Wednesday, December 18, 2013

{Character Interviews } Amanda Wikoff's Zenon

| suggested music track of the day: "Vows" by Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning |
Well folks, I know I skipped last week's WriterlyWednesday post, which you'll have to forgive me for; but during this time of year I'm sure y'all will be able to empathize with me when I say these three words. MY, TIME FLIES!
Also, the schedule keeps getting crazier and crazier. I think this is just natural for December.
Anyhoo! Time for another character interview. Today we have one from Amanda Wikoff.
Handing it over to Amanda now, so give her and her charrie a warm welcome!
I’m interviewing Zenon, my MMC from my NaNoNovel. He really has no idea what’s going on as he’s not the detail oriented one. Lyssia listened to the instructions; Zenon not so much. ;)
What’s one cool thing about the world you come from?
Well, I’ve not really had anything to compare it to. It’s not special to anyone here anymore but I’m not really sure what it’s like where you’re from so I’ll just say it. Some people have powers; some would call it magic, though that term is frowned upon. Our people fear these powers and our history shows a good reason to; though I’m positive it could be used for good were it not outlawed. It seems as if only Lyssia still has the ability to do magic but we have been told there is another.
What does your bedroom look like?
My ceiling is the stars and my walls the air around me. I could have a home with brick walls and a stifling ceiling but I prefer to sleep under the canopy of the sky. It’s much more romantic that way, don’t you think?
Describe your personality.
My personality? I guess the best way to say it is that I like to be independent, though it gets me in trouble more often than not.
Describe your physical appearance.
Blonde hair, blue eyes. Not too different from the little Avanreili boys I’ve met. Most of the time our hair turns dark when we come of age but mine’s still the same old blonde it’s always been. I’ve got a pointy nose and my hair is unruly in the kindest of terms.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
I’ve never heard those words before but I’ve just been informed of their meanings. I’d suppose that I’m an ext—no! It’s the other one. Definitely the other one, though I can’t remember what the word is. Where do you get those words anyway?
Do you approve of how your author treats you?
I suppose it’s alright though I do wish she wouldn’t harm my loved ones so much. I’d rather have all her wrath focused on me. That’d be far less painful than seeing everyone else hurt.
Do you have any physical or mental abnormalities/illnesses?  
I’m sure Eliza wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that I do but nothing has been medically proven or anything.
What do you think about right before falling asleep at night?
That’s a good question and the honest answer is I don’t remember. You know when you get an idea before falling asleep and when you wake up you can’t remember what it was? It’s quite like that I suppose. Though if I had to guess I would probably say I think about what the next day will hold.
You’re bored, and all you have is a blank piece of paper and pencil. What happens?
I’d sketch some inanimate object. It’d be the very first thing I saw and absolutely no thought would go into it. It would come out entirely better than anything I’ve ever put effort into and I would be left wondering how that happens.
Most prized possession?
My friends? I’d give anything to keep them safe, so I suppose they’re what I value above all else.
Hunting is the hobby that’s been forced upon me. I don’t ever want to do it but when I get out there it’s actually quite relaxing.
One little known fact about yourself?
Let’s see… Something not many people know, correct? Oh! How about the fact that I belong to a race of people who despise me? I’m not actually Avanreili, though that’s where my father is from. My mother is Penthmessain, a race we didn’t know existed till not too long ago, and we just happen to be at war with them. But that’s a long story that we shouldn’t get into.
What’s something you really like about yourself?
That’s an odd question. I don’t generally think about my virtues. I guess my favorite thing about myself is that I can be independent, though it’s also one of my largest faults.
Do you have any special skills, talents or abilities?
Actually I’m quite inadequate. So inadequate in fact that I’m not sure how I’ve survived on my own this long. It must be the good Lord’s doing ‘cause it certainly isn’t my own.”
Would you go skydiving if you could? 
I assume you mean cliff jumping. That’s like diving into the sky. I think I would, if I could work up the courage. Lyssia went once and she said it was terrifying but I think it’d be exhilarating.
Check out Zenon's author's blog, here!
And...if you have a character you'd like interviewed, shoot me a note in the comments! Have a blessed Wednesday, y'all!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl Blog Tour & Book Review

