Author Archives: TiffanyCrystal

[Update] Please help?

News news news!

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In March, I will be starting my senior year at Southern New Hampshire University. I will also go from being a full-time student, to a part-time student. My workload is about to drop significantly. This means, a lot more time to focus on writing and this blog. I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time writing what I want to write, instead of one paper after another. After three years of that, I am feeling more than a little burned out. (Also, I graduate next year! March 2020 should be my last class. Very excited~)

(This second bit, is what is holding back “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” from being published, just so you know.)

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I mentioned before that there are health issues at play. Well, those health issues are my teeth. I’ll go into the long of it soon, but right now, I’ve found out that I need $11,300 $9,800 (Thank you, CareCredit) to get them fixed. I do not have that kind of money, so I’ve started up a GoFundMe. Anyone who feels up to donating, it would be appreciated. Once that is done, I’ll be able to move onto hiring the editor I want to use (I finally found one!), and getting my book out there. I’ve already decided, however much people end up donating, I will pay back into the system after I am able to get what I need done taken care of. I know there are people that need the money more than I do, and I plan on doing my best to help them, as people are helping me. If you can afford to help out, please do. If you can’t, please share the link.

Apparently the minimum amount one can donate is $5 (I didn’t know that til just now), and if that’s all you can give, that’s fine. Seriously, every penny helps, and I’m working on reducing the amount needed from donations as much as possible, too.

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When I drop down to being a part-time student, I’ll be able to pick up a few more hours until summer. during the summer, I’m a full-time nanny, which is what pays for my room and board. I will only be available to work on the weekends then. I get money back from student loans, however, and that is all going towards the money needed.

I am so ready to get this done and over with.

[Review] Frostbeard Studios – Snow Maiden

Sorry for all the candle posts lately, but it’s almost time for the Spring Seasonal candles to come out, and I want to get all the wintery candles done before then.

This candle is not seasonal but does appear to be limited time only.

The candle for this week is Snow Maiden. According to the makers, this candle should smell like winter birch, frost, and cranberries. All I can tell you is that it smells a lot like the standard “Christmas” type air freshener. It definitely has an evergreen smell, but it’s almost overpowered by something else, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to be. Whatever it is, it’s so sharp it almost stings. Definitely not a candle I would buy any other time besides Christmas, but if you know someone who prefers real Christmas trees, and is stuck with fake ones most of the time, this is the candle to get them.

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says: I say:
Scent Details Winter Birch, Frost, Cranberry Christmas trees and pine needles.
Scent Strength StrongVery strong

Currently available in:

2oz cans4oz Cans8oz glass jartarts (wax melts)
$6XXX

Just click on the bearded fellow above to get your order on!

[Review] Frostbeard Studio – The Wall

Okay, sticking with the seasonal candles from Frostbeard Studio, today is “The Wall.” Honestly, I’m not really sure which wall it’s referring to. I’m thinking, maybe from “Game of Thrones,” but there are so many walls in fantasy literature, I don’t even know (oh, look at me channeling Jon Snow here…). The other reviews on the site echo my own thoughts though, so there’s that.

I bought this candle because I wanted to give it a try. The scents are listed as “cedarwood and winter mint” so I was a bit torn on whether or not I should even bother. I mean, I love cedar, but I do not like mint. At all. This candle isn’t terrible though. It’s kinda weird, actually. One minute, I’ll smell the mint – but softened enough that it’s actually tolerable – the next, the scent is all cedar, and I’m in love. Then I swear it shifts to Pinesol and I start hardcore side-eyeing the candle.

All in all, the candle isn’t bad. Not one that I’ll be buying again, but not terrible. I will say this though: I almost thought I was going to have the same problem that I did with “Through The Wardrobe.” The first half hour I had the candle burning, I didn’t smell anything. Around the 45 minute mark though, it started kicking in. It’s not as strong as the “Oxford Library” candle, but it’s not exactly weak, either.

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says: I say:
Scent Details Cedarwood and mint Cedarwood, mint, and Pinesol (?!)
Scent Strength Strong Mild-strong

Availability:

2oz cans4oz Cans8oz glass jartarts (wax melts)
$6$11$18$6.75
Click the bearded guy to get your order on~

Note: This particular candle is seasonal and only currently available from January 1st – March 15th.

