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Preparations

First and foremost I’m going to apologize. I’m an inconsistent, frustrating slacker. I figured I’d mention it in case you didn’t notice already. I get times where I just can’t motivate myself to do anything unless I’m on a deadline. That being said, guess what! I’m on a deadline.

I go on vacation next week and my internet access will be spotty at best. I’m not even sure I’ll have access to a computer. As such, I’m taking my responsibility over on SciFi4Me first and foremost. I’ve got this week’s Geekly to work on, and I have to prepare next week’s Geekly for my editor to publish. As such, no Top Ten Tuesday today. I know, I know. I’m a slacker. But, after all, I haven’t read 10 books since I started this blog! Once I’m caught up, I may have something up over the weekend, but no big promises. I have a lot to do….

In other news, I HAVE finally read something I should have long ago… Game of Thrones. I’m working on the series and A Clash of Kings now between my duties to SciFi4Me and packing. I’ll try to have something fun up about that later, but not right now.

Also, a moment of happy news… a very good friend of mine has finally come back from Afghanistan!

Okay, now, back to the vacation thing…guess where I’m going? I’ll give you a few hints: Indiana Jones, Galaxy Quest, Barsoom, Doctor Who, and Star Trek (the newest film to have been released).

Don’t worry, I’ll bring back souvenirs!

Top Ten Tuesday 7 August 2012

Well, it’s that time again…after my slacking of last week (hey, all I could come up with for “Top Ten Characters I’d Like to Switch Places with for 24 Hours” was “anyone in the Harry Potter world”…Let’s just say I read books where the characters have some serious issues. You know, people trying to kill them, curses worked against them, demons and monsters of all sorts causing problems…the works).

Top Ten Posts On Your Blog That Would Give The BEST Picture of YOU

Well, the nice thing about this is that I’ve been writing for some time. I realize a lot of my posts don’t end up over HERE, per say, but I have a lot of ones that I’m very proud of over at SciFi4Me.com. Jason (my editor) gives me a lot of nice wiggle room to say what I’d like…as long as it pertains to genre, of course.

10. That being said, I have a great post about my writing for SciFi4Me. While the Cat’s Away… was written on a day I had actually managed to do a lot. Speaking of which, I need to probably get to work on another roundup (a somewhat interesting news-format piece over on the site).

9. The Geekly with a Twist It goes without saying…I want everyone to be reading this column I write for SciFi4Me every week! It’s a good mash-up of me: my love of history, my inherent geekiness, my randomness, and my love of a good cocktail! It publishes on Fridays (usually around midday) every week and features a list of geeky events in history that have happened that particular week. Fun side note: I actually created the above image. It’s one of my only successful trips into Photoshop (and my editor helped me a little more by resizing it when WordPress and the featured image started being silly and also by blending the calendar more).

8. My reviews are also a thing of particular pride for me. I can express happiness, like my gushing for Drew Magary’s The Postmortal or my disdain like my review on Blizzard’s Diablo III. I’ve got others, but those two are some of my better ones.

7. I’m also a huge fangirl. Especially when it comes to The Guild and Firefly. While my recent Guild article wasn’t much other than a method of preparation, Can the Signal Be Restarted? Ever? is an article which still makes me happy. While it’s a little bit of a rant, I don’t regret a word of it. And! Bonus…I actually predicted a few things to come along later (such as a little girl in Kaylee overalls and a LEGO Serenity).

6. Speaking of a little girl in Kaylee overalls… Things features not only that, but a bunch of other things that make me alternately happy and sad. It’s a good insight into what sort of stuff I hate, what sort of stuff I love, and what makes me SQUEE!

5. Taking a different turn, I started out on SciFi4Me with a little article called The Lush’s Top 10 Alcoholic Beverages of Science Fiction. It was the first exposure my lushy self got on SciFi4Me and it was a good intro before I started writing the Geekly.

4. Another thing I do, besides drink, is actually quite different. By my real name (yup, Annaleigh Josephs is a nom de plume! Muahahahaha!), I am a makeup artist and mask maker. One of my favorite articles I got to write over at SciFi4Me incorporates my love of SciFi and fantasy, Halloween, and makeup into The Lush Life: Flesh, Blood, and Scales (I’m not sure if my editor took out the Oxford comma or I did, but I’m a firm believer in it).

