Here, There be a Writer

Monday, September 30, 2013

Not easy being me....

Sometimes I feel like a slave to time. That there's never enough hours in the day, when we are always saying 'I'll do that Later!' or 'There will be time later!'? Do we ever really see this Later that we speak of?

I am beginning to see that there is never a later that I can see in sight.

I am a busy person on most days. Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I do community theatre. Some years the shows are back to back without an end it sight. Sometimes, I have to push off one thing for another. Lately I have gotten into the habit of saying later, later, LATER!

I have yet to find this later. It either gets done, or it doesn't.


I am a firm believer that the journey is of greater importance in life than the destination. Having a destination (or goal) in mind is fantastic, but there is something pretty magical about the journey. Usually-for me anyway-the destination is exciting for about 15 minutes and then I find myself getting bored (whatever it it at any given moment). Whereas the journey is often more interesting. This does not mean that I am always traveling places, nor does it means that I don't enjoy a destination to its fullest (when I reach it), but I consider that life as a whole is a journey. One to be savoured, treasured, experienced.

Even in the literal sense, a destination often will have journeys within themselves. Think of this. You are going to drive to visit a friend in a city three hours away. There is a journey through the day, before you leave to go to this city. The journey across the miles to this city. The journey throughout the weekend you spend with said friend. Also, the journey back home. Each of this little journeys can be as full as a cross country trek. It depends on your perspective.


Also, consider that if you reach a destination, that means you have come to the end. And endings are sad, right? Well, sometimes they are. If you think that an ending is only the beginning of something else, then it's not really sad. Okay, maybe that's hokey sounding, but it a truth. Another truth (not denying), there are clearly many things that end and are sad. The big one is of course death, loss of something.

There are a million and one types of ends that can make a person sad. But how great it is to rise above the sad?

I have been sad many times in the last decade , and probably will be sad again in the future. I can only see it as a temporal thing. The good feelings always return. In the last two years I have begun to see patterns. I see find a way past the sadness and the even the ever elusive 'later'.


So, what the heck is your point is what you might be asking?

That I have some pretty awesome hobbies that keep me busy, and while I could never give them up completely, I have also found what I want to do with my life. I don't ever want to say later again. I doubt that I can give up that word anytime soon, but I can see how I can travel on my road-any road really-and manage to find time to do the things I want.

Granted, I also have learned that sometimes I need say no, or sometime you have to make yourself get a little less sleep to finish a blog. The pride I feel when I accomplish something is  amazing, it outshines the negative. I even can find that I have learned something from a problem or situation.

I haven't written a lot in the last two weeks, what with Tech (Hell) Week for Whorehouse and my 37+ hour a week job. Not everything get done, but I have learned that I can write in the morning before work, if I am determined. I can still read on my lunch break. And, there is always time for Sherlock or Doctor Who. Whorehouse is halfway over by the calendar, but not nearly close to being done in my heart. In a week I go back to  'normal' life. My journey-I start assistant directing "Bus Stop", I start my first themed month on this blog, and I continue to prepare for NaNoWriMo in November. All with the idea that this journey I am on is important and I will accomplish what I set out to do.

My writing is paramount to my life's ambition, as is my love of books. A am a book-a-holic, a bibliophile. I have made a conscious choice to write and never stop writing. I am also a thespian, and the lure of the stage sometimes is too great. I make an oath, here and now, for you lovely readers. I will always make time for writing and reading. I will always write something. 

I will take my journeys and my destinations. I will enjoy all, with whatever they give me. Will I have days when I want to say, no, I will do that later? No doubt, but I can prove myself worthy by taking extra time (that I may not always have or time that I will have to make) to write a short blog or read a few chapters, or whatever I need to do.

After all life is a journey!

Photos courtesy of morguefile

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Truth about 'Awoken'

I have been hearing and reading more and more about "Awoken", the first novel from 'new' author Serra Elinsen and mother of 5, who lives in the middle of no-wheresville Ohio. A relative unknown, almost an enigma. But she has a presence on the internet, I even follow heron twitter, Facebook, and read her blog. She's real, right?

