Category Archives: about the blogger
I, am in a slump. A reading slump. A blogging slump. A life slump. A slump of epic proportions. The mack-daddy of all slumps. I’m not interested in doing anything really. I’m in the middle of Orleans by Sherri L. Smith and I’m just kind of muddling through it. I’ve had it for over three weeks but I just can’t seem to muster the interest to concentrate on it. That’s ridiculous. We have a nice long three day weekend coming up, usually a good chance to get some reading done, but all I can think about is finally getting some sleep without being startled awake by the dame alarm every morning.
I know everyone has slumps. Just a while ago I was reading three or four books a week and now I can’t seem to focus on just one. Orleans is a perfectly good book (despite the main character’s annoying speech pattern) and I could finish it in an evening if only I could kick my butt in gear. What do I do? People always suggest rereading a favorite book to reignite the fire but the very idea bores me to tears. I find rereading books boring. I’ve already read it once; why would I read it again? It’s not like it’s changed. (I might rewatch a movie I like a couple of times, just because there are new things to notice in visual media.)
Another suggestion is to read something different but, well, if I don’t have any interest in reading in the first place I can’t see that helping. Orleans is already something different since I don’t usually go for dystopias. Maybe I should pick up a good, old middle grade book? Those are usually my favorites. My Kindle is full of freebies that are just begging to be read and my to be read pile is not getting any smaller with me just sitting here. Ugh! I don’t have any interest in writing either and I have two stories that I haven’t updated in over a week. My life is an empty desert and there is no oasis in sight. (I like that. I need to remember that. Very teenage angst-ish.) Oh the inhumanity of it all!
Needless to say, there will be no book review this week. Maybe I should go out and do something this weekend? Something non-book related. If only my tax refunds would come in, then I’d have the cash to really have some fun. (Hello? Government? Are you there? I’d like my money, please.) The farmer’s markets are just opening and that’s like two birds with one stone; food shopping and getting out of the apartment. Blah. Help me, my will to live is being sapped.
Thank you for listening to me whine.
Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I share what has been going on in my life the past week. Quick! Everybody run to the closest store and buy up all the half priced Valentine’s Day candy. The only good thing about Valentine’s Day is the day after, when the candy is discounted and I can get a giant heart shaped box of sugar and chocolate for 50% off. I’ll be eating off that candy into May. (evil laugher)
Bloody Marcus Finch. (shakes fist) That was poorly done. I don’t blame the bloggers; it’s my understanding that they weren’t given a lot of information and were kind of side blinded by the whole thing themselves. I was very confused when half of the blogs I follow on a regular basis started posting the same thing day after day. I thought something was wrong with my reader. The blog tour was mishandled by the promoters and the blog blitz ended up turning into spam and annoying a lot of the book blogging community. It’s my understanding that Marcus Finch isn’t even that big a character. Do not tell me we went through all that for a character that’s not even that important! After a day or two, I just started to ignore the posts. This has probably turned a lot of people away from the book. I’m guessing this is not the reaction the publisher was hoping for. Oops!
I helped a friend move into her new house last weekend. I’m still sore. This weekend we get to ferry over her four cats (I love them. They are my godcats. They are also little monsters. Well, except for Kyah. Kyah is a sweetheart.) and then go on a shopping spree. She just got her tax refund and now we get to buy everything for her new place. I do mean everything. She only has a few pieces of kitchen ware and all her linens were destroyed by her family when she was living in her Mom’s house after the divorce. It’s going to be a long day walking around Target. (She refuses to touch a Walmart for some reason.)
I figured out how to use my library’s ebook loan system on my Kindle. There is not a lot available but there are a few titles. It’s one less trip to the library as far as I’m concerned. The only downside is I can only “keep” the ebooks for 7 days. Also, I have to wait for ebooks to be returned before I can check them out. This confuses me, since ebooks are nothing more than data. It can be replicated as many times as needed. What exactly am I waiting for? Data transfer is instantaneous. There should be no waiting! Silly library.
