Jul 30, 2014

To Sleep, Perchance . . .

It suddenly dawned on me, just as I was about to turn in to bed last night, that it was Tuesday night and I didn't have my Wildcard post written yet. In fact, I didn't even have so much as an idea for it.

I thought about doing something about the reading nook, but there's not much progress going on there because the anthologies I catalogued over the weekend ended up in another bookcase. Although I have eye-balled my SF/F hardbacks and I'm pretty sure I won't need as much space in the nook as I thought for them, so I might be moving the anthologies after all. But that'll be a post for another day.

So then I thought, why not write on the subject that has been uppermost in my mind lately? Namely, sleep. Or lack thereof. ;-)

My sleep patterns have changed a great deal over the years. At one time I was almost as big a night owl as my husband, but that changed once we had a baby. My husband took care of the 2 a.m. feedings, since he was still up at that hour, while I went to bed a couple of hours earlier and was up at 6 a.m. (or there abouts). It worked out rather well and we suffered none of the sleep deprivation most new parents complain about.

I think I'm still a night owl at heart, Lord knows I enjoy staying up late, but I also have an appreciation for the early morning, when the world is still waking up and the neighbourhood is at peace . . . But that's only in the summer time when it's nice out. :-)

The times I sleep aren't so much an issue these days, our child left years ago and I'm self-employed, so I can sleep (or nap) pretty much whenever I like. It's the amount of sleep I get that I seem to be having an issue with.

I can remember a time when my magic number for a good night's sleep was seven. Seven hours was perfect. And while I could function on less sleep, if I got more than seven hours I could not, weird as that sounds. Too much sleep has always been worse for me than not enough. Since then my magic number became six, then five, but now it seems to be fluctuating again and no matter how much (or how little) sleep I get, I'm always tired.

So how much sleep do we really need?

According to the Sleep Foundation, there is no magic number, although they talk about basal sleep need, the amount of sleep our body needs for optimal performance, and sleep debt, the accumulation of sleep lost because of illness, poor sleep habits, or waking up in the night. But what I found interesting was that not only will too little sleep affect both your health and your cognitive abilities, too much sleep will too.

The American Cancer Society conducted a study of more than one million adults and found that the magic number for sleeping was seven hours. The group of people who slept shorter amounts and those who slept longer than eight hours had an average mortality risk that was greater, but the risk was higher for longer sleepers. Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, from the Mayo Clinic, agrees: Studies among adults also show that getting less or much more than seven hours of sleep a night is associated with a higher mortality rate.

PsychCentral is a little more generous, saying that: For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. I found it interesting that although this article had some great information on sleep deprivation, it had very little to say about getting too much sleep.

The Center for Disease Control did a study and here's what they found:
Too much sleep was defined as 10 hours or more per night, and optimal sleep duration was in the range of 7-9 hours.
•Nearly one-third of respondents—31.1%—reported sleeping 6 hours or fewer per night. The majority of respondents, 64.8%, reported sleeping in the optimal range of 7-9 hours.
•Slightly more than 4% of adults reported sleeping 10 or more hours per night.
•Both short sleep and long sleep were associated with greater risks of coronary heart disease and stroke.
•Short sleep and long sleep were also associated with elevated risk of diabetes and obesity.
•Both short and long sleepers were significantly more likely to report frequent mental distress, defined by researchers as an experience of poor mental health on 14 or more of the previous 30 days.
•Long sleepers had even higher risks of coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes than short sleepers did.

Fascinating stuff, to be sure, but it didn't really help me with my sleeping issue, so I kept surfing until I found an article wherein The National Health Institute had this to say: The quantity of sleep you get is important, sure, but it's the quality of your sleep that you really have to pay attention to. Some people sleep eight or nine hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor.

And there we have it. Obviously I'm not getting too much sleep, although I might not be getting quite enough. But it's the quality of my sleep that's an issue these days. It's allergy season. My husband has allergies. And he snores like a steam engine. Even though his snoring doesn't wake me up, I have to wonder if I'm getting the best quality of sleep. And it doesn't help that these days if he needs to get up in the night (which, because of the medication he's on he frequently does) he has to wake me up to help him back into bed (because he's just had his hip replaced and can't bend properly yet).


