seeksadventure: (Sons of Anarchy great wide open)
But no concerts in caves, alas. That would be fun.

Life has kind of blown up this summer, writing and work and social activities. I keep meaning to write up longer posts about everything, but that is not going to happen, at first because I've had no time, and this evening because I had a pretty dangerous mood drop over the weekend and am sliding into depression. The mania lasted quite a few weeks this time. I hope I can keep making writing progress through this shift.

Alice in Chains and Guns N' Roses

Reconnected with one of my high school BFFs this year, and we road tripped up to the Guns N' Roses concert in Kansas City. I swore I would go if they ever got Slash back, and they did, and I did, and it was amazing. Alice in Chains opened, and put on a fantastic show, and Guns N' Roses absolutely killed it. I can't believe they are still putting on such energetic shows, and playing so damn hard. I continue to love Slash beyond the telling of it, and everything was absolutely wonderful.

(Well, no, early on a visual element triggered my vertigo, so I had to deal with that all night, but it was still worth it.)

horror movies

High School BFF: Do you like scary movies?

High school BFF and I both love horror movies, so we've been going to the movies together lately. It's nice to go with someone else who loves them, since J merely puts up with my movie choices most of the time.

So far, we've watched The Conjuring 2 and Light's Out. Both were fun enough, though neither stuck the ending, and I thought both relied too hard on similar jump scares throughout (not similar to each other, necessarily, but repetitive ones within the movie itself).

St Louis Science Center

One of my law school BFFs came down for the Fourth of July, and joined me on an adventure that was part work and part fun, visiting a new exhibit at the St Louis Science Center that was focused on local growing and farm to table. It was raining the day we went up, so I had to rush through most of the outdoor exhibits, but it was pretty fun. Mostly targeted toward little children, which I did not expect. J and his mom went with us, and I grabbed Niece H (still youngest niece, though I do have a great-niece who is younger) to come with us. She's maybe a year or two too young for most of the Science Center, but we had a good couple of hours running from one display to the next before she lost interest, and then we all went out for delicious bbq. (Her birthday just happened, and while there we went through Build a Bear for her gift. I'd never done it before, but it was really fun, if pretty cheesy. She adored it, though, and had a great time whispering her secret creative dream as a part of the one she picked out.) Niece H is just delightful, and I'm so glad we got to spend time together.

After we dropped her off, we took J's mom home, and on the way stopped to play with little chicks and a young pig who were on display at her local farm store. TOO CUTE.

Meramec Caverns

This past weekend, we spent the day at Meramec Caverns with J's family; Meramec Caverns is a large cave system here in Missouri on the Meramec River that does guided tours. I've been through it only once before, one summer of law school. It is still beautiful, and the tour slightly different this time than the last time. There are plenty of places that are open and closed at different times, so it changes a little depending on when you go. Every June, they do a lantern tour, and I think next year we'll give that a try. After, we took a quiet, slow boat tour of part of the river, which was very short but super relaxing.


I am not quite back to pottery classes regularly just yet, but the other night, J and I went to a pottery show my teacher was in, and there were some gorgeous, inspiring pieces. There were also things that were completely over-priced, but such is art.

I've trimmed one piece and thrown a second, but am not back to regular lessons until September. Probably. Failures still really mess with my mental health, so we'll see.


Mostly, I have been writing. I finished a novel-length project (more or less twice; the first draft had no ending, so I had to start over to figure out where I went wrong, and then finally got an ending on draft two, though it's still not right), and I'll start editing it soon to prep it for early readers. I'm already well into my next novel length project.

I've written 340k so far this year. My goal is 500k. When I set it, I didn't actually expect to make it, because when I used to set 350k, I would get close, but never actually get there. This year is apparently a good writing year, and it's been a great lesson that I really do write more and better when (a) I write every day or almost every day and (b) I track my daily word count.
seeksadventure: (Sons of Anarchy space not just air)
For your gift-giving pleasure, I recommend the following items and/or small businesses, in no particular order.

+ The Shattering by Karen Healey

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.

As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

As I've said before, The Shattering is the book of my heart. I think it would make an excellent gift, particularly for those who like supernatural adventures and friendships and amazing flawed characters and chosen families.

+ Raised By Wolves and Trial By Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Blurb (for Raised By Wolves, to avoid later spoilers): At the age of four, Bryn watched a rogue werewolf brutally murder her parents. Alone in the world, she was rescued and taken in by the mysterious Callum, the alpha of his werewolf pack. Now fifteen, Bryn’s been raised as a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule (mostly). Little fazes her.

But the pack’s been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum’s direct orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Terrifying memories of the attack on her mom and dad come flooding back. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, all allegiances to the pack no longer matter. It’s Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.

These have been my favorite werewolf media of 2011, combining so many of my favorite things, werewolves and strong female characters and best friends who are badasses and, again, chosen families. Highly, highly recommend.

