November 13, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: I'm Back...Sort Of

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'm not making much headway with any of the books I'm reading, but I will say I am enjoying the bits and pieces I've been able to squeeze in when I'm not busy doing other things, namely unpacking. Umbridge is just as infuriating this time around as every other time I've read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I'm in love with the island of Thisbe and residents Sean and Puck in The Scorpio Races. (I still have yet to try my hand at November Cakes, though. Yum!) And I haven't even touched War and Peace apart from packing it in some box or another a few weeks back. My Reading Challenge goal is in serious peril right now.



WHAT I'M WRITING
Sigh. I'm not even going to pretend that this is going to start happening sometime soon. That would make me the worst kind of liar. I will say I want to get back to it sooner rather than later, but it just doesn't factor into my day-to-day activities these days. Soon...I hope.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
New and much, much better surroundings and the opportunities that come with it. Slowly but surely getting things put away and flattening boxes. The prospect of finally putting my office--the place I write and blog--in some kind of workable order. (It's an honest to goodness disaster zone of boxes with no room to navigate the mess. It's not exactly conducive to creativity.) And the whole combo of snow (see below) + holiday advertising/sales that have cropped up is actually making me feel very  Christmas-y.



WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
As you know, we moved a couple weeks back. The day after we moved in, we got over a foot of snow dumped on us in one day and spent about 3 hours shovelling it. But as much as I complain about the snow every year, the lead-up to Christmas wouldn't feel the same way without it. I am absolutely positively not envious of the 80F temperatures that some places south of here are still experiencing. I like having four distinct seasons, snow and cold and all.





A couple weeks back, I had the extreme privilege to attend a Maggie Stiefvater signing about 1.5 hours away from here. Seriously, authors never come to this corner of the earth, so imagine my elation when I found out Maggie S was coming. So exciting! She's every bit as spunky, awesome, and inspiring as I was expecting. And she was gracious enough to personalize all of the books we brought. (Though, in the interest of time, that did mean we couldn't take posed photos with her. C'est la vie, right?) I'm just thrilled I had the opportunity to meet one of my most favourite authors.




Monday was Remembrance Day in Canada (similar to Veteran's Day in the U.S.), so hubby and I decided to participate in a ceremony with veterans, current troops, cadets, and members of the RCMP. I think this is such an important thing, especially with so many of our WWII vets passing on. There is really no way that I can adequately express my gratitude to these people who put their lives on the line for us Canadians, both past and present. (The poppy is worn over the heart in Commonwealth countries in observance of Remembrance Day because of the poem "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.)

I'm sure there are other things going on around here, but that's it for now, folks. Hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday and a wonderful week all around! WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?



54 comments:

  1. Yay for meeting amazing authors :) And I love the drawing she did on your book! Can't wait to hear more about your new surroundings (and see pictures of your office? :)) Hope the move went well and that you get to enjoy the snow a bit (by snuggling with a good book, your kitties and a cup of tea)!

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    1. It was pretty great being in the same room as Maggie Stiefvater. She is, by far, one of my most favourite authors. As for my office, I'm hoping to tackle it (at least in part) today. It's almost impossible to even get around the room thanks to all of the book boxes lol. Weirdly, I'm not hating the snow as much as I thought I would. It's perfect snuggling up with a book/kitties/cup of tea weather. ;-) I owe you a big email with notes on your story!

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  2. Maggie's doodle is so cute! And that is some very, very heavy snow...

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    1. Isn't it great? And she did it so quickly too! Thankfully it hasn't snowed again since that major dump, but yes, it was VERY heavy when we had to shovel the walkway and driveway. O_o

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  3. Welcome back! We missed you ^_^

    Snow?!?!?! Dang, and there was me thinking winter had arrived here with the first proper frost. You win!

    Can't wait to see pictures of your new office set up. Hope the move in continues to go well despite the weather :)

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    1. Thanks, Cole! I missed you guys too! As weird as it might sound, I'm actually kind of liking the snow. It's just staying cold enough for it to stick around, but not so cold that I'm shaking my fist at the sky. ;-) And it's really getting me excited about Christmas coming...over a month from now lol. The plan is to try and get my office in some semblance of order today. We'll see how that goes... :-)

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  4. Yay! SO glad to see you posting again! (Also super jealous (yet happy for you!) about your Maggie meeting!) Also, very glad the move went well. And no frets about the writing - it will be there when you are mentally ready. :)

    Have a great week! And yay snow!

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    1. Thanks, Alison! :-) I'm not sure if I'm 100% ready to be back blogging, but I have to come back sometime, right? It was pretty great being in the same room as Maggie S. She's so inspiring! Not to mention we *never* get authors coming up this way. I'm so happy to be done with the move. Everything is getting put away, so that's even better. Have a great week, Alison!

