Would you want to be treated this way?

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***WARNING*** The end of this post will have some pretty disturbing photos of animal cruelty.

 

Growing up, animals were just common place. We  always had three or four dogs running around the house, when we couldn’t have the dogs we had cats or rabbits. I was the typical kid, I played rough with my dogs, I didn’t realize that I could have seriously hurt my dog when I was three and decided that my pug needed a haircut. But the fact remains the same, in those years I learned to treat animals how I would want to be treated. They weren’t just animals they were family members who not only needed love and attention they deserved it.

Fast forward to college. During an English Class we were supposed to team up with a local business to do a writing project, being the animal lover I am, I teamed up with the local Humane Society who wanted me to do an awareness poster and flyer for an upcoming fair. I was completely appalled by the things i saw and read. I couldn’t believe the horrible things people did to their animals. The man who left a growing dog in the same collar he had as a puppy and was no embedded into his neck, the horse owner who barely had any horse left because he thought the grass was all he needed to survive, the lady to docked her boxers ears herself.

I don’t have kids obviously, I have three dogs, two Boston Terriers and a Lab Husky mix who are ungodly spoiled. I’ve had people tell me “I don’t get it, their just animals.” and I just flip inside. That’s like me going up to them and saying. “I don’t get it, you’re just a mail clerk, what’s the big deal?” And the one I love the most is hearing parents tell their childless, but dog owner friends “You just wouldn’t understand.” — forgive my frankness on this one but Fuck you. Getting a new puppy is like having a new baby, they wake you up at all hours of the night, they need to be potty trained, and they need the same care and affection in their early months as babies do. It’s cheesy but I actually wish my fellow pet moms happy mother’s day.

I’m going to leave you with some disturbing images to show how screwed up people can be. So ask yourself — would you want to be treated this way?

Piano Hands

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So I just spent the last two hours trying to learn “Disenchanted” By My Chemical Romance, I got a good chunk of it down but I’m getting stuck on the sharps and flats. But I’m only one lesson in so I guess I can’t complain. I have to admit I’m kind of geeking out. My dear older brother can play any instrument in the world it seems and all I could ever do was sing – kind of. I’m not great but I can carry a tune. But I’m shocked at how easily the piano is coming to me. I must get it from my mom, she was a piano player. I could never get into it as a kid but now as an adult I have the patience to pick it up and I’m loving it. Fun fact of the last two days: I can feel every muscle in my forearms. Something new and different for me.

Not much going on in the writing world obviously, but I figure after two books out in the last five years is pretty good for me. I’ve earned the musical journey break I’m embarking on. But I still have a few ideas I’m working on but they’re kinda stalled out so I’m enjoying throwing myself head first into music.

That’s all for now party people. Peace.

Flavor of the Week

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So I didn’t get back to blogging last night. I was drawing a major blank so I fail but here I am! For the record this blog is being sound tracked by the band Rooney — for those of you who have not heard of them okay seriously you have to their kind of chill retro. You’d recognize the lead singer from the Princess Diaries — the first one. If you saw it, he played Michael.

I’m on this like retro music kick lately my iPod has played nothing except like Shout It Out Hanson — HORNS! The Beatles — CLICHE but I like them, umm Pretty Odd by Panic! at the Disco which is the album from that band where one of these things isn’t like the other. yeah that kind of album. And now I’ve got my Spotify open catching up on all the ROONEY music I’ve missed since what — 2003? Something like that, I don’t remember when the Princess Diaries came out.

I’m just kinda rocking out while writing this my dogs are looking at me like I’m crazy but really they’re used to it. Anyway I saw Rooney on the last Hanson tour I went to they were one of the openers. So great, I loved seeing them live. My fellow concert goers my friend Jess and her husband AJ and Chad — well Chad was into it but Jess and AJ were like ummmm yeah.

So I’m on my lunch break and I’m going to wrap this up but yeah, spreading the Rooney Word. alright party people I’m out!

Laziness

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So I’m going to post later — hopefully but i had to share this photo with you. As you guys know who follow me I have three dogs. Well it’s hard to get all three of them in the same photo but here’s one of my Bostons.  As you can tell they have such rough lives. Alright Peace Out.

