Supernatural adventures for girls and women.

[monthly review] October 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Writing

High: Sarah and I received some additional helpful feedback on THE TALKING DEAD, which has led to us doing a rewrite of one of the major plots.

Low: Sarah and I received some additional helpful feedback on THE TALKING DEAD, which has led to us doing a rewrite of one of the major plots. Mostly, this is a good thing, but I am a little frustrated, too, because we’d meant to start querying agents in October. Doing what it takes to make the story stronger is the important part, but I am still a little disappointed that we didn’t figure this out earlier.

Reading

High: I picked up the first book of the Touchstone series by Andrea K Höst, STRAY, for free from Amazon on the Kindle awhile back. I can’t even remember who mentioned it to me, but I’m glad they did. I was sucked so hard into the story I promptly bought book two, LAB RAT, and book three, CASZANDRA, and have been marathoning them. I’m a bit more than halfway through CASZANDRA, and I keep taking breaks because I don’t want it to end. The series could use a good edit, it’s a little loose at times, but oh my god, it is enthralling. I love Cassandra, the main character, the world building, the monsters, and even the romance. (I tend to not care much about the romance in stories.)

I highly, highly recommend this book, and as of today, at least on Amazon US, STRAY is still available for free for the Kindle.

On her last day of high school, Cassandra Devlin walked out of exams and into a forest. Surrounded by the wrong sort of trees, and animals never featured in any nature documentary, Cass is only sure of one thing: alone, she will be lucky to survive.

The sprawl of abandoned blockish buildings Cass discovers offers her only more puzzles. Where are the people? What is the intoxicating mist which drifts off the buildings in the moonlight? And why does she feel like she’s being watched?

Increasingly unnerved, Cass is overjoyed at the arrival of the formidable Setari. Whisked to a world as technologically advanced as the first was primitive, where nanotech computers are grown inside people’s skulls, and few have any interest in venturing outside the enormous whitestone cities, Cass finds herself processed as a ‘stray’, a refugee displaced by the gates torn between worlds. Struggling with an unfamiliar language and culture, she must adapt to virtual classrooms, friends who can teleport, and the ingrained attitude that strays are backward and slow.

Can Cass ever find her way home? And after the people of her new world discover her unexpected value, will they be willing to let her leave?

Low: Many years ago, I read SLOPPY FIRSTS and SECOND HELPINGS by Megan McCafferty, but not the rest of the Jessica Darling series. Recently, I borrowed the series from Sister(1), marathoned the whole series, and if they had been my books, not Sister’s, I would have chucked them all across the room. I’ve always found the main character, Jessica, incredibly pretentious and annoying, but with an engaging story, but the more I read, the more the writing became homophobic, transphobic, racist, and ableist. Further, the story became nearly impossible to believe, and not at all engaging. I pretty much hate read the last two books just because I had already devoted so much time to the series marathon. I’m still debating a more detailed breakdown of what infuriated me so much.

Wrestling

High: Went to a Raw live show, and it was amazing. The last show I attended was a taping of Main Event and Smackdown, which was awesome enough, but the energy of the crowd was even better for Raw, which, for those who don’t know, is aired live. I was right next to the ring, and because it was leading up to the Hell in a Cell pay per view, the cell was hanging over the ring. That was awesome enough, and then they brought it down, and OMG YES. So much yes. Hell in a Cell was pretty awesome, too.

Low: I still don’t care about half the storylines, but I’m hoping they will start picking up as we head toward Wrestlemania.

Social

High: The Raw taping was pretty awesome. I spent most of the weekends in October at marching band competitions, because Nephew is a member of my old high school marching band. That was AWESOME.

Low: Saturday marching band competitions and the Raw live show pretty much ate up all my ability to be social. That’s a lot of time spent in big groups of people.

(1) I have three sisters, and two brothers, and I don’t identify them in this blog without their permission. When I say “Sister” or “Brother,” I am referencing one of my actual sisters or brothers, but not necessarily the same sister or brother each time. The same goes for my nieces and nephews.

Posted in Memes | Tagged , ,

[monthly review] August and September 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month. Apparently, I forgot to write the August review until the middle of September, so I’m combining the two.

