Saturday, April 28, 2007

Meloncholy and Confused

I went to a reunion tonight- the UAF theatre department's 50th anniversary of doing theatre. I got to see a play ('Picnic' by William Inge, fantastic acting, good set and lighting and costumes, and BONUS - I liked the play), taste a little wine (a white zinfandel-very good, one of the few wines I've actually liked), see a few people I knew (about 7 of us from the mid 90's), and see a bunch of older people who were reminiscing about the 'good old days'. People flew from outside to come to this event...

And now I'm all meloncholy... I miss doing theatre! I miss plays. I LOVE the smell of stage lights and paint and the dusty storage areas. I miss rehearsals. I miss green rooms. I got to walk on the stage I spent so much time on, and see how little it's changed, and think about how much I've changed.

What on earth am I doing here? Yes, there was a time in my life when all I wanted was to go to NY and try to 'make it'. I didn't care if it was off-off Broadway or some little dive. I just wanted to make a living doing what I loved. I'm not the kind of person who can live off of tuna, and I'd probably make a terrible waiter, but I could be a very good receptionist. Especially if I was able to do what I loved part of the time...

Then God said, 'NO'. Very loudly and very clearly. (If you've never heard Him, I promise you- when He speaks, you know it's Him. There's very little uncertainty. I wish He chose to do it that way all the time...) And He sent me off to seminary...

What on earth was He thinking? Did He know where I'd be right now?? What a waste of a good education. (as our last pastor said, and what a waste of an education on a woman...) What a ridiculous amount of debt I racked up in my time in Fort Worth. I wish I could see some of what He saw when He sent me there...

I saw some folks tonight who are doing it. They've been in movies, in Broadway productions, in paid gigs doing professional theatre... I didn't want to take that away from them, but I wish I knew what I WAS doing.

God, I'm so tired of waiting. I feel like I've been waiting for the last four years. Please direct us to Your plan. I know you've got one. It's just so hard right now. I will trust You. I will choose Your plan over my own. I know You are doing something in my life and in Jake's life. Please continue Your work- Just don't leave us like this forever... It's hard to wait on you without hope. Please fill us with Your hope.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Exciting News!

So many exciting things have happened to us this last week that it's hard for me to not think of them as one great big cool thing. :) But I'm going to try. These come in no particular order. They are all fantastic in their own way:

Local Shop Carrying our Jewelry
A local business has made an agreement with us to carry our stuff on consignment. The Alaska Rag Company has two locations, one is in the downtown shopping district and the other one is in Pioneer Park, a wonderful tourist trap. Pioneer Park has little tiny shops with Alaskan-made items, a steamboat, a big fish fry dinner, The Palace Saloon- an Alaskan silly musical, a park for kids to play... It used to be called Alaskaland and all the locals still refer to it as such. We are excited and already working hard to make enough product to meet their request... Our stuff will be in front of the public year round instead of just at bazaars!!!!

Tax Return
We got our tax return money and have actually come to an agreement on how it is to be dispersed. (which is cool all on it's own - the agreement I mean) So, some fun things have happened around here in the way of- Jake has new work shoes which he BADLY needed; I'll have new shoes by the end of the day which I needed; The girl's clothes are in a new dresser instead of plastic tubs in a book shelf; and etc.

New Car
Jake found someone at work who was selling their car for a very good price, and that's where the largest chunk of the tax return went. We had all been sharing my mom's SUV since our little Dodge Omni died about a year and a half ago. Very annoying. Now I don't have to get up and take Jake to work! He gets to go on his own!

We are joining a church- Friends Community Church. It's a LARGE (means around 600, very big for Fairbanks) non-denom based loosely on the purpose driven church model... (purpose driven church- a completely different discussion which I will NOT have at this time- there are good things about it and bad things about it- they seem to be maximizing the good and minimizing the bad) Of course it's not perfect- we're all just messed up sinners. But we are both excited about the possibilities. Good music, good preaching, focus on small groups and reaching the lost around us. We'll be looking for a small group of our own, which will be a challenge, but now that Jake's getting off at a decent time it will be possible. Deborah LOVES the Kids Church program.

The First Friday Jewelry show, which I've already blogged about. This will take place May 4th, and we are working like crazy to make it happen.

Okay, this one's silly and personal. There's been something wrong with our pipes for about 4 months. The pressure for the hot water has been all messed up and we've had to hand wash all the dishes and take these really sad showers. Today someone is coming to fix it! Yay!