It’s Here!

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Well the book is out finally! In the last few weeks I’ve been going back and fourth between anxiety and excitement about it’s release. But when I announced it yesterday via Facebook there seemed to be a lot of excitement about it so hopefully I’ll come through and do better on this one than I did on the first.

Echoes was a great project, one that really shaped the way I ended up as a writer, the things I wrote about, the things I found were getting closer to my heart, but I have to admit after putting out Make It Out Alive, I can see how much I’ve evolved as a person and a writer. Claire and Key and the rest are back obviously but as it does in teenagers a lot of things have changed for them.

What I found to be the most interesting this time around was I obviously had an idea for what I wanted it to be about. A young native kid trying to make it through his adolescence into his own life, what I didn’t expect was that I’d come to know my characters so well that that’s really I could have for an outline. By the point I started really working on MIOA I knew my characters so well that the story practically wrote itself. I’d say well I want this scene in here, but sometimes when I got going my instinct for how I knew my characters would react to something blew it out of the water. The scene I had wanted to write just wasn’t plausible with the way the characters had reacted to whatever circumstance they were in. The whole ending was changed based on that issue alone.

I remember feeling a lot of relief when I finished Make It Out Alive. I can’t tell you all way because it’ll ruin the ending but I definitely feel like it was the right way to close out that part in Alden’s Hollow.

I’d like to say I’m officially done with Alden’s Hollow, but for some time now I’ve wanted to write a book surrounding Sam post Claire and Aiden’ Graduation. So there’s always a possibility that you’ll see this crew again.

 

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not sure what I’m doing next. I’m sorry to report that I’m still in that limbo phase (which is my most hated phase of the whole writing process) I still have a few stories I’m mulling around in my head but the truth is a character hasn’t caught my attention yet. That’s how Echoes and Make It Out Alive came to be. Claire Weston and Key Loonsfoot were characters I loved who’s stories needed to be told. I have a ton of character names (That people often confuse as future children’s names) stored in my phone but nothings jumping out on me. But if it does you people will be the first to know.

Take care for now party people. I’ll be back soon.

Attempting to Simpilfy

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Good day my friends,

With the release of Make It Out Alive quickly approaching I’ve decided to simplify things a bit on here and I’m still hoping to post a bit more. I need to set an alarm to make sure I do it or something like that.

As for what’s new: I finally had my author photo done last Tuesday which marks the completion of Make It Out Alive. It’s now in production and we’re expecting an early October release date.I’ll keep ya’ll posted on that.

What’s Next? I have no clue, I’ve been working on a few different ideas, nothing really taking off just yet. I think I just don’t know my character’s well enough yet. While I was writing Echoes and Make It Out Alive I’d known my character’s so well it was almost reflex during the writing process because I knew exactly how my character’s would react. This time it’s not so easy. Here goes nothing and everything!

Non-book related: I saw today that Adam Levine (From Maroon 5) called MTV out today. Saying that the VMA’s was the one day a year MTV pretended to care about music still.  — If I could I would shake that man’s hand. I completely agree. I’m a Netflix person now, but I think it was like 2003-2004 the last time I watched the VMA’s, probably even a couple years before that – either way since then I watch the MTV Line up it’s Teen Mom 36, Next whatever else they have on — but the point I’m getting at is that I can’t remember the last time the played actual music videos. I vote MTV changes its named to Teen Tv — it makes a lot more sense.

No more blog tab — it’s all right here.

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August 15, 2022

UPDATES

Just waiting on a few more things before the release of Make It Out Alive. In other news Echoes will soon be available in Ebook form even though it kind of broke my heart to do it. I’m a pretty firm believer in x amount of pages between two covers personally but you have to go with the technology right? Anyway so stay tuned for updates on that, Make It Out Alive will also be available on Ebook so I’ve officially sold my soul twice now.

Been working on something new recently, I’m not sure if it’s going to fly but hopefully something will come of it. I’m digging deep into my inner nerd and learning all I can about Comic book art (No I will not be putting out a Comic Book) so keep checking back for updates on what could possibly come next. The good news is I’m done in Alden’s Hollow for a while. I’ll miss all my old characters but they need some time off too.

