#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 15- What kind of music best speaks to you? #MusicMonday

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “What kind of music best speaks to you?”

First, HAPPY LABOR DAY, USA!

And now, to the music…

I find it hard to comprehend the notion that some people just don’t like music, but I know it’s a fact. I’ve interviewed a few of those people. I can understand people having musical preferences and not liking certain musical genres, but to simply not like any music baffles my mind.

I can’t imagine living a healthy and satisfying life without music. I even ask authors I interview about their musical inspiration, but I think many of them are turned off by how I phrase the question, “When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?” I personally think it’s a good question; that’s probably why I never have and never will change it.

I, for one, use music in all aspects of my life. Music is for praise and worship, celebrating, grieving, relaxing, creating, and everything else. I sometimes think of songs that would be great for the soundtracks of my books (if my books had soundtracks). I created storyboards with song inspiration on Pinterest for both Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel and Eternal Curse: Battleground. I went all out for my one contemporary story, It’s like the Full Moon, and created a playlist assigning a song to every chapter (see Side A here and Side B here).

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GOAT 1 by Eric Thomas hanging over a custom shelf for storing vinyl records also made by Eric Thomas (my husband). Can you guess who goat 1 is?

But, if you want to know what music really speaks to me, it would all depend on when you’re asking. It changes constantly. Right now, Big Band music is playing in my head. Last night, my husband and I played a few Louis Armstrong records (I feel vinyl is way underrated. Good vinyl has an amazing sound quality people overlook because it’s not digital). Usually, when blogging, I listen to jazz or oldies. When I’m writing, I listen to classical, opera, and very rarely techno, but not that repetitive over-sampled house music you hear in European night clubs. There is a time and place for that, just not when I’m writing.

For daily life, I’m still a sucker for popular music, though as I get older, I find it hard to like a lot of it. Still, I like it more than many of my peers. I’ve always appreciated Hip Hop and R&B, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with the old school chart toppers as of late. Even though I’m not opposed to country music, I find that I just don’t listen to it much. I do however have a few Bluegrass records that I’ll play over and over. Again, this is not the repetitive foot stomp’n, burning fiddle music you mostly thing of (again, a time and place for that), but good Bluegrass is like an orchestra with a southern style and twang, and can be quite inspirational.

I think I’ll stop here. I could go on and on, but there are others to visit in this hop and I want to be sure to see what they all have to say.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I can’t wait to see what other music and or songs speak to others.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

All About Me Monday No. 02 #thetoiboxofwords #geek

I’d like to start the day off by counting my blessings. Here’s number 25.

blessings

Currency (printed or coin money)

While working on a story, set in a time of little technical and social-economic advancements, I begin to realize what a blessing currency is. I’m not talking about a love of money and the pursuit of it; this isn’t about greed. I’m talking about economic exchanges. While the barter system will never go out of existence, it’s nice to not have to depend on it daily.

Currency gives us options and opportunities. If everything we acquired in our lives was based on trading, I don’t believe many of the riches people in the world would still be so rich (this could be a good thing or a bad thing). Currency eliminates the need to always have something that someone else wants in order to get what you want or need. If I had to carry chickens with me everywhere I went in order to pay for clothes, fuel, entertainment, etc. I don’t think I’d be going out very much, not that I do anyway. I’m blessed to live in a world with currency, even if it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Now it’s time for some inspiration with My Geekdom 25: Hellboy

geekdom2
Pins from Pinterest that inspire me and indulge my geekness.
Click image to visit my boards

Pinterest board
My Geekdom

You may or may not have noticed that I have a thing for angels, demons, and other similar creatures. For me, Hellboy is the ultimate misunderstood hero. As much trouble as the Hulk has to face, Hellboy may actually have it worse- I mean “Hell” is in his name.

So let’s break this down into the most basic quandary. He’s red (that’s not normal). He has horns and a tail all the time, not a shapeshifter (that’s really odd and scary). He has a hand that looks like a brick wall (that’s really intimidating). Oh and he’s the spawn of hell, an actual demon, but still a good guy (see why adoption and proper care is so important).

I like heroes that break the norm and challenge people to look at themselves and face their own demons, so to speak. Even with the current popularity of superheroes, in general, there are still many people who won’t even consider reading about or watching anything related to Hellboy. I think that’s part of the reason some people won’t pick up my Eternal Curse Series, but there’s more to it.

In any case, people who do give Hellboy a chance soon find that the wise-cracking, cat-loving, monster to be a true blue hero who just happens to be more than a little rough around the edges.

