Neil Gaiman

Just met Neil Gaiman at a book signing!  When asked about his next medium he announced it to be interpretive dance! LoL He later said he was kidding but it was still amazing to hear him speak and read from his #1 Best Selling book The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

When we arrived to the school where the event was held we ran right into a giant crowd… we were not sure if it was the line or a mob… even in the midst of the line-mob it was unclear.  The line was like a study in human chaos theory.  I announced that the line was likely a trick played on the fans by Neil himself where the line circled in and around itself and through trees and over sidewalks with no clear beginning or ending and in fact was one continuous circular loop that represented the real world and the people who noticed and got out of line and went inside were the ones who had discovered the NeverWhere.

This announcement earned me dark looks, laughs, and three new friends and we exchanged contact information as a result of our nerdy fandom! 🙂

When I finally met Neil I didn’t even Fangirl-Fail!  I didn’t cry or squeak or say anything stupid.  I just beamed a smile at him and thanked him for his writing and for having the tour somewhere I could get to!  It was an event worth traveling to and I’m thrilled I got to meet him!  He even smiled at me!  I almost fell off the stairs right after we got our books signed because I was recounting the events of the previous minute wherein I had a book signed and was also smiled at by one of my favorite authors on his last ever book tour to Husband (who also happened to have been a part of that last minute…) luckily I recovered and made it down the stairs without mishap.

Neil Gaiman

Book Signing for the #1 Best Seller

Now I am off to read!

On Finding New Authors

I am a huge fan of @LAGilman and have read many the  books she’s published.  My particular favorites are the Paranormal Scene Investigations and Retrievers series.  In addition to loving the way she tells stories, her characters, the plots of her books, the language she uses, and the feeling I get when I read her books, I’ve also fallen in love with the physical books themselves.  These two wonderful series are published by LUNA Books, an imprint of the Canadian Harlequin publishing company. I love the large sized softcover books and the font/typeface and the cover art. In addition to Ms. Gilman’s wonderful series, I have enjoyed other series published by LUNA as well.  I am also a fan of Mercedes Lackey, CE Murphy, and Anne Kelleher as well.

Sometimes you love a book or are so intrigued by the story that you just have to know how it ends, so you pick up the next book in the series, and the next, and the next, until you have run out of books.  Then you look for something else to fill that space that only good fiction can fill in your imagination.  You look to other books an author has published.  When you have finally run out of books by an author… then where do you turn?  I turn to their website to find out when their next book is coming out!  Most of the time the odds are not in my favor and I have a while to wait. Then I turn to other authors and devour their books as well.  Sometimes when enough authors you enjoy have published books with the same publishing company, it is worth checking out other authors just because they have published books with the same company.  That is how I found a new series this past weekend.

As I was browsing a local bookstore this past Sunday my eye was caught by the LUNA logo on a series I had never heard of before.   I was not in the mood for a romance novel and was not in the romance section.  Sometimes I enjoy breezing through a romance novel for the (forgive me) novelty of it… but most of the time I enjoy more intrigue and conflict to my novels as opposed to heaving bosoms and lustful glances.  The LUNA books I’ve read often have a flair of romance to the stories; many times their books can even be found in Paranormal Romance sections of bookstores.  I don’t always agree with that classification because, for example, I’m more a fan of categorizing Ms. Gilman’s books as “Urban Fantasy” then “Paranormal Romance.”  That romance category just doesn’t lend the depth to the books I feel like they deserve… But back to the story.  I was browsing in the B section looking for a book I haven’t read yet by Steven Brust (which I found! woo!) when I saw a section by LUNA.  I pulled out a blue book called “The Song of Unmaking” by Caitlin Brennan and having read the back cover, it sounded fairly interesting.  I flipped through the over sized paperback’s pages; it was a similar font/typeface to the Retrievers!  I read the first line. I decided to buy the book.  But then I realized it was the second book in a series-a bittersweet revelation… On the one hand, “yay the series has more then one book!” On the other hand, “What if the first book isn’t as interesting as this one sounds?”

I checked out the first book.  It was called “The Mountain’s Call.”  It had horses on the cover…but so did the second book.  And a girl in a white dress looking distressed…the girl was on the second cover as well.  *sigh* I read the back.  *sigh* It did not sound like the book I was wandering around trying to find.  I read the first line.  I was not hooked like I was with the second book.  I decided to just buy the one instead of buying both.  Then I decided I wasn’t ready to commit and I was just going to carry it around the store with me until I made a decision about it.  (1: That’s how I shop.  2:I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure. 3: This method totally works for decision making!)  As I was walking around my fingers slipped between the pages and my eyes slid across the first page.  Then the second page. Then they crept onto the third page and I almost ran into a wall.  I grinned and decided to buy the book.

