Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011

Let me start out this post by saying I have read more this month since I decided to quit "officially" running a book blog then I have since June. I find that a bit ironic.

My goal was to read 100 books this year, and while technically there are a few more days until 2011 ends, I have accomplished reading 34 books. I obviously slacked hardcore as a reader.

Favorite Reads Published in 2011

Favorite Series 

Other Favorites

 Favorite Book Read in 2011 But Doesn't Come Out Until 2012


What was YOUR favorite books this year??

Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Goals - How did I do?

At the beginning of the year I made a post about all the things I wanted to do in 2011. (Read it here) The only other time I looked at this list was when I did a 6-month check up. It was kinda funny reading over it now and what I wanted to accomplish and knowing all the things that weren't on this list that I DID accomplish. And I know it's still technically 2011, but I plan on being pretty MIA until next year with Christmas coming up (2 days people!!) and then my nephew (!!) flying in next week! So let's type out my goals and see how well I did!

Write.  I didn't finish a novel, BUT I did write a very crappy rough draft of one in NaNoWriMo. And because of that really crappy rough draft-not-even-finished-draft I have a better view of my story. A better plot line. And the drive to get my dream back. I wouldn't trade that struggle for what I'm feeling now.

Get healthy. Around June of this year I started having some massive stomach problems. So massive in fact that I ended up spending way too much money at the doctor's office, a trip to the ER, and missed class and work because of it. I may not have dropped 50 pounds, but I did loose 15. I started a work out routine, and I like it. But mainly, I learned that even if you are bigger, you can still live a life. You can still love yourself. And I think having a healthy mind frame is equally important.

Try new things. Did it. Got out way more this year. Stopped being such a hermit. Stopped shutting everyone out. Took some risks. Laughed at myself. Go mad at myself. Cooked new foods. Acted like a fool, and have no apologies for it.

Get another tattoo. This didn't happen. Dang it.

Keep up my GPA. I didn't strive as well as I could have, but I still did pretty good. In some ways I'm disappointed in myself, but in other ways, I'm okay with the choices I made.

Go to concerts. I DID THIS! I didn't get to see Seether. I HAD TICKETS TO SEE SEETHER! But they cancelled :( I did go see:

Theory of a Deadman
Stone Sour
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Adelita's Way
Drive A 
Puddle of Mudd
Papa Roach
OH the Fire
Sent By Ravens
Nine Lashes
......and I "kinda" saw Ha Ha Tonka. Didn't get to stay for the show, but I did talk to some of the band members so that "kinda" counts, right?

Dress more girly. I never busted out a skirt, but I did wear cuter clothes. By cuter I mean a non-band shirt.

Don't let it get me. I still have those moments like anyone does. I noticed more than ever the heaviness I feel when I let things weigh me down. When I just don't brush things off. I know how sick I've made myself because I get upset over things I have absolutely no control over. Sometimes I can even stop myself and say: Hey. Wait a minute. Why are you upset? It's not worth it. This situation is not worth it. This person is not worth it. It's a process and I'm okay to work with it.

Enjoy life and be more productive with it! I may not have done a lot of things I wanted to do in 2011, but I think my family and friends can agree one thing I did do in 2011 was get back to me. For the past couple years I've let things drag me down to this deep hole that I thought I never was going to get out of. Depression, in whatever form it comes in, is a dark and scary place that can eat you alive if you let it. 

I'm not letting it anymore. 

I look back at so much time wasted and I regret it. I regret shutting myself out from others. For feeling like I'm starting all over at the age of 26. 

But I'm not regretting things anymore. 

This was my year of growth. My year that I got back to me, got back to the things that matter. What I learned most importantly about life is pretty simple: Faith, Friends, and Family. Life is a sad, sad place with out those three things. Glad I know I have it in mine.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sister Road Trip: Day Two Part Two

Remember that time I started doing a series of posts about my road trip back in April/May then I slacked off severely because I kinda forgot about it then I didn't blog for like ever? If you missed it, you can catch up with this:

Day One
The Best Hotel You'll Ever Stay At
Day Two: Part One

All caught up? Good. Here we go!

Soooo after leaving the Music Hall we headed down to the Ryman Audtioriam. The inside of the place was simple but yet beautiful. We sat down in the pews to watch a short movie, and I found it really interesting that the Ryman was first built as a church. The pews we were sitting in were the original ones from all that time ago. After it was turned into an entertainment place, they still respected it as a church so no liquor was or is allowed to be served there. Back in the day when artists did show up to preform they would sneak out the back door, cross the alley, and drink over there before they took stage. There were tons of country music artists in the video talking about the Ryman, and one said something on the lines, "Yeah and even Pasty Cline played here." Which if you watched Country Strong you would know why my sister and I nudged each other with a snicker.

We could roam around freely, which the place wasn't that big, but they had little displays set up that we browsed. Then we went up front to get our picture taken on stage. They encourage people to sing into the microphone and even play the guitars. My sister and I, while we pretty much use music as oxygen, don't have a musical talent in our body. (Very sad if you ask me, you think we may have been blessed but no.) The photographer told me that I was the spitting image of his granddaughter. He just kept shaking his head saying he couldn't believe how much we looked alike. So I guess I have a twin somewhere in Tennessee!

After we left The Ryman, we headed downtown. Because of the marathon race, every single bar, shop, and restaurant was packed full of people. So we didn't get to go inside to a lot of places due to full capacity. We did stop at a Charlie Daniels museum.

Our lunch consisted of Margaritaville and then more shopping until we decided to go back to the hotel to drop off our stuff and get ready for the night for MY BIRTHDAY!!

We had a new shuttle driver on the way downtown and the guy pretty much told us girls to be careful because we could get raped and murdered down there. Yeah, that made us feel real safe.

