Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday (movie) Reviews

So, I'm still in the middle of a really long book and haven't had a chance to sit down and finish it. Plus, I've been sick. And as I was staring at the blank screen this morning, trying to think of a post, I gave up and crawled back in bed. That was when I realized that I may not have read a book this week, but I have seen two really good movies in the last couple weeks.

First on the list the star-studded Valentine's Day.

Now normally when they pack a movie this full of stars it's because they're trying to make up for a plot that's lacking. But not the case with this movie. It was so cute and funny. I may be a little impartial because I'm a huge Ashton Kutcher fan. And he didn't fail to disappoint. But even without taking Ashton into account (which is ridiculous, we should always take Ashton into account) it was good. It did get a little busy with so many different story lines (and I had a few that I liked better than others...not necessarily the one with Ashton in it....okay, Ashton's was my favorite story line), but it was neat to see the way they connected them all in the end. It was rated PG 13 for a reason so not necessarily a mommy daughter type movie, but for a girls night out, I recommend it.

Next, I was able to take my kids to Percy Jackson.

First of all can I just say how adorable the star of this movie is. So cute. Second, the movie was very entertaining. It was quite a bit different from the book, but it had the same feel. I took my 3 year old and there were a couple parts that were too scary for him, so keep that in mind if taking little ones. But my older kids and I loved the movie. I recommend it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-Breakfast and a Show

Are you lacking the proper amount of excitement to start your day? Do you wake up to the same boring cold cereal or toast day in and day out. Well, then you've come to the right place. I present to you, your ticket to a new experience:

Yes, it's a toaster. But it's not your average toaster. This toaster does more than just evenly brown your bread to golden deliciousness. This toaster also includes a game or a show. The game is called: "Uh, where did my toast go?" The rules are as follows: Stand with your back to the toaster getting your topping supplies ready (such as butter, jam, etc). Hear the toaster pop. Turn around to see the toaster mysteriously empty. Tilt your head in confusion. Look closer (thinking that perhaps the bread has somehow wedged itself into the deep inner workings of the toaster). Scratch your head when you don't find it. Extend your search. Find your toast a foot away from the toaster.

You are probably now saying to yourself: "Where can I find a toaster like this? I'm tired of my toaster gently raising my bread to where I can easily find it." And I don't blame you. Your toaster is definitely second rate......and weak. Why would you want normal when you can watch your toast do flips? So my advice to you is go out and get yourself this extra springy toaster or just stay at Jenn's house (like I did). And, by the way, when I told Jenn about her super exciting toaster, she said, "Really? What does your toaster do?" Exactly, what does my toaster do? Obviously a whole lot of nothing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

3-D (in 2-D)

As much as I loved the conference and the things I learned and the authors I met.....

Like James Dashner (who, by the way, is so nice, down to earth, and very funny) author of The Maze Runner

(In the pic below is my online crit group who I spent most of the conference with and who I wish lived closer. I love them.)
From left to right: Natalie, me, James (not part of the crit group, unless he wants to be), Candi, Jenn, Renee

And Brandon Mull, author of The Fablehaven series

.....One of my favorite parts about the conference was meeting all my two dimentional (online) friends in 3-D for the first time. And all the new people I met. Now I'm going to give you a picture overload from the dinner we had Friday night where thirty of us got together.

Renee, Mary, and Candi

Tiana and Bradley

Michelle, Elana, and Natalie

Laura Bingham (author of Alvor) and her husband

Kimberly Job and husband

Jenni James and Nikki Wilson

Heather Justesen and Carolyn Vawdrey

Nicole Giles, Heather, and Julie Wright (author of My Not So Fairy Tale Life)

L.T. Elliot (Laura) and Mary

Karen Hoover

Phew, that took forever. :) If I labeled any pics wrong, please correct me. It was so fun to meet you all. I realized as I was posting these pics that I missed taking pics of a few of you :(, like Elizabeth Mueller, Jenn Wilks, Aimee Morgan , Jamie Theler, Keith Fisher, and Shanna Blythe

Some of you weren't at the dinner but I saw you at the conference. I bumped into Angie while waiting in line for the bathroom. I saw David J. West in one of the classes but never got to say hi.

Anyway, long post, lots of links, but I wanted to say that I enjoyed meeting all of you and hope to see you again at future events.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-How to become the ultimate fangirl (or boy)

Well, I'm back. I missed all of you. (And my computer which I did end up leaving at home. It was rather traumatic.) I had a blast at LTUE, though. And if I can give you one piece of adice that I learned from the conference it was: How to be the biggest fangirl ever. Take notes, people. You'll want to follow this advice closely so you, too, can make sure that your idol knows just how much you love him or her.

I will use as my example, oh....I don't know....I'll just pick an author at random.....let's just say maybe you wanted Brandon Sanderson to know just how much you loved his books. These are the things you may or may not want to do to show him:

*Make sure you attend nearly all the events he is participating in.

*Make sure you sit in the very front row at said events.

*Whenever he looks your way smile really big.

*Whenever possible, try to talk to him.

*When talking to him, ask questions such as: How exactly do you pronounce this character's name in your book (and while asking clasp your hands together and bounce up and down a bit).

*Pull one of his books out of your purse to show him which one you're reading. Put it back. Pull it out again to show him that the cover is different than the one he is selling (as though he didn't know his books had different covers). Put it back. Pull it out again and tell him you read it on the airplane. (btw, at this point he will probably ask you if you want it signed, as though he thought that's what you were hinting at when you pulled it out THREE SEPARATE times. But really you weren't hinting at that at all, you were just really nervous, but you should probably let him sign it anyway).

*Go to his reading and reception afterward where you make sure you are first in line for him to sign the book you bought while there.

*Ask him if you can take a picture with him.

