Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Reading Week, Reviewing What's on the Kindle

Where do the weeks go? How is it Wednesday again already? What have I done? Where am I going?

This reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon about Paul Gauguin:

I'm reading a lot this week (especially as Joel Dicker's new book, Le livre des Baltimore, just came out!), and have only five notebook pages left of Larksong to type up (yay!). I recently ordered a couple more books for my Kindle app. Here's my current Kindle library (some of these were freebies on Amazon (hello, Clausewitz). I've just noticed I copied the list without realising it was sorted by title not author, so it's not as organised as I would like):

Anne of Green Gables Stories (12 Books, 142 Short Stories) Lucy Maud Montgomery
Autobiography Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Back in Time Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Be Careful, It's My Heart Kait Nolan
Blindsight (A Mirus Short Story) Kait Nolan
Blood Faerie (Caledonia Fae, Book 1) India Drummond
Breakthrough: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan Stephen Tremp
CassaSeries Alex J. Cavanaugh
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls Claire Legrand
The Celtic Twilight W. B. (William Butler) Yeats
Christmas Scrubs Glynis Smy
Crossing (Open Door Love Story Book 1) Stacey Wallace Benefiel
The Cuckoo's Gift Anne J. Steinberg
Darwinism (1889) Alfred Russel Wallace
Day of Sacrifice Omnibus S.W. Benefiel
Devil's Eye (Mirus (1.2)) Kait Nolan
Distraction (Mature Love Book 1) J.L. Campbell
Diving In (Open Door Love Story Book 2) Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Dream of Crows Malcolm Campbell
Every Month was May Evelyn Eaton
Everything Erotic (Year One, Issue One) Whitley Gray
Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry W. B. (William Butler) Yeats
Faithfully Yours (The Forever Time Travel Romance Series) Carol A. Spradling
Far Country, A Volume 1 Winston Churchill
Finding Fraser kc dyer (update available)
Folk Tales (children's picture book) Emilia V.
The Forme of Cury: A Roll of Ancient English Cookery Samuel Pegge
Forsaken By Shadow (Mirus (1.1)) Kait Nolan
The Girl in Room Fourteen (Kindle Single) Carol Drinkwater
Glimpse (Zellie Wells Book 1) Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Going Back T.L. Watson
Greybeards at Play G. K. (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton
The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through... Jason Goodwin
Hands-On Therapy TL Watson
The Hangman (Chief Inspector Gamache short story) Louise Penny
Her Ladyship's Companion Joanna Bourne
Heroes of Phenomena: Audiomachine Redstreake Geary
Hidden Catherine McKenzie
The Hobbit (Enhanced Edition) J. R. R. Tolkien (bought this because of the extra audio, which I only had on tape before!)
The Hook Up (Game On Book 1) Kristen Callihan
Household Gods Aleister Crowley
How to Talk to Girls at Parties (eBook Original) Neil Gaiman
The Hum of Sin Against Skin Jessica Bell
Imprisoned: Svetlana Garetova's Memoir Ann Carbine Best
In the Mirror: A Memoir of Shattered Secrets Ann Carbine Best
Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing... Jessica Bell
The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and... Alex J. Cavanaugh
Inside of the Cup Volume 1 Winston Churchill
Kaleidoscope - Poetry Carole Anne Carr
Know Me Well(Wishful Romance) Kait Nolan
The Legend of Victor Standish Roland Yeomans
The Life and Correspondence of Sir Isaac Brock Ferdinand Brock Tupper
Lust and Honor (Legacy Series Book 0) Harriet Schultz (update available)
Maggie's Child(Windtop Farm Series - Historical Romance) Glynis Smy
Manners, Custom, and Dress During the Middle Ages and During... P.L.(Paul Lacroix) Jacob
Marriage to Measure (Serenity Holland Book 3) Talli Roland
Married by Midnight: A Christmas Story Talli Roland
Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts: A Christmas Story Talli Roland
Mistletoe in Manhattan: A Christmas Story Talli Roland
Moonless (Maiden of Time Book 1) Crystal Collier
The Moonstone Wilkie Collins
Moranthology Caitlin Moran
muted: a short story in verse Jessica Bell
My Grape Year (The Grape Series #1) Laura Bradbury
My Robin Frances Hodgson Burnett
Naked in Knightsbridge Nicky Schmidt
The Navy Seal's Promise Soraya Lane
Never Too Late Amara Royce
Nonsense Song Edward Lear
The North Star is Nearer Evelyn Eaton
Notes to the Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Occasional Soulmates Kevin Brennan
On War Volume 1 Carl von Clausewitz
Once Upon a Coffee (Meet Cute Romance Book 4) Kait Nolan
Once Upon a New Year's Eve (Meet Cute Romance Book 2) Kait Nolan
Once Upon A Snow Day (Meet Cute Romance Book 1) Kait Nolan
Once Upon An Heirloom (Meet Cute Romance Book 3) Kait Nolan
Ox-Tales:Earth Jonathan Coe
The Perfect Son Barbara Claypole White
Play Fling (A Stupid Cupid Book Book 1) Amber Scott
Poems from the Edge of Spring Elise Skidmore
Poems William Blake
Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story Linda Grimes
Proserpine and Midas Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Punch, or the London Charivari Volume 103, November 19, .... various
Punch, or the London Charivari Volume 103, October 8, 1892 various
Redcoats and Sleigh Bells Carol A. Spradling
Remembering You Robynne Rand
Ripper, My Love (Ripper Romance/Suspense Book 1) Glynis Smy
The Sagan Diary (Old Man's War) John Scalzi
The Science of Middle Earth Henry Gee
Scrivener for Writers (Windows) Ivan Pope
Selections from the Writings of Lord Dunsany Baron Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett Dunsany
Shadow Spinner Collection 1: Tiberius (Parts 1-5) Andrew Leon
The Sickness (Bruce Kraft Trilogy, Book 1) Steve Fuller
A Simple Act of Kindness (Kindle Single) Carol Drinkwater
Slow Eats, Fast - The Dinner Edition Theresa Carle-Sanders
Spun Catherine McKenzie
Still Into You Roni Loren
Stolen from Gypsies Noble Smith
Stopover at the Backworlds' Edge: Living on the Edge M. Pax (update available)
Subterranean Scalzi Super Bundle John Scalzi
Sunlounger 2: Beach Read Bliss (Sunlounger Stories) Belinda Jones
Sunlounger - the Ultimate Beach Read (Sunlounger Stories) Belinda Jones
To Get Me To You: A Small Town Southern Romance Kait Nolan
Twisted Velvet Chains Jessica Bell
Victor Standish Must Die! Roland Yeomans
Winter Reads (15 Novel Box Set) Chanda Hahn