3. Now, I’ve been a bit of a fangirl all of my life. To put it like Jamie over at The Broke and The Bookish on today’s post, I can end up “fangirling that happened in the times of boy bands like BSB, Hanson & Nsync.” The hardest part is quelling that fangirlism into professionalism. I kind of made that hard realization at my first con and decided to write about the experience in an article entitled Geeks are People, too (in which I meet faces such as Robin Thorsen, Amy Okuda, the cast of Buck Rogers, Edward James Olmos, and Michael Golden).

2. Another one I’m fond of was over here on this blog…and it’s a typical ‘me’ moment. Prosciutto Taste on a Bologna Budget features a lot of how I think, how I write, and how I rant. It’s also a good look at my tastes and just how far I’ll go for a really good pizza.

1. And, of course, last but most certainly not least, my number one blog post that gives the best picture of ME is another one from my The Lush Life series…The Lush GEEKY Life: Why Being a Geek Rocks. One, it’s a very ‘me’ rant. Two, you get to see a little bit into my past. And, three, it’s very geeky. Geekiness is awesomeness.

Speaking of awesome geekiness, I’m putting final ideas into my Halloween costume…it’s getting to be that time. I’ll post more about that maybe later this week…just stay tuned, I guess!

Top Ten Tuesday 10 July 2012

Holy crud…I’m managing to post two in a row!

Today’s TTT is a Freebie, so I went with a fun older one…

Bookish Pet Peeves

I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to books (both in the physical aspect as well as what the writer does), but I think I’ve narrowed it down…

10. Improperly Researched Facts– Okay, so I’m not going to notice the difference if you’re talking nuclear physics and get it wrong but there’s a reason the creators of The Big Bang Theory have scientists and mathematicians on staff…someone will. I know I have issues when there’s a bottle of wine described incorrectly. It’s a simple process and it should always be done…just research your facts! If you don’t know something, find someone that does and double check! Your book is worth it!

9. Authors Who Claim Writers Such as Tolkien as Inspiration, but Have the Vocabulary of a Third Grader– Tolkien was a PROFESSOR of LANGUAGE. George R.R. Martin has a degree in JOURNALISM. Implying that such prolific authors are your inspiration, you should at least throw a few SAT words into your work. When you have the vocabulary of a 3rd grader, you imply you’ve never actually read the books- watching movies and TV shows are not good inspiration for novels unless you want to be a copycat.

8. “Kreatyve” Fantasy Spellings– Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. While I’m guilty of enjoying a few odd spellings of fairly common names, I’m getting really sick of all of the extra “y”s when writers don’t get as creative as they’d like to imply on names. (My current favorite name doesn’t have a single y- Valea.)

7. Predictable Endings (especially in books that take themselves seriously)– It happens all the time. You pick up a highly recommended book and expect to enjoy the mystery or twists you love of certain genres…and then you guess the ending within the first two chapters. It’s one thing if it’s a cheesy romance book you’ve picked up just to kill some time or let your brain take a break, but I’m sick of it happening in mystery and “epic” novels.

6. Boring Sentence Structure– I can’t stand it when an author refuses to vary their sentence structure. If you’ve got simple sentences over a large period of time, it ends up reading like a first grade primer. If your sentences are constantly run-ons, the flow is broken. Vary your style. Vary your length. Your readers will thank you for it.

5. Plot Holes– Okay, who doesn’t hate plot holes? When something doesn’t get resolved and leaves open huge questions it detracts from enjoyment of the novel. One of the last books I read and disliked was riddled with question-inducing plot holes (and not the good kind of questions, either).

4. Inconsistent Timelines– Even worse than plot holes (and perhaps more specifically) are inconsistent timelines. I hate reading a book which gives you clues to the main character being born in the 70s, but yet young enough to be pregnant in a dystopian future. There is a limit to human fertility, and there is a limit to how much wiggle room you have when time is linear. Write out yourself a timeline and stick to it.

3. Grammatical Errors– There’s a reason you have an editor. I realize that, many times, when I get a book to read that’s an uncorrected proof, I’m going to see errors. That’s fine. I can’t deal with it when the book is in its final state and the editor has clearly not done their job. I’ve even seen a “your”/”you’re” mixup. What on Earth?