(All images provided by Lydia Howe)
Hola amigos! Today we have something different! A guest post from Lydia Howe, author of Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl! And later, I'll be doing a review of her book!
First off, here's a little background info to get you acquainted with both book and author.
About the Book:
Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl: Traveling with her parents brings Lydia, daughter of explorer and singer Buddy Davis, plenty of adventure and mystery - from hidden clues in bookstores to cave paintings deep underground. 

About the Author: Whether she’s building life-sized models of dinosaurs with her adopted family, trying her hand at cooking at a private retreat, or living in a barn, author Aidyl Ewoh (aka Lydia Howe) seems to have adventures follow her wherever she goes. Check out her book, Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl and find out more about her at her BlogFacebook, and Twitter

Now, on with the guest post! *hands post over to Lydia*
Answer to the last True or False Question:  False. I actually don't mind bats at all. ;) 
Why Creation? 
Hey, y’all! I want to tell you all a little about my book, and why I wrote it. You see, I’m extremely interested in Christian apologetics - which is kinda funny for me to say, because although it’s so true, I don’t think most people would guess that about me unless I brought up the subject first. Which I do, whenever I can. ;)
One thing I’ve learned about creation is that the ‘little things’ are so important because they lead up to the bigger issues. To some, the whole idea of how we got here doesn't seem like a big deal, I mean, at least we're here, right? And does a person have to believe in a literal six-day creation to be a Christian? No, they don't.
 So why does all of this even matter, you might ask? Well, lots of people - including Christians - believe in evolution and millions of years. God could have used evolution, right? Of course! He’s God, after all. But the point is that God told us in the Bible how He created the world, and evolution was not His tool. When we start taking man’s word and putting it above God’s Word, we are ultimately undermining what He says by saying that man knows better. It is so, so important to trust God’s word over man’s, after all, God has always been there and He's perfect. 
 And that, my friends, brings me to my book. Another thing I've learned is that many people have no idea how to deal with this stuff. I wanted to write a kids book about creation so they would have a fun and entertaining way to learn answers for the problems that stump many Christians. The answers are out there, peoples! The publisher for my book, Answers in Genesis, is one of my very favorite sites, they do an amazing job of researching the science behind all this.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15 
There are so many amazing proofs for a literal-six-day creation, it’s mind boggling! I could share a dozen proofs with you right now, but in an effort to save space, I’ll just send y’all to Answers in Genesis and of course you can get my book, Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl! ;) So why don't you check it out and let me know what y'all think! :)

To get the answer to the True or False question and find out more about my
To find out how you can get entered into a cool giveaway just by leaving a comment or sharing this post with others, click here!
Okay, it's me Leah again. I was sent a copy of this book, and closing up today's post, I'm going to give a review of CSotP!
Note: Since this is a little different than my typical fiction reviews, I'm going to write it a little differently, and use some different catagories. 
Anyway, let's get to it!
This is a youth fiction piece, but it almost seems like nonfiction. It feels so real! It has two different plots. One, is Buddy Davis and two of his friends/partners and a caving adventure of theirs. This was quite fascinating, and towards the end in particular I was intrigued to find out what happened next!
The other of the two plots was Lydia and her family trying to solve a bookstore mystery. I enjoyed this one because it reminded me a little of my own siblings and I and our mysteries we try to solve sometimes. Only, this one had some amazing findings/results...and ours are usually more on the less than extraordinary side. xP
This particular read actually reminded me of the reports I used to write for my family members. I like CSotP because it implements scientific fact and Creation into it, making it both informative and fun. 
Age Range/Targeted Audience:
With the simple, easy to read sentence structures and style of this book, I'd say it's a read best for kids/older kids and those in their early teens. My targeted age range? 9-13, roughly. I usually will go through heavier reads and prefer a heftier vocab use, but simplicity is still good, especially if the book is aimed at a younger audience., which this one is.
Part of this book is set in a cave. How much more thrilling/fascinating can that get? The descriptions were bright and vivid, and I could almost feel the cold cave water and damp underground air.
I enjoyed this book! It's a small volume, so a quick and easy read. It was really cool getting to learn more about the Davis family, and Lydia's life being their adopted daughter. Lydia has a straight-forward, bright writing style.  I would certainly recommend this book. Especially since it's produced by one of my favorite organizations, Answers in Genesis. For all you Creation Science loving people, you should check this out! Got some younger siblings interested in Creation Science/caves/adventure and mystery? This would be perfect for them! It even has a few charming illustrations.
Find the link to purchase it above!
Well that's it for today! Make sure you check out Lydia's blog and of course, Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

