Writing and Workout Stats: March 30

Writing only 3 days out of ten is not good. And I only have a good excuse about 2 of these days. I’ve really got to get back in the swing of things on my writing.

March 20, 2013

  • Words Written: ~1200
  • MS (Muscle Strengthening): 30 minutes
  • Cardio: 20 minutes

March 21, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS: 0 mins
  • Cardio: 15 minutes

March 22, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS: 0 mins
  • Cardio: 40 mins

March 23, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS: 0
  • Cardio: 40 mins

March 24, 2013

  • Words Written: 321
  • MS: 0
  • Cardio: 45 mins

March 25, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS: 0 mins
  • Cardio: 20mins
  • Yoga: 20 mins

March 26, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS0 mins
  • Cardio: 0 mins

March 27, 2013

  • Words Written: 514
  • MS: 15 mins
  • Cardio: 45 mins

March 28, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS0 mins
  • Cardio: 15 mins

March 29, 2013

  • Words Written: 0
  • MS0 mins
  • Cardio: 55 mins

Stories You Love to Hate

One of my interns at the University Press of North Georgia, Toni, had a great idea for a blog post a few weeks ago. After soliciting responses from all over our campus, she came up with this List of Stories We Love to Hate. Here’s my addition to the register:

11. Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, The Scrivener” (nominated by April Loebick; University Press)

Herman Melville, quite possibly the most boring man to ever live.
Herman Melville, quite possibly the most boring man to ever live.

After reading it in high school, I vowed never again. In college, I planned my entire semesters around skipping the day that this short story was going to be discussed in class. I find it painfully dull–literally! I get twitchy, restless, and irritable when I try to read it. So when it comes to reading Bartleby, “I would prefer not to.”

Are there poems that make you peevish? Stories that made you shudder? Novel that make you nauseated? Hit the comments and let me know what pieces of poetry or prose that you purposefully avoid!

Bludlemmings and Licensing

I’ve decided to release my totally awesome and professional rendering of a Bludlemming  from my Wicked as She Wants review to the internet at large using a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Unported license. I realized that once the book is released, other bloggers may want to use the image, so I’m giving the would-be thieves a legal way to use my beautiful and accurate work of art.*

My job in publishing has opened my eyes to the intricate world of licensing and copyright, especially since working on a huge Open Access U.S. History textbook and having to deal with all the copyright and licensing issues that has come about from it. I’ve grown to understand the importance of giving a license to my creations, no matter how odd or insignificant I think they are. Someone, somewhere, sometime may want to use them, and I want to make that process as easy and pain-free as possible.

To learn more about Creative Commons licenses or to release your works under a similar license, visit creativecommons.org

Artist rendering of a Bludlemming. Okay, it's my not-so-artistic drawing that I did in MS Paint.

Creative Commons License
Bludlemming by April Loebick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.loebick.com.

*Please note the obvious irony.

Things Fall Apart

On March 21, 2013, the world lost a literary icon. Chinua Achebe, the acclaimed Nigerian author, died at age 82. I had heard much about Achebe, especially his views on presenting the African story in English, but I am ashamed to say that I had never read any of his novels.  When my facebook was flooded with “R.I.P” and condolence posts about Achebe, I figured it was high time that I read Things Fall Apart which has been on my bookshelf for a few years now.

things20fall20apartjpg

This mistake has now been amended.

Things Fall Apart is amazingly short, coming in at only 209 pages (Anchor Books, 1996), but packed with the life and times of Okonkwo, an Ibo man of the late nineteenth century. Okonkwo is a proud, stubborn, and violent man. Many of the vignettes that the reader is presented shows Okonkwo being driven to violence, but he is also shown to be a hard-working man.

This book is a story of man-hood, colonialism, and custom. There’s much talk of “kids these days” and how they’re not up to par with their ancestors—showing that that argument is ever-lasting. The book itself was inspiring when it was first written, one of the first to express anti-colonialism thoughts, but those only show up during the last third of the book.

Over-all, I’m glad I read this book, but I’ve read others that have expressed the opinions of colonial Africa so much more eloquently. It is a staple of the cannon, but should not be a person’s sole foray into African writing.

3/5 Stars

Wicked as She Wants: A Review


wicked2Wicked as She Wants
is the latest installment of Delilah S. Dawson’s Blud series, but don’t expect that this story is about Tish and Criminy. The two protagonists of the first Blud book, Wicked as They Come, play only a minor role in this story.

This book features Ahnastasia, a literal princess, albeit a Blud princess. She is part of the royal family of Freesia, which is the equivalent of Russia in our world. If you know the tragic story of the Romanov family, then you have a good grounding in this story, though, in Sang, nothing is exactly duplicated, so don’t expect a retelling of the downfall of the last Tsar of Russia.

After being drained and left for dead in a piece of luggage, Ahnastasia, or Ahna, is awakened by enchanting music. The music invigorates her enough to leap out of her makeshift coffin and, of course, attack the human playing the music. Because of her severely weakened state, the human overpowers her. This human winds up being Casper, the mysterious and enchanting human Stranger from the first Blud novel. After some head-butting and threatening to kill each other, Casper and Ahna, along with a ruffian teenage girl named Keen, set off on an adventure to restore Ahna to her rightful place as ruler of Freesia. Along the way, there are airships, pirates, bludlemmings, and even a chance encounter with Van Helsing.

Wicked as She Wants is bluddier, sexier, and more dangerous than the first story in the series. The stakes (no pun intended) are higher. Overall, it is a wickedly enchanting and exciting tale. The mix of vampires, Victorianism, and steampunk come together into a perfect mesh of fun and sexy, and the story will keep you turning pages until the deepest dark of night.

Artist rendering of a Bludlemming.Okay, it's my not-so-artistic drawing that I did in MS Paint.
Artist rendering of a Bludlemming.
Okay, it’s my not-so-artistic drawing that I did in MS Paint
CC BY SA 3.0 Unported
Attrib: April Loebick

Special Blog Addendum: I picked up an ARC of Wicked as She Wants via Edelweiss. Excitedly, I started reading it almost immediately after it downloaded to my Kindle. Being the book nerd that I am, I read the Acknowledgements and was super excited to see a reference to the Dahlonega Literary Festival—a festival that I’ve helped organize for the past three years. In fact, it was at this festival where I met Delilah for the first time and was introduced to the world of Sang.

5/5 Stars

5 Time Management Tips

The blog over at Bookbaby.com recently published an article titled 5 Time Management Tips for Writers Who Work From Home. The list breaks down into these 5 headings (for full explanation of each heading, check out the original post).

  1. Minimize Interruptions
  2. Create a Loose Schedule
  3. Work When You’re at Your Best
  4. Schedule Breaks
  5. Utilize the Internet for Organization

The tips given on this list are good, general ones to follow for anyone who works from home, not just writers. Heck, in some cases, they’re good tips to follow for people with office jobs.

Bookbaby.com is a relatively new self-publishing/book promotion website. I am unsure of it’s reputation just yet, so proceed with caution if you go exploring their website. Remember, do your research and do it thoroughly before spending money.

February Reads

So we’re nearing the end of March and I realized that I didn’t do my monthly review round-up post for February. So here it is! Better late than never.

I read and reviewed 4 books last month. Here’s a quick run down of the reviews:

5-Star Reviews:

4-Star Reviews:

1-Star Reviews: