Monday, December 30, 2013

I Did It!

I would like to take this moment to say: I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!
I have just published my first book, and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you all. This has been a dream several years in the running, and we FINALLY have lift off!

The Rooftops of London is about two women who have to overcome personal differences in order to move on to a promising future.
Joss has been alone for as long as she can remember. Surviving on the streets can be tough, but she's always been able to climb out of harms way. This was the life she expected to live, until she climbed in Lenora Worth's window.
Lenora has been looking for justice for a long time, and Joss might be the key to success.

Go download my book from to find out more!

Nook:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rooftops-of-london-anna-kringle/1117906642?ean=2940149063697 
 
 Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Rooftops-London-Anna-Kringle-ebook/dp/B00HPN7T5E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424039353&sr=8-1&keywords=Anna+Kringle

Monday, December 9, 2013

Focus, Focus…

You know the hard part about being part of a community? Not losing your focus.

I’m a firm believer in doing what you can, where you can. I believe that people are more important than organizations and systems, and that doing what you can as an individual can make a more lasting impact than any organization.

However, like many people, I fall into the trap of being part of something greater than myself. I get lost in fixing “the system”, because “the system” stands for something greater, something bigger. and If we can just make “the system” work, the world will be a better place for everyone.

The simple fact is no system will ever be perfect. It is impossible to get a group of people to work completely in sync and toward the same goal, because everyone understands the goal differently. So fixing the system is completely impossible.

I’ve gotten caught up in systems, in details. So much so that I have neglected my people, and the needs I could provide for. This makes me a little sad with myself.

I am not promoting anarchy. Getting rid of the systems won’t help any more than getting caught up in them. The point is to focus on people.

No matter what, people have to come first.

Monday, December 2, 2013

November Recap:

Oh. My Heavens! November was C-razy.

Bad news first:

I did not, sadly, win NaNoWriMo this year (Sad face). I got to 26,000 the day before Thanksgiving, and wasn’t able to visit it again until Dec. 1st.
I did respectable though. I worked steadily every day, All month long. And what I have written has potential to be a full novel. Fingers crossed!

Regarding my first book, The Rooftops of London: I’ve gotten back almost all edits from my beta readers (Thank you ladies!) and am still on track for a New Years release!

In other news:

I spent a lovely holiday in my hometown. I got to snuggle on my grandparents, and my newest nephew. I saw a small handful of old friends, including the man who sparked my interest in the violin, AND the lovely lady who first taught me to play one!

I also found out that my hand-eye coordination is not as bad as first thought; I beat my cousin at bowling (three games out of four!) and I hit the target in shooting practice more often than I thought I would. I was quite impressed with myself.

I hunted through the old family library, hoping for our collection of L.Frank Baum books (Wizard of Oz) and was only able to locate ONE(Another sad face). BUT, I did find a small collection of Ellis Peters (The Cadfael mysteries) and Elizabeth Peters (The Amelia Peabody mysteries. Both series are exceptional, and I highly recommend them.

And last, but certainly not least: My brother reclaimed the record player we had growing up, and picked up a handful of records today, So I am currently getting serenaded by amazing, classic recordings of nursery rhymes! (Hey diddle, diddle is probably my favorite)

All in all, this month has been running me ragged. School kicking up for the kiddos, colds and flus abounding, and all around life sliding along the proverbial rollercoaster. But, we ended on a high note!
I would regal you with more high notes, but this blog is already long, and dinner is simmering.

Stay tuned for more news on my soon-to-be released FIRST novella, The Rooftops of London!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How to be a GIRL

