Sunday, April 18, 2021

We're Halfway Through April, Aren't We?

It's been about a month. I've been consuming a lot of media. What else is there to do? I'm trying not to let my disappointment and frustration with the vaccine rollout in Canada keep me down. It's hard though.

I also wrote a piece for the Diversity and Inclusion group at my day job. I know that based on what the word count limits are for communications, it's going to get cut down. I also tried to temper the emotional aspects of the piece. However, I have my very own blog. I'm going to give it a little edit and post it here later this week, I think.

What have I consumed and enjoyed in the last month-ish?

I read...

Mexican Gothic. Yes. So good. Read it. I'm really feeling the gothic genre right now. Gothic in 1950 Mexico!


Luck of the Draw and I cried. A lot. It was so sad, though maybe I was releasing some other emotions too. Because it's a romance, I was happy at the end.

Artificial Condition, the second installment in the The Murderbot Diaries. I still love Murderbot. I want to know where their adventure is going to take them next!

Immortal In Death, the third In Death book. I definitely have heart eyes for Eve Dallas and Roarke I wonder if when JD Robb wrote about Eve's engagement, she imagined there would be 50 more books after. 

I watched...

WandaVision <3

Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I <3 Bucky.

Zack Snyder's Justice League. I think my heart fluttered a little when Barry saved Iris.

Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. I'd seen both already, but my daughter was in the mood, so we watched all of Korra again and a few favourite episodes of Avatar. I love those series.

History of Swear Words on Netflix. It's really good. Interesting in a way I didn't expect. 

Dota: Dragon's Blood. My friend recommended it. It's like a cross between The Dragon Prince and Castlevania. At least that's what I thought as I watched. She called it "The Dragon Prince for grownups." 

Star Trek: Lower Decks. I really needed that show.

I submitted a couple short stories. Got a rejection. Good times.

I ate some Popeye's and it was SO GOOD. I'm really appreciating Skip the Dishes lately. 

How has your spring been so far?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

I Made Some Lists!

I have been working on various Diversity and Inclusion tasks at my day job. I'm really excited that they are letting me/us/the committee do this work. Some of the things I've written or been involved with are serious and others are just fun. I like and appreciate both. Last week I made a couple lists to post about Women's History Month and the month before I created a list of books for Black History Month. I thought I'd share them here, because who doesn't want recommendations of great books, movies and television shows featuring under-represented groups.

For Black History Month, myself and other team members shared a variety of recommended books. I've read all the books except for the new releases. 

1. How to Be an Anti-Racist – By Ibram X. Kendi
Part memoir, part instruction manual, this book really makes you think about behaviour, while tugging at your heartstrings.

2. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Classic, poignant, a definite favourite. A strong African-American woman living her life the way she wants during a time where it was almost impossible to do so.

3. Go Tell It on a Mountain, by James Baldwin
Inspired by his own life, Go Tell It on the Mountain, tells the story of a young black man struggling with his identity.

4. The Color People, by Alice Walker
Probably on a lot of Black History Month book lists, but if you haven’t read The Color Purple, you really should. A powerful novel.

5. The Complete Collection of Poetry, by Maya Angelou
When people mention Maya Angelou and recommend her work, they talk about Why the Caged Bird Sings, but today, we’re recommending her poetry. It is poetry that paints a picture of her life and experiences.

6. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
For all the fantasy lovers all there, this story takes place in a fantasy version of Africa. It is filled with adventure and strong characters.

7. Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler
Classified as “science-fiction”, Kindred crosses literary boundaries. Tense and Heartrending, a modern classic.

Now for a few new releases…

8. Concrete Rose, by Angie Thomas
The latest book by Angie Thomas, the author is ready to make another statement about the life of a black teen in America.

9. You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey – By Lacey Lamar and Amber Ruffin
Watching Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar talk about the book makes it a must read. A book that will make you laugh and cry.

10. A Promised Land, by Barack Obama
Another new release and one that this list couldn’t be without.

List #2 - Women's History Month TV and Movie recommendations. It was a less detailed list.

