Thursday, June 28, 2012

100th Post

When I saw that my last post was my 99th I thought, Wow, that's a lot of posts! But then I looked back and realized that I've been blogging for 2 years now... 100 posts in 700 days doesn't seem like much now. ; )   But regardless, it's my 100th post. Yay!

I really do want to post more often on here. I think my biggest problem is that my office is still a mess, and it's my creative space (or is going to be if I ever finish it). I have made some progress in there, but I have a lot left to do.

Finishing my office will also help me stay on top of my letter writing, which I've also slacked on... (Sorry if I owe you a letter!) Yet another reason why I need to get it finished. I also want to get back to working on my novel. I have a little notebook that I carry with me to jot down ideas I have at random moments about different stories. At the rate I'm going I'll have filled out that entire notebook before I even finish my first book!

Speaking of, I was cleaning out an old email account and came across this message I sent to myself:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:42 PM
Lily Linton Goes to High School: Freshman Year

Hi. My name is Lily Linton. I know, it's a mouthful. But it has a nice ring to it, don't you think? At least until you try to say it ten times fast. I'm not so crazy about my middle name though... It's Olivia. Yep, that's right. My name is Lily Olivia Linton. My initials are LOL.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Ha, ha... I'm such a nerd! : )   I remember getting that idea. I figured I could do a whole series on each of her years in high school. But first thing's first...

I NEED TO CLEAN MY OFFICE! Maybe I should announce to all of you when my office is going to be clean and promise to take pictures of it that day for you to see. Would you hold me accountable to it? Ok then, lets see... I've got something planned every day the rest of this week and most of next week, but if I do a little something every day, I definitely should be good to go by the end of next week. So let's say that on Monday, July 9th, no matter what, I will post pictures of my office on here for all the world (or at least the few of you that read my blog) to see.

Alright... it's written in my calendar. Wish me luck! : )

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch

Grade: B+
Profanity: Very little
Graphic content (sex, murder,etc.): Murder and some sexual references. Nothing too gory or explicit.

This was my choice for our latest Book Club. I picked it up in the book store a few months ago just because I liked the cover. I did read the summary before I purchased it though to make sure it sounded interesting. ; )   This is what it said:
Simon turned the boy on his belly. With a vigorous tug he ripped open the shirt on the back as well. A groan went through the crowd.
Beneath one shoulder blade there was a palm-size sign of a kind that Simon had never seen before -- a washed-out purple circle with a cross protruding from the bottom.
For a moment, there was total silence on the pier. Then the first screams rose. "Witchcraft! There's witchcraft involved!" Somebody bawled: "The witches have come back to Schongau! They're getting our kids!"
The Hangman's Daughter is set in 17th-century Bavaria, a state in Germany. The original novel is actually written in German... My version was translated into English by Lee Chadeayne. I worry a little when I read translated books that some of the story/ meaning of certain things gets lost in the process. But I didn't really get that feeling with this book.
The title is a little misleading though... While the hangman's daughter plays a chief role in the book, I'm not sure why it's named for her. The 2 driving characters are the hangman himself and a young doctor who has a thing for the daughter.
The Hangman's Daughter is sort of a murder mystery. Clues are given to point in different directions throughout the story, and while I had my suspicions concerning certain people, I didn't have the culprit pinpointed until the big reveal.
The story flowed very well for me and kept my interest the whole time. I enjoyed the characters... Potzsch made it easy to love the good guys and despise the bad guys. But he left room regarding certain characters for you to decide which side they were on... the good side or the bad side. I think it roused questions of moral values vs. political duties.
I also found it interesting that Potzsch is an actual descendant of the Kuisl family, a well-known line of hangmen and the main characters in the book. When asked what initially inspired Potzsch to write this story, he said:
As a descendant of the executioner's dynasty Kuisl, I have been fascinated by their history since my childhood. Engaging myself with the Kuisls makes me feel connected to a greater lineage. In addition, executions are a fascinating topic often treated with undue prejudice. In this respect my books are a defense of my ancestors' honour.
The book held lots of action and suspense, so I think boys and girls alike would enjoy it. Due to the violence though I wouldn't recommend it for the kiddos. I really enjoyed reading it, and I just ordered the follow-up novel, The Dark Monk, so we'll see how it compares to this one.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Books of Mortals: Forbidden

Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee

Grade: B+ 
Profanity: None
Graphic content (sex, murder,etc.): Some sexual references and violence, but nothing graphic

Wow, I'm so behind on these! But I figured it'd be easier to start with the most recent and work my way back then to start from the beginning... So here we go:

This book was my Book Club's pick for the month of June. We had read another of Dekker's books (Thr3e) previously, and I enjoyed that one okay, so I figured this one would be okay too. Dekker is considered a Christian writer, but his work is mostly (if not all) fiction... So basically he tells fictitious stories that have an underlying Christian theme or message. And with Forbidden I found quite a bit of symbolism as well. I haven't read any other Tosca Lee books, but I liked Forbidden more than Thr3e, so I approve of the collaboration. : )

I really enjoyed reading Forbidden. So I was quite perturbed when I reached the end to find that it was actually part of a trilogy that HASN'T BEEN FINISHED!!! Bleh! I don't enjoy waiting for books to be published. : (  I hated it with the Harry Potter series, but luckily I didn't pick up the Twilight Series or the Hunger Games series until all the books were out. But I guess patience is a virtue...

The 2nd book of The Book of Mortals series, Mortal, was released a couple weeks ago, but the final book won't be released until next year sometime... So I'm not sure if I want to go ahead and read the 2nd book and wait another year or just wait until the 3rd book is released so that I can read them back to back. We'll see.

Anyway, I was quite pleased with Forbidden. I really enjoyed the storyline and the characters. It kept my interest the whole way through, and although it's a semi-long book at 376 pages, I can't recall it ever seeming to "slow down." Here's the summary on the back of my copy:

Many years have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace... and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride.

So basically the world is void of any emotion except fear. This came about as an attempt to rid the world of violence and war, and for the most part it is effective. But it leads to the question... Is a life without love worth living?

I enjoyed how parts of Forbidden made me stop and reflect on that question. Sure emotions can seem so frustrating at times, but would I want to live without them? Do the good outweigh the bad? My answer is yes. I am a romantic, after all. ; )

Have any of you read Forbidden or any other Ted Dekker or Tosca Lee books? What did you think?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Lovely Mail Day

Hello again! I've gotten a little behind on my mail posts (again), but I've slacked a lot on mail lately since I've been so busy, so it's not too bad... Here are some of the latest:


This was for a Mail Art swap on swap-bot

This was for a WTA (winner take all) swap in the Mail Art Group on swap-bot. Everyone that entered had to send the winner two handmade Mail Art envies. The girl who won liked pigs. :)

This was the 1st envie I made for her

And this was the 2nd. I wish my blue sharpie hadn't struggled like it did... I even took several breaks. : (


A pretty hand-drawn envie I received from a pen pal swap. She even decorated the stationery to match the envie. : )

This envie was made using scraps of colored paper and a brown paper bag

This envie was made using a calendar page

Another pretty swap-bot envie

My wonderful hubby sent me this PC when he was in Germany. Maybe one day we'll get to go there together! : )

My friend Jamie brought back this PC for me when she visited the town where they film the TV show Vampire Diaries
 I guess that's enough for now. We had Matt's 30th birthday party over the weekend, so I'll add that to the list of posts I still need to do... Maybe I should take a few days off work to get caught up on everything! (Yeah, right!) As my mother-in-law often exclaims, Sometimes I wish I was born rich instead of so good-looking! ; )