Monday, December 31, 2012

Getting It Together


Today I finished assembling the front panel of the crafter's tote I'm crocheting.  The very same Secret Santa project I've been going on about here since last summer and did not finish in time last week.

What you see there is 44 inches by 12 inches and will wrap around the front of the bag with the nine squares on either end forming the side pockets on the outside of the Mobius strip that serves as bottom/side/carrystrap.

There are five more of those strips of 11 4x4in squares to prep for joining and then join.  They are to form the panel that creates the back of the bag and the top and front flap.  I spent several hours prepping several of those strips today after finishing the front panel.  Tying knots in the tails and tucking them is one of those tasks.  Also the center strip made with the loops stitch requires all those loops to be looped together--12 rows by 9 columns per square.  I decided to take each column all the way through all 11 squares and have completed 8 of them.

The next step after completing that ninth column of loops is to crochet the row of six-chain loops around that loops strip.  The other four strips will have to have a row of single crochet put in before the row of loops.  These rows are done in the Mushroom thread and those strips are woven together by pulling the loops through each other back and forth.  There is probably a good twenty hours of work to get the second panel completed.

Then there is the Mobius strip.  I'm still sitting at 2.5 inches of the 12 I'm shooting for.  I have two more balls of the Twig thread.  Well there is a third but it is assigned to another project.  I finally got my order in to Joanne.com for another six balls but it is not going to arrive here before I leave for Longview which is now slated for this Saturday.  So if I finish the five strip panel and both of the Twig balls on the Mobius while at Mom's this project may have to go on hiatus until I return home.  Unless Joanne or Michael's in Longview have the Twig thread in stock and I can pick up a couple to tide me over.

I attempted to have my order mailed to my Mom's but they were going to add $4 in tax so I backed out and went ahead and had it delivered here.  If I'd been thinking clearer at the time I could have had it delivered to my brother's house in Portland and avoided the tax.

Oh well.  It's not like I'll be short of things to do while at Mom's.  Aside form all the family doings and helping my sister out which are the main purposes of my visit, I'll have at least a dozen unfinished fiber art projects with me.  I'm seriously considering make 2013 all about finishing WIP--fiber art, fiction, file organizing and backup, family photo scan and various others difficult to label.

I also have several ARCs to read and a number of reviews, author interviews and author guest posts scheduled for the next couple of months.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Serenity 317

see moar LOLz : vote, caption, share

I spent the bulk of the day reading ebooks or downloading them or fiddling with their metadata in their applications--Kindle for PC and Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions. My eyes are fried but I'm probably going to up the font size and keep on going.   As long as I can keep the whole line on the screen anyway.  Once I have to start scrolling side to side my eyes start feeling like kittens being teased by the lazer light tho not having nearly the fun.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Scatterday Capers



I'm at loose ends today. None of the constrictions on my time of late applied today and my attention scattered like a heard of cats in an orchard on a windy fall day.

The cold that caught me on Christmas Eve is loosening its clutches but has far from let go.  So I gave myself permission to take it easy.

I crocheted on the Secret Santa project less than an hour today, made half a round with the loops on one 44 inch strip.  I daydreamed. I read and answered email.  I read fb newsfeed.  I played 5 Words with friends.  I daydreamed.  I opened and read in a couple of new ARC ebooks.  I downloaded several NetGalley ARCs that were waiting on my dashboard for weeks since I didn't dare start the 55 day countdown before Christmas.  I browsed on NetGalley and requested half a dozen more ARCs.  !!What was I thinking?  I daydreamed.  I fiddled with the metadata in my calibre ebook library for several hours.  I daydreamed.  I listened to news podcasts from Friday.  I read blogs and articles online and surfed random links off of them.  I daydreamed.  I moved files around in my archives in a feeble attempt to impose order.  I reorganized my crochet WIP box prepping it for the trip to Longview possibly next week.  I daydreamed.

I was completely scatterpated

With ROW80 on hiatus I was at loose ends regarding today's post since Saturday night has been my check-in post.  No thoughts.  So I guess it's the LOLcat fallback again.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Do We Still Need Libraries? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

My First Library in Longview WA.

Do We Still Need Libraries? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com:

'via Blog this'

I can't believe that serious people would seriously suggest that libraries are going obsolete.

Libraries obsolete?  In the information age? Seriously?

Do check out that debate tho as some of the responses reveal some of the really creative ways libraries are addressing the needs of their communities as their roles evolve along with every other institution in the digital age.

If you still picture a warehouse of books and periodicals and a specticaled lady with a finger on her lips  at the mention of the word 'library' you must not have been inside one recently.

How does your library serve you and your community?

Read more...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Crocheted Crafter's Tote Progress Report

Two of the three 44 inch strips for the front panel now joined
The middle five squares form the front of the bag
while the three squares on each end wrap around to form pockets
in front of the Mobius strip that will form the
bottom/sides/carrystrap


Yes this is still the Secret Santa project.  I obviously massively miscalculated what was doable in under six months.  It didn't help that I waited too long to go after the thread I needed to finish the Mobius strip that is to form the bottom/sides/carry strap.

My sister-in-law who was my giftee was gracious about it but I was still mortified to wrap a shoe box full of the 11 strips of squares with two strips partially joined.  It would have been worse to wrap nothing at all tho.

