Topics I could give an impromptu speech on

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Hello out there. I hope you are healthy and well, and importantly, keeping yourself mentally well too. I have a routine for me and the daughter to organize our lockdown days. I watch a mystery in the mornings (currently on Rosemary and Thyme) and an SF movie in the evenings. . I’ve already made it through Escape from L.A., Dune, Event Horizon, The Core, and Battle: Los Angeles this past week. 

So, what could I give a speech on….

  1. Classic SF movies and the development of my personal canon. I will cover black and white movies such as the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the original  War of the Worlds. Then I will discuss Forbidden Planet and its influence on Star Trek and space exploration genre shows. Then I will talk about Planet of the Apes and Logan’s Run and how they affected my childhood. I could go on and on and on….
  2. Great Pies. Instead of focusing on how to make a great pie, because I can’t, I will discuss where to get great pies and which you should try and why. I will cover Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Key Lime, Pumpkin, and even Lemon Meringue. 
  3. Star Wars vs. Star Trek. 
  4. Star Trek vs. Blake’s 7
  5. Japanese Castles. I have visiting quite a few of them, and now take more interest in how they were designed and built. I am a history buff so I’ve tried to learn as much as I can. 

 

Favorite Things to do in Spring

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Well, I usually love the spring break as a chance to visit friends. Since I live in a small town, the spring semester between teaching is my chance to go to Tokyo or Yokohama. Traveling is restricted at the moment, so I’ve spent most of my time locally.  I hope all of you out there are well, both physically and emotionally. Keep your head up! If you’re stuck inside, a binge watch may be a good thing- things to completely take you mind away from news. Personally, I watched a few episodes of Are You Being Served, Yes Minister, and Martin. (My sense of humor is wide ranging) Also, Tiger King on Netflix is just so bizarre I couldn’t stop watching it.

I look forward to spending the spring outdoors. Since I know most people are quarantined, I thought I’d share a few pictures of some of my favorite spring places with the hopes that I’ll be able to once again have a big picnic out there someday soon.

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One Skill I wish I had but don’t

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I thought I’d join back in on the blog hop this week. In case you haven’t seen the news, here in Japan pretty much everything is such down in an attempt to contain the spread of Corvid. The schools are closed, and all festivals, sports events, etc. It’s kind of strange to watch the baseball teams play with empty seats in the stadium. Even sumo wrestling, for the first time in history, was held with just the participants and not the audience. It’s oddly Orwellian to see how empty things are. 

So, I figured why not blog? It’s good to think about something else. 

I couldn’t narrow my list down to just one skill I wish I had, so here are a few.  

Knitting. This seems like one of those things everyone is doing nowadays and I have no idea. I’m not terribly good at anything requiring hand coordination of any sort. My Girl Scout days were plagued by the eternally unfinished cross stitches. 

Sewing. I can’t do this either beyond managing to sew a button back on. If I can find the button. Which I usually don’t. 

Playing the piano. A skill that I lost. I used to as a child, but haven’t in decades. I’ve considered starting lessons again because I think I’d probably appreciate it more now. 

More language skills. I can speak English and Japanese. I’d love to learn Russian and Hebrew. I might actually go ahead and give Russian a go if I can find a really patient teacher. 

Piloting a galaxy class starship. I can but dream.

 

Books I reread or want to reread

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I don’t do as much re-reading of fiction as I used to, mainly because there are so many books out there I  want a chance to read  and already feel as it I don’t have enough time.:)  When I was young, I re-read Harriet the Spy, The Westing Game, and all of the Encyclopedia Brown books over and over again. I also read  the A Wrinkle in Time trilogy a few times. 