Ok kids, someone REALLY needs to set the record straight.
There are too many false ideas of what it means to be feminine, what it means to be “girly”.
There are so many standards that people hold women to, so many concepts of what a woman is that women from 10-90 years old all feel inadequate, like traitors to their gender. They feel this way either because they are “frou-frou” girls told they need to be feminists, or because they're tomboys who feel they can’t be feminine without wearing dresses. I’m telling you: it has to STOP.
So, in an effort to empower the world to embrace TRUE womanhood, let’s settle some issues.
1. Being a woman is NOT ABOUT HYGEINE AND PERSONAL CARE.
You do not need to shave your legs in order to be feminine. You do not have to wear your hair long or in pigtails, polish your nails, wear makeup, get manicures, etc. These things are not what make a woman. these things are personal habits, that everyone (male AND female) choose to do or not as they prefer.
2. Being a woman is NOT ABOUT HOW YOU DRESS.
Wearing a bra does not make you a woman. Wearing a dress and heeled shoes do not make you a woman. Wearing only jeans and T-shirts does not make you a man. Again: It is a matter of preference.
Preferences, understand? Being a social norm does not make it any less a preference.
Now here are some things that I think being a woman IS about:
1. BIOLOGY.
Yes, some of you hate this one. But the fact remains that most species on the planet are split into two parts: Male and Female. Humans happen to be one of those species. It has to do with how the body is constructed, what parts it has. The half that has a womb and/or lay eggs is called female.
(Disclaimer: having a child does not “make” you a woman either. The ability to do so does.)
2. Women share beauty.
Sounds hokey, right? Bear with me:
Every woman I know finds a way to share beauty with the world. Some of us do it through ourselves: We dress up our own bodies in various ways to show off our personal beauty, and (hopefully) we encourage others to do the same.
Some women share beauty through their works: creating art, cooking a meal, building a house, or working in communities to make life better. Or hell, how about the women that build and run machinery? those are some amazing and complex creations, that take a lot of skill just to operate.
Each one is sharing something unique with the world. Something no one else can. And that, my friends, IS Beauty.
So quite comparing yourselves to the latest “What’s hot” list. Those things change every day. Be your own beauty, and let yourself enjoy it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nerd Alert! Video Game Review

Just finished Fable III and O.M.G.: I was a little disappointed.

The graphics were a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed that the female hero didn’t end up looking like a She-man (it’s the little things, understand). Gameplay was… ok. There were a few things I didn’t care for, but it was a bit ‘cleaner’ than the last two.

I kinda enjoyed the economics/diplomacy side of it, which may be unlike most players. The morality struggle was a bit heavy-handed, but that’s completely standard for the Fable universe. It’s part of what makes it amusing. But no, I enjoyed the follow through there.

However, I play games for the story more than anything else. (Go figure, right?) This story didn’t flow the as well as previous games. It wasn’t quite as flushed out.

The first game started out as a sort of hokey satire where you’re a snot-nosed little kid, and suddenly you’re thrust into a world of pain and danger and big choices.

The second follows that pattern: You’re an urchin dreaming of better, and suddenly you’re alone, making your way as best you can and avenging the deep hurt in your heart and the injustice that’s been served.

This one… Didn’t build up the Hero’s motive quite as well. The introduction was spot on; following the chicken as it struggles for freedom, blah blah, etc. But when you start gameplay and begin developing your character it moves too fast from the blissful naivety to leading a revolution. You’re introduced as someone with privilege but kept away from responsibility, then of a sudden you decide to lead not only a rebellion out of spite, but a world changing revolution? It’s… possible, but you need a bit more personal development in order to make the jump.

It’s a decent game, but the Fable II is still my favorite so far.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Like, what should I wear today?

     You know how every decade is known for a specific style? the 50s have the poodle skirts and bowling shoes, the 70s own the bell bottoms and shaggy hair, the 80s claim the Mohawks and the studded leather, etc, etc…

Walking through the mall today, I noticed that this current decade doesn’t have just one thing that stands out.

I took a walk through the mall today, and every ten feet was a different style, a different trend. This store was selling the early 90s; box-shouldered jackets, short skirts and fedoras, boots…

The next store was a tribute to the 1940s: We had amazing little leather shoes with laces, classic blouses, pencil skirts and some of the best formalwear you’ll ever see (The 30s was better still, but lets not get carried away).

Even in one store, you had a wide assortment of style, from 60s geometric patterns to Victorian-esque corseting and “marching band” lapels.

I’m telling you: There is no fad for the 20-teens. Our fad is NO fad. I’m very trepidatious about this, but I suppose it’s a good thing? I mean, we’re more in a place to appreciate everything I suppose.

At the same time, it feels like a vacuum of power; no one clique is on top. No one is an outcast for wearing the wrong shoes, because EVERYONE is wearing the wrong shoes! We are living in “10 Things I Hate About You”, where you have the wannabe Rastas and Bohemians sitting at the table next to the Rodeo kings.

