Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Level Up Blogfest, Progressive Book Club, and Champion Blog Tour

I'm spending my time in three places today (not sure how it's possible but I'm trying). I'm gaming with Level Up Blogfest, reading with ML Swift's Book Club, and I'm touring at Laurel's Leaves for the Champion in the Darkness Book Tour. Oh, and I put my She Said What? Post yesterday. I think I'll have to more of a realist with my time one of these days, but it's Midwinter break, so it's all good, right? If you don't have time to read all the following, just scroll until you find what you're looking for:

 Brought to you by Allison at Geek Banter and Jamie from Mithril Wisdom, Level Up Blogfest gives us a chance to share our favorite games.

I had a tough time choose just one favorite. I love games. I'm not a huge video game player like my husband and kids, because if I got sucked into playing one of those ongoing games I would never come out. I stick with little ones like Fruit Ninja . . .only 60 seconds. (Then I make myself stop.)

As a kid I loved Monopoly, War, Rummy, Slapjack, and pretend Star Wars. My favorite video games as an early teen were Zaxxon, and Joust. (I'm old)

Then I learned to play Ditch'em, which is kind of like what my kids call Home Free. Two teams. One base. One team hides, and tries to run to the base, while the other team guards the base and tries to tag the runners/hiders. If a person doesn't get found or if a runner gets to the base, then the hiding/running team wins. However, if the base team finds all the hiders or tags all the runners, then the base team wins. I spent hours and hours playing Ditch'em during the summers with my neighborhood friends so in a nostalgic way I consider it my favorite game of all time.

For my 14 year old daughter's recent birthday, we played games for six hours in a ballroom sized dance studio with 21 kids. (Awesome fun for all of us) The games: Capture the Flag, Birdie on a Perch, Foot relay, Draw relay, Signs, Wink, Everybody's It Tag, Shuffling Bums/Chairs, Human Knot Race (two teams), I've Never Ever, Group Charades, 4 Corners, Tap, and Partner Everyone's It Tag. Later, the fun continued with Pass the Story, Mafia, and Pictionary.

If you haven't guessed yet, we are avid game players in our house, from Catan and Chess, to Pictionary and Nerts. If you meet us, and we have a deck of cards or an open space to play in, Game On!

What are your favorite games? Do you like video games, board games, card games, group/party games, or all of the above?

 The Progressive Book Club, brought to us by ML Swift is focused on books about the craft of writing, with a few fiction books thrown in for fun!
Our book this month is: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
Ages ago, a college professor of mine recommended Bird by Bird to me, and I found it and read it right away, awed by the way that Lamott gets to the throat and heart of writing in this book on writing and life. Reading it this time brought back both memories, and some reminders that I truly enjoyed. As with the first time, the most memorable section of the book for me is the first on on writing. I love the chapters on short assignments, sh-y first drafts, and polaroids. They remind me to keep it simple, and not try to write an entire "perfect" novel in one sitting.
When overwhelmed by the big idea of writing a novel, Lamott says, "I remember to pick up the one-inch picture frame (that she keeps on her desk) and to figure out a one-inch piece of my story to tell, one small scene, one memory, one exchange."
Although I find many other parts of Bird by Bird to be compelling, hilarious, interesting, and helpful for writing, the image of the one-inch picture frame sticks with me. I even used to have a picture frame like that on my desk in college. The question is now, in the midst of messy, busy life, where did I put that thing? Now I look out the window and that window frame reminds me of the same idea - except the window frame is way too big.

Have you ever read Bird by Bird? Do you use a picture frame, or a window frame to help you focus your writing time?

Next Month for Progressive Book Club, we're reading Save the Cat! and I'm already one chapter in and taking notes.

Please, stop by Laurel's Leaves for the Champion in the Darkness book tour stop!


Unknown said...

Great post, Tyrean! We came out with some of the same lessons learned.

I love the picture frame concept. It works for me and I plan to use it often! Sometimes the big picture is too overwhelming.

And the perfectionism being the oppressor. Gotta burn that into my head.

Looks like you are a busy girl today. Thanks for making time for the PBC.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

That sounds like a really fun game. :) I'll have to get my kids and the neighbor kids to try that this summer. :)

mshatch said...

I like card games, especially cribbage, and a few board games but I love PC games. Skyrim is my fave right now :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

ML - Perfectionism is definitely the oppressor . . . which brings me back to the busy thing. I'm excited to be a part of all this cool stuff, but I probably am not going to have a perfect record of hitting all the stops.

Rachel - it is really fun, and it keeps everyone moving!

mshatch - I never would have guessed. :-) The only reason I don't play many pc games is that I'm afraid I would be sucked in, and I don't have time to get sucked in like that.

Unknown said...

And all the writers said, "PHEW!" There is a lot to be involved in and I salute your efforts to participate.

Good and thoughtful review of Bird by Bird (sometimes when I get typing fast, I call the book Birdy. I think I might just start going with that.)

Sanderella said...

Well monopoly would be my fav from your list!! I really am not into video games like my nephew is!! I posted my favorite game as part of this blog hop, enjoy....and I also joined your blog! Sandy

Sanderella said...

