I liked the comic movies, but now I want to actually read them. Where to begin? (Nerd Hat Blog)

Hello Super Precious Readers!

For those who follow my Twitter and Facebook posts, know that I have a gigantic Nerd Hat and love of comics and graphic novels. I spent many a day reading them when I wasn’t reading books. (I was a sedentary child. Allergic to everything outside and am too uncoordinated to play sports. What else do you want from me?)

I mostly stuck to X-Men and Batman, threw in a few Spiderman, and some Catwoman comics.

For those who are interested in starting your journey to the originals – the actual comics – it’s natural to be curious due to an supersaturated market (see what I did there?). With Marvel dominating the media on both television and screen, uniting series after series together, and DC Comics desperate to catch up to its major rival, comics exponentially growing fan base is desperate to learn more about origins of the artistry, story telling, and illustrated commentary on the human condition.

Where to begin? Do I grab the most recent Batman comic, or X-Men series? (I know I’m committing blasphemous work by combining rivals, but I love both.)

One of the first places that provides a simple guide is this website. It’s literally called “How to love comics.” What could be easier?


Not wanting to join in on the Marvel/DC Comics War? There are SO MANY other choices out there. Try listening to this dude. Below is advice from Professor Thorgi. (Yes, that’s his actual YouTube Channel persona.)  No, there isn’t a specific reason that I chose a video with a dude in it. I’m 100% a believer that women (WOMEN, not “girls.” WOMEN) can equally enjoy the comic book world.

Nope, not this guy:

Or this guy:

This guy:

Professor Thorgi provides advice about non-Marvel/non-DC Comics comic book companies, and guides you on which you would enjoy based on your current flim/tv show preferences.

His video is a bit long, so save it for when you have time to sit down with a glass of Red Shirt Ale. On the plus side, he sounds like the Chocolate Rain Singer, so I laugh while being informed. Please enjoy his video, if only to enjoy that velvety smooth Chocolate Rain voice to sooth your evening blues.

What this all boils down to is, find what you like, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re fake. If you have a love of comics in your heart, whether through actual comic books, graphic novels, or the wave after wave of explosive films in theaters and on television, we nerds/geeks (whichever term you deem more applicable) are happy to welcome you to the family.

Comic book love and hugs,

keep calm and continue sleuthing! / spooky little girl

“Do act mysterious. It always keeps them coming back for more.”

– Carolyn Keene

Hello again, Precious Readers!

<Looks at Precious Readers through a magnifying glass.>

Have I ever mentioned that I love mysteries? I know in the past, I’ve mentioned I love romances and spy novels, but my number one go-to genre will always be mysteries/suspense!

At a young age, I was quite curious about abnormal things. At eight years old, I read Frankenstein, and by age ten, I’d read Dracula. Not light, or positive reading there. One of my all time favorite films was Beetlejuice, and I adored the cartoon version that Nickelodeon had based on the film. I recall for a brief period of time there was a series of Clue mystery novels based on the board game, which were the only books I checked out of my elementary library. I was also a religious Scooby Doo watcher, Shaggy being my favorite. (I must have a type considering I married quite the goofball in Pilot.)

For proof, here’s a (somewhat embarrassing) photo of me last Halloween when I dressed as Velma Dinkley:


I think I nailed it. All the way down to the orange socks.

However, out of all of these, my all time favorites will always be: Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes. For those who know me, this should not come at a surprise. I inhale anything Nancy and Sherlock practically daily. Something about Nancy Drew was always empowering, and made me believe I wasn’t weird for my odd fascination with science, skeptical attitude, and somewhat of a sassy wit. (If there ever was a real Sassy Detective magazine, I would have definitely subscribed!) One of my favorite pastimes is to play the Her Interactive Nancy Drew Games, created locally in my home state in Bellevue, Washington. I’m going on 31 next month, and they just released Game #32, Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness, which of the 32 has become one of my Top 3 favorites. They feature other characters like the Hardy Boys in some of them. (I love Frank and Joe!)

