Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mesa Update

This post comes to you from the land of magic and nice smells -- aka Mesa Arizona. I lived here when I was little, but man, I had forgotten how GORGEOUS it is here.

Roadtrip is turning out to be loads of fun, even if my illness did hit rock bottom on Thursday. I still can't really talk, but whatever, because I am in the most beautiful place on earth. I wish I could give you the full story of the trip, but my pictures are all on my (borrowed) iPod, which somehow can't access the hotel's internet even though my computer can.

Anyway. It is late. I am tired. But I simply CANNOT sleep without showing you the most beautiful thing I have seen so far. Ready?




Yes, this is Nala. And she is mine. MINE, I TELL YOU. ALL MINE.

It's like I'm living my toddler dreams. Except that I have yet to chew on her head, and I do not swing her by her tail. Instead I hold her and cuddle her and pet her and ... look at her. And think about how pretty she is. Because seriously? She is the coolest stuffed animal in the world.

In a few days I shall return to present more pictures and stories ... including the full story of Nala, which probably merits a post of its own. I have a LOT of history with that lion.

In the meantime, here is another picture. She looks even better in real life.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Off I Go

I meant to write this earlier, but I didn't, so this might be my shortest post ever. Well, except for this one. But anyway ... I am leaving. I'm flying down to Texas to pick up a new car with my dad, and then we're bringing it back up.

And I will drive. For the first time in six months. On busy highways. I ... am not sure how I feel about this.

On the bright side, I will be seeing this lovely lady on Monday, which is awesome. I haven't seen her in two years. And I will maybe come out of this whole ordeal knowing how to drive. We can only hope.

See you next Tuesday! I will have pictures, I promise.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Denial


                         
                                                                        



(You want to see my REAL handwriting?)





(Oh, really?)





(Yeah, I totally did. Can you read it?
I hardly can, and I WROTE it.)


                      
                                 



(Guilty as charged.)









(If you need me, I'll be doing laundry.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why I Love This Job: Reason #174

Still sick over here, but I had to emerge from my disease-ridden solitude to share this gem. One of my lovely friends, Charity Burton, has been reading A Winters Tale to her little brothers for their 'story time'.

Today, five year old Gabriel sent me a message. Here it is.


video


This just made my day. Thanks a million, Gub! I will ensure that Aaron eats plenty of inedible things in the sequels ... but for now, I have to slide back into my coma. See you all later!

P.S. I know this post thinks it was written by Charity, but it's wrong. We had a little trouble with the video, and this was the best solution we could find.

P.P.S. For those of you who, like Lisa, can't hear what he's saying because of noisy surroundings, here is the transcription:

Sarah, I like, um, your book, and Aaron, the guy that eats the Christmas ... (incomprehensible mumbling to someone off-screen) ... decorations -- he is really funny. And that one [else?] girl that makes the, um, brother [pain?] like, "Are you THE Pane?" (laughs) It was hilarious. Goodbye, Sarah!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Introducing Character Crushes -- Kaladin

I'm back! In spite of a splitting headache and possible laryngitis, I am back to blogging. And I've decided to start a new post series: Character Crushes.

We all have them, don't we? Mine have ranged from squeal when he enters the scene to OH MY CAN I MARRY HIM NOW? I feel that such excellent characters deserve to be recommended to the world. Thus, I introduce ...

CHARACTER CRUSH #1: KALADIN STORMBLESSED 
Brought to ALL OF US by Brandon Sanderson's THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE

First, a little about the book ...
I knew I would be reading it as soon as Sanderson announced it, because I will read ANYTHING that man writes. He is a genius. His worldbuilding is always fabulous and his characters stay with you forever. He surpassed himself here, however.

THE WAY OF KINGS, first book of The Stormlight Archive, is set on Roshar, a world where devastating highstorms (think tornado plus hurricane plus THIS STORM WILL KILL YOU SO HIDE) rip across the land at least every week. All the plants and animals there have adapted to survive, so basically we have a landscape full of crustaceans and grass that can retract into the stone. That alone took me a hundred thousand words or so to get used to, but the descriptions are vivid and now I have no trouble imagining it.

Then there are the peoples. I am utterly fascinated by the races and cultures Sanderson has created here. You'll find everything from 'indecently exposed' left hands to white eyebrows that grow over a foot in length. Like the landscape, this was bewildering at first, but now I can distinguish Alethi and Thaylen at a glance.

