
Content with her lot in life, Chastity Bliss slaves for her stepmother at the orphanage. This way she stays with her babies, though she can never acknowledge them. When Cesar adopts her twins, she follows as their nanny. What can she do? She has no choice, because though he doesn’t know it . . .
Cesar is their father!
Go read at:
December 15th - Carolyn Jean posts chapter 1
December 16th - Ann Aguirre posts chapter 2
December 17th - Tumperkin posts chapter 3
December 18th - Bettie Sharpe posts chapter 4
December 19th - Carrie Lofty posts chapter 5
December 20th - Meljean Brook posts chapter 6
December 21st - Kate Rothwell posts chapter 7
December 22nd - Lorelie Brown posts chapter 8
December 23rd - Dionne Galace posts all 8 chapters
You'll be glad you did. ^_____^

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quick update

Happy Friday everyone!

Just checking in really quickly. Things are kind of hectic right now, but soon. I have much to update. Books. So many books, although I'm also hitting a bit of a slump. Hopefully, this weekend will give me some free time.

Can't believe it's the holidays already. Where did the time go? How did this happen? Eh, screw it. At least the books I'm waiting for will be released.

How's everyone doing lately?

P.S. What happens when my secondary characters start stealing the scene?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bookworm Award

Ms. Nalini Singh tagged me with the Bookworm Award, how could I resist? ^_~ Thank you, Ms. Nalini!

Here's how it works: Open the book closest to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following there.

He kisses me. It is a deeper kiss than what I gave him, and I am taken off guard by the slow heat of it, the pleasure. I am unfamiliar with intimcay, but my body responds as though born to it. I rise up against the Minotaur, clutching his back.

Tagged to play this:
Ana from Booksmugglers (I felt if I added Thea too, that would be cheating, like getting a two for one deal. >_<)
Carolyn Jean
Katie G
Katie Reus

Edit: Someone *coughCJcough* was wondering about what clip this came from. It's actually one of the stories in an anthology (I know, I know, I'm not big on them usually).

Minotaur in Stone by Marjorie M. Liu in Hotter Than Hell. This was the short story that inspired my little clay figure.

There are a few interesting stories in there, but this was one of my favorite. What's even more facinating, you never learn the heroine/narrator's name. Nor the Minotaurs real name. And, crazy enough, it had 3 sex scenes. I was rather shocked to see that in such a short amount of pages.

One of the other stories I really enjoyed was To Die For by Keri Arthur. That one had 2 scenes.

I seriously have no idea how authors do it. I'm having hard enough of a problem trying attempt at sexual tension in my stories.

Hope everyone's doing well. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Revisiting old friends with new twist

With the eHarlequin December special(they were half off, how in heavens was I supposed to resist?!?!!), I decided to surge a little and plunge right back into ebooks Harlequin/Silhouette again (thought I'd quit both these nasty habits, too). So, taking a leave of my senses, I went insane and bought these:

* Forbidden: The Billionaire's Virgin Princess
* Housekeeper to the Millionaire
* Hired: The Sheikh's Secretary Mistress
* The Rancher's Rules
* In Bed with Her Italian Boss
* Accidental Mistress
* Public Scandal, Private Mistress
* King of the Desert, Captive Bride
* The Spaniard's Defiant Virgin
* The Italian's Rags-to-Riches Wife
* Scions: Revelation
* The Boss's Christmas Proposal
* The Greek's Forced Bride
* The Ruthless Magnate's Virgin Mistress
* Bought for the Sicilian Billionaire's Bed
* Ruthless Billionaire, Inexperienced Mistress
* Virgin for the Billionaire's Taking

...and realized why I stopped. Brain sugar. Not the good kind. Did I used to suck these in like candy? Really? Some of them weren't too bad, so far, Jane Porter (always good, but Presents are too short) and Robyn Donald (new author for me) had plots more intense and interesting. Lucy Monroe's were very slice-of-life romances. But what I really noticed was the in, it's really tame. When did this became tame to me? What have I been reading that these intimate scenes were like...I don't know, simple PDA rather than "get a room." And, shockingly, I wanted to see some "get a room." O_o

Then, I became concerned with all these unbalance power relationships where the h/h were in a working relationship. All I can think when reading certain 'risque' scenes was lawsuit and felt like a complete prude. I don't like boss/employee relationships; at least not the ones portrayed here. One particular book actually disturbed me quite a lot where I really couldn't see how they would live happily together.

Now that I'm halfway through, I realized I should have bought more...especially Silhouette Desires and Harlequin Blaze. Too bad for me.

I'll just have to be content with going insane at Borders every other day after work. Hehehe.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

after a minor lurk mode

To make things easier, I've input easy read bold words. You can skim to what you want to read. ^____^ Yes, I think I'm getting brattier too.

Thanksgiving- I hope everyone had a wonderful time eating, resting, sleeping, or working. What am I thankful for. Lots of things; food, ^_~ Nah, I have lots I'm very happy for and especially being able to meet all of you. I have no idea why any of you would consider me a friend given that I'm really really odd and weird, but I'm extremely happy for your friendship. One day, I'm sure that badge of annoyance certificate shall be used and given to me by you, so here it is. ^_~

(angry little girls are really cute)

Recent reads:

I read Only With Your Love by Lisa Kleypas. It was Ciaralira's fault, but I liked it well enough. A bit old style (obviously), but it was good. Hmm...pirates. Not my usual thing though.

My friend lent me Densha Otoko/Train Man. Based on an actual event where the author basically compressed and reproduced the actual forum postings.

A geek seeks help from his online friends and learned to grow into a confident individual in his first relationship. It's pretty sweet and although perverse (as all men are and incredibly more so there, but obviousle cleaned up in the book version), this a great look at the new wave of the techno/internet revolution and interconnectiveness of the current global connection. Or in short, internet can be helpful too. Not the crazy bad kind, but the genuinely sincere and kind people all being connected through the global net.

