“Nowhere to Hide” E-book on Sale!

We’re getting ever closer to the witching hour, my dear friends, and I thought that perhaps some of you might be looking for something creepy to read as we approach the spookiest of holidays. Until Halloween has passed us by,  the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99! You can’t beat a novel for a buck, right? Right. So be sure to pick it up before October ends!

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The Great Divide

I’ve come across another interesting prompt via The Daily Post today:

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

Right off the bat, no question, I prefer fiction, and I know exactly why. You see, while there are parts of human history that I’m interested in (I’m fainted by cultures like the ancient Egyptians, for example), when I’m curling up with a good book I’m looking to escape reality. I don’t want to read about the real world – that’s all around me all day, every day. No, I want to read about worlds that don’t exist.

On that vein, I’d like to take my response a little deeper: when I read for fun I choose speculative fiction, for all the same reasons that I love to write it. I enjoy myths and legends, epic adventures and monsters. I don’t want to read about regular people doing ordinary things; I want to read about magic and supernatural creatures.

I was always the kind of kid who lived in her own head, imagining the world as so much more than it is, and I’ve become an adult who does the same. Every day I’m surrounded by industry, politics, people talking about their ordinary lives, and the media trying to shove celebrity lives and not-so-reality shows down my throat. When I get a chance to relax and enjoy a good book (or show, or movie, or game), I want ghosts and demons, mermaids and fairies, parallel worlds and space battles. I don’t want common events; I want a goddamn anthropomorphic raccoon wielding a laser gun that’s as big as he is.

This. This right here. How can you not want to know the story behind characters like this?
This. This right here. How can you not want to know the story behind characters like this?

What about you? Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? What are your favorite genres or topics? Please share!

Also, a reminder that I am running a contest throughout the month of March. For each comment you post on my blog throughout the month, you will receive one entry toward a draw for a hard-copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide”! Please note that in order to accept the prize, I will need you to give me a mailing address where I can have the book sent. If the winner drawn did not intend to enter the contest and/or does not want the book, I will draw another name. Please also note that obvious spam/duplicate comments/etc. will not be counted toward an entry…play fair! And good luck!

“Butterfly in the Sky…I Can Go Twice as High!”

RRlogo_home
Though I don’t usually post on the weekends, I wanted to write a bonus post today to talk about something that I find extremely important and truly amazing. But first, a question: how many of you grew up with (or your kids grew up with) Reading Rainbow? You know the show…Star Trek’s LeVar Burton hosted it and used the show to instill a love of reading into kids from 1983 to 2009. I grew up with the show, myself, and I was actually really surprised to find out that it went as long as 2009. In a world where we have about a million channels to choose from, I guess this show just kinda got buried under a mountain of filth (*cough*realitytelevision*cough*).

Anyway, the point is that Reading Rainbow fostered a love of reading into children for more than two decades, and they currently have a subscription-based app that has been rated as one of the most educational apps for children. They’ve done good for a long time, and personally I have great respect for anyone who encourages kids to read for fun. It’s common knowledge that kids today do not read nearly as much as they use to (or should), but even when I was younger I could already see a wave of illiteracy barreling down on top of us, and that’s depressing to me. Not all kids are going to be bookworms, of course, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t encourage kids to be literate and to enjoy all that reading can be. Even if I’m super busy I get a little skip of happiness in my heart every single time my three-year-old asks me to read her a book.

But I’m getting off topic. Reading Rainbow. Awesome. They do good things.

Which is why they want to get back out there are keep working hard to get kids reading for fun.

Three days ago, LeVar and the RR team set up a Kickstarter. LeVar posted a video explaining exactly what they wanted to accomplish, which was to make Reading Rainbow a free, web-accessed show (so that any kid who can access the internet can see it), with all new content and video field trips, and to design a classroom-based Reading Rainbow program that they would then distribute – for free, mind you – to 1500 schools. Their goal was $1,000,000. With one mill, they said they could reach these goals. When I first stumbled across the Kickstarter they were at about $600,000 and I thought to myself, “This is great! I’m so glad that people are behind this! They’re totally going to reach their goal!”

