Wednesday, November 18, 2015

May We Proudly Present…?

My Dear, Lovely Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great excitement (and more than a little nervousness) That I announce: I am making my first ever public appearance as an author!

Dec. 5th, I will be attending a holiday bazaar at River Ridge High School with my good friend and fellow author Patricia Beerman (Author of Patricia’s Prayers and many other works).

A full three years into this crazy life building, and finally, I get to go out an be the author. I’m beyond thrilled.

At this event, I will be showing off the beautiful print copies of my books, and offering a front row, first ever peek at my two upcoming books; complete with cover art, synopses and a chance to receive a fresh and exclusive look at some first chapters!

SO, if you are interested in meeting us and learning more about either of our published works, (as well as seeing other amazing local craftspeople and artists) you should come to:

River Ridge High School
350 River Ridge Dr. SE
Lacey, WA 98513

The craft fair will last from 7:30am to 4pm on Saturday, Dec. 5th.

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Come meet Anna Kringle at the River Ridge Craft Fair!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gamer Girls

A month ago, I invited Catherine Banks to guest spot here as part of her book tour celebrating the release of her newest adventure, The Pirate Princess. She agreed, and I was very excited to find that her topic of thought fits so beautifully among those collected here, as she explores the world of gaming from a girls perspective. (P.S. I loved MW2 as well! I wasn’t terribly good, but I did manage to beat it with my brother in Co-Op)

So without further pontificating, I pass the keyboard to Catherine!

video games

In the past just the mention of girls gaming was something to laugh about. Sure there was the occasional girl that played at the arcade or played with the guys, but they weren’t considered “gamers”. It’s more accepted now, but even to this day I will talk with people while gaming and they’ll ask, “Girls play this game? You’re the first one I’ve encountered” or “you play other games than this? I didn’t know you played those games too”.

I know some of the gamers are frustrated with people who call themselves gamers when they only play one type of game or when the games they do play are cell phone games or things like Sims. I play games and consider myself a gamer, but I do not consider myself a hardcore gamer. I put A LOT of hours into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I even joined a clan (actually I was in two at different times) and participated in mandatory weekly practices and played in matches against other teams. Did I deserve to be in those clans or were they just letting me in since I was girl? Unfortunately in regards to COD: MW2 it was the latter. I loved playing and I was decent, but I wasn’t as good as the others. Even though it was a blow to my ego to know that, I still stayed in the clans because I firmly believe playing with people who are a higher skill level than you helps you learn to be better.

Currently I spend a lot of time playing Destiny and we have a clan which is really just made up of friends who like to play together. Then again, isn’t that what clans started off as anyways? My clan has very skilled players and luckily I’m not the worst even if I am the only girl. I can honestly say that playing with them has helped me get better. I can also say that every group of people I’ve played with has felt like a family. They’re my gaming family. Some of them have disappeared or we’ve been separated due to new consoles and games, but I still have those memories and now I have a new group. The friends made on gaming extend beyond the games and I consider them my friends even though I haven’t met most in person yet. Some people look down on that. Some people think it’s ridiculous that we consider our gaming friends our real friends, but I have spent more hours talking and playing games with my gaming friends than anyone else. If you’re ever on PS4 add “CatBanks” and check out the Destiny PS4 clan “Raiders of the Lost Bark”.

 

Catherine Banks is the author of the Artemis Lupine Series, Little Death Bringer Series, Ciara Steele Novella Series, and the novel Daughter of Lions. She began writing fiction stories when she was only four years old and finished her first full length novel at the age of fifteen.

Catherine is a Northern California native and has lived within a twenty mile radius her entire life. She plans to travel to as many places as possible in her thirties to make up for her lack of traveling experience. She is married to her soulmate and best friend, Avery, who blessed her with two amazing children. After her full time job she reads books, plays video games, and watches a lot of anime shows and movies with her family to relax.

Find out more, and check out Catherine’s books at:

Www.CatherineBanks.com
www.facebook.Com/CatherineBanksAuthor
www.twitter.Com/catherineebanks
www.goodreads.Com/Catherine_Banks
Amazon.com/author/catherinebanks

Friday, November 13, 2015

Of All Beautiful Places!

If you are looking for a place of stunning beauty and restful seclusion, I would highly suggest Whidbey Island, Washington.

My parent’s are alumni of Seattle Pacific University, and as such, we had opportunity to spend a weekend at Fort Casey, and it has cemented my love for turn of the century houses (I am officially holding out for a Victorian dream home now, no lie).

Fort Casey Alumni house

We and our friends enjoyed three days in one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. We had bonfires on the beach, great conversations in a tidy little parlor, and woke up every morning to the beautiful colors of Autumn on the island.

I had the opportunity to visit Coupeville, the town in the middle of the island, and checked out their waterfront shops, where the most prevalent sales pitch I heard was “Our merchandise is all made in the USA or from the Fair Trade Organization!” (There is a bakery there that is to die for. GIANT pastries). They have a large art community on the island and a rural, small town feel that can be quite pleasant.

It was a pleasant pause, a chance to get out of my own head and spend time with some of my favorite people. And while I was ecstatic to get back to the buzz and bustle of the city, I’ll most definitely keep it in my top places to travel to.

P.S. Ferry’s are kind of amazing. I’d never ridden one before, growing up landlocked in California. But they really are spectacular.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Second Verse, Same as the First…

Ten days into National Novel Writing Month, and I’ve found that the weather has gotten decidedly chilly in my corner of the world. Perfect days for cuddling up with a steamy cup of coffee and refusing to “Adult,” as we’ve been saying on Facebook.

Unfortunately for my rather feline tendencies, Adulting is a necessary part of life.

NaNoWriMo is becoming an interesting circus act for me this time around; With all the moving about I’ve done this year, I don’t have as many outside events competing for my time and brain power, but I have replaced them with new ventures of my own (I’m one of those weird people who actually doesn’t like being free from responsibilities. I like being needed and making a difference). The change in life pace hasn’t freed up my time as some would think. Instead, I’m having to practice more clever time management techniques: It’s not enough to simply wait til I get off work. I’m self employed, I’m always ‘on’ work. So, the juggling act continues, with different batons sailing through the air.

It’s easy to be nostalgic for things once they’ve passed, but that’s not actually what this post is about. I’m growing to appreciate the time to reflect and recharge after 10 straight months of craziness. It’s a pleasant change, even if my personal stressors feel more profound.

The point is: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s one of those trite little proverbs that always holds true. I’ve seen so many people recently who think a change in venue means a change in problems, a change in heart.

I still struggle with the same character defects now that I did last year, or even ten years ago- and I’ve been in a lot of different places, with different people in all that time. I still find myself struggling not to overburden myself with problems to fix, projects to occupy my overactive mind. I find myself striving and pushing for things I really, really want and feeling like they’ll never get there. And the only way I conquer all of those things is by changing myself, not my circumstances. I have to let go sometimes. I have to tell myself “No,” Which is perhaps why a self employed status works so well for me: it forces me to acknowledge that, and hold myself to it.

The point is: Take ownership of your circumstance. If you don’t like it, address it. See what you can let go of. Don’t run away and expect the problems to disappear.