Writing

High: Sarah and I finished draft two of The Talking Dead. Draft two is with our early readers, we’ve received helpful feedback on our query letter, and we’ve created a list of agents. The plan is to submit in the near future. We’ve outlined a new version of Monsters & Magic, the sequel to The Talking Dead, and have started draft two.

Low: Not really a low, but we submitted to Pitch Wars, which is this awesome writing contest in which professional writers choose unpublished mentees, work with them for a few months to really strengthen their manuscripts, and then the mentees submit to participating agents. Sarah and I were not chosen as mentees, but we had really fantastic responses from a couple of our potential mentors, and overall the experience was wonderful.

Reading

High: I marathoned “The Turn of the Story” (free online) and “Wings in the Morning” (available in the Monstrous Affections anthology) by Sarah Rees Brennan. “The Turn of the Story” is the prequel to “Wings in the Morning,” but I’m not honestly not sure “Wings in the Morning” works as well as a story if you haven’t read “The Turn of the Story.” I really, really loved both, though, and “The Turn of the Story” is excellent and completely stands alone.

Low: According to An Off Year by Claire Zulkey, it is perfectly understandable to be too scared to go to college if you are fat or crazy. Also, it is a relief to not get fat during your year off. You can imagine how well this went over with me. Plus there is a ton of other unexplored privilege in the book. This goes straight to the To Cull box.

Wrestling

High: I’ve been bored with the wrestling stories lately.

Low: See above.

Social

High: Went down to celebrate Jake’s birthday. We went to this little brewery in southern Missouri that is either a completely redneck bar or a completely hipster bar trying to be a redneck bar. (Jake was the one who pointed out the brewery, which is in a gorgeous barn, looked like a hipster music video.) A good friend of ours who used to run a Hawaiian restaurant in southern Missouri made all sorts of delicious homemade food for us, including mac salad and tuna rolls. (Jake lived in Hawaii from years, and our friend is Hawaiian, so they’ve bonded over that.) It was an excellent time. Then the next day we had a giant family lunch at our favorite local Greek restaurant. That was delightful.

I’ve also spent a lot of time on calls using the actual phone with Work BFF and using Skype with Sarah, Tracy, and two of my siblings. It’s been nice.

Low: Nothing really. I keep taking my meds and keep on living.

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[monthly review] July 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Writing

High: Sarah and I are about halfway through draft two of The Talking Dead, the first book in our current series. We are polishing it to go out to second readers, and we plan on submitting to agents this year.

Low: While I know editing and polishing takes a lot more time than the initial draft under our process, it is still frustrating for our completion rate to slow down so much. I am working through that.

Reading

High: I really loved The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, though it has something I really dislike (secret killer point of view chapters). It was like a fun YA Criminal Minds, and I would love to read more in this series. I also really liked listening to Brownies and Broomsticks and Bewitched Bothered and Biscotti by Bailey Cates, even though it has a love triangle, which I hate at the best of times, and at least one of the potential boyfriends is an annoying, manipulative, bossy asshole.

Low: I listened to The Oath by Frank Peretti, because he is called the Stephen King of Christian horror. I really loved the premise of the book, even though the BIG BAD is not the creature I would have chosen. HOWEVER, there’s a bit, and I’m going to try to complain about this without really spoiling anything, where two characters do the same thing and both are then marked for their sin. The woman? We see a horrible, painful death as her punishment. The dude survives. Whether or not you intended it, Peretti, you’ve pretty much set it up that women do not get forgiven but men do. Awesome.

Wrestling

High: The feud between Rollins and Ambrose is what is carrying me through a bunch of other storylines I find boring. So much love for them. And for the hotness that is Roman Reigns. I love the Usos forever.

Low: Tamina still hasn’t returned. Reigns’ storyline is pretty damn flat, for all that he is lovely. Pretty much all the other storylines are boring me, though I still love the Usos. I hate the USO CRAZY thing.

Social

High: I went down and had a nice, quiet weekend over the Fourth of July with Jake and my dad. Izzy loves going down to visit family. More people to play with her. It was really relaxing, and was exactly what I needed.

I’ve also had a number of Skype calls with Tracy, which is awesome. Our schedules don’t always align (unlike Sarah, she doesn’t stay up until the wee hours of the morning usually), but we’ve been friends since 1999, and she is awesome. She’s writing this fantastic book, too. You guys are going to love it.

