Monthly Archives: July 2011

Mmm, That’s Sexy.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading more than I usually do. I mean, I’ve always been a big reader and I always have a stack of new books waiting to be read โ€“ paper and digital. ๐Ÿ™‚ My energy levels have been too low lately to do much more than read someone else’s work instead of working on my own. So I feel like talking about what I read for a change.

I’m currently reading “White Night,” the ninth in a fantasy/mystery series by Jim Butcher, called “The Dresden Files.” I’d recommend reading them in order, starting with “Storm Front.” I started this series a few months ago and I’ve been hooked. Lucky for me, there are already thirteen books published in the series so I have a little ways to go before waiting for a new publication like the rest of the fans.

Anyway, they’re a great series all about a wizard named Harry Dresden, who lives and works in Chicago as a private investigator. Fantasy isn’t my usual genre, neither is mystery but I love this series. Dresden is a fantastic lead and the entire universe that Butcher has created is intricate without being too bogged down with useless details. Throughout the series, Dresden has grown as an individual and occurrences in each story affect him in future ones. Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed a lot of the subtle changes to his character if I’d read them a year apart as they’d originally been published, but still, it’s a wonderful, fun, absolutely entertaining series.

And that Harry Dresden…rowrrrrr. He is one sexy wizard.

In the beginning, he was cute, sweet and endearing. He has a whole chivalrous hero complex that is totally appealing. Then things start to happen to him, bad things. Part of him becomes less endearing and more intense and…questionable. And yet, he maintains his charm.

It makes me wonder why we read some characters and find them so wholly appealing. I mean, I know what it’s like for me to fall in love with characters I read. Even occasionally the ones I write. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Most humans are visual creatures though. We seeย  someone and find them beautiful and attractive, like a movie star or model or whatever. I find it interesting that we can read a series of words and feel that same attraction.

My most recent book crush is Dresden, as I’ve displayed above, and I’m wondering how many others I have. Let me think…there’s the always popular Mr. Darcy. Who doesn’t love that guy? Of my top ten favourite authors, I suppose I’ve found literary lust with a few of those creations. My favourite author, Guy Gavriel Kay, is good at creating brooding, sexy heroes. And of course, romance male leads are especially appealing because we get their point of view a lot of times. J.R. Ward is particularly good with tortured male leads. Well, with writing them in a way that makes you sympathetic even though they’re supernatural killing machines. Grrr…

I’ve mentioned hers before, but I adore some of Eve McFadden’s leading men. They’re endearing and brutal and strong just like so many of my other favourites. I don’t mean to make it sound as though I only love the alpha males types. I’m also a fan of the underdog, or not just the underdog, but the unexpected choice, if that makes any sense. Eve probably knows what I’m talking about. We have this conversation often. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tell me something, my friends: which are your favourites? What is it about your favourite characters that makes them so appealing to you? Some similarity with someone you know? The fact that they’re the exact opposite of your significant other? Do any of my characters rate near the top of your lists? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hey, I had to ask.

For now, I’m going to go back to reading the sexy Harry Dresden.

Take care and happy reading!

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Too Hot!

Man, I swear I would have written on the weekend like I usually do but it’s been way too hot to sit hunched over a computer. I’ve been getting nothing done in the way of writing, editing or corresponding.

I know some of you probably live in places where it’s like this all year. I would have to kill someone. Probably myself. I’m just not into the constant hot weather. I get especially agitated when the humidity gets jacked up.

Now, I live in Southern Alberta and anyone who’s been here knows that it can get very hot in the summer. However, this heat here is almost a desert heat, very dry and mostly bearable. Not like the east coast where the humidity makes me want to shave my head and walk around naked with bags of ice strapped to various body parts. I can handle the heat here…most of the time. Today, oh wow, you could feel the thunderstorm brewing. When it gets humid here, it’s because it’s about to open up and Mother Nature is going to release the biggest bitch-slap of a storm on you. If you dare to flip her off in reply, well, she’ll just fire a lightning bolt right up your ass, so be warned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I don’t have a point to this except that there is still a major thunderstorm watch advisory for our city and the surrounding areas. We actually had a tornado hit in one section of the city last week โ€“ nothing terrible, just a little one that wrecked a few trees and toppled some fences and sheds and whatnot.

And it’s TOO FREAKING HOT!!

I want to write, I swear I do. I can feel how hot my fingers are getting even now and I’ve written…what? 300 words? UGH. I should probably mention that I don’t have air conditioning. That would be the logical thing but although I’m complaining profusely right now, honestly, this heat won’t last forever so I’m all right with it for a couple of days at a time. I’m not going to shell out the extra $$$ when I can sleep naked and point the fan right at my…well, you get the idea.

