November 27, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

(Grab the Winter WUW button under the tab above!)
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 finally finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  and I have to say that I think it has become my favourite of the bunch. I mean, I love Goblet of Fire, but there's just something about OotP that really appealed to me this time around. So (obviously) I've moved on to Half-Blood Prince, which is one that I recall not liking very much. (That whole chunk with Harry and Dumbledore away from Hogwarts: Bleh. Hated it.)

I also just finished The Scorpio Races. I'm still processing, but I can say that this book was beautiful, atmospheric in the very best way, and best read when you can give it your undivided (and well deserved) attention.

I've read 75 books toward this year's Reading Challenge and yet somehow I'm still one book behind schedule. I'm hoping to gain some ground with Neil Gaiman's The Ocean At the End of the Lane, my first ever Gaiman read. It's our book club read this month and I have to have it read by Friday, so I better get on it! I have to say, I'm kind of excited to find out what all the fuss is about.
After finishing The Scorpio Races, I feel the urge
to park myself on a damp, windy cliff along the
coast of Wales or Ireland or somesuch.

WHAT I'M WRITING
Well, it's not much, but I actually sat down with some of my writing to get reacquainted after far too long being away from it. Surprisingly, I don't hate (most of) it, but I know there is still an awful lot that needs to be fixed. I think I'm finally up to the task. Maybe. Well, I hope so anyway.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW
At the risk of sounding like a grump, I don't feel terribly inspired by much this week. I suppose the fact that my computer is finally set up sort of inspires me to get writing/revising again. This was my primary workspace before we moved (I much prefer my desktop computer to my laptop), so it's great to have it up and running again. I suppose I always feel inspired by the Christmas season, and for a whole variety of reasons, it's my absolute favourite time of year. I can't wait to get decorating this weekend!

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
I've been feeling Christmas-y for some time now (thank you, Snovember), so I've been watching Christmas movies like crazy this past week (thank you, Netflix). I've managed to squeeze in a bit more writing time, get my books on the shelves (a long process thanks to my insistence on arranging books according to genre and, of course, just the sheer number of books), and I applied to start substitute teaching (Eek!). Not sure how I feel about that last bit. Other than that, this has been a mostly uneventful week.

Before I forget, I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends south of the border! Have a wonderful day!


SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU THIS WEEK?



36 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you're all set up. I came sooooo close to buying a desktop PC before settling on another laptop. There's something really appealing about having a single solid "place" to work in, you know?

    Brrr, Snovember, huh? Sounds very festive. Have a great time decorating. I can't believe it's DECEMBER at the weekend. Eeeek! Where did 2013 go?!?!

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    1. It's nice to have a laptop for mobility (I wouldn't mind getting one I actually want to use), but like you say, there's something about having a place that is designated just for work. It works for me, anyway. I'm with you on the whole "I can't believe it's almost December" thing. Yikes! My head is spinning at just how fast this year flew by!

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  2. This time of year is VERY inspiring - for Christmas spirit that is. :) I watched ELF last night and boohooed more than I ever have, I think. And very excited YOU are starting to find your groove! I hope you have another wonderful week!

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    1. I still haven't gotten around to Elf just yet, but it's definitely on the pile. I watched pretty well everything I wanted to see on Netflix Christmas movie-wise, so now I'm moving onto my own collection which is...a lot bigger than I remember. :P I think right now is probably the worst time of the year to try and get back to writing what with the holidays, but I'm going to make a solid effort. :-)

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  3. Hi Jaime! Glad to hear you're getting settled. Happy Snovember! That terrible stuff hasn't reached us yet, but we are in the middle of an Arctic Blast. 9 degrees this morning, not counting wind chill. Too cold for Thanksgiving week! Have you watched Love, Actually yet? :)

    ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is my favorite HP (although I have a giant soft spot in my heart for the first book). There is so much to love about. Umbridge is a terrific character. And the kicker for me? That one chapter at the end in Dumbledore's office. Uhhhhh. The dialogue. The emotions.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. I really don't mind the snow so much as I mind the cold. Fortunately, we've only had one ugly cold day so far. Give me snow any day over biting cold. And, no, I haven't gotten to Love Actually yet. Must get on that! I have it on the stack, so I'll have to get to it soon! As for OotP, I was never keen on angsty Harry, but I found it bothered me much less this time around. There's just so much in this book that makes it great. I think it's edged GoF out of first place for me, or is at least a close tie. You're right, Umbridge is such an awfully (operative word) terrific character.

      Have a great week, Sara!

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  4. THE SCORPIO RACES is on my list to read. I just love Maggie S. Her books are wonderful to read, but I get the most enjoyment out of listening to the audiobooks.

    You can send some snow down to Minnesota, I'll take it! Have a great week.