That’s all for now party people. I’ve been trying to update more but I’m in that post production, pre new work stage and I’m pretty damn boring. Cheers!

July 31, 2011

ALMOST.THERE.

Okay, so it’s been forever but as of a week ago the new book is into the publisher and soon it will be in your hands — we’re looking around mid-September! I’m pretty pumped about it. I’m doing my Author photos soon and then that’s all I need to finish everything up. Who’s excited? This girl!

WHAT’S.NEXT?

I have no flipping idea. Stay tuned, I guess. I’ve been working on new stuff, new as in new areas of creativeness. I just finished a summer session of Voice Lessons, the Piano lessons start this fall — I’m hoping that learning music will give me some new stuff to write about, so that’s the update for now my friends — check back for perhaps a lay out change and a contest :0) Peace out!

June 5, 2o11

PANIC.AT.THE.DISCO.

(Ryan Ross, please come back.)

For the last few months I’ve been ensnared by the band Panic! at the Disco. In 2006 you may have heard them assault the radio waves with their song “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies.” — And then pretty much fall of the radar. I rather enjoyed the elegant lyrics and old time feel of the band. So when I had the opportunity to go see them in Detroit last night — I packed up Chad and off we went.

Being a Northern girl when we left home it was in the mid forties, when we got to the venue it was in the low nineties, I should tell you that I don’t deal well in warm weather. Anything higher than 65 degrees and I’m miserable.

After having lunch with my best friends mom, we finally got to the venue. The Filmore (AKA The State Theater), my favorite venue in the state, and found that the line was incredibly large, larger than any other show I’d been to at that venue and we were lucky enough to stand in line with a few girls were college age and their younger sisters. One was a classic Panic! fan dressed in a black retro style dress, bright red lipstick and a bow tie the others were dressed casually but this was the first show that I’d ever been to where I felt like there was a dress code. Seriously, you were either a ‘scene’ kid or doing the vintage thing – which is a very Panic! Thing.

It was ridiculously packed inside the venue. The architecture inside the venue was beautiful enough to distract from the hoards of giggling girls sending “OMG WILL YOU MARRY ME BRENDON URIE!?” texts to the large screen in front of the stage that showed upcoming concerts and broadcast text shout outs from the crowd. The three girls in front of us were particularly annoying and by the end of the night sobbing drunk. Seriously, I miss going to concerts where the median age is in the late teens the less drunk idiots the better in my opinion.

ON TO THE MUSIC:

FOXY.SHAZAM.

First of all let me say that with my capabilities with words I still may not be able to convey the oddity that is this band. I was really pumped at first because the two singers came out at the beginning of the show and sang a Capella, and then a song into the show I found out there was a horn player, so I was excited I thought hey they could be really good. It was about the time that the pianist, who I’m sure is a nice guy but I personally wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley alone, jumped up on the piano to play backwards, the lead singer lit two cigarettes and then proceeded to put them out on his tongue and eat the tobacco, AND when the lead singer jumped up on his guitarist’s shoulders and humped his neck that I just kind of thought who the fuck are these guys?

FUN.

Contrast to Brendon Urie’s belief, not the most appropriately named band ever. Particularly unmemorable in my opinion actually. They had a Piano player from Royal Oak so I have to shout it out for the hometown boy but the rest of the band was just kind of there. Go fun – the people there seemed to be into the band, I wasn’t overly impressed.

PANIC.AT.THE.DISCO.

So the band finally came on at nine-thirty. By that time I was getting really annoyed with my drunk counter parts in front of me. But they came out the crowd went nuts etc etc they started up with Ready to Go which was the first indication that that show was going to suck. Brendon Urie once again showed off his powers to be over the top and ungodly fake. In the hour and a half show (Which is short compared to the shows I’m used to going to.) There were only two times I found it possible to take something he said seriously: 1. When he dedicated a song to his girlfriend, that he apparently met in Detroit (and started seeing after he stole her away from the guy she was seeing) and 2. When he thanked the parents of the younger fans for bringing them out last night.

I’ve become a pretty big fan of the album Pretty Odd, and incidentally is the only album I’m going to still listen to post concert because I’m pretty certain Brendon Urie had little to do with the sound of the record. In my own little evil mind I kind of imagine Ryan Ross giving him a coloring book and crayons and telling him they’ll call him when they need his voice but obviously that’s not how it went. It was also a bonus that they only played two songs from Pretty Odd which made it harder for them to kill the album for me.

However it just wouldn’t be a Panic! Show with out a little sexual ambiguity! During the encore Urie made sure everyone knew that he and his bassist had just kissed on stage (I enjoyed watching some of the parents’ faces fall to pieces after they’d already listened to him explain that one of the songs was about the blatant fucking of strangers) and then he started to undress the bassist during the beginning of the last song. Even his guitarist couldn’t escape him, having his head held to Urie’s chest during some of the final moments of the last song. Spencer Smith was the only one safe from such acts being tucked safely away on his drum platform.

Incidentally, Spencer Smith was the saving grace of the show. He was the sole person who seemed genuine and really was out there just to play for the fans. Solid drumming, tons of energy, and spoke genuinely to the crowd when he was allowed to speak at the end of the show.

With out a doubt the worst show I’ve ever been to and the first I’d ever considered leaving in the middle of. I’ve decided that boycott Panic! At the Disco until Ryan Ross comes back, someone to keep the ego manicial beast that is Brendon Urie under control. I, however am just a passing fan. I’m sure you’ll find hundreds of people who were at the show that could counter my review with OMG IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING! Comments. I was not particularly impressed.

May 13, 2011

All down to the choosing! Here are the picks for the new book cover!!


May 4, 2011

So I saw something in the news today – that apparently first appeared yesterday that completely struck a nerve with me. I’m not the political sort at all, I don’t follow it but I just read that when they killed Osama Bin Laden a few days ago that his code name was Geronimo. Okay, so now we’re tying terrorists to a Native American hero? Way to keep it classyUSA. Geronimo was an Apache leader back in the nineteenth century who fought both Mexican andUSarmies until he and thirty-five of his warriors surrendered in 1886.

You’ve most likely seen my photo on the blog, I’m as white as they come and unless I pulled out my tribal ID to show you that I in fact am Native American no one would believe me. But my mother and my grandfather were and are proud Native Americans and so am I. I’m not saying that other minorities don’t have it bad don’t get me wrong, but through out history Native Americans, who first had half of their population killed off when Columbus stumbled onto our country though diseases, have been cheated out of land, sent to endure absurd conditions in governmental boarding schools until the mid 1900’s and suffered the humiliation of serving as mascots for sports teams among other things. Thanks to the CIA we’re also now being tied to terrorists.

I care about my people and the way the country perceives us. Yes some of the negative stereotypes are true, but there are so many Native American’s in the past and present that have always tried to make people see that there’s more to us than that.

I’ve always expressed patriotism for my country, I grew up in a military family, knowing that there are people who are always willing to throw their lives down for me and everything I am lucky enough to be able to do. And to the team that went in and took care of Osama Bin Laden – Thank you for your bravery. But to the amazingly stupid people that decided that Bin Laden’s Code name should be Geronimo – Wow. Well done. Now that you’ll be going after the next person on the most wanted list – will their code name be Frederick Douglass? Keep it classy government.

May 3, 2011

I did a lot of work on the new book today, tenatively titled “Make It Out Alive.” today. As I was working I started to notice how different my music styles were between this one and Echoes. I listened to things like White Tie Affair, Owl City, Hanson all relatively chill music. I find that I’ve been listening to My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco more this time around (and my guilty pleasure The Backstreet Boys, I know, everyone’s surprised to find out that it isn’t Hanson.) I think though that MIOA is a lot darker than Echoes ever was intended to be. My Chem is pretty dark, Panic has its moments and FOB? Well they’re just goofy which you definitely need when writing a story like this. I would love to point out though that Gerard Way (MCR), Patrick Stump (Formerly of FOB) and Brendon Urie (P!ATD) have incredible voices, and it helps me write. If you don’t listen to these bands you should check them out immediately.