When I’m feeling sick or low, I re-read the Discworld books. They are always a good pick me up. I remember re-reading the Sevenwaters Trilogy (Juliet Marillier) and Kushiel’s Dart over again because I really like the scenery, the characters, the lush worlds that were created. I do read  Thomas Ligotti’s short stories, Ted Chiang’s short stories and Joan Didion’s classic Slouching Towards Bethlehem. There is also a Junichi Saga who has two great non-fiction books I’ve re-read several times Memoirs of Silk and Straw and Confessions of a Yakuza. If you wonder about life in Japan, particularly in the era when it changed rapidly, these are both great. 

Best Book/TV/ Movie Couples

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It’s been a long time since I joined the blog hop, but I thought I’d give it a shot, however late, this week. And to show my appreciation to Long and Short Reviews for organizing it and doing so much for the writing community.

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Of course, Star Trek will be on my list. Captain Sisko and Kassidy Yates were one of my favorite couples. I thought the actors worked well together, but also I liked the fact that they had a mature, stable, relationship. Even when Yates and Sisko disagreed strongly on the issue of the Maquis, they still loved and respected each other. Also, DS9 hat tip to Worf/Jadzia for best wedding ever and Odo/Kira for heartrending parting scene. 

Delenn/Sheridan from Babylon 5. 

Scully/Mulder from the X-files.  I think they were a better couple when they were not together as a couple. Having two loners who have such a strong connection was more convincing that the rather contrived alien/enhanced/son storyline or whatever that I kind of lost track of. 

My favorite couple on Game of Thrones was Missandei and Greyworm. I know it’s not in the books, but I thought the fact that they fell in love and really were devoted to each other was touching. Hated the way it ended though. Hat tip to Tormund/ Brienne. I love the fan pics of that. 

And last, Kovacs and Quellcrist Falconer from Altered Carbon. That show took me a few episodes to get into( It can be really violent) but the relationship of the couple despite time, distant, and new bodies has a lot of potential. I look forward to Season 2. 

 

Release Day: Terran Seduction

It’s release day for book two in the Terran Series!

New soldiers and alien tech make Brennus and Diana fight for what they want most. Each other.

Diana Aventina is a ranking senator serving the Terran Republic. Her lineage is one of power and influence. She’s courted by powerful men for a bloodline match, but hasn’t found anyone suitable. Power means sacrificing everything for a higher cause, even love.

Brennus is a legendary commander picked to lead all the armed forces. On the mysterious wintry world of Sobek he’s discovered a weapon that may change the future of the Terran Republic. His star is on the rise, and he wants a powerful woman like Diana by his side.

But the weapon might not be all it seems. And a new line of Terran soldiers threaten the stability of the Republic. Brennus and Diana can’t fight their desire for each other, but they may lose the Republic in the process.

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Pre-orders: Amazon.com, BN.com, Kobo/Walmart, and iBooks Now Available.

Live at ChangelingPress.com Friday  12/20/19

Between 12/20 to 12/27 use a 15% discount code at the Changeling Press site.

Code: TGIF12-20-2019

Live at Amazon.com, BN.com, Kobo/Walmart, and iBooks – 12/27/19

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Earliest Memories

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I have lots of memories and over time it becomes difficult to remember what order they happened in, but I do have a few that stand out.

I remember my mother taking me to get my first library card. We had to walk (only one family car at the time). My mother pushed my sister in the stroller and held me by the hand and took me to the library every week. When I was about six, I was allowed to get my own children’s library card and I was so proud.

I remember my father taking me to get my first bicycle. It had training wheels and I fell down a lot but he taught me to ride it. 

I remember spending summers with my grandmother. She had a black walnut tree in her garden, and we used to collect the good ones. Black walnuts are rare now and it you haven’t had black walnut ice cream you’ve missed out. I also had to get up early and feed her chickens.

I remember my father worked long hours, so I didn’t get much time with him. I do remember he and I watching Star Trek together when he came home from work. My mother would cook dinner and we sit down and debate Kirk vs. Spock. This was back in the days of syndication so you only got to see the same episodes played over and over again (MUDD’S WOMEN/AMOK TIME) and you had to wait for the rare time to see some o the best (THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT byD.C. Fontana – one of the female trasilblazers of SF who passed away this past week. )

Book Boyfriends(Or Girlfriends)

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So, I’m back to the blog hop after a break. November was a busy month. December will probably be busier but at least the holidays are coming!!!  This week’s topic: Book Boyfriends (or Girlfriends).