1. Hidden Figures
2. Mulan
3. Girlfriends
4. WandaVision
5. Captain Marvel
6. Wonder Woman
7. Mean Girls
8. A League of Their Own
9. Clueless
10. Alien

Another less detailed list. Books to honour/celebrate Women's History Month. Also put together by myself and a couple coworkers. The books are varied. Fiction, non-fiction. General fiction, graphic novels, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, even poetry.

1. Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly (it was a book before it was a movie)
2. I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
3. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (Where would monster stories be without her?)
4. Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur
5. Lumberjanes (graphic novel series), by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, etc.
6. Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler (I think I recommend this one a lot)
7. Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More, by Kelly Sue DeConnick (The whole series is good.)
8. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
9. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
10. Naked in Death, by J.D. Robb
11. The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater
12. The Temperance Brennan Series (Bones), by Kathy Reichs
13. Little Women, by Lousia May Alcott
14. Cat’s Eye & The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood.
15. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

I hope that the people we created these lists for (coworkers) took in some of the titles and watched or read the recommendations. The ones I haven't read/watched were contributed by others who had. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

I Learned Something About Myself

The Pouch of Douglas (be warned). I was watching Hannah Gadsby’s show, Douglas on Netflix. Now here we are. (The bit is at the end of the post.) Really, I think it's important. I learned about a part of my body that I didn't know existed. Also, it came during a part of Hannah Gadsby's show that had me feeling like, why had men named all the things? and, couldn't they come up with better names? If you have watched Douglas (and if you haven't, I recommend that you do), another part that made me laugh so hard and wonder so much, was that piece of fabric up a lady's bum in a renaissance painting. It was a choice. The artist chose to take the time to paint that!

What else did last week bring me? A re-watch of the last three episodes of Lucifer on Netflix. Because, why not?

My daughter is obsessed with Julie and the Phantoms. Have you seen it? It's cute. Great for teens and tweens, I think. The music is enjoyable and will have you singing along. It's a hidden gem. A song from episode 2 below.

I finished Maya Angelou's Complete Poetry. It's brilliant. If you haven't read her poems, I highly recommend them. Some are fun, others are heartbreaking. They're beautiful, lyrical, and take you on a journey.

With a vacancy in my reading list (not reall), I started Meg Cabot's Mediator series. The first book is Shadowland, featuring a teen protagonist who can see ghosts. She even punches one! It's also giving me some 90's feels. It was published in 2000, which means it was likely written a couple years before. The late 90's were some good years. Maybe that's one of things I like about Julie and the Phantoms. The Phantoms died in the 90's. I also just enjoy Meg Cabot's books.

I have been advised that should start a newsletter. What would I write in it? That I have a new blog post up? Bits from those posts? Link to books recs? Other bloggers? Could I include things from the WCYR? How long would it have to be? It's already giving me anxiety and I haven't even started anything yet. I'd need some kind of email signature/logo, which also has to be done.

The sky is darkening. Maybe it's time to stop thinking about things that make my tension level increase.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Let's Reflect


In my last post, I was reflecting on interracial romances where neither of the main characters are white. I totally forgot about Alyssa Cole's Can't Escape Love, part of her Reluctant Royals series. I haven't read it yet, but since finishing Take a Hint, Dani Brown, I think it might be my next romance. Luckily it's available at my local eLibrary.

I also read The Prince and the Dressmaker. It is sweet, interesting, loving and just tugged at my heartstrings. Frances and Sebastian are so cute. I highly recommend it. I want my children to read it too.

Egyptian Steampunk also might be my new favourite genre. At least one I need to explore more. I read the short story/novella A Dead Djinn in Cairo, and it was so good. I love, LOVE, Fatma el-Sha'arawi. I checked, and P. Djèli Clark has two more stories set in this world. It seems like the second one doesn't have Agent Fatma as the main character, but I'm fine with that. She's back by the third (yet to be published) story.