So yesterday I finally finished braiding the loops to join these two strips for the panel that wraps around the front of the bag.  Turns out this is  going to take more than an hour for each one.  There will be one more joined to this panel. Then once the Mobius is done the bottom strip of this panel will be joined to that.  Then there will be four joinings for the five strip panel and then the outer edges of that panel will join to the Mobius and to the ends of the panel shown above--three squares deep.  Then the remaining loops on that panel and the Mobius strip will be woven along the edges.

Before all of that joining can take place the six remaining strips have to have round of six chain loops applied and in several cases preceding that a round of single crochet to firm up the edge and establish the number of loops.  Each of those rounds takes over an hour.  So that is looking like 20 some hours just to get the panels created.

I don't want to think about the Mobius strip right now.  I messed up my calculations the last time I timed myself around the full 8 feet and also messed up when calculating how many rounds it would take to make the twelve inches as well as how many balls of thread.  I will have to redo all of that as soon as I start working it again but I could be looking at close to 100 hours to get the 12 inches.

Read more...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Ketcha Da Katchoos

Moar LOLs: See Vote Caption
Pardon me while I turn my head...

Whew.  That's the gift that keeps on giving.

My face hurts so bad I want to claw it off.

With the pressures of finishing the unfinishable Secret Santa crochet project now off, I gave myself one day of no pressure at all to do whatever my fancy fancied.   I guess I fancied sneezes and naps.

It wasn't quite that bad all the time.  I had a few hours of good fun--chatting on fb with my niece and my sister, playing Words with Friends and reading my fb newsfeed, downloading free ebooks, fiddling with the metadata in my ebook library, reading ebooks, reading news, fixing dinner, and even a bit of crocheting.

After dinner I took a four hour nap.  Nap?  Four hours is often typical of a full night's sleep for me.  Just not usually between 6 and 10pm.

Well if the headache tab I just took gives me enough relief I'm going to continue fiddling as fancy takes me for a few more hours with the intent to be back in bed before dawn.

When I wake next I must transfer most of the dedication I gave the Secret Santa project since December 1st to reading ARCs for January's blog tours.

In a day or two I will need to apply some dedication to packing for my January trip to Longview, WA to visit my Mom for a month.

Already?  Jeez I havn't finished unpacking from the November visit.

Read more...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have a Meowy Christmas


The glitter has fallen from the day bidding me follow it into the dreaming...

Read more...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Strung Out


I finished the last of the eight strips at 6am. The one with the brown stripes using the loops stitch.  I stopped to get some breakfast and then get the craft kit organized for the joining process before beginning the joining rounds on the fillet strip--seen here third from the bottom.  Those bottom three strips will form the panel that wraps around the front of the tote with three squares forming the pockets on each end five squares forming the front of the bag.

The other five strips will form the back/top/front flap of the bag with the ends on the far left here joined to the bottom of the bag.  The bottom being formed by the dark brown Mobius strip that I was unable to get the Twig thread to finish having waited too long to resupply and finding the stores out of stock too late to order online.  By then it was also too late to finish the Mobius by Christmas even if I could have magicked the thread into my project kit.

At that point, nearly two weeks ago I transferred all my hope and effort to finishing the strips and getting the two panels made and joined into the shape of a bag without a bottom.


It took two hours to go around the 44 inch fillet stitch strip with single crochet and nearly another two hours to go around again with the six-chain loops that will be used to join the strips.  Then it took over half an hour to weave the loops on the edge that will be the top edge of the front panel.

It was after noon by the time I got this far.  And about the same time I realized there weren't enough hours left to get all eight strips prepped and joined into the two panels by noon Tuesday, I also began to realize that the subtle hints of an oncoming virus I'd been feeling over the past 24 hours were no longer subtle.

I decided to get some chores done and something to eat before starting another strip but by the time I'd had my snack and cleaned up two days worth of kitchen messes and got the dishwasher running, I was feeling worse.  I fiddled around with email for a bit and contemplated getting this post put up but I couldn't keep my eyes focused.  So I lay down for a nap about 5pm.  When Ed came to bed at 9 my throat was raging.  I fell back to sleep and didn't wake again until nearly midnight.  Still did not get up until after 1am and then only because I'd been awake over an hour and even feeling cruddy I can't stand laying in bed in the dark with nothing but my chaotic thoughts to occupy me.

So I got up and took an Alka-Seltzer Plus and coffee and did my freewrite and then took the pictures of the fillet strip with the edging on and then started this post.  But I don't know when I'm going to get it posted now as we seem to have lost Internet.


This close up of the edges shows the six chain loops on the ends that will be braided to similar loops on the other panel and the Mobius strip and the already woven in loops on the one edge that will form the top of the front panel.  The blue twist tie is holding the last loop of the woven edge until it can start the weaving of the end of this panel to the other panel.  I juxtaposed the two ends of that edging to show how it has bunched up the fabric on the one end.  This was likely due to my having gotten careless about the spacing of the loops and leaving too big a gap between them.  I decided this will be OK for this strip and possibly for the whole of the front panel but I'm going to have to take better care when doing up the other panel.

Note Lost Internet just as I was about to post this in the wee hours of the 25th and it had not come back by the time we had to leave for the family dinner at my brother-in-law's.  I brought my netbook on the chance I could get online there which I've done.

Read more...

Sunday Serenity #316

Moar LOLz: see, vote, caption
I haven't lost my love of the thread and hook yet but the hook has bruised my fingers this past week I'm having trouble controlling them.

