Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Army of Ten

You might have noticed the new button the sidebar over there.  No, not there.  There.  I recently joined the Army... of Ten.

The Army of Ten is a promotional street team to support and (obviously) promote awesome author Gretchen McNeil.  Her latest book, Ten, releases in about 27 days.  We're trying to get the word out to go to your local indie bookstore (or even your favorite online bookseller) and get yourself a copy of September 18!

I read Gretchen's previous book Possess, and I was a big fan!  It's classified as YA horror, which most of you know isn't really my game, but I had heard too many good things to pass it up.  It's engaging and fun and CREEPY as can be.  From all I've heard, Ten sounds like it'll be even creepier, so I can't wait to pick it up.

The other reason I joined The Army of Ten?  Well, even though I've never had the pleasure of meeting Gretchen in person, she's been very sweet to me over the tweets and such, and she's about the third person I've ever met who remembers the 80s classic Misfits of Science.  Therefore, she rules.

SO, on September 18, head on down to your local indie and pick up a copy of Gretchen's creepfest Ten.  If it's not there, then go to the desk and request it.  Then tell your friends to buy it!  One friends tells another tells another, and then it's like a pyramid scheme, only legal and WAY more fun!

Click on the button in the side dooblydoo to find out more.  We are The Army of Ten!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Esther Day 2012: Focusing On Life, Not Death

(As a warning, today's post will be a bit on the stream-of-consciousness side.  I have some feelings; I'd like to get them out.  If you keep reading, I appreciate it.  If not, I still appreciate you.)

This time of year has been weird for a number of years, for a number of reasons.  Mostly it revolves around untimely, tragic, completely unfortunate deaths.  It used to be confined to a week in early September, but circumstances sadly keep appearing which pushes the date back further and further.

However, today is different.  Today is Esther Day.

Esther Day started in 2010, to honor the 16th birthday of celebrated nerdfighter and cancer-fighter Esther Earl.  At that time, she had become a true friend to author John Green, and she'd become somewhat famous in the community due to her friendship with John and her association with The Harry Potter Alliance.  Sadly, she passed away just weeks later, on August 25, 2010.

I never met Esther.  In fact, she had already passed away before I'd even heard of her.  And yet... this girl's life, her words, her presence on this planet means something to me.  In learning more about Esther many moons ago, I stumbled across a vlog she posted during 2009's LeakyCon in Boston.  It was the first time she'd met John Green.  When you hear how excited she was, how she couldn't speak, how she was shaking, how it's clear she's still all amped up from that chance meeting as she retells it in front of the camera... I felt an immediate kindred connection with her.  And it broke my heart that I would never meet the vibrant, hilarious girl in that video.

But Esther Day isn't about focusing on the sadness of death.  Esther Day is about telling the people you love that you love them.  It's about goodness, light, love, family, friendship, hope, LIFE.  The next few weeks are always tough for me, and this weekend especially will be damn near impossible to get through without a potential breakdown.  Instead of concentrating on the sense of loss I feel without these people in my life, I will think of Esther.  I will think of the joy she brought so many people.  I will think of the joy that Mike, Craig, Randy, and Cos brought me.  I will hold onto love and do my damnedest to cast out the darkness that always creeps in.  That's how I'll honor Esther.

Thank you, sweet girl.  Just as you told John years ago, I also believe that the dead live on the memory and the lives of those they have touched.  You still live on in our hearts and in our memories.  Your star will not go out.  I promise.

Happy Esther Day, everyone.  I love you for reading this.