Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 (repost)

appy New Year! Also, hiatus!

(thank you to Magali Studer for the drop cap!)

Following my happy announcement from a few months ago, life has gotten extra busy! I'm going to be rerunning a few classic posts on the blog from now until January; I'll miss some Insecure Writer's Support Group posts and checking in for A Round of Words in 80 Days, though I may try to note some updates in comments. And my Books Read in 2018 post will likely be delayed!

Z is for ze end of ze list. A to Z month is over!

Beware, this is going to be a long post. I've got a jumble of favourites here, all from the last two months. Also touching on Insecure Writer's Support Group day and remembering to check in for A Round of Words in 80 Days!

First up, Diana Gabaldon promised me a Table of Contents in the next book!

Then there are updates from astronaut Commander Hadfield! Here's his April Fool's Day joke. All the photos he's posted are free to use. "Please just credit NASA" he says. Also this: "A thought - maybe some of these pictures would be useful on Wikipedia to show how places really look. Please add to Wiki pages if they help."

On other days, he tells us about life on board the International Space Station: "We bathe, shave, wash hair and brush teeth, all with less than 1/4 litre of water" and "Where does Station water come from? We collect humidity and urine, purify it, heat it, dispense into instant tea bag - tea time!"

Every once in a while he talks about how awesome his job his: "This is such a phenomenal place to be. I'm an adult busy working, but the little boy in me is screaming and running around and laughing."

"Spacewalking has been the most memorable. It is magic to be between the Earth and the Universe, alone, holding on with one hand."

If you missed his conversation with Shatner, here's the video!

One another day, there was this conversation...

Meanwhile, on the Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer front, Amanda commented: "so weird to see all of my musical parents getting older and facing hardship. peter murphy, morrissey...where is our village? i want to help."

Neil's assistant Cat was in Australia, along with Duff McKagan, and I got jealous:

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have new scents - I bought the Coraline one!

Here are a few more of the medieval conversations I saved:

Erik Kwakkel @erik_kwakkel11 Mar The whole world's gone mad: unusual 16th-c print where fool's head is replaced by map of the world.  View photo
Sarah Peverley @Sarah_Peverley19 Feb Exeter Cathedral: door with cat hole. Cathedral's 1st cat is mentioned in 15c wage rolls, its food cost a penny a wk.  View photo
Sarah Peverley @Sarah_Peverley19 Feb ... More information about the medieval door with the cat hole at the brilliant Walter's Art Museum site here: … Expand
Sarah Peverley @Sarah_Peverley19 Feb Medieval door with cat hole, as described in Chaucer's Miller's Tale. Walter's Art Museum, item 64.164 @erik_kwakkel  View photo
Matthew Ward @HistoryNeedsYou11 Feb Today is the feast of Cædmon, the first Englisc poet. Here is his hymn read in Old English. #history … View media
Erik Kwakkel @erik_kwakkel9 Feb RT Awesome! Beowulf manuscript and 5 other big medieval books now online “@blmedieval: Treasures Wonderful To Behold Expand

There are medieval cat paws:

Meanwhile, among musicians:

Duff McKagan @DuffMcKagan14 Mar 200k followers?! Awesome! Let's start r own militia, buy a country (S.Pacific anyone?), and have a radio station that plays music we like! Expand
Tim Burgess @Tim_Burgess19 Feb Here's yesterday's BBC 6Music show - some brilliant songs in there (and some paper shuffling sound effects too!) … x x  View summary

And the Charlatans performing with Paul Weller!

Some other fun items I favourited, some on books:

Mary Robinette Kowal @MaryRobinette9 Mar Listening to @wilw read @scalzi "Muse of Fire" as I work. I suppose it's not surprising that I like this story. Nicely read, too. Expand
John Scalzi @scalzi7 Feb DEAR CANADA: Tomorrow morning I will be chatting with @CBCRadioQ in the early part of the show, about things! And stuff! Tune in! Expand

Simpsons Quotes @dailysimpsons7 Feb And now, I'm going down to Emmett's Fix-It Shop. To fix Emmett.   View media

SilverLeaves Journal @Silver_Leaves9 Mar Silver Leaves is currently accepting scholarly, creative, reflective, and artistic submissions for our fifth issue: … Expand
Chelsea @FoodthruPages11 Feb Ent Draught recipe, involving tea and herb infusions  View photo

Owen King @OwenKingwriter4 Mar Excited to be be appearing @BookRevueLI with @joe_hill on May 1. I hope for q&a someone asks him when he'll be returning my Graceland cd. Expand
Joe Hill @joe_hill25 Feb My Dad uncovered this one. The fact that this band only had this one 45 proves the universe is cruel: … Expand
Becky Yerak @beckyyerak6 Feb Stephen King riffs on horror for full @Fearnet hour: not a werewolf fan - "too literal." Among desert-island horror films: Psycho, Exorcist Expand
Joe Hill @joe_hill9 Feb I always wanted to be a guy who smoked two pipes a day when he was 40. Instead I became a jogger. WHERE DID I GO WRONG?Expand

I like that last one a lot. I wish I could be as organized in keeping journals. Sadly, I always start with the greatest intentions, then fail to keep up after a couple of months. The only list I'm accurate in keeping is the Books Read list at the bottom of the blog. I'm so happy to have the blog as a place to keep that list - I wish I'd maintained such lists from when I first started reading!

