Misc Monday ~ in which it’s still Monday some places

It’s still Monday. Barely.

I wanted to write this post earlier, but I REALY wanted to have the giveaway photo for you, so I kept putting it off. Now, with an hour and a half left to go in Monday, I finally have the photo:


This is what you’re entering a giveaway for. A Spiraldex self-inking stamp, a lined journal, two fountain pens (a JinHao and a Noodler’s Ahab), and some ink samples. I may throw in a few other things, too. If so, though, those will be last-minute additions and won’t be in pictures.

One reminder – I did my best cleaning out these two pens after I tried them and decided they weren’t the weight of pen I prefer, so they should be at least mostly clean. However, I can’t guarantee they are completely clean, so I recommend cleaning them out before use.

To enter the giveaway today, leave me a comment with suggestions for how you conquer procrastination… or, if you’re like me and haven’t learned that yet, some sympathy for the lack of sleep sometimes caused by procrastination would be nice.

Friday Reads ~ in which I am easily distracted

I have a bad habit of starting new things before I finish with the old things. This is true of knitting projects, video games, and even books. (It seems to get worse in the spring. It has always been easier to get distracted in the spring, all the way back to when I was in grade school and focusing on homework was so much less appealing than playing outside when it was nice and sunny again.) So it should come as no surprise that I have not finished any books this week, but have instead started a couple of new ones.

WHAT I’M READING:

I’m still reading NPH’s Choose Your Own Autobiography. But I am fickle, so I haven’t gotten very far yet.

I also started reading Murder Past Due by Miranda James, first of the “Cat in the Stacks” series of cozy mysteries. So far so good. I’m about half-way through and enjoying it, especially the fact that the cat in question is a Maine Coon. They’re great and super-personable cats.

I’m still working on Kat Among the Pigeons by Lizette Gifford. Still enjoying it. Still forget that I have ebooks to read, and so it still isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

AND I started listening to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. The more I look into Verne’s classic adventure novels, the more I think that I read all of ZERO of them growing up. There may have been a very abridged version of one or two of them which I read, but I’m nearly positive that I never read any of the full works before.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

It’s been a while since I’ve read one of my pending Seanan McGuire novels, so I think that’s up next (once I finish the two paper books I’ve got going). Not sure if I will go for the Incryptid or October Daye worlds, though. And I have another Great Courses lecture series (this one on the Medieval world) which I think might be my next audio book. That, or Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. Not positive, though it’s probably going to be one of those two.

For today’s give-away entry (see my post from Monday the 3rd for details) please leave a comment and let me know something you plan to do this weekend. (Or, if you prefer, let me know what you wish you were doing this weekend.) Have a great weekend!

Friday Reads ~ in which nothing much happened

My motivation seems to have fled. Has anyone seen it?

Reading-wise, I haven’t gotten much done. That’s partly because I’ve been working on my magazine pile, and have been going through those and (of the magazines I kept because they look interesting) determining which ones are interesting enough that I’ll actually read them. So not much book reading. Anyway…

WHAT I READ:

I don’t think I finished anything this week. I’m close on the Higgs Boson audio book, but it’s dense and so I haven’t quite completed it yet.

WHAT I’M READING:

I am still working on the aforementioned Higgs Boson and Beyond Great Courses audio book. It’s fascinating, but I don’t know how much of it I actually get. It makes sense at the time, but I don’t think much of the information will stick. I think I’ll be listening to this one again at a later date and see if I can absorb more of it with a repeat listen.

I am also still reading Choose Your Own Autobiography by NPH. I’ve decided to read it straight through instead of doing it adventure-style and flipping through the pages as directed.

And I’m still on Kat Among the Pigeons in ebook form. I’ve made the most progress on this one this week, because it’s easier for me to read ebooks while I knit than paper books. (No pages to keep track of.)

