What’s Up Wednesday? Changing Things Up…

September 10, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Looks like there’s a header tweak in WUW-land this week. Inspiration is out and perspiration is in! 😉

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Mostly “Victory Conditions” which I just finished today. I also finally got to the end of Richard Kadrey’s “Sandman Slim”, which I first picked up from Audible in January. Hmm, I thought that was longer. Possibly that’s because it was on my ‘to read’ list for longer than that.

What I’m writing:

Still not that much. I did a little work on revising “TimeBubble Blues” over the weekend.

What works for me:

Well, in general, finding time to work on public transit is still a good one, though exactly what I spend that time on is a little scattered lately. But I’ve got some good critique work done on the bus lately, and even some preparation for a Nanowrimo ML prep meeting. (It’s only seven and a half weeks to November!)

What else I’ve been up to:

Earned myself another ‘Most Productive Critiquer’ award with the critters.org workshop, and walked the charity 5k in around 52 minutes, which I’m pretty proud of. Ordered yet another refurb Dell laptop, and this one is doing pretty well so far, no defective drives or really any problems that I’ve noticed. Tried doing another sketch exercise over the weekend, from a still TV frame, and got frustrated with myself and gave it up. I think I may try again this Saturday and pick a different video ‘model’ 🙂

Keeping up with Doctor Who (yay!) and still watching the Harry Potter movies. This afternoon I finished the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Oh, and I signed up for a new Storywonk class, Sufficiently Advanced Magic. I’m really excited to be part of Alastair’s first live course, and it sounds like a great way to help flesh out two book ideas for Nanowrimo this year. I’ve got one idea so far–Tricia Colt, touched by Nox and Lethe–but I want to have two partial manuscripts so that I can pick whichever one is working better to submit to Kij Johnson’s workshop next February.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

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Update – what I’ve been reading lately.

September 10, 2011

What I was reading earlier.

Hey there. Thought it was time for another update on my readings and such.

  • I finished “The Prisoner of Azkaban” two weeks ago, and loved the ending! Time-turners for the win, and what a little zinger Harry gets to give Uncle Vernon right at the end! I have to admit, I let myself get pulled astray a little by a few half-understood spoilers, because until the truth was revealed I was wondering the whole time if it were possible that Professor Lupin and Sirius Black were the same person.
  • As mentioned, I finished “The Light Fantastic” in one day at Fan Expo. Thatsa lot of reading in lines. Discworld is great stuff!
  • Started “Tehanu” in the Earthsea series, which I’ve heard a lot of not-so-complimentary things about, and I’m really enjoying it, even though if it’s a little less epic than the other Earthsea books. Also “The Rock Rats”, by Ben Bova, sequel to “The Precipice” which I heard via audible.com – also interesting, though I’m hoping that we get some stealth suit hijinks soon and Martin Humphries gets another slap in the face somehow.
  • Speaking of audible.com, I just finished listening to “The Ring of Solomon” and enjoyed that a lot too. Jonathan Stroud lived up to the previous Bartimaeus trilogy, even without being able to draw on any of the human characters from previous books. It was a little disorienting, I have to say, to be living in a historic Israel that didn’t bear much resemblance to the Bible stories except for a few names and facts in common.
  • Read through all of ‘Buffy Omnibus Seven’ (the graphic novels that came before Season Eight) on the plane to and from Atlanta.
  • Still working on “King Kelson’s Bride” and “The Gripping Hand.” I guess that’s it for now.

What, if anything, have you been reading lately?

PS: I just noticed something. There is a kinduv spoiley link in the Wikipedia article for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I won’t say which character, to avoid being spoiley myself, but if you click on the name of this character, who appears quite benign in the first two and a half books of the series, you end up at the article for ‘Death Eater’, and even if you haven’t managed to hear anything about the Death Eaters, the picture really makes it clear that they’re not the good guys. 😉


Fan Expo day three update

August 27, 2011

Well, it was all about Eliza Dushku and Lost Girl, it turns out. Not that either has anything to do with the other beyond sharing my time today.

I was in line by 8:45 to get in, and so I arrived at the autograph booths close enough to ten AM to get the number 67 ticket. They’re using a new system of number tickets in addition to the lines for autographs this year, it seems – once the space allocated for the line is full, anyone else has to get a ticket, and they call a certain block of numbers that can come and join the line when there’s room. So once the easel said ‘up to 75’ next to Eliza’s line, I rushed forward to take my place. If you miss the call for your block, you can use your ticket to join the line later.

Got plenty of good stuff, both for myself and for a friend who’s also a big Eliza fan. Then it was up to the Lost Girl panel, which was really cool, because there was so much positive energy in the room – you could tell that the cast loved working on the series, and had a lot of fun together, and there was a huge turnout and everybody in the audience was excited, and the cast was thrilled to see that they had so many fans. After the screening, the cast had a special limited-time signing, so I got a bunch of signed mini-cards. Then it was time to quickly grab a pizza and head up to get my picture taken with Eliza at the ‘photo op.’