+ Leila by Elizabeth Reeve

Blurb: When college student Megan hits the library, she's looking for sources for a paper on Carmilla, an early vampire story. But in gorgeous librarian Leila, she finds much, much more. It's no surprise that Leila haunts Megan's dreams, but as her fantasies heat up, she begins to wonder -- is Leila really who she seems to be?

Sexy, charming, and fun, I love this lesbian vampire and human love story.

+ Lilo & Stitch

An alien lands on Kauai and goes from bad to good. Siblings being heartbreaking and sweet and delightful and the most adorable chosen family ever.

+ Fast Five

I actually recommend most of the series (The Fast and the Furious, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Fast & Furious, at least), but this one is a delightful heist movie full of characters of color. I was surprised that this ended up being one of my favorite movies, but it was a grand adventure.

+ Three Cheep Chicks

Three friends of mine (one of whom is also my sister) make beautiful, affordable jewelry. I have a ton of pieces from them, but every time I see something new, I find more to love. Shiny, inexpensive, but quality bits and bobs are wonderful.

So what are some of your favorite things this year?

(NB: Links to Amazon are affiliate links. Karen and Eliza and the Three Cheep Chicks are all friends of mine, but I objectively love these things as well.)

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seeksadventure: (Sons of Anarchy great wide open)
Long time without a post. Sorry about that. I have been busy. Mostly with work, of course, but some social stuff too. I will tell you about a few of the social things, because they were a lot of fun.

In no particular order, some of the places I've been.

+ My sister's marriage ceremony

July 5, [ profile] impatienke married Mr. [ profile] impatienke in a civil ceremony at the courthouse. Most of the family was able to make it. Next summer, they're having the full social ceremony, and I'll be one of the bridesmaids, but this was nice, too. After, we all went out for a family dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and that was, as always, delicious.

+ My sister's graduation

Back in May, [ profile] impatienke graduated with a couple Bachelor degrees. We went down for her ceremony and it was really delightful. I love family events. We also looked at bridesmaid dresses then, which was slightly less fun, since I get bored fast when clothes shopping, but I do love Kris and hanging out with our friends. The next day, the brothers M hosted her graduation party, a hotdog party which I planned for her at her request. It was a blast, and I think she really enjoyed herself.

+ Tessa Gratton's BLOOD MAGIC launch (link to Tessa's photo post about the event)

Tessa Gratton (user name="tessagratton" site="">'s launch party for her debut novel BLOOD MAGIC was held at Rainy Day Books, a Kansas City area independent bookstore. I'd been looking forward to BLOOD MAGIC for awhile now, and though I haven't had the time to read it (such is life), getting to hold it, with its beautiful cover, was amazing. Unfortunately, I worked right up until the event, did some work at the event, and then went back to work after the event, but at least I had the chance to attend. Everyone was charming and funny and so excited for Tessa, and I had a lovely time.

I'd never been to Rainy Day Books even though I drive past it twice a day at least five days a week, generally, because their hours are fairly short, but it seemed to be a nice store with really friendly people, and I hope to go back. (To the store itself; I'll be attending more events, but a lot of their events take place elsewhere, because it's also a very small store.)

+ Fourth of July fireworks

Though none of us wanted to fight the crowds to get spots around the lake to watch the Fourth of July firework display in my hometown (nor did we want to fight the traffic to leave after), a friend tipped us off to a great spot to watch from afar. We had an excellent view, the show was badass, and I saw many Sky Lanterns, though I'd never seen one before. I particularly loved the ones released in formations. June was a busy month at work and July is the same, so it nice to have a few days off for the holiday and for my sister's marriage ceremony. (Even though I did some work remotely.)

+ Partying with the brothers M

The brothers M brought the Shadow up to me a few weeks ago, and we spent some time hanging out around Kansas City. To thank them for bringing me my bike, I took them to Fogo de Chão, which I had serendipitously learned about from a coworker the day before, and it was amazing. I thought we might have some trouble, because I'm not much of a fan of red meat and Jake can't eat pork, but oh, god, so many options. So many delicious, delicious options. We then went on to the Ameristar, where I learned they'd gotten rid of my favorite werewolf slot machine. (I'd only discovered it on Jake's last visit to KC.) Sad! I tend to find casinos boring pretty fast, though I enjoy going with friends, but loved that stupid werewolf slot machine. It told a werewolf story! Technically, it told numerous werewolf stories! I'm going to see if I can't buy one for myself. Because that's just what I need.

+ Writing

Sort of this falls under work. I do less of it than I'd like, but I do what I can.

+ Full mooon

I've done a lot of traveling under the full moon, which I love, driving with it just outside the window. Thursday night, the moon was high when I got home from work, and it reminded me of the summer in Washington, all those late night walks around Redmond, and all the werewolf stories I told myself.

What I haven't been doing is visiting San Diego again, though Kris and I had planned to go over Memorial Day weekend. Alas, there was too much family stuff and work stuff going on to get away. I hope to make it out sometime this fall. Nor did I get to visit Tucson when [ profile] karenhealey was in town. Nor did I get to go to Indiana with law school friends. Lots of travel fail lately.

