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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Added Bronze Chapters at The Glister Journals

This is a very quick update to let you know that there are added chapters over at the main Glister Journals website. Chapters Five, Six, and the beginning of Seven of Bronze are added. They are also now in PDF format and downloadable to read at your convenience. I will probably get them posted here too, eventually. For now you can access them here: Bronze chapters.

I hope you enjoy them!



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Still Thankful . . .

I can't believe I haven't posted since September. Time has gone by so fast! I've been writing a lot--I actually got about nine pages of the second Glister Journals novel written just today--so that is my excuse. There are still so many things I'm working on; things for the series' website especially. I plan to get some more chapters up there and here before Christmas. I still have some blog posts that need finishing too, but would like to get something out for Thanksgiving.

I thought I'd revise my Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For list from last year, but in looking it over, I realize that I don't need to change a thing. Everything there is still true--nothing to add and nothing to take away. So I'll share some videos with you instead. My Thanksgiving gift to you. :)

First, something ridiculously cute to put us in the right mood:

Second, a much anticipated (by me!) movie:

Next, an awesome video game in development which I'm supporing on Kickstarter (go check it out!) This is the latest video update:

And finally, since I ended the last Thanksgiving post with Switchfoot, I will end this one with them too. I think I shall make it my Thanksgiving blog tradition. Whether you celebrate in a special way or don't celebrate at all, have a wonderful day!



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar there.)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Quick Word of Thanks and Future Giveaways

(Apologies for neglecting this blog site; I've got quite a bit of catching up to do! In the meantime, if you're curious about what's been going on, come on over to Glistering at Wordpress; same blog, different format, and I've been posting semi-regularly there. The main thing that you've missed is the wonderful artwork I've been posting. This can also be seen at my new Tumblr account: Glistering.)

A huge Thank You to Goodreads members who have added my book to their "to-read" lists. Thank you also to everyone who entered the Bronze giveaway there and congratulations to the winners! Your books will be on the way soon. The response was wonderful. I wish I could just give away copies to everybody. I hope you will visit the website where you can read the first chapters to see if you like my style, the characters, etc. The chapters can also be read here on my blog. Please be aware that it is a realistic novel, not paranormal, is character driven, and is long.

I have posted a new giveaway on Goodreads specifically for those outside the United States, United kingdom, Canada, and Australia. A full list of the countries involved can be found on the giveaway page. If you are interested in participating in the giveaway and your country is NOT listed, please let me know on my Goodreads page and I will add it!

There will be more giveaways through the book's website which will be announced there, theglisterjournals.com, through The Glister Journals Facebook page and here through my blog. I will also list any giveaways through other bloggers at these sites, so keep in touch!

I am very interested in doing giveaways, interviews, etc. through individual book blogs, so if you have an established blog and are interested, please contact me!

Again, thank you so much for the interest and support. It means a lot!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Glister Journals by B.B. Shepherd

The Glister Journals

by B.B. Shepherd

Giveaway ends September 15, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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 blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway -- July 2012

First of all, apologies for neglecting this blog site; I've got quite a bit of catching up to do! In the meantime, if you're curious about what's been going on, come on over to Glistering at Wordpress; same blog, different format, and I've been posting semi-regularly there. The main thing that you've missed is the wonderful artwork I've been posting. This can also be seen at my new Tumblr account: Glistering.

I will be getting all that content over here soon, but in the meantime I'd at least like to let you know about the giveaway I have over at Goodreads. The hardbound edition of Bronze was released at the beginning of June and I'll be giving away 4 copies there, ending August 11.

I hope there will be other giveaways on individual book review sites. If you have an established (500+ member) review blog and are interested in reviewing Bronze, hosting a giveaway, author interview, or anything similar, please contact me here or any of my other contact locations (can be found on the book's website: theglisterjournals.com).

I hope to see you here or there!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Glister Journals by B.B. Shepherd

The Glister Journals

by B.B. Shepherd

Giveaway ends August 11, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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 (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please stop by and "Like" us on Facebook! Thanks!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Artwork, Road Trip, Music! (Part Two)

I'm very pleased to present a piece created by an exceptional illustrator and comic artist, Jeff Stokely.

Jeff has, since doing these pictures for me so long ago, worked on some pretty impressive projects, including illustration for one of the first stories and the first cover of the new Fraggle Rock comic, as well as work for Mattel and TokyoPop. I am especially fond of his "Wonderland" take on Alice's world, and his "Labyrinth" piece which was recently chosen as design of the day by Tee Fury. Among many other things, he is also doing the illustration for a new comic, "The Truth About Dragons" which is looking great! It will be available through Archaia in 2013.