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    1. This was my second attempt at reading THE SCORPIO RACES and I'm glad I stuck with it this time. Like I said above, I think it's best to read it in larger chunks and not bits and pieces here and there. (Which is what I did for the whole first part of the book.) I have to say, I'm not minding the piles and piles of snow we currently have. It hasn't had a chance to get dirty-looking yet and since it hasn't snowed in over a week, I have a bit of a reprieve from shovelling. It definitely looks like Christmas out there!

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  5. Love the new WUW button! And I've also been watching Christmas movies, courtesy of the Hallmark Channel :)

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Every time I used the fall button I made I couldn't help thinking just how wrong it felt given all the snow we have. And since I'm feeling Christmas-y... I dug out all of my Christmas movies (they were still in boxes from our move), so now I'm ready to go full Christmas, especially while I decorate this weekend!

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  6. I have not read that Neil Gaiman book, though a friend of mine said she think it's one of his best. I loved Stardust (and the movie) and Good Omens, though those are both more lighthearted.

    I'm in a Christmasy mood too--we have a shorter season here in the States because Thanksgiving is so late--though if you watch TV or shop anywhere it's not like retailers have taken the hint on waiting to shove it inour faces. My rule is no Christmas decs until Thanksgiving is over.

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    1. Right now I'm loving that the Neil Gaiman book is nice and short. I haven't been able to slip in much in the way of reading lately, so it's nice to read something short and sweet. I've seen Stardust (loved it), but I haven't yet read the book even though it's on my shelf. I might just have to do that.

      It's funny, because Thanksgiving is so early in Canada (before Halloween), as soon as Halloween is done--BAM!--it's Christmas all of a sudden. It helps that we've had snow since November 1st too. It's like November got the memo from the retail folk that it's officially the Christmas season lol. My husband and I always kind of have had a rule that no decorations go up until December 1st. But that doesn't stop me from watching Christmas movies before then! :-)

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    2. Which Christmas movies are your favorite? I like to watch some classics every few years too :)

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    3. I love It's a Wonderful Life, Disney's A Christmas Carol, The Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas, The Polar Express, Christmas in Connecticut, Just Friends...and this list is getting ridiculous lol. Of course, I have a whole pile of Christmas movies, but some of them are far too cheesy to own up to! ;-)

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  7. I adore the new button! Looking forward to posting with it next week. I held off on festive decorating and Christmas music-playing so far--but on Friday, I'm basically going to turn into an elf. :)

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! The leafy autumn button felt passé to me given all of the snow we've had and how Christmas-y I've been feeling for the past few weeks. My husband and I have always saved Christmas decorating until the first of December or thereabouts. It as kind of an unspoken rule around here. Though, we really could have gone full Christmas right after Halloween since that was the last holiday in Canada. But there's something about the anticipation of December arriving that makes it that much more fun, I think. Have a great Thanksgiving, elf! ;-)

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  8. I'll be curious to hear what you think of the Gaiman book.

    It's been a few years since I did my last HP reread. I may need to put that on the agenda for 2014!

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    1. The Gaiman book is so much different than I was expecting, though I'm not really sure what I was expecting, to be honest. I've seen Stardust, but since I've never so much as read the synopsis for one of his books, I honestly had no clue what type of stuff he wrote. I like that this one is nice and short. It's kind of what I'm in the mood for right now after ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. (Which, while great, was awfully heavy and huge!)

      I hadn't reread the HP series since the last book came out, so I was long overdue. It's so great to return to it, especially since I'd forgotten so many of the little details that don't make it into the movies. Definitely recommend a reread! :-)

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  9. Congrats on getting settled in! Once your books are where they are supposed to be, you can officially call it "home". :) I've been feeling Christmas-y for weeks. Despite the fact that it's 80 degrees down here. Humming "Let it snow" doesn't work as a rain dance though. (Just so you know.)

    Love that picture of the coast! Makes you want to stand on the edge with your arms out to the wind. I really liked the Scorpio Races, though I couldn't adjust to the idea of the horses being carnivorous. That was just weird to me.

    I love the new button, gorgeous as always! Hope you have a fantastic week!

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    1. I think the "It isn't home until the books are on the shelves" mantra is perfect. Absolutely perfect. Take everything else, but don't take my books! I think it's funny that you've been feeling Christmas-y for weeks given where you live. I need those little cues like snow to get me in the holiday mood. But hey, that's awesome! I could send some snow your way if you'd like????

      Honestly, I don't think I'd mind the damp, chilly weather they get in places like Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. There's something so appealing to me about it all. Perhaps it's the way the excess of dampness makes everything so vivid green. Or maybe it's because I'm made up of a whole bunch of Irish parts. ;-) The carnivorous horses in THE SCORPIO RACES were definitely hard to wrap my mind around at first, but because the book felt so steeped in legend, the idea kind of grew on me. And the ending! Loved it.