Yes, A Mermaid's Kiss. I decided to see what all the mermaid physiology discussion was about and I must say, this is rather interesting. A bit long and parts where I wouldn't have minded being cut, but other times, very well placed information injections. Great retelling of a story and very interesting world concept.

Overall, my feelings are conflicted. Not about the mermaid part, but the writing/style. It's both refreshing, yet...something feels off. I've reread this book countless times and I cannot pinpoint it. Eventually, I'll write a review, but in the meantime, I'm really looking forward to the next book, A Witch's Beauty(want it now). Again, given my hesitancy about this book, the next would either be really good, or follow with the current trend. Besides, I have several things figured out already and I can sort of guess the possibilities.'ll fall back to my current predicament. We'll see.


The Simpsons Movie.

I'm always behind on things since I never followed trends. The problem with going at your own pace is to be behind in almost everything. Nonetheless, this was a great movie. Border sales hurrah. :D Now I have the songs of Spider Pig in my head. Doomed Irish romances, but not so doomed this time. And missing the old days of more hardcore aspects of The Simpsons.

Seriously, I'm still singing the Spider Pig song in my head. LOL. It is a sweet and well done film based on the series. Some underlying themes, some dramatic moments and lots of comedy. Definitely enjoyed this more than I thought I would. :)

Things weren't all relaxation and fun. My dog was sick over the break. At one point, at night, she would leap off into my boxes and piles of books only to crash onto the floor in an attempt to go downstairs and out into the yard. Usually, she just nudges me. She's all better now, but it certainly freaked me out. She did it three separate times with me throughout the evening. Again several times during the next day. Mom, Sis and I had to take turns shoving meds down her throat. Literally because she kept spitting it out. My poor baby was so exhausted she slept through an entire day. No worries though, she's all better now. :)


I did not reach the goal. I didn't even reach my own goal and have hit the biggest block ever. Still going to try to finish the story and am very happy I participated. I've learned so much already, especially about my writing skills, techniques and to realize how much more effort I need to put into writing. Daydreaming is great and easy; writing is gruesome and hard, but all the more fun. I really look forward to learning even more as I continue this horrid attempt at a story as well as future attempts to write random crazy stories.

Big shout out to KB for your endless support and emails. :) I know I was getting whiny and crazy. That darn sheep. O_o
Any suggested reading for inspiration? I need to talk with my muses.

Bitter, me?

No way.

Okay, maybe slightly. All right, I'm incredibly bitter at times. Only at certain times.

My friend informed me that I don't let go of things, then said my attempts at moving on were merely trying to forget.

So I have over 20 years of pent up anger, injustice, and outright bitterness. I don't hold grudges. I really don't. I'm not the vengeful type anymore than I would talk crap about bad things. I happen to say things as I see them. Yes, truth hurts and not many want to hear them, but I do try to live to my principles. It's getting harder though. As I'm getting older, I've begun to realize how hypocritical this society is; all the double standards, the injustices, and outright prejudice. It takes me longer to deal with certain things, yes, but in most cases, I rarely get effected that much. How to put it? It's really hard to get on my bad side, you actually have to be working extremely hard to get there, but given how it's so hard to enter my 'bad list,' it must have been some severe crap in my eyes.

Yes, other people deal with the same things. A lot of people have had to deal with worse. I'm just trying the best way I can. Of course, when I asked around on a) am I extremely bitter and b) how should I deal with it- people answer yes and don't know.

Hmm...this seems to be making me more bitter now. Dang. Talk about reverse effect. >_<

Random musings:
Trying to move out during a recession is hard, but not impossible.
A work in progress.
Worried about keeping my job and maintaining an income.
Should be fine with my puny savings.

Reading slumps suck.
Want to read something innovative, interesting and uplifting.
And romance.
Can't seem to stop from being so picky though.

I love Border, but they are usually full price and there are never enough coupons.
I'm hesitant to buy from given their current trend of problems and disrespect.
Barnes and Nobles are sometimes okay, other times...also problematic.
Love used, but need to support authors when possible.
Where to buy and save?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Realization hits

when you're partially down the toilet...

(My sister's baby. Isn't he adorable?)

My first NaNoWriMo and I've already learned a whole lot.

1. I'm great at imitating someone else's writing style, but have yet to discover my own. Back in the days of school papers, one learns rather quickly to adapt and write what teacher want to hear. It's less about 'learning,' and more about 'conforming.' Granted, I was luckily to have the handful of teachers and professors to encourage my own skills. Sadly, a few years of being beaten down by social expectations does tend to make one forget her own skills. The problem is; how do I relearn what I've forgotten?

2. Outlines are a lot different when you actually write from them. People can tell you all they want what should be on an outline, but only you will know what you need to be on the outline before you start. P.S. Need character descriptions.

3. Dictionaries and thesaurus. Need them. Carry them. Never let go.

4. Don't start with second person perspective only to realized it should have been in third person.

5. Everyone writes at their own pace, the important thing is to write. BUT, if stuck, grab a piece of paper and write something completely random. Or, better yet, write on how freakin much it sucks to be stuck in a runt and complain endlessly.

6. Wordcount envy is unavoidable despite being happy for friends. *sigh*

7. Write again next year. Or keep writing. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

mini update

(Isn't it cute? Right out my window.)
Poll isn't accurate as I've asked around in person. Going to keep writing. A bit slow, but oh well.

I'm going to switch to third person now. I'll edit the front to fit later.

Just about everything has been blocked. Blogger is next. I know it is. Dangit.

Miss everyone a lot. More to write this weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

stray thought

Why do women often choose their husband over their children? I know a lot don't, but somehow, people make choices that even as I understand the psychology behind it; the logic and realities of these choices are so obviously NOT good for anyone.

I donno. Am very conflicted.

Sometimes, ignorance really may be bliss. Or at least, denial makes the surface normal while creates a great festering wound that slowly poisons the very life it provides. Nothing less but a hollow shell infecting and consuming everything around.

