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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday's Child

Here it comes, ready or not! Another new year and I have to say, I'm ready for it! Not that 2011 was awful or anything, but I didn't accomplish what I'd hoped to, and the new year always holds promise for a fresh start . . . or at least another chance!

And what do I hope to accomplish? Well I admit, I'd hoped to get my first novel, Bronze, on the radar at least, but due to a lack of marketing/promotional knowledge and skills, was not able to see that happen. So we're releasing a hardbound edition (very nice, by the way) which we'll try to bring to media and trade attention. The book size itself is slightly larger, but there are fewer pages so it actually resembles a normal size book! (In case you didn't know, the paperback is quite a large book, being 720 pages, but is an easy read.)

I especially like the way the book jacket came out. Because it wraps around the cover, I had to redesign the artwork, and decided to "reveal" the horse's face. (Yes, it is one of the characters in the book.) I may eventually have some posters made and will eventually get it on the website (maybe as a wallpaper or something).

The website desperately needs attention - I wish I had the resources to hire someone to do it for me, but I don't. It is HIGH on the priority list though. I also still have artwork and illustrations connected to Bronze that I hope to share soon.

There is also information to be released about Bronze which I hope will prove interesting and fun for fans of the series, but I'm not letting that go until there are more people to play along . . . You can help by spreading the word!

Finally, I also hope to at least have a publication date to share with you for the second Glister Journals book later in the year. There has been too much distraction for me to work much on it, but it is my ultimate goal for 2012.

So as we head into the new year, I'd like to leave you with two of my favorite things: dancing horses and singing children. This first video is of Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado (personal heroes and founding members of Cavalia)



And the amazing PS22 Chorus led by Gregg Breinberg singing Two Door Cinema Club's (one of my favorite new bands) songs, and seeming extremely appropriate for entering the new year, "What You Know."



Oh and Thursday's child? That's me :)

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Twas a few days before Christmas . . .

. . . and I should have been cleaning and putting things away. I don't even have the tree up yet; if I don't do it soon it won't be worth doing! This will be a quiet Christmas--just two of my close family--but I look forward to seeing two of my very best friends and my aunt too, later this month.


Back to what I should have been doing . . . .
In repacking boxes for storage (the ones that I have to get out of the way in order to make room for afore-mentioned tree), I came across some old videos. Some very old videos. Videos of family gatherings, musical performances, dance recitals. Videos so old they're on video tape.


These videos include the most precious people on earth to me; some are just older now, but some are gone. How amazing to be able to watch them again, to feel their presence and hear their voices, especially their laughter. And look how young and skinny we all are!

Yes, I should be working right now, but I'm not going to feel guilty. I'm feeding my soul.

I hope to post once more before Sunday, but in case I don't: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Here's a couple of videos from members of the best steam punk band ever, Abney Park :)



More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my Wordpress blog.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For

I try to keep a thankful spirit every day--when I don't it's easy to become discouraged and even a little bitter about some things--but regardless of historical accuracy or religious background, I see value in having a specific day set aside to really consider what it means, and what I'm thankful for. Some of these things may seem silly and I could probably come up with a much more impressive list, but this is pretty true for me personally:

10. My cat. Yes, I could live without him, but he's a lot of fun, very cuddly and talkative, and sometimes my only companion.

9. My car. I bought it used and now it's paid off. It's a plain, little economy car, but I love it. I've had it for seven years and it's never failed me!

8. My (formal post-secondary) education. It was hard-won, but I'm glad I got it! It has certainly opened doors for me that wouldn't have otherwise, and also validated and intensified my existing curiosity. I'll be actively learning the rest of my life!

7. This goes along with number 5 but is not necessarily related:
Enough money to pay the rent. There's not always a lot left over, but I have a roof over my head!

6. My health. It's true that you don't really appreciate your health until something starts to go wrong. In spite of "minor" annoyances like aches and pains and seemingly ever-increasing food allergies, I stay pretty healthy. I'm very thankful for that.

5. My job. Just the fact that I have one. I also really enjoy it. A lot of people don't (on both counts)and I know what that's like.

4. Music. Can you imagine life without music? Like life without food or oxygen!

3. Friends, old and new. You know who you are!

2. My family. For always being there, keeping me company, making me laugh, and loving me as I am.

1. God's grace. What a basket case I'd be without it. Then again, perhaps I am a basket case and just don't know it. In which case, I'm thankful for that!

