mollyringle: (girl reading with moon)
Little Free Libraries: You've probably seen these cute quirky wooden structures in your neighborhood. Here in Seattle everyone's kind of crazy about them; they're popping up on every other street, and my husband is now putting the finishing touches on one for our sidewalk too, since I'm so fond of them.

I always enjoy browsing them when I'm on walks, and discovering a new one is a special treat. Lately one thing I've also been doing is to leave copies of my own books in them. I figure it's good promotion--gets the title in front of people, and lets them try out the book for free. Plus, if I'm going to enrich any neighborhood with free books, I might as well start with my own. Stay local (or at least start local), and all that.

Now, yes, this means I'm paying for my author copies and then not getting any money in return for them. It's basically a donation, a promotional expense. However! I also reckon it counts as an exchange. As the signs on these libraries say, you get to take a book and leave a book. So in exchange for leaving one of mine, I can take one of the others if it looks good. I've found lots of delightful reads that way, books I'd never heard of before. Sometimes they're for my own reading pleasure, and sometimes I pick up ones I think my kids or husband would like. The inventory is guaranteed to be random, but I end up enjoying the chance aspect of it.

What's especially gratifying: when I later walk past those Little Free Libraries, my books are almost always gone from them. I'm pleased to know they have enough shelf appeal to get grabbed by those who stop and browse.

Occasionally I've also sent books to friends in other cities who were interested in donating them to Little Free Libraries in their areas. So here is their photo evidence: Persephone's Orchard in a library in Springfield, Oregon:



And Underworld's Daughter in a library along the Erie Canal in upstate New York:

mollyringle: (Yaquina Head lighthouse)
So my mom dug this up in the grounds of our family beach house recently, buried in a teeny plastic lipstick-tube-like container. It would seem my sister Peg and I made a time capsule, which I do not remember doing at all.





Transcript if you can't read the photo:

Good job! If you liked finding this, write your own note somewhere and bury it. Put the map in the envelope w/ the others.
Molly & Peg Ringle
Aug. '88
P.S. If this is Camille, thanx for the idea

I am left with many questions, such as:

a) Who is Camille?
b) What map? What envelope?
c) 13-year-old self, why didn't you say something actually interesting if you were going to the trouble of a time capsule?
d) No cash or treasure or anything? You cheapskate.

mollyringle: (bat)

Our geekiest pumpkins from Halloween: Minecraft swords, Avatar Aang (with somewhat messed-up eyebrows)...

...and a cat, and Toothless the dragon.


And I was Titania, Queen of the Faeries. Complete with battery-powered lights and safety pins, just as Shakespeare wrote.


Much rain and chocolate was had, so that was all good. How was your Samhain?

mollyringle: (arthur)

I was lately remarking to various people in comments that, by the end of Merlin, Arthur and Merlin "out-Frodo-and-Sam Frodo and Sam." But maybe it's a tie, to be fair. Now my mind won't rest until I've delineated all the items on the bromance checklist that both pairs seem to be using as their guidebook. Let's go!

Master and servant situation: check!

Save each other's lives a whole bunch of times (bonus points if you get soaked): check!



Also make verbal promises about continuing to save each other's lives: check!

Wear armor together even if that isn't usually your thing: check!

Play with ropes together: check!


Occasionally fall under evil magic influence and try to kill your bro: check!

Carry each other in case of unconsciousness: check!


Come around to seeing servant's mighty worth even if you took him for granted at first: check!

Hold your bro tenderly at the end and make us all cry: check!

Tearfully see him off on a boat headed for magical lands: check!

Yeah. I guess it's a tie.

I will go down with these ships. Bromances. Things.

mollyringle: (Rain - leaves)
As you probably haven't heard, because California's admittedly more serious drought has overshadowed ours in the news, the Pacific Northwest this summer has very much NOT been its characteristic rainy self. Actually--and no one from outside the region ever believes this, but it's true--we usually do get dry summers. It's normal for the grass in Seattle to have turned brown by August. But this year the drought started in spring, kept up relentlessly, and was coupled with unusual heat that also persisted week after week. Leaves have been turning brown and falling off in great enough numbers that I had to rake in early August. That is NOT normal.

