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review 2017-07-11 01:47
Vampires Gone Wild
Vampires Gone Wild (Supernatural Underground) - Amanda Arista, Kim Falconer, Pamela Palmer,Kerrelyn Sparks

V is for VampWoman 2*
Pam wants to try and help fight the Malcontents. In the past, she has been afraid and cowardly. 
Now she wants to change that. Mikhail has secretly admired Pam from afar (but thought she was vain/selfish, etc). 
I used to really like this series. But as it has gone on (and on), I've just lost interest. This series was one of the first paranormals I read, so it will always have a special place in my heart. There are other series that I've liked more. I found myself not really caring. 

A Forever Love 3* 
Elizabeth meet Lucas and they dated. Always seeing him at night, waking up in the morning and he would be gone. Then he just disappears. Fast forward 2 years. She has dated, but no one (of course!!!!) can compare to Lucas. There are people disappearing randomly in the DC area. Elizabeth becomes one of them. 
This was interesting with the alternative DC that parallels the real one. It turns out, this was made for vampires and the magic is failing. This has lead to the vampires who where there being trapped there; when the magic failed, which included Lucas. This is also why random people are disappearing. Not much of the plot is spent elaborating on this. What the fuck is up with that ending?! I deducted for that ending. 

First Dates Are Hell 3.5*
Could tell this one was part of a series (I've read book 1 and decided to not read the other 2). There was definitely a history between Val (Valiance) and Violet. Val meets Esme while buying sheets. It turns out Esme is fae and most people don't see her/overlook her. She doesn't know she is fae and handled it well. Interesting first date, well paced, lots of action. 

Blood and Water 3*
This started out very interesting. Interesting concept- mermen/mermaids, but need blood to be able to walk on land. Takes place in San Francisco, right before the earthquake in 1906. Decent build-up and pacing, but I would have liked more information (Stellan is very interested in the Golden Gate Bridge). It started out well, but I thought it was rushed and thus fizzled at the end.

 

RippedBodiceBingo:  anthology!

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review 2017-01-11 15:35
The Art of Asking
The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help - Brené Brown,Amanda Palmer

I was not prepared for what I got in this book. I knew it was a memoir, but it really does focus on asking and all ways we ask people for things and all the things we don't ask for until it hurts too much. It's a beautiful book and made me realize that  I really need to work on asking more.

I absolutely loved this book. I'll be honest, I hadn't actually heard of Amanda Palmer before seeing this book. I'm not as big into music as I am books and I've rarely gone to Kickstarter, so it's not much of a surprise either. I listened to her TED talk (and I do love TED!), which covers many of the same bases as her book. I'd consider it a really condensed version. Here it is:

[ted id=1682]

The art of asking is really rather genius, though it's not exactly foreign to my life. There's a connection between what Palmer refers to as the art of asking and my husband's work in the church. Churches don't make people pay for their services, they ask. But churches are dying off and Kickstarters are getting more money every day. They seem to have lost the art to it. I have recommended the book to him and I hope he reads/listens to it.

I listened to it, which was definitely the way to go. Palmer narrates the book and she even sings a song between chapters occasionally. For me, it did just as promised in the blurb. It made me rethink some things, specifically what it means to ask instead of demand and to share the process of creating art with those around us.

I hate Twitter but I understand her love of it. I've never been good at starting conversations with people in front of me. I've never been good at being seen or letting others know that I see them. With these in mind, the book has created a degree of fear that I will never get to where I want to be. But then it always comes back in a haunting sort of way. I can get there, but I have to grow first and I have to do the things that need to be done.

Plus, I want connection when I get there, not adoration or whatever. It made me pay a bit more attention to the Twitter feeds of the artists I do admire. It makes me want to connect with them on some small level. I'm working up to it. I followed a few more since reading this, mostly comic creators that I love. Reaching out for connection is a little terrifying. But I think about standing on that box, trying to give someone a flower. I want to try something like that one day.

I loved that the book began with a introduction by Brene Brown. Some of you may recall my love for her and her work. Their messages share that connection can only happen after the risk of vulnerability. It only happens when we've reached out to someone who can reject us, but doesn't. If they are forced, it's not connection.

There were plenty of adorable anecdotes, but the meat of the book rests on just what the title implies. There is an art to asking. The book also dives pretty deeply into the art that can be present in giving. Some give, and some do so artfully. There is a difference. My mother has been one of those who give artfully. She has a way of not making the recipient feel shame, which is also important to connection. Palmer sums it up in "take the donut" or "take the flower". I love food, so I prefer "take the donut". I will also have to work on taking to donut in the future. I tend to be the bashful sort that prefers people keep their donut but totally appreciates the offer.

Has anyone else read this book? Did it make you take another look at asking, giving, receiving, connection, vulnerability.....?

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review 2016-04-03 00:00
The Art of Asking
The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer i liked what she said about her relationship with both Anthony and Neil. The rest of the book is mostly twittering, couchsurfing, and some longer blog posts as Gaiman himself called somewhere in the book. The saddest scene for was when Amanda was in a cafe with Anthony and she checked her phone to see when the Kickstarter reached 1 mil $. She ignored her friend completely.
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review 2016-02-06 19:12
Amanda Palmer Is A Real Person!
The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer --- musician, artist, connector of dots, blogger, tweeter, writer, philosopher, speaker, wife, friend, and most importantly human --- really pulls back the curtain in this book, to show us what she does behind the scenes to make the final product (what we see when we buy her music, her book, or live concert) happen, and it's pretty awesome, in my humble opinion.

 

She says that we ALL can ask for help from everyone, and in the age of the internet we're meeting more people in a week, than we'd met in a lifetime, before. She says it's all about putting yourself out there, trusting that you will get what you need, and being open to receiving the blessings. It's about shouting down from your open Windows (both literally, and figuratively in the form of blog, twitter, Instagram, etc) and inviting people in. 

 

It sounds easy, but for me, it's really hard. I didn't grow up in a family that asked for things. So, this is a grand challenge for me. However, I feel if I keep working on it a little bit at a time, it will become a habit, one that will hopefully change my life for the better. However, she says: 'there's no trust without risk, and there's always new trolls that will try to squat under the new bridge you are building; but if you never try, you'll never get anywhere, and that's scarier than anything.' I tend to agree. 

 

So, my personal challenge will be to open up my Windows; open up my throat and heart, be empathetic, be authentically vulnerable, and ask for the things I need ---from myself, from my lover, from my friends, from my family, from my neighbors, from strangers --- and being open to the blessings in whatever form they may take, knowing that the asking is unconditional, no strings attached, and the person being asked is welcomed to say no, but just might say yes.

 

As I'm writing this, a song has popped into my head: 'What's looooove?..It's about us, it's about trust.' It's about tightening the net in some ways, and letting it out in others. It's about using your own set of gifts to make the world better. I'm excited to try, in order to see what happens :)

 

Thank you Amanda Palmer for writing this book, for being your own beautifilled self, for putting it out there and inviting us all in, to give it a try.

 

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quote 2016-01-24 17:26
And killing things is not so hard
It’s hurting that’s the hardest part
And when the wizard gets to me
I’m asking for a smaller heart
The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer

---Taken from the book, but originally sourced from Theater Is Evil (2012)---

 

 

This pretty much sums up how I've been feeling lately. Thank you Amanda for putting feelings into words like these because it makes me realize that I am human after all, just trying to figure things out, like everyone else.

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