Friday, May 21, 2010

Midnight Musings...In the morning.

It's the morning after our coffee house show...

And, I would like to say...I conquered another "fear" (I use quotes only because really, I mostly fear sharks the most. It seems silly to not use the whole " " thing, then.) last night.

I've danced with my lovely troupe ladies countless times. In a group. And I love it. Bellydancers are some of the most supportive, nurturing people I've ever encountered. (Boy, do they love their red wine and whiskey!) Coffee, as well, if last evening was any indication. Which in and of itself was pretty darn amusing. (Yep, 10 or so Bellydancers all hyped up on caffeine. Good times!)

Okay, the conquering.

Two numbers had to get pulled due to injuries (eek!), so we had time to fill. Found out that morning, and had to fill in. Originally, I had planned to do a solo (trembling in my boots), but so many ladies wanted to dance that I had decided to perform, alone (GAH), at our next performance. So, now, we had two spots.

As fate would have it, one of my lovely ladies just found a gorgeous veil (silk, colorful, and cut perfectly...which is so important, trust me!) that she wanted to show me. I love veil work, and it was the one thing I missed from my cabaret dancing.

TADA! Hey, they all decided, do a veil dance...(here's the part where I get a panic attack.) I hadn't picked up a veil...geez, in a year or longer.

Turns out, much like riding a bike, it's kinda all in the muscle memory. Especially the joy part. So, there I am...I picked out a tune I love that's a little more traditional (in that it's not the funky crazy eclectic stuff we usually use) that I love and know by heart.

At the show, we had to move up my number...gulp...a few spaces. And there it was.

Let me tell was a beautiful thing. Total improv, on the spot, danced out of pure bliss.

(And they really liked it...bellydance shows are a very loud thing, no polite silence or polite clapping. Although, there can still be silence if you don't connect with your audience.)

It wasn't quiet. Towards the end of the night, I was asked to do one more number. What the heck, I thought.

So here I sit. Kinda been neglecting the blog, and not reading as much as I want. But, I hope it was all worth it. Hopefully, I'll have a few pictures for you.

*Looks over at Phury's book*

I know, *shakes head*, Lover Mine can't be touched until you're done. (I like talking to my books. They are like my friends. I always get the last word! *evil laughter*)

Off I go, sad its over, but knowing there are other things on the horizon that are as equally fun and scary.

Hope your week was as fun mine.

(Oh yeah...Part of my costume fell off. Shimmied it right on off. Then I knocked the speaker over. But those are the things that make ya laugh, you know?)

Was it?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Midnight Musing...why I love it.

Just like everyone else, there are days when I feel like I am so overwhelmed with everything I do that I really don't know how to...well, do anything.

Sounds silly, I know.

I'll let you in a secret. I hate getting lost. Violently.

Funny thing is...its only happened to me, like twice. Ever.

But it haunts me...

Okay, so here's the dish on how this belongs here.

But, like all things, it may take a few sentences and rambles to get us there.

I...(gah, confession time.) cyber stalk. A lot. I follow, live journal, youtube, you name your poison. This, my dear friends, is why.

It's not as though my life is so utterly boring and uneventful. In fact, like the above sounds, IT'S INSANE! At times, the insanity tends to rear its ugly little beady head and stick out its slimy tongue, all a waggling and drooly. Overwhelming and annoying, I have a tendency to allow the little bugger to have control over my life, muddling over the what ifs while I really could be doing the whole iffing. If you get my meaning.

When he shows up (or she, I try not to look to closely), I cyber stalk. Melissa Marr, I hate to embarrass you, but you are my favorite non bellydancer stalking subjects (hangs head in shame, not wanting to look like a loon you need a restraining order for). If only because your insane (love that word today, right?) balancing act and quirky sense about life...give me a much needed kick in know. (And the is my rock.)

Side note: Hearing about or watching some one's triumph's is an odd thing. Some people get jealous evil meaniness. Yet others feel like they know how it feels with an added drop of envy. Still others, like me, tend towards an odd mix of congratulation, desire (as in, I want so of that! Which may or may not be vanilla ice cream with Dr. Pepper, but I digress), and....inspiration.