Jeff did two commissions for me a couple of years ago, but I wasn't quite ready to share them. And now with the release of the hardbound edition of Bronze I am! I was originally going to defer artwork for this post as I was hoping to perhaps lay some color on this, but the way things are going it won't happen soon, and I've waited too long as it is! This first piece is Jeff's concept for Dave and Chris from The Glister Journals and I really love it. I don't quite see them this way, but that's the point! They could look this way! Those of you who have read the book (or at least the online chapters), what do you think?

Back to my Northwest road trip:

DAY TWO

Knowing how to give good directions should be a requirement of people who work front desks of hotels. After all, if you're staying in a hotel, it would be reasonable to assume that you might not know the area. At all.

On asking the hotel clerk if there was a Starbucks close by--wondering if, in the wilds of Medford, Oregon** they'd even heard of Starbucks--the nice lady said, "Oh, yes, of course! There's one right over in the plaza by Fred Myers."

She might just as well have said, "It's over in the blahblahblah by the blahblahblah." Who or what the heck is Fred Myers? More importantly, where exactly is he/it? I headed out in the direction she had vaguely waved in and eventually saw the big "Fred Myers" sign. I guess it's like a WalMart or something? Enlighten me. I didn't venture in. I was on a mission.

Fortified with my caffeinated substance of choice (black tea), I hit the I-5 again.

Roseburg is where I decided to stop for gas (and more tea). Buying gas in Oregon is a strange experience. It feels weird to let someone else pump my gas for me; makes me feel guilty as if I'm being selfish or acting entitled. I'd forgotten about "no self-serve" in Oregon, but I could probably get used to it. Especially the gas prices! At least fifty cents a gallon cheaper than what I usually spend. Apparently it costs MUCH more to transport gas into California. You know, because it's so inaccessible and everything.

I love California, but Oregon is, of course, gorgeous. Most of California (that I had passed through) was brown already, or almost brown, but Oregon was emerald still. I appreciate that.

Somewhere north of Drain (yes, Drain--one of the things I love about road trips is noticing place names!) I passed a pasture where a horse was lying down and standing behind him, obviously nuzzling or licking the crest of his neck and mane, was a small calf. Was this a random occurrence? The calf just happened to wander over to the horse and, curious about a different creature, start nuzzling? Or is the calf actually a minion of the horse, subjugated to serve it? Or is it a symbiotic relationship: you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours? I can't help but wonder about these things. I wished I could have stopped to take a picture, but it'll make a cute drawing if I ever get around to it.

It seems impossible, but Washington is even more lush and green than Oregon. I have to admit that, so far, it's my second favorite state (I've only been through fourteen). Just from a driver's point of view, some of the things I noticed:

    The "keep right" law. We have signs in California that state, "slower traffic keep right," but few people pay attention to it and I've never heard of anyone being pulled over for blocking faster traffic in the left lanes. I wish I had! It's one of my biggest pet peeves (that and people not using indicators...grrrrr.) In washington it's LAW. Awesome.

    Signage stating, "Litter and it will hurt," a vague, non-specific threat that kept my imagination endlessly occupied and made me smile every time I saw it.

    Washington Highway Patrol is on the job. Noticeably. The only reason I mention it is because driving through Washington was also noticeably pleasant with people (for the most part) yielding and merging respectfully, using their indicators, driving an acceptable few miles over the speed limit (instead of ten or twenty under or over) and driving on the far right whenever possible unless they were overtaking. An amazing system that actually works.

And MUSIC

For the first part of the journey through Oregon I listened to Gotye's Making Mirrors. By now I'm sure everyone's heard "Somebody That I Used to Know" which I still like in spite of it being overplayed, but just for the record, I do NOT like the remix version. Whose idea was that I wonder? Wally's or a producer's? The song was fresh and original and they took and made it sound like every other pop tune on the radio. Thankfully the remix is not on the album.

Wally DeBacker (Gotye) has one of the most versatile voices I've heard in a long time, not just in range--there seems to be quite a lot of male singers out there right now with incredible range--but in quality and tone. He really works his voice, which I can appreciate. I also love his tendency to use tribal rhythms in much of his music rather than straight-up rock drumkit or electro-dance rhythms. I guess that's why i don't like the STIUTK remix. Ah well...

One of my favorite tracks on the album, and which I'd already become familiar with through the video, is "Eyes Wide Open." This took on even more meaning as I drove through Oregon's gorgeous pine forests and over blue rivers.