Well, I have a confession....

I have truly read this book, but I have something to say about Serra.

I am in on the secret!

Well, it wasn't really a secret, but it wasn't made obvious that this book, "Awoken" was a hoax and one of the better, if not more interesting hoaxes out there on the internet.

Yes, I know Serra Elinsen is not a stay-at-home from Ohio. She is not even a real person! I know that "Awoken" was written by 3 very talented women who have a fantastic sense of humour. Well, played Team N-Chick (Nostalgic Chick)! Lindsay Ellis, Elisa Hansen, and Antonella Inserra teamed up to write the 'best' parodies of a 'Teenage Paranormal Romance Novel' that I have had privilege to read.

That's the secret! Serra Elinsen is really 3 plus or minus a few ghost writers and they fooled quite a number of people, me included! Although I was told of the true nature of the book shortly after my husband showed me the book. It was then that I decided that I would play along with this little diversion and read this novel and treat it as a real book review. I REALLY read the whole book. In about 9 hours. I used the tools of the internet to fuel the fantasy, even when others were debunking the story as a hoax. I tweeted my responses to chapters, much to the amusement of my husband and other followers. David was the original recipient of the 'advance copy'.

The review on this blog is a real review. I treated "Awoken" to the real deal review, including criticism and praise (where acceptable). I did not lie about my feelings towards the book. I chose to keep the truth about the author hidden because I respect Team N-Chick. As a fellow writer and blogger I like challenges and "Awoken" posed quite the challenge for me. I have NEVER read 'Twilight' or any of it's ilk. Honestly, I can barely stand the movies. In fact, I resorted to Rifftrax to be able to watch them without falling asleep (even then, I still fell asleep).

But, I was determined to read this book and give it the same consideration as any of the book/movie reviews that I do. "Awoken" definitely felt like a good case study in how to write a 'Teenage Paranormal Romance'. I didn't realize quite how large the genre was. I was familiar with a number of titles both in my local Target and Barnes and Noble, but I hardly cared if it was a genre before I picked up, "Awoken." But, a book about a teenage Cthulhu who loves in love with a mortal human, sound interesting at least, right?

"Awoken" feels like Twilight, at least how the movies appeared to me. It has raised my curiosity and I wouldn't be a conscientious writer if I didn't think about reading for myself and review it as a story. It would only be fair to give it the same treatment and I will in the near future. But, as a full novel really takes a bit to read, unless you are my friend Leah and can read a book in a day (fact!). I need time to adequately read the book, analysis and dissect the concepts, plot, or lack thereof. And thusly form an opinion.

So, my "Awoken" review stands as is. A terrible story that is contrived, yet there is an attempt at a plot and character development (albeit poorly, which is clearly the point). It's also a great read if you are NOT fans of "Twilight" and want a good laugh. Oh, and laugh I did!

Lisa, Lindsay, and Nella
I respect these ladies so much for writing something that made quite the impact. My hat goes off you you Lindsay, Lisa, and Nella! Well done. Well played!

Check out their site: CHEZ APOCALYPSE

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lots of writing this weekend!

I am spending the day at home.

Why, might you ask?

Well, first off, it's rainy and cold!

And second, I have been super busy with rehearsal's for Best Little Whorehouse in Elmira. Go check it out if you are local! But, also, this weekend in the Keuka Lake Players "24 Hour Theatre". Where in the course of 24 hours, 5 shows are written, directed, and performed! Sounds amazing, right? You bet it is! And for the writer in me, I am all a-go to write one of these scripts. Having penned three 1 acts in to last couple of years, which is a pleasure to have done. It is giving me the chance to stretch my creative muscles. Last year (September 2012) was the first year I wrote a play and got to see it performed, twice actually. Once at 24 Hour Theatre, then the second at a 1 act festival for Mother's Day weekend (2013). Talk about the most AMAZINGLY AWESOME feeling EVER!!!!