[Review] Frostbeard Studios – Through the Wardrobe

This week, I’m reviewing one of Frostbeard Studio’s seasonal candles, “Through the Wardrobe.” Like all of their candles, it’s based off of scenes/ideas from a book, and this one (for those of you who can’t tell) is from “The Narnia Chronicles” by C. S. Lewis.

I bought this candle, pretty much for this post alone, even though I have – oh, about ten others I could be reviewing. I’ll get to those eventually, but I have this one burning right now, so I figured I’d write my thoughts on it while they’re still fresh. (Plus, it’s seasonal, so you have a very limited time to get your hands on it before next winter~)

Now, the scent it’s supposed to be is a mix between spruce, applewood, and snow. To me, though, it smells a lot like baby powder mixed with a hint of the trees I remembered playing in when I lived in Arkansas. (Fun little story: I always thought the trees were pine, but according to Google, they’re spruce. So, I mean, they got the spruce part down right…) I imagine some people would love it, but I’ve never been fond of baby powder, and for me, the powder scent comes through much stronger than the spruce. To be fair, however, the scent is supposed to be reminiscent of stepping through a wardrobe and into Narnia, and I can very easily see how it’s represented. I’m just not a fan.

Spruce photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Luckily, the scent is very light. I burned the candle right next to me in a tiny room, and I barely smelled it. Every once in a while, I would get a stronger whiff of it, but for the most part, it just sat there and looked pretty while it burned. Granted, I only bought the little 2oz can to test, so it’s possible the bigger candles will have a stronger scent. A side note, however, is that this isn’t really an issue with the other test candles I’ve used so far. Most of them have had a strong enough scent to fill this room, down the hall, and halfway up the stairs (seriously, though, the room is small).

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says: I say:
Scent Details Spruce, Applewood, Snow Baby powder with a hint of spruce
Scent Strength Mild Faint

Available in:

2oz cans4oz Cans8oz glass jartarts (wax melts)
$6$11$18$6.75

Just click on the bearded fellow above to get your order on!

Note: This particular candle is seasonal and only currently available from January 1st – March 15th.

Note: These are seasonal and only currently available from January 1st-March 15th.

[Review] Frostbeard Studios – Oxford Library

A lot of the Frostbeard Studio candles seem to be hit or miss. I try one, and oh my Gods, I am through the roof with happiness. I try another, and I’m handing it over to my roommates to see if either of them care for it.

Oxford Library 8 oz soy candle front view

“Oxford Library” is, by far, my favorite so far. It’s supposed to be a mix between sandalwood, oak, and leather, but all I smell is the leather, and I love it.

When I say leather, by the way, I mean, kinda like a mix between a sort of New Car smell, and…okay, this is going to sound weird, but has anyone else here ever smelled a leather-bound Bible? (I grew up in a churchy-church house, and both of my parents had leather-bound Bibles.) I’m not a fan of the book, but I loved the smell, and that’s kinda what the candle reminds me of. New car + leather-bound Bible. I don’t know. That’s just what my brain gives me.

I’ve been using this candle when I’m looking over my Korean notes, because somehow, it seems like it helps my brain focus a bit better. The only thing I can figure, is that it reminds me of all the times I was supposed to sit up and listen to the Sunday sermon. Whatever it is, it works for me. It’s not my “writing” candle/scent, but it is firmly on my list of favorites.

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says:I say:
Scent DetailsLeather, Oak, SandalwoodLeather.
Scent StrengthStrongPerfect

A friend mentioned that she had a candle (from a different company) that lost its scent about halfway through, and I can tell you now, you will not have that problem with these. I’ve bought three of the 8oz candles so far, they’re all down to about 1/4 left to burn, and the scent is still going strong. These candles are meant to smell good til the end. On that note, however, I did not time how long the candles actually burned for, so I can’t tell you how accurate the site is in regards to that. I can tell you that the 2oz tins are supposed to burn for about 10 hours, and I’m pretty sure I got longer than that out of them.