Wildhorse was a lot of fun! Great live music, FRIED PICKLES, and an amazing drink called: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy. They also had line dancing lessons, but my sister wouldn't get out there with me and I wasn't drinking enough to go out and do it myself. We hung out there for a good portion of the night then decided to roam around a bit more before we caught the shuttle back to the hotel.

I'm not for sure if it was a full moon or what in Nashville that night, but all the crazies had came out to play. We ventured back down towards The Stage and other bars because I really wanted to hear some more bands, but there were lines everywhere and people getting into fights. They were totally ruining my birthday buzz  so we bypassed a crazy man with balloons then headed back up to the shuttle area where we met 2 girls who were staying at the hotel. They also thought Nashville was full of crazies because one was chased by a woman screaming nasty things at her that I won't repeat.

Our next shuttle driver looked a lot like my brother-in-law's dad, and he was a riot to ride with! We stopped a couple times to pick up people from our hotel then all chatted it up back on the way. By the time midnight rolled around, I announced it was sadly no longer my birthday, and we got back into the hotel where we decided to end our night with the best pizza my mouth as ever encountered.

And that concludes Day Two of the Sister Road Trip. Stay tuned because my goal before this year ends is to finish this post!

Next Up: What Happened on the Way to Memphis and How I Got Drunk in the Jungle Room

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Talk: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
(Seven Realms Series - Book One)

Release Date: September 2009
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy - Series
Pages: 506
Source: Library
Sites: Amazon | Goodreads

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell. For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off. 

 While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. 

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai camp – riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.


Since my newest story consists of a lot of fantasy type elements, I thought it was probably a good time to ya a fantasy novel. Now I've read a few of them, but it's never been my go-to genre. And if you're like me then this book is definitely a great place to start your love for it!

What I love so much about the start of this series is how well written it is, and how I really never got confused. Everything is played out so nicely and the world is richly done with so many characters and events intertwining with one another.

Let's start with my favorite character: Han aka Cuffs. THIS BOY y'all! *dies over the computer and swoons* Han is in retrospect a bad boy. He has a very tough exterior, and he used to be the leader of the Raggers. But Han has heart. He has so much love for his younger sister and doesn't want her ending up in that life. So he does what he has to do to help provide for his family, but trouble just seems to follow him wherever he goes. That trouble leads to a very interesting plot along with those cuffs on his wrists.

Then there is Princess Raisa who is about to approach her sixteenth name day (I love that wordage by the way). This princess heir is not your average oh let me put on my dress on and prance around cause I'm a princess type of character. Raisa is smart. She is very curious and she doesn't want to just marry some prince and sit on a throne for the rest of her life. She wants to learn. She wants to travel. She wants to swamp some more spit with  boys. She has no problem speaking her mind or finding out what is really going on in Fells. That's when Han and Raisa come together.

Since I am apparently on a character kick here, I have to mention how much I adored Amon, Raisa's best child-hood friend who has now turned into a hunky solider who is all about protecting Raisa and Fells. He is quite possibly the only one who can talk some sense into this stubborn princess, but doesn't always succeed. Then there is Micah, son of a very powerful wizard. He's hot in that I-know-you're-a-bastard-and-you're- really-gonna-tick-me-off way. And he does succeed nicely into ticking me off, but he is such a great "villain" along with his father I cannot not like them. Other side characters like Dancer, Raisa's father, Willo - there are just so many great side characters that richly add to the process the book starts to take.

What really brings this whole series into a nice start is the world the author has created. There is A LOT going on in this book, and it does start off slow, but it's one of those things where you need all that information. The writing is so vivid and detailed, I couldn't get enough of it. And it has magic folks. Who doesn't enjoy some magic?!

Basically you need to read this book. You'll thank me later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's a Charlie Brown Christmas?

A few years back I ditched most of my Christmas decorations and/or lost them in a couple moves. So when I moved into my new place back in August, I was all sorts of excited to buy new stuff for Christmas. Then ya know bills happened, and I really wish I didn't ditch/lost most of those decorations. I went cheap this year for my Christmas tree ($20 on the Blitz AND I got it before the sale happened *evil snicker here*), and as my BFFF liked to point out via Facebook when I posted the picture: It's a Charlie Brown Christmas!

Yes. The tree is standing on a box. It's a 5 foot tall one, but I felt weird being taller than the tree. (I am NEVER taller than anything besides small children.)

Oh lookie! I also got some cupcake ornaments! 

*whispers* I am so hitting up the after Christmas sales this year for a bigger tree. I'm just not letting this little guy know about that. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weight Loss Sucks: Let's Kick This Sucka Into Cardio Drive

After months of going to the doctor, an ER visit, and one trip to a specialist who didn't tell me jack squat - I'm FINALLY starting to find some sort of happy medium with DIMB (Demon In Mah Belly) Syndrome. I had to quit a lot of things including: COFFEE (!!!), red meats (this really wasn't too hard though some days I wish I could stop at a drive-thru), chewing gum (yep, you heard me right), and fried foods.

I haven't done the best job of kicking most of these things out completely yet. I do work in a deli so sometimes it's a bit hard not to snack on something fried. Since I've been way more strict on myself, I ended up loosing about 10 pounds in November. Another thing that has helped a lot, besides the handful of natural medicine pills I take every day, drinking a gazillion things of water or hot tea, is working out.

I'm horribly lazy even on my most energetic days so I started The Biggest Loser Cardio Max Weight-Loss DVD just here and there last month. I've stayed on the first basic one that is only supposed to go for 2 weeks. Didn't add in the weights or anything - mainly just weening myself into it. Now? I'm pulling out the big guns, busting out the weights, and doing it full force.

Even on days where I just want to sit on my couch or hit the snooze button, I will be getting up, I will be plugging the ear buds in (because who can stand work out music on these things?!), and moving my butt 5 days a week. It's gonna suck. It's gonna take a lot, but I know in the end getting myself healthy will be worth it not just for all my stomach problems but for my mind set as well.

Welcome first week of doing this sucka right!!