Since then, I have penned two other (1 newly written a few weeks ago) 1 acts and working on a third as I type this. KLP has put on this '24 Hour Theatre' for three years now. Last year, I included my own 24 Hour Theatre with the Lake Country Players, with a delightful degree of success (I am planning next years already). So, now that world knows about this extremely fun and low cost fundraiser, the word is spreading.

So, this year I am staying home from work to write my 1 act, because I have an IMPORTANT dance rehearsal tonight and my gracious and sexy friend Sara, who is coordinating this event is letting me early. YAY! I am also directing one of the shows, not my own, thankfully!

The scripts need to be written and emailed to Sara by 4 am tomorrow morning (the other writers start at 6:00 tonight). While tomorrow morning dawns, the directors meet at 7:00 to get their scripts and prepare for the actors arrival at 8:00. Then it's rehearse, rehearse, REHEARSE until 5:45 when the show starts.

I am a bit nervous this year, partly because I am doing things out of order this year; and also I am trying to write more of a light comedy, instead of just drama, or suspense, as I have in the past. But what comes out, will be: Que Sera Sera. In about 2 hours I got a 7 page script, but I am not completely satisfied until I can read it again, find the mistakes, and weak points (without anyone's help), and refresh and revise it. I am also writing Toasted Cheese's Mini-NaNo's contest this month. A 5,000 words challenge gearing up for NaNoWriMo in November. I have to write at least 167 words a day until I hit 5,000 words or finish the story (but it has to be at least 5,000 words). Plus, I am revising a 1 act I wrote at my friend Amelia's 62 Hours of Art fest back in August.

All this and rehearsals for Whorehouse! No rest for the wicked!

I should go and review the script. Later internet! Leave me a Comment or some Love below:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kinder Chocolate and Clouds

Tonight, as I walked the aisles of Wegman's with some friends after an evening of Illuminati: the Conspiracy and conversation, looking for dinner. I settled on a Chicken Pesto Sammich and Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist (and splash I did, all over me when I opened the bottle). We are a strange lot, wandering Wegman's on a Saturday Night. I was craving chocolate bad! Now, one of my favourite parts of Wegman's (i have a dozen favourite, by the way) is that they have quite the choice of chocolate available for consumer consumption. But what to choose? Hmmmm....I have a wide range of chocolate that I enjoy that ranges from Lindt, Black and Green, and Kinder Chocolate-of course I also include Dove, Skinny Cow, or Nestle.

Tonight was a definitely a Kinder Chocolate night! 

What exactly is Kinder? Well, it's an Italian Company that makes all sort of chocolatey goodness, some of which you have probably heard of already: Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, and even Tic Tacs (did not know about that one), but these are not the only products out there.

One day, some months ago, David and I were walking through the International Foods aisle. I spied some chocolate. I was hankering for some thing sweet and I figured-why not just pick something different and try them. As an avid fan of Brad Jones' work (Brade Tries..., Cinema Snob, 80's Dan), David and I thought it would be fun to just try something new. Well, I happened upon 3 yummy treats and tonight I decided to fill my choco cravings with the same 3 Kinder Chocolate treats, as I enjoyed them before.

All 3 are quite tasty, but I have my favourites. After a second try, the ranks go as followed: #3 Delice, #2 Country, and #1 Bueno.  

Bueno is is a hazel cream filled "trix" like bar. It it light and kinda of fluffy. Since I have a love affair with Nutella already, this is kind of the obvious choice. Now, Country reminds me of a Nestle Crunch bar with crispy rice, with the difference of white chocolate being on the inside, covered by milk chocolate. Finally Delice is basically a chocolate cake brownie thing and milky frosting covered in chocolate. It's kind of ordinary, but still very edible. I was not as excited as the last time, so it gets bumped to last place. Sorry Delice!

Ferrero is also the maker of the Kinder Surprise Egg, which is a hollow chocolate egg (milk chocolate on the outside, white chocolate on the inside, and a toy inside. While hugely popular in Europe/UK, they are currently banned in the US. Why? Not sure. Probably someone thought that American Children were stupid and would choke on the toy when trying to eat the chocolate egg.Kind of silly, but what can you do?


