WoRd PoW! #11: It’s That Time Again

WoRd PoW! #11: It’s That Time Again

 

happy-halloween-2

WRITING: Well, as you might have noticed I didn’t do my October writing challenge. But have no fear! Nano is here! I’ve been doing this 50,000 words in 30 days challenge off and on for 6 years. Only won once, back in 2013, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

20161031_125751I feel really good about this year. I have this new dragon project I’m really excited about and, with both kids in school, I have a couple hours every morning to write. At my best I can do about 1000 words/minute.

 

 

Tiny confession, I may, or may not, have started writing this novel a week ago. And I may or may not include those words into my Nano total. I’m pretty sure I can do the 50k in 30 days but I’ve got a little buffer if I fall behind. πŸ˜‰

 

READING: So I’ve read a couple books this last month. Here’s a quick list of what I’ve read and my star rating:

13638125Β 5 Stars Β 18739426Β 5 Stars Β 20764879Β 5 Stars

Currently I’m reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. And up next I’ve got Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson and Lindsey Stirling’s memoir The Only Pirate at the Party. I’ll do my usual full review of those in the coming weeks. If you want a full review of the 3 books I missed, leave a comment to let me know. πŸ™‚

 

14568122_10101485182619388_5090967211692125511_nDOING: Well it is Halloween and it’s been a fun weekend. We made the boy’s costumes because what the boys wanted was pretty specific. William is a Wither Boss from Minecraft and Jacob is a spinosaurus. Not exactly costumes that you can find at Wal-Mart. We like using cardboard, duck tape and felt.

We also went to our church trunk-or-treat Saturday night and Daniel decked his, already, Jurassic Park themed car to look like an open dinosaur mouth, complete with roaring dinosaur noises. Excuse me while I brag a moment, but we all got awards. Jacob got Scariest Costume, William was Best Overall and Daniel’s bug got Best Trunk. Daniel deserves all the credit, he’s the one that put everything together.

 

thrall319PLAYING: Well of course I’m still playing far too much Hearthstone. I’ve been working hard to build the good decks that can compete in Ranked mode. The highest I’ve gotten is 13th with 2 out of 4 stars. That’s out of 25 levels, by the way. It’s tough because I’m still missing one card in my top deck.

I haven’t played Minecraft in over a month. But I’m excited for the 1.11 update to come out. The new hostile mobs and the llamas sound awesome.

 

love_26_friendship_posterWATCHING: I’ve been in a period piece mood lately, so I checked out the Amazon Original Love & Friendship. It’s based off a Jane Austen novella and it was great fun. All the characters are so ridiculous and crazy, but, as is typical with all of Austen’s work, everyone gets their happy ending. It was an enjoyable little movie to watch.

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to this last month. I will be updating this once a week throughout November so you can have updates on my Nano progress. If you want more day-to-day updates you should follow me on Twitter (link).

What have you been Writing, Reading, Doing, Playing and/or Watching? Leave a comment and let’s share the things we love! Thanks for dropping by!

Advertisements

WoRd PoW #7: Queens, Castles, Monsters & A Gate

WoRd PoW #7: Queens, Castles, Monsters & A Gate

Did you miss me? I missed you, honest. πŸ™‚ I meant to post this yesterday or Wednesday but I got sick and then Jacob got sick. We’re all better now so let’s nerd out.

 

Writing: …. XD It’s been a busy couple weeks so… yeah.

 

51ymuhjx4ql-_sx330_bo1204203200_Reading: I know I talked about this last time but I did finish The Hollow Queen. I give it 3 stars. It wasn’t awful, it was better than The Merchant Emperor, but it still wasn’t good. It was real rough in the first few chapters, but I plowed through.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

The thing that makes Queen better than Merchant is that stuff actually happens in Queen. There’s a war going on so there’s battles and stuff. The pacing is better in Queen, but the parts that drag really drag. Haydon has been insanely wordy these last two books. Taking time to give us unnecessary back story about horses and anti-rape devices.

What I did like is how bad ass Rhapsody was. I know it’s because she gave up part of her soul to protect her child, but it was refreshing to see her take charge with out being apologetic. I liked her “get shit done” attitude. Of course, everything with Achmed was great, except the very beginning when the characters are dealing with the aftermath of Achmed killing Tristan. He was too chatty and it just did not feel like him at all. It got better as the book went along.

Surprisingly, I did not hate Ashe in this book. While some of his parts were the slower bits, when he’s walking through the ocean and stuff, we did get to see new places and meet new people through him. Plus he wasn’t obsessing over Rhapsody as much as he did in the last book.

