October 9, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

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
I haven't touched War and Peace  this week and I'm still very slowly working my way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire  and The Dream Thieves.  Erin and I had a VERY interesting chat about the latter, particularly relating to a theory we have about a certain character. I won't say anything more, but the fact that we both picked up on this is further evidence that we essentially have the same brain.

WHAT I'M WRITING
I've gotten to read and critique some writer friends' pages this week (including my CP Elodie's first fifty) and it has really given me the itch to get my butt in a chair and start writing again. Considering the fact that I'm surrounded by stacks of unpacked boxes and mountains of books and whatnot that need to go into those boxes, I'm not sure when I'll get to sit down and write. But the point is I WANT TO. I'll have to squeeze it in between packing boxes.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
Purging. Well that sounded grosser than intended. Before every move I like to comb through all of the junk we've accumulated and do my best to dispose of what really needs to go. So far I've managed to get rid of tons of junk between tossing it in the trash, recycling it, or adding it to the rapidly growing donation pile. Why exactly does this inspire me, you ask? I find it sort of freeing to shed some of the excess, weed out what isn't that important. I guess it makes me feel kind of lighter in a way, ready for a fresh start, unencumbered by all the crap we totally don't need.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Besides trying to get everything in order for our move? Not a whole lot. I did get to spend time Skyping with Erin (my sister) on Monday afternoon/evening for a good chunk of time (as per usual), which was both helpful writing-wise and also highly enjoyable (as per usual). There was plenty of tea + cookies, book talk and other fun stuff. It's been awhile, so this was long overdue.

While at the grocery store, I decided I wanted a pumpkin this year despite the fact that we're moving on Halloween. (Boo. And not in a ghoulie and ghostie kinda way.) I have this idea that I'm going to actually carve it, but I'm not exactly sure when that's going to happen. Still, there's something delightfully autumnish about having a pumpkin kicking around, wouldn't you agree?

Plotting how I can turn my Sticky Date Pudding recipe from a cake into cupcakes and somehow reduce the fat in the toffee sauce that gets poured over top. I have a few ideas, so I can't wait to get experimenting. (You know, because cake is exactly what I need to be shoving in my gob.)



Oh, and this lovely new literary tee that I ordered showed up this week. I bought it from Neena Creates on Etsy, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite shops. The words are from Captain Wentworth's totally swoonworthy letter to Anne Elliot in Persuasion. I've also gotten a Jane Eyre shirt from her and it's awesome too. I've been eyeing a Robert Frost scarf in her shop, but I'm trying to exercise restraint. (Which is the only exercise I've been getting.*)


SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?




* Hardy har.


57 comments:

  1. Oh, you're moving too! YEAH! I'm loving purging - well, the freeing results of it, anyway. Bringing all the stuff away is a pain in the neck. Cute picture. It's important not to totally slide over a holiday, even if it seems impossible to real celebrate it.

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    1. Yep. Sure am. :-) I love the idea of being in a new place, I just don't love the part where we have to pack up and actually move. Yikes! But the opportunity to purge the excess is always wonderful. (Even if hauling it away is a giant pain. Couldn't agree more, btw.)

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  2. If we have the same brain, does that mean that both of us only get half? Because, ya know, that might explain a few things. :P

    I'm so glad we finally got around to Skyping the other day. That was a hugely helpful conversation with the added bonus of being fun. I still think we need to do a Pumpkinpalooza chat sometime though. Hopefully we can fit that in before you move AND before snow gets here. If you figure out the Sticky Date Pudding issue, let me know. I'd love to make smaller versions of it too. Also, I think you should go ahead and make the jack-o-lantern. Do it a couple days before Halloween and you should still be able to enjoy it at your new place. Good luck with your dejunking and packing!

