Monday, November 28, 2016

Library GrabBag: #GPLtalk Podcast Episodes 3 & 4

I forgot to post our last two podcasts!  Shame on me :)

Episode 3

We talked about how excited we were for the new Netflix Gilmore Girls episodes.  (Binged all four in a day.  Overall, I liked them.  I had a few issues with plot and there were moments when it seemed to drag on forever, but getting to spend time in Stars Hollow again was wonderful)

Episode 4

Fantastic Beasts!  We headed to the old-peoples midnight showing (gotta love a 6:30 release!) and then headed back to the library to gush.  It's a NO SPOILERS listen, so don't worry!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NaNoWriMo Update II : Things are starting to get interesting

Hi!  Hello!  How are you?  Seems like forever.  I will admit that I have really, really missed putting my thoughts on screen on this here blog.  I can't wait for December 1st when I can return to the real world.

The NaNo-ing is still happening.  Slowly.  I'm writing this here update at 1 o'clock in the morning nearing the 32,000 word mark.  Only 4,000 behind!  There are phases of great inspiration when it's just fun.  And then there are phases of complete torture when I want to rip my hair out because I have no business writing anything.  Ever.  So.  Yeah.  Good times!

Despite the torture, it really has been a good time.  I've had the wonderful pleasure of writing with some very cool people every Saturday at my library, and the awesome experience of getting a pep talk by local author extraordinaire, Saundra Mitchell.  Words to paper.  You can do it.

There has also been a little bit of time for audiobook listening, a.k.a. my attempt to maintain sanity.  A couple of reviews will appear eventually including Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.  Can't wait to gush like a crazy person.

But for now, I will just end with HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  I hope your day is blessed with family and friends.  I will be enjoying a tasty meal with my family and will be setting off fireworks of a certain color as we celebrate the forthcoming arrival of a new member of our crew.  The Auntie life is a good life :)

And just in case you're's another ridiculous snippet from Pride and Prejudice in Space.

What's happening:  Jayne and Bet Bennet have been invited to Brighton to search for replacement parts for their ship, the Longhorn by Will Darcy and Chase Bingley who have business on the space port.  Jayne is ecstatic...Bet less so.

Chapter Eight

“There’s nowhere to run to baby”

To no one’s surprise, the Titan was a luxurious ship that boasted up-to-date technology, spacious living areas, and a nuclear-powered hyperdrive that improved space travel exponentially.  It also looked nothing like a turtle.  Or creature of any kind, actually.  It very much resembled a spaceship, which Bet thought lacked personality (she wasn’t jealous or anything of the nice, shiny, super efficient ship, she was just partial to those that maybe weren’t that classy).

Unlike the Longbourn that was built to carry cargo, the Titan was all about passenger travel.  It was designed to provide comfort, and the interior closely resembled the inside of a home instead of the cold, metallic frame of a ship.  Bet marveled at the beauty of the design.  It was by far the most affluent spacecraft she had ever been in, but it made her long for the familiarity of her own vessel.
A butler took the sister’s luggage as they entered the lock (yes, Darcy totally has a space-butler.  The man has his own Alfred.  And that shall be the butler’s name because this is my story and only one name really fits such a distinguished role...and no.  Darcy is not Batman).  Darcy bowed in greeting and welcomed them onto the ship.

“Thank you again for allowing us to travel with you,” Jayne said, the poster child for sweetness and humility.

“Yes, we really appreciate it.  Thanks,” Bet offered.  Mr. Darcy bowed again awkwardly and offered to give them a tour of the ship.

Lina walked closely next to him in front, while Chase fell in step with Jayne, leaving Bet in the back.  She wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but she felt a little awkward not being coupled.  She definitely would never want her mother to know that little tidbit.  That would cause her no shortage of trouble.  She considered, for just a moment, of grabbing Alfred and making him walk next to her, but then she remembered she was an independent, confident woman who didn’t need a male companion and brushed the feeling aside.

Darcy showed them through the kitchen (where there was an actual cook preparing that evening’s dinner), the dining room where they would be eating promptly at 18:30, the living room (which Lina annoyingly referred to as the parlor), the exercise room (because space travel could do wicked things with your muscles), and the bridge.

“I’d like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, and the captain of the Titan, Commander Malcolm Fitzwilliam.”