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  5. I love that horse Maggie Stiefvater drew for you! I have a wolf in my copy of Linger :) She is so great in person, I loved her presentation. I'm also glad you're enjoying The Scorpio Races, it's one of my favourite books.

    Hope you get your office sorted soon!

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    1. I was very impressed with the horse doodle. :-) She was so fun and energetic and wonderful to see in person. After I spend some quality time getting my office in some semblance of order, I think I'll spend some quality time with THE SCORPIO RACES. It really is a great book!

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  6. Glad you're slowly but surely getting settled in - it's good to see you back :)

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! It feels great to get everything in its place finally. Here's hoping we don't move again for a long while. I'm not sure if I'm 100% ready to be back (still have lots to do), but it is nice to connect with you all again. :-)

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  7. Can you believe we had snow here in Eastern NC last night? It wasn't much, and it didn't last, but it was so frigidly cold (relatively, speaking--I'm sure it was shorts-and-tee-shirt for you) that the bit of precipitation we got turned into the white fluffy stuff and layered the top of the car. I don't know when the last time was in the 20+ years I've been in NC that I've seen snow this early in the year. I'm with you TOTALLY on the Christmas-y buzz, and having seasons in their place.

    May your unpacking be fun and fast, Jaime. I'm excited for you getting settled into a new and better home. :)

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    1. Snow in Eastern NC? Crazy! :-) We may have a fair amount of snow that isn't really going anywhere, but the nice thing is that it hasn't been overly cold. Above 0C most days, so that's good. I guess just cold enough to keep the snow from melting, and I'm totally okay with that because Christmas is coming...in just over a month! (It's a good thing we're so busy unpacking, because I'd be tempted to haul out the Christmas decorations otherwise.)

      The big plan for the day is to get my office in order or close to it, and then I'll reward myself with reading. :-)

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  8. Hope you get back to writing soon! Its so exciting that you got to meet Maggie! Authors never come to where I live either, so it's a great opportunity. Love the drawing!

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    1. Thanks, Emma. Me too! Meeting Maggie was pretty cool. Of course, I probably sounded like a babbling idiot when I spoke with her, but I'm sure she's pretty used to that lol. I think of all the authors I could ever hope to see, she would be my top choice, so I'm pretty thrilled she chose to come see us north of the border. :-)

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  9. Maggie really was awesome. :)
    I'm sure you'll get back to your writing when the time is right, in the meantime, don't stress it. And have fun reading Scorpio Races!

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    1. She was so fun and energetic! It was nice to meet you in real life, too. :-)
      It's funny, I feel like I should be more stressed about not writing than I actually am. Is that weird? Obviously I miss it, but I'm not beating myself up over it. I guess moving and unpacking is keeping me preoccupied. I'm totally enjoying THE SCORPIO RACES. I'm going to reward myself with some reading time after I do more unpacking in my office.

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  10. Maggie's signature is awesome! It's so cool that you got to meet her.
    I hope your unpacking speeds along!

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    1. I thought it was pretty cool. I didn't notice the horse doodle until I got home and opened it. I was too busy trying to think of something not idiotic to say to Maggie S when I was up at the table. Not sure that I succeeded... ;-)

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  11. glad the move went well. And the snow looks beautiful, although shoveling doesn't sound very fun. The Scorpio Races is one of my fave books of all time, I've gotten a lot of my family to read it! I'm sure you'll get back to writing when it's time. For now just enjoy life!

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    1. Thankfully we haven't had to shovel since that initial dumping of snow. I'm happy it's sticking around, though. It's great for putting me in the mood for the holidays. I'm really enjoying THE SCORPIO RACES, like I expected. I'm going to treat myself with some reading time after I get my office into some sort of order today. :-)

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  12. "the lead-up to Christmas wouldn't feel the same way without it." >> you know, Xmas in Brazil is during summer and it easily goes over the 110F there. So, we don't have snowmen and things like that for decorations. I didn't really care about it until I came to live here and saw how it fits better, since Santa is from the North Pole, right? lol

    So glad you met Maggie Stiefvater! I think her writing is gorgeous (though it isn't for me. I read The Scorpio Races - like I said, her writing is superb, but it was too slow for me.)

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    1. I suppose I've always associated snow with Christmas because that's what I'm used to. For everyone who lives in warmer climes, sunny days are totally the norm for Christmas, so a lack of snow doesn't seem strange at all. Funny how that is, hey? :-)

      Meeting Maggie Stiefvater was pretty great. I'm so inspired by her and her writing. Plus, she's just such a cool individual all around. :-)

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  13. In good time you'll be back to writing, and in a setting much more conducive to creativity! Glad to "see" you!

