sekiharatae: (awesome)

I decided to give away ten copies of my brother's first book, Kiss at Twilight.  Seven copies have been claimed.  If you'd like one of the remaining three, leave me a comment on the previous post.

Thanks to all for your interest!

ETA:  All ten copies are now gone to good homes.  I hope you all enjoy, and thank you all so much for your interest!

Free books!

Dec. 4th, 2011 11:57 am
sekiharatae: (Geek)

I have decided to give away ten copies of the PDF edition of Kiss at Twilight.  If you are interested, leave a comment here telling me a bit about why.  

Copies will be emailed to the contact listed on your livejournal profile page unless you specify otherwise.
sekiharatae: (awesome)
My younger brother has self published two books in a paranormal series. Today I found out that it was being carried by his local Barnes and Noble, and had already sold out.  They were ordering more.  This is so incredibly exciting and squee-worthy.  Everyone in my family is now trying to buy a copy from B&N -- I mean, we could just order it online, but there's something far more... real about actually buying it, in paper, at a major chain.

Sadly, my local B&N doesn't have it.  ~.~

So I'm gonna go order me some paper copies off Amazon.  If anyone else would like to support my brother, that would be fantastic.  (No pressure, mind you. Just... it would be amazingly cool.)  The series is available at Amazon in paperback, and from B&N in nook format.  And, you might be one of the lucky ones who can buy it at the local store (if you do decide to try it, and you do buy it at the store, I'd love to know so we -- the family -- can get an idea of where it's being carried).

My dad tells me that Jay was surprised to find they'd shelved it in the romance section rather than the sci-fi, but he's pretty cool with it.  'As long as they're carrying it and it's selling, it doesn't matter where they shelve it.'  ;)

Links to both Amazon and Barnes and Noble are below:

Kiss at Twilight (book one)
In paperback at Amazon
In nook format at B&N

Aurora's Kiss (book two)
In paperback at Amazon
In nook format at B&N

ETA: The books are also available direct from, and the prices appear to be better while also giving Jay a better percentage.  (Ebook is 1.99 vice 3.99; paperback is 11.99 vice 15.99.)  Here's the link to his stuff there.
sekiharatae: (come back to me)
In a desperate bid to read something I knew I would enjoy, I re-read the Ukiah Oregon series by Wen Spencer this week.  Although I did notice some flaws on this second reading that I'd completely ignored the first time, I still enjoyed it.  Loved it.  Enough so that I turned around and forced the first book on [ profile] quoth_the_ravyn before gushing at length about the series to [ profile] laura_josephsen.

During both the re-read and the gushing, I noticed a large number of similarities between the series and FFVII.  The main character, for instance, is very much like Cloud -- real Cloud I mean, not FalseZack!Cloud.  Cloud as he is before crisis, and then again later after he remembers himself.  The parallels are so large that I'd almost be willing to bet that if you love FFVII, you'll at least like Ukiah.

In any event, this realization has led me to the need for still more gushing about all that the two series share (and how awesome that is).

Cut for large, whopping spoilers )
sekiharatae: doujin yamaguchirou (sexy Kenshin)
Thanks to [ profile] aura_wolf noticing its absence, Yumi's Journal has now also been posted at the new webaddress:

Yumi's Journal
sekiharatae: (Avada Key)
Why do you ask me to take the taste test if you're just going to show me the same ugly crap when I'm done?  Why must you raise my hopes, letting me think you'll find me that fantastic gift item, only to SMASH THEM WITH A HAMMER in the end?

You're one of those evil ducks, aren't you?
sekiharatae: (Huh?!)

Because we all love a good reference to Cloud in drag:
sekiharatae: (Geek)
A great many aspiring authors do. Never fear, however, for there are a few simple tests to determine if you are afflicted with this common and foolish pretension, and once the problem is recognized, my simple twelve-step program can help you recover while also improving your working vocabulary. Soon, I'll have you properly using those words you're only embarrassing yourself by including now!

First, let's identify exactly what the problem is.  False confidence in one's vocabulary (FCioV) is the assurance that one knows what a word or phrase means and how to use it, when -- quite bluntly -- one does not.  This inflated notion is the primary cause of unintentional malapropisms, eggcorns, and catachreses.  If you suffer from this condition, it's very hard to identify and correct it without outside help.  Luckily, today that help is here.