Last night I decided to start the book before bed.  Sometimes books grab you right away and are hard to put down but I hadn’t invested in this book yet so I was willing to gamble.  Yeeaaahhhhh…. 246 pages later it was almost 1 in the morning and I was going to get less than 5 hours of sleep, IF I went to sleep RIGHT THEN, which of course I COULDN’T because then I wouldn’t know what was going to happen to Kerrec!  The insidiousness of Ms. Brennan’s chapter layouts are what got me.  Her book has a theme of patterns.  I noticed early on that approximately every 10 pages was a chapter break.  It lent the story a feeling of movement, a paced rhythm, a pattern.  (It is not something I would have noticed last year but now that I’m on the other side of having written my first novel, I notice things like paragraph breaks and points of view.)  10 pages does not feel like a lot when you are enjoying a story and want to know what is going to happen to the charming main character and all the odd twists her life has taken since she left home.  I fell into the “just one more chapter” trap and enjoyed every minute of it.  Tonight I sat down after work and finished the book.  And then I felt the need to write about it.  I think the book was charming.  It was not what I expected or thought I wanted but I was charmed while reading it and will be picking up the second one tomorrow. 🙂 I am not a “horse person”  I have ridden horses maybe twice in my life but I was not one of the horse crazy girls I was friends with in school.  I’ve spent countless hours in Valdemar with Companions and read and reread Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series with the magical messenger horses but I don’t read many “horse stories.”  I was not sure I would buy into the whole “Horse Gods” aspect of this new series.  As I was reading I realized it didn’t matter that I don’t know much about horses and don’t find them particularly interesting.  What was interesting was the main character who did care, passionately and successfully shared that passion with me as a reader that I was willing to suspend my disbelief and lose myself in a story about a girl who becomes a Rider of Gods who appear as horses.  Even though this was not a book I would normally have picked up, I’m glad that I did.  I’m glad that I took the chance because LUNA Books once again published an enchanting book.

I am excited about this new method of author finding that I’ve discovered.  I will have to continue to branch out and try new authors because that will help me grow as a reader and as a writer.  For now, I’m off to bed to make up for lost sleep… I will probably dream of white horses.

Pi Dayand Bridesmaid Shoes

Shoes.  My future mother in law offered to buy my Brides Babe’s bridesmaid dress.  She called to talk with me about it and to ask aka demand about the shoes my two bridesmaids will be wearing.  I don’t care about their shoes! I really don’t!  A couple days ago I thought about the bridesmaid shoes and thought, gee I wonder if it would be cool if their shoes were the other color I haven’t got to use a lot yet.  And then I realized that I literally don’t care about other people’s feet.  All I want is for them to feel beautiful and comfortable on my special day so that they will also have a special day.  But no.  Nope.  That was too easy.  I couldn’t possibly just tell them to figure out what to do with their own hair, jewelry, makeup and shoes because then that would be too easy and putting too much trust into two of my favorite people, who coincidentally have been dressing themselves for more then 25 years each without any input or direction from me, whatsoever! REALLY?!?! SHOES?!?!!?  And yet I’m now filled with anxiety about shoes now.  It really is a ridiculous situation!  I wish she had a project other then the wedding to keep her occupied! GEEZ! 



One Ring

Yesterday Boyfriend and I “picked out” my engagement ring!  I didn’t know such a perfect ring was out there!  It was so cool “picking it out” too!  I’m SO happy and excited!  In December I finally told Boyfriend I was ready to get engaged.  We were sitting on the couch and talking about what to do for dinner and he asked me what I wanted.  I paused and said “I want to be engaged.”  He broke out into the hugest smile and said “Good! Because I was going to propose soon whether you were ready or not!”  (Author’s Note:  We had been together for four and a half years in December and he had brought it up before then but I kept telling him things like “Whoa there turbo!  I’m only *insert age here* or “I just graduated college I’m not ready yet!” Silly excuses.  Finally I was ready and that was good because he had been waiting for me to let him know because he was going to propose on our anniversary.) June 1 is our 5 year anniversary and he told me he had decided to do it then because it was our day.

We’ve gone about this engagement the same way we’ve gone about other major decisions we’ve made in our relationship (like moving in together and moving cities).  We decided on something individually and then we talked about it together and came to a decision for us.  Then, we went to our parents and told them our decision and asked them, not for their permission, but for their blessings.  We talked with them about their concerns and tried to help everyone be as comfortable about our decision as we were.  We’ve made the decision to become engaged.  Last week we went to HomeTown and told my parents.  We were going to to to CollegeTown this past weekend and tell his parents but his mom has a concussion so we rain checked.  Yesterday we went to ShaneCo and “found” the perfect engagement ring!  It’s white gold and has a wide band.  It has many diamonds (not diamond chips which apparently is a good thing? I’m just excited because it’s sparkly!) on the band itself.  It has a flower/vine/awesome design.  The detailing is shiny and sparkling and interesting and totally unique to the naked eye.  Under magnification the detailing is breathtaking!  It’s like Boyfriend commissioned this ring for me from a faerie court.  That is how perfect it is and how much I love it!  He’s trying to play it off like we picked it out together.  In fact, that’s what he said on our way here.  Really it was quite convenient how the sales person lead us right to this one which was utterly wonderful and exactly matched what I was hoping for.  I’m convinced he had picked it out before and wasn’t sure I would like it since it’s so unique so he had me come with him to make sure it was the one and to get it sized so it would fit when he did propose. 🙂 (Author’s Note: Yep. Totally called that one! He only just now admitted it too the sly, sly, wonderful man!) Once we “picked it out” the guy told us/me all about diamonds and we “picked out” the central diamond too!  It has a “feather” in it and no dark flecks/”freckles.” A feather is a compression line within a diamond that sort of looks like a crack and is called a feather that can be seen under magnification.  Freckles are little bits of coal still trapped in the diamond that look like little spots under magnification.  I didn’t want darkness in our engagement ring but I’m okay with a feathers because feathers remind me of flying and my heart has wings right now!

I’m so happy for Boyfriend aka SoonToBeFiance and me right now!  I just feel so ready for our future and know that sometimes the forest of life is not a dark and scary trek.  Sometimes the forest is a peaceful, open, happy place with birds singing and sunshine splashing through brilliant green leaves.   I’m caught up in the magical happiness of our love as we move forward to this next part of our journey together. ❤