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    1. I suppose it bothers me a little bit that I don't miss writing more, but I think once I get down to it again I'll remember what it is that I loved about it. But for now, I'm just not stressing about it. :-) (Nice to see you again, too!)

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  14. I'm happy you got to meet Maggie Stiefvater. She is one of my favorite authors as well, and so cool and funny in person. I am also happy to hear your move went well, and you are happy with where you are. I hope you can get back to writing soon, though I agree, a disastrous workspace is not conducive to creativity. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. We never get authors up here, so it was especially cool to have one of my most favourite authors come to see us. She's just such a cool person. (And her writing is phenomenal, of course.) The goal for today is to get the office in some sort of order and then some time spent with THE SCORPIO RACES as a reward. Hope you have a wonderful week, too! :-)

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  15. Ah, moving is such sweet sorrow...or something. It takes so long to get things in order. I hear you on the seasons thing. I have family who hate the winter and have moved further south. I don't want 80 degrees at Christmas. Nope! I like my fall, my leaves turning colors, my snow. Chicago winters can get pretty bleak, but we don't have nearly as much snow as some areas.

    Maggie Stiefvater is wonderful! I saw her before I'd read any of her books.

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    1. Moving is so stressful, but it really is great when you're finally in a better place. (Whoa, that sounds like I'm talking about dying or something. O_o) As for winter, I'm not at all crazy about months upon months of cold and snow (ugh), but I definitely want it leading up to Christmas. After that, I really could do without it. But if that's the price we have to pay for having four distinct seasons, I guess I'll have to deal with it. I've only been to Chicago in the fall, so I don't know how chilly the winters get. I have heard about the bleakness though. ;-)

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  16. I've met Maggie twice now (Portland is a major stop in pretty much every author book tour). The spunk she puts into her books definitely carries over in person. She is probably my favorite real life author, and her books are pretty darn amazing too. I LOVE Scorpio Races. I'm glad you are enjoying it between all the unpacking fun.

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    1. Portland does seem like a great location to be for author visits. You're very fortunate! Since we don't get many authors up here, it was especially awesome to have one of my all-time favourites come visit us. I'm going to treat myself with more of THE SCORPIO RACES after I get more unpacking done. Today's target is the disaster zone office. :-)

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  17. I am so very envious of your Maggie-doodled book! SCORPIO is my favorite of hers, and I highly encourage you to make November Cakes. I did two years ago and even though they're lots of work, they're amazingly tasty. Congrats on being on the other side of your move -- what a relief. Welcome back to the world of reading/writing/blogging. :-)

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    1. Why thank you, Katy. Happy to be back connecting with everyone. :-) As for the doodled book, I didn't even realize she had done it until I got home and flipped it open. I was too busy trying to come up with something to say to her when I was at the signing table. I'm pretty sure it wasn't overly intelligent whatever it was. Still, I imagine it was infinitely better than the "Thanks for coming" that I spit out upon meeting Julie Andrews at SCBWI NYC back in February. :P My waistline and out of control saddlebags *really* don't need November Cakes, but who cares, right? I'll have to give them a whirl. Have a great week, Katy!

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  18. I'm in the same boat -- haven't had much time to read, but have been enjoying what I'm reading around the edges of the little free time I have. :)

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    1. I'm going to have to use reading as a reward for getting stuff done around here. After doing my WUW commenting, I plan on tackling my office. With any luck I'll still have some time to do some reading. :-)

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  19. No-one ever comes to Leeds either for book signings!

    I'm totally behind on my reading challenge goal as well. But life happens. Can't be helped and we all need to put that as number one priority. :)

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    1. A year or so ago, a small handful of authors came to Edmonton (about an hour away), and I wasn't able to go. I was seriously bummed about that. I'm just thrilled that one of my favourite authors came to see us. I wish you could have authors visit you in Leeds. I suppose when it comes to our reading challenges we can always read a pile of picture books and chapter books, right? Is that cheating? ;-)

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  20. Holy snow already! And I LOVE those boots...

    I need to get on board with this What's up Wednesday thing... I seriously love it... :D

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    1. I know, right? I still can't believe we got so much at one time. (The boots are actually my old police boots. I thought they were totally useless...until now!) You should totally join us for WUW! The format is kind of nice because you can write as little or as much as you like. Plus, it's just nice to talk about a few things in your life with writer friends. :-)

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  21. Ever since you posted that snow picture on IG, I've been checking our weather in hopes we get some powder too. So far, no such luck. Hope the unpacking is going well!