I don't have a "Thanksgiving" song, but here's
one off Switchfoot's latest CD:



Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my Wordpress blog.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gee thanks, Bethesda

Just when I think I've cut away the dross of superficial time-wasting (watching TV, video gaming, and rabbit-trailing on Facebook and Twitter - okay, I'm still working on that one) and think I'm going to have all this time to write, read (for fun), work on music, and maybe do the drawings that are stuck in my head, you have to go and release Skyrim. Couldn't you have waited another six months or more? Not that I'm going to get many opportunities to play, the copy residing in my home technically belonging to someone else, but you know I'm going to sneak some play time in every chance I get. There are so many other things I'm supposed to be doing!

Is anyone else playing?

The Making of Skyrim

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my Wordpress blog.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall . . . finally!

After weeks of continuing summer weather, fall was most definitely in the air today. The wind was gusty, causing leaves to fall en masse and blowing them all over and it's at least a little cooler. It's a good thing too. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm ready for winter!

And it's NaNoWriMo time! If you've ever thought about trying to write but not been sure how to start, or you've got a great idea but need motivation to put pen to paper and follow through, National Novel Writing Month is a great opportunity to begin. There are local "write-ins" all across the nation where all kinds of writers meet together to write, encourage each other, and share what they're up to. It's a great place to get advice too. There are tons of resources at the website: NaNoWriMo.org

This will be my first year participating (or at least trying to . . . November is a very busy month for me) but I have friends who have been involved for years who love it. No, I'm not working on The Glister Journals through it, I'm working on a completely different project, and yes, I am also working on TGJ Book Two (and Three and Four)!

I'd love to know if you're participating. Drop me a line and let me know!

As an extra added bonus (just so you're getting your money's worth) one of my all-time favorite bands, MUTEMATH, released a new album in October: Odd Soul

Here's the "Blood Pressure" video from Odd Soul. Enjoy!



More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read on B's Blog at Wordpress

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Little Music and . . .

Chapter Four is up at WordPress . . . finally!

Okay, music . . .

I told you about a group called SPEAK a few weeks ago, with a link to "Carrie (Mindful)"

Well, their debut album "I Believe In Everything" is out, (Yeah...go ahead, check it out, and BUY it here) and it's fabulous. If you like synth/electro pop/alternative with tight vocals, bass (on the funky side), drums (WOW) and guitar (VERY versatile!) give them a listen. I really can't say enough of how impressed I am by these guys. They remind me of so many of my all-time favorite bands: the harmonies at times VERY Beach Boys, singer Troupe's alternately growly (Depeche Mode) and soaring (Civil Twilight/Passion Pit) leads, and Nick and Joey - how DO you sing that high, that well, and pull off the chops instrumentally at the same time? All driven by Jake on percussion. (Again...WOW.) Foster the People (funky, edgy, vocal ranges) comes to mind too. I wish them all the luck in the world!

Also . . . Switchfoot:

I've loved this band since the first time I heard "New Way to Be Human" way back in . . . (ahem) . . . the day. Their last album, "Hello Hurricane," is terrific and so far I'm liking the newest, "Vice Verses," but it was WONDERFUL to actually hear them on my local alternative station. It's been a long time!!! That single and my favorite track on that album so far:

Awesome.

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Ren Faire

This is just a follow up to last weekend's outing:

I arrived with one overwhelming, burning question . . . where is the jousting? Lead me to your horses!

The fields around Casa de Fruta--an oasis in the Central California Hills--had been converted into the likeness of an English village, circa 16th century, and was filled with merchants, artisans, musicians, and merry-makers dressed in varying degrees of period authenticity. There were also a few small boys 'slaying' princesses in ballerina skirts and somebody complaining that someone else's wing had just poked her in the eye.

Apparently this is "Fantasy" theme weekend, but really, I've never seen so many sparkles, tutus, or fairy wings outside of Disneyland (or a very small girl's birthday party). Then there's the goth side too, with the black spiderweb hose and, well, mostly black everything. And wings. *Sigh* But there was plenty of true(ish)-to-history apparel too, and lots of noisy shenanigans all around. I especially loved the young man cantering around pretending to ride a horse, in peasant's clothing and a crown on his head, followed by another cantering peasant clopping coconuts together. Extremely silly and I loved it.