Here's my point. Finally.

A month or so ago, during one of my cyberstalking events, I discovered said author (ahem...Melissa Marr) would Ohio. As in NORTHERN OHIO. Where, in fact, most musical acts sometimes skip over, championship sports teams get sucked into a black hole, and...well, not much happens. (Don't get me wrong, our theater district is AMAZING. But authors that I know and love? Not so much.) Day requested off...check. Radiant Shadows devoured....sniff, sniff...check. Husband informed he was driving me to the other side of town and coming with me....CHECK. Or so I thought.

Life getting in the way as it does, the road block was up. Husband's work schedule changed. Bellydance show next week. Crazy day/night/anytime job expands in leaps and bounds on its pull.

Mud puppies. (That's my wacky attempt at clean profanity.)

Two choices. I can allow my silly stupid fear of getting lost to over take me and miss out on an experience. Or. Two. I can suck it up, face my silly fear, and do something for me.

I chose me.

Actually, I chose to choose me, if that makes sense. While I would adore to fawn over every minute detail (alas, we all promised we wouldn't spill any secrets...sigh), I can tell you this. This was my first real book event. And what a great one it was.

There was no earth shattering realizations (biting my tongue...ugh) that I can share, but I can tell you that inspiration comes not only from the authors that give us a piece of their worlds, but also from the fellow readers we meet on that journey. (Waves to y'all!!)

On to my journey....I decided to reread Wicked Lovely (hee hee on my kindle app...), get my booty moving on this blog (I have two in the ready to publish state), and...this weekend, its tribal bellydance, baby!!!!!!!!!!! Just a little excited....sorry....

There are always choices. (Not my words, but I kinda like 'em)

So choose to try something new, go have a fabulous conversation with a bunch of strangers, check out an Angles and Airwaves concert, or even try the express way for the first time (HA! I CONQUERED YOU!!)...see where it leads you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mind Games...Review



Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem. Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

Just a quick little love for this book.

I picked it up at the bookstore the day it came out after finding the author on twitter. Unfortunately for me and the book, I tend to gather faster than I can read 'em. A blessing and a curse (I never run out). And if I'm really honest with myself (sheepish head hang inserted here), I'm not sure I would've picked it up if not for the whole social network interaction shindig.

Then one night, I picked it up. After, reading review upon dazzling review, I had to do it. And once I started, literally, I found myself on a roller coaster I had no desire to get off of.

Heart wrenching, real, intense, and witty...I was hooked. Finished in one night. Disarming.

I'm not a hypochondriac, but I could easily relate to that debilitating feeling that washes over you from time to time. And it made Justine relatable on a level I haven't experienced in a long time. From her need to feel normal, to fit in, find that easy secure was tangible and right there waiting for me.

And Packard and his disillusionists? Finding out that family isn't always related by blood or easy to deal with is a lesson we all have learned. Each one of her teammates has a specialty....something that the normal everyday person would consider a hindrance. But, hey when you get lemons...sometimes you get some kick booty lemonade. You just have to know how to make it.

You see, each disillusionist has something that, in most people perception, is a kind of curse. But, now, they get to use their talents to rehabilitate people who have done bad things. Each assignment is paid for a by a wrong party, either a victim or family member. Talents intermingle in a multi-layered system meant to tear down. And in the end, they should become a better person for it. Good deeds, and all...right?

But, are things what they really seem? Are these things, these projects, really about just doing good...rehabilitating these people? Hmmm...

Packard...sigh...yep. Any man who tries to tell you what you know deep down is the truth but can't accept it in some way will get under your skin. Which can feel good...sometimes.

But, I have to say, I was surprised were the tale led a good way.

I kept reviewing this post...because I felt it was to short. But, my love for this book makes me not want to give away too much. Discovery can rock your socks...

So, if you have a free night...I have a little something for ya. Oh, and pick up some Mongolian barbecue. And stop by to let me know what you thought.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Avalon Revisited....Steampunk Continued.