What about you? Do you have any workout systems that you really like? Feel free to tell them to me because at some point after I get through this one, I'll need something new to torture myself with.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome to the merging of Just Your Typical Book Blog

It was almost three years ago on a nice little winter night (it was Janurary so I doubt it was nice & I was more in likely freezing) that I was talking to Cheryl on MSN (because we lived there those days) when the following conversation happened:

Cheryl: I'm going to start a book blog
Moi: Sweet!
Cheryl: Yeah and you're going to help me
Moi: Sweet!

Needless to say, it obviously doesn't take much to convince me of things.

Over the course of almost three years, a lot of awesome things happened. I got to interview authors (!! WHO ARE ROCK STARS IN MY HUMBLE OPINION !!), make new friends, make great blogging buddies (haiii Sab and Erica), participate in great things (whaddup Contemps!), and of course read a lot of GOOD books!! Also in that time Cheryl left the blog, I took many upon many "breaks" from getting what I like to call the "book bloggers blues". Sometimes I felt like having to review books took the fun out of it. Having to write authors telling them I didn't care for their novel was pretty freaking difficult. I dumped way more books than I read them in the past year. I've created memes, I've failed at meme's, but all in all I'm very glad that Cheryl and I started book blogging because I know there would be a lot of books I would have never came across. And a lot of discussions and people I would have never got to "meet".

This year I've really sucked at blogging, both here and at JYTBB. I went in the new year thinking I would stick with it and do all these awesome new things, but school, work, and real life took up A LOT of time. From someone who used to be a huge hermit, it was different but in a very good way. (And I think my friends are happy I am no longer one.) The decision to merge Just Your Typical Book Blog into my this blog had been on my mind for the past few months. And today, I finally decided it's going to happen.

So up above you'll soon be seeing stuff that I used to have on JYTBB. I plan on bringing my Rock This! Thursday meme here too where I interview authors and bloggers about books and music. (Shoot me an email: if you wanna do one!) I also decided for the time being I wouldn't change my Twitter name: @JYTBB or the e-mail address.

You'll be seeing posts about books because I plan on reading a CRAP TON over winter break. And if you were a follower of JYTBB, I hope you'll be one here too, and I hope you enjoy my other posts :) If you're already a follower, I hope you'll enjoy my upcoming Book Talk.

Monday, November 28, 2011

How badly do you want that dream?

Reading and writing have always been a big part of my life.

At school when the teacher passed around Book Orders, I would start circling like crazy, take it home to my dad so he could decide how much money he wanted to shell out that month on my reading. I joined book order clubs like Babysitter's Club and Girl Talk. Every month I'd get two fresh new books, read them within the week, and be begging my mom to drive me to the library. I have to say my parents were quite awesome in supporting my book nerd habit.

When I couldn't find the story I wanted to read that's when I started writing. Which I assume is how a lot of people started writing as well. I don't remember what my first story ever was. The earliest one I can remember is one I made in Girl Scouts called: Susie Is Lost. All about a girl who looses her doll, only to find the thing shoved under a couch cushion.

I've always known that writing was a massive part of my life. Even in moments where I didn't write, I was creating a story in my head. My dad used to play his record player growing up, and there I would be in the living room, walking circles around the coffee table just thinking of adventures. Honestly, if I didn't have crazy scenarios, what if's, and characters constantly chattering away in my head - I think life would be massively boring.

A few years ago I decided that I needed to be published. I needed to fulfill this dream of writing. Somewhere from there and around the time summer ended, I lost something. I gripe about writer's block and failure a lot.. I am probably the best at griping about writing instead of actually sitting on my butt and doing it. The thing is, I know I haven't lost the ability to write. If anything, I have gotten better. I am not being self-centered about that either. I can look at a story from seven years ago to a story now and I can proudly say: I am a good writer. I may not be the best writer, but I'm still a good one.

But what I lost was my drive for it.  I didn't come across this until about August.  I was at work, talking to a lady who said she wanted to read an expert of The Unexpected Clash of Strangers. I started laughing saying: "Oh you know me, I dropped the story again!" She was trying to tell me: "Hey, it's okay. Writers do that all the time." Seriously this lady is like the best at encouraging me and has always supported my writing. While she was trying to give me a pep up speech, I realized something and blurted it out:

I don't think I want it bad enough.

And I didn't. I had no desire at all to write when it came down to it. If I wanted it bad enough, I would have been going for it.  I would have just done it.  I wouldn't care like I used to NOT care of what was wrong here and there.  I would just keep going and writing and getting these characters are were so alive in my head out onto paper.  I would tell their story.  Life hadn't exactly been my best friend around that time or for the past few years, and I let all those bad things take control of me.  And somehow without knowing it, I let it take control of my dream.  I let it tear it and me down to a point where I felt like I just didn't care anymore.  It's weird knowing that I didn't care about writing.

Then October rolled around. I started thinking about past stories, one in particular Fairy Tale. I decided that I would use it for NaNoWriMo. I had no high hopes. I've done NaNoWriMo, and even Camp NaNoWriMo (around the same time I claimed defeat of my dream), and I've never really "won". I plotted and I changed things. When November 1st rolled around, I sat in my chair, and I just started typing.  Some days I didn't write anything. Other days I went crazy and wrote 7K or more. I did word races on Twitter. I texted Cheryl many times at all hours of different ideas and ways things could go. Then last night, I reached the 50K line.

And it felt amazing. Beyond amazing.

The story isn't finished. The first few chapters are going to have to be completely scraped and rewritten.  I'm missing huge chunks of the story, and I even decided to rename my main character from Gabby (short for Gabriella) to Ari (short for Arianna). I know this is a very rough skeleton of a story, but it felt amazing because I wrote. I dove in head first, typed furiously, and kept going and going and I'm still going.