88a8166de4352d16677890d175f07c70Anborn’s death made me cry. He was one of my favorite characters, he ranks above Ashe by a lot.

Two big gripes that I had was the Dragon Ex Machina near the end and the god-moding baby. Addressing the dragon first, Ashe comes across the dragon Elynsynos at the bottom of the ocean and she makes it very clear that she’s not interested in helping him fight a war. Then, near the end, after Ashe get all ragey and sends a tsunami across the world, she just pops up and offers to help, and there’s no good explanation for it. It feels very much like Haydon just wanted a quick and easy way to end the war.

The second thing, the god-moding baby. I’ve always felt that Rhapsody was a Mary Sue Special Snowflake of epic proportions. So if Rhapsody is a Mary Sue then her baby is f*ing God. In previous books he’s put himself back inside his mother’s body after being born for crying out loud. So of course, when Grunther is injured beyond Rhapsody’s amazing ability to heal, only the god baby can fix him.

As horrible as this sounds, I almost would prefer that Grunther had died. It would have felt more real.

In conclusion, I like Queen better than the last one, but that’s not saying much. And yes I will read the final book, I need to get this story out of my system.

 

20160709_124150
This is Bishop’s Castle. It’s got a crazy history, check out their site.Β 

Doing: As I said last time, my parents were here for the 4th of July weekend. We had a blast, so much so that I forgot to take hardly any pictures. Then this last weekend we went to southern Colorado to visit one of Daniel’s cousins. It was a blast and we ran the boys to exhaustion with hiking, playing in streams and visiting a weird, not entirely safe, “castle”.

 

Screenshot_2016-07-15-17-21-56
Some of my Pokemon. Go Team Instinct!

Playing: Like the rest of the world, I’ve been playing Pokemon Go this week. I’m only a level 6 right now because I haven’t been able to get out much this week, what with me and one kid being sick. I tried a gym this morning and got my butt whopped, I’ve done some research, so I think I’ll do better next time.

I haven’t touched Minecraft in about two weeks now, it feels weird and I’m itching to get back.

 

d16fb346b905a0e7d0b1edea39215ebd
Yes please! πŸ˜‰

Watching: I’m still watching Stargate: Atlantis. I just started the 5th and final season. It’s fun to watch when I’m having a hard time sleeping.

 

So there you have it, my WoRd PoW for the last couple weeks. What have you been Writing, Reading, Doing, Playing and/or Watching lately? Leave a comment and share!

Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

WoRd PoW! #5

WoRd PoW! #5

Hey look! WoRd PoW! is actually on a Wednesday, like I always intend it to be. πŸ˜‰ Let’s get started shall we?

Writing: My word count for this last week is 1822. I didn’t write everyday, but on the days I did write I wrote a lot. My daily goal is to write at least 500 words. I tend to either not write at all in a day or I write way more than 500 words.

I haven’t been working on my WIP, not sure what’s holding me back. I have it all planned out, even spent a lot of time a couple weeks ago planning out the next couple scenes in more detail. I’ve just been avoiding writing, like I’m scared of it or something. I don’t know, my brain is weird.

 

51isww2rpol-_sy344_bo1204203200_Reading: I started reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo this week and I’m about half way through. I’ve not read any of her books before, but I like her a lot so far. She’s on my growing list of new (to me) authors to check out.

The book is really fascinating. It’s classified as Young Adult but the characters feel so mature despite most of them being 16 or 17. I guess it’s because of the darker tone of the book and the characters tragic back stories.

There’s six main characters and Bardugo is great at letting the reader get to know each character. She head hops to a different person every chapter, giving everyone a different voice. I’m really enjoying this story and I’m eager to read the rest of Bardugo’s work, which is set in the same world as Six of Crows.

 

fabulousDoing: So, as you might already know, or have guessed, I’m a master procrastinator. I’m very good at spending my time doing a lot of nothing. I have a hard time getting motivated and doing the things I don’t want to do *coughdishescough*. In an effort to stop wasting my time so much I came across this app called Fabulous. It’s a motivational app that helps you break down your to do list, get stuff done and feel good about your self for every little accomplishment.

I’ve been using this app for almost a week now and I’ve already seen a big improvement. I feel more motivation to do the things I normally avoid, like cleaning. I don’t get as overwhelmed by a large task; and it feels good to have a little computer voice say, “Good job, Kristen!”

 

kindle-fire-hd-6-kids-edition-reviewPlaying: As I said last time, I’ve been curbing my gaming habit, but we did just buy a Kindle Fire for the boys to use. We had one a couple years ago that William loved to play with. It was through all the kid friendly, educational apps that Amazon has that taught William the alphabet and counting before he went into preschool.