Little did I know that when I wandered by and saw that $600,000, the Kickstarter had been live for less than a day. And the funds just kept going up and up and up. That’s right, as LeVar and his team sat and watched in amazement, their goal hit the $1,000,000 mark in less than 24 hours. I was flabbergasted, to be honest, but as my husband often says, “If something is a genuinely good idea, people will get behind it.”

I’ve been watching the Kickstarter ever since, and as I write this it is on it’s third day and has risen to $3,039,041. The RR team is amazed and overjoyed, and were nearly brought to tears in their follow-up video.

And here’s where you come in. It is traditional for a Kickstarter that reaches it’s goals early to add “stretch” goals. Since the internet has show that it is more than happy to get behind this particularly program, RR has recently scrambled to add their own stretch goals. They are now aiming for $5,000,000, with which they will be able to bring their (FREE, remember) web-based show to many more platforms (they’re talking Android, XBox, and media boxes like AppleTV), and instead of bringing their (FREEEEEEEE!!!!) school program to 1500 classrooms, they estimate they’ll be able to bring it to 7500 classrooms!

People, this is not a stretch. The internet ponied up 3 million dollars for this program in less than three days, and there are 32 days left! You can pledge as a little as $1, but there are also plenty of incentives to pledge more. Pledging only $5, for instance, gets your name on their website under a list of benefactors. $10 gets you in a group thank-you tweet, plus you get an exclusive set of digital wallpaper downloads. The list goes on. Jump up to $50 and, amongst other things, you get to choose a t-shirt, mug, or tote bag. Jump up to $250 and you get a personalized signed photo from LeVar. There are tons of options, but all that really matters is that you donate something. $5 might not sound like a lot of money, but 13598 people donated just that, and that amounts to just under $68,000!

So if you grew up with Reading Rainbow, if you think that it’s important to encourage kids to read for fun, or even if you just want want one of the awesome incentives that LeVar and his team are offering, please drop by their Kickstarter, check things out, and consider dropping a few dollars in their laps. “If something is a genuinely good idea, people will get behind it”…and this…this is a genuinely good idea.

Currently Reading and Playing

I didn’t make these part of my goals for 2014, but I hope, this year, to read more books and play more video games. If that sounds like a huge waste of time given all the other things I have to focus on, let me reiterate a tad: I hope, this year, to read more books and play more video games instead of wasting time on the kinds of things I usually waste time on, like checking my Facebook feed fifty times a day.

I got a "few" new books over the holidays.
I got a “few” new books over the holidays.

I’ve been letting my books and games pile up for quite a while now, and with the new year and the fact that I’m going to be spending a lot of time on airplanes in the near future, I thought it was a good time to declare my desire to work on those two piles. And in honor of that, here’s a quick review of what I am currently reading and playing:

Currently Reading:
Dead and Gone (a Sookie Stackhouse novel)

Honestly, I didn’t know that these books existed until a friend of mine introduced me to the True Blood TV show. I’m not a great lover of the wave of “tame” vampires that are storming the nation, but I have to admit to loving True Blood, and so last Christmas my parents bought me the boxed set of books. I whipped through them in a flash, only to find out that the boxed set was not, in fact, all of the books…just the first so many. So this year my hubby bought me the next four in the series.

These books aren’t going to be for everyone, of course, especially if you’re not a fan of vampire romance, but that’s not the whole point of the books, like so many others. No, these books are actually quite well written, have a delicately interwoven plot of dozens of characters and twisting, turning story-lines, and are filled with lots of danger, adventure, and mystery. And yes, a fair little bit of romance. Really, these stories have everything. And I must admit, the author has surprised me on quite a few occasions. Pretty much every one of these novels has some kind of main mystery involved in the plot (who killed who, who planted the bomb, who kidnapped such-and-such) and I can’t honestly say that I’ve been able to guess any of the endings yet. Maybe that just speaks poorly for my own cognitive skills, but as I’ve been known in the past to work out the ending of a book/movie/TV show/video game well before anything began to be revealed, I personally think it speaks more of the author’s writing skill.

