Apr 22, 2014

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Book Review - Ancestor - Raymond Steyn

Find this book on Amazon here - Ancestor - Raymond Steyn 

When I was first asked to read and review this, I was going to deny it until I read what it was about. Then I couldn't pass it up. I absolutely loved the idea that someone else was writing a book about Neanderthals being anything but the less-than-intelligent beings that they have been portrayed as. So I had to read this. See if this author took the story in a similar line as mine will be. Some parts were, most weren't thankfully. I am SO glad that I did read this though! Not only did this book keep me engaged, but there were some moments I found it hard to put it down. I am super thrilled that there will be another one.

There were only two bits I didn't like, but one of them happened to be renewed when I finished the book. Well, mostly. The first was the first POV that parts of the book are in. They bothered me because I felt like those parts could've been richer and deeper if they weren't in first, but I realized at the end, why they were. Very clever. I had a strong hunch in the beginning that the book would go that way. Despite that, I still feel that those parts could have somehow been deeper and more rich. The only other issue was the "uh" and "er" parts. Minor things, most wouldn't notice, but I could.

I think I'm marking this as one of the favorites. Could just be that I adore Neanderthals and also feel that a lot of what this book shows, was closer to how they were. I'm happy that I got a chance to read and review this book. I look forward to the next one. Curious where the story goes. Great book to check out, especially if you enjoy Neanderthals. The detail is just right for me. I like a bit more in-depth information and this hit the right mark.

He also gets a bit extra points on a personal level for living in one of my favorite places, which is South Africa. I mean hello, Arnold Vosloo anyone? Thank. you. haha But seriously, I have always loved it for some reason.

If you want a great book to check out, go grab it! Seriously. Like . . . right this second.

Okay I'll wait while you do.

Move along now.

[taps foots]
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The Blogging Lounge Prompt #8 - April 22, 2014



Basic Instructions:
Your mission should you choose to accept it. Blog, vlog, sing or dance about the prompt. Interpret it how you wish. Post it in a blog and share. Include “The Blogging Lounge” and “Ariana Browning” in the post. Or just use the image provided. All links posted within Facebook Group are shared on Twitter profile for the group. Join the Twitter group, use the hashtag, and I will RT all. (Includes anything except promotions.) I try to share all prompts on my sites.

Need past links, or more information? Check the navigation bar at the top for more.


I can't wait to see how this inspires you!

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Apr 20, 2014

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Who am I?



Greetings and meetings! 
Thanks Ariana for giving me this forum  for some of my own writings, and thanks to her readers and fans for clicking on the link to my little corner of her site. But who am I, you ask? Good question; one I ask often myself.
Who am I? Who is the man behind “inSpireShine”?

I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.”  --Jango Fett, galactic bounty hunter

No, I’m no bounty hunter, nor father of any clone armies, but I am a geek so don’t be surprised when an occasional Star Wars or other sci-fi quote makes its way into my writings from time to time. I am a simple man from some perspectives, but I am also a dreamer with a creative soul and an immense imagination. I’ll say then that I’m “a simple complexity in a contradictory medium”. What does that mean exactly? That phrase is the title of a short story idea I’ve had in the back of my mind for some time now and to be honest I’ve been dying to use it somewhere, so there you have it.

Who am I? I am a reflective man making his way through this thing we call life, with as much humor, reflection, and positivity as I can muster to avoid giving up and falling down cold. Life is a journey, an adventure, a process; and so is my journal so come along and share the ride.


But who am I? I am a reflective man trying to make it through this thing called life, with as much humor, reflection, and positivity as I can muster to avoid giving up and falling down cold. I’m a former salesman, former insurance agent, and currently a recruiter for an investment firm.  All of that is short term though--I’m also an author in the making. I’m currently working on one novel and planning out several others, as well as a novella and some short stories. I also write poetry, song lyrics, and blogs, and enjoy photography, art, and building with Lego. Eventually I will post the story about my 34,000 piece 8 foot by 3 foot Lego city, the planet Coruscant that inspired it, and what it took to build it.


Shine on…
~Ron

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Apr 18, 2014

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First prototype done!

I've just completed the FIRST prototype of my book. Now, I've mentioned to people that I am trying to discover a way to do hard cover books at paperback prices. And I may have finally figured it out. Yay! right? Big time. Not just for the people who want to purchase my book, but for me as well. On many levels. One, YOU get a custom book. And I mean custom. Two, I get to do something that I love. Three, I get the sale.