Another track that I really enjoyed on the trip was State of the Art. I admit it took a little while for me to really understand what he was talking about, but then I had to listen to the whole thing again and laughed quite a bit. It may not mean much to a lot of people, but it reminded me strongly of someone I actually knew, who had one of those keyboards that have rhythms and whatnot programmed into them. It probably cost about a hundred dollars. He thought he was a pretty good musician. He also only used the one-finger chord setting and sang in a "lounge"-y style. Hahaha...oh, memories. Anyway, I like the song better than the video (I think it's ugly and annoyingly repetitive) so gave you the link in case you want to check it out, but I don't expect it would mean much to most people.

"Bronte" had me driving through tears, thinking of beloved pets, past and present. When thoughts of people creep in too it's almost overwhelming for me. I have posted it before here, at the end of the post, so I won't post it again.

I will leave you with this song which is another favorite. The video is kind of repetitious and annoying too, but the animation is pretty cool (though very simple) so I like it anyway. Haha. Enjoy and I'll see you next time!

**No offence is meant to Oregon or Oregonians. It's just my sense of humor. I LOVE Oregon and find the people warm and friendly, even when they know I'm from California!



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Friday, June 22, 2012

Artwork, Road Trip, Music! (Part One)

Sorry again for the hiatus. I had hoped to post before now, especially as I am officially on vacation, but life's been go, go, go!

First of all, another piece from wonderful Katelynn Chambers. This time it's Robin and her horse, Gali. I don't quite picture Robin this way myself, but I love the picture anyway. The relationship implied between the characters is perfect, and I love her jeans! The colors and artwork in general is amazing. I just love her work so much!

Robin and Gali

(c) 2012 Katelynn Chambers and China Blue Publishing

On to the road trip.

DAY ONE

On Monday I headed north, destination: the northernmost part of Washington (state) to visit a person very dear to me. I got a very late start due to errands that needed to be run, and tried to get as far as could without stopping. I don't often get further north than Sacramento, so, especially once past Redding, I began to be a little more interested in the scenery. I was also looking for a potential Starbucks stop, but didn't want to have to go looking for one. There were no signs, so I kept going.

I admit to being tempted by the little city of Dunsmuir (apparently "Home of the best water on earth" and, according to the city's website, "the small-town home of 2,000 you wished you had grown up in."), but eschewing the potential delights of the Dunsmuir Historical Gardens, I continued on. It was probably closed anyway.

I wanted to take pictures along the way, but there are very few places to actually stop, especially not where there's anything interesting to photo. Here's a picture of Mount Shasta, northern California.

Mount Shasta

Not a terribly good picture; it's much more impressive in person. By this time I was in need of tea and ready to venture off the beaten track in search of it, but this mountain town (I didn't write down the name)

didn't look like it would have a Starbucks. Just finding the way back onto the I5 was an adventure. Of course that could be said of most large cities too.

I took some better pictures of Mount Shasta on my "good" camera (which I will add later--I have to wait to get home to download them) some place north of a town called Weed. Yes, that's right, Weed. There's actually a South Weed, a Central Weed, and even a North Weed Road (or something similar.) Weed is obviously a Very Important Place.

I was struggling to keep my eyes open by the time I crossed over the border into Oregon, but finally rolled into Medford about 10 p.m.

To finish off with MUSIC:

I had picked up three new CDs for the trip: The Black Key's El Camino, Keane's Strangeland, and I finally got Gotye's Making Mirrors, which is wonderful. But more about that next time. For now I'll leave you with Keane's Silenced By The Light which is on the radio quite a bit right now. I got to listen to the CD once through, but I'll listen again and have more to say about it on the trip home. I hope you enjoy!



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Glister Journals Art

I'm VERY excited to be able to introduce you to artwork created in conjunction with my fiction series, The Glister Journals. If you're like me, when you read a book, you imagine the characters very clearly. That's the main reason I like to read a book before I see a movie made from it. I like to have my own mental picture of characters and places in my head before seeing someone elses. I have plans to get some of my own sketches out this summer too, but still haven't had much time to concentrate on art. But I also love seeing what other people think characters look like, or think they might look like.

Which was my idea behind finding artists to help render my Glister Journals characters. I commissioned two amazing artists to do character sketches for me, a couple of which were actually finished a couple of years ago, but I have been waiting for the right time to share them. And that time is now!

For the next few weeks I'll be posting one piece each weekend beginning with this lovely picture by Katelynn Chambers:

Allison and Gold from The Glister Journals

(c) 2012 Katelynn Chambers and China Blue Publishing

I love the sense of movement and the color palettes she uses in her pieces; they are all unique and wonderful. You can see more of her work at her portfolio site, Nettlebeast Studio.