If you can’t stand the idea of any vampire ever being a good guy, stay away from these books, but if you’ve got a bit of an open mind and enjoy reading about supernatural creatures of all kinds, give them a try. Personally, I’m hooked.

Currently Playing:
Tearaway (Playstation Vita)

I didn’t know much about this game before hubby picked it up for me for Christmas, aside from the fact that it was made by the same people who did Little Big Planet, but I am definitely glad that I got to give it a try.

The game-play is very unique, cute, and fun. The game utilizes both the rear and front touch screens of the Vita, as well as all the buttons as well. You play as both the messenger, Atoi, and yourself as the mysterious “You” who lives outside the game world. Atoi is controlled by the main buttons, and “You” interact via the touch screens. For example, when certain types of ground appear in the game, “You” can touch the rear screen, which makes your finger burst through the ground in the game. You can then drag your finger back and forth around the world to knock out the bad guys, known as Scraps.

There is a lot more interaction as well, including taking photos of yourself for use in the game, using your finger and virtual paper to create papercraft items for the characters’ use (one little squirrel asks you to make him a crown), and tilting the Vita back and forth to move various platforms and obstacles.

All in all the game is just adorable, amusing, creative, and lots of fun to play. It’s the first game that I’ve beaten in quite a while because I just couldn’t put it down, and now I’m busy going back and collecting all the extra little bits and pieces. Seriously, if you have a Vita this one is definitely worth a go. It’s by far one of the most innovative games I’ve seen in a long time.

                                                       

Hopefully in the following months I’ll have more books and video games to talk about, but in the meantime, please share with me! What are you reading or playing?

Thoughts On Disagreeing with Other People’s Hobbies

Yesterday on FaceBook an old classmate of mine struck up a conversation about a trend she’s been noticing, wherein girlfriends/wives are banning their men from playing video games, in many cases either because they see video games as being childish kid stuff, or as being a stupid waste of time (despite the fact that most games published these days are aimed at adults, and that tons of studies show that video games are excellent for cognitive function, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and yes, even social interaction).

I thought I’d take this opportunity to say a few things about hobbies.

One of my hobbies is writing, re-writing, revising, changing, starting over from scratch, and writing some more.
One of my hobbies is writing, re-writing, revising, changing, starting over from scratch, and writing some more. >.<

Playing video games is a hobby, just like watching TV, reading books, playing a musical instrument, writing, painting, bike-riding, or playing sports. And here’s the thing about hobbies: they’re things that we do in our spare time, things that we enjoy doing that allow us to escape from the things that stress us out in our daily lives, and the things that we choose to have as hobbies are 0% the business of anyone else as long as they’re not hurting anyone.

Here’s something you may not know about me: I think that reality TV is the scum of the Earth. I believe that it’s complete nonsense and in my personal opinion watching that drivel is the epitome of a waste of time. But you know what? I don’t go wandering into my friends’ and family’s houses and ripping their TV’s plug out of the wall when I see them watching Big Brother or American Idol. Because as much as I might not like it, what they choose to watch in their spare time is their own damn business, and all I have to do is (big revelation here) not watch.

To any women who are trying to ban their men from playing video games (or, for that matter, men who are trying to enforce similar banning on their women) I ask this of you: take a look in the mirror. Think about the things that you do in your spare time and ask yourself, honestly, if these things are the greatest use of your time. If you spend multiple hours a day on your smartphone, texting with friends about meaningless nonsense, you can’t say anything about anyone who plays video games. If you sit at your computer and browse FaceBook and Twitter all evening, you can’t say anything about anyone who plays video games. If you have any hobby at all, from reading to playing tackle football, that is something that you spend a lot of time on and makes you happy, you can’t say a damn thing about anyone who plays video games.

