I wrote a letter to Pat Rothfuss.

So, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Pat Rothfuss.

For folks who are new here: well, I am a huge fan of the author Patrick Rothfuss.

I don’t think I’d necessarily call myself a rabid fan, like how I used to be with Sailor Moon back when I was a teenager, but I am definitely a huge fan. I have almost every book he’s ever written (aside from the short story anthologies he’s contributed to and Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide – the former because I am a slacker, the latter because it’s ridiculously rare) – and most of those books are signed. I have prints of artwork based on The Kingkiller Chronicles – again, most signed by Pat. (The one that wasn’t signed by Pat was signed by the artist, Echo Chernik – and I’m ridiculously happy about that too.) I have almost all the jewelry that Badali Jewelry sells that’s based on the books. I’ve backed a bunch of Kingkiller Chronicle-related Kickstarter campaigns. I’ve owned three Eolian t-shirts (the first one I wore it so much it started falling apart, the second one just disappeared one day and I still haven’t found it). My car has talent pipe decals in the back windows. I cosplayed as Denna once. I quoted a line from The Name of the Wind in my wedding vows when Rana and I got married, and quoted The Slow Regard of Silent Things in the eulogy I delivered at her funeral. And I’ve been lucky enough to run into Pat at Gen Con three times – in 2013, 2015, and 2017.

… okay, seeing all of that written out kind of makes me feel a little ridiculous. Hey, when I get into something, though, I get into it.

So, what prompted me to write Pat a letter?

Anyhow. I’ve been reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things to my anxious cat Anya, to help her calm down after moving to the new house. She ended up moving a little later than the rest of us – there’s been a lot of reconfiguring of living situations among me and my chosen family lately, and J wanted to see how she acclimated to new people and new cats at the house after I moved out. Long story short: she had been stressed out due to sharing a house with five other cats, and not eating much due to one of the other cats bullying her away from her food, so we decided to move her here. After all, we’ve only got Peggy and Hannah here – and while they’re remarkably energetic for senior cats (Hannah is almost 13 and Peggy turned 15 in February, and they both still act like kittens at times), they’re also a lot calmer than the other cats Anya was living with.

Anya was not thrilled with having to move and hid in her crate here for a few days. Then it hit me: I saw a suggestion about reading to cats to help them get acclimated to new owners/homes/other stressful situations, so I pulled out my copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things and read to Anya. It really helped her come out of her shell.

Photograph of me reading the book "The Slow Regard of Silent Things" to Anya, a small black and white cat. Anya and I are sitting in a large walk-in closet.

Yes, I am reading to my cat from the inside of a closet. Closets are Anya’s favorite places to hide.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is one of my favorite books ever, for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, I identify rather strongly with the main character, Auri. We are both anxious and easily overwhelmed. We both feel things a little too strongly at times. We both have trauma in our past that’s shaped who we are today. In addition to identifying with Auri, I also love the book because of Pat’s wonderful way with words. It is an absolute delight to read, and reading it out loud is an experience. The way Pat uses words to describe Auri’s thoughts, her feelings, and her view of the world is lyrically beautiful. I absolutely love this book.

Artwork of Auri from the book "The Slow Regard of Silent Things". Auri is underground, looking up towards a grate overhead.

Artwork of Auri from the author’s foreword in The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

It’s no surprise that I’ve been in rough shape lately. I’ve been healing from a lot of grief and trauma from just the past six months alone. Reading a book that I already had such an emotional connection to nudged me towards the point where I ended up overwhelmed with emotions, and I felt that I had to tell Pat just how much of an impact his books have had on my life.

So I wrote Pat a letter.

Writing to an author: not something I’ve done much of

I’ve only ever written to an author once before. I sent an email to Anne Bishop, another author whose books I’ve enjoyed, at one point back in 2007 (if I remember right). It was just a short thing about how I really enjoyed her books and thanked her for writing them. She actually responded to my email! I was so surprised – and so happy – to see that she’d read my email and made the time to respond.

Writing to Pat, though? That was an entirely different experience.

The letter I wrote to Anne Bishop was a short, couple-of-paragraph thing that I wrote while I was in a good emotional headspace. The letter to Pat is a four-page single-spaced hot mess of emotional rambling. I was crying by the time I got done writing the damn thing. I was very much not in a good headspace when I was writing it.