More of My Music Available on Amazon!

That's right, folks! Two more of my piano compositions have gone up on Amazon for you to purchase if you wish!
Which songs exactly?
My medieval-novel inspired score, Apriorian Lore! (Click HERE to be redirected to the Amazon page for it.)
Annnnnd.....the Hobbit-inspired piece...
Pursuit of the Dragon! (Click HERE to see it on Amazon)
EEEP! I am so incredibly excited. I now have three pieces up on Amazon!
So. I'd REALLLY appreciate it if you checked these out and shared them with your friends, family, writing buddies, anybody you think would enjoy it! It would mean the world to me!
I know I've not been posting much on this blog lately. But, life has been so crazy busy. I hope you guys understand - I'm sure many of you have some pretty hectic schedules yourself!
Hope everyone's having a blessed winter so far! Keep an eye out for a blog tour this Wednesday, from Aidyl Ewoh and Answers in Genesis!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

{Character Interviews} Hannah Stewart's Lucian

Hey y'all! Guess what we have starting today? Interviews with awesome fictional characters!
A number of my writing friends will be contributing weekly (every Wednesday) with answers to some questions which were asked of their characters!
Eventually, I might even do an interview of...*overly dramatic drum roll* my own characters. If they let me, which is highly doubtful.
But anyway! Today, I'm pleased to introduce to you Lucian, a character from Hannah Stewart's book "Outspoken." He's one of my personal favorites from this volume!
Soooo let's give him a warm welcome, and move on with the interview!

What’s one cool thing about the world you come from?

Well, I was going to say the mountainous districts, but my author
kindly informed me of the different connotations of the word "cool" in
your culture. The world I come from really isn't all that different
from yours, if a few thousand years behind. Medieval, I believe you
would call it. Perhaps you would call the Woods of Escaine a "cool"
feature of my world... the forest itself is a couple thousand years
old, with trees so large that the rogue knight Escaine and his band of
robbers were able to set up their camp inside them - they burnt out
what we call "holes" from the cores of the trunks, and turned them
into little houses. No one ever found them... at least, not until Finn
discovered the secret decades after the campsite had been abandoned.
What does your bedroom look like?

Usually, a dry patch of dirt or bed of grass with the stars overhead
will suffice. I've never had my own. My family was too poor when I was
little, not that I could remember it well enough to describe it now.
After that, it was whatever corner I could sequester away. Now Finn
has offered me one of the holes to myself, but I've been too busy
helping him to take him up on it.

Describe your personality.

That's a... difficult question. If I were in a joking mood, I'd have
to call myself the quiet type. I guess what I can say about myself is
that I care about my family and my friends. I'm a nobody... no one
important, no one special. I'm just a carpet to be walked over,
treated however the passing fads deem appropriate. But my family - by
blood or by loyalty - they mean everything to me. And anyone that
hurts them will have me to deal with.
Describe your physical appearance.
Appearance? Like I said, I'm nothing special. Average height, average
weight, average build. I have my father's red hair and beard with my
mother's curl. My cheekbones, I've been told, are my most striking
aspect. My eyes can't decide who's they are, sometimes they're blue
like my mother's, sometimes green, like my father's. Nothing
outstanding to reference, nothing at all.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Years ago, I may have considered myself an extrovert, the head of the
pack. But every thing's changed since then. My circumstances make it
hard to be anything but an introvert, really, and I've accepted that.
Grown to like it. The horses are my companions now, and along with my
few friends, I have all I need.

