Is it Epic or is it Crap? Finding Encouragement in Love it or Hate it Book Reviews.

"Poop! Crap! Garbage! Crap!" -Kira (1 star rating)

"Three words; unique, epic & addictive." -Kristi (5 star rating)

The above is taken from the beginning of two Goodreads reviews of the same book, Beautiful Creatures. To one person, the book was poop, crap, and garbage. To another, the very same book was unique, epic, and addictive.

Reading the reviews for this book (most either LOVED it or HATED it) and then reading the book myself, made me realize how differently people can perceive the same story. What one loves, another despises. They are reading the same words and yet they respond in completely opposite ways.

As an aspiring author, this is both encouraging and discouraging. I don't ever want to read a "Poop! Crap! Garbage!" review of something I've written and yet I can be rather confident that if I ever see something published and in print, I will also receive reviews such as this one. Ouch. It's tempting to keep my stories to myself, to not attempt to write something worth sharing, to give up and admit I am much too thin skinned for this.

But there's also something encouraging, something that pushes that insecurity down and keeps me going. For every "that's crap" review of this particular book, there's someone else who loved it enough to give it five stars and call it "epic and addictive". Sure, some will disparage my writing, should I ever be lucky enough to be read. Some may hate my style, my characters, my plot. But others may be swept away into another world, may find escape from their every day, may simply enjoy a story that I've created. And that must be enough.

There are different styles, genres, and stories out there for all. There are different styles, genres, and stories inside of us, as writers. As much as we want everyone to love us, that's not going to happen. But there will be some, and for them, it is worth sharing your story. And as a reader, I am grateful to all those who put their hearts out there and allow me the opportunity to experience their worlds and their characters. I hope someday to do the same.

*By the way, if you're wondering how I felt about this particular book, I quite enjoyed it. I gave it four stars and look forward to continuing the series and diving further into the world of Casters and Mortals and the small southern town of Gatlin.


Word(s) For 2013.

Everyone's been talking about their word for the year. I have words rumbling through my head but have yet to pluck out just one. Free. Fly. Dream. Inspire. Create. Encourage. Live.


Flu Recovery Ramblings: TV, Writing, TRISMS, and Wet Socks.

So the flu has been kicking my butt. Now that I feel halfway human, I thought it time for a post. But a post about what? How do you get back into the groove of blog posting after being away so long?

Perhaps I'll just think aloud. It's time for a ramble, so if you're looking for something meaningful, best be on your way.

I've been watching a lot of TV lately. I'm a fan of TV, although that's not the politically correct thing to say. I love stories and there are some great ones told through this medium! I'm usually not a fan of it during the day, but when you're sick you make concessions. All of our normal DVR'ed shows have been on hiatus, so we've been catching up on new to us shows via Netflix/Amazon Instant Video/Apple TV. We've recently become huge fans of Sherlock and The Walking Dead. Excellent, excellent storytelling! I want more! Give me more!

We've also finally started with Warehouse 13. All of our friends have been telling us to watch and we're now into season two. A friend kept saying I was Claudia and yeah, I am Claudia. Except much older. I'm okay with that (well, not so much the old part), I love her wacky ways.

In other storytelling news, I've started a course on revising your novel. My goal for 2013 is to actually have a completed manuscript! I'm working through my last NaNo rough draft, although I'm thinking I may need to add another 50,000 words or so. Perhaps I'll finish the first part of the book and write the second in November. Either way, I'm excited to finally be doing this! Now to get through Lesson One, which has been put on the back burner due to this gorram flu.

I am anxious to get going and I feel strongly that the local writer's group I lead (merely because I am bossy and not because I have any particular talent) is an area where I need to grow and encourage others, making it a priority in my life. This may mean letting other things go, and I know what I must do, but it's always hard. I want to do it all. It's a common failure for me. I want to be Superwoman and I'm so NOT.

My kids are doing well with their independent curriculum. This makes me both happy and sad. Sometimes I miss the one on one with them, but I need the break and they're learning invaluable research skills. TRISMS has been an excellent fit for us this year and I think we will continue with it next year. They only come to me with questions now and it's somewhat bittersweet. But good.

And I've rambled long enough. Just getting my feet wet once again and hoping some day to end up with more than just wet socks.

Man, I'm corny.

(Claudia. I bet her socks are dry. And I totally want her hair. I might just get it. Well, not HER hair, but you know what I mean.)


I'm Back!

Sort of.

