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

Archive for the ‘Outsights’ Category

Outsights

November 27, 2013

Thankful

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I’ve been working on several posts that I just don’t seem to be able to finish, so they are going to wait. Today I will just be thankful. In no particular order:

I’m thankful that I am healthy. I don’t take as good care of myself as I should, as I used to, but I have no major health issues. The minor things I can live with or try to improve through diet and exercise. And sleep. As much sleep as possible.

I’m thankful for close family bonds. I don’t have a lot of close friends, but I’m very close to my children and they are very close to and supportive of each other. I am immeasurably thankful for that. And I am very thankful for my friends too!

I’m thankful for a wonderful book blog tour this fall. I’m especially thankful for the wonderful people I met and hope to stay in touch with, and all the people who have shown interest in Bronze and the series. Thank you!

I’m thankful that, so far, most people that have actually read my book like it! I actually haven’t heard from anyone that doesn’t like it, but I’m not going to assume there are none!

I’m thankful for my job. My five-day-a-week daytime job that pays the bills and allows us to eat. Not the writing which, so far, hasn’t paid for anything. But I’m not about to give it up. It has become a huge and necessary part of my life.

I’m thankful for fond memories. I focus on these. I have a lot of bad ones too–the kind that can keep you awake at night–but I choose to not think about those. I’ll let them be buried in my subconscious and only pull them out and look at them if they can be useful.

I’m thankful that I live in a country that still allows freedom of faith. I sometimes wonder how much longer those freedoms will exist, but they’re there at the moment. I think. I’ll believe in my God anyway, come what may.

I’m thankful for my ridiculously silly and cute cat. He’s such a sweet companion…except when he thinks I’ve forgotten his dinner or that I’m ignoring him. He complains loudly in the first case and “tags” me with claws out in the second!

Thankful for Buu

I’m thankful that I’m just as excited about my book series, The Glister Journals, as I was when I started it. Even if it’s taking me FOREVER to finish the second book. It WILL get finished!

I’m thankful for music. Pure and simple.

And, according to my tradition, here is some Switchfoot for you. Happy Thanksgiving!


Posts coming soon:

    A Cataclysmic Music Review
    Retro Thursday
    Chabot Space and Science Center



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 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

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Art,Media,Music,Outsights

May 12, 2013

Allison, Wreck It Ralph and PDDs

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First I’d like to share with you the second Glister Journals piece drawn by a friend, comic artist Jeff Stokely, before he became famous and notorious (okay he’s not exactly famous nor notorious beyond certain circles but he’s working on it!) I love this drawing. This is closest to how I picture Allison (from my novel Bronze) and I love the way he has portrayed Robin too, though I don’t see her quite this way. (The drawing of Dave and Chris is here.) What do you think?:

The Glister Journals: Allison and Robin

Jeff has been extremely busy and is working on two comics coming out this year, a reimagining of a classic pulp, Six Gun Gorilla, and his own (with co-writer/creator Chris Northrop) The Reason for Dragons which I am personally very excited about.

So, I finally saw Wreck It Ralph last night. It’s not a movie that I would normally choose to watch, but I had heard about it when it came out from many kids that loved it. My daughter and her boyfriend just watched it last night and left it for me to watch too so I figured I had better make an effort. I have to admit that I wasn’t at all interested in it and for the first half of the movie was wishing I was watching something else. But I persevered and I’m glad I did.

Now, I’m not going to list the reasons that I found the movie less than captivating. People have different tastes and this didn’t appeal to me to start with. It really bothers me when people write reviews on books, films, whatever, that they wouldn’t normally have read/watched and can’t really find fault with but give negative reviews because they assumed it was something else (don’t even get me started on assumptions) or just didn’t like it for reasons outside the scope of what it is. Why do people do that? So I’m not going to say what I didn’t like. If you like this kind of movie, you will probably love it.