Every day on Facebook I have been putting something I am thankful for. When I woke up this morning, there was really only one thing to be thankful for: NaNoWriMo. For giving me back that drive.  For giving me the kick in the butt I desperately needed, and making me realize what I've always wanted out of life was what I've always had. It's writing. It will always be writing no matter what I'm in school for or what I'm doing. I'm glad it's back. I'm glad that I can look at all 122 pages of complete crap and smile that it's there.

Things in life are going to suck. Sometimes they're going to tear you down and make you doubt yourself in ways you'd never thought could happen. But the trick of it is, get back up. Don't let it win. No matter how long it takes you - a week, a month, or even almost three years - get your dream back. Fight for it, and dont' stop until you know it's fully yours. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Live Blogging Part Duex - NaNoWriMo Crunch Time!

Decided to dedicate another Sunday to live blogging so I can reach 50K today!

Goal: 7,000 words

6:30 AM: Woke up. Told my body is was nukin futs if it thinks this is considered sleeping in.

8:00 AM: Alarm goes off. Must get up to do work out.

8:05 AM: Must get up to do work out.

8:10-15 AM: I am not getting up to do the work out. Hit snooze again, and "daydream" about my next scene that I need to write. I seriously come up with the BEST scenes when halfway asleep.

8:40 AM: Alarm goes off again. Must. Get. Up.

9:17 AM: Showered, toast crammed in my mouth, jamming out to Walkin' On Sunshine! Yes, it's the morning dance routine. And yes, it's still as hideous as it was two weeks ago. Decide to do a live blogging post and remember what all happened this morning.

9:18 AM: Stepping away from the computer to go get ready for church! When I get back my writing game is ON!

10:17 AM: Squeeze in some words:

353/7,000 words

Now off to church!

1:27 PM: Back home from church and a not-so-quick drop at Wal-Mart. Going to make yummy chicken tacos and then novel: You're goin' down!!

3:01 PM: Ohkkay so my break might have taken longer than expected. I did watch the last new episode of Once Upon a Time, but I think that qualifies as "research", don't you? Glad to know you agree with me. I also took down my pumpkins outside since I do have my Christmas tree up. I'm not gonna lie, sad to see those goes:


3:54 PM: Ugh. My belly still feels ridicously full from my lunch. I want a nap.

1,237/7,000 words

5:16 PM: Sweet mother of pearl! I am tiirreedd!! But I did just "officially" bring Prince Easton into my story. He's evil. Like really evil, and I notice I keep having him threaten to kill people over and over again when he first meets Gabby. Could be why my word count skyrocketed there in the past hour. Hhmm, probably need to edit some of that part out, but alas, I must charge forward. All right muse, together now: Onward, march!

3,614/7,000 words

6:02 PM: So my MC who is named Gabby, but I don't like that name anymore and need to change it, has been kidnapped. To show her kidnapper aka Hot Evil Prince Easton that she will be quite the pain in the butt, she has started to sing 99 Bottles of Beer on the wall.  I think she might be getting herself gagged soon. Speaking of songs, I have somehow became obsessed with replaying this particular one by Puddle of Mudd. I think it's his voice. I mean LISTEN TO THAT INTRO! *melts into a puddle of goo* <--I really didn't mean to do a halfway pun there.

....I also have been spending entirely way too much time on Twitter and not really focusing on writing. Bad Amber! But I'm just gonna replay this song one.more.time.....

4,682/7,000 words 

8:01 PM: Umm so in all my excitement I kind of forgot to update this but at exactly 7:40 PM.......





Until next time kittens............

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNoWriMo Check-In! Who's still alive?

All day today I kept thinking it was the 15th, but silly me, it's the 16th which means everyone should be up to 26,666 words!!

So, where does that leave me?

Right here.

Or at 29,024 words. 

Before you go thinking on Day 6 I was some sort of amazing crazy writer - don't. While I would like you all to believe that I pumped out that much wordage in a day, I actually pumped out extra wordage leading up to Day 6 in different scenes that I had saved on another file. (Like at school during my lunch break.) So when I added what I hadn't put in the first 5 days, well it made it go way UP! 

I had a good few days where ideas were flowing and I was typing like mad! I even did word races with Canada (her word count is up in the 30K mark), which made me bust out about 5K in a 2.5 hour race. It was insanley awesome. Last Thursday the dreadful DIMB kicked in. What's DIMB you ask? It stands for Demon In Mah Belly. And no, that doesn't mean I'm with child. (But if I ever were to ever get pregnant I'm sure it would be a demon.) DIMB is a stomach disorder that I have that I obviously renamed. It has made me want to be on the couch, curled up, and watching all the lovely shows on my DVR all day and night. 

But today DIMB and I had a little chatty-chat. It's going to calm It's butt down before I shank it so I can get some more writing done tonight. 

If you happen to be on Twitter and would like to do some word races, feel free to send me a  message! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Writing advice from Roseanne.

Yesterday morning, around 3:25 AM to be exact, this lovely framed poster that hangs above my head decided it was time to come crashing down. Luckily, for my head's sake at least, it did not hit me. But it did jolt me awake, and make me believe I was living in Amytville Horror for about a minute. I wasn't able to go back to sleep for a long time so I turned on the TV, flipped through a million infomercials when I saw Roseanne was on.

I grew up on Roseanne.  Loved it back then and still love it today. This episode was the series finale that always makes me cry (and yes, I got teary eyed at 4:30 something AM over it). Now if you never saw the series finale I don't feel that bad "spoiling" it for you cause if you haven't seen it yet, I doubt you ever will.

Basically the series ended with Roseanne in her basement finishing the book she had been writing about her life aka the show. A lot of things she switched in the book like did you know Mark and Becky weren't actually together?! It was really Darlene and Mark. Becky was with David, but like any good mother she always thought that was strange so she switched their lives around. Oh, and also Dan really did die when he had his heart attack which made me bawl.

