Patton Oswalt, Endless Homework, and the Joco Cruise!

The last few days, though crisp, have been beautiful. Bright blue skies, rays of sunshine that actually offered some feeble warmth to my frigid skin, and blissfully no breeze. Today is nothing like that.

The clouds have decided to come home, and they’ve blanketed Salem in an oppressive sheet of grey. Not dark grey, or the bruised look of rain clouds. Not the pale fluff of Arizona clouds. These clouds are business grey. The grey of cubicle carpet. They’d make most Arizonans irritable and depressed. But, I guess I’ve acclimated now, because I’m not unhappy to see them.

I’ve opened the blinds to let the thin light in. Trevor’s still asleep. He said last night that he wanted to wake up when I did, so we could make breakfast. I kind of figured that wouldn’t happen. I warned him. I said, “I usually get up around 9”. He grimaced, and agreed, though I think he was harboring a hope that I’d enjoy my rare Sunday off by sleeping in with him.

I hoped so too.

But, I can’t deny Troy and Abed (my alarm tone). Well, sometimes I can. But my brain was immediately active this morning, desperate to use this unplanned time to get something done. My post for my Sci-Fi class. Knock out some of the French homework due tomorrow. Read a tiny bit of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Finish the third round of edits on A Stranger Comes Knocking. Anything. Something!

And here I am writing an unscheduled blog post.

Ha! As if I schedule any of them. What a crock.

I finished reading Firefight Friday night…

Just say that out loud. Do it. You want to. See? It’s funny!

It was a great story, and just like the first story, I kind of saw the end coming. I won’t go into the details here, but keep an eye out for the review!

So now I’m on to Rothfuss’s novella and so far I love it. It’s eccentric as hell, but the lilting language and whimsical storyline has me hooked.
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Speaking of Rothfuss, he, John Scalzi, and Wil Wheaton are all on this mysterious journey known as the JoCo Cruise Crazy 5. Now, maybe I’m just out of the loop on this one, which we all know is likely, but I had to Google it.

Turns out, Jonathan Coulton, who I’m rather fond of, has his own damn cruise! The fact that I am not on that ginormous boat, rubbing elbows with idols, is really infuriating! To put it simply, the JoCo cruise is a nerd cruise. There’s a 24 hour, designated Table Top Game table. There are performances by Jonathan Coulton. There are panels and events from people like Rothfuss, Scalzi, and Wheaton.

I looked at the prices… And they’re really reasonable.

Why am I not on that gorram boat?!

Oh right, I was paying for a wedding and a honeymoon last year. Well, thank goodness that’s over, so we can start living it up, Nerd Style.

…This is why I don’t post on Sundays. My brain is mush from the work/school week. And usually, I’m at work by now, safely busied away from all forms of social media.

Speaking of nerds, Trevor, Crazybull, and myself made the trek to Portland to see Patton Oswalt.

Look at these nerds...
Look at these nerds…

Now, Trevor and I went and saw him perform at the Elsinore Theater back in November 2012. He was hilarious, and adorable in his own tiny, funny man way. But, he was much more approachable at Powell’s. He talked a bit, and you knew it was genuine. He was being himself up there, talking to us and telling us stories. He took questions, and Trevor got to ask him one. Pretty sure that would have made his night, if Patton hadn’t gone above and beyond come signing time.

"Your name is Crazybull? That's awesome!" -Patton Oswalt
“Your name is Crazybull? That’s awesome!” -Patton Oswalt

So, Trevor has owned, and listened to, one of Patton’s comdey CD’s for about as long as we’ve been together. On it is a bit about religion in which the phrase “Sky Cake” is bandied about. A bit. And it’s one of Trevor’s favorite comedy routines, ever. So, when the sticky notes were passed around, so that you could write your name so Patton could write yours, my husband wrote, “Sky Cake”.

The balls on this kid.

I thought he was being ridiculous, but when it was finally our turn, and Patton opened the book and saw Trevor’s yellow post-it note, he laughed. He looked up at Trevor and said, “Oh, Sky Cake…” his voice full of that nostalgic whimsy he uses during the bit.

"Oh, Sky Cake..." -Patton Oswalt
“Oh, Sky Cake…” -Patton Oswalt

This, would have been the best moment of the night. But wait, there’s more! Trevor and I chatted with him as he signed, Trevor even got the CD signed, and Patton was floored that he brought it, just completely jazzed to sign it. And then we walked away, our two minute exposure to one of Trevor’s idols over. And we were pumped and totally, 100% happy to have spent $40 on two books and to have made the drive.

And then, as we walked away, we opened the book. And there, in that thick black marker, read, “Sky Cake – Stay delicious”.