I'd also like to show you the updated cover for the revised editions of Bronze. Both pictures make very nice wallpapers and you are very welcome to use them for personal use, but please respect the copyrights. :)

(c) 2012 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing

Click on the pictures to see them full size. All artwork can also be found at my new Tumbler account. And I'm going to throw a giveaway in here: the first person to comment on this post telling me the name of the horse on the cover of Bronze wins a free hardbound copy. I'll even sign it if you like. More about giveaways and locations next week.

Now I think we need to finish with a little music, don't you? I haven't got back to finish my Cinco de Mayo post, so I'll borrow some music I might otherwise have posted there (don't worry, there's plenty more for that post, and I will finish it!) This is "Fire Escape" from Civil Twilight, definitely one of my favorite bands right now, but I'll get back to them on a previous post (Yes! Time travel!)

Have a great week!



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta, and...wait a minute...

This is just a quick update to let you know what's been going on and what's going to be going on in the near future.I will probably be posting again tomorrow; a post that was started some while ago. On to today's subjects.

On Cinco de Mayo I spent a lovely day with a friend at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. It was not exactly what I had imagined, but it was a perfect day and so good to enjoy with a friend (thanks T!) I took some video which (yes, I'm sure you're getting tired of hearing this) I hope to get edited, converted, and uploaded at some point. I have some vacation time coming up . . . we'll see. I should at least get some nice pictures from it which I'll add to this post. Anyway, details, pics, etc. will be added here or in a separate post later.

I've had many projects to finish at work which have kept me very busy and preoccupied, and I have just finished tweaking the cover of Bronze. All of which has left me with little time to blog.

More importantly, next Friday, June 1, 2012 marks the official release day of the hardbound edition of Bronze. The larger print paperback edition will be rereleased some time this week too. My publisher and I plan to host multiple giveaways, so keep checking back for the locations and sites for those. I'm sure that we'll be giving several away through Goodreads, so if you're a member there you can watch out for it.

I was so excited to find that Bronze was reviewed by Booklist Online. I thought the review reserved but accurate and very fair, and I feel honored to have gotten it at all! You can read it here: Booklist Online--Bronze by B B Shepherd

Another thing I'm immensely excited about is the release of some very special artwork I had commissioned. It will be released in several online locations. So I hope you're hanging in there with me!

To celebrate these upcoming activities let's have some music! How about some Maná? An older one, but one of my absolute favorites. (It's even my phone ringtone :D)



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's been an Extreme week

Happy weekend everyone. This will be a short post just to say "Hi" and give you something to watch. I will have a more extensive post after next weekend. I'll be headed to Los Angeles (road trip!) to meet up with a friend at a special horse event, and hopefully will have pictures to share when I get back. That's the plan anyway. I also plan on getting some new music to listen to on the way there, so more music videos next week!

In the meantime, let me share a little of another very special event that happened this week. This was the Extreme Mustang Makeover Finals in Madison, Wisconsin.

What? I hear you ask. A car makeover? Pimping out classic Ford coupes?

No silly. REAL mustangs. Horses! The kind that still roam more-or-less wild and free (where they're protected at least) in North America, and particularly in the western United States. I know some people who are very critical of them as a breed, and I know all the arguments, but no-one will ever change my opinion of their heart, intelligence, adaptability, and athleticism.

Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenges occur across the nation and provide many horses, that might otherwise become BLM statistics, with hope of a future home and meaningful life with owners who will love and appreciate them.

Would they be better left alone to live free on the land? Well, that depends on who you ask. Many people would love to see them annihilated completely, claiming they are nothing more than feral castoffs with questionable lineage and poor conformation that are habitat invaders of "native" wild species such as deer, antelope, and bison.

Others will tell you that they are a beautiful symbol of the old west, many of which still carry the DNA and traits of the horses originally brought to this country, the Iberian PRE horses. Has the mustang breed been diluted over the centuries by other, less exalted breeds? No doubt. But many still retain the undeniable qualities and even appearance of those PRE ancestors.

And even other people will point out the fact that horses roamed this continent way before people did. No, not this particular breed of course, but horses belong here.

I've loved mustangs ever since I first read Marguerite Henry's "Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West" when I was about eight years old. As a teenager, I was fortunate to know of two mustangs who lived wild on the ranchland near where I lived and saw them a few times when I was out riding. I even have pictures somewhere. They disappeared eventually and someone told me that they had died during a drought. A shame, but that's what happens to wild horses.

If you have read my novel, "Bronze," you will know that several of the horse characters are at least half mustang. I love mustangs.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover program is rather grueling, and potential trainers must meet strict criteria in order to participate, but the results can be utterly amazing. From completely wild, never-touched-by-human-hand horses, to trusting, well-trained and adoptable equine partners. IN 90 DAYS! Anyone who has ever trained an unstarted horse will know this is impressive. And these horses aren't just unstarted, they're WILD!

