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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Funnies: Java the Pooh, Etc.

Here are some funnies to hopefully brighten up your Friday and lead to a great weekend! (All courtesy of my LOL Board on Pinterest.com.)

Love this! Always makes me laugh.

This is totally me!

Gotta love Java the Pooh!

Just for fun!

So much truth in this! 
Which is your favorite? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Endurance

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is Endurance!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a non-fiction book about how most people don't know anything about financial independence and how you can obtain it. It really has very little to do with writing, but as writers, our income is often tenuous, so I found the information in this book most intriguing. 

Audio Book: I actually listened to the audio book of Rich Dad Poor Dad. This was really the first book I'd listened to beginning to end as audio. I have about a 12-15 minute commute to work, which means about half an hour of listening time each day. This book was only about 5 hours long, so it didn't take me a terribly long time to get through it. The narrator was good, if perhaps a bit bland. I don't truly have any qualms about him, except to say that if Robert Kiyosaki himself had been the one read the book, it probably would have been much more animated. That said, I would recommend this as an audio book. It's fun to listen to and not at all hard to follow.

Plot: Robert Kiyosaki tells about he had two dads growing up. One was his biological father, who was a teacher, and struggled most of his life with his finances. The other dad was actually his best friend's father, who was like a second father to him. His rich dad was wealthy and always had plenty of assets and never wanted for money. 

When Robert and his best friend were children, they went to the man Robert later referred to as his rich dad and asked him to teach them how to become rich. Thus began a lifetime of teaching about how to think about money, the habits rich people have that the poor and middle class do not, and what simple things can be done to ensure never having to worry about money.

Content: Now, this book doesn't go into much detail in exact strategy. For example, he talks about investing in the stock market, but there's not a step-by-step guide to investing in stocks or anything. This is more general information to help you get an idea of some things that can be done to get started. Kiyosaki has other books and things that go into more detail, depending on what you want to learn from him.

That said, books are actually a great example of an asset. If you can build a body of work, you can keep selling it and make money on your books for years to come. So, while many of us may have a long way to go, but just the fact that we are all working toward these kinds of assets shows that we may just be ahead of the curve already.

Overall: I found this book tremendously useful, and I plan to get more of Kiyosaki's books to read. I'd like to start following a few of his strategies. If you're interested in ways to become financially independent, this book is for you! I'd recommend it to just about anyone. 

Has anyone else read Rich Dad Poor Dad? What did you think of it?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Anxious for Books I Don't Own

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top 10 Books I Really Want to Read but Don't Own Yet

This one's easy. So many on my TBR list could qualify, but here's the ones I'm most eager about.

Bonus: The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin -- Okay, it's not out until 2015, but it still fits the criteria, yeah? As in, I really want to read it but don't own it yet? :D

10. Crash into You by Katie McGarry -- I actually have Dare You To and haven't read it yet, so once I get to that one, I'll probably buy Crash into You. Officially, I don't like contemporary romance. McGarry is the only author I'll read in that genre.

9. The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman -- A historical fiction based around the Masada massacre, everyone keeps telling me how good it is. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. 

8. This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppell -- A re-telling of Frankenstein. The title alone makes me want to read it. 

7. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo -- On my TBR list forever! I thought I had it on my kindle, but it turned out to just be the first five chapters. (Grhhh!)

6. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout -- Just need to try out Armentrout, you know?

5. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson -- Love Sanderson! Have heard this one is particularly good. I'll get around to it at some point. 

4. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa -- Same as Armentrout, I just hear such great things and want to weigh in on the hype. :D

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn -- The most-reviewed book on Goodreads for 2013. Something like 28000 reviews, wasn't it? Obviously, I need to read this. Before they make it into a film. 

2. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare -- I'm loving this series. Can't wait to read the latest installment. 

1. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor -- I've gushed about this series before. Really need to get the latest installment. :D

What Top Ten novels do you really want to read but not own yet?

Writing Post Roundup

Happy Monday, Everyone! Hope you all have a productive day!

Today I decided to post a round-up of great writing post I've checked out lately. Browse through the list below and see if there's anything that would help you with your writing!

Creating Characters Agents Love and Editors Publish: Middle Grade and YA Novels. I don't actually write middle grade or YA, but I write children and young people sometimes, so I still found these tips helpful.

