Liebster Nomination!

A great blog that I follow – Sidekick Reviews – was nominated to receive the Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is given to a blog who has less than 200 followers and is a way to help connect new or growing blogs with others out there in the realm.  It’s also serves as a way find out about other new, great, blogs that are out there.  Sidekick Reviews posts great reviews as well as general comments about T.V. shows, sci-fi movies, and comics.  I highly recommend taking the time to check the site out – great content and visuals can be found.  Sidekick Reviews was kind enough to nominate my blog for the Liebster award – which is greatly appreciated! Rules for Liebster Award recipients are as follows:

1. List 11 random facts about yourself

2. Answer the questions that were asked of you by the nominating blogger

3. Nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster Blog Award and include a link to their blog

4. Notify the blogger of their award

5. Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer one they accept the award

So – here are 11 random facts about me:

1. I’m a huge soccer fan – mostly the EPL, but love the US Men’s National Team (who won a Gold Cup game today, yay!), and live for watching international matches

2. I’m an F1 fan – Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button are two of my favorite drivers

3. I’m a dog nerd

4. Love dark chocolate

5. Addicted to Cherry Coke – only allow myself 1 a day and am trying to stop, but it’s so hard

6.  Love to drive on the expressway on a warm summer night with great music.

7.  I had horses when I was a kid

8.  I can’t throw away things that have meaning.  Had a blanket my grandma made and it was in tatters.  My husband had to throw it away for me because I just couldn’t

9.  I met Ann Rice at a book signing many years ago and she said she loved my shirt.  Made my day.

10.  Right now navy is my favorite color

11.  I love taking my dog for a walk when it’s snowing.  Usually the temp is perfect and walking in the snow is relaxing.

And here are the questions from Sidekick Reviews and my answers:

  1. What’s your initial reaction to receiving the blogger nomination? Shocked and very flattered that someone would nominate me.

  2. What motivates you to keep blogging?  The creative outlet it provides for me.  I like to write and blogging helps when I feel inspired about something.  Also, finding other great posts/blogs to read/follow.

  3. Do you collect anything, if so what is your most beloved possession?  I would say I collect books – nothing antique or rare, but love to hang onto any book I like.  Most beloved possession is Sandman #1 by Neil Gaiman (a comic book rather than a book).

  4. What’s a movie or song that made you cry?  Movie – anything with dogs: Eight Below, Marley and Me.  I’m pathetic when it comes to dogs and cry easily.

  5. Do you have any siblings? Yes – One sister who is a year older than me.

  6. What do you love to eat?  My mom’s goulash

  7. Which comic book or novel would you recommend me to read? I would recommend The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon – set in the late ’30s and 40s about two cousins who create a comic book and what happens in their lives after that.  Loved it and a great read.

  8. What are your favorite television shows that have gone off the air? For a T.V. junkie that’s a hard question!  I would say Veronica Mars.  Great show with a positive female main character who was smart, sassy, and took charge.  Another would be 24 – Jack Bauer is great and love things about spies.

  9. Do you play sports?  No.  Wish I was a runner but was not made for that.

  10. If you could give one piece of advice to other writers/bloggers, what would it be?  Write about what you love.  If you care about it, makes it so much easier to write and the ideas will come fast and easy.  Who cares what the topic is – if you like it/love it, write about it.  You’ll find it liberating and makes you feel good.

  11. Who is your favorite sidekick? (not a trick question).  Good question – for the literary world, I’d say Wolf from The Talisman (King/Straub).  Obviously my love of dogs comes through in this.  Who wouldn’t want a wolf to be their best friend in an alternate universe.  In the real world it’s my husband.  He makes me laugh when I’m in a bad mood.

As for nominating other blogs, at this time I don’t have any.  The ones I currently follow have more than 200 followers.  I don’t have a lot of time right now with being in school and working full-time to spend as much time as I’d like reading other blogs.  I will do my best to find ones in the future and will name some when I have a chance.  Thanks again to Sidekick Reviews for the nomination – greatly appreciated!   Take the time to check it out.

NOS4A2 may not Scare you

NOS4A2, Joe Hill’s most recent book is about Talent Manx, a child abductor who takes his victims to Christmas land, and Vic McQueen (a/k/a the brat), the one kid who escaped Manx’s grip.

I wanted to love this book.  I’m a huge Joe Hill fan and have loved his three other books – 20th Century Ghosts, Heart-Shaped Box, and Horns – and was so looking forward to this one.  I was, however, a bit disappointed.  I didn’t hate it but it was missing that gripping aspect all his other books have had.  The book starts out with a brief look at what appears to be a patient, Manx, on his last strings.  The nurse attending to him gets the scare of her life when Manx suddenly grabs her and says there’s a place for her son at Christmas land.  The nurse, terrified this man knows her son’s name, cries for help and the doctor who eventually comes doubts that Manx could have done this in his comatose state.

