Saturday, January 31, 2009


I was totally gonna post something intelligent here, but then I saw Robert Downey, Jr. and now I can't think.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I think I should say something about this whole closing down of wotmania thing.
Honestly, I've heard people comment for the past year about slowdown, and how WoT is almost over (so what happens now?) and such. I didn't honestly think Mike would end it. Wotmania grew to be so much more than a WoT site. I found it looking for WoT art (incidentally, in between books, so there's your proof it's not that that always drew people), but I became a member of the community along the way.
I've had my battles and disagreements. Kit and I got off to a horrible start. LiterateJoe and I butt heads more often than not these days. And Anastasia and I... well, let's just say there are a lot of regrets there.
But I still love these people; they've been a part of my life for years now; they are the reason I surf the interwebs. I grew up on this site. I learned about politics. I scandalized everyone with my sex surveys. I learned what it meant to be part of a community, which I've never felt before. And I've made friends, people who mean the world to me as even more than "internet people."
So here's my toast to wotmania as it was, and a hope that it will continue to be great. I'm so glad to see so many people unwilling to let it die. That shows me we've made the right decision.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Favorite books of 2008

In no particular order- and I'm considering series "one" story.
1. When True Night Falls & Crown of Shadows- CS Friedman
This was on my wishlist for awhile. Paul (Legolas) had recommended the trilogy to me. What I got was the best, and zomg sexiest , antihero I've ever had the opportunity to meet. Celia doesn't ask easy questions, and the answers you get aren't always necessarily what you want to hear. If you like books with a distinct line between good and evil, this isn't the book for you.

2. Stories of Your Life and Others- Ted Chiang
Anastasia gave this book to me as a wedding gift last year. This is a short story collection with some intense, deep ideas to explore. Short stories aren't normally my style, but Chiang manages to keep me mesmerized. A few of the stories were utterly mind-blowing.

3. The Sparrow- Mary Doria Russell
This book almost gets an honorary spot on my list. It was hyped really big, and I think it could have used a bit more editing, but overall it was damn good. Russell spends a lot of time introducing you to the characters, but it's not wasted time, because you really feel like you know these people. Fans of relationship and character based stories will enjoy it.

4. Melusine, The Virtu, and the Mirador- Sarah Monette
The first two were given to me as a gift from Kristen (Fastia). Monette is so easy to read. Her characters are very flawed and very real. Her fantasy world is imaginitive without stretching the bounds of credibility. It's a unique story about two brothers finding each other and discovering the relationship they've been missing their whole lives. The best part is that Melusine was her debut novel. She's one of the faces to watch closely in the future.

5. Gabriel's Ghost and Shades of Dark- Linnea Sinclair
Anastasia also sent me Gabriel's Ghost as a wedding gift. Wrapping romance in space opera, Linnea leads you into the lives of her vivid protagonists. Trying to stop an interstellar nightmare, Sully and Chaz have to work through their own problems in their relationship- and it's not an easy task. Very readable, great sex, and some adrenaline pumping action thrown in as well.
6. A Companion to Wolves- Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear

I'm going to say right now that this book is not for everyone. It's the story of a group of men bonded to wolves who protect their people from the things in the night. But with the bonding comes a price. Though not everyone would want to read about this particular price, I thought it was a great story about the inner conflict a young man faces in finding the closest bond possible.

7. The Last Hawk- Catherine Asaro
Catherine constantly amazes me with her blend of hard science fiction and depth of character development. If you haven't noticed, that's usually what it takes to impress me. This is the story of Kelric, stranded on a world ruled by females, struggling on a planet that is slowly killing him. But on his journey, he finds new and unexpected things to live for- and discovers a new way of thinking that just might bring him the edge he needs to find his way home.

8. The Hero of Ages- Brandon Sanderson
I thought the ending of Sanderson's trilogy was fantastic. Having read both Elantris and the Mistborn trilogy, I think he'll do a great job finishing Robert Jordan's series. You finally discover those things you were wondering about before- the Lord Ruler's conflicts, the reasons behind the dying world. And the sacrifice made to save the world is sharp and bittersweet, but also very fitting and well worth the read to find out the answers.

9. The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence- Storm Constantine
Ah, so you finally want to know the answers about the Wraeththu histories? What happened to Lileem? What is the secret behind Kamagrian and Wraeththu? What happened to that special pearl the Tigrons and Tigrina made? You finally get closure for all these questions. And Pell and Cal make a bigger appearance than they have since the original trilogy. While I don't think anything could touch the brilliance of the original for me, Ghosts is a satisfactory end to something that I really wish would never end.

10. China Mountain Zhang- Maureen F. McHugh
A surprise delight! McHugh's debut goes in the section labeled "serious lit that I actually like." And anybody who knows me knows that those books are few and far between. Following the story of a young man in post- socialist revolution America, McHugh manages to show Zhang's life in 3D, giving you a view of both him and the people connected to him and the way they all fit together to create a community. I consider this one a must read and a future classic.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Favorite athletes of 2008

It's been awhile since I've really gotten down and dirty watching sports, especially since I got married. My husband isn't much of a sports fan. So my two favorite athletes of last year were discovered either watching my favorite teams or by accident.
One is Aaron Rodgers. I don't know how long this guy was working under Brett Favre, but he must've learned a helluva lot. Obviously he's not a rookie, but I was very impressed by his poise in the pocket. The Bears would do well with a QB like him (and don't get me started on them!)
The other is Alexei Ramirez, and ok, maybe you could see that coming, with me as a Sox fan. That little guy is just so wiry, you'd think he couldn't hit anything! And then he gets the Sox into the tie breaker with that huge homerun. He has a huge career ahead of him, and I hope the Sox keep him for a long time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What Happened to me in 2008