Soon after arriving I found an area that seemed suitable for equestrian maneuvers, but nothing was happening so I continued on my way. The best costume I saw was a man dressed as a tree, very cleverly too. I thought, "He's meant to be a bandit, perhaps from Sherwood." I asked him if this was true and he seemed disappointed that I didn't recognize him as an 'ent.' Apparently my imagination is lacking. But then, I had forgotten that this was "Fantasy" weekend. It was an awesome costume none-the-less.

As usual, I was mostly drawn to the areas where there was music being performed. I was able to get short videos of this, so when I finally get my editing program figured out I'll put them together for you.

One of my favorite vendors was a man selling leather journals. (Gee, I wonder why that caught my attention?) They were lovely, all different sizes, and filled with cotton paper. His website is here: The Journal Guy
Eventually (when The Glister Journals has enough fans) I would like to give one of those as a prize. Allison would love them.

I want to keep this post positive in nature so I am NOT going to mention the food.

By the time I made my way back to the "tournament" area, it was impossible to get close enough to really see anything at all, let alone take any pictures. I hung out for a short while, hoping others might get tired of standing and move, allowing me to inch closer to the action, but it didn't happen. I'll have to remember that next time.

I am still looking for the software that came with my camera so I can download the photos I took (I had lost it before I moved, then found it again, but haven't seen it since. I am still wading through boxes!) When I do, I shall post them and let you know!

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Day Out . . .

I think I need to get out today. You know, just out of the house, clear the cobwebs out, jump in the car and drive, and blast my tunes. I'm going to head over to the Northern California Renaissance Fair (do you always have to check your spelling on that word like me?) I've been to smaller Ren Fairs, but not this one, and none so big.


A friend of mine is going as an assassin. A special assassin. She's going to try to give an apple to the Queen. (Favorite video game reference.) It might prove entertaining. I'll take pics, even try to get decent video (I'm STILL working on sharing that. I don't seem to have any time to work on it. Then again, I guess I could stay home today and work on it, but then I'd have no video. You see the dilemma.)


Meanwhile I have FINALLY got Chapter Three uploaded on my Wordpress blog. Chapter Two needs some revision to reflect any revisions in the book, and Chapter Four will be following. All four chapters are available for reading at theglisterjournals.com. I'll report back on Ren Fair later.


Have a great Sunday!


More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

Sunday, September 25, 2011

While we're waiting . . .

As the end of September comes hurtling (yes, hurtling!) toward us, I just want to remind everyone that there are TWO books to be won this month. Sign up on either blog (here or on Glistering: B's Blog on Wordpress) OR "like" The Glister Journals on Facebook and LEAVE A COMMENT that you'd like a book, and you'll be entered!


Meanwhile . . .


I had the pleasure of discovering a new band last month (new to me . . . they've actually been around for a while and have a devoted following). My friends and I had gone to see Tally Hall in San Francisco (if you are not familiar with them, look them up on YouTube. They're great too but this post is not about them!) and were WOWed (yes absolutely WOWed) by one of the opening bands: SPEAK.


I actually used my new video camera to record them, but as I didn't know what to expect (I had really planned only to video Tally Hall) I missed the beginning of their songs each time. Plus my hand was shaky and there was a really tall dude in front of me that I kept having to avoid. Anyway, if I ever get my video edited adequately (I'm still learning) and if they give me permission, I'll post some from that concert. But I really want to help spread the word about these guys, especially as they have their first full album finished. I love their sound, their performance was great, and they're just friggan adorable. The album is available September 27 (available on Amazon and elsewhere) and is called "I Believe In Everything."


Enjoy!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

September already?!

Where did August go? I moved and my (real) work kicked into full gear. It was a very busy month for me, to be sure, but . . . wow. I hope to have new Glister news to post soon, and there is some random nonsense waiting in the wings as well. Anyway . . .

Congratulations to Mitchell for winning a book in the August giveaway. A couple of errors are being corrected (and the text rechecked) then the book will be on its way. We have one more month - September. Two books are available to win.

The rules of the book giveaway for September are the same:

I am giving away two copies of Bronze. All you have to do is sign up here on my WordPress blog (or on my blog on Blogspot) or "like" The Glister Journals Facebook page, LEAVE A COMMENT stating that you'd like to be entered in the giveaway, and you will be! As simple as that! This is the last month planned for this giveaway, so get your name in now! Good luck!


If you have questions (or comments) about the book or series, I would love to respond, so ask away!