Anyway, here's a video of the winning entrants from this year's finals at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison. I'll be back next week with news of my weekend and an update for my novel "Bronze." Enjoy!



You can read more about the Extreme Mustang Makeover at their website Here: extrememustangmakeover.com



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Good Day

I'm actually celebrating because, not only did I get my taxes finished (both federal and state) TWO DAYS before they're due (actually FOUR days--I just found out the due dates are changed this year), but I'm getting an honest-to-goodness REFUND this year! Unheard of! I can't remember the last time that happened. I've been thinking all day about all the ways I'm NOT going to spend the money.

However, I was revising this morning and my computer starting acting a bit freakish. It's acted that way before and it turned out it had a virus, so I ran a boot scan while I finished up the rough draft of a chapter in the new book. (My rough drafts are mostly accomplished long hand.) I would have worked on the next chapter, but I'd already started it on the computer and couldn't remember exactly what I'd done (it's sort of in pieces and chunks right now) so instead I went out to mail my lovely tax forms and took a walk too. That's quite a big deal for me, but I won't go into that now.

Suffice it to say that it was a GORGEOUS day, a little bit blustery but not too cold with huge white fluffy clouds. Almost perfect. I'll have to take a picture next time. I did take a picture of some of my candles last night. I just thought they looked cool. I don't know why there was a power outage; it wasn't storming or anything. But it was kind of fun--the first time in over a year that we actually needed candles. I was working on my computer then too, until the battery got too low.

Blackout candles

Ah well. I do have some real news . . . which I'll share soon. Really! In the meantime I'd love to share an amazing version of a song I referenced a while ago by Gotye (which, by the way, is NOT pronounced Go-tee-yay, as everybody is saying, but Gore-ti-yeah; am I the only one who reads 'About' pages?), Somebody That I Used To Know. If you haven't heard it by now you live on a different planet than me--or maybe just a really different part of this one. I'm a bit tickled actually, as I went into my local record store (YES! I shop brick and mortar whenever possible!) to buy his CD and they didn't have a clue what I was talking about. I told them that they WOULD and they should get the album in.

In the meantime he'd been getting some local airplay and was scheduled to do a concert in a cool but relatively small venue. Well now that has been changed to a MUCH larger venue. The last time I went in to the record store, they'd already sold out of the album. (I told you so! :P And I still haven't got a copy yet!) Anyway, here's the version I was talking about. It's by Walk off the Earth. Have a great weekend!



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!) 

And please "Like" The Glister Journals' page on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Case of Apocalypse . . .

I really hadn't planned on posting anything until next weekend, but I came across this and thought it hilarious. I also wanted to respond to the person who left a comment saying,
Hello, you used to write fantastic, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your super writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!"

While I'm pretty sure they are spammers and don't actually read my blog anyway, never let it be said that I wimped out of listening to criticism or that I ignored a comment because it was negative. I would actually love to open dialog on the subject of WHAT constitutes my "super" writings, and in what way the "last several" posts have been boring. I like to learn from my mistakes, if mistakes have in fact been made. So whoever you are, please feel free to enlighten me.

Considering that comment was made on Chapter Three's page (on Wordpress here, and I have said I won't post comments on chapter pages, and that chapter happens to be one of my personal favorites) I don't feel obligated to respond to it at all. But what the heck. I wanted to post something anyway and in the meantime I have found something I thought worth posting.

Now, if you've been reading my blog at all, you will know that I am not much of a traditional sports person. I like soccer and basketball and baseball, but, except during the World cup for soccer, I'm not really that big of a fan. I prefer my sports on the extreme side. So it won't surprise you to learn that I don't watch the Superbowl, Rosebowl, or any other bowl or game of American football. Ever.

But I was doing a search on Big Black Trucks--specifically Big Black Chevy Trucks (for some friends)--and came across this article: Ford Objects to Chevy Silverado Super Bowl Ad and found it very funny. Especially this:
We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize. In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away.”

Here's the commercial in case you haven't seen it, though I'm probably one of the few that hasn't:

But just for the record, Dave wouldn't be caught dead driving a Ford truck. Maybe a Mustang . . .

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze 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 blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!) 

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just kidding . . .

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rodeo and New Music

It was a wearying drive there (horrendous traffic for the first good half of the journey and taking a wrong highway costing me gas as well as time) and a not-so-good stay at a hotel causing a not-so-good next morning (a VERY noisy night causing me to wear earplugs and sleep through my alarm. I woke up five minutes before I was due to check out and missed opening ceremonies!) The rodeo, in spite of all this, was well worth the trouble as it always is.