Editing: 5 Words to Eliminate from Your Writing. All great ideas for elimination.

The Character Name Generator. This is kinda cool. :D

Writing in Deep POV. Definitely some great tips here.

Writing the Perfect Character Flaw.

The Four Cornerstones of Great Characters

Picking a Juicy Secret to Jazz Up Your Character

Fictional Ecosystems for Fantasy Worlds

Five Foundations of World Building

20 World Building Questions for Authors to Ask Themselves

What Makes a Gimmick?

Make Your Characters Anti-Ciphers

The Art of Profanity

Writing a Satisfying Ending

If you need to get the creative juices flowing, hop over to my Musings on Fantasia blog for a creative challenge. (It involves an amazing, evocative image!)

Did any of these help you in your writing at all? Which did you find the most interesting?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Funnies

It's Friday! (Yeah!) I found this on Pinterest and thought it was appropriate. Hope it makes you smile! :D

Which dedication is your favorite? Do you know of any hilarious dedications not listed here?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Learning From Mistakes

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

It's back to school time again, which means new experiences for students across the country. In their honor, this week's theme is Learning, especially from Mistakes!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crime Tidbit: Hinterkaifeck

Former Hinterkaifeck Farmstead (Source)
March 31, 1922. On an obscure homestead situated between the Bavarian towns of Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen, roughly 70 km north of Munich, a family of five and their maid are brutally murdered in one of the most puzzling crimes in German history. The murders remain unsolved today.

The farmstead didn't have a true name. Kaifeck was a larger homestead roughly 1 km north. Hinter is a German prefix meaning "behind."

The inhabitants of the farmstead were Andreas Gruber, his wife Cazilia, their widowed daughter Viktoria, and her two children little Cazilia and Josef, who were 7 and 2 years old respectively. It was whispered among the neighbors that Josef was the son of Viktoria and Andreas, who had an incestuous relationship. The final victim was the maid, Maria Baumgartner.

Six months prior to the crime, the Gruber's maid left their service, claiming the house was haunted. The new maid, Maria, arrived only days before her own death.

In the days before their deaths, Andreas told neighbors about finding footprints in the snow leading out of the woods and to the homestead, but none leading back. He heard creaking in the attic and found a strange newspaper on the farm as well. The day before, the house keys went missing, but Andreas reported none of this to the police.

Though no one can say for sure what happened that night, it is believed that somehow the elderly couple, their daughter Viktoria, and her daughter Cazilia, were lured one by one into the barn where they were killed with a weapon resembling a pickax. Then the killer or killers went into the house and killed Josef, who slept in his mother's room, and Maria the maid, her own bedchamber.

When none of the inhabitants of Hinterkaifeck had been seen for several days, and young Cazilia hadn't shown up for school, neighbors went to the farmstead to check and found the grizzly scene. 

Autopsies, performed the next day on location, showed that 7-year-old Cazilia lived for several hours after the assault. Lying beside the bodies of her mother and grandparents, she tore her hair out in tufts before succumbing to her injuries.

Inspector Georg Reingruber headed up the original investigation and over the years, more than one hundred suspects have been questioned. The most recent questioning took place in 1986, but all to no avail.

Shrine near Hinterkaifeck Farmstead (Source)
At first, robbery was a suspected motive, but a great deal of money was soon discovered in the house. It's believed that the perpetrator(s) stayed at the farm after the murders, perhaps for days. They fed the livestock and ate the food in the kitchen. Neighbors reported seeing smoke from the chimney over the weekend, after the family would already have been dead, so there was plenty of time to discover the money.

The death of Karl Gabriel, Viktoria's husband who had reportedly died in the trenches of WWI in 1914, was called into question. His body had never been found.

In 2007, students of the police academy in Furstenfeldbruck were tasked with investigating the mystery with modern methods. They came to the conclusion that after so many years and the loss of so much evidence, it was impossible to solve the crime for certain. Tey did zero in on one person as a main suspect, but wouldn't release the name out of respect for still-living relatives. (Grrrh.)

Today, many amateur investigators still pour over the case.