The things I love about Nancy Drew, although the books are quite outdated now (some of them even being a bit racist, but I skip those), are her confidence, proof that she studies hard to learn her skills and trade, and doesn’t let anything prevent her from feeling as feminine as she’d like to on any given day. Along with this, she’s close to her father, has some kind and loyal friends, and plans on making sleuthing her career at a time when women weren’t given the choice to have a career if they wished. It’s not just puzzle solving skills, but she keeps a cool head under pressure and is skilled in many mechanical things. I aspire to be more like her every day – except with more wine and no mom jeans.

If you’d like to learn more about the games themselves, I’d recommend a particular YouTube channel. (I may have spent several hours watching them over the years.) Arglefumph’s walkthrough videos, created by a man named Michael Gray in Oregon, not only provides great tips for getting through the games if you’re stuck, he also gives running commentary that runs on hilarious. (You can check out Michael Gray’s YouTube videos here.)

As far as my Sherlock Holmes obsession, I’ve always gone a bit weak in the knees for the various English accents out there. Like one of my favorite authors, Katie MacAlister, I’m a bit of an “anglophile,” though not as strongly as my friend, Obi-One-Pin-Obi. She embraces English culture on a much more soulful level. She’s even traveled there several times in her life, of which I will always be greatly envious of. (Someday Pilot and I will take our Europe trip. I know it!) There’s something about the dark, dank, foggy environment mixed with bits of chemistry and carriages while solving a seemingly impossible riddle that fascinates me to no end. He is able to pick out the minutiae and combine it together to create a fully realized conclusion. Unlike Nancy Drew, I enjoy Sherlock Holmes because he is a greatly flawed character. He is an opium addict, smokes, might have a touch of Aspergers blended with narcissism. He’s also a talented in music, his violin skills often being referenced in the multitude of novels.

There’s no point to this post, only to share a love of all things sleuthy with the troves of people out there on the internet. I bid you all good day.

Who are your favorite mystery, suspense, thriller, all things spooky authors?
What series do you follow?
Which Nancy Drew is your favorite?

Stay sleuthy!

Check out Obi-One-Pin-Obi on her blog:

destroying what little privacy there ever was to begin with

It’s a lot of work to be a nobody.

Trying to keep up with the world as it is today means being a public figure. (Don’t worry, I have zero ambition to become a politician.  I’m so accident-prone, I’d probably get impeached within five minutes for accidentally breaking something valued at a number worth more than my life and all my possessions combined.)  In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to meet an American without connecting through some form of technology.

  • Desktops, laptops, “air” laptops
  • iPads, tablets, readers
  • Cordless phones, cellular phones, smart phones

Um… Since when did inanimate objects begin having fiercer competition than the Olympics?

The relationship between technology and its user is a fluid, living, organic being.  Technology can create, shape (and sometimes disastrously fail) its users.  Technology can make or break you.

One of my favorite director/producer/writer/guest lecturer and all-around smart guy, J. J. Abrams, once gave a guest lecture for, discussing the idea of the “Mystery Box.” Now, although his lecture was not directly about technology, there was a portion of his lecture where he discussed YouTube and today’s technology, mentioning how he is excited about the videos on YouTube.

Are you kidding me? J. J. Abrams is glad about YouTube?

His comment was (and I’m paraphrasing his quote, here) when he was a child, video equipment was so expensive for a young filmmaker, that you could only have your movies viewed if a large production company was covering the bill.  With the advancements in technology, the ability to have access to technology is easy and cheap despite your background or home life, upload the video to your computer, feature it on your YouTube page and ta-da! Anyone can be a filmmaker.

You might think, he’d be worried about the competition. (Oh, please. Let’s face it. It’s difficult to compete stylistically with that guy. Abrams = Awesome.)  But no. He celebrates the fact that people of all ages, gender, background, income, etc. can make a film and publish it to YouTube and garner a fanbase.  (Anyone noting the correlation of this statement with the fact that I’m an unknown author with not-quite-yet-published work?)