Our clothes washer's been on the fritz since January. The repairman has been here three times trying to fix it and determine the actual problem and if it's worth us repairing it rather than replacing it. Ridiculously, the stupid thing was only 3 years old, but that also meant that it was still under warranty. Two weeks ago, the repairman finally got it all taken care of! We have clean clothes!!

So, thank you, God for all the good things you've blessed us with in the last 2 or 3 weeks. You've been very kind to us.

And, because I will be so busy with the show and getting stuff ready for Alaska Rag Company, I don't know when i'll get back to my blog... I'm sure I'll get a chance to drop in, but I don't know when...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Jewelry Show

It's official! We really are having a show of our jewelry for the First Friday Tour on May 4th from about 4 to about 8. Yay!!!!

Our jewelry show will be downtown at the Willow Creek Clothing Store on 12th avenue. The easiest way to find it is to turn off Airport Way onto Noble and go down two streets. Then take a left onto 12th and Willow Creek Clothing is about in the middle of the block. Coming the other way, 12th is a little bit past Tanana Valley Clinic, and you take a right onto it.

We are excited and nervous and completely overwhelmed with all we have to do... We need to create a flyer and a mailer and some different display methods... (all her display surfaces are up high and all our display stuff is for a low table.) We also have a couple pieces we want to complete... So I shall be VERY busy for the next two weeks...

We are praying that stuff sells, but really the idea is to get people to look at it and talk about it and recognize our stuff and our faces...

Anyway, Thank you, God!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Daddy's dead tree

Not the best picture of his painting, I admit...

This painting is pretty high up and the only way to get it down is to drag a ladder into the stairwell, so it's not gonna happen any time soon...

This is an example of one of my Daddy's eery paintings. I like this one very much, but I admit the tree looks very unfriendly... Like I wouldn't want to be around if it got hungry.

Reaching a New Generation

Typically, a church notices it is getting older and missing a generation or two in its midst. So begins a new, full-fledged, worship gathering designed for ‘young adults’ ages 18 to 35. The strategy is that these ‘young adults’ will eventually phase over into the ‘main’ worship gathering in the church as they get older. Instead, almost without exception, something happens after a few years that causes church leaders to rethink a few things again. As the community in an emerging worship gathering ages, its older members don’t outgrow their preference for worship style and approach to worship and spiritual formation. When they get to the age they need to leave, it’s not something most want to do. People don’t change their expression of worship when they turn 35. -Dan Kimball

What I keep coming back to is that the alternative (of not starting a new worship service and ministry) is unthinkable. For anybody to sit idly by and watch one-third or 40 percent of the congregation disappear, it is unconscionable… You can’t do nothing. Whatever it is that you try, at least you will be able to stand before Christ one day and say we gave it our best shot… We never quite figured it out, but we certainly did try! -Bill Hybels

Quotes from Emerging Worship, by Dan Kimball

Busy Week

Every night when Jake comes home he hops on the computer and works on his myspace... So, I'm not getting much time to keep up with my blog. Kind of frustrating. Although I am glad he's got something he's enjoying so much.

He just got a new job/promotion. He's been moved up to the purchaser for the sports department and he loves it. Steady hours (6-3) every day, steady responsibilities and no more blue line (when they grab the clerks and stick them on the registers because of the amount of people waiting to check out- and he HATES working registers up front), plus he has the whole weekend off! Yay! Now he has Saturday and Sunday off almost every weekend, before he had Sunday off and then whatever day they didn't need him.

This week has been very busy. I don't know why exactly- the change in Jake's schedule, getting the girls outside every day, taking walks, Deborah's had another ear infection... It's more like a bunch of things together.

Happy Easter! from the Sirevaag family

Easter Finery

Deborah celebrating her very princessy Easter basket

Abigail showing off her new bunny ears

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Snow in April! Melting snow!

Spring is coming
The snow is melting
Joy can be found
Puddling over the ground

Snow is going
Warm air is blowing
Trees are greening
Time for Spring cleaning

Yay for the running water!
Yay for the puddling snow!
Yay for the dripping ice!
Watch the snow go!

Deborah playing in the snow

Puddles on the road in front of our house- Most of the footprints are from Deborah playing

200 Posts!

I've passed the 200 posts mark! Woo-hoo. I must be a REAL blogger now. :)
I'm also quite close to a full year... Just waiting until the end of the month.

