Fiat Lux

A really, REALLY cool video.

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I am busy writing. This is a good thing.

In the meantime, please enjoy this fabulous article about a guy who built a Hobbit House for $5200. It’s gorgeous. I would love to live there. And not just because it’s less than 4 months’ rent.

Happy birthday, J. R. R. Tolkien! (I know, it’s a day late. But today is Jacob Grimm’s birthday, and he WILL BE PISSED IF I DON’T GET BACK TO WRITING THIS FAIRY TALE.) xox

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Princess Me?

Confession: I am aware of the infamous Jonathan Coulton, but I do not actually know or own any of his songs. Not because I don’t want to — just because I haven’t gotten around to it.  So when my brand-new friend Jennifer from Capclave posted on my wall that Coulton’s song “The Princess Who Saved Herself” reminded her of me, I looked it up on YouTube. And I found the most fabulous thing.

Ms. Mayo and Ms. Kari’s first grade class was studying fairy tales. So they illustrated the lyrics to the song, and made them into THIS INCREDIBLY BRILLIANT VIDEO.

I should really look into the works of this talented Jonathan Coulton person. Maybe in November when I have some time…

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The Princess of Light and Dark

Ariell’s beautiful and talented friend Natalie drew this picture of me, for me, and it is so many kinds of fabulous that I wanted to share it with you…and discuss some things.


First of all, I am fabulous and gorgeous. I have huge eyes and awesome cleavage and the tiara is perfect and this dress ROCKS. So far, she’s got me pegged, spot on.  (When I get back to DC, I’m totally asking Ashley if she can make this dress for me.)

But the part I love the most is the hands. One hand is full of magical fairy dust, as if a unicorn has just spit in my hand. I have POWER and it is MADE OF FAIRIES, and if this portrait wasn’t black and white, you know it would be full of rainbows.

The other hand, however, is masked in darkness. I love this. I do have some darkness in me, but a very small percentage. I’d guess…about a hand’s worth. This could be a glove…but I like to imagine that it’s my skin, or the magic beneath my skin. The little bit of madness, swirling beneath the surface.

I wonder which hand is more powerful — the dark, or the light? And then I remember that I don’t need an answer to that question because I am both. Both are me. THIS should be my author photo. It’s just too scarily perfect.

I love you to pieces. I am so honored to have this.


If you or your child (or your dog) would like to draw a picture of me (or one of my characters), I do have an album of fan art on my Facebook Fan Page (click here to check it out). You don’t have to be some famous professional artist to bepart of it, you just have to email me a picture (akontis at gmail) or mail it to me at PO Box 2024, Ashburn VA 20146.

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A Doggie Treat for You!

I can’t remember what I was supposed to blog about today, so here is a cute doggie for you. (Yup, it’s a real puppy! Sent to me by a friend.)


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Fun with Mermaids

Looking back on my last few posts there seems to be a theme: projects I was involved in that were just a whole lot of stinking fun. And guess what — this one is too!

The Waterworld Mermaids (of which I am a part) have a big Garden Party bash planned for the month of October over at our site. Free original fiction by a bunch of us (including me–I’m up first!), the inspiration behind those stories, and even a trailer to whet your appetite!

See now, I bet you can’t wait until October first.
Luckily, you won’t have to wait very long!

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66 Twisted Tales

You know those stories that you have so much fun writing and submitting that you completely forget about them until a friend mentions that they’re available for sale? Well, that’s what happened here.

Twisted Tales in 66 Words is a project that Kimberly Raiser came up with on Facebook a while back. She wanted to get 66 stories made up of 66 words apiece (not counting the title), and offered to pay us…was it 6.6 cents a word, or $6.60 for each story…heck, I don’t even remember.

What I do remember is that I had such a blast once I wrote one that I ended up writing a couple more. I told Ariell she should write some too. And then I sent a notice out to all my other idle writer friends on Facebook to challenge themselves if they had five minutes.

This isn’t some groundbreaking work by some major publisher…it’s only 48 pages and it’s on sale at Lulu for a little over six bucks. But how much fun can you imagine friends like mine had in 66 words? The only way to find out is to buy the book.


Award winning authors…. Stories to break your mind. Within these pages you will find the things that not only go bump in the night, but bring fear to the things that do the bumping. Discover your new favorite authors and let your mind wander and wonder how 66 simple words put together in the optimum use of fright can have such an impact on your slumber. Join us….

Editor — Kimberly Raiser

Authors — Alethea Kontis, K.L. Nappier, Greg Didaleusky, Pavelle Wesser, Machael A. Kechula, Kimberly Raiser, P.S. Gifford, Mark Brand, Kevin Ranson, Ariell Branson, Dave Brookover, Gayla Chaney, Laura Fernandez, Damon Kaswell, Kevin Coryell, John Burridge, Micahel Barnes, Glenda Finkelstein, Gary Roen, Larry Hodges, Mickey Mills, Barry J. House, Rob Crandall, Heidi Ruby Miller, H. David Blalock, Tricia L. Sparks, Brian K. Lowe, Michael Barnes, Joe Balaz

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*poke* Yup, Still a Geek

And because of that, I am highly amused by this video.
(Thanks to Barry Deutsch for bringing it to my attention.)

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Nifty Site of the Day

The nifty site of today is the Book Blogger Directory — the “Big Blog of Book Blogs” — most specifically, this page which lists a plethora of YA Science Fiction and Fantasy blogs.

Definitely worth checking out!

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Parnassus Rising

Like many other folks who live in Nashville (or used to), I mourned the loss of Davis-Kidd Bookstore. I met David Sedaris at that bookstore, and Orson Scott Card for the first time. I had my very first booksigning there. The staff actually knew about books and cared about books and actually read books and recommended them to people. (Amazing, right?)

Bookstores are closing now…but it doesn’t come as a shock to most people. Many of them are staffed with kids who make minimum wage that will get fired if they don’t sell their quota of e-readers or membership cards or magazines or candy bars.

I remember my first trip to a Barnes & Noble. I wanted to move in there. It was wonderful. Apart from the Barnes & Noble in Cool Springs, TN (where I volunteered for Harry Potter Day), I don’t get that same feeling anymore. The closest I’ve come since then was at Turn The Page, the tiny bookstore in Boonsboro, MD owned by Nora Roberts.The staff is wonderful and kind and very helpful, and the store hosts signings and women-only events and features local artists. It’s a destination spot, and well worth the journey.

Perhaps more authors should open bookstores.

In that vein, I heard a rumor that Ann Patchett was openng a bookstore in Nashville. I hoped it would come to fruition (about as much as I was mad that I’d already moved away). Today, a friend sent me an article confirming those plans. Parnassus Books is set to open in October! Huzzah!


Bestselling author Ann Patchett and business partner Karen Hayes will open Parnassus Books in Greenbriar Village behind the Donut Den on Hillsboro Pike in October.

‘Nashville wants this’

Brookside Properties will develop the 2,500-square-feet bookstore, located in the former suite of Tan 2000 and Beyond. The company also is developing retail space near the new bookstore that will include a vitamin shop, toy store and several restaurants.

“I think Nashville wants this and needs this, and I don’t want to live in a city that doesn’t have an independent bookstore,” Patchett said.

You can read the rest of the article from the Tennessean here for more information.

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