Interview with Author Claire Banschbach + Giveaway + Rise of Aredor/Wildcat of Braeton Relaunch!

Today I’m joining in on Claire Banschbach’s relaunch blogtour with a double book spotlight, giveaway, and an interview with the author herself! 🙂

Check out the tour schedule on Claire’s blog!

Some time ago, the publisher of The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton went under, so Claire has been hard at work getting both novels back out and published under her own label, Campitor Press. They’re now available again! (And The Rise of Aredor is 99 cents on Amazon during the blogtour, September 28-30!) I haven’t read them yet, but I’ve heard they’re quite good and feelsy. 😉 (And also that they’re not actually about animals, but people, despite the covers. XD) I look forward to trying them out someday! 😀

Also, if you’d like a taste of the Aredor universe, Claire has some short stories (she might even post one during the tour) on her blog; you can find and read them here.

Claire herself is an absolutely delightful person, both online and in person (I got to meet her and she’s awesome!) so I’m excited to have her over to my blog for an interview! 🙂

Author Bio

Claire M. Banschbach is a native West Texan. She discovered a deep and abiding love for fantasy and science fiction at a young age, prompting her to begin exploring worlds armed only with an overactive imagination and a pen while obtaining degrees in Kinesiology from Texas A&M and Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University.

She talks to fictional characters more than she should while struggling to find time for all their stories. She currently resides in Arlington, TX where she works as a Pediatric Physical Therapist.

You can connect with her on Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram

Interview with Author Claire M. Banschbach

Find the other Random Facts scattered through the other spotlight posts on the tour!

1. Deborah: Pen, pencil, or keyboard — and why?

Claire: I actually will go back and forth between pen and keyboard, depending on the project. Both the Aredor books were written by hand and I recently found the giant stack of notebooks when I moved. (Visit my Facebook page to see me with The Rise of Aredor ;)) I do type faster than I write, so I’m on the computer for most projects these days, but I do love to pull out a notebook and pen and go old school for anything from a short story to a full length novel!

2. Deborah: Do you have a character who was your favorite to write in these books?

Claire: It’s kind of a toss up between Aiden and Trey as far as favorite to write. Aiden is obviously in there more, being the main character of book 2. I definitely enjoyed writing any scene with him in it. Trey was another fun one as a minor character, just because he’s kind of intense, snarky, and will do just about anything as long as it’s dangerous, so yeah… 😛

3. Deborah: I look forward to meeting both characters! Top five favorite authors?

Brian Jacques, JRR Tolkien, Andre Norton, KM Shea, and recently discovered HL Burke. I will pretty much read any of her books.

4. (Apparently I need to try Norton and Shea, since the other three are fabulous. XD) Do you have a favorite food?

All food? Lol! My friends and family know they can bribe me with anything remotely resembling pizza and tacos.

5. Zoo or museum, and why?

Ooh, tough one! I think it would depend on what exhibit I’m going to see at a museum. But I also like hanging out by the big cats at a zoo and swooning over otters. Zoo probably.

6. Otterssss! ❤ You are my kind of person. 😉 Do you listen to music while writing, and if so, what music do you enjoy most?

Oh yes! I listen to music all the time. Typically for writing I have an epic instrumental soundtrack playlist going, but I have one WIP right now that I usually put on my random playlist which contains anything from rock to Christian, pop to Celtic rock, oldies to acoustic covers. But usually I have some sort of instrumental/epic going.

7. What’s your current writing project, and what can readers expect next from you?

I have two I’m working on right now. One is the WIPs mentioned above – The Mountain Baron, is a N/A fantasy with a healthy dose of angst, stabby outlaws, and brothers. I have too much fun with it. The other is a fantasy/western Snow White retelling for a contest. As far as the next publishing project? My fantasy/adventure story, The Wolf Prince, about brothers, curses, and faeries is with the editor right now and I’m hoping to publish by the end of the year.

8. Exciting! I can’t wait. 🙂 And lastly: any words of wisdom for fellow writers/authors?

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Don’t compare yourself to other writers, as in don’t measure your skill or success by other people. Don’t be afraid to take a break from writing! And remember, we’re all writers just trying to get our worlds out on paper – we’re all in this together.

Thanks so much for joining us, Claire!