But you know what? It felt good to get all those thoughts and feelings down on paper. It’s something I’d been meaning to do for years – tell him what his books mean to me. I guess it took an emotional breakdown brought on by reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things to my anxious cat to finally get me to do it.

Dang, when I phrase it like that, my life sounds like a ridiculous hot mess right now. Having a breakdown brought on by reading a book to my cat is not a thing I thought I’d be experiencing in 2022, not if you’d asked me last year what I thought would happen this year. (I can say that about a lot of things that happened over the past six months, though.)

The letter itself

Anyway, back to the letter. It’s long, and rambling, and it talks about how much of an impact he and his books have had on me. About how him hugging me at Gen Con 2013 made my entire year, and how I was so thrilled that he took a picture of my Denna costume in 2017. How I identify with Auri, how much I love Slow Regard, and how I sat in the closet and read it out loud to little Anya to encourage her to come out of hiding. I wrote it last week, but haven’t mailed it yet – I keep meaning to, but I also keep getting distracted. (It’s also been way too hot to leave the house the past few days.) Besides, even if if it makes its way to him (who knows, it could get lost in the mail), I don’t know if he’ll actually read it. And even if he does read it, I doubt he’ll write back. After all, he’s a busy guy, and I’m just a small-time nerdy blogger who’s had a pretty terrible year that was made better by his books.

Even so, the simple act of writing the letter helped me feel better. I’ll take that as a win.

And who knows, maybe he will read the letter. Maybe he’ll even come check out the blog. (I pointed him to a post I wrote in late 2017 at the end of the letter, one where I rambled about how much I liked him.)

Well, Pat, if by some crazy twist of fate you do end up reading both my letter and this post: thank you for taking the time to read this small-time blogger’s letter, and for caring enough to come look at my blog.

(And I hope I haven’t scared you off. I know I can be a bit…extra. It’s the ADHD.)

What’s been going on in Crafty Nerd land

I said I was going to start posting more regularly, so here I am! (Even though it’s been almost a month since my last post. At least it hasn’t been half a year, right?)

I’m currently in the process of coming up with some more exciting topics for blog posts, which has been a slow process. In the meantime, I wanted to share a little bit of what’s been going on in my corner of the world.

Rediscovering cross-stitch

I recently got back into the hobby of cross-stitching. I’ve completed two projects since last November, and I’m currently working on a third. Apparently I have a thing for hobbit-themed cross-stitch projects, since two out of the three projects I’ve worked on so far have little hobbit-houses as the focus:

Long-time blog readers might remember the one I’m currently working on. Back in June 2019, I posted about starting that cross-stitch for Rana. After she passed, I dug it back out and started working on it again as a way to process some of my grief, and to give myself something to focus on. I’m going to give it to her mom when it’s done.

If you’re interested in the patterns, here are links to them:

Final Fantasy XIV: my first MMO in forever

I got back into MMOs again recently! I started playing Final Fantasy XIV back in… September, I think, and while I haven’t played in a few months, I’m going to pick it up again soon.

My Final Fantasy 14 character, Ëlinyr.

I fight using books! Because knowledge is power! 😀

Yeah, I’m playing Ëlinyr as an MMO character. Did you honestly expect anything different from me?

Ëlinyr is a summoner, which is the closest I could get to her Kishar class – in name, at least, since summoners are also referred to as evokers in FF14. The black mage class aligns more with her actual Kishar powers, but I like playing a summoner more – summoners get to use books as weapons! And if you’ve followed the blog for a while, or if you’ve played Kishar in the past few years, you know Ëlinyr loves her books. I play on Crystal/Zalera, in case anyone is curious, and I would be happy to play with other folks who play if anyone’s interested.

Preparing for season 10 of Kishar

Speaking of Ëlinyr: the new season of Kishar is coming up at the end of the month! Some big things happened at the end of last season for Ëlinyr – she lost one of her closest friends, Flint, during one of the final battles. Flint was previously the longest-running member of the Adventurer’s Guild, but with him gone, Ëlinyr is the next-longest-running Guild member, and may end up having to become the “responsible adult” for the Guild. Will she take on more of a leadership role in the Adventurer’s Guild? Is she just going to hide in the library forever and only come out when she needs to rain meteors down on the enemy to save the Guild? And will the event I’ve been referring to as the “elf wedding” actually finally happen this season? We’ll find out as the season progresses, and I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated on what’s going on in Ëlinyr’s corner of the world as it happens!

