Tragic Flaws

Last night, I finished reading the Percy Jackson series.  All in all, I loved them and I’m really looking forward to reading the Heroes of Olympus series.  They’ve also really inspired me to get back into drawing.  I used to draw all the time.  When I was younger, I really thought I was going to grow up to be an artist.


This is one of my favorite paintings I’ve done. The light beams below the whale look kind of stupid, but I loved the whale and the stars.


Turtle sketch.


Now, for the record, I am nowhere near talented enough to actually become an artist.  A photographer?  I’d like to think maybe.  But as much as I love to draw and paint, I’m not stellar.  That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, however.  Thanks to Percy Jackson, I really want to paint some Greek Mythology.

The books also got me thinking about the ideas of Tragic Flaws, the characteristic that could potentially be a hero’s downfall.  In Percy Jackson, Annabeth’s tragic flaw is pride.  Percy’s is his willingness to sacrifice the entire world in order to save one of his friends.  The concept of tragic flaws does not strictly apply to the Percy Jackson.  In Shakespeare’s tragedies, you find Othello’s jealousy, Hamlet’s unwillingness to act, and MacBeth’s ambition.  This afternoon at work, I started thinking about what my tragic flaw might be.  I came up with several possibilities, which, now that I think about it, might not be something to brag about, but I thought I’d share anyway.

1) Stubbornness

I am stubborn.  Like, to a pigheaded degree.  If I think I need to do something, I’m going to do it no matter what anyone else tells me.  I very rarely change my opinions on anything and I am very loathe to admit I was wrong.  I will admit it, but it’s VERY difficult.  Still, I almost always think that I’m right and I’m very opinionated.

2) Defensiveness

Along those same lines, I am also very defensive.  I hate being wrong or mistaken and I take criticism very personally (which is a TERRIBLE trait for an author).  I blame this compulsive need to be correct on my time spent in a private elementary school where even the slightest lapse in perfection would result in a yellow card, three of which added up to a detention.

3) Overanalysis

I, like several girls, overanalyze EVERYTHING.  A person could send me a simple text message like, “Okay,” and I’d immediately think, “Okay?!  What does that mean?  Are they mad at me?  Are they happy?  Are they simply settling to appease me?  Do they think I’m a huge loser?  Oh gosh, they must think I’m the most annoying person in the world!”  It’s awful.

4) I Never Give Anyone the Benefit of the Doubt

This is one that I’m trying to work on, but I have a bad habit of assuming the worst.  I think I can read people, so I am likely to believe that I know their thoughts, their motivations, and every bad intention that they have.

5) Impatience

I have no patience for anything.  I hate waiting.  It drives me crazy.  I barely have the patience to write out this paragraph right now.

6) Self Pity

I’m not sure why, but there are times when my self esteem just plummets.  It happened a lot more when I was in graduate school, but I still have my off days every now and then.  Publishing my book helped a lot, but every now and then, I’ll be struck by that little voice in the back of my head screaming, “You’re so weird, you’re so useless, no one is going to like you the way that you are, you better get cool NOW.”  Again, that has been happening less and less, but my self-esteem could still use a bit of improvement.

7) Laziness

I’m lazy.

8) Compulsive Need to Make Lists of 10, or at Least Even Numbers

I think this one kind of speaks for itself.

I know everyone has flaws and I know that this list doesn’t even come close to describing all of mine.  However, I don’t think that focusing on the negative is a good idea (add Hypocrisy to the list).  I’d much rather look for the good and the beauty in people, places, and things, than for the things that might not be so perfect.  I say I’d rather do this because it’s very difficult for me.  That another thing I’d like to start working on.  My mom has the remarkable gift to see goodness in everybody.  It’s something I really envy about her, because I’m simply not like that.  I’m more like my dad, personality wise.  The only personality traits I share with my mom are that I love cats and will tell anyone who will listen pretty much anything.

I hope spelling out all of my tragic flaws has not made you like me any less.  I value honesty above pretty much any other virtue (If we lived in the world of Divergent, I’d be a Candor for sure).  I guess sometimes, it’s easier for me to understand life when I think of it like one big storybook.  Characters are easy to understand, but real people?  I think to even begin to understand ourselves would take a lifetime.

New Reviews, New Goals, New Stories

Happy Monday, all.  I hope you all had splendid weekends.  My sister is home for spring break, so I might not be updating quite as regularly as I normally would because I want to spend as much time with her as possible.  I do want to share with you some fun updates.

