Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Share a Quote

I volunteered at an understaffed animal shelter over the weekend, the animals in which desperately needed the care..

Now I'm feeling pretty emotionally worn out, so I'd like to hear some of your favorite inspirational quotes. What do you quote to yourself when you're feeling heart-weary? And who?

Also, if you've got a pet, please take a moment and cuddle them. Thanks.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wedding Flowers

It's that time of life: when all my friends seem to start picking up husbands and wives (only sometimes in the 'bench-press' meaning of the term) and I get recruited to offer advice and/or support.

With two (known) bridal parties in my future, that means I'm doing some looking at bouquets and dresses. Lately I found an old website,, where you can design a bouquet online. There's only a few flowers that are free, but $4.99 will buy a week's membership... more than enough for my purposes. (Or you can pay $12.99 for a month, or $29.99 for 3 months, but I don't really need to disappear for 3 months, now do I? Because I probably would.)

Of course I promptly abandoned all of the brides' restrictions and colors and went on a designing spree. Beware; designing with flowers online can be highly addictive.

If you like cascading bouquets, this is a good visual guide for making them.

If you just want to see some of the things you can do, these are some the designs I made:

Cornflower, light blue delphinium, white baby's breath, white freesia. Greenery consisted of pittisporum in the body, ruscus for drape, and couple of pieces of eucalyptus.

Phaelenopsis orchids on top of purple hydrangea, used pink hyacinths to create a "mass drape" flower effect on the bottom, added a green dendrobrium orchid on the side and some dendrobrium orchid buds for texture. All over ruscus.

S-shaped bouquet. On the bottom are a couple of galax leaves, with curly mint and eucalyptus up top, and ruscus and curly mint at bottom. Variegated pittisporum accent at lower right. For flowers, starting at top left, pink larkspur and two different shades of orange alstromeria, orange freesia, orange lily, orange calla lily, orange gerbera daisy, orange dahlias, burgundy calla lily, kangaroo paw, and dark red phaelanopsis orchid branch.

Pink aster, freesia, hydrangea, calla lilies, light pink spray roses and a rose of the same light pink, larkspur, heather, and a gerbera daisy on top of two aspedistra leaves and some lemon leaf. Crescent-shaped bouquet.

Calla lilies with lily grass and pittisporum.

Lots of stuff. Lilies, alstromeria, kangaroo paw, stock, larkspur, astilbe, aclepsia. I have no idea what the last two are, but they made a very nice bed for the flowers.

On a bed of galax leaves, baby's breath, calla lilies, and dahlias.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Publishing Industry News

Publishing industry news and helpful blogs for 1/12/13-1/25/13.

 Publishing News

New imprints for those looking to traditionally publish include Amazon Publishing's two new children's imprints ranging from picture books to young adult, Algonquin's new children's publishing imprint for ages 7-17, a realistic sci-fi imprint from Osprey, and Entangled Publishing's Edge for authors with single-title works that have strong romantic elements.

MyiLibrary, run by Ingram, will be adding Random House books to their selection. OverDrive will be adding MacMillan.

Want to find content in a non-fiction how-to guide, but don't want to purchase the entire book from Amazon? Inkling, a new web program, allows readers to search for specific content in a book and purchase part or the entire thing through use of Google searches.

Now Penguin books can also be printed via the Expresso Book Machine. Press a button, print the book of your choice, right there in front of you!

Publishers Weekly creates a podcast describing how the Penguin Random merger will work.

Book Country adds a free self-publishing feature, which leaves authors with 85% of the royalties, while those who pay $399 get 100% of their royalties. I'm still not sure about them... I always recommend against the "pay to publish" method, and even with the free publishing added in, I'd want to read the contract in further detail. No longer will they be producing print books, either.

Professor Micheal D. Smith announces that while 3 studies show piracy doesn't hurt book sales, 25 studies show it does. He says the best ways to fight piracy are to make the content available digitally and participating in anti-piracy policies.

