Whoops… And Other Things

Well, it has apparently been a while since I posted here! I’m behind on posting reviews of what I’ve been reading, and I’m behind on writing updates. My apologies. I have a couple of book discussions coming up in the next couple of days, and another update on my writing goals and Kindle Scout Campaign.  But meanwhile, I thought I would share some pictures of spring blooms. Besides books, flowers are one of my favorite things, beaten only by rainbows and waterfalls when it comes to nature. They smell beautiful too, alas, I can’t share that online.

Stories and Adventure

Yesterday was one of those beautifully warm spring days, so I took the kids out for a mini-adventure. It reminded me that as a writer, how important it is to never stop experiencing, even if the experience—or maybe especially if—the experience is just around the corner. I put on my white mukluks, and off we went to the gutted truck I’d been seeing from the road for months.

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Not far from my house, the city is in the process of building a new dog park, which meant that in the fall they stripped out some of the natural woods to make a few walking paths. We used to go adventuring in the woods, when they were a bigger, more mysterious tangle, and never came up on the truck cab that was revealed during construction.

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Adventures come in all shapes and sizes and I’ve done a lot of traveling and a lot of adventuring. Some of these adventures have made it into my writing, and others are waiting to be spun into tales, and some are just journal entries in my photo books. But there are so many adventures I’ve had that just make me who I am, that make my characters who they are, and that just make me love life. So, we had a little adventure, I love it, I covered my boots in mud, and we came home and had a snack.

Yesterday was a great day, not just because of the adventure but because I bought myself that reward I discussed in my previous post for making it to the halfway point in my writing 365,000 words in a year goal. I bought myself a copy of Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth, which happened to be on sale at Costco. Yay, cheap books! And a sweater. Just don’t tell my husband. Wait, my husband reads this blog… too late! So, I have a new book on my shelf, which I likely won’t get around to reading for a while. It has a nice cover, but and even nicer cover if you take the wrapping off. If you haven’t done that and check it out, do. I won’t ruin the surprise by posting a picture here.

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I’m just going to look at it and smile.

JEH

365K in Year Update #18

Well, this past week was horrible for writing. In part because I went on a mini-vacation to a friends farm where we went ice fishing. It was a great time but I really let my word count slide. screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-3-00-35-pm

As you can see, as off a couple days ago I am 6K behind my goal. This means I have some busy days ahead. I’m not going to list all of my excuses here, because they are just excuses. Even though I’m busy and stressed and life is crazy, writing 1K a day takes me around 30 minutes and makes me feel better. I should be doing it, but sometimes I just don’t. But I’m going to do better, because this goal means a lot to me. Last night I sat down with my notebook and wrote 1K, the day before I managed around 500 words. I’m going to keep pushing on this, and I’m really enjoying the return to writing by hand. There is just something indescribable about the hand-mind-creative connection when writing with pen and paper. Writing is not the same on the computer, at least not for me. It isn’t near as immersive, and I find my worlds aren’t as richly detailed.

Below are a few amazing pictures from my ice fishing trip. I caught two fish and they tasted amazing! It was nice to do something fun in the winter, other than just sitting inside and reading that is. I was a guest at my wonderful friends farm, which you can read more about on her blog, North Chick Farm Shop. It was a great weekend. What did you get up to?

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On the way. Reading on the drive. 
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The cutest farm kitten.

The

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The lucky hole
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Fishing outside.
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The frozen lake.
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Post fishing reading and cofffe.
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Cutest birdhouse.

JEH

Some Thoughts on Pollution

This is more of a photo-essay than anything. And it’s a bit off-topic considering I usually talk about books and coffee and my love of books and coffee. But sometimes there are other things that I think about.

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On one of the days I was in Mexico, I went for a two hour walk up the beach. From previous travelling experience, I knew that beaches were often combed, cleaned by early morning workers at the resorts. I knew that I would find a different world, have a different experience by walking up the beach, but this time I saw a few things that got me thinking.