The Library of Congress announced that it has completed the archival of public Twitter tweets from 2006 to 2010. They now have an archive of approximately 170 billion tweets and growing. The amount of tweets the Library receives has grown from 140 million beginning in February 2011 to nearly half a billion tweets each day as of October 2012.
My only reaction to this is; why?
Happy Friday everyone!
I am now in love with my Kindle. I should have stolen it from my Mom years ago. It is awesome. Not only has it opened up more than one new source of books for me, it’s easier to carry around and more discrete. I can prop it up against my computer monitor at work and read while I staple job packets together. (Trust me, that part of my job is mind numbing. I have no problem reading at the same time.) I can buy books from Amazon cheaper than a paper book and now that I’ve figured out my library’s ebook lending system, I can get library books without getting off my butt and actually going to the library. My Kindle is awesome!
Tomorrow we have my review for Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman. (I’m pleased to note that Steve Berman actually left a comment on my blog hoping I enjoyed the book. I love it when authors find me. It makes me all tingly. I can assure Mr. Berman that I very much enjoyed Vintage.)
Coming up in the long run we have some books by Diana Wynne Jones that I might smoosh together rather than make individual posts for each book. I’m catching up on my fairytale and fantasy books. Then I’m reading Splintered by A.G. Howard to feed my Alice in Wonderland obsession. I have to finish Carlousia: The Passing of the Guard by E.G. Carter that was given to me for review and I’m embarrassed to say I’ve taken forever to get to.
I was hoping to read Mariner’s Luck by Kirby Crow, the sequel to Scarlet and the White Wolf, but it appears like it is another book not available as an ebook for Kindle. I really liked Scarlet and the While Wolf and was hoping to read the trilogy but I am once again being blocked on all sides. Can’t get it at the library, can’t get it as an ebook, can’t do anything. I’m just going to sit in a corner and sulk for all the bloody good it does asking Amazon or my library system for the bloody books. Fail in all directions.
Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I share what has been going on in my life the past week. I meant to have this up earlier today but I had a doctor’s appointment this morning to check up on my ear infection and vertigo and then I had a busy morning trying to catch up with job requests. Now I’m sitting for the receptionist’s lunch and have half a moment to gather my thoughts. I stole my Mom’s Kindle on Sunday. Well, I stole her old one. We bought her the Kindle Fire for Christmas a few years ago and since I really didn’t want a Kindle back then, her old one languished in a pile of junk. I finally bit the bullet and asked if I could mooch it. So, now I have a Kindle. Granted, the old one, but it suits my purposes.
I finally broke down and got a Kindle because there were so many books my library wasn’t providing and I figured ebooks would at least be cheaper than buying paper copies. It really burns my buns to have to pay for books but I’m done requesting things from my library and then waiting half a year. (Sometimes in vain.) I’ll probably only get one or two books on the Kindle a month because, again, money and how I don’t like to spend it. I like my money to stay where it is, in the bank.
I have some news on the kitten front. (If you remember, I take care of a colony of stray cats at my apartment complex. In October we trapped as many as we could and had them fixed before releasing them.) The four little kittens that Lisa was able to find in the shelters before the trapping have all been adopted. This is fantastic news. We were able to catch the last adult cat that escaped us during the first trapping. This is Lisa’s favorite because the cat would play with a laser pointer. We all thought it was a boy but it turns out Buddy is a girl. She is with Lisa’s Mom right now for fostering. We caught two of the three kittens that appeared in November. One of the black and white kittens named Peekaboo and the grey tabby kitten we called Aurora were caught a couple of nights ago. Both turned out to be boys. (Aurora has sheepishly been renamed Talbot.) They are also with Lisa’s Mom right now. They are young enough that they can be adopted after some fostering. The last black and white kitten named Chunky is being too smart for his own good and not going into the trap. (At least we think Chunky is a boy. We’re wrong a lot.) After we get Chunky we’re hoping this is the end to any kittens. Everybody else should be fixed. (At least we hope so.)