Wasn't it Nietzsche who said That which does not kill us makes us stronger? Or maybe it was Conan the Barbarian. Whatever. All I know is, if it's true then by the time my husband is fully recovered I should be freaking superwoman!

So . . . how much sleep did you get last night?

Jul 28, 2014

Monticolous Monday

monticolous ~ mountain-dwelling

Another Monday? Are you sure? ;-)

Last week is a bit of a blur. One of those weeks where I was really busy, but don't have a lot to show for it. In fact, it was a miracle I got all my blog posts up. And on time, I might add.

Although hubby and I have settled into a routine of sorts, I'm still having a hard time getting my own stuff done. I'm not used to having someone around 24/7 - it's going to take some getting used to. And it does not bode well for when he retires, although by the time he's ready for that his hip will be old news and he won't be as dependent on me for so much.

Among the things I did get done last week, I got my SF/F anthologies catalogued and re-shelved. I basically just put them back in the bookcase I found them in - I'm not sure where I want them to go yet. I might leave them in the bookcase where they are, I might move them to the bookcase in front of my desk. Or you never know, once I have the SF/F hardbacks catalogued, they might not take up as much room in the nook as I'm thinking they will, and they can go in the nook.

The nutritionist who's been a godsend helping me get my food straightened out, is pregnant and I started crocheting a baby sweater with matching booties and hat for her. I'm thinking it's been a long time since I tried anything this small - wow is it hard on the eyes! It took me a while to find a pattern I liked, I had a whole trial and error thing going on as I vacillated between knitting and crocheting before settling on crochet.

And apparently I'm back to my old tricks with the crocheting. I got about three inches done, didn't like the way the one edge was lining up, so I started ripping it out to get to a point where I could correct it, and it turned out that point started with the 72 chain stitches. You know, before I really knew what I was doing. I'm almost back to where I started, and I'm happy to report it's looking fine.

This week I think I'll be playing things by ear. My to-do list has pretty much doubled since the hubby's been incapacitated, but the good news about that is that now when I only get half the stuff on my list done, I'm still getting twice as much done as I did with my old list. How's that for twisted logic? ;-)

As I'm typing this, we have a storm going on - thunder, lightning, heavy rain, the works. Actually I think this has been a series of storms 'cause it's been pretty much steady since about 9 p.m. If this keeps up, I might not have to worry my to-do list. I'll be too busy building my ark. :-D

Jul 25, 2014

What I'm Reading

It's been a couple of weeks so it's only to be expected that I got a bunch of reading in, but I think I went above and beyond the call of duty. ;-)

Electronic Books

I finished reading The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian. The sad part about finishing this book is that it's the first of a trilogy and I don't have the other two. Yet.

This was fantasy at its finest. There were several story lines skillfully woven together but the basis was a quest adventure as a group of women/girls made their way north to Death's Keep to present themselves to Death as his bride. At the forefront is Percy, who becomes their de facto leader and who discovers she's able to see the souls of those who've died.

Over the last few weeks I've talked about what's been happening in this book, so I'll just finish by saying that the girls do finally meet Death himself, who rejects the whole lot of them as brides. But because of her unique ability, he drafts Percy into continuing the search on his behalf, which I assume will take place over books two and three. The Cobweb Bride is rich in adventure and detail and fascinating characters. Well worth following the link to download your own copy.

I also read Bone White by Tim McWhorter. It's classified as a mystery, but could just as easily be called suspense or horror. It begins with a deputy discovering something horrific in a church basement, although we never quite find out what it is. Then it jumps to a first person point of view through the eyes of teen-aged Luke. Luke and his friend Garrett take off for a weekend of fishing, but their boat breaks down and leaves them stranded on a desolate stretch of the lake. After fighting their way through dense woods during a storm, they happen across an abandoned church where they hope to take refuge. Unfortunately, it's not as abandoned as it appeared. The writing style made it a tad hard to follow at times but overall I found it hard to put down.

Tree Books

Be still my heart, I actually opened up Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. The bad news is I only managed a couple of chapters while I was waiting for my son-in-law, but it was enough to rekindle my interest.

A friend leant me a copy of The Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts, which I read pretty much steadily while waiting for my husband's surgery to finish. I finished it off when I got home that night. :-)

This is the first in a trilogy set in Ireland, rich in legends and curses and magic. And of course a little romance thrown in as well. This first book follows Iona as she journeys to Ireland to find her roots and is welcomed by her magical family. Together they must face the spirit of an evil sorcerer who once tried to steal the powers of the original Dark Witch.