I don’t know folks… This could be an interesting season. Winking smile

Friday, October 18, 2013

National Novel Writing Month!

Another blustery November coming up and Guess WHAT time it is?

I’m really excited to write a novel again for NaNoWriMo. I have a handful of plots to choose from; I’m weighing three in specific, and I hope to make up my mind in the next week!

I’m also a bit trepidatious, as I’m trying to finish up my last one. I’m currently editing my manuscript (The Rooftops Of London), and I have it away to some beta readers for feedback. This process is a bit more trying than I anticipated; It’s difficult to switch gears from creating to altering in my head.

I’m sitting on pins and needles, waiting to hear what my gals have to say about it. I know it needs a lot of work before it’s ready, but I’m determined to make my New Years publishing goal.

Nevertheless, I am determined to write a new novel again this coming month. I suppose binge writing really isn’t the best way, but it’s helping me get through the 8+ plots I have floating around in my head! Next step is getting smoother at the revision and publishing steps…

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forgotten

I am not one to dwell and wallow in pain.So understand that writing this is pretty difficult for me.

I do not ignore it, and I most definitely don’t forget the heartache. Grief leaves a mark that never goes away. It becomes part of your soul, and you learn to accept and live with it.

I have lived through my own heartache and grief. I have witnessed and helped my loved ones do the same. And I have mourned the national and global horrors without shame.

There is a time to mourn; Grieve the losses and the scars. There is also a time to rise up and keeping moving.

On this day of remembering, I encourage us to respect those who are still grieving, in whatever way they have to. Show them love and patience and strength.

Today is a day to stand together, in silence. Today is a day to bear the scars openly, without shame, so we can honor the fallen in our shared pain.

Tomorrow, we will breath again: Show respect for ourselves by continuing on, one minute at a time.

But for this minute, be there for someone. Share your scars, and let them share theirs.


In honor and memory of those harmed by the events of 9-11-01.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oh, For a Muse of Fire…

I am having the damnedest time keeping up on my commitment this week! I’ve missed blogging at least half the days. I mean honestly! I am putting in more this week then usual though, so I suppose that’s something?

The problem, you see. is that I haven’t necessarily had anything to say. As much as I catch flack for being a Prima Dona about writing, I cannot write something if it isn’t in my head. I mean sure; I can screw around and put words on a page, but they aren’t really going to say anything. It isn’t like I just sit down and “Bam!” create a story/blog into being. It takes planning, it takes inspiration, it takes having something to say.

Yes, willpower and discipline are important if you are writing for a career. But I also want to write something worth reading. If I just wanted to write senseless drivel, write memos for the rest of my life.

At any rate, that’s all I have for you today. I am putting the effort in. I think on this every day- you wouldn’t believe all the half written posts I’ve come up with in my head… But I endeavor to give you my honest best, which is all anyone can expect.

Greuss Gott!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dude, That’s Intense

So here’s a rant for the day.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told I’m intense. Really intense. totally intense. Very, very sweet… but kinda intense.

I have no major complaint, I guess. There are far worse things to be known for. but being “intense” doesn’t really say anything tangible about me. What exactly does it mean to be “intense"?

Is it my approach to life? my state of being? Am I a freakin light bulb or something; you need shades in order to see me at close distance?

I assume it has to do with my approach to life. I try to be really straight forward about things. If I think something, I make no apologies for it. I see no reason to. If I believe something, there’s a reason for it, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of having an opinion.

That doesn’t mean I’m against hearing other thoughts. I love hearing how other people think, and where it takes them, I honestly do. I respect that others have that same right of expression, and I expect them to use it. I guess that makes me intense?

When I want something, I do everything I can to get it. Basically, if I make up my mind about something, then why would I waste my time? Why would I hem and haw about it? That wouldn’t get me what I want, right?

So I guess that’s intense. I don’t know, it doesn’t feel intense to me. It just feels clear. It’s less exhausting than sitting around and whining about it, hoping that circumstances will hand things to me. So I guess I’m alright with being intense.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I’m So Far Behind!

I’m a terrible, terrible serialist!

I’ve been working on writing more regularly- particularly on my blogs. So, I programmed a reminder into my phone. Once a week, my calendar chirps at me and says, “Write a blog!” And I did ok with that… for like three weeks.