Something I really like about FrostBeard Studios is that they’re all natural, and use sustainable sources. All of the candles come in reusable containers (either glass or aluminum), and are made from soy wax. I haven’t noticed any sooting problems with the candles yet, and the only complaint I have regarding the containers, is that it’s difficult to remove the labels from the jars. They like to stick a little too well, which makes reusing the container tricky. I’ve worked around it on the smaller tins by sticking a label over the one already on it, but the glass jars are a bit too big to do that with, and I haven’t burned one of the glass jar candles completely out yet. (I love the scents too much to wait for a new delivery ^_^;; )

When it comes to delivery:

I have 0 complaints. I have yet to have a problem with any of my orders. All of the candles came in without any damage, and I love the stickers they send. The delivery cost is pretty good, too. So far, the most I’ve paid was $8 (but it probably helps that they offer free shipping for orders over $50…).

Honestly, the main reason I haven’t signed up for their subscription box is that I’m worried I won’t like the scent of the newest candle. Add in that it comes up to about $22-$25 a month for just one candle, and…yeah. That’s a nope. If it ever changes to something like two candles a month, or some other freebie, I’ll probably rethink it. I do love the idea of getting something in the mail besides junk…

BANG, BANG, BANG

I told ya’ll she was accusing me of nefarious things!

The Biblio Feels

Hiya friends, welcome back to my adorable and random little corner of the internet. I have a problem, and we need to talk about it. K-pop! I am hoofin addicted and I’m not even mad. I completely blame this recent addiction on Tiff (you can follow her here…go tell her I sent you and remind her that this is all her fault).

Gangnam.jpg Psy says, “You know you dance like a fool to my song. Welcome to k-pop!”

Let’s start from the beginning with this. Tiff and I have been swapping music back and forth for a little while now, and she constantly sends me random Korean pop music videos, everything from MBLAQ to Shinee. Not gonna lie, every video she sent me was incredible – the level of creativity and work that goes into them is just unmatched. One night she sends me this video and as usual, I…

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2018…Meh.

So. It occurs to me, that I did not do an “end of year” review type post. Honestly though, I don’t really have anything to write about for this year. It was 2017 when all the “important” crap happened. The tumor behind my eye was discovered and removed. Sis’ skin cancer was discovered and removed. The first full year without my brother-in-law. Everything and anything happened that year.

Sis ♥

This past year…the only thing of any note was that my vision has improved. Oh, and I finally received my first rejection letter (which, considering the publishing house in question, I expected). I got to visit my family in Arkansas, and introduced my sister to filters. We found a graveyard from the 1800s, and it turns out, most of the people in it are related to us. I introduced my niece to Doctor Who, and she binge-watched it within about two months? Something like that. She completely devoured the show, and is now a dedicated Whovian. I rediscovered my love for VIXX, and decided to give learning Korean a try (spoiler alert: the alphabet is like, a million times easier than Japanese, but pronouncing it is a bitch).

I found my writing tribe, participated in Twitter author events. Made it through an entire summer without a single tornado warning (!!!), and missed out on Trick or Treating with the kids because they both decided to act like first-rate jerks. Added a minor to my degree (I am now minoring in Social Sciences), and am starting my senior year of college. Had two scary instances with our doggo (see the skunk incident and the brownie thief incident), and two with two of my aunts (and they say bad things come in threes…).

Dragons, Faeries, and Time Lords, oh my!

I won the award for favorite aunt this Christmas, when I gave my niece a laptop, and my roommates got me gifts very fitting for a writer of sci-fi and fantasy.

One of my roommates is now working at the same place as me, and the other is annoyed with me for buying her stuff for Christmas and her birthday (her birthday’s the 28th).  

Funny story there, actually. Our family is a Batman family. We have Batman; his wife, Alfred; I’m Nightwing; and the kids are Batgirl and Robin. Well, everyone had to work on Alfred’s birthday. Batman was working 6am-4pm, I was working 5pm-9pm, and Alfred was working 9am-6pm. Since there wasn’t going to be a time where we would all be together (the kids go to bed before 9), we decided to give Alfred her presents the night before. I knew she was going to be mad at me for one of the presents I had for her, so I gave her the two I knew she wouldn’t mind too much, and then waited. On her birthday, I left her last present on her desk before I left for work (remember, there was an hour gap between when I went to work, and when would be getting off). I got to work…and waited for her reaction.

