Book #9

Apr. 13th, 2017 10:20 am
lavenderspark: (book)
I'm still reading Tik-Tok of Oz, but I decided to take a break from the Oz series for a bit and read some of the other books I've gotten recently.

Yesterday I picked up The End of Oz by Danielle Paige ) (I know, not much of a divergence from the Oz series) It's the final book in the Dorothy Must Die series. I really liked it. The pace was good and even though it was the last book, it introduced new characters. It also wrapped up the story nicely.

There is another book set in the same universe coming out, but it goes back in time to tell the story of one of the new characters introduced in the last book. I'll probably get it as I love everything (pretty much) connected to Wizard of Oz and because I really enjoyed the series.

Book #9

Apr. 3rd, 2017 08:28 am
lavenderspark: (book)
I couldn't finish The New Jim Crow. It read too much like a text book. :( I took it back to the library on Monday. I did find the movie online and watched that. It's sickening what's going on.

But I did finish Patchwork Girl. Not sure why people kept telling me I would love it so much. She actually comes off as super arrogant and I couldn't stand her half the time. The story itself was ok. I've found that a lot of the "beloved" characters of Oz are pretty arrogant and it's mildly irritating. I think it's supposed to come off as ignorance/naivety, but it fails miserably. But the stories are fun, so I keep reading them.

I started Tik-Tok of Oz )
lavenderspark: (hair)
Almost just texted "I miss Moriarty" to my husband instead of "I miss you."

Pretty sure he would not have been amused.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Book #8

Mar. 3rd, 2017 02:57 pm
lavenderspark: (book)
I'm still reading Patchwork Girl, but a friend told me I should read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander ) after talking about the movie/documentary The 13th.

I told him I wasn't sure if I could watch it, given the subject matter. I just wasn't sure I could handle it emotionally. So he suggested the book that it's based on. I put it on hold at the library (all 20 copies were checked out) and it just came in yesterday, so I went and picked it up today.

I haven't started it yet, but it's just under 300 pages and hopefully doesn't read like a textbook. It's been a while since I've read any non-fiction. I'll be sure to share my thoughts when I'm done/as I go.

Improvement

Mar. 3rd, 2017 02:47 pm
lavenderspark: (glasses)
I feel like my icons are looking MUCH better than they were. And I'm remembering where things are and what they do, so that makes things go a lot faster. My program updated today too, it now has a welcome screen with tutorials! I was surprised since it's PaintShop 7 and they're on like 9 or 10 now, but hey, I'll take it!

I spent some time yesterday screencapping a couple episodes of Emerald City and writing down any lines that stuck with me to use with icons. Tonight is the season finale!

I've got a bunch that I re-did and some new ones that I made when I re-did the Tumblr ones, but I think I'll work with those a bit more before I share them. Here's some I made today that I think came out pretty good.

lucas tall
never small
monster bw
monster

I think my favorite is the second one, with the tree. I LOVE the font in the first one and I'm glad I got it to work.
lavenderspark: (book)
Finished Road to Oz and went right on to The Emerald City of Oz )

I'm not sure I like Aunt Em all that much, and they don't seem to mesh well with Oz, but maybe that will change. I did like that we got to see the Nome King again! And how they dealt with him and his allies in the end.

I'm now making my way through The Patchwork Girl of Oz )

I was once told by someone (I don't remember who) That I would really like this one. I'm not sure why. It doesn't really stand out to me yet.
lavenderspark: (within you)
FINALLY got some work in on my Laby fic! I haven't really had any inspiration for it in months. I would open it and make edits here and there, but not really add much.

I didn't add a *ton* today, but more than I have in a while. And it's good to feel the story moving again. I was worried it had died. :(

I'm up to about 8500 words now! I have no idea how long it will be, but I'm thinking it will be over 10k before I'm done.
lavenderspark: (book)
The Oz books are only around 200 pages, so if it seems like I'm going through them really quick, that's why.

I love that each book opens with the author writing a note to all the children that write to him begging for more books. He seems like he was an amazing person.

Ozma of Oz ) was clearly part of "The Return to Oz" movie as well. I remember being terrified of Princess Langwidere's cabinet. I much prefer Emerald City's take on her. I love her masks. Except the cat one. That one is weird.

