Tag Archive | trolls for dust

Hotel stories

I’m working on a couple of different stories these days, a sort-of medical thriller, and an intriguing idea for a Korean drama involving a hotel. Thus I have on my list to watch the new series Hotel de Luna starring IU, and a couple of older series about hotels: My Secret Hotel and Hotel King, respectively starring Yoo In Na and Lee Dong Wook. Probably should add Lie to Me to the list as it also involves a large hotel. As skeptical as I am about being able to do the Korean rom-com genre justice, it’s just too intriguing of an idea to let go of, kind of like Trolls for Dust was.

Speaking of Trolls for Dust, everything is looking well for focusing on book three in the series this fall. I’m excited to see if I actually will have enough material for book four or if I will choose to end it as a trilogy. I signed up to be in a couple of book fairs in Minnesota this fall, so will have more news up about that as we get closer to the dates. My plans to do more with the trollsfordust blog haven’t exactly materialized, but it’s on my list as a way to help brainstorm and get back into the series.

As for other dramas, I am finishing up Goblin for the second time and find it to be just as good, if not better than the first time, though a little slow in parts. Also, the soundtrack really makes the show even more magical, enhancing the writing and giving extra life to the various plot lines, my favorite of which is the romance between the grim reaper and the Olive Chicken BB.Q owner. I’d also forgotten how funny a lot of the scenes were and how they take the time to really show the “goblin’s bride” growing up, bit by bit.

Print edition now on sale

Trolls for dust, Season Two, print edition now on sale! And what a beautiful day it is, too! More notecards for The Stolen Necklace coming later today.

Korean dramas: I enjoyed the love story About Time on Viki, but the ending made little sense, mostly because there weren’t any rules for the time clocks, any reasons why certain people could see them, and nothing the people could do to change them. The power to change the clocks would mean power over life and death, so I can see why the matter was mostly skated around, but it left our heroes with really nothing to do most of the time. Lee Sung Kyung was great as usual, but she really shines in Cheese in the Trap, and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. Haven’t seen Lee Sang Yoon in anything else, but he was sufficient and his assistant, played by Kang Ki Doong, was hilarious. The best performance in the show, however, was Jung Moon Sung as the male lead’s brother. He broke hearts all around.

Other dramas I am sporadically watching are Big Man, Suspicious Housekeeper, and Are You Human Too? Biggest budget is definitely the last one and I have to say the lead, Seo Kang Joon, is holding his own, at least for the first couple of episodes. Always hit or miss with up and comers. Seo did so well as second lead in Cheese in the Trap, but one never knows until they are tried if they can really carry a show/film all by themselves.

As for Big Man, all of the actors nailed their characters and the plot keeps one guessing as to how it’s going to end. I will do a longer review of it in the future. Suspicious Housekeeper has an intriguing premise – sort of Mary Poppins/Nanny McPhee-ish vibes, but I’ve started many shows like this that quickly go downhill, so we’ll see if the intrigue holds.

Proof copy

Morning all!

Going through the proof copy today. It’s so awesome to see all of that hard work physically manifested and I am so grateful that there are place like Amazon and Lulu where writers can publish their works on their own terms. I’m pretty satisfied with how this second book turned out, and I can’t wait to publish more. Happy Friday!

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Smoke

The past few days have been a little off health wise, just due to all the smoke coming down from the fires in Canada. I pray they are able to put out the fires soon. If the air quality is this bad in southern Minnesota, I can’t even imagine what it’s like up in British Colombia. Makes me think of Boromir’s speech about Mordor in the Lord of the Rings movies: “The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume.”

So didn’t get a lot of writing done. Print edition for TfD2 is almost ready, just had to fix a few minor issues, and I’m mulling over ideas for the end of the Stolen Necklace, and I have Wednesday set aside to get a least a couple more notecards out for that.

Other things.  Have you heard of Qanon? It is of course written off as a conspiracy theory, but what it really is, is someone (possibly connected with the military and/or Trump admin) getting a whole bunch of people to research stuff online. I just learned about it recently and it’s fascinating, and if true, better than any Hollywood movie or bestselling novel.  It’s just all crazy enough to be true, mostly because evil is really that evil and also really that stupid. Evil doesn’t tend to play the long game. As Q says, “all for a LARP?” (Live Action Role Play). Answer: Don’t count on it. Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.

