#WriteTuesday – Starting to Think About Writing…

Hey everyone, how’s it going?  I feel like this last week literally flew by!  But that’s ok – overall the week felt pretty good (although I did find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything at times too – it’s looking like a second wave of Covid is hitting my country and province).  I’ve been just trying to take everything one day at a time, and to that end, I also wanted to start tackling things like my email, which was getting a bit out of control (I really need to consider unsubscribing from some things….)

But in the middle of everything, I was starting to feel a glimmer of actually WANTING to write something, which is pretty exciting.  I haven’t really been working on any projects since finishing Of Pieces and Memories (I attempted to work on editing “A Friend From the Deep,” but that story felt an awful lot like writing about self isolation, which I’m honestly not ready to do).  I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to work on next, but I do have some ideas of themes that I’d like to explore a bit more before committing to anything. We’ll see how it goes.

My main goal right now is to not overwhelm myself.  I’m studying two languages right now, plus I gave myself a whole bunch of reading for articles for work.  So adding a little brainstorming work in shouldn’t be too overwhelming; I can start working on something once I finish off that reading!

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September 2020: What Are You Reading?

I had a bunch of books I wanted to read for work this month (Massey Lectures), so that’s where most of my reading time went.  But I did manage to sneak in a bit of fiction. 🙂

Nonfiction books:

  • All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward by Tanya Talaga
  • Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa by Stephen Lewis
  • The City of Words by Alberto Manguel

Fiction books:

  • The Huntress by Kate Quinn

My favourite was definitely The Huntress.  My parents both read it and recommended it to me, and it didn’t disappoint!

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Update – Lots of Reading + Language Learning

Apologies for no post last week; I was on vacation from work and forgot. 😦

Over the last few weeks I haven’t really done any writing; I’ve been trying to read a whole bunch of Massey Lectures for an upcoming @ Your Library article I’m planning on writing for work (that’s the column the library I work at publishes in the local paper).  I’m hoping to get through another two more Massey Lectures (and in a perfect world I’ll have time to reread A Short History of Progress, but realistically that won’t be happening before the article is due).  Wish me luck!

I’ve also been continuing with the language learning, both Ukrainian and French.  I signed up for iTalki and had my first lesson in Ukrainian last week; I really liked the teacher and have another lesson booked for this weekend. 🙂  Right now I’m only planning on booking Ukrainian lessons on iTalki since there’s still a lot more French to learn on Duolingo…maybe once I eventually get to the end of the Duolingo French tree then I’ll try French on iTalki too (lol but that’s a looong way off from now).

So how have you been over the last few weeks?  What’s new and exciting?  🙂

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Interview #77!

I forgot to mention this yesterday: author interviews are happening once again on TBPL Off the Shelf!  The seventy-seventh went live yesterday. This time I interviewed author Heather B. Moore about researching The Paper Daughters of Chinatown, grappling with different viewpoints, and how her writing and research processes change depending on the book she’s working on.  You can find the interview here.

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#WriteTuesday: The Return!

Happy September everyone!  Did you have a good weekend?  This weekend was Labour Day here in Canada; I was very happy to have an extra day off (although I mainly spent the time reading The Huntress by Kate Quinn – I needed to get through it for a book review that’s due this week)!  I am happy to say though that I also fit in some editing time.  I actually pulled out the notebook I use to break down my goals for the week into manageable chunks (I haven’t used it since February! 😮 ) – I used it just to plan out what I needed to do over the weekend (mostly reading and editing). I’m happy to say that I managed to get through pretty much all of my goals. 🙂

Oh, and earlier in the week, I was also a guest host on the Thunder Bay Public Library’s weekly show Read This Next, which airs on Fridays. Nicole and I chatted about video game books – we gave highlights based on games that are coming out this fall, talked about our personal video game book recommendations, and just generally chatted about video games.  I had so much fun!  Check it out here:

Other than that, I’m still working on French and Ukrainian, mainly on Duolingo.  I tried watching a movie in French without subtitles about a week ago; I couldn’t follow the dialogue, but thankfully I was able to follow the story thanks to the visuals.  Then a few nights ago I watched a movie in Ukrainian, but with English subtitles; my Ukrainian isn’t as strong as my French, but I was happy to be able to pick out a few words on my own here and there.  Oh, and I was really excited: while reading The Huntress, one of the characters has a tattoo on her foot in Cyrillic.  Even though it was in Russian, I was able to understand what it said (it was the numbers for six hundred and sixteen)!

So how’s your week been?  Anything new and exciting? 🙂

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August 2020: What Are You Reading?

I haven’t been doing a lot of reading lately, but I was excited to get Martha Wells’ Network Effect, the fifth Murderbot Diaries book, from the library when they began offering holds again.