But! On Friday it rained! In fact, it freaking poured. It had rained a little, a couple of times, between May and now, but only enough to sprinkle the air and make it muggy. It was nothing like this. After so many months suffering from the heat wave, I experienced such a surge of happiness that it felt almost like I was in love with the rain.

Making it better still, my family and I were on our way to Mount Rainier for the weekend when the storm moved in. We rolled down the car windows and inhaled the gorgeous mossy fragrance of Rainier's thick evergreen forests freshly drenched with rain. Our rental cabin had a hot tub, so we got to relax in steaming water with cool rain filtering through the trees above us and dripping on our heads. We got to fall asleep with the gentle sound of raindrops pattering on the cabin roof.

Getting drenched at Paradise Inn:


Then yesterday the clouds cleared, so we could actually SEE the mountain, which was a plus too. Best of both worlds.




Being in love with the rain isn't a new feeling for me. You can probably tell I don't like hot weather anyway. In fact, I could live without it being above 80 F (27 C) ever again in my life. It's part of why I live in the Northwest: not only is the cool, wet cloudiness what I'm used to, having been born here, but it's what I like. (Some people are born here and end up loving hot, dry weather best. Others are born in hot, dry places and love cool climates best. I'm convinced it's not a "nurture" issue, or at least not entirely, but more of a taste/preference issue.)

While I'm on the subject, I will share with you two other times that come to mind in which I felt in love with rain:

1) Davis, California, November 2001: Since it was central California, it basically didn't rain at all from April through October, and was hellishly hot as well. We got all the way to November before a proper drenching rain swept in. That morning when I got up for class, in the dark (an 8:00 a.m. section means getting up in the dark in November), I didn't mind the earliness or the darkness at all. My heart was soaring. I opened the bathroom window and inhaled the sweet rain scent. I biked to class in the dark, in the rain, and adored every second of it. Yes. In love.

2) London, England, August 1995: It was my first visit to the U.K., with my parents and younger sister. Our ten-day stay unfortunately coincided with an unusual heat wave. Like the Pacific Northwest, Britain doesn't have air conditioning in most buildings because they "don't need it," so that made things even more uncomfortable. But on our last evening there, back in London after the week's bus tour around Great Britain, the heat eased and a gentle rain began falling. My sister and I danced in the hotel parking lot in it. Experiencing rain in England: I mean, come on, that's a must.

Am I still in love with rain after it's been around for three months straight? Well, no. Or at least, less so. Variety is the key here; that's the thing. But I do get tired of heat a lot faster. Now our forecast calls for another week of dry warmth...sigh. Oh my lover rain, you were fabulous, but I'd like to see you a little more often this time of year. 
mollyringle: (couple w/ umbrella on street)
I've neglected you, blog. Sorry, blog!

Here are some random funny literary things.

loki

I'm reading an intro to Norse mythology (because Greek is the only mythology I know in much depth and I want to branch out). You probably already know this story, but I wanted to share: at one point, Loki turns himself into a mare to distract a guy's stallion, gets pregnant by said stallion (as a mare), and gives birth to an eight-legged horse. Then he turns back into himself and gives the awesome eight-legged horse to Odin ("look what I made!"). So yes, essentially, mythology was doing mpreg* and every other cracked-out thing fanfic can think up waaaay before fanfic.

But then, I did already know that, since Zeus gives birth to Athena via his skull, and to Dionysos via his thigh. So.

*male pregnancy. A dramatic device in some fanfic. Because we all want Legolas to have stretch marks and burger cravings.

shakespeare
It's really unprofessional of Shakespeare to talk to his editor this way, BUT it's still funny.

poem
(Poetry fans will get it.)

artist
True. Although you should still have some magic barefoot days, just to stay happy!
mollyringle: (Froud - bad faeries)
The cover for Underworld's Daughter is ready! And it's a beauty.

ud

My editor and I were chuckling at how we ended up using a variety of the "young woman lying on the ground" trope that's fairly common in YA/NA cover art. But I maintain this one works, because, for one thing, people do actually lounge on the ground in my stories and commune with nature (and goddessy forces) often enough. For another, this woman doesn't look like she's in a swoon. She looks powerful and lithe. Like a panther who is merely resting for the moment.

Also, purple! I love purple.

