Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

I got married!

I also bought a house!

My blog's been dark for awhile, I haven't had the time or energy to put into it. Plus, my life's been turning to the intensely personal lately. There are some things you don't want to share with the world (unlike weddings)

All in all, I think I'll save updates for when I'm actually getting published and have something to say. I will mention that after months of work I'm finally getting back into swing of things. Revisions on White War are humming along at the 10,000 words per day range, in no small part because of my loving best friend and husband, Jeremy, who is so very supportive and creative. Love never seemed real to me until I found it with him. I want to spend a part of every day crying in joy because I have found the other half to my soul.

Now, I just have to accept the idea that being deliriously happy is okay. Otherwise, I'll screw it up myself with my endless neuroses.

Anyway, I can't post wedding pictures on facebook until I show the family, but I thought I'd put a few of my favorites up here. Because why not? What bride doesn't love to show off her work?

We got married in the Provo temple on June 15, 2013. (Not as cool as our engagement date -- 2/13/2013-- but oh well.)

We were joined by friends, family, and a ridiculous 9-foot-long lace veil that my grandmother got married in.

We ate lunch at Chef's Table (where they whipped something special up for my vegan mom) and then had a ring ceremony and a reception in my grandparents' backyard. We were lucky that the roses were in bloom.

My bouquet was by Macey's (the grocery store) tired with ribbons and lace stolen my grandma's stash. So were the boutonnieres, which my aunt whipped up for us at the last minute (I'd wanted to do them the night before, but I was so tired from all the prep that I just fell asleep. Am I the only bride in the history of the universe who slept like a baby the night before her wedding? Maybe).

My sister-in-law, Lindsay Putnam of Vanilla House Bakery, did our gorgeous cake and our lovely cake buffet.

 I found the cake toppers on etsy, though we made stand. I bought the mini-blackboards there, too.

I also found our leaf-stamp guest tree there. To save money, I only booked our awesome photographers (Dave and April from Pointe Digital, who did photo and video) for the first part of the reception. So they left before our stamp tree was full.

I did our centerpieces out of silk flowers from Hobby Lobby, weighted down by ball bearings found my grandpa's basement. They have the best silk flowers, but if you want to buy them, wait until they have a 50%-off sale on floral stems. One happens every month or so. My mom made foam board cutouts that looked like bride and groom 'meeples'--a reference to the fact that Jeremy and I love board gaming.

The pictures are kind of small, but you may have noticed the paper cranes. Jeremy did those. We hid one in each boutonniere and two in each centerpiece.

Silly crane, how do you think you'll be able to fly with our rings perched on your back?

And here the rings are on the tablecloths my grandmother sewed for me out of $3-a-yard fabric I dug up at a store in Layton. Boy, those rings do get around! The diamond is recycled and belonged to my great-great-grandfather. The bands are from Losee's Jewelers. I had mine custom-made with rose gold. (The original design was white gold only.)

But we all know the true star of the show wasn't the rings or the flowers. It was ME!!!!!!!!!

And my shoes.

No, I'm kidding. It was actually the cake. OM NOM NOM.

What I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't have had such a wonderful day without the special people in my life who volunteered their time and their love. Some of them worked right up to the last minute.

(they're cheering because it's almost over.)

Random Lines

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

This came to me tonight while my friends were playing Persona 4. I don't know if I'll ever be able to use this line since I mostly write fantasy/sci-fi, but here it is:

"If Cruella DeVille had wanted a speedo instead of a fur coat, this is what it would have looked like."

The weirdest things come to me when I'm tired.

Memory of Light (Two Reviews--One Spoiler-free and One Spoiler-filled)

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

January 9, 2013 -- 3:29 p.m.

(Two Reviews instead of Two Rivers. Geddit? This is the spoiler-free part.) 

I camped out at the BYU book signing and got the #58th copy of Memory of Light. A large part of me felt insane for doing it--it was, after all, -2 degree whether, and by the end of the night, the inside my tent walls had so much ice on them that they looked like frosted glass--but the Wheel of Time has been my go-to comfort read for some 16 years now, and I wanted to end things in style.

