Tag Archives: book review

#WriteTuesday – Catching Up with Family and Friends

Over the last week, I ended up spending a lot of time with family and friends, rather than working on writing. I went for coffee with my brother, which we haven’t done in quite some time.  My aunt and uncle were visiting from out of town; it was nice to see them again.  It was a friend’s birthday party on Saturday.  And I visited with another friend on Sunday.  Oh, plus I rode the local bus for the first time in years, and went out on my first bike ride for 2019!  It’s been a very busy week. 🙂

While most of the week was spent socializing, I did manage to get the book I wanted to review for Sustainably North read, too (the book review is written and scheduled for later this month)!  The book was Urban Cycling by Madi Carlson; I tweeted about finishing it, and Carlson replied saying she was looking forward to reading the book review.  I’m not going to lie, that put a bit of pressure on me to make sure the review is really good.  I struggled with writing it all weekend, but I’ve done my best with it and finished earlier today; hopefully she likes it!

I also started going through some of the emails I had piled up.  I let the Pinterest emails pile up in my Sustainably North email account; I actually decided to unsubscribe from most of their emails because it was getting to be too much (plus they keep sending me pins that I’ve already pinned on my boards!)  So for this coming week, I’ve got two main goals: I want to continue going through more emails, and I want to get more work done on the Make Your Way story.  Next week is my birthday, and I doubt that I’m going to get very much done, so hopefully I can get a lot accomplished this week!

What about you? What are your plans for the coming week? 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

#WriteTuesday – What I Did on My Vacation

Apologies everyone – I was a little bit confused as to what day it was and wasn’t thinking about posting on here.  Luckily it’s still Tuesday (just a little later than I was planning on posting!)

So last week, when I was taking some me time, I was also on vacation from my day job. 🙂  The week off was fantastic – I made as little plans as possible because, as I said last week, I wanted to slow life down a bit and get caught up on some things I’ve been putting off.

Last Tuesday was #GivingTuesday. I wasn’t expecting it, but bUneke Magazine asked for all their volunteers to post on Instagram their #givingstory.  So I shared this picture to Instagram, Twitter, and my personal Facebook page (although the latter two weren’t flipped like Instagram’s was).  Once I was finished with that, I decided to keep working on some Sustainably North stuff.  For yesterday’s Sustainably North post, I wanted to recreate the paper wreath that I put up on my door this year (I included a picture of it with my November column in bUneke Magazine).  So I made a brand new wreath last Tuesday, and took a lot of pictures of all the steps for making it.  Then for next Monday I wanted to talk about the banana bread I also pictured in that column (it’s my grandmother’s recipe).  So on Wednesday I installed WP Ultimate Recipe to Sustainably North. I did a bit of research because I knew I wanted a professional looking recipe post on the blog – Shivar Web recommended WP Ultimate Recipe.  I installed it and tried it out; it seemed to work fine so I stuck with it.  I then baked some banana bread to take pictures of the entire process (although I barely used any pictures for the actual post, which will be on Sustainably North on the 10th), and later wrote and scheduled the post.

While taking the pictures of the banana bread, I was having a bit of trouble with my flash because I was getting a shadow from my camera.  I ended up trying out a flash diffuser my dad gave me some time ago and it worked like a charm! 🙂

freezer drawer full of bananas

This was my freezer door last Wednesday night!

Oh, and I also need to give a shout out to my friend who provided the walnuts for Wednesday’s banana bread baking!  I always forget that the recipe calls for walnuts (and is way better with walnuts) and I never seem to have any on hand (although I have a freezer door full of bananas).  When I texted her to ask if it was okay that the banana bread wasn’t going to have any (she was waiting to help me eat it), she said she had some “nut pieces,” which turned out to be walnuts!  🙂

After that, I started working on a draft of a book review to post on Sustainably North on December 17th.  Once that’s done, I’m going to talk about the article I wrote for the December issue of bUneke Magazine (I feel that it’s a perfect topic for Christmas Eve), then do another Article Roundup for December 31st.  And that will get me through until the new year!

I’ve been pushing to get all of these posts written for Sustainably North because I really want to reassess what my plan is for the next while.  Back in June I made a plan for the rest of 2018 on Sustainably North.  And then I proceeded to completely ignore that plan and kind of wing it.  I know that things did change a bit because I wasn’t expecting to be writing a monthly column in bUneke Magazine.  But now that I’m feeling rather on top of things again I think it’s time to stop running by the seat of my pants.