As you may alreay know, I am a big fan of rodeo but a HUGE fan of high school rodeo. These kids really put it all on the line, give it all they've got, have incredible heart and bravery, mad athletic skills, and they love their animals and treat them well (in spite of what some people would like you to think.) Rain had been forecast for this weekend and I was afraid the event would be rained out at worst and very messy at best, but there was no rain though it got very cold by the last event. I don't even know if they would have cancelled it. I have a feeling it's like soccer or football: the game must go on! I may or may not post pictures and/or video at some later time.

Wanting new tunes to listen to on the drive there, I was finally able to pick up some of the new albums I've been wanting to get.

I listened to Build A Rocket Boys by Elbow (scroll over the name on their site--very cool) on the road there. Elbow has done some amazing songs that I really love, such as 'Mirrorball' and 'Grounds for Divorce,' but it's not a group I can listen to all the time. I think I'm going to enjoy listening to this album while drawing or other non-verbal creative endeavor, something where I'm able to let it drift through me. It's music I need to just feel and hear and not (necessarily) listen critically to the lyrics. There's something about a lot of their music that reminds me of my favorite composer, Debussy; a 'tone poem' quality that's lovely to dream and imagine to, but would not be my first choice for music to drive to. This is the title track:



Chevelle, on the other hand, is perfect for driving to. I had high expectations for their newest album, Hats Off to the Bull, having loved every track of their last, Sci-Fi Crimes (my favorite being Shameful Metaphors*) which were completely justified as track after track proved they'd done it again, at least for me. After each track I wanted to go back and listen to it again, but resisted, preferring to get to the end of the album and listen to the whole first. They've proven their consistency to me and I definitely count them now as one of my favorite bands. I haven't had a chance to listen to this again yet, but it will be the first thing on the player when I get in my car in the morning.

Very often my favorite tracks are not the ones that grab me on a first listen. They're the ones that I have to hear a few times before I start going, "Wow, I really like that." Then that will be the one(s) that end up speaking to me the most, for whatever reason, whether it's something in the music itself or something in the lyrics hits home. I try to get the gist of lyrics on a first listen, but honestly, I'm just listening to the music. If the music doesn't grab me first, I may never discover what beautiful/clever/otheradjectivehere lyrics the song has. In fact I may need to listen several times before I decide whether I really like something, and then it's worth investigating the lyrics, but that's just the way I'm made. This album, however, has caught me completely already and I'm looking forward to listening over and over. It's much too early to say which my favorite track off this album is, but the opener, 'Face to the Floor' will certainly suit my purpose here:



Another album I had been looking forward to greatly is Port of Morrow by The Shins. Although they've been around for a long time, I've really only become aware of them in the past year or so, and that was because of Caring Is Creepy which I first heard on the radio and loved on first hearing. I had to have the album and wasn't quite sure what I'd found, but after listening many times I loved them more and more. I still get very tripped up by their lyrics which I'm ashamed to say I still haven't gotten to the bottom of and here, I've got the new album to decipher! Another favorite track off that last album Oh, Inverted World is New Slang.

I listened to Port of Morrow mostly on the way home and got through it a couple of times (some tracks even more). Fall of '82 really caught my attention for a lot of reasons. It has a mid-era Beatles (Sgt. Pepper) feel to it, though the verse also reminds strongly of an old Thin Lizzy song. Elements I really loved on this track were the retro instrumental sounds (maybe even a little Chicago in there?), a very tasty muted trumpet solo, and lead singer James Mercer's (I assume) lower vocal register.

The other stand out track to me is '40 Mark Strasse.' Very haunting music, very cutting lyrics. It reminds me of something . . . but I'm not sure what. Something also from the late 60s or early 70s. I'll have to think about that.

Then there's 'Port of Morrow' itself, which makes me laugh every time I hear it. I don't really know what the lyrics are about (yet-yes I could run and read them right now, but I really want to finish this post TODAY!) but it sounds like the way he sings in Broken Bells, which I also love. Anyway, it's a great album, I loved every track and look forward to picking apart the lyrics later when I can concentrate on them. Here is the track being played on the radio most right now:


Sorry for the VEVO :( I've avoided it where I could.

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

From Russia with . . .

. . . spam.

Apologies to those of you who actually read my blog. I love you. I really do. But the spam is killing me. When I started this blog (on the WordPress site--I have no problem with Blogspot) I had the comments turned off for unregistered users. It seemed like the safest way to go, but of course I got no comments. So I thought I'd see what happened when I took that requirement off and I actually got real reader feedback. Unfortunately most of it was still mostly spam. And most of that seems to be coming from Russia and the Ukraine. To those of you from those countries and regions that actually read my blog and enjoy it, thank you! You are very welcome here. To those of you spamming, just stop. Please.

