Monday, June 24, 2013

What I Like About You...

I love to read--romance, humor, fantasy, sci fi, thriller, mystery, non-fic on occasion. In every book there is one element that I just LOVE. (Not "love" but "LOVE") In some books, it's the wit, like in Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series. I was laughing out loud in B&N and got some serious "You need help" looks. JRR Tolkien's sweeping saga, The Lord of The Rings has it all--love, death, good vs. evil, romance, adventure, poetry, magic, dragons; how can you not swoon? I learned to write dialogue from Julie Garwood's snappy romances like Ransom. Almost every book has that one special "What I like LOVE" about you.

The one element that I LOVED in Weather Witch (St. Martin's, June 25th, 2014) by Shannon Delany was... the weather. Seriously. I'm sure there are other books that deal with weather and possibly magic, but weather, magic, and steampunk?

I was graciously allowed to read the ARC of Weather Witch and for some reason the whole premise of a few select people being able to control the weather magically--in a society heading toward serious industrialization--and being ostracized and held prisoner for it--was just way cool. While I love any good fantasy story, I need a break from traditional dragons, elves, witches, and the like. (I know, the title says 'witch' but it's not like the main character knows she's a witch, or practices it, or lives in a family surrounded by witches.) There are no herbs, chants, wands, or eyes of newt associated with this witch, making it fresh. How cool would it be to call down lightning on someone who's done you wrong? (At least enough to scorch their backside...) This fan obsession might be connected to my love of watching storms (I've witnessed a small tornado, several hurricanes, and our house has been hit by lightning 3 times, with me and one of each of my boys in the house. I might have weather issues.).

Weather Witch debuts...tomorrow! So grab a copy--don't wait until the next storm. Check out her website for signings, tour info, and such.

(All images, unless my own or otherwise credited, are courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art.)


Monday, June 3, 2013

On No You Didn't!

I'm a firm believer in "Paying It Forward" and "Random Act of Kindness." I did one yesterday, where I wrote thank yous to people who reach out to others. They won't expect it, which makes my little act even better--it'll be a surprise.  Today, I stopped and waved a woman to pass around my car (even though I was mid-turn and she stopped to wave me on) because it was safer for her not to be in the flow of traffic. Little acts don't have to be big, but they should be every day, in some way.

I don't do this every day (we all should) but I'm trying to make more of an effort to spread some courtesy, kindness, and compassion.

God knows humanity needs it; we are grumpy, rude, self-serving, impatient, discourteous, and cold. (And that doesn't even take into account NJ drivers.)

I was at the Y this morning to swim laps. All the deep water lanes were occupied and the only one left was at the shallower end, near where there's stair and access for people in wheel chairs. I had the lane to myself, but don't mind sharing. However, when three old timers came in to STAND AND TALK, getting in my way (I was there first, remember, I am not retired, I have a full schedule that doesn't include hanging out at the Y for lack of anything better to do) I was annoyed. One particular woman got bumped because she came into MY HALF OF THE LANE, then had the audacity to cheer when I'd gotten disgusted and left earlier than finishing my routine. (See above, and how she fits in.)

Why she can't meet her fellow slackers at the diner for coffee and kibbitzing instead of insisting on doing it at the Y I attribute to her selfishness. (Can you think of a valid reason for her actions? If so, let me know and I will acknowledge it next post.)

To combat my annoyance, anger, and rapid-fire bad thoughts which put me in a foul mood, I decided I would do something nice, even if it was a small gesture. Later, the woman in the parking lot gave me a nice smile, and I felt happier.

So, lady at the Y, you're not going to ruin my day, or make me like you--I choose to be kind, and to share that kindness.

P.S. Lay off the chitchat and the donuts, and actually SWIM--you'll be healthier.