Low: My mental health has been bad. Really bad. Terribly bad. So I’ve not done much else social this month.

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[monthly review] June 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Writing

High: Sarah and I finished the first draft of Monster Mash, which is the fifth and final book in the series we’re working on. We (read: Sarah, who is by far the tech between the two of us, despite me being a tech lawyer) promptly formatted all five books and stuck them on our Kindles so we could finally read the books in order as readers and not just writers. This is sometimes difficult for me to do (shut off the writer and editor brain), but it is an excellent way to check out the story itself and to figure out what high level changes need to be made. That’s where we are now.

Low: Remember that short story we outlined? Yeah, we’ve done very little writing on it. There’s still some time before the deadline, so maybe I’ll talk to her about focusing on that during our Saturday writing time.

Reading

High: I promptly set aside everything I was reading in order to read our Talking Dead series … and then didn’t pick anything else up. Fail.

Low: See above. Also, I’ve been buying too many books and not reading enough off my To Read Bookcases. I need to get back on that goal.

Wrestling

High: OMG HOW MUCH DO I LOVE THE SHIELD’S STORYLINE RIGHT NOW? Seth joining the Authority and becoming the Goddamn Batman. Dean letting go and becoming way Moxley than he was before. (Ambroxely!) Totally loving his new ring gear, too. I’m a fan of jeans, that style of belt, and white/gray/black tank tops. Roman #foreveralone. I kid, I kid, I love Roman, but Seth and Dean’s feud is definitely stealing the show.

Still loving the Usos beyond the telling of it, too. Plus I started watching season one of Total Divas now that it’s (sort of) available on the WWE Network, and while I was already enjoying Naomi in the ring, how much do I freaking adore Trinity? A ton. I want Naomi and Nikki to team up and be Team Athleticism and Brawn. They are BADASS.

Low: WELL LET ME TELL YOU. There was a big return on Raw recently. Raw airs live on Monday night, but a condensed version becomes available on Hulu on Tuesday. WWE knows this. Plenty of people watch via Hulu. AND YET TUESDAY MORNING I GET AN EMAIL FROM WWE SPOILING THE FUCKING RETURN ON RAW. The email came out before Raw was even available on Hulu. I understand that spoilers happen. I intentionally stay off social media Mondays and Tuesdays until I can watch Raw. HOWEVER, I CAN’T STAY OUT OF MY EMAIL. THAT IS HOW PEOPLE COMMUNICATE WITH ME. THAT WAS SOME BULLSHIT RIGHT THERE, WWE. ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT.

I don’t normally hate wrestling spoilers all that much (though I’d prefer not to know), but goddamn it, this was the first chance I’d have to really fucking mark out at something. I’ve only been watching wrestling a bit over a year, so I don’t have the same reactions to returning wrestlers that I’ll have when I’m more informed about the history, but GODDAMN IT, THIS ONE I WOULD HAVE MARKED OUT OVER, AND MARKED OUT HARD.

Yup, still bitter.

Social

High: Sister had a birthday, and it was awesome. Belated fathers’ day celebration was also awesome.

Low: We crammed the birthday and the fathers’ day celebrations into one day, because it was the only time that all my siblings would be in the same place at the same time. That was A LOT of socializing for me, even when it involves my family whom I love.

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[monthly review] May 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Writing

High: Sarah and I have outlined our first short story. This is exciting. Whether or not we actually finish and submit it, at least we have determined we can work on short stories together as well as novels.

Low: We still haven’t finished Monster Mash. There are good reasons, of course, and we’re way ahead of schedule anyway, but we’re close enough to the end of the first draft that I just want it to be done immediately. I am really looking forward to reading all five books in a row.

Reading

High: How much did I love Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall? SO MUCH. It is all about family and sisters and magic, and it is an absolute delight. I also really loved Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire. I read the version that was originally published a few years ago as monthly short stories, so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the collection, but it is better than ever.

Low: No reading lows, except that I don’t have enough time to read.

Wrestling

High: How amazing has the Shield been lately? Extreme Rules was obviously a highlight (Seth Rollins leaping off the stands was particularly fantastic), but they have just been amazing. I can’t wait for the Payback PPV, which, because I am late with this post, has already happened, and it was wonderful, but I will discuss that in June’s monthly review.

