October 2, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Happy October!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop with other folks on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you want to join us, we encourage you to visit a few other WUW blogs each week, get to know some other writers, and spread some writerly love! Don't forget to leave the link to your post in the widget at the end of this post.

WHAT I'M READING
Well, pretty much everything I was reading last week at this time. I've been weirdly busy this past week, so unfortunately reading hasn't been a priority. I'm partway through: The Dream Thieves  (How crazy it is that I've been reading this for a week now?), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and War and Peace. Though, I did manage to plow through all of Book 4 in W&P  in one sitting so there's that, I guess.

WHAT I'M WRITING
I haven't actually sat down to write just yet, but I have been mulling over necessary changes in my first WIP. For some time now the conflict has been bothering me, so I think I've maybe finally figured out what I want to amp up and what I want to downplay or remove altogether. The subject matter of this story feels especially timely in light of certain bits of news I've read, so I really want to buckle down and finish this revision once and for all. That said, now I just have to actually DO exactly that. I have some pages from writer friends to critique, so that should get me into the zone.

Autumn leaves
WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Autumn; a handful of good things happening in my life (see below); reclaiming interests that I had set aside for way too long (see below); lengthy emails from my good friend and CP, Elodie; and actually feeling the tug to get writing again. I guess you could say I'm just all-around happy!

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
We're moving at the end of the month! Woohoo! For some time now, I've been growing increasingly more dissatisfied with our current digs for a variety of reasons. I've been wanting to move back to the small city that I last taught in, and we found a house to rent there. It's pretty much exactly what we were looking for, so we're very thrilled. But not about the actual moving process. Ugh. That's never a treat. Especially when you've done it as often as we have. Weird side note: I've had "Pack it up, pack it in" from House of Pain's  "Jump Around" in my head since we found out we're moving, which is fine with me because I will always love that song. (Really.)

I made a quilt! I still need to do the backing, binding, and overstitching, but apart from that I sewed a 70" x 70" quilt. I've puttered around with quilting before, but this was my first serious attempt at actually using a pattern. The fabric patterns I chose to use (Passport: old timey cameras, vintage passport stamps and travel ads, etc.) were a bit unforgiving for this style of quilt, but live and learn, right? Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out even if I can pick out all of the mistakes and imperfections in it.


My week was full of other fun stuff like Book Club (Friday night) and Pipe Band Pub Night (Saturday night), and I'm sure my days are only going to get busier from here on in. Especially since I'm hoping to start substitute teaching again once we move. Eek!

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN: WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?

P. S. Feel free to grab the Autumn WUW button in the What's Up Wednesday tab of this blog! (I was feeling a bit autumnish.☺)

57 comments:

  1. Don't feel too bad about taking a long time to read THE DREAM THIEVES. I've been poking away at CROWN OF MIDNIGHT for about the same amount of time. Some weeks there just isn't time to lose yourself in a good book and you have to read in fits and spurts instead.

    I love the quilt you made! It's super cute with all the vintage stuff on it. I knew you were going to some sort of quilting club, but I didn't think you'd be that far along already.

    I'm so excited that things fell into place for you guys to move. How crazy is it that we're toying with heading out in your direction about a week before you'd be in the new house? Stupid timing. Ah well. Hope the packing goes well! Let me know when you want to discuss some of those new plot ideas. I could use a good Google Hangout session to figure out a few things myself! :)

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    1. I think I'm going to have to treat myself with reading once I'm done doing some packing and/or culling of the crap we've accumulated. Sounds like a plan. Not sure how writing will factor into this equation, but I'll have to figure it out somehow. I had tons of fun working on the quilt, and it actually didn't take all that long. I still have some tough-ish stuff to do on it, but overall it was a fun experience. Can't wait to make another! It was actually two quilting classes that I went to with Adrianne. I might go to another class sometime, but I'm not sure how that will all work now that we're moving to Lacombe. Seriously, a lot of stuff is going to change now that we're moving, and I can't wait! I'm super excited at the prospect of you guys possibly coming this way this month. Don't even worry about being here while things are packed up. It might actually create more space! I tend to put all of the boxes in one spot out of the way, so it won't be a problem. It's just too bad we won't be in Lacombe already, because I'd love for you guys to see the new place. We DEFINITELY need to do a Google Hangout this week. Just let me know when works for you and we'll set it up! :-)

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  2. I feel like I should pick up one of the classics as I haven't read one since I was at university... buuuuuuuut not today :P

    Best of luck with your next round of revisions. Hope it all goes very well :D And the move, too... Thank goodness that song's in my iTunes because now I have to listen to it. HAVE TO, AND IT'S TOTALLY YOUR FAULT :P

    Awesome quilt! Wow, it's spectacular. I have zero patience for that kind of thing.

