Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Bits 'n' Pieces -- Writers' Houseparty, California, Recipes, Inspiration, and A Driverless Vehicle!


I've gotten a little lax with my editing...

Mostly because I've been reading some Beverly Cleary -- I read her Newbery Medal winner Dear Mr Henshaw, and I read her two-part autobiography, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, all about growing up in Oregon and California in the 1920s and 1930s.

Which is actually rather timely, or at least her references to San Francisco (a place I haven't yet visited) are, since it's time for...

Another Writer's Houseparty!

This one will take place in San Francisco in 1860, and will start near the end of March.

"This year, the mythical fog will be transporting your people to:

San Francisco's notorious Barbary Coast, post-California Gold Rush, in 1860.

Be prepared to weave your way between gamblers, drinkers, villains and whores, and expect plenty of other challenges to arise along the way."
I love the way the mythical fog has become an actual device that we use -- it was invented by a fellow author during a previous houseparty, and is actually controlled by Charles II (or possibly the reigning monarch of the time, but Charles II is the one who comes to houseparties...).

Speaking of such tidbits of information...

I tend to take screenshots of things I mean to deal with later -- books to read, facts to research, ideas to explore, videos to watch...

I thought I'd share a few in today's post:

Can't decide if this is inspiration for a story, or just a gratuitously included photo of actor Sam Heughan

Classified ads from a Canadian newspaper from the 1920s!

Inspiration from illustrator Chris Riddell's tumblr

My first ride in a driverless vehicle!

A recipe for Mozaik Pasta (Cake).
I remember my grandmother making this. It's basically chocolate and butter and biscuits. Yum!

Hermit Crab by Peter Porter

Crash course in drawing...

The mountain is calling.
Can't decide if this is language class nonsense (it's from my Duolingo German app), or a piece of poetry...


A recipe off Pinterest

A reference to a friend who has goats, and all the editing I need to be doing...

A poem I've loved since fifth grade

I haven't tested this yet.
I'm hoping it's true!

An unpublished WWI poem

Another possibly gratuitous shot.
Am I interested in the author as a writer or because his face looks like a character?

What tidbits do you save?
Do you call them tidbits or tit bits?

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

February in the Valley: Photos of Snow and Fog and Toblerones

Winter is still lingering in the northern hemisphere!

We've had lots of fog, due to living in a bowl between mountain chains, but drive up a few hundred metres and there's sunshine and snow

These photos are from last month, when it snowed down in our valley, too, and then there are some shots of fog, and bonfires and other traditions...:

Pizza in Lausanne!

Love the name of these bottle sizes (shown below):
Magnum, Jeroboam, Reoboam, Methusalem, Salmanazar, Balthazar, and Nebuchadnezzar

Founex street

Richard Burton's grave

Welsh anthem

Street in Rolle, which reminds me of Montreal and Quebec City in this shot

Rolle castle. Small person for scale.


The Toblerone Trail is a military defense line built over 10 km during World War II.
The concrete blocks were meant to serve as tank traps, just in case.


Cuckoo clocks

Sketch of a former Roman villa in Nyon

Annual Christmas tree bonfire!

There are also some sausages roasting in tinfoil...


ROW80 is going well!

My schedules are arranged by month, at this moment.

In between blogging in advance for the A to Z Challenge (yes! I have a theme! And only 10 more posts left to schedule in advance!), and beta reading, and other life and family and work stuff, February is devoted to reading The Charm of Time on paper.

March is allocated to entering all those edits. April, I should ideally be sending The Charm of Time to betas while working on revisions to Druid's Moon suggested by the beta round for that story.

I've also got to write a synopsis, since it's one of the submission requirements for the small publisher I'd like to query...

Is winter or summer nearly over where you are?
Or are you dreaming of escape?

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Hermit Crab by Peter Porter (poem)
  • The Hidden Land by Private Irving (poem;
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary
  • Managed by Kristen Callihan
  • beta read! (JB)
  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • see the 2016 list and statistics at
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at
  • 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