Opps.....forgot to leave my link for you, hit the wrong button....

nutschell said...

Ooh! Ditch em sounds like a fun game. Should learn that one of these days.

Cherie Reich said...

Ditch 'em sounds awesome! I love games, particularly board games, but no one will play with me. *sighs*

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Were you tired after that many hours of games with kids? I would've been!

M.J. Fifield said...

Every Thanksgiving, my family has a group game of Pictionary. It always dissolves into hysterical laughter over our terrible drawing abilities, but it's always a good time.

Bird by Bird is one of my all time favorite books on writing.

Unknown said...

Ditch 'em sounds like an awesome game! Throw in a bit of laser tag or paintball and you've my ideal weekend :)

Thanks for joining the blogfest, Tyrean!

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

Mark Means said...

Ditch'em does sound like a lot of fun.

Joust!! Yes..I used to love that one, as well. Activision always had the coolest games :)

Allison said...

I'm a sucker for capture the flag. Bird by Bird was hilarious and inspiring. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for participating in the blogfest!!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Anonymous said...

Hey Tyrean. You had a busy day, too.
Games - I love those old play ground games like capture the flag, tag, 4 corners. That's nice to hear 14 year olds are still interested in those type of games. Must have been a fun party.

Book Club - I like what you said about how Lamott gets to the throat and heart of writing. Great point. I loved the book, too.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Julie - Did I write Birdy? Oops . . .well, maybe that's what it should be called.

Sandy - Nice to meet you. I had some trouble with my internet connection today, but I'll be by to visit soon!

nutshcell -it is a really fun game!

Cherie - I would play with you . . .there should be game groups for game junkies at coffee shops or somewhere . . .

Alex - at first, I was as excited as they were, and then I was exhausted the next day

MJ - Pictionary on Thanksgiving sounds like a fun family tradition!

Jamie - lazer tag and paintball are awesome! Thanks for hosting this fun fest!

Mark -Glad to know someone knew Joust!!!

Allison - Capture the flag is really fun! Thanks for hosting this great fest!

Sydney -it was really fun, and I hope we get to do it again sometime. Bird by Bird is a wonderful book on writing and life.

Lexie Rising said...

We played something akin to Ditch'em too- very fun! We liked to play fox and geese in the snow- had to have a fresh snow to make the tracks to run around on though, so it was a game we played only on occasion.

Book Club- this is how I found my way here but I got so caught up in the fun of the games! :)
I loved the small picture frame concept too- small chunks, small steps- nothing overwhelming. I enjoyed your comments!

Anonymous said...

I uѕed to be rеcommendеd this website by
way оf my couѕіn. I'm no longer certain whether or not this publish is written by him as no one else realize such particular approximately my problem. You'rе
incredible! Thank yοu!

Herе is my pаge;

Anonymous said...

Just dropping by from the Level Up Bloghop. Sounds like there would never be a boring day at your house with all the games played.

Laura Clipson said...

I used to play Ditch'Em (although we called it something different) when I was at School, along with Bulldogs, where there were two teams, one on each side of the playground, and a tagger in the middle. The objective of this one was to make it to the other side of the playground without getting tagged. Whoever got tagged became a tagger, so the game got harder and harder as more people were tagged.

michelle said...

I've heard a lot about Bird by Bird... the picture frame concept sounds good... realistic and manageable!
Piece-by-piece is the way to go - the big picture is daunting!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Joust will always rock Tyrean, but 21 screaming kids sounds fun too!

Carl V. Anderson said...

Those are all great games because of the way they bring people together and get everyone active. We played all of those games as kids and they made so many good memories. As my niece gets older I'm going to have to introduce her to some of these games.

Anonymous said...

hee hee ... I do the same with Fruit Ninja :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Lexie - Fox and Geese in the snow sounds like a blast!

Capillary - thanks! however, my teen says that she gets bored from time to time - you know in those transition moments of downtime. She has way more energy than the rest of us.

Laura - that sounds like fun!

michelle- I agree. The big picture can be daunting.

Maurice - Joust will definitely always rock, but 21 kids running around can be huge amounts of fun.

Carl - I think the way that games bring us together is the best part of them.

planning - glad I'm not the only one

Shell Flower said...

You are a serious gamer. Ditch 'em sounds cool. I can totally relate to choosing a childhood group game. Those endless summer nights were a lot of fun back in the day. Your daughter's party sounds like a blast, too :)

Christine Rains said...

What an awesome birthday party to play all those games! Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said... just named a whole bunch of games I don't know. Ditch'em sounds like a great time! I grew up on Monopoly, Life, Shoots & Ladders, and Candyland.

Trisha said...

Sounds like your house is a very fun one to visit! I love board games, card games, etc. :) Also, that's a major reason I haven't bought any game consoles since my Super NES years ago - I think it'd be too much of a time suck!

Loralie Hall said...

We used to play something almost exactly like Ditch'em - I loved it. It was the perfect thing to do when we were stuck somewhere with no anything except open spaces and random obstacles.