First of all, the sequel to Cemetery Tours is officially in the hand of all my editors (though I may have updated that last week, I can’t quite remember) AND my graphic designer is officially on the job for the cover!  So exciting!

Speaking of Ben, he says, “Thank you for all the nice birthday wishes.”   

Second, Cemetery Tours has 34 reviews now!  Some of the new ones include…



I also have a new goal in mind.  Right now, I’m aiming for the sequel to be out early to mid June.  By that time, I want Cemetery Tours to have at least 50 reviews on Amazon.  I don’t think that’s too unrealistic. I only need 16 more.  Anyway, if you’d like to RSVP to the awesome possum Review Party on Facebook, here’s a link to the event:

I’m excited to be able to say I’m currently in the midst of reading and reviewing a new indie book, The Amazing Crystal by Gerald Lizee.   



He, in turn, is reading and reviewing Cemetery Tours.  I love doing book exchanges with other authors.  It’s a great way to connect with your peers and you get a cool new book!  

I’ve also almost finished the Percy Jackson series.  I just have one book to go, then I guess it’s on to the Heroes of Olympus series.  I am seriously loving these books.  I know I’ve said it over and over again, but Greek Mythology is just so cool.  I have several friends who have been revisiting their artistic days, and that plus reading all of these books is making me want to draw and paint again.  I just need to find the time!  

The little spare time I do have, I’ve been dedicating to the next book.  This will not be a Cemetery Tours book, though I am by no means finished with that series.  I figure I have at least two more books to go.  

It’s a little strange working on a new book.  I love it, especially since I get to work with new characters, a new setting, and a whole new set of circumstances.  No ghosts in this one.  It’s going to be a lot more chick lit than Cemetery Tours.  But I think it will be good and I’m excited about it.  It’s weird not to be writing Michael, Kate, and Luke though.  They’ve been with me for almost two years now.  They’ve become like friends to me.  They’re probably enjoying having a break.  Plus, I don’t want to be known just for Cemetery Tours. I have so many other ideas.  I want to have a lot of different books, several series, several stand alone novels, etc…  

Hopefully, I’m well on my way.  

Sunday Updates

Despite the gray and the fog and the general sense of Yuck in the air, it’s actually been a fairly productive weekend.  I finished reading Seance by Tinsley Collins.  It was awesome!  I’ll post my formal review of it tomorrow, along with pictures and links.  I definitely plan on buying a copy for myself once I get paid on Friday.  I’m also (finally) almost done reading my friends’ book.  I realized the reason it’s taken me a little longer to read it is because I’ve been going through and editing, making side notes, and honestly, reading is just so much more when you don’t do that.  

Also on the book front, Cemetery Tours got another great review…  Image

 … bringing the total review count on Amazon up to 25!!



I also got a new shipment of books in. 


As usual, Midnight thought they were for her.



But they’re not.  Neither are the last three books in the Percy Jackson series.  


I wanted to buy the third one on Friday, but I went to Target and they didn’t have it!  It was like the third Harry Potter book all over again!  So, I went to Barnes and Noble and decided to just buy the rest of them while I saw them.  There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a series and not being able to finish!  

Finally, one last picture before I sign off for the night… I was at church this morning and guess what they’re selling?




Talk to you all tomorrow.  Sleep tight and stay warm! 


The Monday Report: Take Two

Monday, we meet again.  So far, you’ve actually been pretty okay to me.  I hope you don’t make me regret saying that.

Before I really begin this post, I do want to take a moment to honor the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.  As I’m sure most of you know by now, he passed away yesterday from an apparent drug overdose.  That just kills me.  My sister and I always said that he was one of the good ones.  I mean really good.  He could take any part, no matter how small, and turn it into a brilliant performance, impossible to forget.  I remember finding out that he would be playing Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire.  I was thrilled, not only because I love the character, but because every role automatically became ten times better whenever he was cast.  I try to make you all think I’m nice and happy here on this blog, but in reality, I can be a pretty harsh critic.  I’m a fangirl and I become addicted to certain franchises easily, but I can also be very difficult to impress.  Philip Seymour Hoffman always impressed me.  Always.  And I’m absolutely devastated that such a bright, brilliant, and promising life has been cut so tragically short.  Rest in Peace, Philip, May Light Perpetual Shine Upon You, and May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.