The one major drawback to doing books via POD (Print-On-Demand), as anyone who uses that method can tell you, is the price. The sites I use (Lulu and CreateSpace) won't allow the people who sell the books to price them lower than whatever is the minimum. The one way we can, is by allowing third-party sellers to sell the book. As in small bookstores and the like. You've seen them. They're the ones you can buy from when you're on Amazon, for a much lower price. That's them. I enjoy that you can get the book for lower though.

Well, the pictures below showcase my first prototype for my books! In this case, I used Dark Illusions: The Beginning. Remember how I have been researching printing and binding methods for blank journals? And how much I enjoyed doing so? (Note for those unawares, I am so in love with crafting and working with my hands.)

That's right! I printed and bound this book all on my own. I found out the industry standards, then how to combine that with a more traditional handcrafted and homemade method for parts of the book using recycled bits while making sure the book will last a while so it's still as high a quality as something you'd find in the bookstore. Though mine isn't mass printed so I could use better paper.

Check it out. :)



Julian's face looks pink from my weird phone camera, haha.



Psst, Julian, you is pink! hehe

Had to tilt that last picture downward because the protective cover was mirroring everything around me, lol. I mirrored the window instead of my face. :D The one drawback, as you can see by the above, is the cover doesn't extend all the way up and down. That's because my home printer is limited to 8.5" width paper. I like it though. Call meh crazy, but when I do something homemade I prefer it to look SOMEWHAT homemade. In these books, there is that. I like it. Only because it's a black cover is it so noticeable.

I love it! What about you?

Why make you buy from stores when I can print and bind my own book for you?

I think I am gonna make 5 each to keep in inventory. They may cost under $15 + shipping, but I have to figure out what it costs for ME to do each.

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Apr 17, 2014

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Book Review - Louis L'Amour - Flint

Should really get to my books I have waiting to review. I've read them, and now I need to review so I can get them off my desk. :p

This book doesn't have a book jacket. It's a hard bound with a bare cover with leather-like material. I had this book from a long time ago because my dad was a huge fan of Louis L'Amour. I know there are more of Louis L'Amour's books around here somewhere, at least one or two paperbacks, but I haven't been able to find them.

As for Flint, I didn't really know what to expect. I think I was of the belief that it would be a bit boring. It's shorter than most books written nowadays, and being so old, I doubted it would keep my interest. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

The writing is simple, the descriptions are as well. But somehow that lends an easily lost in style. I enjoyed this book. If you don't like westerns and the more basic style writing, you may not like it, but for me, it was an enjoyable read. When I say basic writing, I mean, "he walked through the door." Says what it describes, with no extra words. It's like that throughout the book. I liked it. As a writer, it tells me that whether you write a lot of description or not, someone will enjoy it.
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Apr 15, 2014

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Few positions left, get in on it!

As you can tell, the new design has been implemented into my site. I am absolutely in love with it. The only problem that I have found (I will try to see if I can fix it) is that on MY mobile phone (Samsung Epic 4G Original S) when I'm surfing via wifi, if I click on the menu, I have to pinch-zoom the page out a bit more before it opens, then to close it, I have to pinch-zoom in. I'm not entirely sure where that issue lies, but I'm going to research it later today.


Some baby Cheyenne for cuteness factor.

Points to note:

  1. You will find on the pages, the layout is completely open. I've removed the footer, the sidebar, and more little bits that you don't notice, so that you reach an actual page, not a blog post with all sorts of things on the side and top. 
  2. To that note, when you are on the blog post, I've made sure it's still as clean as before, but I've left the small subscribe by email up so that if you love the content, you can subscribe and have the blogs delivered to your email when they're shared!
  3. On the email note. If you've missed the announcements (they'll continue for a few week/months more) I finally was able to get my email changed to ariana@arianabrowning.com so if you have any others, go ahead and delete those. I have one for my family, and the above. The above is a change over from the older one that has been on everything so if you DO happen to email, at least for the next year, your email will still reach me, and then you'll see the change when I reply. It'll help you save into contacts. But I would suggest you change over now to make sure you don't end up in SPAM or something. 
  4. I am working on simplifying and condensing everything not needed in my life, and that includes my sites, and emails, so if you see something disappear from the site, that you enjoyed having, let me know. Or if there is something I haven't included, that you would really enjoy, let me know. Door is always open.
  5. I'm in the process of removing the extra step to get to my store. I will do one page on my site where you can shop for whatever my eBooks you'd like. Later I'll add more options, but for now, eBooks and other digital files only.
Now, I am still looking for a few people to sign up to guest post. Note that when I say guest post, it only means that it's another poster. It doesn't mean you won't see them frequently. I am trying to find people who can post every month. Period. Not some sporadic. Some people may appear that way, but as a whole, I am trying to schedule on Tuesday and Thursday, for every month. I have signed up someone for Sunday (inSpireShine) posting because he may share every single week, or once a month. He has some fascinating Lego work he does so I've let him know he can share images of that as blogs as well.