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    1. All of our snow showed up in a single weekend with none since. Fortunately, it's been just cold enough to keep it from melting, but not so cold that we're all miserable. ;-) I hope you get some soon, too! There's nothing like a little snow before Christmas. I'm planning to get some of my office in order (read: books on shelves and out of boxes) today and then I'll treat myself with some reading. :-)

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  22. That's so cool that you got to meet Maggie Stiefvater. I still need to read that series. I have a copy of THE RAVEN BOYS in my TBR.

    Good luck with the rest of your unpacking! Glad to hear the snow arrived *after* you moved and not during! We had a little snow yesterday (not enough to stick) and part of me is like, "no snow!" but like you, I really do like having four seasons, and snow does make Christmas better. Also, after hearing about all the devastation in the Philippines, I feel like I have no right to complain about the weather.

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    1. You are so right about not complaining about the weather. Just yesterday I was saying that we really are fortunate to live somewhere that the weather doesn't get *that* crazy. Sure we get blizzards that can be quite dangerous, but nothing like what they're experiencing in the Philippines. Definitely gives me some perspective. And I was very thankful that it showed up after the move, like you say.

      Meeting one of my favourite authors was pretty great. I'm just hoping I didn't embarrass myself with the gushing. ;-)

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  23. Oh man, it's been too long since we've emailed (well, I totally owe you an email, so, my fault) but MAGGIE! That is so, so cool.

    And WOW to that snow. Yikes. It snowed on us two days after our move, too--but just enough to stick to grass and rooftops, not enough to stick to roads. (I got nervous, but it stopped quickly.) We're rooting for it to hold off on real snow until my mom comes this weekend--hopefully with her old snowblower, if she can get it into her car. But it's fun that it's sticking around looking pretty--it always feels like such a waste when you shovel and shovel and then don't get to enjoy the snow for very long!

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    1. It's totally been too long since we've emailed! But life happens, right? Can't wait to hear about your move and your new place! So exciting. :-) Thank goodness we both managed to dodge snowy weather for our moves. And I'm glad you didn't end up with really snowy/icy roads. As a new driver I can imagine that would be nervous-making for sure. I hope your mom is able to get that snowblower to you. I would love something like that. I forgot what it was like to have to shovel so much snow. (The townhouse we lived in came with all of that kind of stuff included.) The trade off is that we are living in a much better place, so I'll take it.

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  24. Oh Jaime, here's hoping you're able to get back to writing some time soon. Meanwhile it sounds like you're keeping busy with all the right things. Way to go! I'm jealous of your snow, by the way. (Says the woman living in 80 degree weather and watching palm trees sway.)

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  25. I'm so glad your move went okay! And it's OVER, so that's something, right? :) I hope getting back to writing happens too, but I know how hard that can be when your life/house has been uprooted. Love the photos of the snow, but you can totally keep all of that white stuff! ;)

    Have a great week!

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  26. Happy you are settling in your new house. It snowed here last week as well, now is a mess because it's melting. I really hope you get back into the writing groove soon

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  27. You definitely have your hands full with settling in. I'm glad it seems like the settling part is actually happening now though, and yay for snow! I mean, I definitely love my 80 degree weather, but I do love looking at snow, haha. But I also agree with you that nothing brings in the feel of the holidays like cold(er) weather. We don't get snow, but I am kind of sad it's not quite chilly enough to break out my sweaters because I do love sweaters...and I just bought a new coat! But I'm just going to be quiet now before it does get cold and I start whining, haha.

    Still so envious that you got to meet Maggie and that she personalized your book. So cool! :)

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  28. It's fitting you're reading THE SCORPIO RACES in November. You must make November cakes this month! (See how I'm telling you to make them instead of making them myself?) I think you get a pass on the writing considering you just moved. I've done that a million times and it never gets easier. Setting up a new place takes work! But I'm sure once you start feeling more at home in your new place you'll be able to get some good writing done. Good luck!

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  29. I've been meaning to read THE SCORPIO RACES. I got to meet Maggie S about a month ago too, which was awesome :) It's so nice that she comes to untouched places. I hope your unpacking goes well, even with all the snow!

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  30. I love the horse doodle! Dang, that lady is so talented! Glad things are starting to get a bit more settled for you.

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  31. Maggie's signature is AMAZING! That woman seriously has way too much talent for one person. I love the poppy over the heart tradition. It feels humbling and right somehow. And I feel the same way as you, I'm so grateful for the men and women who fight to keep me safe. Their sacrifice, their family's sacrifice is a true testament for the love of their country.

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