I have been blogging. No really, I have – just not here. And no, not every day either, but at least it’s more than … not blogging? Whatever, it’s a blog, not the end of the world. No excuses needed!
Anyhow, what I have been doing is writing short reviews on the books I’ve been reading, which are on my review blog. That exists mainly because I have the spare domain name and it seemed a shame to be doing nothing with it. And probably also because I feel happier having “life” things divided from “fannish” things, from long habit, even though there really is an overlap what with everything being crossposted to FB and LJ etc. Once again: whatever.
So for the sake of ridiculous completeness, I’ll be linking my review posts from here. Ta-da:
(Yes, sometimes I like to read total rubbish. Don’t judge me! ;-p )
I know, I know. It’s been ages. Again. I won’t try to update on everything that I’ve been up to, so here are five things: three good, one sad, and one dusty.
1. I have a new blog! What on earth for, when I hardly ever post in this one, you may ask? Well, this one has kind of got too unwieldy for me, so I’m taking out the ‘Review’ categories that I never use, and narrowing the focus of this blog to be… well, what I actually do post about, which is knitting and bipolar, for the most part. So no real changes, except to how I think about it. Never mind, it helps in my weird brain. So the new blog, Frozensoul.net, is my review blog. So far it’s all book reviews, but it’s for whatever I feel like reviewing. TV, movies, music, podcasts, gigs, events, stuuuuuff. I’ll probably go back to posting general life stuff and fandom rambling at Dreamwidth / Livejournal, as well. There may be some crossover there, though.
2. I’m going to be an auntie! My brother and sister-in-law are expecting a little girl this summer. Yes, I am knitting. Mwahahaha!
3. The doctor (psychiatrist) reckons I’m well enough to start back to work gradually! So I’m going to be looking into the Permitted Work scheme, and speaking to the Bridge-builders worker at Together, as she has info about all of that. So far, the vague plan is to get back to freelance web design part time, and see how that goes. Fingers crossed!
My lovely fuzzy Xandermog has moved on to hog the big sofa in the sky. He was really ill last year, and he never completely got back to full health, although he was happy and active and pesty up until he got ill again last month. It was all very quick, and he went peacefully – lovely Adam the Vet did the necessary while I was stroking Xander. It’s very strange and quiet to be mogless, even though he wasn’t a noisy cat most of the time. But I’d had him for over 11 years, so I spose I was used to his presence. I shall probably find a new furry dictator to arrange my life fairly soon.
I’ve been spring-cleaning. Or really, I spose it’s getting on towards summer cleaning by now! It’s an ongoing project. My allergies aren’t impressed, but I’m sure they’ll be happier with the final result. I’ve sorted out a whole load of things that I was hanging on to for no good reason – hairbands and scrunchies when I’ve had my hair short for over a year with no intention of growing it again, and so on. Old make-up, random bits of paper and fabric… so much clutter! I seem to have all manner of things that I’ve stashed away “just in case” they might come in handy some mythical day. But no! I need to get rid so that I can do the re-organisation of my living room that I’ve been planning for months. I will get it done!
As I’ve mentioned before, I read a lot. I always thought there wasn’t much point in me doing a reading challenge like the 52 books in a year one, since I habitually read much more than a book a week anyway. However, on the Goodreads site, I came across the Seasonal Reading Challenge group, which posts a long list of tasks to be achieved over a season (defined as a three month period). So I signed up. Because while I read a lot, I only really read within a couple of genres (Sci fi / Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / SFR, and Historical Romance – I like my escapism, see!). I used to read mystery / spy / thriller novels more when I was younger, but I moved away from them when I got more into reading sci-fi. Anyway, as I think I also mentioned in a previous post, doing that challenge didn’t widen my reading as much as I’d hoped / planned. It probably would have done if I didn’t have such a long list of books I already want to read.
So, last year I did the 144-books-in-a-year challenge instead. And… I failed!! I only read around 110 books. Some of them were pretty doorstep-y, but still. I spose that’s what happens when you only have one pair of hands – I can’t read and knit or spin at the same time, unless I’m listening to an audiobook. Which I don’t do very often.
This year, the challenge group (this is also on Goodreads, by the way) has changed its parameters so that you can set your own goals to some extent. I thought I’d be realistic and go for 100 books this time around. That averages out to 8 1/3 books per month, and I’ve already read nine so far this year. So that’s a good start. If I find I’m reading more every month, there are points during the year where you can move your challenge goalposts, so I can increase to 150 if I want. But I’m not going to particularly try for that, I’ll just see how I do.