I finally reached the start of the last square of the last strip for the crafter's tote about 5pm today.  My eyes were crossing so I thought it was a good idea to lay down for a nap.  I just woke up at 11:22.  Now I have 36 to 38 hours to work on this Secret Santa project, and get ready to go to a party.  I will be lucky to get so much as another nap before we leave here around 2 on Sunday.

I should finish the final loops square before 6am and then after getting a photo of the 8 finished strips hanging off the curtain I'll begin the SC round of the first strip I won't know how long it takes to make a round of single crochet followed by a round of six chain loops around one of the 8 strips until I do at least half of one so I can't estimate yet what my chances are of getting them all done and then braiding the loops to form the strips into panels.  My most optimistic calculation is 2 hours per strip so they aren't looking that good.

So why am I still here?


Read more...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

59th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. I had nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns until the last week of NaNo and altho FREEWRITE holds steady I've let FICTION FILES slide.  I gave myself permission to take a post NaNo break to catch up on the many things that got neglected during NaNo.  I will get back on track tho maybe not daily until after Christmas since that Secret Santa crochet project is scarily behind.

See my musings in this check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.

See last Sunday's check-in for the bullet list in which I try to analyse the variables that may be affecting the usual post NaNo aversion to my fiction files causing it to dissipate weeks or months early.



MOVE has apparently joined FICTION FILES on hiatus this week.  The latter was intentional because of the Christmas crochet project that is so far behind I've been working on it six to ten hours a day since NaNo finished and this week have had two 24+ hours awake in which I worked on it well over 10 hours and yet my fears that it won't get done in time have been realized.

Just days to go and the latest glitch is not being able to get enough of the Mushroom thread to proceed with the substitute plan for the bottom of the tote after not finding the Twig I'm using in the Mobius strip bottom/side/strap forced me to give up on the Mobius concept and settle for a simple rectangle which made me as incredibly sad as having to edit out a beloved scene or character or plot element from a story that it was crippling.

Not finding enough of the Mushroom either and there now being not enough time for yet another alternate plan, means the tote will have no bottom in time for Christmas. But I'm still hoping to finish the rest of it in time. Tho hope is fading fast as I've still two squares of the loops stitch to finish before joining the strips into panels and the panels into a bag and those squares are taking 4 to 6 hours to complete and I have no estimate on how long the joining processes will take.

The one upside to not finding enough Mushroom to do the simple rectangle bottom means I can reinstate the Mobius strip concept.  Since it is going to be late anyway it might as well be its truest self when finished.

Meanwhile I'm DAYDREAMING STORY and  listening to podcasts on writing and audio books to get my fiction fix and READ CRAFT.


Read more...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looped

Get more LOLz,.  See. Vote. Caption.


Just spent most of the last 24 hours crocheting on the last strip of 4x4 inch squares for the crafter's tote Christmas gift.  The stitch is called Loops is primarily single crochet with every fourth row having a color change and a 12 chain loop made every 4th stitch.

In spite of trying hard to stay on task, taking breaks only for nature's demands,I completed only three squares since midnight.  I have four to go and am pretty sure I need to be done with the Loops strip by this time tomorrow in order to have any hope left of getting the joining of the 8 strips into 2 panels and the panels to each other in time.

I have until noon on Christmas day give or take an hour.

Nature is now demanding sleep.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Miles to Crochet Before I Sleep

Gotsa go  ketch u laterz
In a panic.

7 squares of the loops stitch to complete before I can start the joining step.  Tho I am contemplating putting a time to stop on loops and switch to joining at some point this weekend.  Say Saturday noon or midnight.  Then I could at least have the front panel finished and the other four strips of the back/flap panel prepped by Christmas.  And at least have something to show my Secret Santa giftee that won't make me blush too much.

Well, contemplation isn't accomplishing a thing...

Read more...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All Tied Up

she no take me srsly 


 Still working furiously on the Secret Santa crocheted crafter's tote. It's official. I won't get it finished in time. Can't get the thread I need even for the compromised version of the simple rectangle bottom in place of the Mobius strip that was to serve as bottom/sides/carry strap. So I'm putting all of my focus on getting the 8 strips finished and joined into the two panels and the two panels joined to form a bag without a bottom.  If I can get it this far so that it looks at first glance like what it is meant to be and not obviously unfinished with tails of thread trailing and pieces under construction, I may wrap it anyway.  Then after Christmas as soon as I can order the thread online and get it I will resume work on the Mobius strip and as soon as it is done join it to the bag and have the original vision intact.

At this moment I am on the last few rows of the third square of the 8th strip of 11 4x4 squares.  The stitch pattern is called Loops and is primarily single crochet with every forth row a change of color and the creation of 9 loops of twelve chains every fourth stitch.  These loops are later interlocked.  The first square took me days back in October and November and I almost gave up on it but loved it so much I kept it.  The second square took me around four hours on Tuesday and the Third square was on track to take three hours yesterday when I had to quit after making the same mistake several times in a row and having to remove the same half dozen stitches.  It was time to rest both eyes and brain.

I'm hoping the time it takes per square will continue to trend down a bit more.  Two hours per square by the time I get to the fifth would relive a lot of the anxiety about getting the strip done in time to get the joining process going in time.

Speaking of time.  It is time to get back to work.

