Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Knitting, Papercutting, and Motorcycles!

Yes, motorcycles!

The other day, we came across a short-term exhibit of some vintage models:

A local Swiss craft is papercutting. I love these intricate and delicate designs:

Couldn't resist sharing a photo of this old-timey suitcase!

Meanwhile, I have an update on my ongoing knitting projects!

Here's the lovely wool I've just bought to make a fox scarf:

And here is the wool for a secret joint project:

I've knit six squares that will join the squares knit by friends... I won't reveal anything yet but perhaps the colours of the wool, and the initials I've knit into one square, J and C, might give you some clues...

And here's a baby blanket I finished a little while ago!

Have you finished a project recently?
It's such a rewarding feeling to complete something!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ROW80 Knitting Goals! Plus New YA Cover Reveal with Free Chapter, and a Mini-Rant About Twitter


Guess who's revealing a cover today? (cross-posted from the writing blog!)

Before that, a quick ROW80 update from me -- we're nearing the end of this year's round 3, and in true ROW80 style, I'm revamping my goals for this current round and the next. No, I haven't finished edits at all. I'm hoping that after this year's NaNoWriMo, when the writing is in full swing once more, I'll have the motivation for edits.

Until then, I've suddenly got three new knitting projects! I'm not doing too badly with unfinished objects (UFOs!) -- I only have two at the moment. One will likely never get done, while the other is easy, and will hopefully fall into the knitting I'll be doing on the new projects. I expect all this to take up either my weekend reading time or my commute reading time. On the other hand, I'm actually starting to read regularly on the Kindle app on my phone, which means more reading time at night after baby falls asleep (in the same room) -- and yet this completely removes Twitter time.

[As an aside, I have a mini-rant, because this has been bugging me for over a month now: I love Twitter but am really soured by the version for Android -- compared to the Twitter app for iPad, the app on Android is utterly useless with regard to lists. And, the main news feed being impossible to keep up with and full of advertising, I only ever check my lists.
I've been forced to use Hootsuite to actually be able to check lists with any kind of completeness, and even that is subpar -- both Twitter itself and third-party apps only scroll back to a designated number of tweets, which is utterly infuriating. I check Twitter only once a day, and I want to scroll back in the last 24 hours, start from the bottom, and read up. I don't want to only go back 20 hours or 17 hours or to whenever an arbitrary number of tweets has been reached: just show me everything!
And I certainly don't want -- or understand the need for -- the insane way Hootsuite loads: I scroll all the way down as far as the stupid arbitrary code permits, start reading up and, suddenly, there's a blank spot and it says "load more tweets" -- but I just loaded everything! then I have to reload, scroll back down to where I'd stopped, start reading up again, and after a designated number of tweets, there it is again, "load more tweets". It's like reading a newspaper article online, trying to scroll up to check something in the first paragraph, and having to reload the entire page once more.
What on earth is going on here? Why won't Twitter itself just load every tweet in my lists for as far back as I care to scroll, then keep it loaded so I can happily read up for as far as I want? The iPad version does this just fine -- what gives with Android?]

Now for some excitement!

(#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier

TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
by Crystal Collier
YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat -- along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart -- the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and "friend" (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, Facebook, or Goodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.

Congratulations, Crystal!

Speaking of ROW80, I've got more book reviews of novels by founder Kait Nolan to come, as well as the latest Catherine McKenzie and more (let's not get into how impatiently I'm waiting for my copy of Louise Penny's new book) -- and photos of all the knitting projects, natch!

If you know of a third-party app that's also free but handles lists on Twitter better than Hootsuite does, please tell me!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Oxford! Part II and Tolkien

Tolkien in Oxford! (cross-posted from my writing blog)

I had no idea when writing my A to Z Blogging Challenge on the Inklings posts that we would take a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip to Oxford the month after the challenge!

Here's a belated A to Z linked post, then, sharing all the main Tolkien-related photos from our trip.

The Lamb and Flag, across from the Bird and Baby -- er, the Eagle and Child, two pubs at which the Inklings used to meet.
I've had drinks at the Eagle and Child before, and we didn't have time to go in this time around...

The Botanical Gardens.
I wanted to see Tolkien's Tree, a black pine, but apparently it was felled a few years ago!
All that remains are these celebratory illustrations. Very sad.

Magdalen College, where the Inklings met in C S Lewis' rooms on Thursday nights:

Starting point of Addison's Walk, frequented by Lewis, Tolkien, and Dyson
The view of the grounds to the north, which is the direction Lewis' rooms looked out on.
He could see deer, but I'm not sure if there are any still there.

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense

Booklets and postcards -- the owl is by Tolkien

Merton College, Tolkien's college:

And T S Eliot's college too!

Visit to Wolvercote Cemetery:
Lots of people seem to leave coins from various countries, so we left a few Swiss coins, as we didn't have any Canadian coins with us.
It's been 105 years since Tolkien's trip to Switzerland.

I won't be sharing ROW80 updates at the start of the current round, as I'll be away on a work trip for a lot of the time and I'm hoping to get some editing done on my own stories while away! Hope to have some real updates when I get back. And to catch up on all the comments, too!

If you'd like to sponsor an ROW80 round, please sign up!
Also, if you'd like to write a guest post for this blog, please let me know!
I'd like to do a series of summer/autumn guest spots.