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We stayed just north of Playa Del Carmen, on the Carribean Sea. There was both a lot of seaweed and a lot of litter washed up on the shore. I began taking pictures, because all of this litter just began to catch up in my mind and a lot of it is something that we can all do something about. You see, what I most commonly saw washed up on the shore were bottle caps. Plastic bottle caps that come on water bottles or soda bottles or sports drink bottles.

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Then I realized that while people can recycle the bottles themselves and get money back, there is nothing you can do with the lids but throw them in the garbage. But why, both the bottle and the lid are plastic. Can’t we do something about that other plastic, reuse it somehow?

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Then I began to think that that isn’t the main problem. the main problem is that we’re using plastic bottles in the first place. When at home, I often drag around a refillable water bottle. I don’t buy bottled water unless I’ve forgotten my refillable container. But I do buy it sometimes. I also occasionally buy something else like a pop or a juice. And all of those lids are ending up in the ocean and destroying these beautiful beaches! So now, after my two hour long walk, I’ve developed a new goal of lessening my purchase of plastic bottles to practically nil (I’m going to be realistic, it’s going to happen sometimes, but I’m going to try really hard to avoid it). I have two favourite coffee travel mugs, and a few water bottles. I can do this. I can avoid purchasing plastic. Hopefully it helps my wallet out too.

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And maybe these pictures will help you think about litter and the state of our oceans and lands as well.

JEH

Back From the Beach and Other Things…

I have to say, Mexico in January was a great place to be. Now I’m back in the snow, though the temperatures have been surprisingly pleasant. I was happy to learn that it was -40 C while I was away, plus there was a blizzard. I’m glad I got to spend time on the beach reading instead of dealing with snow. It’s taken me a few days to readjust to winter and work and regular life. I think it would be all to easy to live on a resort where you ever have to cook clean or worry, except maybe worry about if it’s going to rain. Here are some picture from around the area we stayed in, it was gorgeous.

I finished reading two books on vacation and read parts of a couple others. I never read just one book at a time, but read whatever suits my mood. GoodReads tells me I’m 1 book ahead of my reading goal, which is excellent because I think reading 60 books in a year is going to be quite the challenge, especially since I have a couple long books on my shelves.

I’ll post a review of As I Darken tomorrow, one of the books I finished while on holiday.

Till then,

JEH

 

365K Words in Year Update #13

Lucky # 13! This update, I’m pleased to say that I have made it to the gym twice. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. I ate way to much cheese and chocolate at Christmas
  2. My trip to Mexico is coming fast
  3. I downloaded and audiobook to listen to and I love it!

So on that front, things are going well.

In the writting world. I wrote nothing on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and have been writing between 600 and 1,000 words a day since. The lead I had at the beginning of my year (September 2016) has shrunk, and I’m down to a 14,000 word lead. Which is pretty good, though I’m hoping with a week of sunny vacation that I’ll be able to draft up a storm!

This morning I woke up to light, thick, fresh falling snow. The roads were a disaster but everything looked so pretty again.

Also, as I posted earlier this week, I made it to my 40 books in a year reading goal as posted on Goodreads. I’ve actually finished another book since then and plan on finishing one more. I can’t wait until January 1st, 2017 when I get to set my new reading goal. What’s your goal going to be?

 

JEH

 

Writing, Rain, and Stealthy Cats

So yesterday was the first day of NaNo. I wanted to blog about it and wish everyone well, but I was just so busy trying to get the writing done that I had no time for blogging. So here I am, wishing everyone good luck on their writing journey!

Yesterday was the perfect day to stay indoors and write. It was cold, grey, and rainy. Fingers felt like ice after a mere minute outside. Even the magpies were rooting in the woodchips in an effort to stay warm. I took a few pictures to share, since I was surprised that there was still so much fall colour after that crazy snowstorm we had a month back. Thankfully, the snow is still gone for now, and it’s even going to get into the teens this weekend, so you might see some pictures of the sun.

Today, I will continue to write while my stealthy cat watches me from the shadows. From the looks of things, he’s not happy with the arrival of NaNo wrimo or the cold weather. He loves going outside, but not in the rain. Good luck on day 2!

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