And that was the moment that made Trevor’s evening. I’m so glad that I could be witness to what will become one of my husband’s most cherished memories. He helps me through Sanderson signings, and I’m glad to help him through Comedian encounters.

The three of us walked a block over and got beers and dinner at Deschutes, laughing and telling stories. It was a great night.

Beer makes everything better!
Beer makes everything better!

And that was our adventure. Today I have plans to do nothing but watch the Superbowl. I consider it a national holiday, even when the Steelers aren’t playing. I’m rooting for the Seahawks, seeing as I reside in the PNW. Plus, the Patriots are jerks and Trevor’s a Jets fan, so we hate them!

After the Superbowl, I do have to post about The Time Machine. I finished reading it last night, and though it ended well, it was still a very boring read. I felt like I was inside the world’s longest, and least interesting episode of The Twilight Zone.

Sorry, not sorry.

I haven’t looked at the French homework due tomorrow, because I’m afraid of it. I’m sure there’s a ton. But, I’m off work at 3:30pm, so I have time. And then there are more stories and a novel to be read for next week. Good grief.

I have another round of edits to do for A Stranger Comes Knocking. This has been an eye-opening experience, and I’ve learned a lot. I can’t wait to use what I’ve learned on my manuscripts. But, I’ll talk more about that another time.

Sorry my Writing Excuses post hasn’t arrived yet. I’ve been pretty busy over here. It’s coming, I promise!

I’ll talk at you soon, Blogland!

BZ

Running Out of Free Time

What a crazy week! It’s Wednesday and I feel like I’ve accomplished very little. Homework, assigned reading, and tests have taken every spare moment. Lunch breaks and 10s have become my only solace. Carefully doled out free time, where I can shamelessly hurl myself into a fictional world.

Firefight is exceeding my expectations so far. I’m already 124 pages in, leaving 392 to go. I read a bit last night, when I should have been sleeping, and then read a bit more this morning over breakfast. It’s a nice way to wake up.

About four days ago Leah emailed me comments for the next round of edits on A Stranger Comes Knocking. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t looked them over yet, and it’s making me all grumbly. I very much dislike that writing can’t be my absolute top priority during the semester.

And now I have news about another potential time sink.

The Library called me yesterday to set up an interview! Thursday, February 5th at 1pm. And here I’d resigned to not hearing from them again. I’m trying to keep my excitement levels low. This is a part time job, and I tell myself that I’m not that qualified.

But, let’s be real. Their main focuses are customer service and leadership. I’m a Shift Supervisor at Starbucks. Service and Leadership I’ve got in spades. So, I’m fostering a tiny, bubbling, would-be geyser of excitement.

We’ll see how it turns out.

Today’s agenda, then.

  • Finish the second rounds of edits for A Stranger Comes Knocking.
  • French Homework
  • Write The Star Scroll Book Review
  • Read assigned short stories for my Sci-Fi class
  • Trade in the books that I’ve either read, or know I’ll never read

    So long, and thank for all the...
    So long, and thank for all the…

Tomorrow is Patton Oswalt day! I’m looking forward to the day in Portland, and the hours spent in one of the best bookstores in the world, Powell’s! Trevor’s taking a half-day at work, so I only have from 9-1pm to get all my homework done before we leave for Portland.

I’m hoping to get it all done today, so that tomorrow I can focus on the blog and some of my own writing. If I keep focused today, I should be able to make it work.

I’m really good at this whole Time Management thing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted. I’ve got about 3 hours of French homework, three short stories to read and post about, a short story to edit, and two blog posts to write before tomorrow afternoon.

I’m tired just thinking about it.

I’ll see you all tomorrow!

BZ

Handwriting and Tempations

Today is all about temptation.

I have two short stories and a novella to read for my Sci-Fi class by Sunday. It’s Friday. And all I really want to do is read the last 70 pages of The Star Scroll. So instead of being disciplined and reading my assigned works first, I’m trolling twitter and WordPress.

Which has led me to the following decision. Once I’m done with this post, I’m going to work to sit in the lobby and read. I have plenty of time to finish my personal reading tomorrow. Today is about school work.

While I was perusing twitter I discovered that it’s National Handwriting Day. Not sure why it gets a day, but I’m more than happy to take a great quote from a favorite book and write it down, take a picture of it, and post it on the internet.
I am Hope

And, of course, my handwriting was particularly rubbish today.

Speaking of Mistborn, Trevor took it to work today. He’s been on page 112 for about two months now. I keep teasing him, telling him to put the book back on the shelf if he isn’t going to read it. But, he kept saying he was going to read it.

