Snapshot Saturday: 11 April 2015

snapshotsaturday

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The only picture without my husband’s large feet and pajama-ed leg.

snap4We decorated Easter Eggs! We didn’t do laundry, as evidenced by that pile in the picture.

snap5Sam and I had a date night. We ate Thai food and hung out at a Starbucks. We were very meta and read a book about coffee in a coffeeshop while drinking coffee.

snap6My next hair adventure. Next month this is happening.

snap1Sam presented at the university’s research symposium. He was all gussied up.

snap2Hope was at her grandparents’ house most of the week. All of us were super happy to have her back at the end of the week.

Other noteworthy events: Old van died and I bought a new van. Pictures soon, promise.

Mr. Fortune’s Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner

viragomoderns_fleur_finalTimothy Fortune is called to the ministry. He leaves behind his profession in banking and embarks on the noble task of saving souls. His quiet ministry doesn’t quench his thirst for preaching and he embarks on a mission to the volcanic island of Fauna. The people of Fauna are welcoming and foreign to Mr. Fortune. Our kind, but flawed, missionary is not successful in his mission and only converts one person, a young man named Lueli. After a devastating volcanic eruption, Mr. Fortune must wrestle with his belief in God, his relation to the islanders, and his patronizing treatment of Lueli.

I loved this slim book. I think what I enjoyed most is that Mr Fortune is not villainous. He is type of person who usually wants to do good, but goes about it in a flawed way. Once he is able to view the islanders as people rather than Other, his philosophy of life is radically changed.

Sylvia Townsend Warner’s preface to the book is amazing. She talks about waking up from a dream and furiously writing a large portion of the book. Warner also discusses being inspired from a book of letters from an island missionary and she attests that the lush descriptions of the island inspired her immensely.