Read more...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

58th ROW80 Check-In


A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. I had nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns until the last week of NaNo and altho FREEWRITE holds steady I've let FICTION FILES slide.  I gave myself permission to take a post NaNo break to catch up on the many things that got neglected during NaNo.  I will get back on track tho maybe not daily until after Christmas since that Secret Santa crochet project is scarily behind.

See my musings in this check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.



Not much has changed since the last two check-ins so the following is mostly last Sunday's check-in with edits, tweaks and additions.  If discussion of fiber art projects bores you scroll past the next few paragraphs for the bullet list in which I try to analyse the variables that may be affecting the usual post NaNo aversion to my fiction files causing it to dissipate weeks or months early.

The fiction files work is still on hiatus intentionally because of the Christmas crochet project that is so far behind I've been working on it six to ten hours a day since NaNo finished and my fears that it won't get done in time are all but realized.

Less than a week to go and the latest glitch is not being able to get enough of the Mushroom thread to proceed with the substitute plan for the bottom of the tote after finding the Twig I'm using in the Mobius strip bottom/side/strap forced me to give up on the Mobius concept and settle for a simple rectangle which made me as incredibly sad as having to edit out a beloved scene or character or plot element from a story that it was crippling.

Now I'm considering the option of finishing the two panels comprised of the eight strips of 11 squares and getting them joined using the two Mushroom we were able to get and go ahead and give it on Christmas day looking like a large diaper bag with no bottom or carry strap .  Then order the Twig I need to complete the Mobius online.  Which would mean it would be mid March soonest before it was completed as it would be mid January before the thread arrived and I'll be helping out at my Mom's again for most of January and into February so there wouldn't be any 8-10 hour days.

That feels a bit tacky but not quite as tacky as withholding it entirely and giving nothing at all on Christmas day when whichever family member that drew my name has probably already got mine wrapped and under the tree or in the mail as the case may be.

Meanwhile I'm listening to podcasts on writing and audio books to get my fiction fix.

I've started itching to get back to my fiction files and it isn't even the end of December and ever since my first full NaNo in 2005 I have experienced an emotional backlash against my fiction files that tended to last for months.  I'm trying to understand the variables that might be affecting this and the roles they may or may not be playing in this really significant change:

  • I joined ROW80 in April so this is the first post NaNo since ROW80 check-ins and goal setting became woven into my life
  • Because of the ROW80 time investment goals working with, thinking about, reading about writing and actually writing (still keeping up the FREEWRITE time investment goal) has become woven into my daily life
  • Because of the ROW80 time investment goal DREAM STORY and how it became entwined with crocheting (an unexpected mental and emotional coupling of two passions that have been cross pollinating in unanticipated ways) this forced focus on crocheting has led to more focus on stories in a non-threatening way that doesn't trigger the usual post-NaNo revulsion
  • By giving myself permission to take the hiatus the not working in the fiction files is free of guilt and shame unlike other years.
  • Because I can't work in the fiction files due to time constraints I might be obstinately wanting to do what I'm told I can't do?
  • Listening to a couple hundred hours of podcasts about writing in the last 18 days is pumping up motivation
  • Watching this huge crochet project take shape under my fingers over the weeks has been an object lesson my mind has translated to novel writing.  Like a novel this project was designed from scratch without a pattern and just a vision and has gone through many stages of planning and backtracking and readjusting of the plan or vision and like a novel it has progressed by the daily incremental increase in its component parts ie stitches vs words.  This is giving me a visceral feeling of what the dedication necessary feels like and what the joy of watching it grow under my fingers feels like.  Thinking along these lines in the last few months has me itching to apply the lesson directly to my fiction files
  • By a combination of overcommitting and procrastinating my time cushion away I've ended up turning December into a marathon crochet month like NaNo was a marathon fiction writing month and now the revulsion has switched its focus from the fiction files to the crochet.  Note to self: can you please please please never put yourself in the position again of having to do the same thing for over ten hours a day seven days a week?  No matter how much you love doing it you can end up turning it from bliss to blah.

Read more...

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

Recently I implemented something I've seen on other blogs and found recommended during Blogiesta:  I've created a template for this meme post so that in the future I can more quickly put together my posts and readers can know what to expect and where to find the things they are most interested in.

The sections of this template:

Intro (here)
My Week in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week)
Reading Now (my current reading list broken up into NF and Fiction)
Upcoming (scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
Recently (links to bookish posts in the last few weeks)
New Arrivals: (lists of recently acquired ARC broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery)
ARC in waiting (a list that is getting shamefully long)

My Week in Review:

No reviews or bookish posts this past week.  Still too busy on the Christmas crochet project.  Still in a panic I'm not going to finish in time.

Finished reading:

Finished nothing this week.  Basically nothing has changed since last Monday.

Reading Now:

Non-Fiction:

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton (Part of my ROW80 reading in craft list)
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)
What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
And So It Goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonnegut.  (I've posted about this biography of Kurt Vonnegut several time in a kind of reading journal. It is past time for another.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them. Since this is an author bio this will also be on my ROW80 reading list )
This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese (I've posted a reading journal post for this collection of personal essays also.  It is past time for another.)
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and tecniques of fiction I'll be adding this to my ROW80 reading list
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff So part of my ROW80 reading list
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious this will be on my ROW80 reading list

Most of these I plug way in at a snail's pace--a couple pages or chapters per week as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer. I'm closing in on the finish line for several but as I get close on one I tend to add two or three more. There are some not listed here because I don't read in them weekly.

Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)  Have  not gotten far tho I started it during the read-a-thon in October.  I've had to start over three time already because of taking too long of a break in between listening but with this Xmas crochet project taking front burner on my agenda for the next three weeks for which I'm woefully behind I may be turning to this and other audio books for my story fix for the next couple of weeks.

Began on Kindle the ARC of After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson  the day it arrived in my email last week.  This is post apocalyptic horror with zombies.    I couldn't resist starting it after opening it and after only a few screens I was already attached to the strong female protagonist--or at least POV for that scene--and want to keep reading but I had to wait until I'd finished adn reviewed that NetGalley book  I anticipated enjoying this even tho zombies are not my favorite horror theme because I really enjoyed his The Red Church and I am but probably not to the same degree.

Still rereading The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton because I hadn't quite finished it before I put up the blog tour review last month and so much time had passed and so many interruptions had happened between the time of first starting it and having to post the review that I wanted a chance to experience this charming story complete in more condensed time.  This has become my bedtime reading.


Upcoming:


Blog Tours:

My Journey As a Combat Medic by Patrick Thibeault --memoir--January--Review and Author Interview
Flesh by Khanha --a novel--January.  Review and Author Guest Post

Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews:


At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon  (the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April. These short little lighthearted chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams)

The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg   Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list.   I discussed this in such detail in my mid-week ROW80 check-in post it was practically a review and I'll probably copy/paste much of what I said there into the review.


Recently:




Reviews and Bookish Posts:


A History of the Present Illness by Lousie Aronson --Net Galley. It reads like literary NF a bit like Oliver Sacks but Net Galley lists it as Fiction. It is a collection of short stories set in medical care facilities in the SF Bay area.)

Another bookish post: Friday Forays in Fiction: The Role of the Library  In which I discuss the importance of the library for story lovers both readers and writer and bemoan the still truncated hours of our local library system and scold those who would argue that libraries are becoming obsolete and thus funding for them less important.


The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton

If Dr. Seuss had written a novel it would be just like this--whimsical, charming, colorful as an artist's palette, with moral values wrapped in parables like peaches in whipped cream, with epic struggles of good against evil and full of the wonder and wisdom only ever comprehended by the heart of a child.  This story will speak to every child heart aged 8 to 88.

One Moment in Time by Glenn Snyder

This story was written to encourage thoughtful reflection but it does not stint on entertainment.  The author has woven a message into the story but is never preachy and always keeps the focus on the story.  The main characters are fully drawn and worth caring about, drawing us in and keeping us engaged.

Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson


Tho disturbing it is entertaining in the way we expect our thrillers to be with pulsing action and dialog that practically turns the pages for you.







Finished reading:

The World Without You by Joshua Henkin in late October (I reviewed this in June but had not quite finished it yet and only discovered that while shuffling around my ARCs in preparation for the read-a-thon.  Had to back up a couple chapters and then proceed. I would like to either post another review or update the one I posted in June but  I'm not sure where the time for it will come from before Christmas now that I'm so far behind on that crochet project.   I will say read this book.  It was one of the best of the ARC I read this whole year.)

New Arrivals:

By Snail Mail:

Flesh by Khanh Ha a novel set in Vietnam.  Arrived yesterday and it is physically a beautiful book.  I will be participating in its blog tour in January with both review and author guest post.
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks

By email:

After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson
Losses by Robert Wexelblatt  This arrived a couple months ago but I somehow neglected to put include it in this list before

From Net Galley:

A History of This Present Illness by Loren Aronson
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Unloched by Candace Lemon-Scott
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy 
by Emily Bazelon
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Snead
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch


ARC in waiting:


The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another ARC that got lost in the mix before I'd finished it.  Have not posted a review for this one either and can't remember when I received it but it had to be at least a year ago before I started packing for our move and likely before NaNo when I typically stop reading fiction while I'm so intensely writing it.  This is a collection of interlocking short stories set in South Africa and I remember I was quite enjoying it.  I've had to start it over.-- And now I've forgotten to bring it with me and won't get back to it until after Thanksgiving)
The Variations by John Donatich
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith   My husband read this and loved it and is after me to read it so he can talk about it.
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!
Skios by Michael Frayn
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me.
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.   It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.
Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 compiled by The Organization Breaking the Silence

If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

Read more...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Serenity #315

dat mr red suit tright eet mai  milk and kookees
For more LOLz to visit, vote, caption... 

Still working the Secret Santa crochet project 8+ hours a day. Still behind. Getting there though. 12.5 squares to go on the strips.  10 on the Loops stitch and 2.5 on the Wavy Chevron.  Then to the joining stitching and the bottom mesh panel.

Speaking of which, I have had to make a major revision and let go of one of my favorite concepts of the whole project this week.  The Mobius strip for the bottom/sides/carry strap was the concept that got me excited to start this project but I made the fatal error of waiting too long to shop for the rest of the thread I need to finish it and the local stores were out of stock.

Just as well, since on last Sunday when I redid the calculations on time again I discovered I'd remembered wrong for the time calculations on the Mobius and thus remaining work on it was going to take twice as long as I'd been thinking for several weeks and turned my 6 to 8 hour days until Christmas into 12 hours days--essentially undoable--I had to let go of this vision and plan a simple rectangle bottom.  Not sure on the carry strap yet.