The National Book Awards will announce the top 40 this year, instead of the top ten, although only the top 10 will receive awards for each category.

Have you been asked to speak in the UK, and then during process, been asked to purchase a work visa? You've been scammed. Don't fall for this one. John Scalzi, sci-fi writer, first reported it, and points out what tipped him off to the scam.

Heard of Quora? It's a new blog site. GalleyCat talks about the details and what it can do for you.

Vantage Press authors have until January 31 to get their rights back. The vanity publisher is going out of business and closing down.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 1/18 and 1/25.

Mur Lafferty shares the economics of book deals, and shows how $100K deals translate into much smaller annual incomes. Author Jim Hines shares his actual writing income over the years, for comparison.

Publishers Weekly reports that at Digital Book World, the main topic of discussion was how publishers can take advantage of opportunities offered by new technology.

Sarah LaPolla talks about how to vet new agents to see if they're legit (what ask, where to look, etc).

Download a free cheat-sheet on the physical signs of anger to include body language in your novel.

GalleyCat offers a list of 6 ways to promote your book on a budget. Online giveaways and free promotion sites are a good place to start. Also, figuring out to format your manuscript for e-book distribution? GalleyCat links to formatting guides to 5 major self-publishing sites.

Andrew Lownie Literary Agency asks editors at major houses what they're looking for this year. Answering are Bill Strachan, Editor at Large, HarperCollins; Michael Szczerban, Simon & Schuster; Daniela Rapp, Editor, St. Martin’s Press; Robert Pigeon, Executive Editor, Da Capo Press; Luba Ostashevsky, Senior Editor , Palgrave Macmillan; Alex Littlefield, Editor, Basic Books; Rob Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor, Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press; Serena Jones, Editor, Times Books; Brent Howard, Senior Editor, New American Library; Michaela Hamilton, Editor in Chief of Citadel Press and Executive Editor of Kensington; and Amy Cherry, Vice President & Senior Editor, Norton.

 QueryTracker talks about why you should critique other people's queries (it helps you improve your own), and what exactly an agent learns from a query (everything from your grammar to whether or not you have a focused plot).

Laura Bickle explains that creating a timeline can help you prevent your characters from doing more in a day than is physically possible. Make one after finish your rough draft, compare to your story, and revise with that timeline in mind.

The Editor's Blog compiles their most popular and most important posts from 2012. These run from "how to format your manuscript" and "duties of an editor" to "common writing mistakes." Also, a post from this week on writing numbers in fiction, such as spelling it out if it's up to one hundred, numerals if higher.

Agent Kristen Nelson answers "What can book publishers learn from self-publishers?" They can release a lot of content, and pay attention to the metadata.

And on Thursday Night at the Question Emporium, a writer asks agent Janet Reid what to do if one agent responds to a query with a request for an exclusive and the full, and another responds the next day with a request for the full, non-exclusive. She suggests telling the first agent it's not exclusive and sending it to both.

The Business Rusch offers a very interesting and very thorough explanation of working with editors, how to avoid getting screwed by contracts in relation to edits, and who the different editors in traditional publishing houses are. It takes a little while to get to the point, but it's worth a read. You've got your acquiring editor, your content/line editors (sometimes the same person, sometimes not), your copyeditors, and your proofreaders (who aren't technically editors but are noted anyway). If possible, don't sign a contract that gives the editor the final say in your work, and include a limited number of revisions, with an option to keep the advance if you make more than x (1, 2, 3, whatever you're comfortable with) revisions. Part of her blog replies specifically to the blog of an editor, Lynn Price, discussing why it's important to trust your editor and not verbally abuse them. Price points out that it's okay to disagree (disagreements can be discussed), but don't get defensive or abusive.

Rachelle Gardner makes a list of 8 ways to help your favorite authors. Write reviews, like their Amazon page, blog or a tweet a quote from the book, and more.

