101 in 1001 ~ update the seventeenth

It’s time for the 17th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

November is for NaNo. I’m always a bit surprised at how much else I get done during the month of November. I guess it’s proof that if I really work at it, I can fit in writing along with the rest of my regular activities. It does often take work, though. It’s not something I can do without thinking about how to make it work.

Here’s this month’s challenge progress:

November 2017
4 items completed this month
20 items currently in progress

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Writing #100: participate in NaNoWriMo 2017 ~ 11/1/2017 – 11/30/2017

NaNo is a lot of fun! This year’s participation included going to local write-ins and playing with other WriMos, both in person and online. We did word sprints and word wars and just generally had a good time. If you do NaNo, you should try a write-in. If you have a fun group (like we do) they can be both enjoyable and productive nights.

Health #47: Get an eye appointment (and new glasses if needed) ~ 11/11/2017

Eye appointment: check! New glasses: ordered, and should arrive soon! It’s nice to have vision insurance again. Yes, my prescription is not very much of one (and my distance vision is getting better while my reading doesn’t yet require glasses… yay aging?) but still. It’s nice to know that my eyes are getting checkups. I blame the 1983 TV series “V”. Ever since accidentally* seeing the aliens pull out their whole-eye contacts and eat guinea pigs, I’ve been very sensitive about my eyes.

* “accidentally” because as I recall it, my parents didn’t know I was watching until I started getting upset. I don’t remember now if the eye thing or the guinea pigs upset me more.

Arts & Crafts #14: Make my own Christmas cards ~ 11/25/2017

I haven’t finished making them, but I’ve made a nice batch. (Want a preview? I haven’t finished the cards with the otters on them yet, but I did make an entirely different batch. Here’s a glimpse at them – this is about half of the ones I’ve completed.)

2017 Christmas cards part 1

Food #33: Drink no soda for a month (do 3 times) ~ 11/30/2017

I’m trying to cut soda out of my diet entirely, but it can be difficult in some locations. For instance, when I go somewhere (like a theme park) that only has weak tea and I need a caffeine hit, I will get a Coke. I know, it would be better to wean myself off of the caffeine, but I don’t want withdrawal headaches when I’m in the places where this happens. Also, I love the Cherry Coke & movie theatre popcorn combo that Mr. Wyrm and I have been doing lately. I did manage to abstain from that these past few months while I finished up this challenge item, but I’m not sure I’ll always decide to cut out Cherry Coke. (Which is my absolute favorite soda.) There’s also the mixed drink problem, where a lot of the drinks I enjoy come mixed with soda. So… I think I will stick with cutting soda almost entirely out of my diet, and call that good.

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And just like that, November is over. Are you ready for the last month of the year? I’m not sure I am. I’m not sure I ever am, to be honest. Still, ready or not, here comes December!

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WIP Wednesday for 29 November 2017

Today it’s all coffee cup sleeves, all the time! Not because that’s all I’ve been working on, but because that’s what I’ve felt like taking pictures of.

I’m knitting these for gifts, and they work up rather quickly. (Which is what I would expect from something using this little worsted weight yarn. Though I haven’t measured exactly how much yarn yet.) I plan to make at least 4 more besides what I have in pictures below, but haven’t gotten to them yet. I’m also planning to just make one at a time, both since they’re fast knits and since they will all probably use the same needles.

Here’s the first one, both a progress pic (which you saw last week) and a finished pic. (Yes, I’m making them specifically to fit the Starbucks reusable plastic cups. My family likes using those, so it makes sense.)

And here’s the second coffee cup sleeve. Nearly done, but not quite.

The pattern for the first sleeve is the Woven Cable Coffee Cup Sleeve by Linda Thach, and it can be found here. The second one is Celtic Plait Coffee Cup Sleeve (also by Linda Thach), located here. I’m enjoying them. They’re easy to understand. I’m going to try one by another designer next, I think, but might come back to these two since they’re so easy and fast to knit.

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Welcome Winter

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!

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Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Now, as I see it, Winter starts at the beginning of December and runs through February. (I’m in California. Our winters give way to spring comparatively early, in my eyes. Sometimes January is even a “mini spring” stuck in the middle of winter.)

