Sunday, January 25, 2015

The SUPER late TBTB Secret Santa Edition! (A Day in the Life)

Guys, this month has been TOTALLY CRAZY.  I basically flew home from California, was here for a week, and then made the 8 hour drive to my mom's place all to pick up this guy:

That would be Tristan.  The cat who is so scared of everything that he has taken to tunneling under the blankets (something he has NEVER shown an interest in...but it is pretty cute), and creating gravity defying feats to get behind our washer and dryer.  He's 18 pounds. I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW HE DOES THIS.  Now some of you might be thinking...wait a minute. I thought you had a cat, and she didn't look like that at all!  You would be right.

Look at her...doesn't she look so sweet and gentle-natured?  Well, you would be WRONG. Let's just say that there's been a lot of hissing at the door (we're keeping them separated) when she hears Tristan near it. And general growling.  Meanwhile, Tristan misses his old home and the cat he lived with there, so there's been a lot of nonstop meowing ALL NIGHT LONG while he looks for that cat. Which of course makes Lily do her yowling...and well, let's just say I haven't been getting much sleep.

Anyway, here's hoping things slow down for a bit (and that Lily doesn't hate Tristan's guts forever. Tristan is very interested in being friends with Lily, so at least I'm halfway there?).

And now to the important bit of the post I've been meaning to get to for a week or so now!  I finally got to open my TBTB Secret Santa package!!  And I had some seriously awesome swag, but first...the books!

They were wrapped in super cute wrapping paper (The abominable snowman from the 1964 Rudolph movie has always been one of my favourites for some reason), and holy freaking cow I was so excited when I saw what she sent me!


Dark Currents - I am so excited about this!!! I've mentioned Jacqueline Carey on the blog before like a million times. Her Kushiel series is hands down one of the best things I've ever read. I haven't been able to read this new series she's got going because it isn't at my library, but now I can get started!
Ascendant - Killer unicorns? Badass unicorn slayers (who are women)?   Umm, yeah. Sign me up. The first book in this series was AWESOME, so I'm super excited I'm going to get to read the sequel!
Under the Never Sky - Everyone and their mother has read this series, so it's about time I start reading it! I've picked it up a few times, but I've never actually had time to read it. So now that I own it, I don't have to worry about it expiring and going back to the library!
Hyperion - I've been meaning to read more sci-fi, and Hyperion has been recommended to me like a billion times. I think this might have also been a book that (surprisingly) is not at the library, so this is perfect!

And the goodies she sent me were equally as awesome:

These are some spectacularly festive Mardi Gras beads!  I've been lazy about decorating, or I'd have a picture up with where I've decided to hang them...but then I might not have a post up about this for another month haha! I'm rehanging stuff on a wall and this will fit in perfectly with what I'm imagining on it. Now if only I could imagine everything hung up and it actually magically decorated itself...

If you guys are looking at this picture and that looks an awful lot like an alligator foot...ding ding ding! You would be correct!  For those of you not in the know, alligator feet are used for luck in hoodoo (oh Supernatural, the knowledge you drop on me).  I'm not sure if she knew that I actually soooort of collect dead things (in the non-creepiest way possible) or not, but it's pretty much perfect for me!  Currently said alligator foot is hanging from LuLu's (my cow skull) horn as Lily showed an inordinate amount of interest in it and I'd rather not have her eat it haha.'s where I admit something kind of when I unwrapped the box, it was trash day so I went ahead and took it out with all the boxes...and then I discovered that there wasn't a letter in the box and the trash had already gone so...I don't actually know who my Secret Santa is. I'M SO SORRY!!!  I'm hoping you see this and let me know who you are (and see if my assumption that you are in fact from New Orleans is right) because I feel super guilty that I can't actually thank you properly!  And I'm not sure whether Jamie will still be checking TBTB santa mail...

So with that all properly (almost) wrapped up, here's what's been around the interwebs!

Bookish News

Feelings On The State of The Book Blogging Community - I can understand this. I've been lucky enough that for the most part I've only had wonderful interactions with book bloggers, and I've met some awesome people. That being said...there's a reason that for the most part I stay off twitter.

