Sunday, December 10, 2017

December shmamember

Well, 2017 has been quite a shit year,  if you will pardon my language. However, I am close to finishing the second book of my Prophecy series and someday another person might read it. #goals

I took the Facebook app off my phone and I'm hoping that helps me accomplish a bit better balance in my life.

May the muse be with you and your own never dry.

May next year kick 2017s ass.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Ongoing flash fiction prompts!

Hi all! Welcome new readers and continued readers alike.

As a means to keep my wit sharp and my pen sharper, I would like to invite all of you to offer up flash-fiction prompts any dang time you please, indefinitely. Want to know how I think a wizard would respond to a nosy kitten? Interested in how the Queen folds her socks on laundry day? Post a comment to the freshest blog with the idea and I will make it happen!

Don't want to comment on a post? You can also email me at foonalina at gmail dot com.

Dear reader, I can see you wondering... why should you do this? Well, let me tell you! I get some practice and you get a lovely bit of prose written especially for you.

Let the games begin.
May the oods be ever in your favor

may the oods be in your favor
(picture stolen, brazenly, from the web)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

When we ended

I wrote one poem during the beginning of the end that I'm interested in sharing.

When we ended

When you are a simple thing
The red fridge alphabet magnet

And then she does not come home

When you are both now south poles
And she doesn’t love you anymore

The rise and fall of simple things
When she comes home

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Top Ten 10 Favorite Fantasy Books

Top Ten 10 Favorite Fantasy Books
from my misspent youth

Some of the books on this list are from when I first started devouring the genre in fourth grade, and some are from middle school and junior high. I was a fan of all things books: I loved the scholastic book fairs, our public library, I volunteered in the library during middle school and junior high, I joined every book club I could find. I read in the hallway, I read while I walked to class. I figured out how to tell when my parents were coming down the hall and if I had time to turn off the lights and hide my book before they got there based purely on the different creaks in the floor boards. I devoured everything I could get my grubby hands on. I didn’t just read fantasy books, but they were the ones that had the most significant impact on me. I don’t say all of this to brag, but to explain why I don’t really remember the plots or the characters. At this point in my life, I remember the feelings I had while reading them and little else. That shit was a long time ago, folks. Let’s get started on this list!

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
I read this book and the resulting books somewhere around elementary school. They made me feel warm and happy. I don’t think I understood fully what was going on, but I enjoyed the journey.

Dune (series) by Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert was my Tolkien. Dune was my first big-girl series. I think I was in fifth grade, but that part is a little hazy. I had read all my library books and was searching my dad’s bookshelves for something to tide me over until the next trip. I was almost immediately enchanted, but I definitely skipped over the boring political stuff, a bad habit that I continue to this day. I suspect it’s why I’m not a great role player- I just want to read the action and have zero interest in strategy. As my dwarven barbarian once screamed, “GO FOR THE EYES.”

Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
This one was another find from my dad’s shelf, but I had to get some of the series from the library. These were the first books I read by Anne McCaffrey and I was so lost in the world: acid rain, dragons, music… it was utterly magical.

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Scholastic book fair find! This one I definitely started reading in fourth grade. Honestly, I won’t summarize because you have not been living under a rock, dear reader. This was my first fantasy series, pre-dating Dune. I loved Tumnus and had no idea it was a Christian allegory. Womp womp.

The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks
Definitely ordered from Scholastic. I picked up this book because I recognized the authors name. Our English teacher in fourth grade was reading The Indian in the Cupboard and so I decided to try it. This book is stand alone. The protagonist is a spunky, willful girl who sets upon a journey to fulfill her dreams. It read like a fairy tale, but not in a Grimm style, fear-based allegory. 10 year old Kirstin was down with this story.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
I believe this was a book I read in high school. My bestie had loaned me Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in junior high and I really loved his style, then I came across this at the thrift book store. It was the first time I’d read anything like it. It was like he just threw everything in the air and then somehow it all made sense by the time it hit the ground. Tea-Time resonated with me more deeply than Hitchhiker’s, though. I suspect it was the brief moment we hear Susan talking about trying to land a note on her cello over her voicemail. I played the cello and judge any media containing my instrument based on how they treated it. For instance: James Bond rode a Stradivarius down snowy hills and let bad guys shoot holes in it and I never, ever forgave him. But Susan had a working relationship with her cello- she would never let somebody shoot a hole through it. I just knew.

Vows and Honor series by Mercedes Lackey
I read any Mercedes Lackey I could get my hands on- I called them my popcorn books because I couldn’t stop with them. This series was one of my favorites. Two badass women coming together in a journey for truth and justice? Yes, please. There were also some pretty queer undertones to these books, we’re talking Xena & Gabrielle vibes- the kind where you’re like “LADIES JUST MAKE OUT ALREADY” but everybody continues to pretend they’re just really, really good friends.

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
I mean, Terry Pratchett knows how to write some hilarious fantasy novels. I loved these books because I could laugh but I was still deeply invested in the characters. They were well developed and I just always felt really good after reading them. Feel good magic and humor for everybody!