Do you approve of how your author treats you?

I won't pretend not to be bitter about certain things, but who
wouldn't be? I can't really blame her though. Like she says, the story
has to come first, and I know it pains her to hurt us. I just have to
trust that whatever point she intends to make will be worth the
What would you do if you needed to make dinner but the kitchen was inaccessible?

That's a... strange question. I'd do what I suppose any reasonable man
would do: build a fire and cook dinner in the open air. It most
definitely wouldn't be the first time.

Do you have any physical or mental abnormalities/illnesses?

As you may have picked up on from my author having to transcribe for
me, I have no voice of my own. My tongue was cut out when I was first
enslaved by Lord Sadach - I was ten, and mouthed off to him. He
thought I'd make a great servant, if I wasn't so spirited, and there's
more than one way to break a man. Since then, my nasty tendency of
becoming a heroic fool when the innocent are in trouble has left me
with more scars than flesh on my back.

What do you think about right before falling asleep at night?

Any number of things really. The things I regret, the people I've lost
- they tend to make appearances. A lot of appearances... But, these
days, I've been so busy. Now, it tends to be whatever I'm most anxious
about, be it a battle to come or bad news to deliver.

You’re bored, and all you have is a blank piece of paper and pencil.
What happens?

Most likely, I remain bored. I only recently learned how to write, and
it's still difficult. But, being away so often now, it wouldn't be
surprising if I wrote a letter for Caillte and Pip, or a report for

Most prized possession?

I don't exactly have a lot of possessions, and though most people
would consider him one, I can't call what I would esteem my most
prized and object. Elisha, my horse. He's carried me through
atrocities no man should ever see, and remained by my side as a
friend, companion, and brother in arms.


I don't have time for hobbies. But, when time does present itself, I
usually spend it in the stables or striking up a tune on my mandolin.

One little known fact about yourself?

Little known fact? Oh, I don't know... I guess not many people know
that, when I was young, before Muintir burned to the ground and I was
taken captive, I was an fairly accomplished dancer. My parents, as I
came to find out later, had both held positions in the royal palace
years before. They were favorites of the previous royal family. They
knew how to dance like the upper class, and thought it wise to teach
me. Mother said it would help me overcome my social position later in
life, and I suppose it has in ways.

What’s something you really like about yourself?

There's not much to like, but if forced to chose something, I guess it
would be my loyalty to those I love. It gets me in trouble, but I
deserve trouble. They don't.

Do you have any special skills, talents or abilities?

I train horses. My father taught me how, and I was good enough to
please Lord Sadach. I'm also very strong with the sword, and I can
play the mandolin, as I said before.

Would you go skydiving if you could?

My author informs me that skydiving is a modern sport in your world...
I don't see the appeal in leaping out of a giant hunk of metal hurling
through the sky, but I wouldn't be opposed to trying it if beckoned.
Stranger things have happened.

{Visit Lucian's author Hannah here.}
Join me next week for another interview with a fascinating book character you're sure to love!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writing-Induced Depression? {WriterlyWednesday}

I never thought it was possible.

Non-writers won't have any idea about that which I speak of - and I'm confident even some writerly folks won't understand. Honestly, it is a bit mysterious and daunting to me myself.

Writing-induced depression. Is that already an official term? If not, I'm coining it. WID.
My friends, WID is real.

I experienced it at its full potential this last Monday.

See, I've been working in earnest on The Rebels lately due to the fact that my self-set deadline is fast approaching with the end of the year.

