I won't lie...one of my primary motivators in attending YALLFest was that Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller would be keynote speakers. When YALLFest announced that they would be keynotes I was already intrigued by the premise of Otherworld (even though it was not yet published) and knew I would like to hear them speak about the book. Plus...I'm a fan of Segal's tv/movie credits as well so count that as a plus. While I ended up having mixed feelings about Otherworld (check out my review here), it was great meeting Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller. Their keynote panel was interesting (Segal even sang the Muppet song) and the meet and greet with them following the panel was great. Definitely the highlight of the day!
A quick rundown of what exactly I did at YALLfest (in list form because I'm a tad bit tired after the business of the weekend):
Pros and Cons of the weekend?
Interested in YALLfest 2018? Be sure to visit their website [www.yallfest.org] for more information!
Well, hello there. Yes, I am still here. Life has been mildly overfull these past few weeks...my time to read (and to review) has been cut down slightly. Hopefully in about a month things will slow down? We shall see. I do have a few books that I have finished and need to review so keep your eyes glued to this screen...they should be up within the next day or two. But in the meantime, I know you want to know what I've been up to.
Oh...you don't care what I've been doing? Hmmm. Well, I'm going to tell you anyway. My first "personal" blog post I guess?
Do you watch Stargate? If you do - that's awesome and so are you. If you don't - you should definitely give it a try because it's an amazing movie and TV show that combines two of my favorite things - history AND science fiction. It's pretty amazeballs.
Over Memorial Day weekend I went to my first EVER convention. Yes...I have opened the convention doorway and I don't see myself ever coming back out. The husband and I had a great time geeking out with fans of Stargate and Doctor Who. Plus, we got to meet one of the Stargate: Atlantis actors which was a treat.
We came home from our relaxing sci-fi weekend with the expectation that things were going to get crazy busy for the next few weeks. First up...yard sale! Oh wait...the weather forecast is calling for rain and storms on yard sale day? We better postpone the yard sale. Oh wait...after we postponed it, no rain and storms actually materialized? Well, thank you, weather.com...thank you.
Actually our unfortunate postponement actually turned out in our favor. See, we have been having an issue where somebody(ies?) has been dropping off unwanted pets at our house. The weekend we were to have our sale, we met this puppy -------->
The second young pit bull puppy to be dropped off at our house in as many months. Both pups have been super friendly and scared. We named this latest pup "Brigid" and she wanted nothing more than to adopt us and live with us forever. It broke our hearts that we couldn't afford to feed her and our two current dogs. The shelters two counties over were full which left us with the Humane Society as our only option.
Now, I have enough soapbox ranting that will fill another post so I will try to keep it brief. Suffice it to say, I am NOT happy that there are no No-Kill Shelter options available in this county OR any of the neighboring counties. I am NOT happy that the so-called HUMANE society treated her UN-humanely (largely because she is a pit, I think). I am NOT happy about the mindset of our neighbors when it comes to dogs...we live in a rural area where dogs are viewed at as hunting tools and not much more. I saw our neighbor just pull out a gun and shoot a stray that wandered onto his property (got it in its hindquarters so it didn't die right away...but it did run away to probably die a painful death in the woods)...didn't try to catch it and release it to the Humane Society where at least the unclaimed animals are (supposedly) put down in a humane fashion.
Anyway. Shortly after we met Brigid, I had my last day at work. See, we are fleeing these rural hills and slowly moving back toward civilization. Not to complain against rural/country living...but our experience living in the Swamp House where Jumanji resides outside our doors (and sometimes inside) has not been the greatest. (Plus, as someone who has moved a LOT throughout my life...I almost get antsy when it's "time" to move. I hope to settle down some day and live in one spot...but part of me craves the newness of a move after a year or two. Probably always will.) First step in extricating ourselves from the country - leaving my job. Only one more local job to leave and then we are FREE to move about the country.
[Screw it. I'm going to rant. So if you don't like it, skip over this section.]
