Thursday, May 7, 2009

A This-n-That Update

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Remember the shopping I did on ebay? The rose/gray roving from Marathon Alpacas, arrived in Tuesday's mail. Lucy and Pearl buried their noses in the fiber. They approved! And where I'll likely spin the recently-purchased silk on a drop spindle, I really want to use my wheel for the alpaca.
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I spent a little time this morning working on said spinning wheel. I took a damp [and then dry] cloth to the dust. I set it in front of the window to let the cool breeze air it dry. I'll take a polishing cloth to it tomorrow. Look for a picture some time next week. In the meantime, I need to shop for a maintanence kit. Drive band, footman joint, wheel oil , etc.
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Here's a photo of Lucy playing Tower Guard. As I brush her I've been saving her discarded hair for spinning into [hopefully] a viable yarn. I need to buy some smaller carders for that, and I believe I know just the ones. This would be another drop spindle project, which is why the Spring 2009 issue of Spin-Off caught my eye the other day. Looking forward to opening the mailbox for that one.
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I've been considering a new and separate blog for my creative interests. The working title is: All About The Craft. Something I could tie in with an Etsy account. I'm registered there as Heartsong Studio. Maybe the new blog should reflect the same name?
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I finished knitting one new pattern for the sampler I want to update with an upcoming review. But the second line of written instructions for the second stitch choice stopped me cold. This will be one of the negative aspects of said review. Suffice it to say, I couldn't have picked a more perfect example of the main, but significant, problem I have with this particular INTERWEAVE PRESS book. I'm shooting for posting my review early next week.
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Time to think on how I will contribute to and support Writer's Worth Day. Aside from upcoming Soul Echoes posts, the first thing that came to mind [as I've got medical bills to pay] was-- find a paying gig! I pulled up the Online Job Boards found @ The Working Writer's COACH, and will get familiar with what's available. I surfed through LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago. And there's Anne Wayman's regular posts on @ About Freelance Writing. There's also an article that Devon Ellington wrote--but I don't remember whether it's one of her blog articles, or a guest blog post. Aa great deal to learn before I signoff on anything. But one thing I need to ask of myself, is surfing the boards the best use of my limited time? Or should I make my interests work for me? More on this in a separate Writer's Worth post.
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I finally updated my review of Hex Breaker. But with that, along with trying to figure out how the Twibes feature works on Twitter, I totally forgot about this week's Tuesday's Tip. How am I going to manage a paying gig [albeit a temporary one], when I forget the commitment to my own blog?
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I made three trips to the garage this morning, with the items I'm downsizing to a future garage sale. I have one of those collapsible carts to help with transporting boxes, but you wouldn't believe how long it took me to dawdle both ways. Cart handle in one hand; cane in the other. But, I also looked for and brought out a few old terra cotta pots to clean up and use for planting my strawberries.
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Getting the kitchen ready for some serious food dehydrating, as the oxygen absorbers arrived in the mail earlier this week as well. The overall problem is my counter space is soooo small! I'll get it figured out though.
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I'm starting to feel those trips to the garage and am now heading down to the couch for recovery mode time.
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Blessings,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hex Breaker, by Devon Ellington ~ A Review