Virtual races and Running for Rana

One of the things I decided to do just after Rana passed away was to participate in the 2022 season of Whovian Running Club virtual races, since Rana loved Doctor Who and she used to run with her mom when she was younger. Not only have I done the first Whovian Running Club virtual race, the Roar Your Light 5k, but I also completed the Keep Your Feet 5k, a Lord of the Rings-themed Fandom Running Club race.

Two virtual race medals I earned recently - on the left is the one from the Keep Your Feet 5k, which looks like the door to a hobbit house, and the second is for the Roar Your Light 5k, which looks like Van Gogh's Starry Night painting with the TARDIS from Doctor Who flying through the sky.

I walked the Keep Your Feet 5k in January, and two days ago I did the Roar Your Light 5k as a combo of walking and jogging and managed to do a 5k in under an hour! I know it’s not exactly fast compared to a lot of runners, but I’m still kind of new at this, and hadn’t gone for a run in AGES. Managing to complete a 5k in under an hour was a big accomplishment for me. (You can keep track of my Fanthropy Running Club races in the sidebar on the right side each page on the blog.)

Aside from everything I’ve already written about: I’ve been rewatching the heck out of Avatar and Legend of Korra to distract my brain from being depressed, reading a lot of books, migrating back to working in the office more regularly, and I’m slowly beginning to feel more like a human being and less like a depressed blob. Which is a good thing, right?

I am still alive, I swear.

Yeah, my usual “post-Gen Con posting slump” that typically only lasts a month or so? This year, it apparently stretched into a four-month posting hiatus. That’s 2020 for you, I guess.

I thought it might not be a bad idea to at least post something to say I’m alive, and I’m hanging in there. I’ve got a couple of ideas for posts lurking in the back of my head. Who knows, maybe I’ll even actually get them posted sometime in the next month.

To give this post at least a little more substance, here’s what I’ve been up to during the past four months or so:

First off, I’ve been playing Blue Rose and Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition online via Roll20 pretty regularly. It’s been fun having the chance to play in multiple “tabletop” RPGs regularly – in the Blue Rose game, I play a Vata’an healer named Lin, and in the D&D game I play Reda the aasimar rogue. They’re both lots of fun to play. (I made the following avatars using this fantasy avatar creator – however, it uses Flash, so I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be around for.)

I’ve also been sitting around, moping about not getting to play in Kishar this year at all. At least I’ve been able to funnel that Kishar-focused energy into a couple of projects focusing on everyone’s favorite sun elf. One of those projects was my attempt at National Novel Writing Month this year – while I didn’t win, I did manage to write 40,000 words about Ëlinyr’s life outside of Kishar games. It was a lot of fun to work on, and I got the opportunity to flesh out some of Alair’s character too. I also found out Alair was originally just supposed to be a one-off character J was going to play in one game, but then Ëlinyr was all “oooh he’s pretty”, and therefore our favorite elf poet ended up sticking around.

Speaking of Ëlinyr and Alair, and Kishar-related projects…

I started drawing again, after a long time (and I mean a long time) of not doing any drawing at all. And apparently I’m somehow still good at it.

Photograph of two digitalframed sketches of Elinyr and Alair.

aaaagh I have artwork that I’ve made PRINTS of and had FRAMED

Yep, I actually drew multiple drawings that I’m actually really pleased with. So pleased with, in fact, that I ordered prints of them. And even had them framed. If you want to see full versions of these, you can view them on DeviantArt – the drawing on the left is Reading in the library, and the one on the right is The Poet and The Scholar. (If you dig through my old drawings on DeviantArt, don’t laugh too hard at my older artwork. I know some of it’s terrible.) I even did some in-progress snapshots of The Poet and The Scholar while I was working on it, so I might share those with a ramble about my drawing process in another post. I especially love how that one came together, and how it turned out when it was printed.

Well, that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to recently – aside from work, anyway. I would say “I promise I’ll write more”, but I know me. Maybe I’ll be able to get at least another post or two up before 2020 ends – I’ll try, at least.

The social distancing nerd: two months later

Oh, how optimistic I was two months ago when I wrote that post about what I’ve been doing, and how I was weathering the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. I thought, “surely I can write more blog posts. I’m home all the time and have no excuses!”

I was wrong.

Peridot from the show Steven Universe, flumped over the side of a bathtub in a depressed funk.

This picture does a darn good job of summing up how I’ve felt lately.