Wednesday was also when I started reading Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob.  While writing the banana bread recipe I realized that I had no idea how recipe writing was actually done….so I read a whole book on food writing.  Most of the book wasn’t very relevant to my needs, but I found it pretty interesting to read all the same.  Once I finished it on Saturday, I went back and edited the recipe on Sustainably North; I feel a lot more confident about how the post and recipe look now. 🙂

Saturday ended up a rather productive day because I also edited and scheduled the book review for December 17th for Sustainably North.  That means I’ve just got two posts left to write and schedule for 2018!

The new issue of bUneke Magazine came out on Saturday, so over the last few days I’ve been reading it over and scheduling Tweets about it for @SustaintheNorth as I do every month.  Once that is done, I’m going to take a break from Sustainably North to actually think through that City of the Dead worldbuilding stuff and hopefully get on with that story for the Make Your Way anthology.

Oh, and I almost forgot – I had a book review published in the Chronicle Journal on Sunday (republished on TBPL Off the Shelf yesterday) about Patricia Briggs‘ Cry Wolf.  I actually read Cry Wolf last year and have been hanging onto this book review as a spare.  Over the last few months I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction books that the library didn’t have, so I felt now was a good time to use this review.  Also regarding TBPL Off the Shelf, this month’s author interview is going to be a bit later than planned (thanks to me being off last week) – I’m hoping to get it posted tomorrow night, but it may have to wait until a bit later in the week.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Last Week :)

Whoops, I meant to post this on Friday.  But that’s okay, I have a little more to report after today, too.

me with my laptop outside under treesI’ve actually spent a fair amount of time writing outside with my laptop.  I’ve been taking a lap-desk out and just hanging out in the backyard.  I don’t have very good internet access, especially if I’m away from the house, but that hasn’t been much of a problem; I’ve mainly been editing a short story I wrote, so the few times I needed to look something up quick I just used my phone.

The idea to write outside with my laptop started after last week, when I gardened.  A few weeks prior to that, a brand new deck was built at the back of the house. So between the deck and all the gardening, my backyard is a very happy place where I’d like to be hanging out in as much as possible during these short summer months.

The first afternoon I went outside, I didn’t hang out on the deck because I thought that it was in direct sunlight through the entire afternoon (until about mid-evening).  Well it turns out that it isn’t; I can sit out on it writing on my laptop until 2:30pm!  At 2:30 there isn’t much shade left because the sun is almost directly overhead, making it really hard to see the laptop screen.  But that’s okay – 2:30 is the time when I relocate to a shadier part of the yard.

So earlier this week, I planned out edits then started working on that short story.  The short story is the one I mentioned during my Blog Planning post from earlier in June.  It ended up sitting a bit longer than I had planned, but that’s okay since I’ve been working on it.  The story started out at 1,245 words; it’s now up to 2,264 and I’m not quite done this editing pass; hopefully I’ll be finishing it over the next few days.

I’ve also done a lot of work on Sustainably North this week.  I finished reading the book I wanted to review on it this month, You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail .  That post was written earlier in the week, then edited and scheduled on the blog for tomorrow at noon.  Then today I figured out another two posts: an article about disposable vs reusable plates (written and scheduled – that will be on the blog on July 2nd at noon) and another book review (I fluked into reading a book that I thought was a good fit for my July theme of parties – that post is written but I haven’t decided if I want it appearing on July 9th or 16th).  I’ll need to get another three posts figured out for July, then I can move onto my August theme of camping.

So yeah, it’s been a busy but very productive week.  I’m actually really happy that I’ve now got a bit of breathing room on Sustainably North (especially since there’s a long weekend next weekend, and my week is already shaping up to be quite busy!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

#WriteFriday – October 2nd

I was working all day on Friday, and then I had plans to hang out with a friend.  So I didn’t end up working on any personal projects on that day.  But I did get to spend a bunch of time writing during work.  I was starting to work on an article that’ll be due at the end of the month.  I was also working on organizing some interviews for TBPL Off the Shelf (I’m once again interviewing the authors who are coming to Thunder Bay for the IFOA), plus I have to have a book review written early this week, and I have two more articles due at the end of the month.  I’ve also got two articles that were/will be published (something in the Seniors paper, because the library columnist who usually writes the column is going to be away a lot this fall, plus an @ Your Library article which should be published in Sunday’s paper).  So the whole month should be quite busy with work writing.