This book will be out in summer; we haven't set an exact date yet, so stay tuned. Important to note before adding it to your shelves: this is book 2 of a series. Persephone's Orchard is book 1, and since these are not stand-alones, you'll likely have to read that one first before being able to make sense of the second one.

Meanwhile, happy egg-dyeing and -hunting and chocolate eating!
mollyringle: (Buffet of victims)
So I read: "Aragorn and Legolas went now with Eomer in the van." And of course automatically I think, "Hehe. Wonder if anyone's photoshopped the image in my head."

eomer aragorn legolas van

Yeah. Of course they have.

Saruman would've gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids.

(Though in my head I was more picturing one of those white or dark blue generic vans they share at college science departments. Aragorn driving, Legolas looking out the window with iPod earbuds in, Eomer asleep in the backseat with his mouth open, weapons packed awkwardly all around them. Woo, Helm's Deep road trip!)
mollyringle: (comet)
One type of Christmas card or holiday image I always particularly liked was the star of Bethlehem scene: a lovely star in a deep blue winter night sky, over the warm yellow-tan hues of desert sand and camels and torchlit Middle East ancient buildings. Not because of the religious moment, but because of the colors and the beauty of the composition. So I think one reason I long to visit the Southwest, especially in winter when all we have up here is gray, is that they have that same color palette going on, with the adobe and the dry clear skies.

Santa Fe, NM, San Miguel church

Santa Fe, I will be in you, someday sooner rather than later if I get my way.
mollyringle: (blue moon - by pear_icons)
I have succumbed to what I thought was the time-wasting madness but turns out to be more like the hypnotic relaxation. Yes, I am talking about Pinterest! I am not the kind of person who tacks physical pages to physical boards as a method of organization or inspiration, so I was reluctant to join that site. But if anyone had told me how lovely and QUIET it is on Pinterest, I would have joined sooner. There is an option for leaving comments, but most of the time, no one does so. You just silently view, pin, and repin things. It's like wandering through an art gallery: everyone maturely and quietly taking in the pretty pictures, and not filling the air (or rather, the screen) with snark and chatter. Did I mention I like how quiet it is?

Anyway, these are my Pinterest boards so far, several of which are related to Persephone's Orchard. For example, you can see locations used in the novel (Knossos on Crete, Mary's Peak in Oregon, and more), and ideas for casting, and pretty Hades/Persephone artwork I've found online.

If you have a Pinterest account, go ahead and follow me, and I'll be happy to follow you back. Keep in mind I have little idea what I'm doing over there so far. But Pinterest is quiet and pretty! And I like that!
mollyringle: (comet)
sirius

I'm not a good astronomer, only able to pick out a few constellations or individual stars. But Sirius is probably the one star I'd know just by looking at it even without Orion nearby to point the way. All stars twinkle, but Sirius glitters and flashes--red! blue! yellow! white! full spectrum! I stared at it a while last night, and when I pointed it out to my husband and said it could easily be mistaken for a plane due to its brightness and flashiness, he peered at it and said, "No, that *has* to be a plane...doesn't it?"

Then the Pleiades and Jupiter grouped up together in one of the skylights over the bed, so, thank you all around, clear winter skies.

Speaking of astronomy, did you know there are two, yes, TWO possibly brilliant comets coming in 2013? Comet PANSTARRS will be the more modest opening act in March, and the potentially dazzling Comet ISON is due for around November. Keep an eye on astronomy pages for details. (This blog seems dedicated to the comets in particular.)

Speaking of science in general, you could do a lot worse for a new year's resolution than this philosophy from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

degrasse tyson

Or maybe you just need something faux-literary and silly. Here you go.

poeboy
mollyringle: (Takeshi-bored-by pear_icons)
Should anyone be curious, I started an album of photos of what some of my characters look like. But you who have read my novels are encouraged to suggest other ideas for dream casting.

Meanwhile, why any straight woman, bi person, or gay man is going to be doing anything the rest of today other than gazing at this photo of Adrian Grenier, I cannot imagine:



(He's my Hades for the work in progress. Or bloody well close enough, because, I mean, look at him.)
mollyringle: (Frolijah)
If THAT post title doesn't earn me some spam, nothing will. But it's true: I am seeking such things.

