24 May 2012

Story Recommendation Memorial Day part 2

Monday 28 May 2012 is the day we set aside to honor and remember our fallen military men and women, Memorial Day. It use to be 30 May no matter what day of the week, but changed so always the last Monday in May. People now seem to concentrate on the long weekend aspect and forget why we have the holiday. My father was in the Air Force, my brother in the Army, an Uncle in Navy, two cousins in Navy/Marine Corps and I was in the Air Force. Memorial Day, July 4, and Veterans Day are important days not just for the day off from work. Remember and honor those that have fallen defending our freedom as you go about the holiday weekend festivities. Safe and enjoyable weekend to all.

Here is the story recommendation to honor Memorial Day. Not exactly canon story as we know Carlisle didn't return to London, but a 'what if' he had story. 

Abide With Me by latessitrice
When the Blitz begins, Carlisle returns to London to offer what help he can to his home town. One chapter complete, T rating

22 May 2012

My Mother

A week ago Sunday was Mother’s Day, Sunday there was a solar eclipse and next Sunday will be my mother’s birthday. The last time there was a solar eclipse visible in western US was 10 May 1994. My mother was visiting me at the time. That trip was the last time I saw her healthy. Less than six months later she was dead. So excuse me if I spend some words and space to talk about my mother.  I am missing her.

She was on the short side, about 5 feet 4 inches. She had red hair and temper to match it at times. She had freckles to match the red hair too. Her hair was always on the short side. She kept it all, it just turned a nice shade of white eventually.

She was a military wife. Dad went to Korea in 1950 and there were lots of temporary duty assignments in his 25 year career when she was left alone to take care of my brother and I and home.

In 1957 she started have health problems, surgery for this and then that and then something else. Looking back some could have been lessened with better diet, we had too many meat and potato dinners growing up. Some could have been avoided by never smoking, but didn’t know things about smoking back then.  She quit smoking about 1970. She smoked Parliaments.

It was kind of scary for a 7-8 year old to have their mother laid up in bed from surgeries. My brother and I had to help with household chores more and take care of mom too until dad got home. She didn’t like being laid up, didn’t complain, wasn’t hard to be around, just not so physically active. We would go in and talk to her like as if at kitchen table with all the ‘news’ of the day at school and whatever else we were doing.

She taught me how to bake and cook, how to set a proper table and use the correct utensils in the correct order. Both parents passed on a love of reading. Books were also used to balance on my head to learn correct posture when walking. Nothing got me to sit up straight though. Learned how to carry a full cup on a saucer without spilling a drop. We made cookies, pies and cakes – ok, she made and I helped some and then more as I got older. We shared licking the batter off the beaters and laugh about it. She made really good fruit cakes, much better than the really heavy ones you buy in store. Recipe lost somewhere. She taught me to sew and knit. I wasn’t really interested, but still can do either one when have to.

She was a good mother for the most part. Generally a nice lady, but could out swear a sailor. Her artistic creativity was expressed in sewing clothes and eventually oil paintings.          

She would like this blog and understand why I do it.

20 May 2012

Story Recommendation for Memorial Day part 1

Time to transition story recommendation tribute from Mother's Day to Memorial Day.  Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen military personnel. There is a story that really does that especially for Jasper, but I've not found it again. May we also remember the horrors of war so that we try harder to avoid it. 

This story takes place in the early days of WWII while the Cullens were living in Alaska. Hope you enjoy this piece about Emmett and Edward 'enlisting'. This was an entry into the Canon Tour PreTwilight.

Called to Serve by BellsJust Bells
In great times of need we are all called upon to serve our country in some way, whether you’re the walking dead or not. PreTwilight, rating PG13/T, one chapter that may or may not be complete. 

16 May 2012

Author: Kayla Griffith aka Openhome

The next author I want to discuss is Kayla Griffith, aka Openhome.  She is an administrator for Ramblings and Thoughts / Twilight Fan Fiction and Art web site [link on the right side of this site]. She gave me my first break into fan fiction. I sent her my first Twilight related poems and asked if they were suitable for the site. The next thing I knew they were posted. Wow! Heady experience! She has encouraged me in other ways as well. My first fan letter was to her after I finished reading Singularity. I had posted regular reviews, but when finished reading that story I needed to send her a separate emailed letter as a fan. We have continued with occasional email exchanges.

Openhome is her fan fiction name. She has completed two books about Alice and Jasper and working on the last book. The first two were completed before the Illustrated Twilight Guide was published so the story does not agree with the new information found in the Guide. The first book, Singularity, is about Alice’s time from waking as a vampire until meeting Jasper, about 30 years. It was written in response to discussions with her daughters about what Alice was doing during those years of waiting. The story is an interesting character study of how one adapts to a new unexpected life and the challenges that life throws at you while waiting for fulfillment of a vision. Alice is searching for what / who she is and for home. She finds out things about her new self and learns about who she is through her trials and joys.  She is helped along the way by some human and vampire friends and some alone time of self reflection.