This means that “winter” encompasses both my 2017 and my 2018 Reading Challenges. That doesn’t really mean anything to anyone but me, but it’s true nonetheless. I’ll make a note of approximately when I intend to read it, if I know, or at least which year it should be read in.

  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ I plan to read this one in 2018, but whenever, really.
  2. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis ~ this one should be read in 2017 in order to fit the challenge criteria.
  3. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis ~ I want to read this one early in 2018. I know, it’s technically #1 in the series where To Say Nothing of the Dog is book #2, but there you have it. I want to read them out of order and I’ve been told it’s okay by people who have read both.
  4. Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown ~ I need to finish this one in 2017 for my cat mystery challenge.
  5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ~ this one should be read around Christmas for maximum timeliness. But really, any time is fine.
  6. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid ~ this one doesn’t fit my 2018 Reading Challenge, so I want to read it (or at least get a good start on it) before the year is out.
  7. Dracula by Bram Stoker ~ it has been a long time since I’ve read this book, and I think it’s time for a re-read. I know Halloween is a traditional time to read vampire stories, but I think winter is a good time for them, too. The nights are long, and even the days are dark… vampire books work really well. If I don’t read this one this winter, I think I’ll save it for next fall.
  8. whichever the next Girl Genius graphic novel is by Phil & Kaja Foglio ~ I don’t remember where I am in this series, but I have the next book on my shelf ready to read. I’d like to get to it before the end of the year.
  9. a play by William Shakespeare ~ on my list for my 2018 Reading Challenge are all of Shakespeare’s plays. I think I still have my Complete Works volume, and (assuming I do) I intend to start at the beginning and read the entire volume. I don’t know what order they are in, but I’ll read them in the order printed. (The only exception is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I’m skipping since I just re-read that one.) There will be pauses between works, and I might not be reading Shakespeare exclusively when I am reading it. And I may change my mind. But that’s the plan.
  10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ~ Mr. Wyrm and I started watching the short BBC series based around this, and it’s been ages since I read the book. I probably won’t get to this until 2018, but that’s okay because it fits in either Reading Challenge.

What will you be reading this winter?

Sunday Summary 11-26-17

It’s time for another Sunday Summary! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) progress is better than it often is at this point. Thanksgiving weekend sometimes kills my word count. (It did this year. I haven’t written a word on the NaNoNovel all weekend yet.) This year, in addition it’s also partly killing my blog writing, so apologies that this is a very short blog post. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

The Stats (as of Saturday night):

    • Total Word Count Goal: 41,675
    • Total Words Actually Written: 32,560
    • Favorite clip written this week:

This tree’s trunk was straight. No easy slope up and down, and no branches lower than the one I was sitting on which could provide a sort of ladder. 

I wasn’t stuck. Really. I just wasn’t ready to get down. 

 

WIP Wednesday for 22 November 2017

Happy almost US Thanksgiving Day! (Whew, that was a mouthful.) It wasn’t until this year that I really realized that I’m jealous of the Canadians’ choice in Thanksgiving timing. I would love to have Thanksgiving before Halloween so that I could be listening to Christmas music all November. Oh well. Two more days until I can listen to Christmas music guilt-free.

And in the meantime, there has been knitting! I did decide that 2018 will be a no-knitted-gifts year, so there are a couple of presents that are WIPs which are now hibernating. I will make them for gifts in 2019 instead. (It’s a very freeing feeling. I love it.)

I did cast on a new gift for the 2017 holiday season, though. I’ve decided to make a few quickie gifts, like coffee cup sleeves. Here is the first one of those:

And I’m still working on my scarf gift, too. I love this knit, and the yarn is scrumptious. There has hopefully been enough progress since the last picture that you can tell the difference now:

And I am also still working on my sweater. I’ve started the right front now. I considered knitting the fronts and the sleeves at the same time (aka both fronts, and then both sleeves, not all 4 at once). However, given that I’m already working with two balls of yarn so I can alternate skeins, I decided that would be too much yarn to work with at once. Here’s the progress to date on the right front:

Oh! And I recently cast on the second of the Vanilla Latte socks. I still love this pattern. It’s simple while still being interesting. I haven’t gotten very far on the second sock yet, but here’s a progress pic anyway:

I hope you’re having a great week! I won’t have any other posts or be visiting any blogs for the rest of this week because of the holiday weekend. I will be in a turkey coma, I’m sure. I’ll catch up with you all next week!

