The Beauty of “Weird” Music

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According to some people I like weird and unusual music. This is true, I like a lot of non-mainstream music. I listen to steampunk, dark music, symphonic metal, celtic folk, indie rock, musicals, Japanese, instrumental and any other sound which catches my fancy.

I was thinking about why I love many of these genres today and decided the root of it is because they makes me think. For me good music teaches me something or gets my mind working. I’ve learned new words from steampunk songs, history and folk lore from celtic folk, and delved into the depths of human emotion and motivation with indie rock and alternative music. I love instrumental because it offers no restrictions except for the mood of the sound and allows your imagination to take off. But the common thread is it gets me thinking and challenges me.

What’s some of the unusual music that you guys like? I’m always on the lookout for new music (;

~~Lady of the Pen~~

Three Hobbies

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I found this quote awhile ago. “Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.” That quote has stuck with me ever since. I can see the importance of having variety in my passions. My hobby to be creative (hopefully one day my career) is writing. But if I only focus on writing than I’ll be sitting in front of a computer screen all day and that’s not healthy. That’s where my hobby for keeping me in shape comes in. I’ve been practicing martial arts since I was 13. I took a 2 year break and have recently gotten back into it, but it’s made a huge difference in my life. I’d decided that I’d just focus on my writing and sure I might miss martial arts, but I don’t really have time or money for it. Well some doors recently opened up, by the grace of God, and I’m back into it and I’m a lot happier for it. It’s important to exercise both the body and the mind. As for a hobby for money…well I’m still working on that one. I hope that writing will one day be my hobby of creativity and money, but I’ve also played with the idea of photography or making jewelry as a side gig to bring in a little extra cash.

Whatever your hobbies may be, it’s important to have duality and balance in our lives, it makes us healthier more rounded people.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

Book List of 2014

This is a list of books I read during 2014, I’ve been making an effort to finish more books. I’m getting to that place in my life where I have trouble finding time to read, I remember when I was younger wondering how that was even possible, but I’m starting to understand. A lot of times it isn’t even that I don’t have enough time, it’s simply that I don’t have enough energy or focus. After a long day it’s so much easier to veg out in front of the Tv, instead of reading. The problem is I’m a reader, I love to read, and when I don’t read I feel like I’m failing myself in someway. So I’m working on regaining an attention span that’s been stolen by hours of tv and the internet. At the end of 2015 I hope to post a longer list.

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Supervillian Hunters: International

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Dreams and Shadows

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Supervillains of London

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Regan O’Reilly: Private Investigator

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Writing your Novel from the Middle

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Fortunately the Milk

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Steelheart

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Chasing the Star Garden

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Emperor’s Soul

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S.H.R.A.I.D: Shadow Play

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The Alchemist

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Superhero of the Day

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Shadow and Bone

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Lady of Devices

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The Night Circus

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The Book of Kindly Deaths

download (9)Ocean at the End of the Lane (reread)

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In Silence Waiting

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Alice and Wonderland

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Coraline

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Slow Regard of Silent Things

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Dragons of Dorcastle

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Shelfie!

I was organizing my bookshelf the other day, trying to make all my beloved friends fit, when I decided it was time for a shelfie 😉 Enjoy!

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So many lovely books!

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The sad thing is that I still haven’t read a bunch of these books! The curse of being a slow reader.

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War of the E-book vs the Printed Book?

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What’s your opinion of e-books? We all have one. Some people love them because it’s convenient, others are purely traditional, some people don’t really care and will read either, and others consider e-books to be a horrible sacrilege which will herald the downfall of books.

For me I have a strong attachment to physical books. I love being able to flip through the pages, put it on my shelf and remember the adventure I experienced between its covers each time I look at it. Not to mention there’s a very particular book smell that I simply adore; it’s the smell of a book that’s been around, it’s passed from hand to hand and shared the company of many other great books and as a result has gained a rich scent like a fine vintage wine…

I think I’m beginning to get off topic. The point is I love physical books and nothing can ever replace that love. But having said that, digital books do have their place in the world. They’re small and compact and I can buy books and receive them instantly, it’s very convenient. E-books are also giving Indie authors more options to work with. I for one keep an eye open for promising looking free and 99 cent e-books, even if I’ve never heard of the author before. It’s a good way for new authors to establish themselves.

I know some people feel threatened by e-books. They’re afraid traditional books will disappears. But from what I’ve seen most people who read e-book still read physical books as well. I doubt the physical book is going anywhere soon. But even if it does I recently read something that Stephen King said that put it all into prospective…”The book is not the important part, the book is the delivery system. The important part is the story and the talent.” I think sometime we get too caught up in the medium, the truth of the matter is that what we really love are stories. We might have a preference of what form that story comes in, but in the end it’s about the story, not the packaging.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

Bookshelves

 

I totally need a new bookshelf! Mine is overflowing. The shelves are two rows deep and I’m starting to stack book on top and around the shelves. The other day I went to the thrift store in search of a small bookshelf I could put in the corner, but instead I came home with more books…

 

I’m pretty sure this counts as an addiction, the only problem is I don’t want to be cured. 

