New post!

There is a new post up at the blog for our witchy paranormal romance series. This month it’s a character interview.


Happy birthday, Mom

Photo Mar 15, 7 18 40 AM

Today is my mother’s birthday.

It’s the second one without her.

I suppose there will come a time when I stop counting the birthdays, the Christmases, the Mother’s Days that have passed without her. There may even come a time when it stops hurting so much.

There will never be a day when I stop missing her.

Happy birthday, Mom. I wish you were here.

FaceBook Meme

This is going around FaceBook and is actually interesting enough that I decided to cross-post to my blog. I was tagged by my friend, Lady Strange, who knows of my deep love for books. In fact, choosing only ten is the problem….

The meme as given to me by Lady Strange:

Ok. Here’s how it works – in your status, list ten books which have stayed with you. Don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great books of literature, just ones that affected you in some way. Margaret Walters Bridges tagged me. Now guess what? Mickie Riley, Sid Taylor, Barbara Bishop and Melody LaGory,* “Tag! You’re It!”

Beyond the Pawpaw Trees (Palmer Brown) – my mother bought me this book when I was very little. I had strep, as usual, and was home, sick, and restless. I read this book until it literally (and I’m using the word correctly here) fell apart. I could never find another copy, until it was reprinted in 2012, unfortunately due to the death of the author. This is pure, magical whimsy, and I still love it to pieces.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) – deep love, often re-read, probably for the same reason as Beyond the Pawpaw Trees; the wonderful nonsense, though Alice has a darker tone than Anna Lavinia.

The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) – as with many others, my introduction to high fantasy. I loved this book first; I learned to love the Lord of the Rings trilogy much later.

The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas, père) – there is intrigue, beautiful ladies, hidden identities, an evil cardinal, swashing, buckling, swordfights! What’s not to love?

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L’Engle) – another book my mother got me when I was sick. Apparently, that’s what it took to keep me in bed. Witches, stars who are witches, space travel, lost families…love this book.

The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis) – can I use the whole set or just The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Regardless, I spent a good deal of my childhood tapping the back of closets hoping, hoping, hoping….

The Odyssey (Homer) – I read this during my Greek mythology phase and love it to this day.

The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) – Mowgli and Bagheera, the wolves, the apes, the snake… the lessons of the jungle. Along with this one, I also love Kipling’s Just So stories, myths about how things came to be, oh my best beloved, such as how the elephant got his trunk or the leopard his spots.

Fairy tales and mythologies – Grimm’s, Hans Christian Andersen, The Arabian Nights, Bullfinch’s – I love them all; magic and karma, good and evil, love and lust, it’s all there.

The Case Files of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) – or however you wish to write it – all the Holmes stories. He’s an interesting hero, Holmes; brusque and impatient, an addict, depressive, sociopathic, and utterly compelling in his brilliance. Holmes taught me a love for detective fiction.

Honorable mentions, because I just love these books:

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman – hands down, one of the best vampire novels I’ve ever read. I’ve read two paperback copies to shreds. It continues Bram Stoker’s Dracula into Victorian London, only the Count is now Victoria’s consort. There are vampires in society and London is crumbling….

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King – the other best vampire novel I’ve ever read. Creepy, insidious, horrifying. Pair it up with the short stories that inspired the novel and you’ll scream every time you hear a tap on window.

The Wolf’s Hour by Robert McCammon – from vampires to werewolves; this one is an ex-pat Russian who is a naturalized English citizen and spy. Set during World War II, it’s bloody and terrifying.

All things Shakespeare, actually. The comedies, the tragedies, the poetry; though I do have an especial love for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.

The Chronicles of Prydain (Lloyd Alexander) – based on Welsh mythology, with an irascible old wizard, an evil Lord of the Dead, a Princess with red-gold hair, an oracular pig and her Assistant Pig-Keeper.

The Dark is Rising Sequence (Susan Cooper) – Arthurian mythology and a secret cabal as old as time. Oh, how I wished when I turned eleven!

P.S. I also really do love To Kill a Mockingbird, but that one made everyone’s list, so I considered it a given and decided to choose the next ten.

*Names redacted for privacy.

Dragon*Con, and Why I Didn’t Attend This Year

So – Dragon*Con 2014 was last weekend. In fact, it ended yesterday (Monday, 9/1/2014). And, for the first time in um, a lot of years, I didn’t go, even for just one day.

I didn’t miss it.

I missed aspects of it, of course. I missed seeing friends, drinking coffee, gawking at the wonderful costumes, talking to complete strangers about their geekery of choice. I missed seeing a couple of authors that I admire, though from what I’ve heard, actually getting into a panel was a near-impossibility unless you lined up 24 hours ahead of time.

Then there were the crowds. According to one statistic I read, there were 62,000 people downtown at one point. Admittedly, it wasn’t just the con. There was a football game, a baseball game, a music festival and something else I’ve forgotten all going on last weekend.

This is wayyyyy too many people for Atlanta to handle. There’s not enough parking, what little is available is expensive, and Atlanta’s public transit is, well, I’ll be kind and say “unreliable”.

Plus, August in the South? If you go outside, it’s like trying to breath through wet wool. The air is hot, heavy, and water-saturated. If you’re packed into a crowd in that kind heat, you’re going to come away with some form of heatstroke. For people (like me) who don’t handle temperature extremes well, it’s nothing short of torture.

So I didn’t go. And I didn’t miss not going. It isn’t fun anymore; too hot, too crowded, and a lot of the features just don’t interest me. Have I outgrown it? **shrugs** Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just that it’s not my Con anymore. Maybe Dragon*Con has outgrown me. And that’s okay. Change is necessary for growth, as painful as it sometimes is.

What I did do was put together a tea party for The Blonde and Herself when they got back on Sunday. It was an afternoon tea, and seemed to be one of the highlights of the weekend for the Con-goers.

I don’t have a tiered tray (there’s talk of acquiring one now), but I did the three traditional servings of sandwiches, scones with jam & cream, and cake. There were cucumber sandwiches, ham & pickle sandwiches, cream cheese & salmon sandwiches. I made the scones, and did not have time to find clotted cream, so made do with whipped cream from a can (oops). And then the chocolate mousse cake. This is how it looked:

Here's the spread.
Here’s the spread.

And here are pictures of The Blonde enjoying her tea.

The Blonde with the cucumber sandwiches.
The Blonde with the cucumber sandwiches.
The Blonde with her teacup.
The Blonde with her teacup.

And that was Dragon*Con for me.

I’ll take it.