Book Spotlight: The Rise of Aredor

The Rise of Aredor

Lost in a foreign land and separated from his family, Corin does his best to survive as a slave in the household of a Calorin lord. With newfound friends he fights for survival in ambushes and wars. For one act of bravery, he is awarded his freedom and returns to a home that has been invaded and ravaged by the Calorin armies. When Corin sets foot on Aredor’s shores, he has one goal in mind: find his family. He is driven into the forest, where he is reunited with childhood friends. From the shelter of the woods, they begin a spirited rebellion against Corin’s former cruel master, who now holds sway over Aredor. Follow Corin’s path in his quest to free his imprisoned brother, find a father who has vanished, and ultimately free his country in The Rise of Aredor.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Spotlight: The Wildcat of Braeton

The Wildcat of Braeton

His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.

A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally. 

As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain – war is coming to the North! 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Giveaway

Claire is giving away ebooks of The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton, a set of 4 notecards of the series artwork, and the grand prize is a paperback set of the books + 1 notecard of choice!

The giveaway will run from 9/28 – 10/4

Enter via the Rafflecopter HERE!

Have you read any of Claire’s books? Or do you want to? 😉 Thanks for reading! 🙂

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A Little Help For My Indie Author Friends

Just a quick post to say . . .

Exciting news: I was interviewed!

Interview

The lovely Emily Ann Benedict (author of the Persuasion retelling in the Vintage Jane Austen series, Perception — read my review here) interviewed me on her blog recently, about “services” I offer to Indie Authors. ^_^

So it’s kind of my first “business” interview, and I’m so excited! 🙂

Do check it out if you have a moment!

Thank youuu! ❤

New “Services” Page

Attentive readers may have noticed my new “Services” page listed on the menu of my blog, above — and since this is related to said interview, I will shamelessly promote/link to it. XD So if you need book reviewing, copy-editing, or web-design/WordPress help, you now know where to look! 😉

Blogoversary / Giveaway

Also, don’t forget I’m celebrating my 4th blogoversary, this week, with a giveaway, so stop by and enter it if you haven’t yet! 🙂

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Have a lovely week, friends! ^_^ Thanks for reading! ❤

Beautiful People: Teague’s Childhood

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Beautiful People is here again!

(Er… that is… it’s been here for three weeks already and is about to close for the month. I never said I was punctual… *cough*)

This month’s theme for the questions is Childhood! YAY! So I’m doing Teague from The Other Half of Everything. Because.

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Beautiful People, the monthly character-questions linkup for writers hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further In & Cait @ Paper Fury. Join the fun and link up!

I’ve noticed that whenever I answer the questions about the characters, it’s more informative, buuut when the characters answer the questions themselves, it may be way less informative but more fun.

I feel like fun, so I’ve tweaked the questions from “their” to “your”, directed at him, and talked Teague into answering because I told him he could answer in between reading. …I now see that may have been a bad idea.

Anyhow, on with the show!

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Beautiful People: Childhood Edition (June 2016) with Teague

(I’m in bold; Teague is in regular type.)

1. What is your first childhood memory?

*looks up from behind book* *directs a vague stare my way from under eyelids drooped halfway down* Meridian would tell you that I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning — which I must admit is entirely true. (Did I have breakfast today? I certainly wouldn’t know.) And you’re asking me about my earliest childhood memory? Well, someone is obviously in for a surprise.

Because you don’t remember?

Because I do, as a matter of fact. *goes back to reading* *looks up again* Right, yes… I distinctly recall, at the age of two or so, falling flat on my face when I tripped over a tussock of grass. Fascinating, I know.

2. What were your best and worst childhood experiences?

*mild sigh* Are we really doing this?

Yes.

Mmm… Best: that really good book I read, the one with the . . .

*gives him a look*

*pauses* What does that look mean? Is it a hint?

It means actual experiences, specifically outside of pages.

A bit picky . . . but all right, adventures with my siblings, then. Worst: Probably the time I got eaten. Nearly. Dragon incident. Not my fault, by the way . . . *trails off because is already reading again*

3. What was your childhood home like?

*long, long pause while Teague continues to read*

Ahem.

*longer pause*

Finally: *Teague glances up* Oh, we’re still doing this, are we? Well. I suppose you could say it was a house. In fact, it was… house-like. Wooden. Painted white. Like Lulin’s hair. *shrug*

4. What’s something that scared you as child?

Oh, the usual, you know: dragons or paper cuts or something. Moving on, then.

