5 Little-Known Facts about Me (That Have Nothing to Do with Books or Writing)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you probably know some of my favorite things: Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter, The Wizard of Oz, fairy gardens, Babylon 5, and world folk music, among other things. Well, just for fun, I thought I’d share five little tidbits about me that have nothing to do with writing, fantasy, or geekery in general. So if you want to get to know me better, read on!

I love rabbits

Kal-El, performing the trick known as Dead Bunny Flop. No, he was't dead here - just very relaxed. He was good at being relaxed.

Kal-El, performing the trick known as Dead Bunny Flop. No, he was’t dead here – just very relaxed. He was good at being relaxed.

I have a pet cat at the moment (and I’ve almost always had at least one cat as a personal or family pet for my entire life). But I also love pet rabbits, and I owned rabbits for a good twenty years. I’m taking a break from bunnies for a few years, because they’re really a lot of work (much more work than cats and dogs put together). But rabbits are entertaining and intelligent animals and life is never dull with bunnies in the house. (Remind me to tell you sometime about my bunny who could open doors, or my other bunny who was a climber.)

Even though I’m shy and try to avoid confrontation, I signed up for safety patrol in 5th grade and loved it

To this day, I have no idea why I did this, nor why I was apparently a successful safety patrol officer for the entire school year. Granted, I was assigned a side hallway and all I ever had to do was make sure that no one snuck out the back door to the playground. But still, I cheerfully told people not to run in the hallways, and I was never confronted by the more aggressive students. Maybe it was me acting out my desire to be acknowledged and respected? I was painfully shy, so I guess the badge and belt gave me confidence. Continue reading

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Christmas Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

So what should you give to your writer friend/spouse/family member for Christmas? If you’re a writer, what should you ask for? Here are some ideas: 

Pens. Or pencils. Because, you know, writers need tools to write with. Even those who write exclusively by typing and seeing the words show up on a screen have an innate fondness for the classic tools of our trade.

Journals. See above. Gotta have something for those pens to write on. Continue reading

My Name in Books

I wrote a post a while back using my name as an acrostic for some of my favorite bands. As much as I love music, I’m actually a writer, so here is my name with each letter representing one of my favorite books.

 

G – Ginger Rogers and the Riddle of the Scarlet Cloak by Lela Rogers. An amazingly cheesy WWII detective adventure. Fun read, though!

R – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. One of my favorite books, and a great study for writers wanting to experiment with the nuances of foreshadowing, point of view, and other storytelling twists. Continue reading

Reading Goals for 2014

As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, one of my goals/resolutions for 2014 is to read more. I had a very modest reading goal last year, and I didn’t come close to hitting it.

Since leaders are readers and writers are readers, I really can’t call myself a leader (of myself, let alone anyone else) if I don’t read. Nor can I expect my writing craft to improve tremendously if I don’t read other well-written works.

To be fair – lest you think I spent all of 2013 rotting my mind with nothing but trashy TV or lolcat pictures – I have been constantly reading content online. Articles and blog posts about writing, social media, linguistics, daily devotionals, travel – I read more than a few posts every day. But it’s still not the same as reading books.

So here’s a list of some of the books that I intend to read – or re-read – in 2014.

Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland

I’ve followed her writing blog for some time, and found valuable tips to help me improve my storytelling. I’m sure her book will help me even more.

A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert

Having loved the Little House on the Prairie books, this book about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose looks like a fascinating read.

Imagine Big by Terri Savelle Foy

I read this book last year, and I want to read it again. In fact, this is a book that could – and perhaps should – be read every year. It’s about using the power of imagination to set goals and create the life you want for yourself.

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Another re-read for me, and another “success” book that is really just about living a productive and fulfilled life. Who doesn’t want that?

East by Edith Pattou

I found this book at a used bookstore some time ago, and it’s been sitting unread on my shelf for ages (along with too many other books). Time to get caught up on those.

The Legend of the Ice People – Spellbound by Margit Sandemo

Another on-the-shelf-too-long unread book. A friend sent it to me, so I will be (finally) reading it this year in her honor.

Prince by Bonnie Watson

I read the first book in this trilogy last year, so now I want to read the next one. Hopefully I’ll finish it just in time for her to publish book three.

Bone series by Jeff Smith

I’ve mentioned this series before, so it’s another re-read. It’s been several years since I’ve read all nine graphic novels in order, plus the prequel stories (yes, graphic novels count as reading). This epic saga is a masterful combination of humor, high fantasy, and hand-drawn art.

I intend to read far more than just these few books this year, but I didn’t want to make this blog post any longer. If you want to see how I’m progressing with my reading goals, you can find me on Goodreads.

What are you reading this year?

ABC Book Challenge

I borrowed this idea from The Magic Violinist, a great writer and blogger who is always giving me good ideas.

This challenge is to list books that I’ve read, one for every letter of the alphabet (skipping words like A and The in the titles, of course). My list is a little bit of everything – fantasy, children’s books, classics, non-fiction. So here goes!

AAleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse

BBeezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

CThe Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

DThe Devil’s Horse: Tales from the Kalevala by Keith Bosley

EEchoes of Mercy by Nancy Alcorn

FThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

GThe Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

HThe Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

IThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

JJust-So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

KKirsten’s Surprise by Janet Shaw

L Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

MMara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

NNight Mare by Piers Anthony

OOnce Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman

PPiercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti

QQ-Squared by Peter David

RRebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

SThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

TThe Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter

UUltima Thule: Explorers and Natives in the Polar North by Jean Malaurie

VVoyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

WWisdom by Bonnie Watson

XX-Men: Empire’s End by Diane Duane

YYertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

Z Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife

What about your reading list? Have you hit every letter yet? Please share!