Monday, April 28, 2014

The Laugh Decoder

Sometimes online it’s hard to tell what people are trying to relate. Sarcasm doesn’t always come across, nor does sincerity. To rectify the shortcomings of this modern language, we’ve added offshoots to the English language: emoticons, *reactions*, #hashtags, and –as we’ll discuss in a moment– the written laugh.
Don’t get me wrong. I love emoticons ^_^ and I’m not above a *Kermit arm flail* or #hashtagsummary. There’s something refreshing and engaging –not to mention downright FUN– about these new ways of communicating emotions.
But when it comes to the myriad and mysterious ways of the written laugh, things can get confusing. Just what is the difference between the ‘hehehe’ and the ‘buahaha’? What is the significance of ‘heh’?
So I have taken it upon myself to draw up a handy Laugh Decoder* to help you properly interpret your friends’ web lingo.

You’re welcome, Internet.

Tehe or hehe = Giggling. Cutesy. Denotes the image of a small child covering her dimpled grin with chubby little hands.

Haha = Easy laughter. Denotes amusement.

HAHAHAHAHA! = Loud laughter. Denotes greater amusement.

Heh = The ‘We Are Not Amused’ Laugh. Can also be used as a half-chuckle or pity laugh. See also ‘har har’

Har har = The Sarcastic laugh. Usually reserved for relatives or close friends attempt poking fun at you. Also seen as ‘hardyharhar’

Buahaha! = Full-bellied laughter. Or someone just got tired of the plain old ‘hahahaha’s

Muahaha = Mild evil laughter

MUAHAHA! = Super evil laughter.

MuhahaHAHAHA = Progressive evil laughter, from mild to super. The most dramatic of evil laughters.

He he he or ha ha ha = Deliberate laughter. Likely the writer is trying to make some point, but what exactly is left to interpretation.

*DISCLAIMER: By publishing aforementioned ‘Laugh Decoder’ the author does not promise that every individual to use any form of written laughter, on or off the Internet, will comply with the interpretations as laid down here. These shall be considered guidelines, not actual rules.

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Week in Review: Beware of Dragons

Beware of Dragons

“Happiness is like the enchanted palaces we read of in our childhood, where fierce, fiery dragons defend the entrance and approach; and monsters of all shapes and kinds, requiring to be overcome ere victory is ours.”
I found this in The Count of Monte Cristo and it struck me as exceptionally beautiful. I haven’t yet decided whether it’s just the allusion to palaces and dragons and victories that I love so much, or whether there’s a piece of wisdom hidden here.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how our attitude is a matter of choice. Bad day or no, we can still choose to delight in it. I think this is Dumas’ more poetic way of saying that.
Brought to mind is the old seafarer’s warning, “Here be dragons.” It was not, as one might suppose, a caution against sea monsters, but a caution against the unknown. This phrase, along with depictions of serpents, were used on old charts to mark unmapped territory.
I think this phrase could be used in real life, the dragons those unknown threats to our daily happiness. As we leave an old week and enter a new, I say, “Beware of dragons.”

The most important thing to happen this week is that I’ve delved back into polishing my middle grade manuscript, Rodney and the Gonjii. I never intentionally stop working on this, but Important and Time Sensitive Stuff always seems to divert me on long detours. Making time for writing is the most important thing a writer needs to know, but it’s also something we (at least I) must continually work at.

Vocab Fab

·     Muddlehead: Confused or inept. Made even more entertaining by the fact I pulled it from The Count of Monte Cristo. One just does not expect to find what one could easily hear Toph using to insult Sokka in classic literature.
·     Staid: sedate and settled in habits or temperament, sometimes to the point of dullness

The Reading Nook

This week I finished:
·     The Stone of Valhalla by Mikey Brooks, rated 4 stars.
·     Mary Poppins, She Wrote by Valerie Lawson, rated 3 stars.