Re-watching that episode, the last few minutes where Roseanne is narrating, the following passage really stuck out to me:

....In choosing life, I realized that my dreams of being a writer wouldn't just come true; I had to do the work. And as I wrote about my life, I relived it, and whatever I didn't like, I rearranged. I made a commitment to finish my story even if I had to write in the basement in the middle of the night while everyone else was asleep. But the more I wrote, the more I understood myself and why I had made the choices I made, and that was the real jackpot. I learned that dreams don't work without action; I learned that no one could stop me but me. I learned that love is stronger than hate. And most important, I learned that God does exist. He and/or She is right inside you, underneath the pain, the sorrow, and the shame. I think I'll be a lot better now that this book is done.

For the past couple years I've lost a lot of things, and one of them was my drive for my dream. It's good to have that back, and that little passage above will be my push throughout this entire month as I charge through NaNoWriMo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

If your characters had Facebook....

What would their status say?

I saw this on Twitter last month, and for the life of me I cannot remember what site did this. (Sorry un-credited site!)

It got me thinking (in class, of course) what would my characters say? So I picked four of my main characters from "Fairy Tale", jotted them down (aka saved the texts I sent to Cheryl), and wha-lah I'm making a post on it.

It was a fun little exercise, and if anyone decides to do it, put your link in the comments so I can go read!

Jesse: Stuck in a fairy tale realm. Please send clean underwear.

Mason: Went to the tavern last night, and woke up face down in a field missing my pants. Gingers. They get me every time.

Gabby: Just got kidnapped by the Prince of freaking Darkness. No, I'm not talking about Ozzy. Although, that would be pretty cool.

Easton: Idiots. I am constantly surrounded by idiots.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Live Blogging! A Day in the Life of NaNoWriMo....

I saw something on Let the Words Flow on how they did a live blogging day. Since Sunday's are the only days I have off, I thought it would be the best time to do it. My goal today is to write *drumroll* 7K to catch up on the last two days I've slacked!

7:10 AM - Wake up from drooling on one self. Stupid allergies. Look at clock (it says 8:10), curse my body for thinking this is sleeping in, and then remember it's day lights savings time so I can be lazy for a bit.

7:35 AM - Decide to eat breakfast and then go write before I need to start getting ready for church.

7:45 AM - 2 gluten-free waffles, turkey bacon, and a nice cup of coffee mixed with the tale end of various coffee creamers later I am back in bed watching Grey's Anatomy from Netflix.

8:15 AM - Could totally go write, but ya know it's Grey's.....

Word Count: 0/7000

9:00 AM - Pour second cup of coffee, jump in shower, start getting ready for church, and shake my bootay around to dance music. Glance in mirror realizing I am the whitest girl alive.

10:00 AM - Heading out to pick up sister for church, run by ATM, stop by gas station to get Sunday paper cause I am poor and coupons are amazing. MUST MUST write when I get out of church.

12:33 PM - Back home from church (awesome sermon, btw). Got Red Diamond tea poured and some lovely pineapple to much on AND NOW I AM GOING TO WRITE!!

12:43 PM - Okay, fine. Now I'm really writing. *turns off Facebook and Twitter*

1:29 PM - Did the ultimate NaNoWriMo sin and spent the past 40 minutes or more going over chapter one and editing things. WHAT?! I had to change things, dang it! My MC does boxing now. It needed to be added.

1:31 PM - Check e-mail to see Cheryl has sent me pictures of her characters. Swooning over her bad guy. Seriously people her story is going to be awesome.

1:32 PM - Diving back into story with All! New! Words!

2:41 PM - Ermmm may have done some laundry, texted a few friends, and read more e-mails from Cheryl in between writing. Heading to Sister's house to eat lunch and wondering why I ever thought live blogging for a 7K word count was a fun idea.

Word Count: 936/7000

4:16 PM - Back from Sister's. Food was yummy up in my tummy. Now to kick some major word count butt. *puts on warrior helmet*

5:02 PM - Realized my novel playlist is quite lame. Must add a few new songs to get my groove going.

Word Count:  2094/7000

5:38 PM - Downloaded most of the Enchanted soundtrack and "Sail". Now must write my MC about to get mugged in a fairy tale realm and then introduce Mason. *sighs* Oh, Mason.

6:20 PM - Holy sweet mother my eyes are going boggers. Need to take munchie break and stare at something else for 30 minutes.

Word Count: 4123/7000

7:18 PM - Oohhhkaaay so my break was a bit longer. Dang you, Grey's for sucking me in! And just ignore my little out cries on Twitter about knowing nothing of boxing (which my MC knows how to do), and how all my words are crap. Turning on The Princess and the Frog soundtrack via DisneyParkAudio on Youtube and I will finish this baby!

7:43 PM - Dudes. Soundtracks are quite possibly the best thing for me to EVER write along with. Seriously I am loving DisneyParkAudio like whoa. Right now it's Pirates of the Carribean soundtrack and I am amazed how it just seems to go along with what I'm doing. Must download many more soundtracks in the future.  Oh and Mason totally just clocked out some bandits that were trying to kidnap my MC Gabby and sell her off. Mason is the bomb dot com even if he is a thief himself.

8:11 PM - Been talking to Cheryl and Laura on Twitter. Probably shouldn't. #Distractions But ya know, we're writing talking so it's very important.

8:14 PM - My butt is asleep. My butt is asleep. I repeat my butt is asleep.

Word Count: 5789/7000

8:19 PM - The light at the end of the tunnel is close. SO VERY, VERY CLOSE!  I see you, you beautiful thing!

Word Count: 6325/7000

9:13 PM - *smacks her NaNoWriMo novel* Who's your Mommy now!? (Okay, I will never make that horrible remark ever again, but I am done.) DONE I TELL YOU, DONE!! Please bust our your drums as you read........

Total Word Count: 7256/7000

And only about 5K of it ISN'T crap! Boo-yah!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo. Are you down for the cause?

