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I watched Insurgent yesterday (YAY!) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it’s better than Divergent turned out, though I really enjoyed it too.

The book Divergent was the reason I saw the movie. 

I cannot say the same for Insurgent. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into the book and gave up 40 pages in (something I rarely do). That didn’t deter me from watching the movie and I’m glad it didn’t.

So what happened? Is the movie really better than the book? Is Insurgent the exception to the rule (where the book is always better) for me?

Looks like.

Honestly, I’ll prolly try reading Insurgent again at some point…I just can’t give up on the story. Nevertheless I still feel the film was fantastic.

  

Interestingly, I’m also reading Shutter, a new YA book about the descendants from characters in the novel Dracula (Harker, Stoker, Helsing, etc). They fight paranormal creatures like ghosts, zombies, and vamps. It’s a good book, however, I’m struck with the thought that this may be another case of the film having the potential to be better than the book. Now, this book isn’t being adapted to film as far as I know, but if it was, I’m sure the special effects would be beyond cool to see. 

  

Gosh, I can’t believe I’m saying this! 

How about you? Have you ever experienced a film that’s better than the book? Do tell! 

***Warning*** Before embarking on this blog post, be aware several selfies are lurking ahead. Proceed with caution and at your own risk. ;p

I’ve been cleaving to my long hair for years, equating long hair with beauty. Plus, people often gave me compliments, thereby perpetuating the idea.

Furthermore, it was virtually maintenance free for me. All I did was wash and go. No blow drying, no products…no style. lol!

I was okay with that for a looooong time. Too long, like my hair. Recently though, I realized I wasn’t really doing anything with it…except letting it get scraggly on the ends. Yuck. 

My solution to that? Well I tossed my hair back into a messy bun, of course!



Easy peasy!

And boring.

Confession: I’ve long admired pixie cuts. They seem sassy, fun, modern, and retro all at once. I envied the women who could sport them. I never thought I could pull it off.

Now, I’ve made a lot of changes in my lifestyle over the last couple of years that’s allowed me to lose 84 pounds. (Thank you, Weight Watchers!) With the weight loss, I’ve gained some confidence, I’ve embraced my fashionista side (shopping is FUN, gasp!), and I’ve realized my face (which I heretofore considered way too fat and moonlike for a cute haircut) has thinned out quite a bit. (A friend even pointed out my cheekbones; I’m not sure I believe him yet, but don’t tell him, okay? It’ll be our little secret. *wink*)



(Left: before; Right: after)

It occurred to me (finally) that I didn’t need to hang onto a tired, drab style anymore. I could break out of my rut and try something new. 

So I did.

I embraced change with abandon. Instead of trimming or cutting a few inches off, I dove straight into a pixie cut. 

And I love it! 



(Before, obvi.)











(After: SQUEE!)

Here are some extra selfies of the process:



(Bye bye hair!)





(Mid way)



(Over 26 inches waiting for donation. SA-WEET!!!)

How about you? Ever take the scissors to your hair? What to you prefer for yourself–long or short? 

Distant Relatives?

When I found Julian Alexander at the Renaissance Faire a couple of years ago, I thought I’d found a truly original, fantastical, magical creature. He was so fantabulous, that he earned a cameo in The Zodiac Collector. (Both sisters, Anne and Mary, have a Drabbit-like creature.) Drabbits are part dragon and part rabbit. Interested in more info? Check out this website HERE, where Drabbits are born.

Julian is refined, intellectual, and driven. 



Today, I met Julian’s distant cousin, Labbitus Tigrus Rotundii, AKA the Labbit.



Mustachioed, chubby, and prone to binge-watching Netflix, the Labbit tends to be more of a wallflower than the Drabbit, but you must admit, he’s just as fantastical.

So, what say you? Are these animals distant relatives or utterly and entirely independent species?

Reading Jag

I’m a book binger. Stick a pile of books in front of me and I’ll binge on them like a food addict at an all you can eat buffet. I can’t help it. I can’t stop myself.

This past week has been a particularly productive binge. (Doesn’t help that I’ve shopped at the bookstore like three times in the past couple of weeks!) 

So what have I read?

SOLD by Patricia McCormack. Soon to be a film, it captures the life of a Nepali girl sold into sex slavery in India. A tragic story; an excellent book.