My old Fire broke, or something, and we haven’t used it in a long time. But I saw that Amazon has this deal for $100 that includes a Kindle Fire, kid proof case and a year subscription to their Amazon FreeTime Unlimited program, which basically gives you countless books, apps and videos that are all kid friendly and free.

The other cool thing I discovered with this program is it allows you to set time limits for any one activity, or just for how long a kid can play with the Kindle in general. There’s also a feature that makes it so the kids have to read or doing something educational for a set amount of time before they can play with the just for fun stuff. Summer learning for the win!*

 

Watching: I am so late to the party on this but, I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy the other night. I knew it would be a good movie, but I kind of had my expectations low because I am so done with superhero movies. I’m at the point where if a movie is part of Marvel** or DC I just don’t even care. But Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t feel like a superhero movie, it felt like a good science fiction/action flick. In fact, it reminded me of Firefly in a lot of ways, and Firefly is pretty much perfect in my eyes.

The humor was spot on. Rocket and Groot are perfect in every way. I’d totally watch a movie based on them alone. The #1 best moment for me was this post-58050-i-am-groot-smiling-gif-imgur-aubg. I mean look at that face! He’s just so gosh darn happy about brutally killing a bunch of bad guys. Tree people, no matter what story they come from, are always the best and should not be messed with.

 

What have you been Writing, Reading, Doing, Playing and/or Watching this week? Leave a comment so we can all share the things we love!

 

*Side note: I am not the kind of mom who thinks “screen time” is a horrible evil thing.

**Side note: Marvel and X-Men FTW!

Thoughts On Motherhood

Yesterday was Mother’s Day here in the U.S. It was a delightful day, despite everyone suffering a little from allergies. While I was sitting in church I had some thoughts about being a mom that I wanted to share.

I’m not always grateful to be a mom.

It’s a lot of hard work without pay or much gratitude from those you’re doing the work for. There’s physical and emotional pain that drains you and tries to destroy you.

While for many women it’s fairly simple to get pregnant and some are even lucky enough to have an easy pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery; being a mom is more than just pushing a tiny human out through your vagina.

13109069_1589273694718635_1047451012_nBeing a mom is also more than the day to day struggle to feed, clothe, protect, nurture and love these tiny screaming humans. Under all the anxiety and stress is joy, and a love that words fail to describe.

This love is what propels us out of bed at 2 in the morning when a soft voice cries, “Mommy!”

This love is what brings tears to our eyes when our babies go to kindergarten, high school, college or start having babies of their own.

It is this love that pushes us to try harder and do better. To be the best mom we can be for our children, no matter the personal cost.

I’m not always grateful to be a mom, but today I am.

It’s more than just the sweet handmade crafts, thoughtful gifts or breakfast in bed.

It’s this burning warmth in my soul and the way my heart skips when I see my boys smile.

It’s the way all my anger melts away when they tell me they love me.

It’s the way their hugs give me strength to keep pushing forward.

Today I am proud and grateful to be a mother.

I am more than just a mother, it’s only one facet of what makes me who I am, but being a mom is the biggest, most important part of me. And nothing else I do in life will ever compare to the work and accomplishments I have gained through motherhood.

Kid’s Show Review: Octonauts

Kid’s Show Review: Octonauts

kids-trail-final5 stars! This is one of my favorite shows that my boys watch. My 3 year old loves it. We watch it at least once a day and sometimes the same episode over and over again.Β It’s a solid show. It’s educational, entertaining and darn right cute. The characters are well developed and interesting. And the animation is really pleasing to look at.

I always feel like I learn something new when I watch this show. There are just so many different types of animals in the ocean, this show could go on forever. I love how the characters feel real. Captain Barnacles actually acts like I imagine a real navel captain would. He’s brave and commanding and smart.

image-1-426x202My boy’s favorite character is the cat, Kwazii, because he’s a pirate. We have a thing for pirates in my house. Kwazii is a fun, adventurous, risk taking character. I also really like that the two techie characters are girls. Tweak the rabbit is the ship’s engineer and Dashi the dog is a photographer and IT specialist. As a woman and a mom of boys I like seeing female characters treated as equals and having important jobs; that’s sometimes hard to find in “boy’s” shows, though Octonauts is definitely good for all kids.

Dashi tweakYou can find this show on Netflix, thank goodness. If they ever take it down I’ll be boycotting. πŸ˜‰

Question time! What kinds of shows do your kids watch?

Thanks for dropping by! Be sure to like, comment and share!