I've never exactly "won" NaNoWriMo. The first time I did it, I think I made it to about 35K then said screw it. The 2nd time I went over the 50K mark with The Unexpected Clash of Strangers, made a ton of progress on it, but then crashed miserably in the end.

Each time I've done NaNoWriMo, I've never had a fresh new idea. I know that's the jist of things, but really who the heck is going to kick me out for NOT having a fresh new idea? Exactly. Last year while having the flu I read some of The Iron Fey series and watched an ABC Family movie about a princess and it struck me that I wanted to write my own world. I've never been a big fantasy reader, but I absolutely loved fairy tales as a kid. My favorite show? Grimm's Classic Fairy Tales. I would come a runnin' full force into the living room when I heard the theme song.

The idea, like most of my ideas, kind of deflated after a month or so. Who was I kidding? ME write a fantasy book? I've only read contemporary novels forever. I had no business trying to come up with kingdom names. So I moved on to other stories then to a few months of not really giving a crap if I ever wrote again (that's for another post). Last month, my characters were tugging at my mind. I went back over what I had written (about 80 pages of stuff), and I picked it apart. Took the good out and left the bad in another file and started tackling the sucker.

I have a new plot.

A few new characters.

A whole lot of bloodshed.

And some awesome creatures lurking through my fairy tale realm.

And most of all, I have a kick butt MC who is about to go on a ride of her life.

Oh, and I have boys. Hot boys.

For my NaNoWriMo, I am working on what I've always nicknamed: Fairy Tale. I suck completely at writing a synopsis, but here's the jist:

Gabby stopped believing in fairy tales the night her father was brutally killed before her eyes. What she saw was a creature in a red hood, but that's not what the cameras caught. Nearly 10 years later, Gabby cannot help but notice how things are starting to get strange. She's seeing things she saw as a child. Like a fairy in her locker, trolls tripping the basketball players, and then the biggest nightmare of all: the creature who killed her father. 

The moment Gabby thinks she's safe, a realm opens up, and suddenly her and her best friend, Jesse, are sucked in to it. Determined to get back home, Gabby takes on the help of a guy named Mason and his band of not-so-merry men. But Mason seems to have his own agenda, and when they're found by a dark prince, Gabby is starting to realize that her father had failed to ever tell her the truth of who he really was. Who her mother was, and who Gabby is destined to be.

Hey. Don't say I didn't warn you I suck at writing summaries.

What about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Find me: sammyjones57 and let's cheer each other on!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh October, how I loved you.

I am a big Fall girl.

I know there are a ton of people who love Summer, but me and Missouri humidity heat do not see eye to eye. So when October rolled up with its lower tempatures, my grouchiness seemed to fade away. Not to mention the amazing colors that follow Fall. The 30 minute drive to school which is now turning into a 45 minute one due to construction has never looked prettier. (The picture is a bit scrambly due to my lovely dumb phone.)

Then there is anything pumpkin. Pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin snack cakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin shakes, pumpkin Mexican chip dip - basically I am like the Bubba Gump of Pumpkin. Since I got my new place, I knew I wanted to decorate my porch. There were a few other craft ideas I had planned on doing, but I'm kind of a procrastinator so that didn't happen. I am quite proud of my quest of spray painting pumpkins this year!

Note to self: Never ever again spray paint pumpkins inside the house. You will be high as a kite and wonder why you ever thought drugs were fun as a teenager.

The white one with the swirls is my favorite. It was a bit inspired by watching The Nightmare Before Christmas.

What do you love about Fall?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A soda/candy shoppe type of birthday.

I don't know what the deal is, but since the beginning of this year, I love to bake. Early twenties me wouldn't even know what to do with myself if she saw me in the kitchen, wearing an apron, and mixing up ingredients.

I love throwing parties together, and I am lucky my sister pretty much lets me take over my niece's for a while now. Last year we did an Alice in Wonderland theme (back before everything came out for it - I'll do a post on that some other time), and this July she was turning 12 (!!). I wanted something kind of fun to do and not exactly movie/character themed like her past parties. I bought a cupcake magazine which is pretty much the bomb dot com. Inside of it has a Soda Shoppe themed list of cupcakes so after a few brainstorms we put together a Soda/Candy Shoppe Birthday!

For decorations, I kept things a bit simple. Just bought some lanterns and I made some pin wheels. My dad had a crate of old soda bottles so I used those to prop them up with.

All the candy jars were displayed with ribbon wrapped around with a tag. And we had candy. Good lord, did we have candy. We had clear goodie bags and dished out candy to all the kids when they left.

The best part (at least in my humble opinion) was of course the cupcakes!

Root Beer Floats

Orange Cream Pops

Hot Fudge Sundaes
(These were the biggest hit!)

I stress out a lot when trying to put things like this together. I learned that I am not a pro at making icing at all which may have resulted in a tossed bag across the kitchen knocking over a glass and busting it. After it was all said and done I think it went great!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And then I came back from the dead.

Well, not exactly like that even if I am super white.

I'm halfway settled into my new house. I've been here for a month now. There are still boxes. There is still A LOT to do, but seeing as I am the QUEEN BEE of procrastination, I am actually semi-impressed with how much of my house is done. AND I've been getting super freaking crafty up in hurrr. (Don't ask why I just said it like that. I've switched to 6 AM work shifts on top of my getting up at 5:30 AM for class, and I am freaking TIRED. I also have no idea why I keep randomly writing in CAPS in about every sentence.)

I hope you all are doing smashingly well! I'm writing this post from my office. Yes, office where the walls are kind of a pale pink, slightly dirty, random wood stars, and now have a blotch of Surf's Up blue by the light switch cause that's what color is going to be when I paint it this week.

Right after I paint the living room....or maybe this room. I can't decide which one needs to be done first. Back to the office here. I HAVE MY OWN WRITING OFFICE! It has bookshelves (mismatched ones - holla!), my desk, two big cork boards (for plotting stories), and a dry erase board up! I don't know why I feel it necessary to type all of this out to you but I AM SO EXCITED I HAVE MY OWN WRITING SPACE!!