At Writers Write, tips on how to end your novel. I really rather like the referring to your opening events advice.

Cover artist for the Wheel of Time books, artist Michael Whelan talks about how book covers are made.

What publishing news have you encountered in the past two weeks?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Writing Exercise: 2 in 1

Two-for-ones are great deals in a grocery store, so why not in writing? Use at least 3 of the items listed below, two of which must refer to the same element! (Bonus points if you use all five, or get a 3-in-1). You have a 500 word limit! Post in comments, or just stick in your own files somewhere. 

Ice storm

My 2-in-1 (artist, soldier):

The soldier stopped on the ridge, frigid wind pelting his thin cheek with half-frozen water and turning the last inch of his shoulder-length hair to ice. There, in a valley half-hidden by the barn, were the pigs his sergeant has sent him to bring back to camp:

“Frozen bacon is fine and all, but I’d rather have my pork roasted. Find them and bring them all in before it’s pig-cicles!”

He began to turn his horse, a placid plow horse repurposed for war, when a break in the clouds light the porcine mass below, turning them into diamond-encrusted pink and brown statuettes. Beautiful.

A quick sketch wouldn’t take but a moment, in this break of weather. Just enough to get the memory down, so he could expand on it later. There was coal in his shirt pocket, and a child’s drawing pad he’d picked up for doodles. Stripping off his gloves, he jotted the image down, his horse shifting uneasily beneath him. Inside, master, the beast seemed to say, you and I belong in a warm stall tonight.

The cold numbed his bony hands, his usually elegant lines shaky. Not yet. Almost, but not yet.

Wind whipped across the hollow of his cheek again to ruffle the fur of his hat, and on to creak the rope swing dangling from a tree by the farmhouse. His fingers rushed to add the crystal painted ball, the shimmering laundry lines.

Ice cracked hard against his boot. Finished or not, he was done.


The sergeant stopped outside the shelter, a hank of ham in his hand, to stare at the shoes drying by the door. “Pacchu?”

No answer.

Opening the door, he saw a lone man seated in an empty pigpen, charcoal pencil sketching at a piece of paper. “Pacchu, come inside, get warm. Come eat.”

The soldier tilted his head back, circles dark under his sunken eyes, skin pale and sallow. “Not hungry, sir. Cold killed my appetite.”

Knobby wrists, too much belt hanging off his uniform’s trousers. War didn’t make men fat. The sergeant offered his soldier a hand. “Not how it works, son.”

The boy was easy to haul to his feet. Shuffling, staring at his socks, the soldier shrugged. “Not hungry.”

The drawing lay on the floor: crystal pigs glimmering on a hillside by a farmhouse lit by moonlight. Couldn’t tell from the image that the walls were all that was left of the structure, the other half naught but ash now. Couldn’t see the rebel-informant farmer or his family as skeletons in their beds, the dog roasting over a fire beside the pigs and the clothes trampled into the mud by hundreds of boots.

A beautiful fantasy.

“Come in, son,” the sergeant murmured again. “Rozca shot a deer. You can have that.”

The boy hesitated, and let the sergeant pull him to the door.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh, Morning

Driving down the highway on an icy morning (last Friday, in fact), most of the cars had a good inch or so of ice-snow-ice sandwich. This particular combination can be nasty to scrape off (one must first break through the crust of ice to brush away the snow to reveal and scrape off the layer of ice underneath the snow), so most cars had only the essentials cleared: the windows and mirrors. Being in the South, where I know black ice is more likely than real snow and yet drivers focus on the deceptively snow-free roads, and it being early enough that while the sun touched the roofs of cars it still left the roads in frigid shadow, I ran a little below the speed limit, giving extra room to other drivers as I could.

The sun was out and merry, tickling the compacted mess on the tops and rears of cars. Cars that, thanks to running, were also warming from the inside.