Now it’s time to get a little personal with my Top 5Animated Comic Book Movies (24).

sample This is a list of my top five something. Most of the time my lists are pretty static, but sometimes I do change my mind. While I do try to apply some logic to my choices, sometimes I pick things that make no sense and for no good reason other than “I like it.”

Wikipedia

Animated Comic Book Movies

1. New Frontier, DC

2. Batman – Red Hood, DC

3. JLA Paradox, DC

4. Planet Hulk, Marvel

5. Next Avengers, Marvel

If DC could consistently do with their live action films what they’ve done with their animated features, and some of their TV shows, maybe they could have a movie monopoly like Marvel. As of right now all they currently have is one good Superman movie that they are trying to use as a bridge to bring in a new Batman and all new Justice League down the road. Until recently, you’d think Batman was the only hero in the DC universe because of the success of past movie franchises, but hopefully that will all change soon.
BTW- I <3 Batman!

So now, it’s time to end things on a more biographical note with my Listography of: My Guilty Pleasures (24).

listography

These are the lists that tell my life story. They are in no particular order and some of them are very personal. Please be nice, and if you want to share, I’d be glad to take a look at what you have.

My Guilty Pleasures & Vices

– White Cheddar popcorn and chocolate together

– Violent Foreign Films (not sure why they have to be foreign, but violent US films don’t appeal as much)

– Saying I’m “pissed off”. (I rarely am, usually only annoyed, but I need to find a better way to express myself.)

– Shifter love stories (though finding non-erotica or non-YA ones is becoming harder, I might lose this GP)

– Dog and puppy videos any time of the day.

– Cursing when I’m angry (I’ve actually gotten better at this, and all my anger issues in general, but until I get complete control of my tongue, it’ll always be on my list).

– Robot/Android/Cyborg, etc… movies, books, shows, whether A-list or D-list. Can’t get enough of em.

While I’m no monster, I’m definitely not a saint, but this is all I can think of right now.

Listography are books and a website dedicated to helping you write or consider your autobiography through the process of making lists.

Go ahead, add your two cents. I’d love to know about you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 6- Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “Are you an introvert or an extrovert?”

Once you enter the world of writing and become part of the writing community at any level, this question will pop up periodically. It’s always been pretty clear that I’m an introvert though I’ve always told people that I’m mildly introverted. For me, I have always felt that being around lots of people to be uncomfortable in varying degrees. When I’m around my huge family, the familiarity helps ground me and I can bear the closeness for a longer periods than I could with strangers. I do much better with smaller crowds and in some cases have even learned to blend into the middle instead of the background.

Pinterest Board Info – sourced from A Cup of Jo blog.

I don’t have a problem speaking to large groups of people in a controlled environment, as long as they are over there and I’m up front, I don’t become overwhelmed. Book signings are difficult for me, but I’ve learned to use my husband and sister as anchors. As long as one of them or another trusted family member or friend is nearby, I can do it. I can’t go to a mall a peak times and hardly ever go to Walmart; there are no non-peak times at Walmart. I can’t do concerts and usually sit and rock back and forth at sporting events, which again if surrounded by family isn’t too bad. I feel like they shield me.

After years of telling people that I’m mildly introverted, I came across an article on the “A Cup of Jo” blog that got me wondering. I read through it carefully and followed along. Turns out, I was right. I was hoping I’d end up being this new term “ambivert”, but no. I’m still a mild introvert or an introvert with one or two extrovert tendencies. At my core, I’m perfectly content to sit at home alone. I don’t feel left out or feel like I’m missing anything. After reading the article, I posted it to Pinterest with my results and it has proven to be one of my most popular pins… Dang, how I wish I could take credit for it. 😉


The first mini tour in my It’s Like the Full Moon, pre-order extravaganza starts today and the kick-off has already been posted over at the Author Promo Co-op blog. Please check it out if you have the time.


I’m trying to start a new bookish blog hop for anyone who might be interested. Last month was our first post and we all had a great time. It’s a great way to sample books and get an opinion on them without scouring their list of reviews. Please check out the BooktagsBlogHop.


Please visit the other participants on this hop and even join in if you’d like.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

All About Me Monday No. 01 #thetoiboxofwords #geek

I’m making some changes around here. I’m combining four posts into one- one day all about me and, hopefully, you too if you care to join in and comment. I’d like to start the day off by counting my blessings. Here’s number 24.

blessings

Plastic (synthetic fibers)

While nothing will ever be able to compare to the smooth, delicate warmth of genuine silk or the shiny luster of precious gold, there’s something to be said about plastics and other synthetic fibers. This is one advancement in technology that I have no trouble standing behind, except for when it comes to debating the use of all natural products (which I am for), but sometimes it’s good to go against nature. If we left everything up to nature, when a soldier loses a limb in battle or a construction worker gets maimed, we wouldn’t bother trying to give him/her new limbs because that’s not how nature works.