I have a fav. phrase lately...'sucking the life out of______'. I wasn't even thinking vamps either. Hahaha.

Now I'm kinda regretting not writing that horror. I do that next. Maybe...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Minor update

Things are a bit busy and crazy right now. Am going into my cave for a bit. Well, I'll still be blog hopping (cuz not is too painful), but probably won't be commenting as regularly. Stuff.
NaNo is going better. Still low on wordcount and no way of catching up, but my characters are at least talking to me. I still want to whine about it though. Hahaha. I'm finding it easier to think up ideas, but realized that the 2 years of slacking off has really taken a toll on my writings skills, language, and vocabulary. I have half a mind to memorize the dictionary. What? I used to read it for fun. Yes, I'm weird. If you don't have an encyclopedia, pre-wikipedia, and no live...ya read the dictionary.
Finally bought a book after 3 months of abstaining (no, I'm not counting pre-orders, they were done beforehand). I know, I freak myself out too. Still, I really want to move out and every bit helps. Now if only the apartments would go a few hundred dollars cheaper...
Current tie between "Sheep Shifter" and "Enspelled/Enchanted Sheep." Teehee.
Now, a totally cute picture with no apparent reason.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SoCal Get together adventure

Before I go into a rant about how much fun I had meeting up with the SoCal bloggers/readers, I just wanted to updated a little 'adventure' today because of the meet up.

Currently, I am spending the night at Rosie's along with Wendy and the Man whom evacuated from one of the many SoCal fires. We're all safe and alive. The Super Librarian will update as will Rosie on their take, but I'm very happy we're all safe.

To come here, both Wendy and I needed to pass through a few of the fires. Wendy and the Man evacuated and met up with the rest of us that could make the meet. Rosie (of course), Tracy, Lori, and Niki. I came a bit early and drove past the beginning of a small smoke puff. Apparently, with the wind situation, it exploded after I had left; thus the evacuation for my fav. librarian and her man.

The freeways are still closed and the few opened are too jammed. So, we're having a bit of a part. Well, no, we're actually just sitting around and watching the news.

It's all a bit intense and shell shocking, but being alive is good. My family's all doing well too, except they were a bit peeved I had driven so far in the first place. Too bad. I like having friends. I know, they're just worried. Having me as a child is no easy feat.

In the meantime, we'll see what happens. Please don't worry. We're all doing fine. Me probably more than others since I'm young and think I'm invincible. Okay, I'm just bamming.

Although, this does put a days dent in my NaNo writing process. And my journal! Dangit. My dog too. Now, I'm going to wonder off and be lost in Rosie's vast book collection. Or watch TV. Whichever's more distracting.

Peace out. *kisses*

Friday, November 14, 2008

NaNo continues

Dangit! I think Damien's a goat.

What the heck?!?!! Stop changing the story on me. >_<

So far, shapeshifter sheep is in the lead by one vote.
Enchanted sheep is second, with sheep familiar and no love for the demon sheeps.

SoCal meet tomorrow. I'm super excited. :) Haven't seen anyone since RWA. Whee to books, talk, and food. ^_^

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First poll!!!!

NaNoWriMo is killing me. More like, my characters' continued tightlipped mockery of not telling me anything expect when I'm wrong is driving me insane.

So, as the poll suggests...what is Damien, the sheep?
a) Ordinary Shapeshifter sheep- like them werewolves and whatnot (darn you KB for putting this idea into my head! *shakes fist*).

b) Demon in the form of a sheep- as it said, demon...sheep.

c) Human cursed as sheep (enchanted like a frog, curse can be broken)- Think cursed prince, enchanted frog. He's a human, but cursed. Think fairytale

d) Or plain old talking sheep- More fantasy with those talking animal familiars.

I've already asked around and I have three votes already. Let me know what you think. Feel free to comment.

Oh, and keep in mind, this is a happy story. Sorta.

Edit: Additional votes not on poll:
Three votes to (a).
One vote to (c)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today is Wed

Two more days until weekend.
It's my last day at DIK.
And I found out my work blocked Twitter, Perez Hilton AND Marjorie M. Liu's livejournal!!! What the heck?

This is so not cool.

I wonder what they are going to block next. *sigh*

Edit: SBTB got blocked.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

recent recap

Crazy week.

With holidays, I'm getting deadlines and increase in workload. Surprisingly, a lot of my co-workers are not as busy. It either means I'm falling behind, or I'm falling behind. Okay, okay, it could be because I worry more and try to make sure things are done. Besides, I'm going to be on pins until my review. Oh the stress.

Also with the holidays: presents. Not for me (boo!), but friends are expecting presents and I have no idea what to give them. We usually make presents and exchange, but I don't have that much flexibility in time anymore. Need to think on it some more.

Last week, my paternal grandma was sent to the emergency room and had to be kept over night for observation. She's one stubborn woman, like the rest of the family of course. They almost had to forcibly take her because she kept insisting she was fine. Already released Friday so it should be good. Now we just need to make sure she takes her meds. She insists that she doesn't need them. *sigh* What is it with grandparents and self medicating. Grandpa takes half the dose he needs for his meds and refused to stay with any of us the night Grandma was in the hospital. These stubborn people are driving me nuts. How come I didn't inherit this stubbornness? It'll make moving out faster.

I was going car searching this weekend, but I'm opting for next week. Things came up and vegged indoors.

Friends have been going to rallies and I'm hoping to make it to one this upcoming week. :) I kind of miss those days.

Nano is going dismally. I seriously pat myself on the back if I can churn out one sentence, BUT I am learning a lot already: my strengths and weakness, a few techniques and what I'll need to prep for next time. See, I'm already thinking about next time. It's exciting and I'm going to try my best to see this through. :)

I'm hoping this week will be better. How's everyone doing?

BTW, I'm at DIK. :D

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More DIK

Meljean Brook's last day at DIKLadies Island post is now up
I apologize for the delay and lack of promo. Blog later.

In the meantime, please enjoy.

It's a good one. ^_~

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I figured it out

Typed: It takes me about 4 hours to meet the NaNoWriMo word count daily. One page takes about an hour, so I usually have four typed pages daily.

Work takes up 9 hours. Driving 1 hour. Cleaning up in the morning and night 2 hours total (not including showering). Waking up 1/2 - 1 hour. 1-2 hours at the Library. Dinner is about 1 hour. 8 hours-ish of sleep nightly.

All of this does not include taking care of my puppy loves or time I spend with friends.

I only have 2 hours to write on weekdays. Only half of NaNoWriMo's daily requirement to reach the month's wordcount deadline.

Is it scary that I've broken down and calculated my time? I think I've gone crazy. Yup.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Book wait

Should I wait?

I haven't exactly had my review yet, but the move is going to occur for sure. First the car though, which is coming up even sooner.

Should I wait on buying more books until then? I know it's the smart thing to do, but I seriously have been super good about not book splurging and with the holidays coming up...well, I'm due for a big one.

Want books. Everyone writing tempting reviews. I want to read happy funny books of random nonsense.

Granted, I really should get back to writing NaNoWriMo. You know I'm using the book excuse to delay writing. Yes, it's not working. The writer's blocks are still bugging.

What's a good, funny and plausible conflict without being too annoying? Hmmmm...I must contemplate with chocolatey goodness.


Also, I need to stop blog hopping. Too many great reviews of great books I want to buy.

I flaked

Aside from being still on pins about the propositions I'm especially worried about, I completely flaked yesterday and didn't do my NaNoWriMo. *cowers* Don't hurt me.

I'll do it today, promise. Or, I'll try to. I swear, I've been calling one friend every day complaining about why I'm crazy for doing this, not suited to be a writer and how crappy my writing is. He's being a trooper about it. I love having gay friends and if that *******ing prop (and one other) passes, I'm going to recant my promise and get back into politics (which I really don't want to -gaddammit) then there goes my book time. Romance books, that is.

Back to complaining: what the heck was I thinking when I joined NaNo. I don't even have a good conflict and the stubborn characters keep changing the story on me!!!! UGH!!!! Should I even be hearing them in my head? Mocking me? Need to get my head checked, but then I'd have to stop writing which will probably drive me more insane. Why won't my characters be more cooperative? They're the ones that wanted me to write their freaking story instead of my other crazy death filled dark novel. Then they mock me in my head.

P.S. Watched Addams Family Values last night to chill out from all the intensity. Still love it despite some kinks. Hehehe. Did you do anything fun last night?

Edit: If you are uncomfortable with political discussions, am very conservative, or don't want to hear me cuss rant, please skip the next bit. Skip it.

I'm giving you adequate warning and blank spacing.

Turn away.

Okay, I'm done warning ya.

I bleeped out most of the cursing, cussing, and profanity, but I seriously cannot believe the citizens of California can be so full of ****, ignorance and hate lost unable to recognize the true values of equality. That a place once thought to be a part of the forerunners of progress has caved lost it's place in this country. When the elimination of constitutional protection to all human individuals became butchered overshadowed by discrimination and fear.

I cannot believe the place I have called home and where I feel most safe have succumbed to stupidity injustice. To have injustice become a part of the very Constitution where blood, tears, and pain wrote the right to freedom, happiness, and safety from discrimination now destroyed deny the same individuals a part of our lives and history the rights they themselves have.

How can we, as a society, look ourselves in the mirror everyday knowing we've learned nothing from the hated crimes history not yet a decade old?

This is very disappointing and my heart breaks at the thought of the continual discriminatory policies of our country. I had thought people were smarter more respectful and tolerant of other people and less of a hypocrite discriminatory. To deny people the very right they themselves enjoy and completely **** up by ****ing around and changing families like changing tissue, while wearing the cloak of professing to be understanding and accepting of differences...somehow makes me more determined to see them cry make the change. Of course, according a my much younger-not-able-to-vote friends, we just need to wait a few years for the older generation to die off.

Patience maybe really is a virtue. If nothing else, while idiots haven't learned **** I have seen that people do learn from history and will finally slowly move forward to change our world to be a more equal place. Perhaps I'm being too harsh and hard on the voters whom ruined lives passed the prop. We are all entitled to our beliefs and it's not as if I want to eliminate stop someone else from having the right to equality. Then again, this is my blog where I can actually rant and readers have the option of not reading if they disagree. The little 'X' is at the upper right hand corner.

Guess this changes things.
If voting's not enough, then getting back into politics might be. ****

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Right to Vote; Iron Jawed Angels

I voted, have you?


The year I turned 18, I made sure to register. Despite my conservative and traditional family/background, politics and political discussions has always been a part of my life. My grandparents, parents, relatives from all over the world; politics is in our blood. And yes, politics were discussed at dinner tables, during dessert and arguments after the tables were cleared.

Given that my historical background also came from a time when my Grandparents were NOT allowed to vote; the right and ability to a safe vote was even more empowering.

My deceased Grandparents voted when they were still alive. My Grandfather even now, in his 80s, rode his bike and casted his vote today. No absentee for him, no way. Going itself was a great privilege, right, and responsibility. Grandmother does not in the US because she cannot read English. Having already self-taught Chinese (both grandmas did since women never passed elementary back in the day) was admirable enough for me. She's still involved though.

So, today, I woke up at 6AM to prep for the day. The gentle patters of the rain invigorated me and I rushed out to the polls a few minutes before 7AM. Even though there was a line, I happily waited. Tummy in knots from excitement (and hunger...too breakfast yet, vote more important), it took nearly a 30minute wait in the chilly morning drizzling air back at a childhood horror site *coughschoolcough*, but it was worth it. And I shall wear my sticker proudly.

I voted. :D

Now...this movie is my all time favorite self-encouraging-to-get-involved movie; Iron Jawed Angels (Like my color scheme? ^_~). It makes me proud to not only be able to vote, but also because I am an American minority and a female (also seen as a minority). Whale Rider is another great movie, in case you're feeling low.