Still making this up as I go even this late in the game.

But I can't let go of the Mobius strip concept entirely so I am planning to do another version of this project soon.  Maybe for a diaper bag for one of the babies arriving next year.  Probably scaled down since it wouldn't have to be big enough to carry around a large quilt in progress as this crafter's tote was designed for.  Also I think I'd do the whole thing in the mesh stitch instead of another sampler like this one with 8 different stitches.  And probably I'd settle on two to four colors instead of the thirteen this one will have.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

57th ROW80 Check-In


A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. I had nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns until the last week of NaNo and altho FREEWRITE holds steady I've let FICTION FILES slide.  I gave myself permission to take a post NaNo break to catch up on the many things that got neglected during NaNo.  I will get back on track tho maybe not daily until after Christmas since that Secret Santa crochet project is scarily behind.

See my musings in this check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.


Not much has changed since the last two check-ins.  The fiction files work is still on hiatus intentionally because of the Christmas crochet project that is so far behind I'm working on it six to ten hours a day and still fear it isn't going to be done in time.  Meanwhile I'm listening to podcasts on writing and audio books to get my fiction fix.

Meanwhile I've started itching to get back to my fiction files and it isn't even the end of December and ever since my first full NaNo in 2005 I have experienced an emotional backlash against my fiction files that tended to last for months.  I'm trying to understand the variables that might be affecting this and the roles they may or may not be playing in this really significant change:


  • I joined ROW80 in April so this is the first post NaNo since ROW80 check-ins and goal setting became woven into my life
  • Because of the ROW80 time investment goals working with, thinking about, reading about writing and actually writing (still keeping up the FREEWRITE time investment goal) has become woven into my daily life
  • Because of the ROW80 time investment goal DREAM STORY and how it became entwined with crocheting (an unexpected mental and emotional coupling of two passions that have been cross pollinating in unanticipated ways) this forced focus on crocheting has led to more focus on stories in a non-threatening way that doesn't trigger the usual post-NaNo revulsion
  • By giving myself permission to take the hiatus the not working in the fiction files is free of guilt and shame unlike other years.
  • Because I can't work in the fiction files due to time constraints I might be obstinately wanting to do what I'm told I can't do?
  • Listening to a couple hundred hours of podcasts about writing in the last fifteen days is pumping up motivation
  • Watching this huge crochet project take shape under my fingers over the weeks has been an object lesson my mind has translated to novel writing.  Like a novel this project was designed from scratch without a pattern and just a vision and has gone through many stages of planning and backtracking and readjusting of the plan or vision and like a novel it has progressed by the daily incremental increase in its component parts ie stitches vs words.  This is giving me a visceral feeling of what the dedication necessary feels like and what the joy of watching it grow under my fingers feels like.  Thinking along these lines in the last few months has me itching to apply the lesson directly to my fiction files
  • By a combination of overcommitting and procrastinating my time cushion away I've ended up turning December into a marathon crochet month like NaNo was a marathon fiction writing month and now the revulsion has switched its focus from the fiction files to the crochet.  Note to self: can you please please please never put yourself in the position again of having to do the same thing for over ten hours a day seven days a week?  No matter how much you love doing it you can end up turning it from bliss to blah.








Read more...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: A Podcast List




While I'm busy more than six hours a day with crocheting the Secret Santa project you are probably getting tired of hearing so much about, I am listening to podcast by and about writers.  Here is a list of some I have lined up.  All but the ones on podiobooks.com I've already subscribed to and downloaded into my itunes as far back as the archives go  I've already listened to the archives of the first two and am about halfway through I Should Be Writing.  The rest are listed in no particular order tho I imagine I'm going to want to listen to at least some of Mur Lafferty's fiction podcasts after I finish up with her writing one.  If I wait even that long.



Read more...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crochet Crafter's Tote Progress Report

The eight strips.  Bottom three for front panel completed.
Of five for back/top/flap panel the two on outer edges are finished.
The middle three not finished but one only needs 3/4 of final square.
The middle one needs 10 squares and the other one needs 7
There have been some major changes in the plan.  I've had to give up on the Mobius strip that was to form the bottom/sides/strap as we were unable to acquire the rest of the balls of Twig bamboo necessary to finishing.  I considered adding a wide stripe of Mushroom sandwiched between narrow stripes of the Twig but since I'd also discovered on Sunday that my time calculations for finishing the Mobius had been wrong--so wrong it doubled the estimated time for it--I decided to take the not finding the Twig as a sign I needed to give up the Mobius for this project.

I will be making a simple rectangle for the bottom now, using a combination of the Twig and Mushroom.  Still using the mesh stitch but possibly switching to three chain mesh to cover territory faster. The question now is will I have enough of the Twig left in the balls to make the 20x12 inch rectangle and the rest of the stripes in the Loops strip or will I have to cannibalize the Mobius strip?

I will also be using the Mushroom for the joining of the strips into panels and the panels to the bottom and probably for the strap.  I don't have a plan for the strap yet.