I like plastics because they do make our fast moving world safer. They protect us from ourselves. I also like that most, not all, but most plastics are recyclable and naturally reusable. I’m blessed to live in a world where a childrens’ playroom can be filled with soft round plastics instead of hard pointed wood, glass, and metal.

Now it’s time for some inspiration with My Geekdom 24: Dragons

geekdom2
Pins from Pinterest that inspire me and indulge my geekness.
Click image to visit my boards

Pinterest board
Dragons

I am going to write a story about a dragon as soon as I come up with a storyline worth sharing with the world.
Dragons are magical, powerful, mystical, spiritual, mythical, and so much more. They can be good, bad, or somewhere in between. Tales of dragons go back to the beginning of time. There isn’t much more I can say about them. Just thinking of dragons makes me want to read or write something filled with magic and wonder of the great unknown.

 

Now it’s time to get a little personal with my Top 5 – Movie Genres (23).

sample This is a list of my top five something. Most of the time my lists are pretty static, but sometimes I do change my mind. While I do try to apply some logic to my choices, sometimes I pick things that make no sense and for no good reason other than “I like it.”

Wikipedia

Movie Genres

1. Action/Adventure

2. Sci-fi/Fantasy

3. Comedy

4. Quirky/Independent

5. Animation

-Honorable Mention- Foreign

Thanks to Hulu and Netflix I have discovered the creativity of foreign storytelling through film. I like to be entertained and in doing so, I don’t always need to be shocked, intellectually stimulated, or challenged morally or emotionally. Sometimes a good movie is just brain and or eye candy.

So now, it’s time to end things on a more biographical note with my Listography of: Past Boyfriends or Close Encounters (23).

listography

These are the lists that tell my life story. They are in no particular order and some of them are very personal. Please be nice, and if you want to share, I’d be glad to take a look at what you have.

Past Boyfriends or Close Encounters
-Some kid when I was two – four. I remember there was a little boy I absolutely adored, but I can’t even imagine his face or think of his name now. The feeling is still clear though. I really liked that kid, as if he was one of my stuffed animals.

-Josh. A kid I knew in the third grade. He was awkward, but I like him.

-DeJuan. I boy from fifth grade who became a great friend before his family moved to another state.

-Richard. Another boy from fifth grade who followed me to sixth grade. He was good looking, but trouble. Way too mature for his age and I wasn’t willing to participate.

-Gentrey. Richard’s friend who I thought was different, but not so much.

-John. A high schooler in love with a middle schooler and very sweet. Also a little obsessive. 7th and 9th grades are not the time and place to be thinking about marriage.

-My Stalker in 9th grade was never my boyfriend, but he made me weary about dating all together.

-Derrick. Handsome and funny. My mom liked him and I liked his family. In the end, we were meant to be friends.

-Random first dates with serval guys who weren’t interested in dating a pretty girl who never “puts out.”

-The guy I thought was pretty nice until he joined the military and then went AWOL.

-The first date who died tragically a week later.

-The drop dead gorgeous guy with little to no personality and baby momma drama. It lasted three dates.

-My husband who almost ended up dating my roommate, but that was a misunderstanding on my part. Apparently we had been dating the whole time, but I thought he was hanging out with me to learn more about her. 😉

Listography are books and a website dedicated to helping you write or consider your autobiography through the process of making lists.

Go ahead, add your two cents. I’d love to know about you.

Visit my topics/categories to see previous installments of these posts.

Also, check out the new blog hog I’m trying to put together. BooktagsBlogHop

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

My Geekdom 23: Tim Burton


Pins from Pinterest that inspire me and indulge my geekness.
Click image to visit my boards

Pinterest board
That’s Hot

When it comes to being inspired to create things that are dark, weird, scary, but fun and even sometimes sweet, Tim Burton is the guy to look to. His filmography is, well, I don’t really have words to describe it. The man thinks so far outside the box that he couldn’t find the box if it was five feet tall, solid gold, and planted on his chest. I want to have the ability to capture ideas the way Tim Burton does.

Now I realize that he makes films (in many capacities) and I write books, but hopefully you see where I’m going with this. I like his style, even if it’s not like mine.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords