Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Highlights and Forward March!


1. I'm going to Wednesday evening write-ins at the library hosted by E.C. Murray. There's usually three of us there and we just sit and type away. It's wonderful and possibly the best writing I'm doing all week. We don't talk much, we just say hello, pull out our laptops, and write in quiet companionship.  

2. I've hit a better stride with my exercise goals - moving from 1 mile back up to 3.5 miles of walking each day. It turns out that my dog can't walk with me anymore, which bummed me out for a long while. He turned 12, he has some spine issues, and he needs to rest most of the time now. He can only make it for 1/4 mile outings, although he wines at the door when I go for my longer walks.

3. I finished up orientation and everything I need to start graduate school online at Western Governor's University, starting March 1. I'll be taking classes to get a graduate degree in Instructional Design. 

4. My Lenten Reading Journey has really helped my faith walk this year. I'm reading 1 and 2 Samuel, Psalms, John, and some other selections: The Narnian, The Chronicles of Narnia, and LOTR. I am waking up excited to read the Bible each morning, and I'm reading the others in the evening.

Favorite Fiction Books and Movies of February (other than Lenten reads mentioned above):

Ready Player One
Ready Player One is from an atheist point of view (it's pretty loud about it for a paragraph or two), has at least one other section that I think goes a little long, and I wouldn't recommend Ready Player One for anyone under 16. Having said all that, it might be surprising that I recommend it, but the rest of the story is off-the-hook amazing. For anyone into 80s geek culture, Ready Player One has every reference you could possibly want, and more.

Renegades (Renegades, #1)
Renegades by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles fame) is a superpowered-dystopian, and I found the main character (an anti-hero/villain) and her motivations interesting. Renegades is definitely a new start to a series of what promises to be a plot-twisting narrative set in an interesting world where heroes may not be as heroic as they seem. (I read Brandon Sanderson's super-powered trilogy, The Reckoners, last year - it's another superhero-dystopian. Renegades feels slightly meatier and older. I think it's more YA, while Reckoners is more MG.)

Don't Cosplay with My Heart
Don't Cosplay with My Heart by Cecil Castellucci was a fast YA read for me and I enjoyed it. The MC, Edan, dresses up like her favorite comic book character to feel strong enough to deal with a mess of family problems, deals with boy trouble, and starts to discover her own strengths in the midst of everything, including her strength as a cosplay artist.

The Hidden Masters of Marandur (The Pillars of Reality, #2)
The Hidden Masters of Marandur (The Pillars of Reality, #2) by Jack Campbell is a fun read and definitely gets more into the character development of the two leads - Master Steampunk Mechanic Mari and Master Mage Alain - as they discover more corruption in their two guilds and decide to take action. I enjoyed the first book in the series in January and hope to read a book a month for a while.

Black Panther Poster
Black Panther is the best movie I've seen so far this year aka the only movie I've seen in the theater this year, but I think it's going to stay up in my top 5 for the year. I loved that the secondary characters were more fully realized than I expected. His female General kicks butt in a beautiful red dress in one scene that I think I could watch on repeat, and his STEM-smart sister is awesome. Good directing, editing, acting, and beautiful CGI all round this out to be a visual masterpiece of film.

Fullmetal Alchemist Poster
Full Metal Alchemist - the Netflix Original with live-action actors was a movie I enjoyed thoroughly. I have to admit, I'm only slightly familiar with the anime series and the manga series so I'm not a Full Metal Alchemist expert, but I had so much fun watching this nod-to-anime live-action movie with all of the beauty of English subtitles that I plan on re-checking out the anime and the manga at my local library. I may become a Full Metal Alchemist junkie, who knows? It's been a while since I've been sold on a anime series. (Did anyone else watch Bubblegum Crisis in the 90s?)

The Olympics ... well, I haven't watched all, but I've been stunned by how amazing all of the athletes are and thankful for their camaraderie in the competition. Just wow.

I'm looking forward to turning the calendar for March 1st because I'll start my online classes, my oldest daughter will come home for a short break, my youngest will have spring break later in the month, and I will be up-scaling my exercise to get ready for surfski-kayaking* in April. Plus, I'll be putting together a fun book of my students' best writing for the year. It will be busy, but I'm looking forward to all of it.

What have you been up to these days?

*surfskis are a special brand of open-faced kayak meant to cut through the waves, surf on waves or wake, and stay generally upright. The Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team lets beginners (both young and old) use them to gain confidence and strength before getting into a racing kayak (skinny little boats that flip easily and don't return to upright without taking them to the dock). 

All movie and book covers are from IMdb or Goodreads.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats on graduate school! Excited for you! :)

And yeh on the exercise! I do see some people out walking pushing stroller-type things with their dogs in it. I don't know if it's because the dog is older or hurt or if it gets tired during a long walk.

M.J. Fifield said...

I love the idea of the Wednesday Write-In at the library. I should start something similar in my own area.

Ready Player One is a fantastic book. I enjoyed it very much—my significant other and I are really looking forward to the movie next month, too.

I am in love with the women from Black Panther. They are truly amazing!

Best of luck with Graduate School! What an adventure!

Cherie Reich said...

Good luck in grad school! Thanks for the book reviews. More books to add to my to-read list! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - good luck with the graduate school, as too the ideas and stories that will emanate from your writerly write-ins at the library - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good luck with graduate school. Sorry your dog isn't able to go walking with you anymore.
I've heard good things about the live action Fullmetal Alchemist and want to watch it. Just have two other series to finish first. (Got a little off track with the Olympics.)

krystal jane said...

Surfski kayaking sounds great! I saw Black Panther this month, too, and all the actors did such a good job, but I especially loved the women. I’ve been thinking of picking up The Renegades. I don’t read really read sci-fi, but I’ve been wanting to dip my toe in.

I’m still so excited about your write-ins! ^_^

CWMartin said...

My dog is getting to that point as well. He can MAKE the 3 miles, but he pays dearly. Hurts the heart bad.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Madeleine - Thanks! I would love to take my dog out that way, but he really doesn't like hand-pushed wheeled vehicles and seems to be terrified of strollers in general.

MJ - Yes, the write-in thing at the library is wonderful and it's so simple. It seems like I should have started one a long time ago and I hope this one keeps going.

Cherie - Thanks!

Hilary- Thanks and cheers to you, too!

Alex - yes, the Olympics were definitely distracting, but worthwhile to watch.

Krystal - Renegades isn't too heavy into scifi, it's more superhero fantasy.

CW - Yeah, one of my past dogs had heart troubles and one day, she just stopped walking on the road. I didn't have a phone with me and I had to carry her home, but she was 60 pounds so I had to do it in 1/10th mile stints. Even though my current dog is small, I still make sure I take my phone with me on any kind of walk ... just in case.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for explaining the Surfskis. Until this past year, I never knew there were so many types of kayaks.

How sad your dog can't join you on walks anymore.

Christine Rains said...

You had an awesome month. :) Good luck with school! I liked Black Panther too, and Full Metal Alchemist is on my to-watch list. (I have a very large list on Netflix!) I've had a good writing week. So I'm feeling happy. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

Heather R. Holden said...

Oh, wow, that's so exciting about graduate school, and impressive, too. Best of luck!

The Cynical Sailor said...

That's a shame your dog can't go walking with you. :-( Your writer groups sounds great. I love that you keep each other company, but still manage to focus and get a lot of writing done. Cheers - Ellen