None of us are immortal vampires, but we can still relate to some of the experiences Alice has. Alice knows who she loves and the family she will eventually be a part of, but has to wait for those things to actually happen. So what does she do? Sit and mope or goes after life? What do we do when waiting for someone? She gets some disturbing news, what does she do? How do we react to bad news? She has human friends that die. She has vampire friends that need her help. She has choices to make. Some are not well thought out and not well executed. She learns. Reading Alice’s story prompted me to look at some of my decisions and how I’ve lived my life. It shed light on topics in ways that I hadn’t thought of. It has given me a different perspective to some topics. I appreciate this fresh look at things for my own self reflection time.

The second book, Coalescence, is about the time Alice and Jasper have together until about 7 years after joining the Cullen family. It is their journey of discovery of each other. It is their journey together as Alice supports Jasper as he learns to live off of animal blood.  The third book, Rogue, is more about Jasper finding peace after the life he led before finding Alice and the Cullens. There are elements of post traumatic stress disorder for Jasper in Coalescence and I think some final resolution to that will be in Rogue.  It is good to see this issue tackled in fiction as so many people today are dealing with it themselves or helping others deal with it in the real world.

In reading the Twilight Saga books, I’ve not understood why after nearly 50 years the lure of human blood was still so strong for Jasper. Reading Kayla’s stories helps explain that aspect of his character. Jasper is one of the minor characters that changes between beginning of Twilight and end of Breaking Dawn. The end of his change is mostly due to Bella and Nessie. Kayla is giving Jasper a fuller story of that change. That is the appeal for me of Kayla’s stories about Alice and Jasper, getting into their heads as to how and why they change. That also applies to her other stories, just not as detailed being shorter.

Kayla has also written other fan fiction stories – based on Twilight and other fan favorite books.  Those stories can be found through her profile page on R&T and FFn, links provided below. She has a blog about life and writing that shows off her sense of humor. There are at least two original novels that she is working at getting published.  The first is a PG13 romance called Casserole Committee where a town’s casserole committee interferes with the love life of two ladies – one divorced and one widowed. Results are funny and touching. I hope it is published soon so more people can enjoy the small town happenings and Kayla’s delightful and clean sense of humor. The second one is still undergoing final edits.

It is good to see a fan fiction author moving on to being paid for their work, even it means less fan fiction stories. Fan fiction can be purely for fun and self fulfillment or for fun and practice. It is exciting to watch as Kayla’s practice writing in someone else’s universe yields published original novels of romance without all the sex so prevalent in books today. I look forward to whatever else she may write.

Below are links to her fan fiction profiles, a blog entry on R&T and the final link is to her web blog.

author profile

author profile

Tells how peanut butter and cat paws got her to write fan fiction.

The Comfort of Chaos

10 May 2012

Story Recommendation Mother's Day part 3

Best wishes for all the mothers out there to have a wonderful weekend! and especially great Mother's Day!

This will be the last Twilight fan fiction recommendations for Mother's Day, next two weeks will be in honor of Memorial Day.

Mother's Day 1986 by ECABS
Esme's Mother's Day with the Cullens 20 years ago. Dedicated to all the wonderful mothers out there.  Completed, 1 chapter, PG13

Anchor by Eowyn77
How did Esme the quintessential mother, cope with the worst fight the Cullens had ever had? (the night after Edward saves Bella from Tyler's van)   Completed, 1 chapter, PG13

09 May 2012

Author: Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey is the second author that influenced my pen name. She is a more recent arrival on my author list than Andre Norton; think I was in my very late teens and at college. Dragonflight was the first of her books that I read, it is also the first in the Dragonriders of Pern series. The living quarters for the dragons is called a weyr and picked that for my pen name's last name. I have over a dozen 'dragons' living with me, so seemed an appropriate name to pick. Also like that the initial are AW.

I like things that fly - butterflies, dragonflyis, birds, planes, spaceships, dragons. I like stories where there is a link between animal and human companions. The Pern dragons imprint on a human companion right out of the shell, they have a telepathic link and they fly. What more could I ask for in a story. Story captured me immediately.

Another series is the Crystal Singer. This one is my favorite. I'm not sure exactly why. It does not have the things I generally like in stories, but it is the series I have reread the most. I'm not at all musically inclined so have no connection to that aspect.

