Sunday Summary 12-3-17

It’s Sunday Summary time! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is over now, and I haven’t written a word of fiction since then. I didn’t write much fiction during that last week either, truth be told. The EDJ (aka Evil Day Job, which is what I call it whether or not it’s being evil) and a new contract job took up more time than I had anticipated, and so I ended NaNoWriMo about 17k below the official end goal. However, given that I hadn’t intended to participate in NaNo this year until about a week before it actually started, I think I did pretty good to get in 33k words.

NaNoWriMo Ending Stats:

    • Total Word Count Goal: 50,000
    • Total Words Actually Written: 33,565

And now what?

Well, I do want to finish this story. I won’t be writing on the story as frequently or as furiously as I had been during November, but I will still be writing. I also will still be joining my fellow WriMos for the weekly write-in that I’d been attending during NaNo. They meet up year-round, and so joining them will help me keep myself accountable with the writing. It will at least get me around other writers on a more regular basis, and I tend to write more when I’m with others of my own kind.

Later, once I’ve finished the story, it will get to sit for a little while before I look at it to edit it, and then I’ll begin the polishing process. Will this particular book turn into anything? I don’t know. In some ways, it already has. It has turned into my way back into writing, and that alone should be recognized as a great achievement.

Last note: Sunday Summary posts will be changing a little now that NaNo is over, but I haven’t figured out quite how yet. Please excuse the mess as I play with the posts over the next few weeks. Also, if I end up with completely random posts, they will probably be scheduled for Sundays.

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Friday Reads ~ 1 December 2017

I’ve mentioned before that I’m going to be switching up how I do my Friday Reads blog posts, and I’ll go into more detail on that later this month in preparation for the New Year. For now, however, I’m going to continue with the three reading status updates.

WHAT I READ

I finished reading Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower. (#1 of the Magical Bookshop Mystery series and #9 for my Cat Mystery Reading Challenge.) It was really cute and I really like the bookshop and the cat. I’m not as interested in the likely love triangle between the humans, though, so we’ll see if I decide to continue with the series.

WHAT I’M READING

I’m currently reading Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown. (#2 of the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries and #10 for my Cat Mystery Reading Challenge.) It’s really cute, and it’s refreshing to have the pets’ POV again rather than relying on the humans to interpret the pets. I’m sad that it took me so long to get back to this series, but at least I can fully appreciate it now (after having read many books where the humans have to interpret the animals).

On my eReader are two books, Lazette Gifford’s Raventower and Merriweather #1: Secrets and Senana McGuire’s Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day. I’m much further into the McGuire one, but they’re both enjoyable at this point.

I’m also still listening to Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I want to like it as much as I liked the beginning. But right now I’m only still listening to it because I want to know how it ends, and not because I’m enjoying the journey. (I’m really not sure how much of this is the book and how much is the narrator. Right now I’m annoyed enough at the package of it that I can’t separate the two.) I am sick of YA angst, and there is more of it continually developing in this book. The setting is great. The first couple of chapters were great. But now, several chapters in… I might DNF this one if I can’t bring myself to enjoy the next chapter or two.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

I really want to read The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid. It was on my “eventual” TBR pile, but it’s been recommended by several people (some IRL and some online) so it’s been bumped up higher. Now that I’m on my last Cat Mystery book for that reading challenge, I think this will be one of my next two paper books. The other paper book I want to read in 2017 is To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. We’ll see which of the two I get to first (or if I completely change my mind. Again.)

It will be a while before I have to choose another ebook. I’ll determine what that will be once I’m closer to done with these two.

And my next audio book needs to be a not-an-angsty-YA-book*. I’m not sure yet what that will end up being. I have a Robert Heinlein sci-fi in my Audible queue which might be next. Or there are also a couple of non-fiction books which might be good choices. But I’ve had enough of YA book angst for now.

*Note: I have no problem with YA books. I love YA books. But there seems to be a hidden sub-genre of YA that thinks that all youth emotions need to be portrayed as angst. Or perhaps authors think that because there is so much angst portrayed in YA books / TV / movies, that is what is desired by the readers. They are wrong, if that is the case.

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!

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!

toptentuesday

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.  🙂