Author’s note: His worst fears: losing one of his siblings, and losing his imagination. Um. Let’s just say he doesn’t like to talk about this… >.>

5. Who did you look up to most?

My father, I suspect. And my favorite authors.

6. Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

This question sounds suspiciously like it came from Meridian… always badgering me about food. I can’t fathom it, exactly. I never have been very into food, to be honest. It’s not something I think about. But I do remember rather disliking cauliflower cheese, and I recall some quite good meat pasties with some sort of grey-ish mushroom-y gravy, as well as being moderately fond of lemon meringue pie.

7. If you had your childhood again, would you change anything?

Nothing. And everything. *tilts head sideways* Would you?

8. What kind of child were you? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Definitely more on the quiet side, with a touch of curiosity, perhaps… I left the wild and devious side of things to Ivan and… others. I never went in for that kind of thing. Of course not. Absurd, really. I don’t know why in the world you would think it, honestly. *sticks nose firmly back in book*

9. What was your relationship to your parents and siblings like?

It was fine, thank you. You said there were ten questions, so what’s the last one? *goes back to reading*

All right, I’ll answer this. When he says “fine” he does mean it — he got along rather well with his whole family. It’s just a complicated question to ask NOW because his relationships “now” are far from “fine”, so it’s not a subject he dwells on.

Teague was always rather independent, if reserved (usually), but his relationship with his parents was a good one… but they’re dead now. He always had a good relationship with his little sister Lulin (not so little now), and that has not changed. She has a mischievous side like Ivan’s, but also a streak of quietness, which means she and Teague often understood each other when the wilder brothers didn’t.

Teague’s relationship with his two brothers is more complicated.

Teague was the quiet leader type role, but his next brother, Errol, of-whom-we-do-not-speak, was very much the dashing charismatic ringleader. Ivan was the reckless mischievous type, and would have followed Errol anywhere, and often did. Teague got along well with Errol — they all did; he was the center of their group, the heart, if you will — but Teague also often tried to temper Errol’s daring schemes with more wisdom.

Teague and Ivan got along okay, usually, though truthfully neither of them paid a ton of attention to each other since there was always Errol between them. Ivan always found Teague a little too cautious, which was boring and stuffy. Teague always thought Ivan was a little too reckless, but it never mattered much because between Errol and Teague’s dual leadership, they all always got out of their scrapes and adventures well enough. Until they didn’t.

Now Errol is dead, and Ivan and Teague are very much not on speaking terms. Lulin’s still on good terms with both of them, but angry with them for the split. Things are a bit… strained, you might say. So as you can imagine, Teague does not like to discuss his relationships to his siblings because they used to be fine, and now they’re… not.

…I told you it was more informative (and longer) but less fun when I answer questions. >.> Back to Teague, now.

10. What did you want to be when you grew up, and what did you actually become?

*arches eyebrows and stares over book at questioner* I beg your pardon, Miss Interviewer, but that is not the correct way to ask things at all. People never grow up. I do wish people would understand this. “What do you want to be when you grow up”, “what are you now that you’re grown up” — nonsense, all of it. *stares vaguely into the middle-distance* It’s not like people hit some magical threshold and floof, they’re “grown up” —

(“Floof”? Really?)

*waves hand slightly* It was the sound that wanted to be made. At any rate, grown-up-ness is never achieved, and we do not “become” something suddenly… it has to happen which is a process… And all that “when” you grow up and “now that” you’re grown up… where does it really get us? It doesn’t, because you must admit those are definite statements of past or future, and all we really have, ever, for a certainty, is the present, the now . . .

*face-palm* Just answer the question.

*blinks mildly* Excuse me?

Fine then. Please.

*little absent shrug of uncaring* If you want to be that way. Don’t blame me if it doesn’t turn out the sort of answer you wanted, with a ludicrous question like that. But I don’t know why you can ask about what I am when I’m grown up, at my age.

You’re twenty-five.

Precisely my point. I’m nobody’s grandfather, exactly. Still a bit young, don’t you think? But all right. *turns an absent dreamy look apparently through his nearest bookcase* Well. I wanted to be a writer and a hero. I’m a little of both, you could say, so I suppose that turned out fairly all right, if you put it in those terms. There’s always room for improvement, though, on both counts.

(I take it back about the “longer” thing.)

***

This concludes Beautiful People June 2016.

Thank you for reading!

*look of minor surprise* Why, you’re welcome. I suppose it is rather rare to find readers these days…

…I was talking to the blog readers, thanking them for reading your rabbit-trail-y answers.

Oh. Well, they’re welcome, too. And I thank them as well. *smiles faintly* *a pause* I am not rabbit-trail-y, by the way. In fact, everything I said was entirely related–

*hastily wraps up post before he can get rabbit-trail-y again*

*yawns* I heard that, you know. And I may very well get offended. *goes back to reading* *adds:* Someday.

Meridian calls from the background: “Unlikely!” *pause* “Now come eat your breakfast, Teague!”

The End.

P.S. Don’t forget that that lovely fan-voted Fantasy Oscar thing the Silmarillion Awards are still underway! Nominations end on July 1st, so if a) you haven’t nominated anyone yet, b) you haven’t nosed around the comments lately to see if there are gems of characters others have nominated who you must second, or c) if you have a friend or three who might enjoy sharing their two cents on favorite fantasy characters, do gallop on over to the posts and join in the fun! Remember that Teague approves of this, because, ya know, Fantasy. 😉

Paper Crowns Blogtour: Mirriam Neal Interview

PaperCrowns3

I’m SUPER excited to be part of the Paper Crowns blog-tour (going all month long!) with an interview with Mirriam Neal herself! *cue excited squealing*

I kid you not when I say that when I learned Paper Crowns was published, I spent the next day+ dancing ecstatically around the house making high keening happy noises and randomly shrieking “Paper Crowns is published!!” (You think I’m joking? Ha. Just ask my poor family who had to put up with my fangirling…)

I had the pleasure of beta-reading the story when it was first written, and I remember flailing with happiness whenever I found a new chapter in my inbox. THIS BOOK IS EXCELLENT, PEOPLE.

I recently got the published version (THAT was a happy day, aaahhh!!) and read it again and it was just as good — or, well, BETTER BECAUSE IT’S PUBLISHED! (Aside from some typos. Which I have it on good authority are being fixed, so.) I plan to read it again very soon. Maybe tomorrow… And again soon after that. (What, I’m totally normal, honest.)

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(My cat, Callette, was not thrilled about a photo-shoot… BUT CATS. Unfortunately she is not blue, but I love her anyway…)

I AM NOT EXAGGERATING WHEN I SAY THAT THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS EVER. It’s just… perfect. Mirriam Neal is a genius writer, and while I’ll read anything she writes, this just takes the cake as the best ever because of its unexpectedly light fantasy faerie-tale feeling. The CHARACTERS are the best of ever (Halcyon! Azrael! Astryn! Ginger! Salazar! Asterope! I love them alllll!) and the humor and bickering and plot and setting are all just perfection.

It has everything: a sarcastic fey blue cat, a fire elemental, a grouchy wysling, a gingery heroine, friends and traitors, villains and lovable heroes, lots and lots of snow, muffins, forests, and a good deal of folded paper. It makes you laugh and wrenches at your heart and makes you fall in love and long to go on an adventure. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.

I’m so very excited it’s published now so that I can insist everyone reads it.

And I do, you know. Insist you read it, that is. You will NOT regret it.

THIS BOOK THOUGH!!! ❤

Here’s a bit about the book and author and then on to the interview!

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Paper Crowns

Ginger has lived in seclusion, with only her aunt Malgarel and her blue cat, Halcyon, to keep her company. Her sheltered, idyllic life is turned upside-down when her home is attacked by messengers from the world of fae. Accompanied by Halcyon (who may or may not be more than just a cat), an irascible wysling named Azrael, and a loyal fire elemental named Salazar, Ginger ventures into the world of fae to bring a ruthless Queen to justice.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Publisher


Author Bio

tumblr_o4995pxJel1tkzty6o1_500Mirriam Neal is a twenty-two-year-old Northwestern hipster living in Atlanta. She writes hard-to-describe books in hard-to-describe genres, and illustrates things whenever she finds the time.  She aspires to live as faithfully and creatively as she can and she hopes you do, too.

You can connect with Mirriam online here:

Blog | Email


Interview with Mirriam Neal

Deborah: Could you tell us a little about your usual writing process (planning/pantsing), and how the process of writing Paper Crowns was similar or different?