Not ID: that which establishes the identity of a person; but: to identify with. I finished the first book of Rachel Caine’s Outcast Season series yesterday and started the second one, and I find myself surprised to find that I am identifying more with the ex-Djinn (this is urban fantasy, roll with it) protagonist Cassiel than I do with Joanne, the human protagonist of the original Weather Warden series that Outcast Season has spun off from. Is that weird? I think that may be a little weird. But the thing is, while I like Joanne – and liked the glimpse of her we got in Undone (OS#1) through Cassiel’s eyes – she’s just too girly for me, I think. Joanne refers to shoe brands and car models that mean about as much to me as they probably would to Cassiel. Perhaps because more things have to be explained about Cassiel’s perspective on the world (whereas the reader is already assumed to have a common starting point with Jo?) as having been an “Old Djinn” who’d never even bothered before to take on a human shaped body, it’s easier to get inside her head. At any rate, I like her logic, and I like her developing relationships with the Rocha family. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of this series.
H (I knew I’d think of something later on) is also for HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! My brother is celebrating his 30th today. Yaaaaay! That’s 30 whole years I’ve managed to go without “accidentally” shoving him off a cliff. Our parents raised us right. Seriously, I love my little bro and think he’s all kinds of awesome (it probably helps that we have more in common than apparently looking rather alike). We’ve celebrated once this evening, and are doing so again at the weekend. I hope the weather is going to comply, since it’s supposed to be a barbeque…
I’ll probably come up with a really excellent topic for the letter H in a day or two, but right now I can’t think of a thing. Well, maybe I’ll be inspired while I’m writing, you never know! And if I do think of something in a few days time, I can always slot it in as the next “extra day” entry.
Well, since I don’t have anything specific to talk about for this, I might as well have a ramble on about life in general. I’ve been over on goodreads.com updating my booklist. Rather annoyingly, since it’s only been three weeks (and where did that time go?!) I have a gap of about a week where I can’t remember what I was reading, but I’m sure I read something. At least one more book, in fact, because I remember thinking that I’d had another one to count into May’s total right on the last day or two of the month. Maybe I can ask my Mum or brother if I mentioned reading any book in particular around that time. It was definitely something I finished, too. Hmm. And probably something I had on my Palm already, not something recently loaded on, since I know which ones of those I’ve read. Gah, frustrating! Did I re-read something on a whim, which is why it’s not sticking in my head as something new? I don’t know!
In terms of reading, I think I need to make an effort to finish some of the eight (!) books I’m part way through right now. That’s just too many. I bet I can finish at least one before I go to bed tonight. I’m more than half way through several, or they’re not that long to start with. Or I could read one more of the short stories in the David Weber anthology. The doorsteppers will necessarily take a bit longer, but I keep putting off reading them in favour of other books. I need to start treating them like I am my knitting: no more casting on new projects / starting new books until I’ve finished the ones I have on the go already. And talking of knitting, if I listen to more audiobooks (including finishing the one I have in progress), I can do the both at the same time!
(Or, Non-alphabetical Post The First)
I’ve just got back from the first meeting of the new book club I was invited to, and I had lots of fun. Hooray! There were just five of us to start with, though some others might come along later on. So far, we have a tentative name, and we each suggested a book and drew them in random order which means that we’re reading Fight Club first! I probably wouldn’t have got around to reading it otherwise, so I’m glad about that, because I think I will enjoy it. Now I just have to track a copy down…
Books… I love books. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before. I love reading books (obviously), and owning books – this last is becoming more of a problem since I have less than no shelf space left. However, my reading does tend to be within a fairly narrow group of genres: sci-fi, space opera, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and historical (romance). Or any combination thereof. I did try the seasonal reading challenges on Goodreads with the intention of broadening my reading somewhat, but I just ended up fitting the books I already wanted to read to the challenges for the most part. Now, I’m doing the 144 Books in a Year challenge, but that has no restrictions whatsoever apart from a minimum length.
So, recommend me some books? Anyone? Also, one of the girls at KnitJam tonight invited me to come along and join a book group that they’re starting up through the library where she works. She said they want some people to come along who aren’t staff so they don’t end up talking shop all night. So yay, that should be fun!
Today’s prompt is: What’s your favourite poem? (And if you don’t have one, why?)
Actually… I don’t really have one. Mainly because I don’t actually read much poetry. Whenever I do, I like just about everything I do read, so why I don’t read more I don’t know. I do really like a lot of the Shakespeare sonnets, and I’m rather fond of “Kubla Khan” by Coleridge; partly for it’s lyricism and partly because it’s nuts!
- In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
- A stately pleasure-dome decree:
- Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
- Through caverns measureless to man
- Down to a sunless sea.
… my brother brought to me:
– Some non-drowsy Sudafed
– And a packet of Panadol Extraaaaa.