So many fellow bloggers and authors! I've read quite a few of these, and will try to link to my reviews in a later post, and review those I haven't yet.

Who have you read from this list?
Who would you add (that I might not already have in print)?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Snow! and Looking Back Over All Goals at the End of ROW80 Round 3

Yup, it's the end of another round of A Round of Words in 80 Days.

I had one major accomplishment this round -- typing up and finishing a short story in time to submit it to the Surrey Contest!

I know I keep mentioning ROW80 by its short name, so here's a reminder of the group's format:
"We have 4 rounds a year, each running 80 days.
Your goal can be anything you like as long as it is measurable (e.g. number of words/pages, specified amount of time to spend on writing per day/week, number of pages edited, etc. ...
Once you have settled on a goal, you write it up on your blog (yes, you must have one) and link to it on the Goals Linky for the round, which will be posted on the ROW80 Blog.
If your goal changes before the end of the 80 days, simply write up a new goals post and link to it on the latest check-in day.
We have check-ins twice a week on Wednesday and Sundays where you will update us the same way (e.g. write up a blog post of your progress and link to it on that day's linky).
On Twitter we use a hashtag of #ROW80 if you wanna come hang out. Or if you're more into Facebook, you can find that here.
And if you happen to find us after a round has begun, just write up your goals post and hop on in whenever. We're a friendly bunch."

The next round, the final one for this year, begins on 5 October! Now might be a good time to revisit some of my goals and progress from the past few months.

I see I started typing up my 2013 NaNo story, Larksong, back in September 2014. I am exactly 1,000 words away from finishing that, and the goal is to have it all typed up before this year's NaNo. My 2014 NaNo story (the dystopian that turned into a WWI spy story) is pending typing... It hasn't even been given a title yet!

