Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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November 2008

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Oh, fine…

Katequicksilver has a meme. It’s an anti-politics meme, but I’m willing to play (though my break will be for just a few hours).

Here’s something awesome:



It’s a type of prickly pear cactus that turns purple or, in this case, bright vibrant pink, as it matures.

It’s beautiful.


South Dakota’s Abortion Ban: FAIL!!!!!

Obama: WIN!!!

Also, a shout-out to my friend Junglemonkee, who finished writing a novel this week– YEAH!!!

Lots of win all around. A little bit of lose (California: What the heck are you thinking?!?), but on the balance: lots of joy.

Big Bend Ranch State Park

IMG_2014.JPGWe’re staying 1 mile away from the Big Bend State Park Visitor’s Center (and about 35 miles from Big Bend National Park). Since there was the end of the big chili cookoff and 10,000 people on the road between us and the national park today, we went exploring in the state park.

On this little canyon hike, we brought a few basics, my colored pencils and sketchbook (though I didn’t end up sketching), and cameras, with the intention to take a bunch of pictures of wildflowers and plants. That, I managed to do, including a couple of cactus that we didn’t actually see– they were waaaay up at the top of the cliff. Wild.

Heading down to the canyon, we stopped for a few amazing views on the way. This area is very beautiful, despite the residue from the Rio Grande flooding earlier this Fall. There’s a lot of damage– in Missouri, a river will flood and, yes, there’s damage, but it’s mainly structural damage, with some road problems. 2 months later, the floodplains will already be sprouting new growth.

Here, the mud is still caked on, on the roads and along the riverbed. It makes the Rio Grande look much more imposing and dangerous than it normally does– this is a river that you can often cross (illegally) without getting your feet wet. Just hop across on the rocks, and shimmy up a cliff with a rope, of course.


The canyon is a river wash called “Closed Canyon.” it’s shocking how little is living in the bottom, but of course, this little patch of the world gets about half an hour of sunlight a day, and probably none in winter (there was none when we were there, at noon on daylight savings day).




September-October Books

I failed to post my September books in time, so you get a 2-month roundup today:
I always have trouble with these books that tell two stories in one novel. One of the stories is usually removed by the contemporary one by a few generations, and is often the protagonist’s mother or grandmother or whatever.
Soul was a free ebook download, and it didn’t impress me. I couldn’t figure out where the author was going with it. Was it going to be a thriller? A suspense? It seemed to have classic elements of a “wretched excess” plot, only with the woman becoming obsessed with revenge on her ex. Typically, sex and drugs turn her around and keep her from fulfilling the murderous legacy of her grandmother. I would like to read a book where the woman who wants revenge on her lying cheating husband (a) isn’t deranged, and (b) doesn’t turn out to just need a good lay and some mood-altering pills.
A very good book, told in comic book format, on the history of comic art and how they work the ways they do. Principally theory.


Ultimate Spiderman #2

Practical application of a comic book. 🙂 It’s a trade paperback continuing the modern, updated, set-in-the-00’s story of Peter Parker, teen superhero. Trade paperbacks collect several individual issues into one.

Trade paperback collection of The Walking Dead, a zombie comic book. One of the problems I have with this one (and with a lot of zombie stories) is its beginning– the hero wakes up in a hospital after a coma. It’s “movie coma:” he has all his reflexes and physical strength, and somehow he’s managed not to be detected and eaten by the zombies that have overrun the hospital. Other than that, however, I find this to be an engaging storyline. My 10 year old nephew enjoys it, too, because there’s a kid in it.


A Scandalous Lady by Francesca Shaw

It took me forever to finish reading this ebook, and I have no idea why. It’s a lively little Regency romance starring a “proper” young lady and her beau…. except she’s living a secret double life as an actress, and he’s an honorable rake set out to seduce her as an actress and, later, marry her.

If it took me forever to read A Scandalous Lady, it took me a day to read Lord of Scoundrels, and this one may have had what the other lacked: humor. Not that Scandalous wasn’t fun, but that Lord of Scoundrels was highly amusing, with plenty of occasions for the hero and heroine to engage in witty dialogue. Also, the heroine had a lot of backbone and moxy, and the whole thing just kicked up the fun enough.

The memoir of a woman who lost over 170 pounds. She doesn’t say what diet she used, but the book is more of a record of her journey from morbidly obese to “normal.” There are parts I wish she hasn’t glossed over, like the transition between not exercising and walking, or the transition from walking to jogging and then running. These are, after all, important parts of the journey, and I missed the more “real” moments of that process with her. However, I know most of this is drawn from her blog, and she may simply have not posts about or recorded that very thoroughly. This is a great, and inspiring book.
(not numbered)
Listened to this as an abridged audiobook. I don’t count abridgments in my “how many books in a year” challenge, so I’m not adding this one to the count. But I wanted to include it so I don’t forget that I read it. I suspect that this is a book that preaches to the choir. If you’re politically left, you’ll enjoy it. If you’re not, you won’t.
Mystery/thriller, listened to the unabridged audiobook on my iPod. The setup almost sounds like a bad joke: “A firefighter, a cop, a journalist, and a lawyer….” But I won’t ruin the punch line. It was a good thriller novel with twists and turns and only the normal amount of predictability.

While you’re waiting for me to write, edit, and publish Getting Buried in Vegas, check out Soulless, a zombie apocalypse novel with an interesting origin twist (the origin is supernatural, rather than biological/scientific). I read it on the Kindle in a couple of days– a dedicated reader could probably read it tonight between Trick or Treaters.

It has begun!

Chapter 1

When in doubt, add zombies.

Tom dragged another troop of shambler zombies into the scenario, strategically placing them in the shadow of the high rise building that housed the level access code. The zombies stood, their slack jaws red with unidentified gore, while Tom nudged two of them closer to the building and the remaining three further out. It would be possible for a well-practiced warrior to do a straight run through the troop, but any newbies would be seeing the red screen of shame.

The alarm on his watch started beeping, and Tom pressed Control S to save the game code to his local hard drive before checking it in. It wasn’t that he was paranoid. It was that he’d had the misfortune of losing a whole day’s work on three separate occasions because the Windows network failed in the middle of the code checkin, and he hadn’t caught it before heading home for the night.

1,673 words for tonight.

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