And, I happen to be in the midst of the most depressing part of the book.
Have you ever attempted writing a full-fledged Civil War battle scene?
If you haven't, don't bother trying to sympathize wit me. The only way for you to understand this sentiment would be to go through the experience yourself.

The trauma. The feels. The pain.

This chapter has torn my inner workings to pieces. I put myself in a literal depression all because of it.
"A cave of depression", to quote an awesome writing friend of mine.

The numbness was stifling.
As I poured my soul into the gore and sadness on the document before me, tears forced their way from my eyes.

My eyes sting even as I think of it. My poor characters. Damascus Hayden, the red-headed Rebel man who's distanced himself so far from his Creator.
All I wanted to do when writing that scene was climb into bed and sleep.
Wake up to a fresh start, the painful emotions wiped clean away.
Getting away from the book did a world of good.

I accompanied Mom to Micanopy to drop off and collect library books, (always fun, since it's the library of course!) and then we took a serendipitous stop at Mosswood, a delightfully charming little locally run shop across the street from the library. It's one of my favorites, and has been for ages.
The sound of vintage 30's music drifts the place, organic, handmade and locally grown products fill the store's shelves. Books on how to do things yourself - how to bake bread, how to bee keep, you name it.
The building itself is an old house, renovated into a cozy store. Wood is everywhere - wood floors, beautiful wood counters, walls, ahhh it's lovely. I love wood furnishings.
The best thing is that this place supplies heirloom seeds - something we value greatly for our gardens.
Upon purchasing a good quantity for this year's winter crops, we made the spontaneous decision to also buy mochas. Mmmm! So warm and deliciously rich and yummy.
We sat out on the porch for a good solid hour, just Mom and I. *happy sigh* I will treasure that afternoon. It was a special mother-daughter bonding time. So terribly thankful for my parents!
So that helped with the dark moment of WID I was having. It helped greatly. Mom is such a good listener, I wish I was more like her.
What Was I Saying? INTJ so me
I'm melodramatic. Insane, obsessive, completely random and sporadic.
Entirely too emotional. But you know what? Somehow, my family puts up with all that.
Somehow my friends do. Somehow, God does. And that is most comforting of all.
His grace has never left me dry and wanting. I may act like an idiot, fall down and botch things up, but I can always run back to Him. He is my Rock, my Sword, my Shield.
He never leaves me.
Anyhoo. WID is real, bottom line. It's rough and it leaves scars. In short? Watch out, fellow writerly peoples. If you find yourself sitting at your computer, staring in angst at your novel with tears threatening to spill from your eyes, be careful. If you heart feels numb and emotionless, yet heavy and sore, tread with caution. If, even hours after you stopped writing, your entire demeanor hasn't changed one lick - yipes.
You might find yourself carried away -  lost in a severe case of writing induced depression.
Tread carefully for it's a hazard zone not to be taken lightly.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Howdy y'alls!
Guess who's back from a short adventure in the Windy City?
That's right - me, myself and moi! 
Actually. This was another trip in which I accompanied Daddy for his work.
Some of you already knew likely that my wonderful father owns and operates his own business, and a major part of that business is producing conferences across the country. He trains college students, specifically in their student government leadership positions.
Anyhoo. I've been to his conferences in NYC, Los Angeles, Philly, Boston and DC, and then of course naturally the ones here in FL. I assist by helping with set-up, tear-down, running the conference store and registration, etc. Basically I'm your behind-the-scenes gal.  Daddy's main thing is doing workshops, but he also does a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work since it is after all his conference.
I'd never been to Chicago before. I have a love for visiting new places, and traveling to new sights, beholding new sceneries and cultures. Of course, I always look forward to returning to my little piece of paradise, otherwise known as HOME, but I do love getting to travel!
Honestly, I was expecting this city to be not very distinguishable from Philly and NYC. Most of what I saw of Philadelphia was downright ugly, with exceptions of course to the historical sections. 
Anyhow. I was hoping Chicago wouldn't be just another concrete jungle which smelled like a cesspool of pollution and garbage.

