Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Six Months Later....

When life throws you curve balls, you might  have to drop everything else just to catch them. In my case, a new job has been taking up a lot of my time, but I can tell my lack of face time with blogging and writing has made my inner writer cranky. So, expect more of me in the future.

What caused this wake up call?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to check out the Fierce Reads tour at my local independent bookstore Tattered Cover. It was awesome. The line-up featured: Leigh Bardugo (see my gushy review of her first Grisha novel Shadow and Bone), Jessica Brody, Anna Banks, and Emmy Laybourne.

I went for Leigh Bardugo, but ended up loving the whole panel of awesome ladies. They were all there to support their recently released YA novels. It was fun and silly and a little girly and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was quite literally inspired to pick my writing back up with a new story I've had bouncing around in my head. As a writer, I've found that sometimes an evening with people who love books and talk about characters like they're real people (which they are) can kind be affirming and remind you why you decided to take this crazy journey in the first place.

I would have been back sooner, but I've been reading the six books I bought from the signing. Go me :)

My goal is to NaNo for summer camp and I hope to have more updates on my progres. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Sun Sets for Twilight

That's a good title. I'm clever ::pats self on the back::

I finally, FINALLY saw Breaking Dawn Part II. Just like the end of the Harry Potter franchise, the closing credits left me with mixed feelings. I was happy to see the conclusion and excited to see how some of the interesting subject matter was handled, but it was bittersweet.

There's something magical in a cultural phenomenon like Twilight. It was beautiful to see some friends, who weren't fans of reading, get swept up in a story and gush about it. For that, I was grateful. It also introduced me to a great group of ladies. For that, I was also grateful.

However, just like Beatlemania and Titanic fever, there were some enthusiastic fans that made us all look totally nuts. That was unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected. There will always be people who take a work of fiction a little too seriously.

As for a non-spoilery review, I liked it. There were some cheesy moments, of course, and there were also some heartfelt times that helped me remember why I fell for Twilight to begin with. I think that's what makes a good book-to-film translation - the ability to take what you love and what you don't love and put it all up on the screen for you to smile and cringe at.

I'm going to miss planning date nights with my girlfriends to catch the next movie premiere. I'm going to miss the camaraderie of loving something that transforms strangers into...well...less strangery.

I look forward to the next big thing and finding myself lost in the melee of a midnight book release. Good times.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Recap

Shit. It's been over a month since I've written a blog. I feel ashamed and a bit like my blog is that sad fern in the corner of the room that I've forgotten to water...for a month. The metaphorical shriveled leaves are staring me down and making me feel like complete crap. They could teach my mom a thing or two about a good guilt trip - and that's saying something!

So, to begin my mia culpa, I'll start by saying sorry and offering a feeble excuse. I started a new job (you know, the one that helps pay the bills?) and it's kicking my ass in a really good way. I'm slammed 8 to 5, and by the time I get home, I'm usually too gassed to do much of anything besides eat dinner and hang with my kiddo and man. I've been meaning to blog more, but starting to post after a lengthy break is a lot like jumping on the treadmill after a long time. The first session is always the hardest.

What's new in my writing world? Not much which kind of sucks. I was planning on NaNo this year, but just couldn't get my ducks in a row in time. I was hoping to give it the college try next month instead; however, that's looking doubtful too. My current WIP is sitting half finished in the corner and also giving me the stink eye next to the blog and metaphorical fern. I generally avoid that corner of the room with the judgement trifecta.

Well, at least my followers know I'm not dead and that counts for something, right? *crickets* RIGHT?!?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wise Words Courtesy of Tim Gunn

"The times when you most want to panic are the times you most need to take a deep breath and pull it together."

Tim Gunn on WhoSay

Tim Gunn, you are a wise and worldly man. Please take me under your wing and teach me all you know. Love, Katie

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yummy Eats: Pumpkiny Pumpkin Treats!