Section of panel that wraps horizontally around front and sides
Stacked as they will be with mesh on bottom, single crochet in middle and fillet on top 

Close up of the five strips for back/top/flap panel.
Right to left: Key Tab  finished;  Wavy Shell  10 and 1/4 squares done;
Loops 1 square done; Wave Chevron 4 squares done; Cross Hatch finished

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12

wen ai dun dis b bootifool kwissmiss purrzent 



Twelve Things I'm Looking Forward to Doing Again After the Secret Santa Crochet Project is Finished


  1. Reading a novel for hours
  2. Watching Movies
  3. Playing Spider or Mahjong
  4. Playing with my Merlin kitteh
  5. Sleeping until I'm done
  6. Writing poems and stories and book reviews
  7. Research
  8. Finish some of the many fiber art project put aside like the curtain for my kitchen window started in October or the rainbow tote I'm making for myself begun 18 months ago or the dolphin and orca counted cross stitch pictures begun 12 years ago
  9. Finish prepping my short story Blow Me a Candy Kiss for epublishing
  10. Hang out at the library and bring home a busload of books
  11. Housework
  12. Writing posts about something besides the Secret Santa crochet project
Note: tho not posting this until wee hours of Friday I had this planned and partially prepped before we lost Internet in the wee hours of Wednesday.

Read more...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

56th ROW80 Check-In


A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. I had nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns until the last week of NaNo and altho FREEWRITE holds steady I've let FICTION FILES slide.  I gave myself permission to take a post NaNo break to catch up on the many things that got neglected during NaNo.  I will get back on track tho maybe not daily until after Christmas since that Secret Santa crochet project is scarily behind.

See my musings in this check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.



Note:  I began prepping this before midnight Tuesday night and was just about to publish in the wee hours of Wednesday when we lost Internet and did not get it back until nearly midnight Thursday.  And then of course my netbook decided it had ten thousand more important things to do with the bandwidth and the RAM than blogging--updates and scheduled downloads. Response time to every click is measured in multiples of 5 seconds and often takes more than five of those to open a new page, tab or window.  Arrrg.  More lessons in adjusting goals I suppose.

The crocheted crafter's tote which is my Secret Santa project continues to take the bulk of my time and attention.  I am so far behind.  And after redoing the time calculations on Sunday I discovered it was worse than I thought and possibly just not doable without a major readjustment of the design.

Added to that I've also been unable to get the thread I need to finish the Mobius strip that was to form the bottom/sides/strap.  It was also the time calculations for the Mobius strip that I'd gotten wrong and discovered on Sunday that I'd halved one of the variables that when corrected took my hours per day from 8 to 12.  Like I said probably not doable.  Plus we left it too late to go after the rest of the thread.  My husband has taken buses after work and walked in icy rain only to find the store does not have any in stock.

I've come up with several alternatives to having that Twig bamboo thread to finish the Mobius.  One still involves completing the Mobius as planned but substituting Mushroom in a wide center stripe and switching to three chain mesh which covers ground faster.  But as painful as it is to give up the concept of the Mobius strip it is probably best to switch to making a plain rectangle bottom and conventional strap.  Either using a different thread like dark brown cotton instead of bamboo or using the four balls of Twig bamboo, including that already invested in the Mobius strip.

So what has this to do with ROW80?

Well superficially it is one of those life things that has forced some reassessment of the goals, adjustment of expectation and so forth.

Plus this entire project which I designed from scratch and have been making it up as I go has, fiction writing, been an exercise in adjusting goals, reassessing, willingness to undo the unsatisfactory work, flexibility on vision, seeing new possibilities only after getting started on the plan or after finding a part of the plan unworkable or not as lovely as it had been in my imagination.

Also since joining ROW80 in April and creating the goal for DAYDREAM STORY I have gravitated to doing so while crocheting.  It has become so coupled in my mind my psyche itches for the one the second I turn my attention to the other.

This past two weeks tho I've also added writing craft podcasts to the mix and have listened to over 100 hours worth of them while crocheting.  One of those has been The First Million Words podcast for which I've listened to  their first 30. All there is to date.This podcast is produced in the garage of one of the pair of aspiring writers who seek out and interview published authors on the writing life and craft.  They also have several minutes of silly (occasionally PG-13) bantering between themselves as they share where their own writing attempts have taken them since the last podcast.

I've also listened to all of the available episodes of Writing Excuses available in the itunes store but it looks like there might be more over on their site.

I'm now listening to the archive of I Should Be Writing which currently goes back as far as January 2011 in the itunes store.  I think I just entered March.  I understand you can get several years further back by contributing to the support of the podcast at the site.

I highly recommend all three of these for info, morale and entertainment


Read more...

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

Recently I implemented something I've seen on other blogs and found recommended during Blogiesta:  I've created a template for this meme post so that in the future I can more quickly put together my posts and readers can know what to expect and where to find the things they are most interested in.

The sections of this template:

Intro (here)
My Week in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week)
Reading Now (my current reading list broken up into NF and Fiction)
Upcoming (scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
Recently (links to bookish posts in the last few weeks)
New Arrivals: (lists of recently acquired ARC broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery)
ARC in waiting (a list that is getting shamefully long)

My Week in Review:

A History of the Present Illness by Lousie Aronson --Net Galley. It reads like literary NF a bit like Oliver Sacks but Net Galley lists it as Fiction. It is a collection of short stories set in medical care facilities in the SF Bay area.)

Another bookish post: Friday Forays in Fiction: The Role of the Library  In which I discuss the importance of the library for story lovers both readers and writer and bemoan the still truncated hours of our local library system and scold those who would argue that libraries are becoming obsolete and thus funding for them less important.

