George Wright Padgett has done it again – blown my mind with an awesome and fun reading experience.
Addleton Heights will be his third published work, but it’s an epic debut into the Steampunk genre and the world he has built and the characters he created have me smitten.
Just like everything George tackles, he writes his detective story with artistic spunk. Flare abounds from start to finish.
I believe so much in this book, the story, and the time period, I’m obsessed with the idea of launching the book release at the Cabinet of Curiosities at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Of course, this launch is expensive (mainly because booking the museum after hours costs a pretty penny), but would be worth it.
So, Grey Gecko Press and I have set up a Kickstarter page. Please, please, if you appreciate my reviews, value my bookish opinions, and/or love supporting indie authors and publishing houses, check this out:
I’m not really a convention queen, I just liked the alliteration. I definitely wouldn’t mind becoming one, though. That being said, I had the opportunity to work Comicpalooza (again) in Houston a few months back, and it was amazing.
I spent a lot of time chatting up this guy:
If you don’t recognize him, that’s Todd McCaffrey, co-author of the Dragons of Pern series – holding up a copy of his latest book City of Angels.
I was waiting to post about this until I had read his book. But a few days turned into a few weeks and a few weeks into a few months. Homeschooling the kiddo took priority and a lot of ancient biographies got put ahead in line. Now I find myself cramming 600 pages the night before I fly out to DragonCon, dying to find out what’s going to happen to this fictional tiny humanoid collection of nanotech. I’ll be working with Wordfire Press, hopefully hanging out with McCaffrey some more, and for sure trying to get this fun bit of sci-fi into more hands.
Wish me luck at DragonCon! And if you’re in Atlanta for Labor Day weekend, swing by. I’ll introduce you to some stellar people who love books just as much as we do.
Kiddo is turning 5 this month and my best friend won’t be here the day of, so Mommy, Tia, and the Nugget did a birthday Girls Night Out a tad bit early.
We started with reservations at Bucco di Beppo, at the kitchen table. I thought the kiddo would be riveted by the concept of hanging out in the kitchen and watching food get made and processed through the expo line. In the future, she informed me, she wants to sit in the real restaurant. She ate pepperoni pizza, toured the whole restaurant, and inspected the restrooms, with no idea that this adventure was not the main event of the evening.
We took an after dinner stroll through Party City where she declined a new Tinker Bell costume because she was fully satisfied with her old one. Practical and not-as-indulgent-as-I-thought kid I’ve got.
Finally, in the parking lot of Peter Pan 360 – the plan was revealed.
“So, because I’m not going to be here for your birthday, I wanted to give you your present early? Do you want it.” (I’m definitely paraphrasing my best friend. This quote should not hold up in court.
She nodded profusely, despite the fact that she had been insisting to me all morning that birthday surprises could NOT happen on a day that was not her birthday. “YOU HAVE TO DO SURPRISES FOR ME ON MY BIRTHDAY IF IT’S FOR MY BIRTHDAY.” That is a direct quote, screaming caps and all, from my daughter just hours before. And should hold up in court. It also included some foot stomping. I’ve never seen someone so upset at the very idea of getting a present too early.
“Do you want to wear your Tinker Bell costume?” One of us asked.
She shook her head no, but as it dawned on her that I had packed it in the bag that was sitting in the car to her left she quickly changed her mind.
I do not have pictures of my adorable child donned in a bright green fairy costume as we attended Peter Pan because she was too cool for school and uninterested in photography last night. But I’m ok with that, we actually managed to be the people who were completely IN the moment all night, and I love that.
So what’s this magical Peter Pan performance surprise we took her to?
[T]he theater is the world’s first fully 360-degree projected backdrop for a live, theatrical performance with the largest surround CGI (computer-generated imagery) venue in the world. There are 12 projectors that deliver 10 million pixels on 15,000 square feet. 400 square miles of virtual London were rendered and it took 100 computers four weeks to create the Hi Resolution images. If a single computer had been used, it would have taken 8 years to render the images. – http://www.theblondeblogger.com
And it’s in a circus style pop-up tent!
My precocious darling spent the first 15 minutes of the show asking me how they got the pictures on the ceiling. I tried to explain the concept of a projector but – thankfully – the show was too loud for us to communicate effectively (which also meant we weren’t disturbing the rest of the audience). I was able to pull up videos online when we got home and tell her about it then.
Once understanding the mechanics of the show was put off for later, she really got into the magic of it all. Her great critique is that Tinker Bell wears pink instead of green and this bothered her. She insisted they needed her to play Tink and asked to go on stage – a lot – because, after all, Peter Pan needed her. (I thought the performing Tink was pretty darn cool.)
There’s a 20 minute intermission about an hour into the show. Popcorn and drinks were purchased, restrooms were visited I was pleased to discover the portable restrooms were real flushies and a thousand times cleaner than I anticipated. A little disappointed that they ran out of coffee.