I was disappointed I didn’t enjoy this biography by Lawson more, but I suppose it’s not terribly surprising. This biography of P.L. Travers was touted as the basis for the movie Saving Mr. Banks, which is the real reason I wanted to read it. Imagine, I read a bio of P.L. Travers because I wanted to know more about Walt Disney, and it wasn’t my favorite read. There’s probably a lesson here somewhere. That’s not to say the book isn’t well written or researched; I only found it wasn’t to my interest. I am, however, even more intrigued to see how they pull off the movie.

But now for the most important question of the week: What are YOU reading?

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Week in Review: Attack of the Pizzas

Attack of the Pizzas

I came home from work yesterday to find my room had been PizzaMobbed.

Let’s get one thing straight right now. I love pizza. I could eat it every day and not get tired of it. When anyone asks “What should we have for lunch?”, people have even given up rolling their eyes at my inevitable “Pizza.” One of my goals is to go on a pizza tour and hit every major pizza metropolis there is –New York, Chicago, Naples, you catch my drift.

So I like pizza.


My sister does not. This is something that I still cannot understand. (Everyone likes pizza!) She alone continues to roll her eyes when I so much as mention the ‘p’ word.

“How bored were you today?” I demanded.
"What you should really ask," was the reply, "Is how long have I been planning this?"
It's a good thing she uses her skills for only slightly evil things.


Now I’m craving pizza more than usual. Which is just cruel, considering this is the week of Unleavened Bread and I can’t have any. >_<


Yet I can’t take the clippings down right away. It’s too freaking hilarious. Even if it is completely evil and diabolical.

This one was definitely my favorite. Everybody knows pizza and Turtles always mix.

Vocab Fab

  • Dudgeon: A fit of anger or irritation

Reading News

I finished one book this week:
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood, the second book in a delightful and unique children's series, which I rated 5 stars.
Also, check out my review for Zoe Barton's Always Neverland.

What Are YOU Reading This Week?

My Friday read is The Stone of Valhalla by Mikey Brooks and Mary Poppins, She Wrote by Valerie Lawson is after that.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Five Best Things About Sherlock S3

Number 5: Mary (Pre-His Last Vow)

This was one of my favorite moments, when you realize
Mary is running the show unbeknownst to John and Sherlock.
Bringing in this character was a dangerous move, as she could have ruined the great chemistry between Sherlock and John. Instead, she adds to it. She has her own chemistry with both characters -Mary and John are one of my favorite TV couples and her interaction with is Sherlock is priceless- but she also ensures that the chemistry of the friends remains. She recognizes their uncertainty about how to handle the coming changes to their relationship, and she plays them both like fiddles in an attempt to show them it doesn't have to change.

I watched the first episode twice before finishing the series, so I had awhile to become acquainted with Mary, and I fell in love with this character right from the proposal scene.

Number 4: The Parents

John summed it up. They were just so...normal. Seeing Sherlock and Mycroft with their parents was a treat, but the best part was watching Mr. and Mrs. Holmes playing mom and dad to these iconic characters.

Number 3: Mycroft Has Feeeeelings

Mycroft: If something were to happen to you, it would break my heart.
Sherlock: What the hell am I supposed to do with that?!
After Mycroft spent the first two seasons dissing 'sentiment' and 'emotional attachments', it was nice to see him come right out and say he loves Sherlock. We knew that, of course, but it's nice to see Mycroft coming to terms with it.

There were so many great brother moments this series!

Number 2: Sherlock's Development

Sherlock is acting human to most of his friends. Human. With emotions, and best man speeches, and jokes, and anecdotes, and consideration for other people's feelings! *cough*MollyHooper*cough*

I love this so. freaking. much.

I read an article awhile back in which someone was nitpicking about whether or not Sherlock truly was a 'high-functioning sociopath', and someone pointed out the most gut-punching, awww-inducing theory.

I always thought that Sherlock calling himself a sociopath was more of just a shield he put up around himself, to try and convince others of that fact, giving himself one more protection against emotion. If others thought him incapable of it, then they would be less likely to press it. Also, if Moriarty had though him a sociopath, then the events of Reichenbach could have never happened.The writers included that so that they could prove it wrong as the series progressed.
I have loved this theory since I first read it, and this season, I felt like it was actually true. Gah! FEELS!

