Ready Player 2018?

2017 wasn’t too bad to live through and it sure seemed to go pretty quickly (I’ll be 36 in April and the years just seem to go by quicker the older I get). After 11 days of a nice little staycation where I left my house as little as possible, but didn’t have to work for the holidays, 2018 is upon us. Other than politics, which 2017 at least helped me learn I need to pace myself in consuming certain types of media, the year went fairly well. I did get some decent work in on my Novel revision during my time off, I’ve got a good path forward, and powered through the chapter I was stuck on writing. But overall working on revision and writing in general was lacking in 2017. 2018 has plenty of opportunities for success in it and I plan on journaling more, blogging more, and writing and revising much much more!

My wife and I sold our first house and bought our 2nd in 2017. Moving sucks in general but it especially sucks when you’ve just bought a new house and have 5 days to get your old one ready to sell. It was quite a hectic few months in the fall but we got moved in and are now nice and settled. Our five dogs are doing much better in a .35 acre yard as opposed to a .17 acre yard. Having a shorter commute is also fantastic, but has definitely cut into my audiobook listening time. Oh well. Changes are a foot at work with a new assignment but Hanford treats me well so I can’t complain.

Border Collies
My wife and I saw this Icelandic tradition where you give books on Christmas eve and then hang out, read, and drink hot coco then rest of the evening. So we decided to partake and start it up in our family. Much to my surprise and delight she got me Ready Player One. Not only that but she got me a signed first edition copy. Getting a signed copy of Ready Player One was a hell of a way to start of this new tradition. Good luck topping this next year! We’ve added a stipulation moving forward that books for this new tradition should be signed (I got her a signed Joe Hill, Horns book) since both of ours were. I read almost half of RPO that first evening and had a hard time putting it down until I had finished it. I love this book so much! The movie comes out in March and I know its going to be different than the book but I’m still freaking stoked anyway. 2017 was apparently the year where I re-read a ton of books. I’ve just recently started up a book club to help find new authors so I don’t think I’m going to re-read as much in 2018 but I wouldn’t be surprised if I read RPO again after the movie.

My goal for 2017 was 40 books and I finished 28. Not quite where I want it to be but I’m going to set it at 40 again for 2018 and hopefully hit the goal this year. 2017 was definitely the year of the re-read for me. The books I re-read in 2017: Dune, Harry Potter books 2, 3, and 4, Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear and Ready Player One. I even ended up reading Name of the Wind twice in 2017 because they released the 10th anniversary edition at the end of the year. In 2017 I also got 3 books deep into The Expanse, tried out Terry Pratchett for the first time, read a new Crichton novel for the first time in a long time, and continued to read the Jim Butcher Furies and Dresden series. I also read quite a few Star Wars books, with Thrawn by Timothy Zahn being the best. I also made sure to read some comics in the form of Rat Queens and Calvin and Hobbes.

I started a book club with my buddy at work in late 2017. We’re looking for new authors and stories to read and decided to start with some Hugo Award winners. We’ve only read one book so far, The Fifth Season, but we’ve got a nice long list of potentials to be read and a goal to meet monthly. I’m currently finishing up our second entry, Blackout, for our book club and it’s interesting so far.

I also won this awesome Kindle Fire tablet through The Portalist that had 10 YA Sci-Fi Fantasy novels on it and got through several of those. I’ve been making myself use my e-readers more and I’m definitely getting used to it, but still prefer an actual book. It’s nice having options though, especially for travelling. Speaking of travelling, 2018 has some potential good times lined up. We also had some good R&R in Kauai this year, I got my tweet shown on the fan photos on the Mariner’s broadcast while at Waimea Canyon and it was so epic! I’m planning a 10th anniversary trip with my wife that may take us to Canada or maybe somewhere a little more tropical, we haven’t decided.