After I’d left the photo op room, things kinda got less eventful. The convention center was very crowded by that point in the afternoon; I went to one panel that I thought looked cool, but I was late and it was standing room only, so I didn’t stay. Then another event got cancelled, and I ended up sitting for about an hour and a half in the waiting line for Eliza’s question and answer session, which was pretty cool – I got a good seat and recorded some of it on my camera. And then a dinner shindig with the Toronto Firefly group to round out the day.

So it was a fun time, despite a lot of waiting around. But even the waiting time I put to good use – reading on the iPhone! I finished reading “Prisoner of Azkaban”, read Terry Pratchett’s “The Light Fantastic” through from beginning to end, and started on “The Rock Rats.” The battery went down more than halfway just from all of that reading!

PS: Since I see that somebody was searching for it, the autograph fee for Eliza Dushku was a bit on the pricey side – forty dollars a signature, and fifty for the photo op ticket.


Lookit all I’ve been reading lately!

August 24, 2011

So, I told you last week about how I was joining the Consistent Reader’s club and reading from new-to-me books for at least 15 minutes every day. I thought I’d touch base to let you know how well that’s been working out!

I’ve kept up with the program, and often read a lot more than that per day. I haven’t read any books through from start to finish, but I’ve finished two, started one, and loved a lot of what I’ve been reading:

  • Finished ‘Mixed Magics’ by Diana Wynne Jones, a collection of short stories connected to the Chrestomanci series, which I got for my birthday last year and read a story and a half from around the spring. This was really fun stuff – there’s a great adventure bringing Eric Chant from ‘A Charmed Life/The Pinhoe Egg’ together with Tonino Montana from ‘The Magicians of Caprona’, and also including callbacks to characters and history from “The Lives of Christopher Chant.” I also read a fun dreaming story involving the daughter of one of the minor characters from “Lives of Christopher Chant”, and a little fable about overly organized gods that Chrestomanci has to help untangle.
  • Finished: Flatlander, (the short story collection) by Larry Niven. The last story, the Woman in Del Rey crater, was really good, and there was an afterword in which Larry comments on how he wishes he could write more Gil Hamilton stories, but mixing science fiction with the mystery genre is harder than it might look.
  • Started: King Kelson’s bride, by Katherine Kurtz. Actually, I’ve skimmed through this ebook before, at least, but wanted to start from the beginning because I couldn’t remember much of the plot.
  • Continued: The Gripping Hand, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I’ve been reading this on and off ever since I got it with some other books using Christmas money. I brought it with me to Kansas, and didn’t read much from it until I lost ‘Prisoner of Azkaban.’ It’s fun stuff, a worthy sequel to “The Mote in God’s Eye”, which I really liked. Horace Bury hasn’t managed to scheme his way to get to the Mote Blockade yet, though I know he’s going to go soon.
  • Continued: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Didn’t read much from this, just found my place in the ebook where I stopped reading from the paperback copy before I lost it in the Cleveland airport.

So, have you read anything interesting lately?


The Prisoner of Azkaban, Part One

June 12, 2011

Okay, so, I’m going to start my new blog series on ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ today, and thanks to everybody who voted in the poll. Since it’s a fairly short book with a lot of small chapters, I’ll try to cover 2-3 chapters a week, and maybe finish in eight installments or so.

I’ll try to avoid going through the plot details in as much depth as I did with ‘A Wizard of Mars’, and try to spend a bit more time looking at plot structure, interesting use of language, and my own reactions. So, let’s get started!

Chapter 1: Harry starts off, as always, at the Dursley’s, completely miserable for the summer, and sneaking around doing Hogwarts homework under the covers in the middle of the night.

In the wee hours of the morning on Harry’s thirteenth birthday, he gets a bunch of deliveries and letters from wizardly owls, even though he didn’t send his own owl, Hedwig, out with any letters. The Weasley family won a bunch of gold in a Wizard’s lottery, and went off to visit Ron’s big brother Bill in Egypt. Ron sent Harry a pocket Sneakoscope which can tell him if someone around is untrustworthy. Hermione’s on holiday too, in France, and sent him a broomstick care kit for his Quidditch broom. Hagrid sent him a ‘Book of Monsters’ (which acts like a living monster itself,)

And there’s an official letter from Hogwarts about the train to catch for next year’s classes, the required reading – and a permission form to be signed by a parent or guardian for a third-year student to go off to the village on select weekends. Harry really wants to be able to go, of course, but he doesn’t kow how he’ll be able to convince his uncle or aunt to sign off.

But he feels glad that it’s his birthday for the first time in his life.

Chapter 2: There’s something on the Muggle news about a dangerous escaped convict, named Black. (Foreshadowing!)

Uncle Vernon’s sister, Aunt Marge, is coming, and though she hasn’t been to visit since the first book proper started, (leaving aside the prolog from when Harry was a baby,) she’s apparently as bad as all the other Dursleys put together when she does pop up in Harry’s life. Uncle Vernon has a big list of ways that Harry’s supposed to stick with his program and not let Marge know that he’s a wizard or other than the loser that Marge always thought he was, and Harry agrees, on the condition that Vernon sign the permission slip. Vernon isn’t happy, but agrees to sign if he thinks Harry’s behaved perfectly.
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