01/26/16

Inkster Dispatch: 2016 Con Attendance

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Con Logo via Twitter

Conventions for a writer are a great avenue for networking, learning, and inspiration. Each year I try to go to at least one.

Last year I did WorldCon — likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When I left Spokane in August, my goal was to go to Iceland and Dublin and wherever else they decided to have it. But now I may be going to Scotland as part of a research trip for my current Work In Progress (WIP) this year, which means I’d miss out on 2016’s World Fantasy and Science Fiction Convention. However, I am not con-less for 2016. I’ll likely swing by NORWESCON 39 in March; however, I’m really looking forward to a new upstart con: WE ARE ALL SF. It’s inaugural convention will be in Ocean Shores, Washington in November. I registered today. I also got signed up for the writer’s workshop for it. There’s some really cool folks and authors that will be a part of this, so I’m excited. November will be here before I know it.

How about you? What conventions are you attending this year? What am I maybe missing that I need to consider?

01/21/16

Book Review: Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

18077752ACCEPTANCE, Book 3 in THE SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY.  By Jeff VanderMeer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NY, 2014

5/FIVE STARS.

*****

If you haven’t read the entire Southern Reach Triology, you need to get on it. Now.

This is a series, especially this last book, that will spawn fandoms, fan fiction, movies, youtube discussions, and I’m sure will start to pepper advanced lit class syllabuses every where. Make sure all your friends and family read because you will want to talk about this story repeatedly and indepth.

This book is horror. It is dystopian science fiction. It is creative environmental journalism. Mostly it’s epic weird as only VanderMeer can deliver.

I’m a sucker for writing that pushes my understanding of story and language. VanderMeer does both in his deconstruction of what is Area X in this volume of the series. His change of point of view for character self-examination is brilliant. In this book especially, the terror (and terrior) is always just bubbling to the surface and you can’t help but shudder as you read. That bar scene, the scene with Whitby in the attic, the phone call with Control and The Voice, and the spooky owl that seemingly has human intelligence.

On page 314 of ACCEPTANCE, I swear VanderMeer knows what it is to be in the midst of a PTSD-trigger fest.  I will never look at a darkness in the water again without wondering if its a leviathan, or descend in a cave and wonder if I’ll meet the moaning creature.

I’ve read each in the series twice and will likely start over again.

Now who wants to talk about this book with me?

01/20/16

Days 105-106: Yoga Every Day

Ouch, that smarts! Aleve in one hand, a video in the other…

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Tuesday I woke up and my hands ached. Did a Yoga session, took some Aleve. Felt a bit better. Since my hands were still a bit achy and I felt like they might not be strong enough to do a downward dog, I turned to Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr and some modified chair yoga. While doing that yoga session, my left shoulder “popped” during forward shoulder rolls in the cool down.  My morning yoga session had to go back to modified chair stuff because I could not raise my arm all the way up nor put weight on it. Aleve was once again digested, but it didn’t help as much with this shoulder dealio. Hopefully just a bad arthritis bout and I’ll be pushing forward in my practice in no time.AleveBottleMobile

Prior to this slight step backwards, I was happy to have a video that I was using that although it said for beginners, is more of an intermediate push for me because, as you know, I have multiple mobility issues (crooked pelvis, bad knees, arthritis, spinal fusions, the list goes on….) and am coming back from a bad knee re-injury. Remember I was looking for something that qualified as intermediate for moi? I found it. AM & PM YOGA FOR BEGINNERS. So although this video says it’s for beginners, I would say beginners who have no physical limitations. That’s not me. But, those limitations are not stopping me. There’s good inspirational messages throughout the yoga video, too, without it coming off corny.

I’ve found another video I like even more. I’ll blog about that in the days to come. Here’s hoping this shoulder thing goes away fast.

 

Note: neither the makers of the video or the folks who make Aleve have provided no amount of compensation for this blog post. Just love how Aleve takes care of general body aches and pains, and I’m thrilled to have found this video to move my practice forward. 

01/18/16

Days 93 to 104: Yoga Every Day

This is a very hard pose. After 100 days, I'm unable to do it to the beauty that Jessamyn does here. If you're not following her on instagram, get on it.

This is a very hard pose. After 100 days, I’m unable to do it to the beauty that Jessamyn does here. If you’re not following her on instagram, get on it.

Who’s uncomfortable?

I’m still doing my yoga every day project. I’m past the 100 day mark, which I recall in my former military life was a benchmark for any campaign or command. ::gives self a small pat on back::

I’m feeling stronger, more limber, and know immediately when I’ve skipped yoga in the morning and have to return to it by mid afternoon or find myself very tight, stressed, and cranky.

This video has been making the rounds. Please watch it, I’ll wait:

https://www.facebook.com/adsoftheworld/videos/vb.109482295740916/1054268567928946/?type=2&theater

Thanks for watching that.

That kind of ableism and body image bullshit is one (not the only) of the reasons I stopped going to studio yoga. They felt uncomfortable because I didn’t look or perform my practice like them. I felt uncomfortable because I felt their discomfort. That’s not healthy for anyone. So, I got out.

But you can’t move forward in your goals if you think from the get-go that you cannot. You’re not going to change your health thinking you can’t. In short, that is a self-hatred that plagues so many of us, especially women. I want to thank the others out there who have inspired me to keep on even when the damn child pose seems really hard (although it’s getting easier).

Here’s to the next 100 days.

~Namaste,

C.

01/14/16

Book Review & Giveaway: SUGAR SKULLS

25789738Hey, fellow Bibliophiles! I wanted to share with you an audiobook (CD type) I thoroughly devoured during the holidays:  SUGAR SKULLS. Reading time is precious for many of us, especially with work, kids, home, and community responsibilities. SUGAR SKULLS takes you all away from that and into this fantastical world and into the life of Vee and Micah — young adults brought to the city of Cyrene, where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young energy producers. The story is a great ride. Honestly, this book surprised me because it is not a genre I read much of, but found myself unable to break away from it. I loved the way the authors played with language and created a fresh, futuristically believable, and fascinating world, all the while maintaining a strong emotional, human connection with the relationship between the two main characters. The love scenes were sexy without being raunchy and moved the story forward, a little hot flash for your personal thrum collectors and then back into the action. The voice actors did a fabulous job. I especially enjoyed the performance of the “Micah” character. I’d love to see more from this authorial collaboration of Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas. Five stars of fun.

Because this book was gifted to me, I’d love to pass it along, as well. Only catch is you have to comment here with another recently released book you’d recommend to me that I haven’t read. So your only cost is a little time to share the bibliophile love. You can check out my Goodreads (although every book I’ve read is not on there, but it gives you a good idea) if you’re wondering if I’ve already read the book you recommend. Then I’ll randomly pick a winner and mail you the audio book, SUGAR SKULLS. Sorry, out of country friends and readers, I can only do U.S. delivery of this fun giveaway. Please comment here — not on social media. Commenting here is your entry to the giveaway.

Please share this post so we can get some good recommendations and picking a winner is as wild a ride as SUGAR SKULLS.

Happy reading and/or listening!