So, my week was full of kittens and Kindle. I’ve already read my first book on the Kindle. The only annoying thing with the Kindle is I can’t tell what page I’m on. All it gives you is a percentage. It feels odds to not see how far I’ve gotten. I’ll get used to it. I’m half way done with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (aka Everyone Needs Therapy.) It’s umm… different? I’ll have to finish it to truly judge.
Happy 2013, everybody!
Booking Through Thursday is a weekly book meme that gives us a question to answer every week. This week’s question is: Any reading resolutions for the new year? Reading more? (Reading less?) Reading better books? Bigger books? More series? More relaxing books? And hey, feel free to talk about any other resolutions you might have, too … or why you choose NOT to have any.
Now I’m glad I procrastinated on my New Year’s resolution post until now. Nobody would want to read two posts of the same thing. I will admit that I usually fail at resolutions. Statistics says that by two weeks most people who made New Year’s resolutions have already given up on them. I give up by the first two days. No motivation, ya know? But, I am turning over a new leaf. Hell, I am turning over a new tree. We shall be calling this year the year of “Get Off Your Butt, Patricia.” I shall make a banner and string it across my doorway where I will see it every day and it can guilt me into doing what’s good for me.
Resolution the first; get healthy. Not, lose weight. Just, get healthy. This is where the get off my butt part of “Get Off Your Butt, Patricia” comes into play. I plan to start cooking more of my meals from scratch and eat less frozen meals and fast food. My doctor is constantly bugging me about my blood pressure and cholesterol. She is threatening to put me on medication and that’s the last thing I want. So, it’s time to change the way I eat and to start doing some moderate exercise. If I lose weight, all the better.
A month or so ago, I hit 300 pounds. That would be the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life and I’m not even 30 years old yet. Unacceptable. I’ve already lost 9 pounds since then and I plan to lose more. The goal is to walk. A couple years ago I started the habit of going up into the warehouse during my lunch break and walking around in a big circle. Since I didn’t have to watch where I was going, I could also read while I was doing this. I lost over 25 pounds but had to stop when the weather warmed up and the warehouse grew too hot. I gained every pound back. I’m going to start doing that again this winter and then not get lazy during the spring and summer and walk outside. I might even join a gym when it gets too hot to go outside.
Resolution the second; read more books. I read a measly 30 books in 2012. Way, way below what I wanted to read. I got lazy. I watched movies. I watched TV. I watched paint dry. I didn’t read the books I said I was going to read. No more. The goal for 2013 is at least 50 books, which is about a book a week. I can do that. I used to do that in a single summer, for heaven’s sake. Again, it is time to get off my butt.
Resolution the third; charitable donations. Specifically, charitable donations to animal organizations like local shelters and the Humane Society. Because I like cats and dogs more than I like people and when times get hard it’s the four legged beings in our society who get the shortest stick. People abandon their pets; some people surrender them to the shelters, some people just turn them loose. Morons don’t fix their pets and those animals breed. Shelters are overcrowded. A lot of those animals are euthanized. When you take in an animal you make a vow to that animal to care for it for its life. I could go on but this will turn into a rant and I’m sure nobody wants to hear my thoughts on animal cruelty and the substandard useless laws protecting them.
Resolution the forth; create and stick to a budget. I have a horrible habit of not spending anything for a while and then blowing a couple hundred dollars in a shopping trip. I spent a lot on Halloween decorations back in October simply because I wanted them and then another couple hundred on clothing before that because I made the mistake of taking a friend with me. My spending always gets worse when I’m with people. So, budget. I know I can spend only $40 or $50 on food a week and eat well. It’s when I go to Wal-Mart or Target that things get iffy. I plan to avoid going to other stores for my weekend shopping. I need to plan meals and plan shopping trips and schedule big expenses like clothing or (ugh) new eyeglasses. Then I need to squirrel that extra money into my saving account.
I only made four resolutions and those were the ones I felt were most important. There is other things I need to change, like cleaning my apartment more and making a better effort to make friends with actual physical people, but I wanted to focus more on those four rather than bog myself down with too many things at once. I have some small projects going on, some pillows I need to make and an art thing to finish, but those are a work of an evening. I know everyone is thinking about change and planning the upcoming year. We all have a lot of work to do. I wonder how far I’ll get this year!
