LIFE: House Hunting

With the wedding coming up now in LESS THAN A YEAR, Eddie and I have to start house hunting. We currently live at home with our respective parents, and while we live within a mile of each other (seriously, how had we not met sooner when we lived so close?) we would like to have a place of our own before we get hitched.

So, that’s where the stressful task of house hunting begins and all of my hopes and dreams of a perfect house are chopped into bite-sized bits.

My ultimate dream house includes:

  • A library
  • A turret
  • A basement
  • A wrap around porch
  • A nice yard
  • A third story floor
  • A safe neighborhood

Something like this:

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Look at that beauty.

Of course, this type of home is impossibly out of budget – unless it’s a fixer-upper we can’t afford to flip. (We actually did find this type of house in our price range, but it needed some serious remodeling and I’m not about that life.)

So, we have to prioritize a bit and find out what really is the most important thing for us. This shortens the list to:

  • A library
  • A turret
  • A basement
  • A wrap around porch
  • A nice yard
  • A third story floor
  • A safe neighborhood

Narrowing it down, this actually isn’t too bad of a list! We have actually found homes in our price range that have an extra bedroom that we can turn into an office/library, a nice yard that’s perfect for parties, and a basement!

However, these homes are not located the area we would prefer to live. Rather, they’re in a not so great area that my mom is 100% NOT a fan of. Knowing that she would prefer we don’t live there makes it hard for me to even consider a home, even if it looks like it might be a good fit for us.

Currently I’m very frustrated that there is nothing in a safe area that is in our price range. It feels like we’ll never find a place to call home! Of course, no one said that house hunting would be easy.

Thankfully, we’re working with a great realtor who is more than happy to do the grunt work and find us a home in  safe neighborhood that meets our preferences and our budget.

For those who have purchased a house in the past or are currently looking for a home, leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on the situation! We are always open to some good advice.

D&D Session 10.5

We were going to play D&D this weekend, but had to cancel when most people weren’t available. So, Eddie had some people over to play video games and board games. At the end of the night, me and the two other guests (who all play D&D) decided we wanted to “play D&D.” So here’s our filler “beach episode” session featuring Basile, Ciaran, Marven, and Dwaye the Rock Gnome Johnson – the People’s Gnome. (Thank you, Eddie, for humoring us.)

Players:

  • Ciaran (LVL8) and Basile (LVL10)
  • Marven (LVL9)
  • Dwayne (LVL9)
  • Theoretical Nick

It is a beautiful and sunny day in Dwarvenshire, and the Neebs and Associates are spending a day to relax and not deal with all of the typical bullshit. Dwayne, Marven, and Ciaran decide that they want to go to the beach to the south. Marven and Ciaran, with the help of Basile, can fly there. However, Dwayne is unable to.

Dwayne comes up with the idea to ask Lorn if they can borrow Rocky for the trip. But instead of just asking Lorn if they can borrow Rocky, they decide to perform Grand Theft Rhino. Basile uses one of Dwayne’s Alchemist Sleep bottles, but that doesn’t work. So Marven finds a tire iron and smacks Lorn over the head. With a hypothetical Nat 20 that doesn’t matter, he kills Lorn. Rocky is sad.

The quartet rides him to the Lady of the Lake to see if she wants to join them at the beach. On the way there, the DM asks to roll a D12. Theoretical Nick rolls a 12 and something awful appears to fight Neebs; Sadius is pleased.

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D&D: Backstory Development

To help me deal with the fact that there are several weekends in between sessions, I have been writing Basile’s backstory for Eddie to work with when we move forward.

However, as a writer, I can’t just write a simple backstory. No. I have to write a 65 page backstory including several developed scenes.

Oops. At least it gives me something creative to do while I wait for the next session, and keeps my writing juices flowing.

I’m still in the process of editing, but I will eventually post the entire backstory to read when it’s 100% finished! Until then, enjoy the first short story in Basile’s backstory novella:

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LIFE: Bachelorette Party!

My maid of honor and best friend Nancy is getting married in a few weeks! She will be the second one in our trio of middle school besties to be getting hitched, and we are so excited to be a part of it!

This weekend, Brianna and I threw her a bachelorette party just for the three of us to celebrate like the mature, sophisticated adults we are.

Meaning we made jello jigglers and a massive rice krispy treat statue in the shape of, well, you know. We also had donuts that were not phallic shaped, so we weren’t completely inappropriate.

While we didn’t go out to celebrate like we did with Brianna’s bachelorette party last year (where we went pole dancing before eating at Olive Garden and finishing up the night watching Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL) we had a relaxing time that was much needed. Nancy has been scrambling to finish up the details of her DIY wedding, and sometimes all you need is to lie around, eat carry out from Coney Island, and talk about life.

In addition to that, we saved some extra money by skipping the wood sign painting class and doing it ourselves! Brianna’s family owns a construction company, so they had a ton of stains in the garage. I brought over my collection of acrylic paint, and we spent a few hours staining and painting signs in the backyard.