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz ) This one I'm not sure I liked so much. The people they encountered weren't very nice, but I didn't like how it always ended up with kill or be killed. Too much random killing. And it contradicts book 2! The whole story of how Ozma became Tip is changed. :(

And now I'm almost done with The Road to Oz ) The senseless killing continues... But I love Polychrome!
lavenderspark: (hair)
After some advice from [livejournal.com profile] tinnny, I redid two of the Tumblr sets to try and make them lighter. The first image in both sets looks better than the last two. :/ I didn't realize at first that some of the settings didn't auto save. :( In the future I can save them and reuse them for similar images. It's just hard to remember because MOST of the tools default to "last settings used" so I don't always pay attention to the settings.

First set )

Second set )

I've definitely got more fine tuning to figure out with the pixelation/softness/focus and once I remember to save the settings I use to lighten the image, the colors will match better. But these are MUCH brighter and easier to see than the first ones!

Icon Test

Feb. 7th, 2017 03:11 pm
lavenderspark: (hair)
Testing to see if PNG or JPEG works better for my icons. Not sure if it will matter, but these were saved as JPEG first and then I changed them to PNG. When I have more time I'll try to save some as PNG first.

Left side is JPEG, right is PNG

Ev FriendEv Friend2

Ev waste yellowEv waste yellow2

Ev wasteEv waste2

lucas mirror BWlucas mirror BW2

lucas mirror Disturbolucas mirror Disturbo2

West love greenWest love green2

lavenderspark: (book)
I started The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart ) on my Kindle shortly after the first of the year. I finally finished it last week. It isn't long, only 200ish pages, I just wasn't reading much. I liked it though.

After I finished that, I hunted down all 14 Oz books on my Kindle. I have them in omnibus form, but the book is so big and the font is super tiny. It's like reading a phone book from the 80s. I finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum ) in a couple days. I have this in book format too and I read it several years ago, but I think that version is different from the one on my Kindle. That or I've forgotten more than I thought I had. It was fun to read again and recognize some of the characters from the newer adaptations/interpretations that I've been reading/watching lately.

I'm now reading The Marvelous Land of Oz ) It's strangely making me nostalgic for Return to Oz, the 80s movie that was terrible even when it was new. I think I had more nightmares from that than I did The Wizard of Oz and I was much older when I saw it. But I'm getting now where a lot of the weird things came from, it wasn't because it was the 80s, it was in the book.

Icons!

Feb. 1st, 2017 02:37 pm
lavenderspark: (hair)
So I've been watching Emerald City on NBC and the colors and scenery are amazing along with the characters and story. I hate waiting for Friday to watch a new ep. :(

BUT all the prettiness has inspired me to start making icons again! I've posted some banner sets on Tumblr, but since it likes to stretch images, it really isn't a good place to post icons. They come out all pixelated and weird. I'm sure there's a setting to fix that, but I don't know where it is.

I also figured out how to add more/new fonts to my graphics program! So I actually have some variety in my font choices now! Incidentally I also figured out how to add new brushes, textures, etc. Now I just have to find some that are compatible with Corel, not sure if the ones for Adobe will work or not. Of course, I should probably figure out how to use the brushes, textures, etc. I already HAVE before I get new ones...

Anyway... Here are some icons!

lucas mirror BWlucas mirror Disturbolucas mirror SE brownlucas mirror SE

I was inspired by the challenge at [livejournal.com profile] total_icontest of "mirror". I don't know that they're anywhere good enough to be in any kind of challenge, but it gave me some much needed direction!

Ev CJ friendEv FriendEv Decode friend
I think the last one is my favorite. I know the font is a little too small for icon size, but it's so perfect for her and for this image, I can't help it.

And these are the sets I've already posted on Tumblr, so I apologize if you've seen them already.
Large Size Sets )
And while I don't expect it, since I'm leaving this post open to the public...if you'd like to use my icons, you can, just please leave a comment and credit me. :)
lavenderspark: (book)
I've back dated this entry because I finished these before the new year, but didn't write it down. It's actually Feb right now as I write this.