Low: Daniel Bryan’s surgery. However, it was particularly interesting listening to his two-episode interview with Chris Jericho on Talk is Jericho. (He doesn’t discuss the surgery, it was recorded before the public announcement, but still interesting listening to it and knowing what was announced not long after.)

Social

High: I took a weekend trip to my hometown, where I still have some friends and family. I had a fantastic visit with my father, delightful meals out with siblings and friends, and a nail polish night with two of my favorite people in the world. (I did not do any nail polishing myself. I am no good at it. They did mine for me, and it was awesome.)

My dog has finally learned to play with other dogs at the dog park, and it is a joy to watch her run with them.

Low: Nada.

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[monthly review] April 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Writing

High: Sarah and I finished the first draft of Supernatural Slumber Party. In fact, we basically wrote a book and a half in less than a month. Apparently, this is what happens when we hit our writing stride and have outlined the entire series. We’ve also reoutlined the final two books (Wicked Witches and Monster Mash) in order to bring them in line with the previous three books, and have started writing book four, Wicked Witches. Our goal was to finish one book this year. I think we need to set new goals.

Low: We aren’t done yet, and I want to be able to marathon all five books in order. I am feeling a little overwhelmed by all the ways I have to describe different make-outs and violence without each scene sounding the same as the last.

Reading

High: Daughter of Centaurs by Kate Klimo. OMG this book was beautiful and funny and full of adventure. I ordered the sequel the moment I finished.

Low: I thought Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley was very weirdly written; the stream of conscious aspect (which is pretty much the point of the style, I realize) kept pushing me out of the story. However, the story itself was very interesting, and I stuck it out, so this really isn’t too much of a low.

Wrestling

High: Wrestlemania 30 was amazing. I continue to love pro wrestling so much, the stories they tell, the characters they create. My favorite thing was probably the break-up of what I like to call Team Racism, and Cesaro becoming a Paul Heyman guy. (Sarah and I adore Paul Heyman. Adore him.)

Then I went to my first live WWE show, a Main Event and Smackdown taping in Kansas City, and it was unbelievable. So much energy, so many adorable kids just absolutely beside themselves to see their favorite wrestlers, so many chants and cheers and boos and heel wrestlers being delightful audience trolls. (Ringside floor seats are awesome.) Due to my mental illness situation, it took a lot to get me to deal with the crowd (i.e., I spent days talking myself into going, even after I bought the ticket, and then had to have a couple different people talk me through my freak out outside the building), but it was absolutely worth it, and I can’t wait to go again.

I’ve also started listening to some podcasts by pro wrestlers, and they are turning out to be fantastic. So far I am loving Talk is Jericho, the Steve Austin Show (Unleashed), and the Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana. I have been particularly impressed by the wide range of topics that come up on Talk is Jericho, including a guest who talked about mental health stigma and the importance of addressing that. My little heart grew three sizes during that moment. (What is a little sad and also a little hilarious, to me at least, is that I only recently started listening to podcasts at all. A few years ago, I had a three plus hour commute every day. Podcasts? Nope. Now I have, at most, a twenty minute commute each day. Podcasts? Of course podcasts, I totally have time to listen to hour-long episodes all the time. Luckily, I take my dog out for a walk a couple times a day, and have been listening during that time.)

Low: The Undertaker’s streak was broken. The shock of this rang through the pro wrestling world. It was unbelievable. The silver lining of this is that I was reminded again how much I love what wrestling means to wrestling fans.

Social

High: Shared experience of watching Wrestlemania 30 (my first one) with the online wrestling fan community and, most importantly, with Sarah and Craig. (We Skype in the lead-up to any PPV, Tweet at each other during, and then Skype again for a recap.)

Also a high, shared experience of watching the Captain America double feature for the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I love marathons leading up to the release of Marvel movies. I had a blast with the Thor marathon, and this one was just as excellent.

Final high, thanks to work, I had the opportunity to visit both the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Discover of King Tut at Union Station in Kansas City. Both were delightful, though Kemper has a big freaking metal spider sculpture on the wall outside the main entrance that almost sent me back home before I even went inside. There’s a giant freestanding sculpture, but it’s not nearly as frightening, mostly because it is more abstract. The one on the wall looks like an Australian spider horror come to life, and I did not like it. Otherwise, though, I loved both experiences.