But that means I get to try out this ideaI of using crates to create a bookshelf. It’s easy and it looks super cool! I think I should be able to find some at Michaels and then stain them to look pretty 😀

I’ll post pictures when I make my own.

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~~Lady of the Pen~~

Happy Post Christmas!

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Happy Post Christmas everyone! I hope you had a lovely holiday. 

Mine was great. My favorite gift has to be the Lord of the Rings Lego set I was given. It’s awesome! It’s the pirate ship from the Return of the King, I’m still working on putting it together, it’s quite the job. Some might say I’m too old for Legos, but I’m a writer and a Lord  of the Rings fanatic, so never too old! 

My favorite gift I gave was the Christmas story I wrote and recorded for my nieces. This is the second year I’ve done it and I’m hoping to make it a tradition. It was difficult to buckle down and write another story after NaNoWriMo, especially since I’m not quite done with that story yet. But it was worth it. And now I can get back to my NaNo story. My goal is to finish it by the New Year and spend 2014 editing it. Please feel free to give me a kick if I get off track. 

What goals have everyone else set for the coming year? I intend to make it my editing year, while possibly working on a story on the side. But I really want to make editing my focus, because it’s always been a weak area for me. I need to finish stories and then edit them, not finish them and let them collect virtual dust on my computer.

I wish myself and everyone else the best of luck with their new years goals.

Happy New Year

~~Lady of the Pen~~

Where do you Write?

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Where do you write? I’m curious where different people do their best writing.

Personally, I do my best writing when I go to my favorite local coffee shop and bookstore. I find the action of going somewhere to write helps put me in the right mindset to actually get some writing done. Another perk is that I associate going to write with rewards, such as coffee and lovely cinnamon pull-aparts. The disadvantage is that after awhile I get to know the people at the coffee shop so well that I end up chatting with them for hours instead of writing–but hey, we’re usually talking about books and writing, so at least we’re on subject 😉 But even with the distractions that pop up while I’m there, I still love going to write there and when I do write I usually get a lot done. I can write at home, but I find myself getting distracted and surfing the net or watching Tv more often than not. Come November I’ll be spending all my free time at the coffee shop, pounding out my word count for the day, but it will also force me to write at home more, since I have to write consistently everyday or else risk falling behind.

But I do do my best writing when I go out and find just the right atmosphere, not just any old coffee shop will do: It has to be the right size so that I can people watch, but not be completely distracted by their conversations; It has to have good music or else I will get annoyed and won’t be able to get into my writing; It also needs the right atmosphere, one that promotes comfort and creativity. So once I find a coffee shop I like, I’m extremely loyal.

So now that I’ve ranted about my preferred writing conditions, I’d be interested in hears what some other people’s are.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

Divergent: The Book I Didn’t Think I’d Like

‘Divergent.’ I had a couple friends recommend the book to me, the same friends who recommended ‘Hunger Games’ (which I didn’t like much), so I was hesitant to actually read the book. The synopsis felt familiar and after reading the first page I rolled my eyes and thought “another book about a teen girl written in first person, great.”

But curiosity got the best of me and I decide to start it. At first I wasn’t impressed. The book seemed to be following along with my worst fears; “Typical teen girl in turmoil as she tries to decide between home faction, which she doesn’t quite fit into and the faction she’s always been intrigued by.” Oh great drama.

I was slight intrigued by the idea of her being Divergent, whatever that meant, yet was still feeling critical and so not easily impressed. I found the Dauntless rather interesting and started to enjoy myself in their compound-I’m a sucker for violence, what can I say? Though I spotted Four  a mile away. Actually I knew as soon as Beatrice jumped into the net. Yet you can’t imagine my relief when I discovered there was no love triangle-“Glory Hallelujah!” I think I really started enjoying the book as I read about Beatrice’s growth and change from Beatrice into Tris. I was impressed by her as she learned bravery and yet didn’t let go of the values she’d learned in Abnegation. She went through some real changes and I like to see a character change and grow. I also liked that most of her success in Dauntless was not because she was physically powerful, but mentally so. She does improve physically because of the Dauntless training and who wouldn’t *laugh,* but she doesn’t turn into some superhero.

I think in the end what I really liked about Divergent was the characters journey to self discovery, which led her to see the flaws in her world. Her connect with her old life was what stopped her from whole heartedly accepting the Dauntless values as the only values. And she eventually realizes that bravery and selflessness go together. And by discovering this she began to realize that all the virtues are equally important and that it isn’t right to divide them because that’s when a virtue becomes a flaw as the people become self-righteous  and prideful.

I believe I liked the book because of its focus on morals, growth and family. It actually had some depth to it and wasn’t loaded down with silly drama and ridiculous love triangles.