    Have a lovely week :D

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    1. I knew I would never voluntarily sit down with a classic and plow through it all at once, so that's why I try to do the chapter a day thing. Except with WAR AND PEACE it ends up being several chapters at once because I want to finish this behemoth before I'm 80. ;-) October feels like such a great month to get all the stuff done, but I'm not sure how that's going to work with packing and moving. Maybe those other things (writing and reading) will be treats once I've done some packing??? Confession: I just listed to "Jump Around' again. Just because. :P

      The quilt actually whipped up rather quickly. It was pretty easy which is nice. Finishing it will be a little bit tougher, but I've totally been enjoying doing this kind of thing. I hope you have a great week, Cole! :-)

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  3. There are only so many hours in a day, so don't feel bad about taking a while to get through three books (one of which being WAR AND PEACE). You don't want to seem like a *complete* over-achiever, now, do you Jaime? :)

    Congrats on the move--though I'm 100% with you on the thought of packing. A new house is certainly exciting, but the logistics of getting your stuff from one place to the other is always daunting. At least I think so. All the best with that--I hope you and hubby manage to find fun in the process. :)

    Oh, and well done with the quilt! My wife quilts, so I know what a labor of love a quilt can be. And you did a good job, especially first time out.

    Have a great week, Jaime! :)

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    1. I think I need to go back to scheduling my days so I can work in all of the things I need and want to do this month. October just feels like one of those productive months, you know? I figure I'll treat myself to some writing and/or reading time once I've done some packing. Sounds like a good plan! To be honest, I've got packing down to a science. No joke. There's a system of numbering, lists, and labelling in place that works like a charm. It makes the unpacking process SO much easier. Oh, and finding stuff in the meantime. Still, it's a big ole pain in the neck. :/

      I had tons of fun with the quilt. It was actually very easy to whip up, so the likelihood that I'll get going on another one sometime soon is pretty good. I learned a lot doing this one, so the next one will be that much easier. Though, I should probably spend some time on the sweater I'm knitting now.

      Have a wonderful week, Colin! :-)

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  4. Oh, Jaime! That's so exciting! I thought I saw something about your move on Twitter, so yay! Although, the moving part - boo. Haha - I have Jump Around on my elliptical playlist. And they always play it at Friday Night Football games. :)

    Sounds like you've had a very exciting week! Good luck with the revising! And I can't wait to hear your thoughts on TDT!!!

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    1. Like I told Colin, as much as I hate packing and moving, I kind of have the whole process down to a science because we've done it so many times. (A system of numbering, lists, and labelling that works like a charm.) Still, if I could just teleport all of our crap to the new place, I'd be thrilled. "Jump Around" gets so much play time at sporting events, House of Pain must be laughing all the way to the bank. I actually listened to it again this morning. :P

      Have a great week, Alison! :-)

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  5. Best of luck with the move, and with your revisions. Sometimes thinking over the changes can be a great help. :)

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    1. I'm not sure when I'll get back to the revisions with moving and all, but it's nice that the ideas are still cropping up. I just have to make sure I write them down until I can get to them. :-)

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  6. So glad you're feeling all around happy. Good luck with the move!

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    1. Thanks, Jennie! We're excited about the move, so we'll let that carry us through all of the not-so-fun parts of moving. :-)

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  7. I'm happy that you're having a happy week! Moving is a pain, but it sounds like the end result is going to be great. Yay! [And I love Jump Around--I run to it. :)]

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    1. I've got a system in place for moving that makes the process so much easier (numbering, lists, labelling), but it's still a pain in the neck. The end result will be a place we like much better than this one, so that's a definite plus. I actually listened to "Jump Around" again this morning. We'll call it motivation to get my butt in gear with the packing. ;-)

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  8. I'd love to make a quilt, that's pretty impressive!
    I'm the opposite this week, I've read much more than I usually do, but that's just because I haven't been at work. Good luck moving, I've yet to experience it myself but I don't imagine it's very fun! It'll be worth it once you're in your new house though :)

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    1. The quilt was a lot easier to whip up than it might appear. The most tedious part was measuring and cutting the pieces, but the sewing process was pretty simple. Finishing it will probably be more tough. Having a good week of reading is always nice. I've had a week or two like that recently. Now I think I might have to slot in reading and writing what with packing and moving. That will just make it that much more enjoyable I expect. :-)

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  9. I think it's ok to take time to read something, sometimes. If it's a book you've been particularly anticipating, or one you feel has something you can learn from, or even if it's just that your schedule doesn't allow. As I said last week, reading is not a job (unless you're a critic) and it shouldn't always be put on a deadline.