I watched some good TV/movies too. After seeing Regé-Jean Page on Saturday Night Live, I decided it was time to watch Bridgerton. Since it's so popular, I didn't expect it to be bad, but I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I will admit that I watched is all in one day. Also, I could listen to Julie Andrews' voice all day long.... wait, I practically did that. 

I also decided it was time to watch the things languishing in my Netflix queue. I scrolled with my eyes closed and watched what my finger landed on. The first was Warrior Nun. With a title like that, I knew I had to at least try it out. I thoroughly enjoyed Ada and Mary. I also really want to know what happens and if there will be another season.

Next, I landed on Howl's Moving Castle, an anime movie from 2004. I liked the idea of the girl turning into an old woman and getting to know Howl from that perspective. I don't know how I feel about her befriending the witch who cursed her though. I'm three episodes into Dragon's Dogma, an anime series. I think I'm liking the random choices on Netflix. I know there have been two animes in the last week, but the stories are very different. Howl's Moving Castle has a sweetness to it. Dragon's Dogma is messed up.

This post is definitely not as deep as the last one. Maybe it's less "thinking about books" and more "Netflix queue", but sometimes, that's what you need.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Twitter Made Me Think About Romance


I was casually scrolling through Twitter, when I came upon a question that made me think. A person was asking for reading recommendations. She wanted an inter-racial romance novel where neither of the characters were white. I love inter-racial romances. Probably because I'm in one. I don't need them to parallel my life or anything. I'm just always curious about cultures coming together, what obstacles are in their way, etc. I've read some great ones. My favourites are probably The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang,  The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory, and Get a Life, Chloe Brown, by Talia Hibbert. As much as I loved these books, they weren't what the person was looking for. After The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory wrote, The Proposal, which features a latinx man and black woman. Suddenly, I felt like this was a challenge. What other ones have I read or do I own?

The Proposal, by Jasmine Guillory

The A.I. Who Loved Me, by Alyssa Cole

Take A Hint, Dani Brown, by Talia Hibbert

That's it. I'm sure there are other books out there. I've read the first two books. They were fantastic. I really could gush about both of them, and their authors. The third is sitting in my Kobo app, waiting for me. Can anyone suggest a book to add to my to-read list for this particular sub-sub (or whatever) section of the romance genre?



Sunday, February 07, 2021

The Last Week Or Two

I didn't post last week (I've been aiming for once a week). Why? I spent the weekend attending DVCON and it was been great. Really good panels. Really good people. To be honest, some of what the panels talked about I already knew since I've been a member of the WCYR for a few years. What I found invaluable was how the same things I've already learned can be changed / altered / influenced by the fact that I'm a visible minority / marginalized / diverse voice. Perspective can really change so much. It was the first DVCON, born from #DVPit. It was free, but I would have paid to go. The information and inspiration was fantastic. I also "met" some great people. We've followed each other on Twitter and Instagram. I've also joined a couple Discord groups, which typically isn't my thing (I have a hard time with chat rooms), but everyone has been sharing information and supporting each other. I've watched people find Critique Partners and Beta Readers. Writing can be so isolating, and if you're not part of some kind of group, it can be difficult to get the feedback you need to grow. Friends and family worry about your feelings and don't necessarily have the insight another writer does. 

I finished: How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi. It was so good, so interesting. I listened to the audiobook. I really liked his reading style (is that a thing?). How to be an Anti-Racist was part memoir, part history lesson, part instruction manual. It was so engaging, that when it got to the end (I won't tell you what happened), I was concerned and ready to cry. I really can't recommend this book enough.

I finished: We Hunt the Flame, by Hafsah Faizal. I've had it sitting in my Kindle app for a while. When I signed up for DVCON and she was going to be speaking, I knew I had to read it. It was so good. Just so good. I enjoyed the world, the characters, the story. Everything. I can't wait to read the sequel. I also enjoyed the panel and what she had to say. She/they offered us information I had not considered before. I'm definitely ready for the sequel, which was just released.