For an outsider -- henceforth called a 'reader' -- it is fairly easy to detect the afflicted.  Readers don't automatically know what the writer intended, and therefore can only read what's on the page.  This is one of the reasons an editor or beta reader is so important to the publishing process.  However, if you do not have, or cannot afford or find a reader prior to publishing, this short list of questions can help you determine if you are a potential sufferer of  FCioV.

When writing your novel do you:
  • Use words or phrases that you've heard but never read?
  • Use words or phrases that would never feature in your normal conversation or correspondence?
  • Ignore the spell checker, confident that you are right and it is wrong?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the diagnosis is clear:  you have FCioV.  The good news, however, is that FCioV can be treated!  In fact, it can be treated so easily and effectively that there are a large number of authors who have never been diagnosed because they self-medicated early and often.

How, you ask?

The most readily accessible medication is available over the counter, and is called a dictionary.  Dictionaries come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and you can find them in virtually all bookstores (except, possibly, the Christian ones), as well as being readily available -- for free -- online.  I highly recommend the online brands, as they treat far more symptoms (i.e. words) than the paper versions.

Of course, merely owning a dictionary or using it occasionally is not enough on its own.  That's why you need my revolutionary twelve-step process, a process I have made available for the first time today at the low low low price of FREE.   It is clearly outlined below, and should be followed whenever you feel the urge to use a word or phrase that you've never used before, or have only used in conversation, or which your spell checker insists is wrong.

Step 1:  Stop, and consider why you are using the word in question. Is it absolutely essential, or is there an alternative that works just as well and with which you are more familiar?

Step 2:  If you are convinced that you absolutely must use this particular word, then I am afraid it is time to medicate:  attempt to find the word in your dictionary.  

Step 3:  If you find the word in the dictionary, read the definition carefully.  Do not forget to check the part of speech and usage notes.  Are you using the word correctly?  If so, it is safe to proceed.  If not, you must accept that you have made an error:  DO NOT USE THE WORD!

Step 4:  If you cannot find the word in the dictionary, you must conclude either that the word does not exist, or that you have spelled it incorrectly.  Do not, under any circumstances, assume that the dictionary is in error.

Step 5:  Stop, and once again consider.  Are you interested in a learning opportunity?  If not, you must accept that you have made an error:  DO NOT USE THE WORD. 

Step 6:  If you are interested in improving your vocabulary, you must try to learn how to spell the word correctly.  There are several different methods which can be employed:    

  • If you are using an online dictionary, you can check to see if it suggests alternative words that are close in spelling to that which you entered. 
  • You can attempt to look up alternate yet plausible spellings for the word.
  • You can access a search engine, and ask the question:  'how do you spell [the word]' (without either quotes or brackets)
  • You can ask another knowledgeable human being.

Step 7:  Having identified what you believe to be the correct spelling, once again attempt to find the word in the dictionary.  This is crucial.  Do not assume that the word you've found is the one you need:  confirm it.

Step 8:  If you find the word in the dictionary, read the definition carefully. Do not forget to check the part of speech and usage notes. Are you using the word correctly? If so, it is safe to proceed. If not, you must accept that you have made an error: DO NOT USE THE WORD!

Step 9: If at this point you are still determined to use the word in question, but have not been able to verify its existence or usage, you can try to identify the word through a synonym.  If, however, you can identify a synonym, it begs the question:  why are you so intent on using a word you quite obviously do not actually know? 

This is generally one of the hardest steps for FCioV sufferers, as it forces them to acknowledge that most of the time the desire to persist has nothing to do with intellectual curiosity, and everything to do with pretension and ego.  It is my advice, therefore, that patients should only proceed to step 10 after having made up their minds to use the synonym, not the original word.  This ensures that the reason for persisting is out of a desire to know, not a desire to show off.

Step 10:  Attempt to find the synonym in the dictionary.  If you find it, read the definition carefully. Do not forget to check the part of speech and usage notes. Are you using the word correctly? If so, it is safe to proceed. If not, you must accept that it is time to STOP THIS FOOLISHNESS.

Step 11:  Attempt to find the synonym in the thesaurus.  If you find it, read through the possible alternatives in search of the original word. 

Step 12:  If you find your original word, you should now once again (and for a final time) look it up in the dictionary.  Synonyms are often nuanced, and the word may still not mean exactly what you thought it meant.  Once you have done this, you can congratulate yourself on successfully adding the word to your vocabulary.  If, on the other hand, you still cannot find your original word, you are still to be congratulated, for you have made great strides in conquering your FCioV.    (You must also, however, promise yourself that you WILL NOT USE THE WORD.)