What is coming up:

+ Jim Butcher event sponsored by Rainy Day Books. I'm going with Kris and our friends, even though I haven't liked the series for awhile and haven't even read the last book, I don't think.

+ Chicago trip with law school friends. I'm not sure if this will happen, and it will be a short trip for me if it does, but I want to see them. It's a short, cheap flight, I don't mind a fast turnaround.

+ Mini-writing retreat with some of the Interrobangers. This also may not happen, but if it does, this fall will be awesome.

+ Wiscon 36 in May 2012. Obviously I don't know if this will happen, but it's been awhile since I've gone, and some of the Interrobangers will be there, so I would like to go. Plus I would love to see my friends, particularly [ profile] cabell with her new family and [ profile] chr0me_kitten, whom I haven't seen since I left Michigan.

+ AMOK AMOK AMOK with Sarah. I haven't seen my bff in person since 2005, and we are highly overdue for a visit full of amok.

+ Motorcycle ride into Kansas. I need some great wide open in front of me and soon.

And of course, work. Which I love most of the time, but is tiring.

It's been so long I don't remember my tags. Huh.

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seeksadventure: (Default)
Two things, what with gift giving season upon us.

First, one of my sisters and two of our friends have a new jewelry store: Three Cheep Chicks. They have a website with a gallery and an Etsy site. I can vouch for the beauty and sturdiness of their jewelry; I've received a ton of pieces from all three of them this past year, between last year's holidays, my birthday, and graduation. I wore one of their pieces today, actually.

ETA: I wore this piece. Also, remember my octopus necklace obsession? Kris made me one for graduation: OCTOPUS!

Second, [ profile] chimera_fancies has posted a preview of her big holiday sale. These pendants are amazing and I am still heartbroken that I lost all of mine last summer in that break-in.

I am still not online regularly, but I hope maybe to catch up on everything over Thanksgiving weekend.

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seeksadventure: (Halloween werewolf apocalypse)
Jake, Dad, and I watched Mythbusters and they tested vodka myths, including that it removes the smell of smoke from clothes.

Jake: That's a waste of vodka!
Dad: Yeah, if you drink it, you don't care how you smell.

After dinner, when we were driving Dad home, we had this exchange:

Dad: You should write a story about warewolfes(1) bears. Bears like warewolfes. And moose! Vampire moose.
Jake: Vampire moose? Do they gore you instead of bite you and then lick the blood from the wounds?
Dad: Yes. Write this story for kids. A bedtime story.
Jake: That kid will never sleep again.
Carla: And mom wonders why I love horror.(2)

Haha, and then I just had this exchange on IM:

[ profile] bewize and I were talking about running and I said I didn't think I'd ever love it. She agreed but talked about other reasons to run (like knowing you can do it, not necessarily enjoying it).

Carla: Probably a good idea to be able to run away from the vampire moose.

My life makes me laugh. It also makes me happy.

(1) This is basically how he says it. It makes me laugh every time.

(2) We didn't watch horror movies in the house when I was growing up because Mom is so scared of them even the music bothers her. I saw my first horror movie -- The Howling -- while on the road with Dad. Dad swears he would never have let me watch it so young, but he totally did and I have been enthralled by werewolves ever since.
seeksadventure: (Halloween baby werewolf)
Jake showed me this video today: Hawaii Parkour Mascot (embedded video under the cut). I, of course, loved it and immediately had werewolf story ideas. Parkour remains totally a werewolf thing to me.

video )

I thought I had something else to say, but I guess not. Bedtime.
seeksadventure: (AtRH Adam tattoos and looming)
During dinner tonight, Mom said she told her nurse about the schedule I worked out with Dad and two of my sisters, so Mom is never alone during mealtime. The nurse thought this was just the sweetest, most clever thing ever. I was surprised that she was so touched and amazed by it.

A) Mom needs help. Dad can't do it all, nor should he do it all. Therefore my siblings and I pitch in. This is what our family does, and it doesn't feel like anything special.

B) Organizing the schedule of meals was the easiest thing I've done this week. It's simple and logical and the best way to keep track of who needs to be where when. (I plugged everything into my calendar, too, of course, and get an email update each morning reminding me what I need to do and who is with Mom when, even though I also have the schedule memorized.) I don't understand why it's such a clever thing to do.

In other news, we're having gorgeous lightning, thunderstorms, potential flooding, and tornadoes. I am actually mostly thrilled by this. I've been saying for three years that I missed good old Midwest storms and I really have.

Stress level: HIGH. I almost bit off Jake's head when he asked how my bar studying went today. Perhaps I should figure out a way to bring that stress level down a bit.
seeksadventure: (Slash fire inside)
Jake introduced me to a new song tonight which I love and I so helpfully have a link to the official video for it, too: Johnny and June by Heidi Newfield.

There are moments of this video which are breathtaking. (There are also moments which are ridiculous and cheesy, but whatever.) I love Johnny Cash references in general and this song makes me happy. It also makes me want to write, but that's pretty standard.

Mostly I love fire imagery and this video has awesome fire.