I finished: The A.I. Who Loved Me, by Alyssa Cole. Alyssa Cole has become one of my favourite romance authors. I'm pretty much ready to ready anything she writes. She blends romance into other genres that she writes in. The A.I. Who Loved Me is a near-future sci-fi romance. I thought there would only be a little sci-fi in the novel, but it surprised me. The Hive is very scary, like if Amazon ruled the US. I wonder if Cole will write more stories set in this world. I also saw her speak at DVCON. I think I could listen to her talk about writing and stories all day.

I finished: Lumberjanes: Stone Cold, by Shannon Watters, et al. I love Lumberjanes. I've been reading them for a few years. Stone Cold is the 8th volume in the series. I feel like "don't make assumptions" and "don't judge a book by it's cover" were really prevalent in the story. Also, "friendship to the max". I haven't met a Lumberjane I didn't like.

I also binged the Thor movies with my daughter. I think she wanted to watch Loki (who doesn't). We ended up watching the first Avengers movie too. It was fun. She knew a surprising amount of behind-the-scenes stuff and I asked her if she Googled MCU stuff. Not specifically. She Googled Iron Man stuff (her favourite superhero) and fell down the internet MCU rabbit hole. 

What's coming up this week? More work on the edits for my manuscript. Maybe updating the Me! and Writing Life portions of the blog. Edits again. Contemplating the fate of the characters in the manuscript. Reading some more poems by Maya Angelou. Maybe writing some new words for my next novel. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Last Week I Decided to Expand My Writing Community

I registered for DVCON. It was created from #DVPit. I am very excited for the first ever DVCON. I'm excited for the writers that will be speaking, the seminars, the people. It really seems like there's a community there. They have social hours and events on Discord too. 

Also, quick question - Does everyone use Discord now?

I also registered for Boskone 58. It's the convention for the New England Science Fiction Association. The con is all about sci-fi and fantasy. More topics I can be excited about. It seems pretty big. February 12 to 14, there are multiple speakers at every time slot. How am I going to choose?

I did some Pajama Writing with Inkslingers. At various times of the week, Inkslingers is inviting writers to to spend an hour totally focused on writing. Close the door, turn off phones, no social media. Pick an intention/project, post it in the chat and then get to work. At the end, writers are invited to post a line that they wrote (or edited) that evening/morning/afternoon.

What's a talk about writing communities without my own writing community, the WCYR (Writers Community of York Region). I say mine, because these are my friends, colleagues, co-conspirators. I've met so many wonderful writers over the years, people who are quirky, and weird, just like me. I'm registered for the February and March events. I'm looking forward to them. I've gone to many and will be going to more workshops. I love a good workshop. The WCYR also currently hosts two virtual write-ins a week (sorry, members only). MJ Moores wrote about it on the WCYR blog. Even though it's on Zoom, I feel like I've connected with other writers I might not have seen at the in-person events.

I miss in-person events though. I never thought of myself as a big hugger, but I miss hugs.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Apps - For the Reading and the Writing

New Year, new reading and writing goals. For a reason I can't remember now, something sparked my curiosity, and I began looking at book-related apps. There are quite a few. Some of them, I already use. Others, I used in the past, but stopped. I thought I'd share some of the apps I currently enjoy... Here are the book and writing apps that I use.

Book Tracking:

Leio

I discovered a few years ago that when it comes to reading, I like to see my progress, especially when working my way through big books. I think I'm halfway done, but am I really? Leio gives me all the information I want. I also really like that Leio predicts the date I will finish the book. It motivates me to finish the book even sooner (sometimes). The interface is simple and easy to navigate. Some people are familiar with Bookly, which does many of the same things. Why not use it instead? (It's got the cute factor.) I did use Bookly for over a year. With several of the updates, the features I liked were slowly becoming part of the premium version. I got frustrated, so I deleted it and found Leio instead.

