Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Love This Series!

I don't normally review books on this blog because I already review books at www.wickedlilpixie.com, but this series is awesome and it deserves some major kudos.



Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles is a fabulous Urban Fantasy series that combines intelligent writing, fantastic world building, great characters, witty dialogue and some of the best knowledge of mythology and legend that I've read since I finished The Lord of The Rings. This series is not the regular sexed up vampire stories I usually read, Kevin Hearne makes me feel smarter for having read his books.

 If you're into this kind of thing check out my review over at Wicked Little Pixie.

Cheers

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Me So Horney !

Many of you know that I have the pleasure of being one of the book reviewers at Wicked Little Pixie (wickedlilpixie.com) a site that reviews all sorts of books and snarks about any number of issues. This was one of my first posts for Wicked Little Pixie. The post was published on October 3, 2011 and a couple of things have changed, but not the good stuff. Enjoy!!




This is not a review of the latest in PNR or Erotica.  This is a post about me.
WAIT DON’T LEAVE!!
It’ll be funny, I swear.
Some of the other bloggers thought this would be a great idea, and you like their snarkalicious humour, right? Right! So keep reading.

Have you ever met people with one of those last names. A surname that makes you giggle and wonder how in the world that became a last name? Like maybe the Woodcocks, the Wanks or even the Greatheads. (All real names in my home town!) Well I have one of those names.  My last name is Horney. Yeah, it’s pronounced exactly how you think it is.  I'll wait for you to stop snickering.

Having been Mrs. Horney for close to ten years I’ve noticed some pros to having a last name like this. Here’s just a few;
  • Telemarketers can’t say my name without sounding either confused or as if they’re about to burst into a fit of hysterical giggles. One actually did and, in a bizarre but wonderful turn of events, actually hung up on me.
  • I’m on a first name basis with everybody. None of my doctors, real estate agents, even my boss like to refer to me as Mrs. Horney. This makes me feel young.
  • Discussing holiday functions sounds downright dirty. For Example, this year I’ll be hosting Horney Thanksgiving while my sister-in-law hosts Horney Christmas, and my husband’s parents take on Horney Easter.
  • The Hubs and I are able to lighten the mood in some awkward situations. Prenatal class with a bunch of nervous, first time parents was a lot more fun after we introduced ourselves as Mr and Mrs Horney.
  • I can use the last name to get people off my back. I graduated university with a history degree the same year I was married. During my job hunt, when I was asked over and over why I didn’t just become a teacher I was able to respond with, “Who’s going to pay attention to a teacher with the last name Horney?”. Conversation done.
  • I have a theme song.  2 Live Crew’s classic Old School hit Me So Horney (FYI: This is uncensored!!). may not be polite, but nothing turns heads at a bar on karaoke night quite like singing the uncensored version of this song.
  • If I’m out, I can get free drinks from unsuspecting bartenders.
    Me:Will you give me a free drink if I prove to you how Horney I am?
    Bartender:Uh...hell yeah!
    Me: *slaps ID on bar* There’s my ID. Legally Horney 24/7. Make me a drink sucka! Muwahaha! (This was a lot easier to pull off as a newly wed in my early 20’s. Now it just makes me seem kind of sad and keeps bartenders from taking my orders)
The name’s not all unicorns and rainbows though. I get prank callers, I've yet to win any contests that involve a ballot and I’ll never be able to use my name to become a world-renowned children's author.  My name is not on my company’s website (Massage Therapy + Horney = wrong kind of clients) and someday soon I’ll have to explain to my six-year-old son why his friends' parents snicker when they hear his last name.

People with more refined (read:uptight) sensibilities than myself have asked me why I don’t drop the “y” or use my maiden name. Even my mother-in-law suggested I could pretend it was French and tell people it was pronounced Horn-eh, but I love the name (not to mention the man who gave it to me), it makes me laugh (still) and helps me to break the ice with strangers. What better way to get to know someone than sticking out your hand and telling them you're Horney?

What are some of the funniest, most horrible or down right ridiculous last names you’ve ever heard?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hey! It's November!!

Hey! It's November! And that means it's time for 2 of my favourite things; Mo'vember and NANOWRIMO.

Mo'vember is an initiative that raises money for prostate cancer research and men's mental health issues through the growing of moustaches. Men register individually or as part of a group to raise funds and then begin growing moustaches.

I've heard that there's all sorts of rules with Mo'vember like that you can't let your moustache touch any other facial hair or that beards and chinstraps don't count, but the overall vibe I get from guys involved in Mo'vemebr (known as Mo Bros) is one of fun and camaraderie.

I tried to put together a women's league this year, but I had a very hard time finding women interested in growing their upper lip hair. The ultimate kibosh was put on my Women's Mo'vember league by my husband who did not like the idea of me sporting a moustache, no matter how minuscule.



So if you see a dude with a sad, sparse moustache ask him if he's doing Mo'vember and then ask how you can contribute. Encourage his stache and tell him he's doing an awesome thing. If he's not doing Mo'vember maybe suggest that he has the perfect moustache for it and then run away. :)


For more information about Mo'vember go here.