2. Dog Ears– There’s two reasons grammatical errors are not at the top of my list. Both of them are physical pet peeves. The first of the sins with books is when you dog ear. It’s not that hard to find something to mark your place. Scraps of paper, tissue paper, pieces of string, specialty bookmarks, scraps of cloth, come on! Of course, there’s one thing you really shouldn’t do aside from folding the paper of the book and that is…

1. Breaking the Spine– You and I were not meant to be friends if you are willing to break the spine on a precious book. It’s one thing to fold back a work book, but hardcovers were NOT MEANT TO BEND THAT WAY. Do book collectors of the future a favor and be nice to your books.

What is anyone else’s big pet peeve?

Also, in case you haven’t checked it out yet, I’ve got a special giveaway going on over at SciFi4Me.com in celebration of my one year anniversary of The Geekly with a Twist (as well as my 100th post). You should check it out…the prize pack is awesome sauce!

Things

This past week has been crazy. Actually, no, that’s a lie, my whole life has been crazy…but especially the past week and a half or so.

ANYWAYS! Here’s some things that have made me happy over the last little bit (hopefully they make you happy as well)!

First off: AWESOMENESS! My latest article over at SciFi4Me focused on why being a geek is awesome. Read the rest of this entry

Live on Camera!

For those of you who don’t follow SciFi4Me, first off, shame on you!, secondly, this week was our very first Echo Chamber! Woo!

My notes to myself: Don’t fidget so much.

I used to be pretty good at this stuff, if I really think about it. I was on my school’s news every single morning with the weather report and I was used to doing on-camera interviews. This time it was a pretty relaxed format, so it was not nearly as spastic as my first on-camera interview…

Well, my first on-camera interview in 8 years. It’s almost scary to think about! I know a lot of my confidence has been sapped because I’m nowhere near as skinny as I was in middle school and high school. It happens, and it’s not that I’m not trying to do something about it, it’s just that I’m not where I would like to be with my body. (I realize this sounds really bad, but a lot of it is less body image and more my view on my overall health. Body image is a slight byproduct of that, it’s more like that it’s the reminder that I’m not as healthy as I need to be…thus why it gets to me.)

Regardless, I’m having a LOT of fun with my involvement with SciFi4Me. I’m getting to do things I never imagined I would be doing at this point in my life. I never really considered journalism to be a viable path for myself and so these on-camera interviews are thrusting me back into a world that thrills me. I’m so excited to be a part of this and I look forward to relearning the skills I need to continue to be more fluid. To the mirror!

When the cat’s away…

Yeah, this mouse doesn’t have time to play. One of my coworkers at the day job commented to me today that I’ve been “awfully quiet” over the past two days. Well, honestly, it’s because my editor over at SciFi4Me has been busy at his day job. So, since I have access to a computer for work, guess who a lot of the work falls to?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not remotely complaining. I consider it an honor to be among awesome people such as the current “Gang of Meddling Kids” (including the likes of Debbie of Seshat Travels, Kansas City Horror Club President Curtis Smith, and artist Molly Montgomery) and be able to be trusted to have my judgement trusted on publishing. I’ve just had a lot of stuff to get done on little sleep and time.

As a point of reference, since 8am yesterday morning, I’ve published my review of Diablo 3, a news article about Day One of E3, a Roundup of the latest news about The Hobbit, and an article in adoring memory of Ray Bradbury. I’ve also started research for my news article about Day Two of E3, this week’s Geekly with a Twist, and started drafting my review ontwo different books I’ve finished recently.

So, what on earth am I doing over here? Well, one, I’m totally procrastinating. I don’t have the ability to watch stupid YouTube videos at work, so, you know, there’s got to be something to kill some time! Aside from that, it’s a perfect mental break. Being able to write what I want is the perfect relief from any stress built up by the rigors of specific formats and genre news writing. Again, don’t get me wrong, I love my “job” as a contributor for SciFi4Me, but every once in a while I need to talk about what’s on my mind as opposed to what’s in the current media. 

Thanks for listening. 🙂 You’ve earned a baby hippo!