On Friday, after having just picked up our rental vehicle.
Every big city has its dangerous spots.
 I know, when I heard of Chicago before the first thing that came to mind was mafias and crime. But truth is, my very own tiny little hometown is riddled with crime, and it's only got a few hundred people tops, MAYBE. Guess what? Even with that small amount, it's got a poor reputation in the area. It's known for drug dealing. People have been shot here.
So, point proven? There is sin everywhere. Not just the big cities.
So anyway, you can't make stereotypical assumptions about a place. That being said, yes there are indeed places in Chicago which would not be wise to venture! So. Don't go to those places! Simple enough right?

Lunch/breakfast Friday, at the hotel restaurant.
Anyway. I'm already going down rabbit trails, something I'm a bit too good at doing. *facepalm*
The trip began EARLY Friday morning. I mean, a waking up at 4:30 AM sort of early. Eeesh!
We had a flight out of Orlando, which went good and smooth. I was able to make progress in the Rebels during that time, which of course I was happy about. Roughly two and half hours later, we touched ground in Illinois.

Haha! How randomly amusing - Daddy was 'guest of the day'.
Chicago was beautifully chilly. Now, back here in FL we've been having very nice days as weather is concerned, but up there it was literally CHILLY.
Oh happy day!!! I can't express how I love a chilly topography. Now, I don't care for super cold, e.g. in the 20s and below, that being said. Honestly us Floridians are pussies when it comes to cold weather!
The first thing we did, upon arriving at the hotel was to get situated and then acquire some FOOD!
Hahaha. Quite a story there. We headed down to the hotel restaurant. The PRICY hotel restaurant. >_< Anyhoo. None of the workers apparently knew English very well. Our waiter was a middle-eastern man, I'm guessing he was perhaps from Pakistan or Israel? I requested the "crunchy French toast." He looked slightly confused, and repeated my request in broken English. I motioned to where the item was located on the menu, and he finally nodded a bit sporadically.
About 15 minute later, he returns with Daddy's delicious looking eggs benedict, and....a small plate with two slices of toast on it. Regular toast, mind you, on a side-serving sort of plate.
First thing that entered my mind... "You expect us to pay 11 bucks for that?"  I mean, I'm not picky or anything but eleven dollars for two pieces of regular, store-bought bread thrown in the toaster is a major rip off!
Eventually, the waiter returned and we tried to explain that this was NOT French toast. He clearly had no idea what we were talking about. I felt a bit sympathetic for him...he evidently had hardly any knowledge of the English language at all.
Anyhoo, EVENTUALLY I got some eggs benedict as well, instead. It was delicious! My first.
 Upon finishing breakfast, the next thing was to begin initial set-up for the conference. We were located at a college called Malcolm X College - and that title creeped me out majorly. Seriously. Who's idea was it to name a public school after such a man? Anyhoo.
The core set up took several hours. Our hosts were very accommodating and friendly, which was a blessing.  

Sears tower!
After finishing up at the college, Daddy drove us over to downtown Chicago to do some sight seeing. He is usually worn out from these trips and would prefer to just rest in the hotel room, but since I came along he was considerate and thoughtful knowing that I was really eager to see some sights.
We got to go to the Sears tower! Well now it isn't called that anymore, it's officially the Willis Tower. But. I've always known it the other way and I'm sure most other folks will pretty much always think of it like that, as well.
It. was. amazing.
The sheer monstrosity of this building when it comes to size blows/blew my mind. I've been on tall man-made structures before, like the Empire State Building. But this is the tallest one I've gone on yet. 110 stories. I forget the exact amount of feet. It is massive.

The lines were quite long and the wait just to get the elevators lasted at least 20 minutes. It was worth it though. Entirely worth it.
The elevator ride itself was foreboding of the creepily awesome experience ahead. We crammed onto a car and instantly began shooting upwards at an amazingly swift speed. If the elevator had had transparent walls I swear I'd have passed out or lost my cookies or something to that effect. o_O It was swaying to a fro, slightly which began to get a little unnerving. The monitor above the elevator door tracked our progress as floors flew by, by the tens.  
And then we were there.
At the top.
The view was spectacular. The tiny lights from far below scattered in every direction
 as far as the eye could see. That high up, surrounded by people of all sorts of nationalities and languages, it wasn't difficult to imagine a modern day Tower of Babel. Whenever are you 110 stories up, immersed in a collection of dozens of different languages and people groups?

And of course...there is the freakily awesome highlight which many know this building for.
Four, 4' transparent glass boxes affixed to the side of the building, jutting outwards over the cityscape below.
Known as The Ledge.

Waiting in line to get to the Ledge.
The thought of standing in a glass box thousands of feet above the ground is enough to terrify most people. Including me. As we got closer and closer in the line, my heart raced. Mentally I knew it was perfectly safe but my body was insisting on remaining traumatized about the idea.
Finally, our turn came. 

Gingerly I edged my way out on the glass. I stood and looked down VERY quickly. Oh my word. I'm getting chills even now, just remembering what it was like.
All I could think to utter was"Oh my gosh" over and over again. Ardently.
I had no intelligible words.
 It was breathtakingly terrifying.
Finally I couldn't stomach the thought of looking down again. So I just focused my gaze on Daddy as he snapped photos, my heart racing and my hands cold from touching the glass beneath me.  

Awkwardness almost always ensues when I'm the subject of a photo.

What did I tell you? "How to fail a thumbs-up 101." 

My last attempt to not look as terrified as I actually was.
(But all awkwardness aside, is this not the most epic shot ever? I mean...the VIEW looking down! Eeeee I'm getting shivers again.)

Even Daddy, who's usually fearless when it comes to this kind of thing, said he got creeped out slightly.

Truth be told, as scary as the whole deal was, it was also one of the most exhilarating things I've experienced. I guess that's what exhilaration is, right? A mixture of adrenaline, terror and excitement?
Cause that's what I felt up there. It was thrilling.

Dorkiness for the win! (or not...)

Contemplative papa.

This is maybe my favorite landscape shot of the bunch. All those little lights...

A friend suggested this scenery appears similar to the Grid, in the film TRON: Legacy. Strangely enough it sort of does! And Maygan mentioned its similarity to the City of Ember.
(Fictional place references booyah!)

Simply incredible.

Back down on 'earth'.

Gah! Why so blurry!

Yup, we were all the way up there.

We had a fabulous dinner at a restaurant practically across the street from the Tower. Deep dish pizza! It was absolutely delicious. Mmmm.

It was a delightful evening. On Saturday, we arose early (again) and made haste for the conference.
It went well! A long day for all the speakers and myself, but the conference overall was a success and the attendees seemed to enjoy it. I ran the store, answered questions like "where is the restroom?" and, "where can I find room such and such?" as always and helped register guests.
During the down-times when most everyone was in their workshops/sessions, I did character chats with friends on the computer and tried not to look too mischievous.
And then of course, there was tear-down and boxing up the items/supplies later in the day when the event came to a close.
That night we had dinner with the speakers, a take-out from a local bbq place which Daddy in particular loves eating at.
Sunday? 1. I had a huge frappechino at the airport, and 2., it was probably just a size too much. I had serious caffeine overloads and couldn't sit still. Not to mention, I kept getting all sorts of insane inspirations for writing from my astronomy book. O_O
Ah but chip frappechinos....they...are...just...too...good!!
The flight home was smooth. It was good to be back in paradise again...when we got here anyway, it took another two hours to drive back due to some mixups with direction and then a morass of Orlando traffic. >_< I don't get why everyone loves Orlando so much. Is Disney really all that? I firmly believe Orlando is one of the worst places in the state!
It was a wonderful trip. I am very thankful I was blessed to get to go and that everything went so well!
What's been new with y'all lately?