What do you think of this case? Who do you think the main suspect in the 2007 investigation was?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Movie Review: God's Not Dead

My sister brought God's Not Dead home from Redbox over the weekend. It's a Christian film that features Kevin Sorbo as it's only recognizable star. While I've been a Sorbo fan since I was just a kid and thought the special effects in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys were pretty darn cool, I still didn't have particularly high hopes for the film. While Christian cinema always has great stories that, because I am one, I can always get behind, they also tend to be low budget and somewhat lackluster. I figured this film would be the same way.

Boy was I wrong! I liked it so much I watched it not one but three times over the course of the weekend. Not just one my own, of course. First I watched it with one sister. Then another. Then on Saturday my parents and brothers showed up, and when I gushed about how great it was, they wanted to watch it too. So yes, I watched it thrice. And yes, I cried each time.

So the ever-hansome-and-charismatic Kevin Sorbo is a philosophy professor at prestigious college, who on the first day of the semester, asks his students to sign their names to statements saying that God is dead. He does this because he is an atheist and hates the whole god argument so much that he just wants all of his students to agree with him so they can skip that aspect of the course.

But of course our MC, Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper) is a Christian who refuses to sign the statement. The professor then gives him the chance to defend God's honor in front of the class. This poor freshmen is up against a hard-nosed atheist/philosophy professor in his own classroom, in front of his peers! Talk about a pressure cooker. But he puts his shoulder to the wheel, coming up with amazing arguments, all while struggling under a full course load, and dealing with his failing relationship with his fiancee.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Historical Tidbit: The Lost Colony of Roanoke

Do you know...about the lost colony of Roanoke?

Of course you do! It's one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in the history of, er, unsolved mysteries.

Map of area, including Roanoke
Island, drawn by John White
The facts: 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Historical Tidbit: Madame C.J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove (Source)
Did you know...that the first self-made female millionaire in America was a black woman?

It's true! Sarah Breedlove was born as the one of six children in December of 1867. She was the first in her family to be born free, after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. At age 14, she got married to escape the abuse of her brother-in-law, with whom she was living. Six years later, her husband died. She was twenty years old, with a 2-year-old daughter to care for. She moved to St. Louis, where three of her brothers lived, and got work as a washer woman, earning less than $1 a day. She was determined to earn enough money to get her daughter a formal education, though.

Like most people in her day, she expected hair loss due to poor diet and living conditions. She learned about hair and hygiene from her brothers, who all worked in barber shops. She sold hair car products on commission for Annie Turnbo Malone, a haircare enterpreneur, and soon after emerged as Madame C.J. Walker, "an independent hairdresser and retailer of cosmetic creams." (Source)

C.J. Walker's grave (Source)
Sarah remarried, had her stepdaughter run the mail order part of the business, while she and her husband traveled the country, expanding. Eventually she began training other women, especially African Americans, in the concepts of beauty products, sales, and business models. Her business expanded beyond the United States to Cuba, Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica, and Haiti.

She eventually got involved in politics, gave massive amounts of money to charity, and upon her death was considered the wealthiest African American in the country. It is unclear whether she was actually worth more than a million dollars at the time of her death, but in by today's standards, she would have been many times over. (For more details on her amazing life, see this link.)

There is so much entitlement in the world today; a massive movement of people who believe that certain people, especially minorities, ought to be given absolutely everything. But Sarah Breedlove defies that model. She was born during Civil War times, and came up very humbly in the world, with little chance for education or wealth. Yet, she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and became one of the wealthiest, most successful women of her day. The entitlement movement won't tell this story because it flies in the face of their most sacred dogma. Yet, Sarah Breedlove (a.k.a. Madame C.J. Walker) is a heroine of not only success and wealth, but education, women's empowerment, and the overall betterment of society. 

Now, most people who read my blog probably aren't members of this Entitlement Movement I speak of. (After all, we wouldn't be aspiring writers and authors if we didn't believe we have a chance to attain our dreams.) But, for the record, it's my belief that if more people were like Sarah Breedlove, our society would have vastly fewer problems than we are currently facing.

Remember, knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

What do you think of C.J. Walker? Have you ever heard her story before?

Citadels of Fire

In a world where danger hides in plain sight and no one aspires to more than what they were born to, Inga must find the courage to break the oppressive chains she’s been bound with since birth. 