Mix tapes are awesome in their own rite and they are especially awesome when you get one in the mail from one of your best friends from college. I blogged previously about one of my old college mix tapes made by the same friend. Now what you see (to the left) is the volume two of the same said mix tape. Behold the awesomeness of it! When I pulled it from the package, I was surprised by what I saw. Amy had called it a work of art.

Indeed! It is a work of wonderful art! It is kind of Steam Punk and Whovian blended together, with a bit of Steam Powered Giraffe thrown in.

The track list features a number of artists that are completely new to me and some tracks that I am familiar with, but did not previously have in audio format.

The bulk of the tapes includes the likes of Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman, actually 6 tracks.

Some of the tracks include Dolly Parton, Sarah Slean (whom I have seen in concert, opening for Moxy Fruvous once), Susan Werner, The Puppini Sisters, and Alicia Keyes. These are artists I am familiar with even if I might not have heard the songs before.

But there are a number of unknown/never-heard-of-before artists that I get to experience first hand and fresh, without a biased opinion: Bitter Ruin, Simple Pleasures, Wilco, Stump, Blur, and Biffy Clyro. Some really strange names, I will admit. I get a lot of people saying, "Oh you should listen to So-and-So, and the Such-and Suchs", but rarely do I take the time now-a-days follow through on the suggestion. I just don;t always have the time to devote.

In college there were many an artist that I added to my collection because of friends mix tapes or just hanging out in there dorm room listening to music. There was always time. In fact, that is how I acquired the eclectic collection I have. It has been a long time since I have added an artist on someone's suggestion, certainly nothing major since college. I don't normally hang out in dorm rooms anymore. This mix tape gives me the chance to experience the newness of these artists at my own pace, without feeling obligated. Besides, Amy has really good taste in music and she hasn't steered me wrong before. She did get me to NOT hate U2. :-)

Mix tapes are, in many way like a declaration of your IDEOLOGIES. I think it is very fitting that Amy named her mix tape, volume 2, Ideology.

Aggies dancing
Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd and Esmerelda
I have been rehearsing from "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (since July) with Elmira Little Theatre all week and having a blast (rehearsals are getting intense as we open in 3 weeks). The pieces have started to fall into place. Got to see the Aggies work on their number this week. I caught the tallest Aggie standing on the bench during rehearsal and now he looks like a glowing angel ~giggle~. It was funny because as the Aggies were getting ready to rehearse, all of the whores/ladies rushed to the front to watch. It was like something out of a chick flick with all the squeeing and giggling! I have a turbo dance rehearsal today at 2. Another busy day in the life if this writer! More to follow, with pictures and such...stay tuned.

I leave you with some awesome cloudage from last week. We had an impending thunderstorm at sunset and the colour of the sky was such a lovely a shade of salmon and violet (depending on the part of the sky you were looking at). While I was taking pictures you could hear the rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightening. It was brilliant.

I get terribly charged when there's a thunderstorm, in a good way. Often I get really hyper. There is something about the freshness that comes with rain. Not only that but have you ever really smelled the air before, during, and after a rain/thunderstorm? Probably one of my favourite smells ever, after chocolate or the smell of a new book. The world smells new, clean.


Growing Storm

When the fog descends
downward from the hills.
I come alive
as the twilight un-furrows
it's shadows.
In the folds of my couch
I can see the fog's path
coming near.
Here my cats
playing amoungst the
as the night world comes alive.

I can smell the storm
that brings this fog
unto my door
this night.
Is it merry mischief sprites,
they clown with my fears
upon this night.

I am well aware
that tonight
the fogs grows dense.
My mind is tense,
my stomach,
it clenches.
The hollowing wind
raises my hackles.

Will it pass?
or will it stay?
The cats
are alert and ready.
The growing storm worsening
and my own hunger threatens
my ears,
in a growl so low
that the cats hiss back at my
cozy abode folded into the couch.

There is only one thing to stop
this madness,
as I recall,
there is leftover KFC in the fridge
and my hunger shall abate,
at last.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

What I put on my mix tape....