NANOWRIMO, the National Novel Writing Month, began in 1999 in the San Francisco Bay area with twenty 21 people and since then it has grown in leaps and bounds. NANOWRIMO (pronounced NANO-RYE-MOE or so I've been told) is another one of my favourite November traditions.

The rules of NANOWRIMO are simple, register at http://www.nanowrimo.org, on November 1st began writing a 50, 000 word novel and at midnight on November 30th complete said novel. There are more rules, but that's the basic gist of it.

The official NANOWRIMO coat of arms. Notice the importance placed on coffee.
I tried doing NANOWRIMO a couple of years ago. It's a lot of freaking work! Essentially you need to start a story from scratch (them's the rules) and complete at least 1700 words a day if you intend on completing a 50, 000 word novel by month's end. I felt like all I did was come home from work every day and then hide in my room and write. I got to about 12, 000 words in my Paranormal Romance entitled The Immortal Highlander goes to the Faire before I dropped out. This year I've been asked by over 6 people if I'm trying again. People remember if you start an endeavour like this and they're genuinely excited for you.

Now, I may not have been cut out for NANOWRIMO, but it's so exciting to see a wave of of literary creativity throughout the month of November. I have well over a dozen friends, Internet buddies and clients taking part in NANOWRIMO and it's exciting to listen to their dreams for their novels, read tweets about their struggles and follow their word counts. Today's November 5th and already the NANOWRIMO website is reporting a collective word count of 598,141,628 for this year's event. That's crazy!

If you have a friend doing NANOWRIMO consider buying them some coffee, making a casserole for their,  inevitably starving and neglected family, or just lend them an ear so they can hash out some ideas for their Paranormal, Steampunk (with a hint of Gaslight) Contemporary Inspirational Romance novel that takes place in Spain or whatever. :)

So, those are 2 of my favourite things about November. What's yours?







Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Man Luther

**A little disclaimer.
If you don't want to read anything with a religious viewpoint then come back tomorrow and I'll post a picture of myself with a mustache and make references to my son's gas and how it can take down a horse or other large mammal.***

Alright, you're still here. Game on.

I was sitting in church today and I got to thinking about Luther. Not the BBC television show or Martin Luther King Jr civil rights activist, but one of my favourite historical figures ever, Martin Luther, reformer and all around cool German guy. We weren't actually talking about Luther and I'm pretty sure the charismatic church I attend would totally make him stroke out, but he came to mind nonetheless.

Luther was my main man in university. Due to my penchant for totally unmarketable religious studies courses, my roommate, a civil engineering student, was forced to proofread countless essays about Luther, something she never let me forget. She never understood my fascination with him, which is ok, I never understood her fascination with math and science.  The thing I love(d) about Luther is that he was just one guy, a guy with major issues who's convictions lead to a revolution that altered the religious, social, and economic fabric of Europe and I would argue the World.



Luther was a monk with daddy issues. He felt like he would never live up to the standards of either his earthly father who had high hopes for his son that did not involve his becoming a monk or his heavenly Father who he felt was ultimately out to get him and to who's standards he could never live up to. Luther's time as an Augustinian monk was spent living in fear of God's wrath and conversely cursing a God who made the hope of Heaven unattainable. Luther's transformation from angry monk to reformer came from his understanding of Ephesians 2:8-9.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 
The idea that through faith and God's grace mankind was saved was revolutionary, not at all in line with the current teachings of the Catholic Church and it shook Luther to the core. Like Luther I can easily grasp the idea of God's mercy- I am well aware of my issues, problems and bad habits. However, the concept of God's grace, that he saved me because He favours or loves me just as I am is mind-boggling and something that I have to be continually reminded because it's often easier to believe that I'm not worthy than it is to believe that I am loved and my sins not just forgiven, but forgotten.

I digress.

Luther didn't just sit on this discovery he essentially shouted it from the rooftops by nailing his 95 Theses, an article that showed how the current teachings and attitudes of the Church were heretical, to the front doors of his church in Wittenburg. He so held to his beliefs that he allowed himself to be excommunicated, damning in those days, chased into seclusion, mocked and threatened for the belief that God's love for us and our faith in Him is enough for our salvation and that the Bible, not the words of the Pope or his Cardinals, is the only and true word of God.

Luther then lead what can only be described as the first multimedia campaign. He made use of Gutenburg's new device, the printing press, to print hundreds of fliers for everyone from the ruling classes to the common man. He translated and printed a copy of the Bible that *gasp* anyone could read, not just the clergy. He even used common barroom and folk songs to develop hymns to further bring the good news of God's grace to the masses.

Luther wasn't infallible. He was an anti-Semite (so were most Europeans at the time, not that that excuses it), he was easily provoked to anger ( a German trait perhaps?) and he often seemed to lack compassion. He had issues like everyone else, but he allowed God to use him to spread a message that would (and still does) change everything. I hope that someday I have the passion of conviction so strong that it's revolutionary, that I will be willing to question the status quo and bring about change to what I feel is wrong in my culture, that I will be willing to use all the tools at my disposal to see that change come through and that I will be willing to accept that God's grace is sufficient for me all the time not just when I'm feeling good about myself.

Um yeah. That's all I've got.
A little serious I know, but I can't always be fart jokes and zombie pictures. :)