Basically what this post is all about is another: 
Hi, I'm still alive. 

I will be back to blogging soon! I have posts to make, writing things to share, and rants! Lord, do I have me some rants (writing rants, duh.)

And also: 
It's Fall and I have cute decorations on my porch!

And then there is: 
I'm going to bed now.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A letter to Summer.

Dear Summer,

While some people anticipate you coming along and soaking up all your sunshine and vacations, this extremely white girl did not enjoy you at all.

I may have enjoyed you a lot more if I didn't live in Missouri, where the second you walk out your door you're instantly covered in sweat. It doesn't help matters that I am in fact a bigger girl. Before you get all defensive on me Summer and tell me it's not YOUR fault I'm fat and sweaty, I'll tell you this: If you weren't so mother truckin' blazing hot this entire season maybe my fat butt could have gone for walks. Maybe my fat butt could have gone for runs. And maybe, JUST MAYBE my fat butt could have definitely worked out a lot more, but seeing as this attic is like 20 degrees hotter than the sun itself, it didn't happen.

Okay. Fine. I probably wouldn't have worked out the entire summer, but the thought is still there!


I also blame you for this ridiculously stressful semester I was put through. I was so excited to go through classes that actually would better my future in the medical program, but sadly, one class was absolutely pointless. I'm not saying that because my halfway dyslexic brain couldn't learn anything. I'm saying that because I kept falling asleep in the class (cause 1. it was freaking hot and 2. it was freaking boring). I'm saying this because I spent the entire summer in a classroom NOT learning how to medical transcribe. Don't even get me started on Medical Terminology. Ya know, the crazy medical language that I think is harder than Mandarin, and not to mention extremely crucial to my medical career. That entire experience reminds me of the four years I spent in Spanish class and can still only count to 13.

So you mix together you're menopausal weather, a horrible semester, and what do you get in the martini glass? A sick Amber. I've never given birth before (nor do I ever plan on it), but I'm pretty sure I know exactly what it feels like. So much that I took a little trip to the ER where I learned two things:

1. I'm allergic to medicine that makes my tummy feel all stoned and happy.
2. Cat scans cost around $5,000.

And if you're wondering if I about sharted myself when my uninsured self got the ER bill, you would be correct.  I cannot wait until I get to see the specialist at the end of the month and see how much that dude wants to charge me.

While I was busy sweating, stressing, and dying - my face decided it was going through puberty again. I have never been so badly broken out in my life. There are villages and villages creeping all over my skin. So much so that I basically use concealer like an underlying foundation for my foundation.

Then there's work. I won't go into details about how that place gave me a freaking ulcer and less hair. What I will tell you is that I did not appreciate being stuck behind an oven that blasts out about 400 degrees.  I'm sure you were laughing it up with all your death rays of sunshine blazing. I was not. I was slathering deodorant on and making trips into the freezer because I was constantly sweating like a whore in church.

Basically Summer, what I'm trying to say here is that I know you and I have never really gotten along that well, but I think after this horrible experience you have put me through, you owe me a vacation. A real vacation. One that involves a beach, NICE weather, an endless supply of fruity drinks with umbrellas, and a hot shirtless surfer boy. Or a Cabana boy. I'm really not that picky as long as he has nice arms and can strut it.

I'll have my passport ready June 1, 2012. I also expect to be put in first class.


Amber aka The girl who is anticipating Fall like no other.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I found a house!

*does crazy happy dance all over this blog*

If I hadn't been MIA before I know I will be very soon because come Monday I will have a shiny key in my hand to my new place! You have no idea how anxious, happy, and andaljflaksjflkdsfljkasdlfja I am about this. 

That is all.

Have a good month.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Camp NaNoWriMo

All last month I was excited for August to get here so I could jump in and join Camp NaNoWriMo. The plan was to have The Unexpected Clash of Strangers completely finished. But things happened - good and bad - and sadly no Gracie was finished. I'm kind of teetering on what exactly I'm writing for camp. It's Day 3, I probably should pick a story already especially since I have already been assigned camp buddies and everything. At least I'm still sticking to my main genre: Women's Fiction which falls under Chick Lit at camp. I think by the end of the week I'll know for sure what is going to be written.

And yah know, actually write something too.

I know I've pretty much sucked at blogging lately. Like I said, things happened in July and I've been a bit of a busy woman. (Not all fun stuff. Some stuff really sucked butt.) This month I plan on writing as much as my fingers can possibly pound out. Maybe it will be back and forth on stories instead of focusing on just one. Who knows! I have never been a rule follower so I'm cool with that.

Hhmm...this post is kind of pointless really. Mainly I'm saying: I'm still alive! Even though it's one hot beast outside, and I'm seriously thinking of inventing a bra that holds ice cubes in them. I am still here kicking it.

If you're doing Camp NaNoWriMo, let's be friends! Click here for my profile :) Also, every time I say Camp NaNoWriMo out loud the theme song from Salute Your Shorts comes into my head.

Every. Time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where have you traveled to?

visited 18 states (36%)

Kelsey over at Eat, Drink, and be a Tourist posted today of all the places she had been in the US. I had no idea a site could make a handy dandy map like this so I knew I had to do a post of my own. I love road trips. I think I get it from my Grandma and Grandpa. My Grandpa was a truck driver for years and years so if my Grandma wasn't hitting the road with him, they were taking their own little trips. I think the only state she never got to was maybe Hawaii. 

I've mainly traveled through the Midwest and Southern states. A lot of states I've been to were merely ones driven through like to Florida or to Michigan (pretty sure I puked in the backseat on that one - hey I was 6!).