I underestimated just how much energy I spent on dealing with what’s going on in the world, though. How hard it would be to switch gears from work-mode to relax-mode at 4 pm each day. Since I’m working from home for the foreseeable future, I have one space for both work and recreational computer time — which makes everything I do at the computer here feel like work even if it’s not. Whether it’s video games or blog posts or coloring in drawings, if it’s in front of my computer, it feels like work.

I’ve also been struggling with a lot of life issues at the moment. I don’t quite want to talk about them right now but suffice it to say; things are rough in my little corner of the world.

Plus, this is me. Even in a good year, I can never keep up posting regularly for long. I think 2019 was a record-setting year in that I posted almost weekly from the end of January to Gen Con in August. Long-time blog followers know I struggle with posting regularly. I ended up giving up on the Crafty Nerd Podcast because I recorded two episodes and then paid for an unused Libsyn subscription for six months. We know I have issues with following through on things, heh.

So, what have I been doing during the two months since my last post? To be honest, it doesn’t feel like I’ve done much — at least, not much that’s worth writing about.

I have been reading — a lot. I read through the entirety of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels. Well, re-read almost all of them is more accurate — I hadn’t read the last book until this most recent re-read of the series. I started watching True Blood back in March (since I never did finish it) and wanted to see just how wildly different the TV show was from the books in the later seasons of the show. I also tore through Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, because I needed more easy-to-read urban fantasy in my life. Between those two series, I read 25 books over two months. (I’m a speedy reader, it’s kind of ridiculous.) Now I’m reading The Kingdom of Copper, which is book two of The Daevabad Trilogy by S. A. Chakraborty — and I’m enjoying it.

Another thing I’ve been doing is crocheting a lot. I finished the Trio blanket I started in May, and then immediately started two more projects. My startitis is flaring up again, it seems. I’m going to try to finish all the projects I’ve currently got going before I start something new, though. (I know, I know, easier said than done.)

A whiteboard with a list of all the craft projects I'm working on - some date all the way back to 2017.

Not entirely sure if this is a complete list, but there’s definitely a lot on there…

You might have noticed that I mentioned coloring in drawings earlier — that’s because I’ve actually picked up drawing as a hobby again. I used to draw a lot when I was in high school and college, but ended up drifting away from it years ago. With some encouragement from my friend Kasi, I figured I may as well start drawing again.

Photo of a sketchbook, open to a pencil sketch of Ëlinyr.

This one’s still a work in progress, and I love how it’s turned out so far.

So far everything I’ve drawn has been Kishar-related, since I really, really miss playing in Kishar. I’ll branch out to other stuff eventually, heh.

One exciting thing I’m working on is planning out what I’m doing at Gen Con Online this year! With everything being online, I can schedule events back-to-back and not have to worry about finding out I’ve scheduled myself to be in LucasOil Stadium immediately after something held in one of the connected hotels. I’ve got a whole post in the works about my Gen Con online plans, so stay tuned for that.

Photo of my Gen Con 2020 commemorative badge. A label with my name, the blog's name, and my Gen Con ID number printed on it has been applied to the back.

You know I just had to customize my Gen Con 2020 badge.

Even though I’m not officially attending as press for Gen Con Online, I was granted a press badge for Gen Con 2020 — and covering Gen Con is a blog tradition. (I need to see if the folks over at Five(ish) Fangirls are attending any of Gen Con Online — if not, I’m definitely going to miss doing the post-con report with Rachel like we’ve done the past few years.)

In addition to all this, the Blue Rose game Kasi’s running on Roll20 is still going, and I also got the chance to do some Kishar dress-up recently too! (although honestly, do I really need a reason to throw on Ëlinyr’s gear?)

Photo of J dressed as his Kishar non-player character Alair, and myself dressed as Ëlinyr

Ëlinyr and her elf-sweetie Alair. 🙂 And the cloak I spent so much time making that I love so very much.

… huh. Writing this blog post has helped perk up my mood. I went into WordPress this morning with the goal of at least writing something. This post started kind of cranky and self-deprecating, but after writing a bit I’m feeling better — despite the Grammarly tone detector indicating my tone is gloomy. (I will say, the sad-looking emoji hits me in the feels.)

Screenshot of the tone detector in Grammarly - the top listed tone is Gloomy, with a rather sad-looking emoji.

Don’t cry, little gloomy emoji! I’ll try to cheer up, I promise.

Maybe I should try to blog more often, even when I don’t quite feel up to it. It’s definitely helped my mood today, that’s for sure.