Shannon Hale: The nitty gritty on authors, signings, and filthy lucre - As an artist, I totally, totally understand this. It's how bands that go on tour end up losing money.
The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Robin McKinley  - Oh Robin, you and your footnotes hahaha! It's a good thing I regularly read her blog so I can follow how she writes easily enough. (Although it makes me wonder how she manages to write books without them)
Stacey Jay, Veronica Mars, and The Kickstarter Controversy - Most of you have already heard of this by now, so I'm a little late to the party. I am a firm believer that Stacey Jay had every right to ask for the amount she did to use it for living expenses, and that the outcry for all of this is just horrifying. My heart and my thoughts go out to Stacey Jay.
Margaret Atwood Talks Her 2114 Novel and Coping with Real and Fictional Dystopias in Her Reddit AMA - Man, Margaret Atwood is so awesome!
Interview with Sarah Rees Brennan [Part 1/3]: On Heroism and Fantasy Tropes - Yash did an AMAZING interview with SRB! Go read it!! You can also read Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.  It is well worth the read - Yash asks some really thought provoking questions, and SRB has some great, insightful answers.

Nonbookish News

What's your bending element? - This quiz is AWESOME.  It's a 50 question long quiz, and even though I'm unsurprised by the result (water bender all the way, yo) I'm addicted to these things, and the more in-depth, the better. What type of bender are you?
Creator of Legend of Korra on that ending - ...are you starting to guess I maaaay have spent all last week watching the end of LoK...
On Korra, Her Relationships With Women, And That Epic Series Finale  - *sobs* guyyysss there's not going to be anymore shows in the Avatar universe whyyyyyy.  This show is so freaking good and that ending and aghhh I want more! (And also a kiss. I WANT A KISS. I mean I get why it didn't happen, I really do. It doesn't stop me from wanting it though. 
May the Box Office Be Ever in Your Favor: How Divergent and The Hunger Games Avoid Race and Gender Violence - This doesn't change my great respect for THG and how much I absolutely LOVED Catching Fire as a film, but this article is absolutely spot on.  Take a gander at this - it'll definitely make you think.
Fantasy, Dystopia and Shoes - OH MY GOD I WANT THESE SHOES!! I want the dragon shoes, and the shoes that say "This will destroy you" are so freaking badass. Even Tamora Pierce thinks so!
The Things You Say - A personal essay about what transgenders often have to go through when it comes dating
Women Like Marvel’s Agent Carter Were a Very Real Part of History - This is totally awesome, and I didn't have a clue about most of this! Very touching.
I'm Not a Tart: The Feminist Subtext of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men - Wow. I had no idea Leighton Meester was this eloquent! This was really well thought out and very thought provoking. Definitely worth a read!
5 Year Old Paleontologist - This youtube clip is BEYOND adorable!!
Toys Are People, Too -  Yeah, this hits home for me haha

And we've made it to the end of this very super long post!  I leave you with Viktoria Modesta, the world’s first amputee pop artist. Make sure you stick around for the amazing spike dance at the end.

Trust me, and just watch this. It's SO. AWESOME.


  1. Under the Never Sky!! YAY!! I hope you like this series.

  2. Yeah, the cats will come to an agreement at some point, even if it is only to ignore each other. I read and article that said most of the problem comes from the scent of the new cat, and to put something with a perfume smell, like scented hand lotion on the tip of their noses. I read this after our last new cat introduction had already resolved itself, so I don't know if it works or not. Was Parajunkie in that Secret Santa link-up? Because if she was I bet it was from her. I loved seeing everyone's posts. I think I might join in next year. Now, I really want to know about this dead things hobby. Lol. I have, for some reason, always wanted a mouse skeleton. Oh, and Stacey Jay... yes she had the every right to ask for the money, but... when people had a problem with her hiding the fact that she has a very lucritive series of Adult Romances (which after the drama started she took the advertisments for off the sidebar of the Princess of Thorns blog, so people wouldn't know about them), and has a beautiful expensive house (which someone posted a Google Earth photo on Twitter, not so people could threaten and stalk SJ, like SJ tried to make people think, but to show people that she was living better than most of the readers she was asking money from). She also lied and said if she didn't get the $$$ she was going to quit writing completely, but she was still going to write her Adult Romances, just not YA Fantasy. I know because I was the one who had the original Twitter convo with her. If I had known all this uninformed drama was going to happen, I would have saved my email notifications. She was quite snotty with me and said she had the "right" to make enough money to support her family of four with her chosen career, sorry, but the world doesn't work that way. Especially when you are trying to support a rich lifestyle. If she had been honest with people about her other books, her living circumstances, and the fact that she wasn't going to quit writing her money-making Romances, I think people would have chuckled, shook thier heads and moved on. I think she created the drama for publicity and she sure benefited from it. People are hawking her books everywhere because they feel bad for her, and I have seen countless ratings and reviews being changed from meh, to stellar on GR and on blogs. She is laughing all the way to the bank, so I wouldn't worry about her.