Fellow bloggers are a wonderful morale-booster when it comes to Insecure Writers Support Group DayHere're a few of us:

Lucky Jamie!

And now, some book related favourites:

John Green @realjohngreen27 Feb @Peeta_is_aBAKER The question is whether we can find (or construct) meaning in the world as we find it, which includes suffering. #1book140  View conversation
John Green @realjohngreen27 Feb @nicoletontala_8 the journey from strength to weakness, which I would argue is the real hero's journey. #1book140  View conversation

Barbara J King @bjkingape8 Mar Marilynne Robinson: wonderful writers are "frustrated by the thinness and inadequacy of ordinary spoken language" …  View summary

Anthony Horowitz @AnthonyHorowitz27 Feb Neck, arms, eyes, back, wrists & spine all feeling trashed after 17 hours at my desk today. Writing kills. But RR so close to the end! Expand

Sara Megibow @SaraMegibow15 Feb If an author has money to spend, what should s/he spend it on? Great website, attending conferences, professional headshot. #pubtip Expand
jo bourne @jobourne17 Feb I particularly like this summary of how to write engaging characters. … Expand

17 hours of writing?! I'd like to try that some day.

Share your book exchange party experiences here. And keep an eye out, I hope to be knitting something book-related soon for Helene Boudreau.

Enjoy - a book plate!

Then there were a couple of cat incidents:

Jamie Oliver is coming to Turkey!

The Guide Istanbul @tgistanbul7 Feb #JamieOliver is bringing his delicious dishes to Istanbul! #JamiesItalian is opening at Zorlu Center Istanbul. #delicious #food #istanbul Expand

I can't wait to try out the restaurant next time I visit Istanbul. There are also cats...
Elif Şafak / Shafak @Elif_Safak14 Feb The cats of Istanbul...  View photo

And tea...

My Turkish Joys @MyTurkishJoys6 Feb Morning #Turkish #tea in #Istanbul @ Kabataş Vapur İskelesi   from Turkey

Here are some United Kingdom related favourites:

Matthew Ward @HistoryNeedsYou8 Feb Flat Holm is a lovely little island in the Bristol Channel between Wales and England. #Heritage  View photo

And some just-for-fun posts!

Biblio Connection @BiblioConnect21 Feb “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart.” ~Erma Bombeck #quote #author #book Expand
Erik Hansson @erik_hansson23 Feb 384 tweeters in Scots Gaelic, 13044 in Basque, 81 in Cornish. More here:  via @IndigenousTweet Expand

jo bourne @jobourne18 Feb Tag painting in British Museums  Your chance to contribute to the greater good and ... it's like a game. Expand
This is a real thing: "Your Paintings Tagger is part of a project run by the Public Catalogue Foundation and the BBC to put all 200,000 publicly owned oil paintings online on the Your Paintings website. Currently we have only basic information about each painting such as title, artist, and execution date. We have no information about the type of painting, the subjects portrayed in the paintings and the styles and movements represented. Tagging each painting will provide this information enabling Your Paintings to be searched by users in a more sophisticated and helpful manner. Without this extra information it will be very difficult to search Your Paintings effectively."

I love this: Steve Martin @SteveMartinToGo8 Feb I t h i n k I’ve h a d a l i t t l e too m u c h to d r i n k at the S p a c e B a r. Expand

Of course, there's a Doctor Who post among all these:

Douglas Adams' daughter has started something exciting called Culture Coach:
Polly Adams @pollyjradams6 Feb I've had what I think is a pretty fantastic idea, and it's called #culturecoach. Read all about it here:  #wisdom Expand

And finally... Shatner on tweeting often:
William Shatner @WilliamShatner4 Feb @neilhimself As someone who tweets to excess sometimes, have fun and fill up my twitter feed! My best, Bill  View conversation

This year's A to Z was lots of fun! I'm glad I found a topic that lent itself so easily to photos, though each post took - of course - longer to prepare than I expected.

As for ROW80... I slacked off a lot in the past couple of weeks. I'm not where I want to be at all. So, no more excuses. I've got to return to focusing on the blog only one night a week, and have to sacrifice some reading time, if I ever want others to read and enjoy my own stories!

Speaking of reading, though, the next few posts will feature lots of exciting book releases, from Jessica Bell, James Forrester, and C. C. Humphreys!

Which book releases are you looking forward to?


I hope everything is going well! We'll hold your spot on the IWSG list until February.
Sometimes we have to take a break from things like blogging and writing. Life just demands it and there's no use in feeling guilty. Just roll with it. We'll be here when you get back.
Gina Gao said…
Don't feel bad about taking a break from writing!
Diane Burton said…
Sometimes you just need a break. When stress got too much for me, I stopped writing for almost 4 years. When I came back, I wrote for fun, with no intention of publishing. Gradually, I was drawn back into the biz and I'm happy about that. Do what works for you. Wishing you a happy 2019.

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