This book would be a masterpiece even if it were 400,000 words of setting and worldbuilding ... but IT'S NOT! The plot is incredible. Like everything else in the book (except Kaladin), it took a while for me to catch on, but once I did ... let's just say I was blown away. (That was figurative, by the way. No highstorms here, although the wind nearly did take out the power a few days ago.) I was almost awed by the ending of this book as I was by HERO OF AGES, and that left me bawling. Good, good book. You should read it. Like, now.

But that isn't what I'm here to talk about. Let me introduce him to you.

Sarah: It ought to be hard for me to choose a favorite character from this book, because let's face it, they're all pretty incredible. Even Shallan. Don't get me wrong -- I like Shallan. She's quite clever and I sympathize with her ... maybe a little too much -- she does some incredibly stupid things in this book. So, like I say, it OUGHT to be hard for me to choose a favorite, but it really isn't, because who else could stand a chance against the amazing, totally crush-worthy ...

Kaladin Stormblessed walks in.

Sarah: ... heroic, heartbreaking, beautiful Kala-- What? Why are you all looking over my ... Oh my word. Kal-- Kal--

Kaladin: (frowns at me) Do I know you?

Sarah: (squeaks) No. BUT I KNOW YOU. (Did I actually just say that? Someone shoot me now.)

Kaladin: Oh. (turns to walk away.)

Sarah: Wait! Could you ... could you maybe ... (blushing furiously) sign my book?

Kaladin: What?

Sarah: And maybe you could write something like 'For Sarah, for whom I would ...'

Kaladin: (suspicious) Is this some kind of trick? I can't write.

Sarah: Dang it. I totally forgot about that. Maybe you could just draw a heart. Or ... bones and muscles. Or a complex surgical operation. What do you think would be best?

Kaladin: (even more suspicious) You're the lighteyes. You tell me.

Sarah: Oh, no, I'm not a ... Well, my eyes are light. But I'm not sure exactly what color they are. I've been worried about that lately. They used to be blue, but now they might be green ... or maybe gray. What do you  think?

Kaladin: (mutters to self) I don't have time for this. (walks away)

Sarah: No! No, wait, please! I'll give you bandages and antiseptic! I'll give you an emerald broam! I'll tell you what happens in the next chapter! I'll tell you ALL THE THINGS!

Oh, it's no good. He's gone now. I'll just have to tell you all about him.

Physical description:
Kaladin has dark brown hair and dreamy dark brown eyes. (Undertext: Word 'dreamy' does not appear in any reliable sources. Sarah may have made that part up.) He hates having a beard, even if he does wear one for much of the book. He has more scars than you would expect on a nineteen-year-old, most notably the [very slight spoiler here: you find out about this in Chapter 2] brand on his forehead. He's not so tall that anyone makes a point of it, but he's definitely not short, as evidenced in Chapter Six. Well-muscled. I staunchly believe he is the most attractive man in the book, even when he is filthy and half-dead.

Skills:
He's a talented surgeon. He has an excellent memory and is quick to notice patterns and irregularities. His leadership skills are astonishing, and have I mentioned that he can kick butt with a spear? I mean, wow. He has other abilities as well, but I can't mention them for spoilers.

Faults:
Kaladin tends to be suspicious of people in charge, especially lighteyes. He's also stubborn, which sometimes is a good thing, and sometimes is very, very bad.

Why do I crush on him?:
Honor. That pretty much sums it up. Kaladin is one of the most honorable men I have EVER read about. (Competing for Most Honorable is Dalinar from the same book, but ... he's fifty, guys. No crushing there. Unless you're also fifty, in which case, crush away.) He has a constant desire to help people, no matter who they are or how they treat him. I liked him right off.

And then ... then he faced some of the most horrific circumstances I can imagine, and he defeated them. He not only escaped, he carried others with him. Even when it seemed like honor was dead, he acted heroically.

In conclusion, Kaladin is awesome. Also, The Way of Kings is awesome. Also Brandon Sanderson. But please don't crush on him, because he is 36 and married and has two kids.

(If you read all of that, I AM IMPRESSED. Here is a shiny gold star. I recently had a plethora of them bestowed upon me.)

(Also, today is my bestest-Megrat's birthday! Wish her a happy 15th for me, will you? I am too lazy to go upstairs.)