Daddy's Tiger Lilies

I said I'd post some of my Daddy's paintings. Here's one of the ones we have hanging in the house. He painted this in 1998, while he was pursuing his B.A. in Fine Art from UAF.
My Dad was a botanist/forester who worked for the BLM for about 20 years. He truly loved his job and would have kept doing it forever, but at 65 they basically forced him to retire. For the next year he drove us all CRAZY! He'd always had jobs where he traveled a lot and never really been home all that much. He had no clue what to do with himself...
Then, the same year I started university, he started taking a class or two in painting. He'd done it before and really liked it, but never had time or money for it. We've still got one or two paintings he did way back in college. Remember, my dad is much older than you might think... He was 49 when I was born, so he remembers some of the depression and he fought in WWII. He was a navigator for the army aircorp. He knew that he couldn't do something 'frivolous' like painting for a living. He had to have a 'real job' and support a family. So, he tried a couple of things (medicine, engineering) and ended up studying botany and forestry, which he loved.
(He was one of those amazing scientist types who had studied science deeply, yet still saw all of it as reflecting the glory of God. All the evolution and monkey stuff just never fazed him. He was able to talk to me about it when I was in high school & college and explain scientific reasons why it was obvious to him that God was in control. He was able to refute the main premises of evolution so quickly and easily that it was literally never an issue for me.)
When he started painting his love for the natural world came through. He mostly painted plants and landscapes. But-- most of them have this 'Alice in Wonderland'/Dr. Seussian/fairy-tale quality to them. The plants and hills kind of look like they're alive and aware of you- some of them are friendly, but many of them look like they might just eat you... I tried to talk to him about it and he kind of took it as a negative thing, but I thought it was cool.
Anyway, this painting is rather benign. The Tiger Lilies do appear rather like they're looking at you, but not so much that they're just freaky. Some of his paintings are not really appropriate for rooms you want to be in for long periods of time....

Marriage, isn't it bliss?

Well, yes and no... He is the one person I can yell at and then go to bed with... :)
That aside... We are having some major conflict right now regarding, you guessed it, money.

We will be getting a good tax return and Jake wants to use the money to get us into an apartment of our own. (I do like the idea, I'm not insane! Yes, I want my own space BADLY. As much as I love my mom and sister, I'm tired of the whole situation, and would really prefer to be queen of my castle.) However, we have some old big bills that we could pay off instead, which would then give us freedom in the future... That's what I'd like to do. So there's the first part of the conflict...

We've been sort of talking about moving out of Alaska this summer, too, which I WANT. Underline that. Highlight it. Bold and capitalize it. I WANT OUT OF ALASKA!!! (Isn't it funny that I'm from here, and Jake loves it... ) However, Jake just got this REALLY good promotion and if we'd stick around for a while it would open some good job possibilities, either in the whole Kroger conglomeration or out of it. So, it makes sense to stick around another winter.

But AAAAARGH!!! I don't want another Winter- I want out so bad I'm having dreams about U-Hauls..

So, do we stay or do we go now? Well, it makes sense to stay another winter (although it's making my blood turn to ice to say it.) So, I'm pretty much slowly accepting that we will be staying here next winter, and there are some good things about that...

But, do we get our own place or save money one more year? That's the big conflict now... And there are so MANY parts to this. Jake really doesn't make enough money for us to live on our own, but I'm feeling pretty strongly about raising my own kids. There are several parts to be a 'homemaker' that I HATE, but the girls need me right now. I think I'm willing to do a part time job, but I don't know.

Also, it looks like the whole beading gig thing may actually start to be returning money, and it would be cool to hang around another year and see if it starts happening. (which would be nice, 'cuz so far it's been pretty much a giant sucking money hole- a lot of fun, but certainly not income).

I do not want another year without a strong church base, too. I need those relationships. I need to be growing in Bible study. I need koinonia. I need to be serving. My girls need Sunday School and Bible stories and church friends... Jake needs all this, too. And I don't want to go without it. We've been 'attending' this non-denominational church, which means we go about 3 out of every 4 services, and we kinda like it... Deborah & Abigail LOVE it. They've got great kids programs and Deborah's in a class with just 3 year olds. She has good lessons and comes out talking about her class and their crafts and songs. Abigail gets to play with and beside other 1 1/2 year olds. But the church is sizeable for Fairbanks, about 600, with 3 different services and you can easily go and never really get to know anybody, which is what we need. So, do we commit here and join a Bible study home group? Or do we find a smaller church where we get to do stuff with the worship and youth? What do we do? Hard to decide right now when we're both still feeling battered.