One of my favorite trips which actually wasn't even a favorite at the time was when my aunt and I took a train from Oakland, California to Eugene, Oregon. I'd love to do that again because I was only 14 at the time, and well, I didn't really appreciate all the things I got to see back then. Of course the recent road trip (which at some point I'll finish doing my posts on that) with my sister to Tennessee was pretty freaking awesome! The best state I've been to? I love California, and have been blessed to have parents send me there 3 times during school to visit my aunt, but a few years back my sister's family, some friends, and I all drove to South Carolina to go on a cruise. I feel in love with Charleston, the place we had to port out of. Downtown Charleston was absolutely beautiful. Cobblestone walkways, big huge Victorian houses, and the walkway right next to the beach. Sadly, that's all I got to see before we had to board ship. I'm hoping next year I'll be going there again.

So what about you? Where have you traveled to?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wannabe Writers #57

Wannabe Writers is my Internet writing group. Anyone is welcome to join! It's a place to meet other writers, ask questions, and get feedback. Find out more information and where to link up this week's post HERE!

Where I am at in the writing process: Unpublished. Currently have been working on The Unexpected Clash of Strangers. Some days I write a lot. Some days I don't write squat, and for once, I'm perfectly fine with either one.

My current problem(s): Not being near a computer when the writing bug bites me. I know this isn't a problem that can be fixed. I'm sitting in class, usually during Anatomy and Physiology, and while I should be taking all these massive notes, I find myself brainstorming on what I should do next with Gracie and Ethan-Dean. BUT then I get so anxious about the idea, I just wanna write right then!! And I can't because I'm stuck in class. Of course by the time I get home, the writing bug is gone.

This is also probably the reason why I pretty much bombed this week's tests too.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Birthday Party: Pinwheels

About a month or so I got a new cupcake magazine, and in it there was a whole section on soda shoppe cupcakes. That sparked the idea for my niece's 12th birthday party this month. My sister lets me take control of all the decorating and things because I love doing this kind of stuff. (Last year I did Alice in Wonderland theme.)

So with the cupcake idea, I came up with a soda/candy shoppe party! I'm already doing a head start on all party supplies because I'm such a procrastionator at it. Last night I made the pinwheels which will be going on the table in soda bottles.

I learned how to make them from this link here.

Next up: Banner, lollipops, labels for candy jars, and a few other things! Since I still have until the 23rd, I'm opened to any ideas anyone has to add to the candy/soda shoppe theme :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Just Another Music Monday - Novel Playlist

A couple weeks back the lovely Cheryl was sending me graphic links of all the old banners she had done in past stories. (Yes, we make graphic art for our stories. Okay, well Cheryl makes awesome graphic art. I made like two banners and they kind of sucked so I just bug her if I want something.)

One of the links was to my story: The Unexpected Clash of Strangers with the tweet of something on the lines of telling me she wanted to read more from the story. So me being all nostalgic opened up my file and what do you know? I've been writing on it some more! I forget sometimes that I actually like my own writing, and how much fun Gracie really is. I've been brainstorming like crazy (mainly during class - who needs all those medical transcription notes anyways?) and have been writing on it some more. My hopes are for it to be done by the end of the month so I can do Camp NaNo. We'll see how it goes.

Any novel playlist I have is ridiculously long, but here are a few songs that remind me of my main character, Gracie.

Yeah, I drive naked through the park
And run the stop sign in the dark
Stand in the street, yell out my heart
To make, to make you love me

I am extraordinary, if you'd ever get to know me
I am extraordinary, I am just your ordinary
Average every day sane psycho
Average every day sane psycho

Sugar Town by Zooey Deschanel
I got some troubles but they won't last
I'm gonna lay right down here in the grass
And pretty soon all my troubles will pass
'cause I'm in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

You’ve got opinions, man
We’re all entitled to ‘em, but I never asked
So let me thank you for your time, and try not to waste anymore of mine
And get out of here fast

I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning
There’s no one here to save

Feel like an android
Living in a Polaroid
Just another reject
Who gets a little seasick
Whose life am I in?
Feels like deja vu
Don't know how or what to do
I point my finger to the sky
Finally ask the question why
Whose life am I in?
Whose life am I in?

You can probably see a trend on the song base I'm shooting for this novel playlist. So if you think of any songs that might fit, leave me a comment! I'm always up for new songs :)

Friday, July 1, 2011


This popped up in my e-mail earlier.

I don't know why people make fake accounts and pretend to be someone else. 

It's quite creepy. 

And more so if you pretend to be Robert Patinsen and start following me.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things I Loved in June

June wasn't exactly a favorite month of mine. It was a bit overwhelming, I was sick through most of it, Seether broke my heart, and I've been extremely stressed due to some issues at work and life itself. But no one likes to read all of those things which is why I haven't been posting lately or commenting on many other blogs. So let's just jump into the positive things, shall we?

Favorite Things In June

Ryka shoes
$56 -

Hollister Co. beach shoes
$9.30 -

Cooperative printed bag
$28 -

Going to church and reading more of my Bible.

Short road trips.

Summertime starting and craft making.

Cupcakes! Cupcakes! Cupcakes!....I think I may have an addiction to wanting to make them.

New running shoes! So I can ya know, get off my butt and loose weight.

READING some awesome books:
A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern
Dead Rules by Randy Russell
Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

Jotting down writing ideas.

Wearing flip flops.

Chine Glaze Crackle Nail Polish. ♥ Loooveee this 

Catching up with Pretty Little Liars and apparently becoming a bit obsessive with it.
(Have y'all seen this show?! I love Caleb, and Toby has became less creepy to me.)

Going to the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma with my mama and sister. Bonus: Got to hang out with one of my best guy buddies who I hadn't seen in MONTHS!
 (We won't discuss how much money I lost.)

Seeing Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Adeiltas Way in concert for $5 - holla!

Falling in love with an old story, The Unexpected Clash of Strangers, and having the itch to really write on it.

Annnnnd.....the most important thing which I don't have a picture of: MY NEPHEW IS IN FOR THE SUMMER!! YAH!!!