I finally finished Dust. I really liked it. It was longer than the 100 pages I thought it was, but I'm not sure how long it really is. My Kindle is weird about page numbers, I'm not sure if there's something wrong with it, or if that's just how they all are. But the story was really good. Missing/kidnapped children being saved by another kid, epic battle between the kid and the creepy old guy/kidnapper.

I also read Darker than Midnight by Maggie Shayne ). I found out after finishing it that it's book 3 in a series, but I don't feel I missed too much by not reading the first two. There was reference to another case/character a lot, but it's easy to piece together the needed information to follow this book. The story was good, I found it hard to put down sometimes. There were points where I felt it was going too fast as far as character interactions go, but at the same time, it was addressed in the book as being too fast, so it worked out ok in the end. I am curious about the other book that was referenced, so I might try and find it to read as well.
lavenderspark: (book)
I have failed miserably at updating. I was avoiding all social media for a while (I'm still only on a little here and there for my own mental health) and then life got busy.

But I did have time to read! I FINALLY finished Dracula. Once I got used to the way it was written, I liked it. However Hollywood totally made up the Mina/Dracula love story. Dracula having a wife/family is never mentioned. At all.

Then I read a little novella (pretty sure that's what it should be called, it's just over 100 pages) on my Kindle, The Herald of Autumn by JM Guillen ).
It was ok. I liked the idea of it, but I feel like it really could've been fleshed out more. There's so much more there that could have been done. I guess it's part of some huge series all about different characters, but the same universe. I doubt that I'll read any others.

I started Dust by Arthur Slade ), but I haven't finished it yet. I like it so far, though it's short like Herald.

I read Utopia by Lincoln Child ) and really enjoyed it. The idea of the theme park sounds amazing.

I just finished Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige ) which is book three in the series. I really like this series, they are quick reads because the momentum of the story just keeps going. Unfortunately I have to wait until the next book is published to finish(?) the story. :(
lavenderspark: (book)
I am still reading Dracula, but it's on my Kindle and I've discovered that if I read on it too long, it gives me a headache. :(

So I've read a couple books while reading it.

I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling ) a while ago. I've seen all the movies and this was pretty similar. There were some minor differences, but not many. I keep expecting them to be different since everyone who read them says the movies got some things wrong.

During the hurricane, I started Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus ). I finished it last night. It was good. Took some getting used to since it takes place in Germany and I'm not familiar with the cities it was referencing. I don't know if they're real cities or not. A couple I knew, but it takes place in a small town and I'm not sure if that's real or the author made it up. It also jumps from character to character with no real break, that was confusing at first. And there was a LOT going on. Main story and side stores, lots to keep straight. But I enjoyed it.

Book meme

Oct. 5th, 2016 11:43 pm
lavenderspark: (hair)
Saw this on [livejournal.com profile] tinnny's page and thought it looked fun, so I'll try.

1. What’s the last book you read? What did you think of it?

Currently I'm reading Dracula by Braum Stroker. It's pretty good, the style took some getting used to. It's written from different character points of view in journal entries and letters. I'm about halfway through and it only just now used the word vampire and talks about what they do.

Prior to this, I read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. It was good, but mildly disappointing as it wasn't nearly as terrifying as its predecessor, The Shining. It's all supernatural and no horror.


2. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read, and why?

The worst book? I don't know. I hated The Hobit. To the point that I only had about 50 pages left and I just couldn't finish it.

And I couldn't get through Madame Bouvery either. I couldn't stand the main character. I don't think I even made it halfway before I quit.

3. A book you found overhyped, and why.

Umm...I'd have to say Catcher in the Rye. I remember everyone in HS talking about how AMAZING it was. I read it afew years after graduation and just didn't see what everyone was talking about. It was boring.


4. Ereaders versus physical books is such a false dichotomy. Instead, tell me what other formats (phone apps, tumblr fiction, twitter haikus) you read in.

I prefer actual physical books, but I've read things on my Kindle app on my phone and I now have my daughter's old Kindle, so I read on that too. I also read fanfic on my phone via the internet.

5. Which genre(s) don’t you read? Why not?

I don't read much non fiction. I read for enjoyment mostly.

Within the fiction genre, there isn't much I don't read. I tend to stay away from religious type stuff because I'm not very religious. I tried some erotica, but it was pretty awful. Though that may have been the author, I don't know. The story itself was good, but the erotic bits were laughable. It was like it was written by a high schooler.