Your picture may look a little bit like this:

But this was just an example of what you could do. I don't know anyone who would actually do those things.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-Save Me

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know it is a habit of mine to make a fool of myself. Let's call this piece of advice: Let's save Kasie from looking like a fool....again. Here's how you can help. This advice is mainly for the people I will be seeing this week at the LTUE conference, but seeing how at some point in the future it is very likely that I will meet all of you, the following will be quite helpful.

*Please wear a name tag. On your name tag include: The picture you have as your "avatar" on twitter or on your blog. If this picture is an animal or flower or stack of books, then it is even more necessary. Next write your screen name. Again, if your screen name is something like "hotbookluvr" or "I kill people with my pen but those people are all fake", this would be good to know. Under that should be your real name. And finally, how you phonetically pronounce your real name. (For example, my name is spelled Kasie, but many of you might not know that it is pronounced K. C.) Will all this information on a name tag ensure that I will be staring at your chest for a long, uncomfortable moment of silence. Why yes, yes it will, but at least I will know who you are and how to say your name.

*Next, if I am not wearing my glasses and you are more than ten feet away from me, please expect that I will have absolutely no idea who you are. You could be one of my closest friends and I will just wave like an idiot thinking, I have no idea who that is. Much like when you are talking to your grandma whose hearing aides are turned down and you have to yell at the top of your lungs so she can hear you, make sure you get into my vision bubble if you want me to remember having seen you.

*If you do not like to be hugged, hold up finger crosses because I'm known to attack.

Of course I don't expect you to do any of this. It is basically just my warning to you that I will probably pronounce all your names wrong and imagine you as the pet dog used as your profile pic. :) For those of you who aren't going, I hope to run into you somewhere in the real world one day--maybe at your book signings. And for those who are, I am so excited to meet you!

I probably won't be blogging the rest of the week while I'm away at the conference. Mainly because I'm thinking *cough* about leaving *gag* my computer *sniffle* at home...........maybe........

Friday, February 5, 2010

So Random

Happy unexpected thought=realizing you DVR-ed something and forgot all about it. Yay for me. I get to go watch Vampire Diaries now. Another happy occurrence=when a good friend comes out of her writing slump and provides you with new material to read. And her new material is awesome! And also, her coming out of her slump, inspires you to come out of yours and you write 3,000 new words, proving that you haven't lost that first draft feeling. (But writing that makes you start singing, "You've Lost that Loving Feeling" until you realize you were in the middle of writing a blog post. Now you have a strong desire to watch Top Gun).

In other happy inducing events, I got an award. My good friend, Linda, gave me the Prolific Blogger. I don't know if I've been feeling like a "prolific blogger" these days, but I have been more consistent than I used to be. So thanks, Linda.

I love the pic. I'm going to be rebellious and selfish (and by selfish I mean extremely lazy--because there are so many of you that deserve this award but....yeah, lazy) and not pass the award on to anyone today. But do go have a look at Linda's blog because she's awesome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Reviews

This book, Brandon Sanderson's The Well of Ascension, is the second book in the Mistborn trilogy. I started reading this series originally because Brandon Sanderson is going to be the key speaker at a conference I'll be attending next week. But I continued reading it because I really enjoy the books.

These are true fantasy. I realize I use that description a lot. To me, true fantasy is a book that spends almost equal amounts of time building a government and a world as they do with the plot and characters of the book. So as a reader you find out every nuance of the world they've created. In a YA fantasy or contemporary fantasy, I've heard it say that as the author you should know every detail of your world, but that doesn't mean your reader has to know. In a true fantasy, like this one, the reader knows a lot.

Anyway, with that description in mind, this book might not be for you if you don't like to be weighed down by all the details. I personally think the book could move along at a faster pace if some of the unnecessary details were left out, but I only say that because I read way too much YA and I've been spoiled. :) But, having said that, I really enjoy this series. The idea is unique and the twists are brilliant. His main characters are something he calls Allomancers, which means they can burn metals (that they swallow) and do all sorts of really amazing things with these metals--influence people's emotions, strengthen their muscles, push objects, etc. Which makes for some really cool fighting. And Brandon Sanderson is the King of writing a fight scene.

So, if you like a good fantasy book, with plenty of action, and even a little romance, you'd really enjoy these books. (That was my Reading Rainbow line. Do you remember the book reviews on Reading Rainbow?)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-How to make sure your kid catches every virus around

Are my post titles getting longer or is it just me?

I used to do a series of blog posts entitled "That's Gross" starring the boy (my son). Fortunately for me, but perhaps unfortunately for our blogging entertainment, the boy stopped doing so many extremely gross things. But, today, he is back as the star in my post to teach you how to catch at least one virus, maybe several.

The story starts with a family trip to Target (money-sucking black hole) in the middle of winter (horrid cold/flu season). My children have recently raided my purse for gum and are all chomping away as we enter. The first place we stop is the "dollar section"--probably the most high traffic section in the store.

As we stop to browse, I hear my six year old say, "Bubs (another nickname for the boy), you dropped your gum."

I watch him bend over to pick it up. I notice that my husband has heard the exchange as well and is holding out his hand in anticipation of the boy placing his gum there so he can throw it away. Too late, I see the gum on a fast track straight back into his mouth.

My older daughters exchange a horrified look. The six year old shrugs her shoulders and says, "5 second rule."

Ah yes, "the 5 second rule", which is tolerated, perhaps even promoted, in our home. I guess we have neglected to explain the rule of "the rule". And, of course, that rule is: The 5 second rule is void if in either of the following places: The bathroom (home or public) OR Any public place where those watching might realize you abide by the 5 second rule.

But, if you are looking to catch a cold or flu virus, public practice of the 5 second rule is in order. Go to it!