Sunday Summary ~ 25 February 2018

Some random thoughts for the end of February:

  • There was a lot of reading this month! And more reviews written than I had hoped for! I’m kinda surprised since there were so many other family things going on. (Several family visits, a birthday, and Chinese New Year — not to mention stuff Mr. Wyrm and I did without the extended family.) Still, lots of reading!
  • I did not have nearly as much in the way of finished knitting projects, but that may be because I have somehow expanded the number of projects I’m working on at once again…
  • I think I need a name for this year’s personal reading challenge, so since I got my 2018 reading list from multiple “read before you die” lists, I’m going to refer to it as my Bucket List Books challenge.
  • I haven’t made much progress on the Bucket List Books yet, because the books I had started in 2017 took me longer to finish than I expected. Oh well, I suspect the 2018 books will carry over into 2019 in the same fashion, so it’s all a wash in the end.
  • Goodreads did have The Wandering Inn in its database. I know, because I added it. Now, however, it’s gone. Very strange…

February 2018 Status:

Side note: since the January Summary was posted with three days left in January, this one includes a few items completed in January as well. I’ll put an asterisk at the end of the ones finished in January.


Knitting projects finished:
  • Monty Python GAL Square *
Knitting WIPs:
  • 2016 GAL Blanket (current square: Periodic Table)
  • 2018 GAL Blanket (current square: Thor)
  • Lacy Entrelac Chroma Scarf
  • Purple Majesty Boyfriend Sweater
  • Raw Honey Mitts
  • Minecraft Socks
  • Seeta Mitts


Books read:
  • Total Recall by Philip K. Dick (e-book, re-read) * (this is really a short story, not a book, but my version of it is a Kindle Single so I’m counting it here)
  • Rappaccini’s Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (e-book, re-read) (another short story that was sold as a Kindle book)
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr (paper, new)
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel #2) by Connie Willis (paper, new)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (audio, new)
  • The Tunnel Under the World by Frederick Pohl (e-book, new) (another short story… lots of those this month)
  • Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori #1) by Lian Hearn (audio, DNF @ 25%)
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (paper, new)
Reviews written:
Books in progress:
  • Sabaska’s Tale (Tales of the Travelers #1) by J.A. Campbell (e-book, new, 15%) (I read a beta copy of this book, but never read the published copy, so I’m counting this as a new book.)
  • The Wandering Inn Volume 1 by pirateaba (new, post 1.23) (It’s a web-serial… I’m not sure how to record progress other than by the post number.)
  • Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner (audio, new 19%)
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (paper, re-read, 21/152)
Challenge update:

While the rest of this status update has been for the current month only, this is my year-long progress on all of my reading challenges.

  • Books read: 11/60
  • Shakespeare Plays: 0/10
  • Percent new books: 72.73%
  • Bucket List Books: 2
  • Backlist Reader Challenge: 4/40
  • Book reviews posted: 6
  • DNF reads: 2

Sunday Summary ~ 28 January 2018

It’s the end of the month! (Or nearly. Close enough.) This month has been fun for me. It was a nice mix of going places and staying home, of visiting family and being a hermit. (I’m an introvert. Much though I love my family, I need alone time to recharge, too.) We celebrated a belated Christmas and a birthday and just generally had a good time.

While I mostly finished the books I was working on, I did DNF Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It’s technically possible that I’ll go back and finish it later, but I couldn’t take it now. I like his writing style, but the content and assumptions are so dated and prejudiced that I can’t do it right now.

I’m not noticeably ahead on my challenge progress, but I’m right on track, so that’s good. I have a few other things (mostly related to the Evil Day Job*) that I’ve been doing but not blogging about. I don’t get super personal online, most of the time. That doesn’t mean that personal stuff isn’t happening, I’m just not talking about it.

Next up is the month of candy hearts and chocolate, and my attempt to eat responsibly will possibly suffer as a result. Oh well. At least it’s getting lighter later in the day again, so I can go for walks after I get home from work without needing to bring a flashlight.