6. If you read in more than one language, is there a difference between the experience of reading in your native language(s) and reading in other languages?

I only read in English, not fluent in any other language.

7. If you’re not a native English speaker, how much do you read in your native language versus how much you read in English? How do you feel about that? // If you’re a native English speaker, go find a book in your second/third/etc language, or in translation, to add to your to-read list

I don't know any other languages. :(

8. The book you read when you’re stuck in bed sick.

I usually sleep if I'm that sick. Or watch TV/movies. But if I'm looking for a comfort book, I'll grab either American Gods by Neil Gaiman or The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

9. Fiction or non-fiction or both? In what ratio? Where do you draw the line between the two?

I think I kinda answered this in #6...

10. The book(s) you bought because the cover was pretty, and whether it was worth it

I buy a lot of books because the cover grabs my attention. Good thing I mostly shop at used book stores!

The first one that comes to mind though, is Pure by Julianna Baggott. Totally worth it. It's a dystopian young adult novel. First book in a trilogy. There was a nuclear event that caused an explosion and if you were in the blast zone, you fused with whatever or whoever was close to you. But if you were safe in the dome, you're still pure.

It was really good. I've heard the series might be made into a movie.

11. The worst book hangover you’ve ever had

I don't know. I'm not sure I've ever had one. I remember crying when I read Where the Red Fern Grows and being sad after. But I was also 10, so yeah.

12. Do you have to finish one book before you start the next one, or do you read multiple books at the same time?

Usually, but not always. I read several books at a time in HS. Right now I'm reading Dracula on my Kindle, but I checked out HP and the Chamber of Secrets from the library and read that.

I'll also read fanfic while reading a book sometimes.

13. The fictional character you want to believe you resemble and the fictional character you actually resemble.

Um, none? I've had a few characters I've related to in some ways, but none that fit either of these.


14. The book that, in hindsight, really should have clued you in to the fact that you’re _________ (queer/in love/doomed to be an academic/etc).

None. Pretty sure this has to do with my answer to the previous question.


15. The book that you reread over and over again and get new things from every time.

American Gods. This is why it's my favorite book.


16. The book that you don’t dare reread for fear it won’t be the same any more.

None that I can think of. If I don't want to reread something, chances are it's because I didn't like it. Or it was good, but not enough to want to read again.


17. Preferred bookshelf organisation scheme.

My books are sorted by genre, then by author, then alphabetically by title.

Or they would be if my shelf wasn't a terrible mess right now.

18. Do you theme your monthly/yearly/etc reading (eg Year of Reading Women)?

Nah. I read whatever looks good at the time.

19. That book with a twist that felt like a blow to the chest. Tell me about it. (But warn for spoilers if necessary!)

Hmm. I can't think of any right now, I usually figure out the ending before the end.

Although there was a twist in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray that took me by surprise and was kind of a shot to the feels. I don't remember which book in the series it was though.

20. The coolest bookshop you’ve ever been to.

Probably Curious Books in East Lansing, MI. It's a used book store that is packed full of books and there are multiple rooms. I love the smell and the feeling of books for days.

21. The book you gave up on, and the reasons why.

Well, I've already mentioned two, but I also gave up on the Earth's Children Series by Jane Auel. I think it was book four of six and I just stopped. Two of the main characters were split apart when everything could have been fixed by a simple conversation. It made me so angry I couldn't finish it.


22. The book you finished even though you hated it, and the reasons why.

I don't do this any more. I don't remember what the last one was.


23. The book you expected to hate, didn’t, and then got angry about not hating.

None. I read for fun, I don't read something if it doesn't look like I'll like it.

24. The book that you got into because of the movie/TV series/etc, and the relative merits of each version.

I've started reading The Walking Dead comics because I love the show. The story line is a bit different, things happen in a different order, but overall it's pretty similar, but I've only read book one so far. I think that's like the first twelve comics.

I'm starting to read the HP series after enjoying the movies. I'm only through book two and it seems pretty similar as well.

I bought The Princess Bride because I love the movie so much. There's a ton of excessive random narration in the book, but it's still one of my favorites.