Ladies (and men), unless your significant others’ video game playing is chronic, to the point that he never leaves the house, is one inch away from being fired from his job, or he hasn’t so much as glanced at his kids in weeks, you have no right to try and stop him from doing what he enjoys. How would you like it if he told you that you were no longer allowed to do something you love?

That’s not how relationships work, people. Just because you don’t personally enjoy one of your significant others’ hobbies doesn’t mean you can try to take it away from them. And if you honestly believe that your attempts are logical and justified, you have a lot of growing up to do. Video games aren’t childish. People who think that they can take other peoples’ hobbies away from them are childish.

In the Summer of (a Writer’s) Life

I’ve been talking a lot lately about Kristen Lamb‘s Rise of the Machines. And I’m not likely to stop anytime soon because every time I get a minute to read a bit more I end up finding something I want to talk about. It’s just that good. 😀

Today I read a short chapter that invites us to establish which type of writer we are…Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter. Spring writers are the young ones with tons of time, almost no responsibilities, but not a lot of experience. Fall writers are older so they have lots of experience, and they have few responsibilities because their bills are probably paid off and their children are probably grown up. Winter writers are of advanced age, meaning they don’t have a lot of time left to make their writing dreams come true, but the time they do have can be 100% devoted to writing, and they have tons of experience.

I fall firmly into the category of Summer writer. In fact, I fall so firmly in this category that I found myself nodding enthusiastically as I was reading Kristen’s description. Summer writers are still fairly young, but they’re old enough to have gained a bit of worldly experience. At first it seems like an ideal time to be writing, but there are other problems. The biggest problem facing Summer writers is that they are in the most responsibility-laden era of their lives. Summer writers have day-jobs, children, mortgages, car payments, student loan payments, chores and errands that need doing. Summer writers can’t always find time to write because they have to dedicate many of their waking hours dealing with day-to-day career and family issues. Summer writers may be fatigued because they’re run off their asses by household requirements and children keeping them up at all hours of the night.

Summer writers, to put it succinctly, are bogged down with copious amounts of stress. They’re young, and they have experience, but they have no time.

Currently I am experiencing a slight reprieve, as my job out West recently finished and we’ve paid off enough debts that we don’t have to worry about money for a little while. Regardless, a lack of time is still my biggest complaint. On a daily basis, as the sun wanes in the West, I chastise myself for not writing more, and promise to do better the next day. But the next day I find a million other things to do, or the baby has a bad day, or I didn’t get any sleep that night so I’m completely knackered. And so when I do get a few moments when I could be writing, I instead find myself reading or playing video games or watching movies in bed (and trying not to drift off while doing so).

I’m not trying to give myself a pass or anything; I don’t get to just blame all my troubles on the fact that I’m at a particular period of life and I don’t get to whine that I can’t write because everything else is in the way. But I can say that there are challenges, and that I’m definitely not alone in having to deal with them.

No matter the season, all writers have struggles that they must work through, and as a Summer writer, I invite all other “Summers” to struggle with me. We have families and jobs and responsibilities, but we also have writing, and we have each other. We can do it, come hell or high water!

What season are you? What struggles do you fight with because of the time of life you happen to be in? Please share! I’d love to hear from you!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 28

My blog is not what you would call a “big deal”. My readers mostly consist of close friends and family members who click on the links that I post to Facebook. I get approximately 30 views a day on average, and it’s quite rare that any of those viewers bother to comment on any of my posts. And that’s okay…I’m still just budding, after all.

