Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Loading… Do Not Turn Off Your Device

After taking the plung and upgrading to Windows 10, I feel a lot like I’ve stepped into Zenon: Girls of the 21st Century. Or perhaps Agents of SHIELD… Or any of a million space age movies with smart software and multifaceted user interfaces.

I’m not one to hop on bandwagons but… hot damn, I’m actually impressed. My faith in Microsoft has been rather questionable recently. They’ve made some very poor business decisions that affect me, as the consumer, like putting out substandard products and nickle-and-diming the masses for every adjustment we never wanted to begin with.
BUT, Mr. Microsoft (or Ms. or To Whom It May Concern), I have to salute you.
Windows 10 has plenty of the natural quirks of learning a new program, but not nearly as much glitching or relearning as I had feared. The interface is clean, and similar enough to the old systems to feel comfortable, but with enough newness to keep it interesting and worth the upgrade.
The inclusion of Apps instead of classic software (because yes, they are a bit different) is fascinating… It’s strange to think standard computers are headed that direction, but it makes sense. It’ll take some getting used to though, for those of us who knew the world before smartphones.
Accessing programs and finding things I’m used to using is a bit different… You’ve changed the index a bit. That’ll take me more time to acclimate to. You have been very thorough in your tutorial walk-throughs, however. And the availability of help options, which I greatly appreciate.
… In a broad note about technology, I’m concerned with the push toward touchscreen interfaces. I appreciate the perks of accessibility, and the ability to manipulate what’s on your device with a minimum of tech knowledge. Touch screen technology has opened the market to plenty of marginalized people; those with physical restrictions and those with minimal understanding of technology. And I think that’s superb. It follows the premise of the original internet, which was to make information freely accessible to more people. I love it.
  I also appreciate the frustrations of a system that reacts to the slightest input. Parents of toddlers and people with less dexterity (or simply those with large or blunt=tipped fingers) can attest to how frustrating it is to have the wrong buttons pushed and have to start all over again. At this point in the revolution, I’d be surprised if we went away from the technology now. But I’m still trepidatious.
All in all, Mr./Ms. Microsoft, I am quite pleased with not only your product, but with the grace and class in which you brought it forward. I applaud you for seeing this technology jump for what it is, and for ushering it in with such gentility and care. Nicely done.
P.S. You got bonus points for not glitching my Sticky Notes into the abyss. Silly I know, but I was honestly tickled that they survived the move and were right where I’d left them before the upgrade.
my sticky note
[Conquering the world, one Sticky Note at a time!]

Friday, September 25, 2015

Where Have You Been??

… I just pictured Mrs. Weasely shouting that at me, and have been appropriately taken to task. I am ashamed, Lovelies. Terribly ashamed.
I have moved. AGAIN. This is the fourth time this year and I don’t mind telling you, I’m completely exhausted with this whole living out of boxes thing. It’s quite dull. I will probably have one more move to make before I can settle for a year. But for now, I am at rest. And I will be doing as much work as I can before life decides to toss me about again.
(Side note: When I decided to be a gypsy princess, I didn’t expect to do so much packing up. Apparently, the gypsy part has stuck.)
The translation of Trivial Venture is going well. I’ll make a formal statement about that when it’s closer to the release date.
And I’m making good headway on the sequel, so I shall have that out to you by the December! Things are never easy in the life of a pirate. Ithaca’s finding out just how difficult it is to juggle secrets and schemes. The poor darling…

