Happy Easter 2017!


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It doesn’t matter your religion. Who doesn’t love Easter? Adorable bunnies (and, frequently, other baby animals) and lots and LOTS of chocolate! Here, have some Easter-themed amusement:

emo bunny doesn't carrot all

eggsercise bunny puns

Every bunny was kung fu fighting

bunny ears on rabbit for easter

chocolate bunny joke

The pufferfish is more romantic than you.


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Sir Romantic Fish

Ah, love in the animal kingdom. It’s not always happy or pretty, but every so often it is just. So. Cute!

Take the romantic little pufferfish (a particular variety of it, anyways), who creates beautiful, temporary designs on the ocean floor to woo the lovely lady fish.

Pufferfish courting designs

For my lady, a castle.

For over a decade, no one actually knew what made these underwater beauties were or why, but finally a team of researchers tracked the little lovebirds down. LiveScience notes that “[a]lthough the fish are only about 12 centimeters (5 inches) long, the formations they make measure about 2 meters (7 feet) in diameter.” That’s a big sandcastle for a little fish to build!

And it has to be a good sandcastle! The lady fish will come and inspect the male’s handiwork before deciding if she’ll mate with him. If the castle is a winner, they’ll lay their eggs in the center of the pattern, where the pattern itself creates an ideal environment – the ridges on the outside protect the silt in the middle where the eggs are cradled.

For more details, check out the LiveScience article and the video below!

Enjoying Music Again: Home Free


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music mood mover pixabay Music plays a different role for everyone. I’ve always found it to be a huge mood-influencer. If I’m happy, it’ll pump me up. If I’m melancholy, it’ll carry me away. If I feel one way and want to feel another, I turn to music.

However, as I’m coming out of a stressed-out, depressed and burnt out episode of my life, that it’s been a while since I’ve really, actively, enjoyed music. For the last while, it’s mostly been filler, background noise, and a distraction. But it’s been ages since I’ve sat at my computer and cruised YouTube for new tunes.

And I’ve rediscovered Home Free. They’re an a capella country band, and the sound that makes them them is delightfully unique. They do occasionally cover other genres, and while I enjoy the novelty of it, I enjoy their country stuff best.

I’ll probably have to source their CDs now…

How about you readers? What have you been rocking out to lately? I have a fairly eclectic taste in music – I might like it!

Noblebright Fantasy


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One of the first thing people ask me when I tell them I’m a writer is, “What do you write?”

I, of course, tell them that I write fantasy, but unfortunately, that doesn’t really narrow it down much. You see, there are many different kinds of fantasy. So after I say, “fantasy,” I get responses like these:

“Oh, like Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones?”

Well, kind of, because there are races of magical creatures and it’s a medieval setting and whatnot, but I don’t write epic fantasy, with the massive cast of characters (many of whom die) and all that. Also, in my fantasy, I like to have more magic than those.
lord of the rings you shall not pass meme
Or, “Oh, like Harry Potter?”

Well, kind of, because I like to think I have a similar spirit of adventure and create a fun sense of awe for magic, but mine aren’t really intended to be children’s books, and the setting is not in modern times.
Harry Potter what house are you from
Or, “Oh, like [insert some author I’ve never heard of]”


And the thing is, I couldn’t think of a term to describe my kind of fantasy. “Heroic fantasy” is close, as is “fantasy-adventure,” but neither quite nailed it.
Then I heard about noblebright fantasy. It’s something of a new concept, and not a widely-known term (yet?), but I like it. A lot.

Noblebright fantasy centers around good characters who try to do good things for good reasons. Not everything is peachy and happy, but in the end, they’re able to make some kind of difference. There’s hope. There’s magic. It doesn’t have to be a children’s book; in fact, sometimes even a noblebright novel can be quite dark.

I feel like we need this label. If I know a story is noblebright, I know I don’t have to worry about reading yet another story where a good character can’t get ahead and just makes things worse until everything is awful and the characters are all so corrupt you can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys.
noblebright sunlight hope
I like it better when fiction inspires us and brings hope. Life needs a little more noblebright.

If you’re curious to know more about noblebright, I set up a page about it here.

So what do you think, readers? Do you like the concept of noblebright? I know some people love the “gritty” and “grimdark” stories that are so popular today. Are you one of them? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Skittle Addiction


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I have a confession. I have a Skittle addiction.