As far as magazines go, I’m reading a Discovery magazine from… last year? (I didn’t check the date before writing this.) It’s amusing me.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

Next paper book will be Murder Past Due, because that’s checked out of the library at the moment. I might actually start it before I finish my current paper book so that I don’t run into trouble with the due date.

And… that’s all I’ve decided on. But I do know that this time my next audio book will be something fun. In a not-going-to-melt-your-brain kind of way. (Because learning about particle physics from an audio book is fun too, just a different kind of fun than I’m talking about right now.) Maybe more Jules Verne. Classic adventure fiction is usually a good romp.

AND NOW FOR CONTEST ENTRIES:

If you want to play along with my journal goodies give-away, just leave me a comment with what you’re currently reading, or want to read next! Details on what I’m giving away are in this past Monday’s blog post. Also, I don’t think I mentioned it yet, but I will ship anywhere, so you can live on the other side of the world and I will still ship to you (if the Random Number Generator picks you).

WIP Weds ~ in which there are no pictures

Yup, you read the title right. No pictures. I don’t blame you if you want to stop right there and leave since there will be nothing to look at but words.

I have been knitting, though not a ton. Mostly on the second lace cowl (the one with the beads). I still love that pattern and the way it turns out. The beads make it that much better.

But there hasn’t been a lot of knitting because I have been doing other things. Reading some. Visiting with family. Playing video games (a bit of Morrowind now in addition to Stardew Valley – which I’m nearly done with for now). Cleaning up. Chores. You know. All the other little things which need doing and prevent obvious progress from being made on the fun craft things.

Beyond that, I’ve been staring out the window a lot. It’s been gray and rainy here in “sunny” California for quite some time. We have a few periods of sunshine, but there has been more rain than normal this year. You may have heard about the flooding and spillover from the reservoirs. It’s been strange, going from way below capacity to so full that the spillways have become rivers and there’s concerns about dam safety.

I am ready for a change. I love the rain, but I also love sunny days. Besides, I joke about it a lot, but sometimes I think that my favorite season is whichever season is next. I’m ready for spring.

Friday Reads ~ in which lots of books get finished

So… a lot has happened book-wise since the last update. Are you ready? Then here we go!

Before I go into a recap of my reading for the week, here’s a quick look at how my 2017 Reading Challenge is going. I had said I wanted to read at least 3 new books for every 1 re-read. So, I want my percentage of new books to be 75% or greater. At the moment, it is exactly 75%! I have read 9 new books and 3 books I’ve read before, so I’m right on schedule.

WHAT I READ:

I finished the short story anthology Glitter & Mayhem. It was quite a wild ride, and you can find my full review of it here.

I also finished both Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in audio book form. I didn’t write reviews of either of them, because I’ve read them so many times that I don’t know if I could write a proper review of them. Still, very enjoyable to come back to these stories. And I love the narrations in the Harper Audio CD collection.

And in addition to those three, I finished A Darkness Absolute (Rockton #2) by Kelley Armstrong. She’s still one of my favorite authors, and I greatly enjoyed this book. Full review of it is here, though the short version is that if you enjoyed the first one (City of the Lost) you will probably enjoy this one. Also, they work best if you read them in order.

WHAT I’M READING:

I was planning on listening to The Silver Chair next, because that’s #4 of the Narnia series in my opinion. However, something weird appears to have happened when I imported the CDs into my iTunes library, because only the first two chapters are showing up. Therefore, I started listening to The Magician’s Nephew instead, and will get back to The Silver Chair later.

I have started reading Endless Blue by Wen Spencer for paper books. This is one of the ones I got out of the library with the second Rockton novel, so because the due date is approaching it’s higher up the TBR list than it was before (though it has been on my TBR list for a long time).

And I’m finally working on Nozy Cat #1 by Lyn Key on my eReader. Though as I warned you before, I tend to read very slowly on the eReader, because it’s not my preferred format.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

The next eBook is unplanned. I have several queued up to read, but due to reading speed on the eReader I’m just going to decide what’s next when I actually get to that point.