This is a tongue-in-cheek ‘behind the screens’ promo that does not divulge much of the actual movie, but if you haven’t seen it, you’ll get the idea:

I will say that, though I felt ‘meh’ about all the characters from the beginning, Ralph himself, though completely predictable, did grow on me. But what I really sat up and took notice of was the character Vanellope. At first I couldn’t stand her and not because she was obnoxious, but because she was so obviously meant to be too obnoxious so that you would have to like her later. The anti-princess. Ugh. But as I continued to watch, it began to occur to me that this throw-away child was like the neuro-atypical people I see every day. How she was like my character Allison Anderson from Bronze. And, apparently, like me.

Now, Allison is quiet and introspective–not in-your-face obnoxious like Vanellope–nor is she homeless and lacking in personal hygiene. But that ‘glitch’ that keeps Vanellope from being accepted by the other kids–along with having very different ideas of what is attractive, valuable, and funny (not to mention questionable powers of self-assessment and style sense)–is what sets kids diagnosed with PDDs (pervasive developmental disorders) apart. It is also often what gives them heightened sensory perception and out-of-the-box creativity which Vanellope displays beautifully (her ability to see what others cannot, creative approach to problems, etc.) She is not just a quirky character that marches to the beat of a different drummer. I think a lot of ‘normal’ people like to think of themselves that way too.

No, there is something different about her; something in her code, her genetic make up and neural programming. This is PDD. This is what is at work with people with autism spectrum disorders. It is not something they control or choose and it does not necessarily affect their intelligence or ability to take care of themselves and others. It does often make it very hard to interact with other people, react in socially accepted ways, and cope with sensory overload. I don’t know if that’s what the writers had in mind but if you’ve seen the movie or watch it now, I’d be interested to know what you think.

*Small Spoiler Alert* I think the thing I loved most about the character in the movie was at the end, when she becomes accepted by the others (the reasons which I’m not going to analyze too deeply right now.) At first she appears to become a princess, as if she has completely changed and is ‘normal’ like all the others. PSYCH! Nope, she’s just the same as she was, glitch and all. I LOVE THAT! If you are a person with ASD/PDD, you cannot magically be changed. There’s no ‘cure’. Why should we want one? We aren’t ‘wrong’ or broken, just different.


I will leave you with a song and video I would otherwise never subject you to, but I love it. (Metaphors aside, whether this song is appropriate in a children’s movie is also beyond the scope of what I want to deal with here!):



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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Media,Music,Outsights,The Glister Journals,Writing

November 20, 2012

Still Thankful…

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I can’t believe I haven’t posted since September. Time has gone by so fast! I’ve been writing a lot–I actually got about nine pages of the second Glister Journals novel written just today–so that is my excuse. There are still so many things I’m working on; things for the series’ website especially. I plan to get some more chapters up there and here before Christmas. I still have some blog posts that need finishing too, but would like to get something out for Thanksgiving.

I thought I’d revise my Top Ten Things I’m Thankful For list from last year, but in looking it over, I realize that I don’t need to change a thing. Everything there is still true–nothing to add and nothing to take away. So I’ll share some videos with you instead. My Thanksgiving gift to you. :)

First, something ridiculously cute to put us in the right mood:

Second, a much anticipated (by me!) movie:

Next, an awesome video game in development which I’m supporing on Kickstarter (go check it out!) This is the latest video update:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJJS-dt-nNs&feature=share&list=PLA51B14F54E645B19

And finally, since I ended the last Thanksgiving post with Switchfoot, I will end this one with them too. I think I shall make it my Thanksgiving blog tradition. Whether you celebrate in a special way or don’t celebrate at all, have a wonderful day!



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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Horses,Outsights

April 29, 2012

It’s been an Extreme week

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Happy weekend everyone. This will be a short post just to say “Hi” and give you something to watch. I will have a more extensive post after next weekend. I’ll be headed to Los Angeles (road trip!) to meet up with a friend at a special horse event, and hopefully will have pictures to share when I get back. That’s the plan anyway. I also plan on getting some new music to listen to on the way there, so more music videos next week!

In the meantime, let me share a little of another very special event that happened this week. This was the Extreme Mustang Makeover Finals in Madison, Wisconsin.

What? I hear you ask. A car makeover? Pimping out classic Ford coupes?