Speaking of ending things with style...Wow. I finished the book this morning at 4 a.m. After 7 books of waiting (for me), I have an ending to the story I first started reading when I was 13 years old. And it was an awesome ending.

I don't know how Brandon Sanderson did it. There were so many threads to be juggled, so many characters, so many plot-points, and he managed to pull them together in a satisfying fashion. Before, I've said his style grated on me, but while I still noted the differences between him and Robert Jordan in this book--this was the first book where I really, truly didn't care. I could tell that the majority of it was his, but it didn't matter because things were so good. I'm glad Team Jordan put the extra time into it, because I think it shows in the book's quality.

If any of the last books bugged you, be they the pacing issues of Crossroads of Twilight or the painful rendition of Mat in Gathering Storm, I say--skip ahead. Just read this book. It's worth it, especially if you like battle scenes. Because this book is like 700-pages of non-stop battles. And since this book feels like it's going back to the roots of the series (appropriate for the wheel theme), you won't actually have missed too much.

And the stakes get high. People we've known and loved since the first book die. Characters make heroic sacrifices. There are callbacks to things earlier in the series that I'd pretty much forgotten.


(Seriously, spoilers. Don't read this until you're at the end of AMOL).

Speaking of callbacks and deaths, I almost wish there had been more dying. Lan's fight with Demandred might be one of the top moments of the entire series for me. But you can't SHEAVE THE SWORD and then walk away after. That's cheating. My favorite actual death was either Egwene's or Siuan's. Even if Siuan's is only a couple lines, you got to admire someone who heroically goes to their death, even if they aren't sure it will accomplish anything. That's true heroism. I wish we'd had one last Bryne POV as he went beserking to his death to accompany it, or that they'd found his body later with 90 dead trollocs around it, but you can't have everything even in a 900-page novel, I guess.

I liked the male/female working-together dynamic that was running through everywhere (Andol/Pevara, Elayne/her generals, Rand/NynaRaine). That was a cool pay-off of the series' philosophy. It was cool to see the flaws in Callandor be intentional. That was great.

At the same time, I was disappointed by how useless Moiraine and Nynaeve turned out to be. What did Moiraine do that was so important for saving the world? Alivia could have come in her place and nothing would have changed. Mat sacrificed his eye so that, what, Moiraine could tell Egwene she needed to break the seals when she got her hands on them? I guess coming to a truce between them was good, but I wasn't sure Moiraine was the only one capable of doing that. I had really hoped she'd get to do something awesomely dramatic. And she did, at the very end with exploiting the flaw, but that was Rand's idea, so she only gets partial credit with it.

Ditto with Nynaeve. Alanna could have released the stupid bond at any time. So Nynaeve actually knowing how to do stuff without the power (a theme repeatedly hashed on this whole time) didn't actually turn out to matter. It also brings up the question: Moiraine knew she was going to die, why didn't she release Lan and save him a little suicidal angst? Not good on you, girlfriend. I always assumed she didn't because it was some complicated weave that could only be done with time/effort. Nope!

And all the stuff we had to slog through with how many books with the Windfinders? Did it pay off? Nope. Not that I wanted to spend time with a culture that beats up its teachers. WTF was that???

Padan Fain was the biggest letdown. He's been screwing things up for our heroes ever since the first book and he barely gets a mention (except for two obvious 'help remind the reader that's he's still out there' moments by Perrin) until he's suddenly a mini-roaming Mashadar who gets two pages and then gets offed. Thanks for wasting our book space for however many years only to give Mat something to do at the bore for thirty seconds!

Speaking of Mat, how great was it that the Hornsounder didn't end up sounding the horn after all. Great thing or greatest thing? (TEAM OLVER 4EVAH!!!)


Overall, even though I was annoyed at some little things, I loved the ending. You can't have a book series go on for so long with so many things being juggled without there being a few disappointments, and I'm in awe that Brandon Sanderson managed to complete such a daunting task.

So bravo, team Jordan, bravo. A part of my life feels...empty, now. Good thing GRRM's still writing books for me to obsess about. If he finishes a Song of Ice and Fire, I won't know what to do with myself :)