The next paper book will be one of the remaining two novels from the library – The Witch and the Dead by Heather Blake or A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas  E. Sniegoski. Probably.

Any my next audio book will probably be The Horse and His Boy from the Narnia series (either #5 or #3, depending on your numbering preference).

Misc Monday ~ in which we muse about social media

I wasn’t quite sure where to start for this first official Misc Monday, but then I remembered that a friend of mine commented on the introductory one that I should talk about virtual friends and how they’re real friends. And it’s true: I’m sure that all (or at least most) of you have friends you met online who you still consider real friends. You may have never met these people IRL, and so do they still count? I think so. I am in contact more with online friends I have never met in person than just about everyone I went to school with. I won’t even pretend to claim that online friends aren’t real friends.

But then that got me thinking – how do we meet new online friends these days? Twitter, perhaps. Blogs, definitely. Most of the people I know don’t meet new people on Facebook, since they have their privacy settings locked down relatively tightly there. But Instagram? Snapchat? Other new social media options that the kids are using to get away from the formerly-cool sites which their parents now use?

I remember some of the older ones. MySpace is an obvious choice. But did any of you use Plurk? (I know at least one of you did, since that’s where I met the person who suggested this topic.) And how many of you went to school in the era of IRC chatrooms? I met a boyfriend there back in the day. (Yes, we met in person. No, it didn’t end well. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.)

It really makes you think. I had school-sponsored pen-pals in elementary school. Do they still do that anymore? Or if they do, are they online instead of pen and paper? And if that has changed, is it a good thing, or bad? (My answer: change is often a good thing, so it’s probably good. Unless the change is that they no longer do it – it was an amazing experience to communicate with someone in a completely different situation than me, and kids these days need to experience that at least as much as I did.)

Anyway. That’s my initial take on the subject. I may think of more to say on the matter later. What are your thoughts?

Friday Reads ~ in which we take a journey (to the center of the Earth)

There was a little more progress this week, but again I’m spread too thin book-wise to get as much finished as I’d like. (There has also been much more video gaming than is helpful for reading.)

WHAT I READ:

I finished listening to Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth as read by Tim Curry. I went into this one expecting a different listening experience than I got – I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I’ll try. There are some actors who tend to play characters with a certain feel to them, and so we start to associate the actor with that kind of character, that kind of voice. Tim Curry is one of those for me. But for this book, he read it quite… normally. I could hear the inflections I’ve come to expect from him at certain points, but it’s like the difference between a movie and an interview. The actors sound familiar, but not the same.

In any case, I enjoyed the book and the narration. The book was about what I’d expected, and the narration was probably better than I’d expected. A full review will follow later.

WHAT I’M READING:

I’m still reading Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown. I still like it, but there hasn’t been as much paper-book-reading time as normal.

I’m also still reading Glitter & Mayhem. There are more short stories than I expected in this compilation. Great for value, not so great for amount of time required to finish the book. Still, many of these stories are tons of fun.

I’m also technically still reading Nozy Cat #1 by Lyn Key. I haven’t gotten through the first chapter yet, though, because I started reading Glitter & Mayhem before I got very far with Nozy Cat. (No fault of Lyn Key, though. I had wanted to read the short story anthology and was unable to, so I started the cozy cat mystery before I’d planned. Then when G&M became available, I switched back to my original plan.)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

Once I finish Glitter & Mayhem I will get truly started on Nozy Cat. So that’s really a “read next” instead of a “reading now”. (These are both ebooks. I think I forgot to mention that earlier.)

Also, I’m not sure if my original plan to read Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography will stick or not. I just realized that Kelley Armstrong’s second Rockton book has been released in hardcover now, so if my library has A Darkness Absolute in stock next time I go, I might read that next instead.

And for audio, I will probably start the next Narnia book by C.S. Lewis next. (I’m on Prince Caspian next, since I read them in publication order and not chronological. I’m old-school that way.)

Have a great, book-filled weekend!