If there has ever been an argument on the right to vote and the horrors between pre-Antebellum era through the Civil Rights movement does not move you to get out and vote, this piece of reconstructed movie about the early women's movement in gaining the right for a woman to have her say in the very same legal system she must adheres makes you laugh, cry, and ultimately empowered.

Iron Jawed Angels assembled an incredible cast to portray the early fight for women's right to vote. This HBO movie was one of the best stylized and authentic telling of the struggle for the vote. Based on the historical fight in America for women to safely vote, it's rather accurated.
When you have a chance-listen to the commentary (as I have done countless time because I'm like that) and you'll hear the great effort and realism of the movie. A lot of the voice over dialogue and arguments against the right for women to vote were actual documented speeches and writings, so no, it's not an overblown chick flick.
Ergo, if the rush of adrenaline, excitement and sense of accomplishment for having to voted was not enough, watch this movie. :D

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

Oh Happy Halloween. ^_~ (yes, I know, it happened yesterday...I started this post earlier).

What a happy day to have Halloween on a Friday. It's always so rare to have a break the next day after a night full of candy, costumes and horror filled fun.

Born on an Island, the culture of the dead was never really separated from the living. Ancestor worships and the spirits month (we get a whole month) were usually celebrated around Summer time and not in late Autumn. There's a LOT food involved, not just candy. Celebrated by everyone in the family and not just kids, we actually go out to the gravesights to clean the areas, bring food, offerings and relax. And during this time, you're supposed to NOT mention anything related to the deceased and spirit world after dark.

Elders told us that during this time, the veil between the living and the dead is incredibly thin. It is a time that allows those that have gone to return easily and visit, asks us for things to burn to them, and such. If we were to speak of anything related, some of the 'unrested' and often unrelated spirits may attach themselves to us (children) and cause ill. The Buddhist clergy would perform a ceremony specifically for the unrested spirits, the wandering, lost, or poor spirits and 'feed' them and we would attend.

So, moving to the U.S., it has extremely different. For one, all the graves are back in the old country. Two, there are very few Buddhist temples around to even have offerrings sent back. Three, most importantly, it's not around the same time.

Ah, the joys of being polythestic. Chinese Buddhism does encourage my celebration of all holidays and as much as love this freedom, it sometime means I'm celebrating ALL tHe TiMe. O_o

Um...can't afford that, sorry. Not like I could have purchased half the things I needed for most of those celebrations as a child. So...what was left?

A more light-hearted aspect for Halloween. As a child in the fifth grade, we were given a writing assignment to write a scary story. It was my first attempt at writing (with a computer too *gasp* - no more typewriters! <~~except, I've kind of gone back to them) and I was going to write a great story. Lo and behold, it was a romantic tragedy. My classmates loved it. My teacher didn't, so boohoo to that stupid person. Romantic tragedy. A man fell in love with a ghost. It was not a happy ending and done mostly in flash back. Too bad the old computer died and my paper was tossed out by family. Or else I'd enlighten all of you to my childhood psyche of the power of love wins, yet doomed.

Anyhoooo, back to the post...

In the US, the celebration of Halloween was a bit odd. It seemed that scary movies were played more so during this period (as opposed to all the time when I was growing up). They were more bloody and gorey; twisted but without this sense of psychosis. Asian horror, for the longest time, was about the crazy factor. The "it really could happy." Yet, these gushing bloods and decapitated talking heads were somehow disturbing in it's own way.

As a kid, it was about candy. Not much of those for my life since my parents didn't really let me go trick-o-treating. When Waipo was alive, she would take us, but she wasn't always here at Halloween in those days either. So I stayed home, watched Hocus Pocus (great movie) and gave out candy.

In the teens-college years, this was more of a party time. Party with candy. O_o Not great parties, but we'd tell horror stories with dimmed lights and tell ghost stories. Late college years, theme parks (hehehe). And more horror movies.

This year, I just stayed home, watched TV (not even horror, just random shows) and passed out to the 8 kids that came this year. Yes, 8. All evening. It was weird. When I was younger and wasn't allowed to go Halloween because I have to pass out candy, the children always came non-stop and we would almost run out of candy. Yet, for the past few years, the kids get fewer and fewer.

It wasn't a bad Halloween, but definitely not as festive as the memories of my youth.

In the meantime, I have started on NaNoWriMo. Very exciting and I am nowhere NEAR my daily quota. So, I bid you adieu as I hurry back to my happy novella.

Best of luck everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Halloween and are having a grand weekend. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I had started a Halloween post that never got finished with the current busy schedule. Will try to post it later this afternoon/night.

In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh

Oh, Silhouette Desires, how I've read you. With your extensively detailed titles and your rather formulaic style, I just can't seem to stop picking you up. Of course, every now and then, an author decides to punch you in the gut with some awesome greatness. Yes yes, that's bad grammar. :P

After falling in love with Ms. Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series, it's only necessary for me to get a hold of all her backlogs. In this case, when I found out Ms. Nalini wrote for Silhouette Desires, you might as well directly hook the chocolate to my veins...too bad that'll kill me (my sister insisted I put in the disclaimer - doctors ^_~).

Another thing that was even more fantastic, Ms. Nalini mentioned a manga version of Craving Beauty being published by Harlequin in Japanese. Manga- literally means comics in Japanese.

Seriously, hook the chocolate IV in me now. I don't care if it kills me. Just hook it in.
Being Ms. Nalini (my demi-goddess), I had received a copy while away at RWA. Books and friends (the very best ^_^) all week and coming home to more books and a new job. I musta done something good in my lifetimes to gain such karma.