After the show, there was a line for a meet and greet with a few of the actors, but being that little girl is still not quite five and it was getting late, we skipped that bit of fun.
Should it come to town again, we would do a repeat adventure in a heartbeat.
The Bookshop Hotel has a new face! And back. And inside for that matter. It’s been re-edited and fine tuned and re-published by the marvelous Grey Gecko Press.
And right now, you may download this updated version for FREE: http://store.greygeckopress.com/products/the-bookshop-hotel
I’ve gotten away from posting these, but I shouldn’t have. If you’re in the area, be sure to swing by Half Price Books Humble on Saturdays to check out local authors.
Already in the mere four years I’ve been a homeschool mom, with my child not even “school age,” homeschooling in general has proven to be as much an education for me as it is for her. When you homeschool, field trips feel imperative. Not only do you want your kid to interact in the world, but even the most extreme homebody, if not an agoraphobe, gets a touch of cabin fever now and again.
In 2012, we discovered that Houston has an annual Pow Wow and attended. I documented that trip here. The kiddo loved it. We studied everything a two year old could “study” about Native Americans at that time and watched a lot of Pocahontas after the event. The culture, the dancing, the drums, the music, the food, I tried to dip my very pasty child in the whole experience. She came away desperately wanting an out fit just like the girl’s she took a picture with in my previous blog post (see left).
Life happened and we missed the 2013 gathering, though we do intend to attend every year.
This year, though kiddo didn’t do much in the way of pre- Pow Wow “research,” I felt the need to grab a book. On my lunch breaks I’ve been perusing The Five Civilized Tribes. I was most interested in the segment on the Choctaw since that is the tribe our rumored ancestor was supposed to have been. (I’m convinced everyone claims a tie to the Native Americans, I’m not convinced everyone has one… I’m not convinced I even have one. But from a geographical standpoint, Choctaw makes good sense.)
I’m not done reading, so a full review cannot commence. Currently, I’ve read through the Choctaw segment and now am knee deep in the Creeks. The book, however, is thorough and enjoyable though – as the Christian Science Monitor reported – “pure history, sober, and fully documented.” One would assume that it would read dry, but it’s not. Sober and dry should not be used interchangeably when speaking of history, but often it is. Especially when dealing with the history of the Native American Indian tribes. Their cultures are too colorful and their history too rich to ever be considered dry.
My favorite bit about the Choctaw is how thoroughly devoted to educating their children they were. Building school houses and hiring teachers was a huge deal for them. They built educational requests into their treaties. Although I don’t agree with institutionalizing, I do find it interesting how much they wanted to learn about those infiltrating their land. Some would say that it was an effort to assimilate, but I don’t think so. I think it was more of an effort to understand. Understanding and knowledge is important to me, though, so perhaps that is always how I will interpret those sorts of actions.
We don’t speak with the competitors at the Pow Wows much. I’d like to know what tribes they are affiliated with, who their ancestors are, whether they live next door or on a reservation. I’d like to talk to them all, interview them all, watch them all more closely. But they are there for a competition and seem to be far more in the public eye than what could possibly be comfortable. Instead we politely nod, smile, purchase raffle tickets for Indian Blankets, donate money to musicians, and try not to take too many invasive pictures of the dancers. Instead, my child makes friends with their children for the day and blows bubbles, and desperately contains herself from touching their bead work and feathers, lest a fiercely intense father of a playmate scowl at all his hard work being undone.
The event is beautiful. It’s all so beautiful.
Today, however, it was rainy and cold. The Pow Wow had to be moved from the arena to a pavilion. The show must go on, though, rain or shine, and despite the cold and the wet, they danced, and they were brilliant and kind. Kind – even when my daughter said quite boldly during their prayer time, “But Indians DON’T PRAY!” I promise I didn’t teach her that. I popped her little butt and said, “Everyone prays, now bow your head.”
Yesterday was the 2nd Annual Fall Festival at Good Books in the Woods. A picture paints a thousand words, so here ye be:
#DidntMakeItToTheFestival raffles happening today (and possibly later this week) on twitter.
If you’re interested in being a vendor next year, contact Good Books in the Woods on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GoodBooksintheWoods
One of the coolest things I get to do as a part time Event Coordinator, is host parties! And not the sit in someone’s living room and sell products parties – but the kind that involve books, exciting authors, food, live music, and art.
As of September 2014, Half Price Books has had an Humble location for 12 years. This is the third birthday/anniversary celebration I’ve organized for them.
We had a blast!
This next Saturday, I’ll be at the 2nd Annual Good Books in the Woods Fall Festival (September 20th), it should be equally awesome. I love bookstore events, they are my favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon.