For my non-fiction slot - I am choosing 'Stitch'n'Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook' by Debbie Stoller

This is something of a cheat because I have had this book since just after Christmas, courtesy of BBH who has been generously indulgent of my fascination with all things yarn- and haberdashery-based.  I got intrigued by knitting thanks to [personal profile] vae who creates some of the most beautiful and fascinating works with needles and beautiful yarns.

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Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Book-Bingo: Dracula by Bram Stoker


I am slightly hedging here - I did only read Dracula this year though technically it came before I decided to do the bingo.  That being said, I have thoughts and feels! about this book so I'm counting it for the "One word title" square.
Cut for length and spoilers (Can you spoil a book that's more than 100 years old?)Collapse )

That said, this was a genuinely interesting and engaging book with powerful, interesting female characters which I would recommend to anyone with a Kindle or time to track down a hard copy.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Book Bingo!


This has been floating around the blogosphere for a while and I need to start branching out from my reading preferences so I'm signing up to do this and review the books that I'm reading as I go.
Cut for imageCollapse )
Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

New Year's Resolutions (Musical Edition)


I have a whole raft of plans for the New Year around various things so I'm breaking them up into different posts so I have a record to use when my resolve falters. I have three instruments that I can tootle along on but that I would not describe as any degree of fluency or acceptable intonation and I want that to change over the next year.

So, breaking it down, my resolutions are under three different headings: Ukulele, tin-whistle and violin.

ResolutionsCollapse )

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Again


So, my uncle is dying.

Talk of cancer and the last yearCollapse )

BBH and I are going back to the UK tomorrow.  I have a sinking feeling that I'll be coming back sooner than any of us would have liked.  A part of me is still hoping and another part wants to hide away until it's over.  I want to be able to do something but all we can do is wait and hope and wait some more.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

So Long 2013


This has been an interesting year - I couldn't rate it good or bad because honestly, both are true.

I have a whole load of plans for the new year - I want to do more knitting and violining for a start but I'm starting to run another fever so this will have to wait.

Happy New Year, every one!  May 2014 be awesome

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Happy Midwinter Festival of Choice!


(In our family it's Christmas because we're from Irish Catholic stock and despite a majority of us leaving, some cultural tics stick but good).

So, first Christmas with depression controlled for and a coping strategy for awkward Aspie 'Arrrrrrrrgh, what'ddoIdo!!!!" moments!  It was a success, I think.  My family, being the well-intentioned souls they are, haven't quite adjusted.  There's this space around me where the depression used to be and occasionally, they'll be surprised because I'm not following the pattern that they expect and there'll be a second where they're readjusting and it feels weird but also good.

It helps having a too-adorable for words baby nephew who is the living definition of perpetual motion.  He got his first proper hurl, courtesy of his proud grandfather and insisted on going out to play in the back garden with the elderly Shih Tzu limping along behind.

The main reason that I am posting is to gush about my Yuletide present - Only Me Shall Reign - a mythology-based Sigyrn/Loki fic which is really a Sigyrn fic that makes me so happy that I was dancing around the room after reading it.  It's whole-heartedly Sigyrn's story and she is completely the heroine with all the familar faces from mythology there to help paint a picture of her character and her choices.  I love it to itty bitty pieces and I've already copied it safely to the Kindle for enjoying on Family Excursions tomorrow and the next day.

You should totally read it and leave kudos and comments for the wonderful author who wrote it.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Dec. 21st, 2013


So Yuletide is finished and betaed and submitted! 

I am proud and relieved and grateful to [personal profile] deannawol  for speedy beta-ing and butt-kicking as needed.  And I have also caught up on comments in Ao3 so hopefully if you left a comment there, you should have gotten a reply.

I also got a new crochet hook (3.5mm) which is the one that features most prominently in the Amigurumi! book that has been collecting dust on the shelf for a few years.  The book is coming back with me for the holidays so I'm hoping to make at least one of the patterns in it before the new year.

Tomorrow is playing music, painting or modelling.  I have a whole collection of Fimo in a drawer that I keep meaning to use.  It's also packing, wrapping and getting ready to head out for the ferry.  I'm not sure how much internet I can rely on in Ireland or how much time I'll spend on the computer anyway.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Woolly thinking


So, I've been very bad about keeping this updated.  That seems to be how all my posts start these days, so I'm going to have to keep up posting just so I have something original to do.