The end result was the occasional spontaneous upward flinging off ice, as if cars were celebrating the first real winter weather of the season and throwing handfuls of confetti into air. It was invigorating, cheerful, and mildly amusing. Quite pretty, too, with pristine white flakes getting tossed up and twirling through the sky.

Then one of those chunks hit my windshield, producing a bell-curve shaped crack running from one end to the other.

The confetti became much less amusing.

Traffic promptly afterward slowed to a crawl, and for two miles tip-toed forward. Finally I passed the reason for the crowd's creeping hush: an overturned car, blackened, still smoking, swarmed by emergency workers. I can only hope the driver got out in time.

A cracked window isn't pleasant. I'll take it anyway, and say thanks. And hope for no more winter confetti.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Using Circles

Use Google+? Do you like the circles feature?

The point of circles is to separate your contacts so you can choose what to share with whom. This means that funny story, the one about going on a date with a guy who spent the whole time trying to get into your pants until you told him you were an alien from Mars on your second reincarnation and had to eat at least 700 jars of spicy pickles before your ship could fly again, doesn't go to your overprotective older brother.


I've seen circles used by people who post about a wide variety of topics. A Doctor Who circle, for example, would get all the Doctor Who posts, while a quilting circle would get posts talking about an awesome place to buy good quality quilting needles. Building a target audience, and giving them posts relevant to them, is a great marketing tool--and it's a better social tool. You don't have to make every post immediately relevant: general status updates can be amusing to everyone. But making sure at least half the material you give any particular circle is relevant will keep people reading.

It's also good for managing your feed. Your home stream, the posts that show up on the first page you look at, might not be the best place for all posts. Say, for example, you know someone in your field who does burlesque on the side. You might not want burlesque to show up on your home stream, but the business information is useful. You can move that person over to a "NASFW" (not always safe for work) circle, set that stream to show 0% on your home stream, and check that circle's stream when you're safe at home.

I have two writing circles myself: "Public Writing" and "Interactive Writers." Anyone who circles me who has "writer" in their description or profile goes into the public circle, which shows 0% on my home stream. When they make a good comment on a post, I move them into the interactive circle, which shows 100%. This means that I don't get writers who use Google+ as a spam-promo dumping ground showing up in my feed (yeah, it can be a problem), or who never post anything vaguely related to writing. Every now and then I browse the public stream and make comments on interesting things, but I put most of my energy into writing to those who converse. Everything I share with one I share with the other, so the only person these two circles affect is me.

The one issue I've had with them is how they interact with communities. Everything shared in a community shows up in the home stream, but I can't share to both a stream and a community at the same time, so I have to make two posts. That means people who have me on both stream and community get a repeat post. edit: They have introduced a feature that stops posts made in a community from showing on the main stream, so the only inconvenience is having to post twice if I want to share something in both places.

Overall, they're a useful feature of the site, and I find them handy for both targeting the people I want to talk to, and filtering the posts I see.

How do you use circles? Do you like them? Do you have any gripes about them?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An interesting article

Kristine Kathryn Rusch posts an article on the myths of self-publishing, and how the industry has changed from 2009 to December 2012. It's worth a read, because while the last part of the article gets a bit preachy, she makes some great points: the industry is changing, and in the end, it's quality product that makes the difference, and a great quantity of it.

Especially worth noting are the myths that were true in 2009 and not true in 2012. It's really important to keep your thumb on the pulse of publishing, because things change so quickly.

Thanks to Katherine Traylor, whose post Reading, Writing, and Publishing Links led me to this article! She has more links in her post, so drop by and check them out!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Conquering Self-Doubt

We're not robots. That's why we do things like burn out, get tired, need support. Like writing: even knowing you're a good writer, and that an agent passed not because of your writing quality but because of her personal tastes, you probably (if you're like me) have a flash of self-doubt. "It wasn't good enough; I must be terrible!" Then reason kicks in, and whacks you across the back of the head.

Knowing something isn't true doesn't stop you from feeling it in the first place.

This isn't limited to writing.

