Dylan.Blog Writing and musings by Dylan Reed

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

book with a long title review


Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.


This is an amazing book. After reading Alice I wasn’t sure I was ready for another magical adventure. But this book changed everything.

One piece of advice that is given to authors all the time is to read a lot. This helps you become a better writer because it exposes you to a lot of different writing styles. The style this book is written in makes me want to write like this.

Every part of this book is well thought out and the villain has reasoning for being the villain that makes everything else in the book come into a sharper focus. I couldn’t put this book down.

The creatures and characters introduced are lovely and memorable. There is nothing I would change or even criticize. Read this book now!!

Don’t forget that you can support my writing efforts on Patreon

Week Fifteen

Week Six - Dylan looking insane at the end of a panoramic of Wellington NZ

This week was fun. I wrote some of the hardest things I have written. Funerals are apparently not fun to write about. It didn’t help that there was a memorial service happening at work around the same time. I was in need of chocolate.

And the worst part is that I am not finished. I am avoiding that story because I don’t want to delve back into it. Maybe this weekend I will jump in.

Another problem is that I rediscovered minecraft. It is so much fun. Digital Lego. Currently working on a underwater dome and beach town. Yay!!

Also doing a lot more research on self-care. Because, you gotta take care of yourself. And I have been a bullet journal failure this week. Sad Dylan.

But the beauty of a bullet journal is that I can start again today. I just need to do it. TODAY!!

A funny thing I have learned about ADHD meds is that they won’t make me do something I don’t want to. Instead, when I make myself do that thing I can stick with it until it is done.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Don’t forget that you can support my writing efforts on Patreon

The Bow Tie Project Week Fourteen

Late post but awesome bow tie!!!

This week was crazy and I didn’t plan ahead very well. This tie is a lot of fun, though the color scheme might be a better fit for fall. Patterns like this look great on a batwing tie.

How can you help?

Do you also love bow ties? No one needs 52 bow ties, so I was thinking I could share the making of them with others. If you want a bow tie, you just need to buy the fabric, pay for shipping, and I will add you to the list. Shoot me an email so we can set it up. I will need to know what size your neck is.

Since I also want to gain some bow ties from this experience I will be only opening up twenty-six of the fifty-two ties for people. So get in now or miss out. Fill out the form

Wish me luck and check back every week for the newest bowtie.

Don’t forget that you can support my writing efforts on Patreon

Getting Started

How to Ukulele


The ukulele is a fantastic and amazing instrument. I imagine that the ukulele is like the evil minion of the guitar. It can do and say things that the guitar wants to, but can’t.

The ukulele is a member of the lute family and uses nylon strings. For more information about the ukulele’s history try google.


Like most people who start playing string instruments the idea was put in my head but Patrick Rothuss. The Name of the Wind guy. His descriptions of how it feels to play and perform made me think, “Hey, I like to feel those things.” So clearly I needed to learn how to play the lute.

I wasn’t able to find any lutes for sale in the Greeley area. After five minutes of searching, I moved on to my second choice, the mandolin. Mandolins are not cheap instruments and given my propensity for giving up on things, I thought it was best not to spend any money.

Then I remembered that my mom had started learning to play the ukulele. Perfect. It was about a month ago when I had this realization and I called my mom. She still had it, and wasn’t playing it. Yay for me!!

Playing a ukulele was love at first strum. I loved the sound, I loved how small it was. Guitar players call it the clown of guitars, which is perfect for me.


Playing the ukulele is pretty simple. Hold it, strum it, press the string near the frets. It is actually that simple. Playing it well is a whole other issue.

I found a bunch of tutorials online and downloaded a tuning app. It wasn’t until I found Yousician that I really started to learn. It turns out that my friend Jon (one of two) had recently picked up the ukulele as well and pointed me in that direction.

Yousician has been great because it makes playing the ukulele into a game. Basically a perfectly designed app for my brain and it has been a lot of fun.

I have also purchased the book, Ukulele Aerobics, which is a forty week course that walks you through the basics of the ukulele. Each day has a different theme: Chords, scales, legato, etc. The way it is structured is in small little bite sizes, which are easy to digest.

My practice has been to do my daily Ukulele Aerobics and then move into whatever song I am practicing. Right now it is Brahms Lullaby, and it is a lot of fun.

Join Me

If you want to join in on this crazy ukulele journey here is what you need to do.

  1. Find a ukulele - craigslist, borrow, the internet, etc.
  2. Get youcisian (I am dylannotdylan if you want to follow me)- This will help you jump start things and help you understand what the youtube teachers are saying.
  3. Watch videos - There are a ton of videos out there about how to play the ukulele. I ignored those at first. Instead I watched performances that were inspiring. This gave me a goal to strive for.
  4. Practice - This one should go without saying. I try to practice for at least 20 minutes if not more everyday. And practice everything. Don’t just work on chords, do finger style as well.

Join me in Uke land. I will keep practicing and try and share any tricks and tips I learn along the way.

Don’t forget that you can support my writing efforts on Patreon