These were my original goals for 2015 (the best part of that post is the fact that I compiled the full set of character faces!):
Keep up with blogging [including the A to Z Challenge] and the Wallace transcriptions, and maybe the Forum (no pressure on the latter) [managing to do this, including writing lots of book reviews!]
Get going on the Druid's Moon revamp. I can start by printing it again and reading it on the way to and from work [yes, now that my commute is ten minutes longer, I really should do this]
Submit Out of the Water to new agents [I think I tried a couple. But my list of agents to try is growing. It's time to return to this]
Find homes for the vignette and short story I haven't submitted anywhere yet [I turned the vignette into a Janet Reid flash fiction piece]
Finish typing Larksong in plain text on the iPad and enter it in Scrivener [almost there!]

I also participated in WRiTE Club, wrote and edited the unexpected new short story and submitted it to Surrey, and started a new novel during CampNaNoWriMo! And, among beta reading and so on, I added a few hundred more words to a joint story. I seem to have my finger in a lot of pies. Just because I don't have an item published is no reason to feel slow -- evidently I seem to work at a steady pace, even when I don't feel as though I'm getting anything done!

I see I also had some other-hobby goals:
Finish knitting three more cowls [only made one so far]
Think about buying expensive wool to make, slowly, methodically, and properly, a gorgeous design by Kate Davies [yup, still thinking about this. Davies has a gorgeous new wool and pattern set, released last week!]
Organise all our photos and print a few, especially for grandparents [I actually did this!]
Bake more! [Not yet, sadly. Soon, I swear!]

The main goals for this round of ROW80, then, are to finish typing up Larksong, choose a story idea for NaNo 2015, and print Druid's Moon for the commute.

In the spirit of gearing up for winter, here are a few ice and snow and deer nest shots from winter 2010, when we visited a friend's house a couple hours north of Montreal:

Doesn't it make you feel warm and cosy?

What are your goals and plans for the rest of the year?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tolkien Trail at Hurst Green, Lancashire (and ROW80 too)

Eeep! The deadline for the Surrey International Writers' Conference contest is this Friday!

If I call my story done (accomplishing an ROW80 goal!), it still needs at least two more read-throughs before I'll be ready to submit it.

I had a couple of detailed blog posts planned, including one on wacky Canadian stories and authors, but this week is another photo post.

One of the projects I've had hanging over my head is a guest post on our trip to Tolkien country in Lancashire. I've had the photos for quite a long time, and haven't managed to write the post. Instead, I'll share them here now, with a few brief headers.

Starting on the
Tolkien Trail, in Hurst Green, Ribble Valley, Lancashire...
Not the one in Oxford...
"As well as its links to J.R.R Tolkien, other literary figures associated with [Stonyhurst] college include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (a former pupil), the poet Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins (a former member of staff ) and contemporary novelist Patrick McGrath."
Intriguing carvings in the gardens of a house near the college
Where Tolkien stayed when visiting his son
Can you see me?
Looking up, inside the tree's bole
Cromwell's Bridge

"Whatever the direct links which J.R.R. Tolkien used in his book, he certainly spent much of his time at Stonyhurst working on 'The Lord of the Rings' in a classroom on the upper gallery of the College. An Oxford Professor of Anglo Saxon and later of English Language and Literature, he even taught a few lessons at the College during his visits. Stonyhurst College is proud of its association with the author, which continued when his younger son Michael taught classics at the College and St Mary's Hall in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With the opening of a new Tolkien Library at St. Mary’s Hall in 2002, J.R.R. Tolkien's connection with Lancashire's Ribble Valley will live on for future generations."
Not a sound, except for the water and the calls of sheep
Looking out over the lands we'd crossed
Another day, in Warwick, at the pub!
The Warwick Church where Tolkien was married
Turkish beer in an English pub!
Farewell to Warwick, and England...

The map of the Tolkien Trail that we followed is available through the Visit Lancashire portal.

Which author's or other artist's footsteps have you followed before?

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
  • Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Spun by Catherine McKenzie
  • Sauron Defeated - Book 9 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Paddington Bear All Day by Michael Bond
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mrs Whippy by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Story of Kullervo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Going Back by T. L. Watson
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (abridged, darn it)
  • Emily's House
  • The Hockey Song
  • The End of All Things by John Scalzi
  • A Christmas Story by Richard Burton
  • Histoire de Founex by Josiane Ferrari-Clément (skimmed)
  • Rabbit's Nap: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • La Verite sur l'affair Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker (loving this!)
  • How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Farm (DK publishing) (board book) (duh)
  • Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond (board book)
  • Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai
  • Bible stories and puzzles (in French) (board book)
  • The Last Chance Ball (a Word Wenches christmas anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Jo Beverley, etc.)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
  • Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
  • The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta 2!
  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
  • Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
  • Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at