Nonfiction books:

  • The Truth About Stories by Thomas King

Fiction books:

  • Network Effect by Martha Wells

My favourite was The Truth About Stories. It was a fantastic Massey Lecture that I really recommend!

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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My “Few Week Break” Went a Bit Longer Than Planned…

Hey everyone! How’s it going? I had planned to give an update some time ago, but life happened.  As I’m sure it has been for many of you, too, life has been a bit of a roller-coaster during this pandemic.

For the last few months, I haven’t been working on any writing.  After finishing Of Pieces and Memories, I was reluctant to start working on another project mainly because I thought I’d be going back to work soon.  While I am back at work now, that took longer than I expected.

But during this time, I haven’t been idle.  Back in June I started learning Ukrainian on Transparent Languages, a language learning app offered by my local library.  I chose Ukrainian because my dad speaks it, so I thought it would be a good choice as I’d have someone to converse with.  While we haven’t spoken together much yet, we have sent each other some letters in Ukrainian.  It’s been a lot of fun getting them. 🙂

coloured picture of a cat person

I coloured the character Birdsong to look like Merlin. 🙂

Then I was talking to a friend of mine who doesn’t live in Canada; he was surprised that all Canadians weren’t bilingual because we have two official languages here.  In the end we agreed to learn French together, so suddenly I was learning two languages (although I do know some basic French from elementary and high school, so I’ve been able to progress faster with it than with Ukrainian – I found that, especially in the first month or so, I had to go really slowly with Ukrainian to give my brain time to absorb the new words I was learning).  So yes, I’m now learning two languages! 🙂  I then talked my mom into learning French with me (we attempted to take a French class together a few years ago but it was cancelled on us), and have found a few other friends who are learning French too.

At that time I switched from Transparent Languages to Duolingo for both languages.  I’m loving Duolingo!  I actually just recently achieved a 50 day streak on the app, which is super exciting. 🙂  I do wish there was a bit more Ukrainian content on it though; the French course has these super fun stories, and it’s too bad that the Ukrainian course doesn’t have something similar.

Other than the language learning, I’m currently just trying to stay healthy and positive.  I did a lot of colouring in the early months of the pandemic (also helped by Idle Champions’ #idlecoloring, which offered in-game content to the community based on colouring done over the week), and continue to colour if I’m feeling particularly stressed from things.  I’ve also been listening to music.  I listened to a lot of Solitudes in the beginning of the pandemic, but lately I’ve been listening to songs in French and Ukrainian.  Here’s my favourite Ukrainian song, ПЕРЕЖИВЕМ by SKAI – my dad translated the words for me (the title means “We Will Live”):

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July 2020: What Are You Reading?

This month I finished my 25th book for 2020 (not counting the few graphic novels I’ve read this year, too)!

Nonfiction books:

  • Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain
  • Who We Are: Reflections on My Life and Canada by Elizabeth May
  • Educated by Tara Westover

Fiction books:

  • None!

I also read a few Maclean’s magazines.

I’m not sure what my favourite book was this month.  Both Who We Are and Educated were very interesting reads.  Elizabeth May looked at how the political landscape in Canada changed, particularly under Prime Minister Stephen Harper; I knew of some of these changes, but others were rather surprising.  Tara Westover’s book was about how she graduated with a PhD after growing up in a household where her father was paranoid and didn’t send his kids to school (his older boys went to school but were later pulled out). Her first day of school was her first day in university.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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June 2020 What Are You Reading?

This month I turned my attention to reading some of the many books people have lent me over the last few years.

Nonfiction books:

  • Life in a Thundering Bay: Voices from Thunder Bay’s Past. Edited by Tania L. Saj and Elle Andra-Warner
  • Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War. Edited by Anthony Arnove

Fiction books:

  • Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  • Jane Foster Valkyrie: The Sacred and the Profane  by Jason Aaron, AI Ewing, and Cafu (Graphic Novel)
  • Invisible Woman: Partners in Crime by Mark Waid and Mattia de Iulis (Graphic Novel)
  • Overlord: the Undead King by Kugane Maruyama

I’m not really sure what my favourite was this month.  Pretty much everything that I read was good in its own way.  Invisible Woman: Partners in Crime was a fun spy story (why wouldn’t Invisible Woman be recruited for espionage?), both Carry On, Jeeves and Overlord: the Undead King were hilarious, and the two nonfiction books I read were interesting.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Taking a Few Week Break

Hey everyone, how’s it going?  I’ve been late or missed the last few #WriteTuesday posts, so I’ve decided I’m going to take a break from writing them for the next couple of weeks (although I will still write my June What Are You Reading Post, which will appear on the last Thursday of the month).  I’m currently planning on resuming #WriteTuesday in July; I hope everyone has a good couple of weeks! 🙂

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