Anyhow, that’s what I’ve been doing the past two months. It might not be all that thrilling, but it got me to weite a post, and that’s something.

My 2019 in books

Happy new year, folks! I can’t believe it’s 2020 already — it feels like Gen Con was only a few weeks ago. With 2019 at an end, I thought it might be a good time to look back on some of the media I consumed over the year, and what better place to start than with the books I’ve read?

I don’t talk about books nearly as much as I should on the blog. I read a lot, and I really should share more of what I read. However, I’m pretty terrible at describing books. I don’t know why — I just know that I struggle to do justice to a book when I’m describing it to someone. (Maybe that’s a sign that I should do more book reviews on the blog, and get more experience talking about books?) For my 2019 books, though, I want to share what I read over the year and touch on what books were my absolute favorites. So, with the help of Goodreads (where I keep track of my reading), I present to you: my 2019 in Books!

2019: The year of book series reading

There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a good book series. Sometimes just one book in a particular setting isn’t just enough for me — I often find myself wanting to see more of certain characters and worlds. 2019 seemed to be the year of book series reading — I read through five different book series and worked my way through a chunk of two more:

Some of these I’d read before, like most of Anne Bishop’s The Others series, but that was mainly to refresh my memory before I tackled the last two books in the series. Out of all these, though, I think the best series I read this year was The Expanse (which, to be honest, I’m obsessed with).

Cover Art for Leviathan Wakes, book one of The ExpanseMy favorite series: The Expanse

I ended up plowing my way through the books in The Expanse after I finished watching season three of the TV show this summer. I couldn’t get enough of the storytelling and world-building, so I dove right into the eight-book series and finished it just in time for season four to come out! For those of you who enjoy science fiction, especially hard sci-fi, you’ll like The Expanse. If you’ve only seen the TV show and are worried that any differences between the books might make you frustrated, I can share my experience. There’s just enough difference between the two to keep me interested, and the changes made from book to TV make sense and don’t detract from the storytelling.

 

Front cover of Twelve Kings in SharakaiRunner-up: The Song of Shattered Sands

Now, I’m still only halfway through book two of The Song of Shattered Sands at this point, but I’m enjoying what I’ve read. The worldbuilding is well done, the story is engaging, and I find myself coming back to the books eagerly each day to see what Çeda, Emre, and the other main characters are up to.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where this series goes!

My full year in books

If you’re curious to see all the books I’ve read this year, feel free to check out My 2019 in Books on Goodreads! It’s got every single book I read this year listed, plus some additional fun stats about my 2019 reading.

What I’m watching: June 2019

Hooray, a What I’m Watching post that isn’t at the very end of the month! I’ve only watched a few TV shows so far this month – one’s a guilty pleasure of mine, and another is a suggestion of Ross’s that I really liked. Curious about what I’m watching in June 2019? Read on!

Riverdale season 3

What I'm watching in June: Riverdale. Photo features the main cast of the show.

Oh, you silly teenagers, getting into so much ridiculous trouble.

I’ll admit, Riverdale is a guilty pleasure of mine. My mom-in-law first introduced me to the series, and while it’s a little cheesy and over-the-top at times, I love it. For those who haven’t heard of Riverdale: it’s a slightly darker take on the usually cheery Archie Comics. There’s definitely a lot of teen drama in this show, and I often find myself shaking my head and saying “come on, kids, what the heck are you doing?”

The third season of Riverdale, recently released on Netflix, is no different. The gang ends up getting really interested in a roleplaying game, Gryphons and Gargoyles. Sounds an awful lot like Dungeons and Dragons, doesn’t it? However, the plotline takes a sinister turn when what I originally thought was a throwback to the D&D Satanic Panic of the 80s actually ends up involving some seriously evil entities. Season 3 of Riverdale honestly feels like Riverdale meets Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. (Then again, the towns of Riverdale and Greendale are close to each other, so who’s to say Sabrina won’t show up in Riverdale someday?)

While the show took a weird turn this season, I’m still enjoying it, and I’m really curious to see where things go. I’m only about halfway through season 3 at this point, so stay tuned to next month’s What I’m Watching to find out what I think of the second half!

Riverdale on Netflix

Chernobyl

What I'm watching in June: Chernobyl. Image is from the beginning of the first episode, featuring two of the power plant workers.

I kept yelling at the guy in the foreground, Anatoly Dyatlov, while watching Chernobyl.