As a reader, I loved this book, as I have loved every Nora Roberts book I've ever read. But as a writer I couldn't help but notice the blatant head-hopping - you know, where the point of view switches from one character to another within the same scene. How many times have I had to rewrite a scene to avoid such a writing faux pas? I guess when your name is Nora Roberts you can get away with anything.


I also finished Sword and Sorceress V, not that it took a great deal of effort - I only had a couple of stories left in it.

I didn't get back to the cataloguing of my book collection yet, so I haven't added any new books to re-read yet. But the week is young yet. ;-)

Jul 23, 2014

Count Your Blessings

It's funny the things we take for granted without even thinking about it, like the simple act of bending down to pick something up, or climbing stairs, or reaching up for something on the top shelf.

Last week my husband had his hip replaced, and since then he doesn't bend. This means if he drops something he can't pick it up unless he has his grabber handy. And patting his cat, who likes to flop down on the floor in front of him for a belly rub, is out of the question. Of course this is just a temporary condition, and by temporary I mean it'll last somewhere between 6 to 12 months, but still, it makes you think.

And how about climbing stairs? How often do you take the stairs without giving it a second thought? This is something I have actually thought about. I have a friend with MS for whom stairs can be problematic, depending on what kind of day she's having, and she also has trouble reaching for things on the top shelf. Such simple things . . . when you have your health.

This little snippet of introspection was brought about by my weight workout. :-)

A few months ago I began working out with hand weights, starting out at three pounds, then upgrading to five pounds. Last week I started to wonder why I bothered - I didn't feel like the weights were doing anything for me and I was just wasting my time - and then I remembered it was supposed to be a progressive thing, as in once you get comfortable with the weight you're using, you increase it. So I did.

I have discovered that seven pounds is a lot heavier than five pounds. Especially when you've slacked off working with any kind of weights for several days. My left arm hurts from wrist to elbow. Looks like I'll be back to sleeping with the wrist brace again.

Oh, the things we do to get in shape. :-)

To be honest, I was tempted to slack off and skip the next weight workout, but I didn't. Instead I thought of my friend who can't reach for things and my husband who can't bend down. I can do both, and the pain I feel lifting weights is self-inflicted and will pass in a couple of days. Nothing a hot shower can't help with.

Time to start counting my blessings instead of my pains.

Jul 21, 2014

Margaric Monday

margaric ~ pearl-like

I'm backkkk. Did you miss me?

And I'm back to my old habits apparently as well. It's after 2 a.m.as I start this, and it looks like I'll be up for a while finishing it.

But it's not entirely my fault. I actually had a nice little post all finished, but it was more of a Wildcard Wednesday thing than a Monday update thing. *sigh* Of course the good news is that with a few minor alterations, I've got Wednesday's post done. :-)

My blogging holiday did not go as planned - surprise, surprise. I think the bigger surprise would be if something actually did go as I planned it.

The hubby's hip surgery went as planned - he went in, got his hip replaced, and will be spending the next several weeks left to my tender mercy as he recuperates. God help him.

It's kind of mind boggling, the limitations he has, even if they are only temporary. He can't sit in his recliner, can't cross his legs, can't bend, can't even have a shower for at least two weeks. And he can't drive for at least six weeks - in fact, he's not even supposed to ride in the car unless he absolutely has to.

But of course we knew what the score would be before his surgery, so we were prepared. He has a walker upstairs, a walker downstairs, and a cane to use on the stairs. There's a booster seat on the toilet. We had to borrow a chair for him to sit on in the living room - none of ours were high enough and the couches are completely out of the question.

So now it's just a matter of time for him to heal.

Somehow I had the naive idea that I'd get lots of writing done during my break. I even took my lap top with me to the hospital, only to end up locking it up in the car. I really should have known better. Other than an email or two, I got NO writing done, never mind extra. I didn't even catch up on my journal until yesterday.

But today is a new day, starting a new week, and I am glad I took last week off. The hubby and I are settling into a routine and I'm sure I'll be back to procrastinating getting lots of writing done normal, or as normal as I ever get, in no time. ;-)

Jul 17, 2014

Just Because . . .