She did not disappoint.

So yeah, it’s been an interesting year, but not one to really look back on and go “oh yeah, that was crazy…”

I’m honestly not sure if I’m hoping for an eventful 2019 or not…

Candles and whatnots.

Starting off the new year right…or trying to, anyway. As I’m writing this, The Biblio is writing her own post accusing me of all sorts of nefarious things, of which I assure you, I am completely and totally…..guilty of. (oops?) In my defense, I had no idea she was going to fall that hard for a K-pop group, but I really have no sympathy. I’ve been harassing her with VIXX videos and songs for the past year, so yeah. I’m kind looking at this whole thing as baby steps…

Related image

To get back to the point of this post, however…

So…a couple months ago, I decided I wanted to try something new to jumpstart my brain – creativity wise. I’m sure you’ve all heard the thing about how taste has one of the strongest links to memory. That’s why they tell you to chew a certain flavor of gum when you’re studying for a test, and then chew it again while you’re taking the test. Supposedly, the taste link helps you remember the material you studied. Well, I figured that maybe something like that would work for creativity. If a person ate/drank something whenever they were feeling creative, maybe when the creative juices were running low, they could eat/drink that same thing, and get back into the swing of things, as it were.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

I’m not much for chewing gum, though, or eating anything in particular when I’m feeling creative, so I thought, maybe scents? I like smelly good stuff, so I decided to give it a try. I started out with incense, then moved on to wax melts. The incense smelled great, but the smoke dries out my eyes. The wax melts seem like they lose their scent too fast, and they’re a pain to clean up. Literally. I saw the wax was cooling, so I thought the warmer would be cool enough to pick up. Nope. Apparently, the wax cooled faster than the holder. (Is that normal?) I used potholders the next time, but I shouldn’t have to keep a potholder in my room for writing, you know?

With those two options out the window, I decided to try out candles, instead. My roommate burns candles in the office near my room, and I liked some of the scents, so I kinda said, what the heck, why not? I went hunting on Amazon, and found what has become my newest addiction.

Warning: Addictive AF.

I am just going to preface this now with a word of caution: These candles are pricey. I mean, not on par with, say, Bath and Body Works ($25 for a single candle, WHAT?!), but up there. The Biblio assures me that the prices aren’t all that bad, so maybe it’s just cause I’m used to paying no more than $10 for a large candle, but I saw the prices on these things and choked. The prices range from $6-18, with the $6 tin being a little 2oz/10 hours candle. I strongly encourage you to check them out for yourself. (Also, if you decide to order, leave me a comment or shoot me a message on Twitter/Tumblr/etc for a 10% off referral link.)

On that note, however, these are specialty candles. Not your run of the mill, smells like someone trying to cover up sweaty socks, scents. I don’t like thinking about how much I’ve spent on these damn candles, but I love the way they smell. (Dammit, they’re getting more of my money, too. I just went to their site to get a copy of their logo, and they have new scents.)

In the next couple weeks, I’m going to be reviewing the scents I’ve tried so far. I’ve bought a ridiculous amount of their 2oz cans, so it’s going to take a while for me to get through all of them. I’ll start on that next week. I’m sure you’re all looking forward to it.

Also, don’t worry, I am working on “Don’t Feed The Trolls.” I’m having to go back and re-read what I’ve written so far, and check my maps, though. I hate it when a story has continuity issues. Don’t expect to see much on that front for another month or so. (I might post sooner, but I don’t want to get your hopes up.) I also have another project that will hopefully see the light of day somewhat soon. I’ll keep you updated on that as it gets closer to happening.

Image result for big bang g dragon oops?
Oops?

That’s all there is for now. For you TL;DR folks: I found expensive candles that smell good while I’m trying to write, and it’s all my fault that The Biblio wants to be the mother of dragons (and not in the Game Of Thrones kinda way). (Look up the names of the Big Bang members. You’ll figure it out.)