I started this blog back in 2008 as a way to be creative, share whatever I felt like sharing, and develop my writing skills. It was fun to share and connect with other bloggers and I'm thankful for the friendships I made through this ( Pack of Hungry Snails and Memoirs of a TV Junkie, I'm looking at you!). A couple of years into it, I joined a review group and began product reviews. As most were homeschool related, I started another site so that this one would not be overrun by reviews. This site then fell by the wayside and all my attention was directed toward NotSoSuperwoman's Homeschool, Reviews, and More.

About a year ago (I think), I quit the review group, reviewed on my own for a bit, and then hit blogger burnout. Again, I am thankful for the many friends I made through reviewing, but I'm ready to get back to blogging more for me (I'm selfish like that) and inviting whomever would like to join me to come along for the ride. So I've imported the review blog posts into this post (the comments did not transfer, sorry peeps!) and decided to com back home to plain old notsosuperwoman and continue being notsosuper over here, as time and interest allows.

If you'd like to join me wherever my mind takes me, feel free to subscribe or follow me on Facebook or Twitter or wherever (let me know if you have trouble, I think I fixed all the links but I have the moniker notsosuper for a reason. GRIN) and let's have a low-key, no pressure adventure in blogging.

Until next time!


Storytelling Game: Fabula

I just posted a game review on the Geeks Playing Games site that I think some of you may also like!  Fabula is a storytelling game where one person plays Grimm and the others are his characters doing what characters do best- helping to tell the story and taking it places the author may have never planned.  It would be a great addition to your homeschool language arts as it encourages imagination and creativity. I'm posting a portion here to wet your appetite, but go check out the full review!

The object of this game is to use your imagination. One person plays Grimm and everyone else chooses a story character who will help him tell his tale. There are twelve characters to choose from and they are all beautifully represented by high quality cardboard figures. While the other players are choosing their characters, the player representing Grimm chooses a story card from the absolutely gorgeous offerings. There are ten oversized cards with different renderings on each side, providing twenty stories to choose from. These stories are found in the rule book. I suppose you could choose a story and then find the appropriate card, but we enjoyed choosing based on the art and going from there.
Once the characters and story are chosen, Grimm lays out item cards face up on the table (the number is dependent on how many are playing). He then reads the prologue of the story and shares where he needs chapter one to go (this is all given in the rule book). The characters must use an item card to progress the story in the manner that Grimm has prescribed. There are quill tokens that Grimm may award to the player if he is pleased with the story progression. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...


Quaker Oatmeal Squares #Bzzagent

I've already shared that we're a cereal family, so it should come as no surprise that we were more than willing to try out Quaker Oatmeal Squares when offered via Bzz Agent! These crunchy squares are good when served in a bowl with milk but our favorite way to eat them is straight out of the box. The crunchy sweetness makes a great nutritious snack!

We shared a couple of the mini boxes with friends, who also enjoyed it as a snack, and heard the same thing- the crunch and the hint of sweetness satisfies that snack craving and is healthy at the same time. Give them a try for breakfast with milk but save a bit for later. Grab a book or settle down in front of a movie and snack away. Yum!

Go check out the Quaker Oatmeal Squares Facebook page and get your own FREE sample box! (While supplies last.)


That's Enough

I forgot my name yesterday.

Overtired, over stressed and overwhelmed, it was just a brain blank moment but I've been having too many of those lately and I'm afraid if it continues I really will forget who I am. Who I am has been drowned out by the whispers and shouts of who I'm not. I'm not good enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not spiritual enough or pretty enough or graceful enough or tactful enough or friendly enough or serious enough or... I'm not enough.

Believe me, I know.

Enough tattoo Pictures, Images and PhotosI sit in tears and wonder why God's placed me where I am when I'm so far from enough and all I want to do is run away, hide from the world in that Hobbit Hole with the well stocked larder and my books, and be alone with my not enoughness.

And then a song invades my heart. When I lose my way and I forget my name, remind me who I am... When I can't receive Your love, afraid I'll never be enough, remind me who I am. If I'm Your beloved, can You help me believe it? Tell me once again who I am to You, who I am to you. Tell me, lest I forget who I am to You, that I belong to You.

And the tears continue, but they turn to tears of wonder that somehow I am enough for Him. That I was enough for Him to love me and allow me to become His child through the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate resurrection power. I am in awe. I don't understand it, I don't always feel it, but somewhere inside me I still know it. Through all my weakness and my failings and my doubt, I am His child.

And that's enough.