Ross suggested we watch this one, and said it had good reviews, so I figured I’d give it a try. (Apparently fans of Game of Thrones feel that Chernobyl makes up for the last few episodes of season 8, haha.) And oh, it is good.

When the Chernobyl disaster happened, I was almost four years old, so I don’t remember hearing about it on the news. I’ve always been curious about it, though, and the Chernobyl mini-series does a very good job of putting a human face on the horrific accident. It’s one thing to read about it in history books, but to see it play out visually gives it far more impact. From the people working at the reactor the night Chernobyl exploded to the ordinary people whose lives it impacted, we get to see a glimpse of many different sides of the story.

I found myself on the edge of my seat a number of times while watching Chernobyl, and occasionally yelling at the characters to get out the reactor building or get away from their irradiated friends, because they’d die otherwise. Or yelling at Anatoly Dyatlov, the person in charge of the test that ultimately caused the explosion, because of his very bad decisions. There was lots of TV yelling with this show, heh.

If you’re in the mood for some more somber TV watching, or are interested in the Chernobyl disaster, this show is a great one to watch.

Chernobyl on HBO

Good Omens

What I'm watching in June: Good Omens. Image features Aziraphale and Crowley from the show.

I am so in love with this show, and I’ve only seen one episode so far!

I’ve been looking forward to this one, for a number of reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, for one, and I was also excited to see David Tennant on screen again. It turns out that besides David Tennant, a number of other favorite actors of mine are in the show, including Jon Hamm and Nick Offerman! Good Omens did not disappoint (although at the time of this writing, I’ve only seen one episode so far). It’s very well done, and is one of the best book-to-TV adaptations I’ve seen. Then again, with one of the authors, Neil Gaiman, directing the show, how could it be bad?

Good Omens on Amazon Prime

And that’s the majority of what I’m watching this month! (Aside from Dark Matter, of course. I’ve only managed to watch one episode since the last What I’m Watching post, though. Which is a bummer.)

What to read after finishing Patrick Rothfuss’s books

A photo of myself with Patrick Rothfuss from Gen Con 2017.

I love this guy’s writing so much.

You’ve heard me say it before: Patrick Rothfuss is an amazing author. His writing pulled me into a story told in two parts: the story of Kote, a humble innkeeper, and Kvothe, a swordfighter/singer/magician who has been through a heck of a lot in his life so far. When I first read Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear, I tore through both books over the course of two weeks, eagerly reading whenever I had the time. When I finished Wise Man’s Fear, though, I had no idea what to read next. You might have asked yourself the same question: what to read after Patrick Rothfuss?

Fear not, fellow Patrick Rothfuss fans: you won’t have to go through the reading crisis I went through back in 2013, as I’ve got some good suggestions to keep you occupied until Doors of Stone comes out. (Or at least distract you for a little while.)

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and Stormlight Archives series

Cover of Mistborn.Brandon Sanderson is a prolific writer.  I swear, this guy is a writing machine.  He manages to get a book out nearly every year, without fail. I am in absolute awe of his writing skills. You might think “okay, he’s cranking out so many books so quickly, but how’s the quality of his writing?” Well, folks, it’s amazing.Cover of Way of Kings.

At a friend’s suggestion, I read the first book in the Mistborn series back in 2017, and I felt the same way I felt when I first read Name of the Wind.  I was so embedded in the story of Vin and Kaladin that I ended up tearing through all the books in no time. The same thing happened with the Stormlight Archives series, which starts off with The Way of Kings. I picked it up as a free giveaway from DAW a while back – while The Way of Kings starts off a little slowly, it picks up after the first few chapters. Each chapter is from the point of view of a different main character, similar to how Game of Thrones was written. Just like with Mistborn, I found myself pulled into the story and didn’t want to leave when I finished each book.

Since I am notoriously horrible at describing book plots, I’m just going to link directly to the series on Amazon, instead of trying to cobble together a plot summary.

The Mistborn series on Amazon

The Stormlight Archive series on Amazon

Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series

Cover of Mistborn.Oh, the Codex Alera series. I’ve talked about this series before on the blog, and it still remains one of my favorites. The series starts as a coming-of-age story similar to Kvothe’s, and evolves into an epic battle to save the people of Alera – and the entire world. Codex Alera shows just how versatile Jim Butcher’s writing style is, too – it’s different from the first-person storytelling of The Dresden Files, but is just as engaging.

