Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Curious, indeed!

I can't help but think... "If Rube Goldberg wrote a book, it would be this one." - The Curious Education of Epitome Quirkstandard

I'm not even going to attempt a review of this novel, all I can say is that it was wonderfully creative, full of surprises, has fantastic characters and is worth every minute of its quirky text! I suspect that fans of the Monty Python series would get a HUGE kick out of the adventures of Epitome and Simone (and the others throughout).

I was saddened today for two reasons.... because the story came to an end and the end of the story. That's all I'm going to say about it. I will say this, however, if you're looking for a novel with twists and turns, adventure, mystery, love, zen, and a "gentleman" named Spigot, listen to this podcast. You won't be disappointed!

Getting in shape during the "dark season"

I love to come home from work, throw the dogs in the truck and head out to the park for a nice evening walk.
Well, nowadays, it's getting dark around 5:00-5:30, so this isn't happening.

BUT, I also need to keep exercising (stopping would be very very bad). So, I've signed up for the Hundred Pushups Training Program! I also recruited the hubby, so we have each other to keep the motivation (and participation) up.

It's a 3-day per week program... Monday was day 1. WOW, am I sore. BUT, I already feel stronger (even with this darned headcold!) and know this will be very good for me. It's funny... we took a "pretest" before starting the program to find out which level we're at. I was thinking - OH, I can easily do 5 (standard) pushups. NO! I struggled to get 3 complete (well formed) pushups. So, I've resorted to the "alternate" pushups - the ones where you are on your knees. I figure, I start this way and gradually increase intensity to the standard pushups, if possible.

We'll see. Thinking I might be able to complete 100 of these things (IN A ROW) at the end of 6 weeks is daunting, but I'm ready to try. I'll keep ya posted!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I don't remember where I was when I heard the phrase "sky full of stars"... but it had an impact on me. I imagine sitting on my back porch and looking up into the very dark sky, with stars twinkling at me. I think of the endless possibilities each one represents.

Then my mind wanders and I think of all the ideas I've had. The dreams I've had. The endless possibilities I have.

I see this blog as a place to catch these ideas and thoughts and dreams. It's not limited to any one theme. It's just here, for days when I want to share what's up in my universe with anyone who wants to listen.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


... at Avedon Hill

What do you get when you mix together a "quite little mountain-pass town", an eclectic group of country folks, some magic, some monsters, and a murder? Simply stated, it's PG Holyfield's Murder at Avedon Hill.

As mentioned earlier, MaAH was my first taste of a podcast novel. When first searching iTunes, I wasn't sure what to expect from these stories. To be honest (even tho I'm embarrassed to say), I was leery of the quality of these novels. I mistakenly thought that since they weren't published (in the traditional sense... i.e they were FREE), that they'd be "hack" works. WOW, was I wrong!

I also need to share with you that I had just finished reading a bunch of Anne Rice before performing my search for a new book, so I typed in "vampires" to see what iTunes had. I assumed that MaAH was a medieval vampire story - WRONG AGAIN!

So about the story... In so many books, the reader cheers for the good guys and wishes ill to the bad guys. In MaAH, I don't know which is which. PG Holyfield does an excellent job at hiding the identity of the "bad" guys and make you question the "good" guys (well, except Aremes and Aarin - I'm pretty sure they're purely good guys) while keeping the intrigue level high!

I am DYING to know who killed Gretta Platt... I want to know how all these characters fit together... are some of my assumptions right? Will I be utterly surprised at the end of the novel (which is coming soon, I think)?

I hate waiting, but I will. I am truly looking forward to the remainder of the novel. I suspect PG Holyfield has a couple more tricks up his sleeve to reveal before it's all over.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

12-of-12: November 2008

I've mentioned in my other Blog that I travel for work. I drive A LOT! Everyday, I put somewhere between 100-300 miles on my vehicle.

Today (November 12th) was a work day, so my pictures are taken from where I spend much of my day. I've been calling this set "the view from the driver's seat".

- Jill

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I need...

...a new story.
But I don't know what.

OR, maybe PG Holyfield could drop a new chapter of Murder at Avedon Hill????
DAMN YOU, Holyfield!!

The other problem I'm facing is I've been REALLY busy with winter-prep stuff, so much of my free time is unavailable for perusing podcasts/podcast novels.

Tonight is "dinner and a movie" with the hubby, so maybe I'll try to find something over the weekend. If there's anyone out there with a suggestion, please feel free to post it in the "comments" section, or send me a message.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

My first "Comment"

Okay, this is cool! I received my first comment this week! WOO HOO!!

.. altho, it makes me a little nervous, 'cuz that means someone (besides me) is reading my blog. I guess that's the point of blogging, tho, right. If I wanted it to be "just me", I'd be writing in a paper diary or notebook.

Well, after receiving Mur Lafferty's comment this week (yes, Mur Lafferty - the author of Heaven & Playing for Keeps, amongst other titles), I figured I needed to follow-up on my promise to further review some of the podcast novels I've read... and I'll start with hers!

Let me back up a bit. When I read (or listen to a novel), I tend to be more on the sci-fi/fantasy side of things. I love adventure and abhor mushy, sexy, romance novels. I like to have fun when I read, or let writers challenge my ability to "suspend disbelief" and enter the world they create.

When I came across the Heaven Series, I thought: "This could be interesting!" I'm not a religious person, so having an adventure through the "afterlife" really intrigued me. Kate & Daniel seemed "real" to me, like people I would know or hang out with. Their take on the afterlife was along my lines of thinking, too.
...HEY! I just saw two things, that Heaven is listed as "Magical Realism"... I like that classification. That's what I meant by suspending disbelief! Also, this series was nominated for a Parsec Award in 2007 - much deserved!
{{{Oh, Ms. Lafferty... Mur... in case you're reading this... when might we see Season 5/War?}}}

Most recently, I finished Playing for Keeps. Keepsie & her pals are AWESOME! I love it when the "not so popular/special/cool" people save the day... probably because I'm one of those people, too. The characters were SO creative. The various "special powers" they had were nothing I've every come across before. If anyone is a fan of the TV show Heroes, they will LOVE this story.

EDIT: Check it out, Playing for Keeps won the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Story. Here's the link to the nominees & winners. CONGRATS, Mur!!