“Call me Mal, please,” the captain said as he stood from his place at the pilot’s seat and shook Jayne and Bet’s hands.  “Welcome aboard.  If there’s anything I can do to make your travels more comfortable, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Bet walked around the consoles, brushing her fingers against the smooth controls. Everything looked brand new.  The access panel was firmly closed unlike on the Longbourn where they kept it open, constantly needing access to the wiring below.  And Captain Fitzwilliam’s seat was pristine.  There were no rips or tears in the cushion.  There actually was  a cushion.

“He’s beautiful, isn’t he?” Mal said, coming to stand next to Bet.

“Remarkable.  I bet he flies like a dream.”

“The wheel’s a little tight, and he doesn’t bank as well as I would like, but out in open space, there is no equal.  You’re welcome to join me on the bridge any time you like.  I could use the company, and I have the sneaking suspicion that this is where you usually live.”

“Is it that obvious?” she asked.

“What can I say, we wear our hearts on our sleeve.”

Mal was welcoming and kind.  Darcy apparently liked to collect welcoming and kind friends.  She wondered if this was to compensate for his own, horrible personality.  She turned toward the others and found him staring at her.  Lina looked annoyed next to him, but Darcy seemed curious, almost as if he wanted to say something to her but decided against it.

“Bet!  There is one more room you really have to see,” Chase called.  He offered Jayne his arm and led her out of the room, Lina on their heels.  Darcy stepped aside, gesturing for Bet to follow them after she said her goodbyes to Mal.

They made their way down a number of hallways before coming to a large door.  Chase stood waiting, a glow of excitement on his face.  His whispered animatedly into Jayne’s ear and then gestured for Bet to press the sensor to the left of the frame.  There was a hiss of air and the quiet sound of the doors sliding open.  A light automatically turned on in the room, and Bet let out a gasp.

She stepped into the space, completely overwhelmed, then she closed her eyes and reopened them, certain that the scene would change.  Without saying a word she turned back toward Chase and Jayne, smiles on both of their faces.

“Well, Darcy, I think she appreciates your taste in decorating,” he said to his friend.

It was a library.  The spines of hundreds of books lined up perfectly on shelves that circled the room.  At the center of the room was a couch and near a window, two armchairs.  It was just as she imagined a library should look.  The small library her family owned had been passed down through the years.  The accumulation of this many titles was truly a sign of great wealth.

“You had mentioned at the dance, Miss Bennet, that you liked to read.  You’re welcome to borrow any title you wish while we travel,” Darcy said from the doorway.

Bet turned to look at him.  He stood there, arms crossed behind his back, a contradiction.  Who was this man?  Who was this man that found books to be precious and welcomed her here despite their value, but could treat a man he knew as a brother so poorly?

Monday, November 7, 2016

NaNoWriMo Update : Pride & Prejudice in Space (because I can)

Just wanted to stop in and say hello.  I successfully completed my word count for today (Sunday :) ), and despite writing for almost four hours, I still wanted to put this here post together.

The writing is going well.  I've learned a few things about myself over the course of the week.

1) I am easily distracted.  It's a bad idea to go l
ooking for inspiration because you can quickly lose several precious writing minutes to the gloriousness that is Pinterest.

2) I can't spell.

3) Words are not my friend.  They are like, really hard.  I have spent the vast majority of my designated writing time trying to find the word that means a specific thing that I can only vaguely describe.  The word is always right on the edge of my brain, the tip of my tongue, and it very rarely comes.

And 4) I know some pretty amazing people who encourage me, inspire me, and push me to keep going.  (And who don't mind suffering me through various parts of my story to them at all hours of the day).  So thank you, you Weirdos, for being so kind and supportive.

If you're participating, I can't recommend enough the importance of a writing buddy and accountability partner.  Go Book Plots & Polka Dots!  You've got this!

And because I've been trying to be brave over the past year and actually share what I write, here's a snippet of Pride & Prejudice in Space.

Please remember that this is unedited.  It's all about word count, word count, word count right now.

And this year, I'm narrating my own story, because, why not? So be prepared.  Things are about to get ridiculous.

Enough we go!

This is how I imagine that story would have played out among the stars.