She has several other series of books and some stand alone books.  Most are science fiction / fantasy.  I've probably read about half. All the ones that I've read are clean, fade to black suggestion of intimacy. That may or maynot hold true for her romance books which I have not read. Her son, Todd McCaffrey has taken up writing in the Pern universe, I've not read any of those books yet.

I met her once at a book signing for the White Dragon in 1978 and seen her at two WorldCons. Similar to Andre Norton as she got older she collaborated with different authors. I've read some of those authors books too. Nice way to be introduced to another author.  A couple of links for more information:


06 May 2012

Story Recommendations: Mother's Day part 2

Continuing my tribute to mothers here are two more stories about Esme Cullen as a mother. Both of these are complete in one chapter. The first one is humorous. The second is more thoughtful.  Hope you enjoy. Have a great week.

Esme's Etiquette by Saiyachick
Esme lectures the Cullen kids on their bad manners. Even vampires aren't perfect.  One chapter completed, PG13

Kindred Spirit by Eowyn77
Esme protected Charlie from Victoria while James was hunting Bella.  What were her thoughts and feelings about this unusual role?
One chapter completed, PG13

03 May 2012

Author: Andre Norton

I thought I would start writing about some authors, why I like their stories, highlighting some particular favorites. First up is Andre Norton since part of my pen name is a tribute to her.

Andre Norton was the first science fiction author I read. The story was Star Man's Son. It is the first story I remember specifically reading. I read lots of things before that, but this is the first book I remember specifically. I had been reading lots of books for years but don't remember titles or authors.  There were the usual variety of series books like Bobbsy Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift Jr books before picking up Andre Norton's book when I was about 8 years old. It was likely 'borrowed' from my brother's room. It captured my attention. I went looking for other books by her along with reading other authors and other topics too. Elementary school had a summer reading contest, don't remember winning, but did read a lot.

Most of her books are fantasy / science fiction - coming of age, adventure stories. There are some mysteries involved in some. There are a few here on earth romance novels with supernatural aspects. A few historical fantasies are part of her body of work. Most are young adult books. She has a number of different series she wrote. Best know are likely the Witch World books and Solar Queen books.

I enjoyed the books in my youth and at my advance age still do. It seems to me that the lessons taught in coming of age stories need to be retaught later in life at times.  Maybe it is just to remember them better after being cluttered over with other life experiences, clearer and simpler reminders. All of the stories are clean, hardly any kissing. She has female and male main characters - sometimes as one person alone, sometimes a couple kind of thrown together suddenly, sometimes groups working together.

Some of the female characters start off the story in an Abbey, as orphans or otherwise abandoned by society. So Abby is a tribute to her.

Of special interest to me were the ones working with animals, especially cats, that would be able to communicate with human companions. I really like cats, but can not have any due to allergies, so reading about them is next best thing. Growing up our family pets were dogs because Mom didn't like cats. She had good reason beside allergic.

There are no favorites - love most all of them. There are a couple of really dark stories that didn't like so much. I've not taken a look at list of books to actually note down how many I've read, not all of them, but most. I recommend any of the books to anyone age 8 and older. I've passed along my collection of paperback books to the Santos Fire Relief. Ms Santos is a Twilight Mom, book blogger, etc who lost her home to fire earlier this year. The word was put out to stock a new book collection for her and her family. I hope the Andre Norton books will become beloved by them as they were by me.

link to an Andre Norton web site:  http://www.andre-norton.org/

link to Santos Relief:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santos-House-Fire-Relief/180505755384026

01 May 2012

Story Recommendation for Mother's Day

Happy May Day! In honor of Mother's Day being this month the highlighted stories will be about Esme Cullen and a couple of stories about soldiers for Memorial Day.

The first story is a multi-chapter story entitled A Mother's Choice by dsolo. It covers the time from from birth of her son to end of Breaking Dawn from her point of view. It has been a while since I read the story. I found it enjoyable hearing from an alternate character's point of view. She saw things that Bella and Edward didn't. As I recall the characters and story are canon. No major complaints about how it was written that I recall. It is complete at 45 chapters, rated PG13. The link is to Ramblings and Thoughts, Twilight Fan Fiction and Art web site.

The second story is an one chapter story submitted to The Canon Tour, http://thecanontour.tumblr.com/ for main page and http://www.fanfiction.net/u/3041014 for the story collection site. 

The story taking place during New Moon is by Katmom, Letters from Esme - a mother's love (and meddling) knows no bounds. Unbeknownst to Edward, Esme stays in touch with Bella. It is rated T. Does reference 'shouty caps'. The link is 

The Canon Tour should be having the Eclipse round starting this month. The previous time frames have already been covered. Check out the other stories, all are canon. There are some very good stories.