Glistering: B's Blog - The Glister Journals, outsights, and infrequent flashes of brilliance

California,Interstate,Road Trip!

July 30, 2015

Northwest Roadtrip 2015

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{On the road, hills covered with pines, firs, and oaks}

{On the road, hills covered with pines, firs, and oaks}



First the bad news: I got absolutely no writing done during these two weeks. I had hoped to pick up writing my last chapters of the upcoming book, but between being busy from the time I got up in the morning to the time we quit, and being completely exhausted (brain dead) after that, it didn’t happen.

The good news is that my daughter-in-law (who I will call Susan) and grandson (I’ll call Stanley, which is actually his middle name after my dad) are safely in Iowa and reunited with my son. His new job seems to be going well and hopefully they’ll be able to make a good life for themselves there. I’m already brainstorming the best way to visit them and wondering if I can book tour along the way.

The first week started off with my youngest daughter’s official move to her new digs. Not that she would let me do very much to help her, but I was completely distracted anyway. She didn’t physically move into her new place, however, as she had agreed to stay with Buu while I was gone.

I hit the road a couple of days later, glad it was overcast and rainy almost the whole way there.

{Dark clouds over parched California hillsides}

{Dark clouds over parched California hillsides}



Mount Shasta is one of my favorite landmarks on this trip – the last one before passing into Oregon. Seeing snow on the slopes in summer is always a welcome sight. It has been so dry for so long, I was afraid there would be no snow left.

{A glimpse of snow on the flanks of Mt. Shasta}

{A glimpse of snow on the flanks of Mt. Shasta}



The mountain was difficult to see because of low cloud, but I needed to stop for gas so pulled off the highway to Mt. Shasta City, a nice little mountain town (elevation approx. 3,600 ft) nestled into the southwest flank of the mountain. Close up, it was easier to just make out the stripes of white. I’d stopped there for gas before but never driven around the town, so I took a few minutes to explore. That’s all it took – it’s a very small town. It’s the kind of place I could imagine retiring to – very relaxed, small town vibe, somewhat touristy but quaintly so, a definite hippy element reminding me vaguely of Northern Exposure for some reason, and not too crowded. I have a feeling it’s more of a happening place in winter when the ski slopes are open.

Then on into Oregon. Grants Pass is a favorite stopping place and that’s where I spent the night.

Oregon is pretty but, just like California, almost completely dry right now (notice the grass in the first photograph). One of my problems with Oregon is its dearth of Starbucks. After several years of doing this trip, I’ve figured out where some are by now, but I’m always glad to get through Portland and into Washington. Then on toward the Canadian border to my destination.

Susan had already done a lot but there was still an enormous amount to do. Over the next three and half days we sorted, boxed, packed, threw away, and cleaned. Pretty much non-stop (and she did most of the cleaning). I rented a 15 foot U-Haul truck and took loads to the dump and recycle center, the thrift store, and the storage unit. I was sure we wouldn’t be able to get everything into the unit, but we almost did – using logic, spatial analysis (non-mathmatical, of course), and a little bit of physics. It also helped that I’m very good at puzzles.

Throughout this, two-year-old Stanley was amazing. Not perfect, but amazing. In spite of not seeing his dad in two weeks, watching his world dismantle around him, and enduring long days without much fun or close interaction, he remained (for the most part) sweet and happy. I guess he takes after his parents!

My original plan for this trip was to help my daughter-in-law get things done and then see her safely off on the road. Then I’d take a leisurely drive back home. I especially hoped to spend a day or two exploring the Olympic Peninsula. However by the time we were done with everything, I was exhausted and aching and all I really wanted to do was go home. She had heard of a town in the eastern Washington mountains, Leavenworth, that she very much wanted to visit. What with one thing and another, and sharing her curiosity, I decided to go with her.

{Blue sky, whilte fluffy clouds, mountainsides covered in evergreens, craggy mountain tops}

{Blue sky, whilte fluffy clouds, mountainsides covered in evergreens, craggy mountain tops}



{Evergreen covered mountainsides with craggy peaks beyond}

{Evergreen covered mountainsides with craggy peaks beyond}



We convoyed (all two of us) up the mountain road, her with a car completely loaded with the things she thought she’d need for the next two months or so – including Stanley and Ellie, the cat, of course – and me with my own things including a few things that didn’t fit into the storage unit (my son’s cello, a comforter, etc.) and bottles of my son’s delicious homemade wine.