It begins on the planet, Eldoret in the Corinth quadrant (a completely imaginary corner of space), at a small, yet thriving spaceport known as Meryton.  Among the bustling stalls selling any number of power converters and hyperdrives is a military post where over fifteen-hundred militiaman are stationed.  (For certain members of society - prone to frivolity and poor lapses in judgement - being surrounding by so many men of the military persuasion is something akin to heaven.  For others, it is a bit rough and tumble, especially on Saturday nights at the local cantina.)

Situated just outside of the main port center is a house (more like a house-ish structure.  Pod?  Orb?  Whatever, let us hitherto just imagine it as a house.  A quaint, cottage-like space house made up of some potential of awesomeness), and in that “house” lives a family of meager means.  While the father spends his days managing the Hertfordshire Shipping Company, a small, one-ship enterprise that moves goods and handles odd jobs (like offering to transport livestock to the outer reaches of the quadrant where the military oversee the rehabilitation of criminals), the mother is overly obsessed with the current single status of her four daughters (because some things never change, even in space).

There are those throughout the galaxy (including mother, who will fondly be referred to in all circles as Mrs. Bennet once again) who believe that women should not in fact be involved in the shipping industry.  While not as old-fashioned as to imply that a woman’s place is in the home, the rough and tumble lifestyle of the spaceports and the bona fide threat of space pirates makes for a dangerous lifestyle and one not conducive for four young women to find appropriate life partners.

Which brings us to one particular afternoon when the Hertfordshire Shipping Company’s only ship, The Longbourn, returns to port after a very long, filthy journey with twenty-five odorous piglets seen safely to the Kent Rehabilitation Center for Men of Despicable Dispositions at the edge of the Corinth quadrant.  Bet Bennet, captain of the Longbourn, and her sisters Jayne, Lydia, and Kit, wearily arrive at the HSC dock, unaware that their lives are about to change forever.

My story begins with a mother waiting impatiently for her daughters to disembark a ship, and a confused, lackadaisical father unaware that he will shortly be in the center of a very long, predictable conversation about the arrival of a new family of status to the port of Meryton.

Part One

In which a classic story gets turned on its head

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Top 10 Books To Read If Your Book Club Likes Space Fiction

Top Ten Books to Read If Your 
Book Club Likes Space Fiction
(Feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

In a post not so long ago I listed the Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Space Fiction.  Books set in space have totally been my reading jam for just in case your book club is in the mood for some space-fictiony awesomeness, here are ten of my favorite intergalactic reads.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)
1) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
(My 2nd fave read of 2016!)

2) Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Starflight (Starflight, #1)
3) Starflight by Melissa Landers

4) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

5) The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion by Chris McCoy

Mothership (Ever-Expanding Universe, #1)
6) Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

7) Armada by Ernest Cline

8) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

9) Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
10) These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spoon

 I can't promise this will be the last time I talk about space fiction.  If you don't read it, I'm sorry you're missing out.  If you do read it, I would love recommendations.  I've got my eye on Gemina (waiting on the audiobook to become available) and Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey.

Happy reading!!

A Very Happy Birthday (and some other stuff)

She claims to read every post, so I thought I'd better wish her a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY via TheGnomingLibrarian :)  My mother, the "Woman", is a superhero, and I don't tell her that enough.  For goodness sakes, the number of phone calls she has to field from me on any number of random topics makes her a saint. (Ex.  "Woman...if you were barley, where would you be located at a grocery store?")  She has forever been my rock, my confidant, and my friend, and I am truly blessed to call her Mom.  Happy Birthday.  I love you!

And that other stuff...

It is November 1st.  You probably already knew that.  But did you know that November 1st starts the whirlwind that is National Novel Writing Month?  

I've talked about it a time or two on this here blog - the ridiculous challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days.

Because I embrace the ridiculous, I'm taking up the challenge again this year, which means that I'm going to be M.I.A. for most of the month.  I hope to carve out time to post updates, Tuesday lists, and fingers crossed, a review or two over during November, but just in case that doesn't happen, I'll see you on December 1st :)

And just in case you're interested...

Jessica (my accountability partner, fellow Librarian, NaNo enthusiast, and friend at Book Plots & Polka Dots) and I decided to take our love for Pride & Prejudice and flip it on its ear this year.  Jessica is tackling Pride & Prejudice with a gothic/ghosty/Southern flair, while I'm taking the Bennet family to the stars with Pride & Prejudice in Space.  I already told you...ridiculous.

Wish us luck!  And I'll see you soon :)

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