Low: Two of my brothers-in-law(1) have died over the past couple years, far too young. The one who died last Christmas loved comic book movies. We used to bond over them, watch them together, analyze them after, predict where the movies would go. This is the first new one I’ve watched since he died, and it was more painful and bittersweet than I anticipated (and I did think it would be rough).

(1) I use this term loosely, as it doesn’t exactly describe the relationships, but is close enough without getting into the complicated ways my family exists.

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[meme] Monthly Review – March 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Writing

High: Sarah and I finished Monsters & Music! That’s two first drafts finished so far this year. It’s starting to look like we will be able to get first drafts written for all five books in 2014.

Also, we came up with a much better working title for book three, which will now be known as Supernatural Slumber Party.

Low: Um. No?

Reading

High: I went on a bit of a Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant binge, and read ParasiteHalf-Off Ragarok (Seanan McGuire), and Indexing (Seanan McGuire) back to back, and then hit up some of the short stories in the Incryptid series. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming release of Sparrow Hill Road, too.

Low: I have been looking forward to reading Ten by Gretchen McNeil for years now. It sounds right up my alley, teenagers, a creepy, secluded location in Washington state, horror story — and then it was full of ableism and bipolar ridiculousness and it made me so mad the only reason I didn’t throw it across the room was that I read it on my Kindle and the book wasn’t worth breaking it.

The book could have been this fantastic, entertaining, fun story that called back to the beloved teen horror of my youth (I basically lived on Christopher Pike and Point Horror), but no, all it did was infuriate me and offend me for a variety of reasons. This could have been a book I loved, but no.

Wrestling

High: OMG MY BELOVED USOS WON THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP.

Low: Nothing, really. I have been riding my Usos love all month.

Social

I … did nothing social this month, really, in part because I was recovering from being really social at the end of February, in part because I was sick for awhile, and in part because I’ve been working and writing a lot. I’m fine with this, but there aren’t really highs or lows this month.

High: N/A

Low: N/A

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[meme] Monthly Review – February 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Writing

High: Sarah and I sent The Talking Dead to first readers, and we’re looking forward to feedback. We figured out what was wrong with Monsters & Music and redid the outline.

Also, Sarah left on her trip, and Intern immediately promoted himself from Intern to Manager. This is hilarious.

Low: Because of her wedding trip, we haven’t managed to do a ton of writing on Monsters & Music, despite being eager to do so.

Reading

High: Sarah gave me UK versions of three books by Jaclyn Moriarty: Feeling Sorry for Celia, Finding Cassie Crazy (aka The Year of Secret Assignments), and Becoming Bindy Mackenzie (aka The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie and aka The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie). Awhile ago, we were talking about whether it was possible to write engaging, detailed, and entertaining books all in correspondence, and these were Sarah’s examples. I read all three during the wedding trip.

I’ve actually read the second one before, as The Year of Secret Assignments, and liked it well enough, but it was a lot more enjoyable reading it in order. (I didn’t even know it was part of a series.) Feeling Sorry for Celia is definitely the strongest of the books, and Becoming Bindy Mackenzie is at times unbelievably ridiculous, but I really enjoyed getting to know the characters in different ways.

I then picked up the fourth book, Dreaming of Amelia (aka The Ghosts of Ashbury High), as an ebook to read while traveling home.

Low: Though I really enjoyed the series (I’ve not quite finished book four), I am frustrated and exhausted by the use of “crazy” as a pejorative, especially in book four, which contains dangerous crazy people with their being crazy and therefore dangerous and hacking people to bits because they are crazy. Fuck that noise.

Wrestling

High: The Elimination Chamber PPV was AWESOME. So much love for the Usos (who are my favorites and who deserve to be tag team champions) and the Shield. Plus, this was my first time watching wrestling in person with anyone else (Sarah, Craig, and I caught up on the regular episodes prior to the PPV, and of course watched the PPV together). We went to a public viewing of it, and it was amazing to be in a crowd of wrestling fans all cheering on the show.

Low: Punk still has not returned. Woe. The Usos didn’t win the tag team belts. Woe. But really, not really any low points this month.

Social

High: Best part, of course, was getting to spend time in person with Sarah and Craig. We haven’t been in the same place at the same time since 2005, and this trip was even better. This time, Jake went with me, and so they all met for the first time, and got along really well. That was a delight.

There were many amazing parts to the trip and hanging out with them, but one of the best was that they took me to see Meat Loaf. I love Meat Loaf, and have never seen him life, and this was a pretty intimate venue with music and storytelling, and it was lovely.

Low: Saying good-bye to Sarah and Craig. We have to do another holiday together sooner rather than later.

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[meme] Monthly Review – January 2014

Pursuant to my goal to blog (somewhat) more regularly, I have decided to start doing a monthly review post, in which I plan to (briefly) discuss the highs and lows of that month.

Awesome and useful high: It’s awards season, and some authors I love are posting information about which books of theirs are eligible for which awards. I find this incredibly useful, because I want to nominate, but don’t always know what is and is not eligible off the top of my head.

Here are some links:

Karen Healey’s When We Wake is eligible for The Sir Julius Vogel Awards, The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, and The Hugo Awards – Best Novel.

Seanan McGuire has a lot of eligible works for 2013. I love her Incryptid series more than I can say.

Writing

High: Sarah and I finished The Talking Dead, so that’s awesome.

Low: Of course, when we then took a look at the next book in the series, Monsters & Music, I decided I loved the second half of the outline, but hated the first half, so that will require work.

But still! We finished the first draft of the first book in the first month of the year. We’re awesome.

Reading

High:

I finally broke down and read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was holding out until after the third movie, because I tend to enjoy movies more if I watch them before I read the books. In fact, I sat down only to read the first book, and then ended up marathoning all three books in one evening. I have some issues with them, and really thought the epilogue was completely unnecessary, but mostly, I enjoyed the books, and adore Katniss. Angry survival-driven archer of my heart.

Before I marathoned The Hunger Games, my favorite book of the month was Girls Don’t Fly by Kristen Chandler.

Amazon summary:

Myra is used to keeping her feet firmly on the ground. She’s got four younger brothers, overworked parents, and a pregnant older sister, and if Myra wasn’t there to take care of everyone, they’d probably fall apart. But when her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her, Myra feels like she’s lost her footing. Suddenly she’s doing things she never would’ve a few months earlier: quitting her job, applying for a scholarship to study birds in the Galapogos, and falling for a guy who’s encouraging her to leap from her old life . . . and fly.

Set in the Salt Lake City area, Girls Don’t Fly is full of intelligence, humor, and is a refreshing change of pace for teen readers.

The romance part of this is pretty small, which I liked. It’s mostly about Myra finding her place in her family, in her life, in her dreams, and it is awesome.

Also, while I haven’t added all the books I’ve read so far to my 2014 list, I am at eight books read according to the list, and five of them are from my TBR bookcases, so that goal is coming along nicely.

Low: I started Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein because the premise sounded awesome, a girl who develops super powers, but couldn’t get past the first few chapters. I’m trying to learn how to stop reading if I’m not enjoying something, so I’m adding this to the Good-bye Bookcase, though I may try it again before the year is out.

Wrestling

High: This was my first time watching the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, and it was a lot of fun. There were some issues with the casting, and the in-person crowd definitely had a hate-on for some of the matches (for good reason), but it’s been my favorite pay-per-view so far. All of my favorite guys put on a good show, but one, Roman Reigns, was absolutely amazing and so much fun.

Low: News hit after the Royal Rumble that CM Punk is leaving the company, and I realized (a) that sucks a lot, and (b) damn, I’ve really started to care about the WWE characters.

Social

High: Well, my birthday’s in January, and so is my younger brother M’s, so celebrating them together is always fun. This year we went out to ReRico, a Brazilian steakhouse, and it was delightful. I usually go to Fogo de Chao when I want a Brazilian steakhouse, but there isn’t one where M lives, and ReRico was an awesome replacement. Fogo has a broader meat selection and salad bar, but ReRico had some excellent menu items that Fogo does not. My favorites included the meatloaf (I know, wasn’t expecting that!), and the fried bananas. Oh, man, I want a fried banana right now.

Low: Not really a low, because I like time at home, but I didn’t do too much else this month, because I’m saving energy and money for next month’s trip to Sarah’s wedding. Can’t wait!

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