{A tabby cat with white markings enjoying a rest stop}

{A tabby cat with white markings enjoying a rest stop}



I’m glad I went. The drive was very pleasant and the landscape beautiful. I was able to help her a little, keeping an eye on Ellie (another award-worthy trooper) while we took a break in a park and Stanley played. Then we drove on into Leavenworth, a cute “German” town in the mountains. It was already getting late and many of the shops were closed, including this book store, A Book For All Seasons, that I would love to go back and explore one day.

{"A Book For All Seasons" book store in Leavenworth}

{“A Book For All Seasons” book store in Leavenworth}



{Shops in Leavenworth, Washington look like they belong in the Black Forest of Germany}

{Shops in Leavenworth, Washington look like they belong in the Black Forest of Germany}



{Shops in Leavenworth, Washington look like they belong in Germany's Black Forest}

{Shops in Leavenworth, Washington look like they belong in Germany’s Black Forest}



Susan (of partly German heritage) had her heart set on German food, but time was an issue. We couldn’t afford to spend too long looking for a restaurant or waiting for food. We found a pub, which probably wasn’t exactly what she had in mind, but we were able to order sauerkraut and bratwurst and get on the road soon after. We had parked in different ends of town (parking was an issue) and I ducked into a gift shop on the way back to my car, not wanting to leave empty handed. I bought a pretty ornament for my son’s family (for their first Christmas in their new home) and pretty copper earrings for my daughters.

Copper and black earrings with butterfly and flower design

Copper and black earrings with butterfly and flower design



We spent the night just off the I-90 near Moses Lake. In the morning we filled our cars up with gas together before hitting the road. That’s when I saw the smoke. It was obviously back in the direction we’d come from, so Susan’s journey wouldn’t be affected, but mine might.

{Billowing black smoke from the fire off the I-90}

{Billowing black smoke from the fire off the I-90}



And so it was; a huge fire closed the highway in both directions and caused me to detour back to Moses Lake and many miles around (after dithering, stopping for snacks, and getting Starbucks!) In effect it cost me a day’s travel, but all’s well that ends well. After three days driving, I arrived home safe and the next day Susan, Stanley, and Ellie arrived safely in Iowa.

Two days later my youngest daughter moved to her new home. Leaving me the cat. Yay! Now to finish that book. . . .

Currently writing: Finishing TGJ Book 2.

Listening: Speak – Pedals

Reading: American Gods by Neil Gaiman and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente

Watching: Sherlock Holmes and Midsomer Murders



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com New edition coming!

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing.

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General Update,The Glister Journals,Writing

June 29, 2015

An Update and Survey Results

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This last weekend was the end of my second week of summer vacation (for those who don’t know, I’m a teacher) and so far, so good. The first week I finally completed the revision for the new edition of Bronze, and this week the hard edit was completed. Now for one last go through and fix any formatting issues and into the mail it goes. Sort of.

In the meantime, my little family is experiencing major changes which are exciting and unnerving and may prove to be very distracting. I don’t talk much about my personal life, both for my own and my children’s privacy, and for reasons I won’t go into here or now. But stuff is happening. And if you know anything about autism, you will understand. The executive functions involved alone – for all of us – are extremely challenging.

My Oldest Child, my son, is in Iowa interviewing for a job. This may seem like no big deal, but it is. It’s huge. My daughter-in-law and grandson are in Washington (state) and I was going up this summer to visit, as I usually do. But if he gets the job, he’ll probably stay there, in which case I’ll go up to Washington anyway to help his wife pack and get ready to move. I’m praying I get to see him one way or another. Washington is quite a drive, but it’s always been do-able, at least once a year. Iowa is not do-able and if they move it’ll feel like he’s moved to the other side of the planet. But I want him to get the job. It’s a chance for them to really get on their feet. Thank goodness for Skype.