Finished reading:

A History of the Present Illness by Lousie Aronson 

That was the only one I finished and probably only because my Adobe Digital Edition pdf was about to time out on me at this time last week as the Net Galley ARCs are wont to do at 55 days from download.  Due to these factors: that my focus has been on a Christmas crochet project I'm behind on and what reading I get to do is spread over quite a few in progress and that I am still constantly misjudging how fast I can read as the RP encroaches upon the central vision of my right eye (having taken my left  for reading some years ago) and I keep chomping off more than I can chew.  But then I always did.  When I was reading three or four books per week I'd check out over twenty library books with 21 day limits.  I have never slowed the pace of bringing books into my life even as the pace at which I can read them has dropped from the 70 to 80 pages an hour it was in high school to the 20 to 40 pages an hour it is now.

Reading Now:

Non-Fiction:

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton (Part of my ROW80 reading in craft list)
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)
What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
And So It Goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonnegut.  (I've posted about this biography of Kurt Vonnegut several time in a kind of reading journal. It is past time for another.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them. Since this is an author bio this will also be on my ROW80 reading list )
This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese (I've posted a reading journal post for this collection of personal essays also.  It is past time for another.)
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and tecniques of fiction I'll be adding this to my ROW80 reading list
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff So part of my ROW80 reading list
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious this will be on my ROW80 reading list

Most of these I plug way in at a snail's pace--a couple pages or chapters per week as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer. I'm closing in on the finish line for several but as I get close on one I tend to add two or three more. There are some not listed here because I don't read in them weekly.

Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)  Have  not gotten far tho I started it during the read-a-thon in October.  I've had to start over three time already because of taking too long of a break in between listening but with this Xmas crochet project taking front burner on my agenda for the next three weeks for which I'm woefully behind I may be turning to this and other audio books for my story fix for the next couple of weeks.

Began on Kindle the ARC of After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson  the day it arrived in my email last week.  This is post apocalyptic horror with zombies.    I couldn't resist starting it after opening it and after only a few screens I was already attached to the strong female protagonist--or at least POV for that scene--and want to keep reading but I had to wait until I'd finished adn reviewed that NetGalley book  I anticipated enjoying this even tho zombies are not my favorite horror theme because I really enjoyed his The Red Church and I am but probably not to the same degree.

Restarted The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton because I hadn't quite finished it before I put up the blog tour review last month and so much time had passed and so many interruptions had happened between the time of first starting it and having to post the review that I wanted a chance to experience this charming story complete in more condensed time.  This has become my bedtime reading.


Upcoming:


Blog Tours:

My Journey As a Combat Medic by Patrick Thibeault --memoir--January--Review and Author Interview
Flesh by Khanha --a novel--January.  Review and Author Guest Post

Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews:


At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon  (the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April. These short little lighthearted chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams)

The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg   Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list.   I discussed this in such detail in my mid-week ROW80 check-in post it was practically a review and I'll probably copy/paste much of what I said there into the review.


Recently:



Reviews and Bookish Posts:


The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton

If Dr. Seuss had written a novel it would be just like this--whimsical, charming, colorful as an artist's palette, with moral values wrapped in parables like peaches in whipped cream, with epic struggles of good against evil and full of the wonder and wisdom only ever comprehended by the heart of a child.  This story will speak to every child heart aged 8 to 88.

One Moment in Time by Glenn Snyder

This story was written to encourage thoughtful reflection but it does not stint on entertainment.  The author has woven a message into the story but is never preachy and always keeps the focus on the story.  The main characters are fully drawn and worth caring about, drawing us in and keeping us engaged.

Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson


Tho disturbing it is entertaining in the way we expect our thrillers to be with pulsing action and dialog that practically turns the pages for you.







Finished reading:

The World Without You by Joshua Henkin in late October (I reviewed this in June but had not quite finished it yet and only discovered that while shuffling around my ARCs in preparation for the read-a-thon.  Had to back up a couple chapters and then proceed. I would like to either post another review or update the one I posted in June but  I'm not sure where the time for it will come from before Christmas now that I'm so far behind on that crochet project.   I will say read this book.  It was one of the best of the ARC I read this whole year.)

New Arrivals:

By Snail Mail:

Flesh by Khanh Ha a novel set in Vietnam.  Arrived yesterday and it is physically a beautiful book.  I will be participating in its blog tour in January with both review and author guest post.
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks

By email:

After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson
Losses by Robert Wexelblatt  This arrived a couple months ago but I somehow neglected to put include it in this list before

From Net Galley:

A History of This Present Illness by Loren Aronson
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Unloched by Candace Lemon-Scott
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy 
by Emily Bazelon
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Snead
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch


ARC in waiting:


The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another ARC that got lost in the mix before I'd finished it.  Have not posted a review for this one either and can't remember when I received it but it had to be at least a year ago before I started packing for our move and likely before NaNo when I typically stop reading fiction while I'm so intensely writing it.  This is a collection of interlocking short stories set in South Africa and I remember I was quite enjoying it.  I've had to start it over.-- And now I've forgotten to bring it with me and won't get back to it until after Thanksgiving)
The Variations by John Donatich
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith   My husband read this and loved it and is after me to read it so he can talk about it.
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!
Skios by Michael Frayn
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me.
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.   It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.
Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 compiled by The Organization Breaking the Silence

If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

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