One of the few things worth watching on Netflix these days is the movie adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society. Such a perfectly odd title and both a book and now movie that I’ve recommended to so, so many family and friends. The book’s a little hard to read as most books written in letters are, and the movie was able to shine because they cut down a lot on the letter reading and writing and focused on the characters and plot, making a lot easier to follow.

The setting was great, and if they actually filmed on Guernsey island, what a beautiful, quaint, little place! Should be tourist central.

Only a couple criticisms about the movie: I thought the ending kiss was awkward, but maybe I’m too used to  K-drama kisses now, which are different. The second thing, I would have cast Matthew Goode as the pig farmer.

Goode was the perfect literary agent, Sidney, but he’s massively talented and it just seemed he was wasted in such a small role, especially since he has great onscreen presence, a presence that would have given the movie an anchor that it sorely needed. Sometimes films need a strong onscreen presence for the other actors to rally around and/or contrast their own characters’ presences to, kind of like how all of the planets are situated in certain ways around the sun.

Other than that, the movie was great and a joy to watch. We often forget how hard war really is on just day to day living. You can’t get certain foods, may not be allowed to meet together, and the ground is always shifting (literarily and figuratively) beneath you. It’s one of those maybe rare times when the things that matter most, matter most.

Trolls for Dust, Season 2 avail. for preorder.

TFD FinalTfD2 is finally available for preorder with print version soon to follow. And it’s got the most fantastic cover. 🙂  I tell ya, it’s amazing how much a space can affect things when doing a book layout. Some of my chapter titles weren’t being picked up properly when converting to e-pub and all due to a space!

Next week I plan to continue the notecard story, The Stolen Necklace, so that will be fun, and although I really, really want to get chugging away at TfD3 (and 4), I have this semi-Cinderella tale I want to finish first.  More on that when publication time comes.

Also,  a dear friend of mine who is also a self-publisher has the beginning of a great series on sale called Blood of the Eohim. Check it out, especially if you are an animal lover, because it has animals with super powers in it! I’m not so into animals, but I love how you just know where you stand with them right away, especially dogs. They either love you or want to rip your throat out.

Okay, back to layout and my slow devouring of War and Peace (I am almost to page 500 and really enjoying Tolstoy as a writer.)

As Kay Shree of the Starry-Eyed Press would say: “Peace and Dandelions!” –P. Beldona

TfD2

Hi, All,

Well, I’m finally done proofreading my manuscript and starting in on corrections and then layout this week. If all goes well, Trolls for Dust 2 will soon be on sale, hopefully by August 1!! And I may soon have a cover image and a theme song to share!

With all that craziness going on, I’m putting other writing projects on hold, including this blog, so I won’t likely be posting much until the book is out. The Stolen Necklace notecard story has about 4 cards left to go, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out. As for Korean dramas, I likely won’t have any review out, but I’m really lovin’ Yoon Sang Hyun these days. He’s been in a lot of major projects, considering that he went into acting in his 30s. He often plays the second lead and very flawed men, but he’s great at it, and isn’t too shabby when he’s the star, either. Catch him in Shopping King Louie and Ms. Perfect on Viki or Dramafever, and as a detective hunting down a serial killer in Gap-Dong, showing on Netflix. Yoon’s one of those actors who really brings out the best in his fellow cast members, so watch for that.

Fortified with kimchi rice and watermelon for dessert, I am ready to get to work. Fighting!

–P. Beldona

June random thoughts

Isn’t it kind of bizarre that a very minor crash is enough to “total” a car? Maybe it’s just because I drive a really old car, but last year I was hit in a roundabout, so we were both going less than 20mph. Think how much we pay for cars, even used ones, and so many accidents and problems often cost a great percentage of what the car is worth to fix. People often complain how a health crisis can throw a family into poverty due to the high costs, well, so can a car crisis. For some, cars are considered a luxury, but in America in most places you really need them to get around. On the flip side, it’s can be a good thing that a minor accident can do a lot of damage, because it probably incentivizes people to drive safer as a whole. If we had indestructible bumper cars, it could mean more would recklessly drive, as a minor hit wouldn’t hurt them or the car.