Next is the introduction to The Shorter Way – Vic McQueen’s inscape.  Where Vic goes when she wants to get away from the fighting of her parents or something that makes her unhappy.  Vic’s first passage to the Shorter Way is her bike, a Raleigh Tuff Burner.  The Shorter Way is kind of like an alternate universe where Vic can talk to and see people as well as travel to where she needs to go. She meets a friend there who also has inscapes and knew that she would one day meet Vic.  As Vic gets older her inscapes start to fall off and she comes to think all that happened was the imaginations of a child.  When Vic is about 17,  her Raleigh Tuff Burner takes her on her fateful journey to Manx only to escape him at the last moment.

The rest of the book is about Vic and her struggle to live as an adult, forget about what happened to her, Vic trying to be the mom she should be, and her fight to end Manx and his life of kidnapping children and tormenting her.  All of which took to long to get to the end result for my liking.  I wanted the pace to pick up and stop providing details which didn’t really help with anything.  I didn’t even find what should have been a terrifying moment – Vic’s narrow escape from Manx – that scary.  It seemed to brief and easy and I didn’t find it compelling.

I found this book to be far to long.  I wanted to know more why inscapes happened but was never provided good reasons behind it.  I also felt as if I was reading one of Hill’s father’s book (Stephen King) and not Hill.  I felt as if he was trying to write an epic horror book that would live up to his famous father rather than be writing all his own, like it was with the first three books.  I wanted to love NOS4A2 but I ended up feeling kind of blah about it.  I didn’t hate it but it wasn’t the Joe Hill I’ve come to love.   I kept thinking I was reading King, not Hill.  I do recommend reading this book if you’re a Hill fan even though I was disappointed.  One thing I did enjoy was Hill’s way of ending a chapter and having the last word begin on the next chapter.  This style did give the book an interesting pace since you really had to turn the page to find out what happened.  A bit odd but once I got used to it found it enjoyable.

I guess you can’t love them all.  Here’s to hoping that Joe’s next book finds his path back to himself.

I don’t understand Space

My husband is watching something on the Science Channel about space and black holes and some other stuff.  I like watching these programs but when they start to talk about super novas and double sun novas (or whatever it was) I get all confused.  I just can’t wrap my head around space – we are on a planet that is in a solar system surrounded by other planets and our sun is a giant star.  Black holes are all around us, life could exist on other planets, and Pluto was downgraded a few years ago.   I can’t grasp it, wish I could, but don’t have the brain for it.

One of the best series on space I’ve ever seen is Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe hosted by Brian Cox.  Brian could explain the most complex things in the most simple way.  He has a clear love of science and made me love learning about it.  Even after watching these shows, I still don’t get space – how is it possible?  Someone, anyone – can you make it make sense for me?

Anyone else out there as mystified by space as I am?  Have you seen either the Wonders series and wish that your high school science instructor was as engaging as Brian Cox?  Live Long and Prosper!


The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Review

Neil Gaiman’s newest book The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a short one but a good one.  A man returns to his childhood home for a funeral and finds himself arriving where his childhood home no longer stands and where a distant memory returns at the side of a pond that is really an ocean.

Although this book is being promoted as Gaiman’s first adult novel in several years, most of the book reads as YA.  Not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, just that the bulk of this relatively short novel (178 pages) takes place while the main character is 7 and his friend appears to be 11.  Gaiman is a master at conjuring up vivid images and putting them into the readers head.  From the creatures that threaten to torment the young boy to a violent struggle in the middle of the book, the reader is provided with great detail as well as emotion.  I feel the loneliness of the boy at the beginning as well as the comfort he feels when Lettie and Old and Young Hempstock take him in and fight for his survival.  The child caretaker that comes to live with the boy and his family is a nightmare come true and the boy must find a way to get her out of his house before she takes him down a path of no return.  The pond on the Hempstock land isn’t what it appears to be and holds it’s own secrets as well.

This book is a mixture of fantasy and horror and won’t disappoint if you enjoy that genre.  The shortness of the novel is not noticeable since Gaiman packs so much into his book – I found myself caring for the boy and Lettie and wishing there was more while at the same time happy with how it ended.  One line that really struck me in this book is “adults follow paths, children explore…”  Gaiman allows you to be the exploring child while following the path of his imagination.  One that I will happily follow again.