    I am glad to hear you're ready to jump back on the writing bandwagon, with plans and inspiration too. Good stuff.

    Hope the move goes well! I love the quilt. I can't even imagine sewing a blanket. I learned to sew when my son was a baby, but alas, lost interest pretty quickly. Quilting is a bit more challenging. Well done you!

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    1. I love reading so much that it's tough for me not to be able to do it for at least a little bit each day. I love those days where I can just spend the better part of the day curled up with a good book. I'm going to use reading and writing as an incentive while I'm packing for our move.

      The quilt was surprisingly easy to whip up. I think it looks more complicated than it actually was. The tough part will be finishing it. :-)

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  10. Your quilt is complete awesomeness! Congrats on the upcoming move - I don't enjoy actually lugging stuff around, but I do like to pack, there's something really satisfying about it.

    Love the fall WUW button!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! It was a lot easier than it might appear. The tough part will be finishing that thing up now. We're excited about the move, but packing is never fun. Luckily, I have a great system for packing that makes the whole process a bit easier (numbering, lists, labelling). Can't wait until it's all done, though! :-)

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  11. Good luck with the move. I love moving but the packing and unpacking is such a pain!
    The quilt is beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Melanie. :-) We've moved so many times that we just dread it each time it rolls around again. Thankfully, I have a good system in place (numbering, lists, and labelling) that makes the process easier. Can't wait until we're in the new place! :-)

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  12. Wow, your quilt is beautiful! I love the patterns you chose.

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    1. Thanks, Lori. :-) It was actually not all that difficult to whip up. Finishing it will be a bit more tedious, though.

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  13. I now have that HoP song stuck in my head...but it's a good song, so. :)

    Yay for the move (except the moving part, 'cause packing and moving does suck...it's a PAIN...house of pain...see, that song is apropos on many levels for you right now) and YAY for making a quilt! YOU MADE A QUILT! Super impressive. <3

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    1. I actually listened to "Jump Around" again this morning. And you are so right: House of Pain is definitely apropos to a pain-in-the-butt packing and moving situation. Nicely done! :P The quilt was actually a lot easier than it might look. Finishing it will be the tough part, especially now with the move coming up.

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  14. I love your quilt, Jamie! It's so cool that you have all these fun interests!

    Moving is a pain, but it sounds like you are more than ready and will be super happy once you do. Too bad we live so far away or I'd offer to come help you pack up a box. Funny, I always get the Strawberry Shortcake moving song stuck in my head. "Pack em up. Move em out. It's time to move to your brand new house"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTli3z92vAU

    Have an awesome week! And I love the new banner (posted it today!). You have an awesome eye for design (quilting/web)--are there any other secret talents you are hiding from us???

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    1. Thanks, Valerie! I've really been enjoying doing this other stuff lately. I'm so happy you like the fall button. I kind of love fiddling around with that kind of thing. Secret talents? None that I can recall... (That sounded more mysterious than I intended it to. :P)

      I have a great system for packing, so it gets a bit easier every time. Still, it's never fun. We'll just be happy when it's all over and done with. Have a wonderful week! :-)

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  15. Wow, that quilt is amazing! I'm so impressed by it, and I love the design. Good luck with the move! So glad you found the perfect place. :)

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    1. Thanks, Meredith! The quilt was actually a lot easier to whip up than it might look. The most tedious part was measuring and cutting up the pieces. Well, and I expect finishing it will be a bit of work, but overall it was a fun project. We're really looking forward to the move, but I sure wish we could just teleport our stuff from here to there. :-)

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  16. Hey, if you've gotten through your hangups with your WIP, that's writing. Just because it's mental writing--plotting etc--doesn't mean you should discount it. Much of my writing takes place in my head LONG before it hits the page. =)

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    1. I figure mulling over story-related things is a great way to save myself some time when I actually sit down to write. Plus, it gets me excited about actually getting writing again. I'll take what I can get right now! :-)

