New Release by Catherine McKenzie, and ROW80 Update

ew release!

You Can't Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie

"Do you want to play a game?

Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped a cult. Thanks to the private detective who rescued her, she reintegrated into society, endured an uncomfortable notoriety, and tried to put it all behind her. Then, at an airport bar, Jessica meets a woman with an identical name and birth date. It appears to be just an odd coincidence—until a week later, when Jessica finds her bank account drained and her personal information stolen.

Following a trail of the grifter’s victims, each with the same name, Jessica gathers players—one by one—for her own game. According to her plan, they’ll set a trap and wait for the impostor to strike again. But plans can go awry, and trust can fray, and as Jessica tries to escape the shadows of her childhood, the risks are greater than she imagined. Now, confronting the casualties of her past, Jessica can’t help but wonder...

Who will pay the price?"
This description do…

Learning from the Masters: A Repost, and ROW80

I stumbled across this fascinating post of mine called Learning from the Masters from a decade ago.

I barely remember listening to these fascinating interviews!

For fun, I'm reposting the original post, with some comments and updates added in square brackets.

might have mentioned this before, but the BBC have put up archival footage of interviews with authors, including Tolkien, Maugham, Wodehouse, Graves and a host of others.

The Tolkien one is full of university kids blabbing but in between there are some lovely snips of Tolkien talking about languages, allegory vs application and kicking the sponge out of his bath when he got an idea, as well as the theory that all stories are about death - here he quotes Simone de Beauvoir and says that these lines are the "keystring" of The Lord of the Rings:

"There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the world into question. All men must die: but for ever…

Insecure Writer's Support Group Day and Blog Lists Revisited: I Need An Intern, and Blog Tasks

A while back, I noted that "one of the things I used to use this blog for often was as an info-dump for upcoming writing projects, yearly goals, 30 Things I Want To Do, and so on. If they're written down, my brain feels less frazzled."

This is still true, so today I'm going to update two of the lists. I'm not adding to the list of Simmering on the Back Burner Writing Projects (not counting items already started) because there are too many now to count, and collating them is one of the tasks for my magical intern.

Task lists!

For the blog:

Change the template again, so that I can go back to using daily drop capUpdate all the photos in old postsUpdate all the broken links in old posts (e.g. storify links)Compile all posts for the next blogiversary, the way I did during celebrations for my 500th postRelated to the above, I'd like to keep track of all my book reviews (see intern list below)Finish visiting everyone that's come by in the last few years and keep up…

Character Faces! For Every Story

I've compiled some of these a few times before:

Full set of character faces

Character faces

This new post is the full, proper set, arranged by story (although there are still lots of extra images on my pinterest board).

haracter faces!

These are the main images, the ones that chapture the character's personality best, no matter how anachronistic the surroundings may be or how inappropriate the items they're holding. Other variations are on my pinterest board.

The Face of A Lion Austin Alan Cunnick: photo taken from Real Simple magazine As an adult, he looks like Paul Newman (and there's also an image in there of Sam Heughan looking like him)

There's also Lucas Till...
Kedi Venti Pipire of Camulodunum: Kedi was our cat Frodo [I forgot that the storify website is defunct now, and the various photo stories I've shared, especially of Sam and Frodo, are now useless until I go back and reupload the photos onto the blog itself. Sigh.] Captive of the Sea Magdalena (Mawdlen): tak…

RiP Christopher Tolkien and Others, New Project, Robert Burns, and A New Look

Well, I've done it again. I was trying to figure out how to get Blogger to show more than three posts per page, and in the midst of all that, have chosen a new template.

It's a bit easier on the eyes, but I'd like to tweak some of the colours, the next time I have time.

It does sort of put paid to my continuous use of drop caps though. I've been using Daily Drop Cap for years, but this new theme doesn't showcase the letters as well as the former ones did.

Some sad news: in the past couple of weeks, actor Derek Fowlds, Neil Peart of Rush, and Christopher Tolkien have passed away.

I first found out through Dr Dimitra Fimi
The statement from the Tolkien Society came later

The first news was from his local Var Marin newspaper
John D Rateliff shared his first thoughts
John Garth shared a clip of Christopher Tolkien reading from The Lord of the Rings and later wrote the obituary for The Guardian
I tweeted about the History of Middle-Earth books...

...and Neil Gaiman


Year-End Knitting Review

ear-end knitting review!

Throughout the year, I didn't have time to knit much, or focus on other hobbies, but I did manage a few projects, including some baking...

There was the week I baked bread from scratch and made Oreo cheesecake!

I signed up for both Bold Beginner Knits and Knitting Season by Kate Davies -- someday I hope to have time to knit some of these beautiful patterns!

Knitting Season also includes the collected essays Wheesht, which are very thought-provoking and insightful.

My year-end knitting review for 2018 featured the quilt made for me by a special group of friends. The first four months of baby-on-a-quilt photos are in that post.

Here are the next five months:

5 months
6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

Near the end of the year, I knit some cute mittens and an unsuccessful hat.

Since then, I've been experimenting with a pair of leggings for a friend. Trying to get the right combination of pattern, needle size, and her chosen yarn!

For this year my goal remain…