No silly. REAL mustangs. Horses! The kind that still roam more-or-less wild and free (where they’re protected at least) in North America, and particularly in the western United States. I know some people who are very critical of them as a breed, and I know all the arguments, but no-one will ever change my opinion of their heart, intelligence, adaptability, and athleticism.

Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenges occur across the nation and provide many horses, that might otherwise become BLM statistics, with hope of a future home and meaningful life with owners who will love and appreciate them.

Would they be better left alone to live free on the land? Well, that depends on who you ask. Many people would love to see them annihilated completely, claiming they are nothing more than feral castoffs with questionable lineage and poor conformation that are habitat invaders of “native” wild species such as deer, antelope, and bison.

Others will tell you that they are a beautiful symbol of the old west, many of which still carry the DNA and traits of the horses originally brought to this country, the Iberian PRE horses. Has the mustang breed been diluted over the centuries by other, less exalted breeds? No doubt. But many still retain the undeniable qualities and even appearance of those PRE ancestors.

And even other people will point out the fact that horses roamed this continent way before people did. No, not this particular breed of course, but horses belong here.

I’ve loved mustangs ever since I first read Marguerite Henry’s “Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West” when I was about eight years old. As a teenager, I was fortunate to know of two mustangs who lived wild on the ranchland near where I lived and saw them a few times when I was out riding. I even have pictures somewhere. They disappeared eventually and someone told me that they had died during a drought. A shame, but that’s what happens to wild horses.

If you have read my novel, “Bronze,” you will know that several of the horse characters are at least half mustang. I love mustangs.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover program is rather grueling, and potential trainers must meet strict criteria in order to participate, but the results can be utterly amazing. From completely wild, never-touched-by-human-hand horses, to trusting, well-trained and adoptable equine partners. IN 90 DAYS! Anyone who has ever trained an unstarted horse will know this is impressive. And these horses aren’t just unstarted, they’re WILD!

Anyway, here’s a video of the winning entrants from this year’s finals at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison. I’ll be back next week with news of my weekend and an update for my novel “Bronze.” Enjoy!

You can read more about the Extreme Mustang Makeover at their website Here: extrememustangmakeover.com

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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Media,Music,Outsights,The Glister Journals,Writing

April 14, 2012

A Good Day

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I’m actually celebrating because, not only did I get my taxes finished (both federal and state) TWO DAYS before they’re due (actually FOUR days–I just found out the due dates are changed this year), but I’m getting an honest-to-goodness REFUND this year! Unheard of! I can’t remember the last time that happened. I’ve been thinking all day about all the ways I’m NOT going to spend the money.


However, I was revising this morning and my computer starting acting a bit freakish. It’s acted that way before and it turned out it had a virus, so I ran a boot scan while I finished up the rough draft of a chapter in the new book. (My rough drafts are mostly accomplished long hand.) I would have worked on the next chapter, but I’d already started it on the computer and couldn’t remember exactly what I’d done (it’s sort of in pieces and chunks right now) so instead I went out to mail my lovely tax forms and took a walk too. That’s quite a big deal for me, but I won’t go into that now.


Suffice it to say that it was a GORGEOUS day, a little bit blustery but not too cold with huge white fluffy clouds. Almost perfect. I’ll have to take a picture next time. I did take a picture of some of my candles last night. I just thought they looked cool. I don’t know why there was a power outage; it wasn’t storming or anything. But it was kind of fun–the first time in over a year that we actually needed candles. I was working on my computer then too, until the battery got too low.


Blackout candles


Ah well. I do have some real news . . . which I’ll share soon. Really! In the meantime I’d love to share an amazing version of a song I referenced a while ago by Gotye (which, by the way, is NOT pronounced Go-tee-yay, as everybody is saying, but Gore-ti-yeah; am I the only one who reads ‘About’ pages?), Somebody That I Used To Know. If you haven’t heard it by now you live on a different planet than me–or maybe just a really differnt part of this one. I’m a bit tickled actually, as I went into my local record store (YES! I shop brick and mortar whenever possible!) to buy his CD and they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. I told them that they WOULD and they should get the album in.