Welcome back to the Friday Ramble, where I share what has been going in my life the past week. First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I spent my Christmas sick. I spent all Saturday night in Urgent Care being dizzy and nauseous. I woke up that morning so dizzy the room was spinning and that had been the first time I’d ever experienced that. It was so bad I threw up and I rarely throw up. I’ve been sick with a cold that was lingering for over a week at that point, so I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me. The doctor (after almost 3 hours of waiting) told me I had an ear infection. My inner ear was swollen and inflamed, which messed with my balance, which gave me vertigo, which made me nauseous, which sucks. There is nothing that can be done, it will go away on its own in a couple of weeks (weeks!?), here are some pills to combat the symptoms, have a nice life. I’m ready for 2013 to start because the end to this year has not been good. I’d like to move on now!
I spent the next three days asleep and, needless to say, did not make it to my family’s Christmas celebration. My Dad did stop by Christmas evening with a sick person care package with soda, leftover roast beef, and anything else my Mom could think to throw at me. Because I desperately needed two boxes of instant mashed potatoes and a bottle of milk apparently. Dad also brought my Christmas gift from my brother and his girlfriend. I can’t remember the last time any of my family bothered to buy gifts for each other. The girlfriend is a good influence. They got me a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I’ve read most of the stories already (through audiobook mostly) but it’ll be nice to see the others. I might reread The Hound of the Baskervilles for the New Year. (I have a deep obsession with Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle, so kudos to my brother and his girlfriend for being spot on.)
In a few days it will be the New Year and 2013. I know we are all making the usual posts with our blog resolutions and favorite books of the past year. I made my favorite books of 2012 post yesterday, which just so happened to coincide with the Booking Through Thursday question for this week. Two birds, one stone. So, on Monday I’ll have the next Featured Author post up (Diana Wynne Jones) and on Tuesday I’ll have my review of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake up and my own blog resolutions for you.
I read only 30 books this year. This is pitiful as I read that many in 2011 and I was only counting for half of that year since I started blogging in June. I don’t know what happened. I’ve read some awesome books. But I know that I’m also losing enthusiasm for ho-hum young adult fantasy/paranormal books. The repetitive patterns are driving me up the wall. I’m looking for something different. Maybe I should read more adult books? I’m not into chick lit and romance honestly bores me to tears just thinking about it. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some exciting books in 2013. (Suggestions?)
I’m hoping to finally get to see The Hobbit this weekend, since I spent last weekend imitating a bobblehead. I might see if Jamie can lose the kid for a few hours. Otherwise, I’ll go alone. (I need new friends who don’t have young kids. Anybody in the Saint Louis/Saint Charles, Missouri area that needs a movie or coffee buddy? I’m really nice and a great listener. Anybody?)
Welcome back to the Friday Ramble, where I share what’s been going on with me the past week. First of all, Merry Yule! Today is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and the first official day of winter. It was also the day the Mayan calendar ran out and the world was supposed to end. Since I had to get out of my nice warm bed and go to work this morning, you can see that didn’t happen. Believe it or not, from this point on the days will be getting longer. In a week or two you will be able to see a sliver of sunset light when driving home from work instead of driving in complete darkness.
I’m just finally getting over the cold I got last week. I ended up missing the Yule gathering on Saturday. I woke up and there was just no way I was up to dealing with the drive down to Affton and then being social with people. I was coughing and sneezing and nobody wants to be around that. I did end up fielding several calls and text message from my friend Grace (sweet girl but a fruit cake and an extrovert, meaning I can only take her in small doses) about the Yule gathering because she doesn’t have a computer and couldn’t get the information herself. I don’t know how she lives without the internet. She and another friend of hers did manage to make it and had a good time. I slept most of the day. I think I was awake for all of four hours on Saturday.