At the other extreme is my Youngest Child, who has been my roommate since she turned eighteen, many years ago, and who has never been able to move out on her own before. She wants to “adult” on her own, which is understandable, and I want that for her too, but she simply hasn’t been able to afford the ridiculous rents here in the Bay Area. Now she has found a place through a friend – a room in a shared house within reach of her job – that seems like it will be very good for her. I’m excited for her. And already dreading loneliness. I’ve never lived completely alone before. I’m afraid I’ll start talking to myself even more than I already do. I’m hoping she leaves me the cat.

Today she’s starting to pack her things. Lots of things. This requires a new playlist, so she enlisted my help. It’s gratifying to be so useful. She wanted something funky. I went retro and turned her onto The Isley Brothers and Chaka Khan. That led to all kinds of great stuff. We jammin’.

My Middle Child recently started a new job in San Francisco and is already general manager. She loves working there and it’s much better than where she was working before, but it doesn’t mean she earns a lot. And she currently lives in a relatively bad part of one of the most dangerous cities in America. We want her to move. We want her to move years ago. (Yes, that was meant to be present tense.) She looked at two apartments on Saturday. One didn’t call back. Their loss. The other is a new building with income restrictions. She earns too much for this place, yet can’t afford any other decent place to live. Plus they don’t take cats anyway. That’s just not acceptable. I’ll be haunting Craigslist this summer.

So I’m praying all three can move this summer, for very different reasons, and I’ll be somewhat “on call” to help while I can.

On the positive side, I’ll return completely to Book Two of The Glister Journals. I’m SO excited about that. Honestly, it’s almost finished, but there’s still a lot to fit into the last few chapters. As far as release dates (and the official start of the soundtrack contest), that depends on how and when the new edition of Bronze is published. More about that when I have news, one way or the other.

And in case you’re curious as to the survey results, I’m including a link to the charts.

The results are very interesting and surprised me a bit. The overwhelming majority of people (most of whom haven’t read Bronze) said they like long books, they like the present book cover, and they thought the blurb interesting enough to invite further investigation. This is very valuable and welcome information. I don’t want to waste time changing things that don’t need fixing, though I’m going to change the blurb, if nothing else. The main negative comment was that it wasn’t clear what genre of book it is. All of these considerations may not end up being my decision to make, but it’s extremely helpful and encouraging. A huge thank you to everyone who participated. The comments were extremely helpful too. It was all really good stuff.

So I hope you’re all having a great summer so far. I will continue to run my own giveaways and participate in others’ (mostly on the Blogger side), and I’ll try to be more regular with music, book, and other posts and updates.

Want some music? Of course you do! I hadn’t heard of these guys before, but I like them and the song is appropriate. Kind of. Enjoy. :)




The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any book seller or purchase now at Amazon.com New edition coming!

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing.

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Contests/Giveaways,The Glister Journals,Writing

June 6, 2015

Blogoversary

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Four years ago, I started my first blog when my first novel was published. To celebrate and thank my followers, I’m giving away $15 gift cards to the book store of your choice to two winners.

But I’d like your help too. There’s an easy entry for followers, and you can tweet about the giveaway, but I’d appreciate your opinions and feedback in a quick three question survey. It earns extra entries,too!

As I finish revisions for a new edition of Bronze and finish the second Glister Journals novel, I’m considering different options and would appreciate your feedback. Whether you have read Bronze or not, your opinions are very welcome! I don’t want to change for the sake of change, but I do want Bronze to reach the broadest audience possible. Answers to these questions will help me make choices that may affect the whole series.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com New edition coming!

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing.

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General Update,The Glister Journals

May 31, 2015

Simple Things

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Take tie to enjoy the simple things


I donated a copy of my novel, Bronze, to the main branch of our county library quite a while ago. I check online once in a while to see what it’s up to. It most often says “check shelves.” But quite often it shows that it’s checked out. Like today. It makes me profoundly happy. I hope they’re enjoying it. ❤️


Currently writing: Revising and final edits of Bronze for new edition. (I’ll get back to finishing the second Glister Journals novel. I promise.)
Listening: Pedals – Speak
Reading: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Watching: Midsommer Murders and Wayward Pines



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com New edition coming!

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 B B Shepherd.