I had plans for November then kyabett lured me to the Nano side with the promise of chocolate.  I managed my fifty thousand words - apparently when you've spent a few years tackling Big Bangs, fifty thousand words starts to be a much more achievable goal.  I did an original project which is marinating.  I basically wrote an outline starting years before the story starts so oh, boy is there a lot of chopping and cutting and rewriting to do. 

First comes Yuletide and I'm wandering back and forth on the idea I have. Tomorrow is my big blitz day (also known as 'Ara catches up with everything that needs doing before Christmas!!') so I'm clearing all of my to-do list and getting things done.

One reason that I haven't been talkative lately is that my depression is better.  Yay?  Yes....but it's brought up a new problem.  I've known since I was in my early twenties that I'm an Aspie but I never had so many problems with the triggers and stresses.  I thought I was just lucky - I could push through and manage just fine.

Yeah, no.  It turns out that the depression just masked it.  It's hard to notice the signs of stress when you are past caring about anything at all.  My depression did have that as an upside, who'd thought it?  It's nice to know that it's working but wow, it's taking a lot of conscious effort to break bad habits and to notice when I'm being unnecessarily harsh on myself for something that is making me uncomfortable.

My solution to this has turned out to be knitting and crochet.  (I totally blame [personal profile] vae  for introducing me to the wonder of shiny needles and pretty wool.)  I've started learning how to knit (all hail [personal profile] deannawol of infinite patience and the kindly-not-laughing-at-me) and how to crochet (which is almost entirely down to [personal profile] maeritrae giving me a guide to the basic stitches).

I'm also on Ravelry, in case there is anyone else I haven't found yet who is in there.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Musical step


1. Introduction and recent photo
2. 20 facts about you
3. Your favourite quote
4. What are you afraid of?

5. 10 songs you love right now

Okay, so these are presented in no particular order and without commentary because why I like a song is not something that can be put in neatly rational statements.  These are songs that I really like right now (and I could have added a hundred songs easily)

i) I Don't Care - Steam Powered Giraffe cover of Icona Pop's song.

ii) Birthday - the Cruxshadows.  A perennial favourite of mine

iii) Coldplay - Paradise (Peponi) African Style (ft. guest artist, Alex Boye) - The Piano Guys covering Coldplay

iv) Smooth Criminal - David Garrett covering Michael Jackson's hit.

v) Amaranth - Nightwish

vi) Monstrous Child - Bad Pollyanna.  A more recent find.

vii) Monster - Kris Allen

viii) Dragonrider - Two Steps From Hell

ix) Runnin' - Adam Lambert

x) Shadows - Lindsey Stirling.  Possibly my favourite violin song.
Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

I need a cute icon for this one


1. Introduction and recent photo
2. 20 facts about you
3. Your favourite quote

4. What are you afraid of?

Hoooo, boy, is that ever a list.  I am afraid of a lot of things.  Some of them are rational but most of them really aren't.

Snakes.  This is probably only the one that actually ranks as a phobia.  This is wholly irrational, I have visceral "nopenopenopenopeNOPENOPE" reactions to pictures of snakes.  Anything that moves like a snake triggers the flinch and panicky reactions.  I used to be afraid of snakes under the bed in the dark and I spent a ghastly month being convinced that a toilet in my grandmother's house had a snake lurking behind the S-bend because it hissed. 
I had nightmares about needing to use the toilet while a cobra was sitting in the bowl with the hood raised.

Heights.  More accurately, I am afraid of edges.  I  am totally fine with flying and I am totally okay with being on a high floor in a building.  Even strapped into a roller coaster, I can manage.  What I am not okay with is being able to peer down into the abyss.  If there is any chance that I could fall, I am petrified and may actually freeze in place until led away by kindly persons.  I will also latch onto anything stable and back away as much as I can.

Social events.  I get very talkative when I'm nervous.  I live in eternal dread of the polite glazing of eyes and the 'oh, that's nice' moment.  I don't do well if I don't know people or have something that I can have in common with them and my socializing skill is very limited.  I don't like making people uncomfortable unless I have a very good reason to do so and when I'm nervous, I make people uncomfortable because I'm so uncomfortable.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Meme once more.