Just so you know. Marc is in my hut on DIK Island. He was one of my first choices. This book is one of my six DIK books. I brought my pre-owned, dog ear beaten, always in my bag book with me to RWA and pestered Ms. Nalini to have it signed. I still carry this book to work, to the library, when I go shopping, and even when I'm out with friends going to a movie. This book is WITH me at all times. I love this book. I'm never without it. Never. Well, maybe when I'm swimming. Then it's just in my bag. Don't think I'm kidding because I'm being absolutely serious. One day, I'll take pictures of all the places I take this book. It stays.

After that lllllooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggggggggg forward, let us begin the review.


Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh - a comparative study of cross cultural translations and re-interpretations.

Or...Little Alys' love and obsession with great stories.
Hira's a beautiful woman. Drop dead, gorgeous beautiful and she knows it. BUT, unlike all villainous genius icy beauties as the usual foils in our mainstream romance (there's another one in here too), Hira felt her beauty was a curse. No one saw beyond her looks. "No one wanted to know Hira," as she had pointed out to our blockhead hero. Raised in Zulheil (no, it's not real *pouts*) with a dictator-like father, Hira knew her marriage would be a business deal.
Marc, a bayou brat who seriously clawed himself out of dirt-poor childhood (think Derek Craven-that good but not as dark), scarred physically and emotionally saw Hira one moonlight night and agreed to marry her the next rather than just do business as usual. Suffice to say, this was NOT the beginning of a loving marriage.
One thing I just LOVED about this book, they marry in the beginning. To see the couple work through a marriage; learning, growing and supporting each other. That's what I'd like to see. I don't want marriage to be a goal. Any dimwit can get married, but it takes true effort and love to make a marriage.
Hira and Marc were both equally hurt individuals thrown together with much misunderstandings, hurts, and love. From this early book, Ms. Nalini's wonderful writing and plotting abilities are clearly seen even in such a short book (my only complaint...too short, and abrupt ending). Also, this is a simple contemporary as there's a buzz and worry that this subgenre is not as it used to and may be fazed out. Even though Ms. Nalini did change genres, this book still gives me hope. *wink*
Both these characters were so different, yet driven with the same passion and thus equal. It's hard for me to fully write a review because let me just honestly say I'm gushing love. That's all. The core of the story was about these two characters. Their strengths and faults, maturing together and healing each other. Their happiness mattered to me and I truly felt they were real (I use this phrase in reference to Ms. Nalini's works often because it's true). Their past pains and sadness didn't disappear with one line understandings. Hira and Marc had to work at communicating and understanding each other and when they do, it's all double fudge brownies with marshmallow hot cocoa.
Slowly and sincerely. They still make mistakes and they still argue, but they learn to help the other achieve their dreams without sacrificing ones own. This book touches upon so many things I can personally relate to, feel, and understand. Of course, I say that with almost all Ms. Nalini's books, but for Craving Beauty, it's even more so.
As with all romances of that line, there was the 'other' woman, but I ignore that and focus on Hira and Marc. Teehee.

At the heart of all Ms. Nalini's writings are that, the heart. *happy sigh*

Now, the manga...
I enjoyed it. I honestly did, but I could completely see the Asian-Japanese influences in the manga. Somewhat toning down in the passion. Certain aspects changed to fit the more accepted cultural understandings. And of course, the sex was phased out. (How dare they!)
It's Harlequin mangas for goodness sakes, I've read Josei mangas. Yoshihara Yuki being one of my favorite mangakas, so seeing characters enjoying each other should have been in Craving Beauty. Alas, it was not.
The changes the artists and translators made were okay, but it dimmed the book from Need-Book-to-Live (original) to Somewhat-Enjoyable for me. Seriously, so much got cut and lost in the translations. Granted, my Japanese is MUCH weaker than it should have been, but I am still able to understand enough to miss reading the more hardcore essence of the original novel. Seriously, the storyline with little Bryan. Hira's mother's role. And what's with all that swimming? Give me Marc chopping wood please. Hmmm....
So, I thank Ms. Nalini for the manga (cuz it's still awesome), but I still prefer her original novel. Besides, I always saw Marc as more...primal (despite me not being into the primal type-I like the nerdy ones teehee). Much more primal and alpha in my head. Hira was much stronger and independent with that streak of inner fire in the original book too. The mangas toned it down. Yes, yes, I understand mangas quite a lot. I grew up with them for one and I was raised in similar cultures. I'll do a post on those someday. Far far away. ;)
I can rant on and on, but my point - Ms. Nalini Singh's books rule. Even when other's try to re-interpret, they fall short of her grand abilities. It's a must read and if you do have a chance, read the manga. Not bad, but the original Craving Beauty. Wooo la la. And no, you cannot borrow my copy right now. I'll be buying a second copy soon and then I'll lend that one out. ^_~
Before I go, I think I'm going to start something crazy that may just scare Ms. Nalini away from us forever. I want to propose a Ms. Nalini Singh day. A celebration of her wonderful works, the strong good effects of her books and the fact, without her, I wouldn't have met all of you as my friends. :) Which is the most important part of it all. *hugs*

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Love of Love Scenes

Teehee. I guess it's time for me to finally come out of the closet (no, not that one - it ain't not secret I swing like a monkey). *takes a deep breath to fortify self*

I love reading sex scenes in romance novels.

(Should we insert gasps here?)

I love the hot sexy and heavy stuff a part of the romantic developments of these books that are an integral part of my life. Why romance and not erotica, you ask? Although sex can be fun (hey-I don't judge), when emotions are fleshed out into these plots, the scenes become a type of physical expressions of love and communications between the heroine and heroes.

(Can't believe I wrote 'physical expressions of their lurv' *cackles*.)

Thus, I usually prefer the love making to take place after the characters have known each other for some time, developed an intellectual and emotional connection on top (best position *wink* but so rarely written - complaint, complaint) of the obvious physical attractions. I want to believe the act is a consumation of the feelings h/h has for each other. Very few, let me repeat, very FEW authors could pull it off. If you're going to start the story with characters boinking away, you better be Emma Holly, because she can pull it off and wonderfully so. What? I never said I wasn't bias.