We're NOT looking for the perfect church. There's no such thing. We're not looking for a church that 'feels right'. That's pretty self-focused. We're not looking for a church with a great band and fantastic worship, although we do care about those things... We're looking for the church where God wants us. And feeling confused about that. Anyway, that's another part of the conflict... Which church does God want us in?

So, Jake and I have to come to some kind of an agreement... And right now I don't know how that's gonna happen. I'm glad God does!! I know He's still sovereign, and He's still got a plan for our lives, and that He's making us more like Him.

Artist Statement

Officially we are doing a First Friday show! So, we had to come up with an 'artist statement' for Willow Creek Clothing to use in their publicity for next month. And it's gonna be in the paper! (yes, Fairbanks is 'small town'). Woo-hoo! We get to be all fancy.

Anyway, here it is- If anybody has words of wisdom, we'll listen. We don't promise to change it, but we will listen. :)

Two Sisters Beading
Uncommon Jewelry
Two Sisters is the creative outlet of long-time Fairbanksans Beth Emery and Rebecca Emery-Sirevaag. We’ve been in love with beads for a combined total of 26 years and our passion only keeps growing. Our goal is to make unique and wearable works of bead art.
Here is the major complication for the show: We went tonight and saw the show for this month's First Friday and all of the display areas are up high... Really lame for us, 'cuz for display we've found all these fun glass, wood and pottery containers at Value Village and Salvation Army that we fill with rice or black gravel and then lay our pieces on them... Definitely not appropriate for up-high display space. We're gonna have to figure out some different display methods and we haven't got much money to go and change everything we've been doing... Pray for us!
Sidenote: I think this is funny- in the combined total of 26 years of working with beads, my part is only 5 years! Yup, my sis is cool!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Jake's MySpace

Jake goes through interests rather rapidly- I think he's ADD, for numerous reasons aside from this, but his quick turnover on obsessions is definitely one of the reasons I'm suspicious... (Sidenote: since I taught so many ADD kids in Seattle, I've actually got some pretty good reasons for suspecting this, and it's no insult. Some pretty important people were probably ADD.)

Last month it was lockpicking. He bought a set of lock picks and was trying them out on any lock he could get his hands on. He got pretty good, too. At least with the locks he practiced on...

Two months ago it was spy stuff and he was reading about the poisoning of the Russian spy and checking daily on MSNBC for the latest details on the culprit, and researching ways to detect somone following you, and getting really obsessive about our safety- me, Deborah & Abigail.

In the time I've known him, he's gone through html, digital cameras, astronomy, drawing, psychology, sound equipment, counseling, admin assistant stuff, guns, and technical gadgets and do-dads galore... Before I knew him he went through photography, hiking, mechanical engineering, spelunking, motorcycles... I'm quite sure I've left out several other interests.

Right now, he's into blogging on his My Space account. He's got a pretty good story over there about his 'alien experience' just in case anybody is interested... Don't know how long he'll keep up with it, but you can enjoy it while he's focused.

I've finally got his shortcut working accurately on my side bar, so you can get to his blog that way or this way:

Oh, and the reason he ended up with latenightcaller was that everything he liked and tried to get for over an HOUR was taken. Finally, without thinking about it he typed in latenightcaller and it took... Now, he's really annoyed with what came out of his fingers when he got frustrated with the amount of time it was taking... Kinda freaky name. Sounds like some sick and twisted fella.

Our Jewelry

We are currently in the midst of talking to two store owners here in town about carrying our stuff in their store. We've spoken on the phone to one, and she wants to do a 'First Friday' with us. (a local program where art galleries and others showcase a collection on the first friday of the month and people drive around to the different places. There's food, drink, artists and art. A very good way to deal with the cold Winters.) She was really nice, but very nervous about carrying our stuff in her shop...

We have an official meeting with the other owner next Tuesday, and they have a LOT of experience with carrying jewelry, paintings, fiber art, you name it. She started throwing out all sorts of technical stuff and we felt a little lost with her language... She definitely knows what she's talking about and we don't.

It's all a big mess right now, but we're both pretty hopeful about how it will turn out. They're talking wholesale and gross prices and changing our prices and artist statements and it's a little overwhelming. Will update when I have more concrete stuff.