Notecard story: Planning on getting another card out this weekend sometime. So far it has been a fun and challenging writing exercise and I’m thinking there’s potential homemade Christmas presents in this idea.

Priest slapping baby at baptism video. Not sure how viral this video is, or if you’ve seen it, but it is an amazing example of how parents and especially fathers are the main protectors of their kids. As the mom struggles even against a very old man, to get her baby away from him, it is the father’s physical strength that ultimately succeeds in the getting the kid away. As we recently had Father’s Day, it’s a great example showing how the fact that fathers are both willing and able to protect the ones they love is the primary reason they are needed. Really don’t know what was up with the priest, senility, or as some cry, demon possession of some kind, but it’s certainly scary to watch, especially because in a church and at a baptism that kind of violence is the last thing expected.

Trolls for Dust, Season Two: Revisions and proofreading are underway, and I hope to be able to share the awesome cover soon. I am really excited about this story and I am getting to reveal the longer arc of the series. In rereading Season One, it’s been fun to see that I really like some parts, some maybe could use work, but that as a book as a whole it is a good jumping off point for where Seasons 2, 3, and 4 are going. At first I thought the series would end up being a trilogy, but there is so much going on and so much material that I really want and need to do four books. Hopefully, each book won’t take four years to write, but I think as I get better at writing and storytelling and the whole process, things will come faster and faster over time.

Kid crisis/border crisis: Many Trump supports say that the biggest impact of his presidency is going to be to harshly deal with trafficking, especially child trafficking and abuse. And there’s been thousands and thousands of pedophile and trafficking rings busted all over the world since he’s taken office. The current outcry with kids being held at the US border is a part of this. Many of these children are not with their parents, but with traffickers and abusers. So, it’s just going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Christian apologetics: Attended a conference for that this week and just found it so crazy that like in other fields, politics, medicine, law, etc., religion is the same. People are taught lies and not shown the facts that are available. There’s so much out there indicating the Bible is true, but what is taught in many places is this lie that there is no evidence at all that the Bible is true, and people grow up believing it. Believing in the Bible and Jesus as one’s Savior from sin is a work of the Holy Spirit and of faith, but if that is indeed the truth (and I believe it is), then it makes sense that there would be some amount of actual evidence indicating that it is the truth. It’s actually similar to the whole vaccine topic, because people often hold a different, higher standard for evidence for those two things above and beyond what in regarding other topics and fields they would accept as sufficient evidence. It’s fascinating and it really hit home to me that what evidence is accepted by the individual ultimately says more about the individual than the subject under consideration. We have a harder time with the facts and insist on more evidence when something does not confirm what we already believe, but readily accept almost any evidence that supports our current beliefs. This way of thinking is our nature and very hard to overcome to truly look at and judge things objectively.

–P. Beldona

Stories this coming month

As I’m really trying to push myself on revising and correcting Trolls for Dust Season 2, this upcoming month, I may not have many stories to review. There are a few that I do want to, however. With movies or dramas I usually get on a kick of watching all projects by a certain actor or director or writer. Right now I’m in the middle of a Ji Chang Wook kick and found a place to watch Empress Ki. It’s a long series, over 50 episodes, so I probably won’t finish it in March, but wow, epic, awesome story so far and also starring one of my favorite actresses Ha Ji Won.