Arthur has made his existence as a vampire bearable for over three hundred years by immersing himself in blood and debauchery. Aboard an airship gala, he meets Avalon, an aspiring vampire slayer who sparks fire into Arthur's shriveled heart. Together they try to solve the mystery of several horrendous murders. Cultures clash and pressures rise in this sexy Steampunk Romance.
As many of you know, I just finished a guest post on Steampunk over at Not Really Southern Vamp Chick's Birthday Bash Countdown (I just love typing that because it sounds like a party in and of itself!!) in which I made mention of a few steampunk titles, one of which is the above pictured Avalon Revisited by O.M. Grey.
My first kindle edition...and to be honest, I was a tad worried. Not so much about the content, but about me.
You see, change, in its early conceptions, freaks me out. How was I going to read a book that's...not actually a book in my hot little hands? Where would the satisfaction of keeping track of my progress via my sometimes tacky yet lovingly placed bookmarks? Ack!
But there it was....Avalon Revisited, only on Kindle. But, I don't have a Kindle. And I lamented this fact on my twitter. Enter the lovely artist who did the cover art, Catherine Somerlot (she tweeted me, told me about the app for my itouch) and the rest , as they say, is history.
I won't linger too much on the whole steampunk genre (but, if you haven't clicked on the link above, you really should. If for no other reason than to join the celebration) which, I have to say is as varied and colorful as your imagination will let it be.
And Avalon Revisited is no exception. A combination of steampunk and paranormal romance which keeps its identity all through without having to remind you why at every twist and turn.
I tend to speed read, and sometimes that's a good thing, others, not so much. For the first time in a while, however, I took my time, allowing myself to fully enjoy the nuances and pacing O.M. Grey afforded. Cleverly intertwining history, Arthur, we learn, is a Tudor. Yep, you read it right. Given the recent popularity of this time in history, it was refreshing to have this angle. I loved it. Not only did it give him the identity that completely matched his personality traits, it added to his heartbreak.
To which we then meet Avalon...a spinster of sorts, who Arthur falls in love with, practically at first intriguing sight. On a dirigible. If there is one scene that really gives you the feel of the whole nature of steampunk, in my eyes, this is the one. Descriptive and layered, the main characters blend to give the reader a true sense of this world. Avalon is no shrinking violet, and is so intoxicated with the technology and the world around her she barely notices our...vampire.
Ahh, but its not just dirigibles and gears here, ladies and gentlemen. There's a killer afoot. A vampire...who, in fact, is not our narrator...but seems to follow in his footsteps. Is the killer perhaps a little more than your run of the mill vamp? Perhaps. And his victims are rising from the dead, just like their creator.
Which leads Arthur to team up with the lovely (who, in fact reminds him at first of Catherine..yep, that one) Avalon and her partner in um...vampire hunting, Victor. Who have no idea they are actually working with said creature they are supposed to be...hunting.
No spoilers here, though...but I will say there was a sprinkling of steampunk technology and subtle steaminess and at times, not so subtle ;).
If you've never dipped your toes in the genre, you won't be disappointed. And if you have, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Even on my Kindle app. Change can be a good thing.
(Side note, Avalon Revisited is available in Kindle and the good old fashion kind as well over on Amazon...)

Monday, May 3, 2010

And the winner is....

Just a little quick post...

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in some way, shape, or form of my first lil ol' contest...from suggestions and encouragement!

And, the winner is, decided by the cute boy I married...


Here's the new button....

So, Beth, your gift card is on its way....Thanks, lady! I lurve it!!
And, to thank all of you...I will be posting a new giveaway in a few days, so you all will get an extra entry!
P.S. Please don't forget to stop in at Not Really Southern Vamp Chick's Birthday Bash everday because she has some fabulous fun going on!! I had a fantastic time on my guest post...

Guest Post....Steampunk style!!!

I am part of Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick's Countdown Birthday Bash!!


Since I am having technical problems, I humbly suggest clicking on the Birthday countdown Button on the side bar and join in the fun!!

Thanks for having me, was so fun!!

*waves* Blog ya soon!