As a maid in the infamous Kremlin, life in 16th-century Russia is bleak and treacherous. That is, until Taras arrives. Convinced that his mother’s death when he was a boy was no mere accident, he returned from England to discover what really happened. While there, he gains favor from the Tsar later known as Ivan the Terrible, the most brutal and notorious ruler ever to sit upon the throne of Russia. Ivan allows him to take a servant, and to save Inga from a brutal boyar intent on raping her, Taras requests Inga to stay in his chambers.

Up against the social confines of the time, the shadowy conspiracies that cloak their history, and the sexual politics of the Russian Imperial court, Inga and Taras must discover their past, plan for their future, and survive the brutality that permeates life within the four walls that tower over them all, or they may end up like so many citizens of ancient Russia: nothing but flesh and bone mortar for the stones of the Kremlin wall.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Funny Friday: Never Argue With Children!

Just had to post this. Hope it brightens up your Friday! :D

Never argue with children that know their bible stories, right? :D Have a great weekend, Everyone!

What's your reaction to this smart little cookie?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Taking a Stand

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is Taking a Stand!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review: The Success Principles

So my brother, Lucas, who is all about self-help, success, and motivational speaking, gave me this book six months ago. I might have even started it around Christmas time and I'm just now finishing! (Dah!) Don't let that fool you, though. It has nothing to do with how good the book was or wasn't. This might just be one of the most inspiring, motivational book I've ever read.

This is a non-fiction book. Jack Canfield is the ridiculously successful co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. But he's more than just an author. He's an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, among many other things. He lays out 52 principles he's gathered over the years that are essential for success. (Hence the title of the book.)

These principles encompass everything from attitude adjustment to taking risks to changing your mindset to having faith. The reader not only gets valuable information from someone who's done it all and been enormously successful, but he tells stories and gives real life examples so we can see the principles in action.

Some of my favorite quotes (There's about a billion, but here are a few):

"Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses."--George Washington Carver
"You only have control over three things in your life--the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take." (pg. 109) 
"The world doesn't owe you anything. You have to create it." (pg. 13)

My favorite principles (Again, they're ALL awesome, but...):

1. Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life 
25. Drop out of the "Ain't it Awful" Club and Surround Yourself with Successful People 
55. Be a Class Act 
58. Pay Yourself First 
63. Start Now!...Just Do It!

If you've ever wanted to begin a new endeavor, run a business (yes, your writing counts!) learn a new skill, or simply find success at anything you are doing or want to do, this book will be invaluable. I'd recommend it for absolutely everyone. After all, what is life without its pinnacle successes?

Has anyone else read The Success Principles? Which is your favorite principle?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teasers come from Robert Galbraith's (J.K. Rowling's) The Cuckoo's Calling.
"Like Wardle, he had needed no uniform; he had been constantly cloaked in officaldom and prestige. Now, he was a limping man in a creased shirt, trading on old acquaintances, trying to do deals with policemen who would once have been glad to take his calls." (pg. 43-44)

What are you reading this week?

Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 St. George Book Festival and Other Announcements

Happy Monday, Everyone! 

I hope you're all gearing up for a productive and prosperous week. 

For today, I'm just doing some announcements. The fall, as always, will be a busy one for me, as I'll be attending plenty of conferences and bookish events.

August 30 I have an author signing at the Hastings in Harrisville, Utah. It's a modest little place, but the Hastings company is always willing to support local authors, so I do my best to help them out in return.

September 12-13 is the League of Utah Writers' annual conference. As of right now, I'm not presenting that I know of. Just going to socialize, network, and learn lots of new things from some phenomenal presenters. It's being held in Layton, Utah this year, which is like ten minutes from my house. (Yea!)

October 4 is an author signing event also hosted by Hastings, but it will be a whole slew of local authors coming together for the same event. More details to come as it gets closer.

October 24-25 is the 2014 St. George Book Festival. I'll be attending as a Keynote/Guest Author and running one of the workshops on the 24th. Very excited for this one as I've never attended before.

So, if you're anywhere in or around Utah and can possibly make it to any of the events, I'd love to meet you! Of course I'll post reminders as the fall draws near. Have a great week, Everyone! Get out there and take steps toward your own success!

What events do you have lined up for the fall?