Goodreads

Most readers are familiar with Goodreads, right? Has it gotten more commercial over the years? Amazon did buy it, after all. I think it's still a useful reading tool. I don't see myself ever giving it up. It's got my library. I save books I want to read so I don't forget about them. One of my favourite things is their end of the year wrap up. I love seeing all the books I read, which was the longest and shortest. All the stats from the whole year. It makes me happy.

eReading:

iBooks 

I use iBooks the least (sorry). That's mostly because it can only be used on Apple devices. I have a PC and other non-Apple products, so, ya. 

Kindle

I was using Kindle the most. I really like it's interface and the adjustments you can make so that it suits you. It was an easy reading experience. I like how it saves notes and highlights. 

Kobo

I've started using Kobo more and more this past year. I really like how you can customize your home screen. It helps me pick the next book I want to read or reminds of the books I "aught" to be reading. I find it nicely tailored to me, and I can edit which types of books are displayed. Kindle's home has mostly become advertising with only a few of my own books showing up. I'm also trying to buy less from Amazon, though I know several indie-authors and they want me to buy Kindle, so that's what I will do for them. 

I'm going to stop before this gets all philosophical. This is about apps. Kobo has become the one I use the most.

Time to turn to the other eReading apps, Library Apps.

Libby

I LOVE Libby. I really do. I like reading on it, though one of its last few updates changed the interface enough that I had a hard time finding some of the stats info. But I adapted and I love it again. I like searching for books on it. I think Libby has done a decent job of getting that "browsing" feeling to translate to the app. It's obviously not the same as going into a real library or bookstore. I appreciate the feature sections. They're always highlighting Ontario authors (we're in Ontario). There's a "Just Added" section. They rotate through different highlighted areas, "Diverse Voices", "Indigenous Voices", "Action Packed Adventures", "Love Through the Ages", and more. Like a display inside an actual library or bookstore. There is so much I enjoy about this app. I can't recommend it enough.

Hoopla

While Libby offers many graphic novels and audio books, Hoopla has it beat. Which is understandable since I think they're supposed to work together. They're both "powered" by the same library. If you're a comic nerd, but don't want to spend thousands of dollars on every series. Use Hoopla. Is it the same as reading an actual comic in your hand? No. But that goes for any book versus ebook. They added some She-Hulk comics and I'm excited. They also offer comics that are out-of-print or hard to find. You want to read some Avengers from the 1960's, Hoopla will help you do that. Did I mention they offer music and movies? It's a great library app. Paired with Libby, what more could you need?

CloudLibrary

You could need CloudLibrary. CloudLibrary drives me a bit nuts. I don't like their homepage. I do not enjoy the browsing. When I use CloudLibrary, it's because I'm looking for a specific book. I search and they either have it or they don't. Why do I use it? One of the libraries I belong to switched from Libby to CloudLibrary. Why? Book availability, I think. CloudLibrary just has more books. Things I can't find on Libby, I can find there. Waitlist times are greatly reduced. a 6 month wait at Libby might be 10 days at CloudLibrary. So, depending on what I want to read and how long I have to wait for it, I might choose CloudLibrary.

Time for some writing apps.

Scrivener

I buckled down and got even "even though I have Word". I have it on my iPad and PC, which is a bit of a pain to sync (I'm hoping they make it compatible with Google Drive or iCloud). Over the last year or so, I've begun to enjoy writing on Scrivener. There's a steep learning curve, but once you push through, Scrivener is great. I am also really enjoying/appreciating the iPad app. I often feel trapped behind my computer, in the same space all day, since I also work from home. The app lets me go to my reading nook and write there, surrounded by wonderful books. Or anywhere, really. (Not that there are a lot of places we can go these days.) The app is also easier to use than the desktop program. But ya, Scrivener.