(Obviously, I'm going to being extremely bias as to the authors whom write books I devour.)

For me, a good romance novel should have a minimum of 3 different types of smexiness. Yes, 3 scenes. That does not include heavy make out or really awesome kissing scenes. Even if the kissing scenes Lisa Kleypas does are wayyyyyyy hot where kissing becomes an art, a wordless physical conversation (still using the mouth though) of unspoken love and passion, but no, they don't count. Unless your Nalini Singh, I want my usual 3 thank you very much. So I'm totally bias here, this is my opinion blog you know ^_~. Try a little variety too, please. Always with the missionary. Aren't you bored yet? At least Ms. Nalini's one or two scenes are a bit more diverse (and the tensions usually burn the pages anyways *fans self*) all her books. Not every individual want to do it the same way. Give me a wall or a table everyone once in a while. I'll be happy with that too. And why is it the woman is always on the bottom? Anyways, I'm starting to rant...

A great romance novel must have an equally great smexy scene. Contrary to popular belief, reading these hot scens are not used for that kind of self enjoyment (Ramblings on Romance discussion). Instead, I've noticed that really great romance allows the equally smexy scenes to become an integral part of character development and the growing bond between characters.

(Sexual tension + emotional build= page explosion :D)

If the two characters start a relationship based on attraction, although not impossible, are never that believable for me. Which is probably why I don't read much ebooks (since most are erotica) anymore. If they're shagging every other chapter, how are the two character developing? Doesn't matter if they're friends beforehand, I need to see them develop.

On the other hand, there are some great books (Georgette Heyer) which, IMHO, laid the ground work for the massive growth of the regency romance genre. Yet, as I love her books (need to get them all...somehow), I still wanted to see more sexual tension and intimacy. More than a kiss at the end of the novel. More than a touch or hint of the growing attraction. I want to know and read the characters I've come to love having sex (so bad of me). Granted, sometimes the h/h age differences makes it a tad uncomfy for me to read their bodies getting chummy, but I still want to read it.

(Years of separation may change sweet feelings to sexual, but doesn't mean they 'understand' each other the moment they meet again.)

Now...a problem that's beginning is making me more weary of love scenes and wanting to skip over them, aside from virgin orgasms (I'd like to daydream that it's possible) or coming on command (I believe this was brought up on The Thrillionth Page, but please correct me if I'm wrong, thnx ^.^):

(Please note, I do get a bit've been warned :P)

Isn't there a little more to foreplay and sex than breasts? Always with the kneading, pinching and twisting.'s not an etch-a-sketch and the constant licking and sucking...I keep thinking that the heroes have these oedipus tendencies. Yeah O_o. Really disturbing. Seriously, the more I read lately, the more I see of these hero breast obsessions. All I can see are little babies breast feeding and that is NOT the image I want in a romantic moment. Bleh. Totally turned off with the wheels coming to a horrific skid, full of metal screeching and rubber burns. Even as the heroes 'claim' to not care about how the heroine looks, these breast obsessions. Seriously mother issues...

(C)Baby Blues

The comics I really enjoy are debates about public breast feeding.

Yes, they're pretty. Yes, they're sensitive, but why do breasts take central stage all the time? The other is of course the little 'pearl' down there. Yes, I know oral sex is a sign of real and true love; when you do them without preconditions, that is (Coupling, BBC). But honestly, all I read are lips, breasts, and clit. Then it's shove it up, rattle it around and BOOM, the afterglow.

Ah, I'm being crude, but I cannot help it! This is in like every book I've been reading and frankly, this is getting annoying. >_<

No, not all authors write as such, but in greater and greater bulk do I see almost the same style of loving in my romance books. Is there a writer's sex scene handbook that says "concentrate on the breasts because all men are obsessed with those," " go for the clitoris because men don't get it good enough in reality" and "of course vaginal orgasm is a must" because this is a phallocentric society? Shouldn't it be about the woman's pleasure in a realistic enough sense? Or am I being too picky and detailed oriented? Ugh, now I'm starting to doubt myself. Bleh. Of course, I haven't even gotten into the big discussions about coercion, sexual power play, and the 'r' word (deep rooted issues) in romance novels that really turns my stomach (and mental trauma).

I really could go on and on, but that's not the point. The point is that I love reading the full on voyeuristic gleaming of a possible balanced, yet somewhat unrealistic relationship between two individuals. Granted, this is somewhat tied into my romance-novels-are-a-part-of-real-life theory, but then I'd have to go into feminist discussion, society hierarchy, and the possibility of hope and I just wrinkle my nose thinking about that long post.

All in all, actual scenes of the heroine and hero being intimate is a must and I want it done well. This is one of the few things that will convenience me this isn't some bizarre bunch of words being strung together for the sake of fame and glory.

How do you like your love scenes? Does it matter for you if it's purple prose? Overly graphic? Does it even need to be realistic? Or can you throw it out for a good solid story? Or does great stories get ruined by horrid sex scenes? Tell me your thoughts. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Sugar Queen

This review has been delayed for quite some time (well before RWA), mainly due to my lack of NOT knowing what to write or even how. After seeing the glowing review from Ms. Nalini Singh, how could I not attempt this book? It's right up my ally full of sugary goodness. :D

Sarah Addison Allen’s mellow simple style is only part of the sweet oddity that is The Sugar Queen.
The blurb itself was kind of misleading, but does ultimately contain the underlying story connected through the main character, Josey Cirrini. While on the surface, The Sugar Queen may seem a bit on the ordinary side, but with a touch of powdered sugar and magical quality. Each chapter title is a type of candy, starting with Everlasting Gobstoppers moving onto SweeTarts, through Lemon Drops, Sugar Daddy (no, not the one from the greatest romance author ever ever…I’m okay, really, I am), Sour Patch etc., each hinting at the contents in that chapter.

Josey is twenty-seven, living at home, and eats tons of the sugar infused candy hidden in her closet. Josey is trapped (emotionally, thus physically as well), never goes out except to drive her mother around and rarely speak to anyone except the housekeeper.