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    1. I definitely feel half-brained a good chunk of the time, so that might be the case. :P

      I really enjoyed our Skype visit too. You really helped me feel better about the changes I plan on making to my story. I think Pumpkinpalooza is definitely in order. We'll have to plan for that this week or next. I'll try experimenting with the Sticky Date Pudding this week. I would really like to sort out a smaller batch, smaller size. I'm totally planning on doing the jack-o-lantern. The pumpkin is holding up really well, but that's likely because it's so stinking dry around here. (My eyes hate it so, so much.) Not sure when I'll get around to carving the pumpkin, but I might have to do it soon before this place is just a mess of boxes and not much else. :-)

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  3. Good luck with the move! A good house purge always makes me feel lighter afterwards, and more orderly ^_^

    Maybe if inspiration really strikes you could scrawl an idea on the side of a packing box? ;)

    Have a lovely week!

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    1. Thanks, Cole! I could probably purge even more stuff from this place, but I'm plagued with a bad case of sentimentality. Each time we move, I get a little less attached to stuff, so that's good. It feels wonderful to get rid of all this junk.

      I like your packing box brainstorming idea. Very nice! Someone else reminded me that I actually have a voice recorder on my phone that I could be making use of. I carry that thing everywhere, so I could just make a quick recording of my ideas if I want to. We'll see. My brain is awfully consumed with mundane things like changing our address with billers, packing tape, and cardboard boxes. So, so dull. :/

      Have a great week, Cole! :D

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  4. I'm the same as you at the moment, I'm really motivated and just want to sit down and write, it's just finding the time! Good luck with your move :)

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    1. Yes! Time seems to be in such short supply these days. I suppose I shouldn't complain because this busyness will be short-lived, but it would happen to coincide with wanting to sit down and get writing. Ah well. Such is life, right?

      Have a great week, Laura! Hope things slow down a bit for you, too. :-)

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  5. I love having a good clear out too. Every time I read you blog and hear about your packing, I dream of the day we will make out final move to a nice small holding lol. It's a way's off yet but still, I can dream.

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    1. It's such a great feeling to pare stuff down, to clean, and all that. I really should force myself to do it more often. I think it's awesome to dream about where you want to end up! I would love to find a place that we settle into and never want to leave. A girl can dream, right? :-) Have a great week, Joss!

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  6. Oh, I lurve your What's Up Wed. picture with falling leaves. It's perfect with your pumpkin picture. Purging my house always makes me happy and feel like I can function again. Glad it's working for you. Best of luck in your cooking endeavors and I hope you're able to get all the packing taken care of. When we moved this summer I had to take a break from writing. I just couldn't do it all. Best of luck for your move!

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    1. Thanks, Robin! I couldn't resist an autumnish button. :-) You know, I really should do this whole purging thing more often. Not just when we move. It feels wonderful! I'd definitely tricky trying to slip in everything I want to do while packing, but I just have to remind myself that the craziness is short-lived. At most, it puts off my writing for a few weeks more. That's not really a terrible thing in my mind. Have a great week, Robin!

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  7. Good luck with your packing and cleaning, Jaime! I completely know what you mean about it feeling good to see things move on and to realize that we don't actually need all that it sometimes seems we do. We just went through a big house move last April, and I am still feeling lighter :) Thank you too for sharing that link to the store - I have to go visit! I LOVE writerly stuff. We haven't selected our pumpkins yet, but with all of my pumpkin candles and wooden wick scents, it definitely smells like fall in our home, and I sort of can't get enough of that cozy feeling. Wishing you all the best in your writing this week and love hearing about the special relationship you share with your sister. I don't have a sister, but am so thankful to be able to watch my girls grow up with each other.

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    1. Thanks, Temre! As much as I hate packing and moving, the end result is a good one, so it's totally worth it. :-) It's funny how we cling to things we don't need because of sentimentality and even in some cases practicality. ("I could totally use this for something else." Right...) I love any literary wares I can find, particularly of the apparel kind. I especially love PERSUASION, so this was a great find for me. You're making me want to light a pumpkin-y candle now. I think I'll do that! It definitely makes the place more cozy. Have a wonderful week, Temre! :-)

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  8. I want to write so bad all the time right now but yes, time is so hard to find! I hope that the move goes smoothly and enjoy your pumpkin :) I love the tee! I've been craving some literary wear. I might have to splurge on some.

