Belated Friday Reads ~ Challenge Update

For today, I am running late. (You may have noticed that the posting schedule is still wonky. I haven’t had time to schedule my blog posts as I usually do. Sorry about that.) So instead of a book review, I’m going to leave you with a snapshot of how my Reading Challenge is going.

Book Challenge 10-21-16.png

Does that work for you? I hope so, because it does for me so you’ll have to make do whether you like it or not. My spreadsheet says I’m 78% done with this challenge, which is refreshing. However, I’m also feeling the crunch of time here, so I’m not sure whether I will actually finish or not. We’ll have to see.

Have a great weekend!

WIP Weds ~ 10-11-16

Okay, no cute blog post title today. I was sick over the weekend and am still not 100% recovered (that silly thing called “not getting enough sleep” isn’t helping) and so creativity isn’t at its peak right now. But in any case, there has been knitting.

First the newest project:

This is the start of the first MineCraft sock. It has a brick pattern on the leg (and top of the foot, when I get there) which is the texture you can see in this photo. However, this isn’t a very well-lit photo, so it’s hard to see the pattern. This is another reason why I don’t knit with dark yarns often: they’re harder to photograph. (But mostly, they make it harder to read your knitting and fix mistakes.)

This is a pretty simple knit so far, and I’d be a lot further along if I hadn’t spent the weekend being sick.

Actually, I might not be further along on the MineCraft sock. I might instead be further along on the Oregon Trail GAL square:

I am loving this square, but I had to go and make the text readable from both sides, so it’s a lot harder to knit than it would have been if I had left well enough alone. (But then it would have an obvious front and back, and I didn’t want that. However, this means it requires a lot of concentration, and so it wasn’t my sick-time-knitting. Oh well, I will be happier with the finished project this way.

Have a great rest of the week, and I hope you’re all healthy! Being sick is no fun.

Ten On Tuesday Retirement

I just found out that the reason we haven’t been getting 10 on Tuesday prompts lately is that Carol is switching the 10 on Tuesday weekly prompts to be a 10 on the Tenth monthly prompt. I haven’t decided yet whether I will continue with the monthly instead of weekly prompts, but that is why there has been radio silence on Tuesdays lately. I guess I’ll need to re-think my blog schedule and decide what I want to blog about most. I have been skipping writing updates lately since there haven’t been any, but with November and NaNoWriMo right around the corner, it might be time to bring back a writing blog post. We’ll have to see.

Have a great day!

WIP Weds ~ Wark!

Okay, so last week I skipped nearly all of my regularly scheduled blog postings, so I don’t think I’ve shown you this square yet. Here is the (now finished) Final Fantasy 2016 Geek-A-Long square:

Final Fantasy GAL Square

Yes, that is a chocobo! I was so happy when I saw that the chocobo was selected to represent the Final Fantasy series on the GAL blanket.

Final Fantasy GAL Square

(Isn’t this side so cute? I love it so much.)

But yes, I realize that this isn’t really a WIP. This is a finished square (even if it’s part of a larger project which is still a WIP). For a true WIP, I have started the Oregon Trail square, and I tweaked the chart so that the letters will be readable from both sides. I’m still relatively new at this Extreme DK chart-making thing, so hopefully I worked it out right and won’t have to rip back any of my knitting. (Also, hopefully I’ll pay enough attention while knitting and won’t make any regular knitting errors.) I’ll try to get a picture of it next week. I haven’t made enough progress on this square yet to really show it off much.

I also couldn’t resist joining Lattes and Llamas for their Socktober knit-along. Because what I need right now is another project on the needles. However, I’ve been feeling the beginnings of startits, and so starting a sock project is in many ways the lesser of two evils. Socks are at least small projects, and travel easily (unlike the Extreme DK Oregon Trail square). I’d been itching to cast on a shawl project or to start a sweater, or… Yes. Socks are safer. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on the GAL square in quiet moments at home, and can take the Socktober KAL MineCraft socks with me in places where I wouldn’t be easily able to work on the GAL square.

MineCraft socks

Plus, I love this yarn. Zitron Trekking XXL is what I’ve made my favorite pair of socks from – which I then wore so often I wore a hole in the toe. Must find the time (and the leftover yarn) to patch them back up again, so I can wear them more! … and also just knit more socks from Trekking.

101 in 1001 ~ update the third

Hello again! Here’s the third month’s update for the 101 in 1001 Challenge. If you have any questions about what it is, you can check out this link for details. Still so far so good. There was a lot less progress this month because I’m into full-time rehearsals for my show. (For the record, “full-time” for my volunteer group’s rehearsals ends up being as many hours a week as a half-time job. So I’ve been working one and a half full-time jobs for the past two months or so. I love working in theatre, but I’m so looking forward to having my free time back.)