On Sunday I dragged my butt out of bed and went to the store for tea and cookie ingredients. The cookie exchange was on Monday and I made cranberry oatmeal cookies. I burnt them a little but I like the type of nutty, caramel taste. Apparently I am the only one. (eyeroll) They are not burnt, I made them like that on purpose! The rest of the week was a couple of Christmas events and then yesterday was the holiday lunch. It was good. The pork was a little dry. We did a cake walk. Then we pulled tickets out of a hat for prizes under the tree. I got a ducky shower cap. Joy. Then we did the big prizes that you got tickets for if you donated food or a toy or did any of the activities. I won the candy gift basket that had a Schnucks gift card in it and a cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I am pleased.
Next week is Christmas. I will try to have the next Featured Author post up on Monday. (I’ll be doing Diana Wynne Jones.) I don’t think there will be a post for Tuesday but Wednesday will have the usual Wishlist Wednesday post. We’ll see if the Booking Through Thursday question is interesting and on Friday you’ll get another Friday Ramble post. Somewhere in there will be a “My Favorite Books of 2012” post, a post detailing upcoming features for 2013, and possibly a post with my thoughts on The Hobbit movie if I get out this weekend to see it. I have a deep love for Martin Freeman, so I’m hoping the movie is at least tolerable.
Everybody have a good Friday and stay warm!
Welcome back to the Friday Ramble, where I share what has been going on in my life for the past week. Right now, I am sick. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, the whole nine yards. I started feeling yucky on Wednesday and by Thursday morning it was a full blown cold. I started taking Cold-Eeze and I just hope it doesn’t ruin the weekend. I have a Yule potluck gathering on Saturday that I’m not sure I’m going to have the energy to deal with. It’s being held down in Affton and that’s a bit of a drive for me. Plus I don’t handle people well when I’m not feeling good. Oh, the joys of being an introvert. Other people exhaust me. This is why I prefer books. Then I have to make cookies on Sunday for the Cookie Exchange at work on Monday. Of course, I don’t have any more time to take off so I’m at work right now. I enjoy spreading my cold germs around. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. I plan to be the vector for the newest influenza epidemic.
Christmas is only 10 days away. People are constantly asking if I’ve gotten my shopping done yet. I don’t shop and I don’t buy things for Christmas. I have two friends that I’m close enough to to buy gifts for and one of them I have an agreement with and the other, well, let’s just say that the last thing she needs is to worry about buying Christmas present for her friends. She has enough things to worry about. (She also still owes me money from helping her out with that little DWI problem earlier this year.) The other friend I have an agreement with that we just go out one night and have fun. That’s our Christmas present to each other. I have a small family, just my parents and my brother. We don’t really do the whole present thing anymore. We have dinner, maybe watch a movie or something, and then call it a day. Yes, I know. Bah humbug.
I did go out last Saturday with Jamie and her little daughter Allyson to Historic Main Street in Saint Charles. They have a type of Christmas festival going on in December with drummers and dressed up characters. There’s even a parade and carolers. It was very nice. Allyson choked on a sucker and was afraid of the Ice Queen. Then she fell asleep and Jamie and I had gelato in the cold. Because we’re crazy like that. Of course, since we had the stroller we couldn’t actually go into any of the shops and the one I did go into I had to leave Jamie and the rugrat out on the street. (eyeroll) I don’t understand why people have children and Jamie is pregnant again with her second child. Parenthood is not for me, I can tell you that much.
On Monday I posted my first Favorite Author feature. I hope to continue to do author posts on Mondays and then book reviews on Tuesdays. At least, when I finally get off my butt and finish reading another book so I can review it. I seem to be going through a slump. Then on Wednesdays I’ll continue the Wishlist Wednesday posts and on Fridays will be the Friday Ramble and I might post one of the Friday question memes if the questions are interesting. None of the questions are interesting this week. I’m guessing you couldn’t care less about what bookmark I’m using right now. Yeah, I thought so.
So, that’s it for me for this week. Happy reading, everybody.