Mirriam: Paper Crowns is different because it was spur-of-the-moment. I more or less woke up one day and thought, ‘I want to write this story,’ and so I did. Usually there’s a lot more work involved – I wait until I have at least half the cast created, until I have a vague idea of the ending, until I know some major plot points. Usually I have a framework, but with Paper Crowns I knew the ‘feeling’ of the book I wanted to write, and that was enough. I wish this happened more often, honestly.

PaperCrowns4

Which character from the Paper books would you say you are the most like?

I actually had to ask my friend Lauren about this. We settled on Rooney (the heroine of Paper Hearts) almost simultaneously. I’d say Rooney is more extraverted than I am, but we share many of the same characteristics.

Part of Paper Crowns takes place in our world . . . Is it any particular place—America, England… (double-decker bus?)—or did you deliberately leave the setting open to the imagination?

I deliberately left the setting open – when I began it, I wasn’t even sure it was set in our world! But I quickly realized it was, and decided it was more fun to leave it open for interpretation. Personally, I see it set in England, but that’s just me.

On that note: Accents. I hear Hal’s accent as British and Asterope’s as some sort of Irish. Is this more-or-less accurate (I hope)?

You’re correct on Asterope’s accent (points to you!) but during the rewrite, I realized Hal’s accent wasn’t so much London as a bit of Korean (Busan-dialect, specifically) with a splash of Scottish.

(I’ll probably still hear Hal as British, but oh well. XD) Will we get to learn which wysling was involved in the intriguing Hal/Astryn/kingfisher backstory and/or might we ever get this tale in book (or even short story) form? Because that would frankly be awesome. 😀

I’ve lowkey considered writing a novella dedicated to this particular slice of backstory, because it would be fantastic fun and I’m as curious about it as anyone!

(Yay!) Is Asterope still going to get his own book?

His book is waiting in the wings; very much alive, but not in the immediate future. Ras Algethi Chow gets his own novel first.

Do the verily muffins have an inspiration?

I was hungry and I wanted muffins. Hunger is good inspiration when writing food.

The main character of Paper Crowns does a lot of origami. Is that an art form you’ve dipped into yourself?

It’s inspired by two things. One: Yes, I’ve always loved origami, although I’ve never been ‘into it.’ I’ve never devoted the time – except for paper airplanes, and paper boxes. I’ve folded those my whole life, and the stories surrounding paper cranes have always fascinated me. Two: Owl City’s ‘Sky Sailing’ album featured a music video starring a paper airplane. That album heavily inspired the novel.

Your answers to a couple of questions from other interviews got me wondering about your outlook on wanting readers to take away a certain message (or not) from many of your books. I’m curious: Do you see there being a difference between tackling a “big question” in a book versus trying to preach a “message” to readers?

It’s a tricky line on which to balance, I’ll give it that, and I used to be ‘preachy’ (although even then, I was trying not to.) I think honesty and a genuine heart are very important when you really want to make your readers think and question. Readers are intelligent. They’ll know if you’re an arrogant know-it-all, forcing an opinion down their throat. Rather than forcing my opinion, I present it. I think that’s the difference.

Your books seem to have simultaneously a freshness of originality and a touch of richness of story that’s already out there. How do you view this in your own writing and what advice do you have for writers about coming up with “new” things but using echoes of other tales and, without “copying,” putting a new spin on them to deepen the story tapestry?

I’ve never been asked this question, honestly, and it’s fascinating. (Also, thank you for the compliment!) I think stories ‘echo’, as you so wonderfully put it, when there’s truth and honesty to them. People will tell you that every story has already been written. If you break a story down into a basic three-step formula, then sure, every story has been written; but I disagree with the statement. A story is so much more than a formula. Each story is different due to hundreds of tiny factors, circumstances, and personal influences from the author. I also find that you can create a world that’s been created a million times before, but if you fill that world with a cast of funky, original, diverse characters, nobody will care about the world. (At least, they won’t care about the world nearly as much as its inhabitants.) Also, I think it’s horrifyingly easy to be caught up in trying too hard. When you try too hard to be original, it shows more care about what people think than the story itself. Novels know what the author cares about, and novels know also know what the author should care about. It’s why readers, I think, can tell the difference between a real novel and a hollow one.

