Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Brain on Books XXI

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. 

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don't require a separate post..   

3:33AM (Sunday) - Have been reading The Life of Pi by Yann Martel via text-to-speech since midnight.  Have a good chance of finishing it by 5am which is thon end for me.  But i may be taking it to bed with me before the end which means I won't be updating again until I wake up.

As for the yarn work while listening to yarns--I made a few rows progress on the loom knit dress but ended up spending several hours working on a snarl that came out of the center of the cake when the working yarn got stuck and to get it free I had to pull out a clump of loops.  Still haven't got it unsnarled completely but I got it into a good enough state that it was safe to pack it for transport back to Mom's.  I would like to work on the Xmas gift for my husband again before I got to bed but my eyes are rebelling and I have a sense I'm prone to error so chances are that any progress I make is likely subject to frogging later so it's wiser to leave it be.  Am I wise enough?

11:11PM - Just finished The Miracle Life of Edgar MInt by Brady Udall  (Audio via BARD )

An amazing story.  Am so tempted to start it over so that I can read the first half with the ending in mind.

4:44PM - I guess I've been too wrapped up in yarn and yarns to think about updating.  The book I started the day with was Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robinson.  It was my second read of this memoir of a man who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in his late 30s.  The first time I read it tho was in 2009 over half a decade before I received my own diagnosis.  That time it was a library tree book.  This time it was an ebook that I had read to me with text-to-speech function.  I finished it before noon and then immediately started the second memoir about raising his son 'Cubby' who was himself diagnosed as a teen.  I didn't get past the first chapter tho.  I needed to stop for self-care.  After I settled again it was after noon and I started the novel The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall  (Audio via BARD )  I'm nearly halfway into it--over 5 hours of the stated 14.  But I'm listening at 150%.  Not sure what that means precisely regarding how long I've listened and much longer to go but I think based on previous reads at this speed that it's approximately one third of the listed time based on 100%.

Meanwhile I've also progressed on two crochet projects.  One a blue and white winter scarf for myself that I began over two years ago and an Xmas gift for my husband that I began this week and estimate I'm a quarter done.  Tho not an afghan it is an afghan sized project so that is speedy for me.  I worked on it for two hours this morning while he was running errands and hope to work some more after he goes to bed.  Meanwhile I think I'm going to work on my loom knitted dress while I continue listening to Edgar Mint.

4:44AM - l am prepping this ahead and scheduling it to post at 4:44 AM which is also when my alarm is set.  That gives me time to get up and take care of biological business including fixing coffee and water bottle.

Am including the intro meme here so I don't have to spend the first hour preparing it as so often has happened before.  In fact much of it is copy/pasted from previous Thons.

I'm going to spend the first hour actually reading!

Intro Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Kelso, the sister city across the Cowlitz river from its sister-city Longview, Washington USA which itself is situated in the V formed by the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers.  Across the the majestic Columbia river from Raineer, Oregon..  On the north side of the majestic Columbia River approximately 25 miles from the coast and 50 miles from Portland, Oregon as the crow flies but drives about double that..

I'm spending the read-a-thon weekend at my husband's apartment tho I still live in Longview at my Mom's house.  The house I lived in from age 18 to 21 and again since January 2013.  See earliest posts under the label Lifequake for explanation.  Maybe by next thon It won't be just a weekend visit.  One can hope.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

For fiction:     The Miracle Life of Edgar MInt by Brady Udall  (Audio via BARD )        

For nonfiction:  The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays by Guy Davenport. (Audio via BARD ) 

But mostly  as always I'm looking forward to free range reading.  The most important part of my plan for this thon is to not have a plan.  That's basically been my thon plan every time for several years now.  It much more fun that way.  Less stress.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? 

I'm looking forward to the surprises my husband brings home tomorrow morning or afternoon.  He always did the thon food shops for me from 2007 to 2012 when we lived in Phoenix Oregon.(except for a couple times when I was in Longview helping my sister with our Mom's care) and he always managed to surprise me with items I hadn't asked for but ended up enjoying more than most of what I had asked for.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I was raised in a cult that imploded over doctrinal disputes in the early 90s as I neared 40.  I then began to teach myself to think for myself.  The last few years there has been an internal struggle between the need to own my own thoughts by speaking them and the fear of doing so.  The fear has been winning.  First my blog posting fizzled out then all my other writing.  This is not sustainable.  Without my writing I am not I.  What's the use of knowing how to think for myself if my self won't own herself.  ...

I'm legally blind from RP aka Tunnel Vision with less than 2 degrees of vision left.  I can no longer read even large print with my left eye.  I now prefer ebooks for the ability to enlarge fonts and control line width so I don't loose my way between end and beginning of lines.  I used to read nearly 1K words per minute but now read slower than I talk.  Very discouraging.

But in the last year I've started listening to audio books via my access to LOC Talking Books and BARD.  And also via text to speech.  And often I speed up the delivery to between 110-175%.  I discovered that I listen better when i listen faster--better focus, comprehension and retention.  I think it's an Autism thing.  I've come across it in the spectrum memoirs several times since my diagnosis three years ago.

I intend to use audio predominantly this thon so I can crochet while I listen.  I'm continuing the ongoing project of getting projects finished.  There are dozens of them in various stages.  I have several with me that have been stuffed in a bag under my craft table for two years needing only to have their tails tucked.  Then I have several small projects, a hat, two scarfs and a headband with bow each at least half done with stitches/patterns that take little to no thought.  I also have my husband's Xmas present to work on after he goes to bed.  And a dress for myself that I'm loom-knitting.  When I started it in August I hoped to finish by my birthday in mid November but if I don't make significant progress on it this weekend I may have to adjust my expectations.

I've had a mood disorder since childhood featuring depression, anxiety, panic and insomnia.  Several times professionals have considered the possibility of bi-polar but finally ruled it out definitively in late 2015 when they diagnosed me with High Functioning Autism aka Asperger's.  Over fifty years of feeling 'wrong' and not knowing why.  I've spent the months since reading nf about the autism spectrum and novels and memoirs featuring autistic individuals which has gone a long way toward helping me understand much that once confused and shamed me.  Since I have several of those books in progress I'll probably dip into them today.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

The most important difference is actually sleeping the night before which was made necessary by having not slept Thursday night because of packing and anticipation.

Stay hydrated!
Get up and move once an hour.  You can read while you pace you know.
Blink.  Seriously.  Dry eyeballs can't see.  And the hands rubbing them can't hold books.

Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey

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