Haircut- Yup, I'm going girly

Yesterday I had hair cut for the first time in a very long time, and I was surprised at my nerves. I was a basket case! So hopeful, yet absolutely convinced it was going to be AWFUL.
I have now had two really bad experiences where the cutter messed up. First time, she just didn't want to do what I asked for, so she didn't. She did this fairly trendy thing that I could never repeat outside and I just looked bad. Second time, she was working as the receptionist while she was cutting my hair and kept taking cell phone calls and she also had a conversation with a waiting client. She didn't do such a hot job at the whole multi-tasking thing and she missed this huge chunk behind my right ear. I tried to fix it at home, but it was never quite right...

So, I've just let my hair grow and grow and grow. My hair hadn't been this long since my last year of high school. I admit it was pretty long when I first arrived in Texas, but not this long...

I really like the back, but I'm not sure yet about the front. I'll just have to wait and see how it works out. I can't use many hair products because I'm freakishly allergic to fragrances. Gives me an instantaneous migraine, particularly if I'm the one wearing it. I've got this hairspray that's fragrance free (which really means it just stinks like chemicals and I use it maybe once a month or so...). I've been obsessing about a hair cut for about six months, but been too nervous to do it. Partly 'cuz the women I know don't really get there hair cut anywhere special and partly 'cuz of my bad experiences.

Do any guys out there have this kind of angst ridden relationship with their hair? I know Jake hates it when it gets long, but he doesn't obsess about making changes. He starts calling himself a 'hippie' if it gets more than 2 inches long... And then he goes to get it practically shaved off and ends up looking like a cue ball... Okay, I'll be nice, that's just my opinion. I hate it when he first gets it cut off, and really prefer it right about when he starts complaining bitterly....

So, I guess I'll just have to wait and see if I can recreate something even close to what she was able to do in the salon with all those smelly products.

(Sidenote: At least I married somebody who shares my fragrance problem. Wouldn't it be sad if I married somebody who loved perfume, cologne or some particular candle fragrance? Nope, He's just as allergic as I am! Thank you God!)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I am not sleeping again. Now that I'm not sick (as I have been FOREVER), my body seems to be saying, "nope, you just don't need but 2 or 3 hours. You think you do, but I know better!"
Almost makes me want to go out and get another bottle of the cough medicine I was taking. Great stuff. Had me asleep in 15 minutes. Now I toss and turn for about two hours... Aargh!

Hoffman & Tullos Quote- Failing

I copied this off Matt Tullos' site Matt was in Company long before I was, and now works for Lifeway as an editor, writer, performer. He is one of my writing models. Excellent, God-inspired stuff comes out of his computer.

Pretty good. I relate to this one... How often I choose to be safe and not get hurt rather than step out of my comfort zone... Oh, God, please forgive me.

Failing isn't the worst. …Putting something out there that's safe, so you don't get hurt, or because it worked before, that's a sin." Dustin Hoffman
"I love this quote. Sin so many times is indeed our reliance on the comfortable... void of all pain." Matt Tullos

March Books

Ha Ha! I made it before the first week in the next month!! Finally!

The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce A
The last in the Magic series with Sandry, Briar, Daja and Tris- Their connection, friendship, and ability to work together has been challenged by the years they spent apart, and they must re-forge their relationship in the fires of magical warfare. Very good. I like the way Pierce deals with the special relationship these characters have together and the differences in their younger and adult selves.

Who Moved my Cheese? By Spencer Johnson B
Written by the same fellow who wrote ‘The One Minute Manager’. Same style- an allegorical story with simple truths sprinkled through. Johnson’s goal is to help people adapt to the changes that will happen in their lives whether they want them or not- job, relationship, or just life changes… Loaned to me by a friend. My favorite part was his question, ‘what would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ Afraid of failing, of wasting money, of people’s opinions and reactions…

Academ’s Forge by Jim Butcher A
Excellent! Book two of the Codex Alera, and definitely worth it. A solid world and great action. I was so disappointed with the first book (Furies of Calderon) in this series. It took about a quarter of ‘Furies’ before anything happened, before the action started, before the characters came alive, and if it hadn’t been for Butcher’s other series (Dresden Files) I would have given up. The second book doesn’t do that- It starts in immediately, builds to a fiery climax and sets us up for the third book in the series… Satisfying read, yet a good set up.