Relationships: He didn't want to go out.
Gut reaction: I'm awful and no one will ever date me.
Truth: He thinks I'm serious relationship material and he's not looking for commitment. There are other guys who are better for me.

Weight: I weigh more than the women on TV that everyone calls pretty. I weigh more than models.
Gut reaction: Oh dear goodness, I'm fat!
Truth: Fashion portrays women unrealistically (and unhealthily). I'm healthy as I am, and should remember that their body shape would be unhealthy in me. 

Interviews: I got an e-mail saying the position was filled.
Gut reaction: I messed up the interview; no one will ever hire me!
Truth: They already had someone else in mind/someone else was more qualified. I'll have another chance at the next interview.

Cooking: The rice burned.
Gut reaction: I'm a horrible cook and I'll never know how to make good rice!
Truth: I haven't made this brand of rice before and am still learning the best way to make it. Next time will be better.

Positive thinking is a powerful tool. Not only does it reinforce the positive, but it reminds us (by its existence) that everyone else feels doubt too. 

There are things that are our fault, actual problems that we can fix. If I'm five pounds over where I want to be, I can go on a diet and exercise more, and change it. If I burn the rice once, I can figure out why, and next time not burn it. When something really is a problem that we can fix, then we should.

But we can't control other people. And if we always spend every hour of our lives changing ourselves to please others, we'll never know who we are. Our gut reaction is to assume that something we can't (or shouldn't) change must be a sign that we suck. But the gut lies. It's okay to make mistakes.

When you feel bad because something didn't turn out as you hoped, remember that it's natural to have a negative gut reaction. But also remember that self-doubt doesn't control you. Call your gut on the lie. If it's something you can fix, then fix it. Otherwise, figure out what the truth is, give yourself a positive statement to negate the self-doubt, and move on.

What does your gut lie about? What's the truth? And what's something good about yourself?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Publishing Industry News

Publishing industry news and related blogs for 12/29/12-1/11/13. Happy New Year, and here's what's happened while you were partying!

Industry News

Who's reading e-books? More people than ever before, but of those who read at least one book in the past twelve months, only 30% have read an e-book in that same time frame. I wouldn't count paper and ink books out of the picture yet, but e-books are showing a significant gain in popularity.

Pearson Publishing, a U.K. publisher, invests in the Nook.

Macmillan's CEO announces that he plans for e-book library lending in early 2013.

It's been a good year and a rough year for Kickstarter: publishing projects alone raised over $15 million (USD), but only 30% of projects got fully funded. In total, Kickstarter raised over $320 million and funded over 18,000 projects. (Each link has more statistics.)

Retailer discounting is already affecting the average price of e-books, which has dropped $0.61 (USD) in the first week of 2013.

Remember when Wiley & Sons sued BitTorrent users for copyright infringement for distributing pirated copies of "for Dummies" books? Users who didn't respond to the lawsuit got stuck with a default judgement against them, a razzling $7,000 from a pair of users in New York. Hundreds of other users are settling or going to court.

Barnes & Nobles reports a 10% decline in holiday sales versus last year, but sales on "core produces exceeded [Barnes & Noble's] expectations," and "the company continues to expect fiscal year 2013 Retail comparable bookstore sales to decline on a percentage basis in the low- to mid-single digits." (I assume they mean they expect sales this year to be 1-6% worse than last year overall, but feel free to make your own speculations.)

Meanwhile, a look at holiday sales for indie publishers has many of them satisfied, showing only a small average decline as compared to last year.
Capstone acquires Maupin House in the children's publishing side of things., well-known POD publisher, drops DRM from titles bought through them. Titles bought through Amazon, B&N, and other major retailers may still carry DRM applied by the retailer.

txtr, a Berlin-based company, may be the ReaderLink solution to allowing retailers such as Costco  Walmart, and Target to sell e-books without locking into any particular device (such as Nook or Kindle).

