Sunday, September 16, 2012


Last weekend, I was in Portland for my friend's wedding & I spent a couple days in Portland proper. I found the wonderful place that is Powell's City of Books:

I knew the minute I walked in, I was going to get lost & that I was in heaven. If you're a fan of books (at all), you need to go to this store. Cookbooks (my brother), travel books (my mom), sheep books (my dad), fantasy books (me), romance, thriller, technology, documentaries, anything you can think of: they have it. New & used books, so if you're like me & you're kind of poor, you can still afford to buy 6 books (like me).

I spent my time in the Gold Room. I found so many books that I want. I could easily spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours in Powell's.

Seriously. Go there.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the "Glass" series by Maria V. Snyder

I found the fantasy/science fiction section at my library & haven't looked back. I discovered one of my new favorite authors: Maria V. Snyder.

Her "Study" series, (Poison Study, Magic Study, & Fire Study) are well known and praised highly. They're sitting in my room waiting to be read. 

I started with what I call her "Glass" series.

 I found the titles intriguing & once I read the first one, I couldn't put it down & couldn't get to library fast enough to get the other two. 

Book 1: Storm Glass

As the book opens, we're introduced to a girl named Opal Cowen. We understand that she is training to be magician, but her magical abilities only extend to one "magic trick." She is a glass maker with a unique power over glass.
The Stormdancer clan is in need of help. Their glass orbs that they use to channel the storm's energy are shattering, killing stormdancers. Opal is sent to create new orbs.
During the opening chapters, we get a hint of something in Opal's past that is quite unpleasant. Throughout the story, we find more details & soon we begin to piece together the story (but I won't spoil it for you). 
Opal discovers that there is deep magic at work & she has more powers than she originally thought. The book ends without really ending the story, making the reader eager for the next book. 

The first book moves quickly through the story. I like the fast paced writing that somehow gives details on appearances, places etc. without deterring from the plot line. I get bored with pages of description and no action & I never got bored while reading Storm Glass
The characters are well developed and there isn't too much repetition when it comes to Opal's memories. 

Book 2: Sea Glass

 In the second book of the series, Opal is very confused. She's developing a relationship with Ulrick, a young man who is from her hometown, while also having feelings for Kade, a stormdancer she met in book 1. She's dealing with new powers, new dangers, & mistrust from almost everyone in her life. 
Her entire life is turned upside down & she doesn't know who to trust. The Council has become frightened of her and doesn't trust her. Her mentor ignores her & doesn't believe her & even her family seems to be against her. 
I can't tell you much more without giving away the wonderful twists & turns in the plot that Maria'll just have to read it. 

This book has more repetition than the first. Maria reminds the reader of what happened in the first book over and over again. It's a little frustrating, especially for those who have read the first one in the series. 
The writing is still fast-paced & I didn't get bored with this one either. Characters continue to be developed; there are a few new ones that are introduced, & the reader gets a good sense of their character even in the short time they're involved in the story. 

Book 3: Spy Glass

Opal has lost her powers. She is also immune to magic, so she feels locked out of the magicians world. Her life is slightly more stable, but she is still in almost constant danger. (Kind of story of her life at this point).
She discovers that someone stole some of her blood & that if she can find it, she may be able to get her magic back. She goes on a mission to find her blood & on her way, she picks up a new love, new enemies, new friends, & a new identity. 
She finally comes to realization that not everything is always her fault. Her family forgives her, the Council is alright with her, & her mentor quits ignoring her. In other words, it's a fairly happy ending.
The ending is a particularly interesting twist, so I won't tell you how it ends.

Again, there is the repetition that can be a little annoying for those that have read the whole series. Again, the writing is spectacular & it's hard to put down.
The ending actually frustrated me a little bit--but I guess we can't have everything we want. 
Throughout the series (especially the second and third books), Opal's love life is very dysfunctional. I guess Maria is trying to explain that Opal is a young woman who doesn't know her own heart, but I got a little frustrated with it. Maybe you won't. 
I still really love the series & will probably try to add them to my collection permanently sometime soon.
For now, I'm going to read Ms. Snyder's "Study" series & see how it compares. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

book review: Starlighter by Bryan Davis

I've been looking for new authors & new genres to read because I've read most of what is on my bookshelf & I'm always looking for new things. 
I came across this book while browsing through a Christian bookstore in Spokane, Washington a few weeks ago:

I hadn't read any of Bryan Davis' books before, but while doing a little research, I've noticed he has a sturdy following. Dragons of Starlight is not his first series, but it is newest. 

Starlighter is the first in the Dragons of Starlight series. It is very fast paced & well written. I started reading it the minute I got in the car after buying it & finished it the next morning--barely putting it down at all.

Jason Masters is a young warrior who doubts the existence of dragons. Tales swirl around of people being kidnapped by these dragons & taken to another world to be slaves, but most people chalk up the missing persons to the giant mountain bears that are known to take people prisoners before devouring them. 

When Jason's older brothers both leave to attempt to discover the dragons world, Jason is left in the position of bodyguard to the governor. He isn't in the position long before mysterious signs lead him to believe that the dragons really do exist. In the true manner of quests, Jason (the hero) gathers around him a group of people willing to brave the danger & help him on his way. 