It's been a while since I posted something on the deliciousness of my favorite fall ingredient. Don't worry though; I've been a busy little beaver whipping up a plethora of pumpkin treats. If you're looking for something full of fall spices to warm you as the weather cools off, check out my fall faves:

1. Pumpkin Bread: I already posted this recipe last year, but this is a fall staple out my house and my son can't get enough of it!
2. Paula Deen's Pumpkin Cheesecake: Y'all, this got RAVE reviews from many cheesecake connoisseurs. It's delicious and very rich. You've been warned.

3. Pumpkin Butter: Skinnytaste's pumpkin butter has been this week's obsession. I put it on bread and found tons of recipes that call for it.

Photo: Skinnytaste
4. Pumpkin French Toast Bake: This is the real deal and a great, easy weekend breakfast. You prep it at night, then just pop it in the oven in the morning. Prepping at night also gives the bread time to soak in all the pumpkin goodness. It does call for the pumpkin butter recipe posted above, but you can just use canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) and amp up the spices.

Photo: Minimalist Baker

Happy baking!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quote of the Day: Maya Angelou

"I believe the most important single thing, beyond discipline & creativity is daring to dare." -Maya Angelou

You said it, Maya. That quote so elegantly states the purpose of this blog. No one ever achieved greatness without taking risks and that, to me, is just as important any achievement. Try and fail. Try and succeed. The important thing is to try.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Raven Boys Book Review and Maggie Stiefvater

I have a girl crush on Maggie Stiefvater, and, after attending her book signing on Saturday, I love her even more. I finished Maggie's latest release, The Raven Boys, last week. I've read all but one of her books and I think this one was my favorite.

The Raven Boys opens on St. Mark's Eve in the tiny town of Henrietta, Virginia. On this night, Blue Sargent goes to an old churchyard to see the spirits of everyone who is to die in the coming year. Well, Blue doesn't actually see them per se, she helps her psychic mother (or aunt or fill-in-the-blank relative) see them. Blue isn't a psychic; she's an amplifier. Her presence enhances her physic family's gifts. On this St. Mark's Eve, Blue sees her first spirit - a boy named Gansy. The only reason Blue, a non-psychic, would see a spirit is if he was her true love or she would be the one to kill him.

Gansy is a student at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. Students at Algionby, also known as Raven Boys, are wealthy and on their way to Ivy League schools and lives of luxury after. Gansy isn't like all the rest of the boys. He is fabulously rich and has never wanted for anything, but money can't buy what he seeks. He has spent years searching for a Welsh king named Glendower. His quest has landed him in Henrietta and he has enlisted his closest friends - Adam and Ronan - to help. Adam Parrish is a scholarship student at Aglionby who's trying to make his way through the world as his own man. Ronan Lynch recently lost his father and is content to lose just about everything else but his friends.

After the fateful St. Mark's Eve, Blue and Gansy's paths cross. Blue can plainly see that Gansy is someone she could never love or kill, but joins the gang in the hunt for Glendower. Their exploration of Virginia's ley lines lead them to unexpected discoveries and danger.

I loved The Raven Boys. I wasn't completely sold on the concept, but like all of Maggie's books, I wasn't disappointed. Maggie has the unique ability to bring the past into the present and  to construct characters that matter to me. I was intrigued and surprised and adored the book. Credit to Maggie for her pacing and delivery. The story's cadence was somehow very Virginia-y. It wasn't the language, though it was spot on, it was something else that gave the story an almost Southern Gothic feel.

On to Maggie! I went to a book signing with my friend Rheana at Denver's best independent bookstore (Tattered Cover shout out!). Maggie attended the signing with author friend Brenna Yovanoff. Maggie and Brenna, who are critique partners, interviewed each other, did dramatic readings, and took questions. They were utterly charming and had great chemistry which made the whole experience more lively than if it had been just Maggie or Brenna by themselves. I was happy that I got the book first from the library so that my shiny, autographed copy can remain in pristine condition.

Me, Maggie, and Brenna

Maggie and Brenna interviewing each other
If you haven't read any of Maggie's work, check it out and be sure to follow her awesome blog.

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