Well, really it’s more of a sugar/munchies addiction, but let’s face it, “Skittle” is a fun word and “Skittle addiction” sounds better than “snackaholic.” Maybe. Actually, “snackaholic” sounds pretty awesome too. Ahem. Anyways.

I love candy, and everyone who knows me, knows that, including people at work. I have earned the nickname “Squirrel” for the snacks I stash away, and also “Hummingbird” for the sheer amount of sugar I consume (ironically, not usually in liquid form, as I don’t drink pop). They are all familiar with me nibbling away on chocolate, skittles, other candies, and Tostitos.

No Skittles for me, thank you. -Nobody

Which brought me to an amusing thought. What if, while typing, every time I ate a bite of something, I had to type the word skittle? When I send invoices to customers, it would probably read something like this:

“Dear Mr. skittle Smith,

Please find you invoice skittle attached.

Thank you for skittle your business.

Stephanie skittle”

Or what about when I’m working on my manuscript?

“Vhi hovered behind skittle the thick trunk of a cottonwood, occasionally peeking around it at the village down the road. The village skittle looked to be a fairly humble one, with largely thatched roofs and accessed by a road that was more of a wide path of earth packed by feet and wooden wheels. Humble or no, each skittle glimpse of it drove her back into hiding behind the tree.”

Again, I may have a problem.

By the way, Orchard Skittles are the best variety of Skittles. Just sayin’.

Orchard Skittles are the best

So, dear readers, what’s your favorite kind of Skittles?

Leave It To Batman


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Every language and culture has its own little sayings that sometimes defy translation a bit. A different culture is a different perspective, and there’s a little wisdom to be had in every perspective. TheTango.Net found some all drawn up in literal translations:

Leave it to Batman - some problems require a superhero to solve.

To live with wolves you have to howl like a wolf. Russian proverb. In dangerous situations, try to blend in.

Hunger is the best sauce. Ancient Roman proverb. Everything tastes better when you're hungry

A frog in a well does not know the great sea. Japanese proverb. There's more going on than you know, try and see the big picture.

When elephants fight, it is the grass that gets hurt. Kenyan proverb. Fights of thte powerful only hurt the little guys.

Slippery ground does not recognise a king. Kenyan proverb. Even the most powerful people are just human deep down.

Empty barrels make the most noise. Icelandic proverb. people who are all talk, often don't know a lot.

If the world flooded, it wouldn't matter to the duck. Turkish proverb. Things that are bad for you, aren't always bad for everyone.

A cat in mittens won't catch mice. Gaelic proverb. Being careful and polite doesn't always get things done.

The pillow is the best advisor. Swedish proverb. Sleep on a problem and see how you feel in the morning.

A hungry stomach has no ears. French proverb. You can't concentrate without food in your tum tum

There's a bad potato in every sack. Welsh proverb. There's a bad influence in every group of people.

Happy New Year 2017


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Happy New Year!

2016 was a tumultuous year. I’ve seen many people call it a bad year, but I can’t do that – I got married and got to go to Japan, after all! Rather, for me, it was a year of high highs and low lows. Illness and other life factors have kept me from my blog for the last two months, and to be honest, I’m not sure what it’s fate will be. I do want to connect with my readers as I continue to publish books, but I’m no longer certain this is the best medium for that.

Regardless, I’m hoping that for everyone, 2017 is a more peaceful and prosperous year. Lots of people make crazy resolutions, and I’m hoping that everyone manages to attain a little bit of the spirit of those resolutions, even if they don’t keep it to the letter. I know I need to pick up the pace of my writing and get those books written! I have one in the wings, but I’m going to be trying some new publishing strategies – please bear with me, dear readers!

So, since I didn’t wish you a Merry Christmas earlier, Merry Christmas, and have a very happy new year!

Bumper Stickers For All Kinds


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Bored Panda had some amazing bumper stickers the other day. I’ve picked my favorites and divided them into categories for you:

For the passive-aggressive types:
Sorry for driving so close in front of you

Stupidity isnt' a handicap, park somewhere else

Watch out for the idiot behind me

Stickers for people tired of seeing “Baby on Board” signs:
Durex: no babies on board.

Adults want to live too

Fair warning stickers:
So gay I can't drive straight

70 leave me alone

Asian Driver: good luck everyone

“Deep” bumper stickers:
Just because no one understands you doesn't make you an artist

Don't believe everything you think

Smart alec bumper stickers:
This isn't the best car ever, it's just a tribute

I've got a perfect body, but it's in the trunk and it's starting to smell

Carbon offset