Another one I've signed up does vlogs of random interests, but I really enjoyed the topics she's done them on. Tracie Dee also has my permission to share her mini stories she writes because I really enjoyed them, and I gave her special permission to share those freely. I love the variety of her work.

If you are interested in finding a place that you can blog (or vlog) through once a month (again, a Tuesday or Thursday), please contact me at ariana@arianabrowning.com and let me know. I will accept anything that is of a positive nature. No negativity, hate, bashing, or pimping of your books. I'm not looking for people to sell stuff. I am looking for people to inspire, to teach, to share love, to share inspiration. 

Topics and things you can post about (a small list): love, humor, inspiration, cooking, creativity, crafts, spirituality, your religion (as long as it's not preaching and expecting people to accept your religion as their own), fantasy, tutorials, photography, vlogs, exercising, home-schooling, children, history, computers, games, movies, music, fashion, makeup, home decorating, gardening, and whatever else may fit along those lines!
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Apr 8, 2014

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The Blogging Lounge Prompt #7 - April 8, 2014

http://www.arianabrowning.com/search/label/thebloggingloungeprompt 

Basic Instructions:
Your mission should you choose to accept it. Blog, vlog, sing or dance about the prompt. Interpret it how you wish. Post it in a blog and share. Include “The Blogging Lounge” and “Ariana Browning” in the post. Or just use the image provided. All links posted within Facebook Group are shared on Twitter profile for the group. Join the Twitter group, use the hashtag, and I will RT all. (Includes anything except promotions.) I try to share all prompts on my sites.

Read below for full information and links.

When you've posted, you're welcome to come back here and share those links in the comments below. I will participate the same way and link my post (if I do one for the prompt) in the comments below.

Feel free to save and share the image above. It's a square, which makes sharing on Instagram much easier. 

Want to join, and don't have a place to blog? www.arianabrowning.proboards.com I do frequent the forum, even if I'm not posting. If you use the forum, I'll share the links through the Twitter profile below.

Join the Twitter group!  www.twitter.com/blogginglounge and read the perks of following and joining us there - http://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/03/the-blogging-lounge-to-take-over-twitter.html

What is The Blogging Loungehttp://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/01/spring-cleaning-except-its-not-and.html

Facebook pinned post - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283066665194427&set=gm.1416869091905091&type=1&theater


I can't wait to see how this inspires you!

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Apr 4, 2014

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3-4 positions left

Once I get my new site design set up and implemented, are there any people who'd like to write a guest post once in a while? Not book reviews, not author interviews. Articles outside writing.


(Zeva is doing a cute whistle right now so I'll let her say hi to you as well.)


Anything goes, as long as it isn’t about writing, books, hate, or selling.

If you don't have a blog, yet would like to occasionally guest post, you're more than welcome to ask. I'm slowly trying to expand what I post on my website, and would love interesting articles to share. Want to tutor people on something? Want to share inspiring words? Recipes? Monthly exercise regimes? Some humor? Entertainment? How-To blogs? Vlogs?

I’m looking for humor, love, family, spirituality, hope, personal security, pets, crafts, everyday life, recipes, exercise regimes, home-schooling, gardening, positive messages, improving your life, and the like.

Contact: ariana@arianabrowning.com

Also note the email change. If you want to message me, please update your records to ariana@arianabrowning.com

I've been trying to update my email since I changed my name and I finally was able to get that fixed.

So far, I have 6 people who've signed up. All wonderful people. I plan to put them on a schedule for once a month, and they will either be Tuesday or Thursday posters. That means I have a total of 9-10 people I can have guest blogging through my site. This way you get more wonderful content, and the people I've signed up are funny and inspirational individuals.

If you'd like to, let me know.