February is also InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month) where participants pledge to send one handwritten letter per day for the month of February. Since I love sending snail mail anyway, this sounds like a great excuse! If you want to play along as well, there are resources on the official blog as well as Boho Berry’s post about InCoWriMo 2018.

Random side note: due to an upgrade last month, I now have room on my phone for all of my digital music. (Many, many days worth of music.) I’ve been enjoying having it play on a random shuffle and listening to songs I haven’t heard in ages. Maybe I’ll do a music shuffle blog post someday soon.

*not necessarily evil. This is just a fun name for it that a writer-friend uses to refer to her non-writing day job, and I stole it.

January 2018 Status:


Knitting projects finished:
Knitting WIPs:
  • Minecraft Socks
  • Boyfriend Sweater
  • 2016 GAL Blanket (current square: Periodic Table)
  • Seeta Mitts
  • 2018 GAL Blanket (current square: Monty Python)
  • Raw Honey mitts


Books read:
  • Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire (audio, re-read)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (ebook, new)
  • Warcross by Marie Lu (paper, new)
  • Raventower & Merriweather #1: Secrets by Lazette Gifford (ebook, new)
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (audio, DNF @ 21%)
Reviews written:
Books in progress:
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (paper, new, 153/493)
  • Total Recall by Philip K. Dick (ebook, re-read, 3%)
  • Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (audio, new, 5%)
Challenge update:

While the rest of this status update has been for the current month only, this is my year-long progress on all of my reading challenges.

On Cancer

Check early, and check often.

That’s what they say, and I have to agree. Please, PLEASE get screened for cancer early detection as soon and as often as it’s recommended. (I just went in for my regular screening, and all is normal. This post is not about me.)

An out-of-state friend of mine recently discovered that her breast cancer has progressed and is worse than originally thought. The details of this whole thing is her story to tell, not mine. The part of the story that is mine to tell is this: I thought we had many more years of time to chat online and have the occasional in-person visit. We don’t. We might never see each other in person again. And that sucks.

She did the right things, too. She got tested, and then got treatment. And it still doesn’t look like that was enough.

The thing is, it is enough for a lot of cancers, but people still don’t go check. They “hate the doctor” or “it won’t make a difference anyway” or they “feel fine” and “aren’t sick”. If you can, GO CHECK. No excuses. If you don’t have health insurance that will cover it (which is a matter for a different post) then please at least research how you can self-check, and DO THAT.

Not checking is not okay.

This isn’t my usual light blog fare, but it’s important. Please. Don’t wait until it’s too late to do something.

Sunday Summary ~ 14 January 2018

It’s nearly halfway through the first month of 2018 already. Crazy, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but it’s already been a surprisingly full month for me.

We celebrated New Year’s in Walt Disney World, and that was fun. Crowded, yes, but still fun. (Less fun when it was rainy and cold. But still fun.)

EPCOT New Year 2018

There was less fun after that, to be sure, but lots of progress. I finished one pair of socks and made great progress on another. I finished a couple books and wrote a review. And we saw “The Room” — the “best worst movie ever made” and the cult film that inspired “The Disaster Artist” — in a cinema with a bunch of fans who knew the audience participation stuff. That was a blast.

Anyway, I’m not sure how often I will do these full-on update posts, and I’ll likely move them to just once a month on the last Sunday. But, since I realized all of a sudden that the month was halfway over, I thought now was a good time for a first update.

Craft projects finished:

Craft WIPs (all knitting for now):

Books read:

Reviews written:

Books in progress:

Misc Monday ~ in which we wish our Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, eh?

I was reminded by Lorraine that Canadian Thanksgiving is today. I always forget what day it is, since it’s a different day than Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US, but I knew that it was before Halloween. Personally, I would rather celebrate before Halloween too, so that Thanksgiving got its proper celebration without being eclipsed by Christmas. Oh well.

Hmm. Maybe I can find a way to celebrate both American and Canadian Thanksgivings, so that I get pie twice. Hmm. Must look into that.

Since I’ve never lived anywhere other than the US, I’ve only ever learned the American Thanksgiving traditions. You know, turkey, pilgrims, Indians*, stuffing, Snoopy, and toast. (What?) When I decided to write this blog post, I thought I’d look into it a little.


Wiki says that Canadian Thanksgiving was a bit more flexible than I remember learning about, but I don’t actually know how long ago the American Thanksgiving dates and traditions and such were set. I do know that I like having it on a Thursday (US version) instead of a Monday (Canadian version) because this way we get more days off work.  😉

Then again, having Canadian Thanksgiving on a Monday means that there’s no Black Friday shopping nonsense afterwards. Maybe they do it the right way, after all.

There are other bonuses to having Thanksgiving in October. It’s still warm enough that you can spend the day outside without difficulty. It’s earlier in the year, so it stays light a little later. And it means you can put up your Christmas decorations right after Halloween without anyone complaining that it’s “too early”.

At any rate, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! May you have lots to be thankful for.

* not a proper term to use now, but that’s how it was when I was taught about Thanksgiving in school. I hope that schools these days use the more proper Native Americans / First Nations / Indigenous Peoples.

Misc Monday ~ in which dreams are not always goals

Let’s talk in a little depth about one of my 101 in 1001 categories today: the Writing category. When I started the 101 in 1001 challenge, I was planning on working on my dream of becoming a published novelist. Therefore, one of the main categories of my challenge is writing. And yet, now that I’m over a year in to the challenge, I find that this is no longer a focus of mine.

The change in my mindset made me start thinking about dreams vs. goals.

Sometimes, your dreams are your goals. You can work toward something that you’ve dreamed about, and it’s both a dream and a goal. Or you can have dreams that float at the back of your mind or deep in your soul, but that you aren’t actively working on, and therefore while they are still your dreams they aren’t also goals.

For me, being a published author has been a dream for a long time, but it’s almost always been something I played at instead of worked at. The only times I’ve done more than play around at it were when I was unhappy in my personal life. (Part of me wonders how much I subconsciously associate success in my writing with unhappiness. Most of me suspects this is a pretty high association, and I need to work on that.) So, I was planning on using this 101 in 1001 challenge to turn writing from a dream only into something that was also a goal.

And then, for one of my other challenge items, I started evaluating my day job. And I didn’t like what I saw. I also didn’t like what I had in mind as a nebulous “while I’m getting the writing career going” plan. So I started to look at what I could do to be more satisfied and more fulfilled in my day job, and realized that my best option was to focus on that instead of on the novel writing.

Yes, being a published novelist is still a dream. But right now I don’t have the drive to make it a goal. I don’t know that I will ever have enough energy to both work on improving my writing and improve my day job at the same time. You have to pick your battles, and choose where you’re going to spend your energy. Therefore, my primary goal right now is to improve my day job to the point where it feels like a career instead of a job. (Yes, I’ve been in the workforce for decades, and still don’t feel like what I have is a career.)

I am not planning on changing the 101 in 1001 list to reflect this change in focus, however. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of your dreams even when they aren’t your primary goals.

What about you? Do you have dreams which are or aren’t goals in  your life? How to you balance the two?

Misc Monday ~ in which my weekend was derailed

Well. Life happens sometimes, you know? And accidents happen.

This weekend’s accident involved broken china, deep cuts, and three stitches. I’m not going to go into more detail that that, since the accident is Mr. Wyrm’s story to tell more than mine. (He’s fine now. Otherwise I would be taking care of him instead of writing a blog post.) However, it did mean that instead of spending my weekend being productive like I was supposed to be, I spent several hours of it sweeping up broken china and waiting at the urgent care clinic.

That did mean that I had some good knitting time. But it also meant that I didn’t have the focus to work on anything super detailed, and so I followed the urge to cast on a brand-new project.

Reyna start

This is Reyna (here’s the Ravelry pattern page) and I’m using Queensland Collection Uluru yarn to make it. So far I love it. It has enough of a pattern that I was able to stay interested in it, but is simple enough that worry didn’t cause me to mess anything up.

Reyna start

I have gotten significantly further than this, but haven’t taken any more recent photos yet. That will have to wait for a WIP Weds post sometime later.

Anyway, I hope your weekend was less interesting and more fun than mine. Have a great week!