The DOJ sets up a timetable for Penguin to join the settlements, with the proposed final approval by May 10, 2013.

According to BookScan, print sales are still declining, at an average of 9% between 2011 and 2012.

Macmillan signs a deal with Entangled Publishing, a quickly rising traditional publishing company that offers a 40% royalty rate on e-books to authors (as compared to the standard 25% for e-books), to handle global distribution of Entangled's books.

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker for 1/4 and 1/11.

Nathan Bransford's the Last Few Weeks in Books from 1/4.

QueryTracker looks at the different types of editors, and defines the levels of editing, in 50 shades of editing.

Publishers' Weekly explains the possible effects of the Copyright Act, which allows authors to terminate contracts entered into 35 years ago.

Afraid of putting on the pounds when you're writing? AppNewser posts apps to help writers keep in shape.

On the Writers Beware blog, Victoria Strauss warns us about Global Talk Radio as not being worth the money, and gives us a quick-reference to the WB's notable posts of 2012.

Suzanne Rock drops by the FF&P blog to talk about marketing on a budget. The trick? It's all in target practice: only investing in marketing aimed at your target audience, not general audiences. Find out where your audience is, and join them.

At Janet Reid's Friday Night at the Question Emporium, she answers how to know whether it's okay to query multiple agents at the same agency (not at the same time; that's a no). Check to see if the agency specifies, or eavesdrop listen on Twitter, or cross your fingers and hope.

Agent and blogger Kristen Nelson posts her year-end stats, such as for her agency, she estimates 32,000+ queries answered, while the agency signed 16 new clients.

If you're not on GoodReads yet, here's a pretty convincing infographic on why you should be: it doubled in size in 2012 and hosts over 20 million reviews.

GalleyCat warns that if FaceBook readers are hiding your posts or un-liking you, it may be hurting your FB visibility.

Jennie Nash guest posts on Rachelle Gardner's blog with 5 surprises she had from self-publishing. She's done both traditional and self-publishing, and reflects on things that took her by surprise in the switch to self-publishing. A good post if you're trying to decide which route to go.

Amanda Patterson explains what a denouement is on Writers Write.

What publishing news or industry-related blogs have you encountered in the past two weeks?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Writing Exercise: Everyday Battles

Every day has struggles. Some are bigger than others, but today, let's focus on the small ones. Choose a daily irritation and make it major, describing as if it were a major, world-changing affair. Take out your worst purple prose this morning and wave it proudly, but keeping yourself to under 150 words. Because among the tiny battles we wage on issues of non-import is the battle of getting purple prose out of our systems.

purple prose
writing that calls attention to itself because of its obvious use of certain effects, as exaggerated sentiment or pathos, especially in an attempt to enlist or manipulate the reader's sympathies
My example:

It was a valiant battle, fought on the gritty front lines of somnolence. With the fish-breath(ing), purring dragon to our backs, and the furry vulture at our feet waiting to pounce, we struggled to keep our ground. But our peaceful resting place was not to be, for the blasts of the sirens knocked us to our feet, severed the ties of sleep, and routed us from the promised bed.

Share your battle in the comments below!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Brain lag

Good morning... I think...

Brain lag. That lovely incident wherein the brain persists in functioning at no greater than 25%, resulting in no fewer than two doors being run into and all work operating at one-quarter speed until the phenomenon passes.

For me, it occurs most frequently on Mondays after traveling. I fight it with copious amounts of tea, and occasionally hot chocolate steeped in black tea if it's particularly bad.

When are you most prone to brain lag? How do you deal with it? 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Take Yourself Seriously, and Laugh

Do two things for yourself this year: Take yourself seriously, and laugh.

If you're a scientist, or an artist, or a mathematician, or a game-writer, make time for learning or making something new. Make time for doing something you love, that which got you into your profession in the first place. Invest in yourself, as in set time aside for these things. Why? Because it's professional development, because it's motivation, because it keeps you from getting burnt out. Because whether or not you ever get paid for it, it's part of your job, and more importantly: part of who you are.