Happy New Years!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com[

Why, oh why, can’t I do the “New Year, New Me!” thing? Probably because I’m pretty settled, I suppose, but it’s still a bit frustrating to see everyone else setting goals and being all gung-ho about their new year resolutions, and I’m sitting here going “Nope.” It doesn’t make any sense, and I am perfectly aware of this – I mean, half of them don’t even make it to the end of January before they’re dropping their “new me” crap like it’s nothing, but maybe that’s why it bugs me? What’s the point of making a resolution if it’s not something you plan on actively pursuing? Bandwagons are rarely a good thing to take a ride on, I’m just sayin’.

That being said, setting goals is something I approve of. I mean, it’s always good to have something to strive for, you know? Just…don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself. You are not going to change your entire way of life overnight. (There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but those are far and few between.) Instead of saying “I’m going to work out every day!” try “I’m going to be more active.” Instead of “I will find Mr./Ms. Right this year!” try, “I will make the effort to meet more people.” EASY goals that you can work on throughout the year.

I have a few easy goals I’ve set for myself, but the only ones I’ll be sharing here are the ones that will actually affect you guys (as readers).

Pyramid plans FTW?
  1. Pyramid plan
    This is something I found a while ago, and forgot about. Then The Biblio sent it to me, and I remembered. Yay! for having an actual plan!

    On the plus side, this gives me an actual writing goal to work with.

    On the downside, this means it may take me longer to post updates on stories, because part of the pyramid is going back and editing. Something I wasn’t doing previously. You guys all got the chapters as they were. No edits, and only one beta-reader.

    Of course, I’m not entirely sure I will be editing “Don’t Feed The Trolls” before I post it – maybe I’ll focus more on editing Etlan. Maybe I’ll go back and edit “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” some more. The main point, I believe, is just to get in the habit, and that’s something I need to do.

    Something I can tell you I will not be doing is reviewing an outline. I cannot outline. It just doesn’t work for me. I make an outline, and my brain shuts down (storywise). It’s frustrating, but I’ve learned to work around it.

2. Write more
Gee, I wonder how this affects you guys? Oh, wait…

Yeah, I’ll be focusing more on getting stuff done around here. Writing blog posts, writing stories, writing reviews…you name it, I’ll (probably) be working on it. Don’t really expect to see much until next month, at least, but I’m working on it. Most of it will probably be flashfiction, just a heads up, but writing is writing.

Yuck, but necessary.

3. Get health issues taken care of.
You might be wondering how this one is going to affect you guys, but some of the issues I’ll be (hopefully) taking care of this year are going to put me out of commission for at least a week or two, and it’ll be more than once. (Long story short: teeth are terrible. Getting them fixed, and it’s going to take at least one surgery. At this point, I don’t care how many it takes, I just want this crap fixed.)  

And that’s it. Everything is are just things that I want to work on for myself, and should not have any real impact here. Basically, just trying to live my best fucking life, beech. (You can thank the Biblio for that one. Also, if you like rollercoasters, go check out her blog. Her mind is an interesting place to take a ride through, even if it’s not the best place to live in.)

[Holiday Hiatus] I’m still alive!

Sorry everyone, yes, I’m aware it’s been a good couple weeks since I updated anything. Have to be honest here, I was not expecting to be as overwhelmed with the holidays and life as I have been lately.

It’s not even that we’ve had a lot to do, or family and friends coming in (okay, I take that back, we did have a visitor from out of town come in, but that was only one, and he only stayed a couple days). I’ve just been struggling to stay on top of my coursework, and it has not been going well. A big part of it is the children I’ve been taking care of, but I think the bigger part is that I’m just a bit burned out. Between homework, work, my language studies (I’m still struggling with Korean – S-O-V languages kick my ass like you would not believe), my brain is going “ENOUGH!” 

So. I am taking a mini-hiatus. Hopefully just until after the new year. I have a two week break starting on Christmas Eve and going until January 7th. I’m hoping to use this time to recharge my brain. I will try to keep you updated in case that changes.

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