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  17. What a beautiful quilt!!! I love the Dream Thieves but I haven't been able to finish it yet either. Life has been busy.
    I hope that your move goes smoothly. We move often too and I don't enjoy the process at all but I love being somewhere new and different and the challenge of making it feel like home :)

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! It was lots of fun to whip up, and surprisingly easy too. Finishing it might be another story, but we'll see. I would love all the time in the world to do all these things, including finishing THE DREAM THIEVES. It'll happen when it happens, I guess. I love being somewhere new and different, too. It really appeals to my love of change. I just wish it was easier to get from here to there. Ah, well. We'll be happy when we're all nice and settled in. :-)

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  18. Your quilt is GORGEOUS, Jaime! I've dabbled with quilting, but I'm more of a simple square patchwork kind of gal. I'm so impressed with all of your pretty angles. I hope the writing bug gives you a good hard bite soon, especially since it sounds like your subject matter is particularly relevant right now. I know you're a daytime writer and I try to write during the day while C is at school, so if you ever want a Twitter buddy, let me know. Hope you have a fantastic week!

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    1. Thanks, Katy! You know, I actually kind of prefer simple patchwork quilts, so I think my next project will be along that line. It was pretty fun trying something different though. I'll second the writing bug and the biting thing. Moving kind of comes up at a bad time because I wanted to get writing again this month. I think I'll try to squeeze it in, along with reading when I'm not packing. Call it incentive if you will. :-) I'll definitely check in on Twitter to see if you're writing when I get my butt in the chair. Hope you have a wonderful week, Katy! :-)

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  19. I'm looking forward to getting back to the Wednesday posts, I had such fun with it over the summer and checking in with everybody. Impressive quilt! I did some piecing back when I was a kid/teen (crafts with mom) but the actual quilting and assembling of the quilt I've never done, which is pretty daunting the first time. I inherited a quilt that's from the 50s or so, it's super ugly but sooo warm and perfect for winter, I use it every year. It gets less ugly to me each year too. :)

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    1. It's nice to have something to check in, especially when blog topics aren't forthcoming. I do want to get posting at least one other day of the week, but so far I've been unsuccessful at that. I had tons of fun with the quilt, but I think next time I'll go with something a little more square because that appeals to me more. First I need to finish this one off, though. My great-grandmother used to quilt, so there were always quilts of hers kicking around. They were kind of neat because they were obviously made out of scraps, but it made you wonder what they were scraps from. They're all falling apart now, but it's still need to have them around. :-)

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  20. Wow, what a gorgeous quilt! :)

    And ew, the moving process. I am absolutely terrible at packing. I usually procrastinate for as long as I can. It sounds like your new house will be great, though! Best of luck with the move. :)

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    1. Thanks, Laura! It was lots of fun to put the whole thing together. :-)
      As much as I hate moving, I've gotten pretty good at the whole thing. I have a good system of numbering, lists, and labelling that seems to work well for me. Still, it's never going to be easy. I just can't wait until we're all moved in. Have a great week, Laura!

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  21. Your quilt looks so awesome! I'm always in awe of people who can make things like quilts, or knit, or things like that because I just don't have the patience for it.

    Good luck moving! I know those books will be a pain in the butt to haul around but I'm sure they'll look nice in their new digs ;)

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie. :-) The quilt actually whipped up pretty quick. It came from a book of easy quilt patterns. The most tedious thing was measuring and cutting all the pieces. Overall, it was a very fun project. (Though, I'm not quite done.) And I had to laugh about the books. My husband always moans about the number of books I have and how much that sucks for moving. They pack up so nicely, though, because they're nice and square-ish. I just can't wait until they're all unpacked at our new place. :-)

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  22. Wow! I love your quilt. I've always wanted to try quilting but never been able to find the time. :( It might be a while before I can too, as I have so much on at the moment. Still I will keep visiting your page and oggle yours and dream :)
    Moving definitely sucks. When I was younger we moved constantly. I enjoy a much more settled life as an adult and am so grateful for it. Although we do intend to move again in the future, but hopefully that will be the last move I ever make (fingers crossed) I hope your move goes really well though and will be thinking of you and hoping you managed to keep your stress levels down in the process.

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    1. Thanks, Joss! It was lots of fun making it, and it actually didn't take very long. I'm not quite done, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. :-)
      We've moved a lot mainly for school and teaching jobs, but we were hoping not to have to do it again until we buy a house. This place we're currently living in has become rather frustrating, so it's time to move on. We're both pretty happy with the place we're moving to, so it will be worth all of the unpleasant packing and whatnot. I'm going to use writing and reading time as an incentive to get moving on the packing. That should work nicely! :-)

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  23. So much exciting stuff, Jaime! I hope your new location works out for you, and very best of luck with the move (I hate the actual moving part too). Good luck getting back into the substitute teaching, too! What kind of teaching do you do?