Updates for me: 


  • I have updated all my eBooks with the new email, as well as my updated information in general (formatting I wanted to fix).
  • I am in the process of finishing all the paperbacks. As well as the hard bound.
  • I am currently looking into the possiblity of offering hard bound books of mine, at paperback prices. And even with special formatting just for those books. Formatting referring mostly to special font. Most people won't notice the difference, but the paper and the font will be different. They will be custom books.
  • I am perhaps halfway through the new site design so I'm getting there.
  • My editor is about halfway finished with Dark Illusions: The Final Chapter.
  • I think Kat has more to say about this series, so I'm trying to take time to chat with her. She keeps knocking on my door and giving me more and more information. No telling what that girl is up to, but I will see.
  • And finally, I have been working on some more home bound books (fun to work on them when I have the time) so I may have a new (blank) 6x9 or so journal to sell soon if anyone is interested. :) I honestly have no clue about price, so as long as it's over $10, you can make whatever offer you want. I'm making some tiny ones for a friend to use on her bracelet, which will be about an inch. We'll see how those turn out, haha.



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Mar 26, 2014

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Homemade Books - Book Binding - Lots of pictures

I've been playing around with learning how to bind my own books. It started with wanting to make a gratitude journal, rather than spending a lot of money on a new one. I found an old book cover, then looked up ways to bind a book, read up on the coptic stitch, and then found out some of my own books are bound using that method.

Finished it today (only took about an hour of my time) and then began thinking about making by hand, some hard copies of my books in general. That one is percolating. Here is my gratitude journal. I just have to decorate it. I plan to make more (because it's fun!) and will list them for sale. The size will depend on what old covers I've found. As well as the paper.

I'm also making little ones and will give those away. If you want a little one, just comment below. If I don't have an email, leave it so I can contact you. :)


The book this cover came from, lol. I was going to use this dust jacket, but then went meh. 


The pretty fabric that I used to cover the binding.



How it looks open. You'll see the edge of the fabric isn't perfect. I stared at it a while and went, nah. I like the rustic and non-perfect aspects of things like that. When I do homemade, I want it to resemble a homemade item. Rustic is what I go for. Hence my Old World Charm - Modern Living brand name.




Testing my papers to decide how much I wanted to crease them, and how many I needed. In this case I went a bit less than the width of the base book. That's so that if I insert anything that thickens the page, it won't be as big of deal.






 Finished! Now, as you can see, I didn't waste time to trim the edges flat. I like it like that. So rustic and nice. Who wants perfect? I found the book that I have that matches this. Below. Anne Rice's Merrick.

My inside cover. I went with just another piece of the paper I used inside, which meant it's not thick enough to hide the fabric over the binding, but again, meh.

I used a dark purple thread for the contrast and not only does it go with the grey cover, but I love the color.




Now below I have shots of some of my professionally done books for comparison.


Louis L'Amour's  Flint


Cool leather book, huh? 


They used a ivory-ish toned thread to hide amongst the pages.



  






Here's the Anne Rice Merrick book. Edges like I did.


And the binding for it.

Below is the small ones I've been working on as well. Little pocket books with recycled material. The pink is a magazine advertisement! lol.


 Cute!


I did the inside cover for this one so it'd look wrapped. The inside is made from a free notepad from Boys Club of America that my mom got for free for her donation I believe. If anyone wants that one, just ask and give me your email.

And then here is the link to my personal one that I made. http://instagram.com/p/l5R_JqqiA6/

I think I'm having too much fun. I do these while I watch TV.




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Mar 22, 2014

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Blogging Lounge - Prompt #6 - March 22, 2014







Basic Instructions:
Your mission should you choose to accept it. Blog, vlog, sing or dance about the prompt. Interpret it how you wish. Post it in a blog and share. Include “The Blogging Lounge” and “Ariana Browning” in the post. Or just use the image provided. All links posted within Facebook Group are shared on Twitter profile for the group. Join the Twitter group, use the hashtag, and I will RT all. (Includes anything except promotions.) I try to share all prompts on my sites.

Read below for full information and links.

When you've posted, you're welcome to come back here and share those links in the comments below. I will participate the same way and link my post (if I do one for the prompt) in the comments below.

Feel free to save and share the image above. It's a square, which makes sharing on Instagram much easier. 

Want to join, and don't have a place to blog? www.arianabrowning.proboards.com I do frequent the forum, even if I'm not posting. If you use the forum, I'll share the links through the Twitter profile below.

Join the Twitter group!  www.twitter.com/blogginglounge and read the perks of following and joining us there - http://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/03/the-blogging-lounge-to-take-over-twitter.html

What is The Blogging Loungehttp://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/01/spring-cleaning-except-its-not-and.html

Facebook pinned post - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283066665194427&set=gm.1416869091905091&type=1&theater


I can't wait to see how this inspires you!

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