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Your vivid characters are a classic feature of your work, and always one of my favorite things. Any tips for writers about writing characters, especially involving interactions, snark, and humorous banter? (Of which you are the queen.) Share your secrets if you have any…

Have a sense of humor. I know that’s not very helpful, but it’s true – you can’t write humor without a sense of it in the first place. I don’t know how to teach a sense of humor, but you can definitely learn it. What makes you laugh? Dissect that. Also, there are many kinds of humor. Subtle, circumstantial, slapstick, sarcastic, trickster. As for the non-humorous part of the question, I think it’s a tendency authors have to think they must know their character perfectly before they start writing them. I used to fill out three or four bio sheets for every character before I wrote them, but in doing so, I essentially murdered their personality before it hit the page. You want them to be alive and breathing when they first open their eyes. You DON’T want them reduced to a set of answered questions. That’s a surefire way to kill them before they’re ever really alive.

Could you tell us a little about what’s next on your writing plate? (When the next Paper book might be out, what other book(s) we might see from you next…?)

Revising Paper Hearts (the sequel to Paper Crowns) is very high on my list, as is editing Dark is the Night (a redemptive vampire novel) and finishing The Dying of the Light (a futuristic samurai retelling of Robin Hood).

Thanks very much for stopping by my blog and putting up with my pestering! 🙂 It’s an honor to have you. ❤

Thank you so much for having me! I had a fantastic time. You have mad interview skills.

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So what do you think, blog readers of mine? Was this fun or what? (Answer: yes.) Are you going to read Paper Crowns? (The correct answer is OF COURSE. Ahem.) SERIOUSLY THOUGH IT’S AWESOME. ❤ Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour and enter the GIVEAWAY for a signed copy of Paper Crowns that Mirriam is holding on her blog! 🙂

(…And now I need to go reread Paper Crowns again.)

Ishness of a February Variety

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Good day! Time for another round of Ishness… 🙂

LIFE

I’ll get to the writing/reading/etc. categories in a little while, but first, I actually had quite a lot going on the “life” front during February, which is odd for me. 😉

The main thing that happened was halfway through the month I injured my back, which has accounted for my trying to be on the computer/internet less since it seems to do better when I’m not doing that. If I’ve been somewhat less active on the interwebs of late, that would be why.

It’s funny how we take things like moving for granted! I’m very thankful now to be able to move. For a couple of days there I could hardly get around at all and hobbled around with a cane and everything — I felt exactly like Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle, suddenly old! XD (Howl’s Moving Castle makes everything better, including hurt backs and colds. ;)) So if you can move around, remember what a blessing it is, okay? I’m already forgetting and need to try to remember. It’s so good to be able to move! 🙂

It’s been a very interesting experience, and made me slow down and think, which is always a good thing in this hectic life we lead, always dashing about with to-do lists and not stopping to breathe.

But it’s made me realize I need to re-prioritize my life and put health/exercise/looking after myself first. I can’t just live on my computer, apparently, since that’s largely what made me hurt my back.

I’ve been reading some books by a fellow named Pete Egoscue, on using certain stretches and exercises to end chronic pain without drugs or surgery and fix the musculoskeletal system. He makes a very compelling case for many of the health problems and chronic pain going on today being due to a sort of alignment dysfunction of the human body brought on by a lack of varied motion, in this “civilized” world that doesn’t require us to move. It may sound odd but it makes a TON of sense.

I’m still reading through them, but I can’t recommend his books highly enough. Pete Egoscue is AMAZING. The exercises in his book Pain Free got me back on my feet quickly, and I only had a couple of days of extreme pain. Between his books and exercises, prayer, and an amazing family looking after me, as well as a good deal of patience (NOT my strong point… it’s been interesting) I’m happy to say I’m nearly normal again. Yay!

I don’t usually talk about “real”, “important” subjects on my blog, like health and opinions and things, striving usually to just stay on the happy/safe end of the spectrum with things like books and writing and music and movies. But pain is a serious thing, a serious motivator, and I’m quite blown away by Pete Egoscue’s books and simply had to tell the world about them. I’m still doing the exercises for my back, but hope to eventually move on to ones that are supposed to “fix” the structural alignment and help provide a life of motion to prevent future injuries/chronic pain of this kind.