You know, it just doesn't seem right to go the whole week without posting something, even if I don't have time to write anything fresh. So I thought I'd post one of my favourite excerpts from my first elemental book, An Elemental Wind

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

They sat side by side with their backs to the boulder and watched the sun set. As sunsets went it wasn’t spectacular, just the glowing orb of the sun sinking slowly below the horizon. Nakeisha shivered and Chaney put his arm around her shoulders.

“Are you cold?” he asked, pulling her closer.

“No, it’s just that this is such a desolate world,” she said. “I would not like to have to make my home here.”

“My people call worlds like this giesthenis, a dead world.”

Nakeisha looked around them, at the grey landscape in the dying light. There was no plant life, no birds or animals, not even any reptiles or insects. If it were not for the sighing of the wind there would be no sound either. She suppressed another shiver.

“There may not be any wood for a fire,” she said with determined cheerfulness, “But at least we will not go hungry.”

“How do you figure that?”

“I have dried rations with me.”

He grinned as she reached for her bag.

“Not that I’m complaining, but how did you know to bring rations with you?”

“When I work with the wind I am used to expending a lot of personal energy, which needs to be replaced as quickly as possible.”

“And now that you’ve learned control, you’re using the wind’s energy and not your own,” Chaney said, taking the ration bar she offered him.

He took a bite and chewed thoughtfully. “That’s why you fainted on the bridge, you used up too much energy pushing the Deraidne ship away.”

She didn’t answer but the animation left her face.

“Stop that,” he told her.

“Stop what?” she asked, not looking at him.

He put a hand under her chin and gently turned her face until she was looking at him. “It was not your fault. You had no way of knowing they were about to fire.”

“In my mind I know this, but in my heart?” she sighed and leaned against him. “It is a terrible thing to know you are responsible for the loss of so many lives.”

He put his arms around her and just held her, giving what comfort he could. Though he firmly believed her guilt was misplaced it was something she’d have to deal with on her own. After a few minutes she pulled away.

“I do not fancy sleeping on this hard packed earth tonight,” she said. “I think we would be more comfortable on the bed of sand on the boulder.”

“I think you’re right,” Chaney agreed, helping her up.

It was almost too dark to see by the time they settled themselves on the sand-filled hollow. Nakeisha lay with her head pillowed on Chaney’s shoulder. Together they watched the stars appear, then the moons of Anchyre started their journey across the night sky.

“Do you know the story of the moons?” Chaney asked.

“They have a story?”

“The large one is called Kandor and the small one is Shinandu. Early in its history, Anchyre was ruled by a powerful warlord in the North and an equally powerful queen in the South.”

“Their names wouldn’t happen to be Kandor and Shinandu would they?”

“Yes. Now don’t interrupt. The two were desperately in love, but a curse kept them apart.”

“A curse?”

“It was believed that should Kandor and Shinandu ever come together, a disaster of epic proportions would befall Anchyre.”

“What happened?”

“They may have been rulers, but they were only human after all, and eventually Kandor could stand it no longer and went to his beloved in the dark of night. She tried to resist, but was unable to withstand his charm. Their joining caused a cataclysmic explosion that blew them into the sky and caused Anchyre to become giesthenis.”

“You made that up,” Nakeisha accused, raising her head slightly to look at him.

“See for yourself,” Chaney said. “Every night since, Kandor has chased Shinandu across the sky. It’s said if he ever catches her, Anchyre will be restored to its former glory.”

“It’s a lovely story,” she said, laying her head back down. “I hope some day Kandor catches Shinandu.” She yawned and made herself more comfortable.

“Look,” Chaney pointed. “A shooting star. My people believe them to be good omens.”

“Hmm?” she murmured sleepily. “Mine make wishes on them.”

“What did you wish for, Nakeisha?” he asked softly.

There was no answer. He turned his head to look at her and her eyes were closed. The day had finally caught up to her and she was asleep. With a contented sigh, Chaney, too, closed his eyes and went to sleep.

You can purchase your copy here:

Barnes and Noble

Jul 14, 2014

Multilocation Monday

multilocation ~ appearance in many places simultaneously

I mentioned to my buddy Jamie that I seem to be busier on the weekends than I am during the week. Which is odd, really, because I have more time to do things during the week.