Since I have posted about my old mix tape from college, I have purchased a package on 5 audio cassettes from Wal-greens (yes you can still get them in SOME stores). This was for Amy's 2013 mix tape. She sent me my and did a FANTASTIC job on it (pictures to follow). On the first listen, I love it!! Lots of new stuff, some older choice cuts, and a few weird surprises. Imagine Flash Beagle on a mix tape! That's Awesome!!

I thought I would give you an idea of what I chose for her tape. It was dubbed "The Allons-Y Tape" after both of our deep love for all things Whovian. It's a unique mix, with some old familiar tracks and some new stuff. My music knowledge has increased significantly in the last decade so I had quite a collection to choose from. It was quite afternoon project.

So, without further adieu, "The Allons-Y Tape".
Side A:
Annie Lennox - Why
The most lovely Annie Lennox song I have ever heard. It sounds like water flowing. Not to be super lyrical, but when I hear this song I feel like I am swimming in a gently flowing river.

Dar Williams - The Light and the Sea
This song I imagine to go with the character of Aven in "The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica" by James A. Owen. An amazing YA series that is well written and you feel more literate after reading any of the books.

Celtic Woman - A Spaceman Came Traveling
It's actually a Xmas (Yule) song written by Chris DeBurgh. I really prefer the Celtic Woman version, Lisa Lambe sings it with a true passion.

Meatloaf - Not a Dry Eye in the House
I have never know Meatloaf to not have passion, but there is something truly heartbreaking in this song. It gets me every time.

She and Him - In The Sun
I was introduced to this song via a good friend, because the video featured a number of different dance styles (he was and still is big on dancing, ballroom style and what not). I was a big Zooey fan, so I took a gander and was wonderfully surprised.

Paul Simon - Kodachrome
I only recently discovered this gem from Paul Simon. I listen to a classic oldies station that LOVES to play this song. Something about the use of old camera film as the subject of the song appealed to me.

Sophie Madeleine - The Rhythm You Started
I first heard Sophie in the musical comedy duo Rocky and Balls. When I realized that she also does her own stuff, I was hooked. This being my favourite tracks hands down. Did you know this lady has a Master Degree?

B-52's - Song for a Future Generation
It makes no sense, but is REALLY FREAKIN' catchy!

Rockapella - Shambala
 I grew up knowing about Rockapella, but only because they were the resident group on the kid's game show, "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" I bought the "Don't Tell Me You Do" album and then later "Smilin'" which is the one that features "Shambala" and "Here Comes the Sun."

Abba - Take a Chance On Me
I had a hard time choosing an ABBA song, as I have too many favourites to mention. I didn't want to just use DAncing Queen, even though it is a good song on it's own. "Take a Chance on Me" is just plain catchy and it (in my opinion) more likely to get passed over. So, I included it on the mix tape.

Sean McCann - Simple Song (I saw this performance)
Not only is it catchy, but the link I provided is from the actually concert I saw and where I got to meet Sean McCann and get a lesson in Bodhran playing. He is a really sweet guy!

Electric Light Orchestra - Strange Magic
My dad introduced my to ELO, partly because I played violin in school. I went through a big classical/violin phase in high school. I find the ELO dynamics just delightful. It's different and I tend to like different.

Pern - Song for Petiron 
A sequel to the first Pern CD done by Mike Freeman and Tania Opland. The songs were written by Anne McCaffrey and they created the music, expect when the song was already an instrumental piece and Mike and Tania created the song from scratch.

Side B:
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Probably, no definitely my favourite Elton songs. It's very literary, but not in the direct OZ type way.The imagery, mixed with the piano, and the emotion behind it. Feels like an old book that you have read time and time again.

Susan Werner - Petaluma Afternoons
Something about this woman voiced so so sexy and rough!

Hannah-Rei - Upside Down
My friend Hannah, the other half of Rocky and Balls, also writes and performs her own stuff. I have had the pleasure of watching this song grow as she rehearsed, performed, and recorded the track for her FIRST full length album. Check out her stuff, Hannah-Rei!