Google Docs

To use MS Word on mobile apps require subscriptions now. No thanks. I'm not a fan of the whole subscription thing. If I pay for your program. I want to own it. That's it. If I have to pay a little extra for the mobile version, fine. But subscriptions are an automatic turn off. So, not only have I been using Scrivener more, I've also been using Google Docs more. I can open documents in Google Docs, edit, do whatever I need to and save it as a .docx file.

Pages

I can also save files as .docx in Pages on my iPad. Pages lets me use the Apple Pencil, which is *almost* as good as writing by hand in a notebook. This way it gets converted to text right away. Time saver! If Pages, Google Docs, and Scrivener can all give me .docx files in the end, I don't need to pay for a subscription.

Have I mentioned I don't like the subscription thing?

If I find another writerly or bookish app, I'll be sure to add it to my list, but unless something happens in an update, I don't see this list changing anytime soon. 


Monday, January 11, 2021

Last Week A Lot Went Down

A lot happened last week. COVID-19 infection rates are increasing more and more. Though, two people I know have already been vaccinated. There was an attempt to overthrow the government at the US Capital. As I may have mentioned before, I'm a fan of the late night talk shows. I think both Stephen Colbert's and Seth Meyers' takes on what happened are worth the watch. So, last week, I watched. I also watched more news than normal, in general. It was announced that children in Ontario will be home until the 25th of January. However, based on all the other information I've come across, I feel like my children will be home for a couple months. 

Last week, I started reading The Stand again. I actually started it in the summer, but it stressed me out, so I stopped. I've been starting and stopping with this book for a while. When I picked it up, I really wanted to read it, and when I am reading it, I am enjoying it. Then I get to a part about how the survivors of the Super Flu are treating each other, and I have to take a break. For the last couple weeks, in between bouts of The Stand, I have been reading Some of the Best from Tor.com, 2016 and The Collected Poems of Maya Angelou. Two vastly different works, but they both speak to me.

Besides political commentary, I re-watched The Matrix and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now that our daughter is a little older, my husband has started taking her on a tour of some of his favourite movies. After a few minutes, he started poking holes in Raiders and I called him "Amy Farrah Fowler" and he laughed. 

I also watched Netflix's Best of Stand-up 2020 and realized I need to watch the specials from Jack Whitehall, Hannah Gadsby, Michelle Buteau, and Bert Kreischer. I'd already watched a few of the 2020 standups, but not these ones. (I like stand up specials.)

That's it for me. Did you watch or read anything good? I'm always adding to my TBR and Watchlists. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

It's Been A While - Looking Back at 2020

At first, nothing really changed for me.

My day job is work from home gig. I was already home everyday. The biggest difference was having the children at home. Initially, I blogged (among other things), more than I had in a while. It felt good. I was sharing what I was doing/watching/reading. It was nice to share again.

I wrote a lot. I finished a draft of my work-in-progress and started editing. I discovered I might have a mild obsession with my characters' hair. I mention hair a lot.

Then I stopped blogging. I'm not sure why. I was still blogging for the WCYR and doing other work for them/us. I love my writing community. Many like-minded people coming together for the love of writing. We share our ideas, our quirks, unique habits. We're a support and a resource for each other. I'm glad I found them years ago and that I'm now a part of them.

Exhaustion gets me at inconvenient times.

I still did a lot. I attended online meetings/seminars. I read. I watched movies and television. I continued to work at my job. 

Months have passed in this new normal and I find I want to blog again.

Here I am.

I have used Goodreads to track my writing progress for many years. I really like how they put together my year in review. It's a nice way to look back on the books I've read, remembering favourites from January or February, seeing where my reading trends took me. I read by feelings, cravings, imaginings.... 

I read a lot of rom-coms/romances this year. I guess I needed some "Happily Ever Afters". Some favourites? Get A Life, Chloe Brown - I may have cried. The Friend Zone - Not what I expected. Wrapped Up In You - That's 2 for Talia Hibbert. Boy Toy - That title, plus a post-baby body. Meet Cute - The main characters needed so many hugs. 