How many vocal artists today have become international sensations due to YouTube?  Writers and authors (there’s a difference, but that’s also a topic for another time), are able to get their work out to the masses through self-publishing on places like Amazon and iBooks.

WordPress, anyone?  Hint-hint, nudge-nudge, wink-wink?  <Cough!>

Quick time warp to 1993: I remember looking at my grandma, wide-eyed and shocked at the fact that she had lived before cars were invented.

(Stay with me here, there’s a point.)

Slight flash forward to 2001: I remember babysitting a family friend’s 7-year-old daughter. We’ll call her Jazzy.

Jazzy was in the back of my first love, my car Bob (more on him another day), and her giving me the same wide-eyed and shocked look as she stated, “You were alive before the Internet?”

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Technology can change in a flash, or sometimes a literal spark depending on what tools you’re working with, and it’s important for one to keep up with the times.  Sure, starting a blog in 2012 is not necessarily rocket science.  In fact, having some sort of online presence is much more common than it is to go without one.

Here’s my point. Thanks for sticking with me.

Having a blog that’s sort-of out there isn’t enough. Taking the initial initiative by starting this blog was great, but now I need to push further.  That way, when (note: I didn’t say “if”) I’m published in the future, all of you (or maybe all five of you?) will have shared this journey with me.

You may be few, but you’re precious to me.  <singing> We shall overcome!

Ok… Sorry. I’ll stop now.

Our online relationship via technology can reach the next level. I get to share my joys (sometimes sorrows, but hopefully more joys) with me.  And I thank you for your loyalty even before I’ve gotten anywhere near my goal.

To boost more pre-publication fans and maintain my little corner of the virtual world, I’ve just setup a Facebook page!

Oh, Facebook. You’re truly a blessing and a curse.  You help me stay connected with my most precious loved ones (and some funny games), but curse me to review you constantly throughout the day.

Pityingly enough, my poor page has just little ol’ me on it.

Help me. I’ve ‘Liked’ myself.  That’s like giving yourself a high-five.  (Although, per my “About Me” page, we have already established that I enjoy high-fives.)

Please check it out, ‘Like’ my page, and let’s see if we can get this global!

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 8: What about their earlier school days? Write a scene of your character in grade school or middle school.

At the sound of the bell, Hallie packed up her notebook, slinging the padded strap of her orange backpack over her shoulder and headed out the door to get ready for another lecture on the French Revolution.

Slamming her locker shut, she turned and smacked face-first into a wall, her books falling to the floor.  The “wall” turned out to be a chest. She looked up. And up. And up. Being 5’3” Hallie was used to being shorter than everyone, but the boy attached to this chest had to be just over six feet.  He also happened to be the most drop-dead gorgeous boy she’d ever seen.

“Oh!” Words. Words would be good to use right about now.  “I-um… Sorry.  I wasn’t-… I mean… I didn’t look where I was going.”  Letting out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding, she blinked a few times, temporarily forgetting how to speak.

A voice, deep and smooth, enveloped her like a warm blanket.

“No problem,” he replied. “Here, let me help you.” He stooped down to pick up her books. As she leaned down gathering the papers that had fallen out of her notebook, she stole glances at him.  His eyes shifted up briefly and grinned at her.

Oh dear lord.  Eyes a deep shade denim, with a straight nose, charcoal black hair, and lips that were so kissable they were causing her stomach do all kinds of backflips at the moment.

“Thanks… I, um… Yeah. Thanks.”  She gave him a weak smile and felt a blush crawling up her neck.  After returning her history notes, he cocked his head slightly and softened his grin as if amused by her lack of ability to put words together.

“I’m Wes.”


They stood in the hall, the sounds of the other students fading into the background to a soft murmur and stared at each other. Analyzing each other.  A very unconvincing coughing sound outside of their personal bubble space made her snap back to reality.

“Am I interrupting something?” Hallie’s brother Henry appeared. How long had he been there?  Henry watched both of them, switching back and forth from each face as if witnessing a tennis match.  Curiosity at her and with skepticism towards Henry.