But I think the reason for this is that I'm a right slacker during the week, which means I have to scramble to get all the things I've been putting off done over the course of the weekend. You know, so I don't feel like a right slacker. ;-)

Last week (mostly the weekend), was all about wrapping things up. I got the last few hexagons crocheted in place in the hex-ghan I've been working on - I'd post a picture but I'm still working on the border. But I also finished the baby quilt I've been working on, and I do have a picture of that:

As you can see, it's a Beatrix Potter themed quilt, and I took illustrations from the book in the picture for the embroidered squares.

The risers are in the reading nook, and I finally made the cushion for the seat. I believe I mentioned before that other than the strapping for the shelves, all the materials that went into building the nook were recycled. That goes for the cushion as well. The material is some I've had sitting around for ages, but the foam I used for padding came from a foam mattress pad we used to have on our bed. Several weeks ago we got a new mattress, so we didn't need the foam any more.

There's no picture yet 'cause I'm waiting until I get more books in the nook.

Tomorrow I'll be up at oh dark hundred to drive the hubby to the Belleville hospital where he will be having his hip replaced. So I'm going to be taking the rest of the week off as far as blogging goes.

I'm not sure how much time I'll be spending there - there's no set hours for visitors at the hospital, but a great deal of hubby's time after his surgery will be spend in physio-therapy. I'm assuming I'll be spending a big chunk of my day cheering him on though.

So have a good week everyone, and I'll see you next week.

Jul 11, 2014

What I'm Reading

I was a little busier with other things last week, so I didn't get as much reading in as I would have liked, but I still managed to get some in.

Electronic Books

Hurray! I finally got back into The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian. Death has decided no one will die until he receives his "Cobweb" bride. You'd think everyone living forever would be a good thing, but it's actually kind of gruesome. Old people on their death beds linger, soldiers on the battlefield get chopped up but don't die, and even animals do not die when they're slaughtered. There's a migration of women to the north, where Death's keep is, some going willingly, some reluctantly, to see if they're the one Death seeks.

This is actually getting quite interesting. There's several story lines woven together. First of all, we're following several women on their way to the north, and then there's a lord who was killed during a battle who's decided he'd rather not be truly dead, so he sets his son the task of hunting down the prospective brides and imprisoning them. Meanwhile, it's discovered that only the food harvested before Death's decree is edible. Not only is the flesh of animals still alive, so are the vegetables. Creepy!

Tree Books

I still haven't gotten back to Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. One of these days . . .

I did, however, stumble across The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively. I'd have to classify it as a middle-grade book - the heroine is only 13, so she's not even young adult. I'm not even sure where I picked it up - it was just on one of the shelves I was rearranging.

I love stories about the Wild Hunt, and this was an interesting little tale indeed. It centered around a young girl named Lucy who was spending the summer with her aunt in Hagworthy. The village needed to raise money for repairs to the church and decided on a end-of-summer fete. The Vicar suggests they revive the custom of the Horn Dance, which makes many of the older villagers very uncomfortable. I won't give too much more away, but suffice it to say, there was a reason they stopped doing that dance all those years ago. All in all, this was a good read. It would have been even better had I read it on a dark and stormy night. ;-)


I'm so close to being done Sword and Sorceress V! So close. I should be able to finish it this week.

I'm cataloguing the sf/f anthologies (paperback) in my collection next, however, and they're going to be harder to resist than the regular novels. Guess I'll just have to start reading faster. ;-)

Jul 9, 2014

Of Books and Nooks . . .

The Nook is getting very close to being done! So close, in fact, that the next time I post here I hope to have it finished. Here's what it looked like as of last night:

Those are the science fiction and fantasy paperbacks that are part of my permanent collection. Oh. All except for my Charles de Lint books. And the anthologies. Um . . . and a stack of 8 or 10 game based books - Forgotten Realms, I believe. But other than that . . . LOL

Okay. The Charles de Lint books go in their own bookcase. I only have a handful of his in paperback and that's only because I couldn't find/afford them in hardback. One of my goals is to complete my collection of his, but all in hardback. The anthologies . . . I didn't realize how many anthologies I have! If the anthology is part of a connected series, like Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover anthologies (which have stories written by her fans), or say C.J. Cherryh's Merovingen Nights series, then they go in that author's space. But the stand alone anthology series, like Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress, or the Year's best Fantasy, are going on the top shelf of the bookcase in front of my desk. So I have said, so mote it be! ;-)

What is it about these good ideas of mine that turn into these monsters of Godzilla-like proportions? Remember the The Organization of the Craft Closet? Or the the Great Office Organization? I honestly didn't realize this whole book nook/book organization project would turn into such a monster. Would I have started it if I'd known what it was going to turn into? Yeah, probably. Because that's just the way I am.