I also read a lot of fantastic fantasy. Deceptions - Kelley Armstrong making me long for the characters. The Ghost King (The Legend of Drizzt) - Surprisingly sad. Six of Crows - For the win. Rebel - Giving me an amazing end to Day and June's story. Carry On - Surpassing expectations.

I also read All Systems Red - Science-fiction at its best, I think. I read some graphic novels (Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Lumberjanes, Avatar, Hawkeye). I read three more Stephanie Plum books. I just realized I didn't read any In Death books this year. How did that happen?

I watched Mulan and Wonder Woman (yes, I paid the premium price). I watched Lucifer. I was sad when Flash and Supergirl abruptly ended in the spring. I enjoyed My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (RDJ has llamas). Nostalgia had me watching War on Cybertron. The need for laughter had me watching Mr. Iglesias. I've been watching Star Trek: Discovery. I loved Star Trek: Picard. I watched the final seasons of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and Anne with an "E"

Though 2020 could have been [a lot] better. It also could have been worse. I've come out of it with my health and the good health of my loved ones. I know that can't be said for everyone, so I'm more than grateful for that. 

Will the coming year see me back on my blog? I hope so. I'd like to think so. I've always enjoyed writing out some thoughts here. I know I'll have to tell someone when I read the next Murderbot book. 

Now, for the traditional picture of books.

Monday, April 06, 2020

What I Read Last Week #3


I read 2 novels last week. One mystery/comedy, and one YA retold fairy tale. 

High Five, the fifth book in the Stephanie Plum series, by Janet Evanovich. It was fun, exciting, and had an ending that drove me a bit crazy. I think that Stephanie is such a ridiculous and interesting character. She's so full of bad luck. Will things ever get better for her?

Of Curses and Kisses was and was not a fantasy. It was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It was kind of mean. I liked it, but the end was not my favourite. I wanted more. I'm hoping because it's a series, the next book will tell me what happened with Jaya and Grey. Because his father was awful and her "friend" was very manipulative. I'm also really interested in the secondary characters. They were all really interesting.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

What I Watched Last Week #3

For your viewing pleasure...

Have you been watching Patrick Stewart's sonnets? So good.

Alicia Keys has also been pretty awesome. She put her on spin on Flo Rida's "My House." 

Samuel L. Jackson also read from the book, Stay the F*ck at Home, and it was a treat. 

I just started a new anime series, InuYasha. Last week, I read Wasted Words and the InuYasha manga was mentioned. The books series is a television series on Netflix. I'm so bad at deciding what to watch next on streaming services, that my inspiration comes from the most random places.

I'm continuing to watch all my favourite late night hosts. Those guys make me happy. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

What I Watched Last Week #2

Let's start with Stephen Colbert fixing his bike. Remembering things you used to know how to do. So true.

Also, I quite enjoyed on Tuesday's show watching Jimmy Fallon interview Trevor Noah about doing shows from home.


This week on Netflix I watched The Letter for the King. An easy 10 episodes. It's got some really interesting and unexpected twists. The relationships between the characters were interesting. The ending, while a good conclusion, definitely left room for the series to grow.

I also rewatched a favourite episode of Lucifer because, ya. If you haven't watched Lucifer, it's so good.

My daughter discovered Carpool Karaoke. We watched Niall Horan, Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran and Adele. All good. All fun. Though we did get into the discussion of the Carpool Karaoke "scandal" from earlier this year. It was funny. "So, he's really driving?"

What I Read Last Week #2

  

3 poems from Edgar Allan Poe. Not his most famous (I've already read those). I really enjoyed To Isadore, The Village Streetand The Forest Reverie. As I read The Village Street, I kept thinking that this would make an eerie short story. Every so often, I read a bit from Poe's complete works. I enjoy his poetry, but sometimes I can only take so much creepy.

Serpent & Dove was a book I couldn't put down. It definitely did a good job of distracting me from EVERYTHING. I'm very excited to read the sequel, Blood & Honey when it comes out later this year. - I'm hoping the release date doesn't get pushed back.

