Tag Archives: reading

Three Things Thursday: Brain Dump Edition

I typed the post title as “brain dumb” on my first go, and that might be accurate.

  1. I’m deep in edits/rewrites for The Ruby Blade. My goal is to finish 95% of the big work by the end of the month so I can get it to my beta readers and back in time to get it to my editor by the end of next month.
  2. I joined the gym on the campus of my new job and my membership is now active. I am going to start swimming/lifting a couple times/week. So it is written. (I need the accountability.)
  3. I have so many books in my TBR queue that I barely know what to do with myself. It’s the best problem I’ve ever had, TBH. Currently, I’m reading Emma Hamm’s Silver Blood (bus book), A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab (road trip audiobook), Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (bedtime book), Besieged by Kevin Hearne (walking audiobook), and The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte (my non-fiction selection OTM). Up next in the queue is Dustwalker by Tiffany Roberts and then Godkiller by Colleen Vanderlinden. So you know, just a couple books. I’m a little behind in my goal to hit 185 books this year, so I need to pick up the pace. Having a full-time job really is messing up my writing and reading schedules!

Book Review: Chapter Book with the Bean

Over the weekend, Alvie Bean declared that he was a big boy and wanted to have his fancy bed flipped over so he could sleep on the top bunk. One of the things we did after flipping the bed is move all the books from the shelf above his bed and fill the shelf with his books. (For the time being, he doesn’t need access to the manga and beer books that had previously filled those shelves.)

I swear the book next to “The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex” is “The Art of the Cocktail.”

After we filled the shelves with Bean’s books – both the ones we read regularly and the ones that have been waiting for him to be old enough/responsible enough, etc. – he started asking questions about some of the books he’d not seen before.

And that’s how, when Sunday night bedtime story came around, we ended up reading “The Little House in the Big Woods.”

I have such fond memories of this series. I devoured it in 2nd & 3rd grade. I was pretty sure that our reading of this book (“It’s a chapter book, Mothah.” [He has taken to calling me “Mother” with a wildly affected accent…]) would be over almost before I got anywhere. There’s a lot of words and not very many pictures.

(I was also a little worried about what I was going to have to censor while reading. I don’t mind reading about butchering and killing bears and using a pig’s bladder as a balloon, but there are some distinctly racist things in The Little House on the Prairie, and I don’t remember if there’s anything like that in LHitBW.)

We read half of Chapter 1 Sunday evening – until it was past Mr. Bean’s bedtime. We finished the chapter last night – because that’s what he decided on again. We’ll see what happens (after tonight, he’s at his dad’s for six nights, so he might forget by then), but he’s into it.

We do a lot of segues to explain hunting, and butchering, and what a bear trap is and why people don’t really use them anymore, and he’s enjoying the story and asking really good questions.

 

We talked about headcheese and pate and how sausage was made, and he’s expressed a desire to have some headcheese at the next available opportunity. I was thrilled (he’s already a connoisseur of paté and fancy cheeses…), especially since I just had headcheese for the first time a couple weeks ago! (His diet is still more limited than I’d like, but so much better than it was a year ago. He’ll eat pasta now, and mashed potatoes, and will usually try just about any vegetable, declare he loves it, and then not eat any more of it.)

Ever since he was born, I’ve looked forward to the day that I could start sharing my favorite books with him. For as much as I don’t want him to grow up too quickly, I also can’t wait for him to experience The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time. And to be there when he reads A Wrinkle in Time or The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Prydain or…

I’m not sure yet if this book will stand up to the test of time (other than the forthcoming racist bits that I’ve not yet decided how to handle), but I do know that this is an amazing experience.

Every parent thinks their kid is something special. And of course, all children are something special. It’s weird, though, looking at someone that I created (with an assist, obviously) and listening to his questions. His vocabulary astounds me sometimes, and he always wants to learn more, more, more. His “whys” are no longer purposeless (I’m sure that toddler whys have purpose…I’m equally sure that purpose is to annoy the fuck out of their parents), but instead looking for actual answers.

If I succeed at one thing while parenting, I hope that one thing is instilling my love of reading in Alvie Bean.

 

Colder than a witch’s tits in a brass brassiere

Greetings from the frigid mountain region located somewhere in the middle part of the country!

Yesterday, I spent much of the day trying to get here (here is Breckenridge, Colorado). It was quite the adventure! The beer guy and I got to the airport about  an hour before our scheduled flight time of 10:45. A couple of minutes before we arrived, I got a text that our flight was delayed by an hour. This meant that we would have <20 minutes to make our connection in Salt Lake City.

By the time we got into the airport, we couldn’t even check in at the kiosk because the flight was late enough that there was no way to make the connection and we needed to rebook. What made that extra exciting is that we were a party of five. (But not like the show. Probably. I’ve never seen it, but I know that at least two of us are not orphans.)

The ticket agent was so patient as we tried to figure out the flight changes plus rebooking the shuttle that was to take us from the airport to Breckenridge. Two of our party had already gotten tickets and gone through security before the flight changes happened.

But finally, we were rebooked! Our flight, originally scheduled for the aforementioned 10:45 was now leaving at 1 pm and going through Seattle. Soooo, with time to kill in the airport, we did what any group of people heading to a beer festival in Colorado would do. We had drinks.

I had a French 79th, because of course I did. In addition to the gin and bubbles, it also had St. Germaine and rhubarb bitters. Also – next project is homemade rhubarb bitters.