I've also been reading Constantine Hellblazer because I liked the movie and really loved the show. I just bought book four, but haven't read it yet. The TV show followed the first two books pretty well. I've only found bits and pieces of the movie in the books. There is a comic based off the movie, but I really like the books I'm reading.

I know there's more, but I can't think of them now.


25. The only book care question that actually means anything: do you write in your books? If so, in pen or in pencil?

Never!

26. Do you read reviews of books? Before or after you read the books themselves? Why? Why not?

Sometimes. If I do, it's before. If the blurb isn't good enough to convince me, or if I'm unsure if I'll like it, I'll read some reviews.

27. The book you’re embarrassed to admit you’ve read.

I don't know that I'm *embarrassed* about reading anything, but there are things I read that I don't talk about to people irl. Simply because I'd either have to explain what it is (fanfic) or is just not something you talk about in polite conversation (romance/porn/erotica).

28. The one where the fanfic was better than the original (and the relevant AO3 links, pls)

Well, currently, Once Upon A Time fanfics by totheendoftheworldortime79 on ff.net. Her pairing of Emma & Hook is WAY better than canon. Prepare for smut. I don't know what to pick, everything she writes is good! Although, I've stayed away from Unlocked and all its sequels because it's m/m/f with brothers. It's well written, but it just kinda squicks me out. Here's her author page: https://m.fanfiction.net/u/1433496/michellemtsu

29. Your vacation reading habits

I don't usually read on vacation, but if I do, I take whatever I'm currently reading.

30. The book you read the blurb of, constructed a version of in your mind, and were promptly disappointed by once you finally got around to actually reading it?

Hm. I don't remember ever being disappointed. Surprised maybe, but I can't think of any right now.

31. Bonus question: rec me something!

I always rec my favorite book, American Gods. Other than that, I'd have to know what kind of books you like. :)
lavenderspark: (Default)
This is the first year that hurricanes have really affected us. Hermine didn't really do much, it was really windy (like 60-70mph) and knocked down trees which caused some power outages (not us, but the neighborhood behind us did), but nothing too bad. School was cancelled and Andy didn't have to work. We stayed home, but weren't worried about anything serious.

This one is putting people in a panic. It is closer, and it is a bigger storm. Schools have been cancelled for tomorrow and Friday. People are evacuating.

I was asked this morning if we were leaving and I said no. We have no where to go except a hotel or something further inland. But then thinking about it later, we actually CAN'T leave. Not before the storm hits anyway.

Andy has heart surgery tomorrow morning. I doubt he'd be able to travel right after. Plus there's a possibility he'd have to stay overnight.

So we're staying whether we want to or not.

My aunt offered to help us financially if we needed it, to evacuate if we do end up leaving. My cousin, who lives in Charleston, left yesterday.

I'm hoping we're far enough inland that if won't be too bad. Worse than last time perhaps, but still ok.

They're predicting by the time it reaches us Friday morning it'll be a category 2, with 110mph winds. But that's at 50 miles from the coast and we're about 40 miles from the coast. I read a weather report this morning that said our area would get winds of about 75mph, which is strong, but I think we'll be ok as long as we stay inside. With everything being closed, I can't imagine going anywhere anyway.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

lavenderspark: (Default)
I took her to the vet and they did a check up. Her kidney levels are still good (for being in a state of failure) and she hasn't lost any weight.

They said she has a really bad case of gingivitis. Her gums are red and really swollen, so it probably hurts to open her mouth/chew.

They gave me an antibiotic and a steroid. Four days on meds and she's doing much better. I also bought some baby food so she could eat without chewing. She's still not eating a lot, but she actually attempted to eat solid food last night. It was people food (chicken and cheese), but I feel it's progress!

I don't think she'll make it the two years the vet gave us as this is the second illness she's had since her diagnosis, but at least it isn't the end yet.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

lavenderspark: (Jupiter)
Feeling overwhelmingly sad today.

I'm pretty sure my kitty isn't going to be with us much longer. Certainly not the two years the vet gave her when she was diagnosed.

She's been struggling to eat the last few days and today she refused water.

She's very weak and keeping to herself. I can feel it deep in my heart that she doesn't have much longer.

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