The Glister Journals: Bronze


Summer Book Giveaway


More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com


Glister Journals chapters on Wordpress . . . (Chapters Three and Four will be added soon - no, really this time!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Book Giveaway

The Glister Journals info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

Congratulations to Elizabeth C. and Sang S. for winning copies of Bronze for the July Book Giveaway. I hope you enjoy them!

The rules of the book giveaway for August are the same:

I am giving away two copies of Bronze. All you have to do is sign up here on my Blogspot blog (or on my blog on WordPress) or "like" The Glister Journals Facebook page, LEAVE A COMMENT stating that you'd like to be entered in the giveaway, and you will be! As simple as that! If you don't win, your name will be added into the drawing for the next month. Good luck!

If you have questions (or comments) about the book or series, I would love to respond, so ask away!


Summer Book Giveaway

Glister Journals chapters on Wordpress . . . (Chapters Three and Four will be added soon - really!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Garlic Watermelon?

Really?

I just saw a lady on the 10 o'clock news eating garlic sprinkled on watermelon. How is it the Garlic Festival always passes me by? I always miss it! I have occasion to drive through Gilroy from time to time - usually on my way from Point A to Point B - but have pit-stopped there frequently too; it's one of those places where everything is right off the freeway (oh, wait - except Starbucks and Peets!).

Don't get me wrong - I actually like Gilroy. It's a lovely area and has good shopping. When I lived on the Central Coast it seemed to be "The Place" to shop - unless you could afford to go to Hong Kong. I've never been able to go to Hong Kong for shopping or anything else, but I wouldn't mind going. Oh wait . . . I was talking about Gilroy . . .

I'm sure you get used to the aroma (is that why there's a town not too far away called Aromas?) I guess the smell loses its potency once you've been there an hour or two shopping, or looking for a coffee shop, but if you're just driving through it sure does a number on you. Especially if you're hungry.

So apparently it's the Garlic Festival all weekend, and I know about it. Now I have to consciously make a decision whether to go or not. Will the lure of garlic watermelon prove irresistible?

I'll let you know . . .

*Edit*

My friend and I thought we'd go check it out, just for a few hours, but the closer we got to where we assumed 'the action' was, the slower the traffic actually moved. Then I remembered I hadn't bothered to find out if there would be an entrance fee. Everything has an entrance fee. I can't even go for a walk in the park anymore without paying a fee. (The fee was $17.00 for the Garlic Festival, apparently)

Then I also remembered there would no doubt be a parking fee too. Last weekend I'd been happy to pay for the Salinas Rodeo, but hadn't thought about parking. It had cost $10.00 to park on a baseball field and it was worth it. But that was for rodeo. This was for garlic! I wasn't so sure $10.00 was reasonable for parking for garlic. I'm not exactly made out of money.

It turns out that parking was free with a shuttle service, which is good to know . . . for next year. Next year - if I go - I will leave much earlier and probably on a Saturday. Judging from the website, it looks like it would be fun, not to mention the food of course. Yes, next year sounds good.



Summer Book Giveaway


More Glister info and chapters here: theglisterjournals.com


Glister Journals chapters on Wordpress . . . (Chapters Three and Four will be added soon.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July giveaway coming to a close

As July winds down into August, I'd just like to remind everyone interested in winning a copy of The Glister Journals: Bronze that you NEED TO LEAVE A COMMENT letting me know that you want to be entered! Quite a few people have begun following, either the blog here or on Wordpress, or on Facebook, but only one has actually LEFT A COMMENT saying that they want to be entered in the giveaway (Sorry - I don't mean to shout, but without that comment, I don't know whether you want a book or are just curious/supportive!)


It doesn't hurt to enter . . . just LEAVE A COMMENT letting me know! At this point there is still a book available, and anyone not winning this month will be added to the drawing for the following months. Good luck everyone!


Summer Book Giveaway


More Glister info and chapters here: theglisterjournals.com


Glister Journals chapters on Wordpress . . . (Chapters Three and Four will be added soon.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

California Rodeo

It's been quite a while since I've been to pro rodeo. For the past few years I've attended high school rodeos, which I have to say, I really enjoy more. But this was fun - if expensive. It was a beautiful day; actually a little on the cool side which is just fine with me.


I got some good video too, which I hope I can capture some nice stills from. I'll try to post some at a later date. I'm also hoping that some of the video might be useful in coming up with some animation for a book trailer I want to make. Yes, I know that trailers are supposed to come out before the event, but if you think about it, they really should come out after. Trailers go behind, right? Anyway, it's just a project, and at this point I don't have a clue how to do animation properly, so it's certainly going to take a while.