Oh, and speaking of swamps...it's raining outside as I type this. Which means the swamp that's in our backyard (no, really...it's IN our backyard) will get all churned up. So...cue sewage/fishy smell for a few days. And cue the well-water being extra stinky as well (oh AND it turns everything orange. 'Cause that's natural?). You've never lived until you've bathed in water that smells like copper deposits and wild onions. (said no one ever) And the rain will bring out the mosquitos who will be on the quest for blood (oh, and I'm super excited about potentially catching that new mosquito-born illness now floating around the country. I currently have 21 mosquito bits around my ankles...and that was with spraying repellant...so I figure my odds of catching it are pretty good?). The horseflies (which apparently nest in the sand of our carport) will be attracted to said blood being drawn and attack one's head with a territorial fervor I have never seen before...which will no doubt cause one to run through the yard in an attempt to flee...only to step through one of the myriad of fire ant beds scattered throughout the yard. Unfortunately the landlord won't pay for pest control that covers the fire ants (or the field mice that notcurnally forage through the house) so the backyard has pretty much turned into one big fire ant bed...up until the point where the swamp begins. Oh, and while you're outside...be sure to watch out for snakes. And bobcats. And coyotes.
Sounds like fun, eh? Good thing we have a nice sturdy house to hole away in, right? Oh wait...ever read that Biblical parable about the house built on rock vs. the house built on sand? It's found in Matthew 7 verses 24-27: "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell and great was the fall of it."
We've only lived here a year and the foundation has dramatically shifted...the floors are sagging around the blocks of the foundation and the roof looks like a pond with ripples. We didn't know this when we moved in, but the landlord had a contractor in to refurb the house and he told them it would be tens of thousands of dollars to refurb this place because of the foundational issues (and this was BEFORE the floods of last year). The landlord said "No way!" to that expense and slapped a coat of paint on the cabinets and didn't tell us of the issues.
We will be glad to be gone.
Anyway. The yard sale is (hopefully) scheduled asap and we hope to sell a bunch of our crap so we can buy new furniture. Since (as I may have mentioned above) we live in the country at the moment, I don't know how much traffic we will get? Hopefully people come out and buy.
One man's trash another man's treasure and all that.
Our last hurrah at our second of three places of employ is stampeding toward us...youth camp! Time to take the yoots to a week long camp. Since I tend to err on the side of worst-scenario paranoid-ness, I have already stressed out about everything that could go wrong. Yay. I am sure (as almost always happens) everything will go well and the yoots and us (not-so) old farts will have a great time as usual.
Hopefully we will be moving shortly after youth camp is finished. Hopefully we will have sold a lot of what we need to sell in the above mentioned yard sale before that moving day comes. In fact, the husband is going to check on an apartment today. It's probably going to be an interstitial apartment...a stepping stone to us leaving the state and moving on to bigger and better things...but first, we have to extricate ourselves from the swamps...
All that to say...life has been busy. Life has been stressful. Life has been...well...life. I've been reading and I have some reviews I need to do. Maybe not as many as I'd like to have under my belt at the moment, but such is life. This chapter is busy which only makes me appreciate the slower chapters even more.
I have fond memories of reading L.J. Smith's YA Paranormal novels throughout my middle and high school years. To this day, the Forbidden Game Trilogy remains one of my favorite YA stories. With the advent of the CW show The Vampire Diaries, Smith has become more well-known as the years have progressed. I thought all was well within the TVD world...I was not aware of all the turmoil surrounding her contract with her publishing house...nor was I aware that she was recently dropped from her publishing contract. While I haven't kept up with The Vampire Diaries print stories, I am an avid watcher of the CW show. It's definitely disappointing to know that the "endgame" of TVD (both print and tv) will be written by somebody else and not the original author.
I was happy to see this article floating around on the web this morning...a good example of how Ms. Smith isn't letting her forced departure from her vampire series deter her from writing her own version of the TVD endgame.
Fans of L.J. Smith, enjoy this article from The Daily Dot aptly titled "How the Creator of 'Vampire Diaries' used Kindle Worlds to Get Back at Her Publisher".