Stealing Gifts/Mere Rain

This is a book I recently read because I like the premise and I’m glad I did. I really love Jarrell. He’s a complex character- a thief who steals to survive and really has a deep, sensitive heart. His love for Edmond is really sweet.

Elfhome Series/ Wen Spencer

I have a crush on elves. But this is one of my favorite elf series’ of all time. The main character, Tinker, is married to Windwolf, head of the Wind Clan. He’s super sexy and I had total fan girl love. She also had her loyal guard, Pony, whose kind attentive and strong. Yes, two men. Elves are immortal so their relationships are complex. 

The Otherworld Series/ Yasmine Galenorn

Three sisters-Camille, Delilah, and Menolly all have different boyfriends of various paranormal attributes over the course of the series.

Camille has three husbands-a dragon, a fox, and a dark elf. (Elves again 🙂 ) It’s usual for urban fantasy to have lots of lovers, but Galenorn always manages to make hers truly unique. So instead of the myriad confusion who sleeps with who scenarios that sometimes occur in urban fantasy, I always end up liking the characters and their hook-ups come across as believable. 

 

Books I’ve Recommended and Why

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For this post I’m going to focus  on books I’ve talked to other artists and creatives about. I am fortunate to have many friends who are writers, screenwriters, comic writers, comedians, and visual artists. So these are books I’ve collected over the years that I always felt were inspiring and I like to mention in conversation. 

The Addams Family Evilution

I’m and Addams friends and my cousin is too. This is an interesting book that looks at the beginnings of the Addams family and traces how the characters developed into what we are familiar with today. Mortician Addams is my idol. 

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Picture This: A Near Sighted Monkey Book/ Lynda Barry

This was recommend to me by a stand-up comedian friend and then I recommended it to another friend of mine who specializes in mixed media art. It’s good for anyone really. Partly autobiographical, it also has creative exercises that get you thinking a lot about your own personal experiences and the emotions that go into your work. 

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Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons/ Leonard Malkin

And older book now (1987) but still a great one covering the early days of animated cartoons and the great studios. I used to take film classes many years ago and I wore out my first copy. I later told another film student about it. Still love it. 

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I’ll be blogging at Coffee Time Romance on Thursday. I’ll be doing two giveaways! Feel

free to stop by.

 

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Things that scare me

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Clowns

I have always been afraid of clowns. Even as a child, I found their make-up macabre. Needless to say, I will never go to see IT.

Roaches

A few weeks ago, I woke up, went to the front door; and found a snake curled up inside my house. I managed to regain my composure and get rid of it. I wasn’t truly scared. But if I wake up in the middle of the night and a cockroach skitters across the floor I will scream the house down. I know it’s out of proportion to the actual threat, but even pictures of cockroaches disgust me. 

Elevators

I have a fear of being trapped in an elevator. The worst feeling is getting in an elevator and suddenly the alarm goes off because you have too many passengers. I always have a moment of panic that I’ll be trapped inside as it plunges down to the basement floor. 

Abandoned cars

 Every know and then, you’ll come across and abandoned vehicle, grass overgrown, tire missing and for some reason I also imagine something horrible happened. More than likely, it was just old and left to rot, but I can’t help but feel like it’s haunted.

Creepy music boxes 

I am both intrigued and creeped out by music boxes. There is a music box museum that my husband and I visit sometimes. It also has a variety of restored organ grinders and the like. One of my favorite pastimes is to listen to haunted music boxes on youtube.

I’m guest at  Kate Hill’s Halloween blog. There are many authors features, as well as some giveaways and an excerpt from my futuristic romance TERRAN TEMPTATION. Halloween is almost here.