Dealing with Dragons (series) by Patricia C. Wrede
Oh my god, I loved this series so much. This protagonist was a fierce princess who refused to live a life prescribed for a princess. She fought for her new life with intelligence, strength, will, and a fabulous cherry jubilee recipe. What is a cherry jubilee? I don’t know, but Wrede made it sound delicious and empowered. Grown up Kirstin just googled it and agrees with young Kirstin’s assessment. Perhaps I should make it sometime for research. Yes, research.

The Blue Sword and The Hero’s Crown by Robin McKinley

I wore the binding out on these books. I have read them a million times. I don’t even have words to describe how much I loved these books as a tween then teen. They are set in the same fantasy world but with different protagonists, both female. These books are both about intrepid outcasts who are alienated by society and find or create space to flourish and also save their kingdoms. So, you know, just the kind of thing I would love. Are you picking up on the pattern of books I loved? Because I suspect there is one there… wink wink.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Why do I love cats so much?

Why do I love cats so much?
by K. Steitz

A flash fiction piece
dedicated to Kelly Hawk

I practiced sitting in different parts of Emily's two story Italianate on East Walnut Street. Light streamed into the windows, perfect for slow, joint-popping stretches and lazy nods. I studied rejuvenating repose by twisting myself into many different shapes, pulling tight into a full moon, or stretching from tip-to-tip like a jagged line punctuated by a peaceful sigh. Honestly, they all felt magnificent.

Most rooms had a lovely amount of light to bathe beneath, but my favorite place to curl up was in Emily's breakfast nook. I do believe she found my antics rather charming. She went out of her way to brush her fingers across my shoulders every time she passed by me that morning. It was one of the days she didn't disappear, but lounged with me between chores, book in one hand, chipped cup of earl gray in the other. These are my favorite mornings.

There was a picture window in the breakfast nook that looked out upon her well-maintained garden. The cushion itself is a delight, soft blue cotton; the window provides hours of entertainment. I was particularly interested in the bird life. She had a wide and unique variety of birds that visited her intricately molded cast-iron bird feeder. I believe I even saw a smug gentleman with a yellow chin and long beak poking about. Now those are some feathers I'd really love to sink my teeth into. Perhaps in another life.

Do you want a piece of flash fiction dedicated to you? Ask me any question in the comments of my blog and I will answer in the form of flash fiction. Emphasis on the fiction. Wink wink.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Abbey Riley talks fried chicken and desire...

Gone with the Wings:
Original Recipe for Romance?
By Abbey Riley

I don't know if anyone has really ever bothered to review The Tender Wings of Desire: a Colonel Sanders Novella. I'm conceited enough to hope that I am the first. Oh man, this story. To begin with, since it is a novella, it's very brief. You can seriously read it in the space of probably an hour; maybe less if you don't stop to laugh and talk about it with your friends. It centers on the life of Lady Madeline, an 18 year-old English member of the landed gentry who's never known love. It might even be said that lady Madeline doesn't believe in love, and certainly not love at first sight. Her younger sister Victoria is anxious to be wed to basically just anybody but as the eldest, it is Madeline's duty to marry first. Enter Duke Reginald: blond, handsome, rich, charming, kind; all the things, basically, but not giving Madeline the old tingle in the dingle, if you know what I mean.
(dingle noun “a deep, narrow cleft between hills; shady dell.”)
(You’re welcome.)
Tender Wings of Desire by [Sanders, Colonel]

At no point does the cover art match the story, nor does the story even really make sense. That’s cool; satire is fun. You read it because you realize this is really how romance novels are written. There’s a lot of set-up about how the female protagonist is unhappy or dissatisfied or a hot mess, then some dramatic change in her life thrusts this SO HANDSOME OMG LOOK AT HIS FACE SWOON man into her life and suddenly, through the magic of boning which turns out to be TRUE LOVE, everything is happy times forever!
So many questions this story leaves you pondering. Why did a Kentucky restaurant mogul become a sailor out of a small England port town? What time period are we in? How does Liam the kitchen boy intercept mail? Is he even literate? This novella doesn't give a shit about your questions! Colonel Sanders found love, okay?! Doesn't the pioneer of heart disease deserve love, too? He was just a simple man, standing in front of a simple woman, asking her to ignore the fact that after she told him all of her secrets and made an independent life for herself, he lied to her and now expects her to marry him, anyway. This is romance, people! True love conquers all, especially a woman's desire for agency!
All in all, I was really disappointed by the lack of fried chicken. Like, surprisingly so. I deeply anticipated some kink involving his famous string tie and a twenty-piece bucket of Original Recipe. Maybe out on some moors with a pony, once I realized this was set in England. For a romance novella, this was decidedly lacking in smut. I think a really weird sex scene could have taken this over the top from mildly comical to hilariously epic.
For laughs, you can download The Tender Wings of Desire on Amazon Kindle devices. If you have Kindle Unlimited, it's free. It's worth a peek for the cover alone, which is brutally 90s.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


I am finally the proud owner of Throne of Jade: book 2 in the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. Suck on that universe!


I am contemplating making a Facebook profile for myself so I can post about blogs. This seems like a logical thing to do. I am having a difficult time taking myself seriously enough to do this... but it will probably end up happening! So, please look forward to that, my readers.

I actually am not even sure I believe that anybody reads my blog. Like, Blogger statistics say folks do, but like, I just don't believe it.

Ask me something. Anything. I will answer it in the form of flash fiction.