  3. Well, that video was worth a separate comment post! Unbelievable! Is this the girl that Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue did the photo art book about? I am going to post this on my personal blog. I promise to link it back here. Heck, I might even Facebook it. More of my FB friends will be interested in it than shaking their heads at me about it. Thanks for posting.

  4. The cats will totally get over themselves at some point. We've had to unite a few pairs of cats in our time and eventually things did calm down (one pair ignored each other, another pair stopped fighting eventually and became snuggle buddies). Our current kitties weren't familiar with each other at all when we got them, but we just left them to it and they spend their days running around like lunatics ;)

    What was suggested to us (but we didn't do, because it worked out from the start) is that after a few days you swap their bedding, so they get used to each others smell. Maybe that would work for Lily? And then swap it again, after another few days, etc.

    I'm finding that alligator foot totally creepy, but I think that might be because I've had the experience of seeing crocodiles slaughtered for their skin/meat at a crocodile farm. I also saw baby crocs hatching and going into a deathroll immediately. They're super cute in a deadly sort of way lol

    Yay for fun new books, I hope you enjoy them (and I have stolen a couple of titles to add to my list!)

  5. You. Have. Cats. *jealous sobbing* I mean, I'm more of a dog person, but cats are cool too and I can't have pets in my apartment. *more sobbing* Anyway, I'm glad you're all caught up on Korra! I was LITERALLY telling someone how my ship would never sail AND THEN SUDDENLY IT SAILS! (Have you seen the fanmade Kiss GIF?)

  6. I thought of you when I saw I got that! I think it's the book I'm going to start as soon as I finish lol

  7. I know Tristan is totally wanting to hang out with Lily - I put up a babygate between them so they could see each other but not interact yet. Lily doesn't like jumping on anything, and I'd forgotten that Tristan he just leaped over it haha. It's been mostly hissing on her part (while he keeps hopefully walking by), but nothing too upset so I'm feeling hopeful. I think at worst they'll ignore each other, but Tristan seems pretty determined to have a new cat bff haha!

    I don't think it was her...I feel like the girl's name maybe started with an S? I'm going to get in touch with Jamie and see if she can give me the info because I really feel bad about not knowin haha! I actually don't have much of a collection - I've got a rodent skull in one of my boxes with shells, so it's mostly just the LuLu and Day of the Dead sculptures/artwork, but my grandmother has all sorts of skulls at her place (and a dolphin jawbone I helped her bring back from Mexico, plus a blowfish skeleton which is probably one of my favourites of the lot) so I'm pretty used to them all.

    Was this the author that you had that post about? Because if so I totally get where you're coming from. I only read her posts in the aftermath, so I mostly missed all the drama. From what I read in her posts she was going to have to stop writing the adult romance series to make the deadline for this, but not that she had any intention of quitting writing forever. And admittedly, I probably would have freaked out if someone sent a google earth picture of my house whatever the reasons. But yeah, I don't think she made smart decisions on how she presented what she was going to use the money for. If she was going to be super transparent like she says she intended, she should have been transparent 100%. I'm mostly of the opinion that if I'm interested I'll spend money and if I'm not, so a lot of the core of this I just don't really get, but from what I remember of your post she definitely didn't handle the social media aspect of it at all well. And on the upside of all of this, I hadn't read the first book (and now that there aren't going to be others I won't be reading it) and she seems like she's going to be ok monetarily with her adult romances, so what it really boils down to is that I lost no skin in this fight (and I'm a selfish bastard so that's all I care about hahahaha)

  8. Oh you don't need to bother linking it back here, I honestly don't care haha! And I don't know...I tried looking it up but I'm not coming up with anything. You'll have to let me know if you find anything out!