Unfortunately, my sense of humor won't allow me to completely move on from this until I share the kind of thing I'm talking about. They're just too darn funny:

"Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks." (Posted on my novel's Prologue page.)

Uh . . . you're welcome?

"You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most persons will agree with your website."


Well if most people will agree with my website, I must be on the right track! I feel so . . . so . . . validated!

And apparently I completely confused this person with my complicated concepts:

"You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!" (also posted on Prologue.)

I'm sure those of you that are more tech-savvy, and especially BLOG-savvy could explain it to me, and I'd sure appreciate it if you could, but for now I've got the comments set to registered users only again (on WordPress only). It's too depressing to deal with all the garbage. I hope by disabling comments for a while I'll drop off the spammers' radar. If you know of a way to discourage it, especially on WordPress, please let me know! I do plan on enabling comments again soon, so please don't give up on me! I'll post a 'normal' blog post soon with some exciting news. Yay.

And speaking of spam, I'm sorry but I just have to:




Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Clogged Drains and Spam

I'm pretty sure the only things that have gone down the garbage disposal lately are egg shells, and they are supposed to be good for garbage disposals.

I'll cover the spam in my next blog (gives me something to talk about), but I couldn't resist a little word play. And yes, I'm referring to Green Eggs and Ham.

Friday was Read Across America which also coincided with (what would have been) Dr. Seuss' 108th birthday. I had an opportunity to observe this special day at a local elementary school. I had wondered what took place and admit to having been a little skeptical when hundreds of children invaded and then inhabited the open library and adjoining walkway spaces.

As you can imagine, they were pretty excited to be doing something so outside their normal school routine. The noise and activity seemed antithetic to an atmosphere conducive to actual reading, but surprisingly, little by little, the students settled and became quiet (if not silent) and most were indeed reading. Some of the reading material might have had questionable value (video game strategy guides, manga, etc.) but reading is reading and most kids seemed to be reading traditional enough fare. I saw several copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and one fifth grader was in the last eighth or so of The Hunger Games. He'd even brought Catching Fire with him in case he finished the first book.

The principal later read Horton Hatches the Egg which I'd never read (or heard read) before. I think I only have one Dr. Suess book left, and that's my personal favorite, One Fish, Two Fish, but it has somehow ended up wedged between The Chicago Manual of Style and an ancient copy of Make Every Word Count which I think is hilarious. I think Dr. Suess would agree.

Then I found this video which I thought was pretty cool, and it has Danny DeVito and Zac Efron helping to mark the day (and blatantly promoting the new Lorax movie which I won't see, but I admit to having a crush on Zac).



And in case that's not your cup of tea, have some Imogen Heap covered acapella by an amazing young singer. I love it!



Oh, and my clogged drain? I finally got it open with baking soda, boiling water, and a plunger!


Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze


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

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Face melted . . .

Maybe it's culture clash--my insular, northwestern European roots colliding against those of my predominantly warmer-climed and possibly gregarious-cultured, or obviously all-American, party-loving neighbors.

Maybe it's my age--naw, I've always been like this and some of my neighbors are about the same age as me.

Maybe I just wear my neural receptors on my sleeve.

I feel like one of those guys in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You know the ones; the guys at the end whose faces melt off or their heads explode. Not good.

Yes, I have spoken nicely to these neighbors. I thought perhaps they just didn't realize how loud their activities are inside my house. With the doors and windows closed. I'm already dreading summer when everybody seems to be outside and partying and the windows have to be open or we fry. And I'm looking forward to getting to work tomorrow for a little peace and quiet. (Anyone really knowing me understands this as a HUGE joke.)

Whatever. I resent being kept up all night, then having adults yelling, doors slamming, children screaming for long periods throughout the day (these seem to be visiting children, thank God) and feeling forced to retreat to my darkened bedroom, putting ear-plugs in, and pulling the covers over my head, trying to block it out at least for a little while. Not the way I was planning on spending my weekend. I was hoping to actually get some work done today.

Instead, I composed this blog while trying to block out the noise, must have slept as I dreamed pleasantly of positive book reviews, and this song was in my head--unhappily and a little too appropriately--when I woke up.



Does anyone else have to deal with noisy neighbors like me? What do you do? Is there anything you've said that makes any difference? I've thought about retaliating, like waking them up at four in the morning banging pans outside their window or something, but of course I'd never do it. I'm hating the idea of having to move again when my lease is up. I otherwise like it here and it fits my budget--an important consideration.

Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to rant, I promise not to make a habit of it, and I promise to be more positive next time but honestly, I have to do something productive today. And it gives me an excuse to share some Incubus. Just making lemonade. :)

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze


More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Anniversary . . .