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    1. Isn't it, though? It's frustrating, but at least by the time I sit down to actually write, I'll have all of these good ideas stocked up and ready to go. Always a silver lining, right? I could honestly outfit myself entirely in literary wear and be totally happy. I haven't found all that many literary items that I love, but I definitely love the Neena Creates store. Have a great week, Sarah! I hope you're able to squeeze in some writing time. :-)

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  9. Ooh, I love that shirt!
    I know what you mean about how moving leads to freeing yourself of unneeded stuff. That's the one part of the process I love. I'm not moving, but I have been wanting to get rid of the excess in my apartment lately--maybe it's knowing that soon it'll be winter and I'll be spending lots of time with all this stuff.
    Good luck!

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    1. Isn't it great? I couldn't resist buying it. Plus, they fit so well!
      Packing and moving stinks, but at least there's one good thing about it: purging. There has to be one good thing. Well, I guess the end result is a good thing too. It will be nice to be in a different place ultimately. I feel like I should be scheduling regular purgefests. This might have to become a thing. ;-) Have a great week, Rebecca!

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  10. The shirt = LOVE. That quote makes me all mushy inside, every single time I see it!

    I also love purging, in a totally non-gross way. I try to do it once or twice a year, which drives my husband nuts, but it's so, so satisfying to throw/give things away.

    I am STILL reading Catch-22. I read a chapter yesterday after about a week of not reading any of it. I figure I should be done by Christmas.

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    1. I love literary wear, but I especially love PERSUASION literary wear. So perfect!
      I think I need to start planning regular purgefests. Like a quarterly thing or something. It's so great to shed all of that excess.
      At the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky to finish WAR & PEACE before Christmas, which was my original plan. :/ It's good, but having three books on the go at the same time is probably not the best idea when you're up to your neck in boxes that need packing. Have a great week, Jennifer! :-)

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  11. I'm hoping to read THE DREAM THIEVES next month. I'm so excited about finding out what happens next!

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    1. I'm enjoying it, so I'd love to sit down and just finish it already. It's always rough picking up and putting down a book regularly because of other commitments. Thankfully, Maggie Stiefvater's writing is so good and it's always a treat to come back to. :-)

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  12. I MUST have that shirt! I'm going on her site RIGHT NOW. (Can you tell I'm a bit of a Persuasion freak?!)
    I love to purge too. I do it every season with clothes and every few months with the kids toys. I love to get rid of stuff because it really does feel freeing.

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    1. Yep, just ordered it! Hope you don't mind if we have the same shirt! ;)

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    2. Absolutely don't mind! I knew you wrote a PERSUASION retelling too, so it's kind of the perfect shirt for you. Plus, Penelope (who owns the shop) is such a nice person who does a great job with her stuff, so it's nice she's getting more business.

      As for purging the excess, I think I need to make this a regular thing. It's SO nice to see it all go and to feel a little less tied to meaningless junk. Have a great week, Melanie! :-)

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  13. Wait, wait. You moved? Jeez, I know I missed a couple of months of WUW, but hey! Where are you now? lol
    That tee is great!!!!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing--are you moving within the same town or a totally new place?

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    2. We haven't moved just yet. We're still in the thick of packing and getting ready to move. The totally un-fun part. I like unpacking and putting things in their place, so I'm looking forward to that whole part of things. We're moving to a smaller city (11,000 people) about 20 minutes outside of our current city. I taught for a year there and we really liked it, so we're excited to be moving back. :-)

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  14. Today was one of those days that on my way in to work I thought, I wish I could spend the day working on writing. I do have a notebook and a flash drive with me pretty much at all times so maybe I can get some ideas down for my new story. Pesky day job.

    I am heading over to that Etsy shop to check out the wares. :)

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    1. I will probably be going back to work soon, so I'll have to make sure I have these kinds of things handy for jotting down ideas too. Should be interesting trying to squeeze all of the things I love doing in with a job. Yikes.

      I love literary apparel, and I kind of wish there was more of it out there. I really like this Etsy shop. The owner is really nice and her products are great quality. Have a good week, Stephanie! :-)

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  15. I love the t-shirt, and will have to check out that Etsy shop pronto. I am glad to hear you've been bitten by the writing bug again, even if the timing isn't great. I feel the same way about purging. I am someone who actually seeks every opportunity to get rid of things and reorganize, it helps me stay sane.