I’’ve decided I’m going commit to going to at least one writing convention this year. I need to coordinate with my writing friend at work, Bob Brown. He has a new anthology out of political speculative fiction stories, Alternative Truths and More Alternative Truths. Go check them out they’re a lot of great stories. If things go as planned 2018 could be big for my writing so networking sooner rather than later is going to be a good way to make sure things keep moving forward with Harbingers. I’m considering some projects for the blog to help with a regular writing schedule, it’s good to just write everyday that I can. More to come! That’s all I’ve got for now, I’m going to be utilizing Cuppa more this year and possibly even upgrading my blog, so expect to hear from me more. I’m considering posting chapters of Harbingers on the blog if it’s upgraded.

Dresden Files #7 – Dead Beat

Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7)Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arguably my favorite of the series so far. I really liked the new characters and plot developments in this one. Butters, Lasciel, Thomas, Mouse, Bob. I can’t wait to hang out with them more as the series goes along. POLKA WILL NEVER DIE! Also the T-Rex, how freaking cool was that part. If you haven’t checked out Dresden Files yet, or any of Jim Butcher’s writing, and have even the slightest inkling about reading a wizard detective series, start reading these books, like yesterday.

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Calvin and Hobbes!

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes CollectionHomicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recently re-read this stand alone Calvin and Hobbes Collection and I love it so much, If you’ve never read Calvin and Hobbes before I highly suggest you give any of the collections a try. My wife got me the complete collection a few Christmases ago and I’ve been making my way slowly through that as well. Arguably the best comic of all time.

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Dresden Files – Death Masks

Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5)Death Masks by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I pick up one of the Dresden Files books they just hook me in and I have a hard time putting it down. This was one of my favorite of the series. We get a new big bad, Nic, and learn more about what exactly has happened to Susan. Michael is one of my favorite characters and we get to learn more about the order that he belongs to. Once again Marcone shows up and plays a vital role and we also get some background on him at the very end of the book. I’m so happy I have 10 more of these to read and book #16 coming out in this series soon. Jim Butcher is effing awesome!

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New Crichton, Old Feeling

Dragon TeethDragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was skeptical of this new Crichton Novel when it was first announced but I finally gave in and picked up a copy. I then had a hard time putting it down and ended up staying up way too late to finish it. It was fun, adventurous, and IMO definitely Crichton. He is my favorite author of all time and this new tale did not disappoint. I’ve been working on a reread of all of his works over the past few years and this book has gotten me back in the mood to dive back into it. I wish he was still around to write more amazing stories.

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Thrawn’s Back and Bluer than ever?

Thrawn (Star Wars)Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The original Thrawn trilogy (now Legends), by epic Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Timothy Zahn, are some of my favorite Star Wars books of all time. I’ve read every single Zahn Star Wars book and the new Thrawn is just as fantastic as expected. I’ve been looking forward to Disney adding Thrawn back into the official Canon and I plan on seeing what the Grand Admiral with the Blue Skin and red eyes is up to in the Star Wars Rebels TV show. This book follows the meteoric rise of Thrawn within the Imperial Navy as he and a fellow Imperial officer, Eli Vanto from the Outer Rim, make a name for themselves. Eli Vanto is one of my favorite new characters that I’ve met through the new Star Wars books. There was however a character in this book that I didn’t particularly care for at all. Arihnda Pryce. I kept thinking that she was going to play some super important role in the grand scheme of things, and she sort of did, but I never looked forward to reading her chapters. This is a first with me and the characters in the new Star Wars books, I’ve liked all of them up to this point, even the crazy droid Bones. My only other complaint about this book, which overall was really fantastic, was the time jumps. Maybe it was because I was listening to the audio book and not reading the physical copy but there were several instances where it was months or even a year later. It makes sense why there are time jumps it just confused me when they happened and there was no indication other than the characters reminiscing about how long they’d been at a particular post.

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The Expanse

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the third book that I finished on my recent Hawaii vacation and it did not disappoint. I’ve watched the TV series a little and with some encouragement from a friend decided to give this book a go. Holy hell was it awesome. The space sequences and the reality of travelling through space without “magical” gravity were really interesting. The political aspect of life on Earth vs. Mars. vs. The Belt was arguably the most fascinating part of the book. I can’t wait to read the other books in this series and then to watch the TV show more.

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