But since my blog is not exactly the “next big thing” in Internet entertainment, I can’t help but get a little giddy when people actually do drop by. This week, to my surprise, I got three new blog followers, as well as a handful of Twitter followers. It was a very pleasant surprise, so I thought I’d mention it and wave, “HI!” to the newbies who are dropping in here. Love you guys! Please keep coming! I’m so lonely! 😀

Health and Body Image Goal

Hahahahaha… Over the past 28 weeks I have not dedicated myself enough to see any really decent results. If you’ve been reading, you know this. I lost maybe 1 or 2 pounds, and a (small) area or two may have toned up a bit. And over the past week I believe I have somehow managed to undo even those tiny victories. I don’t know how it happened, but without gaining any actual weight (according to the scale) I’ve somehow managed to get bigger. Half of my clothes are tight and the other half I can’t get into without breaking the seams. Even my bathing suit refused to let me into it. I feel really rotten about it, if you want to know, but you probably don’t want to know, so let’s move on, shall we?

Editing Goal

I’m still plugging away at my supernatural romance, hoping to get it finished by the end of the month. I didn’t get to look at it much this week, since I spent a good chunk of the weekend away from home for a wedding, but I’m getting there, really. I swear.

In addition, because of what I’ve been reading in craft books and some tips I’ve been stumbling across online, I’ve got lots of ideas for the revision and editing of my zombie apocalypse novel when I get to it. I feel really good about making it a better novel over all. Very exciting.

1,000,000 Word Goal

I definitely didn’t get as much writing in this week as I had originally planned (*cough*hoped), but a few words are a few words, I suppose. I managed to squeak in 4490 words, which isn’t the worst I’ve done, anyway. I’ve been finding it hard to get myself in front of a computer these days. Also, I’ve been trying to read all the craft books that I got, which is slowing me down because I’m taking my time and trying to really understand what I’m reading. On the upside, what I’ve been reading so far is giving me ideas for blog posts, so there’s a small victory. 🙂

I completely botched the 750 Words challenge as soon as I got home from out West, but things are calming down now, so I think I’m going to return to it, if only to get some ramblings out of my head each morning. What I write there probably won’t be anything worth sharing, but it will keep me writing and get my brain flowing, or so I hope. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Until next week!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 26

Two things to mention before I get to the heart of the matter today. First of all, it’s week number 26! That means I’m halfway through the year! And while I’m nowhere near where I would need to be to be on track with my million word goal, I’ve written more in the past six months than in the previous 2 years combined! But more on that later.

The other thing I want to mention is that as you are reading this I am packing up my last couple of bits and bobbles from the control room at work, chucking it all in a backpack, and awaiting the bus that will return me to camp where I’ll giddily await my plane home. My last plane home. That’s not to say that I won’t end up back out in Alberta for work in a few months or so, but for now I’m heading home with nothing on the horizon except spending quality time with my family and maybe enjoying a number of alcoholic beverages from the comfort of my back deck. Look upon me and be in awe, for I am officially ON VACATION!

Okay, that’s enough of that. 🙂

Health and Body Image Goal

I’ve been a bit on the ins and outs with this goal, unfortunately, but I’m still not doing too badly. As I mentioned last week I did, in fact, drag myself to the gym and try running on the treadmill. It wasn’t ideal, but acceptable. I figured that’s what I’d do until my stomach felt better. But then my stomach felt worse. I don’t know if it’s the actual physical exertion that’s bothering me, or if it’s the camp food (which, thank god, I won’t be enjoying any more of any time soon), or if I’ve been suffering from some as-yet-diagnosed condition inherited from my sickly parents (love you guys, really :P), but I’ve hardly been able to stand leaving my room in the morning and suffering through the bus ride to work, never mind exercising on top of that. Luckily, about two days ago, my symptoms seemed to subside and I’ve felt halfway decent since then, so here’s hoping all will be well when I get home and try to run around my neighborhood again.

All that said, I’ve still been managing to eat pretty well. I’ve had a cookie here, some pop there, but for the most part I’ve been eating decent food (or as decent as it gets on camp) and not too much of it. I haven’t weighed or measured myself recently because I doubt I’ve lost anything during my refusal-to-exercise days, but I’ve recently had an unusual number of coworkers tell me that I look like I’ve lost weight, so I’m just going to go ahead and say, “Woohoo! I look like I’ve lost weight!”