One thing that helps me in writing novels lately is to find photos of people who look about like my characters. They can be famous or unknown; doesn't matter. "Casting" the story this way often helps me bring the character to life a little more.

So for my Persephone-and-Hades novel in progress, I am taking applications--or more accurately, suggestions. Show me olive- or tan-skinned, dark-curly-haired, beautiful candidates for the two title roles. (In my version, Hades is more a romantic lead and less a scary kidnapper. Similarly, Persephone is more a charming protagonist and less a victim.) The tricky part for me is that they have to be pretty young, for I am writing this as mature YA. So, think age 17 to 25. I do not know much about celebrities in that age range anymore, for I am aging. Help an elderly woman here.

All set? Okay, go! Post photos!
mollyringle: (passiflora - cara_chapel)
Some writers are unable to write a story without including a recipe. Others can't resist reciting song lyrics. Others always insert a dog or a cat or an exotic animal. For me, my random habit appears to be plants--flowers and trees in particular. It isn't intentional, but it's an accurate reflection of my gardening hobby. Here's a quick review of flowers appearing in my novels (we'll do trees some other day):

The Ghost Downstairs
Lots of mentions; the Seattle mansion has a lovely garden, and tending it is among Ren's duties. This may be my favorite flower moment:
"She walked to a clump of daffodils growing at the base of a tree, picked one, and brought it back to the grave. She kissed its petals before dropping it."


Summer Term
Hey, it's summer. Lots of stuff's in bloom:
"But he did say we'd go out into Woodbine Park and eat in the rose garden. That sounds kind of romantic, doesn't it?"
"It sounds suspiciously romantic."


What Scotland Taught Me
Eva is interested in botany and horticulture, and notices violets sprouting in Edinburgh at one point. She also notes regarding one of her crushes:
"...he smelled like that alluring bed of carnations, with a dose of boy pheromones sprinkled on top."


Of Ghosts and Geeks
Paul is Gwen's gardener, so naturally flowers and other green growing things abound. Their first scene together is a skirmish over the little daisies in the lawn:
"They're in the grass. You wanted the grass cut, right?"
"Yes, but not the daisies. They make this gorgeous spangled carpet of--" She stopped before she started comparing her lawn flora to some scene from a fantasy movie. "Don't cut those!" she repeated.


Relatively Honest
This one probably has the fewest number of flower mentions, because my narrator is an 18-year-old urban male who doesn't think about stuff like that. Still, Daniel does think briefly of making out with his girl-crush "under lilac trees" come April. And when sidling up close to her, he notes:
"Her hair smelled delicious, like apples and the star-shaped white flowers that grew all round a French hotel I had once been to."
(Daniel has no idea that was jasmine, but it was, of course.)


In my novel in progress, a Hades/Persephone story, flowers and other plants play a huge role. After all, in the original myth, what was Persephone doing when Hades kidnapped her? Yep: picking flowers.
mollyringle: (butterfly - Pushing Pixels)
Put together and photographed by me this morning on a beach in Seattle...



No paint (or other artificial color), no photo editing; just the right colors pulled from the mix and put in rainbow order. Easy to replicate on most beaches. At least, most beaches around here. Perhaps not on those all-black-sand-and-rock beaches in Hawaii.
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
This gave me an LOL this morning...



Being Fred and George, they completely would tease Ron about it if they'd noticed. I assume they just never looked at the boring old dormitory while working their mischief--can't think of another explanation.

Though on the serious side, if they had noticed, they could have saved everyone a heap of trouble. Hmm.
mollyringle: (Monkeemen)
If you've known me long enough, you already know I've been a Monkees fan since I discovered them in middle school on those Nickelodeon re-runs. (Look! One of my oldest LJ icons is a Monkees icon.) And because I was so young and tender when discovering them, I kind of imprinted upon them; I can't view them unsentimentally or objectively, much as you wouldn't be able to view objectively the dog you grew up with. Therefore it goes without saying that I'm stunned and, mostly, very very sad about the death of Davy Jones.

He was my first crush in the band, and a crush at that age sticks with you as part of what makes up your fabric. I'll always be fond of Davy, even if, had we all been the same age and not born tragically thirty years apart, I would have broken up with him eventually and tried for Mike (or "Nez" as the true fans say)--perhaps after a two-week summer fling with Micky. But I don't know; Davy's English accent might have kept me around a while.