    The quilt is beautiful! What an accomplishment!

    Have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. We lived in the city we're moving to four years ago and really enjoyed living there, so we're pretty excited to be moving back. As much as I hate the packing and the moving, I actually relish the opportunity to comb through all of the junk we've accumulated and pare it all down. As for teaching, I'm trained to teach high school and junior high, but my preference is high school. I'm trained to teach English and Social Studies, but I've taught Foods, Math, Computers, and Accounting as well. :-) I still need to finish up the quilt, but for now I've decided I feel like working on the sweater I'm knitting. Feeling crafty! Have a great week, Bridgid!

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  24. It's probably better that you're taking your time with Dream Thieves. I blasted through it, but I think it's really meant to be savored. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. :)

    Your quilt is beautiful! I love the pattern and the theme, and I also love the Autumn WUW button. Congrats again on your new place! It's great that you're going back to a place you enjoyed and omg, substitute teaching! Lots of exciting things on your horizon.

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    1. I think I just need to make a concerted effort to carve time out of my day to finish THE DREAM THIEVES and GOBLET OF FIRE. Reading is my favourite thing to do, but unfortunately I let other stuff crowd it out sometimes. Stuff like kind of crappy TV. The quilt was lots of fun to work on, and I think this might be the starting point for many more quilts to come. :-) I'm happy you like the button. I was feeling autumnish and I figured I wasn't the only one.

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  25. The quilt is very pretty. I can't believe it's already October. This year is going by too fast. Good luck with your move. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Amy! It was lots of fun to whip up, too. :-) I can't believe it's October either. I love this month. In fact, I think it just might be my favourite month of the year...when we aren't getting snowed on. Seriously, I've woken up every day for the past week plus with below freezing temps, so I'm worried we're going to get snowed on soon. O_o Fingers crossed that doesn't happen for another month or so. Have a great weekend, Amy! :-)

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  26. Wow, War & Peace is a hefty book. As are the other two you're reading. I hope your enjoying Dream Thieves, even though it's taking you a while to get through it :)
    The fact it's fall inspires me as well. I love October.

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    1. It really is hefty, but so much less daunting than I expected. I think I was scared off before because a) 1000 pages of tiny font, and b) Russian author. O_o Honestly, it's a pretty easy read despite those things. (I'm shocked to even hear myself say that.) I'm totally enjoying THE DREAM THIEVES, too, but that comes as no surprise to me. Maggie Stiefvater is incredible! October is quite possibly my favourite month of the year for so many reasons. And how awesome that the whole month builds up to Halloween! Love it! :-)

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  27. Congratulations on the move!! (Not the boxing stuff up part, but the exciting wonderful new home part.) And I love the quilt! I am super impressed with anyone who can sew. I've tried, and let me just say, the results were sort of Franken-scary. And a quilt is a huge undertaking, so go you!

    Good luck with teasing out the conflict in your MS. Mulling over book ideas goes well with tea...and lots of pumpkin -flavored treats. :)

    Hope you have a great week!

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    1. The best part about the whole packing up everything process has to be the opportunity to cull all of the crap we've accumulated while living in our current situation. Talk about freeing to offload things we don't need or use! And getting to a new place that we love more is just the cherry on top. :-) I would love to see these Franken-scary results of your attempts to sew in the past. :P This quilt was surprisingly simple despite what it might seem like. It was lots of fun! Now I just have to finish it...

      I like this whole mulling over ideas + tea + pumpkin-y treats things. You're onto something here! Have a wonderful week, Kris! :-)

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  28. Holy quilting and writing and MOVING...!!!!! Stressed much??? Crazy, Jaime. I seriously love these Wed posts. Such a great idea!

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    1. The quilting was the easy part. Moving? Not so much. Though, I do have it down to a science now: a system of corresponding numbers, labels, and lists. Because I'm a weirdo. (Actually, because I've done this FAR too many times.) Still, it will always be stressful no matter how prepared I am. Squeezing in writing might be a bit of a challenge this month. ;-) Have a super wonderful week, Morgan! :-)

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  29. I am such a purger...it feels so freeing to rid our home of stuff we don't use. So refreshing!

    I hope you find time to write this week, especially since you're feeling the want!

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