Editing Goal

I have a stupid, STUPID confession to make. I did try to get some editing done this week, I swear, I really did. But when I finally took out my tablet and opened up the files I transferred there for editing purposes, I discovered something idiotic. Of the four different word-processor-ish apps I have on my tablet, none of them open rtf files. Guess what format all my files are in? After two days of searching for an Android program that DOES open rtf files (for free, because screw that, I’m not paying for an app that I only need for a week) I gave up and admitted defeat. Apparently the world of tablets and smartphones does not believe in the existence of rtf files. So the editing will have to wait for this coming week. Grr.

1,000,000 Word Goal

I have been writing like a maniac this week, mostly due to my rediscovery of 750Words.com. I don’t know what it is, but I love just typing and typing and typing and watching the word counter go up. It’s addictive. Over the course of the week I’ve written blog posts, typed out a few scenes for Returning Hope, did a couple of writing exercises, and did a little bit of free-writing (i.e. writing whatever came to my head as it came to my head). Through all of this combined I managed to once again beat my best week score with a total word count of 16556. In addition to that, I’m happy to announce that I’ve reached a yearly total so far of over 165,000. Again, it’s nowhere near where I need to be for my goal, but it’s a heck of a lot more than I normally would have written, so I’m proud. Revel in my pride! Only six months to go to try and boost that total up as high as I can!

And with that said, I plan to spend the next several hours in the lounge at camp, with my feet up, reading A Dance With Dragons, and waiting for my final flight home. See you soon, Cape Breton!

Fiction Fragment Fridays: Erased (Chapter 2 – Part 2)

Another chunk of Erased, for your reading pleasure. At this point I would like to mention, for anyone who hasn’t figured it out yet, that if you want to read everything I’ve posted for Erased so far, you simply have to choose ‘Erased’ from the Categories dropdown banner to the right of this page.

Toreshi looked into her locker with a strange, detached curiosity, like she was looking at a stranger’s belongings. There was a pair of brown ankle boots sitting on top a folded pair of blue jeans and a comfy looking red turtleneck sweater. Laying next to the pile of clothes was a small pile of hair elastics. She glanced down at the photo on her note board and reached up to touch the mane of brown hair falling around her shoulders. After a moment of idle thought, she lay the note board down on the floor and grabbed a couple of the elastics.

A few minutes later she was dressed in the significantly more comfortable clothing, with her hair piled high (if a little messily) atop her head. Bodhi had redressed himself in a simple pair of casual pants and a plain blue t-shirt. Kattenya was significantly more stylish than her comrades in a tight black blouse and pants, a pair of knee-high black boots, and an almost extreme amount of jewelry. She was wearing three loose bangles on each wrist, two thin chains around her neck, and a pair of dangly silver earrings, and when Toreshi turned to her she was just inserting a silver stud in her lower lip. At the look from the other woman, she shrugged a little. “I don’t recognize any of it, but it’s a pretty sleek outfit, huh?”

Toreshi couldn’t help but smile a little, and Bodhi made a slight noise like he was trying not to laugh. There was a small backpack under the clothing in Bodhi’s locker, so he gathered up the note boards they’d been carrying, shoved them in the pack, and slung it over his shoulder.

Once they were all dressed and just slightly more comfortable with themselves, the three headed for the only other door in the room. It was a soft mahogany door with a small placard that read: Testing.

Kattenya, who had just begun to let her guard down after her rude awakening, pushed confidently through the door. Toreshi and Bodhi barely saw what happened, but the next thing they knew, Kattenya had been snagged, whirled around, and had a thin, but dangerous-looking scalpel held to her throat. Her cat-like eyes were wide with surprise and alarm.