Anyway, enough about that. Here’s this month’s progress, limited though it is:

September 2016
0 items completed this month
19 items currently in progress

Fitness #25: Complete 30-Day Plank Challenge at least once

I have had to modify this one completely. I tried doing the plank challenge twice, but both times it hurt my back. I’m not sure if I’m not doing the planks correctly or what, but the longer planks just plain hurt. I tried splitting the long planks into shorter ones with breaks between, but that didn’t seem to help much. Maybe my breaks weren’t long enough. In any case, I have changed this challenge task completely. It is now: Complete 30-Day Crunch Challenge. I have done crunches before, sometimes lots of them all at once. I know I can do these, though I have gotten out of the habit of them.

I started the 30-Day Crunch Challenge half-way through September, so I should be able to finish this one next month. That will feel nice.

And… that’s about it. I’m still making progress on the other items, as you can see. 19 challenge items are currently actively in progress. But not much got completed in September. Oh well, progress is still progress! And given everything else going on in my life this month, I feel good about having made any progress at all.

Have a great October!

Friday Reads: Every Heart a Doorway

heart-big.jpgEvery Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children)
by Seanan McGuire
(fantasy, paranormal, YA?)

This is an interesting book for several reasons, but (for me) largely because of the premise. Essentially, this book attempts to answer the question, “what happens to Alice when she returns home from Wonderland?” In this story, there is more than one Wonderland, and each Wonderland is different. (They’re not called Wonderland in the story, that’s all me.) Some are Nonsense worlds, and some are Logic worlds. Some are classified as Virtue and others as Wicked. Others have Rhyme or Reason. (And there is a blend of each in the worlds, too. Your Nonsense world can also be Wicked, for instance.)

I really enjoyed reading this book. If it was lacking anything (which I’m not sure it was), it would have been more time spent in the various worlds. Instead, we spend all of the present time on Earth in some unspecified modern time. We do get to see a little of the other worlds in memories or stories the kids tell, but we don’t really get to see into the other worlds. Ms. McGuire has done such a fascinating job describing them through the eyes of their children that it would be fun to see some scenes actually set in these other worlds. (Well, perhaps in a sequel, since I see that Goodreads believes this to be a series.)

Contrary to my expectations prior to starting to read, however, I did not find this book to be scary. Based on the blurb, I thought it would freak me out. It didn’t. Maybe I was too fascinated by the world? Or maybe given the possibilities of a Wicked world I was expecting more than what was written? There are a couple of kinda gruesome scenes. There are murders which happen in this book, after all. But they didn’t strike me as out of place in the world being created in the book, and were only mildly creepy instead of downright scary. (For the record, this did not alter my enjoyment of the book. It fit exactly what the tone of the rest of the story had set up.)

One thing that must be said about this book is that it is short. I don’t know if it is officially a novella, but it feels like either a novella or a short novel. It’s a very intense story, whatever its official length. It is packed with detail and character development and action. (Not action-movie-action, but action all the same.) I look forward to seeing where this world goes, if it is indeed the beginning of a new series.

Ten On Tuesday ~ Summer and Fall

Hi Everyone,
We’re going to shake things up a little bit this week and do two lists of 5 things. First, I want you to write about the 5 best things you did this summer. And then I want you to share 5 things you are looking forward to doing this fall.
Have fun!

So that’s a bit of a different prompt for today. Still very similar to the “normal” 10 on Tuesday prompt, but not quite the same. I’ll be writing this list on the fly as I go, listing the best things I can remember off the top of my head, and I hope I’ll remember some great things about this summer (and some wonderful plans for this fall) as I go.

5 Best Things I Did This Summer (in no particular order)

  1. Tour de Fleece. I always enjoy it when I have the time to spin for the TdF.
  2. Theatre. I enjoy the time I spend working on shows. However, they do take up a lot of time, so there wasn’t really much else that got done this summer.
  3. Started the 101 in 1001 Challenge. It might not seem like something that belongs on this list, but if nothing else it has already helped me figure out what items in my life are the most important to me. I intend to see it though the whole 1001 days, but even if I don’t it has already benefited me.
  4. Celebrated a friend’s 60th birthday. This friend moved about 2 hours away a couple years ago, and I don’t get to see her as often as I like. It’s always nice to have a chance to visit.
  5. Went to a wine crawl! I’ve been wanting to try out some local wineries, and this brought several of them to one place so I could sample them. Now we have a short list of places we want to visit so we can do a full tasting.

5 Things I am Looking Forward to Doing This Fall

  1. A lot more knitting. It’s something I always look forward to with the cooler weather coming up. This year, though, I hope to get caught up on my Geek-A-Long knitting so that I can have a finished blanket to submit for the GAL prize drawing.
  2. NaNoWriMo!!! I have missed writing because I’ve been so busy with other things. This fall I should finally have the time to put energy back into the writing. NaNo couldn’t come at a better time this year.
  3. Baking a pumpkin pie. I may or may not be hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but I will definitely be handling the dessert baking. (I took that over from my grandma when I got a copy of her apple pie recipe.) I’ve never made a pumpkin pie before, though, so this Thanksgiving I’ll be making both a pumpkin and an apple pie.
  4. Drinking spiced cider. So yummy.
  5. Wearing fall clothing. Fall clothes are my favorites to wear. Warm and cozy. Yay!