A special note regarding phrases:  phrases can be misused much the same as individual words, but are often harder to investigate.  In most cases, for instance, you cannot look them up in a dictionary.  If, however, you want to use an idiom, or a song lyric, or just a phrase you may have heard in passing, you still need to verify that you heard it correctly.  This is best done by following a much abbreviated version of the process:  simply type the phrase into your search engine, and see what comes up.  Further, search for the phrase in conjunction with additional terms like:  'origin of the phrase' or 'meaning of the phrase', to make sure that you not only heard it correctly, but understood it.  Many writers will be astonished to learn that those idiomatic phrases they've been tossing around are not, in fact, the phrases they thought they were.  (For example, it's 'bated breath' not 'baited breath', despite what you may have seen in the local newspaper.)

TESTIMONIALS  (Note:  all testimonials are fake, although the stories of improper word usage are true.)

An Author:  I don't know why, but I always thought a grammarian was a type of text.  Always, even though I'd never seen it used.  So when I wrote my novel, I had twelve young princesses carrying grammarians around -- not just once, but repeatedly!  I was so embarrassed when my readers laughed at me, and well they should:  imagine a six-year-old carrying a grown person around like a bundle of sticks!  Now, thanks to Tae's simple program, I don't have to worry about looking like a fool because of my word choices. 

A Different Author:  I know all about homophones and homonyms, so I never thought I'd trip over one myself.  Yet I did:  I wrote a novel where my character repeatedly showed 'distain' for things.  I never realized that the word I meant -- disdain -- was spelled with a 'd' and not a 't'.  The two not only don't mean the same thing, they're not even the same part of speech!  Today, I follow Tae's twelve-step program, and it keeps me from making that mistake again.

Yet Another Author:  People who are corpulent are usually described as lazy, right?  So that's what I thought it meant.  It's how I described my main character.  Despite being lazy, however, he was also dashing -- so I picked a young, trim, moderately attractive man to feature on my cover.  Only later did I realize that the word I'd meant was indolent, and I'd described my athletic hero as being overweight.  If I'd only stopped to check a dictionary, I'd never have made such a gaffe.  Now, I follow Tae's program, and always check a dictionary instead of assuming I know what I'm saying.

This announcement paid for by Tae's afternoon, and a growing frustration with published stupidity.  (Why am I paying good money to read ridiculous screw-ups?)  Tune in next time for our program on Spelling Apathy, and learn what you can do to stop your writing from suffering this easy-to-address weakness.

Additional note:  I tried to write this with a great degree of humor, so I hope I have't offended anyone.  I do, however, believe what this is saying:  i.e. a good dictionary is every writer's friend, and should be used often when venturing outside your everyday vocabulary.
sekiharatae: (Default)

The Akabeko and all my other sites now reside at

For awhile you'll be redirected if you go to the old site address(es) but please update your bookmarks.
sekiharatae: (Zoe)
We have this giant chair-and-a-half in the library at our house. It's situated right in front of a window, and Zoe likes to pose on top of it as she surveys her domain.

sekiharatae: (Default)

Hubby gave me a bunch of yarn, including a gorgeous skein of Koigu kpppm.  I found a couple of free one-skein patterns, and I'm torn on which to try:

On one hand, I have everything I need to make the beret.  On the other, the bag is really adorable.  And on a third (o.O) it's a toss-up as to if I'd ever actually use either.


sekiharatae: (Default)
I suppose I could also list it as number of stitches vs. number of words... but knitting would still win.

A few more pics are here and here
sekiharatae: (Default)
Dreamhost sent me a letter this week telling me that come December I can no longer use the subdomain. 


I can register a new domain, or switch to a different subdomain on, or just let the site die.  Strangely, even if the site dies my email will persist, so whatever I do I don't have to worry about changing that.

I have no idea what (I want) to do.  =/

ETA:  I can't get or
sekiharatae: (Dalek serving tea)
While trying to decide on a surname for an OC in my Dramione fic (because Flintstone if fabulous but completely inappropriate), I began researching what some of the oldest British surnames are.  In doing so, however, I stumbled over one of those facts that is blatantly obvious while still being incredibly easy to overlook.   The kind of thing that you know, but that you don't really think about knowing, and so it's almost like you don't know it at all?  Or like knowing you have to do something on Wednesday, and knowing that today is Wednesday, and yet somehow completely failing to make the connection that today is the day? 