In the meantime he’d been getting some local airplay and was scheduled to do a concert in a cool but relatively small venue. Well now that has been changed to a MUCH larger venue. The last time I went in to the record store, they’d already sold out of the album. (I told you so! :P And I still haven’t got a copy yet!) Anyway, here’s the version I was talking about. It’s by Walk off the Earth. Have a great weekend!


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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Media,Outsights

April 10, 2012

In Case of Apocalypse . . .

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I really hadn’t planned on posting anything until next weekend, but I came across this and thought it hilarious.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you will know that I am not much of a traditional sports person. I like soccer and basketball and baseball, but, except during the World cup for soccer, I’m not really that big of a fan. I prefer my sports on the extreme side. So it won’t surprise you to learn that I don’t watch the Superbowl, Rosebowl, or any other bowl or game of American football. Ever.

But I was doing a search on Big Black Trucks–specifically Big Black Chevy Trucks (for some friends)–and came across this article: Ford Objects to Chevy Silverado Super Bowl Ad and found it very funny. Especially this:

We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize. In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away.”



Here’s the commercial in case you haven’t seen it, though I’m probably one of the few that hasn’t:



But just for the record, Dave wouldn’t be caught dead driving a Ford truck. Maybe a Mustang . . .



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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Outsights,Writing

March 18, 2012

From Russia with . . .

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. . . spam.

Apologies to those of you who actually read my blog. I know you’re out there and I love you. I really do. But the spam is killing me. When I started this blog (on the WordPress site–I have no problem with Blogspot) I had the comments turned off for unregistered users. It seemed like the safest way to go, but of course I got no comments. So I thought I’d see what happened when I took that requirement off and I actually got real reader feedback. Unfortunately most of it was spam. And most of that seems to be coming from Russia and the Ukraine. To those of you from those countries and regions that actually read my blog and enjoy it, thank you! You are very welcome here. To those of you spamming, just stop. Please.

Unfortunately, my sense of humor won’t allow me to completely move on from this until I share the kind of thing I’m talking about. They’re just too darn funny.

Posted on my novel’s Prologue page:

Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks.”

Uh . . . you’re welcome?


You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most persons will agree with your website.”



Well if most people will agree with my website, I must be on the right track! I feel so . . . so . . . validated!

And apparently I completely confused this unfortunate person with my complicated concepts (also posted on Prologue):


You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!”

I’m sure those of you that are more tech-savvy, and especially BLOG-savvy could explain it to me, and I’d sure appreciate it if you could, but for now I’ve got the comments set to registered users only again. It’s too depressing to deal with all the garbage. I hope by disabling comments for a while I’ll drop off the spammers’ radar. If you know of a way to discourage it, especially here on WordPress, please let me know! I do plan on enabling comments again soon, so please don’t give up on me! I’ll post a ‘normal’ blog post soon too with some exciting news. Yay.

And speaking of spam, I’m sorry but I just have to:

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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

Share

Outsights

February 26, 2012

Face melted . . .

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Maybe it’s culture clash . . . my insular, northwestern European roots colliding against those of my predominantly warmer-climed and possibly gregarious-cultured or obviously all-American, party-loving neighbors.

Maybe it’s my age–naw, I’ve always been like this and some of my neighbors are about the same age as me.

Maybe I just wear my neural receptors on my sleeve.

I feel like one of those guys in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You know the ones; the guys at the end whose faces melt off or their heads explode. Not good.

Yes, I have spoken nicely to these neighbors. I thought perhaps they just didn’t realize how loud their activities are inside my house. With the doors and windows closed. I’m already dreading summer when everybody seems to be outside and partying and the windows have to be open or we fry.

Whatever. I resent being kept up all night, then having adults yelling, doors slamming, children screaming for long periods throughout the day (these seem to be visiting children, thank God) and feeling forced to retreat to my darkened bedroom, putting ear-plugs in, and pulling the covers over my head, trying to block it out at least for a little while. Not the way I was planning on spending my weekend. I was hoping to actually get some work done today.

