Friday, December 8, 2017

Reflections on My Mother's Dresser; or, a Room Redecorated

Nathan and I recently completely redid our bedroom decor. And by redid, I mean that we replaced every piece of furniture and painted everything. It was a big project. And not one that I undertook lightly. 

When we first married, we moved into an apartment and had the tiniest bedroom, since the larger room needed to go to the sewing business. (Nathan was completely on board with this, BTW). We pretty much combined the furniture we already had, got a new bedspread, and lined the free wall with bookshelves. 

Then we moved into our new house and I knew that eventually I'd want to do something really cool in our master bedroom. It needed to be a design scheme that we'd both be happy with for a long time. We were getting all new-to-us furniture (more on that in a bit), but it was all dark wood and I'm not fond of dark wood. So that meant we needed to pick a color for the furniture, and Nathan really liked the look of light cream. I approved of this because it meant that I could pick a color for the wall and I LOVE colored walls. 

The problem was that our favorite colors that we haven't already used in the house are red and blue. Combine them with cream and you get a very patriotic mix. Could we really work out a scheme that evoked a different feeling than "USA!" ? 

We thought that we could. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Offline Reflections

I have been feeling very inwardly focused these days. But in an outwardly way. That is, my attention has shifted away from communicating with the outside world via the internet, and focusing more on the practical matters of getting things done in my house and business.

The reason for this, (I am fairly sure), is because my health at home has become fairly manageable, to the point where I actually have energy and even feel better when I'm moving around than when I'm at the computer. I embarked on some serious physical therapy for my headaches this fall and it has been quite amazing. I went from every day painkillers, to maybe once a week. Computer work, as you might expect, is not the best for my neck, and a large portion of my computer time needs to get spent on completing "The Professor and the Siren"  (it is longer than "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" now) or marketing my etsy business. (Need a whimsical flour sack dishtowel?)

And it's wonderful. Having energy to LIVE. Sure, my limits are still pretty low, and leaving the house is hard, but I've still come such a long way from where I was two years ago when I could hardly leave my bed. I've been consistently writing all year, getting back into sewing (for fun, at least), and slowly knocking off various home projects.*

*our basement flooding has make actually organizing the house quite difficult. But we're getting there. The basement is actually repaired now, we just have to get the sheetrock back up...

I'll say this for chronic illness, it makes you really appreciate every moment when you have a little bit of low-pain energy.

So I'm not on the computer as much these days. I'm online, but largely on my phone, which results in more reading and less posting. Which is fine. Observation and knowledge gathering is important for writers.

It's snowing here. I love Minnesota for so many reasons, but cold short days are not on that list. Still, snow is beautiful. And snow, accented by Christmas lights, is the perfect background for a good writing session. I lack a fireplace, but considering that real wood burning fireplaces tend to cause allergies, I can deal... I've got a puppy, anyhow. And in between novel sessions, I'll keep plugging away at my correspondence. I know too many wonderful people all over the world to give up internet all together... ;)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair...

A three-week hiatus on "Once Upon a Time" hasn't hurt so much in years. Which, if you're keeping score, is a GOOD sign. Season 7's choice to reboot nearly everything has paid off, and the show has gone back to it's roots.

Seriously, gang, I cannot say enough good things about this season of the show. I'm going to try in my comments below, but suffice to say, I've been extremely pleased with how much better the show has gotten. If you gave up on it several seasons ago (or even earlier this season), I highly recommend that you come back. Jump on in with 7.1. and give it a couple episodes to warm up. Like cocoa, OUAT Is best served hot (with cinnamon!)

The following contains spoilers through episode 7.8, "Pretty in Blue."

Photo: ABC

So much happened in last week's two-parter that I almost don't know where to begin! One of the biggest and most controversial twists in years is the revelation of the origins of Hook's daughter.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Where are we at with Poldark?

Image from the Poldark Facebook Page (PBS/BBC)
"I don't know if I want to keep watching 'Poldark'," my husband and I admitted to each other this week.

But who am I kidding. No matter what happens on the show, I will probably keep tuning in for the costumes, scenery and music even if certain characters are...proving frustrating.

If you have not watched the latest episode of Poldark, season 3, BE WARNED. Spoilers to follow! (In the US, we are one episode shy of the finale, which will air on Sunday night.)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


I love writing in November. Even though NaNoWriMo is not currently practical for my writing process, I still find myself inspired to kick out a lot of words during this month of gray chill and cozy nooks. Being a tremendously visual person who loves instagram, I wanted to participate in a writing photo challange, but was unable to find any in the works! (Please alert me if I missed something!) So I decided to make my own.

If you are planning to work on a novel during the month of November, whether for NaNo or not, please consider yourself invited to #IGWriteNov

Check out my Elenatintil Instagram account for further details and daily prompts!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Fairy Tale Community

If you have read my book, "The Mermaid and the Unicorn," you may have noticed that the second half of the dedication is to "The Marchens." Who are "The Marchens" and why are they worth a book dedication?

This is their story.

In the course of my life, there have been three crossroads moments. Times when I had multiple paths to take, and the one I chose changed the course of my life forever.

One of these forks in the road occurred during the fall of 2007. I was finishing my sophomore year at college and undergoing a seismic shift in my understanding of self and plans for my future.

Oddly enough, just as I solidified the decision not to continue at my university, I fell in love with a book about a young woman going away to college for the first time. This book was "Waking Rose." 

I'd read the first two books in the series earlier in the year ("The Shadow of the Bear" and "Black as Night," by Regina Doman) and had been riveted by these modern retellings of traditional fairy tales. Yet it wasn't until I picked up "Waking Rose" that I really found myself truly captivated. Rose Brier reminded me in so many ways of myself, and I found inspiration and encouragement in her journey. A lover of books and theater, with a flair for the dramatic and a habit of sensing the romantic in everything, I felt that her story captured a bit of my soul and put it on paper.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

"The Gifted" - Just Another Superhero Show?

Photo: Fox

Of all the TV shows in the world that I have wanted the most--but expected the least--X-Men has to top the list. While Fox's "The Gifted" is not quite "Classic X-Men" it nevertheless remains truer to comic book roots than most of the movies. This gives it an edge and unique flavor that already set it apart from the plethora of other superhero shows on screen this year.

"The Gifted" was, it seemed, hobbled from the start with a less than A-list team of mutants. Those who grew up on any of the animated shows might recognize one or two names, but most of the characters are obscure even for comic book readers. Indeed, many viewers may be tuning in more for the actors than the premise, if Amy Acker's fan club is anything to go by.

But the X-Men have a proud tradition of taking no-names and turning them into stellar stories precisely because they focus on character development and strong plot rather than A-list headliners. My absolute favorite X-Men title is "X-Factor Investigations" which took a whole band of b-list and c-list mutants and grew them into a strong cast of three dimensional characters. "The Gifted" seems to be doing pretty much the same thing, and is off to a good start.

That is not to say that the show is without flaws. Balancing the mutants and the Strucker family plotlines is a mix they have not yet perfected. And yet...the show is slowly melding different ingredients into an increasingly engrossing whole. First and foremost it completely understands that the appeal of the X-Men revolves around their outcast status, and the family of misfits they form.