So I’m going to give a bit of a spoiler for the new book, only because I’m not sure how receptive people are going to be to the subject matter. MIOA covers a lot of negative stereotypes of Native Americans. You may ask: Ash? what the hell? When I started writing this a few years ago I had no idea how it would turn out honestly. Suddenly I found a character that needed to deal with the things that I saw growing up on the ‘Rez’ admittedly at the time I didn’t know that these were issues. As I prepare to release this one, I feel I should warn my readers- it won’t be pretty.

So in other news I have the opportunity to go see Panic! on tour in June, I haven’t decided if I’m going yet. I’m sure it’d be a great show, and they’re going to be at my favorite venue. I’ll have to decide if I want to go. Brendon Urie is a cutie, it might be worth it to go for him and his amazing voice alone. hm… decisions! That’s all for now party people. Take care!

April 26, 2011
So I’ve been MIA for the last week. Part of it is just me being lame, the other part is I’ve been recovering from my new tattoo. Yes my dear friends I finally did get my mom’s memorial tattoo. It was pretty intense, to say the least. An hour and a half of being on the table I couldn’t take it anymore. For the record, small tattoos on the ribs – okay. bigger ones like mine? painful as hell. it’s not finished by my artist’s standards but I like it the way it is. A last minute decision – my family name means bird, mom’s favorite color was blue etc etc etc but it was pretty awesome. LOVE IT. I think mom would too – however I’m getting a lot of  “Hey do you realize that when you have kids your cute little blue bird is going to be a vulture?” SWEET. way to kill my tattoo buzz. EITHER WAY. I know my parents and even if it does turn out that way mom and dad would find it hilarious. so it’ll still work out. :o ) I’m still pretty excited either way.

April 17, 2011

WE ARE MY.CHEMICAL.ROMANCE!

Okay, so obviously I’m not but I did take some much needed time away from the book this weekend to go see them in Grand Rapids with Chad. They played a really great show but I was really sad to find that Ray and Frank’s microphones were turned down a lot and that Gerard was the only one to talk HOWEVER of the four of them, with the manic light show that would have given unsuspecting fans epilepsy, I was shocked to find that I saw Mikey the best which was weird because most of the time Mikey is the forgotten one. While they’re stage presence was a bit lacking, I’ve been spoiled by Hanson for far too long, Over all it was a really great show and the music with the exception of a rather slow version of “Ghost of You” was played perfectly and I really enjoyed it. I even encountered crowd surfing for the first time. I felt bad for Ray though, I think he twisted his ankle or something near the end of the show because he was limping off stage pretty badly.  Anyway if you get a chance to see My Chem, I highly suggest it. It was a great time and the MCR fans are pretty cool.

April 5, 2011

Small update today. Lots of fun stuff in the works with the pre-production of the new book. Still finishing off the manuscript but it’s coming along splendidly even with my puppies constantly wanting to cuddle. Thankfully I’ve learned to type around them. If you’re a twitter buff follow me Ashley_Vogel to get updates on the book and my unusual ramblings. That’s all for now my friends. Time for me to head back out into the real world.


Beautiful Detroit ruins.

March 27, 2011

Stumbling again! So interesting fact of the moment: In Ojibwe (Chippewa) culture, Owls are a bad omen. But come on, some are so cute!

March 27, 2011

Good afternoon party people! I’ve revamped my blog for your enjoyment. I’m pleased to announce that my new book, “Make it out Alive” is on track for a fall release. Stay tuned to the blog (And follow me on twitter Ashley_Vogel) to get more updates on the release, give aways and of course Updates!

My friends, I am usually far behind on trends but in the last couple months I’ve become a big fan of http://www.stumbleupon.com you find the coolest stuff on there. Just today I found a blog called Mirror of Youth. It’s a series of eight photos, one of which  have included here, done by Texas photographer Tom Hussey as people reflect back upon their lives. I highly suggest you stumble, and stumble often.

That’s all for now my friends, cheers!