Wasted Words was my now weekly (?) Romantic Comedy. It was cute and sad, and had a great ending. It's interesting how the events of our teen years can affect us as adults. Even when rationally, we know we're acting "crazy".

I finally read The Search, the second series of graphic novels from Avatar: The Last Airbender. My daughter rewatched the series on Netflix and it was hard to pull myself away when it was on. Reading this book satisfied the itch for more Avatar. If you want to know what happened to Zuko's mother, this is the book you need to read.

Blog post from the Write Practice. It's short. Kind of helpful. Mostly it made me feel better that in my WIP, I occasionally have scenes that are 350ish words.

A reminder to myself that I only need to read so much about Coronavirus and COVID-19.

Monday, March 23, 2020

What I Watched Last Week

I've been putting some time in on Netflix. Most of us have, no? At this point, I'm happy to have more than one streaming service and some cable. Though I really miss sports. 

I watched the latest season of Castlevania. I was waiting for my favourite trio to get back together... and if I say too much, it'll be a spoiler. I did, however, watch them all survive the horrors of a post-Dracula world. Like, wtf?

I decided to try a new anime too. Beastars had a big banner at the top of my Netflix page, so I watched. The show is weird. I can't say if it was good or bad. Just weird. But once I started watching, I had to finish. I needed to know how it all turned out.

Also, I may have finished YouTube.

I have been enjoying the late night hosts "at home" shows. I like Stephen Colbert's elements theme. Jimmy Fallon's house looks amazing and super fun. His daughters are incredibly adorable. Trevor Noah is basically doing his whole regular show, just from his couch. Unlike Colbert and Fallon, it looks like Trevor Noah's crew is still putting in time, just from home. There's even a "moment of zen" at the end of each episode.

I've been watching a lot of news too. CP24 sometimes in the morning. I have alerts for whenever CBC or CTV says the Prime Minister is talking. I've watched the WHO broadcasts too. I'm trying to keep informed, check my sources, but not become too overwhelmed. There's a lot of information out there.

Helpful links:

Canada Public Health Services - COVID-19: 

WHO - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic: 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

What I Read This Week

I needed a happy ending. That lead to Romance, which read to Meg Cabot. I enjoy Cabot's writing, her style, her characters. I knew that not only would I get a happy ending, I would get rich, interesting characters, and maybe a crazy fun plot. No Judgments did not disappoint. Even though the natural disaster the characters are going through is different that what's happening now, I found some of the isolation and attitudes of the characters similar to what we are dealing with.

I finished The Ghost King, by R.A. Salvatore. The Ghost King is the 19th book in The Legend of Drizzt series. It was a great book. Lots of action, adventure. I got to spend time with characters that I've been reading about for years (and will continue to read about as there are at least 15 more books). It's a good thing I sandwiched this fantasy between some happy endings, but this one was and emotional end for me. I yelled at my husband when I closed the book. (He's read all but the most recent of the Drizzt books.) He knew what was going to happen! Not that I'd want him to stop me from reading it, but I had to let that emotion out somewhere.

I also read Chaotic Good, by Whitney Gardner. It's a teen romance, but it's so much more. They play D&D in the book. It was so good. The title, of course, is what first got me. But it's also about growing up as a girl, and as a geek girl. What it's like to feel alienating from the things you love. How much easier things would be if you were a boy. It's also about how evil the internet is. I kept thinking, the main character is a CHILD. She hasn't even started her last year of high school! Honestly, I'm so glad they didn't have social media when I was in high school, but I worry about what it's going to be like for my children. I hope not like this.

I've been reading the Government of Canada COVID-19 website a lot too. Mostly, so I can look at the stats. I want to know how many cases are in Canada and where. My local sites. The WHO website. I have to really watch that I don't read too much of it, because then I'll just go into information overload.

I have also been spending too much time on Twitter. Also bordering on information overload. I do like the photos I saw of the Venice canals being clear though. It's strange how this lockdown / isolation is changing the world around us.