Toreshi’s instinct was to leap forward and attack the threat, but Bodhi was quick to lay a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She looked up at his calm, calculating face, and then back to the situation before them.

The figure holding Kattenya prisoner was a tall man with a lean, athletic body. His dark brown, almost black hair hung in dreadlocks all over his head, and his face was covered in a thick, full beard. He was standing very still, holding Kattenya close, but not viciously, and a pair of calm brown eyes were staring with interest at Toreshi and Bodhi.

Before anyone could say anything, a sweet, melodious voice came from behind the tall man. “Siora, do calm down. They’re probably just like us.”

The man, Siora, turned his head only slightly, but kept his grip on Kattenya. “We don’t know that, Ashes. We don’t know anything about them.”

Ashes stepped into the picture with a frown on her face, directed to her companion. She was a slight figure of average height and extremely pretty. She had shoulder-length, layered brown hair, and large, chocolate brown eyes framed in beautifully long, dark lashes. She looked small and innocent, in contrast to the large man she was glaring at.

Both of the newcomers had obviously been to their lockers, as they were both wearing casual clothes. Siora was in dark pants and a long black coat, while Ashes was in a pretty little yellow sun dress and sandals.

“Let her go, Siora,” she demanded, not sounding at all like she had any sway over the situation, “Look at them! They’ve obviously just come from their rooms as well!” She looked first to Bodhi, then Toreshi. “Right?” she asked.

Toreshi nodded, moving her eyes back and forth between the small woman and a panicked-looking Kattenya. “We all…came to in our own rooms, bound and hooked to medical equipment.”

Siora relaxed slightly and Kattenya used the opportunity to slip from his grasp and leap back toward her friends. Thankfully, he let her go.

Ashes was nodding slowly, a hundred thoughts passing behind her pretty eyes. “Yes, us as well,” she explained, “We believe there were others who woke sooner, but they appear to have gone.”

“The empty rooms,” Bodhi agreed, and gestured behind him, “And the other lockers.”

Toreshi remembered the torn papers and the decimated room she’d found first. Whoever that was, she was somewhat glad he hadn’t stuck around.

“So,” said Ashes with a strange, sad smile, “Come to see the factory of horrors?”

My Inner Child (Reader)

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

100. Favorite children’s book

This is akin to asking a chronic gamer what their favorite game is. I read so many books as a child that I would need a time machine and a complicated cataloging system to even have a chance at possibly narrowing my favorite down to one.

As we speak my parents’ attic is overrun with children’s books. When I was a child the local gas stations would always have limited-sell collections of short children’s stories and poems, of which I have one of every damn one. The local Sobeys also did the same thing with Disney books, so I have stacks of them as well. I also purchased at least one book (but usually three or four) from every Scholastic catalog that appeared at my grade school for the entire seven years I was there. Every time my parents took me with them to the mall, I returned home with at least one book. There is a garbage bag – a garbage bag – in my parents’ attic with literally nothing but Babysitter’s Club books. And even if you forgo all the books that my parents purchased for me, when I was a kid I was forever in the library that used to be outside our grade school. I would participate in Read-a-Thon competitions during the summers and absolutely demolish whole shelves of books during those two months.

You see, to say that I read a little as a child is a bit of an understatement.

So while I can’t really narrow it down to a single favorite, I can make a couple of suggestions for books that I loved that I think are great for kids.

For smaller kids, I like The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. Princess because it’s a cute story about how girls can be the hero, not just the damsel in distress, and Mouse because it’s just plain adorable.

For older kids I definitely suggest The Babysitter’s Club series by Ann M. Martin and the Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine. Babysitter’s is an awesome series that is primarily about friendship, but also has lots of little lessons about growing up and lots of fun nonsense as well. Goosebumps is an awesome series of kid-based horror stories that are super-creepy and fun.

Really, I think that any book your child wants to read (within reason) is a good one. Read, little mini-people! You’ll be better for it in the future!