With Nancy’s party focusing on relaxation, and Brianna’s focused on strippers, I can only wonder what the two of them will plan for my bachelorette party next year.

I have a larger bridal party that includes a few of my younger cousins, so I will definitely need to help plan an event that they can all be included in. Perhaps Painting With a Twist, or Bowling. However, for our private party for the three of us, I can only imagine what they will need to come up with to top the craziness we have done for them.

Good luck, girls! I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

D&D Session 9 & 10

Session Nine 

Players:

  • Ciaran (LVL7) and Basile (LVL9)
  • Lorn (LVL 9)
  • Marven (LVL8)
  • Neebs (LVL 9)
  • Dwayne (LVL8)
  • Alkaid (LVL 8)
  • Kass (LVL 8)

Story:

Shortly after returning back in town, the group spends the next few days collecting themselves as they try to understand the strange new rules of Dwarvenshire, now renamed “Neebsenshire” after their King Neebs.

  • The Neebs Fan Club has disbanded and has now been restructured as the government. Jennifer has taken control and has implemented new laws to help make Neebsenshire a safer place, including a weekly 10 gp tax and a 10PM curfew. Sleeping outside is no longer allowed, and anyone homeless or unable to pay the tax must leave.
  • Neebs has also disbanded the Church of Neebs, effectively kicking the ship off the side of the cliff, as his preaching was to teach the town to “believe in themselves, and not in him.” He spends most of his time walking around town giving morale speeches to keep up everyone’s spirits.

Xi-Long resurrects Duarf, who is confused about what happened. When he learns that Neebs will now be in charge, he is thrilled and leaves to go adventuring again. He takes Shale along with him, abandoning The Last Call. The group return their borrowed items to Xi-Long before heading to The Three Shepherds.

The group meets with the dragonborn brothers inside and promise that they will assist them with their quest to clear out the rust monsters as soon as they rest for a day or two from their battle with the dragon.

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AOF: Book Covers!!

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While waiting for my turn to come around for the editing process, the publisher and I are starting to brainstorm cover ideas for The Art of Falling! 

This is by far one of the most important parts that I have been dying to get my hands on. I am definitely one to judge a book by its cover, and I naturally want to help them design a cover that I think will grab a reader’s attention.

A few years ago I had come up with a book cover concept that suited my needs at the time. It put a face to the novel as I continued to work on it and try to gather readers.

Of course, as we move forward, this idea will most likely be scrapped for something new.

My homework has been researching Urban Fantasy/Romance book covers on the Amazon Top 100 List (and on pinterest) to see what covers are popular, what themes and styles seem to work, and to find ideas that would translate well to my novel.

For fantasy, covers with people on them are very popular. While I am not a fan (as I feel this can sometimes look tacky when editing is awful) I do understand why this style is used. It allows young readers to identify with the character! However, I’m personally a huge fan of covers with a symbol or image (think Twilight’s apple or Hunger Games’ mockingjay.)

I’ve got quite a few ideas saved in a pinterest board for reference as I continue to work with the publisher. However, I thought I would share some of the covers that jumped out at me with you guys!

What covers jump out to you when you’re browsing the library or bookstore? What themes do you enjoy? What traits do you dislike? Let me know in the comments!

 

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ART: Painting as a Past Time

When I’m not in the mood to write or read, I find myself itching to draw. Sometimes, I’m not even in the mood to draw. That’s when I turn to painting to let go of some of my creativity.

This weekend I’m going to my friend’s house warming party. As a gift, I’m giving her a painting that I did over the course of a few days. Giving a painting as a gift has become a tradition over the last few years. It’s been a great way for me to paint subjects that I normally wouldn’t have considered, and to test my limits with new styles of painting.

This trend started with watercolor 5×7 prints that I painted for my fiance’s family one Christmas. I looked up flowers that represented the birth month of his mom, grandma, and aunts. They were quick and easy, each taking about a half hour to finish as I listened to Cover Drive on YouTube.

 

Then, my friends started buying their first homes. One couple even had a baby shortly after getting an apartment! At this time, I was into acrylic painting. So I asked them what they wanted for their house, and created 16×20 paintings over the course of a few days.

Next thing I knew, my friends were getting married! Of course, I offered to paint them a gift to celebrate their marriage. One even requested that I paint a canvas for their guests to sign as a guest book alternative. For another, I painted a rendition of one of their favorite engagement photos (which I also took for them.)

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Next thing I knew, it was my turn to get married! Finally! So, naturally, I painted little watercolor invitations for my bridesmaids (and they said yes, of course.)

 

Overall, painting has become one of my favorite hobbies when I’m not deep into a book or writing. Of course, I still have a lot to learn! I know how to paint with watercolors, acrylics, and oils (thanks to several painting classes in school) but there is always room to improve.