A couple days ago I reorganized my bookshelves. When I first set them up I hadn’t stretched my fantasy wings. I was reading fantasy, but not writing it. So, my general fiction and literary fiction were on the top shelves. It was my proclamation, “Look at how well read I am! I’m so smart!”

Gross.

Now the top shelves are reserved for my fantasy and sci-fi novels. Brandon Sanderson books on the top left, Patrick Rothfuss and other favorite series on the top right.

Anyway, when I reorganized, I put Mistborn back on the shelf. Not because he wasn’t going to read it, but because I wanted to account for it in my organization. I left it there, and today it’s gone.

It better come back to me in one piece...
It better come back to me in one piece…

Trevor remembered to grab it! He might actually read it. I hope he does, because I’ve wanted someone to talk to about Mistborn for about six years now.

So, today I read all kinds of school stuff, and I listen to Writing Excuses Week 3 tonight on my lunch break. Tomorrow is my day off, meaning I’ll be reading The Star Scroll. Once that’s done, I’ll be reading my assigned works.

And then it will be Sunday.

Sunday is the day Caladria goes live! It’s free to join, just set up a profile and you’ll have access to our Library, where you can purchase and download our first publication Fab Fables! The site will also allow you to follow your favorite authors. As soon as the site goes live, I’ll put a permanent link in the ‘About’ page, as well as link it in my posts, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.

Expect next week to be a busy week on the blog. I should have the Review of The Star Scroll, Writing Excuses Week 3, and The Caladria announcement posts all up before Wednesday. And then we’re going to the Patton Oswalt signing in Portland on Thursday. So I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about come Friday.
patton's book

I finished the edits on A Stranger Comes Knocking. It was just the first round, so lots of tidying and sharpening. It’s not 100% there yet, but it’s close. The ending falls a touch flat, and we’re working on strengthening it. I should get some more feedback in a couple days, when Leah and co., aren’t so incredibly swamped with the website going live.

Until then, I’ve got a stack of reading and French homework to do.

See you next week Blogland!

BZ

Dreary January

Firefight releases today! It just so happens to coincide with Sbux Tip Tuesday, which makes me desperate for a bookstore.

Firefight-by-Brandon-Sanderson

But! I won’t buy it yet… I know, I know. I haven’t shut up about this book for a couple weeks, and all of a sudden I’m not buying it?

But that’s because a fortuitous visit to Sanderson’s website dropped a bomb on me yesterday.

Thanks to the book’s release, he’s touring again, and will be in Portland on the 16th! But, I’m scheduled to work during the signing, and was on the verge of tears yesterday afternoon. Ask my friend, Crazybull, he was making fun of me.

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But, an angel in the form of a co-worker, swooped down and saved me. She’s agreed to cover the shift, and I am Portland bound! So, in an effort to support awesome Indie bookstores like Powell’s, I’m holding off on my purchase until the event.

Which sort of works out. I didn’t want to rush through The Star Scroll just to read Firefight, and it gives me time to read Mitosis as well. It just allows for better pacing for my reading this month.

Speaking of reading this month, my hubby is a bit of a comedy buff. He loves stand-up, and his favorite comic is Patton Oswalt. He came to Salem once, and I bought us tickets for Trevor’s birthday. We had a blast, because Patton is one hilarious dude. And, in case you hadn’t heard, he launched a book today as well, titled Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film. And, he’ll also be in Portland, at the Burnside Powell’s, on the 29th signing books and shaking hands.

patton's book

So, all of a sudden my dreary January is full of fun events!

Another fun event is a return to our weekly Dungeons and Dragons campaign. This is something relatively new for us. Trevor and I are fairly nerdy people. We play video games extensively. I have a Kingdom Hearts tattoo as well as a Doctor Who tattoo, and Trev’s rocking the Star Trek insignia for life. And I read Sci-Fi/Fantasy almost exclusively these days.

So, when a co-worker of Trevor’s suggested we get a party together for a beginner’s campaign, we were 100% interested. So we gathered a group of pretty interesting people, who created even more interesting characters, and we’ve been playing for a month solid. But, the Holidays made us a skip a week, and tonight is our return!

And what does the only female party member wear to play D&D? Why, only the finest nerdery out there!
ladies-tank-templarcullen-front pikachu cardigan

That’s right! A Dragon Age tank top, featuring her favorite romance option (a gift from her adored husband) and a Pikachu cardigan (a gift from the adored in-laws). Short of cosplaying our characters, it doesn’t get much more nerdy.

I don’t work at the Bux today, so I find myself wasting time scouring the internet, tweeting, and reading intermittently. It’s nice.

But, I did wake up this morning with a drive to work on Jordinn’s Story, so I’m going to wrap up this dribble, and get to it.

I’ll see you soon, Blogland!

BZ