This all changes the day she comes home and finds Della Lee in her closet, looking like a drowned rat. Della Lee threatens to reveal Josey’s very extensive collection of candy (it’s like a candy store she created herself throughout the years) if Josey does not hide Della Lee. And this is where the story begins.

Two subplots follow Josey’s mother and a friend Josey makes due to Della Lee intervention, Chloe. Josey’s mother who seems like a self centered, controlling and unloving woman, but the subplot does a great job showing the layers of different individuals. Chloe’s going through a relationship heartbreak, unsure whether to move on or give the man another chance.

The Sugar Queen is a very soft and sweet book dealing with the complexity of life through the simplest things. Like sugar, something seemingly small and insignificant, is actually a part of everything.

There were many instances were I felt akin to Josey, her situation in life and the choices she makes (though I'm not as gentle and sweet). The end was not unexpected and the author did not really make much of an attempt to hide certain twists. I really did enjoy the ending for it gives some resolutions, but kept in realistic enough that I felt this could possibly happen. With a little bit of magic, the book brings to life both the harsh realities and sweet possibilities if one was willing to take the chances.
Unfortunately, because of it's pace, I can't write too much without giving away the plot. Just think of this as the perfect book to read during the cold winter days when you're stuck inside the house with tons to do, but decidedly put everything off instead and drink some hot chocolate. ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

I've made a huge mistake

I joined NaNoWriMo and I don't even know what I'm going to write. I should have at least read through a bit more before I signed up. So screwed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Real Love Stories 2

Maybe I should write love tragedies. My first story ever that I wrote in 5th grade was a love tragedy. Ah, so memorable. Of course, I got a C from the teacher despite everyone else in class LOVING it.
Another story with another format.

This story began at the age of 14, almost 15. That's how old I was when I met him. 14 going on 15, as the song which I cannot afford goes, but I knew that I was going to marry him. Not straight away, no. It wasn't that easy. See, he was my sister's friend. Her then friend's (current boyfriend soon to be fiance/husband -J) roommate and buddy, G.

So I met him and thought whatever, yet he never made me uncomfortable. No, he went out of his way to talk to me, ask me about random niceties, and play video games with me. His video games of course. It didn't seem like much, but his kindness and unpressuring friendship was something I didn't know existed. As my sister and her boyfriend dated, he and I would become cordial friends of a sort. Sis and J became a couple and remain still. Whereas it never crossed my mind I had noticed G at all. High school and college were different worlds and age was foremost in my mind. The five years apart may as well be the distance of the Pacific Ocean.

I continued with my life and dated once in a while, but nothing ever felt right. The boys were too pushy, too annoying, too picky, or plain weird and creepy. Then, I dated this really nice guy. Same age as my sister. Nice, acceptable...but I just didn't feel anything. Why? I thought and though and realized, 'well, duh, I've been comparing everyone with him.' And I knew, I realized that G was who I wanted.

But I was young. So very young. What do I know about life, about growing up, about anything? Instead, I gave myself some time. "College," I said. "When I'm older." Things were sweet then. Nothing big, nothing serious. A no relationship-relationship. G was my sister's bf's friend, and I was his friend's gf little sister. I went to college as they all graduated. Studied and worked, growing and learning - becoming something better. "Soon," I told myself. "Soon I'll be old enough and mature enough to ask him. We'll take it slow, but I know it will be wonderful."

Probably get married and have kids, but that was up in the air. What was important was that I could finally confess and we can see where it goes, right?

I was 19, almost 20, one year away from my self given date when I heard the news. G passed away. It was inherited, but no one knew. It all happened very fast. In his heart and he just left. I waited over 3 years only to be told he'll never be mine.

No one knew back then, of course, that I had held him in my heart. No one would understand why I wanted to go to his funeral. So I didn't. I stayed behind, never knowing what would have been. Quietly waited until the day where I knew it would never be. My silence and insecurity had robbed me of even the right to mourn and say goodbye. All I could do was think back and sigh.

I tried to date some time took a year I believe, but nothing left right, not really. Of course I knew I was using the others and my guilt upon sadness caused me to make more mistakes than I could imagine. Stupid mistakes, mostly out of pity, but I've finally come to realize that I need accept this empty goodbye.

Just because he's gone does not mean I should say 'yes' for fear that person might suddenly croak on me. I should pity their loneliness, or try to give them some emotional reprieve. Not worth it, I tell you, because they'll never be him. No use pretending that it never mattered.

So to the mistakes that I made, I am sorry for using them, but seriously- no thank you for the horrible ways they've treated me. Vengeful and perverse, obsessive and broken. I'm here for me and I hope that's what G has taught me. I should not despise boys (because they really are not men-doesn't matter their age) because G was never like that. Even though he's gone, he was a great example of what men should be and could be. Not perfect, but not abusive.

In the end, this is a love story. The shy quiet kind. A passing memory the breathes life with it's last sigh.

A while ago I met someone that looked just like him. My sister and her bf both said so, but I didn't believe them until I saw him. Just as tall, with extremely similar features. He was a nice man, but it finally clicked in my head. G's gone. We might have had the beginning of something, but it was just not meant to be. At least not anymore. Being nice to others, wasting my time; none of it really matters because they would never treat me the way he did.
It took a little more than this, but that story is for another night. The young woman who showed me more about love and life. She may be gone, but the memories still there. That I'm worth more than how they treated me, that she had at one time actually cared. But even then, these love they leave - whether by fate or by choice. In the end, life is about living to the best way that I wish.
I forgot to mention the cute cartoons are copyrighted to Jeff Thomas. I do not own any parts of it, so they will be taken down if requested.
Am I depressing everyone yet? Can't help it. If these are the ones I can write about. I'm going to at least try and get them out. So many stories. The sad ones happen to take a front seat at the moment with some emotional overhaul, but I have quite a few happy stories too. :D
I think I write third person better, what do you think?