And then I forgot… for four weeks.

So, I am endeavoring to write a blog a day for the next seven days, in an effort to make up for my transgression. Reliability is an important character trait, particularly for someone working in public media.

So I apologize, my friends. Those few of you who stick by me while I work toward triumph; you all mean the world to me, in your steadfastness. And so, I shall endeavor to match you, like for like.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Perils of Telecommuting- Here, There Be Monsters…




    Any of you ladies and gents take the leap and work from home? I’ve just recently entered this work force (After a year of trying to break in. Woo hoo, right?). I was lucky enough to get an internship, helping design web pages. Really awesome work; very exciting, fascinating stuff, even if I don’t understand half of what I feel like I should (curb the blonde jokes, if you please).
   Anyways, I really enjoy the flexibility, and I love the work I’m actually doing, but I’ve noticed a plethora of pitfalls that I hadn’t really thought about previously.
   For example: Do you know how hard it is to get feedback?? Now, admittedly, this is a problem no matter where you go, and it can often depend on who you’re working with. But it does seem to be standard with telecommuting. There is little/no face to face- or even vocal contact. This means that if they don’t tell you how you’re doing, you will NEVER KNOW how bad you are at your job. In a traditional work environment, you learn to read your boss a little bit; When Mr. Phil is displeased, he quirks his eyebrow. When Ms. Guttersnipe expects more from you, she nods and says, “Uh huh…”
   All these little personality quirks people have that tell you when you are providing appropriate work or when you’re close to being canned- You don’t have these things through a computer. I mean; I’m an amateur linguist, a writer, and a relational sort of person. So I’m very good at literally reading people and understanding them. But even I need a frame of reference.
   Also, if you’re any sort of person who likes to see the “big picture”, good luck! My brain has trouble making sense of things if I don’t know how it works with the rest of the process. So when I’m given this one little corner of work to do, and not told how it helps the greater cause, I end up sitting there for a few minutes, totally flummoxed, trying to figure out how to do what I need to in order to be helpful. It’s a horrible, lost sort of feeling…
So yes: Pitfalls. Beware them, my friends. They bite…

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Climate Control- California Style

Here’s my frustration:
I’m a born Californian. I grew up in a climate and culture where showing skin was not only acceptable, but NORMAL.
In Cali, when the sun is out, it’s really damn hot. I spent every day I could in my swimsuit, because it was the most comfortable thing to wear when it’s 95+ degrees outside (That’s Fahrenheit, if there was any confusion). To wear honest to god ‘clothing’ would have roasted me alive, I’m certain.
Just to clarify: I am by no means an Immodest person. I like to keep my private things PRIVATE, and appreciate when other people do the same. And I was raised by fashion conscious and modest parents, who taught me the proper way to dress for every occasion, using my body type. But I have never found the exposure of plain skin to be terribly inappropriate, and I do so with ease.
As I’ve ventured beyond the Golden borders, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this is NOT always a socially acceptable mode of presenting myself.
In Alaska, when the snow melted and the sun came out, I was ecstatic! I dug through my dressers, and pulled out my little denim shorts and a tank top, kicked on some flip flops- And proceeding to get “Bug-eyed” expressions from the locals (Some more flattering than others…). Sigh… we move on.
In Washington, the Soggy State, the land of the Grunge look and Environmentally friendly flower children: I was rather shocked by how much disapproval I receive for my fashion sense.
Not as many blatant frowns and ogles, but there’s definitely a second glance pause when my skirts and shorts hit well above the knee. I’m either glared at for dressing like a “Hoochy mama” by the ghettos, Dismissed by the hipsters for being “showy” without being trendy, or… I honestly don’t know, but apparently my pencil skirt is just a little too high. Pardon me for having long legs.
I recently went back to Cali for a visit, and I cannot express how reassuring it was to drive down the road and see all the shirtless men and daisy duke attired women, of every weight, shape and color. Just knowing I was “normal” somewhere was quite refreshing.
Don’t get me wrong; I have a bit of a dramatic streak. I’ll admit I get tickled by throwing my Washingtonians off their game by adding my California girl flavor to the mix.
I don’t expect to ever really change my habit; I am comfortable in my skin, and my clothes. I find my taste to be flattering and functional.
Well, just an observation from a California Prude.
Winking smile

Monday, July 15, 2013

Falling off High Heels

It's sort of funny, how much a little betrayal can change your heart. It sneaks up on you how badly damaged your trust gets. You don't even realize half the time, when you start expecting the worst, second guessing every word, every thought projected your way.