      Have a great week, Kris!

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  10. I'm so glad you enjoyed THE SCORPIO RACES, though I'm not at all surprised you did. Such a moving and beautiful book. I'm also really happy that you're taking baby steps toward writing again. I bet that when you finally get started, you won't be able to set away from your keyboard! Try not to melt in all that snow, Jaime. :-)

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    1. I love books that are so rich in atmosphere. Honestly, I think that was what initially sucked me in when I first read TWILIGHT--rainy and grey Forks. You know, no matter what I think of those books now, I'll always kind of love that setting. There's just something about Thisby that grabbed me and made me want to be a part of the island, carnivorous horses and all. Loved it!

      I suppose starting to ease into writing again during the holiday season is a bit of a recipe for disaster, but we'll see how it goes. Anything is good at this point, right? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Katy! And I hope all of the packing goes smoothly for you. :-)

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  11. I love The Scorpio Races! I haven't read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, although I love some of Neil's other work (especially The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere). Hope you get your inspiration back soon!

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    1. This was my second attempt at finishing THE SCORPIO RACES, and I'm so glad I did! The atmosphere alone makes it worth it, but I loved Puck and Sean so much. Right now I'm loving the fact that THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is such a quick read. I think that's what I'm in the mood for right now. It's not at all what I was expecting, though I'm not sure what I was expecting because I'm not really acquainted at all with Gaiman's work. (I've seen Stardust the movie, but that's it.) I'm really curious to see how this plays out. Have a great week, Emma!

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  12. I love that winter WUW badge! Excited to use it. I'm really excited for the holidays. I might have to check out the holiday movies on Netflix! Have a wonderful week, Jaime. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ghenet! It felt fitting given the fact that we've had snow for almost a month now lol. And I've been feeling Christmas-y for about as long. I can't wait until this weekend when I can finally haul out the Christmas decorations and listen to Christmas music or watch Christmas movies while I decorate. :-) Thanksgiving and Christmas must be extra special this year now that you're in your very own house. I hope it's the best yet!

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  13. I'm not feeling too Christmassy just yet, but I think that's because I've just been too busy. I really like Half Blood Prince purely because of the humour used in it - some of the things the characters say still have me in stitches on the fifth read.

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    1. Umbridge gets me every time. That woman just gets me so riled up lol! Still, there are so many great things in this books, which is not surprising when you consider the sheer size of the thing. I can see how it would be hard to feel Christmas-y when you're so busy. Makes it hard to think about anything but the task(s) at hand. Here's hoping things slow down a bit and you can enjoy the season. Have a wonderful week, Laura!

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  14. Yay, you finished Scorpio Races! I can't wait to hear more of your thoughts. I love that book SO. MUCH. I need to read Neil Gaiman's newest too, but if you're into British humor + trope subversion of apocalypse stories (and if you end up liking Ocean...), you should try GOOD OMENS by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It is clever and funny and generally delightful.

    By the way, I love the winter WuW button! Grabbing it for next week! :) Have a great weekend!

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    1. So I finished the Neil Gaiman book, but it wasn't really my thing. That said, I know that there are other Gaiman books that I'd probably really like, so I'll have to check those ones out. My husband has always liked Terry Pratchett, so he'd probably like the book you mentioned. I'll have to maybe add that to my Christmas list for him... Thanks!

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  15. I hope you like the Gaiman book. He has a lot of great stuff and I've only read a few.

    As for your writing, glad you're not feeling totally down. We all feel that way sometimes.

    Thanks for creating this great WuW project? Meme? Thingy?

    I should re-read the Potter books, too.

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    1. I'm not sure if this was the right Gaiman book for me. I've heard of some of his other stuff and I think it might be more up my alley. As for writing, I've been away from it for a few months, so it's extra hard to get back into some kind of writing routine. But I think I'm ready, so that's a plus. Thanks for joining our blog hop/meme/thingy! And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  16. I'm feeling Christmassy too, I have Michael Buble on constantly at the moment :) I can't wait to get the decorations up too and then watch Love Actually.
    I'm glad you enjoyed The Scorpio Races, hope you like The Ocean at the End of the Lane too.
    Have a good week!

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    1. I'm about to head on into the living room, curl up with some tea and a blanket, and watch yet another Christmas movie. :-) I think I'll put on some Christmas music while I decorate the tree this weekend. Can't wait! Love Actually is in my stack of holiday movies to watch too.

      I wasn't super crazy about this Gaiman book, but I'm pretty sure I'll like other books that he's written. I've heard great things about Coraline and Neverwhere and I loved the movie Stardust. I'll have to check them out. Have a great week, Alexa!

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