We’re going to call this the Friday Ramble. It may or may not turn into a weekly thing. It may just be a when I feel like it thing. Basically, I’m just going to talk with my fingers and you’re going to get every little thought that pops up in my head. If you’re lucky, it will even be book related. (Although I doubt that.) Fair warning; I have two hours of sleep and I’m running on my less than stellar willpower and coffee. Because if I had more willpower I would have gotten off the internet and gone to bed at a decent time last night. But I don’t, so I spent the night on the computer, even though I knew I would have to get up early today to answer phones at work because the regular receptionist is on vacation. Thus, two hours of sleep. I’m probably a public danger right now.
I heard that in 2013 “internet addiction” will become an official disorder. Yeah, I’m already there. Have been since I was a teen. So, around fifteen years or so. I can easily spend a whole day on the internet. Entire summers during high school were spent on the internet. But I’m an adult now (damn it) and I have to work for a living and now my internet time is limited to evenings and weekends. It’s just not enough. Thus, the occasional 48 hour stint. As a gal getting dangerously close to 30 years old, this is not as easy as it used to be. Instead of drinking a few Mountain Dews and being a bit wired like I was as a teen, I am now a walking zombie complete with moan desiring only coffee and other caffeine filled beverages. I’m not even sure caffeine affects me anymore. Too many Mountain Dews in my youth. (Interesting enough, I can’t stand Mountain Dew anymore. It was all my family drank when I was a teen and now a single sip just turns my stomach.)
Oh, Happy Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I listened to Roosevelt’s “This day will live in infamy” speech will driving into work this morning (in the damn dark, oh my god, it’s just not right being up before the sun rises). The History Channel will probably run on the TV in the lunchroom all day long, forcing us all to relearn every detail of the beginning of World War 2 for America all over again. I’m a History minor but an ancient history minor. Modern history bores the crap out of me. My father is obsessed with the World Wars. Books on the World Wars are his default Christmas presents. I wish the rest of my family was as easy to shop for. Mostly I just get them holiday scratchers tickets and hope I get a little kick back if they win anything. (Nobody ever wins anything but the possibility of winning something is exciting despite that.)
I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever read a book on World War 2 that wasn’t a school text book. I don’t think so. I find most text books dry and incredibly boring and I have no interest in war fiction. A good 99% of what I read is paranormal or at least fantasy based. Life is depressing enough without reading books that are just as depressing. (A blackbird just flew into the front window of the building. They do that sometimes when the huge flocks start flying around. I think it’s okay, just stunned. I’ll watch it for a while to make sure it’s okay. I can practically hear the little birdie voice going “Dudddde! Wha jus happened?”)
I’m sorry. I get weird when I’m sleep deprived.
I’m sorry I haven’t been around lately. November was National Novel Writing Month and I spent the whole time franticly writing. (I won. I got to 50,000 words 3 days early. I’m so proud of myself.) But doing NaNo meant I had no time to read because I was spending every spare second writing. I was also toying with the idea of starting up another project and trying to be honest with myself about time and resources. (Then I decided to just throw in the towel because I’m an easy touch and start the project. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I get with the Stray Cat Society project and what comes of it. More about that later.) Now we have the holidays coming up and I have a cookie exchange at work and a dinner/ritual to attend, and I think my brother’s girlfriend might be joining us for Christmas dinner and the last month of 2012 is shaping up to be extra busy. I don’t know if I’ll have time to breathe, let alone read a book.
I’m half way through The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, (I’m loving it so far.) which I promised myself I would finish this week but am honest enough to know that’s not going to happen. I have a shopping trip planned this weekend with my friend Jamie and her daughter, Allison, and I know I’m just not going to get anything else done. I’m just hoping I can knock out the last of my holiday shopping with this trip. It will be one less thing to worry about. Then I have to write a review of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake because I forgot to do so in October. I also have a couple movies I want to watch that have been sitting on the TV stand for weeks and Netflix is giving me sideways glances. The bathroom is in desperate need of a cleaning. Even I’m becoming grossed out and I’m using to living the life of a bachelorette.
But those are all excuses. Let me get up a Wishlist Wednesday post so you have something book related to look at instead of my whining there aren’t two of me to handle everything. Kiss, everybody.