1. Introduction and recent photo
2. 20 facts about you
3. Your favourite quote

Playing around a little with the formatting because I'm not copy-pasting that list the whole time.

I don't really have a single favourite quote. I have a lot of them stowed around for the right moment but three of my current go-tos are, in no particular order.


“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
Dita Von Teese


"And the Day Two pain of the gym! When you go back to the gym and you're in agony, and every bit of you is in pain. And the gym guy, you go up to him, you go "Why am I in so much pain?"—and he goes "That's because you're using muscles you haven't used in years." And you look at him and go "Why the fuck are we wasting our time with those muscles?"
-Dara Ó Briain

.
"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness."
Terry Pratchett

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Dear Yuletide Writer


Dearest and most fabulous of authors,

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Thank you again and I can't wait to read whichever story you write.
♥ ♥ Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

MeMe Day 2 ...2 days past the deadline!


I'm not very good at this one, am I?

MeMeCollapse )

Okay, twenty facts.  These are going to be completely random because it's late. I'm too lazy to check for facts I've already shared/implied and I have to be up early.

Cut for f-listCollapse )

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Hi-ho, meme-wagon away!


Since I'm appallingly bad at keeping up this blogging thing, particularly when playing 'side-effects bingo' with my medication, I have decided to jump on the latest helpful meme idea for the next *mumble* days.  I've seen this meme pop up a few times but I'm using the version I found here

MeMeCollapse )Day 1!Collapse ) Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

(gacked from icarus_chained) because I could do with a distraction.

Masterlist is here.

Pick a paragraph (or any passage between... let's say 200 and 600 words) from anything I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track. Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Aug. 25th, 2013


Watching the Discovery Channel has become a much more interactive experience since I started watching again.  I have corrupted BBH into critiquing with me and we wind up shouting at the television.

Animal Planet has become the new favoured channel and there are two programs that have snagged attention.

The first is 'Too Cute' which is the television equivalent of the puppy gif-feast posts on tumblr.

There are three different litters of puppies that are followed for the first three to four months of their lives and they're shown doing the cutest things.  The narrator has a fond voice but that's okay, I was 'awww'ing too loud to hear much of what he said.  There were three of the most adorable litters imaginable on the show we watched and wow, I miss having a dog.

The second show was on right after and we might not have watched it otherwise.  "My Cat from Hell' stars a guy called Jackson Galaxy who is just marvellous.  He looks like an old rocker and he walks around with a guitar case full of cat toys.  I seriously cannot overstate how awesome and surreal the whole personna is.  He's genuinely a cat person and seeing how things get worked out is a lot of fun.

I'm a sucker for 'you are fucking up your pet, let our expert sort it out' shows, with the exception of Caeser Milan for obvious reasons and I really like cats because, frankly, Dog Borstal has been done.  Seeing that people can't manage relationships with their CAT is oddly reassuring.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Thoughts on Comunication


I was writing an email to my mum and thinking about how while my mum is a literate, articulate person, her emails are almost invariably stilted and stiff.

My sister isn't that stiff despite being totally uninterested in writing.  I wonder how much the internet has informed that behaviour.  I mean, I have friends all over the world and a lot of them are people I've only communicated with by text.  I think you have to learn nuances of textual communication and emails become a conversation.  For older generations, a written letter had strict protocols and was more formal.  I remember learning how to put together a formal and informal letter in primary school.

I think online life requires you to be comfortable putting your thoughts and opinions into words and letting other people see them.  It gives you a lot more practice at it so you learn it like a dialect.  I just wonder if that comfort with textual conversations is why I understand my sister better than my mum or if it's because we're both talking the same dialect?

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

Oops


So yes, this whole 'every day posting' thing lasted all of one day.  Ooops?

I'm mid post-deadline collapse and trying to think of what I want to work on next.  I have a kink-bingo card, a WIP project with BBH and three original WiPs that I should be working on.

Still, it'll make an interesting test case for the Pomodoro method once I pick which one I'm working on.

I have a half-finished longer post about communication and literacy but that's gonna have to wait until tomorrow.  I have brushes to play with.

Originally posted here Please comment there using OpenID.

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