Rooftops of London is now in print! I will be making an official announcement for that as well, after I get my finished copy. But for those of you who’ve been waiting, you can find it at www.lulu.com.
I will be receiving my proof copy of A Trivial Venture very soon too, and I will announce when it is available for you to buy. Now to get the Masonry books formatted and sent through…
There is so much affirmation in holding a physical copy of ones’ own book! I have been proud of every step forward, but this is definitely a dream come true.
For the month of October I will be writing and formatting like crazy, so that I’m ready for November, which is shaping up to be a very big month!
November: As we all know, November is National Novel Writing Month! I intend to use the dedication and camaraderie to work on the sequel to “The Rooftops of London” (I’m getting great ideas for that book. I’m quite excited!).
Also, I will be absolutely pleased to introduce to you all a new friend and fellow writer, Catherine Banks. 
Catherine is the author of the Artemis Lupine series, as well as her more recent work, Daughter of Lions (which is on my To-Read list!), and several others.
Catherine is coming out with a new book this winter, and has agreed to stop by our little corner of the world on her book tour! So keep an eye out for that, and if you’d like to know more about her upcoming book, visit the event page here.
Other News: The book tour plans have gotten a bit jumbled in the most recent move, but it is still in the works. Sorry for the delays on that info, Lovelies.
I am in the process of building capital, so I can afford to do more with printing my books and I’m even talking to a few people about merchandise (I’m trying to figure out if we can make replicas of the chicken from Rooftops!) All steps to help me toward a successful book tour next year, and to bring you all more fun ways to participate in my adventures!
In December, along with the release of Trivial Venture 2, I will be making my very first public appearance at a craft fair, in Olympia, WA! I’m all tingly with nerves and thrills.To be going before the public for the first time as an author! Honestly I’m dancing in my chair as I write this.
Phew! It really has been a busy year. Just writing about it has me exhausted and ready for New Years!
Keep up the good fight, Darlings! And have a lovely weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Test of Bravery

I had yet another raving review of Return to Masonry yesterday. Having just survived a couple of very disheartening weeks, my ego was quite happy with the boost.
Masonry was… an excruciating masterpiece for me.
And I don’t mean, “Oh, I strived and conquered and gave you all something wonderful! Yay me!”
I mean; Masonry was a story that I struggled through, that tested my bravery and my strength, and it gave me so much.
When I started Masonry about seven years ago, it was this amazing concept that sounded so completely stellar… That it fell into a folder and was forgotten for a very long time.
I picked it up again in 2014, and it was a story I was extremely passionate about, I wanted to tell the story of a person who was faced with severe antagonism, someone’s who’s always felt weak and stupid, and I wanted to show that they could overcome it. I wanted to display that struggle for self worth. And so I birthed Alanor, and put her in a horrible situation, and waited for her to realize what she was made of.
During the process of writing this story, I went through a very painful loss: My aunt died. It was one of those sudden, slap in the face, “”We knew she wasn’t doing well, but I just talked to her yesterday and she was alive!” sort of situations, and the grief from that made it very hard to do my job,
It was some months before I was able to sit down and create something. And I found that when I did, my characters ended up working through a lot of the issues of grief and acceptance that I was struggling with.
Between Slate and Alanor, I found this awkward, knee-jerking, stubborn balance of people who were hurting, and refusing to let the world hurt them anymore. They didn’t react “well;” they berated and lashed out. They got impatient and often hurtful toward each other. And it was all the things I was feeling, all the hurt and anger and pain displayed through these two stuning people that were figments of my imagination. And they showed me how to cope, and how not to.
I think the hardest scene for me to write in this whole book was the memorial in the Timberhalls. I started typing away, and was making great progress when I realized: I wasn’t connecting with my characters. More, I was actively refusing to connect with my characters, as they sat through a remembrance of loss and love.
I was so ashamed, and frustrated and… scared. Just plain scared. Oh, how much hurt I would have to embrace to truly show this memorial. Fresh hurt that still left me gasping for air, it hurt so much. God, don’t make me face it, don’t make me…
I ended up rewriting that scene completely. I went back to Alanor walking in with Orin, Desiderata and Slate, and I stopped telling facts and started feeling what they were all feeling.
I honestly cried writing that scene. A lot. And it did hurt. But it was the pain of letting a wound wash itself clean.
Return to Masonry was an excruciating masterpiece. And I’m proud of every small fragment of my heart that it gave me back.

  You can find Return to Masonry at Amazon, B&N, iTunes or Kobo

Monday, September 14, 2015

Truths of an Everyday Princess

I've devoted my life to proving the world wrong.

You can be beautiful, blonde AND intelligent.
You can be sophisticated and able to kick ass.
You can practice science without denying God.
You can be the warrior that prays for peace, Fight dragons without magic, uphold your values without causing harm to someone else.
You can be vulnerable and be strong.
You can last 20+ years without a guy, simply because you're waiting for the right one. And when you find him, you can have happiness and joy with him.
You can bring your passion to life, fulfilling your God given calling. And you can do it without compromising your principles.

I am more than a fairytale. I am more than this world. I am real, and I am here. And with the light of Yahweh God within me, we can prove this world wrong.


[photo credit; www.facebook.com/WordPorn]