In other news, I hear the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.  I’m not much of a football fan (much to my small-town, big-time college football jock Dad’s dismay).  Besides, I was too busy fretting over the current Ron-Hermione-Harry situation to really care what was happening on television.

Actually, that’s kind of a lie.  I wasn’t fretting.  My sister and I were laughing and making a lot of mean joke’s at poor Ron’s expense. I know to some fans, it’s not funny at all that JK announced that she regretted pairing Ron and Hermione up, but that poor guy!  Even his own author thinks he’s a loser!  That’s just so sad, you really don’t have a choice but to laugh about it!  To quote my sister, “Least loved by the mother who craved a daughter. Least loved by the girl who prefers your friend. Least loved NOW BY JK ROWLING.”

Poor Ron.  He really did get the short end of the stick in pretty much EVERY situation.  I do agree with JK though that Hermione could have done a lot better.  But a part of me does like them together, especially in the eighth movie when Ron runs after Malfoy and his lackeys and screams, “THAT’S MY GIRLFRIEND, YOU NUMPTIES!”  So romantic.  And basically the only point in the entire series that I like in the movie better than in the book.

Speaking of movies vs. books, I’ve finally begun reading the Percy Jackson series.  I’ve only read the first two, but so far, I’m really enjoying them.  I’m a huge Greek Mythology nerd.  In fact, I’ve always said if I wasn’t a Christian, I’d be an Ancient Greek Mythologist because it’s just so cool. Anyway, the books are great.  The movies?  Well, there are parts of them that I like.  For example, I loved Tyson in the second one.  He was just off-the-charts adorable.  I also loved how they designed the hippocampus. I’m not sure I want a hippocampus quite as much as I want a dragon, but it’s definitely close!

Unfortunately overall, both movies were a bit of a disappointment, especially the second one.  One of my favorite things about the book was how often it paralleled The Odyssey.  Not the case in the movie.  They took out almost all references, including but not limited to Grover making and then unmaking his wedding train, Nobody, and the Sirens.

HELLO.  HOW COULD YOU LEAVE OUT THE SIRENS?!  They were one of the coolest parts of the entire book!  You’re killin’ me, Hollywood!

Luckily for the show, it did have one redeeming quality (besides Tyson and the hippocampus): Nathan Fillion as Hermes.  Granted, he was only in one scene, but his performance, as expected, was a show-stealer.  They even threw in a Firefly joke, and even though I don’t watch Firefly, I cracked up.

After seeing Mr. Fillion as Hermes (and recalling his hysterical role as Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog), I realized something.  He would make a perfect Luke Rainer (one of the main characters from Cemetery Tours for those who haven’t read it yet).  I know that I’ve said that Jensen Ackles was my ideal Luke Rainer, and physically, he still is.  But Nathan Fillion, although a little older than I intended Luke to be, has it all.  That cheeky, smarmy, almost-douchebag yet somehow still lovable character that he plays so well is Luke.  Plus, he’s totally handsome enough to be Luke Rainer: Spectral Sex Symbol, The Ghost Prince of Primetime.

The weirdest part is that my sister was texting me earlier and I told her about watching Percy Jackson and she goes, “You know… Nathan Fillion kind of reminds me of an older Luke Rainer.”  I was FLOORED. I was like, “DUDE.  I just thought the same thing LAST NIGHT.  I’m going to write a blog about it later!” So ensued the typical sisterly “OMG”-fest when the two of you share a similar thought even though you hadn’t mentioned it to the other. Of course, if you prefer Jensen Ackles, then feel free to still imagine him as Luke.  He is still incredibly handsome.  Or you can picture Nathan.  Or you can create your own casting.  Don’t go by what I say.

One of my favorite things I learned in my writing classes in college (make that one of the ONLY things I learned) was that when you write a book, you’re actually writing three books. You write the physical copy, you write the book the way you see it, and you write the book that others see.  My interpretation of every book I’ve ever read is different than the way you imagine it, and I love that.  It’s so fascinating that we can all experience the same thing in a way that is completely and totally unique. This post is actually turning out to be much longer than usual.  I’ll try to wrap it up here. Cemetery Tours got another great review from someone who stopped by and liked my blog, so thank you, not only for reading, but for your kind words!  They are so greatly appreciated. Image Man, everyone loves Brink!  I’m really glad I added him more into the sequel. I hope everyone has a pleasant Monday.  It’s cold and gray here, so I will be spending the rest of the day writing and trying to stay warm. Cheerio!