What happened to me in 2008:
- I made the fifty book challenge for the first time! I've listed all the books I finished this year. I've also gotten a helluva lot more books on my stack and my wish list now. I opened up a whole new world of science fiction paying attention to what Anastasia reads. My close friend Kristen from wotmania and I learned our interests are very close as far as reading goes, too.
- I met Brandon Sanderson, my first author, in a Borders in Redmond, WA. He seems like a sweet geek, totally like a normal person. I mean, of course he's a normal person, authors aren't gods. But I was surprised by his humility and devotion to writing. I believe he'll do well by Robert Jordan's legacy.
- I moved from South Carolina to Seattle. A three day trip in a car ride, and a helluva lot of money getting things packed and moving into a new place. But it's much better, despite the lack of sunlight. I think the first year will be worst, and I get depressed in January- April anyway.
- I lived in two other places: Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Hanover, New Jersey. I worked temp in Abq for the end of last year through January of this year. I got to go to my first casino, see my first "real" mountain (the actual prompt to move out west, if you want the truth), ate at this amazing Brazilian restaurant called Tucano's. A few weeks after leaving Abq, I drove up to New Jersey by myself and stayed at a hotel for a two month period. Nick stayed home to pack up the house, but I had Angus and Ollie with me for company. I lost a little bit of weight at this gym across the highway from where I was at, and had a great personal trainer while I was there. Biggest problem being that you can't turn left on main roads in Jersey! I also had two flat tires while there. I loved where I worked, though. Got grand reviews, had a lot of responsibility. Met some friends there as well. Is it weird that I actually miss New Jersey??
- I got to see Miriam for the first time in ages, on the way to Seattle. We took a small detour into the Salt Lake City area where she is currently living. She looks great and seems to have her life in order. Much more than I do! She loved Nick. I didn't get to meet her new husband, though. She is now pregnant with a little girl and working hard to finish her schooling.
- My marriage turned a year old on June 29th. I can't imagine life without my husband. He saved my life, and I mean that literally. Without him, I would have committed suicide eventually, I think. Or gone off with some crazy who would have killed me. Just his mere presence is like a balm to my soul.
- I got snow twice in the month of April (and threw Ollie in it.) Once in Wyoming on the way here (jeez, a lot happened on that trip!) and then once after we got here. We have also gotten a lot this month, which is highly unusual for the northwest, which usually has a mild winter. I'm not complaining, though. I love the snow!
- I've gained about 20 lbs. Ugh, I'd rather not talk about that part. ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

My first blog post evar. Be excited!
I think January will be a month where I go over 2008. After all, a lot happened to me in 2008, which you will see shortly. I've never done anything like this before. I hope Arianna Huffington is happy, the blog-crazy bitch.
I took the 50-book challenge last year. I know a lot of people read a lot more. How, I'll never understand. Sure, I could speed-read things, but for me that would take away the joy of living the story, as opposed to just swallowing it without chewing, so to speak.
Here are my reads of 2008:
1. The White Dragon- Laura Resnick
2. When True Night Falls- CS Friedman
3. Crown of Shadows- CS Friedman
4. Stories of Your Life and Others- Ted Chiang
5. Shades of Time and Memory- Storm Constantine
6. The Road- Cormac McCarthy
7. Dark Moon- David Gemmell
8. Scar Night- Alan Campbell
9. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk
10. Glasshouse- Charles Stross
11. Old Man's War- John Scalzi
12. Wicked- Gregory Maguire
13. Sebastian- Anne Bishop
14. Belladonna- Anne Bishop
15. The Sparrow- Mary Doria Russell
16. The Destroyer Goddess- Laura Resnick
17. Angel of Darkness- Charles de Lint
18. Last Dragon- JM McDermott
19. Light- M. John Harrison
20. Grimspace- Ann Aguirre
21. The Wasp Factory- Iain Banks
22. Lords of Rainbow- Vera Nazarian
23. Beggars in Spain- Nancy Kress
24. The Player of Games- Iain M. Banks
25. The Princess Bride- William Goldman
26. Melusine- Sarah Monette
27. The Virtu- Sarah Monette
28. The Mirador- Sarah Monette
29. Dust- Elizabeth Bear
30. Wanderlust- Ann Aguirre
31. I Am Legend- Richard Matheson
32. Warchild- Karin Lowachee
33. The Book of Jhereg- Stephen Brust
34. Gabriel's Ghost- Linnea Sinclair
35. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time- Mark Haddon
36. A Companion to Wolves- Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear
37. Bright of the Sky- Kay Kenyon
38. The Last Wish- Andrzej Sapkowski
39. Kethani- Eric Brown
40. City of Pearl- Karen Traviss
41. The Last Hawk- Catherine Asaro
42. Fledgling- Octavia Butler
43. New Rules- Bill Maher
44. Schism- Catherine Asaro
45. The Mist- Stephen King
46. The Little Prince- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
47. The Hero of Ages- Brandon Sanderson
48. Black Beauty- Anna Sewell
49. Ascendant Sun- Catherine Asaro
50. The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence- Storm Constantine
51. Shades of Dark- Linnea Sinclair
52. The Stars My Destination- Alfred Bester
53. China Mountain Zhang- Maureen F. McHugh
54. Red Seas Under Red Skies- Scott Lynch