Anyway…I just wanted to touch base and say hey.

Hey.

How are ya?

I’ve heard there’s some major heat sweeping through a large portion of the continent, actually. Not just here. All across the prairies and down through several states. Makes me glad I live so close to the mountains and I could drive for an hour to lie down in a glacier-fed lake if I really wanted to cool off.

So when the heat comes down this weekend โ€“ which I expect it to โ€“ I will get back to my regular writing. I’m trying to work on my next TAITS story for publication but you all know how I feel about editing. *kill me now…*

I’ve also tentatively started a follow-up to “Breaking Through the Ice” โ€“ but that’s very preliminary. ๐Ÿ˜€ Don’t get too excited.

Oh, and for those other fast car lovers out there (or lover, since I suspect there’s really only one of you who might care…) I spent my Friday night at the race track here in town and I kid you not, the stress of one of my most stressful weeks ever just disappeared at the sound of the first engine firing up. Aaaahhh, just thinking about it now relaxes me. And as long as there’s no rain on Friday, I’ll probably be there again. I’ll take a video next time and post that, even though it won’t be the same. All I’m saying is that’s it awesome therapy for me and it doesn’t cost me anything. ๐Ÿ™‚

So for now, I hope you’re all staying cool… I’m not. I’m ready to run a cold bath, I swear. *sigh*

Take care and happy reading!

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“The most fun you can have with your boots ON…”

It’s that time of year again. That time when the entire city comes together to celebrate a single event. When all the decorations come out of storage to adorn shopping malls and office spaces. When the music playing is that familiar theme you can’t help but hum along to. Think you know what I’m talking about? Maybe you’re confused. Christmas is in December, after all.

I’m talking about The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. The Calgary Stampede. Every year it seems to catch me by surprise. This year, maybe it’s because we had such a crappy spring that summer seems to have sprung right out of winter. All I know is that I get caught up in the whirlwind of BBQ’s and partying like every other veteran of this city does. I start to understand why so many citizens of Calgary leave town on holidays this week.

At the same time, I love this week. I love the atmosphere. Not just the partying, but all the fun and excitement. The rodeo is never the same, and walking the Midway at Stampede Park feels new every year. I love that the weather seems to cooperate this week, if no other time of year, though I’ll tell you about this one ride I had when I was nineteen. It involves a thunderstorm and being suspended about thirty feet in the air. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Maybe some of you have never even heard of the Stampede. That’s all right. Now you know. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have heard about it, trust me when I say there’s more than rides and food. There’s more than the rodeo and grandstand show.

There’s an entire city full of parties and free food and people visiting from all over the world and locals who are all in the festive spirit. There are fireworks that would rival any Fourth of July celebration, let me tell you, and more beer than you could drink in a lifetime. I’m not beer lover myself, but I just thought I’d throw that out there.

The city is also suddenly peopled with all cowboys and cowgirls. Here’s an actual bus ad from last year, I think, and it’s so perfect it makes me smile every time I see it.

Hell, even the visiting royals this week got into the spirit, good sports that they are. And might I just add as an aside here, that Prince William makes a fine-looking cowboy? ๐Ÿ˜€

For my part, I don’t do the Western wear thing. I prefer my regular, light clothing.

In a lot of ways, Stampede is Calgary’s week-long holiday. You’re forgiven for coming in late to work or for being too hungover to focus on work. It’s understood if you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend the week before โ€“ if you’re not serious โ€“ because there’s more opportunities for single people this week than any other time of year. Seriously, come July in Calgary, all bets are off.

I usually go every year, see the rodeo, play some games, eat every kind of food-on-a-stick you can think of, walk through the stables, laugh at the clowns. I attend work parties โ€“ everyone throws a Stampede pancake breakfast or a BBQ lunch or dinner. I even went to a bar downtown called The Roadhouse with two coworkers on Thursday night. There was an event on called “Studs & Spurs.” It was a charity even to raise money for the local firefighter’s burn recovery centre. There were firefighters and cowboys everywhere you looked. They were friendly and spent time chatting up all the ladies. For my part, I made sure we got our fireman’s calendar autographed by all the firemen. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This is a blurry picture, but I’m the shorter one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Boy, do I sound like I’m writing an article for Calgary Tourism or something? LOL. I don’t mean to. I genuinely love this time of year. Yes, it gets busy and there are a ton of tourists but it’s so much fun and you’ll never find another event like it.

I guess I don’t really have a point this week except that I wanted to share my excitement and affection for this time of year in my city. I love this place, I love this event and I love summertime.

So I’ll leave you all with a big, loud YAHOO!!

Take care and happy reading!

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