And if you're a writer, make time for writing. Understand that writing is a profession: A "pay on completion" job. Okay, sometimes you won't get paid, but that's no different from any other art-related job. Writing has a very long production period, but it's still a job. A job you love, and a job you will sometimes have to fight to keep, but a job.

Don't forget that. You're making an investment. Even if you don't earn money from it, you'll have earned experience. And whatever you do, don't despair. Everyone doubts herself sometime. But the difference between self-doubt and despair is whether or not you keep going.

Remember to laugh. Connect with people. Online or in person, connecting with others in the same field gives you a support community. Community, as in people who care about you, who share laughter and stories and their most terrible adventures and funny pictures of cats, dogs, and parakeets.

So laugh, because remembering those moments will be what carries you past self-doubt, what keeps you working towards completing your work. Those are the moments worth working for, the moments worth living for.

In this new year, take yourself seriously, and laugh.

What's something fantastic that happened last year?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Silver Yin Zen Pearls

Reviewed by: Juturna F.
Type of tea
White, loose-leaf pearls
Flavor aspects
Where I got it
Normally $22 for 2 oz. Bought at Teavana's after-Christmas sale, at 75% off.
How I brewed it
Filled a copper-bottomed kettle with water, heated on stove until I heard it begin to bubble (did not let it get to the whistling stage). Using a cast-iron teapot (2 person teapot; holds apprx. 16 oz), added 3 tsp of tea. Poured water over 2 ice cubes over tea, steeped for 2 minutes.
Rebrewing notes
Even after four brews, it still has an excellent flavor. I know brewed it too hot once, and too long another time, and while the flavor became a little bitter, it wasn't too bitter, so it's fairly resilient.
Normally, this tea is outside my price range (I try to be strict with my budget), but with the sale, I took the chance to treat myself. And I will say, this is a very nice white tea. Unfortunately, it's not on the website as of this posting, so you'll have to chance a trip into the store in person to try to find it, or buy it from another site.

For a first-cup taste, it's a good, high-quality white tea. White teas tend to be very mild tasting (if you haven't had it before, think 'green tea light' or 'slightly flavored hot water'). They're great for antioxidants, and I personally like the flavor, but many people find white teas too light. I brewed an extra teaspoon over what's recommended for my first try, so my tea was stronger than normal, which I enjoy. The next time I made it, I used closer to the recommended 1 tsp for 8 oz, and still found it full-bodied for a white tea. That said, I've had comparable quality flavor at less of a price.

Where this tea really stands out to me is in the rebrew. I don't think I've ever had a white tea that still had this much flavor after four brews. And making the tea the next day at work, I had 3 rebrews throughout the day, all still richly flavored. I didn't try brewing it a fourth only because I went home.

If you're still getting used to teas and need stronger flavors, you might want to find a less expensive white tea and add a touch of lemon or a raspberry. I wouldn't recommend beginning to drink white tea with this tea, because if I hadn't tried a wide variety of white teas, I wouldn't really appreciate how nice this one is. It's really too expensive a tea to want to dilute the taste by adding anything. Maybe a drop of honey or sugar if you prefer your tea sweetened, but keep it light enough not to cover the taste of the tea itself, or you'll just be wasting your money. However, if you like the taste of plain white tea and will be drinking tea for a long enough period of time to need multiple rebrews, it may well be worth the investment.

Reviewed by:

Could be you!
Type of tea
Where I got it
How I brewed it
Rebrewing notes

I need a second review on this tea! If you've had a chance to try this tea and have done tea reviews before, or read enough to write one aimed at experienced tea drinkers, leave a comment with a way to get in touch with you or message me through Google+, and I'll post your review!

(Learning to Like Tea Part 1Part 2Part 3, Guest Post: Types of Tea, Guest post: Getting the Best Cup of Tea)