This slim book will be one that I revisit on occasion as I feel like I will learn something new each time I read it.

~~~ Stats ~~~

Started: 31 March 2015

Finished: 06 April 2015

Pages: 227

Challenges: Virago Project / TBR Challenge / Back to the Classics – Classic by a woman

Owned/Borrowed/Library: owned

Stars: 4.5 out of 5 stars

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Works in Progress: 8 April 2015

works in progressYarn:

  • I’m at the half-way point on Sam’s scarf. This means I will surely finish it by the time cold weather arrives… six months from now. I’m using Vanna’s Choice for scarf.
  • I started a new project! I’m making a dishcloth with a beautiful green Sugar ‘N Cream cotton yarn. It has a design on it, but I’m keeping it a secret as it is for my DIY and Local swap.
  • I got unreasonably excited when I found out that Lion Brand Yarns makes cool baby yarn. Modern Baby has fun colors. I had so much trouble finding cool yarn to make Persy’s blanket. Everything was pastel and I wanted vibrancy. I have a few pregnant friends with baby blankets in their future. Must buy more yarn (obviously).

DIY and Local Swap:

  • Yesterday I sent out matches for the DIY and Local swap. I’m so excited. It is a small group, just eight of us, but I think it will be so much fun. I’m making the dishcloth, but I have some other things to make and buy. Keeping it DIY and Local of course!

Upcoming Projects:

  • Sam and I are embarking on a super-cool project. We are starting a family zine. Sam and Atticus paint together, Sam does comic strips of the kids, Persy and I will develop a recipe and do some potato printing, Hope will begrudgingly submit her spring look book, and I will write about our family. I guess it is sorta like a scrapbook, but less pictures and more capturing our adventures in creativity. I’m embroidering a cover and we plan on photocopying and binding it by hand. We will have the original, the grandparents will get copies, and we will put away a copy for each kid. I’m super excited and this is up our alley so much more than “game night.” For the record, I adore board games, but I am in the minority. We hope to have our first “issue” done by the end of June so that Sam and I can take some copies to the Atlanta Zine Fest in July.

Creative Writing:

  • After an eight year hiatus I’m finally writing again. I wrote a short story this weekend that is still in shitty first draft formation. I’m giving it a week to simmer and then I’ll type it up and start the revision process. Guys it is so dark. Super dark. I’ve always written sort of terrifying and raw stuff and I think when I’m pregnant and nursing I loose my ability to step back and let my characters be the super flawed creations they are. I don’t want to give away the story too much as it may still change significantly. At this point it is a re-telling of Hansel and Gretel, but modernized and about eating disorders. Although no-where as great as these writers, I can see where I’ve been inspired by Helen Oyeyemi, Shirley Jackson, and Angela Carter. We’ll see how the story morphs through the revision process.

Inspiration on Monday:

Heads up, buttercups! Trish has started an awesome creative link up every first and third Monday. I’ll be linking my Works in Progress posts there and looking for other inspiration. Come and join us!

inspiration Monday

List Love: A Dozen Young Adult Series

list loveI miss Harry Potter. Sure I read them again and again, but I miss the excitement of something new. I read so many classics and literary fiction pieces Young Adult science-fiction and fantasy is a great break. After reading an 800 page Victorian novel for three weeks it is refreshing to get lost in an adventure and finish it relatively quickly. I’ve had trouble finding a YA series I enjoy that can match Harry Potter and I’ve pretty much accepted that no one will top Harry, but maybe I could find more young adult series that have great characters, an intriguing plot, and plenty of “world-building.” I loved Pullman’s His Dark Materials and The Hunger Games was pretty good for the most part. I get

I get super annoyed when I start a series (young adult or not) and the first few books are strong and then it starts to suck. I’m not going to list series, but don’t drag me in with a terrific first book and then phone it in on the rest.

Here is where I need your help. I have about a dozen young adult and juvenile series that I would like to try. Let me know if you’ve read any of them and what you think. I really want to know if it is well-written, has an exciting plot cast with characters of some depth, and has world-building (the more details the better). Also, let me know if the series is consistently strong. I plan on starting a series this summer.

Here are the contenders:
YAseries1Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness / A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket / The Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy
YAseries2The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart / Lewis Barnavelt series by John Bellairs / The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
YAseries3
The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo / Theodosia Throckmorton by R. L. LaFevers / Temeraire by Naomi Novik
YAseries4
Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor / Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan / Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Readathon Sign-up Post!

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It is the most wonderful time of the year!!! Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon time!

Consider this my sign-up post. I’m going all in with Readathon this year. I’ll be helping with co-hosting the event, cheering, and I’ll be co-hosting a read-along of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper with Heather from Capricious Reader.

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I’m keeping with my new tradition of creating a stack with a “theme” in mind. In October my theme was “Edward Gorey” and it was so much fun. I’ll be creating a how-to post on incorporating a theme into your readathon TBR at a later date.

My stack isn’t totally assembled yet, but here are some books I’m leaning towards:

YA Novels, Novellas, and Fiction:

Peter and Max by Bill Willingham

White as Snow by Tanith Lee

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

The Beastkeeper by Cat Hellison

Short Story Collections:

The Virago Book of Fairy Tales, volume 1

Bluebeard’s Egg by Margaret Atwood

Graphic Novels:

Fairest: Wide Awake by Bill Willingham

Frightful Fairy Tales by Dame Darcy

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

This is a work in progress! Of course I will post a picture once the entire stack is assembled.

Goodbye March, Hello April!

marchaprilmarchapril2

March was pretty fabulous.

  • I had a night out with Sam and saw a great show (Gogol Bordello)
  • I spruced up my blog a wee bit (even though I crapped out on Bloggiesta)
  • I finally admitted my eating disorder was back and am actively working on a more healthy relationship with food (although writing that today is tough, it hasn’t been the best day)
  • A friend from work has organized a Friday “creative collective.” A bunch of us meet for lunch and discuss creative projects we’re working on. It has finally kicked my writing butt in gear.
  • I announced a DIY/Local Swap that I’m super excited about.
  • In other creative news, Sam and I have an idea for a long-term family project. Now we just have to get started on it.
  • My reading mojo is back. I met my March Madness goal and read seven books. I’m now on track for my GoodReads goal! Whoohoo!
  • Hope has been super busy with track. Loads of running, working out, and meets.
  • I may jinx myself saying this, but the little kids seem to be a bit easier. I think getting outside in the nice weather is helping.

April will be even more fantastic.

#sitdownwrite
  • Between the kids being a bit more settled and the inspiration I’m getting from surrounding creators, I’m feeling the writing bug. I’m going to try my best to participate in Sit Down and Write from now through mid-April. My goal is to spend my lunch breaks writing. Blogging, journaling, and writing fiction. It is at least a start, right?
  • Readathon happens the end of April and I am so excited. I’ll be helping in several capacities and I’ve already drafted my reading list.
  • My birthday is at the end of the month. Sam and I were going to slip away again out of town for a night, but we are having trouble securing babysitters. I know at the very least I’d like to have a party with my friends. I miss all of my female friends. I’d love to have one session of coffee, cake, and chatter for my birthday.

That’s what on the horizon for the month of April: family, writing, reading, creating, celebrating. Sounds pretty awesome to me.  I hope this is good month for all of you!

The Classics Club: Classics Spin #9

classicsclubTime for a new Classics Club spin. I’m using books from my Virago Project list.

  1. The Lacquer Lady by F. Tennyson Jesse
  2. The Lost Traveller by Antonia White
  3. Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
  4. Over the Frontier by Stevie Smith
  5. The Beth Book by Sarah Grand
  6. A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
  7. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  8. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
  9. The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
  10. Mary Olivier: A Life by May Sinclair
  11. The Life and Death of Harriet Frean by May Sinclair
  12. Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith
  13. Unsocial Socialist by G. Bernard Shaw
  14. Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells
  15. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith
  16. The Odd Women by George Gissing
  17. The Return of the Solider by Rebecca West
  18. The Judge by Rebecca West
  19. Harriet Hume by Rebecca West
  20. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin

We’ll find out the chosen number on Monday!