In this case, it was the realization that a family name may be British without being English.  It might be Scotish or Welsh or even Irish.  I know that.  I've known it for decades.  It just didn't click.   

I've decided not to feel too bad about this 'duh' moment, however, because Rowling is British, and yet she flubbed it up, too.  To wit:  having a 'British' wizarding school founded in the 9th or 10th centuries and located in Scotland makes no sense.  Britain was by no means unified back then!  I'm no historian, but Scotland and England were still having intermittent wars two hundred years later. 

Please raise your hand if you think British wizarding families would send their children to Scotland for six months at a time during a war.

Or am I completely missing something else?
sekiharatae: (Default)
"The Flintstone family was old, predating even the four founders."

Seriously, Tae, what is with you and names?  That's hilarious, but so not what's going to stick, you hear me?

Oh, my brain.
sekiharatae: (AAAAARG)
A study last year reported that the reading comprehension of highschool seniors had fallen below what it was twenty years ago.  This year the national average SAT scores are at a record low, with reading comprehension at 497 and writing at 489 (out of 800).  
sekiharatae: (Geek)

I recently purchased a slew of ninety-nine cent kindle books on Amazon... largely because I've been having trouble finding something to read, and it'd have to be horridly bad to make me regret ninety-nine cents.

One of the things I picked up (and I honestly don't know how I found it) was the first book in the Peachville High Demons series.  It's in the same genre as Twilight, which isn't usually my thing, but it has one incredible selling point:

Demonic.  Cheerleaders.

At least, that's what the summary implies.  And there's just something inherently amusing about the idea that the popular girls in school are so insanely sought after because they're trafficking with the devil.

Or is that just me?

Anyway, I read it and then quickly followed with the rest of the series (currently four books).  It's not the greatest thing I've ever read, but I'd recommend it over Twilight without hesistation.  Here are some of the most obvious reasons why:

Both series feature protagonists with interesting names; 'Harper' is unique without the contrived feel of 'Bella' the Beautiful (FYI, Harper doesn't once sit down and play an instrument).

Both series feature protagonists who are forced, unwillingly, into the spotlight; Harper's difficulties are due to revelations about her mysterious past, while Bella's stem from the unbearable strain of being popular.

Both series are written in first person; Harper's voice sounds fairly realistic for a teen, whereas Bella's is some bizarre mix of monotone melodrama punctuated with unbelievable vocabulary.

Both series contain something of a love triangle; happily, Harper actually has a reason -- other than boneheaded indecision -- to be torn.  She also comes to her senses comparatively quickly.

Both series feature a paranormal hottie; Harper's spends absolutely no time being an unapproachable, creepy, controlling jerk.  He also gets bonus points for having a source of angst that's reasonable.  Oh, and he never once comments on how delicious she smells, or thinks of her as food.

Best of all, however, the Peachville series has a plot, and didn't bore me. 

Mind you, it's not perfect.  An old romance novel (a favorite of mine) features an exchange in which the female says she wouldn't marry the male if her life depended on it.  He retorts that she should be reasonable, as there's only so much mortal danger he can arrange on her behalf.   (I still love that line.)  Someone should have said something similar to Sarra Cannon:  Harper spends entirely too much time barely escaping death, especially considering so many people in her new home town should, by rights, be trying to keep her alive.  Also, it's an indie series, and although the first book is strong, the quality of the editing decreases noticeably with each volume.  Finally, the books are also incredibly quick reads:  I read all four in a single afternoon.  As such, although the prices for individual volumes are low, in the end I still paid almost $8 for what is usually a single book's worth of entertainment.  That seems a bit much, especially considering the prices go up as the quality goes down.
sekiharatae: (Dalek serving tea)
I'm skeptical that the average human being uses its brain to make decisions. 

I'm skeptical that any of the Republican presidential nominees know what Christianity actually is.  

I'm skeptical that anyone who interprets the Bible as censuring homosexuality has ever read the rest of the Good Book.  I'm especially skeptical that they take the rest of the prohibitions -- explicitly stated, no spin required -- as seriously as the one that lets them freely hate other people.

I'm skeptical that organized religion is a good thing. 

I'm skeptical that aspartame has no unhealthy side effects.

Finally, I'm skeptical that I'll finish cleaning house before my best friend arrives.
sekiharatae: (AAAAARG)
I am all full up on frustration now.   I can't take anymore of the stupid.  


sekiharatae: (Default)

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