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Music,Reviews

March 15, 2015

March Music Review and Giveaway

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I’ve been meaning to do a music review for ages now, so not only will I share may favorite listens of 2014, I’m doing a giveaway too! Four winners will be able to choose the album of their choice: Bad Blood by Bastille, Supermodel by Foster the People, Sonic Highways by Foo Fighters, or La Gargola by Chevelle. Even though I pre-ordered all these albums, it’s taken a while to listen to them adequately enough give an informed opinion of them. The rafflecopter for this giveaway is at the end. Sorry…US and Canada only due to shipping costs.

All This Bad Blood, a double album from Bastille, I pre-ordered after purchasing the Bad Blood EP. I (like just about everyone else) had fallen in love with Pompeii on first listen. Although the full album came out in late 2013, I really didn’t listen to it much until last year, and since it’s a double album and my mp3 player has a ton of music on it and is always on shuffle, well, it took a while to listen to the whole thing.

Bastille is, in many ways, perhaps a bit self-generic – not a bad thing, but many songs sound similar (I want to break out into Icarus in the middle of Silence) or have very similar elements, and lyrics are sometimes quite repetitive. And I don’t care. It may even be purposeful – they would make it easy to make mashups of them (which they kind of do on the second disc.) The production of the whole album is amazing, as is Dan Smith’s voice. I’ve been listening to it (in a roundabout sort of way) for over a year and, though the songs are certainly hook-laden, I’m far from tired of it! One of the things I love most is singing along in Smith’s distinctive accent. Though from London, his accent (at least while singing) isn’t typical. Perhaps influenced by his South African parents?

Choosing favorites from this album is difficult. Honestly, I love the whole thing. But a few from the first disc are Icarus, Oblivion – especially the cello ending – and the following videos: Flaws and Things We Lost In the Fire.





A few from the second disc are The Weight of Living Pt 1 (Albatross), Sleepsong, Laughter Lines, and Of The Night.

Foster the People have been a favorite band since I first heard Pumped Up Kicks when it was released in September of 2010 – one of those songs that immediately grabs me and, musically, is extremely exciting to me. The whole album was amazing, so I looked forward immensely to their second album release, Supermodel.

There’s always that trepidation when a new band you love are releasing a new album and you’re hoping that it’s not a dud, that they didn’t use up all their great ideas on the first album and now have songs that just kind of fall flat or go in a completely weird direction. Phew – that can’t be said of Supermodel. It’s absolutely the best album of 2014 as far as I’m concerned. Every single track is fresh and different and amazing, from the first to the last. I can’t even pick a favorite (or two or three) but the first track is really great. I love the Afro cross-rhythms and the whole feel and tone of the song. Lyrics are great too.



Pseudologia Fantastica (pathological lying) is just weird and the video hasn’t changed my opinion one bit. But I absolutely love it just the same. One of the things that makes this album stand out to me is that every track subtly reminds me of at least one other artist, so much so that I have wondered if each song is (musically) a deliberate nod to other artists. I won’t go into details here or I’ll never get this post done, but this particular track is very nostalgic to me. Foster the People often have a Beach Boys quality to their sound, but this one reminds me strongly of a nineties pop artist named Tony Vincent, better known now for his performances on Broadway. His songs had a definite “sound” and this reminds me of him strongly for some reason.



I heartily recommend this album to just about anyone. If you loved the first album you’ll adore this one.


I’ve loved Foo Fighters before I really paid much attention to them. You know, I heard their tracks on the radio and knew the words by heart, but somehow didn’t connect strongly until Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace, especially the track Let it Die. Since then I rectified the oversight by buying most of their previous albums.

Their last album, Wasting Light, is (I think) their best yet, so I was really looking forward to Sonic Highways. If you get HBO TV, you might have seen or at least been aware of the companion show. I was aware of it but unable to watch.