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    1. I love this Etsy shop so much, and I'm impressed by the owner and the quality of her products. And I love, love, love literary wear! Wish I had more of it.
      I think I need to schedule regular purgefests instead of waiting until we move. Like maybe do one when the seasons change or something. Turn spring cleaning into summer, fall, and winter cleaning as well. It's just so freeing! Have a great week, Rebekah! :-)

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  16. Good luck with the move. And yay that you want to write, even if you don't actually have the time to do it right now, wanting to write is so important.

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    1. Thanks, Kate! I'll be really happy when it's all done and we're in our new place. I could really use a change of setting right now. You're so right about how important it is to want to write even if I'm not able to do it just yet. By the time I sit down to do it, I'll be good and ready and full of ideas. Have a wonderful week, Kate! :-)

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  17. Love your new shirt, and love your pumpkin picture! Best of luck with the big move. As often as we have to move, I never have to pack our house, thanks to the Army. I can't imagine dumping all of our books into boxes... They must weigh a ton! Here's hoping you get to sit down and write soon, Jaime!

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    1. Thanks, Katy! The shirt fits perfectly and is super comfortable too. I pretty much love this Etsy shop to bits. :-) I'm not sure if I would prefer having someone pack up for us, or if I'd be weirded out and worried by the whole thing. I'd probably hover or something and drive them all nuts! The RCMP here in Canada has the same procedure when they transfer Mounties from one location to another. As for packing books, I always make sure to use small cube boxes to ensure they aren't too heavy. Even so, it really gets to be too much considering all of the books I have.

      By the time I get to sit down and right, I'm going to have so many good ideas stocked up and ready to go. Can't wait! :-)

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  18. 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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    1. I really need to make a regular practice of purging the junk. Maybe make it a seasonal thing or something. It's just so nice to part with the excess every so often. Even if I don't find the time to write this week, I'm stocking up good ideas, so that's a plus. Then, when I sit down to write eventually, I'll have plenty to work with. :-)

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  19. We're actually having our first taste of real autumnal weather! It didn't stay out of the 60s yesterday, and it rained. Today, we're barely into the 60s. There's a little chill to the air, and it's totally delightful! :) Anyway, I don't know if we'll be doing the pumpkin thing, but cooler weather and falling leaves help get us into the autumn mood.

    I can't imagine how you might find time to write in the midst of moving. Perhaps it's good that you're getting the urge to write without having the opportunity--when you finally get the time, you'll have so many ideas, and have such drive and determination, it'll be wonderful. That's my hope for you, anyway, Jaime. :)

    Have an awesome week!

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    1. Oh, nice to hear that you're finally getting some autumn weather. October just doesn't feel right without it. (At least for us anyway.) It's actually pretty chilly here right now. It's been below freezing every morning for the past few weeks. Not complaining as long as we don't wake up to snow, because yuck!

      So far I haven't found time to squeeze in writing, but like you say, I'll have so much to work with once I finally do try to write again. The ideas are flowing, so that's a plus! Can't wait until this move is all over and one with and I can ride the wave of NaNo energy and excitement and get some writing done. Have a great week, Colin! :-)

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  20. I'd like to buy an artificial jack-o-lantern, since it's been a really long time since I've carved one, and being the packrat I am, I don't know if I'd be able to throw it away when the time came.

    Good luck with moving! I moved in July, and still haven't reorganized, moved over, or unpacked all of my stuff. Hopefully after my ex-roommate is officially gone, I can finish all that.

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    1. An artificial jack-o-lantern is a great idea! Especially for those who just don't have time (or the want) to carve a pumpkin. I don't usually carve pumpkins, but for some reason I felt motivated to do it this year. Weird, because I really don't have the time!