If you’re in the US and celebrate, have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! Otherwise, have a good Thursday.  🙂

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Thankful

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week the prompt is pretty self-explanatory.

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Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For (Happy Thanksgiving week in the USA!)

  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ this one was such a huge part of my youth that I can’t ignore it. Plus, it is why we have amazing LOTR movies.
  2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ~ I can’t even say how much I love this book. Or how many ways it influenced my school years. I re-read it probably once every 5-10 years… and every time the impact is huge.
  3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini ~ I only ever read a very small portion of this book. However, what I read (“the elf moved with inhuman speed” sticks in my mind) proved to me that I can write as well as some published authors. This is the book that inspired me to continue writing fiction despite the difficulties.
  4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling ~ this was a fresh breath of air when I needed one. I’d been getting into more “adult” books and away from “children’s” books, because I thought I was outgrowing kids’ books. Then I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I remembered that sometimes books aimed at kids can still be fun for adults.
  5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens ~ I hated reading this book. If I never read this book again it will be too soon. But… this book helped teach me the value of discussion and compromise. My 9th grade teacher, who had assigned the book, let us compromise with her. (We were an AP class, with a small student count, and none of us liked reading it.) We came to the agreement that the students would take turns reading chapters and giving mini book reports to the rest of the class. That way none of us had to read the entire thing, but we all still learned the content. It was a great look into the power of discussion. (How powerful? It’s still a fond memory now, a quarter of a century later.)
  6. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie ~ this book freaked me out when I read it the first time. I got all the way to the end, just before the Big Reveal, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I put the book on time-out until my parents convinced me to finish it. And you know what? I’m glad. I’m glad it scared me so much, I’m glad I finished reading it, and I’m glad I re-read it years later. This one taught me about follow-through on something you’re scared to do. Sometimes it can be worth it.
  7. the encyclopedia ~ I don’t remember if we had the Encyclopedia Britannica, or a different version, but I remember loving them when I was a kid. I remember that they helped with so many projects, and I think we always took them a little for granted. (The way we currently take Google for granted.)
  8. Joy of Signing by Lottie L. Riekehof ~ (I think this is the copy I had… not positive now, though.) It helped foster my love for languages. I’m not doing anything with it now, but I did use it at one point.
  9. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong ~ this is a good book, don’t get me wrong. But the reason I am thankful for it is because it is what led me to an online writing group that got me started in my fiction writing.
  10. Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne ~ this is another case where the contents of the book aren’t the reason I’m thankful for it. This book is what comes to mind when I think of books my parents read with me when I was young. It was my dad who read this one to us (me and Sister Wyrm) and we loved it. (Except for the very last story. That one always made us cry, so we usually pretended it didn’t exist.)

This is interesting. I didn’t expect to be thankful for books that aren’t necessarily on my favorites list. However, there it is. I guess it makes sense, when you think about it, but I’d never thought about it.

Are there any books you’re particularly thankful for?

If you’re in the US and celebrate, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday Summary 11-19-17

It’s time for another Sunday Summary! I am still doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but I am slipping a bit behind. Sigh. And we haven’t hit the Thanksgiving prep yet, either, so I will probably slip behind even further then.

Still, there has been progress. And I was on track on the half-way date (11/15) so there’s still hope that I can finish the 50k by the 30th. Time to start writing, so I’m going to wrap this blog post up now.

The Stats (as of Saturday night):

    • Total Word Count Goal: 30,006
    • Total Words Actually Written: 27,023
    • Favorite clip written this week:

I didn’t mind Robert being here, but I did mind him cuddling with my person on my cuddle day. I never got to cuddle with Susan any more.

Needless to say, I was sulking in the corner.

No, not in the corner. I was sulking in the middle of the room.