So, I like it. The new album I mean. If you like Foo Fighters, you’ll probably like it too. Does it cover new ground or hold surprises? Well, let’s put it this way – when I’ve put a lot of new music on my MP3 player, I play a little game guessing the artist whenever I hear a song I don’t recognize. Since I listen to a lot of the same genres and like quite a few bands that sound similar, that’s not always easy. But I can name this band in three measures or less. Usually less. Again, that’s not a bad thing. I’m not one of those people who think bands have to redefine themselves every album or even show huge evolution (I seriously don’t understand people who do), but this is very recognizably Foo Fighters. Considering this is a concept album – each song corresponding to a different city – I’d like to get the DVDs of the show as I’m sure it will help connect to the songs a little deeper.




Chevelle have been one of my favorite bands for quite some time now, probably only second to Mute Math. It’s also one of the few bands I’m willing to brave a live concert for. Not that I don’t love live music, but the combination of too loud music (I try to remember ear plugs to buffer the volume), toxic fumes, and crowded situations, usually deters me. When I heard Chevelle was playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco, I immediately bought tickets.

In case you’re not familiar with them, they seem to be most often classified as alternative metal, which is a good enough description I guess. Definitely harder than most alternative, but not quite what I think of as metal – something in between. Whatever the category, I love them. Their songs grab me musically and hold on lyrically, often teasingly psychological or spiritual in nature, dark but not completely morbid. I relate to so many of their songs from a perspective of difference, otherness. My youngest daughter introduced me to them via their fifth studio album, Sci-Fi Crimes, and I’ve loved them ever since. I’ve yet to get their early albums, but I will.

In concert they are amazing. A small group (only three: Pete – vocal and guitar leads, his brother Sam on drums, and Dean on bass and background vocals) they sound like a five piece at least, filling up the concert space with a huge, textured sound (not just loud) with nuanced instrumentals and clear vocals. I was amazed, especially at the songs I knew best, as they sound better than the album tracks. That’s saying a lot.

If you like your alternative very hard with sharp edges, superior musicianship, and haunting, thought provoking lyrics, like me, you’ll probably like them. I reviewed their previous release, Hats Off To The Bull here.

Here are a couple of my favorites off La Gargola





I haven’t done a giveaway like this before, so we’ll see how it goes. Have you heard these yet? Which album do you hope to win?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is being run concurrently on http://glisteringbsblog.blogspot.com/



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 B B Shepherd.

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Contests/Giveaways,General Update,Reading,The Glister Journals,Writing

February 3, 2015

Valentine’s Day Giveaway and Sneak Peek

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romance is in the air giveaway hop
There’s a Valentine’s Day giveaway over at my Blogspot blog. The giveaway is a $25 Gift Card to buy the romance(s) of your choice.

I thought I would have my new novel, the second in The Glister Journals series, ready for release by now, but it’s almost done. And yes, there is romance. Unfortunately, the new book’s not ready to give copies away yet, but I’ll share a teaser with you.

Here’s a tiny sneak peek – just a touch of romance for Valentine’s Day. :)

It was darker here, but there was enough light to plainly see his face. He was standing very close and still holding my wrist as if afraid to let go.

“This is the scary part,” he said softly, staring back at me.

I had a stab of fear, wondering what he’d say next. “I—”

There was no time to say anything more and even less to formulate theories on his behavior. His gaze dropped to my mouth for a heartbeat, then he planted his own lips firmly on mine.

Another moment later, he drew slowly away.

I was stunned.  My heart had leaped to my throat the moment we had reached our dubious destination, but I wasn’t expecting this. I couldn’t grasp the fact that he had literally dragged me outside to a forbidden and relatively isolated location to—what? Kiss me? He just kissed me?

My heart thumped and skipped crazily as the reality of that sank in to my poor befuddled brain. I was speechless. My assumptions about this evening were spinning in ever widening circles.

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 Chapter 29. First third of manuscript going out to Betas

Listening: Alt J – This Is All Yours

Reading: Caszandra by Andrea Host

Watching: Doctor Who and The Prestige



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 B B Shepherd.

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Contests/Giveaways,General Update,The Glister Journals,The Glister Journals Soundtracks,Writing

January 4, 2015

2015 – A Look Ahead

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Happy New Year everyone! This is just a quick update and look forward to 2015.

First of all, I’ve been having issues with formatting and posts (and parts of posts) disappearing from this blog, so the first thing I’ll be doing is completely reloading and reformatting here. I’m not sure how long that takes, but should have things in order before the first giveaway of the year.

