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?



November 20, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Snovember Edition

You have no idea how inaccurately this button
reflects the autumn we've been having here.
No, seriously, it's downright snortworthy.
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
Still plugging away at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Oddly (for me), it's been a hardcover + audiobook combo. (I listened to a chapter while making supper last night.) Did you know that this book is ten years old? Feel old yet? 

Moving on... 

I'm also still working on The Scorpio Races, and it's totally bonkers that I haven't finished it yet. I mean, really. It's a Maggie Stiefvater book, for crying out loud!




WHAT I'M WRITING
The plan is to get working this week or next (probably next) on one of the three stories I have on the go, preferably the one that needs serious revisions (Watch of Night, my YA sci-fi). We'll see if it actually happens. I kinda suck at following through right now.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

I agree with Ben Affleck:
"Batkid. Best Batman ever."
Batkid and the entire city of San Francisco. There's a lot of awful crap going on each and every day in this world, but there's some pretty great stuff too. The kind that renews your faith in humanity and all that. I think this story warmed the hearts of all those who heard about it, including mine.

Turns out another little boy is inspiring me this week: Max, a four-year-old from Edmonton, AB. When this young boy heard about a local mother and her three-year-old daughter who are both fighting cancer*, he decided he wanted to do something about it. He started drawing monsters (how he understands cancer) and selling them--Buy A Monster to Fight A Monster. 50% of the proceeds go directly to the MacNeil family to help them through this difficult time, and the remainder goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. I bought myself a framed "Hand Monster" and can't wait to put it up on my wall as a reminder that you don't have to look far to find goodness in this world.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
Nothing anywhere near as inspiring as Batkid's or Max's stories, I assure you. Mostly, I've just been getting our house in order after the move (no surprises there) and trying to get back into some kind of routine. The hope is that by doing so, I'll be able to work writing into my day on a regular basis. I've been reading every so often, cuddling my kitties, and shovelling FAR more snow than I would prefer. (We've had three fairly major snow dumps this month. I'm now calling it SNOVEMBER.) But really, I have nothing at all  worth complaining about, especially when you consider the stories above coupled with news out of the Philippines.

Why yes, I did go out in public in this dorky pom
pom toque. (But only to shovel snow, I promise.)


SO, WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU?
HAVE YOU BEEN SNOWED ON YET?




* Amber MacNeil, just finished treatment in October for a brain tumour and not even a month later, she and her husband found out that their three-year-old daughter, Kyla, had leukemia.



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?



November 6, 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.




No WUW post from me this week, but I'm hoping to be back next week once things have settled down around here and my house (basically a fort of boxes) doesn't look like a complete disaster zone. Hope you're having a wonderful week, friends!