. . . to me!

One year ago today my first novel was published (paperback). It will be coming out this June in a hardbound edition with much more nurturing than it's original paperback had. But that doesn't matter today. And yes, it is also Valentine's Day, and YES, that was on purpose.

Unfortunately very few people know about it (my YA novel, Bronze), but hopefully Dave, Allison, Chris, and Robin will make many more friends this summer. I love having Valentine's day as my little romance's birthday though.

And to celebrate, I'd like to share this sweet animated short (hijacked from PBS Books). It's apparently up for an Oscar this year and it's easy to see why.

Enjoy! (And Happy Valentine's Day!)



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com
And please "Like" us on Facebook! Thanks!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Grammys, Writing, and Comparisons

Seems like forever since I posted anything, but there's not much going on. It is the Grammys tonight though, and I am slightly interested in that. Only slightly because I'm not at all impressed by celebrity and I don't think the people/groups that win awards in general (music or otherwise) necessarily deserve them--sometimes it seems clear that popularity or politics are more involved than any real talent or quality--but I find it interesting none-the-less and am always happy when my bands and musicians win!

This year I'm rooting (in general-whatever they're up for) for Foo Fighters, Foster the People, the Black Keys, and Radiohead. If I can find a decent livestream to watch I may, otherwise I guess I'll find out tomorrow (feel free to fill me in!)

The writing is going well, but I don't plan on giving a play-by-play on what I'm doing, tempting though it is. I will probably let you know of major 'checkpoints,' etc. For now, suffice it to say that I'm writing every day and Dave has started bugging me again. A lot. That's always a good sign.

Apart from that, there's nothing much to add; nothing new. I'm not the kind of person who likes to describe the minutiae of their day, and I'm not famous enough for anyone to be interested anyway. That leaves ranting (of which there's been plenty lately, especially the $@#%* drivers I manoeuver around everyday!) and though many of the blogs I follow have very entertaining rants which I enjoy reading--in moderation--I promised myself I would NOT use my blog for that or subject my readers to it. But I do make observations at times and here is one of them.

Lately I've been hearing very familiar sounds coming from my radio. Two songs in particular (and I just heard a third recently) have elements that I first heard in music by Hirasawa Susumu years ago. And he may not be the first to use these elements, but it's the first time that I was aware of it. You may not be familiar with him, but if you are into anime at all, you've probably heard his work. So I thought it would be interesting to do a little comparison.

The first of his works is from an anime called Paranoia Agent, a rather disturbing, mind-messing show with adult themes (2004).



I'm refering to the little voice at the beginning and end. A small thing, perhaps, but distinctive. Then there's Don't Stop (Color on the Walls) from Foster the People (Don't look to me to explain the video; I don't even...):



And I recently heard this from Coldplay:



The second element is the electronic voice (Vocaloid) employed in some of Hirasawa's music for the full-length Paprika (again, very weird, disturbing, and adult in themes--just so you know)



I'm hearing very similar sounds here in Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites from Skrillex:



My point? I don't have one...it's just a comparison and old habits die hard :P

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze


More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Too Noisy!

I had great hopes of organizing notes, writing, and rewriting today. In fact, except for a short trip this morning, I thought I had all day to do it. Little did I know: it was a football (American) AND hockey day.


Now I love certain sports, but I'm not much of a stadium sport fan, except maybe baseball. My mother was a HUGE baseball fan (I mean that she was very enthusiastic, not that she was huge!) She even played on a community powderpuff team when I was a kid. Go Mom! So baseball is okay. And I love soccer (footy) but seldom get to see it played. I'll watch just about anything equestrian, and I adore board sports and "extreme" sports. But I'm not really a sports person.


I have quite a few neighbors and they ALL seem to be big stadium sport fans. And they want everyone to know about it too. Noise has been an issue ever since we moved in, but when it's a Big Game Day--oh boy. So I cleaned the house. I did research. I tried to read, but couldn't concentrate (I am VERY easily distracted.) Then I surfed, because sometimes it's all I can do, but I usually find really cool stuff. And I did, so I'll share. And try again tomorrow.


The Joy of Books






Snow "tubing" crow (or Russian equivalent--I think)



And because I loved it the first time I heard it (a couple of weeks ago), it's playing all over the place now, and I consistently wake up with it in my head, I'd love to give Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" to you, but I'm not sure the video is appropriate for here. So I'll leave you with this one instead.


WARNING: The lyrics are very sad, but the video is wonderful, and a little less sad, and if you let it (and want it to), it will distract you from them. Full screen view is best. :)



 
Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze
 

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