The Myth Hunters by Christopher Golden A
From the back of the book- ‘One man is drawn into a realm just across the veil from our own, where every captivating myth and fairy tale is true, the vanished exist- and every fear is founded’. Stephen King meets the Brothers Grimm. Dark fantasy… Very good. I enjoyed this very much. It takes committing to the first two chapters, ‘cuz not much happens in them except set up and exposition, but after that the book just keeps building. One caveat: I hate it when books take you somewhere and then dump you waiting for the next chapter to come out in a year… This is a two or three part story and part two isn’t out yet…

Karavans by Jennifer Roberson A-
I loved Roberson’s Cheysuli series and Sword-Dancer series, and have looked for more of her stuff. This is her first series since 1984. Karavans is excellent. An interesting, unique world; enigmatic and strange characters with mysterious powers; an action packed story line. My complaint was that it was almost too confusing, enigmatic and mysterious. I spent so much time trying to figure out what on earth was going on that I felt smacked in the head by a hurricane… Good set up for the next book, and I’m definitely interested in reading it when it comes out… But I’d like a little more clarity.

Beka Cooper by Tamara Pierce A
Set in the world of Tortall (Alana, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, and Trickster's series) Excellent story. Wonderful main character- fully developed & believable character and situation. I had a hard time putting this book down. I just kept wanting to see what was going to happen. Another one of those 'girl-doesn't-fit-into-the-typical-girly-role' / 'girl-wants-adventures-just-like-the-boys' books, yet unique. She is a policewoman in a world long before such roles exist as they do now. Told through Beka’s journal and I am frequently annoyed with this method of story-telling; however, it works well with this character and storyline.
In one of the interviews at the back of one of her books she gives a thank you to J.K. Rowling for letting editors and book companies know that young adults will read longer books. I want to say thank you, too! -Because the longer Pierce's books become, the better the stories have been- more action packed, more fully developed characters, more fulfilling to read- just better stories all around. I've seen that in her two Trickster's books (Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen), in The Will of the Empress, and in Beka Cooper. Her earliest books were choppy because they were cut up into trilogies or quartets when they should have been one longer book. Props for Rowling! Thanks again for changing the world of YA books.

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz B-
The third in his series about Odd Thomas, a fellow who can see dead people. Really a rather odd addition to the series. This one felt like a short story/novella that the editors had Koontz pad with extra chapters. It told way more than the story and was too long … It would have been better to have just printed the part that was the story and then maybe added another novella in the book or something so they could get their $8.99, or whatever.. I love this character and loved seeing what happens next in his story, though...

Dates from Hell (four short stories about paranormal trysts)
Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison
I couldn’t finish this one… The situation was so upsetting, and the character was so likeable that I stopped reading 3 or 4 chapters in… Harrison tells Ivy’s (the vampire from her Dead Witch Walking series) back story, and goes into the manipulation mind games the master vampires play on their servants. I’d rather we were allowed to imagine how bad it had been instead of actually getting to see it… Pretty yucky stuff here.
The Claire Switch Project by Lynsay Sands B+
Very fun. A light hearted romp into the world of shapeshifters and high school reunions. Predictable, but good nonetheless.
Chaotic by Kelley Armstrong B
Interesting idea. Good story. A little too repetitive on the whole “we’re hiding, now we’re running, we’re hiding, now we’re running…” but it does have a good surprise waiting…
Dead Man Dating by Lori Handeland B+
Good, not great.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson A+
This book is so good it’s astonishing. Funny, serious, dark… raw… Excellent look into the cruel world of “high school”. Goes on my list of favorites.
From the back of the book: Melinda Sordina busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops so her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.
Beth & I rented the movie based on this book, and quite simply loved it. My mom got caught up in it about half-way through. Repeat: my mom got caught up in it – that’s how good it is. She pretty much goes to sleep during any movie... I’m astonished to see any movie based on a book be so true to the story yet have it’s own grace and beauty to add to the original. The author was involved with the making of the movie, but I got the idea this was GOOD. There are times when having the author involved can probably kill all good things in the completely different art of movie-making… There was an interview with Anderson as one of the bonus features- my favorite part was her saying the book grew out of a dream she had of a teenage girl crying…

Winds of Fate, Winds of Change and Winds of Fury by Mercedes Lackey A
I re-read this trilogy ‘cuz it came after By the Sword and continued with the story begun in that book. I relate to the main character, Elspeth, and I like seeing her come of age and growing into herself in this series… Excellent trilogy. I admit Lackey is not at her best in this kind of sweeping, multi-character saga, but they’re still good books and fun reads.