The Codex Alera on Amazon

David Eddings’ The Belgariad

Cover of Mistborn.The Belgariad was actually my first foray into the world of fantasy novels, back in high school. All these years later, the series still stands strong and is still an engaging read. It’s another coming of age story that focuses on Garion, a farm boy who lives a quiet life with his Aunt Pol. The Belgariad is an introduction to a much larger story, so if you find yourself enjoying this series, there’s definitely more where that came from.

The Belgariad, Vol. 1 on Amazon

The Belgariad, Vol. 2 on Amazon

Do you have suggestions for books that Patrick Rothfuss fans might like? Share them in the comments!

What I’m watching: May 2019

Welcome to another edition of What I’m Watching! This month I had to try to fill the void left behind by finishing Battlestar Galactica (just in time, too – Ross and I finished it just before it expired on Hulu!), so I ended up watching a little bit of a couple of shows as a result.

Dark Matter

Image of the cast of the TV show Dark Matter.

I’m still watching Dark Matter – I started Season 3 recently, and I love where the show is going. There have been all sorts of plot twists popping up recently that make me curious to see where the show will go. I don’t want to share too much about where things are at in the show, since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I will say I love Android. She’s my favorite character in the entire series, and I love her little bit of android sass.

Dark Matter on Netflix

Lucifer

Lucifer, from the TV show of the same name.

Lucifer made a brief reappearance in my TV rotation – Netflix released season 4 as a late birthday present, and I watched through it in a week. (What can I say? I do a lot of knitting and crocheting.) This season ended on one heck of a cliffhanger, though. I really hope that Netflix continues the show, since I want to see how the showrunners resolve that cliffhanger. I loved this season, though, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should definitely check it out.

Lucifer on Netflix

Star vs. the Forces of Evil

Star and Marco from Star vs the Forces of Evil.

Ross and I were so far behind when it came to watching Star vs. the Forces of Evil – we hadn’t even started with season 4 yet, and it started airing earlier this year. However, we’re back on track now, and it’s good to see everyone’s favorite Mewni princess back in action again. I’m still wondering how they’re going to solve the big problem that ended Season 3, but I guess we’ll just have to watch more and find out.

Star vs. the Forces of Evil on Hulu (seasons 1-3)

Star vs. the Forces of Evil on Disney Now (all seasons)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

 

Harvey, Sabrina, and Nick from the tv show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is another show I’ve been watching lately. It follows the daily life of Sabrina, a teenage girl who’s half-witch, and how she handles balancing the two very different sides of her life. It’s an interesting take on the story of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, but if you’re expecting something similar to the 90s sitcom, this is not the show for you. It’s much darker, and sometimes I feel like it goes over-the-top, but if you like your TV shows on the creepy side, then you might like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And for those of you who like the show Riverdale but haven’t seen Sabrina, I suggest you give it a try – it’s set in the same universe as Riverdale, and has the same visual feel.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix

And that’s what I’ve been watching this month! Come back next month to see if I’ve discovered any new TV shows!

What I’m watching: April 2019

Hey, it’s still April, right? I didn’t miss posting this month’s edition of What I’m Watching!

Granted, one of the shows I’ve been watching this month is not a surprise: Battlestar Galactica.  Ross and I are finally in the home stretch, close to the end of season 4 – and we’re trying to finish it before Wednesday, when it’s due to expire on Hulu. I can’t let it disappear from Hulu without finding out what happens to Space Dad and President Mom! (or Adama and Roslin, heh.) Once we’re done, I’ll likely write up a long post about my thoughts on the show – and believe me, I have many thoughts about this show. Battlestar Galactica is amazing, and I love it.

I’ve also been watching Dark Matter, a show that Netflix recommended to my friend J – we figured that we should give it a shot, since we do enjoy sci-fi and space shows.  Dark Matter starts out with six people waking up from stasis on the starship Raza, with no memory whatsoever of who they are or why they’re on the ship. Since nobody has any clue who they are, they end up referring to themselves by the order in which they woke up from stasis – and their goal is to find out who they really are, and why the heck they can’t remember anything. What they find out early on ends up shocking them – apparently most of the crew of the Raza is wanted for murder or heinous crimes of some sort, which of course none of them can remember, and only one of the crew is innocent. (Or so we think.) So, in addition to trying to recover their memories, they also have to dodge the law and avoid getting caught by the Galactic Authority. I’m really curious to figure out what exactly happened to everyone.

I found myself getting attached to most of the characters really quickly – especially Android, who I just love. She’s got a little bit of humanity in her, just enough to show a little bit of sass and a sense of humor. I’d be fine with the crew leaving Three on a space station somewhere, though – he’s kind of a jackass. (It’s like he’s trying to be Jayne from Firefly, but without having any likable qualities whatsoever.) I’m currently midway through the first season, and some of the characters are starting to learn a little more about their history – aside from the fact that all of them except Five are some sort of criminal, that is. It’s definitely an interesting show, and if you like sci-fi space shows, you might want to give this one a try.

Battlestar Galactica on Hulu (until Wednesday, anyway)

Dark Matter on Netflix

What I’m watching: March 2019

Here’s the March edition of What I’m Watching! Only two shows this month, but I’ve got a lot to say about both of them.

First off, I’m still watching Battlestar Galactica – I’m in the middle of season 3, and oh my god the feels. Not just about what’s going on in the show, but about the entire show in general. I’m not sure how many of my readers have already watched Battlestar Galactica, so I’m not going to talk about potentially spoilery things, but I will talk about some of my favorite aspects of the show.

One of those favorite aspects is how insanely talented the entire cast is. I may dislike some of the characters – Gaius Baltar, I’m looking at you – but gods, when it comes to playing Gaius, James Callis does an amazing job of bringing that beautiful idiot to life.  It’s the same with all the actors – I can’t think of a single one that makes me think “ugh, this guy again?” Plus, all the characters are so human – the entire show is full of the characters doing what they think is right.  There’s no black and white, no absolute wrong or absolute right. President Roslin, Admiral Adama, Starbuck, and Lee, everyone’s so human it almost hurts at times. Everyone’s just trying to do what they think is right. And each actor looks like they’re pouring their heart and soul into their roles, and it makes for one hell of a compelling story.

Speaking of characters being human: I love how Admiral Adama is a father figure to practically everyone on Galactica. (There’s a reason I call him Space Dad!) Sometimes that results in rough situations, especially with Lee, and sometimes it results in such heartwarming scenes that it almost makes me want to cry.  Space Dad is best dad.

I haven’t just been watching Battlestar Galactica, though. I’ve also been watching The 100, a show I started a few years ago when only season 1 was available on Netflix. I recently picked it back up again, and I’m really enjoying this show too.  So far, I’m in the middle of season 3, and the show definitely evolves over the course of the episodes I’ve watched – it’s gone from “juvenile delinquents doing stupid things while trying to survive in the woods” to a really solid and interesting sci-fi drama.

The show takes place almost 100 years after a nuclear disaster wipes out almost all life on Earth, and starts out in space: specifically, on the Ark, which is a massive space station constructed from existing stations after humans fled the disaster and went to space. Humans have been living on the Ark since the nuclear disaster occurred, and things aren’t going all that well when the show starts.  Overpopulation is becoming a problem, and while steps have been taken to try and slow down population growth (couples can have only one child, and criminals are sentenced to death by getting sucked out an airlock), the Ark is still in trouble: specifically, their oxygen supply is dwindling, and drastic measures must be taken to keep everyone on the station alive. Chancellor Jaha and his advisory council think that maybe Earth might be an option, but they want to make sure that the planet is safe before they send everyone down there to make new lives.

Enter the 100: a collection of kids and teenagers who’ve been put in detention for various crimes they’ve committed, all waiting until their 18th birthday to be re-evaluated and either released back into the population, or “floated” out an airlock. Instead of keeping all these kids and teenagers around until they hit 18, they’re chosen for a special mission. The 100 are sent down to Earth to see if the planet is livable again. The first part of the first season focuses on the 100 as they deal with their new situation, and find out that they might not be the only humans that survived.

The cast is full of talented actors, and includes some of my favorites, like Alessandro Juliani (also known as Felix Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica) and Henry Ian Cusick (who played Desmond in Lost). The story is really gripping, and I really love where the writers are going with the plot.  Speaking of writers: The 100 is based on a series of young adult fiction books by Kass Morgan, and I definitely enjoyed the books – but after book 1 and the first part of season 1, things really start to diverge.  It’s been interesting to see how very different the show is from the books, and see what the show writers do with the source material that Kass Morgan wrote.

And that’s what I’ve been watching this month!  Stay tuned to see if I ever finish Battlestar Galactica, or to see what other shows I end up picking up along the way!