Hi there! My name's Ashley. I'm 24, a recent college graduate singing the lament, "What do you do with a B.A. in English?" I live in Oakland, California with my golden retriever, Fox, and my boyfriend of soon-to-be 4 years.

This is my first year here, but I already have sent out a few things and reading every list to see if there's somewhere I can contribute. :)

I'm working a 9-to-5 which is fine, but not really my long-term goal. I'd like to write or create art so that I can support myself with my own ideas. Unsurprisingly (see: dog's name), I have a thing for foxes and am starting a collection of themed objects. Ditto for ravens and other corvids, whose names I've adopted for the computers I've owned over the years.

The List

1. Anything from my Amazon wishlist.

2. Postcards/mail/packages. I absolutely love receiving and sending things by post. I am always looking for pen pals, too, so it doesn't have to be a "once into the aether" thing either. :)

3. Handmade items, especially small ones. I love seeing what people can do with the world around them.

4. Gloves. I misplaced a nice pair of leather ones I got for Christmas a few years ago, and it's one of those things I keep forgetting to get!

5. Reading recommendations. I go through books like CRAZY! It's hard to find new authors. Some of my favorite books: Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman; Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett; The Wheel of Time series, Robert Jordan (& Brandon Sanderson); Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson; Firebrand and Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley; Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay. I read science fiction and fantasy, though obviously more fantasy than science fiction. I've read almost all of Neil Gaiman's books and he's definitely my favorite author.

6. Amber. My mother is a wiccan and loves gems and stones and fossils and other things of the earth, but she especially loves amber because it is both of the earth and air. I've collected a few things for her over the years, but I'm always on the lookout for more.

7. Help with my father's job search. He's a contractor and has been out of work for almost a year now. My mother can't work due to several medical problems, and her insurance is expensive. It's also causing serious domestic tension and I'm afraid my parents' marriage of 25 years is being stressed to a breaking point. He works in aviation and has done everything from mechanic to project manager to, most recently, consultant. If you know of anyone with connections, or you can think good thoughts or pray, we would all really appreciate it.

8. Ideas for my brother. He had trouble in high school and never graduated. He still lives at home with my parents. He plays video games all the time. He's pretty good at math, but really bad at doing what needs to be done simply because it needs to be done (as I am!). He's 22 and really looking to move out and get going on his own, but my situation is so different -- I went to a top college and got a job in a field he has no interest in -- that I am at a loss for how to help him. Advice and/or guidance that I could pass on would help him (and my parents, and me) quite a bit.

9. Donations. Not to me! Anywhere else you can help would be great. :) Canned food, toys, pet supplies, money - whatever you can think to spare. Some of my favorite causes, all very dear to me: breast cancer; heart disease; Alzheimer's; animals/wildlife. If you can't afford to spare anything, consider donating your time. There are lots of places that could use your help.

10. Anything else. I love creativity and originality. If you can dream it, do it; if you can do it, tell me about it. Stories? Photos? Things you no longer need? Baked goods you want to share? Anything and everything goes, tangible or intangible. If it turns out to be something I don't need, there are plenty of charities in the area I have a hand in that I would be happy to contribute items to.


Feel free to drop me an email at pacific.rose (at) gmail if you need any information from me or wish to share something electronically.

Most importantly:

Happy Holidays! :)
  • Current Mood: grateful grateful
Books recs
The first two are fantasy YA, I quite enjoyed.
Sarah Rees Brennan - The Demon's Lexicon
Cassandra Clare - The Mortal Instruments series
Naomi Novik - Temeraire series (historical fantasy)
Robin McKinley - Sunshine

Happy Holiday! :)
Re: Books recs
I read YA fantasy from time to time. I was a Harry Potter fanatic, too. :P

I hadn't even heard of the first two, I'll definitely look into them. N

aomi Novik... the premise rips at my heart, but that's about the third or fourth recommendation I've gotten, so I guess I'll have to give in and give it a go. ;)

I know of Robin McKinley, but hadn't yet picked up any of her books. I'll start with this one.

Thanks! :)

OOh, I can rec you a whole bunch of books. I have about 500+ in my personal library.

Terry Pratchett's Discworld series
Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series
Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series and her Banewreaker trilogy
Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar/Heralds series
Raymond Feist's Empire series (you can read this without reading the entire riftwar if you want - I did)
John Varley's Titan, Wizard, Demon
Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer trilogy
Spider Robinson's Callahan's books

Do you like supernatural/urban fantasy?

Feel free to email me at skittykitty at gmail dot com and I can provide more if I know what you really like. :)

Happy Holidays!
You sound a *lot* like me! Let's be penpals?
8. Your brother and my brother should meet. Granted, my brother graduated from college, but he recently quit his grown-up job on something of a whim and is now working as a waiter again. It frustrates my parents no end, and I think what bothers me most is not that he's working as a waiter (because it's not like he's destitute, and there's nothing wrong with being a waiter) but that he has very little initiative or interest in moving out, advancing at work, or contributing to a retirement plan.

Anyway, it might not be possible right now with the economy and all, but I am sure your brother can find something that plays to his strengths. Not all jobs are dependent on education; if he's good at service or technology, or good with building (plumbing, wiring, carpentry, stuff like that) or even if he can just lift 50 pounds, there are lots of jobs in those areas. Especially in California, if things aren't quite so dependent on the weather. He might look into employment at a college or university, which often offer good benefits and tuition remission, if he is interested in getting his GED and getting more schooling. If he's not sure what his strengths are, there are career counselors that you can meet with and give you a personality test and they help you identify some things you might be good at. My friend went to one before she finished grad school. She obviously knew what she wanted to do for her degree, but didn't have a firm idea of what she wanted to do afterward, and the woman helped her narrow down her options. So it's not just people who are totally clueless that might need some guidance -- even if you have some idea, talking with someone else can be a good thing.

Oh, and if your parents have friends, or he has adult friends or former teachers or people in the community or whatever, it might help to talk to them. Sometimes things don't quite sink in when it's your parents talking about them.

Tell him good luck!
id be a pen pal if your interested.
my email:
lit. recs
Ah, reading recommendations, love!

First off... I would say avoid Cassandra Clare's work. She has a level of notoriety in fandom for borrowing prose and random lines and not crediting her sources.

Apart from that? I would very much recommend, given your stated tastes, that you try reading something by Diane Duane, Tamora Pierce or Lois McMaster Bujold - the last-named tends to lean more towards science fiction/space opera than fantasy, but her Chalion series is all fantasy, so you should try that. Really great stuff. If you want to read in any kind of order, these are the main things (series/individual) I'd recommend from the authors I mentioned above:

Diane Duane
- Cats of Grand Central
- Parting Gifts (downloadable for free through her website)
- Tale of the Five
- Young Wizards

Tamora Pierce
- Circle of Magic
- The Circle Opens
- Will of the Empress/Melting Stones
- The Immortals

Lois McMaster Bujold
- Chalion
- The Spirit Ring
- The Sharing Knife

I assume you've read GGK's other stuff apart from Ysabel and Fionavar? If not, I highly recommend "The Lions of Al-Rassan" and "A Song For Arbonne" to you. :)

also. *points to icon* this is a Bujold quote.
I would love to send you something in the mail! I will email for your address.

Happy holidays!
I'll do the friending thing if thats ok? We seem to have a lot in common - bipolar/SI/ED/etc...