      I actually really enjoy the unpacking part of moving, it's everything that comes before that lol. Here's hoping you can get to unpacking soon too! :-)

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  21. I enjoy a good clear-out, even if I usually end up doing more rearranging than actually throwing things away - it makes me feel like I've cleared out more than I actually have! :P

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    1. It's such a great feeling, and really something I should be trying to do more often. I think I might need to start scheduling seasonal clear-outs or something. Can you imagine how great that would be? :-)

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  22. Oh no! I promised myself I would be good with saving money for the Christmas sales but now that I've seen that t-shirt...!

    I love getting rid of stuff. It feels like a weight has been taken off my shoulders and I have more room.

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    1. Haha! Whoops! Sorry to tempt you with literary wear, Robin. ;-)

      I need to start getting rid of stuff more regularly. Maybe I'll start working this in every few months or something, because it really is freeing in a big way. Sounds like a plan. Have a great week! :-)

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  23. I get so inspired when I read stuff from my CPs, too. I love that it works that way! Kudos on the purging - getting rid of stuff feels so good! I'll be thinking of you as you prep for the move, and yes, you most definitely do need a pumpkin. :)

    Have a great week, Jaime!

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    1. I haven't read stuff from my CPs in a while, so it was really nice to dive back into that again. And now all of my ideas are flowing again, which only means I'll have plenty to work with once I finally get back to it! I think I need to make a regular practice to de-junking my place. Turn it into a seasonal event or something. It's just so nice to get rid of the excess. As for the pumpkin, I was thinking of foregoing the usual jack-o'-lantern face and using a drill to poke small holes in it in cursive. I'm thinking something like "Lumos" might be kind of fun and a tip of the hat to Harry Potter, which feels appropriately pumpkin-y and Halloween-y. We'll see, though. Have a wonderful week, Bridgid! :-)

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  24. Good luck with the move! Having just done that a couple of months ago, I know how tiring it can be. But I love the purging part!

    I'm happy to hear you're getting excited about writing again. I'm feeling the same way, so hoping to dive back into writing my WIP very soon.

    Decorating with pumpkins is so fun so I hope you find time to carve yours before you move! Also, love that shirt!

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    1. Thanks, Ghenet! I always look forward to a new setting, but actually getting there, and everything that comes beforehand is kind of a pain. I'll be happy when it's all done. From now on, I need to make sure I'm purging the junk regularly. Or I guess not allowing it to stack up in the first place.

      I think come November I'll be good and ready to do something other than packing and moving. Something like writing! Sounds good to me. Happy to hear that you're looking to dive back in as well. I think you'll probably agree that a break is nice, but getting back to writing is so much nicer. :-)

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  25. Glad you are getting a lot done now! Everyone says "Spring Cleaning" but I usually have way more cleaning out and up to do in the fall. I'd buy a pumpkin too. You can have it at your house while you move, and then take it to your new house when you get there. No problems. About your Sticky Date Pudding recipe: Reducing fat is overrated. Usually it's the sugar that makes people fat so it's actually better to reduce the sugar rather than the fat. :)

    I actually got my What's Up Wednesday post done at a decent time of day! I'm happy.

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  26. I totally forgot it was Wednesday when I posted today for the first time in ages! Oh well. But I'm trying to get back into blogging, with the hope that that will push me back toward writing! Love the pumpkin--moving on Halloween is no fun but at least you can get in the spirit! And--oh my gosh, that Etsy shop! I'm doomed. DOOMED.

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  27. I love the tshirt and am going to check out the link ;)

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  28. I want that shirt so badly. <3 PERSUASION. As a sci-fi and Jane fan, I am going to assume you've read Diana Peterfreund's FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS? I luuuuv that book. It is a beautiful "sci fi" set in New Zealand in the way way future. Gosh...just talking about it makes me want to reread :)

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  29. Hmm, the lure of owning a Robert Frost scarf is strong... I would feel like quite a literati wearing out it out this winter- especially if it was snowing, that would be perfect!

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  30. The t-shit is SO cute!!!! :) And yay I´m glad that you´re feeling the urge to write again (thank you so much for reading my pages!) Hope the move is going well...

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  31. That pumpkin looks so perfect, it make me want to buy a pumpkin this year. I love this meme, I can't wait to participate next week.

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