On the projects front, I wrote “Just One More Level” for Apocalypse Madness Tuesday night and published it on the blog Wednesday afternoon.  I’m considering NaNoWriMo again this year.  I haven’t participated for the last couple of years.  I’ve kind of said (not on this blog I don’t think), that I’m not going to participate again because I currently have two messes of novels that I’m not sure what to do with.  But while thinking of it, I realized that I don’t have to write a particular body of work that equals 50,000 words.  I just need to write 50,000 words.  So I was thinking I would do some work on what I’ve been calling the Grief Project, which is one of my goals that I have not done any work on so far.  I’m not even sure how big of a story that’s going to end up, so I don’t want to commit to making it a 50,000 word novel.  I’ll also have to write something for Apocalypse Madness next month, so I was thinking I’d tack on the word count for that as well.  And probably any work I do on Tears of the King if I’m working on it (I may put it aside just for November, but we’ll see).

My friend and I finished Secret of Mana on the Wii Friday night!  I played it by myself around September 11th, but he offered to help me play through it after that, which I thought was great.  We’ve played it about once a week for the last few weeks.  I thought we *might* be able to finish it last week, but there’s quite a lot to the game and we had to hold off because it was 5 in the morning.    I think that was my first real video game RPG that I’ve finished, or at least my first old-school one.  I was looking at it from a game design perspective, seeing what I can learn to help me make Tears.  I need to choose another game to play now; I’m thinking either Chrono Trigger on the Wii or Whisper of a Rose on Steam.  I’m swaying towards Whisper of a Rose because I think it was made with RPG Maker.  Unfortunately most of the RPGs I’m looking at are single player, so my friend won’t be able to help me through them, too (so we’re going to find something else to play through eventually).

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

My Review of Krampus was in Today’s Paper!

As I mentioned last time, my review of Brom’s Krampus: the Yule Lord was in today’s Chronicle Journal!  It will be appearing on the Thunder Bay Public Library’s TBPL Off the Shelf blog soon, so I’ll post that link when it goes live.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

A Long Overdue Update

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted here.  And what a month it’s been!  The most exciting part of this last month (for me anyway), was Tink.  Tink was my aunt and uncle’s cat; they’re moving out of town and can’t take him with them.  So we’ve taken him in.  When they first got him, my then five-year-old cousin named him “Tinkerbell” because she thought he was a girl.  That got shortened to Tink once her family realized he was a boy.  My cat, Sasha, still isn’t very happy with this, but we’ve seen marked improvement over the last month (originally she would be hissing and growling when he was within about seven feet of her.  Now it seems to be about three, and she doesn’t hiss and growl the entire time).  They’re separated at night and whenever someone isn’t around (Tink stays with me all night).  He’s an incredibly laid back cat and I love having him around.

Tink

In other news, I did not make the short list for The Realm Crowd Sourced Story Contest.  But congratulations to those who did (and to the winner).  My friend, Leanne C. Taylor-Giles, was someone who did make the short list; you can read her awesome entry here.

I’ve also had two book reviews published in my local paper, the Chronicle Journal.  The first one was on June 9th, about The Last Unicorn graphic novel.  The second one was today, about Kevin Hearne’s book Hexed.  Neither one is available online at the moment (the Chronicle Journal hasn’t updated their book reviews on their website since early May), but I will post the links once I have them.  Most likely that will be when the reviews appear on TBPL Off the Shelf, whenever that may be.

Speaking of Kevin Hearne, I also interviewed him for TBPL Off the Shelf.  We talked about all things Iron Druid, including a bit about his new book, Shattered, which comes out this week.  The interview went live on June 11th; you can find it here.

On the personal writing front, I’ve done a little bit more worldbuilding.  I realized that Imezza wasn’t quite as ready to go as I thought it was, so I went back to that a little bit.  It’s still by no means done, but I was able to fix a couple of spots that needed fixing.  I think it’s now at a point where I can write some short stories, but that’s what I said last time, so we’ll see once I sit down with it.  I’ve also spent some time working on a second world.  It’s really shaping up in my mind, but right now I’m grappling with a few issues, so more on that once I’ve got them sorted out!

Finally, it was my birthday the other day.  I had a really great time going out for dinner then playing Rock Band with friends.

All in all, this has been a busy but fun month!  🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Contests, Interview, Updates, Worldbuilding, Writing