Instead, I composed this blog while trying to block out the noise, must have slept as I dreamed of positive book reviews, and this song was in my head–unhappily and a little too appropriately–when I woke up.

Does anyone else have to deal with noisy neighbors like this? What do you do? Is there anything you’ve said that makes any difference? I’ve thought about retaliating, like waking them up at four in the morning banging pans outside their window or something, but of course I’d never do it. I’m hating the idea of having to move again when my lease is up. I otherwise like it here and it fits my budget–an important consideration.

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to rant and I promise not to make a habit of it, but honestly, I have to do something productive today. And it gives me an excuse to share some Incubus. Just making lemonade. :)

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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

Share

Media,Music,Outsights,The Glister Journals,Writing

February 12, 2012

Grammys, Writing, and Comparisons

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Seems like forever since I posted anything, but there’s not much going on. It is the Grammys tonight though, and I am slightly interested in that. Only slightly because I’m not at all impressed by celebrity and I don’t think the people/groups that win awards in general (music or otherwise) necessarily deserve them–sometimes it seems clear that popularity or politics are more involved than any real talent or quality–but I find it interesting none-the-less and am always happy when my bands and musicians win!

This year I’m rooting (in general-whatever they’re up for) for Foo Fighters, Foster the People, the Black Keys, and Radiohead. If I can find a decent livestream to watch I may, otherwise I guess I’ll find out tomorrow (feel free to fill me in!)

The writing is going well, but I don’t plan on giving a play-by-play on what I’m doing, tempting though it is. I will probably let you know of major ‘checkpoints,’ etc. For now, suffice it to say that I’m writing every day and Dave has started bugging me again. A lot. That’s always a good sign.

Apart from that, there’s nothing much to add; nothing new. I’m not the kind of person who likes to describe the minutiae of their day, and I’m not famous enough for anyone to be interested anyway. That leaves ranting (of which there’s been plenty lately, especially the $@#%* drivers I manoeuver around everyday!) and though many of the blogs I follow have very entertaining rants which I enjoy reading–in moderation–I promised myself I would NOT use my blog for that or subject my readers to it. But I do make observations at times and here is one of them.

Lately I’ve been hearing very familiar sounds coming from my radio. Two songs in particular (and I just heard a third recently) have elements that I first heard in music by Hirasawa Susumu years ago. And he may not be the first to use these elements, but it’s the first time that I was aware of it. You may not be familiar with him, but if you are into anime at all, you’ve probably heard his work. So I thought it would be interesting to do a little comparison.

The first of his works is from an anime called Paranoia Agent, a rather disturbing, mind-messing show with adult themes (2004).

I’m refering to the little voice at the beginning and end. A small thing, perhaps, but distinctive. Then there’s Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls) from Foster the People (Don’t look to me to explain the video; I don’t even…):

And I recently heard this from Coldplay:

The second element is the electronic voice (Vocaloid) employed in some of Hirasawa’s music for the full-length Paprika (again, very weird, disturbing, and adult in themes–just so you know)

I’m hearing very similar sounds here in Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites from Skrillex:

My point? I don’t have one…it’s just a comparison and old habits die hard :P

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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

Share

Outsights

December 21, 2011

Twas a few days before Christmas . . .

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. . . and I should have been cleaning and putting things away. I don’t even have the tree up yet; if I don’t do it soon it won’t be worth doing! This will be a quiet Christmas–just two of my close family–but I look forward to seeing two of my very best friends and my aunt too, later this month.

Back to what I should have been doing . . . .
In repacking boxes for storage (the ones that I have to get out of the way in order to make room for afore-mentioned tree), I came across some old videos. Some very old videos. Videos of family gatherings, musical performances, dance recitals. Videos so old they’re on video tape.

These videos include the most precious people on earth to me; some are just older now, but some are gone. How amazing to be able to watch them again, to feel their presence and hear their voices, especially their laughter. And look how young and skinny we all are!

Yes, I should be working right now, but I’m not going to feel guilty. I’m feeding my soul.

I hope to post once more before Sunday, but in case I don’t: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Here’s a couple of videos from members of the best steam punk band ever, Abney Park :)

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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

Share