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I really hate to say how long it has taken me to get this read and reviewed! And I apologize to Devon for having taken this long. But~ I want to get this out before Old-Fashioned Detective Work releases.
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I won the ebook version of Hex Breaker [first in a series] from the Interviewing Authors contest, and one of Devon Ellington’s many online interviews. She signed the CD, “Welcome to the adventure!” Adventure indeed! The novella length action is concise and fast paced. Were it not for my health concerns and needing to force myself to take a break from my PC after 2-3 chapters, had I read from a paperback I could easily say I could not put this down!
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I did a little community theater many years ago [in my youth] so I enjoyed learning about the workings and goings on of a location movie set. And while it wasn’t necessary for me to meet pretty much everyone in chapter one, Devon sets the stage for her protagonist’s practiced ability to size up everyone.
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The production of a paranormal film is in jeopardy. The cast and crew believe it’s cursed. And Jain Lazarus arrives—incognito—to help solve the mystery. Jain was invited to join the wardrobe crew, but it’s not her skill with kits or a needle that makes her invaluable. When she finally reads the script [where the main character unwittingly awakens a demon] it's her specialized education that helps in uncovering the dialog and incantation that's key to the source of trouble.
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Jain Lazarus is a young take charge urban-chic woman, and a quick study. Where Jain may be a little too quick to defend her actions, much of her tough fa├žade comes not from a need to appear self-assured, but to protect herself from those who would wish her harm—which she seems to have in spades. There is also a childhood fraught with bad memories, and the more recent pain of love foolishly lost.
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Wyatt East is the detective who ends up shadowing Jain on the set after the unfortunate beheading of a member of the crew who is found to be nothing more than a walking corpse. OK! A Zombie. And where Wyatt comes off as the more confident of the two, it’s a truism when he’s on his own turf. He’s a little less sure of things when forced into Jain’s world. But he’s also at somewhat of a disadvantage from the start. Where he’s put in the position of verifying who Jain Lazarus is, she’s known about him from the dreams that plagued her prior to arriving in his neck of the woods.
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Though I’ll watch a good [Oh! Who am I trying to kid, I'll give a fair or bad one the benefit of doubt!] vampire or werewolf flick [and I grew up on the original black and white classics], I never really got into the whole zombie scene. But this is much, much more than a story about the brain-eating walking dead. Devon’s story is rich in history, with a mystical hall of records to equal The Library of Congress. It’s about arcane knowledge and magic. It’s also about scorn and exacting revenge, and the never ending presence of greed.
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Throw in an unlikely admirer, a car chase [in Jain’s “customized” car], another dimension, a god to truly fear, and a dragon whose name—in this lifetime and possibly the next—I shall never know, and you’re on one hell of an adventure.
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What I liked about Jain is her use of communication skills. She reasons first and wields her blade last. But when Jain’s cover is blown and her words are too late, she has no choice but to separate a head from its body. And at first, I wondered if Wyatt may have accepted Jain and all of the querks of this case juuust a little too soon and/or easily. But then I wrote it off as being part of his growing attraction to this dark and fiery woman. Afterall, isn’t that what one does for the sake of Love?
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Though I was confused a couple of times by the longer drawn out sections of dialog, having lost who was speaking, I loved the puns “… she’d have to dig a little deeper into Billy Root,” and the way Devon mingles a tense moment with sharp wit. She lays out the rules of Jain’s world quite well, and I love, luv, LOVE the Chaos Dragon! Having been a long-time fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series of books, I admit to having a tremendous soft spot for dragons. This sole character of the tale stole my heart.
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I highly recommend Hex Breaker as a very good read, for one simple reason. It is an innocent wish, in the end, that saves the day.






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ISBN: 9781935141082
Firedrakes Weyr Publisher
Jain Lazarus Website – look for the free downloads of two more Jain Lazarus Adventures:
The Possession of Nattie Filmore & First Feet.
INK IN MY COFFEE Devon Ellington’s webblog

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Friday Five Favorites of May 1st

I pulled these from my Soul Echoes Mood Music YouTube Channel. Unfortunately, since Google took over, I can no longer get into my account to add to, or make changes in the playlists. When I log on, using my Google account info, it does give me the opportunity to access an existing account. But when I say yes, it simply will not load. If anyone has the secret to making it work, please let me know.
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That aside, many writers, depending on what they're working on, have some form of music in the background playing to their Muse. And many do not want to be distracted by voices or lyrics.
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So, here's this week's five favorite non vocal soundtracks--courtesy of the YouTube phenomena.
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No. 1— ANCIENT WAY from Earth Drum ~David & Steve Gordon
The video opens with the rise of the sun in the American Southwest. And after a wonderful tour of images, it closes with the setting of the sun. It's easy to become entranced by this piece
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No. 2— NARA from Unearthed ~E.S. Posthumus
Though the video is visually-stunning, to say the very least, this is one of my favorite instrumentals. It's intensity stirs the very Soul of imaginings! This is also a piece I would love to crank up to full volume.

Another version ~ with images of Fantasy both Dark and Ethereal
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No. 3— ADAGIO FOR STRINGS ~Samuel Barber
Need to be brought to tears? This one does it for me. Everytime! I have wondered what it was that touched Barber so, while he composed this piece.
Though it's not exactly my favorite video, it's one of the cleanest audio tracks. The live orchestral versions out there have too much audience interaction, coughing, etc.
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No. 4— MOONLIGHT SONATA ~ Ludwig van Beethoven
Nothing embodies Melancholy more than Beethoven’s sonata. .

Here's another version with various images of the Moon that would inspire any writer of Urban Fantasy.
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No. 5— THE SUN from Point of Origin ~Yanni
"And so the First One, the Primal Element of Creation, hurled an orb of flame out into the Great Void, and the marvel of Light shone and pierced the veil of the vast Dark."

~Dellasseea N’Syis, the FirstBorn Daughter of the Primal Elements,
after being granted the memory of the First Light.
From The Forbidden World Chronicles ~L.L. Abbott
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Enjoy! And may you all have a wonderful weekend.
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Blessings