We did eventually make it to Denver about three hours after originally scheduled, but about 40 minutes earlier than anticipated with the change in plans. After some scrambling and then a mad dash up an escalator carrying our bags, we made the 7 pm shuttle. (How do people breathe here? Every time I go up a slight incline, I feel like I need a lie down to recover.)

There were a lot of people squished into the shuttle, and I ended up situated in the exact right spot that every time we hit a bump, a seatbelt connector got really, really fresh with me. After 2+ hours of that, praying that my phone wouldn’t die because there was no way I was going to be able to survive that drive if I wasn’t distracted by werewolves, we finally made it.

It was shortly after getting into our condo that it occurred to my stomach that it hadn’t had more than an airline cookie and a bag of chips since about 8 am that morning.

We headed out into the very, very cold and very, very thin night air to track down sustenance.

There were nachos. And burgers. And beer.

The way back to the condo was a gradual uphill for 1/3 of a mile. So that was fun. (We saw a fox, though!)

This morning, I woke up to this:

So, yeah. That’s a bit colder than this lowland Portlander is used to. (It’s up to 9* now, which according to my weather app is “too fucking cold to think.”)

We finally ventured out about 11 in search of coffee and food. I tried to convince the beer guy that as the male, it was his duty to go out and fetch his mate food to show he cared for her (see above werewolf novel). He said he subscribed to the lion model, so we were at an impasse and both left the warmth and safety of the den.

It might be cold, but it is really pretty here. I’m not grabbing any of the realty fliers I’ve seen, but I’m not regretting this is much as I was when I saw that -12* this morning.

 

I’m currently holed up and refusing to leave a coffee shop, because I am a delicate flower who might freeze (even with two pairs of socks, my winter running tights under my jeans, and a thank top, long-sleeved shirt, formal hoodie, and winter coat, not to mention my scarf, gloves, and viking hat).

It’s really kind of fun, though…I like looking at the snow and mountains through a coffee shop window, and I do enjoy traveling with the beer guy, even if he isn’t a proper werewolf.

Ahhh….Oz

My plan for the next couple of days is to relax, to read, to write, and of course, to drink some beer…this is not a bad way to start off my year of me redux.

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

Yay! 2016 is over! I already feel better!

It’s the beginning of the new year. The year I’ve been looking forward to starting for approximately 367 days.

Celebrating my New Year

I am totally a New Year’s Resolutions type of person. I love the idea of a blank slate, and I usually do pretty well with the annual goals I set for myself.

So what? I’m a Buffy nerd…(let me know if you get it!)

So, without further ado, here are my

2017 Resolutions – aka The Year of Me take Two

  1. Publish two novels
  2. Write two novels
  3. Complete two races
  4. Take two just for fun trips
  5. Volunteer two times
  6. Try two new things
  7. Read two times as many books as I read in 2016 (2017 goal: 185) – one of the ways I’m planning on doing this is taking my PSM’s 2017 Be Better Book Challenge (please note that one of her resolutions is to come visit me, which would, not incidentally, fulfill one of my #40before40 goals!11!!!!!)
  8. Log twice as many exercise hours/month as I logged on average in 2016 (3.5 hours/week OR 182 hours)
  9. Take two minutes each day to be grateful for what I have (it’s #365happydays v2.0)
  10. Brush/floss/moisturize 2x/day (most days) (it’s really the moisturizing I need to work on…and flossing more)

I probably should’ve included “procrastinate half as much,” but I didn’t want to set myself up for failure right off the bat! (Please note that my New Year’s resolution post is going out on the evening of 1/3/17…)

I feel so positive going into this year. I’m going to turn 40, publish a couple books, move in with my boyfriend, hang out with my PSM, get a new job, and get healthier…

Life is pretty fucking good right about now.

 

Writing and Reading and Running (oh my?)

Thursday afternoon, I typed “The End” on my latest novel. That makes the fourth book I’ve finished in the last < 3 years. I also sent my first Eleanor Morgan novel to an editor and it should be edited and ready for prime time by the end of the calendar year, provided I can keep on top my end of the bargain. I hired a cover artist as well. Shit is starting to get real!

Friday, I dropped the Beer Guy off at the airport for his 2nd of three trips to Europe in three months. Let’s all take a minute to feel really, really bad for him as he languishes away in Germany during Oktoberfest.

Dramatic re-enactment of drinking German beer (I assume...) except in this scenario, I'm present.

Dramatic re-enactment of drinking German beer (I assume…) except in this scenario, I’m present.

I spent the rest of the day alternately cursing at my new phone and story boarding the next two books I’m going to write. I’m starting Eleanor Morgan’s fourth book today and am going to write the 2nd book in my 2nd series. I’m contemplating whether or not I want to write them simultaneously and drive myself completely mad or consecutively and lose some of my Iceland momentum that will fuel the 13th century century novel about Kristina Nilsdotter. I am planning on writing an average of ~3400 words each weekday between now and 11/30 which should result in almost two (more) complete novels.

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I’m going to start editing Eleanor #2 for my beta readers this afternoon.

I’ve been running twice in the last week, and it’s been wonderful, so I’m hoping to keep that up.

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In addition, I am trying to catch up with my reading. I’ll have another book review for you tomorrow! Stay tuned for a review of the second in Devon Monk’s Ordinary Magic series. (If you or someone you know has an upcoming fantasy release, let me know! I’m trying to do a review a week.)