Thanksgiving

It is difficult to know where to begin sometimes, with reflecting on what I am grateful for; I am fortunate that there is so much of that in my life. While family members have been going through some rough times lately, overall we are all well, and I am at least able to provide some support, even if it only emotional support and comfort.

I have a good home, and a day job that I love. I have family who love and support me, and many good friends, even if we are sometimes separated by long miles. My snake is healthy and just as inquisitive as ever.

And yet, as fundamentally important as all those things are, that barely seems to scratch the surface.

It was my great good fortune to be born into a time and a place that makes a thriving life possible: clean water, plentiful food, and advanced medical care are readily available to me. We have sturdy, well-heated homes to get through Minnesota’s frequently long winters, and air-conditioning to protect against the also sometimes-dangerous heat of the summer. More than that, we have amazing technology that allows me to talk to and see my friends, even though they are distant in place.

I had the freedom to choose what I wanted to do with my life, and to continue to choose that every day.

I know more than enough history to understand how rare and precious a thing all of this good fortune is.

And I get to write.

Writing is my first love, I think, though history is a very close second. There are so many stories in my head, I’m not sure I’ll ever get them all written.

But I get to try. Not only can I write stories with relative ease and speed on a computer, it’s now possible for me to get them polished into something good enough to share, and then put them out to the world myself, in case anyone else might enjoy them too. That’s an option that only barely existed a decade ago, and didn’t exist at all when I was little and just starting to understand all the stories in my head.

There aren’t really words to express how thankful I am to have all of this. The best I can do is stop and think about it from time to time, to put my life in perspective, and continue to work hard at all the things that matter to me.

I hope you all have things to be thankful for too, even if you are going through tough times right now. I hope that things get better for you, and for all of us.

~Ethelinda

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Happy October!

October has started out chilly and rainy for me, but that has made it a perfect day to curl up in my living room with my Halloween decorations up, the Green Dragon on the TV, and work on prep for the upcoming local author fair and formatting for The Witch.

I’m pleased to say that I’ll be able to do a cover reveal and announce a release date for The Witch (a prequel short story to The Wizard of Suomen) in the next couple of days! Stay tuned. 🙂

~Ethelinda

Quick Update

While I don’t post as often as I’d like to anyway, I’m going to be especially busy for the next couple of months (mostly with fun things, fortunately!), so posts may be even leaner than usual. But I’ll still try and get in a couple of reviews and some writing updates.

Things are getting nice and green outside, though, and it is finally spring! It’s nice to listen to the birds and the frogs calling while I work on things.

I will say that print copies of The Wizard of Suomen will be available soon! The ebook is $2.99 on Amazon, if you are looking for a good sword-and-sorcery.

~Ethelinda

April Snow Day

While I will admit that I thought it might be nice to get snowed in once this year, I was thinking something like late January or early February rather than…mid-April. Midwest weather being what it is, however, we don’t really get to pick the timing of our blizzards.

So, I spent a nice day inside, watching the snow pile up on my balcony and watching more of Dragons: Defenders of Berk. I’ve really been enjoying all of the How To Train Your Dragon spin-off TV episodes, and will probably write something up about them later. It would have been hard to go wrong with another 100+ episodes of Toothless, of course, but they’ve been genuinely enjoyable apart from that.

And of course, a snowed-in evening is a great time to get some more writing done! More Land of Winds stories in the pipeline, and I should be starting Book 2 soon (I do at least have a rough outline done, and have been letting that stew for a bit).

I’ll probably be mostly snowed in tomorrow too, so hopefully I can make some good progress. 🙂

~Ethelinda

TV Review: BBC Sherlock, Season 4

Heads up, this one is long and chock full of spoilers below the cut. TL;DR – As a long-time BBC Sherlock fan, I am disappointed with Season 4.

I will say upfront that I was able to largely enjoy each episode of Season 4 as I was watching it. The acting was still excellent, and there were certainly scenes and parts of episodes that were fantastic. But once I had seen them all and had a chance to step back and look at the season as a whole, I had more and more problems with it. Ultimately, I am disappointed in the writers for not really living up to their own standards, which they set quite high during the first three seasons.

To be honest, I was worried about this season from the moment that Moffat and Gatiss started making public comments that season 4 was going to be especially “dark.” My worries were not unfounded. Let me see if I can articulate what I mean.

Continue reading

Quick Review: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

I just finished Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire, and I enjoyed it a lot!

Personally, I am a big fan of new or different takes on traditional fairy tales, and so this take on Cinderella appealed to me. It is almost historical fiction as much as it is a fairy tale, set in Holland during the 1600s, during the early parts of the tulip craze. I felt that the story moved along at a good pace (although I was occasionally confused as to how much in-story time had actually passed), and I was definitely able to immerse myself in the world. There were some unexpected twists as well, especially at the end.

Does anyone have other recommendations for good fairy-tale retellings? I am a fan of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, and I know that I read some others when I was younger, but don’t recall them too well now.