Now, obviously he was cute, ready-made to be the TV heartthrob of 14-year-old girls in the '60s...



On the goofy, weird TV show invented to advertise the band, whenever they needed one of the boys to fall instantly in love with some girl and snog her on screen, Davy got the job nine times out of ten. Girls screamed and cried and had seizures for him in real life, nearly to the same degree as any Beatle ever enjoyed. Not bad for a bloke who stood 5'3" (in boots, he clarified with a grin once--and we know how high boot heels could be in the sixties).

Some of the songs they gave him to sing were the absolute sappiest, so gloppy and sticky-sweet you wanted to pour them over your pancakes. (Witness "The Day We Fall in Love," "I'll Be True to You (Yes I Will)" or "I Want to Be Free.") However, he was fully capable at singing, dancing, and acting--he was stage-trained and was nominated for a Tony in his youth--and clearly had fun at it. I highly recommend you have a look at this Rolling Stone tribute, as it gives several great, amusing examples of Davy Moments from the Monkees era.

Another great link from right here in Seattle: the excellent radio station KEXP serves up Monkees songs in their original state, and as covered by others; as well as vice-versa sometimes.

And a beautiful blog entry, complete with videos, from a fan about my age who clearly gets it.

I feel almost as sad as if one of my own uncles or cousins had died. But the somber news today has at least revived the good times I had listening to this band, watching them on cable TV, and playing air guitar to their songs with my little sister on our front porch.

Should you care, these are from my own journal archives:

A brief list of my favorite Monkees songs, split into categories like "cute and catchy Davy songs" and "psychedelia."
A short and very silly piece of fanfic in which Davy meets Legolas, which I totally forgot I had written, until today.
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
SPOILERS AHOY!! (I didn't think anyone still lived who didn't know how the Harry Potter series ends, but on Facebook I was proven wrong. So. SPOILERS, YARR!)

1) Maggie Smith rocks. By stepping out between Snape and Harry early in the movie, and dueling Snape straight out of the castle, she once again proves her awesomeness without even saying a word. Is there insurance I can buy to make sure I, too, have the steel and charisma of Dame Maggie when I'm elderly?

2) I find it ridiculously entertaining when actors get to do disguise-potion identities, such as Helena Bonham Carter pretending to be Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix.

3) Young Snape in his Pensieve flashback (which all of a sudden resembled one of the more romantic Tim Burton movies) is pretty much designed to make us Gothy-hearted types fall in love with him. But I do think it annoying and unjust--or just stupid on Snape's part--not to let us, or practically anyone else, see that attractive side of him, like, ever. Okay, so he was a double agent and had to be noxious to the good guys. But I don't know; he seemed to actually hate them. And that irks me.

4) I'm so glad the Hermione/Ron kiss didn't involve a house-elf discussion. However, getting drenched by dead-basilisk-infused water doesn't seem like the tidiest time to mouth someone else's face, either. Oh well.

5) Why am I crying so much at this movie? Why is Rupert Grint making me cry most of all? I was not prepared for his reaction at finding Fred. Sidenote, however: if you didn't know about Fred, and you were watching the film on a computer screen (which I was), you might've had trouble figuring out who they were kneeling and sobbing over. It's a bit subtle. But since I did know, it was very very sad and effective.

6) LOL at That Awkward Moment When Lord Voldemort Hugs You. Jeez, I never felt sorrier for Draco. (But I was proud of him for clearly not wanting to step forward and join the Dark Side.)

7) Neville's speech was another weepy point. But I wanted to step in there with a wet washcloth and interrupt him to take care of his head wound. It's a mom thing, perhaps.

8) Signs I'm getting older: Daniel Radcliffe looked handsome to me all middle-aged up. More so than usual, even. He also resembled youngish Michael Douglas a little that way. Huh. Odd.

And finally, irrelevant to this particular movie but still funny...

mollyringle: (tea setting)
Some linguist I am. I have *no* idea what this says. Anyone help?



It's on a pretty mug I was just given. Here, for your trouble, enjoy the other side, with the lovely painting:



Thank you!
mollyringle: (laughing - hates life)




From Irony At Its Best, a photo collection that made me LOL several times. The above two are possibly my favorites.

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