So. The nook is more or less finished, I just need to step up the pace of the Great Book Migration. In some ways the hard back books will be easier because they're already in alphabetical order . . . mostly . . . but they will need to have a good dusting.

The risers for the bottom shelf are done and painted, but it's been so damp lately the paint's taking a little longer to dry. We're down to the fun stuff now. This weekend I'll be working on the pad for the bench and the throw pillows for my back. And I'll have to figure out some lighting for in there. So far I've been using the hubby's clip on light, but he's going to want it back eventually, and there's no cover on it so it's a little hard on the eyes.

In the meantime, the nook already has its first guest. Actually, from the looks of him, I think he's in it for the long haul.

Just wait 'till I get the cushion in there for him to sleep on! ;-)

Jul 7, 2014

Macromancy Monday

macromancy ~ divination using large objects

The mind is a strange and sometimes annoying thing. Remember the whole daily to-do list thing I've been doing? Well I'm finding lately that it's not working in the way I'd intended. Instead of being pleased or self-congratulatory over the items checked off of a list, all I'm able to focus on are the things that aren't. Even if it's just one or two of them.

I don't know why I've been in this headspace lately, but I'd like it to stop. I don't have time for these downward, depressive spirals. I really don't.

And what's with the tiredness?? I take my B12 every day. I've tried getting more sleep and I've tried getting less sleep. I get plenty of exercise . . . So why am I so tired? Guess I need to make a note somewhere and ask my doctor when I see her. In August.

Okay, enough whining for one blog post. :-)

Happy things . . . let's see, let's see . . .

I have finished embroidering the blocks for the baby quilt my daughter requested for a friend of hers. I'd post a picture, but I need to sew them together first. Maybe next time I'll be able to post a picture of the finished quilt.

The last row of hexagons is tied in place - yes, it's probably a needless step, but it helps me from getting confused as to what hexagon goes where as I go along. So. The hex-ghan will be my TV craft for the week. Let's just hope there's some good TV viewing on. :-)

I have finished cataloguing my science fiction/fantasy paperbacks - at least the ones that are going into the nook. I'm still on the fence about whether I'm putting my Mercedes Lackey books in the nook or in the upstairs hallway. Guess I'll probably leave the paperbacks stacked in the nook until I get the hardbacks done and see how much space they take up.

The hubby finished the risers for the last row of books in the nook, we're just waiting for the paint to dry and then I have no more excuses about getting to work on the cushions. ;-)

Lots to do this week. In the nook I can start to work on the sf/f hardbacks and start bringing them down from upstairs and from various other places around the house. Once again I'm fence sitting about whether the anthologies will be going in the bookcase in front of my desk, or in one of the ones upstairs. Decisions, decisions . . .

I've also picked up some editing work lately. One of the books is done and back to its author (who has two more for me) and one of them I've just barely scratched the surface.

Today, probably as you're reading this, I have one of my sisters and her grandson stopping in for the night. Haven't seen her since Christmas so it'll be an interesting visit. To celebrate, I put clean sheets on the bed in the guest room. ;-)

Jul 4, 2014

What I'm Reading

I missed my report last week, so it's going to look like I got lots of extra reading in. :-)

Electronic Books

I finished Do Me, Do My Roots, by Eileen Rendahl. It wrapped up nicely with all three sisters in romantic relationships. A little understated, perhaps, but it was a nice "get-away-from-it-all" book.

Now you'd think I'd dive in to one of the other books I have started on my Kindle, Namely The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian, Mr. Love by Sally Mason, or Dark Love by Claudy Conn. But I also recall saying I was going to read them in the order they appeared in my Currently Reading folder. And the first book in my Currently Reading folder turned out to be Beers In Heaven, by Ford Forkum.

For some reason, I could hear the voice of the narrator from the BBC series of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while reading the description of Heaven. The story follows the death of Zack Preston, a young failed song-writer, as he ascends to Heaven and goes through his orientation. And while I enjoyed the character of Zack as he coped with memory loss, learning to fly, and an orientation coach who seemed to be working at cross-purposes, I have to admit that my favourite character was Woobles, a giraffe whose very presence was an accident. And I especially loved the way Ford was able to work in a cross-over scene of a previous work, Alien Invasion of the Zombie Apocalypse, in a completely logical way.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable book, and I have to say, when my time comes, I hope Heaven is the way Ford Forkum depicts it. :-)

Tree Books

I still haven't gotten back to Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. One of these days . . .

I finished The Blue Girl, by Charles de Lint rather quickly. The story revolves around Imogene, whose family recently moved to the fictional city of Newford, where so many of de Lint's stories are set. She becomes friends with a girl named Maxine, and then a ghost named Adrian, who inadvertently causes trouble for Imogene. But with the help of Maxine and Pelly, Imogene's not-so-imaginary friend, everything works out for the best in the end. At least as well as it can for a girl who's been turned blue. If you're familiar with de Lint's Newford books, you'll recognize some of the adults the two girls turn to for advice, but even if you're not, it's an excellent book.


I read another few stories from Sword and Sorceress V, and I've only got a couple more to go. I should be able to finish it this week.

And it's been getting harder and harder to resist re-reading some of the books I've been cataloguing. This week I started The She Devil, by Robert E. Howard. It's a little more . . . risqué than I recall Howard's books being, and the name of it is deceptive. It's a collection of adventure stories, most of which revolve around Wild Bill Clanton, somewhat of a pirate, and only the first two could be said to be of the "She Devil" as well. Still, it's a pretty good read.

Jul 2, 2014

Of Books and Bunnies . . .

So here's the thing. I was totally going to post a picture of the progress I'm making on filling my reading nook with books, but I suddenly had doubts as to whether or not I'm going to have room for all my science fiction/fantasy books in there. And that's even if I put all the anthologies in the smaller bookcase upstairs.

So I catalogued and shelved to the end of the 'B's, which went halfway around the top shelf, and then I started from the 'Z's and worked backwards through the 'M's. Wow. Michael Moorcock and Anne McCaffrey have written a LOT of books, and these are just the ones in paperback I own. Ditto for Edgar Rice Burroughs and Marion Zimmer Bradley. And it's going to take me a couple of days to catalogue all my Mercedes Lackey books.

And so now I'm thinking I'll need at least three rows of shelves for my paperbacks, and that's after I have almost a whole box of discards. It's not a huge box, more the size of a banker's box, but still . . .

At this point I'm seriously considering shelving a couple of my bigger collections in a different place - the small bookcases in the upstairs hallway for instance. Probably either my Mercedes Lackey or Marion Zimmer Bradley books because I have almost equal amounts of them in paperback and hardback. Or maybe the Anne McCaffrey books . . .

You see now why progress has been so slow? ;-)

All righty then. Now what should I talk about?

The hubby got the tarp off of the pool last weekend and already it's warm enough to swim in. Just ask the lone duck that's still hanging around. LOL Although actually, that's an improvement over last year when we had six or eight of them that just wouldn't move on. Even Daphne hasn't been around in the last couple of days, so we're thinking she might be sitting on another batch of eggs. Hopefully someplace a little more secure this time.

But I have a new little forest creature to add to my collection - a rabbit. We usually see him in the early evenings, just sitting or wandering around our backyard. I just hope my neighbour doesn't catch him out there - she has a special hate on for bunny rabbits. Have I mentioned what a big garden she has?

Anyway, just because I can, here's a picture of Peter. Sorry about the blurriness, but he didn't want me to get too close and I don't have a lot of zoom on my camera.

He's very cute, but very shy. And just to prove how random life truly is, the craft project I've been working on is a baby quilt for a friend of the daughter's, and I've taken the pictures for the embroidered squares from a Best of Beatrix Potter book. Beatrix Potter, as you should know, is the creator of Peter Rabbit. And the one evening I saw our bunny out back, and he was sitting in an upright pose, just like Peter. Hence my name for him. :-D