Which is the second thing, yes! I will be continuing with giveaways throughout 2015. There will be regular gift card and book giveaways, of course. I’ll have a music one coming up soon. I’ll also be giving away copies of the new edition of Bronze when it’s ready and, of course, TGJ Book 2 as soon as it’s released.

The last chapters of The Glister Journals 2 are taking me some time, though I’m not sure why. It should be completely finished in the first part of this year. I am looking into different publishing options, so I’m not sure exactly how that’s happening yet. These choices could affect the cover and title, so I’m still keeping those to myself. The picture above, by the way, gives some clues to Book 2. Any ideas?

Bronze has been getting an overhaul, editing for length (shorter) and I’m considering a different cover. Any thoughts about that?

The soundtrack contest is still on and waiting to be launched. The grand prize is at $200.00 right now, though I expect to add to that soon. It will be open for entries when Book 2 is ready to get sent out for early reviews, so if you’ve read Bronze and are figuring out the songs, stay close. I’ll publicize the starting date as widely and loudly as I can! If you aren’t aware of the contest, you can read about it and find the clues here.

I expect to begin writing in earnest on Book 3 by mid to late spring.

Personally, apart from finishing writing projects, I want nothing more than to try to get fit and begin riding again. After a very long time not riding, I had a horse a few years ago, but it didn’t work out – physically or financially. My heart and brain retain my love and knowledge, but my body has lost the strength, balance, and even some of the muscle memory required to ride the way I want to. So if I can get my body back in good enough shape, especially core and leg strength and flexibility, I’ll find someone to start training with and go from there. I may never be able to actually own my own horse again, but I’ll never completely give up on wanting to ride!

What are your plans for 2015?

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 Chapter 28.

Listening: Foo Fighters – Sonic Highway

Reading: Caszandra by Andrea Host and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Watching: Mockingjay Pt 1 and Harry Potter (all of them)



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

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Media

December 7, 2014

Movies: Winter 2014

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I don’t get out to the movies that often for a variety of reasons, but there are quite a few I’m looking forward to this winter season. Top of the list is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

I have to admit I was disappointed when I learned Mockingjay was being made into two films. This seems to be the trend now. I thought the beginning of the book slow, spending too much time on Katniss’ state of mind after her rescue from the dome and after learning of Peeta’s capture. And that seems weird for me to say as I love the exploration of what makes people tick, but I wearied of it. So I’m a little worried they might have made Part 1 too drawn out and melodramatic. Still, I have to see it, of course. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it if you’ve seen it already (no spoilers for those who haven’t read the book!) I’ll probably see it within the next week or so.



And I guess the same could be said about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. I had never read The Hobbit until last year and admit I am much more a fan of the movies than the book, iconic though it is. But that Jackson has padded the original story out (and added superfluous characters and romance) is undeniable. I’ve heard that he wanted to include some of the background material Tolkien included in the The Silmarillion (which I haven’t read), but it still seems like it’s being drawn out purely for commercial reasons. Oh well. I’ll be going to see it anyway. I have a crush on Kili.



I became somewhat familiar with Into The Woods, the broadway show and its soundtrack, while I was studying vocal music in college. I never got to see it live and, while I’m not a huge Broadway fan, it’s one of the shows I would love to see. So I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. The cast looks strong and the production good. Pluses: Johnny Depp and Chris Pine.



I’ve tried to see Big Hero 6 a couple of times but it didn’t work out, so I hope to see it while it’s still in theaters. If not I will definitely be buying it on DVD as soon as it comes out. Everyone I know who has seen it has loved it and it looks adorable.



And finally, I’d like to see Exodus: Gods and Kings. It appears that Scott has been more faithful and respectful to the epic story than Aronofsky was to Noah. Interestingly, according to Rotten Tomatoes, Noah had a critics rating of 77% with only a 43% rating from audiences. So far Exodus has only a 41% critics rating but 97% audience interest. From all I’ve seen, it looks like a bigger, more epic, and more CG and effects laden Ten Commandments. That’s neither a positive nor a negative. So we shall see. I’m not sure I can believe Christian Bale as Moses – that just seems weird for a lot of reasons to me – but he’s one of my favorites, so I’m willing to suspend belief just for him!