Here's a link for a story about a couple of brothers who competed there . . . reminded me a little of the Glister boys: Prorodeo article


Back to the rodeo . . .


One of the things I prefer about high school rodeos I've been to - apart from the amazing riding skills displayed - is being able to watch one event at a time. I like to really watch. I soak it all up. So if it's bull riding, I want to just watch bull riding. I don't mind waiting between bulls. At this rodeo they kept everything moving so that there was always something going on: reining at the same time as roping (NOT in the same space, obviously); barrels at the same time as broncs. That was very distracting. I have attention issues as it is. I want to be able to watch one thing and really see what's going on. Maybe I'm weird, but I'm just not into the whole 'three-ring circus' thing.


Saw some things I hadn't seen before. Mini wagon racing. That was kind of cool, except that there were only two wagons. And a relay race where riders drag a rug that individuals jump on and get pulled - 'drag racing'? The bullfighters were pretty good, but I got a bigger kick out of watching the bulls after they were released into the big arena. Every time a bull was released it would saunter over to the rest of them, they'd turn and walk off together as if to 'powwow' about their experience and the oddities of the human race, then they'd come back to watch the next bull and wait for him to be released and join them. It was very interesting. Yeah, I'm weird like that.


It was over way too soon, but it was a good day. I love rodeo. :)


More Glister Journals info and chapters here: theglisterjournals.com


Glister Journals chapters on Wordpress . . .


The Glister Journals summer book giveaway here: Summer Giveaway"

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Giveaway (update)

We're still giving away two books each month in July and August, and now September too! No one took advantage of June, so I'm extending it to September. Just 'like' us at our Facebook page, or follow here at my blog, leave a comment saying you'd like to be entered in the book giveaway, and you are!

Have a fun and SAFE 4th of July!



Comments and questions will be exuberantly responded to.

The first few chapters of Bronze can be read at theglisterjournals.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June Giveaway

There are still two days left to sign up for June! Two copies of The Glister Journals: Bronze will be given away this month, and also in July, and August. Just follow me here or on The Glister Journals: Bronze page on Facebook, leave a comment that you'd like to be entered in the giveaway, and you will be!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Giveaway

I know summer is when a lot of people get some serious reading time in (like me), so let me help you fill in that time! For the months of June, July, and August I will be giving away 2 copies of Bronze for each month.


The Glister Journals: Bronze

Just sign in, follow me, and leave a comment here, and/or "like" my book page on Face Book The Glister Journals: Bronze, leave a comment, and you'll be entered in the drawing for them. If you don't win, your name will be carried over into the next month's drawing. The first winners will be drawn and announced on Thursday, June 30.


The Glister Journals website will be getting a facelift soon, and provision made to get update notifications and be able to comment directly there. In the meantime, I hope you'll read the book and, if you like it, that you will leave a comment telling others. Better yet, if you have an Amazon and/or B&N account, please leave a review! The first four chapters are available to read on the site. Word of mouth and internet reviews are Bronze's main exposure and marketing. Thanks for your help!


There will be future giveaways and contests too. The contests will require that you've read the book, however, so until enough people have, the contests are on hold.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First book, first blog...

(This is a repost of my first post from my Wordpress blog)

My first novel is finally finished, wrapped up in pretty paper (just kidding, everything’s digital these days) and sent off. It was really hard to let it go. I think I must know how a mother feels when her firstborn attends school on the very first day.


“No, he’s not ready yet. One more day…week…year…”


“It seems a little chilly outside. Maybe we should go back and get a sweater for her. Better yet, let’s start over and dress completely different!”


“Did we remember everything? Let’s go through that backpack one...more...time…”


“Oh, we forgot to get school supplies!” Face palm. “Never mind. Let’s skip the first day of school and go shopping instead!”


No, you have to just let go. You can only do so much and then, ready or not, perfect or, more likely, not, it has to be sent on its merry way to make its own place in the world. You hope it will meet nice people, people who will see the value in it and not treat it unfairly. And you hope it will stand up to whatever storms come its way.


And of course you want it to be popular, all the while telling yourself it’s much more important that it makes real friends, no matter how few; people who will love it as you do and really get it.


Be kind, world. We just want to be friends.

Comments and questions will be exuberantly responded to.


The first few chapters of Bronze can be read at theglisterjournals.com