FIRE AND FLOOD by Victoria Scott. The first book in the series, it shows how far someone will go to save a loved one. I picked up the sequel straight away because I enjoyed it so much!





THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir. I’d give this a hundred thousand stars if I could. It’s about an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars and how he struggles to survive. This one is also going to be a movie and I can’t wait to see it!!!



HOLLOW CITY by Ransom Riggs. This is book two in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. I love how the author includes old, strange pictures and weaves them into the plot. 



A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by VE Schwab. Magic, intrigue, & multiple Londons–AWESOME! I just started this one & I’m in love! 





What are you reading these days?

The Creeping Crud

Two weeks ago, I got home from work (around 11 pm) and all was well (because Face Off was on and I love that show!) until my whole body started shivering and all my muscles started aching. I tried to shrug it off since it has been so cold. I tried to convince myself I’d gotten a chill from the sub-zero temps. But the chills and aches lasted all night. And then the congestion came. And then the cough.

Yep, the creeping crud attacked.

And I lost the battle.

Fast forward to today. I’m still tired. (14 hours of sleep a night isn’t enough rest.) I’m still coughing. I’m still stuffing myself with cold medicine.

The doc said it could take a month to get over this. Yay. In the meantime, I’m supposed to rest, drink lots of fluids, and eat healthy.

I’m ok with that. I’m NOT ok with the fatigue, however. For me fatigue not only includes physical sleepiness, but also brain fog. I’m able to read a bit (for the first time in almost two weeks, thank goodness), but I can’t for the life of me muster enough brain power to write. (This blog post is a slight miracle, actually.) So it looks like my little novella rewrite is going to take even longer than planned. Bummer!

But I’d rather draft something with a clear mind than not.

How about you? Are you able to write when you’re sick? (If so, I take my hat off to you!)

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, books play a pretty darn important part of your life. I don’t know about you, but no matter how many books I have, I still desire more. And for this tactile chick, ebooks aren’t where it’s at. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle and have several dozen ebooks, but I *LOVE* holding, caressing, & smelling–yes, smelling–my paperbacks. They are my friends, adventures, and security blanket(s) wrapped all into one.)

Doesn’t take long for stacks of books to pile up and encroach on liveable space in my house. Getting rid of them is just not an option. But where oh where can I keep them all?

Lucky for me, I’ve been doing some renovating in my fixer upper home, and the reno projects include NEW BOOKSHELVES. Yay!!!

IMG_1612

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Believe In Yourself

I’ve been reworking rewriting an old project for a couple weeks now and let me tell you I’m struggling with it.

Not the story itself. I loved getting reacquainted with the characters. And once I consulted Save The Cat (a screenwriting guide that’s helpful for plotting novels too), I was able to outline a new and improved plot.

The first couple of chapters practically wrote themselves. Then I ground to a halt. For some reason, I hated everything I wrote. I froze when I opened the Word doc to continue drafting. I fell into a funk. HARD.

The reason?

I lost all confidence in my ability to write.

Some call it writer’s block, some call it procrastination, and some call it an empty creative well. For me, when I’m not writing it’s because I can’t see anything good about my skills. It doesn’t matter that I’ve written a million words. It doesn’t matter that I have published works. It doesn’t matter that people have told me how much they like X, Y, or Z about my stories.

Lack of confidence means all I see are the negatives and I’m blind to the positives.

It totally sucks donkey balls. And I HATE when it happens. I’m basically at a standstill, a dead end, encased in concrete.

I could quit. Then I wouldn’t have to fight myself and feel like crap. I wouldn’t feel guilty about watching TV when I should be writing. I wouldn’t be chastising myself for not working on that cool story that’s nagging at the back of my mind.

But I can’t quit. My friends won’t let me, lol!

And deep down, I don’t want to quit. Because I’ve got more than one story nagging at me. I’ve got more like ten.

And I do know how to write. I just have to remind myself of that.

How do I do that?

I write. And while I write, I let my character(s) talk to me. I transcribe what they see, hear, think, and feel. Once I get in their head(s), the story starts to emerge. And before I know it, I’m writing.

Bottom line: To write, all I have to do is believe in myself.

Sometimes it’s easier said than done.

How about you? How do you believe in yourself?

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