Shonen Knife - Top of the World
Japanese Punk band featuring all Girls! Enough said!!

Weird Al - Pancreas
Al's Beach Boys-seque song about the Pancreas....also enough said. He uses the word Duodenum.

Crowded House - Weather With You
Another case of the imagery just just so lovely, that it became the standard favourite.

Great Big Sea - Sea of No Cares (Living Room Version)
I prefer the slower, melodic version of this song. The album version was far too produced. When they stripped it down, the true meaning of the song is more obvious.
Blackmore's Night - Rainbow Blues
Originally a Jethro Tull song. Not familiar with Jethro Tull, but I like what Ritchie and Candice have done here.

America - Horse with No Name
First heard this on the "Freedom Rock" tape set while riding with my Dad in his Dodge Daytona through the hills of Chautauqua County.

Phantom of the Opera - Music of the Night
 I got to see this musical 3 times. Got to perform this on violin in high school. Always wanted to sing it. Simply beautiful.

Amazing Grace
I love any version of this song, but for this tape I used a bagpipe version.

It's nice blend of my current favourite tunes and some regular classics. Hope you enjoy my little wander through my musical collections. Go check out some of this artists! There are so really amazing things amongst the selected artist/performers.

Nothing major else to post. Expect the regular Sunday post on Sunday :-). Later, Dear Readers!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Awoken - A Cthulhu Love Story

This is truly a first!!! I don't normally read for a whole day! And I especially don't read "Teenage Paranormal Romance". In fact, I normally detest this genre as a whole. It seems filled with silly, empty-headed characters and poorly-written dialogue. (The most famous of these is the "Twilight" Series, by the Princess of Vapid Characters herself, Stephenie Meyers. Granted, those thoughts are based on the movie representations of her characters, not the book ones.) My distaste for this genre knew no bounds, but I admit to have scarcely read a word of these books for a long time. I know it's not really fair to judge when I haven't read them, but I couldn't be far from the truth, could I? What little I had encountered with this genre made me wretch with literary disgust.

H.G. Wells
Edgar Allen Poe
Agatha Christie

Anne McCaffrey

What can I say about "Teenage Paranormal Romance"? That it's glorified fan fiction, something of which I am far more familiar with. I have stayed away from this genre, because it doesn't do anything for me. I prefer something with a bit more substance, such as the likes of Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Anne McCaffrey, H.G. Wells, or Douglas Adams. I am an avid reader of most everything, but I do fall into certain genres a bit more than others. I was an English major in college, and have thus read many of those works by Chaucer, Poe, Homer, Arthur Conan Doyle, L. Frank Baum, and a good many others, in a wide variety of courses during my time at SUNY Fredonia, as well as on my own. Even after college, I couldn't stop. I love a good story.  Every time I went in a book store (especially a used book store), I would come out with bags of books (almost as bad as my husband is with VHS tapes of public domain cartoons nowadays). In recent years, I have gotten into Garth Nix, Philip Pullman, James Owen, JK Rowling, and Cornelia Funke. My primary genre has always been Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but I love a good mystery/suspense thriller, and anything that's a classic (Of Mice and Men for example).

Cover Art
But what happened when I received an advance copy of Awoken by Serra Elinsen, a relative newbie to the writing world? It's odd how she appeared out of nowhere, but I guess that being a full-time stay-at-home mom doesn't give you the chance to get out much. She has a blog, and I guess with her free time opened up (having her home-schooled chitlins attending public school now), she needed to find something to do with her time. I really applaud her for starting a blog, as I am still new to this concept (at least, that;s how it feels to me), though the year mark is coming up fast (how the time does fly). I can only imagine how Mrs. Elinsen feels having her book, her FIRST book, Awoken, published (in Kindle format).

When the actual book copy (the special "first edition") arrived, I didn't really think much of it. I mean, a love story involving Cthulhu, in the style of Twilight? I scoffed! I have many friends who swear by Twilight (we are not talking movies either, a different format entirely and for a different time). But really, me, read a schmaltzy romance novel aimed at the teenage set? I hardly think....