In doing more vaccine-related reading, I wolfed down Dr. Suzanne Humphries’ book Rising from the Dead and am almost halfway through Dissolving Illusions. These are not easy books to read, especially if, like me, you’ve thought your whole life (without really having actual knowledge of the issue) that vaccines are always safe and effective. These books call into question much of our modern medical practices and have historical evidence and testimony to back it up. Think the pro-vax/anti-vax emotionally charged debate started only with supposed frauds like Andrew Wakefield? Wrong. It’s been the same debate since day one of the small pox vaccine, only back then those who refused vaccine or questioned them were jailed, fined, and basically had no freedom on the issue. Any strides they made in the direction of choice in the matter had to be fought for. And the pro-vax side was just as arrogant and mean-spirited as they are today. And also as unquestioning of their own side as they are today. What’s most amusing today is that a lot of the claims that it was a vaccine that brought the rates for such-and-such a disease down are really a matter of correlation, which today we are told by proud pro-vaxxers does not ever equal causation. Dr. Humphries’ books indicate that to conclude better living conditions, cleanliness and overall public hygiene contributed the most to the decline in diseases, is also valid. Many vaccines, for example, were introduced well after many of these diseases were on a downturn due to public sanitation. The evidence that it was vaccines isn’t actually as strong as promoted. That doesn’t necessarily mean the vaccines didn’t and don’t work in some cases, but their benefits may have been largely overstated. This book is truly about dissolving illusions, and as a result is really hard to read. If you have any interest into why anti-vaxxers are certain they are onto the truth, this book is a good place to start in understanding why they think that way.

For March, I also have kindly been loaned the next couple of books in Jennifer Nielsen’s The False Prince series and am curious to see where it goes.

And lastly, I am re-reading my own Trolls for Dust series, both books one and two with the hope to get this much-delayed book two out for everyone to read in print. I also have another short series I am working on, and if it works out, may be able to publish that before the end of the year. But, who knows? I’m always hopeful about these things at the beginning and then other things clamor for my attention.

2015 Reading List

 

books

If you’re a bookworm like myself, you like always have a stack of books waiting to be read in your spare time. Here are a few that I can’t wait to crack open and get into the adventures already!

1. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell.  Ever since watching the BBC miniseries of North and South and Wives and Daughters, both by Ms. Gaskell, I’m hooked on her stories.  Mary Barton promises to be the most exciting of the three, as the plot boasts both a murder mystery and jail time for the leading lady.  My copy is an old paperback of my Dad’s.  He remembers the story fondly and as being pleasantly exciting, as he had to read it for school.

2. The Four Graces by D.E. Stevenson.  In 2014 I read the first of Stevenson’s books, and I think I’m in love.  She’s a comedic, yet poignant author, with relatable heroines and provincial life tales that share quaint similarities to the works of L.M Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables).

3 & 4.  The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester and Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst.  No year can go by without me getting my YA/juvie fantasy fix, and I have a great friend who sent me these books for the holidays, and finally, finally, I will have time to read them!

5. The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden.  Everything I’ve every wanted to know about crocheting.  I have discovered, that no, I am not a knitter, but a crocheter, and with a long Minnesota winter settling in, I hope to crochet a few scarves and/or blankets while I get my K-drama fix.  Reading, watching, crocheting all at once.  I think I’m addicted to multitasking.

6. In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides.  I’m a shameless fan of great historical yarns, and this promises to be one, being about “the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeannette.”  I also want to get to In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, but that won’t be until much later in the year, and I kinda want to see the movie first.

7. Poems: Rossetti by Christina Rossetti.  This is a book I bought in college.  I’ve read most of the poems, but not all, and this year would like to read it cover to cover.  Christina Rossetti is one of my favorite poets, as she combines faith and imagination in wonderful ways.

8. Winterspell by Claire Legrand. The latest book I happened to come across during my weekly wander through my local B&N. This is what sounds like a fantastic retelling of The Nutcracker, and a good after-Christmas tale to get me through the doldrums of winter.  Plus, I’m familiar enough with ballet to enjoy the references, but not such a big fan that I will shudder at every change.  I’m hoping this one’s a keeper.

9. Trolls for Dust: Season One by moi.  Shameless plugging, I know, but what writer’s blog would be complete without it?  They don’t tell you when you become a writer that you better like your own stories, because you’ll have to read and reread and reread them, especially if you’re writing a series and want to make it all cohesive and stuff.  TfD Season Two is still on its way, and I’m so glad to have writing time again.

Cheers to 2015, and as always, Happy Reading!  –Pixie