  9. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJanuary 27, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    I am totally a dog person but LOOK AT THEM. And Lily does look so sweet and gentle-natured. DON'T TRUST HER. ;) Has she got used to him yet? I've been wanting to read the Under The Never Sky series for ages, but every time I go into Waterstones I go to pick it up and then put it back because of (this is bad) the covers. They're pretty similar but I still don't like the UK versions. So going to have to buy the US ones on TBD. WHY CAN'T THE COVERS BE THE SAME?

    Alligator foot! My Nan had a rabbit foot, that she gave me, I hid it in the bottom of my jewellery box, but used it when I was doing my exams and had to resist the urge to throw it across the room every time I touched it, haha. It's not even the foot that
    makes me a little squeamish, don't mind that, but it's the nails, I just can't.

    Yeah, the Stacey Jay thing...the whole thing just really got out of hand, and I get
    both sides and all but seriously, people like drama. You're buying a book, people. What does it matter what the money is used for as long as you get what you pledged for? :/ Do you ask the a bookseller where the money you paid for the book goes to? I read her own post she done, it just shouldn't have gotten that far to begin with, for her to have to explain the way she did. You can get why she didn't want her Adult series connected to her, and her house being on display. Scary fucking shit, and that is not cool. At all. Personally, I just don't go on Kickstarter anymore anyway since I had a
    really bad experience with Alexz Johnson's Skipping Stone EP a few years back.

    HOLY CRAP THAT SPIKE DANCE THOUGH. The scraping went through me though, ouch. But HOLY CRAP.

  10. He was originally - he's lived with my mom for 7 years. He definitely wasn't socialized with humans when he was a young kitten. He's not feral, but his immediate reaction to anyone is to be SUPER skittish. Even me, and he loves me. When he remembers he likes me about 5 minutes after I've entered a room he comes and cuddles haha. He also moved between a lot of foster homes before he was adopted and I think my mom may have mentioned some...problems with one of the foster parents (but I could be making that up, it WAS 7 years ago haha)

  11. So far it's going pretty well. Tristan has discovered Lily and has stopped meowing in favor of trying to make her love him hahahaha. I really hope they end up friends since he wants it so badly. They were both on the bed for a while last night, and she wasn't happy (low warning growls intermittently) but didn't make a move to go or to make him go, so I'm feeling pretty good about it so far. I've definitely been doing the swapping scents thing - Lily walked around growling at everything that smelled like Tristan for a while haha.

    OH MY GOD THAT SOUNDS HORRIFYING!!!!!! And they are kind of cute. I used to live on a lake in SC and people would go down to Florida and be like "oh look at that cute baby alligator"...and bring it home. Lo and behold a few months later when the baby alligator is now 6 feet long they're all "...this was a terrible, terrible idea". So where did the alligators go you ask? Oh the lake I lived on, of course. Where else?

  12. God I don't know what I did for the four and a half years I didn't have cats. That was the first time I'd EVER gone without pets. After Christmas my first year in grad school I totally cracked and decided I'd have to get a cat soon (I got Lily in March or April). I'd spent the holidays with 4 dogs and 2 cats and like 14 family members (Which is totally overwhelming, but since I only see them once a year totally worth it), so when I opened my apartment door to...a completely empty apartment I curled up on the couch and bawled like a baby haha. So when my mom found Lily in a client's backyard, I knew it was fate. I don't know how you live!

    Yeah as I was watching season 3 I was looking at the show that...did they...this is a kids show...nah they're just friends. But then the end happened and I was like NO WAY THIS ACTUALLY IS A THING!! And I did! They did a really good job with it!

  13. She's getting there. Tristan wants all the cuddles and Lily is definitely not thinking that's going to happen anytime soon, but they were both on the bed for a while last night without sparks flying, so definite progress. I actually don't really like the US covers either. It's why I put off reading it for so long! I was this is probably crappy romancey paranormal stuff. Yeah...I was way off haha!

