18 May 2010

Book Review: Bones to Ashes

As part of one of my goals I decided to read 15 fiction books. I made this one of my goals because throughout my first couple years at college all I did was read for necessity, never for fun. Maybe once. And maybe once or twice I actually enjoyed reading some of the required reading. But really, I was just cramming my head with technical information on how to be a nurse that I never had time to just enjoy the written word any longer.


I finished reading book number 6 of 25 last night on shift: It was "Bones to Ashes" by Cathy Reichs.

I have never been much into crime dramas or mysteries, particularly not in the book format. I tolerated it when I was in high school and my mom would turn on the TV on Sunday nights. My dad would be away for work and we could get away with more noise and less talk, though my mom was still in control of the content. "Cold Case", "Law and Order", "Miss Marpel" or "Prime Suspect" was usually on the menu and you did learn to appreciate a good crime drama and mystery when you saw one.

Same with reading one.

It took me a while to get into "Bones to Ashes". It's not the first of Kathy Reich's Tempe Brennan's books, so I was unfamiliar with the character and the history between the characters. But Cathy Reichs did a good job of bringing me up to speed. The personality of Temperance Brennan was quirky and a bit odd, but she seemed well suited to her environment. I kept thinking to myself that if Temperance Brennan had any other job, or worked in any other field, she would be a social misfit.

For me, the best part of her novel was that the story took place in Canada and involved a large chunk of Canadian history. As a Canadian, there just aren't that many successful books or series that involve Canada. Kathy Reichs was also wonderful at interjecting a candid amount of French into the interaction of her characters. It really gave you a sense of atmosphere and that the characters could be real.

The different story lines of the book were well crafted and connected, and I was shocked how intense the book got. Add that with Tempe's personality it made for an excellent read. The only thing I was put off by was the ending. Kathy Reichs ended up summarizing a number of the loose ends for some major plot points. I know endings aren't easy to write but it was a bit of a let down.

Overall, I have to say Bones to Ashes a very recommendable book, though I don't know how keen I am to read the rest of the Temperance Brennan series of books. Maybe one crime/mystery/drama book is enough to last me a while.

13 May 2010

Mission #88: Try acupuncture

Completed today, May 13, 2010.

For once, an update the day I completed something. This is only because I have finished everything else on my to-do list. Like, EVERYTHING.

I got acupuncture today for the first time at Performance Physiotherapy in Stettler. I switched to their gym because it was twenty-four hours WITH security, unlike the hospital gym where one of my co-workers runs and the gym and doesn't think any security measures are necessary. No, the gym is just in the basement of an old hospital, there is no communication to the upstairs, no cameras, no panic button, nothing. But that's OK because this is STETTLER, nothing bad is going to happen here.

I digress.

It wasn't until about two weeks ago that I finally saw a physiotherapist about my knee pain while trying to run. A co-worker of mine who only recently go into running herself encouraged me to do so. One session has already helped considerably, which is awesome. Despite my hate for running, I miss it.

As part of today's treatment, I received acupuncture.

It took me by surprise because I wasn't expecting it: I had only mentioned briefly as part of my initial treatment. So I all of a sudden became anxious. I'm not scared of needles to the point that I'll avoid them (I do donate blood, after all), but they do cause me some anxiety. More so since one nurse while donating blood missed my ACF and then started digging an 18 G need around in my arm.

The first few pokes of the acupuncture needles hurt more than they probably should have being a little anxious and all, but by the time the last need went in I was pretty calm. They were in for about 20 minutes and it was a pretty strange feeling. It was like my skin was stretched tight between the needles. I'll give my legs a rest today, but I'm looking forward to running again.

But before I get too serious with that, I'm going to purchase a new pair of runners. The ones I bought three years ago? Giving me blisters now and I need to get rid of them. Sad.

Edit: Just noticed that the picture really makes my calf muscles look fat. Bummer.

10 May 2010

Mission #61: Attend a ComicCom

Completed on April 24 to 25, 2010 in Calgary.

The event was actually called Calgary Entertainment & Comic Expo and it was probably the single handedly most geeky thing I've ever done in my life. Besides the usual video gaming, comic reading, and internet tumblring.

It was definitely one of the most worthwhile too. Not only because I caught glimpses of various celebrities but I could see the industry display its finest. I could see where the bar was placed in terms of comics, artists, collectables, and retailers. I was able to see where I'd have to set my sights if I really did ever want to pursue any sort of niche in the industry. But then, I had always had a hunch the bar would be this high.

It was also interesting to see an artist's reactions as I approached them and just looked at their work, and asked them to sign the ComicCon art book. I think they expected networking on my behalf as I approached them and waited for them to stop sketching.

I'd say the best hour of that weekend was the Brent Spiner panel. I never would have thought him to be so hilarious (clearly I'm not enough of a fan). It was just one smart ass comment after another, and I suppose after several decades of fans saying/asking the same thing, you'd have come up with some pretty good responses.

I'd like to go again next year. Hopefully I'm somewhere next year where some kind of ComicCon one is being hosted.

Mission #101: Complete Script Frenzy with a partner

Goal completed on April 30, 2010.

The point of Script Frenzy is to write 100 pages of script in 30 days. The prize? Self-accomplishment. The point? To get you to write more than you would have otherwise.

I've completed Script Frenzy on my own before, but I wanted to try it with another person. Actually I just wanted to work somebody else on a project for once and it was a challenge in different ways.

I was able to write my part, and then when finished, pass it over to my partner, and I could rest my brain for a few days, and then pick up where my partner left off. But then I'd have to figure out which direction she went in and kind of pick that up and run with it.

Then Terias and I realized we were running out of time in April to make it to the hundred pages. We then took some time to work out the overall plot and then divvy up the scenes. I have never written something so disjointed at once before. It will need some heavy editing, but we made it!

Of course, the other obvious challenge is script writing itself. My typical medium is fiction writing and requires a different skill set than script writing. I'd say there are just about as many technicalities with scripting as there are novel writing. But it's always a good challenge to try something different from the norm.