Meanwhile, in the dragon world, Koren--a young slave--discovers that she has a gift. The dragons haven't seemed to notice her gift, or have they? Mystery surrounds her master. Is he a friend of the slaves or is he a true dragon through & through? Koren has to decipher the meaning behind all of his words. 

Once her gift is discovered by the dragons, she is moved to another house to serve another master. It is here that she learns of the existence of Jason & she escapes to try to help him & her friend that is in trouble with the dragons.

Again in the true manner of quests, people band together to help the hero & other main characters achieve their goals. In this case the goal is freedom for the slaves of the dragons. 

The books moves quickly, but it is not hard to follow. The stories of Jason & Koren are woven together very skillfully. When the stories finally intercept each other & join together the book is almost at its end. For those of us that hate cliff-hangers, the end of the book will be slightly frustrating. It is the first in the series & while the book finishes the first chapter of the story so to speak, I can't wait to find the next books & continue the story.

If you're even slightly interested in this book, I highly recommend it. I would also suggest that you check out Bryan Davis' website & his other books as well.


Sunday, January 29, 2012


It comes in two’s, three’s,
Four’s, five’s
Any number will do really.

In times of peace
Arguments arise within.
In times of battle
It presents a united front.

It gathers around
Dinner tables, living rooms,

In times of sorrow
Comfort is given.
In times of joy
Laughter is shared.

It is family.
Family is five.
I love my five. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yet another poem assignment for my Creative Writing class. I wrote this one last night while at the hospital with a friend.

"I did the dragon's will until you came;
Yet tender.

"You came and loved me like he never could;

"His jealousy spread through every bronze scale;

"You stood, protecting my fragility;
Yet foolish.
I mourn you.

"I do the dragon's will until the end;
Yet tender."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Glass Dreams" by me :)

Life brings scars, tears, heartbreak, and pain.
Too many breaks create a time of darkness.
I seclude myself in a box of glass;
Content to view the world through a window:
Watching humanity try their hand at love,
Enjoying their ignorant freedom

The day I saw you, I wanted freedom.
I wanted to risk more scars and pain.
I realized I needed your love
To bring light into my homemade darkness;
To shine through my dusty window;
To shatter my home of glass.

I pressed my face against the glass
Yearning for a mobile freedom,
So I could remove my viewing window.
I cared less about the probable pain;
I needed you to free me from this darkness,
To unshackle me with your love.

I tried to remember what it felt like to love,
As I watched you through the glass.
I struggled against the overwhelming darkness.
I believed in the possibility of freedom,
Determined to forget my love-incurred pain.
My breath created fog on the window.

I clung to my dream I saw out the window,
Dusting the cobwebs from my love.
I imagined a life with you without pain
Outside of my world of glass
Filled with the joys of a happy freedom.
I could not imagine any more darkness.

Never again would I live in darkness,
I knew you would see me through my window
Eagerly awaiting my freedom,
Ready to give you my love.
Never again would I live enclosed in glass;
No more would I cry tears of pain.

Agonizing—tears falling with pain; creeping back is the darkness.
My world will forever remain glass; I will always have my window
For you gave her your love; eternally crushing my hopes of freedom.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Collection of Poems

by Arthur Rimbaud
I embraced the summer dawn.
Nothing was stirring yet in front of the palaces. The water lay lifeless. Encamped shadows did not leave the woodland road. I stepped forth, arousing breaths alive and warm, and precious stones kept watch, and wings rose up without a sound.
My first enterprise was, in the path already filled with cool, pale glints, a flower that told me her name.
I laughed at the blond waterfall which tossed disheveled hair across the pines: on the silvery summit I espied the goddess.
Then, one by one, I lifted her veils. In the lanes waving my arms. On the plain, where I gave the cock notice of her coming. In the city, she fled among the steeples and domes, and, running like a beggar across the marble quays, I pursued her.
On the upper part of the road, near a grove of laurels, I surrounded her with her massed veils, and sensed somewhat her immeasurable body. Dawn and the child plunged to the bottom of the wood. 
When I awoke, it was noon.
(the original is in French, so here is a rough translation)
J'ai embrassé l'aube d'été.
Rien ne bougeait encore en face du palais. L'eau jeter sans vie. Campé ombres ne quittaient pas la route boisée. J'ai s'avança, suscitant respirations vivante et chaleureuse,et des pierres précieuses veillaient, et les ailes se levèrent sans bruit.
Ma première entreprise fut, dans le chemin déjà rempli de fraîcheur, des reflets pâles, une fleur qui me dit son nom.
J'ai ri à la cascade blonde échevelée, qui jeté à travers les pins: sur le sommet argentéj'avisai la déesse.
Puis, un par un, j'ai levé les voiles. Dans les ruelles en agitant les bras. Sur la plaine, où j'ai donné le préavis coq de sa venue. Dans la ville, elle a fui parmi les clochers et les dômes,et courant comme un mendiant à travers les quais de marbre, je l'ai poursuivi.
Sur la partie supérieure de la route, près d'un bosquet de lauriers, je l'ai entourée avecses voiles massés, et j'ai senti un peu son corps incommensurable. L'aube et l'enfantplongé au fond du bois.
Quand je me réveillai, il était midi.

by William Blake
I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man, 
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackening Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot's curse
Blasts the new-born Infant's tear, 
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

Sonnet 116
by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
      If this be error and upon me proved,
      I never writ, nor no man ever loved.