I mean, we're all doubters anyways; We all expect disappointments in life. But I don't think I always expected this much disappointment from people.

I can remember being able to take people for their worth. I remember the benefit of trust. But it's hard to hold onto that trust anymore. Trust in people, trust in myself... Trust that Yahweh will hold me 'til the end, and that even when I fall, that he still loves me.

I miss the security... That feeling of being held every moment, of being protected. So that no matter what gets thrown at you- or even, what gets ripped away, you know you'll be ok. You know that you'll recover, that you'll stand up tall in the end. I'm not feeling as tall as I used to...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Coffee Shop

I kind of love how the coffee shop has become the modern day marketplace and center of commerce.

I came to a coffee shop today; I needed some time out of the house, and a dedicated time/space to work. I am very amused by the array of individuals and groups that stop in and hang out in this caffeine kingdom.

You have- obviously- people like me, who are using the space as a sort of public office: a place to work and be accessible, as well as create a dedicated mindset of, “Okay, I’m away from home now. I don’t need to worry about laundry or dishes. I just need to focus on work.” The space works really well, because you have the hustle and bustle that many people need in order to simulate a “real job,” as well as the comfortable flexibility that most of us cherish about the work-from-home option.

You also have those who use the space as a place of meeting. They conduct interviews, staff meetings and assorted other official aspects of what is often a cyber business, that has no dedicated meeting room.

The amusing quirk of the day is how these official capacities do not subvert the social aspects of the space. I don’t know about you, but I have a wall in my head of “This is business/this is play” and only occasionally do these two converge. Not to mention: In the corporate world, social interaction can be terribly confined by Human resource protocols and company by-laws that prohibit many communal tendencies that we instinctually act upon.

SO, I really have to giggle while I sit here, and before me I see: A prospective entrepreneur selling his pitch to a new contact in his network, a young girl being interviewed by media about a website she created that has gained influence, a handful of other freelancers working in their quiet little corners, all interspersed with the couple on their second date, the couple in their mushy gushy “honeymoon” phase, and the old man who just wanted to get out and be in the midst of life instead of in front of the TV at home.

You have everyone: From Hipsters to Veterans, valley girls and jocks to nerds, geeks and English majors. Conservative to radical in appearance and thought. It’s a rather weird and beautiful kaleidoscope to be a part of.

At any rate, this is my musing for today. Time to get back to the Bat Cave.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Writing Is To Me

There are these little moments, When I’m sitting in the midst of life, and I see it all so clearly.

It’s that point of clarity, that little space of contentment, where everything is at it should be. I wish I could write that moment. I wish I could draw it for you all, so that you could see, and know, and understand.

I wish I could show you the perfection in each of you; The perfection in us all together, as one family. How I wish I could capture it in some way.

Then you would see why I’m an optimist. You would know why I continue to love and hold on, even when the world says to do otherwise.

God, How I wish you could see…

This is what I strive to capture every day, every time I put pen to paper- or fingers to keys. This is what I want to pass forward and add to the universe.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What’s in a blog?

A journal, by any other name, would sound just as nonsensical… Yeah anyways.

Not entirely sure what to write about today, but I realized I have been sorely neglecting all ya’ll in here. So I figured I ‘d say “Hi!!” And I love you and all that jazz.

Been working on trying to write even when you don’t feel like it. Tougher than people try to make it out as…

See, I am- by nature- what my mom calls a ‘Prima Donna’ writer. I tend to write as the mood strikes, I guess you could say. This makes for a rather… quixotic ebb and flow to progress, as you may imagine, so you see why I need to curb it a little. It’s been rather difficult, especially since my life in general seems to be in a constant state of flux and shift, but I’m hoping to develop a couple new tactics that will help me juggle.

At any rate, I just wished to let you know that we are still alive and kicking on this end, for those of you who care. I shall endeavor to keep you apprised of any momentous decisions and events.

From,

One Starving (and slightly addled) Artist… writer… thing.