    OH MY GOD YES!! I have the exact same problem with rabbit's feet.

    Yeah, I agree. On all of it haha. When it comes down to it, you're paying for a product and you don't question all of those things for every little thing you buy (or even other books you get at a bookstore). And if it does bother you...don't buy it! But there was a whole lot of other stuff that went on from her end that was bad too. How on earth did I miss all of it going on! What happened with the ep?

    Yeah the scraping made me flinch haha! But god it was SO GOOD. And seriously...prosthetics as a fashion statement? Really, really cool! (Not that I think walking around on a spike is a particularly useful/realistic use of a prosthetic. But the others? Super awesome!!) It just opens up a whole new world of possibilities, especially as I imagine for a lot of people there's probably some shame involved with prosthetics. I don't actually know this, but I'm guessing it's likely. So anyway to make them both more realistic, or on the flip side like with this, or more cool is just awesome.

  14. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJanuary 30, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    Definite progress! NOOOOOOO (okay, I admit, I just like the
    colours) still prefer them over the UK ones though, like the traitor I am.

    Ha! They're just so tiny and scratchy and ach.

    I only read some stuff that was retweeted after it all went
    kaboom, didn't even know about the kickstarter campaign until then. Well, it was a few things,, nobody got anything for months after it said it would get shipped out, but get that, takes time to produce etc, and the merchandise, so wasn't too bothered about it. but
    all the stuff was supposed to be signed (which cost extra than the normal packages) and some of the funders who didn't order that one, got our signed packages instead, :/ Which, okay.
    Mistakes are made. But the thing is, we heard nothing, and I mean nothing, for over a month after people emailing, no apologies, no explanation, nada. And then when she did, she shifted all the blame off herself, a quick apology that just came over like she didn't give a shit about the fans that were funding her EP. Apparently, a similar situation went on too with the next one (this time she used pledge music. Funny that).I still like her music, she's a great songwriter, has an amazing voice, just don't like her.

    Imagine walking around on it though, how would you do it? I
    can't even walk in high heels unless the heels are chunky. Definitely a bold statement, and yeah, I think there is a stigma around it but I think it's more that nobody knows how to approach the subject. But I don't get the shame in it, I mean, it's not like somebody chooses to lose a limb, and probably a good percentage that have them are amputee soldiers. Pretty sad how anyone can make fun of something like that, but then again, that's how most people react to different.

  15. Sorry about the cat drama! Hopefully high feelings will calm down eventually. Lots of good links on your post! I'd heard rumblings but hadn't read in detail about the Stacey Jay thing which seems so sad! And also brings up a thing that has really been in my face of late - book series that get dropped in the middle by publishers because they don't sell enough. I don't know why it surprises me but it really does. Finally I'm planning on starting a Legend of Korra watch soon but I re-watched The Last Airbender in preparation and now I'm in a post "I love Aang and his peeps and don't want to leave here" funk. *backfire*

  16. Yeah, when stuff like that goes down you need to make sure you make amends since you're being directly funded by fans. Communication is key. And man, I totally would have expected a refund or a signed product sent your way after a mix up like that too!

    See, I used to be a stiletto girl aaaalll the way. Like I wore them practically every day in high school. It's only been the past couple years when I was living in Chicago that I stopped wearing heels, so heels used to feel a bit more natural to me than normal shoes! I pretty much live in boots these days though. But I imagine it gets pretty tricky when you add a prosthetic to the whole process! You know, I'm not sure how I'd react to meeting someone with a prosthetic. I suppose I'd just pretend I didn't notice since that's my default mode in reaction to anything I'm not sure about haha.

  17. Yeah, it's just been kind of a perpetual Mexican stand off. So no fur flying, but everyone is definitely uncomfortable. We'll see what happens *shrugs*

    Yeah I had no idea that series get dropped until maybe last year? I'm with you - I don't know why I'm surprised, but holy cow if it's one of the series you read (which there was in my case) it SUCKS SO MUCH.

    Yes!!!! I'm curious to how you will react. The first two seasons are good, but a little shaky. But when you get to the third and fourth seasons? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD they are so freaking badass!


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