It then struck me that I was missing a critical opportunity here. In the realm of the internet, with the countless blogs out there to compete, I needed an angle. I could read this thing and rip it to shreds as others have done, but would that be enough? I think so!

I have tried reviews before, such as when I read the book Eragon and then watched the movie. I ripped that one to shreds. That was quite the eye-opening experience. I have a greater respect for the storyteller, and as I am a struggling writer myself, I thought, why not. I hadn't really done a full book review yet. Why not reach outside my comfort zone, and tackle something that I was not familiar with, but use my skills as a reader and writer of story to really get the meat of the book? And besides, it is about Cthulhu, the Destroyer of Worlds!

So, what does "Awoken" bring to the table? Well, surprisingly more than I'd previously thought. It is probably not--no, it IS NOT--the best thing I have ever read (e.g. Anne McCaffrey or James Owen), but it's not "The Old Man and The Sea" by Hemingway either (I hated that book in high school; Still do). But, I didn't really detest it, either. Did "Awoken" awaken something in me? (Sorry, that was really uncalled for. Bad writer! This is a No-Pun Zone ~slaps own hands~.)

When I started reading at 9 o'clock this morning, I was convinced that I was reading something that a high school freshman was writing in her dairy, with all of these overly zealous descriptions of her hygienic habits, how dumb her house looked, and how horrible her life was. Often in the lengthy and rather dull descriptions of her life, there would be a rather amazingly awesome vocabulary word tacked into the middle of the paragraph. Oh, the usage was right, but it hardly fit the feel of the chapter or the paragraph. One would think that someone was using a spelling list to bolster their writing. Not that I am slamming Mrs. Elinsen for trying to increase her vocabulary; She clearly knows how to use words in proper context. However, the use of "frenetic" and "vertegris" felt awkward.


Art by Zahno91
Now, I am going to say something here: I really like a better part of the middle of "Awoken". There is some really beautiful imagery here, especially when Mrs, Elinsen has Andromeda Slate meet Riley face to face, and when Riley brings her back to his place. I found myself sucked in. I am less familiar with the Legend of Cthulhu than most. What I do know is that he is a God who looks a lot like Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie...and that there is an adorable Squishable Cthulhu. (please click here to see super cute Cthulhu)

It's not without it flaws, though. The overly EMO character of Andromeda Slate gets really irksome and often repetitive. But to give Mrs. Elinsen credit, I saw some decent-to-nice character development within Andi, but also Bree, Vik, and even Riley. There is talent there. I guess when you write for teenagers, that's what you get. I could stand without a plot that drops out in the middle, not just having Andi and Riley rush to NYC to retrieve a book, only to have 6 or 7 chapters of mildly entertaining, but kind of boring vapid romance goings on, then have the big build-up battle between Epistola and Riley and the awaking of Azathoth.

Though the romance between Riley/Cthulhu and Andromeda was unique, it did boarder on schmaltzy and overly saccharine at times. Still, I honestly was rooting for them by the end. Not many girls would choose to look at the great face of Cthulhu out of Love and survive the ordeal. It was kind of sweet!

Would I read it again? Probably (after all, I do have a copy of the book). Do I recommend it to others? Maybe. To those who loved the Twilight series, I definitely would; and  for the others I would say...sure, why not. It's fun, and sweet. Mrs. Elinsen left room for a possible sequel, which I'm certain would draw folks in. Is it the best out there? Not really, but then again, it's not the worst, either. It's a cute story. It did hold my attention through most of the story and I did enjoy the much of the characters' interplay.  I applaud Mrs. Elinsen for completing her first novel and wish it success (as I hope to someday experience). If you want to get to know more of Serra Elinsen check out her blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages:

Serra Elinsen Blog
Serra Elinsen  Twitter
Serra Elinsen  Facebook

Oh, and when I poked around on amazon I discovered that Awoken is #2 in  "Teen & Young Adult Paranormal & Urban Fantasy eBooks" for Kindle downloads. Pretty darn good for a first go! Congrats,  Serra!