Ahh, sweet relief! I’d just run out of painkillers, and I was very glad I didn’t have to drag myself down to the chemist to get some more! Thanks, M :-)
Thanks to those, I’m feeling somewhat more with it this evening, although I am having a bit of a catch-22 with having a tight chest: I need to take my inhalers, but every time I try, I have a coughing fit. Bah.
So anyway, I haven’t really done anything productive again today: I don’t want to germ-ify any of my knitting, and I don’t really feel like reading or watching telly. What I have done, though, is used my new MP3 player. It’s both adorable (so ickle!) and clever, and it has a speaker in the back so I don’t have to wear headphones (which I also don’t feel like doing). So it’s been podcasts for me, and in a moment I think I’ll go and listen to an audio book. Although I’m a bit worried I’ll doze off or zone out while I’m listening. I’ll try not to, though.
Still catching up! Here’s the rest of February: days 45 to 51 of my Project 365 photos. If you want to see all the photos so far, click on the Project 365 category link, or check out the Project 365 folder in the photo album.
On to the pics (click them for the full sized versions):
Due to mania, server crash and my sieve-like memory, I hadn’t posted my final SP11 package squee-ing. So here it is now. I did mention on 3rd December that I’d received it, but that was as far as I got. (In that post I also mentioned that I’d been delayed in sending my final package out to my spoilee. Well, it’s still here – my money situation has meant I haven’t been able to find the postage yet. But it belatedly occurred to me that some virtual gifts were possible, and I’m putting a bit of cash by each week to send the non-virtual things! Also, I said that I had a new design for this site. As you can see, that’s not in place yet either. Hopefully soon, though!)
Anyway! Even though the package arrived at the beginning of December, it was all Christmas themed and wrapped. Hee!
Not that I let that put me off opening everything right then, of course. I did think very briefly about saving it all for Christmas, but… nah. So what was inside all that shiny wrapping paper? The best SP package ever, that’s what!
This is a series by George R R Martin that I’ve been meaning to read for ages and ages. I’m pretty certain that somewhere (although I can’t find it at the moment) I have Book 3, Vol. 2. I certainly have a strong memory of the cover. I can’t find any record of having sold it on Amazon, or mooched it away, so I must still have it. It might be in a box at Mum’s house. But I’ll have to see if I can retrieve it, because I just got the first two books (A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings) in a two-for-one volume from Fictionwise. I had some money sitting in my Micropay account there, you see. Mmmm, instant book gratification! I love it.
Oh, and talking of instant books which are downloadable, there are a couple of authors now making their work available online. I haven’t read any of it myself yet, but I have downloaded the first two books of The Dances of Gods from Mayer Alan Brenner’s site, and I think I’m going to enjoy them. I found him via Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. The other author is Lewis Shiner, and he’s making his short stories and articles available on his site.
And back to the Song of Ice and Fire series, I did the ‘House Sorting’ meme…
Yes, I know I said I’d be more interesting when I got back from the shops, but that was before I was starving to death!!!! So I’m going to whip up some dinner (hmm, pasta?) and start uploading and editing photos while I’m eating.
However! What I will do is take requests for Harry Potter themed things. For example, house scarves (either style), leg / wrist / arm-warmers, socks, hats, bags, mp3-player / phone cosies, little knitted bookmarks…. anything you can think of, really. And here’s the thing: I unfortunately can’t afford to give away the materials, but I can give away my time. Therefore, I’m thinking that the price of these things can be split roughly 50/50 (depends on the item) between defraying the cost of the yarn, and donating to my charity. Does that sound reasonable? What I can produce will be limited because I’m intending to use yarn that I already had ‘in stock’ for making these things to sell. Prices will range from, say, £3.50 plus p&p for the smallest things, to £20-25 for a scarf. If you’re interested, drop me a comment.
PS – I’m a complete idiot. I made a text post from my phone while I was out, but I did it in the wrong format so it didn’t post to my LJ anyway. Duh.
Alright then, I’m actually going. I’ve worked it out: I’m going to keep posting over on my LJ: soulstar.livejournal.com. And just to make sure that I don’t get automatically booted from the ‘thon for not updating on this site, my friend H will post links to the LJ post(s) that I text in. Phew! I hope that’s ok with the moderating people.
When I come back, I shall be able to get properly settled into this thing. It’s a bit silly that I’m nearly 4 hours in and I don’t feel like I’ve started properly! So, as well as the knitting and uploading photos, I’m going to:
– Take requests for Harry Potter themed knitted goods (yes, it will cost you, this is for charity you know!)
– Write out and put up a couple of patterns, again for HP stuff.
– Tell you some more about my charity and my reasons for choosing it.
– Get on Trillian and maybe Skype and see who I can find to natter to!
– Make a contribution or two to Fandom Helps.
Off I go then. See you shortly!