Have you seen any of these yet? If so, what did you think? Are there any others you recommend?



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

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General Update

November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving came early to my house this year. As both my daughters work in retail, getting the same day off is a miracle in itself. This year my older daughter, Elizabeth, was able to come and stay a couple of nights. She came on Sunday so we had our family dinner on Monday. Mary, my younger daughter who lives with me, had to work. Fortunately, she worked early so was able to be home for dinner. Unfortunately, she began feeling feverish Sunday night and by the time she got home from work on Monday, she didn’t feel up to eating much.

I’d been cooking all day. I usually try to get some things prepared the day before, but what with one thing and another (cleaning!), I didn’t. We stay pretty traditional with our holiday meals, but some of that tradition is very English. Dinner was roast turkey, stuffing with sausage (casserole), roast potatoes and parsnips (covered in butter/marmite), roast carrots and yams (in an herbed oil), cauliflower and broccoli, and home made apple sauce and gravy. Apple crumble and custard for dessert. Yum!

I was also supposed to skype with my son and his family (in Washington) but we didn’t get to it. We keep saying we will do this skype thing, but it never happens. Either things get too busy on this end or his internet’s down. So today, actual Thanksgiving Day, I hope the stars are aligned and I’m able to see and spend time with my son and his family.

Late on Monday we learned of the violence breaking out in Oakland, uncomfortably close to where Elizabeth lives and works. I have no opinion on the right or wrong of the actual incident – I am completely unqualified to judge the tragedy that incited the violence – but empathize with the feelings of outrage, oppression, helplessness. I don’t empathize with the violence, property damage, and fear the “protestors” are subjecting innocent local people and businesses to. That’s not the way to gather support for anything. You become the thing you hate and are despised and mistrusted in return. Where’s the sense in that? I was glad that Elizabeth was right here with me, but I had to take her home, a small minority member in her neighborhood, while violence was still happening just streets away. I’m always praying for her safety, but have never had so much cause.

The shame is that the genuine protestors are probably not the ones doing the damage. Just like the ridiculous mobs and vandalism after the Giants won the World Series. It’s doubtful the real fans were a big part of that. It’s opportunists taking advantage of any excuse to damage and steal the property of others. It’s nothing to brag about or be applauded for. It doesn’t matter how unjust the issue is. You’re just hurting more of the people you claim to be protesting for. The people in your own neighborhood. Your family.

Which leads me back to Thanksgiving.

I am most thankful for my family. My three children. Life isn’t always easy – can be downright brutal at times – and I have lots of other reasons to be thankful, but they are the most precious to me. I’m thankful everyday for them. Twenty-four-seven. We’ve been through a lot together. I want to be here for them; they are always there for me.

I’m thankful that after years and years of very hard times, things are going pretty well for everybody. My son spends most of his time being a full time dad and working on music and online business. My grandson, Odin, will be two years old early next year and is adorable and healthy. So is his lovely mom. Both my daughters just transferred to brand new stores (different stores, same company) and are guaranteed full time – no mean feat in this economy. The oldest is now a supervisor but both hope to work into management. I hope that, regardless of how they all earn a paycheck, they are able to exercise their creativity. They’re all extremely talented but also probably all affected, to one degree or another, by autism, like me.

It’s challenging, but I’m not complaining. I’m extremely thankful.

I’m also extremely thankful for the people who have taken interest in my writing and befriended me online. I don’t really know you, but your opinions and support are important to me. Thank you! And yes, Book Two really is coming. I promise.

So whether you have religious or cultural reasons to celebrate today, or don’t celebrate at all, I wish you a peaceful day and hope you can focus on the things you can be thankful for. And, as is my Thanksgiving blog tradition, here’s some Switchfoot. Happy Thanksgiving from California!




The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

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Contests/Giveaways

November 14, 2014

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

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Gratitude Giveaway 2014

This is a simple giveaway to say THANK YOU to you, readers and followers. All you have to do is leave a short comment on my Blogspot blog letting me know how you’re following – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Goodreads, blog, etc. My giveaway is for a $15.00 gift card to the book store of your choice. Thanks so much!



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Share