It’s going to be a journey, and one that I know many people (including myself) feel they don’t have time for. But I don’t have time to stop my life for a week due to pain, either. I may say more on this in the future, but in the meantime, I highly recommend his books Pain Free (which I haven’t finished reading), and Pain Free at Your PC (which I read in its entirety since, after all, for a couple days there I couldn’t do much besides lie in bed and read… my back was helpful like that. ;)).

But it wasn’t all bad, this month of February! I also managed to do some fun things, even after the whole back fiasco, which I’m super thankful for being better enough to do.

For one thing, I made it to a library booksale, which is always fun, and found a smallish stack of books.

librarysalefeb16

And I had the chance to go to a writer’s workshop held by Christian YA Fantasy/Thriller author Jamie Foley, speaking on writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. It was extremely fascinating and Jamie herself was super sweet, funny, and informative.

WRITING

KW2coverPI was supposed to get back into writing during February, after my month off from writing in January… But this month arrived and I realized I had no idea where to START. I was trying to decide what story to work on and consequently got hardly anything done, just editing a couple chapters of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Then with the whole back thing and suddenly spending a bare minimum of time on the computer, writing just suddenly wasn’t a priority anymore, and I gave myself permission to relax on that front as well.

OHEcoverWith the consequence that, since computer time was precious, I actually got around to starting The Other Half of Everything! I’ve written snippets before (over 6K words of them…) but hadn’t officially “started” it with an opening and everything. So I did that. Which is most exciting! Even if it was only 400 words, at least I “started” it! ^_^

But what with everything else going on, a couple of edited chapters and a page of OHE is something to be proud of, so I’m pretty happy with the pitifully small amount of writing I got done in February. 😛

INTERVIEWED

The last day of February (I told you it was for leaping!) I was interviewed by Heidi Peterson! Some fascinating questions there that I had a ton of fun answering — check it out if you haven’t. 🙂

READING

feb2016read

I read 12 books in February… quite an odd bunch, as you can see!

I was thrilled to find the Jackaby books at my library, and read them both, plus the free Kindle novella, all in a week… I’m rather addicted, and very excited about the next book, coming in August — which just had the cover revealed! *flails*

Also, can I take a moment to say: R. F. Jackaby himself TALKED TO ME ON TWITTER. *dies of fangirl feels overload* (Yes, he’s on Twitter. Yes, this is the coolest thing I’ve heard in a long time.)

jackabytweet

It was the best thing EVER.

I also took part in the Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge held by Grace Mullins @ Fictionally (and she just won a place in the Five Magic Spindles collection! Yay! :)) so it was fun to read some more fantasy for a change, even if I didn’t get to everything I planned to read.

And, as I mentioned, Pain Free at Your PC by Pete Egoscue, which is amazing.

I should have another Reading Roundup over on my book blog soonish, talking about all the books… Speaking of which…

ON MY BOOK BLOG IN FEBRUARY

LISTENING TO…

Blessings” by Laura Story. (And, to be honest, still Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey. What can I say. The obsession runs deep. I adore it. <3) Both have been apt for this chapter in my life. Sometimes life has clouds and it’s hard to keep going when it’s hard to remember that there are sunbeams… somewhere…

(There were also large amounts of Silly Wizard music consumed and re-consumed on Youtube, but that’s not unusual…)

WATCHING

Occasional episodes of Jeeves & Wooster, since I found a few at the library sale. So much fun! (I still love P.G. Wodehouse’s books better, but the episodes are quite different and still hilarious, in a different sort of way.) Bertie and Jeeves are a great pair and their actors are just perfectly hilarious together.

AROUND THE INTERNET

I haven’t had this category before, and I don’t know how good I’ll be at keeping up with it in the future, but here are a few things that went on or are going on around the internet recently or soonish.

MARCH PLANS

I… don’t really know what my March plans are. Aside from a few books to read for beta or review, which looks to keep me busy, nothing else is set in stone… I hope to do some writing of some kind, but we’ll see what happens. I’d love to read some Diana Wynne Jones books but might be too busy… I may try to keep my computer time down, and I’ll be trying to figure out a new outlook on life involving exercise and actually taking care of myself — novel concept, right? 😉

I’ll also be attempting to survive Daylight Savings Time this week. …Ahem.

How was your February and what are your March plans? 🙂

I’ll just leave you with this. XD