Number 1: MARY

Okay, okay. Let me just say, I would have been perfectly content had Mary remained merely Mary, no deep dark past attached. My first reaction was actually dismay, but the more of His Last Vow I watched, the more I realized they can pull it off.


First of all, Mary is just such a freaking awesome character. AWESOME. She has great personality and, per Best Thing Number 5, she has such great chemistry with both John and Sherlock. I thought it then, and I still think it now, the opening for His Last Vow was the best interaction with all the titular characters to date.

Secondly, this shocking truth doesn't appear to change said awesome personality. So long as Mary (or whatever her name is) remains the Mary I've come to absolutely love, I don't have a problem with it. Plus, it will probably lead to some fun -if cliche- story lines in the future. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the reformed bad guy trope.

Thirdly, Sherlock has presented this bizarre and completely intriguing idea that John Watson is an adrenaline junkie addicted to a certain lifestyle and drawn to a particular kind of psychopath. It's weird, but I love it, and have I mentioned I love the chemistry between John and Mary?

I pity whatever villain in the future attempts to take advantage of dear Mrs. Watson and the little Watson spawn. Lestrade will have fun cleaning up that crime scene.

And that's it, my top five favorite things about Sherlock series 3. What about yours?

And I'll just leave you with this little tidbit...


What exactly did Mycroft mean by this?

The Winner is...

The giveaway for Heart of the Wolf by Cheree Alsop is now over! And the lucky winner is...


Congratulations and thanks for entering!

For everyone else, don't forget that you still have a chance to win a copy of this YA novel over at my YouTube channel.

Good luck!

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Week in Review: April 11

River Walk Discoveries

One thing I do love about living in the southwest is the sunshine. Coming from the Oregon coast, this idea of short-sleeved, 80 degree weather eight months out of the year -it was foreign.
But I'm quickly adapting.
Only April, and already we have days too gorgeous to waste. I’ve started taking walks again. Came across this strange creature by the river. My sister thinks it’s a giraffe, but I’m thinking a plesiosaur…

Nessie’s cousin in St George?

We also stumbled across some pictographs on a (huge) rock that had fallen into the river.

We tried to find where above they'd come from, and whether there were any more, but no luck.

Just goes to show, you never know what you'll stumble across when you get out and start looking. 

Fab Vocab

This week I found a plethora of new and interesting words!

  1. Recalcitrant: Resisting control or hard to handle
  2. Parvenu: Someone newly rich or influential
  3. Tarradiddle: Silly pretentious speech or writing; twaddle


What I'm Watching


I’m on a Philip Glenister kick, and this was the first of his shows I could get my hands on. (Many thanks to philipglenisterfans at tumblr for enabling my new-found addiction with an entire list of Glenister's acting credits.) Yes, that's him featured on the cover.

So far I’m loving it. First of all, it’s a BBC period drama miniseries. Usually I don’t need to know more than that. In fact, aside from Glenister's presence, the only thing I did know was that it was based off the novels of Elizabeth Gaskell, of North and South fame. I assumed it would be an N&S style love story, but it isn’t. It revolves around a small town in the English country right around the Industrial Revolution and the changes that brings. It’s part Stars Hallow, part regency romance, and I can’t get enough. It’s hilarious one second, moving the next, and completely devastating after that.

One thing: THEY'RE NOT AFRAID TO KILL CHARACTERS. Just warning you.

In Reading News

Despite my best efforts, I did not finish a book this week. Apparently a total stranger and I are fighting over my library’s only copy of The Black Count by Tom Reiss. I had to surrender it, but in two weeks it’s mine again. Muahaha.

To keep me company until then, I have The Stone of Valhalla by Mikey Brooks and the audio of the second book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood, TheHidden Gallery. So far, it’s even better than the last one!

If you want to check out my video for the week, here's a handy link.

Now, What Are YOU Reading?

Come on now, don't be shy. I love to hear what other people are reading!